bit-tech.net

AMD's 45nm CPUs are designed to overclock

AMD's 45nm CPUs are designed to overclock

AMD's latest 45nm CPU apparently has a large range of temperature operation, and overclocks extremely well.

In a ravenously positive post on Theo Valich's blog, formerly of Inquirer and TGDaily fame, he claims that AMD has worked specifically with extreme overclockers for the first time in years to achieve a 45nm design that is claimed to work flawlessly from -200C to +100C!

AMD has tweaked the on-die sensor to not lock the part when below zero and AMD techies have apparently worked around cold bugs in the new K10.5 architecture.

Apparently a with a good aircooled heatsink "4.0 GHz is a given on almost every Black Edition CPU that will hit the stores starting January 8, 2009." Watercooling is then claimed to hit 4.5GHz+ and extreme cooling has hit 6GHz in AMD, claims Theo.

Phenom II will launch as part of the new "Dragon" platform in January, along with the 790GX/FX northbridges and SB750 southbridge that includes the new ACC (Advanced Clock Calibration) function. This ACC function is apparently crucial to these overclocking escapades though, effectively making those who own boards with SB600 southbridges or Nvidia chipsets unable to achieve such levels of performance.

We approached Nvidia and asked if future Nvidia MCPs will also feature ACC and it confirmed that it's not an exclusive AMD technology and Nvidia products will feature it. This will enable better choice for the consumer, rather than the one horse race Intel is currently having.

Theo also claims AMD's latest AM3 Phenom II CPUs generate 16GB/s from dual channel DDR3 1,333MHz. While this is clearly less than Intel's triple channel malarkey with Core i7, we've seen in our initial Core i7 review it does little to further performance over dual channel.

The advantage Intel has is a higher integrated memory controller clock and faster core-uncore access over AMD. We can only hope AMD improves this internal latency with K10.5.

Finally, if a Phenom II 940 Black Edition (this is AM2+ however) is "40 percent of the amount you have to shell out for Core i7 Extreme 965," this could be perceived as good value. However, 40 percent of ~£875 = £350, 35 percent more than the very popular Core i7 920 that also hits 4GHz and is just £260. When we consider the platform cost though - AM2+ uses far cheaper DDR2, and AMD motherboards are generally a fraction of the price of the current Intel X58 boards out there, so it could all work out remarkably well balanced. The only final consideration is performance.

Does the possibility of vast overclocks perk your interest? Or will you just be left all excited over nothing like with current Phenoms? Let us know in the forums.

37 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
liratheal 21st November 2008, 15:26 Quote
I'll be waiting for some reviews from you fine chaps before I make up my mind as to whether I bother with this new batch.

All these numbers sound nice, but I've not seen any hard evidence to back them up, yet.
The Infamous Mr D 21st November 2008, 15:28 Quote
In the words of the immortal legend, Alan Partridge:

"Let battle commence."
Tim S 21st November 2008, 15:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
I'll be waiting for some reviews from you fine chaps before I make up my mind as to whether I bother with this new batch.

All these numbers sound nice, but I've not seen any hard evidence to back them up, yet.

I think it's best to wait... don't want to get too excited at this point, otherwise we'll all get caught with weiner in hand like we did when Phenom launched. :)
Wolfe 21st November 2008, 15:36 Quote
That's rather interesting, since I do believe that transistors do not function at all below approximately -120 dec C.

I don't remember the exact temperatures, but I know it's true for BJT devices. It may not be so for MOS devices. I'l try and look them up at work tomorrow.
Bindibadgi 21st November 2008, 15:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfe
That's rather interesting, since I do believe that transistors do not
function at all below approximately -120 dec C.

Well if that was the case, there would be no extreme OC with LN2 action ;)
liratheal 21st November 2008, 15:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
I think it's best to wait... don't want to get too excited at this point, otherwise we'll all get caught with weiner in hand like we did when Phenom launched. :)

True enough.

That said, I'm not overly disappointed in the performance of my Phenom, but hey. It still wasn't what was promised.
Wolfe 21st November 2008, 15:40 Quote
Whoops, found some info.

BJT devices do indeed degrade in performance at cryogenic temperatures. However, MOS devices apparently improve, so never mind.
Wolfe 21st November 2008, 15:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfe
That's rather interesting, since I do believe that transistors do not
function at all below approximately -120 dec C.

Well if that was the case, there would be no extreme OC with LN2 action ;)

Not so. Even when using LN2, the chip does not entirely reach the temperature of the LN2. You have temperature differentials across whatever mechanism you are using to transfer head from the chip's die to the LN.
C-Sniper 21st November 2008, 16:08 Quote
I think i will start to upgrade to this new level though... the SB600 SB is sucking right now. Although DFI now has the 790FX NB with SB750 SB out now.... hmmm....
Tim S 21st November 2008, 16:09 Quote
Generally, something will stop working by the time the bottom of your LN2 pot reaches -130... although some might hit closer to -140. If you drop below -145 without things becoming dysfunctional, that's an exceptional circumstance IMO.
Bindibadgi 21st November 2008, 16:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfe
Not so. Even when using LN2, the chip does not entirely reach the temperature of the LN2. You have temperature differentials across whatever mechanism you are using to transfer head from the chip's die to the LN.

Yes true but nitrogen liquifies at -180C, so the chances of hitting -100 are high when you've got a big copper blob firmly bolted to a lapped CPU.

EDIT: Well Tim applies real world to my Chemistry degree :P
Greenie 21st November 2008, 16:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Infamous Mr D
In the words of the immortal legend, Alan Partridge:

"Let battle commence."

When I think of Partridge, I hear "AAGHGGH! It's hotter than the sun!" lets hope they get the TDP down!
lewchenko 21st November 2008, 17:08 Quote
The last generation Phenom wasnt a bad cpu.. it just wasnt as good as intel's offerings at the time. I hope that this new Phenom (new name needed as well really) is as good as some people believe, as competition will be good for us all.

I find the i7 platfrom VERY expensive. £260 for an entry (yet very powerful) processor ? When the e6750 (now e8400 etc) was all the rage, I didnt pay anywhere near £260 for it. Nor did I spend >£200 on a motherboard either. Then there is DDR3 (6GB = £200) . If an AMD platform costs less overall and is within spitting distance of Intel... then I would definitely buy it.
devdevil85 21st November 2008, 17:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewchenko
If an AMD platform costs less overall and is within spitting distance of Intel... then I would definitely buy it.
Totally agree. I have been waiting for AMD to become the nimble foe they once were. I'm still using a 2500+ for God's sake. I hate Intel even though they do make good stuff. £260 is too expensive for an entry, I agree, and that's what happens when there isn't competition.....
airchie 21st November 2008, 18:14 Quote
If you get things cold enough, don't they start to superconduct?
Could be speaking utter pants but its just a random factoid (or is it a fictionoid? :D) that is floating about in my head.

Anyway, I'm keen to see how well this latest round of CPUs from AMD perform.
I like the idea of them actually listening to what people (well, OCers anyway) want. :)
Yemerich 21st November 2008, 18:24 Quote
Does a "cpu that is meant to be overclocked" means that it come to the shops underclocked?

In other words, is it underpowered?
Goty 21st November 2008, 18:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by airchie
If you get things cold enough, don't they start to superconduct?
Could be speaking utter pants but its just a random factoid (or is it a fictionoid? :D) that is floating about in my head.

Anyway, I'm keen to see how well this latest round of CPUs from AMD perform.
I like the idea of them actually listening to what people (well, OCers anyway) want. :)

Umm... yes, but nowhere nearly as warm as the temperatures obtained by liquid Nitrogen. The highest temperature superconductors still only obtain that state at temperatures around -220C.
HourBeforeDawn 21st November 2008, 19:48 Quote
Well either way I am glad to see a 4ghz on air coming from AMD but they are still doing things a bit to slow, they need to step up the AM3 because the longer they wait the farther Intel will get with releasing something that will be better at the time AM3 launches ~_~

Anyhow the Phenom II for AM2+ is certainly on my list to upgrade too, I have the 9950BE on ASUS latest board and Im loving it so I cant wait to get my hands on the new 45 ^__^
frontline 21st November 2008, 20:06 Quote
Hmm, interesting. Wonder how well these will work on my £50 Abit micro-ATX motherboard with a 780G chipset and SB700 :)
sandys 21st November 2008, 20:21 Quote
Probably OK my 140W 9950 just dropped into my 690G miniATX board with no bother, I was pleasantly surprised.
[PUNK] crompers 21st November 2008, 20:23 Quote
looks promising, i wont hold my breath though, i seem to remember some similar claims when phenom was first mentioned
Ending Credits 21st November 2008, 20:49 Quote
I can't say I'm going to get one straight away but I almost certainly will look into one at some point.
Redbeaver 21st November 2008, 22:24 Quote
bottom line: let the numbers speak, then the customers will decide.
Bindibadgi 21st November 2008, 22:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbeaver
bottom line: let bindi and bt clock and test the **** out of it, then the customers will decide.

Fixed, in anticipation.
Phil Rhodes 22nd November 2008, 00:57 Quote
Isn't "designed to overclock" an oxymoron, anyway?

P
talladega 22nd November 2008, 01:57 Quote
So this is just for the AMD quad cores? No games that I play make use of more than 2 cores and perform better with simply a high clock speed.

So is there any AMD dual cores that can overclock really good? My AMD 6000+ is at 3.1ghz or so. It does not OC very well. Not much more than 3.2 and its not stable at ALL.

Also it mentions of needing newer chipsets and such. I've got an MSI K9A2 Platinum with the 790FX chipset. Compatible with these new CPU's?
Evildead666 22nd November 2008, 10:42 Quote
I've had trouble mainly when I came to downclock the machines for passing on to someone else...the machine didn't like it at all...
My Q9450 is stable at 3.52, but not an inch higher.
I have some super sweet aircooling tools, and will be happy if i can overclock as far as thermals will aloow rather than as far as the chip design allows...
4GHz would be great, and if i can keep my DDR2 Dominators, then even better. ;-)
friskies 23rd November 2008, 00:23 Quote
If i understand the article correct only the black edition is "designed to overclock". So, overclocking to get some performance free is gonna cost you? Then maybe it would be better to just buy a better processor and skip all the hassle? The locked multiplier is a artificial constraint implemented only so that they can make money from you. Maybe i`m just getting old, but so is this ubiquitous advertising for overclocked/overclockable components. Anyone else sick of this?
Bindibadgi 23rd November 2008, 01:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by friskies
If i understand the article correct only the black edition is "designed to overclock". So, overclocking to get some performance free is gonna cost you? Then maybe it would be better to just buy a better processor and skip all the hassle? The locked multiplier is a artificial constraint implemented only so that they can make money from you. Maybe i`m just getting old, but so is this ubiquitous advertising for overclocked/overclockable components. Anyone else sick of this?

Quite. But AMD isn't exactly charging the earth, unlike Intel, for its current range of BEs. It remains to be seen what Phenom IIs will offer in terms of HTT overhead though
Gremlin 23rd November 2008, 07:44 Quote
At this point i'll be waiting and grabbing an AM3 Phenom II, at least then i can drop it in my AM2+ board til i can grab a new mobo and ram for it that was my plan when i upgraded and im glad to see it was a smart choice if they keep the pricing low still!

Also one thing im amazed people and especially tech sites didn't pick up on was something i noticed in those leaked slides showing the models and thier names and TDP etc, im posting from my phone so i can't link the slides but if you go find them and look you will notice that for one of the phenoms thats clocked at like 2.8 or 3.0ghz that will be released as both an AM3 and AM2+ version the AM2+ version has a TDP of 125w while the AM3 has a TDP of 95 watts of the exact same clock speed

If thats true im honestly wondering just how well it'll OC with the thermals lowered so much!

It also makes me wonder what will happen once AMD's 45nm process matures if pre production silicon clocks this crazy already.. Im not the most knowledgeable when it comes down to the processes but once iup been optimized etc and a few stepping's down the track won't the TDP drop and other enhancements mean that extreme clockers might be able to hit or pass 7ghz (assuming this current early sample hit 6.3 on liquid nitrogen as reported) and we at home might be able to hit 4+ stable 24/7 on either good air or 5+ on good water cooling? Or have i totally lost the plot here haha
Goty 23rd November 2008, 19:18 Quote
I suspect the difference in TDP comes down to differences in operating voltages for the IMC and/or HT links, so those savings would probably be nonexistent when running the CPU in an AM2+ motherboard.
HourBeforeDawn 23rd November 2008, 20:56 Quote
hmm Gremlin made a good point.... right now I am sitting on the ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe with a Phenom 9950BE and G.Skill 4gb (2gb x 2) DDR2-1100, so should I upgrade to the new Phenom II for AM2 or just start counting my pennies and just do a complete upgrade to AM3 tri/quad channel memory when it comes out..... I guess it will depend on the price of the Phenom II for AM2.
Gremlin 24th November 2008, 00:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goty
I suspect the difference in TDP comes down to differences in operating voltages for the IMC and/or HT links, so those savings would probably be nonexistent when running the CPU in an AM2+ motherboard.

If that was the case however the other processor should have a different TDP as well but they do not, the 3.0 version is still 125 on both platforms while the 2.8 is the one that's TDP changes but either way it makes you think what the over clocking differences would be between the two versions!
Goty 24th November 2008, 00:27 Quote
The 3.0GHz AM2+ part probably exceeds the 95W TDP due to its increased clockspeed, hence the identical TDP. The 2.8GHz parts produce less heat, so the difference between memory types and HT version has a greater effect on the overall TDP.
mclean007 24th November 2008, 10:59 Quote
Gremlin - remember TDPs are in "bands". AMD has a 95W line and a 125W line (also 45W and 65W and some even lower for laptop parts etc. IIRC), so a chip that is capable of drawing, say, 97W at its stock settings becomes a 125W TDP chip, while one that draws, say, 93W max is a 95W chip. What I mean is, the difference might not be as much as it appears based solely on the numbers.
kosch 24th November 2008, 13:04 Quote
Cant wait to see AMD's latest offerings hopefully it will yield some more overclocking fun and endless hours of blissful tweaking!
Journeyer 12th December 2008, 07:56 Quote
Hm. Didn't think they'd have them out this soon - I've already acquired a 9950BE. But I guess someone else might want it. :D
Anyhow, as an AMD man I am terribly excited by this and looking forward to january 8.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums