AMD details Turbo Core auto-overclocking technology

By on April 8, 2010, 11:00 AM
With AMD on the verge of releasing their first six core desktop processors, codenamed Thuban, the company has confirmed previous speculation that they'll be introducing their own version of Intel's Turbo Boost technology along these parts. Aptly named Turbo Core, it'll provide a less sophisticated auto-overclock, whereby three out of six cores are decelerated in order to give the other trio some extra voltage and speed for more serialized workloads.


The technology will kick in whenever three or more cores are idle and power consumption is below the processor's rated TDP. When that happens the idle cores are set in a boost-eligible "P-state" and their frequency is reduced to 800MHz, while the voltage to the entire chip is increased, and the other three cores are clocked up by as much as 500MHz. AMD says this will allow Phenom II X6 processors to fully utilize available TDP budget to maximize performance.

Keep in mind these chips will remain within the same power envelope as current Phenom II X4 parts, despite having two extra cores and still being manufactured on a 45nm process. AMD's new Phenom II X6 and forthcoming quad core CPUs based on the new Thuban design won't require new motherboards, as they'll be compatible with existing AM3 and AM2+ sockets via a BIOS update, though it isn't clear if Turbo Core will be limited to newer AM3 boards.




User Comments: 9

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

They're really making overclocking *****-proof these days. Which is fine. I don't trust myself to O/C too much - afraid I'll blow my rig.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Wow that's actually a really cool idea. A lot of software just barely takes advantage of 2 cores, so its hard to find something that takes advantage of 6. But if you running something that is really only optimized for 2, your 3 'main' cores kick into overdrive.

princeton princeton said:

Um..... A cool idea? Intel has had that for a while now. And I dont get why people would even consider this. If you really NEED the speed of 6 cores you will need them to be powerful enough and when it comes to performance these wont stand a chance against the i7-980X

Guest said:

ahh yeah... but it will be less than half the price..... derka derka...

Obakemono said:

I thnik the price will be more like 1/3 the cost of the goldplated i7-980x. Also I don't need to buy a silver plated mobo to run it either. Meh.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

What kind of cooler are these shipping with ?

The technology will kick in whenever tree or more cores are idle and power consumption is below the processor's rated TDP. When that happens the idle cores are set in a boost-eligible "P-state" and their frequency is reduced to 800MHz, while the voltage to the entire chip is increased, and the other three cores are clocked up by as much as 500MHz

If these CPU's are shipping with 125w TDP, what kind of power draw are they likely to pull in most desktop activity ?

Seems strange that a CPU with three underclocked and three overclocked cores would need more voltage.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

princeton said:

Um..... A cool idea? Intel has had that for a while now. And I dont get why people would even consider this. If you really NEED the speed of 6 cores you will need them to be powerful enough and when it comes to performance these wont stand a chance against the i7-980X

Intel's method uses a different approach... And Intel costs quite a bit more... But feel free to spout more elitist fanboy comments, it amuses many of us who are devoted to common sense and value for our money.

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

You can turn off cores in some intel bios rigs, of course its not as simple as this idea.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

What kind of cooler are these shipping with ?

If these CPU's are shipping with 125w TDP, what kind of power draw are they likely to pull in most desktop activity ?

Seems strange that a CPU with three underclocked and three overclocked cores would need more voltage.

I caught that as well. I thought that it meant that it was lowering, for example, .10v from the inactive cores and raising the active three cores by .12v, or does it need to temporarily need to volt up all cores should the other three become active?

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