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AMD launches Phenom and Spider

AMD launches Phenom and Spider

AMD's Phenom line of processors is available today as part of the new "Spider" platform.

Just one week after Intel launched its first Penryn offering, AMD is launching its line of Phenom processors. AMD touts the Phenom as being the "first true quad-core processor supporting scalable graphics for The Ultimate Visual Experience" and has unveiled that the processor is part of a new platform called "Spider."

The new Spider platform consists of AMD Phenom quad-core processors, ATI Radeon HD 3800 Series GPUs, and AMD 7-Series chipsets that offer future scalability.

AMD is the only company committed to delivering The Ultimate Visual Experience across all the screens of your life,” said Dirk Meyer, AMD president and COO. “The AMD Spider platform embodies our approach to platform-level innovation and delivers a highly-advanced, feature-rich enthusiast computing experience."

"Our commitment to energy-efficient design and manufacturing excellence drives an unprecedented performance-per-watt at an amazing price point, putting enthusiast-class platforms in reach for more users than ever before.”

Currently, the Phenom is available in two flavours with more coming soon. The two parts that you can pick up now are the Phenom 9500, which clocks at 2.2GHz and retails for $251, and the Phenom 9600, which is clocked at 2.3GHz and retails for $283. The Phenom 9700 and Phenom 9900 will be made available in the first quarter of 2008 and clock in at 2.4GHz and 2.6GHz respectively. The Phenom 8000 series triple core processors will also arrive early next year and AMD will still keep the Athlon nomenclature for its dual and even single core CPUs, by rebranding them 6000 and 1000 series respectively.

Will the Phenom have enough gusto to knock Intel from the top spot? As soon as AMD send bit-tech a CPU we'll be able to tell you, but considering the underlying execution core is just a wider K8 we aren't holding our breath. What there is though is competition that's necessary for the market, for that AMD can't churn out enough of these CPUs fast enough.

In addition, there's currently an errata in the 2.4GHz+ parts B1 and B2 stepping with the L3 TLB (translation lookup buffer) that requires a BIOS fix which should now be available for the latest 7-series chipsets. However this fix also kills performance "about 10 percent" according to AMD and it will be up to the user to enable or disable the BIOS fix, depending on the amount of work they're doing on the system.

The rest of the spider platform - the 7-series of chipsets consists of the AMD 790FX which is the leading enthusiast chipset with support for CrossFireX and includes 42 PCI-Express 2.0 lanes - 32 for graphics cards, six for other uses and four to connect the northbridge to southbridge. Although, those interbridge four will be restricted to Gen-1.0 bandwidth considering the 790FX is still paired with the old SB600 southbridge, but come early to mid 2008 we should finally see this updated for SB700. The SB600 does however get a new lease of life from new software called, RAIDXpert - an in-OS GUI RAID management software. AMD also now has AMD Overdrive for BIOS and OS-level overclocking and system tweaking in general.

Next on the list is the AMD 790X which is more mainstream while still retaining the enthusiast element: with support for dual card CrossFire and the same software control features of the 790FX. To round things off is finally the AMD 770 will be for entry level but will still offer the basic essential HyperTransport 3.0 and PCI-Express 2.0 features.

The AMD 690G will be updated to the 780G next February and is slated to be the first integrated graphics chipset (IGP) with DirectX 10 and UVD, and finally the 780M will be the notebook part for the middle of next year. We discussed the 780M in our Puma and Griffin article a few months back, but it looks like AMD has yet again fallen behind where "early next year" has dropped off to "mid next year" instead.

Most of our readers will likely be going for the AMD 790X rather than the FX, simply because we don't expect many to use CrossFireX, which means the inevitable four PCI-Express x16 lanes on a 790FX motherboard will essentially become a waste of space. This is depending on the features retained for 790X boards by manufacturers, so check around before you buy.

So, does the Spider platform appeal to you? Are you desperate for a native quad-core Phenom? Has AMD got all its soldiers in a row or is it still a few sandwiches short of a picnic? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

21 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
DougEdey 19th November 2007, 14:30 Quote
Is there an AMD chipset without IGP but just does something brilliant?
Redbeaver 19th November 2007, 14:54 Quote
weeeeeeee :D
yakyb 19th November 2007, 15:04 Quote
anyone seen one for sale anywhere yet?
MrABC 19th November 2007, 16:07 Quote
Nope, haven't seen any around yet. Maybe they will hit retailers tomorrow? I've read some of the reviews about and phenom doesn't look like it will be competitive against intel at the speeds AMD are releasing them. HardOCP overclocked the phenom upto 3ghz and it was just about competitive with the Q6600. I'd like to see how overclockable the final processors are because the reviews Ive read were engineering samples and overclockability were a mixed bag.
GoodBytes 19th November 2007, 16:19 Quote
From Anatech, The Phenom 2.6Ghz is near the same level as the Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz...
So, let's wait for the Phenom 2.8Ghz and it should pass the Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz, and would be cheaper, as we know AMD.
Mankz 19th November 2007, 16:20 Quote
i think Vadim have some of these...
The_Beast 19th November 2007, 17:50 Quote
there going to be really hard to find
devdevil85 19th November 2007, 17:54 Quote
if CrossfireX allows for me to start w/ 2 video cards (same family) upfront and then add 2 more (or 1 at a time depending on budget) from a newer family w/ more capabilities than the other family, then I'm going AMD because that says to me that they are looking out for our dollars. I don't want to have to be stuck w/ having to replace my older cards that I spent a pretty penny on not long ago (SLI).....I spoke to Tim about it and he said he was going to look into it...hopefully by this summer I will have this question, along with multiple others answered because I hate monopolies and I will always be shooting for the underdog, it's just whether the underdog is looking out for my interests as well.....if so then I know where my fun money is going....
Anakha 19th November 2007, 19:14 Quote
Personally, I would rather have this with SLi compatibility. 2 8800GT's will wipe the floor with any ATI/AMD card, and come in cheaper too.

The other thing I'd like to see is Matrox-Style "Surround Gaming", with 2 8800s, one providing the front view, and the second providing the two side views.
centy 19th November 2007, 20:27 Quote
How does a single monitor provide two side views? Surround gaming doesn't work with only two monitors since your crosshair or the centre of the screen ends up at the outer edge of each of the monitors.
JumpingJack 19th November 2007, 20:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrABC
Nope, haven't seen any around yet. Maybe they will hit retailers tomorrow? I've read some of the reviews about and phenom doesn't look like it will be competitive against intel at the speeds AMD are releasing them. HardOCP overclocked the phenom upto 3ghz and it was just about competitive with the Q6600. I'd like to see how overclockable the final processors are because the reviews Ive read were engineering samples and overclockability were a mixed bag.

Dude, these are the final processors... this is a launch event.
MrABC 19th November 2007, 21:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by JumpingJack
Dude, these are the final processors... this is a launch event.

I stand corrected. I saw the image of AMD's overdrive app on anandtech's coverage and it said "AMD Engineering Sample", so...thought that it might be engineering samples :/
Nexxo 19th November 2007, 22:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
From Anatech, The Phenom 2.6Ghz is near the same level as the Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz...
So, let's wait for the Phenom 2.8Ghz and it should pass the Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz, and would be cheaper, as we know AMD.

More interestingly, unlike the Intel Core 2's I think you could run two Phenoms on one board. Eight cores... hmmmm...
JumpingJack 19th November 2007, 22:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrABC
I stand corrected. I saw the image of AMD's overdrive app on anandtech's coverage and it said "AMD Engineering Sample", so...thought that it might be engineering samples :/

Yeah, Anand did not trek to the dog and pony show, see page 3 of his review:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3153&p=3

There are only a few sites with their own CPUs, most of the reviews generated the data from AMD's tahoe excursion, arstechnica published a commentary here:
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071119-amds-phenom-staggers-out-of-the-gate-to-a-lukewarm-reception.html
moshpit 19th November 2007, 22:37 Quote
I'm disappointed. Pure and simple.
JADS 19th November 2007, 23:07 Quote
The geek collective took a deep breath and uttered one single word as one:

"Meh"
Ramble 19th November 2007, 23:15 Quote
Oh AMD, why do you crush my hopes yet again? I want the heyday of Athlon 64 back.
DXR_13KE 19th November 2007, 23:38 Quote
i await for bit's review
Bindibadgi 19th November 2007, 23:38 Quote
I still can't wait to get a hold of one though. Since we don't know when one will arrive I'll have to be reviewing 790FX boards with normal AM2 CPUs in them for now - at least now you'll see the difference between AM2 and AM2+ as a direct drop in replacement since it's socket compatible :) And we'll finally get some AMD boards done again - I can't believe I've literally done about 3 or 4 in the last year :|

Having said that too, an Intel X9770 turned up on Friday :D So we'll be having fun with that as well this week (once I've finished certain Maximii)
Max Spain 20th November 2007, 02:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramble
Oh AMD, why do you crush my hopes yet again? I want the heyday of Athlon 64 back.

Same here. If the rumors of them getting rid of Hector Ruiz (CEO) are true, then I hope they replace him with someone competent. And hopefully that someone competent will give their customers an option to buy a complete AMD based system without any DRM (Presidio or HDCP.) If they can do that, in conjunction with their release of GPU specifications then they might win the hearts (and wallets) of the non-Vista community.
[USRF]Obiwan 20th November 2007, 10:11 Quote
Hector Ruinz will be replaced by Dirk Meyer. He has more knowlegde then wrecktor...
http://www.amd.com/us-en/Corporate/AboutAMD/0,,51_52_570_11573,00.html
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