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
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 (INTC) Sandy 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.
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.
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.
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.
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)