AMD's 45nm CPUs are designed to overclock

November 21, 2008 // 2:19 p.m.

Tags: #2009 #45nm #4ghz #6ghz #amd #black #cpu #deneb #edition #extreme #january #ln2 #oc #overclock #overclocking #performance #processor

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.
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