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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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RE: The Future.
By FaaR on 6/11/2013 5:05:22 PM , Rating: 1
Would you want to? Power draw is reported to be ~220W. And will you even be able to? Your mobo would have to be capable of delivering 220+ W to the CPU socket. You'd probably need more than one eight-pin auxiliary power connector in the vicinity of the CPU to manage that reliably; the ATX connector has to service more devices than just the CPU; video cards primarily of course...

RE: The Future.
By Samus on 6/11/2013 5:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
220W? Jesus how are they going to cool the VRM's?

RE: The Future.
By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 8:11:12 AM , Rating: 2
where did this 220W come from? Any reputable tech site would not put that up since AMD does not even support a 220W power envelope. That is speculation and most likely wrong.

Just look at motherboards to guess power consumption for chips.

RE: The Future.
By ForceCredit on 6/12/2013 10:12:38 AM , Rating: 2
If they do introduce a new 220W tier, it's not going to be much of a problem. VRMs tend to be very efficient; something like 90-92% is a good guess. If the CPU is drawing 220W, the VRM heatsink only needs to dissipate 15-20 watts at most. Air movement from a HSF should take care of this, but good case airflow would be necessary with water cooling. Enthusiast class boards, even some in the midrange, are already engineered to handle this sort of abuse since overclocking easily gets CPUs into 200-300W power territory.

RE: The Future.
By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 11:44:28 AM , Rating: 1
It's not whether they can do it or not. It's obvious they can. It just makes 0 business sense to make a 220w tier when there is little to no demand for it. It cost a ton to introduce a new power envelope anyways. On top of that, you're forcing people to upgrade motherboards when AMD is having a hard time keeping customers.

RE: The Future.
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/12/2013 4:36:57 PM , Rating: 2
It just makes 0 business sense to make a 220w tier when there is little to no demand for it.
Yep, because you TOTALLY know what people demand or don't, again, you have NO CLUE so please, STFU...

RE: The Future.
By polishvendetta on 6/14/2013 1:19:17 PM , Rating: 2
Last time I checked, price dictates demand, not power envelope.

If they keep this priced competitively at 300$ I'm interested.

RE: The Future.
By Odysseus145 on 6/13/2013 9:25:21 AM , Rating: 2
There is no way AMD is going to release a 220 W processor. AMD's processors have never gone higher than 140 W, and I don't expect that to change here. It will be quite feat though if AMD can keep it at 125 W as Jarred suggests.

RE: The Future.
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/11/2013 6:21:23 PM , Rating: 4
You are assuming...

Today at E3 AMD announced their latest CPUs, the FX-9590 and FX-9370. Similar to what we’re seeing with Richland vs. Trinity, AMD is incrementing the series number to 9000 while sticking with the existing Piledriver architecture. These chips are the result of tuning and binning on GlobalFoundries’ 32nm SOI process, though the latest jump from the existing FX-8350 is nonetheless quite impressive. The FX-8350 had a base clock of 4.0GHz with a maximum Turbo Core clock of 4.2GHz; the FX-9590 in contrast has a maximum Turbo clock of 5GHz and the FX-9370 tops out at 4.7GHz. We’ve asked AMD for details on the base clocks for the new parts, but so far have not yet received a response; we're also missing details on TDP, cache size, etc. but those will likely be the same as the FX-8350/8320 (i.e. 4x2MB L2, 8MB L3, 125W TDP).

RE: The Future.
By silverblue on 6/12/2013 3:46:01 AM , Rating: 2
It's already been updated by Jarred...

we're also missing details on TDP, cache size, etc. but those will likely be the same as the FX-8350/8320 (at least for everything but TDP).

I doubt that even this late addition to the Piledriver family will have RCM. It was supposed to arrive with Trinity... a year ago.

RE: The Future.
By Odysseus145 on 6/13/2013 6:41:19 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like the rumors were true. From Jarred's article:

"...the rumors of a 220W TDP have proven true. That explains why these parts will target system integrators first..."

"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki

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