News articles search results by Carl Poirier
AMD's Gaming Evolved program has just launched, and is said to "help create the best possible gaming experience on the world's best gaming platform -- the PC."
The program focuses on three main points:
* Commitment to create gaming innovation
* Promise to nurture open industry standards
* Pledge to support the PC gaming industry
It looks like AMD will provide more support to PC game developers by delivering "the technical support and guidance needed to adopt new technologies like Direct X 11, and provide the indispensible business support that game developers need to help make their games a commercial success." It will continue developing innovative products for the PC gaming industry as well.
So overall, it looks a bit like "The Way It's Meant To Be Played" program, but AMD-style. One main difference though is the support is focused on open standards, compared to NVIDIA with all its proprietary technologies like PhysX and 3D Vision. It is said that AMD "will participate in the development and cultivation of OpenCL and OpenGL industry standards, and [that it] will move quickly [its] innovations into the industry standards whenever feasible." One great example surfaced a few days ago about the development of an open 3D standard.
Only time will tell if this campaign is highly profitable to the PC gaming industry though.
AMD held a conference today at 5:00 PM ET to announce its quarterly earnings for Q2 2010, which proved to be a very strong period. The record revenue is up 5% compared to last quarter, for a total of $1.65B. The net loss stands at a mere $43M or ¢6 per share, whereas last quarter was at $257M or ¢35 per share. However if the effects of the GlobalFoundries spin-off are not considered, the profit stands at $83M.
The CPU segment revenue has increased 4% sequentially. The most notable achievement in this area is the fact that AMD has demonstrated the world's first Fusion Accelerated Processing unit (APU), at Computex a few weeks ago. It was mentioned at the conference that the "Ontario" processor is now ahead of schedule, with a launch date of Q4 2010. Based on the "Bobcat" architecture, this processor will supposedly perform similar to a low-end mainstream processor, but in a much smaller package and with a much smaller power consumption. It also features an on-die DX11 GPU, compared to PineTrail which is still stuck at DX9.
The targeted market are primarily the netbooks and small form factors, and it was said that it positions pretty well against the Intel Atom. AMD also launched the industry's lowest power-per-core x86 server processor, part of the Opteron 4000 series. Sony now offers AMD-based computing solutions in its Vaio lineup as well. With Acer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Toshiba, it has announced new VISION notebooks for the back-to-school and holiday buying periods. There are now three times more VISION notebooks on the market than there was a year ago. It is also worth mentioning that the highest-performing supercomputer as well as three of the top four features AMD processors.
The GPU segment revenue has seen a twice as large increase, at 8% compared to last quarter. It was still limited though by capacity constraints, which should be declining in the second half of this year, even with the "Ontario" CPU taking up some of the waffles at TSMC. With now more than 16 million DX11 units shipped, the Radeon HD5000 remains the only family with offerings ranging from the entry to the enthusiast segments. As for the second generation of DX11 GPUs, it is scheduled to arrive before the end of this year.
Form factor approximately as big as current Pico series
Although Super Talent, a company specialized in memory, already has many USB 3.0 thumb drives available, none of them have that very small size that almost makes them easy to lose. The RAIDDrive and SuperCrypt USB 3.0 are both 95 x 34mm, which is obviously quite large for a thumb drive. Their awesome features, being blazing speed and hardware encryption, respectively, makes up for the increased size, though. The Express Drive USB 3.0 is much smaller at 62 x 27mm, but it is still far from the dimensions of the smaller drives like the Pico series from the same manufacturer.
In what would be the fourth series of USB 3.0 drives, the upcoming products will not be much larger than 38 x 13mm, which is the actual size of the Pico drives:
The read speed for the upcoming drives is going to be up to 60MB/s from the 30MB/s the Pico USB 2.0 series currently offers, whereas the write is coming in at up to 30MB/s. Overall, these should be amazing drives, but we won't know for sure until one enters Neoseeker's labs!
Webcast is hosted on May 12 at 12:00 p.m. ET
You should have heard about "AMD VISION Technology", meant to simplify the process of buying a computer. The VISION idea has been featured in almost all Staples, Best Buy or FutureShop pamphlets since October 2009, so probably have heard of it somewhere along the way.
In the past few days, information was leaked about upcoming laptop processors from AMD. This matches well with AMD's forthcoming launch of its next phase of VISION Technology with lots of new products slated for launch over the following months. The refresh of its entire client platform portfolio as well as details on two new notebook and two new desktop platforms will be revealed live, May 12 at 12:00 PM ET, at:http://links.amd.com/VisionCast
Be sure not to miss that!
ATI has freshly lost its title of the best IGP manufacturer. The Core i5 661 IGP, clocked at 900MHz, proved to be superior to the HD 3300 and HD 4200 which previously were at the top of the performance crown. This is at stock settings though; what Neoseeker labs concluded is that the ATI graphics processor is still faster clock-for-clock. However, the problem is that the vast majority of people do not overclock integrated graphics processors found in retail computers.
ATI is not standing still in front of that. Losing the performance crown in the IGP market after so long is quite disappointing, however it is not going to be for long; the 785G and 790GX chipsets are soon going to see their successor. The latter will feature a new IGP, which will supposedly be the fastest IGP ever. Now I can read that magical keyword in your head: "When!?"
As you have probably noticed, AMD is going to launch a few new processors in late January. The HD 5xxx graphics card series is also going to be expanded with a few new models and the first chipset of the 800 series is scheduled to launch after that. Let's also note that a new iteration of ATI's Hybrid Crossfire will be made possible with a dedicated GPU from the latest generation. As always, we'll believe it when we see it!
A bunch of new features for the AMD enthusiast
On Monday, we learned Gigabyte is readying three new motherboards for the latest AMD platform, featuring '333' onboard acceleration. As it was said, the new tech consists of the latest connectivity: USB 3.0, SATA III (6Gbps). The other '3' is for the fact the motherboard can supply up to three times the rated power of a standard USB port.
Gigabyte has now put online the complete specifications about these three upcoming motherboards. Despite them resembling the MA790FXT-UD5P, the MA790XT-UD4P and the MA770T-UD3P, one may notice many new features. First of all, on the high-end model, there are now three PCI-E x16 slots instead of only two, so three videocards can now be set in CrossfireX, running in x16, x8, x8 mode. Having only two PCI-E x16 slots is a big disadvantage to the MA790FXT-UD5P when looking at boards like the MSI 790FX-GD70 having four of them, so this is great.
The next feature is 'Precision OV', which stands for OverVoltage. This means all three motherboards are equipped with a hardware voltage control chip, bringing three main advantages:
- Provides more voltage control options for CPU, NB & memory than before
- HW linear real time voltage control, no delay compared to previous GPIO controller
- Finer stepping of 20 mV min (0.002V)
We're eager to see what is meant by "more voltage control options", because the MA790FXT-UD5P already has all the required voltage adjustments for overclocking. The 20mV increments are definitely an amelioration though. Currently, Gigabyte AMD motherboards have a stepping of 25mV, which we find a tad too coarse; we often rely on AMD Overdrive to give us that last 0.0125V.
The MA790FXTA-UD5 also features two eSATA/USB combo ports at the back. With the current models, an expansion bracket is provided to provide two eSATA ports.
Overall, these three motherboards seem truly great, thanks to the innovation at Gigabyte. We should see reviews popping up around the Internet soon.
Leaked pictures of an upcoming product?
In an attempt to beat the green team and its leader the Green Goblin, ATI has got Batman & Robin onboard. They are now working on a proprietary machine that, if the rumors are true, will be called the Bat5870.
If the HD5870 is any indication of that machine's performance, it will undoubtedly give them an edge in that epic battle!
Seriously though, the image is a joke; I hope you guessed it. The idea behind this masterpiece probably came to mind in an attempt to find a use for the decorative vents present on the HD5870. Thanks to the user Heinz68 on NVnews forums for the excellent Photoshop job!
Featuring dual-core CPU and HD 3200 graphics
A while ago we saw the HP Pavilion DV2 pop up on the market, featuring AMD's ultra-thin platform called "Congo". There are two versions of it; the first one sports the Athlon Neo 1.6GHz processor and an integrated ATI X1250 graphics processor at the heart of the RS690M chipset, whereas in the second one it is paired with a discrete HD 3410.
My everyday laptop is one of those DV2. While the Congo platform is already great in itself, in some cases it left me wanting more. I chose the integrated graphics version to get the better battery life, but in turn I got the decreased video performance which sometimes struggles to play HD content on the Internet. Additionally, the Athlon Neo clearly has some limitations. With its single core, it has some difficulties to keep up in multi-tasking. When I am doing some C++ programmation in my Ubuntu virtual machine, let's just say I must be patient compared to my colleagues who run fully-sized notebooks, despite it already being much more powerful than the Intel netbook platform.
So that's where AMD's second generation ultra-thin notebook platform comes into play. While its Athlon X2 Neo L335 processor can be had for quite some time now at the heart of the Pavilion DV2, it is still paired with either the X1250 or HD 3410. The new Vision platform puts it along the RS780M, sporting an integrated HD 3200 graphics processor; this will bring all the exciting features of the dedicated graphics to the integrated with amazing battery life.
Obviously, the video performance will be up quite a big notch. Since the HD 4200 has the same physical specifications than the HD 3200 but just it being DX10.1, UVD2 and HDMI 1.3 ready (roughly), the gaming performance is approximately the same. Therefore, HD 3200 should be able to provide a performance close to what we have seen in my article about the 785G chipset, except that it will not have a sideport memory.
Apart from that, the HD 3200 will also feature an HDMI out, which the X1250 in the DV2 did not. Another thing that was not pointed out in Pat Moorhead's blog entry is that the it will also be able to benefit from the latest AMD drivers, which unfortunately do not apply to the X1250 anymore since Catalyst version 9.3. And we're now at 9.9.
Also, the added processor core will double the power so that it will be able to churn through any task without any difficulty. It will also help in gaming where the single-core can quickly become a limitation.
However, there is no word on battery life yet. Whereas my Athlon Neo MV-40 and RS690M did almost five hours at the heart of the DV2 while being on power saving mode, 40% screen brightness and WiFi ON, I expect the new Vision platform to be at least the same. It is also great to see a third manufacturer jumping in the ultra-thin AMD-based low-cost laptop market; MSI will join Hewlett-Packard and Gateway with its X-series laptop based on Vision. This is great because it makes for many different available flavors of similar laptops. This one would be named the MSI X430, pictured here.
So who knows, maybe we will soon see an article on Neoseeker in which Vision is thoroughly tested!
$111 worth of discounts, plus a few MIRs
Many manufacturers teamed up to offer customers a mega bundle deal on an AMD Dragon Platform computer, available on Newegg.com. It comprises eight, yes eight components. In other words, what you get is a complete PC. The only thing left to do is build it.
This computer sets you at a not too shabby $679.88 after MIRs, or $719.88 without. Moreover, you get free shipping on this large package. Buying each part separately would cost you $831.81 and most probably a somewhat steep shipping cost.
With the already awesome price/performance ratio of the dragon platform, this deal just make it even more attracting. Don't miss out on it!
Seems to work on P45/X38/X48 motherboards for now, in Directory Services Restore OS Mode
NVIDIA has allowed SLI on X58 motherboards. If we do not consider the Intel Skulltrail platform and the HP Blackbird 002, it was the first time SLI was enabled on a non-NVIDIA motherboard. However, it is now possible to enable it on a few other chipsets.
Most people agree that NVIDIA chipsets for Intel socket 775 processors are not worth much when it comes down to overclocking, so this could allow both insane FSBs seen on Intel chipsets and SLI technology at the same time.
So let's go straight to the experiment. Apparently, Firewings [CCG], the author of the little software that would allow this hack, was able to get SLI to work on his ASUS Maximus Formula, when running in the Directory Services Restore Mode. However, Firewings [CCG] is confident that he will soon get it to work under normal mode. Moreover, it seems he got it working using a GTX 260 and a... 8600GT! That would mean he has achieved two hacks at once.
Expreview has run their own tests using the second version of the ASUS motherboard and a pair of GTX 260, and it was a success.
Who knows, maybe later it will be made to work on the P35 chipset, and on AMD motherboards!
100% of the final sale price will be donated to the non-profit organization Eldercare
It seems AMD has put one Phenom II TWKR Edition up for sale. The auction on Ebay started at $1.00 and is already up to $100.00 by the time I am writing this news. The auction has 5 days remaining, leaving it plenty of time to go up.
All profits will go to The Family Eldercare organization located in Ausin, Texas, where the AMD campus is. This organization provides essential services for elders, adults with disabilities and those who care for them.
So, extreme overclockers, grab your credit card and start bidding for a great cause! That chip is up to the task when it comes to achieving records. Here is your chance to get your hands on one of these very few limited edition processors.
Featuring Increased Host Clock-Speed and DRAM Cache Speed
OCZ, a leader in the flash memory market as well as other components, improved the already proven-to-be-performant Vertex solid state drives. A minor change, yet very significant, has allowed the drives to reach insane transfer speeds. The host clock-speed and cache were overclocked from 166MHz to 180MHz.
This drive will come in sizes of 30, 60, 120 and 250GB. Compared to the 250MB/s and 160MB/s of its predecessor, the largest version will attain an amazing 270MB/s read speed and up to 210MB/s write. It features a proprietary firmware and still provides the snappy computing, longer battery life, and shorter boot-ups of the current Vertex series, along with the increased performance. These drives are backed with a 3 Year Warranty, plus the OCZ’s exemplary service and support.
There is no word on pricing and availability yet, but let's hope they are out on the market for the beginning of classes!
Graphics card manufacturer introduces new eco-friendly packaging
No one can deny that the conservation of our environment has become even more important in today's society. On an individual basis, people can take a few actions to reduce waste and power consumption, but companies should be encouraged to do so also.
Sapphire, the leading ATI-based graphics card manufacturer, now makes a big step in the right direction. They are introducing a new type of inner packaging made out of recycled paper pulp, and is further recyclable. Many models will ship with these trays, and further development is currently being made so that it will also apply to the heavier models.
That is in addition to the "Lite Retail" packaging option, which consists of shipping the card in a much smaller box. This way, there is less matter used in the packaging, and it also cuts down the shipping cost that the buyer would normally pay. Furthermore, the outer boxes of Sapphire products use eco-friendly inks and are also 100% recyclable.
Definitely, it is a good way to go, Sapphire!
Two European retailers posted the product pages of the Samsung N510 Ion netbook -- a small yet performative device -- on their websites this past weekend, noting the version featuring NVIDIA's GeForce 9400M chipset would launch in the next few days.
(Image source: Legit Reviews)
It features an 11.6" screen with a resolution of 1366x768, wifi b/g/n, bluetooth and usual 160GB hard drive. It will sport the newer Atom N280, which has a FSB of 667Mhz compared to the 533MHz of the N270, and is clocked 66MHz faster. The netbook will come equipped of a 6-cell battery and is believed to provide approximately the same battery life as the older model the NC10, based on the aging Intel 945GSE chipset, except video performance will simply not be comparable -- the 9400M just owns its Intel rival.
Update: I just found this new picture, and the netbook does not seem quite the same. The borders around the screen are much thinner, and the NVIDIA logo has been replaced by the model name. Let's hope the second picture the design they will be going with! However this source states a release date as far as October.
(Image source: Blogeee)
The Phenom II X4 965 is coming soon, with an extra 200MHz
3.4GHz will be the stock clock of the new X4 965, making it the fastest quad-core on the market, along with the Xeon X5492 from Intel, which is a 150W part, though. The 965 will keep the 125W TDP, as is mentioned on ASRock's website. It will feature the same cache as the 955 and it will be a Black Edition.
We saw here that the Phenom II X4 955 often beat the Core i7 920 in gaming due to its higher frequency. With an extra 200MHz, the 965 will probably be able to compete with the Core i7 940's performance in many cases, which currently sells for $587.17 on NCIXUS.com. However, AMD will most probably launch it at a very competing price, which will force Intel to cut prices on its Core 2 and maybe Core i7 line.
This time, I would not be surprised if the Phenom II X4 965 had a bit more overclocking potential than the 940 and 955. It would be somewhat disappointing if on air it also maxed out at around 3.8GHz, which would be only a 400MHz increase. This is what we will see if Neoseeker gets his hands on one!
Introducing the Phenom II 42 TWKR Black Edition
While I thought we would not see another processor launch from AMD very soon, this information appears on the Internet. Apparently, an early sample has been provided to Wallace Santos, Maingear PC founder and CEO.
But what do TWKR stands for? For now, the most probable guess would be "Tweaker". Let's hope Mr. Santos will soon post some results so we can know what it is all about!
Normally we would see such things in magazines, but MSI made quite an innovation: a word scramble printed on a motherboard!
This morning I was tinkering with computer hardware when I grabbed the MSI 790FX-GD70 I had reviewed a while ago. All of a sudden, something I had never noticed in two months just popped out on me:
Can you guess the answer? If you inverse the two letters in the center, you get... "dial"!
But I'm joking. This is more likely a typo than a word scramble game. I am just amazed that nobody else had caught this typo. Sure it happens to everyone. We often see some typos in user manuals and more rarely in BIOS screens, but right on a motherboard!? This is a premiere.
This motherboard is version 1.0. Maybe it has been fixed on later versions? Also, I wonder if such a thing is covered under warranty...
These X2 processors will appear in two flavors: Athlon II X2 and Phenom II X2
The Athlon II X2 250 codenamed Regor will sport a core multiplier of x15 for a final clock of 3.0GHz. Unfortunately it will not have L3 cache like the previous Athlons based on the Kuma core. It will have 2MB of L2 cache, though. The thermal design power of that 45nm chip will be down to 65W compared to the 95W of the previous 65nm Athlons.
As for the Phenom II X2 550, it will come at a stock 3.1GHz, which is only a mere 100MHz short of AMD's flagship, the Phenom II X4 955. Much like this one, it will sport 512KB of L2 cache per core, for a total of 1MB. It will also feature the full 6MB of L3 cache that the X4 955 has. Moreover, the TDP is as low as 80W. Personally, I think this chip will be approximately equal in terms of performance to the Intel E8400 which is clocked slightly lower, but will most probably be a Black Edition as well as feature a lower price tag.
It is not known with certitude yet if the Phenom II X2 will be a disabled quad-core or a dual-core design. If has two disabled cores, who knows, maybe it will be unlockable? Stay tuned for more information.
Rumours say 5xxx series will be amazingly powerful
We have read not so long ago rumors about the upcoming ATI graphics card generation and are now able to put numbers on what was said in the previous news. Is it still speculation or pure truth? Let's hope the latter as we take a look at these rumoured numbers.
First of all, it seems the HD 5xxx series will just be a refresh of the R770 architecture. Using the 40nm process that is already been used for the HD4770, ATI will pack 12 SIMD group consisting of 100 cores each, for a total of 1200 cores compared to the 800 cores of the HD48xx series (excluding the 4830). The core will run at 900MHz and the memory will get a nice speed bump to 1100MHz. If all of that is true, these cards will be ATI's new monsters.
Also, it seems ATI will once again rely on a dual-GPU card to reach top of the line performance. Apparently, the 5870X2 will be clocked 50MHz higher on both the cores and the memory than the single-GPU version.
Furthermore, the RV870 will be Shader Model 5.0 and DirectX 11 compliant since the number of registers and other demanding architectural tasks have been increased.
Even if ATI relies on a 40nm half-node process, it may lead to relatively large dies, probably approximately the size of the NVIDIA GT200 chips.
Speaking of NVIDIA, it may be a bit in the trouble if these rumors appear to be true: it is said that the HD 5xxx series would supposedly come out in July, although NVIDIA seems to aim 2010 for the launch of their next-generation cards.
I must repeat though all of these specs must be taken with a grain of salt; there is nothing confirmed yet.
AMD spin-off does not outsource the development: Fab 2 will be located in the upstate New York
Global Foundries was created from AMD's existing fabrication infrastructures last year. It already has partnerships with IBM, ST, Chartered, Samsung and Toshiba, just to name a few. It did not officially became Global Foundries until March 2 of this year though. AMD's Fab 36 in Dresden, Germany, became Global Foundries Fab 1, and now the work for building Fab 2 has already begun. It will be located on the delimitation of Town of Malta and Town of Stillwater.
The initial investment will be $4.5 billion. The facility will have a 300,000sq/ft Class 100 Clean Room and will be able to handle 35,000 wafer starts per month. It will need 1400 workers and it is estimated that upwards of 5000 spin-off jobs will be created. The state of New-York has already begun the work for a new exit ramp of the Interstate 87 that will connect to the campus directly. Fab 2 will not begin mass production until 2012, though.
The Luther Forest Technology Campus facility will be equipped to manufacture 300mm wafers using 32nm and down to 22nm manufacturing process using immersion lithography, which allows for decreasing the wavelength of lithography. Fab 1 in Germany is planned to be converted to using the same process sometime in the middle of this year. For now, 32nm SOI silicon is already running but 32nm bulk manufacturing is planned for only early 2010. 32nm SOI allows a few innovations, including the High-k / Metal Gate “Gate First” transistor design. This minimizes complexity along with cost and power consumption. Next-generation technologies are also planned by Global Foundries, including 3D integrated circuits and Extreme ultraviolet lithography, which will be needed for 15nm and beyond.
Global Foundries also plans on offering their customers access to some proprietary tools that were developed by AMD for automating the manufacturing process, including the APM framework, for automated precision manufacturing. This one consists of synchronized decision making tools; Fab-wide data integration as well as an array of customized monitoring systems feed five integrated algorithmic analysis systems. Overall, maybe Global Foundries will be able to attract new customers, being rival or not to their main customer AMD. Although for sure this development will be beneficial to AMD.