updated 03:20 pm EST, Mon December 8, 2008
More AMD Phenom II Details
Early details have already surfaced for the production versions of AMD's Phenom II processors. Already known to be based on the same Shanghai architecture, which brings denser and cooler 45 nanometer chips as well as minor changes to the design itself, the new quad-core parts should carry 8MB of Level 2 cache (up from 6MB on equivalent Opterons) and will also support either DDR2 or DD3 memory running at 1.33GHz. The final lineup is estimated to run about 20 percent faster than earlier Phenom models.
Also like the workstation chips, they should support a new dynamic core shutdown feature to save power on unused cores and should support RAID 5 stripes. Overclocking will also be easier for hobbyists, according to the early news.
Supporting the earlier claims, AMD will have a relatively limited launch but is deliberately clocking its first models to undercut Intel's newer Core i7 lineup in price: the lineup will start with a 2.8GHz model costing just $235 in bulk and will step up only slightly to the 3GHz core, which should cost $275 in similar production numbers. Lower-cost 65 nanometer parts for legacy systems are also planned but haven't been revealed.
When Phenom II will be available to the public isn't clear but is expected to follow closely after the start of CES in January, when systems built on the AMD platform will be on show.
The added performance is believed crucial both for AMD and the PC industry as a whole. AMD has had to dramatically reduce its forecasts for the fall and will need a faster-performing part to keep up with Intel, while industry observers have noted that AMD both keeps Intel competitive and also provides an option for budget PCs that might otherwise be overlooked. [via EE Times]