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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 testbug00 on 6/12/2013 2:14:17 AM , Rating: 2
That depends a lot on what operating system you are using, as i said earlier.

If you use threaded programs that can work on linux, you are FAR BETTER OFF getting a piledriver, overclocking it and than using linux. It will be faster than anything in its price range, i believe it beats an overclocked 2600k (the extra Mhz over ivy/haswell makes it faster overall i believe).

Once more, AMD would be competitive if Windows (or all the programs run on it? i really don't know...) were better optimized for AMD. But they are not, because Intel has a much larger marketshare.

RE: The Future.
By Totally on 6/12/2013 4:41:19 AM , Rating: 2
The shift towards heavily thread applications (6+ threads) is starting to get traction and that's in AMD's favor. For whatever it's worth.

RE: The Future.
By Hellfire27 on 6/12/2013 10:22:56 AM , Rating: 2
Also add to the fact that the XBoxOne and PS4 will have octal core AMD processors. There will be a huge push in the gaming industry for heavily threaded games and that will fall more to AMD's favor. Given that unfortunately consoles push the industry; at least ports to the PC will be easier and already optimized for us AMD supporters.

RE: The Future.
By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 11:01:02 AM , Rating: 2
When PC ports all starts running 8 threads, i will be pissed to have to upgrade my 3570k

RE: The Future.
By euler007 on 6/12/2013 11:36:22 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that's great for people running SuperPI and running the few applications that use 8 cores evenly.

If you're gaming AAA titles on a PC, you're using Windows.

RE: The Future.
By bsd228 on 6/12/2013 5:56:32 PM , Rating: 2
If you use threaded programs that can work on linux, you are FAR BETTER OFF getting a piledriver, overclocking it and than using linux. It will be faster than anything in its price range, i believe it beats an overclocked 2600k (the extra Mhz over ivy/haswell makes it faster overall i believe).

perhaps, yes, in a few uses cases this 8 core cpu can beat out intel's 4 core with HTs from 3 years ago. The problem for AMD is that intel can easily go to 6 and 8 cores too. It hasn't bothered to because it didn't need to.

So if this latest FX actually does deliver without melting, we might get a slightly faster pace of development from intel who really hasn't improved on the 2600k performance with either IB or Haswell.

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