Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices is launching its fastest low-cost consumer PC microprocessor today, the six-core AMD Phenom II X6.
The company is coupling the new processor with its AMD 890FX chip set and ATI Radeon HD 5000 series graphics to create a complete consumer PC package, which AMD calls its “most powerful desktop platform ever.” Well, at least until the next fast chip comes along in a few months.
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD said the chip is aimed at enthusiasts who want to run immersive 3D and visualization applications. The new processors aren’t as fast as Intel’s fastest Core i7 microprocessors, but they are more affordable, said Adam Kosack, an AMD marketing manager, in an interview.
The two new versions of the AMD Phenom II X6 processor are the 1090T Black Edition $295) and a standard edition 1055T ($199). Both feature AMD’s new Turbo CORE technology, which boosts performance of three cores when the other three are idle. This is good for programs that don’t require a lot of simultaneous processing and instead do serial processing, or one task after another.
The Turbo CORE technology lets three cores run as fast as 500 megahertz faster than the standard six-core processing speed. Among the applications that can use this are games and productivity software, which may need only three cores instead of six. The Black Edition chip will run three cores at 3.6 gigahertz instead of 3.2 gigahertz when in Turbo CORE mode. The 1055T can run at 3.2 gigahertz in Turbo CORE mode, compared to its normal 2.8-gigahertz speed for six cores.
Computer makers who will launch PCs in North America using the chips include BOXX, iBuyPower, CyberPower, Systemax, MainGear, NCS Technology, Velocity Micro, and ZT Systems. Motherboard makers who will sell system boards (which can be built into PCs by do-it-yourself builders) include NCIX, Newegg, Tiger Direct, and ZipZoomFly.
The latest launch shows that AMD is hitting its stride. It comes just a month after the company talked about its new 8-core and 12-core processors.