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  (Source: Bright Side of the News)
Upcoming release should offer an alternative to Sandy Bridge, but will it perform?

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) is sitting pretty with strong graphics card sales and better than expected sales of its lightweight, power efficient fusion CPU+GPU systems on a chip (SoC).  The company is now profitable after years in the red.

Looking to continue its success, AMD previewed [press release] "Scorpius" at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) in Los Angeles.  Scorpius is AMD's answer for the high-end gaming market.

The design will feature an octacore, unlocked Zambezi processor dubbed "FX", reviving AMD's old enthusiast CPU branding.  Zambezi, codenamed after a river in Africa, is AMD's high performance 32 nm SOI process upcoming desktop CPU based on the company's new Bulldozer architecture.

The new platform will also feature a Radeon 6xxx HD graphics card from AMD and an AMD 9-series chipset motherboard (socket AM3).

Leslie Sobon, AMD's vice president of worldwide product marketing, comments, "AMD’s FX brand will enable an over-the-top experience for PC enthusiasts. By combining an unlocked, native eight-core processor, the latest in chipset technology, and AMD’s latest graphics cards, FX customers will enjoy an unrivalled feature set and amazing control over their PC’s performance."

The obvious competitor of Scorpius will be Intel Corp.'s (INTCSandy Bridge, possibly paired with GeForce 5xx series GPUs from NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA).  With eight physical cores, Scorpius will arguably have the edge over single-socket Intel designs, though, which currently only feature four cores (eight threads).  Intel will bump its core count to six cores in the near future, but it remains to be seen whether that will be enough.

Performance numbers on Bulldozer are still lacking, so it remains to be seen exactly how powerful this octacore gaming rig will be.

One thing that may excite some is AMD's growing array of HD3D partners.  HD3D, AMD's proprietary 3D technology works fully with the company's EyeFinity firmware, which supports up to six displays driven by a single graphics card.

AMD claims over 400 current and upcoming titles support the 3D gaming tech, including, Eidos Montreal's upcoming "Deus Ex: Human Revolution", Bioware's "Dragon Age II", Creative Assembly's "SHOGUN 2: Total War", and Codemasters' "DiRT 3."

Regardless of who comes out on top performance wise, it's refreshing to see a reinvigorated AMD challenging both Intel and NVIDIA in the CPU and GPU sectors.  A competitive market should push all three PC hardware makers to quicken the release of powerful new hardware that will delight PC gamers and enthusiasts -- few as they may be, these days.



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Process technology ?
By 2ManyOptions on 6/7/2011 1:48:14 PM , Rating: 2
Looks good, waiting to see some benchmarks for this one !
Is this built on 32 nm? Also, will this be competing against i7 - 990X Extreme edition and what will be the price?




RE: Process technology ?
By MrTeal on 6/7/2011 1:55:43 PM , Rating: 2
They're built on GF's 32nm process. I don't think that they've announced prices yet, but we'll have to wait and see where the performance puts them relative to Sandy Bridge. I would guess the upper-tier FX parts would target the same users as the 990X or the upcoming Sandy Bridge EX.


RE: Process technology ?
By DandDAddict on 6/7/2011 2:03:47 PM , Rating: 2
Gaming wise the 990 is currently beaten by the 2600k. So whatever is replacing the 990 is most likely what it is targeted at and the current 2600k.

FX chips historicaly were 1000$ parts. The fact they are reviving the FX name gives me a considerable amount of hope for thier new cpus. But i dont expect them to be 1000$ parts anymore.

That being said i'm betting sandy and ivy will still be faster than amd. But all amd needs to do is get within 10-15% of sandy and ivy realisticly and then keep the prices reasonable and they will have an easy win with thier more flexible setups.


RE: Process technology ?
By fic2 on 6/7/2011 2:20:34 PM , Rating: 1
Wasn't Intel saying that their new 22nm process would provide Ivy with 20% speed improvement over Sandy? If I remember that correctly then AMD has to be at least equal to Sandy to have a prayer against Ivy.


RE: Process technology ?
By DandDAddict on 6/7/2011 2:45:27 PM , Rating: 2
Depends where that 20% comes from. If its raw clock speed increases vs efficiency im not to worried. If they refined it to get more out of it clock for clock like p4 vs core, then im worried.


RE: Process technology ?
By BSMonitor on 6/7/2011 3:40:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Gaming wise the 990 is currently beaten by the 2600k. So whatever is replacing the 990 is most likely what it is targeted at and the current 2600k.


Check again, a 990 barely competes against a 2400 sandy bridge.


RE: Process technology ?
By DandDAddict on 6/7/2011 4:08:35 PM , Rating: 2
Assuming im reading what you said correctly......thats exactly what i said, that the 990 is already outclassed and irrelevant.


RE: Process technology ?
By darckhart on 6/7/2011 4:15:38 PM , Rating: 2
people buying 990x aren't doing it for gaming, so the whole point is moot. can't arbitrarily compare it with SB. therefore it's not irrelevant. besides benching crowns, if you need 6c/12t and lots of memory bandwidth, it's a very nice platform.


RE: Process technology ?
By DandDAddict on 6/7/2011 4:26:32 PM , Rating: 2
Its not an arbitrary comparision. I specified in gaming applications where it is beaten easily and for some reason people do buy 990s with gaming in mind.

Overall i agree with you , its awesome for what its intended for.

But anyway, the FX chips most likely wont be targeting the 990 which was the point of the response in the first place.


RE: Process technology ?
By Spoelie on 6/8/2011 3:47:48 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, bulldozer will probably be a better competitor to the 990x vs the 2600k. AMD emphasized throughput on this generation, not single thread performance. Likewise, the 990x is more throughput focused while the 2600k has better performance per thread.

Games tend to like the latter, business apps the former.


RE: Process technology ?
By borismkv on 6/8/2011 1:03:13 PM , Rating: 2
Name a game that requires the absolute max hardware to look good these days. I have a 975 with a GeForce 465GTX and I have yet to find a game that is unplayable on max graphics.


RE: Process technology ?
By Unspoken Thought on 6/10/2011 1:06:17 AM , Rating: 3
Witcher 2?

"Look good" is subjective. DX9-DX11, Anti-Aliasing 2x-16x, Multi-Sampling vs Supersampling, Anisotropic Filtering, Ambient Occlusion, Triple Buffering, Tessellation, Dynamic Lighting, Soft Shadows, Depth of Field, just to name a few, all add to the eye candy extravaganza. Let's not throw 3D rendering or multi-monitor setup's into the mix.

Having your minimums above 60FPS is a treat, regardless of resolution. Try keeping your minimums the same with all the aforementioned...? You won't need to turn the heater on during the winter.


RE: Process technology ?
By Belard on 6/7/2011 4:07:26 PM , Rating: 2
FX haven't been $1000 parts (even the dual chip 4X4 crapshoot) since the intel shot out Core2Duo and then held AMD down while kicking them in the nuts for two years.

When it comes to gaming, AMD does okay against the Core i-whatever-the-F-it-is CPUs. Looking at costs, the AMD platform could be $150~300 cheaper, resulting in games getting 80fps vs 90fps with a 2600k. (yeah, this is in general)... I'd rather pocket the money or put it towards an SSD or better graphics card, its about budget and balance.

For general use, AMD Fusion Llano goes up against the i3/i5 CPUs quite well, not a small feat.

These new FX chips MUST be equal to SB in performance, if not better as well as proper price target. An 8X CPU is useless if its still slower than a quad-core SB. And besides gaming, the rendering power of the new CPUs better be good too.

The new Bulldozer CPUs are supposed to easily be faster than AMD's current top tech... with room for even greater performance. Thats all we need.

PS: But obvious, TOP performance isn't everything. The market of low-powered yet powerful CPUs to allow people to check their mail and simple gaming is whats selling like hot-cakes... not $1000 chips.

PS2: AMD's new box art looks HOT. But we need those in our hands today.


RE: Process technology ?
By DandDAddict on 6/7/2011 4:20:47 PM , Rating: 2
1000$ chips as in thats what they were charging for them. Not that they were worth the 1000$.

When c2 came out the fx line pretty much vanished. I want to say the fx-74 was the last one? And up until atleast the fx-60 amd was charging 1000$ per cpu , never mind a 200$ one oced to fx levels easily.

Otherwise i agree with you in general.


RE: Process technology ?
By Targon on 6/7/2011 4:38:59 PM , Rating: 2
What many have missed is that Bulldozer has a new core design, while Llano still uses the K10.5 design used by the current Phenom 2 processors. That is still decent performance for those who would be using an APU with the built-in GPU.

AMD has really been acting as a platform company for a long time now, where the overall performance of CPU+GPU+chipset is more important than having the best in any one area and having garbage for the rest of the system. Low end Intel systems tend to have a LOT of annoying minor problems that you don't see on comparably priced AMD systems, even if the Intel systems are faster at certain tasks.


RE: Process technology ?
By EricMartello on 6/7/2011 11:56:56 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Gaming wise the 990 is currently beaten by the 2600k. So whatever is replacing the 990 is most likely what it is targeted at and the current 2600k.


I have a 980X, and I've had it for a while now. The 2600K and even the 2400 will outperform it in certain benchmarks, however it's worth noting that the difference is not substantial. There are also benchmarks where the 980X still outperforms the newer CPU...to say "beaten" isn't really accurate. It's more like "contending with". If you use your computer to do anything other than gaming, the 980X would still be a better choice for the money, and you can OC it to the 4GHz realm reliably to squeeze more life out of it if need be.

quote:
That being said i'm betting sandy and ivy will still be faster than amd. But all amd needs to do is get within 10-15% of sandy and ivy realisticly and then keep the prices reasonable and they will have an easy win with thier more flexible setups.


No, I would say that they need to be equal to or better than Intel's offerings to compete. Once you cross a certain price point - the price point where you're really just interested in performance and not 'bang for the buck' - most people are going to go for the platform that offers the best performance.

AMD's prior success was due to them being able to match or exceed Intel's performance while offering a less expensive price point.


RE: Process technology ?
By shompa on 6/8/2011 8:07:23 AM , Rating: 1
The fun thing with X980/intel Extreme editions CPUs are that you don't need to overclock them. Just set Turbo to 4.4ghz on all cores. This is a very elegant solution since when people overclock, they use more energy and produce more heat.

With the turbo solution, the extra heat/energy is only used when it is needed.

BTW. How many are using 100% CPU time with a 4+ ghz CPU? The only windows program I have used that maxed out my cores are video encoding/rendering. (and even with video encoding: most programs only use 2-8 threads. Not a single program was faster when I switched from 4core/8thread intel to a 6core/12thread intel)


RE: Process technology ?
By EricMartello on 6/8/2011 7:18:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The fun thing with X980/intel Extreme editions CPUs are that you don't need to overclock them. Just set Turbo to 4.4ghz on all cores. This is a very elegant solution since when people overclock, they use more energy and produce more heat.


That's what I do and it works great.

quote:
BTW. How many are using 100% CPU time with a 4+ ghz CPU? The only windows program I have used that maxed out my cores are video encoding/rendering. (and even with video encoding: most programs only use 2-8 threads. Not a single program was faster when I switched from 4core/8thread intel to a 6core/12thread intel)


Since most multicore chips are 2 cores / 4 threads (for intel chips with HT), I'd guess that software developers optimize threaded software for the most widely deployed platform. I know that 3DSMax or other high end rendering software can and does utilize all available cores. Studios will often customize the code of 3DSMax for their custom setup...but that is a far stretch from the typical home user.

Anyway, the main reason I bought a 980X is not only because I want the best performance I can get, but also for longevity. I like having a reliable system and each time I upgrade I do it from a "clean" install, so I have to reinstall all my programs and it's a pain in the ass...so if I can get by upgrading once every 2-3 years all the while having a high-performing system I'll take it.

Also, even if software is only using 4 of the 6 cores, that means you can still have a responsive system while rending something in the background...without compromising the speed at which it renders.


RE: Process technology ?
By stimudent on 6/8/2011 12:13:15 AM , Rating: 2
All that matters is that these processors will be on sale on Tiger Direct for $39.99 by early next year.


RE: Process technology ?
By Pitbull0669 on 6/8/2011 9:36:11 AM , Rating: 1
They posted the prices a ways back. The Highest end Octa core is only going to be this.. I CAN NOT WAIT myself. I am useing a 980X and am just about sick of Intel Price Gouging! SUCH dickheads.NOT to mention how STUPIDLY PRICED THE MOBOS ARE!.. I have always been a Intel Guy BUT Times are a changeing!

Here are the first figures made public of the market prices of AMD's upcoming two lines of desktop processors. AMD will approach the desktop PC market with two platforms, the A-Series "Llano" accelerated processing units (APUs), and the FX-series "Zambezi" processors (CPUs). APUs are functionally similar to Intel's Sandy Bridge processors, in having processor cores, a graphics processor, memory controller, and PCI-Express switch packed into a single piece of silicon. AMD is apparently relying on its powerful GPU architecture to make Llano a more wholesome product. Zambezi functionally resembles Intel Westmere/Bloomfield, in having a number of processing cores, a high-bandwidth memory controller, and a large cache packed into a single die, making up for a performance part. By mid-June, AMD will launch the FX-Series with two a 4-core, a 6-core, and two 8-core parts. The series will be led by eight-core AMD FX-8130P priced at US $320, trailed by FX-8130 at US $290. The former probably is a "unlocked" part. Next up is the six-core FX-6110, priced at $240. Lastly there's the quad-core FX-4110, going for $220. You will notice that the price per core isn't as linear as it was in the previous generation.


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