AMD ships low-cost six-core Phenom IIs
Now with Turbo
AMD's six-core Phenom II X6 processors have hit the streets, and the company claims that since they work with existing AM3 and AM2+ socket motherboards "with proper BIOS support," the move to six cores is "an easy upgrade."
As The Reg reported last week, the two new processors are the 2.8GHz Phenom II 1055T and the 3.2GHz Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition. Both are designed for use with the AMD 890FX Chipset, which supports 6Gb/sec SATA, Gigabit Ethernet, and PCIe 2.0. According to AMD, "many" 890FX-based mobos include USB 3.0.
Taking a page from Intel's Turbo Boost technology, the new Phenom IIs include what AMD is calling Turbo CORE technology. AMD's Turbo can boost three cores to a higher clock speed - in the company's words, "for demanding games and productivity software which may employ two or three cores," then shift back to six cores at the rated clock speed for apps that can take advantage of all six cores simultaneously.
The new Phenom II X6 parts also support AMD's OverDrive 3.2.1, which allows users to overclock, tune memory subsystems, and more.
The Phenom II X6 1055T has 3MB L2, 6MB L3, a 4GHz HyperTransport bus, and has an MSRP of $199. The 1090T Black Edition, with the same cache and bus capabilities, lists for $295. Intel's six-core i7-980X Extreme Edition, by comparison, running at 3.33GHz (Turbo Boostable to 3.6GHz) with 12MB of cache and a QPI interconnect of 6.4 GT/sec, is priced at $999 in lots of 1,000.
According to AMD, systems based on the new parts are now available in North America from a broad range of system suppliers, and parts and systems can be found online at NCIX, Newegg, TigerDirect, and ZipZoomFly - although on Wednesday the latter two listed the parts as being not yet available. ®
Does that mean I can have a turbo button again like my old 8086 box had?
AMD does it again, AMD rocks!
HI, I just checked all the Asus M4A boards are already Phenom II X6 compatible with appropriate bios updates. You don't need the latest 890G chipset, works fine on 785G too!
vs i5? vs i7
Been thinking of an i7. If this is good enough and cool enough, may go this way instead.
Anyone built anything round these new chips?
Make: (builds software projects and can split the task over a large number of cores). Compiling software is cache intensive. At some point, adding more cores will not make the build faster but adding more computers can. The first time you build a large project, you might have to wait a couple of minutes, but on subsequent builds, Make only rebuilds the parts of the project you have modified.
Apache: Can put separate http connections on different threads - if you have enough visitors. Again it is possible to distribute a web server over multiple computers, and doing that can be more efficient than having more cores.
My home machines have been fast enough for a long time, and are now optimised for silence. The next useful step will be to cut the number of cores to the point where the CPU is cold enough to put DRAM dies in the same package as the CPU. (ARM did this years ago). Much of the energy wasted by AMD/Intel/Via machines is used to send high speed memory signals through a chip socket, across the motherboard, through some DIMM sockets and along all the DIMMs.
I am surprised combined memory and processor chips are not already used on graphics cards. ATI-AMD and nVidia make separate expensive and cheap chips for noisy and silent graphics cards. The expensive chips are too hot for DRAM dies, but the cheap ones should be fine. A few cheap combined graphics/DRAM chips would be just as fast as one expensive chip with separate DRAM. Smaller chips have a higher yield than large chips, and cutting the number of different chips cuts down costs too. The graphics market is still competitive enough to be driven by performance per dollar (certainly compared to the Intel market).
6... 12.... 24... 48...
6 cores for £199 already? Perhaps Intels estimate of the number of cores doubling each year should be revised! Wonder if you can stick two of these things into a mobo? Actually, I also wonder if there's any software out there that would actually make use of 12 cores... (can games do that yet?).