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AMD Phenom II X4 810 and X3 720 BE
Written by Michael Schuette   
Feb 07, 2009 at 03:00 PM

A recent article in eWeek summarized the state of the personal computer industry as follows:

"The U.S. economic recession and global downturn did no favors for the x86 processor market, which faced a double-digit decline in the fourth quarter of 2008 as purchases of desktops, notebooks and enterprise server systems declined. Intel’s market share for the x86 processor market grew slightly on the strength of the Atom processor for mini-notebooks, netbooks and other devices, while AMD and Via’s portion of the market remained largely unchanged."

The economic slow down has fostered some interesting social trends, particularly the growing acceptance and popularization of bargain bins. Whereas ony last year, getting caught digging through the remnant section was totally uncool, bargain hunting now is not only socially acceptable but has shed the negative taste of avarice to become an expression of "street smartness". Running the risk that this may come across the wrong way, this is also becoming the primary business model in the semiconductor industry. High-end is out (maybe not quite so), mid range is just hanging in there and the bottom feeders are the ones that are generating the primary revenue stream. At least this picture is painted by about every analyst. Of course, this also begs the question, how much of the economic downturn has been inflicted by the analysts spreading panic and causing everybody to avoid spending money by all means – just to be on the save side.

This is also the environment that has fostered AMD's latest Socket AM3 offerings featuring a 938 pin configuration and smaller L3 cache or triple cores. Not to mention some 1200 MHz overclocking headroom using air cooling at room temperature.

Last Updated ( Oct 01, 2009 at 12:28 PM )
AMD Phenom II "Deneb"
Written by Michael Schuette   
Jan 05, 2009 at 04:00 PM

In the shadow of Intel throwing one megahit after the other into the CPU arena, AMD’s Phenom, based on the Agena core has led somewhat of a wallflower existence. Despite actually having some very advanced features, including clock gating for each individual core and a highly advanced memory controller there has always been a certain performance lag behind the Core2 designs that could not be overcome on an instruction per clock basis nor on the raw core frequency front. Given these issues, even the fact that AMD was the first company to release a native quadcore CPU into the market was not enough to boost the success of the Agena design. Paired with some dubious marketing decisions, as for example the release of the X3 triple core series to find a home for some defective dies and, more importantly, Intel’s process technology advancements that stole the show along with the power efficiency crown, AMD has been in a situation where the company had to show some sign of life in order to stay afloat.

Welcome to 45 nm Immersion Lithography Process Technology!

Last Updated ( Feb 01, 2009 at 03:24 AM )
Core i7 Power Plays
Written by Michael Schuette   
Dec 04, 2008 at 07:36 PM

In our initial article about the Core i7, codename Nehalem, we were stunned by the power efficiency of Intel’s new CPU, particularly, as we stated, since the measured processor power consumption also comprised that of the memory controller – a saving on the system level of somewhere in the order of 15-20W under load. In the course of numerous discussions, it became obvious that the numbers we measured did not quite add up to the thermal load. After the embargo on the Core i7 was lifted, data sheets became available proving our assumptions wrong, in that the memory controller was NOT part of the power we measured through the VRMs. At the same time, CanardPC and several other websites like HardTecs4U posted additional information regarding the overall power configuration of the Nehalem CPU, which is somewhat different from what we have come to know in the past from CPUs offered by Intel or AMD.

Last Updated ( Jan 23, 2009 at 02:59 AM )
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