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News of the day

  • New Intel and AMD server CPUs
  • Abandonment of the Athlon and Phenom brands?
  • Core i7 990X and socket 1366 price cuts
  • AMD launches the Radeon HD 6000A range
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     New Intel and AMD server CPUs
      Posted on 14/02/2011 at 19:54 by Guillaume
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    AMD and Intel have both announced the availability of new server processors in their ranges. These updates represent significant clock increases for already existing models.

    On the Intel side, the announcement concerns the DP (two sockets) platform. Using socket 1366, the processors on this platform are available in 4 and 6 cores and are engraved at 32nm. In the high end X range segment, the six core Xeon X5690 and X5675 have been introduced at 130 and 95 watts respectively and bring a clock gain of 133 MHz on the existing models. Four new quad core models have also been introduced in the X range, the X5687, X5672, X5667 and X5647 at clocks of 3.6, 3.2 3.06 and 2.93 GHz respectively.

    In the E range, Intel has introduced two six core models for the first time with the E5649 and E5645, clocked at 2.53 and 2.40 GHz respectively.

    A final model, the W3690 is clocked at 3.46 GHz. Like the other processors in the W range, this one only has a single QPI link and doesn’t run in DP mode. The full price list is available here. Ark, the Intel reference site for processor specifications, hasn’t yet been updated with these new chips however.

    On the AMD side, it’s the Opteron 6100 series which is being extended. To recap, these processors use socket G34 and are 2/4 socket compatible. They are made up of two dies engraved at 45nm (equivalent to the Phenom II X6s) and are available in eight and twelve core models.

    For the eight core models, AMD has announced two new models, the 6140 and 6132 HE. They're clocked at 2.5 and 2.2 GHz respectively, which is a jump of 100 MHz and 200 MHz on the 6136 and 6128 HE respectively. Remember, the HE range has a lower TDP, announced at 85 watts against 115 watts for the standard 6100 eight cores.

    Looking at the twelve core models, in addition to the standard 85 and 115 watt ranges AMD has an SE range with a TDP of 140 watts. Three new chips have been announced here, the 6166 HE at 1.8 GHz, the 6176 at 2.3 GHz and the 6180 SE at 2.5 GHz (gains of 100, 100 and 200 MHz respectively).

    Note that AMD has stated that the socket G34 platforms will accept the forthcoming sixteen core server versions of Bulldozer.

     Abandonment of the Athlon and Phenom brands?
      Posted on 14/02/2011 at 18:38 by Guillaume
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    One of the particularities of the AMD Fusion platform launch is the lack of any name to distinguish the processors. Rather than taking on the Sempron, Athlon or Phenom label, these new chips simply belong to a series (C series or E series) followed by a distinctive number for each model.

    This naming strategy looks set to be retained for the rest of the range as, according to Xbit-labs, AMD is going to be using the same strategy for the second quarter launch of the Llano and Zambezi (Bulldozer) architectures which are reported to be named as the A and FX series. This information seems to corroborate the rumours according to which AMD wanted to resurrect the FX brand that was introduced for the launch of the Athlon 64 in 2003 and which was given to AMD’s highest end models.

     Core i7 990X and socket 1366 price cuts
      Posted on 14/02/2011 at 17:59 by Guillaume
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    Intel has officially updated its price list, as of February 13. This update mainly concerns socket 1366, the current Intel high-end, some of whose processors have been particularly disadvantaged by the launch of the second generation Core processors on socket 1155. The Core i7 990X, which we caught sight of at the beginning of the year, has also been officially listed. A six core processor which will replace the 980X, the 990X is still engraved at 32nm and has an identical TDP at 130 watts. Its clock is up from 3.33 to 3.46 Ghz and the price per 1000 units is still $999. The launch of this processor, initially planned for the end of the month was apparently pushed forward at the last minute by Intel. It should be available very soon.

    Intel has taken advantage of the opportunity to cut the price of the rest of the processors on this socket, such as the Core i7 960 and Core i7 970. The first, a quad core, sees its price drop from $562 to $294. This puts it on a level with the Core i7 2600 in terms of price (at the same time as giving lower performance). The Core i7 970, a more affordable version of the six core processor sees its price drop from $885 to $583.

    All this should make Intel’s socket 1366 more attractive. Up until now it had seemingy been sidelined. Its replacement is still slated for this year, with Intel soon ready to roll out two new server sockets, the 1356 and 2011, which differ, among other things, by their support for three and four DDR3 memory channels.

     AMD launches the Radeon HD 6000A range
      Posted on 14/02/2011 at 07:15 by Damien
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    Following the Radeon HD 6000s and the Radeon HD 6000Ms, the Radeon HD 6000As are about to hit stores. AMD has just introduced a new range of graphics cards reserved for OEMs and designed for all-in-one PCs (screens which include the whole system).

    As things stand we only know what these solutions are called: Radeon HD 6670A, 6650A, 6550A, 6450A and 6350A. Given that their specs haven’t yet been unveiled and that this list of graphics cards doesn’t correspond either to the desktop Radeon HD 6000s or the Radeon HD 6000 Ms for laptops, it's difficult to know for sure what they correspond to.

    It wouldn’t be beyond the bounds of possibility however if the Radeon HD 6000As turn out to be close to the Radeon HD 6000Ms, as, in general, mobile versions of graphics cards are often used in this type of machine. With a distinct range, AMD can add other models and revisit the specifications a bit as, although similar, constraints are not identical.

    Although it's interesting to see AMD taking on the all-in-one PC market with a specific product range, it’s a shame that this only concerns entry level solutions for the moment as mid-range models (Radeon HD 6700/6800M) could probably also have been included.

    Of course, we hope that the names chosen for the cards correspond to card specifications and won’t mislead consumers who aren’t likely to pay much attention to the ‘A’ at the end. It will in any case be difficult to work your way round all these different models…

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