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AMD Upgrades Hardware

AMD Phenom II Available To Distributors This Week 114

Posted by timothy
from the making-my-computers-feel-even-slower dept.
jdb2 writes "Fudzilla reports that AMD's Phenom II is already available to distributors, and will be available to sell to consumers in the week of the 29th of December. The Phenom II is AMD's consumer version of its 'Shanghai' 45 nanometer SOI process Quad-core Opteron chip and will reportedly ship in 3 and 2.8 gigahertz flavors corresponding to the model numbers '940' and '920' respectively. This first release will be packaged as a Socket AM2+ part which only supports DDR2 memory. The following month AMD is reportedly going to release a new '9x5' series of Socket AM3 versions which support DDR3 memory — these will be backward compatible with Socket AM2+ . This may be an inflection point for AMD if the Shanghai architecture lives up to the performance numbers from preliminary reports and if so it will no doubt also be a welcome belated Christmas present for the already salivating hordes of Tech Junkies."
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AMD Phenom II Available To Distributors This Week

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  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @09:32PM (#26246197) Homepage Journal

    You can get a good AM2+ motherboard for under $100. DDR2 is cheap, and the price point for these CPUS is looking pretty good.
    I doubt that they will beat an I7 but they may offer a great bang for the buck. Even before these came out AMD offered the best value in the good enough category.
    You would be hard pressed to find a better value than one of the BE X2s on a 780G motherboard for an average user.

  • by kwabbles (259554) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @10:14PM (#26246407)

    You can get a good AM2+ motherboard for under $100. DDR2 is cheap, and the price point for these CPUS is looking pretty good.

    My primary home machine is an AM2+ Phenom 9950 BE overclocked to 3.0GHz. The Phenoms are easily overclocked using stock cooling - I spent only $900 on this machine including a 9800 GTX GPU, 2GHz 1066mhz RAM, and a WD Raptor HDD - and this box hauls ass. It easily smokes most Intel quad boxes I've seen that cost several hundred more.

    I'll always run Intel on servers and what not - but for a workstation/desktop you can't go wrong with AMD. Hell, now that I think about it - I've had more stability problems with Intel than I've had with AMD. I guess it's time to re-think my server platforms.

  • by metallurge (693631) <metallurgeNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday December 27, 2008 @10:39PM (#26246495)
    These [newegg.com] are pretty good choices, with solid capacitors in the power supply section. 128M sideport memory is optional.

    Bottom line, you want a 790GX northbridge and a 750 southbridge.

    Or, to get significantly cheaper and still really quite decent, you can go with one of these [newegg.com]. 780GX northbridge, 700 southbridge. Way south of $100.
  • Re:125 watts! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 27, 2008 @10:41PM (#26246497)

    TDP != power usage. it might draw that (or more even), but its not necessarily drawing that on average.

    It's the max expected under normal conditions for thermal dissipation.

  • Re:125 watts! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ecuador (740021) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @10:50PM (#26246545) Homepage

    Let me remind you that the Prescott was 103 Watts (@3.2GHz) for *ONE* *SLOW* core.
    Any comparison between that Netburst crap and today's processors from both companies is absurd.
    That said, Intel is currently ahead in the game in both max performance and TDP, so Phenom is good for existing AM2+ upgrades or for more "budget conscious" scenarios. For the sake of all of us I hope AMD catches up (I am old enough to remember CPU prices from when Intel had no competiti).
    In any case you should be more worried about the current graphics cards that tend to require twice the power of the CPU... :)

  • Re:125 watts! (Score:5, Informative)

    by florescent_beige (608235) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @11:05PM (#26246639) Journal

    Always remember AMD measures power consumption differently from Intel, AMD's number is more like a max envelope value while Intel's numbers are a type of average.

    These guys [google.com] found that a 45nm engineering Phenom II drew 24W less than a 9600 under load.

    We have both Phenoms and C2Qs at work and I don't notice any difference in the noise. Maybe I would at home where it's quieter.

  • Re:125 watts! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Junta (36770) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @12:14AM (#26246903)

    Though still not perfect, you'd have to compare Intel TDP numbers to AMD 'ACP' numbers. Intel screwed with the point of TDP for marketing purposes and they have the leverage with OEMs to pretty much do as they damn well please, even if it makes OEM life harder.

    Secondly, the Core2 isn't comparable in featureset. Notably, it requires a memory controller on motherboard which tends to have a significant amount of power in and of itself. So you'll have to jump to Core i7 parts, which currently advertise a 130W TDP, presumably largely in part due to bringing the controller in.

    Thirdly, the current gen phenoms even include 65W parts at reduced clock. I would not doubt that, if not at launch, shortly thereafter lower-wattage parts will come out. Even if not, underclocking may be an option.

    All said and done, AMD has something kind of compelling in various ways. I don't think it will take back the performance lead, but Intel is taking some hits in trying to get an equivalent architecture together. Will have to wait for AM3 to have complete apples-to-apples benchmarks for i7 and Phenom II, but I don't think it will be that much closer than it is today.

  • by Junta (36770) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @12:38AM (#26247001)

    Don't know about affordably getting to 16GB in a single socket board. Most boards in that space have 4 dimm slots and 4 GB dimms are relatively expensive. I don't know about the shuttle cases, I don't require that small a packaging and I have historically found larger cases more convenient for maintenance and thermal management (and expense of repairs, blowing a power supply in a weird form factor sucks). If you get AMD graphics, you may have some 3D capability in BSD (nVidia too maybem but options are more open ended in AMD currently). That said, onboard ATI graphics should be more than enough for light 3d stuff.

    I'm personally waiting for Phenom II DDR3 parts to come and evaluating a purchase. I'm dubious of the cost of DDR3, but wanting to see what the market does as Core i7 and AMD both ramp up to using it commonly.

  • OK, but the AC above (you?) was complaining that (s)he couldn't find an MB for less than a hundred dollars. The linked one fits.

    Why pay for complete trash you're going to disable when you can have MUCH nicer for the same price ....

    Because the AC wanted proof that there was a motherboard available for under a hundred dollars to build the machine he was talking about. If you want a discreet graphic card, nothing is stopping you from using one.

    AMD motherboards have always been more expensive than Intel ones. Sometimes the CPU+MB price comes out less, some years it doesn't.

    Yeah, I read the linked post. You're still just wrong and argumentative. Some might even suggest trolling.

  • by metallurge (693631) <metallurgeNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday December 28, 2008 @02:25AM (#26247507)
    Old Biostar boards were junk. This generation looks much better engineered. But hey, if you don't like the Biostar 790xx, get whatever vendor you like in a 780xx. It still meets your originally-stated requirements. And, as a matter of fact, yes, I have breadboarded machines from scratch. Mine weren't for a grade. You? As to my support for AMD, it is a mix of reasons. Yes, some of it is supporting the underdog. But some of it is, as the underdog, AMD has to offer better value in order to compete against chipzilla. And with the Phenom II, they are moving up into the midrange desktop market again.
  • by metallurge (693631) <metallurgeNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday December 28, 2008 @02:37AM (#26247563)
    So, the problem for you comes down to space on the ATX I/O shield? Well, if that's your biggest gripe, yeah, sure, onboard video takes up a lot of backplate real estate. But it seems rather a silly complaint to me. I figure someone like you would already have a drive bay faceplate with all the desired connections. They are more convenient there than on the back of the computer anyway. As far as "getting what you pay for", basically AMD has priced their chipsets to where the onboard video is essentially free at retail. So it doesn't really cost you extra. That's why there are so few non-integrated options out there. There is no economic reason to build them.
  • Re:Inflection? (Score:3, Informative)

    by jdb2 (800046) * on Sunday December 28, 2008 @10:32AM (#26249409) Journal

    This may be an inflection point for AMD...

    An inflection is where the 2nd derivative of a function changes sign ie the curvature is zero.

    I think the summary meant minima, that's where the first derivative is zero if the curve is smooth. That would mean it changes from going down to going up.

    Err, no shit sherlock. :) You probably mean no offense, but I've been studying advanced mathematics ( at the graduate/doctoral level now ) for over a decade.

    Anyway, I meant inflection point.

    If you take AMD's health as a function of time , say , h(t), then for the past year or more the derivative has been negative, and growing more negative. If the Phenom II launch is indeed the catalyst for an AMD "turn around", then naturally the derivative h'(t) will reverse sign and begin to increase. This represents AMD's "putting their gears into reverse" and "stepping on the gas" -- they have to dissipate their accumulated downward momentum in order to eventually gain positive, increasing momentum.

    jdb2

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 29, 2008 @12:55PM (#26259653)

    Preface: different AC here.

    As long as you happen to have an AM 2+ motherboard, but that's ok because like 100% of everyone on planet earth should already have one?

    You're attempting to marginalize your opponent's position by considering *only* its most extreme form. It is not necessary for "everyone on planet earth" to have an AM2 [or AM2+] board for another AM2[+] offering to be a good value proposition, because many people do have one. It's been AMD's main platform for 2 1/2 years now, even longer than the 939 before it.

    Haven't Intel been better (or both has been equally bad) at using the same socket for lots of CPUs than AMD?

    It would be disingenuous to argue that Intel has used the same socket (i.e. LGA775) longer because Intel's newer CPUs have been unable to use the old boards; the old boards might as well have a different pinout for all the good having the same pinout does them (P4/PentD/Core/Core2 going back to the 915/925 boards).

    It just happen that they had to switch this time.

    And it just happens that we have to pay $300 extra for it. Don't pretend it's a painless transition just because it's forced; it's not painless at all. It requires a new (and expensive) motherboard plus new (and expensive) RAM to partake. To adopt i7, these are not optional steps. To adopt Phenom II, they are optional steps, and there is a large installed base to whom the incremental path may be all the more attractive.

    I have no AM 2+ motherboard...

    Please note that this does not constitute an argument that most people don't. For more than 2 1/2 years it has been the main desktop socket from AMD, with essentially ubiquitous compatibility between old and new parts.

    I don't even have AM2...

    AM2 CPUs and motherboards worth with AM2+ motherboards and CPUs, respectively. If Intel used the naming convention, LGA775 and LGA775+ would be different sockets, but of course the two generations would be mutually incompatible (though at least they'd have a name).

    I have one 754...

    That might be enough to make a person bitter. It took AMD a while to figure out which to use after Socket A (940/754 duo turned into 939, which was better long-term but jerked people around).

    and a Macbook Pro.

    Irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Take some solace in having a very nice laptop computer.

    You argue here with sophistry, not reason, and this is so transparent that you come off as partisan. FWIW, the last AMD system I built was Socket A, and it appears that Phenom II on AM2+ might be a good way to exploit cheap EOL boards and cheap RAM (DDR2) with a reasonably fast processor, yielding a quick machine for an unusually low price premium, even compared to AMD's normal fare these last several years.

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