In the finest Intelesque naming traditions, the dual core K8 is now K9, and the next real core is K10. If the addition of SSE to the PII core rated an extra I, the addition of an extra K for another whole core is a forgivable PR gaffe.
So, that said, what will this beast do? At MPF this week, AMD said two things of note, clock speed and performance. The clock speed was given as three or five speed grades below the prevailing chip at the time. This fits in well with the reports I am getting that it will basically be a couple of low voltage cores on a slice of silicon to remain under the 95W power cap.
That jives well with the current lineup, the LV parts are two speed grades down, and the ULV ones are 5 grades behind. If they do the same cherry-picking of CPUs for the new ones, it stands to reason that they will be in roughly the same power use ballpark.
The performance estimates AMD gave fit even more closely. They were saying that the dual core chips will be between 130 and 160% of the performance of the highest clocked single core.
What exactly does it fit to you ask? Well, the planned speed grades for Opterons are x52/2.6GHz in Q4, x54/2.8GHz in Q1-05, and x56/3.0GHz in mid-05. The K9s have parts listed as x66, x68 and x70 at launch, about the same time as the x56.
Now, if these parts were rated on sheer Mhz, that would put them at 4.0, 4.2 and 4.4 at launch. If the x56/3.0GHz is the actual high water mark for AMD clocks in mid-05, 130 to 160% should put them at 3.9 to 4.8GHz equivalent. That is mighty close to the x66-x70 range they have been touting, isn't it?
So, to catch you up on AMD in mid-2005, we have the K9 launching, but not that K9, that is now K10. The new K9 will not be a dog, but it will be at 2.0 to 2.6GHz, and should be one hell of a fast chip. All this for only 95w, and most likely a big dent in your credit card. µ
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