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AMD creates TWKR overclockers' chip

AMD creates TWKR overclockers' chip

This image, taken by AMD senior VP Nigel Dessau, shows the Phenom II 42 TWKR Black Edition in its rather sexy packaging.

AMD appears to be quietly releasing an ultra-specced version of its Phenom II processors dubbed TWKR to select overclockers – and they promise some pretty impressive performances.

As reported over on X-bit Labs, the company has sent a very limited number of the high-end chips – officially known as the AMD Phenom II 42 TWKR Black Edition – out to select customers in order to see just what they are capable of doing with them.

So far, the only official statement regarding the chips from anyone at AMD comes from spokesman Steve Howard who confimed that the chip does exist, and that “the enthusiast community is buzzing right now” with rumours of just what is possible with the processor.

Further confirmation that such a product exists outside AMD's labs comes from Nigel Dessau, AMD's senior VP and chief marketing officer who posted a picture of a boxed version to his TwitPic feed under the heading “Don't tell anyone I have one.

Although hard details regarding the chips are scarce right now, it's believed to feature the de rigueur unlocked clock multiplier for ease of overclocking and is designed around a mind-bendingly high TDP of 200W – meaning that extreme cooling, up to and including liquid nitrogen and other supercooled gases, is the order of the day. The TWKR is rumoured to be able to hit 7-8GHz under optimal conditions, although these figures have yet to be backed up with a solid benchmark.

Sadly, it's highly unlikely that you'll get your hands on one of these already highly coveted processors in the near future without a second mortgage: with the company attempting to make the TWKR processor the crème-de-la-crème of the overclocking world, they're going to be in limited supply for quite some time. The only models currently known to be in the wild – including pictures of one taken by high-end PC manufacturer Maingear's chief executive officer Wallace Santos – are clearly marked “not for sale” on the heat spreader.

Despite this, it is believed that small quantities are making their way to performance PC manufacturers as well as overclocking teams, so it might not be too long before the highest top-end gaming PCs come with a TWKR option. How much of a premium that's likely to set you back is another thing entirely.

Is this the way for AMD to get back on top after a long period chasing Intel's shadow, or should the company be concentrating on chips for the mass market rather than top-end rich boys' toys? Fancy getting your hands on on a TWKR and seeing just what it can do? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

11 Comments

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Mankz 18th June 2009, 11:17 Quote
http://www.xtremesystems.org/Forums/showthread.php?t=226936&highlight=twkr

^^ More info and discussion.

I especially like this jibe at the 42 name :p
Quote:
Originally Posted by Particle
No, you're looking at it the wrong way. It's obviously 42 as in: Phenom II: The Answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything Edition
p3n 18th June 2009, 11:28 Quote
I thought that joke was 43?

Anyway, AMD should really design a better chip than having Ghz waving competitions with (themself?).
Gremlin 18th June 2009, 12:14 Quote
I think its a bloody brilliant thing

Why not target extreme overclockers etc, they are the ones who would pay a premium for the top chip, especially if its designed for them to begin with, i think it is a BRILLIANT move there is no other way to look at it imo
Goty 18th June 2009, 12:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by p3n
I thought that joke was 43?

Anyway, AMD should really design a better chip than having Ghz waving competitions with (themself?).

It's publicity, and that's (almost) never a bad thing.
[USRF]Obiwan 18th June 2009, 14:46 Quote
The 42 TWeaKeR edition I was searching my socks off since the announcement last week for benchmarks. Did not find any yet..
I-E-D 18th June 2009, 14:53 Quote
7-8Ghz :O From what stock clock speed?
mjm25 18th June 2009, 15:26 Quote
If i was in AMD's marketing department i would be waiting for my big fat bonus.

excellent work from them and from the tech guys which created this.

are they speed-binned/freak of nature chips? or were they designed to be super fast on limited runs, like a single wafer at a time?

oh and does TWKR stand for something? or is it a cut down "TWeaKeR"?
g3n3tiX 19th June 2009, 00:48 Quote
it's motorola's way of naming procducts, à la RAZR/TLKR/...
Here i'ts TWKR. Twonker ? (instead of saying something else..) ^_^

Interesting marketing idea.
dec 19th June 2009, 01:22 Quote
wow does overdrive support it? in a few years people could be using LN2 cooling as often as air is used right now right?

if so id buy one of these
HourBeforeDawn 19th June 2009, 06:57 Quote
oh freakin awesome, I cant wait to see some action and results from this.
Adnoctum 19th June 2009, 08:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by I-E-D
7-8Ghz :O From what stock clock speed?

From what I understand, there is no "stock" speed. Stock is just the stable speed you can get.

Apparently these aren't a special run of CPUs, but are the dies from the "sweet spot" of the silicon wafer, which I believe is near the centre. That is why some CPUs overclock better than others, they are probably at or near the centre. These ones are just the ones that tick all the overclockers wet-dream boxes.

As a related aside, I read somewhere that you can tell where on a wafer an AMD CPU came from by the letters after the manufacture date. Can anyone confirm this?
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