Monday, May 14, 2007

I don't know if I'll make use of it all, but I want it

AMD will be coming out with a new, completely redesigned multi-core processor , which will compete with Intel's dual multi-core processor model. It's going to be sick I tell you...sick!

AMD lost some of their momentum in the chip market because Intel came out with their design first, but AMD apparently wanted to re-engineer the processor in order to differentiate themselves from Intel's 2-chip model.

Put simply, there are actually 4 distinct cores in the AMD Agena (branded now as "Barcelona" for servers, and "Phenom" for desktops) 10h architecture. Intel's "quad-core" product is actually 2 dual-core processors, which basically exhibit the same performance of their earlier chips.

AMD's are redesigned from the ground up. According to an article on, each core's clock cycles operate independently in order to maximize instruction processing within each core. Previous AMD and Intel dual-core architecture had each core maxing out for all tasks, which could cause some systems to hang should some intensive calculations be required. From the looks of it, Barcelona and Phenom change all this, as the 10h architecture looks to optimize power usage, which should also help keep the temperature down. I'd imagine these systems are going to run a little hot.
Why do you care? Well if you just use your computer to rip music, burn CDs, send email, and update spreadsheets, probably nothing. You won't need to upgrade anytime soon.

For those that are drooling for DirectX 10 games like Crysis and Bioshock, this news coupled with the upcoming release of the nVidia 8800 Ultra Superclocked PCI-E video card should make your implants shudder and quiver with cybernetic ecstasy. Barcelona is supposed to be available this summer, with Phenom will following shortly after.

Haven't seen the Bioshock footage? Check some out...

IGN has an excellent collection of additional Bioshock media. I recommend the Developer Commentary. It's a bit long, but contains great highlights without spoiling anything.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It seems logical that if you wanted to utilize the full power of have dual cores you would have independent on-chip memory controllers. Too bad intel doesn't see it that way. So we won't be suprised when the system hangs in the middle of utilizing both processors on a intel chipset