Thursday, January 8, 2009

AMD Releases DRAGON platform and Phenom II

Empowering consumers to get elite-level computing performance for under $900 U.S. dollars, AMD today launched “Dragon” platform technology for desktop PCs featuring the new AMD Phenom™ II X4 processor. Even the most demanding users such as enthusiasts and high-end gamers desire affordable systems capable of delivering HD entertainment, graphic-intensive game play at the highest settings their monitors can handle, as well as quick and easy transfer of video entertainment to and from mobile devices.

The processors launching today from AMD are the Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition and Phenom II X4 920. The major change in Phenom II is that it is built using a 45nm immersion lithography manufacturing process which, "enables higher frequencies, tighter tolerances and lower current leakage." The other major change is the L3 cache which is now three times as large at 6MB over 2MB of Phenom and the L3 cache is also 2-cycles faster. There are a number of other improvements as well, ACC (Advanced Clock Calibration) is now apparently baked into the silicon so a SB750 chipset is not required to get more overclocking headroom out of the Phenom II. Another thing to note is the HT bus on these new processors runs at 1.8GHz instead of 2GHz of the 9950 due to a trade off in priorities to get the chip ready to market. The bus isn't even close to being saturated with anything but servers so this isn't a major loss.

Major feature enhancements for 45nm AMD Phenom II:

Enhanced Total Cache: 8MB (L2 + L3)
Cool'n'Quiet 3.0 Technology: Additional power states, significantly (~40%) lower idle power and lower power consumption under moderate loads
Increased frequency: AMD Phenom II 940 3.0GHz @ 125W TDP
Massive headroom using extreme and experimental cooling techniques

Initial pricing Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition will be at $275 and the Phenom II X4 920 at $235.


"Dragon" is a synthesis of power, strength, and wisdom. Specifically, it is the fusion of the AMD Phenom™ II processor, ATI Radeon™ HD 4800 series graphics, AMD 7-series chipsets and AMD software that puts you in control. It's the PC platform designed for high-definition gaming, video processing and entertainment at an affordable price. The AMD Phenom II processor at the heart of Dragon platform technology is AMD's highest performing processor ever with superior efficiency.

The media reports:
AMDZone
Tech Report
AnandTech
CRN
Neo Seeker
GameWare
Guru3D
X-Bit Labs

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