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Phenom, to deliver a phenomenal computing experience

AMD today officially announced its new Phenom processor brand for its next-generation Barcelona architecture. The new Phenom branding will find its way on AMD’s next-generation Stars family of desktop processors. Phenom processors will coexist with AMD’s current Athlon 64 and Sempron processors; however, Athlon 64 processors cater towards entry-level while Sempron caters towards value consumers.

Last week, AMD demonstrated its Phenom processor in a Quad FX configuration for a total of eight-cores in a system. AMD has dubbed its next-generation Quad FX platform FASN8, or “fascinate.” The next-generation FASN8 platform forms around AMD’s upcoming RD790 chipset paired with dual Phenom FX processors. With a pair of AMD ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT’s in the FASN8 platform, the system is able to deliver over a teraflop of computing power in a single box.

“AMD has always enjoyed a great bond with the enthusiast community, and the introduction of the AMD Phenom processor family will take our relationship to new heights,” corporate vice president and general manager of AMD’s desktop division Bob Brewer said. “We continue to focus on listening to and addressing users’ evolving needs. AMD is confident the performance enhancements enabled by true quad-core client technology in computing-intensive environments will allow them to realize new possibilities and find new inspiration.”

Expect AMD to introduce its Phenom processors and accompanying RD790 platforms in time for the Christmas shopping season.

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AMD is on fire
By theteamaqua on 5/14/2007 2:35:54 AM , Rating: 1
with the launch of Barcelona and R600 . AMD's future is looking well.

RE: AMD is on fire
By osalcido on 5/14/2007 2:41:35 AM , Rating: 2
UMM no?

Read the article... these new processors are not going to be launched until around Christmas. 6 MONTHS away.
The 2900 is meant to compete with NVIDIA's 8800 series.. which came out over half a year ago

RE: AMD is on fire
By Metroid on 5/14/2007 2:41:58 AM , Rating: 2
I knew this would happen, now just some benchmarks to make it right.

RE: AMD is on fire
By DannyLee on 5/14/2007 10:24:16 AM , Rating: 3
I wouldn't say they are on fire yet. If they are, I think they need to put it out. Seriously, it's too early to tell. I mean who is going to run out and get a Phenom? What percentage of people who do are going to be dissapointed when they find out they really only need two cores for what they do?

As far as GPUs. What does it matter Nvidia has had a graphics solution out for 6 months. What DirectX 10 games have you been playing on it? I mean, 3DMark07 isn't even out yet! Why would I upgrade my 7600 to an 8600 which barely does better for DX9 games when 10 isnt out?

RE: AMD is on fire
By HVAC on 5/14/07, Rating: -1
RE: AMD is on fire
By incompleteunit on 5/14/2007 12:27:07 PM , Rating: 2
Athlon? Pentium? Wii? iPod?

I don't see how "Phenom" is any less silly than other brand names out there - it's new right now and feels weird on the tongue, but once we're used to it, it will be just one more in the crowd.

Besides, distinctly sillier names like Wii and iPod were predicted to be crippling to the products they were assigned to, and they've proven to be no obstacle to popularity.

RE: AMD is on fire
By deeznuts on 5/14/2007 1:07:53 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see how "Phenom" is any less silly than other brand names out there - it's new right now and feels weird on the tongue, but once we're used to it, it will be just one more in the crowd.

I personally think it's silly because of what Phenom means. The other names, you can take issue with how it sounds phonetically or whatever, but none of them mean "A phenomenon, especially a remarkable or outstanding person"

That's like a Mom calling an ugly daughter beautiful (not saying the Processor will suck, nobody knows yet). It's a synonym for "AMD Super #1 Processor in the World"

And any NFL Draftniks in here? Are we gonna start calling it Phe (pronounced Fee)? Sorry just went through the NFL draft and that's Amobi Okoye's nickname (19 year old).

RE: AMD is on fire
By Fubar0606 on 5/31/2007 9:09:13 AM , Rating: 2
well I believe they will be a phenomenon, a Quad core that does not have the name Intel on them, and is a true quad core and not just 2 dual cores spooshed togther..

RE: AMD is on fire
By encryptkeeper on 5/14/2007 1:03:30 PM , Rating: 3

Why are you speaking in slow broken sentences?

RE: AMD is on fire
By leidegre on 5/14/2007 12:32:57 PM , Rating: 1
Because materializm rocks!

No, seriously, as far as we know, AMD is not in a position to change anything, they probably could, but the new-line up alone is not enough.

Performance wise, Intel and NVidia is offering more intresting products. But AMD has some nice inovations going, and I do expect to see a brigther future with AMD.

As far as the multi-core debate go, I'm fairly certain I could utilize a quad-core dekstop machine. My computer is currently running a total of 783 threads, while all most all of these threads are idle, it's a fact that a lot of things happen in paralell inside the OS. You will never se excellent single threaded performance on multi-core because software does not scale that way, but your computer can do a lot more than running singel thread software.

a bottleneck inherent in other products
By crystal clear on 5/14/2007 3:40:57 AM , Rating: 1

With the true quad-core design offered by the upcoming AMD Phenom processors, cores communicate on the die rather than through a front side bus external to the processor – a bottleneck inherent in other products that are packaging two dual-core chips to form quad-core processors. Additionally, AMD’s Direct Connect Architecture on-chip ensures that all four cores have optimum access to the integrated memory controller and integrated HyperTransport links, so that performance scales well with the number of cores. This design is also highlighted by a unique shared L3 cache for quicker data access and Socket AM2 and Socket AM2+ infrastructure compatibility to enable a seamless upgrade path

AMD Names the Next PC Computing Thrill Ride: The AMD Phenom™ Processor

By KristopherKubicki on 5/14/2007 8:11:52 PM , Rating: 6
Interesting paraphrase from an interview with Henri Richard that I never republished:

Native monolithic quad-core in itself has no advantages over a non-monolithic design (was really surprised about his candidness here). Said that performance per watt and thermal envelope were the keys that will make Barcelona successful and dont necessarily have anything to do with the monolithic design. Will justify lateness to market, but will have two rough quarters until then and will have to defend market share with aggressive pricing. AMD did not design a MCM (multi-chip module) solution to bridge the gap between opteron and barcelona because they didnt have the R&D resources.

This was just from February.

By crystal clear on 5/15/2007 12:26:27 AM , Rating: 1
Your response is simply-

PHENOM (“phenomenal") & “FASN8ing"(fascinating).

also this for you -

TG Daily interview: AMD imagines 16 graphics cores for CPUs

By Proteusza on 5/15/2007 4:10:09 AM , Rating: 3
Wow thats an amazingly candid reply. Sometimes I forget that AMD is a tenth the size of Intel, we all expect them to keep up with the giant, but its obviously really difficult when intel can simply throw money at the problem.

Slide shows for D.T.
By crystal clear on 5/14/2007 4:07:37 AM , Rating: 1
Some slide shows that makes reading more satisfying.

-Layout of the Phenom quad-core processors
- others

RE: Slide shows for D.T.
By KristopherKubicki on 5/14/2007 5:09:18 AM , Rating: 2
I'd republish the AMD guidance, but we'd get slapped with a DMCA violation.

RE: Slide shows for D.T.
By crystal clear on 5/14/2007 6:44:20 AM , Rating: 1
Yes you are right-
Those guys at AMD are making a big P.R. mistake.

They are releasing information "TOO LITTLE TOO LATE"

Anand Shilpi was right in commenting(conclusion) - I think he saw them through & got suspicious.

But preferred to play it safe & concluded this or that

I will not be surprised if one day Anand is quoted as the first to make that observation.

RE: Slide shows for D.T.
By DannyLee on 5/14/2007 10:14:53 AM , Rating: 2
Yet, there is a side of me that is intrigued.

If you think about it, enthusiasts are outnumbered by the general populace. The general pop doesn't care much about what processor is coming out in 6 months from now as long as the one they buy today isn't going to be obsolete. Reality is, single core chips aren't even obsolete, so the "genpop" is happy for now.

So if AMD releases all kinds of benchmarks and whatnots it would indeed please those of us who feel we have a "need" to know, but the other more major factor is Intel would know what they are up against, and be able to react accordingly. Intel can only guess right now. AMD did waste 6 months on a new architecture they ultimately decided to pull the plug on. They need all the upper hand they can get.

RE: Slide shows for D.T.
By crystal clear on 5/15/07, Rating: 0
Worst name ever for a CPU
By borowki on 5/14/2007 12:41:32 PM , Rating: 2
The name calls to mind, for me at least, the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. Subconscious association with the killing fields isn't something you want for your product...

It's truly amazing...
By INeedCache on 5/14/2007 8:06:01 PM , Rating: 2
how so many of you are business and marketing experts. Some of you already have a fork stuck in AMD, saying it's just way too late. Others are cracking on the Phenom name. You think they just pull names out of hats and use them, just like that? Associate it with Phnom Penh? How many Americans do you really think even know what that means? Especially those under, say 45, who make up the largest segment of computer buyers? Sure AMD is in a bit of trouble at present, with the ATI merger having placed much additional strain on them. Maybe they will ultimately fail, I don't know. But how about we at least wait for no pulse before pronouncing them dead?

Pronounciation FYI
By Webgod on 5/15/2007 5:58:44 PM , Rating: 2

<gripe mode on>

Ladies and Gentlemen, Phenom is pronounced like theMom. No, not thee-mom, the mom. Phenom. Good idea, but man, it just doesn't pronounce.

Now if they'd just called it the AMD Rockon like I suggested, no one would've had a problem. We'd all laugh - we'd all laugh, and then we'd go - Cool!

Its a Start
By Fubar0606 on 5/31/2007 9:07:58 AM , Rating: 2
Its a start, I am definetly excited for those QUAD CORE AMD's! I have been saving up for awhile now lol for an extreme PC upgrade! but, the ATI branch of AMD I believe is just not the "hip" thing to do anymore. they will always have there loyal customers, but Nvidia is definetly the enthusiasts and moder company. I used to love ATI hardware, but after I got my hands on a 6600GT a few years back I almost craped my pants it was so intense it could run anything on high! and now im happy with my 7800GTX gonna upgrade to an 8800GTX or 8800ULTRA at least by Xmas...

Keep them happy
By crystal clear on 5/14/2007 8:25:59 AM , Rating: 1
AMD finds ways to keep OEM/ODM & others happy-how ?

Part of AMD's strategy in keeping computer makers, and motherboard manufacturers happy is an easy upgrade path to Phenom. Phenom dual- and quad-core processors will support AMD's current packet and socket configuration for motherboards, called AM2, along with any chipset currently used with AMD products.

About the same time Phenom ships, AMD will release a new configuration, AM2+, that will contain enhancements specific to the quad-core design, David Schwarzbach, marketing manager for AMD's desktop division, said. The company also will ship a new chipset, called the 790. Enhancements in AM2+ include the ability to allocate power and memory to individual processors, depending on their needs in accomplishing particular tasks.

In upgrading a motherboard for Phenom, however, OEMs or power users will need to upgrade the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System). AMD is offering what it calls a "hybrid BIOS" that can be used with AMD Athlon and Phenom. This is expected to be the option most companies use. A BIOS specific for Phenom will be released with AM2+ configurations, along with a new motherboard reference design, codenamed Wahoo.

Improvements in Phenom in comparison to older AMD chips include a doubling of the floating point unit to 128 bits, and a shared L3 cache reserve, which means it can be used dynamically be each of the cores.

AMD currently offers a socket platform called QuadFX for inserting two duo-core chips on a motherboard. The platform, as part of AMD's easy upgrade strategy, also will support two quad-core chips. AMD plans to ship a socket platform specific to Phenom, codenamed FASN8, which will ship at the same time as AM2+.

A great bond?
By osalcido on 5/14/07, Rating: -1
RE: A great bond?
By SquidianLoveGod on 5/14/2007 3:10:58 AM , Rating: 4
If I remember, the Athlon 64's X2's are still good performers and can still handle everything you throw at them.
And how many years has it taken for AMD to change from Socket A, 754, 939 and AM2? Yet Intel had Socket 370, 423, 478, 775.
Not to mention Slot 1 and Slot A. respectively. So I would say that both companies are fairly even in the amount of sockets they have had since the debut of the Athlon and Pentium 3.
And now that AMD has the pressure on its back thanks to Intel prices on they're processors have plummeted, which is only a win for us consumers, as it means more performance for your dollar.

RE: A great bond?
By defter on 5/14/2007 6:53:50 AM , Rating: 2
It took only three years to change from Socket 754 to AM2 through 939. In addition to those, Athlon64s have used Socket 940 and F.

RE: A great bond?
By protosv on 5/14/2007 7:56:00 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I still think AMD ditched 939 waaay too early. It wasn't until 800MHz DDR2 became readily available that we saw any real performance boost. I guess it was to pave the way for 65nm?

RE: A great bond?
By qdemn7 on 5/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: A great bond?
By Proteusza on 5/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: A great bond?
By Tom Tom on 5/14/2007 10:08:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah its too late for AMD, cause they're competing against a freggin monopoly. A monopoly thats willing to spend as much money killing off competition as it does investing in R&D and innovating.

RE: A great bond?
By Amiga500 on 5/14/2007 5:28:35 AM , Rating: 2

Here are the sockets for just the Pentium 4:

Socket 423
Socket 478
Socket 478 Hyper-Threading Technology
Socket 478 Extreme Edition (L3 cache)
Socket 775
Socket 775 EM64T (64-bit extensions)

And how many of those socket 478s could be used with dual core cpus - not too damn many!

AMD tends to stick with sockets much longer, and avoids chipset changes that render the same socket useless for upgrading. I was a bit dissapointed with the tail-off of socket 939 to AM2 (I have a 939), but compared to the (crap) P4 machine forced on me at work, at least the skt939 was upgradable to a useful degree.

RE: A great bond?
By Proteusza on 5/14/2007 5:34:16 AM , Rating: 1
Socket 478 is 478 - you just listed several cpu revisions.

As in, the 3 different socket 478's you listed arent sockets, they are different kind of cpus, and any socket 478 cpu will work in any socket 478 motherboard (you might need a bios revision though). okay in the case of hyperthreading I now that needed motherboard support, but thats hardly a new socket.

Intel has had 478 -> 775. Thats two CPU sockets in what, 5 years?

AMD has had 462 (AMD Athlon) -> 754 (First Athlon 64) -< 939 (Athlon 64) -> AM2 (recent athlons) as well as socket F.

Thats far more over the same period of time.

A socket 478 hyperthreading will work in an extreme edition 478 (to borrow your socket descriptions) but there is no way a socket 939 cpu will work in am2.

RE: A great bond?
By KristopherKubicki on 5/14/2007 6:05:14 AM , Rating: 3
AMD has had 462 (AMD Athlon) -> 754 (First Athlon 64) -< 939 (Athlon 64) -> AM2 (recent athlons) as well as socket F.

Socket 940 was in there too.

RE: A great bond?
By FITCamaro on 5/14/2007 7:17:09 AM , Rating: 2
Socket 940 was for Opterons, not Athlons.

Same as Socket F is for Opterons while Socket AM2 is for Athlons.

RE: A great bond?
By Chillin1248 on 5/14/2007 8:17:59 AM , Rating: 3
Socket 940 was home to the first revision of Athlon 64 FX series with ECC registered memory.


RE: A great bond?
By Kim Leo on 5/14/2007 7:51:38 AM , Rating: 2
you said: "As in, the 3 different socket 478's you listed arent sockets, they are different kind of cpus, and any socket 478 cpu will work in any socket 478 motherboard (you might need a bios revision though). okay in the case of hyperthreading I now that needed motherboard support, but thats hardly a new socket."

that's entirely not true, Prescott won't work in any motherboard(mostly) made in the time of Northwood, not even with a Bios upgrade, celeron D as well, and i know that some LGA775 would work with all Pentium D except the EE you needed to buy the biggest chipset(for some unknown reason) for that..

ANY! Socket 754 Processor wil work in ANY 754 Board and there did come newer revisions, 64Bit semprons and 90nm Athlon 64, and Turion.

They said that there where some of the first socket 939 boards that didn't support Dual Core, but i havn't seen one yet.

yes AMD have had a bigger number sockets than usutal, but when you got a cpu and a board you didn't have to check the chipset at all, just the socket, that can not be said about any of intels sockets.. so you can't say things like: 939 CPU's will not fit in AM2 sockets if you're not going to say that LGA 775 CPU's won't fit in Socket 478 boards.

and one last thing, Socket F is a Server Socket, as well is 940 if we count server sockets, intel has more sockets, and then we might as well count mobile Sockets in as well, intel got like 2 or 3 different 479 sockets, AMD got Socket S1 and 754, and we already got 754.

RE: A great bond?
By Amiga500 on 5/14/2007 8:11:59 AM , Rating: 2
As in, the 3 different socket 478's you listed arent sockets, they are different kind of cpus, and any socket 478 cpu will work in any socket 478 motherboard (you might need a bios revision though).

I suggest you go read up on the various compatabilities with chipsets with socket 478s.

You do not have a free upgrade path with them at all.

The 845 chipsets do not support dual core processors, nor do the 865 chipsets. Neither does the 915 or 925 chipsets. Heck - with the 865 and 845, the (single-core) processor you could input depended on the motherboard revision, sometimes even a BIOS upgrade wouldn't do the job.

Intel best for upgrading my arse!

*If you want to check it out for yourself, here is the link:

RE: A great bond?
By defter on 5/15/2007 1:00:56 AM , Rating: 2
You are confusing sockets with chipset/motherboard incompatibilities.

For example AMD used Socket A for many years, but you couldn't plug AthlonXP in first Socket A board. And you couldn't plug 0.13um Barton in first boards that supported Athlon XP.

The same applies to Socket 478/Socket 775, the socket stayed the same, but boards weren't compatibile with newer CPUs.

Heck - with the 865 and 845, the (single-core) processor you could input depended on the motherboard revision, sometimes even a BIOS upgrade wouldn't do the job.

Actually 865 chipset works perfectly fine with quad core Kentsfield:

RE: A great bond?
By psychobriggsy on 5/14/2007 6:44:50 AM , Rating: 2
Every few months? Get over yourself mate.

The only big issue people have is that S939 was just dropped for AM2 so it made CPU-only upgrades far harder for people who had bought with the intention of getting a dual-core CPU a year or two down the line.

At least AMD are making AM2 and AM2+ compatible (and AM2+ and AM3 IIRC).

Most people buy new systems, so it isn't an issue, and apart from "must have latest and greatest" enthusiasts, most people will upgrade the motherboard at the same time as the CPU. It was just that AM2 CPU + Mobo + DDR2 was not a great value proposition against Core 2 Duo + Mobo + DDR2, and AMD will have had a lot of vocal defectors because of that poor decision to halt S939 so quickly.

RE: A great bond?
By darkpaw on 5/14/2007 10:56:35 AM , Rating: 2
It definately didn't just hurt the latest and greatest types. Many people like myself bought a X2-3800 with plans to upgrade later when prices on the higher end ones dropped. The premium AMD was charging made buying an X2 quite pricey, but there never was a change to upgrade when prices dropped because the product line was prematurely killed off.

RE: A great bond?
By tjr508 on 5/15/2007 3:10:46 PM , Rating: 2
The x2-3800 is a great chip and with a small tweak needs no upgrading. For $80 in 939 flavor it is a steal. Last I checked, the 939 opterons are still in production.

Want to see something really funny? Look at people on ebay buying the 754 3700+ for more money than a decent AM2 setup with board/cpu/memory.

It's the same reason a 7800GS (AGP) sells for $50 more than a 7800GT. Hell, even the highest clocked bartons still demand a premium and don't even get me started on the dothans.

If history has taught us anything, it is don't eye your dream chip on your current platform and plan on a cheap upgrade in the future.

The best thing about 939 is it was such a vast platform, those with the 3000+ can now get a very affordable upgrade (x2-3800), but the high end parts won't be cheap until they are completly obsolete.

That's the name???
By keitaro on 5/14/07, Rating: -1
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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