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  (Source: AMD)
Chip may be competitive with Haswell on basis of price, multi-threaded performance

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) is dropping the Gigahertz hammer on rival Intel Corp. (INTC) announcing a new Vishera (the Piledriver-core based line of "FX"-branded processors) octa-core chip that has a turbo clock of 5.0 GHz.

I. AMD Announces "First Commercial 5.0 GHz CPU"

While some may consider the fact that the stock (non-turbo) clock speed of the FX-9590 is something lower than the 5.0 GHz (AMD didn't announce the exact speed, but expect ~4.5 GHz), this marks the first time that a commercially available (x86 consumer) CPU has broken this speed barrier.

There's no word on how much power the chip is sucking down to attain that impressive clock speed.

AMD also announced that it would offer a 4.7 GHz turbo-clocked octa-core chip (FX-9370).  Together the chips will release in pre-built PCs this summer, with packaged availability trailing somewhat.  AMD also mentions that both chips are unlocked, allowing for even greater overclocks, cooling permitting.


Bernd Lienhard brags, "This is another proud innovation for AMD in delivering the world's first commercially available 5 GHz processor."

Computer history buffs will recall that AMD was the first chipmaker to break the 1.0 GHz barrier with a stock x86 commercial CPU.  By Mar. 2006 Intel had released the 3.73 GHz Pentium "Extreme Edition" 965 dual-core chip, built on the 65 nm node.  So far the fastest Haswell chip announced has been the Core i7-4930MX, a quad-core design turbo-clocked to 3.9 GHz.

II. The Gigahertz Myth 2.0?  Sort Of

Benchmarks have shown Piledriver to outperform Ivy Bridge in heavily threaded loads, while falling behind in lightly threaded application performance.  Pricing has allowed AMD to stay competitive (for example a FX-8350 commands $199.99 currently, while an Intel i7-3770K costs $319.99).  

So will the new FX processors truly be faster than Intel's just-launched Haswell processors? It certainly looks to have a shot in multi-threaded performance. 

AnandTech's benchmarking shows the i7-4770K (the Haswell successor to the i7-3770K) outperforming the FX-8350 by anywhere from 2 to 9 percent in heavily threaded applications like pixel pushing demoes or x264 transcoding. [source 1source 2].  Given the 20 percent boost in raw core clock while in Turbo mode, it's very possible that the 32 nm FX-9590 may top Intel's 22 nm Haswell processors in multi-threaded applications.

Haswell v. FX
AMD is unlikely to be able to keep up with Haswell in single-threaded performance.

In single-threaded benchmarks where Intel's Haswell (i7-4770K) often has a 50-60 percent lead over the FX-8350, the 20 percent bump may close the gap somewhat, but it seems unlikely that it will match Intel's single-threaded performance.  Thus the most important thing may boil down to price.  Intel's i7-4770K costs $349.99 USD.  If AMD can hit a price point around $200 USD when the chips finally air, it could be very competitive.

After all, even if it surrenders 30-40 percent in single threaded performance, if it costs 40 percent less, it may make sense to buyers, especially considering its strong multi-threaded performance and (generally) more affordable chipsets.

Source: AMD

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By lagomorpha on 6/11/2013 4:18:24 PM , Rating: 4
IBM has already released 5GHz CPUs. This is only the first x86 5GHz CPU.

Also wow they really released it. Huh.

RE: Almost
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/11/2013 4:36:36 PM , Rating: 2
Hence, "commercially" available ;)

RE: Almost
By Argon18 on 6/11/2013 5:00:41 PM , Rating: 1
Quite true, IBM released 5 GHz POWER chips. I think they were POWER6? IBM POWER chips are faster than anything from intel or AMD, and have been for a long time. x86 is not the performance king.

RE: Almost
By retrospooty on 6/11/2013 5:52:50 PM , Rating: 1
Its not enough to just release something obscure and say "its the fastest". It has to be released, affordable and compatible to be used by all to be a success.

I dont know about power6, but Power 5 made that claim too, that it was faster than Intels lastest x86, back when Mac's used them... until they were caught fudging benchmarks using the wrong compiler for x86 hampering the x86 scores. That was PPC5 vs. Pentium4. Todays i7's are phenominally faster than P4's. If todays Power 6 are faster than i7 its news to me, and probably not quite a straight comparison. Price vs price or die vs die.

RE: Almost
By vXv on 6/11/2013 7:47:47 PM , Rating: 2
Macs never used POWER cpus. They used PowerPC cpus (yes there is a difference).

As for which is "faster" it depends on the workload i.e faster at doing what?

RE: Almost
By name99 on 6/11/2013 9:51:36 PM , Rating: 2
Your rant would make more sense if you knew the first thing about the issues involved.
- POWER5 maxed out at 2.3GHz
- It had NOTHING to do with Apple
- The relevant Apple chip, the 970, was based on the POWER4
- Professional's do not talk about the "speed" of a chip as though that were a single number. POWER6 (just like POWER4, POWER5, POWER7 and POWER8) target a rather different market than Intel. Just be aware that talking trash about them marks you as ignorant --- they are remarkable CPUs.

RE: Almost
By retrospooty on 6/12/2013 7:38:12 AM , Rating: 2
Chill out man. Its not a pissing contest, and you are correct. I really dont know alot about the power architecture. That what what happens with obscurity.

RE: Almost
By Argon18 on 6/12/2013 3:16:59 PM , Rating: 3
Huh? Since when is POWER architecture obscure? It's been around since 1990. Twenty-three years. And its the only architecture that AIX runs on. AIX is probably the most robust general purpose UNIX out there, and most large businesses have AIX servers for their most critical processing. We've got dozens of them. Some of them we're only allowed to reboot once every 2 years. Seriously reliable stuff! They also run Linux (really well, I might add).

I can understand though how the high end stuff like POWER might seem obscure to the wintel peecee & video gamer crowd.

RE: Almost
By retrospooty on 6/12/2013 4:03:05 PM , Rating: 2
Since forever. You do get that outside of a small minority of server related stuff siwht specific purposes, its basically unheard of right? You are posting all over this thread about it as if it matters, or its a player at all. Its a Niche. Like I said, its all fine if you can have your processor running its specific tasks at a high speed, but its not an all around speed king and for the most part, people arent even aware it exists. Itanium is really fast in its specific tasks as well, but no-one cares.

RE: Almost
By testbug00 on 6/12/2013 2:22:09 AM , Rating: 1
speed will vary depending on what you are doing and what platform you are doing it on.

A stock piledriver beats, ties, or barely loses to stock 4770k (and 3770k and 2600K) in most multithreaded things on Linux.


please, learn that operating systems and how stuff is coded affects how fast almost everything that does calculations actually is.

Well, you could claim Intel had the first over 5Ghz PART OF A CHIP with their double pumped ALU in Netburst, but IBM was the first that truly made a 5Ghz Chip and AMD is the first to make a chip that can REACH 5Ghz that most people can use (most people don't use operating systems that support POWER_ architecture)

RE: Almost
By Argon18 on 6/12/2013 3:22:17 PM , Rating: 2
Huh? How do you figure "most people don't use operating systems that support POWER_ architecture"? Linux supports POWER architecture, and Linux has conquered pretty much every niche of computing except the desktop peecee.

You are correct that Linux delivers much better multi-threading performance than Windows. Linux has supported multi-processor systems since the 1990's, while Windows was single-threaded until years later, with XP. (Yes, win2k could do 2 cpu's, but it was a hack and performed poorly). So its no surprise that Windows is still playing catch-up when it comes to multi-cpu performance.

RE: Almost
By Just Tom on 6/17/2013 10:39:33 AM , Rating: 2
Most people, meaning more than half, don't use Linux.

RE: Almost
By rs2 on 6/12/2013 1:09:33 AM , Rating: 2
For most people, the x86 is implied when talking about processors/CPU's. So while your point may be technically correct, it's also overly pedantic.

RE: Almost
By Argon18 on 6/12/2013 3:25:03 PM , Rating: 2
Huh? Who are "most people"? This is a tech web site, where people are familiar with ARM, POWER, x86, x86-64, IA64, MIPS, etc. x86 is not the only game in town. Perhaps it is for the kiddie peecee crowd?

RE: Almost
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/12/2013 4:35:12 PM , Rating: 1
kiddie peecee
You sound like a total douchebag every time you say this. But it's OK, everyone knows you are a douchebag anyway.

RE: Almost
By TSS on 6/12/2013 6:14:35 AM , Rating: 2
Yknow enough time has passed. I think the time is ripe for intel to release a 22nm or maybe even a 14nm Netburst.

They said it would become an supereffective architecture at 10Ghz. We gots to try it atleast once :p

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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