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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.

AMD FX

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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Not first to 5GHz
By name99 on 6/11/2013 7:27:54 PM , Rating: 2
IBM was shipping 5GHz POWER6 systems in 2008.

Yeah yeah, AMD can claim that technically it's the first to ship x86 systems or whatever, but the rest of us don't have to get caught up in their hype.




RE: Not first to 5GHz
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/11/2013 7:46:58 PM , Rating: 2
commercially available.... could you buy the IBM one in a store? online? no?


RE: Not first to 5GHz
By Argon18 on 6/12/2013 3:32:57 PM , Rating: 2
Sure you can. We bought a bunch of them. Servers from IBM, running AIX.


RE: Not first to 5GHz
By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 3:45:30 PM , Rating: 2
so it's not really a product available to everyone.


RE: Not first to 5GHz
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/12/2013 4:41:14 PM , Rating: 1
Wow, way to miss the point, when you can buy them off the shelf at a store, then talk to me, until then, they aren't "commercially" available. Obviously you don't know what that means.


RE: Not first to 5GHz
By kleinma on 6/11/2013 7:53:27 PM , Rating: 2
No one is buying this stuff in the consumer market except hard core gamers anyway.


RE: Not first to 5GHz
By BRB29 on 6/11/2013 10:06:39 PM , Rating: 2
or people who compiles and encode because that's where its strength is, not gaming.


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