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AMD prepares to launch four discrete graphics and three new IGP chipsets for Socket AM2+ and 1207+

AMD plans to release its K10-derived Stars-family desktop processors later this year. The new Stars-family processors take advantage of AMD’s Socket AM2+, an updated Socket AM2 platform that adds support for the faster Hyper Transport 3.0 bus. AMD’s latest roadmap divulges information on its upcoming Hyper Transport 3.0 compatible chipset family, arriving in Q3’2007.

The new AMD discrete graphics chipset family includes four new chipsets ranging from the entry-level RX740 to the flagship RD790. At the top of the discrete graphics lineup is the RD790, which replaces the current AMD 580X. The RD790 serves double duty in AMD’s chipset lineup, powering AMD’s Quad FX Socket 1207+ and Socket AM2 platforms.

AMD’s flagship packs plenty of PCI Express flexibility with up to four physical PCIe x16 slots. The four slots can electrically operate with four 8-lane slots, one 16-lane and three 8-lane, or two 16-lane slots. There are six additional PCIe lanes for additional expansion. The RD790 is fully PCIe 2.0 compatible. AMD plans to target RD790 towards the $150 plus market.

Taking place of the AMD 480X is the upcoming RD780. The new RD780 supports two physical PCIe x16 slots in dual eight-lane configurations. The two PCIe x16 slots are fully PCIe 2.0 compatible. Slotted below the RD780 is the RX780, which does away with CrossFire multi-GPU support. The RX780 supports a single PCIe 2.0 x16 slot. Both chipsets support AMD’s Hyper Transport 3.0 bus. RD780 will target the $70-100 price points while the RX780 takes on the $50-70 price points.

AMD also intends to offer more value conscious consumers the RX740. This chipset features support for AMD’s Socket AM2+, however, it only supports Hyper Transport 1.0. The RX740 does not support PCIe 2.0 either.RX740 will take on the same $50-70 price points as the RX780.

AMD RD780, RX780 and RX740 can also share the same motherboard design, simplifying the design process. The four new chipsets pair up with AMD’s existing SB600 south bridge, as the SB700 won’t be ready until Q4’2007.

The new chipsets will also feature a Windows-based tweaking utility – AMD System Utility. The AMD System Utility allows users to tweak memory settings, automatically overclock the processor, test system stability and benchmark the processor and memory.

AMD is also preparing its next-generation integrated graphics chipsets for Q1’2008 as well. The new IGP family includes the DirectX 10 compatible RS780 and RS780C. AMD’s upcoming RS780 has all the processing and connectivity goodies. RS780 is the first IGP chipset to feature AMD’s Universal Video Decoder, which debuts with the ATI Radeon HD 2000-family.

UVD provides hardware acceleration for H.264/AVC and VC-1 high-definition video formats up to 40Mbits. Joining the UVD is support for DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort output connectivity. Targeting the value market is the RS780C. RS780C does away with UVD and DisplayPort support. Nevertheless, RS780 and RS780C support PCIe 2.0 and Hyper Transport 3.0.

Slotting below the RS780C is the DirectX 9 compatible RS740. RS740 supports Socket AM2+, but is limited to Hyper Transport 1.0 like the RX740. It is limited to PCIe 1.0 as with the RX740. Nevertheless, RS740 supports DVI and HDMI video outputs. AMD plans to launch RS740 before the RS780 and RS780C in Q4’2007.

In addition to upcoming chipsets, AMD’s roadmap divulges HQV Benchmark scores for its RS780 and RS740 chipsets. AMD’s upcoming RS780 will score a perfect 130 points while the RS740 scores 105 points. The current AMD 690G scores 80 points while Intel’s G965 scores 48 points.

Unlike AMD’s discrete graphics chipsets, the IGP products pair up with the upcoming SB700 south bridge. SB700 delivers six SATA 3.0Gbps ports with RAID 0, 1, 10, 5 support, fourteen USB ports and NAND flash memory option.


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By kelmerp on 5/3/2007 9:14:37 AM , Rating: 2
quad-core AMD Phenom chips would make quite an excellent Home Theater PC. This very well might be the upgrade I've been waiting for.




By Moishe on 5/3/2007 9:26:44 AM , Rating: 2
Quad Core Phenom would be overkill unless you have multiple HD tuners! Heck... It would be nice though to be able to record 2 HD streams AND play BF2142. Right now I can do one HD while playing BF2142 but it introduces small hiccups (I think it's because the same HDD is used for the recording and the game)


By Mitch101 on 5/3/2007 10:01:40 AM , Rating: 1
Thats actually the downfall of most PC's. CPU usage isnt bad its disk IO that needs a major boost.

Everyone I know screams about how they want faster and faster CPU's but my CPU usage is very low even when gaming. I pray for raid using more than 4 drives already for home. Would like to see SATA raid-6 in 6-8 drive configs for home already.

Raid 6 basically ensures that if you lose a second drive when rebuilding the array you can still recover. Raid 5 if you lose a second drive before the array recovers your dead. There is no real loss in performance for doing a Raid 6 till you get into a few TB's but that number can shift with the number of drives and speed of the drives.


By sxr7171 on 5/3/2007 12:54:42 PM , Rating: 2
Good point, but I don't see Raid as the answer except for data protection. We need a good mix of fast Flash memory for random reads + faster seeks and transfers on HDDs for everything else. It happening. Slowly.


By ObscureCaucasian on 5/3/2007 6:58:22 PM , Rating: 2
The 2900 doesn't seem to be the product that will kick nVidia's @%%.


By Justin Case on 5/3/2007 2:55:57 PM , Rating: 4
RAID won't save your data from a fire or a flood or an earthquake. It's noisy, it's expensive and it's hot. Most people don't need RAID, they just need regular backups, kept somewhere safe. If a home user loses 1 or 2 days reinstalling from backups that won't cost him much.

Regarding the advantages of RAID-6 (over RAID-5), the chances of losing a drive during the array rebuild process are extremely low. I wouldn't use RAID-6 for any array with less than 12 drives. It's slightly slower and you lose more space (n-2 vs. n-1). Of course, between RAID-5 with one hot spare and RAID-6 with no hot spares, I'd take the RAID-6.

Anyway, anyone who wants RAID-6 can have it, for "home" or anywhere else. You just buy the controller, buy the drives, and set it up. It's not as if the shop will refuse to sell it if you say it's "for home".

In any case, RAID does not replace a good (preferably off-site) backup policy, as many people have found (usually the hard way).


By Justin Case on 5/3/2007 2:45:11 PM , Rating: 2
Have you tried setting affinity manually? I've found that Windows XP still tends to treat multi-core CPUs as hyperthreading CPUs, meaning it gives priority to even cores (0, 2, etc.).

This means that if you have a dual-core system and the first core (core 0) is only being used at 90%, Windows will tend to assign new threads to that core, although the second core is just sitting there doing nothing. When it hits 100%, then Windows moves it to the second core. But then the first core drops back to 90%, and Windows brings it back. It's this constant context switching that causes hiccups.

I notice this a lot on my quad-core system (two dual-core Opterons) because I have some background processes configured to use precisely 90% of available CPU cycles (they slow down automatically if another process needs more cycles). Assigning those process directly to the "even" cores (1 and 3), either using Task Manager or imagecfg.exe, solves the problem.

Your game shouldn't need to access the disk during normal gameplay (or, even if it does, that shouldn't interfere with rendering). The only exception is if you don't have enough RAM, and Windows is hitting the pagefile.

Quad-core is definitely overkill for a HTPC, especially if your tuner card(s) have built-in encoding acceleration (which most of the high-end models do). A low-voltage dual-core CPU will do the job just fine, eat less power, and release less heat. Remember that AMD's TDP is usually stated for an entire family (so that the CPU can be upgraded at any time). So although dual-core and quad-core CPUs might have the same TDP, the dual-core is likely to use 25-40% less power.


By Shintai on 5/3/2007 10:06:45 AM , Rating: 2
45W quadcore K10? I hope you mean 45nm. Else for 45W you end with a singlecore 65nm or a dualcore EE chip.


By Dactyl on 5/3/2007 12:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
Intel has 45W dual core and 45W quads coming soon.


By Shintai on 5/3/2007 1:49:01 PM , Rating: 2
Intel already got 50W quads...but no 45Ws, not in sight either.


By mars777 on 5/3/2007 2:24:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yes but Intel counts the TDP as a tipical usage scenario power draw while AMD uses the maximum dissipated power.

So while being named TDP on both sides you still have to read reviews, and I personally hate that.

It would be great if they got on the same wagon regarding TDP.


By Justin Case on 5/3/2007 3:02:10 PM , Rating: 4
AMD lists the maximum TDP per CPU family, so that you can buy a system and safely upgrade it later. Intel had relly nasty heat problems the Netburst days, so they started measuring it per CPU model, and even then, just the "typical" (not maximum) value. That's why AMD systems often consume less power than Intel Intel systems, despite having a higher TDP on paper.

Also, remember that Intel CPUs don't have a built-in memory controller (and that eats power, too), while AMD's do (and their TDP already includes that).

Always look at the system's total power consumption (or at least CPUs + motherboard), not at TDP numbers. Those are really just meant for OEMs, so they know what kind of cooling to use on each component.


By Shintai on 5/3/2007 6:06:48 PM , Rating: 2
A memory controller is about 2W or less. And before you say anything about the Northbridge. Rememeber what else it contains.

And Intel actually had ondie memory trollers 20 years ago with the 386SL and 486SL for laptops.


By Justin Case on 5/3/2007 7:39:22 PM , Rating: 1
So did Sinclair on the ZX-81. And DEC had 64-bit instructions in the Alpha. Your point...? Why should we be comparing current CPUs with a 25 MHz 386SL from 1988...?

BTW, what modern (x86, DDR2, dual-channel) memory controller uses "2 watts or less"...?


By defter on 5/4/2007 2:10:47 AM , Rating: 2
What do you mean by "x86" memory controller? BTW, NVidia made a 128bit DDR1 "memory controller" on 0.18um that consumed 9W, and it also had a T&L unit and 4 rendering pipelines :)


By Justin Case on 5/4/2007 10:59:08 AM , Rating: 1
I mean a memory controller for present day x86 / AMD64 CPUs. What did you think I meant? What else would make sense in regard to this discussion?

I'm sure the memory controller on my cellphone consumes less than two watts, but that's not exactly relevant to the TDP comparison of high-end x86 multi-core desktop chips, is it...?


By Shintai on 5/3/2007 6:03:13 PM , Rating: 1
Last time I checked, it looked pretty bad for the 3Ghz parts from AMD being above its TDP. yet C2D/C2Q being quite below.

Seems K8 is the "Netburst" now in TDP...


By ObscureCaucasian on 5/3/2007 7:05:23 PM , Rating: 2
K8 isn't supposed to be a long term competitor to the Core2 architecture, so saying it is now the netburst isn't quite correct. If K10 would have similar power usage you could say that, but I highly doubt it will.


By mars777 on 5/4/2007 12:18:12 PM , Rating: 2
Well then it is bad for any Intel post-pentium 3 to not retain to a Thermal Design Power specified. That includes even the conroes.

But sincerely I would like you to point which AMD cpu goes over the TDP (taking into account that AMD TDP is the maximum dissipated power) since it would mean that it cannot be used by OEMs.


Why not date for Stars launch?
By sdsdv10 on 5/3/2007 10:39:08 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
AMD plans to release its K10-derived Stars-family desktop processors later this year .


Here we are in the first week of May, not quite half way thru the 2nd quarter of this year, and we still don't have an official launch date yet. What's up with that?




RE: Why not date for Stars launch?
By coldpower27 on 5/3/2007 1:17:40 PM , Rating: 2
Q4 2007. No exact month yet.


RE: Why not date for Stars launch?
By Le Québécois on 5/3/2007 1:38:25 PM , Rating: 2
Where did you get that from?

Last time I've read about it, Barcelona was due for H2'2007 and Agena for Q3'2007. I doubt AMD plan on launching those CPU without proper chipset support from a motherboard. I know K10 works with AM2 but I don't see AMD using it as a launch platform that would probably cripple the K10 performances.


RE: Why not date for Stars launch?
By GoatMonkey on 5/3/2007 3:14:29 PM , Rating: 2
The way things slip, 2H usually means December. If you're expecting 2H to mean the beginning of the second half of the year you will be sorely disappointed.


RE: Why not date for Stars launch?
By Le Québécois on 5/3/2007 8:58:04 PM , Rating: 2
Well, according to Kristopher's blog(posted today), Agena is still up for Q3'2007:
quote:
AMD's most recent roadmap clearly states that Agena, the spearhead K10 desktop component, will be ready to order in Q3 2007.

http://www.dailytech.com/DailyTech+Digest+K8+Throu...

I honestly don't see AMD launching the desktop variant before the server K10 so until I see otherwise, I'll still belive Barcelona is coming somewhere in july like it was stated on Anandtech.


RE: Why not date for Stars launch?
By coldpower27 on 5/3/2007 11:36:10 PM , Rating: 1
That May 3 2007 article references a article as its source from January 2007 far older then this one.

http://www.cpilive.net/v3/inside.aspx?scr=n&NID=13...

So Q3 2007 for Barcelona, and Q4 2007 for Agena and Kuma.


RE: Why not date for Stars launch?
By Le Québécois on 5/4/2007 1:11:37 AM , Rating: 2
At first I said :
quote:
Last time I've read about it, Barcelona was due for H2'2007 ...


To which you responded with :
quote:
The way things slip, 2H usually means December. If you're expecting 2H to mean the beginning of the second half of the year you will be sorely disappointed.


And now you give us a link that says Q3'2007, which is the first half of H2'2007, july-august-september, still far from that december you gave in the first place.

I will soon be looking for a new computer and I need to see how well the K10 performs and all I need to do that is Barcelona. If at that point it's worth waiting for Agena, I'll wait. If not, I'll buy a C2D. I did the same thing with the AMD64, I waited to see how well the Opteron would performs and decided it was worth the wait for the AMD64 and I didn't regret it at all.


By Le Québécois on 5/4/2007 5:03:30 AM , Rating: 2
Well... It seems Agena is still on track for a Q3'2007 release after all.

http://www.dailytech.com/Final+AMD+Stars+Models+Un...

Phenom... Not sure I like that name... yet.


By coldpower27 on 5/6/2007 10:41:15 PM , Rating: 2
Your replying to the wrong person. next time can you quote the right person please.


By coldpower27 on 5/3/2007 11:33:09 PM , Rating: 1
Q3 2007 for Barcelona which is Socket F, with Q4 2007 for Desktop is what I am hearing right now.


Just Wish We Could See Some Products
By UppityMatt on 5/3/2007 9:13:47 AM , Rating: 2
Im not sure if AMD aquiring ATI has set the company behind, just seems like lately we have seen alot of paper and no actual products. AMDs lack of products lost my business this upgrade because i went with a C2Duo and a 8800 GTS. I think if ATI/AMD would have had products out to compete i may have continued to use their products. Regardless im looking forward to seeing this new chipset out. Also does anyone know if AMD went away with the dongle crossfire setup on the new 2900 cards? Nvidia's solution seems better to me.




By Trogdor on 5/3/2007 9:18:02 AM , Rating: 2
Yup, dongle free.


By Moishe on 5/3/2007 9:23:54 AM , Rating: 2
The fact is, if they're not ready they're not ready.
Yes it sucks that they're delayed but releasing a product prematurely would hurt AMD as much as delaying does. It might be just choosing the best of two harmful actions.

On one hand you can release prematurely and look like an idiot when you can't deliver.
Or
you delay but at least when you do finally release everything is there in quantity.

They're both harmful to AMD, but the latter is better in the long run.


By RW on 5/3/2007 10:17:22 AM , Rating: 2
Just give AMD+ATI some time to glue things together and you will see great things coming out the pipe.


45W Brisbanes
By yehuda on 5/3/2007 9:31:37 AM , Rating: 2
Did AMD say when they should be out? Are they going to replace the 65W Brisbanes or to be sold at a price premium?




RE: 45W Brisbanes
By coldpower27 on 5/3/2007 10:25:23 AM , Rating: 2
They are just basically Turion x2's on the desktop, so when AMD's shift Turion x2 to 65nm node, don't expect the desktop to be too far behind.


RE: 45W Brisbanes
By Goty on 5/3/2007 11:01:46 AM , Rating: 2
The RX740 and RS740 worry me a little...
By chucky2 on 5/3/2007 12:06:40 PM , Rating: 2
...because they basically sound like the current 690G.

So why the redesign if the rumors (and that's all they've been up to this point) of AM2 motherboards supporting AM2+ CPU's have been true?

I know Gary Key confirmed with AMD chipset and CPU divisions that the 690G chipset itself would support AM2+ CPU's. But we've never seen motherboard manufacturers make this claim.

I want 690G to support AM2+ CPU's as much as the next guy (probably even more with my upgrade cycles), but those bargain basement chipsets have me worried that 690G adopters will be EOL'd with AM2. I really hope that isn't so..... :(

Chuck




RE: The RX740 and RS740 worry me a little...
By fk49 on 5/3/2007 9:46:55 PM , Rating: 2
Well AM2 boards and AM2+ CPUs will be compatible (and vice-versa AM2+ boards and AM2 CPUs too). The only thing is that AM2 boards don't support Hypertransport 3 or PCIe 2.0 so the AM2+ CPUs may be a bit bottlenecked on an AM2 board.

It's this whole AM3 business that's still cloudy and leaving me confuzzled.


By chucky2 on 5/3/2007 11:54:28 PM , Rating: 2
I thought that too and then I realized that was just a very popular rumor based on unofficial comments.

If you look, AMD has never specificially stated that.

We're close in that Gary Key confirmed with both the CPU and chipset divisions that 690G would support Agena/Kuma.

But, no AM2 motherboard manufacturer has come out yet and said their current boards will support AM2+ CPU's.

Is it a good bet they will? Probably. But if people are buying midrange to highend AM2 systems today and AM2+ won't work in them in another 5 months, I sure wouldn't want to be AMD facing that community....

Let's all just hope the rumors are right...

Chuck


"ASSET LIGHT"-a new statergy ?
By crystal clear on 5/4/2007 9:57:44 AM , Rating: 2
Kristopher Kubicki could you check on this-sounds interesting.

ASSET LIGHT ?

The new strategy, which Ruiz calls "asset light," is still being developed by the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company. Caudell is part of the management team that is working on asset light, and the company has said it will give Wall Street analysts a better idea about how that strategy will work in July.

Some analysts are saying that asset light is code word for the company moving toward more of a "fabless" model of doing business in which computer chip companies outsource their manufacturing to factories called foundries, many of which are located in Asia.

http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID...




RE: "ASSET LIGHT"-a new statergy ?
By Mitch101 on 5/4/2007 2:59:37 PM , Rating: 2
Thats a scarry thought to me personally and it could cause AMD knockoff's produced at the same or similar plant.

ASIA does some great things and one of them is cloning or real products. I could also see designs falling into the hands of competitors for a price. It might be cheap but at what cost?

NEC had a similar issue where they were producing NEC knockoff's right next to the NEC drives.


By crystal clear on 5/5/2007 9:37:35 AM , Rating: 2
You are bloody RIGHT indeed !


Brisbane
By electriple9 on 5/3/2007 9:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
When are they laughing the 45 watts brisbanes.
Thanks




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