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AMD confirms Thuban Turbo Core

AMD confirms Thuban Turbo Core

AMD's Turbo Core technology boosts clock speed by 500MHz - without raising the TDP - when not all cores are under load.

AMD's upcoming Thuban processor range is ship with a dynamic overclocking technology dubbed Turbo Core.

According to The Tech Report, AMD's next-generation processor is set to take a leaf out of Intel's book and include a dynamic overclocking technology similar to - although simpler than - Turbo Boost.

Designed for use with the 6-core Thuban series - although it's likely to hit the quad-core editions as well, despite no confirmation on that from AMD - Turbo Core increases the performance for poorly multithreaded applications by boosting a group of processing cores by up to 500MHz providing other groups aren't doing any real work.

The idea of splitting the processor into two groups of three cores means that while one group is idle, the other group can be given a 500MHz clockspeed boost without increasing power draw or going over the processor's designated TDP. As an example, if a six-core Thuban chip is running at 3GHz but only three of the cores are in use, it will temporarily overclock to 3.5GHz.

The Turbo Core technology is handled entirely internally and without the need for user interaction - and once more applications are launched, or if a massively multithreaded application rears its head, the boost state will drop back down to stock speeds in order to meet the TDP.

While AMD hasn't taken the opportunity of the Turbo Core announcement to provide hard details on the expected clock speeds for its Thuban range, the company is quoted as suggesting that the Black Edition of its six-core Thuban chip - aimed at enthusiasts and overclockers - will ship at speeds "over 3GHz, substantially" before the 500Mhz Turbo Core overclock is taken into account.

Does the idea of a processor that can dynamically give you a half-a-gigahertz overclock if you're only using certain cores fill you with joy, or is Intel's Turbo Boost - with its multiple speed increments and dynamic temperature monitoring - the better technology? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

16 Comments

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TWeaK 9th April 2010, 14:44 Quote
I think it was inevitable that AMD would take Intel's Turbo Boost technology and make their own version of it. It's just a shame that AMD haven't managed any well executed innovative ideas of their own lately.

I hope for this that they've grouped the cores across the chip - if they group 3 cores on one side of the die or in a corner than you could get a hot spot on the heatspreader.

On another note, when can we get a picture in these news posts with a link to the full-size?? It's a pain when some of them are really worth a closer look.
scawp 9th April 2010, 15:15 Quote
I thought some of the AM2+ series did something similar to this anyway, turning off one core and clocking the other, Its not like they stole this idea off Intel like TWeaK is suggesting, more of an adaptation of their existing technology.
l3v1ck 9th April 2010, 15:47 Quote
Quite literally too little, too late.
I bought a Core i5 laptop with Turbo Boost this morning. If AMD had already released something similar I may have considered it, however I would never have waited for it.
pullmyfoot 9th April 2010, 17:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by scawp
I thought some of the AM2+ series did something similar to this anyway, turning off one core and clocking the other, Its not like they stole this idea off Intel like TWeaK is suggesting, more of an adaptation of their existing technology.

that was the other way around. Cores powered down when not in use to save energy. This one speeds them up.
pullmyfoot 9th April 2010, 17:40 Quote
either way, I wouldnt call it "stealing". its the way technology works. If you see it like that, then Intel "stole" AMD's idea of putting the memory controller on the CPU die. AMD has been doing that for donkey years and Intel only did it starting with i7
zagortenay 9th April 2010, 18:08 Quote
I overclock as far as I can, without raising the core voltage too much and then enable C&Q. I get more performance without sacrificing too much power usage. Turbo feature is more or less achieving the same goal, following a different approach. It is actually a marketting gimmick, which helped Intel a lot in benchmarks. AMD had to follow the same route and that's all about it.
V3ctor 9th April 2010, 20:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
Quite literally too little, too late.
I bought a Core i5 laptop with Turbo Boost this morning. If AMD had already released something similar I may have considered it, however I would never have waited for it.

AMD's laptop are crap comparing to Intel's i5 armada... AMD doesn't give much attention to the laptop market...
Goty 9th April 2010, 20:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWeaK

I hope for this that they've grouped the cores across the chip - if they group 3 cores on one side of the die or in a corner than you could get a hot spot on the heatspreader.
Well, that IS why you have a heatspreader in the first place, you know =P
dec 10th April 2010, 02:19 Quote
Why didnt they just call it Cool n Quiet 4.0 or Cool n Fast or something?

Any word on whether thuban based quads can unlock to 5 core?
ssj12 10th April 2010, 04:52 Quote
sorry to say but whats the point? if only half the cores overclock themselves and the other cores shut down, doesnt that decrease performance in most cases? shouldnt this overclock every core like Intel's Turbo does?

lets take an example of say FarCry 2 since its multi-core friendly. It sends threads to each core. All of the sudden the drivers for the CPU notice need to speed up the process. it kills 3/6 cores. Doesn't that automatically kill the engine's ability to send 6 threads and stop existing threads being processed by the shut down cores? I'd say performance in game would suffer due to this.
rickysio 10th April 2010, 11:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssj12
sorry to say but whats the point? if only half the cores overclock themselves and the other cores shut down, doesnt that decrease performance in most cases? shouldnt this overclock every core like Intel's Turbo does?

lets take an example of say FarCry 2 since its multi-core friendly. It sends threads to each core. All of the sudden the drivers for the CPU notice need to speed up the process. it kills 3/6 cores. Doesn't that automatically kill the engine's ability to send 6 threads and stop existing threads being processed by the shut down cores? I'd say performance in game would suffer due to this.

This is only when you need better single threaded performance. Obviously it's a 'smart' system and will activate based on the load headed towards the CPU. The engineers at AMD are not incapable doddering fools that are incapable of understanding how modern programs work. The fact is that many of the (common) programs we use now are only at most, double threaded.
l3v1ck 10th April 2010, 22:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by V3ctor
AMD's laptop are crap comparing to Intel's i5 armada... AMD doesn't give much attention to the laptop market...
To be fair my old laptop was AMD, but that was from 2004 when the choices from Intel were:
Uber expensive but good Pentium M
Uber hot and inefficient Pentium 4M
Uber underpowered Celeron.
I'm glad to see Intel have made good progress when it comes to laptop CPU's.
wilfy1 11th April 2010, 10:53 Quote
It seems things have turned full circle. Back when AMD chips were the processor of choice, Intel could only respond with higher clock speeds with all the heat and power consumption problems that went with that. At the time AMD chips did more work per clock cycle so did not need to get into the Mhz race. Now as the article says (will ship at speeds "over 3GHz, substantially" ) they have gone to higher clock speeds. I would like AMD to be competitive with Intel, competition is always good for the consumer, but this just seems a bit desperate.

I understand you recommend AMD for low budget systems but I don't quite see how this works. Budget AMD motherboards are more expensive than Intel, and while the chips are cheaper I am not convinced by the Price/performance ratio. I am going to try the Phenom dual core unlock to quad core routine but if there was not the possibility of this then I would not have even looked at AMD. As an indication of how things are my supplier is struggling to get hold of AMD chips because his wholesale supplier is just concentrating on volume Intel sales and not bothering with stocking much AMD stuff.

I hope I have not come across as an Intel fan boy wth this, I cannot however ignore the true situation.

Perhaps they can generate market share by going ultra budget, they would have to help by reducing motherboard chipset prices to make cheaper boards available.
Xir 12th April 2010, 09:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssj12
lets take an example of say FarCry 2 since its multi-core friendly. It sends threads to each core. All of the sudden the drivers for the CPU notice need to speed up the process. it kills 3/6 cores. Doesn't that automatically kill the engine's ability to send 6 threads and stop existing threads being processed by the shut down cores? I'd say performance in game would suffer due to this.

Then again, most games thread particularly bad*.
Then, when gaming, you get a 500Mhz boost, while working you get all cores...
Not a bad Idea really.

*as in, using only 2 cores of a quad
Domestic_ginger 12th April 2010, 09:45 Quote
I'm looking forward to these. they should market at £165 from what I have heard and should be competitive (and backwards compatable too!). This will probably be my upgrade in 2012.

Unfortunately AMD has done badly in the laptop market place due thier less efficient chips. I think being stuck with the current generation they can't improve it much more so are holding on for Llano (?codename?).
l3v1ck 12th April 2010, 20:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilfy1
I understand you recommend AMD for low budget systems
Actually in the mag they've just switched to Core i3 for the budget system, now cheap but good motherboards are available.
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