CPU & Motherboards
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 🙂
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
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!
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
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!
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
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?:)
Dailytech have some tasty pricing information on AMD’s socket AM2 processors. As of yet there is no information on the hugely popular 1xx Opteron’s, though it’s most likely they will show up at launch or soon therafter. AMD Desktop Processor Price List: Athlon 64 FX-62 AM2 $1,236 Athlon 64 X2 5000+ AM2 $696 Athlon 64 X2 4800+ AM2 $645 Athlon 64 X2 4600+ AM2 $558 Athlon 64 X2 4400+ AM2 $469 Athlon 64 X2 4200+ AM2 $365 Athlon 64 X2 4000+ AM2 $328 Athlon 64 X2 3800+ AM2 $303 Athlon 64 3800+ AM2 $290 Athlon 64 3500+ AM2 $208 There seems to be no A64 3200+ part, if you click the link above you’ll see Sempron’s have taken over at these speed grades. Recent rumours over the web regarding AM2 performance is a little worrying, though its too early to tell how accurate this all is.
The Inq has stated that AMD is to finally announce there 65nm parts next week. It most likely will announce what is already known from leaked roadmaps?flying around the web, which is that the dual-core 65nm AM2 based ‘Brisbane’?will be available in?the first half of 2007. You never know though, with Intel’s recent?flurry of press coverage?regarding Conroe benchmarks and details of the quad-core?Kentsfield?sheduled for early 2007, this announcement next week may offer a few large suprises over the leaked roadmap….??
Intel?s successor to Conroe, the quad-core Kentsfield will be available as early as January 2007. It will first show itself under the Extreme Edition brand name and filter down thereon after. Kentfield is essentially two 65nm Conroe?s on one chip. Intel?s P965, Q965 and G965 motherboards will be ?Kentsfield ready? but early 975X boards may not. You can find a pic of Kentfield at Dailytech. Let’s just hope software support ramps up?over the next 6-12 months so we can all enjoy the massive performance leaps.
What happens?when you pack a quad-SLI graphics subsystem, a Sound Blaster X-Fi audio processor, a physics acceleration chip, a RAID 10 disk array, four gigs of DDR2-1200 memory, and Intel’s next-generation dual-core processor into a single box with a 64-bit OS and fire up Unreal Engine 3? I have no idea, but to tide us over until that’s possible, today Intel is introducing a new speed grade of its top-end desktop CPU, the Pentium Extreme Edition 965. Reviews:– Tech Report– HotHardware– Hexus– Bit-Tech
Dailytech have some details on some Epox AM2 based motherboards even though AMD is still yet to announce socket AM2 to the public. Epox have officially announced both nForce5 (MNf55P) and RD580 (MD580 XR-J) boards based around Socket-AM2. Both boards should appear around late April or may. Interestingly, there have been reports that socket AM2 with its DDR2 interface offers no performance benefits over DDR1 based s939. Check Anand’s blog published 6th March for details. Could it be down to an old revision of?CPU or should we brace ourselves for underwhelming performance from AM2? Here’s another article from the Inq publshed 3rd March claiming that AM2 offers a 10% clock for clock?performance increase. Who do we believe? I for one will not pass judgement until more evidence surfaces.
A few hardware sites who are attending IDF have managed to test out Intel’s new processor which is due out 3rd quarter – the dual core 65nm Conroe. Conroe was actually reported on in 2004 and is Intel’s next generation pentium M for desktops. Early reports are that this chip is going to blow AMD out of the water. Here’s just one of the benchmark numbers reported by Anandtech: F.E.A.R – 1280×1024, max effects, high quality. Conroe 2.66GHz -?186fps AMD Athlon 64 X2 2.8Ghz – 132fps That’s not just impressive, that’s damn right scary! The chip on test was a 2.66Ghz part. When Conroe is released the high end part is rumoured to run at 2.8-3GHz.
Opteron’s are without doubt the best CPU’s to come from AMD since the Athlon XP bartons, and so it’s nice to hear that AMD have announced three new dual-core Opteron models today, though not all will be of interest to overclockers for obvious reasons.? The Opteron 885 is 2.6GHz per core, has 2x1MB?L2 cache with support for eight-way/16-core servers (i want one). The 285 has the same specification but supports?two-way/four-core systems. The interesting release is the socket 939 Opteron 185 for one-way/two-core servers. It’s pretty much identical to the FX60 (2.6GHz per core, 2x1MB L2 cache, 90nm SOI process) but will of course be priced?significantly lower. The 885 and 285 are available now, with the 185 expected in the next 30 days.
As most of you will know, ATI today released RD580, now to be known as Xpress 3200. The board is set to give Nvida’s nForce4, and possibly even nForce 5 a serious hammering. The board offers 40 lanes of PCI express and is the first board to offer 2×16 PCI-Express slots on a single chip. Of course, the real exciting news is that this board was built from the ground up to be an enthusiasts dream,?and so it has some major overclocking features. I won’t go over the featureset in detail, instead here is?a roundup of reviews from our buddies: HardOCP Anandtech Motherboards.org Bit-tech