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Our latest poll had over 3,100 people who answered, You now know everything about Sandy Bridge-E - what do you do?
This was one of the most even polls we have ran in sometime. Out in front by a small margin the option of staying on my current system took first place with 25% of the votes.
In a close second place the option of staying on an existing Sandy Bridge system took 19% of the votes, while third place went to checking out what AMD is doing.
AMD may not have released what people were expecting when they unleashed Bulldozer, but that has not stopped the CPU from selling out on retail shelves. AMD are selling out as soon as shops receive stock, even while they're not competitively priced against Intel's Core range.
Is it the "It's an 8-core CPU!!" marketing that is doing its magic here? Or are the uninformed customers grabbing it thinking this is somehow better than Intel's offerings? Most tech sites, magazines, forums, and what have you have taken a ride in the Bulldozer and not enjoyed it that much. It can beat Intel's Core i7 2600K in some tests, but overall, it's not in the same league.
Bulldozer has run over the Phenom II and Athlon II processors, which were relatively good chips with good pricing as well as selling well. Manufacturing plants however, share equipment between 45nm products and the new 32nm-based chips, so one has to be discontinued.
Faildozer strikes again, Bulldozer actually has 800 million LESS transistors than originally thought
AMD's Bulldozer "FX" series of processors have not enjoyed the lime light lately, where we could replace lime light with poo flinging and we'd be more on the mark. We've covered it a few times now and even our reviewer Shane Baxtor was not that impressed.
It got its arse handed to it in most tests, with existing platforms like the Phenom II actually beating it sometimes. Sad. But, it seems as though AMD did not even know how many transistors the Bulldozer sported, with an e-mail from Anand Lal Shimpi of AnandTech, where AMD's PR department and Anand has shared his thoughts:
This is a bit unusual. I got an email from AMD PR this week asking me to correct the Bulldozer transistor count in our Sandy Bridge E review. The incorrect number, provided to me (and other reviewers) by AMD PR around 3 months ago was 2 billion transistors. The actual transistor count for Bulldozer is apparently 1.2 billion transistors. I don't have an explanation as to why the original number was wrong, just that the new number has been triple checked by my contact and is indeed right. The total die area for a 4-module/8-core Bulldozer remains correct at 315 mm².
Some Ivy Bridge details have been leaked, and CPU World have them split across two articles that cover no less than 18 different CPU models. Ivy Bridge looks to be a native quad-core design with 8MB of last-level cache, just like Sandy Bridge.
Hyper-Threading makes its return, but only with the more expensive Core i7 range of processors, like Sandy Bridge. Turbo Boost also returns, but strangely, there is no mention of Core i3. The only dual-core chip amongst the 18 models is the Core i5-3470T, which sports four threads thanks to Hyper-Threading.
It looks as though Intel is preparing to retire the Celeron name and replace it with Pentium. Intel's Pentium name has been with us for over ten years now, and debuted as the high-end of processors for notebooks and desktops when it first stepped into the limelight.
Intel has positioned the Pentium line between the high-end Core range and the low-end Celeron range, but are reportedly aiming a new processor for its Pentium line in the server market. The new processor is the Pentium 350 and it is aimed at low-end servers. The Pentium 350 is a dual-core part, featuring 3MB cache and a low power draw of just 15W.
Personally, I think we're at the edge of where we'll see more performance from CPUs as games become more reliant on GPUs, console ports and better coding. Why would we require 12-cores at 4GHz each? When will it end?
Well, Intel's Ivy Bridge is the next step for Intel, coming spring 2012. Chinese website Coolaler has gotten their mits on an engineering sample of Intel's 22nm-based Ivy Bridge platform. They've scored a quad-core chip, and have some screenshots of CPU-Z and Task Manager (without HyperThreading enabled).
While AMD's Bulldozer was not only bulldozed, but piledrived by Intel's Ivy Bridge (and sometimes, Sandy Bridge), AMD's next-generation APU "Trinity" is beginning to take form. Now we have some internal benchmark slides leaked. As you'll see below, they're a bit low-res and grainy, but you'll get the picture:
AMD is promising some decent improvements over the current "Llano" APU, and as the benchmarks are spread across three tests, for visual performance, general performance and parallel compute, they use 3DMark Vantage, PCMark Vantage and calculated CTP SP GFLOPs, respectively. In 3DMark Vantage, Trinity A8 (quad-core), A6 (triple-core), and A4 (dual-core) APUs are seeing a rough 32-percent improvement over their Llano-based competition.
If you're just getting over this week's launch of Intel's Sandy Bridge-E CPUs, you might want to hold your breath just a little bit longer. Less than a week since its launch, Sandy Bridge-E is now sounding old with its successor taking shape over at Intel, with a release date for Q4 2012.
That's not the good part, the good part is that according to a leaked internal slide scored at XFastest, Ivy Bridge-E will be compatible with today's Intel X79 platform, and LGA2011 socket. This makes a SB-E upgrade that much better, as 12 months from now you can just buy an Ivy Bridge-E CPU, slot it in and away you go. You might need a BIOS flash to get there, but it makes a SB-E upgrade not so scary.
Intel have cracked out the bubbly (and surely, some expensive scotch) to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Intel 4004, the world's first commercially available microprocessor. The release of the 4004 triggered the start of the digital revolution. Most people have never even see a processor, but devices that contain them have been integrated so deeply into our everyday lives, they have become pretty much indispensable.
Intel have thrown some numbers around that are very impressive, comparing the Intel 4004 to the second-generation Intel Core processors. Compared to the Intel 4004, today's second-generation Intel Core processors are more than 350,000 times the performance and each transistor uses 5,000 times less energy. Impressive? Just a little.
Next year sees Intel CPUs being developed on Intel's next-generation 22nm manufacturing process and are set to deliver even more energy-efficient performance as a result of Intel's breakthrough 3-D Tri-Gate transistors that make use of a new transistor structure.
NVIDIA have just announced that the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) is developing a new hybrid supercomputer that, for the first time, uses energy-efficient, low-power NVIDIA Tegra ARM VCPUs, together with high-performance NVIDIA CUDA GPUs. BSC is in the planning stages and hopes to roll out the new ARM-based supercomputer, with a near-term goal of demonstrating two to five times improvement in energy efficiency compared with today's most efficient systems.
BSC's ultimate research goal is to establish exascale-level performance while using 15 to 30 times less power than current supercomputer architectures. This so-called EU Mont-Blanc Project will explore next-generation HPC architectures and develop a portfolio of exascale applications that run efficiently on these kinds of energy-efficient, embedded mobile technologies.
As ARM gains more support around the world with ARM-based initiatives, NVIDIA have also announced plans to develop a new hardware and software development kit. NVIDIA's new kit, with hardware developed by SECO, will sport a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 ARM CPU accelerated by a discrete NVIDIA GPU.