Is there any substance to today’s rumor that Samsung is considering acquiring AMD? :: Read the full article »»»»
The battle for video card dominance continues, AMD is the latest player to show their hand. Mere days before Christmas AMD announced the 7000 series video cards demonstrating a fully redesigned architecture. AMD’s new design has been branded GCN – Graphics Core Next – and signifies a change in design philosophy.
The first card to use the brand new silicon pixel pushers will be the Radeon HD 7970, the new king of Über video cards. Quickly establishing itself as the fastest single card solution on the market AMD is pushing hard to build a lead over it’s opposition, NVIDIA and Intel.
Boundaries are being pushed in order to shift the 7000 series from idea to reality. The first graphics processors produced using the 28nm chip process, the first to use PCI Express 3.0, the first to use Direct X 11.1 3D library along with the new ZeroCore power saving technology, Multi-Point Audio and Partially Resident Textures. AMD has gone back to the drawing boards for this one and it looks to have paid off. Read the full article »»»»
AMD has taken the wraps of the Radeon HD 7970 graphics card, and introduced the world to a new product range – the Southern Islands Series – AMD’s foray into 28nm manufacturing. Pitched as the world’s fastest single GPU graphics card and the only GPU based on 28nm production technology, the new arrival pushes AMD ahead of NVIDIA. The HD 7970 uses a new Graphics Core Next – GCN architecture – which AMD boasts results in a 150 percent performance jump over the previous 40nm-based generation. HD 7970’s 3GB of 384-bit GDDR5 memory is clocked at 1.375 GHz and offers maximum bandwidth of 264GB/s. HD 7970 also comes with 2048 stream processors, 128 texture units, 32 ROPs, as well as a transistor count of 4.31 billion. For comparison, the Radeon HD 6900 series codenamed Cayman offers around 2.6 billion, while NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 580 comes with 3 billion transistor count. The HD 7970 also offers 3.79 TFLOPs of single precision and 947 GFLOPs of double precision computing power.
The AMD Radeon HD 7970 will be available from January 9, 2012. Pricing starts from $US549 Read the full article »»»»
Consensus suggests that the release of AMD’s much anticipated Bulldozer CPU was a little underwhelming. Performance improvements were a mixed bag with gains in some areas and only just staying on par with older AMD CPU’s in other areas. While AMD’s older Athlon and Phenom processors were due for an overhaul, AMD still took the gutsy approach making such aggressive and forward looking changes. The Bulldozer architecture represents a total redesign of AMD’s processors. The new top of the line AMD chip, the FX-8150 contains an astounding 2 billion transistors on 315 mm² of silicon. While the FX is unable to compete with Intel’s 980 Extreme Edition processors on raw performance AMD has priced the chip to compete with Intel’s Core i7-2600K, the current Value Performance King on the desktop. At $269 USD the AMD FX-8150 is avoiding the whole Extreme Edition comparisons altogether and taking the fight to Intel’s mid range processors. Read the full article »»»»
The tussle between AMD and NVIDIA has erupted once again, both jockeying for position at the top of the Video Card heap. With marketing departments loaded and ready to fire at ten paces the great GPU – Graphics Procesing Unit – race starts a new. Two weeks ago Nvidia announced the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M was the fastest mobile graphics processor on the market, AMD not to take such claims lightly has this week announced the AMD Radeon HD 6990M, claiming to be up to 25% faster than the competition. Will NVIDIA have a comeback, we will all have to wait and see.
AMD’s marketing department would like us to highlight its latest catch phrase technologies, things like EYEFinity, a technology built into AMD’s new chips that allows 6 displays to be connected and used as one continuous display. It does look spectacular for gaming, full video surround, immersive. HD3D is AMD’s take on integrating 3D glasses for 3D movies and to give those first person shooters head ducking realism. App Acceleration cuts CPU usage by shifting application work loads to the GPU, using the math’s crunching power to make easy work of applications like video production and photo editing. AMD PowerPlay™ power management technology with dynamic power management with low power idle state should stop this GPU requiring a nuclear power station to operate.
Here at Highpants we have far too much pride to bow down to such marketing demands, instead we would like to turn your attention to the hard numbers, the HD6990M contains 1120 Stream Processing Units, out of the box it runs at 715 MHz – clock speed – which provides for up to 1.6 TeraFLOPS – 1.6 trillion calculations per second -, that’s enough grunt to lift a bus. In 2000 a computer capable of 1 TeraFLOP would have cost $1,000,000 USD, now a laptop is capable of over 3 teraFLOPS. The memory numbers aren’t to be scoffed at either, GDDR5 memory clocked at 900 MHz providing 115.2 GB/sec of memory bandwidth between the memory and GPU, very important for achieving all of those precious TeraFLOPS.
The 6990 chip itself is a Series 6 video chip based on what AMD calls TeraScale 2 Unified Processing Architecture. This architecture includes a number of broader technologies aimed at improving the visual experience. The previously mention marketing technologies are included here – AMD Eyefinity, HD3D, AMD PowerPlay™ – as well as Audio over HDMI which Supports AC-3, AAC, Dolby® TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio™ formats and DirectX® 11 Evolved, Shader Model 5 DX11, which is the latest gaming standard for Windows 7 – Direct X being a windows API – . What all that adds up to is one fast card that excells at the latest games, watching movies, or any other task that your inspired to try. This is a workstation class media centre PC, and when it’s not busy it could easily hunt for a cancer cure, aliens or some other super computer task.
Already announced to appear in the Alienware M18x gaming laptop which can use two of them along with 2GB of fast video memory to deliver extreme performance, a potent combination that rivals even top end gaming desktops and workstations. The Alienware website is awash with options when choosing the hardware to include in your new Über laptop, interestingly they include the Nvidia 580M and the AMD HD6990M as options, including the option for two of your favoured video cards jammed under the hood, a crow bar likely required to shoe horn them in there. Cleco has also announced support for AMD’s new mega pixel pusher with the models X7200, P170HM, P150HM having AMD included in its options lists.
High end hardware such as the HD6990M and Nvidia 580M are designed to provide uncompromised graphics and gaming, meaning that you never have to choose detail settings, just crank them as high as they will go and play. Built into laptops that don’t keep you waiting, this is a video chip very few of us will get to use but it is one we should all consider. How much is your time and happiness worth?
Further information at AMD’s product page
Buddha’s Brother out…
For the past 300 years laptop buyers have had little choice in processors – Intel, Intel or Intel – some would argue this latency in competition has allowed the laptop, especially the lower end models, to lag behind on the technology front. NO MORE! AMD’s latest offering, the A-Series Fusion APU Processor has been locked into lappy’s – HP will be first to ship – completing the Fusion line-up. “The AMD A-Series APU represents an inflection point for AMD and is perhaps the industry’s biggest architectural change since the invention of the microprocessor,” said Rick Bergman, from AMD Products Group. “It heralds the arrival of brilliant all-new computing experiences, and enables unprecedented graphics and video performance in notebooks and PCs. Beginning today we are bringing discrete-class graphics to the mainstream.” With quad core CPU and 400 core pixel pushing silicon these new processors will fit snuggly into the middle of the notebook and desktop market. Fusions graphics abilities are the real key to their success. Multiple hi-def streams stutter free, smooth Flash animations and games that move at speed are all on offer. Don’t underestimate the effects a good graphics processor can have on a system. The video card dictates how responsive the interface is, as long as your not sitting waiting, waching the hour glass pointer spinning, that is The interface you use to work with your computer is totally driven by the graphics chip in your computer. Faster graphics, smoother machine.
AMD’s new Fusion processors are based on totally new chip designated internally at AMD as Liano, The internal architechture of Liano is radically different from previous generation AMD chips. Floating Point units have been update, architectures modified, GPU’s integrated. While each of these changes is evolutionary all of this evolution at once is a revolution. Fusion processors represent AMD’s first generation of processors that combine video card, cpu and memory controller onto the one piece of silicon. Its not just some old Commodore 64 graphics chip, it’s a full blown DirectX® 11-capable graphics chip. This is no after-though but instead a selling point. As if introducing all of these new chipery wasn’t enough AMD is also trying to coin a new term to celebrate it’s new products, the term being APU – Application Processing Unit -, so CPU + GPU = APU.
The new Fusion processors are segmented into 3 product categories, addressing three different types of customers. AMD has chosen the printer friendly names A4, A6 and A8 for the three segments. The A4 processors are lower powered, valueing efficiency over raw power, while the top of the line A8 prize processing grunt over battery life. The A6 models are the Goldie Locks chips not to hot not to power thursty just right. They are also called the money chips by manufacturers as this is the highest sales volume of the 3.
Software is using the GPU to do more and more general purpose work – technically called GPGPU, General Purpose Graphics Processing Unit-, something that AMD has a huge advantage over Intel with. The Fusion chips are very well tuned – and Intels can’t do it at all – for performing this kind of processing, applications like Photoshop that require lots of processing power or video conversion app’s will all benefit from using the GPU to offload work from the cpu. Flash is now using the GPU to do the heavy processing work, making it usable even on a netbook – Netbook with Fusion of course – and we all know Flash needs all the help it can get.
Probably the greatest benefit of all of this upgraded technology is cost. Integrating more of the computer into one chip makes it cheaper. Fusion will cut the number of chips required to make a computer and should push the prices of mid range computers lower. Laptop manufacturers are already jumping on-board, Toshiba have already shown laptops running the latest Fusion chips. Lenovo, Acer, MSI and many others will have laptops to market shortly. Even Dell is back on board with AMD with the Insprion M102x
Intel’s latest Core chips – Sandy Bridge Core i3,i5 and i7 – are the Fusions direct competition, this will be the first time in a while the battle will be so close. AMD wins on gaphics processing speeds easily but Intel’s processors have traditionally been a little quicker than AMD’s, until now. The only thing missing now is the crown on AMD’s Kingdom the FX-8130 Bulldozer. While not technically a Fusion CPU it will be a processing powerhouse that may beat intels top of the line X-990. The battle for the middle ground of the computer market is about to warm up, a battle is brewing in silicon valley and we are the winners. No matter who comes out on top.
Fusion A-Series APU’s
A4-3300M – Dual core, 1.9Ghz, 35W, Radeon HD 6480G graphics with 240 cores
A4-3310MX – Dual core, 2.1Ghz, 45W, Radeon HD 6480G graphics with 240 cores
A6 3400M – Quad core, 1.4GHz, 35W, Radeon HD6520G graphics with 320-cores
A6 3410MX – Quad core, 1.6GHz, 45W, Radeon HD6520G graphics with 320-cores
A8 3500M – Quad core, 1.5GHz, 35W, Radeon HD6620G graphics with 400-cores
A8 3510MX – Quad core, 1.8GHz, 45W, Radeon HD6620G graphics with 400-cores
A8 3530MX – Quad core, 1.9GHz, 45W, Radeon HD6620G graphics with 400-cores
Further information AMD Press Release
Buddha’s Brother out…
Can AMD finally answer Intels domination of the market or will Intel once again squash them like a bug on the windscreen of the Intel juggernaut.
No matter which one of the two 600 pound guerrilla’s wins we consumers are the true winners, with Uber fast kit coming up and neither AMD nor Intel being able to rest on their laurels.
This is quite a surprise as normally a completely new chip from AMD will run at slightly lower clock speed than the fastest of the old generation. The current fastest clock speed for AMD’s quad core CPU is 3.5Ghz so releasing the new chip at that speed is a great sign for the new design :: Read the full article »»»»