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CPU & Motherboards

Intel’s 975x replacement

intel’s latesat roadmap When talking Intel chipsets it looks as if there will be no 975x replacement for at least 12 months. When it does finally come it will offer two x16 PCI-e slots and support for DDR3. It’s highly likely that by then Bearlake-X will support both SLI and CrossFire, infact I wouldn’t be surprised if the current 975x chipset gets this support sooner or later. Q3?07 will bring two new Bearlake variants?Bearlake-X and Bearlake-G+. Bearlake-X will replace the current 975X Express which has been carried over from the previous generation. It sports two full-speed PCI Express x16 slots for dual-graphics capabilities, though there?s no mention if ATI?s CrossFire or NVIDIA?s SLI technologies are supported. There will also be support for quad-core processors too. PCI Express 2.0 is also supported too. Bearlake-X will only support DDR3 1333 MHz memory only, a feature Bearlake-G and Bearlake-P variants lack.

Quad-core battle taking shape

Arstechnica has an article detailing all that is known about AMD and Intel’s plans for Quad Core. It goes on to say that Intel will be first to bring quad-core to market with a ‘two E6700’s slapped together’ type of configuration as early as the 4Q of 2006 and that AMD’s only short term response will be the 4×4 architecture. Jon Hannibal Stokes goes on to predict that when these systems reach face off it may be closer than expected, and I tend to agree. Bandwidth is going to become an issue as we reach quad-core and beyond, and AMD has this absolutely nailed with there HT busses. My prediction is that when these two types of four-core systems are benchmarked against each other, the results are going to vary with application type to a much higher degree than reviewers have so far been accustomed to. This being the case, I think synthetic and toy benchmarks are going to be increasingly pointless as review tools. It’s one thing to use synthetic benchmarks to get CPU horserace numbers for two systems that are very similar, but when you move out of the realm of oranges vs. oranges and into the realm of oranges vs. grapefruit, it becomes less of a horserace and more of a question of which tool best fits the specific types of jobs that you want to do. In this context, real-world application performance is the only thing worth looking at. The article finishes off detailing AMD’s true quad-core offering (K8L) which is expected mid 2007...

Core 2 Duo reviews from the web

The Core 2 Duo NDA lifted today, and here's most of the reviews and previews from all the usual suspects, enjoy!

AMD silently release Dual-Core optimization driver

AMD has silently released a utility that fixes time stamp counter (TSC) issues with dual-core AMD processors such as the Athlon 64 X2 and Opteron. The AMD Dual-Core Optimizer utility is a driver that synchronizes the time stamp counter on both processor cores and improves game compatibility and performance. Time stamp counter issues occur in older games that are incompatible with multithreading and would run too fast or out of sync. "The AMD Dual-Core Optimizer utility could possibly be the rumored ?Reverse Hyper-Threading? patch that would improve single thread application and games performance by having dual-core processors show up as a single core processor in applications. AMD has declined to comment on "Reverse Hyper-Threading." I very?much doubt it’s the RHT driver, but you never know because AMD has declined to comment.?You can grab the Dual-Core Optimizer utility version 1.0 here.

Pre-order your Conroe at OCUK

It seems OCUK are first to strike a deal with Intel so they can now take pre-orders?for Conroe. After having meetings with Intel this morning and been the first UK company to actually give Intel and their distributors orders for Intel latest processor we are now able to offer them on sale at OcUK. Product is expected to arrive approx middle of July 2006. As OcUK is the first company to place orders we get priority allocation which means OcUK will not only be the first with product but will also have more product availability than anywhere else in the UK/Europe. OCUK prices are the following: Intel Pentium Core 2 DUO E6300 "LGA775 Conroe" 1.86GHzPrice: ?134.95 (?158.57 Including VAT at 17.5%) Intel Pentium Core 2 DUO E6400 "LGA775 Conroe" 2.13GHz Price: ?164.95 (?193.82 Including VAT at 17.5%) Intel Pentium Core 2 DUO E6600 "LGA775 Conroe" 2.40GHzPrice: ?224.95 (?264.32 Including VAT at 17.5%) Intel Pentium Core 2 DUO E6700 "LGA775 Conroe" 2.67GHz Price: ?374.95 (?440.57 Including VAT at 17.5%) Intel Pentium Core 2 DUO Extreme Edition X6800 "LGA775 Conroe" 2.93GHz Price: ?689.95 (?810.69 Including VAT at 17.5%) Don’t forget that almost all Intel boards currently on sale will not work with Conroe, the exception being the new DFI Infinity 975X of which OCUk are selling here.

Conroe at 4.95GHz

We’ve all seen those stunning bnechmark around of Conroe at 3GHz, or perhaps even 3.8GHz, but at Dreamhack Summer 2006, two hardcore overclocks managed to get the E6700 upto 4.95GHz! Using a cascade at 4.73GHz they demolished the current 3D Mark ’05 WR with an unvelievable score of 26,278, over 6000 more than the current record. DreamHack Summer 2006 has come to and end and most of us from NordicHardware has just arrived at home or are on the verge of it at least. Some of the people who kept going to the very last minute at DH in NordicHardware’s booth was Crotale which seemed impossible to separate from their bench system, which actually didn’t receive its final ingredients until Monday evening, an Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 and a cooler ambience after moving into Elmia’s C hall.

New DFI motherboards coming

DFI’s nforce4 boards were absolute favourite’s amongst overclockers and with very good reason, so when they start to ready new boards based on new chipsets you should take note. There are quite a few new boards on there way for both Intel and AMD based on both NVIDIA’s nForce 5 series and the ATI RD580 and RD550 chipsets. On the NVIDIA and AMD socket AM2 side of things the current LANParty UT nF4 SLI-DR Expert will be replaced by the LANParty UT nF590 SLI-M2R/G. The LANParty UT nF590 SLI-M2R/G will be the only nForce 590 SLI based board DFI is offering this generation. The board will feature two PCI Express x16, one PCI Express x8, one PCI Express x4, and three PCI slots. There will also be a total of eight SATA II ports with six powered by the NVIDIA MCP and two ports powered by a Silicon Image SIL3132 controller. DFI will support Dual Gigabit LAN which means there will most likely be Teaming support. An nForce 570 SLI based LANParty UT nF570 SLI-M2/G will replace the previous LANParty UT nF4 SLI-D/DR. Features will be similar to the nForce 590 SLI based board except there will be two PCI Express x1 slots instead of the PCI Express x8 and x4 slots on the LANParty UT nF590 SLI-M2R/G. The Silicon Image SIL3132 SATAII controller is also removed. Replacing the entry-level LANParty UT nF4-D/nF4 Ultra-D models will be the LANParty UT nF570-M2/G. The board will be similar to the nForce 570 SLI variant but lack support for SLI. You can fine more?details on DFI&#...

ATI’s new RD600 chipset details

In the next few days ATI are set to announce their new Intel Crossfire platform, RD600. It will be compatible with Intels new Conroe processor and support some tasty new features. ATi RD600 also provides Automatic PCIe Over clocking technology, which is similar to the Boostlink function of nVidia nForce 590SLi. When X1800 or X1900 is detected, the FSB of PCI-E would be raised to 125 MHz or even 150 MHz from 100 MHz automatically. On the mean while, ATi would release ASM for Windows platform, like the nTune by nVidia, providing tweaking options including FSB, Memory Clock, PCIe Clock, Memory Timings and Voltage Adjustment. Furthermore, it has 48 PCI-E Lanes and supports for 3 PCI-E slots, 2 for CrossFire and 1 for Physics Acceleration. More details for ATi Physics Acceleration will be announced during Computex 2006. For the south bridge, SB600 will be used and it may eventually be coupled with SB650. Now we have no more news for SB650 and RD600 is expected to be launched in the summer.

AMD announces dual-socket enthusiast targeted “4×4” platform

At it’s technology analyst meeting today, AMD announced something rather extreme to fight off Intel’s new ray of light, Conroe. The counter-attack is a new dual socket desktop platform called 4×4 which will allow end-users to run two dual-core socket AM2 processors in tandem. Unlike dual-Opteron motherboards, 4×4 will use mainstream unbuffered DDR2, but will still retain AMD’s Direct Connect architecture, which provides a dedicated channel from each of the CPU cores out to the system memory. The 4×4 name/brand appears to have come about because of the potential to run two dual-core CPUs (the first digit 4) and two dual-GPU video cards (the other digit 4). Those crazy marketing lads at AMD, eh? This new platform is squarely aimed at enthusiasts with deep pockets. While this is not true Conroe competition (too expensive i bet), it does appear that 4×4 will continue to keep alive AMD’s reputation as a company who recognises us enthusiast are important. Nice to know someone cares 🙂

AMD’s socket AM2 reviews

Today is the launch day for AM2, and to coincide with this all the usual suspects have detailed coverage. Here’s the list: AMD Athlon64 X2 5000+/FX62 CPU Review @ Motherboards.ORG Socket AM2 and Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Preview @ NordicHardware Socket AM2 chipsets collide @ Tech Report NVIDIA nForce 500 Preview @ techPowerUp! AMD’s AM2: FX-62, X2 5000+, nForce 590 and RD580 @ Hot Hardware Socket AM2 Platform: DDR2 SDRAM Support from AMD @ X-bit labs AMD’s New Socket AM2 CPU @ Hard OCP

Conroes new name: Intel Core 2 Duo

Intel has finally?announced a coherent?brand name?for Conroe, and about time too if you ask me.?The new naming scheme will be Core 2 Duo. The first Core 2 Duo chips available will be the Core 2 Extreme (previously the Extreme Edition brand), followed by the high end 2.67GHz Core 2 Duo E6700. Both are to ship in July 2006. The other mianstrea parts will follw sometime after this, though hopefully will still be July. Start saving!

AMD to cut prices of single core chips

It seems AMD are to cut the prices of some of there mid-range single core chips ranging from the Sempron 2800+ to the A64 3500+? The price cuts are most likely due to the imminent release of socket AM2 chips, of which prices can be found here

Overclocked Conroe does Super PI 1MB in 16 seconds

The guys at hkepc have some screenshots of Intel’s new desktop chip, Conroe overclocked from the stock 2.13Ghz to 3.1Ghz – allegedly on the stock heatsink completing a Super PI 1MB run in…… 16 seconds! If these Conroe reports/previews from the last few months are true it’s going to be one hell of a chip!

AMD Bumps AM2 Launch Date

Dailytech have received official confirmation from motherboard and chipset manufacturers in Taiwan that AMD has moved the official launch date of Athlon 64 DDR2 up two weeks to May 23, 2006. Snip: AMD insiders tell us Conroe’s launch date was also a factor in pushing the AM2 launch date up, though even we do not know the exact date Intel’s Conroe will launch. Read more @ Dailytech

3.0 GHz Opteron 156 within a month

We love Opterons. The 256 and 856 parts are on sale today, and the 156 will be following within 30 days. AMD are stating this is the last single core Opteron, from now on all new models will be dual-core. The 3.0GHz chip will consume 95w. This should be a damn fine chip for overclocking nuts, but the price will no doubt be over ?500. I’m waiting to see what will be available on AM2 before i sink 500 notes down?:)

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