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ASRock X79 Motherboard Headed by Feature-Rich Extreme9 Model

ASRock's socket LGA2011 motherboard lineup doesn't end with X79 Extreme7 as thought before, the company thinks there's scope for an even more loaded model that's literally bursting with connectivity and expansion features. Enter the X79 Extreme9. This board uses high-grade digital PWM circuitry to power the CPU. It draws power for the CPU VRM from two 8-pin EPS connectors. Unlike the X79 Extreme7, this board features eight DDR3 DIMM slots, two per memory channel. Expansion slots include five PCI-Express 3.0 x16, and a PCIe x1.

Since it completely ran out of room on the main PCB, ASRock put two important connectivity features on a separate (included) addon card, called the ASRock "Game Blaster". This card occupies the PCIe x1 slot, it packs a next-generation Creative SoundCore3D audio processor (more advanced than X-Fi), and a low-overhead/low-latency gigabit Ethernet connection. It's not exactly known if this connection is driven by a Killer 2100 or a more common PCIe GbE PHY backed by ASRock's proprietary packet prioritization software (XLAN).

Apple Announces New iMac with Next-Gen Quad-Core Processors, Graphics, Thunderbolt

Apple today updated its signature all-in-one iMac with next generation quad-core processors, powerful new graphics, groundbreaking high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and a new FaceTime HD camera. Starting at $1,199, the new iMac is up to 70 percent faster and new graphics deliver up to three times the performance of the previous generation.

"Our customers love the iMac's aluminum enclosure, gorgeous display and all-in-one design," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "With next generation quad-core processors, powerful new graphics, Thunderbolt technology and a FaceTime HD camera, we've made the world's best desktop even better."

AMD Intros Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Quad-Core Processor

Today AMD released to market its latest quad-core processor, the Pheonom II X4 980 Black Edition. The new, faster SKU was first reported to be taking shape back in March. Based on the 45 nm "Deneb" silicon and K10.5 architecture, the X4 980 BE is yet another speed-bump, clocked at 3.70 GHz (18.5 x 200 MHz), with room for some overclocking thanks to its unlocked BClk multiplier.

The Deneb die packs four x86-64 cores with 512 KB caches each, and a shared 6 MB L3 cache. Despite its high clock speed, the processor maintains TDP of 125W. Its IMC supports dual-channel DDR3/DDR2 memory, and is backwards compatible with AM2+ socket apart from its native AM3 socket. HyperTransport 4 GT/s is its chipset interconnect. The new processor is priced at US $195.

AMD Readies Faster Phenom II X6 Models, New Fast Quad-Core Chip

After AMD's recent mass-release of Athlon II and Phenom II series processors that included the Phenom II X6 1070T Black Edition priced at around $250, AMD is working on a new flagship processor that's even faster than the Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition (the current flagship), given the model number Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition (surprise!), and as always, it's yet another speed-bump. This chip is based on the 45 nm Thuban die, and is clocked a whole 100 MHz faster, at 3.30 GHz, with a Turbo Core frequency of 3.70 GHz. Surprisingly, it retains its TDP rating of 125W. As with every other chip based on this die, it features six cores with 128 KB L1, 512 KB L2 dedicated caches, and 6 MB L3 shared cache, it comes in the AM3 package and is backwards compatible with AM2+, supporting dual-channel DDR3-1333 and DDR2-1066 memory standards.

The 1100T Black Edition isn't the only new Phenom II series member down the line, there's the Phenom II X6 1065T (2.90 GHz, non-BE, 3.40 GHz Turbo); the slower Phenom II X6 1045T (2.50 GHz, non-BE, 3.20 GHz Turbo), and the company's next fastest quad-core chip, the Phenom II X4 975 (3.60 GHz, Deneb). It's not known whether the X4-975 is a Black Edition SKU.

VIA Developing DirectX 11 IGP Chipset, Quad-Core x86 Processor for 2011

VIA, in its recent announcement about posting a net loss of US $45 million for 1H 2010, revealed plans about future products and manufacturing process transitions with which it hopes to return to profits. These include release of dual-core VIA Nano processors based on a new manufacturing process due for released later this year, the new VN11 chipset that will embed DirectX 11 compliant integrated graphics, which it will released next year. The company also announced that it will release a new quad-core CPU in 2011, which is the company's first. VIA is only the third company that is an active license-holder of the x86 instruction set. Even as much larger x86 manufacturers such as Intel and AMD battle it out, VIA designs processors for low-power applications such as embedded industrial computers, and netbook/ULPC processors such as the VIA Nano and VIA C3.

Acer Announces Aspire Predator Gaming PC with GeForce GTX 470

Acer, the world's second largest vendor in the PC market, today announced its newest Acer Aspire "Predator" gaming desktop PC is armed for combat and ready to do battle in the U.S. A force to be reckoned with, the power-packed AG7750-U2222 gaming rig harnesses the pinnacle of processor, graphics and memory technologies for conquering the fiercest opponents.

Taking bold style and performance to a killer level, the Aspire Predator is designed for avid gamers with a "take no prisoners" attitude. It's a monster machine outfitted with plenty of ammo, including Intel Core i7 quad-core processors, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 graphics with 3-way SLI support and a whopping 12GB DDR3 memory for blowing away the competition.

AMD Introduces Industry's First Sub-$100 Quad-Core Processor

As part of the new desktop platform designed for mainstream consumers, AMD today announced the first ever quad-core processor for less than $100 Suggested System Builder Price (SSBP). By balancing the power of new AMD Athlon II X4 quad-core processors and the AMD 785G chipset featuring ATI Radeon HD 4200 graphics, AMD delivers smooth HD visuals and the foundation for a great Windows 7 experience.

When matched against similarly priced competitive processors, the AMD Athlon II X4 620 processor delivers superior multitasking performance allowing mainstream users to do more in less time, for less money. The AMD Mainstream Desktop Platform leverages AMD software to help enhance the overall experience. ATI Stream technology, for example, enables hardware acceleration that can speed HD video conversion-time so content can be ready faster for use on-the-go.

Early Intel LGA-1156 Quad-Core SKUs Surface

Intel recently detailed its strategy with the Core brand, and its various brand-modifiers (namely i3, i5, i7, and i9). The move to give some LGA-1156 processors the Core i7 modifier, based on the performance level they offer, particularly sparked off several debates about if the move actually benefits the consumers as much as it does to Intel. Back then, Intel did not divulge much about a number scheme that characterizes LGA-1156 Core i7 processors from their LGA-1366 counterparts. Fresh information suggests that Intel may have one such number-scheme in place that will demystify its lineup.

The LGA-1156 socket lineup will be spearheaded by quad-core desktop chips that will start selling from September 8, tentatively. These consist of a 2.66 GHz part, a 2.80 GHz part, and another 2.93 GHz one. Sources revealed much earlier that these could be priced US $194, $284, and $562, respectively. Among these three, the 2.66 GHz part lacks HyperThreading technology in its feature-set, and hence, will be placed in the Core i5 series. To further clarify the lineup, the following model numbers have been suggested:

Intel Clarksfield Mobile Quad-Core Chips Feature Low TDPs

Using new lows in core clock speeds, Intel is looking to give its upcoming Westmere-based Core i7 "Clarksfield" mobile quad-core processors surprisingly low rated TDPs. Apart from the rest of the known lineup of upcoming Intel processors, it is learned that Intel will initially have three mobile quad-core chips, all branded Core i7, and based on the 32 nm Clarksfield core. The three will include an Extreme Edition (XE) SKU. The clock speeds of these will be surprisingly low: ranged between 1.60 to 2.00 GHz, while having a high Turbo-Boost speed ranged between 2.80 to 3.20 GHz.

The Turbo-Boost speed is enabled when the processor powers-down some of its cores, and increases the clock speed of the cores that are available. In the process, power consumption is reduced. These chips have some very low TDPs that make them ideal for notebooks. The XE variant has a TDP of 55W, while the two lower models have rated TDP of 45W. The low-end model comes with 6 MB of L3 cache, while the higher two have 8 MB. All models have four cores with HyperThreading enabling 8 threads, and lack IGPs. They will run on the new PGA-G1 socket.

In related news, the first three Core i5/i7 "Lynnfield" processors come with rated TDP no higher than 95W. They come with Turbo-Boost Speeds ranging between 3.20 and 3.60 GHz.

ASUS Introduces TS700-E6 and TS500-E6 Servers and Workstations

ASUS, the leading producer of servers and workstations, recently announced the availability of its latest 5U pedestal and rack-mountable servers and workstations-the ASUS TS700-E6/RS8 and TS500-E6/PS4. Both are based on Dual and Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processor 5500 series platforms with DDR3 memory and PCIe 2.0 support. They also feature additional expansion slots which can also be used for a dedicated graphics card, a MIO network card and other expansion options for personal workstation use-providing customers with high flexibility, reliability, storage capacity and expandability.

Athlon X2 7750 BE Unlocked to Quad-Core

Earlier this year, a Korean source had pointed out an easy method to enable a fourth core on the Phenom II X3. This was made possible by the way AMD has been designing its triple-core and dual-core processors based on the K10 "Stars" architecture: by disabling one or two cores on the quad-core die. "Sloppy" BIOS coding lead to the Phenom II X3 anomaly. It looks like a somewhat similar mod enables not one, but two cores on the sub-$100 Athlon X2 7750 Black Edition. A Korean technology website has reported a successful unlock of two cores.

The method is similar to that of the Phenom II X3 unlock: using flaws in BIOS code to enable cores, by enabling the "Advanced Clock Calibration" feature in the BIOS setup. The OS, Windows XP SP3, was able to see the processor as a "AMD Phenom(tm) FX-7750", while CPU-Z reads the name string correctly and lists the core count as 4. The motherboard in use is an ASRock A790GX/128M.

AMD Adds Twelve New Opteron Processors

AMD has extended its 45 nm Opteron processor line-up with new energy-efficient chips fitting within a 40W power envelope, designed for very dense data center environments such as those built for cloud computing or web serving. Available immediately, the new Opteron EE chips include the 2.1 GHz Opteron 2373 EE with 6 MB L3 Cache and the 2.3 GHz Opteron 2377 EE with the same cache size. Since they are part of the Shanghai Opteron architecture, the new EE chips have the same features as all other Shanghai Opterons and are not cut-down versions.
AMD today also launches a total of ten other Opteron CPUs, that enrich the company's server HE (55W), standard (75W), and high-performance SE (105W) power bands. These are the 2.4 GHz Opteron 2379 HE ($450), the 2.4 GHz Opteron 8379 HE ($1165), the 2.5 GHz Opteron 2381 HE ($575), the 2.5 GHz Opteron 8381 HE ($1514), the standard 2.8 GHz Opteron 2387 ($873), the 2.8 GHz Opteron 8387 ($2149), the 2.9 GHz Opteron 2389 ($989), the 2.9 GHz Opteron 8389 ($2649), and the two Opteron SE 2393 and 8393 SE with 3.1 GHz clock speeds and $1165 and $2649 price tags respectively. All ten CPUs have 6 MB of L3 cache.

AMD Demonstrates Live Migration between Three AMD Opteron Processor Generations

Continuing its momentum and leadership in virtualization technology, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. today released the first video and images demonstrating live migration across three generations of AMD processors on VMware ESX 3.5, including the Six-Core AMD Opteron processor code-named "Istanbul." Live Migration of virtual machines across physical servers is key to providing superior flexibility for managing today's data centers. Additionally, AMD is highlighting its continued, cooperative development efforts with Microsoft as evidenced in Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V, which is available today as a beta and adds support for AMD-V technology with Rapid Virtualization Indexing. The new 45nm Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor provides scalable performance for both Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 and has received support from all four global OEMs.

TYAN Launches New Opteron Supportive Server Platform, Upgrades Current Platforms

TYAN, an industry-leading server platform provider, today announced at SC'08 that its current line of 23 AMD Opteron processor-based platforms and 1 new AMD Opteron- processor based product will support the new Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor (codenamed "Shanghai"). Customers can achieve superior performance, low power consumption and low total cost of ownership by upgrading to the new TYAN platforms powered by the enhanced Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor built on 45nm process technology. TYAN platforms that support the previous Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors are socket compatible and will only require a BIOS update to support this next-generation processor.

45nm AMD Processors to get Phenom II SKU

Earlier today, AMD announced the release of its much anticipated enterprise quad-core processor, the new Quad-Core AMD Opteron, codenamed "Shanghai". A regular feature with AMD press releases, is that the PR team details about the products' availability. In this particular release, AMD went a step further and revealed the brand name the company's desktop 45nm processors would carry: Phenom II, when getting into details about the AMD Dragon enthusiast platform. Dragon succeeds Spider, and consists of a Phenom II processor, running on AMD 7-series core logic, along with ATI Radeon HD 4000 series graphics accelerators.

The Phenom II processors will consist of a whole range of quad-core, triple-core and dual-core processors, with the products segregated on the basis of their core count, clock-speed and cache arrangement. Several models are lined-up for launch. The platform itself, as AMD asserts, would release in Q1, 2009. There are signs of the company launching some models of the Phenom II X4 sooner, for which motherboard vendors have already started releasing lists of their existing motherboards that are ready for the processors.

AMD Announces Widespread Availability for its 45nm Quad-Core Opteron Processors

AMD today announced widespread availability of its 45nm Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor, delivering up to 35 percent more performance with up to a 35 percent decrease in power consumption at idle. With IT decision-makers looking to do more with less, the newest Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor can help drive data center efficiencies and reduce complexities with innovations that offer superior virtualization performance and increased performance-per-watt. Global OEMs are expected to immediately offer enterprise and SMB customers more than 25 systems, available between launch today and the end of the year, based on the 45nm Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor, codenamed "Shanghai."

AMD Shanghai Hits Stores

"Shanghai" is the codename for the soon to be released quad-core enterprise processors by AMD, under the Quad-Core Opteron brand. It was expected of the company, to come up with these processors around this time of the year, and they have. AMD hasn't officially announced these processors yet, but the processors have made for early listings in some popular online stores. PC Connection and have made listings of some of the upcoming SKUs. The Opteron 837x, 838x series are anything but cheap. These are processors that support multi-socket setups up to eight sockets. The Opteron 238x series processors are the dual-socket supportive variant of the same processors.

AMD Demonstrates Optimum Cloud Computing Platform at Microsoft PDC 2008

AMD today announced that it is providing its Quad Core AMD Opteron processor for Windows Azure Compute Service, the cloud service operating system which is featured this week at PDC, as well as its selection as a key processor partner for cloud computing solutions by leading global web-based companies such as STRATO and DAUM Communications. Cloud Computing Environments (CCE) provide an opportunity for companies to increase capacity and capabilities without significantly increasing investments in software, personnel or infrastructure. The Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor with AMD Virtualization (AMD-V) technology and Direct Connect Architecture was selected because of its ability to deliver significant performance-per-watt efficiencies, successfully handle heavy peak workloads without sacrificing performance, enable massive cloud scaling and offer a reliable foundation that helps global, web-based CCE better manage the demands of a 24/7 uptime for enterprises large and small.

Intel Out with a Quad-Core Embedded CPU for Industrial PC

Intel has ported the Core 2 Quad Q9400 to the embedded platform, where it would be used in industrial PCs. The Q9400 is a 64-bit x86 quad-core processor based on the 45nm Yorkfield core. On the embedded platform, the Q9400 would be supported by the Intel Q45 and 3210 core-logic (chipset).

According to Doug Davis, vice president of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group and general manager of the Embedded and Communications Group, the company assures seven years of support and product lifetime for the new processor. The provision of four advanced execution units would step up parallelism and responsiveness in multi-threaded and multi-tasking environments.

AMD 45nm Quad-Core Opteron Lineup for 2009 Detailed

AMD would be releasing 45nm silicon fabricated series of the quad-core Opteron processor based on the newer Shanghai core. Like its desktop PC counterpart, the Deneb core, it features 6 MB of L3 cache along with some enterprise-specific features. They will be designed for high-uptime and energy efficiency. AMD banks heavily on the performance efficiency and virtualization capabilities of these processors. There are primarily two types of these processors based on the multi-processor capabilities: the 2000 series 2-way processors and the 8000 series 8-way processors. The former supports two-socket systems while the latter is designed for dense 2+ socket environments, where up to 8 Opteron processors could work in tandem. The processors continue to have Socket-F (s1207) interfaces, hence the entire lineup retains its DDR2 memory standard.

Interestingly, AMD did not rework the system interface for all its newer chips. Across the vast lineup of 20 models, only four support the newer HyperTransport 3.0 interface with 4400 MT/s interconnects. The rest continue to use the 2000 MT/s interconnects. It could be mid-2009 by the time AMD launches its own enterprise-segment chipsets, which could also be the time when the current leading player, NVIDIA launches its newer nForce Professional lineup for the Opteron. Since current chipsets from both NVIDIA and Broadcom feature only the older HyperTransport 2000 MT/s interfaces, it could explain why most of these chips feature it.

Intel Ships New Eco-Friendly Quad-Core Xeon Server Processors

Intel Corporation continues to expand its 45-nanometer (nm) manufacturing chip portfolio with the launch of its first four halogen-free Intel Xeon processors, signaling another step in Intel's march toward minimizing the environmental footprint of its products. The chips reach new heights in performance and energy efficiency. Much of the energy efficiency these new processors provide comes from Intel's advanced 45nm manufacturing capability and its reinvented transistors that use a Hafnium-based high-k metal gate formula. In addition, all previously launched versions of the Intel Xeon 5200 and 5400 series will now be halogen-free.

AMD Product lineup For Q4 2008 Uncovered

There is a brief insight into what AMD has in store for the desktop CPU market till towards the end of this year. The good news however is that AMD's 45nm conquest flags off by the end of this year. Chile Hardware published yet another company slide from AMD. This one lists out AMD's desktop processors lined-up for release (both actual and on paper) by the end of this year.

To begin with, AMD will continue to make additions to the Athlon X2 energy-efficient dual-core processors. On October the 2nd, Athlon X2 5050e would be released in both tray and processor-in-[a]-box (PIB) stocks. This processor is rated at 45W and has a clock speed of 2.60 GHz, that's 13.0x 200 MHz. It is based on the Brisbane 65nm core. Later in November, this line would be expanded by the Athlon X2 3250e. This Brisbane-based part comes clocked at 1.50 GHz and a rated TDP of an incredibly low 22W. There's also a single-core part based on the Lima core, the Athlon 2650e, an energy efficient single core rated at 15W with a clock speed of 1.60 GHz.

Toshiba Launches CELL-embedded Qosmio G55 Laptop

Toshiba launched the Qosmio G55-802, the first laptop available with a CELL-design based Co-Processor. The CELL developed jointly by Toshiba, Sony, and IBM comes in a 4-SPE avatar which Toshiba chooses to call Toshiba Quad-Core HD processor. The laptop features a Intel Core 2 Duo Processor P7350 at 2.00 GHz as the primary system processor, certain CPU-intensive tasks such as hardware HD video decode, transcode, etc., are performed by the CELL processor. It also features a NVIDIA GeForce 9600M graphics processor for smooth video playback and exceptional gaming performance. 4 GB of DDR2 800 memory is standard, with the GPU supporting TurboCache for additional video memory. A DVD-SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) with Labelflash (think of it as something similar to LightScribe) drive, 2x 250GB 5400rpm HDDs, and 802.11b/g/n supportive wireless network controller. The chassis features rugged yet stylish matte finish. It tips the scales at 5.4 kg (~ 10.8 lbs), rather heavy. It is priced at US $1549.99. An online brochure can be viewed here. For product details, please visit this page.

Intel Said to Prepare Quad-core Mobile Processors for Launch Next Month

Intel is preparing the launch of new quad-core processors for laptops next month, Yahoo! News informs today. "We're bringing quad-core to mobile in August," said Sujan Kamran, regional marketing manager for client platforms at Intel in Singapore. Specifics of the forthcoming quad-core chips are missing, but Australian PC maker Pioneer Computers is already taking preorders for laptops based on an unreleased quad-core mobile chip. This CPU is branded as Core 2 Extreme QX9300 and is said to work at 2.53GHz. Pioneer Computers is now offering it in its DreamBook Style 9008 laptops for US $1,390, more than the laptop's basic price ($1,399) without the CPU.

Quad-Core AMD Opteron Processor Family Expands with Five New Low-Power Options

AMD today introduced the industry's first energy-efficient x86 server processors with four processing cores and an integrated memory controller all in a low 55-watt ACP thermal envelope. Blade and rack systems based on five new low-power Quad-Core AMD Opteron HE (Highly Efficient) processors are now widely available from global OEMs and solution providers.
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