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AMD FX Logo
Hardware

During AMD’s 30 years of graphics innovation event AMD’s Finnish overclocking team was able to achieve a new CPU frequency world record. Hitting an exceptionally impressive 8.722Ghz with all 8 cores enabled on the upcoming FX 8370 CPU.

FX 8370

 

FX 8370 Hits Highest Eight Core CPU Frequency Ever Recorded

Liquid Nitrogen cooling was used to achieve this frequency at a staggeringly high voltage of 2.004 V. The motherboard used was the Crosshair Formula-Z from Asus with 8GB of memory operating in dual channel mode at 2218Mhz in addition to an Asus DCUII R9 290X graphics card. This is the highest overclock ever recorded on an eight core CPU with all of its cores enabled. Which is quite an achievement besting the previous world record of 8.41Ghz on an eight core CPU with all cores enabled held by Smoke by over 300mhz.

Andre Yang, a famous overclocker, managed to push an FX 8350 to 8794Mhz. Which is still the highest frequency ever achieved but it was only on two cores out of the eight. At this rate I wouldn’t be surprised to see the overclocking community break the 9Ghz barrier shortly after they get their hands on the upcoming FX 8370.

AMD FX Logo
Hardware

Last Thursday Roy Taylor AMD’s VP of Global Channel Sales made an appearance in MaximumPC’s no BS podcast primarily to sit down with Origin PC’s CEO Kevin Wasielewski & discuss the situation that had occurred back in October of last year which revolved around Origin PC ceasing to offer AMD GPUs to customers.

Both parties cleared the air and made amends. But a LOT of very exciting information was revealed in the process. So without any further delay lets get into the juicy bits !

AMD Dragon

Next Gen HEDT FX CPUs & 20nm GPUs in the Works

So lets get the relatively less exciting stuff out of the way first. Roy Taylor AMD’s VP of Global Channel sales discussed AMD’s R9 285 graphics card coming in September 2nd powered by the all new Tonga GPU which promises incredible performance at significantly higher power efficiency compared to AMD’s current R9 280 graphics card. We covered this already in great detail here.

AMD Radeon Logo
Hardware

In October of last year news broke of Origin PC making the announcement to discontinue offering AMD graphics cards in their systems and opting to offer Nvidia GPUs exclusively instead. This announcement came as a shock to many especially because it was made shortly after AMD announced their now very successful R9 290 series of GPUs.

Origin PC & AMD

AMD & Origin PC Finally Sit Down Together & Make Amends

The internet was rife with speculation at that time and some news sites ‘namely a website called SemiAccurate’ even went as far as to say that Origin PC had received large sums of marketing money from AMD’s competitor, NVIDIA, to convince Origin PC of dropping AMD graphics cards.

Origin PC was very quick to dispel these allegations afterwards when GameFront pushed Origin PC for a comment :

Devin Connors: Has Origin PC received any incentive, cash or otherwise, from Nvidia that led to the discontinuation of AMD GPU sales by Origin PC?
Kevin Wasielewski: No. In fact, I called my NVIDIA rep and told them I am dropping AMD.  Not the other way around.
DC: Did SemiAccurate reach out to you for comment before they published their article today?
KW: They did not reach out to me.  No calls, emails, or tweets.

TSMC Logo
Hardware

[Rumor] This new rumor comes directly from appleinsider.com which has been quite an accurate source of leaks in the past. According to the guys over at appleinsider.com TSMC is in the process of accelerating its 16nm process in a bid to win the contract of manufacturing Apples A9 design.

TSMC

TSMC to Start Volume Production of 16nm Node in Q1 2015

This report comes after rumors of Apple ditching TSMC in favor of going back to Samsung due to the maturity of Samsung’s & 14nm process. Of course if this does end up happening it’s going to leave a fairly large dent in TSMC’s bottom line especially after it won the valuable contract to make Apple’s 20nm chips..

TSMC has more than one 16nm process in the works, the standard 16 FinFET version and the 16 FinFET+ version. The report doesn’t specify which process specifically that TSMC is looking to bring earlier to market. My guess is their going to try to push both. What I find most interesting about this development is its implications on Nvidia’s & AMD’s next generation 16nm GPUs. If TSMC manages to bring its 16nm earlier to market this could mean a huge win for gamers especially after this stagnation in the GPU market. 28nm GPUs have been around & selling in the market for nearly 3 years now and customers are growing ever more thirsty for truly next generation products on a more advanced process node.

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Hardware

[Editorial] Today we’re going to bring you on a journey that will get you one step closer to seeing the world in the eyes of AMD and Intel and reflect on how different yet quite similar those images truly are. To understand the philosophies of both companies we have to also understand the architectures inside the products they make and get to know the reasons behind the decisions made in designing those architectures intimately.

Intel and AMD Microarchitectures – Exploring the Past, Present and the Future (Part I)

Lets start from the beginning, in 2006 AMD made the decision to buy ATi with the vision to fuse GPU cores and CPU cores into a single piece of silicone called the Accelerated Processing Unit or APU for short. AMD called this effort “Fusion” and it was the company’s main advent from buying ATi. In 2010 Intel released the first processor to feature integrated graphics but just like the company’s first effort to make a dual or a quad core processor the resulting product was a multi-chip module or an MCM for short. Intel called this design Clarkdale & it was not a fully integrated monolithic solution. The graphics portion had its own separate die and it was connected to the main CPU die using an interposer.

AMD-Radeon-R9-280X-Photo
Hardware

AMD has officially unveiled their next generation “Tonga” graphics processing unit which will be featured inside the Radeon R9 285 series graphics cards. The Tonga graphics chip has been unveiled at AMD’s ongoing “30 Years of Graphics and Gaming Commemoration” event where the chip maker has announced several new technologies including the Radeon R9 285 graphics card.AMD Radeon R9 285 Specifications

AMD Unveils The Power Efficient Radeon R9 285 “Tonga Pro” Graphics Card

This isn’t the first time we are hearing of Tonga as it has already been launched with the FirePro W7100 GPU for professional market back at SIGGRAPH 2014. The Tonga GPU is highly efficient and the basic purpose of the new cards is to rival the upcoming Maxwell generation of graphics processing units from NVIDIA. As noted, the first generation Maxwell architecture featured on the GM107 was just the beginning delivering the most low power and highly efficient chip in the industry. NVIDIA is on the verge of introducing their next generation GM204 core which will be integrated on their performance segment cards unveiling in September 2014. AMD has to answer them sooner or later and now is the best time to introduce new products which will replace the year old rebrands featured in the Radeon R9 and R7 series lineups. AMD also has a separate event planned in September related to a new high-end chip but we will talk about it later.

The Radeon R9 285 is built on the Tonga Pro architecture but before going into the architectural details, let’s focus on the details of the card itself. The Radeon R9 285 has 1792 stream processors, 112 TMUs and 32 ROPs. The Radeon R9 285 will ship with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory running across a 256-bit interface. The core clock is maintained at 933 MHz and boost clock at 988 MHz while the memory frequency is maintained at 1375 MHz which results in a 5.5 GHz effective memory clock pumping out 176.2 GB/s bandwidth. The card additionally comes with XDMA CrossFire technology and TrueAudio DSPs which allows to switch load off the CPU and put audio processing task to the DSPs instead for enhanced manageability and performance.

AMD FX
Hardware

At their 30th Anniversary of the Radeon brand live event, AMD announced their latest FX Series processors based on the x86 Piledriver core architecture. AMD’s latest FX Series processors include the 125W FX-8370 and the 95W FX-8370E, FX,8320E processors which will be available in the market for $189 US and $139 US respectively. The new processors are readily available starting 1st September and AMD even showed a live event where Chew from Xtremesystems clocked the chip past 8 GHz.AMD FX-8370

 AMD Announces New x86 Piledriver Based FX-8370E, FX-8320E Processors

Let’s get started with the FX-8370 now which will become the flagship x86 Piledriver processor of the original FX-8000 lineup until AMD plans to launch a new processor line (hopefully no refresh). AMD does have steamroller but they aren’t focusing it towards the high-end desktop market instead focusing it towards the APU market with their Kaveri APUs and Athlon processors. The FX-8370 is clocked at 4.10 GHz base and 4.30 GHz boost clock and ships with a 8 MB L3 cache, 8 cores. 125W TDP and a price of $189 US. Surprisingly, the FX-8370E seems to be a power optimized model which has the same specifications but features a 95W TDP and the same price of $189 US.

Next up, we have the FX-8320E which is an optimized FX-8320 with a core clock of 3.50 GHz, turbo clock of 4.00 GHz, an 8 MB L3 Cache and a 95W TDP. The processor is priced at $139 US. Finally, we have the FX-8300 which was introduced in the Chinese market which comes in at a 3.30 GHz core and 4.20 GHz boost clock followed by a 8 MB L3 cache, a 125W TDP and a price of around a 120 US dollars. With new chips and price cuts, AMD will try to gain some market share away from Intel’s Haswell line of processors. The recent 8 core offerings under $200 US seem good against the Core i3 and Core i5 lineup but enthusiasts still prefer to go for the Intel route when spending more than $200 US with processors such as the Core i5-4670K, Core i5-4690K, Core i7-4770K, Core i7-4790K and even the latest G3258 Pentium 20th Anniversary edition which is a good choice for budget users.

AMD R9 Series Logo
Hardware

amd 30 years graphics live stream

AMD 30 Years of Graphics and Gaming Live Blog and Live Stream

Note: the live blog initially takes some time to load. After that, it will update automatically and no refresh is required.

AMD R9 Series Logo
Hardware

Drivers are very interesting things; they usually work out of sight but are just as important as the GPU itself. It is with these thoughts in mind that I would like to post something very interesting today: a benchmark comparison (courtesy of DG Lee over at IYD.KR) of all the driver releases between and including Catalyst 13.9 WHQL and 14.7 RC. I would also like to point out a very interesting anomaly that I noticed in the benchmarks.AMD A-Series Old Robot

Curious Watch Dogs Anomaly – Catalyst 13.9 WHQL to 14.7 RC Shows 4% Improvement Overall

Let me begin by saying that the benchmarks were conducted by DG Lee and all measures were taken to ensure that the system remained constant and only the drivers were changed. Catalyst versions were completely and thoroughly removed before the next version was benchmarked, since drivers are notorious for sticking around after they have out stayed their welcome. Lets begin with the testing rig used:

  • Intel Core i7 4770K
  • AVEXIR DDR3 PC3-12800 CL9 16GB (4×4)
  • AMD R9 280X 3GB
  • ASUS Maximus VII Hero
  • Team L3 SSD 240GB
  • Corsair AX 750 GOLD
  • Windows 7 Ultimate
Radeon Logo
Hardware

[Rumor] This new leak is courtesy of CHW.com who have spilled some of the beans on AMD’s upcoming GPU architecture code named “Faraway Islands” & has revealed some very interesting information with regards to this new architecture but before we dive into the details keep a pinch of salt handy as always.

Volcanic-Islands

AMD To Introduce Faraway Islands Based Graphics Cards Next Year

AMD has been awfully quiet on its GPU roadmap as of late.  Ever since the launch of Hawaii back in October of last year nothing major about AMD’s upcoming GPUs has leaked, except recently about Tonga. And even information regarding Tonga only appeared a while after information surfaced regarding GM204 & the GTX 880 which it’s based on. So even though Tonga is going to be released before GM204, information surrounding it was much more scarce & much more difficult to come by. All of this can be attributed to AMD’s relatively recent re-invigoration of its old culture of secrecy.

Thankfully the silence has been broken and we have a few very interesting pieces of information to dig into. The first being a new code name “Faraway Island’s”. Now a quick google search would net you a few results about Pokemon and nothing resembling a real location on planet earth that is until I stumbled on The Faroes. Whether indeed these are the referenced Faraway Islands or not I still cannot confirm.

_original_logo__amd_radeon_r7_series_by_18cjoj-d72aiuj
Hardware

A couple of days ago I wrote a piece about a GPU from AMD called the ‘R7 250XE’ and I mentioned that this is either a GPU with lowered TDP or a new core altogether. Turns out, the former was right. The R7 250XE is AMD’s answer to the Maxwell GTX 750/Ti which was a power house in the “no power connector” required sector. This GPU as you might have guessed is a highly efficient variant of the 250X which requires no external power connector and takes all its power from the PCI-E.Radeon_R7_250X_1

AMD R7 250XE ‘Eco’ GPU Revealed – No External Power Connector Required, TDP <75W

Now that I have more details on the GPU I can confirm that the GPU is infact just a more efficient revision of the Cape Verde GPU which is featured in the R7 250X and HD 7770. The ‘E’ stands for Eco, not Expert as I previously thought it did. The card is ideal for compact builds and should be priced around $65. That’s as cheap as a dGPU gets. Since the card takes all its power from the PCI-E, we can be rest assured that TDP is less than 75W (the max wattage PCI-E can provide). The current spotlight for connector-less cards is occupied by 1st Generation Maxwells and though, the 250XE will not be able to beat them on performance, it will surely be able to beat their Price Point.

AMD-Radeon-R9-280X-Photo
Hardware

Videocardz was the first site to unveil the upcoming Radeon R9 285 graphics cards and they are first again in unveiling the launch date of the Tonga based cards. According to their information, AMD’s Radeon R9 285 is officially geared for launch on 2nd September while the Radeon R9 285X will be unveiled later during the same month.AMD Radeon R9 285

AMD Radeon R9 285 “Tonga Pro” Officially Launches On 2nd September

AMD has already mentioned that they have a event planned for 23rd August which will be livestreamed to the public audience. The so called “30 Years of Graphics and Gaming Commemoration” will take place on Saturday where Richard Huddy, AMD’s Chief Gaming Scientist is going to brief and detail their next generation of graphics appliances and products. AMD has already teased that there are going to be announcements regarding a GPU over at the event and they showed us a large “Evolution of AMD Radeon GPUs” infographics a few days ago that leaves room for a new announcement that remains to be seen on 23rd August 2014.

A slide posted from Videocardz which is part of the NDA material sent to press and reviewers has revealed that the announcement will be regarding AMD’s next generation Tonga GPU architecture which has higher efficiency that translates into almost half the power consumption of Tahiti yet being faster than the Radeon R9 280 series cards. But it should be pointed out that the entire conference is not restricted to a single announcement and we may even see some new surprise announcements regarding the software side of things such as Mantle or DirectX 12 API support from AMD, even at this point of time, AMD is working on the much awaited HBM (High Bandwidt Memory) which is expected to make its way into GPUs sooner or later so something about that would be really interesting however don’t take my word on this.

AMD FX Processors
Hardware

If you thought Intel were the only one doing a processor refresh this year, then you were wrong. AMD is going to launch a refreshed processor lineup of their own based on their x86 Piledriver core architecture which will launch in the first week of September along with price cuts for the existing processor models. The new processors from AMD include the FX-8370, FX-8370E and the FX-8320E.AMD FX-9590 2014 Relaunch

AMD To Introduce x86 Piledriver Based Flagship FX-8370 Processor

A few weeks ago, AMD announced the Athlon II X4 860K and 840K processors along with the new FX-8300 series CPUs at ChinaJoy 2014. The details weren’t made public until one of our sources provided us the details later on. The technical details regarding the FX-8370, FX-8370E and FX-8320E were still sparse until now since Xbitlabs did a round-up of the specifications along with their prices which seem quite affordable. But before we move to the details, I should acknowledge first that the FX-9000 series which is based on the x86 Piledriver architecture that include the FX-9590 and FX-9370 processors are receiving a major price cut starting 1st September. The FX-9590 will retail at $215 US (tray version) and $199 US for the FX-9370 (tray version). The boxed variants should cost a slight bit more since they come with the AIO liquid cooler bundle but we should expect them to remain under the $250 US barrier.

Let’s get started with the FX-8370 now which will become the flagship x86 Piledriver processor of the original FX-8000 lineup until AMD plans to launch a new processor line (hopefully no refresh). AMD does have steamroller but they aren’t focusing it towards the high-end desktop market instead focusing it towards the APU market with their Kaveri APUs and Athlon processors. The FX-8370 is clocked at 4.10 GHz base and 4.30 GHz boost clock and ships with a 8 MB L3 cache, 8 cores. 125W TDP and a price of $189 US. Surprisingly, the FX-8370E seems to be a power optimized model which has the same specifications but features a 95W TDP and the same price of $189 US.

_original_logo__amd_radeon_r7_series_by_18cjoj-d72aiuj
Hardware

Remember the Radeon R7 SSD launch we told you about a few days back? Well, the official launch happened earlier today. The Radeon R7 SSDs are basically an initiative of AMD and OCZ to sell OCZ based Solid State Drives under the AMD brand name, therefore reaching more customers and targeting a specific market (gaming). I have the entire slide deck with me, but I am afraid I still don’t have word on what the pricing will be and how it will compare to the rest of the SSDs.

AMD Radeon R7 Series Page 01

AMD Officially Announces OCZ Based Radeon R7 SSDs – 120G, 240G and 480G

The Radeon R7 SSDs slot in between the ‘Mainstream’ Vertex 460 Series and the ‘Workstation’ Vector 150 SSDs. The R7 SSDs use the same controller as the Vector 150 and the only difference lies with the flash. Where the Vector 150 uses the 19nm MLC (Toshiba Multi Level Cell) node, rated for 50GB of write per day for 5 years, the R7 uses A19nm MLC (notice the added A) rated for 30GB of write for 4 years. The interface is ofcourse SATA III 6GB/s and the form factor is 2.5 Inches with an ultra slim 7mm width. The disk is 256 Bit AES path compliant and contains the usual features such as SMART and has an expected life span of 4 Years (30GB per day) or 42.7 Terabytes of write. It consumes a marginal 2.7W of power and can operate from 0c to 70c. The Radeon R7 SSDs can withstand shocks of upto 1500Gs and an operational vibration of 7-800Hz. Here are the specs and the complete slide set of the Radeon R7 SSDs.

WCCFTech
Radeon R7 120G SSD
Radeon R7 240G SSD
Radeon R7 480G SSD
Capacity120GB240GB480GB
Max Read 550MB/s550MB/s550MB/s
Max Write470MB/s530MB/s530MB/s
Max Random Read IOPs85,00095,000100,000
Max Random Write IOPs90,00090,00090,000
Steady State Random Write IOPs12,00020,00023,000

_original_logo__amd_radeon_r7_series_by_18cjoj-d72aiuj
Hardware

Update #1: The E suffix stands for ‘Expert’ as can be seen on this Amazon listing here. This seems to be shaping up to a professional card.

AMD is planing a grand reveal on the 23rd of August and while this is probably where the Tonga GPU will be launched, some more interesting information is beginning to crop up on Hermitage Akihabara. A new AMD GPU was spotted codenamed the Radeon R7 250X-E 1GB. Now the R7 250X is based on the Cape Vede XT Core with a TDP of 95W so I find it very interesting that they have added an ‘E’ suffix at the end.Radeon_R7_250X_1

AMD Radeon R7 250XE 1GB Variant Spotted – New Core or Lowered TDP?

Now the R7 250X has a clock speed of exactly 1 Ghz and a memory clock of 4500 Mhz, the same specs that the Radeon R7 250XE boasts. Now before we delve into this matter further, I want to point something out. Some very similarly named products are available on the internet, namely the “VTX 3D R7 250 X-Edition” and the “VTX3D R7250X X-Edition”.  The SKU codes are VXR7 250 1GBD5-HXE and VXR7 250 1GBD5-HE respectively but these are not the same thing as this GPU. Where the VTX counterpart is named” R7 250X X-Edition” this GPU is named “R7250X-E”. Slightly confusing, I know, but if you take a moment to look at it, it should become clear.



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