AMD Launches Hexacore Phenom II X6 Desktop CPU
AMD is releasing their new Phenom II X6 CPU, and as you might have guessed, it’s a close desktop cousin to it’s server-side counterpart we spoke about not too long ago. What’s it coming with? Six cores to be precise, and a few new features worth looking at. If you’re a VAR or system builder working with AMD’s product line, here’s a look at AMD’s strategy.
First off, the tech specs: the 1090T ‘Black Edition,’ retailing at $295, it packs 3.2GHz, with 3MB dedicated to L2 cache, and 6MB of L3 cache. The little brother of the group is the Phenom II X6 1055T at just $199, it runs at 2.8GHz and shares the rest of the features of it’s older brother.
And here’s where VARs and system builders could get intrigued: AMD is working off of the AM3 socket. It’s also compatible with the AM2+ socket, which means a lot of great things about updating and refreshing desktops already in the system. It’s really as simple as dropping in a new CPU, and maybe upgrading the BIOS.
But even though the Phenom II X6 CPU is a tweaked cousin from the ‘Magny-Cours’ CPU of March, it’s actually packed with a few new features that make it stand out. I spoke to Adam Kozak, platform marketing manager at AMD, and he covered some of the bases. One of them, is Turbo Core.
“Turbo Core Technology dynamically boosts cores when not all 6 cores are needed. [A boost of] 400-500Mhz when they are needed. [Of course, we can] target six cores when needed, [but in] apps than don’t need all 6 [we can] improve performance.”
And it seems like a smart idea. In the desktop market, there’s a lot to be said for the dual-versus-quad core performance boost. Many high-end video games run better on dual-cores (since their code is optimized to) while many high-end content creation apps run better on 3 or more cores. AMD is seeking to put an end to that issue of decision making, since Turbo Core will give you the performance you need in the right place at the right time. The best part is, it’s all back-end side, no software required. It all happens on the motherboard.
AMD is also bringing in their Overdrive technology, which allows customers to dynamically tweak and fiddle with every ‘knob’ the CPU will let you play with to maximize your performance. Couple that with AMD’s Black Profile RAM (partners like CORSAIR and Patriot jumping on board) and Kozak says they’ve seen performance boosts of 10%.
AMD is confident that the new Phenom will get serious play in the channel, and offer outstanding performance for the price point. It’s something they constantly work at when competing with the likes of Intel.
Now, with 6 cores becoming a very affordable desktop standard, what will Intel do to keep up? It looks rosy for AMD’s future, since Intel’s Core-i brand marches forward with only 4 cores (despite a single 6 core exception).