CHIP DESIGNER AMD has released its Bulldozer FX series processors with up to eight cores and fully unlocked.
The Bulldozer FX line of chips is completely unlocked for easier overclocking, so it is aimed at PC builders as well as multimedia and gaming enthusiasts. AMD said the chips are the first ever eight-core desktop processors. The chips have four modules, each with two cores.
Chris Cloran, CVP and general manager of the Client Group at AMD said, "While overclockers will certainly enjoy the frequencies the AMD FX processors can achieve, PC enthusiasts and HD media aficionados will appreciate the remarkable experience that AMD FX processors can provide as part of a balanced, affordable desktop system."
The top of the range AMD Bulldozer FX chip is the FX-8150, which has a base clock speed of 3.6GHz that can reach up to 4.2GHz using 'Max Turbo' mode. The other two chips that have eight cores are the FX-8120 and the FX-8100. The eight-core option comes with 8MB of L2 and L3 cache.
There is a six-core chip called the FX-6100, which has a base clock speed of 3.3GHz. There are also three quad-core models that have up to 4.2GHz clock speed as standard. The range comes in 95W or 125W thermal design power (TDP) models and supports RAM speeds of up to 1866Hz.
AMD has added overclocking, super resolution and AMD Eyefinity display features to the FX series Catalyst Control software. The theoretical resolution it can achieve is 7680x1600. It also includes support for AMD Crossfire X graphics.
The Bulldozer FX series chips have integrated northbridge circuits that have an 8MB L3 cache and two 72-bit wide DDR3 memory channels.
AMD Overdrive software is what "gives you greater control, yet makes overclocking more accessible", AMD said. Its graphical interface allows users to monitor and control settings such as the clock multiplier and frequency.
At a briefing in London, AMD told The INQUIRER that it thinks the Bulldozer FX chips sit in the 'sweet spot' of the processor market, fitting nicely between Intel's Core i5 and Core i7 chips. The high end FX-8150 processor will cost around £200 with the six-core chip priced at about £140.
The idea of this pricing is that users can afford to upgrade an existing system or build a new one around the Bulldozer FX chip. AMD said 76 per cent of retail systems cost less than £444, so custom building needs to be priced competitively.
The Bulldozer FX processor family, codenamed 'Zambezi', is designed for the AM3+ socket but is backwards compatible with the older AM3 socket, meaning that it will be easier for existing AMD customers to upgrade. µ
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