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With AMD's refined B3 revision Phenom processors now released, Intel has promptly counter-attacked by introducing some big price cuts across many of their desktop and server processors; no less than 18 of them in fact.
The biggest drop can be seen in the Core 2 Quad Q6700, taking a dive from $530 down to just $266, whilst the good ole' Q6600 sees a drop from $266 down to $224. Several Core 2 Duos, Pentium/Celeron E series and Xeon processors also see some nice price cuts.
News.com has the full rundown.
Intel posted price cuts on Sunday that included reductions of 50 percent on select quad-core processors. The chipmaker also introduced new Celeron and Core 2 Duo processor models.
The price of the Core 2 Quad Q6700 (2.66GHz) fell 50 percent from $530 to $266, while the quad-core Xeon X3230 (2.66GHz) saw an identical cut: from $530 to $266.
Celeron price-cut highlights include the Celeron 430 (1.8GHz), reduced 23 percent from $44 to $34 and the dual-core Celeron E1200 (1.6GHz), falling 19 percent from $53 to $43.
The dual-core Xeon 3085 (3GHz) was reduced 29 percent from $266 to $188, and the Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 (3GHz), from $266 to $183, or 31 percent.
VIA announced its new processor architecture, code-named Isaiah.
The processor according to Centaur President Glenn Henry (Centaur is VIA's subsidiary CPU design company) has double or more the processing power of current generation C7 processors. The C7 VIA CPU is already available in the market and in use in many of the Ultra-mobile PC's and net-book devices such as the GIGABYTE U60 UMPC (reviewed here).
The truly remarkable feature of this new architecture is that it is drop-in compatible with current boards, offering double the performance, but at the same power (wattage) usage. This will mean current systems already being sold and used, can be re-aligned to contain the new Isaiah processor, giving the manufacturers two product SKU's for the design costs of one. See the clip below.
Intel on the other hand have shown Atom to be their new CPU to compete directly against VIA's C7 and recently announced that the entry-level desktop Atom 230 processor will sell for $29 USD each in thousand-unit tray quantities. Unfortunately Intel's design is not as convenient as the VIA upgrade, and requires a new chipset, design layout etc, so in effect costing developers and manufacturers more to make them, which of course means more cost for consumers. VIA claims the Isaiah will be competitive with "the competition" or as we speculate their meaning to be competitive with "the Atom" in terms of performance per watt and will exceed the Atom in performance per cost. We say only time will tell but the war is on and should be very interesting.
There are also rumours afoot that the Isaiah will have a dual-core version out very soon which will widen the gap from the Atom offerings. VIA could one up Intel this year.
This launch is days after speculation that Nvidia is looking to buy VIA's CPU subsidiary which you can read about here. We have since learned that Nvidia won't be buying out VIA, it was probably just a rumour mix up since VIA contacted Nvidia about making chipsets for its processors since VIA is pretty much finished up in the chipset business.
You can read more at the VIA website .
Theo Valich over at TG Daily is running a story regarding Nvidia's forthcoming chipsets for AMD Socket AM2+ processors.
Apparently Zotac leaked information out early regarding the nForce 750a chipset which is the first AMD chipset to be release by Nvidia since the nForce 590 SLI way back in May 2006. Theo reckons that it looks like that SNAP (Strategic Nvidia-AMD Partnership) isn't dead after all. That's pretty clear, wouldn't you think though? Anyway...
The nForce 750a is the first Nvidia chipset for the AMD platform to support a range of new and mostly undocumented Hybrid SLI features including Hybrid Power and GeForce Boost. It should prove to be a fairly capable motherboard as the foundations of a mid-range gaming systems driven by Nvidia's proven marketing skills, costing around $150 USD or less.
Hybrid Power is an interesting feature which allows discrete graphics cards to be installed in the PCI-E slots and when in 2D mode (Windows), it will use the onboard graphics with the discrete cards powered down and when in a game or something intensive, it switches automatically over to the discrete graphics, hence saving power. It is really easy to setup from what we have seen and it doesn't require a crazy cable setup, just plug your DVI cable into the motherboard's onboard connector and all data is sent from the discrete cards through the onboard graphics. GeForce Boost is currently only supported by the GeForce 8500 GT and 8400 GS and will offer a performance boost when teamed up in SLI with onboard graphics.
Nvidia's 780a is due out on April 4th and it will carry all the same features as the 750a with the addition of three-way SLI support, ESA support along with SLI Memory aka EEP. It is going to be super interesting to see the performance of a high-end nForce 780a motherboard along with B3 revision AMD Phenom quad-core processor against a similarly priced Intel system, which would probably be something along the lines of an X48 DDR2 motherboard and Q6600 processor. We will be looking into all this shortly after our first look at the new and improved TLB cache bug free Phenom.
You can read the rest of the story over at TG Daily which also includes a list of past current and future AM2+ and AM3 processors.
We spoke with an AMD rep earlier this week and he told us that we would get our first Phenom B3 processors in for review this week.
The B3 revision processors fix the nasty TLB L3 cache bug, which hurt AMD at a time, when it really didn't need it to happen.
From what we have heard from our contact, AMD took care of the bug and this week not only intends to sample media with TLB bug-free processors but also start selling them. Our contact told us, "There will be no NDA on this one as I expect to have public availability of the parts later in the week (Thursday or Friday)." Fudzilla reports that AMD will ship 2.4GHz and 2.5GHz parts.
From what we can see it looks like AMD is getting back into the game. As long as there is decent supply of its new processors, things should be looking much better for the struggling company. Nvidia is set to release a new high-end AM2+ chipset early next month, too.
As rumored recently, AMD has begun volume shipping of its triple-core Phenom processors, which is excellent news for the struggling chip firm who has not seen much success of late.
For us end-users though, don't get too excited. At this stage AMD is only shipping its Phenom 8400 (2.1GHz) and 8600 (2.3GHz) triple-core processors to OEM companies including Dell, HP and Mesh. At this it is a start for AMD who is in need of good things to happen rather soon.
Not only that but AMD also announced this week that it is finally shipping its TLB bug-free "B3" revision Opteron and Phenom quad-core processors to OEM's. It is claimed that they will hit retail stores sometime in early April. The sooner the better, to be honest.
You can read the rest of the story over at Engaget who has links to products from the OEM's using AMD's latest processors.
OCZ Technology has just released its newest CPU cooler, the Vendetta 2.
The Vendetta 2 is designed for all current Intel and AMD processors and uses heat pipe direct touch (HDT) design technology, which is said to dissipate heat more efficiently. It includes three pure copper heat pipes and includes two year warranty.
It also includes a large 120mm fan for quiet computing which only generates 20 (spinning at 800 RPM) to 32 dBA (spinning at 1500 RPM). Anything below 40 dBA is usually considered to be silent or at least inaudible. The fan is attached to the heatsink using rubber connectors to reduce vibrations and further reduce excess noise levels.
"Cooling is an important part of any computer system, not only to keep ICs operating but also to maintain a temperature range in which they operate at optimal power efficiency," commented Dr. Michael Schuette, VP of Technology Development at OCZ Technology. "Aside from raw temperature numbers, these considerations are also gaining importance in the context of green computing. The Vendetta 2 is the latest addition to a family of direct-contact heatpipe coolers under the Vendetta umbrella and brings increased size and performance to the table at an affordable price."
Utilizing the proven performance of the latest HDT design, the Vendetta 2 has direct contact with the processor using three copper heat pipes to ensure the most rapid heat transfer. The dimple micro-configuration of the stacked aluminum fins adds turbulence, reducing the skin effect of air flow for more efficient circulation within your case. The versatile and user-friendly Vendetta 2 is compatible with AMD AM2/939/754/755 and Intel 775 sockets and can be installed quickly and easily by end-users at all skill levels.
We will have one in for testing soon but for now, take a look at the product page at the OCZ website.
Nvidia was approached by the guys over at Custom PC, who asked if there were plans for the design and manufacture of a dedicated CPU by the GPU Giant. Unlike the last time when Custom PC asked Nvidia this question and CEO Jen Hsun-Huang pointedly said Nvidia "is not going into that business", this time they did not flat out deny it.
While this is not consummate proof, Custom PC speculates that pretty soon an "all-inclusive" GPU/CPU may be on the horizon, and I speculate further that it will probably have the added CUDA PPU instruction capability as well. What format it takes, or what socket it fits into will be hotly debated points until more is known and confirmed.
Speculating about what makes sense, I have to believe that Nvidia will start their own proprietary socket, with their own chipset exclusively, thus making their technology unique, and dedicated and giving less room for Intel and AMD to move in. Please remember folks, this is simply me thinking out loud. Nothing has been confirmed by Nvidia.
The Custom PC article reminds us about the AXP 2500 CPU for smart phones already made by Nvidia to make the point that the technology is ready and available within the company and so it's just a matter of time before they step up to the PC level.
Read the full article here.
Intel Corp. the proverbial Chipzilla has released news of the latest marketing name for its new family of ultra-small CPU's.
The brand name "Atom" for the ultra small chips which are designed to give end-users an entirely new design, built for low power and designed specifically for a new wave of Mobile Internet Devices and simple, low-cost PC's.
We can expect the new Atom chips to fulfill the needs on ultra-mobile PC's (UMPC) and possibly some larger PDA's. It probably also spells bad news for VIA Tech's C7 line of low power processors which have enjoyed relative good success over the past years.
The world's biggest chip maker has announced that the new "Atom" CPU is newly designed from the ground up, 45nm Intel Atom processors pack an astounding 47 million transistors on a single chip measuring less than 25mm², making them Intel's smallest and lowest power processors. These will join the ranks of other established branded Intel CPU's in their product line up, including amongst others Core 2 Quad, Core 2, Pentium, Celeron and Xeon.
For more info check out Intel's website here.
The recently introduced NH-U12P CPU cooler from Noctua now has a little brother. Dubbed the NH-U9B this cooler is slightly more compact in design, using Noctua's also recently announced NF-B9 92mm fan. The heatsink has a nickel-plated finish and sports four dual heat pipes; Noctua kept the cooler quiet and compact with HTPC/small case users in mind.
Vienna, February 25th, 2008 - Three months after the introduction of the NH-U12P, which has already received more than 30 awards and recommendations from leading international websites and magazines, Noctua released today the newest version of its more compact NH-U9 series: The new NH-U9B uses the recently announced NF-B9 92mm fan and, just like its big brother NH-U12P, will be shipped with Noctua's much acclaimed NT-H1 thermal compound.
"The new NF-B9 fan enables us to replace now the popular NH-U9F with a new, even further improved model", explains Mag. Roland Mossig, Noctua CEO. "The NH-U9B is a worthy little brother for the highly acclaimed NH-U12P: Perfect for those looking for a compact, powerful and quiet premium quality cooler."
Thermalright's Ultra 120 Extreme has been the king of air coolers for quite some time now; just goes to show how hard it is for competitors in the market to go one better on the design.
Scythe however may have the answer. Dubbed the Orochi, a picture speaks a thousand words.
This cooler is an absolute beheamoth folks, boasting no less than 10 HUGE copper heatpipes, the cooler has dimensions of 120x194x155mm and weighs well over a Kg. A huge 140mm fan can be mounted on top of the heatsink, or vertically; this allowing for up to three of them working together. All sockets are supported (Intel P4 478/775 and AMD Athlon64 754/939/940/AM2/AM2+).
It's a little frightening to imagine that anyone would even attempt to mount this cooler vertically inside a typical PC chassis, that is if one even thinks they have a chance of getting it to FIT inside their enclosure, full server tower or not. At 1150g in weight, it's not exactly practical for most people. The amount of strain it would put on the motherboard; I dread to think.
Scythe in Japan have posted up details and pictures of the cooler here, but it hasn't yet been officially announced by the company worldwide. We'll be sure to bring you the press release once it pops up.