GigaHertz Wars 2.0? AMD Releases World's First 5.0 GHz FX Processor
June 11, 2013 3:16 PM
Chip may be competitive with Haswell on basis of price, multi-threaded performance
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (
dropping the Gigahertz hammer
on rival Intel Corp. (
) announcing a new
-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
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
in heavily threaded loads, while falling behind in lightly threaded application performance. Pricing has allowed AMD to stay competitive (for example a FX-8350
currently, while an Intel i7-3770K
So will the new FX processors truly be faster than Intel's just-launched
processors? It certainly looks to have a shot in multi-threaded performance.
's benchmarking shows the i7-4770K (the
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. [
]. 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
processors in multi-threaded applications.
AMD is unlikely to be able to keep up with
in single-threaded performance.
In single-threaded benchmarks where Intel's
(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.
"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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