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New 6-core AMD CPUs overclock to 4GHz on air

New 6-core AMD CPUs overclock to 4GHz on air

AMD's upcoming 6-core CPUs will hit 4GHz and upwards with good cooling, but you'll need a Black Edition CPU to do it.

If you read our recent review of AMD's 12-core Opteron 6174, you might be of the opinion AMD's fortunes are looking up. From what we've seen in the secret testing labs here in Taipei, that might well be the case. We got the chance to see one of AMD’s upcoming 6-core desktop CPUs being overclocked, and the chip hit a whopping 4 to 4.2GHz with a very good air cooler.

That said, this type of overclocking will be limited to Black Edition models, due to HyperTransport limits. As with the original 65nm Phenoms, these new 6-core CPUs will hit around 230MHz on the HT clock before refusing to go any further - so you'll need to use multiplier overclocking, which requires the unlocked multiplier you get with a Black Edition CPU.

At this time, we can’t go into any more detail about voltages or motherboards used.

Fancy a 6-core upgrade with a new 890FX board? Let us know your thoughts, in the forums.

40 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
shokwaav 14th April 2010, 11:59 Quote
wow air cooling? amd's getting good............................
Ph4ZeD 14th April 2010, 12:25 Quote
Its also worth pointing out that when Scan added the 6 core 2.8GHz Thurban, it was only £165. Even if you could only overclock to 3.5GHz on air, thats still a lot of processing power at a decent price.
Nikols 14th April 2010, 12:44 Quote
Eagerly anticipating the release of the 1090T BE. Had decided to upgrade my chip about 2 months ago to a phenom 965 seeing as they are so cheap and achieve 4ghz on air, then the news arrived that these would be release on April 26th and won't be costing an arm and a leg so I thought I'd hold out. I'll be running the chip on an asus m4a79 deluxe 790fx motherboard (updated the bios last week to take the new chips) but if bit-tech wants to swap an 890fx board for this I'd be very appreciative???? ;-)
Unknownsock 14th April 2010, 13:15 Quote
Even if the App takes advantage of these, ive heard that these still only perform similiar to an I7?
Nikols 14th April 2010, 13:23 Quote
Same price range, so is that a bad thing? For amd users it's great to have a similar spec (performance wise) option rather than taking a general performance hit by opting for an amd system.

I think this chip represents a good "stop the rot" move from amd. Anybody considering an upgrade who read reviews were only really left with one option until now, intel. AMD chips weren't the best at multitasking and hopefully this will improve their reputation in the area. Now people wanting to upgrade will have two hopefully similar options and for those of us already on amd platform the cost is minimal. Therefore amd will retain more customers until the release of bulldozer
SchizoFrog 14th April 2010, 13:38 Quote
It really depends on the core architecture though. Fine they have 6 cores but if software doesn't use them properly (even multithreaded apps seem not to benefit too much from the extra 2 cores) then it really comes down to the workload each core can do and core for core I think Intel is still miles ahead.

I do think this has a whiff of the old MHz days though. 'Your CPU has 4 cores, but mine has 6 with go faster stripes...'. I also hope that these will bring the prices of current CPUs down and not just replace them. I hope Dual-Core and older Quads just become better priced rather than obsolete.
rickysio 14th April 2010, 13:43 Quote
At long last AMD finally gets a chip which can compete with Intel in the top end! After months of domination by the i7 series, some challengers should result in better pricing!
UncertainGod 14th April 2010, 14:58 Quote
What's up with the 12-core link requiring a username & password?
SazBard 14th April 2010, 15:02 Quote
Hmmm, what's the PPD of these things?
Mr T 14th April 2010, 15:12 Quote
Is the opteron link supposed to link to a top secret beta password protected version of bit?
cyrilthefish 14th April 2010, 15:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncertainGod
What's up with the 12-core link requiring a username & password?
Looks like they failed at link posting :p

remove the 'beta' from the start of the url and it works
http://bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2010/03/31/amd-opteron-6174-vs-intel-xeon-x5650-review/1
Sifter3000 14th April 2010, 15:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncertainGod
What's up with the 12-core link requiring a username & password?

Oops, thanks, fixed!

Yes, it's the beta version of the new version of the site :)
dec 14th April 2010, 16:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
It really depends on the core architecture though. Fine they have 6 cores but if software doesn't use them properly (even multithreaded apps seem not to benefit too much from the extra 2 cores) then it really comes down to the workload each core can do and core for core I think Intel is still miles ahead.

I do think this has a whiff of the old MHz days though. 'Your CPU has 4 cores, but mine has 6 with go faster stripes...'. I also hope that these will bring the prices of current CPUs down and not just replace them. I hope Dual-Core and older Quads just become better priced rather than obsolete.

+1.

Any word on what it can get with water?
UncertainGod 14th April 2010, 17:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sifter3000
Oops, thanks, fixed!

Yes, it's the beta version of the new version of the site :)

Having just proved my error spotting ability I think I deserve said beta access.
HourBeforeDawn 14th April 2010, 21:14 Quote
WOOT WOOOT WOOOOOOT

Thank you AMD, keep it up. :)

So I havent read up on these yet, so if someone could give a basic break down for these CPUs

What Socket are they?
Do they have any backwards compatibility?

Like I have an ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe motherboard would be nice to keep using it but if not understandable just pinching pennies where I can lol.
TSR2 14th April 2010, 23:32 Quote
@HourBeforeDawn: Yes, can I stick one in an AM2 motherboard? Please, please xD
Initialised 15th April 2010, 09:09 Quote
ASUS have released BIOS updates for their full range of AM2+ and AM3 boards, even the nVidia variants. AM2 might be asking too much.

Please be good journalists and quote your source: The source of the data http://forum.coolaler.com/showpost.php?p=2601846&postcount=25

Glad you like the cooler, just like a Nordwand but half the price. ;)

I know someone this side of the world has been running HT 243 for 3.4GHz on a 14x locked CPU with a stock cooler. So that blows a hole in the 230MHz wall. That board usually tops out around 260-275MHz on Deneb and Propus so 3.85GHz looks like the theoretical limit for low end boards, but like i7 980x the extra cores will increase the strain on the VRMs so even if you watercool you should make sure there is plenty of airflow around the VRMs especially on boards without VRM heatsinks.
stonedsurd 15th April 2010, 09:13 Quote
To be honest, I don't see the big deal. Clock for clock and core for core, AMD is yet to compete with Nehalem. So what does a 4GHz+ overclock do? Get them to performance parity with a 3-point-something GHz Core i7?

EDIT: Just to clarify, I'm talking about benchmarks. Yes, for gaming, there's little difference, so don't go biting my head off just yet.
Bindibadgi 15th April 2010, 09:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Initialised
Please be good journalists and quote your source: The source of the data http://forum.coolaler.com/showpost.php?p=2601846&postcount=25

That was not my source of data, I talked to motherboard companies working on their 890FX. ;)

stonedsurd - for the odd applications that are in need of particular core features, rather than sharing through HyperThreading, the 6-cores will actually be faster. Check our recent 12-core AMD review ;)
Sheiken 15th April 2010, 09:30 Quote
I really hope Shuttle releases a bios update that supports this cpu!
Cyberpower-UK 15th April 2010, 11:31 Quote
I can confirm that there is no FSB wall at 230MHz.
stonedsurd 15th April 2010, 12:08 Quote
So need for unlocked multipliers? excellent.
Bindibadgi 15th April 2010, 12:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberpower-UK
I can confirm that there is no FSB wall at 230MHz.

What CPU, board and conditions are you testing? :)
Cyberpower-UK 15th April 2010, 13:49 Quote
Unlocked multipliers are only helpful for noobs, quick and dirty OCs, rubbish motherboards with limited FSB overclocking capability or low FSB walls and pushing the limits on Phase or LN2. With 300MHz FSB and higher possible on some 790 and 890 boards it should be possible to push the 14x locked CPU to 4GHz. or more
Cyberpower-UK 15th April 2010, 13:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberpower-UK
I can confirm that there is no FSB wall at 230MHz.

What CPU, board and conditions are you testing? :)

Can't say, sorry.
HourBeforeDawn 15th April 2010, 20:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Initialised
ASUS have released BIOS updates for their full range of AM2+ and AM3 boards, even the nVidia variants. AM2 might be asking too much.

Please be good journalists and quote your source: The source of the data http://forum.coolaler.com/showpost.php?p=2601846&postcount=25

Glad you like the cooler, just like a Nordwand but half the price. ;)

I know someone this side of the world has been running HT 243 for 3.4GHz on a 14x locked CPU with a stock cooler. So that blows a hole in the 230MHz wall. That board usually tops out around 260-275MHz on Deneb and Propus so 3.85GHz looks like the theoretical limit for low end boards, but like i7 980x the extra cores will increase the strain on the VRMs so even if you watercool you should make sure there is plenty of airflow around the VRMs especially on boards without VRM heatsinks.


Woot, awesome, I love my board and well its been good to me, glad I will be able to squeeze some more life out of it. ^_^
Initialised 16th April 2010, 09:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
That was not my source of data, I talked to motherboard companies working on their 890FX. ;)
The 4GHz and 4.2GHz result is suspiciously similar, but it features a 790FX not 890 which is where these CPUs should really shine.

Someone on XS has taken a 1055T to 4.2GHz and then some using a 300MHz FSB on a gigabyte 790FXTA-UD5 link. Here's a 1055T @ 290 FSB and another at 300MHz and a nice review with a more conservative 250MHz so I think it's about time you retracted the paragraph about 230MHz FSB before people start thinking Intel paid you to do it, unless you meant 314MHz which is more likely to be a board than CPU limit.

According to Guru3D the 1055T will retail at $199 pitching it directly at i5 x4 750 and i5 x2 661. The 1090T at $299 it's competing with the i7 860 and 930.

All of these CPUs will overclock to around 4GHz with a good core contact HPC or a modest water cooling loop and decent mother board. The Phenom II x6 has the advantage of backward compatibility with existing DDR2 AM2+ and DDR3 AM3 boards making it a CPU only upgrade rather than costly a platform refresh for those who saw this coming. All the major board vendors are issuing BIOS updates. ASUS is expecting to be ready in time for the official launch on the 27th of April as they were with the i7 980X.

AMD's implementation of Turbo mode is both simple and aggressive with the 1055T dynamically overclocking by 2.5 multipliers (from x14 to 16.5 ~500MHz with the standard 200MHz FSB) when three or fewer CPUs are in use which should help in older and poorly coded games. The 1090T and other Black Edition variants will allow for higher turbo modes with a BIOS adjustable multiplier and a +2x default.

The Thuban CPUs lack HyperThreading which can improve multicore scaling.

Taking a comparison with 980x on performance alone is somewhat futile since you could get an entire system based on Phenom II x6 for the cost of a single 980x.
confusis 16th April 2010, 10:15 Quote
Wonder what this could do under LN2!
IanJackson 16th April 2010, 11:21 Quote
A new foot-hold for AMD? Guess we will just have to wait and see.
stonedsurd 16th April 2010, 11:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by confusis
Wonder what this could do under LN2!

It'd probably go insane. AMD's just scale so much better under extreme cooling. No cold bugs, or cold boot bugs. No freaking hassles, basically. Benching Intels under LN2 was all me and my friend used to do (he was an AMD nubcaek) but then we got some AMD hardware to play with courtesy of a local retailer and we were shocked to see how well they scaled and how ridiculously easy it was compared to the massive amount of tinkering required with Intel.
Too bad they rarely get the numbers, though.
confusis 16th April 2010, 12:03 Quote
Imagine a 5ghz hexacore under phase change... drool!
Initialised 17th April 2010, 01:38 Quote
CustomPCs very own Ben Hardwidge has been getting busy 6.3GHz on LN2 no 230MHz wall there.
HourBeforeDawn 17th April 2010, 18:53 Quote
Initialised, we understand, remember bit-tech wasnt ever the hardcore OCing site, its a review/article site so their focus on OCing has never been a priority, its always been the quality of the product its self and whats going on. Still yes they should be a bit more informative on what the limitations really are versus their own experience which can only be rated on the capability of the person doing the OC so doing some research to what others have done and taking the averages would be more accurate and simply mention something like we were able to achieve blah blah but we have scene upwards of blah blah being achieved but hey they do what they can do.
Xonar 18th April 2010, 01:48 Quote
Or even better, buy one of the new Phenom II X4 960T's for £120 and unlock the extra 2 cores on one of the newer ASUS boards to make it a fully fledged hexa-core CPU. Bargain of the year.
Initialised 18th April 2010, 18:39 Quote
Still hard to beat an X4 B50 for value.
thehippoz 18th April 2010, 19:10 Quote
230 not bad.. remember the old semprons could get 241 stable- took a bit of tweaking to do that and forget it on the older opterons.. lucky to get over 220, been awhile since messed with amd- were talking socket 754, 939 here hehe

that's pretty nice if it's stable.. how's the secret lab look bindi- any pictures =]




or hot hmong chicks I'll take either
V3ctor 26th April 2010, 09:38 Quote
I would like to make a request... When you review the new AMD X6, could u please make some tests on an AM2+ motherboard with DDR2? I know that DDR3 is the standard now, but some of us are just going to upgrade their old mobo with a faster cpu, I would just like to know how big is the bottleneck of DDR2 vs. DDR3.
Thanks :)
HourBeforeDawn 26th April 2010, 16:19 Quote
^^^ I second that, Im holding off ordering one until I know for sure that there will be a BIOS update for my ASUS M3 board, so far they only announced M4 boards having the compatibility already.
Cyberpower-UK 28th April 2010, 16:52 Quote
I've had them running on M2N68, bottom end DDR2 boards. Basically if you have ASUS, MSI or Gigbyte then there's probably already a BIOS that will work with Thubans on their site.
HourBeforeDawn 28th April 2010, 18:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberpower-UK
I've had them running on M2N68, bottom end DDR2 boards. Basically if you have ASUS, MSI or Gigbyte then there's probably already a BIOS that will work with Thubans on their site.

nope not yet, my board hasnt been added to the support list and there hasnt been any new bios since last year and tech support says they are still adding boards and what not but not sure about mine and well to be honest I dont want to spend 300$ to find out that I cant use it so I can wait for now. :)
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