More details about AMD's Bulldozer-based FX lineup emerge

By on March 14, 2011, 9:49 AM
More information is slowly starting to surface regarding AMD's upcoming Llano and Zambezi processors. Following last week's reveal of the expected initial lineup and ship dates, X-bit labs has apparently gotten hold of an AMD slide filled with model specifications and other details. According to the site, the FX-series will initially be comprised of four chips (instead of eight as previously suggested): the four-core FX-4110, the six-core FX-6110, and the eight-core FX-8110 and FX-8130P. All four would be available as 'Black Edition' parts with an unlocked core multiplier for easier overclocking.

Four additional Bulldozer-based FX chips are expected further down the road featuring an incremental bump in performance. All of them will support dual-channel DDR3 1866MHz memory, Turbo Core, will be compatible with AM3+ motherboards and will have 95W TDP ratings, with the exception of the flagship FX-8130P model which boosts the power draw to 125W. They will also include "up to" 8MB of L3 cache memory along with 1MB of L2 cache per core.


Unfortunately there are still no specific details regarding price and clock speeds, but performance-wise, it seems AMD FX-81x0 processors will be pitched as competitors to Intel's Core i7-26xx chips -- the top players of the Sandy Bridge family -- while six and quad-core Zambezi APUs will go up against Sandy Bridge-based Core i5 and Core i3 chips. AMD estimates total system pricing for computers carrying their high-end Zambezi chips to be $700 and up.

Moving down the price ladder, AMD's product positioning slides show the company is reading four A8-3000-series Llano accelerating processing units to compete with Sandy Bridge-based Core i3s and Pentium CPUs. These will fit into the mainstream $600 - $700 range -- again, this is the total system price -- while the currently available E-series chips part of the Brazos platform battle it out with Intel's Celeron (and Atom) in the $400 price point.

The images posted above were obtained by Nordic Hardware and are supposedly the finished box art for the upcoming FX processors. Overall the branding used resembles AMD's popular Radeon series and seems to confirm four and eight-core "Black Edition" models, but box art for the alleged six-core model has yet to be seen.




User Comments: 49

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princeton princeton said:

Dual channel memory? Is this a ****ing joke? I know the speed increases will be marginal for most people but there's no reason not to include it.

Also it's nice to know AMD needs 8 cores to make a cpu that will compete with the new i5. This has got to be a joke.

mosu said:

If they use AM3 socket it must be dual channel memory. And it's 8 physical cores against 8 virtual cores (4 cores with hyper threading), all in the same 95 W power envelope.. And again, it's not about speed, it's about processing power.

Guest said:

Why am I getting a pop-up ad from Intel over an AMD article???

mosu said:

Use a script blocker for ads

princeton princeton said:

It isn't the AM3 socket Mosu. It's an improved version known as AM3+. Get your facts straight. Also speed and processing power are directly related. If a cpu processes X amount of information 2 seconds faster then it has more processing power.

mosu said:

With roughly the same 940 pins even if it's called AM3+ it won't aloud three or four channel memory.Yes, they may increase memory speed, but not connectivity in a broader sense

princeton princeton said:

mosu said:

With roughly the same 940 pins even if it's called AM3+ it won't aloud three or four channel memory.Yes, they may increase memory speed, but not connectivity in a broader sense

It still shows new technology has been pushed to the side by backwards compatibility. It's the same reason why anyone wanting more than a modest setup won't even touch AMD.

Raswan Raswan said:

Guest said:

Why am i getting a pop-up ad from intel over an AMD article???

Happening to me on every page.

princeton princeton said:

raswan said:

Guest said:

Why am i getting a pop-up ad from intel over an AMD article???

Happening to me on every page.

I don't get the popup. Is it going right over the text of the article or something?

Jurassic4096 said:

95w TDP's across the board right out the gate, I'm impressed, even if it is 32nm. Not bad pulling that off using an all new architecture, especially coming from under-performing (versus the competition) 125w Phenom II X4 CPU's. Could I be coming back to AMD? I just pray they fix their Sata III performance and don't break anything that worked well in the past. Oh, and some serious SSD support should be automatic. ie: TRIM (over RAID?)

Guest said:

It pops-up over the text.

Jurassic4096 said:

Princeton said:

mosu said:

With roughly the same 940 pins even if it's called AM3+ it won't aloud three or four channel memory.Yes, they may increase memory speed, but not connectivity in a broader sense

It still shows new technology has been pushed to the side by backwards compatibility. It's the same reason why anyone wanting more than a modest setup won't even touch AMD.

I didn't know the 2500K and 2600K had triple/quad channel IMC's. Can i get a link?

Guest said:

yes, it is going over the text of the AMD article.

Puiu Puiu said:

@Princeton stop the stupid comments when you haven't even seen the numbers yet. Wait for some official benchmarks.

Who cares if it's 8 cores vs 4 cores when you are comparing two entirely different chip designs. And they went for dual channel because it is cheaper for both the producer and the consumer. The fact that an AMD system is cheaper then an intel one is the main reason why people buy it.

PS: Sandy Bridge is also dual channel.

Guest said:

Why mention the full system price?, it makes it looks to expensive.

princeton princeton said:

jurassic4096 said:

Princeton said:

mosu said:

With roughly the same 940 pins even if it's called AM3+ it won't aloud three or four channel memory.Yes, they may increase memory speed, but not connectivity in a broader sense

It still shows new technology has been pushed to the side by backwards compatibility. It's the same reason why anyone wanting more than a modest setup won't even touch AMD.

I didn't know the 2500K and 2600K had triple/quad channel IMC's. Can i get a link?

LGA 1155 isn't Intel's high end platform. It'll be LGA 2011.

AMD has said that they intend to have cpu's targeting the high end sector. This info shows that it was a lie.

Leeky Leeky said:

Dual channel memory? Is this a ****ing joke? I know the speed increases will be marginal for most people but there's no reason not to include it.

Also it's nice to know AMD needs 8 cores to make a cpu that will compete with the new i5. This has got to be a joke.

Is this comment also meant as a joke? Because your basing an opinion on nothing more than scraps of information that are currently available.

Now by all means show me the definitive proof to back up your claims Princeton.

I also don't see the point in triple channel memory, yeah it offers more bandwidth, but its marginal at best, and you're likely talking 2-3% difference in overall performance, which in the case of dual channel RAM is I imagine easily accounted for with an additional 1-2GB.

AMD has said that they intend to have cpu's targeting the high end sector. This info shows that it was a lie.

So what your saying if I'm reading your comments correctly is they're lying because they aren't offering triple channel support, and therefore, in your mind couldn't possibly compete with Sandy Bridge?

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

Why mention the full system price?, it makes it looks to expensive.

Gives a budgeting ballpark, to compare alongside the current Sandy Bridge based system price points. This is way easier than trying to lay out actual component prices up front, because you just KNOW that anti- crowds will scream and point if you go $5 over a target price quoted in passing 3.2 years before a product release.

Raswan Raswan said:

Princeton said:

raswan said:

Guest said:

Why am i getting a pop-up ad from intel over an AMD article???

Happening to me on every page.

I don't get the popup. Is it going right over the text of the article or something?

It's over the title of each article and the first 2 lines of text. Script-blocker is already enabled...

TeamworkGuy2 said:

Nice, 95W power envelope. Now let's hope they offer comparable performance to Intel's i5 and i7...

ezodagrom said:

Princeton said:

Dual channel memory? Is this a ****ing joke? I know the speed increases will be marginal for most people but there's no reason not to include it.

Also it's nice to know AMD needs 8 cores to make a cpu that will compete with the new i5. This has got to be a joke.

They're not truly eight-cores, the more correct term would be quad-module, but AMD is using eight-core for marketing purposes.

Anyway, each module has 2 integer cores (thus making 8 cores), but there's only 1 FP unit per module, unit that is shared between the 2 cores.

A real 8 core would have 8 integer cores and 8 FP units, but Bulldozer has 8 integer cores and 4 FP units.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

And then Princeton wonders why he is called a basher... to bash and beyond must be his modo.

This information is so far so good, talking about amd competing against i7 is good enough for me, assuming AMD will have the price lead (Since their procs has always been cheaper) and most AM2+/AM3 users can upgrade without even touching the memory or mobo sounds pretty darn good.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Kibaruk said:

And then Princeton wonders why he is called a basher... to bash and beyond must be his modo.

This information is so far so good, talking about amd competing against i7 is good enough for me, assuming AMD will have the price lead (Since their procs has always been cheaper) and most AM2+/AM3 users can upgrade without even touching the memory or mobo sounds pretty darn good.

Alas, a new mobo (AM3+) will be required for the new processors. So, it's not as simple an upgrade path as we've had in the past with AMD.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

here is a better article on the BD details that Route44 posted a couple of weeks ago. The BD (as far as the forthcoming information) is not about outdoing Intel with "more cores" , its about ,amongst other things, much better multi-core efficiency and communication.

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=1083

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

Oh my God, those boxes are beautiful. AMD sure know how to adapt to a modern market.

Guest said:

i dont understand what is new at it? more cores and higher memory speed? thats all?

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

Why am I getting a pop-up ad from Intel over an AMD article???

Our ad agency implemented this Intel campaign today and we didn't get a chance to properly test it ahead of time.

The big ad will still show on occasion but it won't break the site's layout anymore. BTW, it's not a pop up

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

i dont understand what is new at it? more cores and higher memory speed? thats all?

Do some reading. Its a completely new architecture with a new process (32nm)

They also changed from SOI process to High K metal gate...it in now way shape or form bares any resemblance to the K-10 (athlon/Phenom) CPU's....other than they are both square.

DokkRokken said:

I just want AMD to get these out so they can focus their energy on making products that attract actual buyers, as opposed to rabid enthusiasts who likely won't buy the chips anyways.

bonniesmith bonniesmith said:

It's called target advertising, just block the ads and it wont happen again.

war59312 said:

Mehaha, I won't be upgrading my i7 until at least 12 (or 24 threads with hyper-threading) core chips are out. That and when most apps are finally taking advantage of all the cores and GPU.

Guest said:

Technically the 8 core models are 4 core/modules...since one module has two smaller ones so it is essentially a 4 core with hyperthreading done right...

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Something that could have significant bearing on upgrade paths for people with some Asus 890FX/GX/880G/870760G chipset boards.

Asus is quoted with this Swedish website (use your favourite translator) as offering Bulldozer compatibility via BIOS update for the Crosshair IV Formula/Extreme, M4A89TD & GTD Pro amongst others.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Something that could have significant bearing on upgrade paths for people with some Asus 890FX/GX/880G/870760G chipset boards.

Asus is quoted with this Swedish website (use your favourite translator) as offering Bulldozer compatibility via BIOS update for the Crosshair IV Formula/Extreme, M4A89TD & GTD Pro amongst others.

ahh, good Ole Asus. Where do I per-order my FX 8130P?

What I want to know is there going to be "limited functionality"? or did Asus have some insight into all this? I wonder if other MB manufacturers can/will offer this as well.

If it's not functionally restraining, and the benches are good...this could be quite the marketing coup d'état for AMD.

If in fact the numbers are as expected, I for one will order an FX 8130P and a new set Of DDR3 200-2400. It will be the first time in years I will use the same MB in a new build.

Guest said:

Interesting to get some price indications, though I would not count on that.

I wonder if it is viable and if there will be any Lynx mainboards in mini.ITX format at launch, with/for higher range Llano's.

I highly anticipate the Bulldozer, it will be even more intersting when AMD releases the next generation of Radeon's.

Guest said:

I took a look at the chart and it seems like complete nonsense.

"xbit" appear rather ridiculous for posting them, and so do you for parroting it wiithout a hint of criticism.

E-350 in H2 2011?

Not to talk about the other content of the chart and how it looks.

There is no source and I think people should draw their conclusions based on that.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I took a look at the chart and it seems like complete nonsense.

"xbit" appear rather ridiculous for posting them, and so do you for parroting it wiithout a hint of criticism.

E-350 in H2 2011?.

The chart is a snapshot of what AMD's CPU/APU product stack will look like in the second half of the year. Are you expecting the E-350 to go EOL (that's "End of Life" for the non-tech savvy) by June 1st.?

Not to talk about the other content of the chart and how it looks.

If it makes as much sense as your first observation then I'd say you made a wise choice...and they say there is no such thing as beginners luck!

There is no source and I think people should draw their conclusions based on that.

You were expecting a validation from AMD ? I think in that case you should wait for what is commonly called a "Press Release".

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Princeton said:

AMD has said that they intend to have cpu's targeting the high end sector. This info shows that it was a lie.

No, it doesn't show anything conclusive at all. Benchmarks will show if that is a lie, not the number of cores and memory channels.

There are no reputable sources with numbers yet, but if the rumors hold true, AMD's new architecture will actually deliver better performance than Intel's i7 clock for clock. That would be great for AMD but I certainly won't hold my breath.

Guest said:

Face it, fanboys, AMD blew away Atom. i7 is next.

You blew your wad on Sucker Bait?

Everyone loves a big spender.

lol

DokkRokken said:

Something that could have significant bearing on upgrade paths for people with some Asus 890FX/GX/880G/870760G chipset boards.

Asus is quoted with this Swedish website (use your favourite translator) as offering Bulldozer compatibility via BIOS update for the Crosshair IV Formula/Extreme, M4A89TD & GTD Pro amongst others.

There's also an MSI 890FX board, the GD-65 which has 'AM3+ CPU Support' written below the CPU socket. Not sure what to make of it, seeing as we've been told that BD would not be compatible with current chipsets.

[link]

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

There's also an MSI 890FX board, the GD-65 which has 'AM3+ CPU Support' written below the CPU socket. Not sure what to make of it, seeing as we've been told that BD would not be compatible with current chipsets.

[link]

It looks to be true Dokk

[link]

DokkRokken said:

It looks to be true Dokk

[link]

Interesting. However, that makes me wonder what would motivate enthusiasts to move to a 990, if BD is indeed compatible with certain 890's. What would a potentially pricier 990FX have over an 890?

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Interesting. However, that makes me wonder what would motivate enthusiasts to move to a 990, if BD is indeed compatible with certain 890's. What would a potentially pricier 990FX have over an 890?

Probably not much more than compatibility, possibly increased memory bandwidth. Its a little more difficult to say with a new CPU/socket. but from the 790-890 and from the P55-X58 there has traditionally been small performance increases, usually increased PCIE lanes is a majority of what you are paying for, and some additional OC'ing ability/features.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Judging by the feature set of the new chipsets, I'd say you're looking at only one-and-a-half differences from the "old" 890/870 chipsets.

As G pointed out I guess there is now official support for DDR3-1866+, and the other (dubious) new feature is IOMMU virtualization according to wiki. I say dubious since IOMMU is already available to some 890FX boards whose BIOS supports the ACPI IVRS table feature. So now it's going to be widespread I suppose it counts as a new feature.

A quick look at the manufacturers 890FX BIOS revisions shows a few boards capable of being flashed with a BIOS with IVRS;

MSI 890FXA-GD70

Asus M4A89TD Pro and Pro/USB3 (BIOS 1006 and BIOS 3012)

Asus Crossfire IV Formula and Extreme (outlined by G in another thread-we seem to be coming full circle!)

Gigabyte 890FXA-UD7 and -UD5 (may need a rev 3.1 board?)

Biostar TA890FXE

ASRock 890FX Deluxe5 (seems to be AM3+ ready. Not sure about the Deluxe3 and 4)

Other than that the 990FX is a 890FX, 990X is 890GX (more or less), and the 970 is a 870. The two new southbridges (SB950 and 920) look the same as their predecessors (SB850 and 810).

I might be missing some facts on this- so grain of salt time with the AM3+ compatible boards- might pay to get a definite before shelling out for one if you're looking at a BD upgrade. I think I've handled about three AMD boards in the last year, so feel free to correct and/or add

DokkRokken said:

Probably not much more than compatibility, possibly increased memory bandwidth. Its a little more difficult to say with a new CPU/socket. but from the 790-890 and from the P55-X58 there has traditionally been small performance increases, usually increased PCIE lanes is a majority of what you are paying for, and some additional OC'ing ability/features.

This does concern me a bit then. If BD can be 'dropped into' an 890 with few alterations, that leads me to think that the architecture isn't too different from their current chips. I hope this isn't the case, because it means that they may still be behind Intel, and are once again catering to the 'budget' crowd; not that there's anything wrong with that in the big scheme of things.

However, it seems only certain BD chips will support this backwards compatibility so I should reserve judgement. Plus, I'm of limited knowledge, so I'm perhaps simplifying the whole thing. :P

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I was checking through a few threads on socket compatibility and noticed these posts (#2 and #12) by JF-AMD ( John Fruehe -AMD Server marketing). Simply stated you need an AM3+ socket (942 pin outs for a 940 pin CPU) and BD wont fit into a AM3 (941 pin outs for a 938 pin CPU). So either there is some FUD flying around, or Asus/Gigabyte/MSI/ASRock/Biostar boards already have the extra pinout rather than the blank- and have that pinout connected up- meaning that the C4E/C4F and others were built from the get-go as AM3+.

The plot thickens...

Guest said:

Here you go everyone...

http://event.asus.com/2011/mb/AM3_PLUS_Ready/

cheers

Guest said:

With the risk of being misunderstood, I will have a try at explaining Bulldozer and AM3+.

Bulldozer is indeed a true eight core processor since it has eight integer units, however, unlike Intel using Hyper-Threading to pump out maximum performance from each core, AMD tried to increase efficiency, lower costs and decrease die size of it's not-at-all bad architecture trough sharing various logic components like Fetch and Decode, Floating Point Unit and Level 2 cache, components that aren't always fully utilised and consume more power in their initial dedicated forms.

All this saved power may then be used to pump up those cores to raise processing performance trough speed.

Unlike old single core processors ( like my Sempron 3000+ :) ) which have true efficiency thanks to their single integer/single FPU, single L2 cache design, multi core processors like Bulldozer and Nehalem suffer from programing inefficiency. One way to increase performance is to raise core clock but we all know that higher clocks translate into higher power consumption and temps. High temperatures can be lowered with better coolers but power consumption is limited by motherboard TDP design, since not all manufacturers allow high TDP parts on their mobos for economic reasons.

From my point of view, AMD's approach to efficiency trough architectural improvements is logical and superior to Intel's, even though it's a bit too late.

AMD and, later, Intel developed features like Cool'n'Quiet and EIST which decrease clock and voltage of unused cores, but this didn't solve TDP issues so they introduced Turbo to raise performance of used cores while staying within TDP limits.

These features depend in some measure of chipset design. AMD wants and needs Bulldozer at it's peak efficiency and performance and to obtain it they will introduce AM3+/AM3b and 900-series chipsets.

If you already own a 7/800-series motherboard and your manufacturer offers you compatibility with the new FX chips then keep it. But if you are buying a new PC/fully upgrading your PC/have too much money and don't know how to spend it then a 900-series mobo will be the logical buy.

Pffffff too much writing :).

Next summer I'll be upgrading too to an FX-8130P/980GX/DDR3 because my 1,8 sempron is hopelessly slow these days. Sandy Bridge just doesn't float my boat :)).

T77 T77 said:

nice box art An eight core processor,OMG! I want one........

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