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AMD's Six-Core Thubans Reportedly Launching In April

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News Posted: Sun, Feb 28 2010 10:43 PM
If current rumors are to be believed, AMD's hexa-core Thuban processors are headed for desktops in the near future. First we'll see the new 890GX chipsets launching in March, with three Thuban models following on April 26. The new desktop processors will reportedly come in three flavors: Phenom II X6 1035T, 1055T, and the 1075T. We've got no idea what the numbers are supposed to represent in this case; drop a comment below if you've got a theory.

Thuban, like Phenom II, will be backwards-compatible and can drop into AM3/AM2+/AM2 boards if your motherboard manufacturer provides an appropriate BIOS update. This last has proven a bit sketchy in my own personal experience. Some motherboard manufacturers have proven more willing to provide the necessary updates than others. Hopefully the various OEMs will do the right thing on this one. Several years ago, AMD's high-end first-generation Phenom processors required boards that could handle a TDP of 125-140W. Anyone with such a board should have no problems upgrading to a hexa-core processor.

The other bit of news on Thuban is that AMD will introduce a Turbo Boost-like technology that overclocks certain cores to improve performance while shutting down unnecessary cores to reduce power consumption. We don't know yet exactly how the feature will work (or what performance levels it will allow Thuban to reach), but with six cores on a 45nm process it's safe to bet that turning a few of them off gives the company a significant reservoir of power to work with.


AMD's roadmap of multi-core CPUs

We expect AMD to price Thuban aggressively against quad-core Core i7/Core i5 processors. While the typical real-world benefits of having six cores are debatable to say the least, the fact that AMD has six physical cores competing against the quad-core Nehalem w/Hyper Threading should work to Sunnyvale's advantage. Whether or not it'll be enough to overcome the performance-per-clock disparity between Intel and AMD, however, remains to be seen.  At present, AMD's Istanbul server Opterons top out at 2.8GHz with a TDP of 105W. The new enthusiast/desktop processors will probably follow a similar pattern; we're betting on a 2.4GHz-2.8GHz spread with all six cores enabled. Factor in AMD's Turbo Boost (whatever they end up calling it) and we might see top-end speeds at 3.2-3.4GHz depending on yields. Those of you who want low power and parallel processing will have to wait a bit, but you'll probably get a cookie. AMD already has a hexa-core 40W chip at 1.8GHz; odds are reasonable that we'll see an ultra-low-power desktop equivalent before the summer is out.
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Well this is good news for AMD. But they really need to get their next generation chip out and it needs to be good.

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Schmich replied on Mon, Mar 1 2010 11:01 AM

Agreed, I might upgrade to this as my triple core sometimes isn't enough but I would rather have the next gen coming sooner and go for that. Assuming that they will deliver, at least "bang for the buck"-wise

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Zestia replied on Mon, Mar 1 2010 12:20 PM

I can't say I was crazy about the name at first - somehow the mental image of a person lollygagging downstream on an inner tube didn't quite sit with my notions of blazing computational power. However, after a little research I learned that Thuban describes a star that was once considered the north pole star and often relied upon by those who traveled in ancient times. I also learned that Th'uban means dragon in Arabic. Either one of those holds marketing relevance for a cpu. The question is, which did AMD have in mind? Please chime in.

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rapid1 replied on Mon, Mar 1 2010 12:29 PM

I would imagine Dragon as they have a platform with the same name. I see why this is being released to beat Intel to the more than 4 core as a market announcement. However; I am really looking forward to seeing what there 8 core CPU does more so than this bread crumb. I am also more interested in seeing if they will both drop below 45nm as well as what and when bulldozer will hit the market. I am hoping with all this early or enhanced market release strategy AMD seems to be working in and on Bulldozer is also sped up release wise.

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Cheezit replied on Mon, Mar 1 2010 2:45 PM

Hmmmm this makes me want to abandon my intel q6600 and jump ship for AMD which I'm guessing AMD is after. The x58 is too much of a price point to upgrade to for the performance aspect. If AMD prices aggressively enough I and pretty sure a large portion of the dual core and quad core users will become AMD users. Besides everyone wants the underdog to win its the American way.

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AMD or Intel? i can't decide!!!

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Xylem replied on Mon, Mar 1 2010 11:00 PM

@Cheezit - Sailing in the same ship bro!!

The Current X58 platform is really way steep a climb from my Q6600. Surprise I would possible take the same AMD 6-core route till Bulldozer at the least. Still undecided though. One thing in favour of AMD is that the procs are backward compatible. I only wish their Bulldozer 8 core also is backward compatible to AM3. Then it will be really gr8 bang for each and every buck!!

Decision deferred till a full blown Comparo between the AMD & Intel. (Bung, bung bung, bung bung....) Stick out tongue

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Joel H replied on Mon, Mar 1 2010 11:02 PM

Bulldozer will not be AM3-compatible.

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realneil replied on Tue, Mar 2 2010 10:28 AM

The Core i5-750 is a good replacement for a Q6600 and delivers a crapload of performance for the buck. The 1156 platform is a lot cheaper to get into and has better performance characteristics in many cases. (turbo has a wider range on 1156)

These new Thubans look promising, but I'll wait to see what they do in real world performance tests and see how they hold up to daily usage before I consider one.

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rapid1 replied on Tue, Mar 2 2010 3:36 PM

I agree realneil. The one thing that I keep looking at is this, software today to the greater percentage even in games and high end applications doe not make use of four complete cores. I know this debate was had all over when everything started going from dual core to quad. I think you do get some measurable performance as well as multi-tasking improvements on the 4 core even if it only uses 3 cores. But 8,12 and up is kind of crazy. I am not saying I would not want one here, I am just wondering what the advantage will really be over a high end quad except for the fact that it will make them cheaper, and more affordable eventually.

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RyuGTX replied on Thu, Mar 4 2010 6:20 PM

I'm a gamer, so I usually only look at gaming benchmarks. Like others have said, multi-cores haven't yet really shined in games yet because games don't really take advantage of it. This is understandable because it is really difficult to program an efficient muti-threaded game. But as far as other applications (though probably not many), don't 3D modeling applications, encoding software, and Adobe products make good use of multiple cores?

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rapid1 replied on Fri, Mar 5 2010 3:52 AM

Yes; 3D modeling applications, encoding software, and Adobe products make good use of multiple cores. As well a media production sound editing, media manipulations, architecture, Scientific, accounting, photo editing, servers and many other things. The big thing is right now the home entertainment area does not at least to a greater part make much use of anything over 2 cores. With this I basically mean games of any type, some do but most do not. Hopefully that will change soon, one of the big things about DX11 is it's abilities in that area, as well as some other things.

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hack replied on Sat, Mar 6 2010 10:27 PM

i wanna ask a question.......

is it possible for AMD to.....

create a bulldozer core "supposedly using something new" to make a 6 core processor using 12 threads

make it use triple channel, and a new socket, because they wouldn't have choice anyway.

and make it 32nm.

ALSO, they have the Orochi and Zambezi coming out and it says 4/8 cores for the Orochi and i have no idea what that means.

OR if it's 4 through 8 cores (which would be bangin) or if it's just 4 cores and 8 threads (which would dissapoint me).

Somebody explain this to me and send it in an email

(don't quote i might rarely check this website).

theredvingian@gmail.com

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hack replied on Sat, Mar 6 2010 10:29 PM

and what is fusion...?

and what's the difference between a 890 and 790 board?

besides the overall chipset and 4000 series vs 4290 series integrated graphics card?

I mean in like speed, size, clocks and stuff.

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rapid1 replied on Sat, Mar 6 2010 11:29 PM

Wow that's a lot of different parts, you should just go on Newegg and use advanced search for the components (each one singly) will teach you more. The reviews are good as well on these as they will give you a layman's explanation more so. Although you kind of have to read them with a grain of salt, usually te ones that are over the top in many cases are kind of BS as well as the ones where they are shredding a certain manufacturer or device specifically.

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BPH5303 replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 1:53 AM

So what dose every one think we will be able to OC these bad boys too

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rapid1 replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 2:50 AM

We already know 4.3Ghz is attainable because the sites with early release systems use that threshold. How high they go I don't know, I wonder if they will be able to beat the last gens though. They are smaller nm based so the most likely will, but there is also more memory and of course 2 more cores. So heat as it always does will raise it's ugly head. Of course as far as it goes Intel at least for the last couple of years now has been pretty good temp wise. I bet 4.5 will be attainable, if it's stable with anything under water who knows. We will know soon enough though.

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sp12 replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 4:45 PM

I'm curious to see how their value compares to Intel. With intel's only 6-core chip being a 1000 investment, I imagine AMD will bring 6 cores to the mainstream.

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rapid1 replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 5:27 PM

You know the crazy part is Intel and AMD are scheduled to release 8 core CPU's for the business market (IE Opterons and Xeon's in may 30th), then AMD is supposed to release a 12 core this summer. I think they are all for servers etc as you would figure by the names. However; the 6 cores will have more speeds than just this 1 CPU, and if there anything like the last 1366 chips the bottom end will also clock pretty even with the top end.

Either way we are going to have a lot of CPU's to choose from with release from now until august. That's also not to mention all the chips that have already been released this year (AMD C3, I3, I5, new I7).

 

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la_guy_10 replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 7:18 PM

I am waiting to see what Bull Dozer brings to the table, I think that is when things will get interesting IMO.

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Mar 18 2010 1:19 AM

The only problem with that is I bet this i7 refresh ala 6 core is the competition for Bulldozer. I think AMD is going to have to pull some magic bunnies out there butt to beat this thing. I also know there(AMD) supposed to release some processors on the 30th of this month, and then some this summer. From what I understood Bulldozer will not be here until next year first quarter. Heck the 6 cores following this extreme (IE: i7 920 following the last extreme) will be out at the latest I would imagine mid June to early September sometime. I doubt it will be that far away though seeing as Intel and AMD are supposed to start releasing 8 cores on the 30th of either March or May, and I'm pretty sure it's March. AMD's 12 core is supposed to drop this summer to from what I was gathering.

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sp12 replied on Sat, Mar 20 2010 6:31 PM

I'm not 100% sure... but I thought those were Q1 11 techs. Thubans come out the end of this month, and 8 cores drop next year?

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rapid1 replied on Sat, Mar 20 2010 7:03 PM

Here is an article on 8 core Intel cpu's on HH.

http://hothardware.com/News/Buckle-Up-Intel-Preps-8Core-NehalemEX-Chips-for-March-Launch/

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rapid1 replied on Sat, Mar 20 2010 7:11 PM

AMD Releases Eight- and 12-Core Opterons

A week after an eBay merchant blows the big surprise, AMD unleashes the largest multi-core processors yet. They bear a similarity to old Intel designs, but the two should not be confused.

Advanced Micro Devices today announced it has begun revenue shipments of the "Magny-Cours" line of Opteron 6100 server processors, with eight or 12 cores per massive package.

The news came courtesy of a blog post by John Fruehe, director of product marketing for server/workstation products at AMD (NYSE: AMD). "I wasn't really expecting to write this blog just yet, I was hoping to spring that news sometime in the near future, but the Internet's 'series of tubes' have been lit up and stole my thunder," he wrote.

Fruehe is referring to an eBay listing that offered four of the processors for sale for $7,000. With no motherboard to run them, the chips -- being sold by a central Missouri merchant -- were useless, and given that the processors had not even been officially announced, it might not be surprising that they received zero bids.

The Magny-Cours design essentially takes two of the six-core "Istanbul" generation of Opteron processors and connects them with a HyperTransport interface in one package. With eight to 12 cores in one chip package, it's a very large die, rectangular in shape instead of the usual square chip.

These and the Nehalem EX are server CPU's, but they are released, so six months from now on the current release rates does not sound very far fetched for an 8 core consumer CPU really, especially since Intel is rumored to be doing it as well. Everyone grab your heavy gear the CPU war is ramping up for full battlefield action, if it has not already started with the 6 core Intel Bunker Buster 980X.

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sp12 replied on Sun, Mar 21 2010 5:13 PM

Oh I meant in the consumer sector. Not to say that I'm not impressed with the increasing power of server architectures.

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rapid1 replied on Sun, Mar 21 2010 11:51 PM

I am unclear on the intro on the consumer section of the market, But I am pretty sure it will be this summer. AMD is really kind of under the gun here, so they don't have much choice except to make their releases right now faster, at least I would think. Where they will actually sit if or when they do it is a definite question. On the AMD part I am more concerned with Bulldozer than anything else. Of course you never know either an 8 core or there current 8 core whether it is bulldozer or not may be the answer to where there going. I am just waiting for the benchmarks really.

We will see when whatever hits the market hits, and following that we get bench mark numbers. As I said I am waiting to see where Bulldozer goes on AMD. As we all know AMD has generally always beaten Intel as far as prices go. We also know as in the case of the processor when AMD blew up the market with the XP and it's immediately preceding chips. So we know they do things in many ways different from INTEL, therefore something could come out of any release they do, not that it is not of course the same with INTEL as they have obviously shown on the top end performance wise for a few years now.

So watch and see basically!

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