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AMD SB850 Chipset Specs, Roadmap Revealed

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 31 comments

A few roadmap slides show that AMD's SB850 chipset--along with the RD890--will be available in Q4 2009.

A few roadmap slides show that AMD's SB850 chipset--along with the RD890--will be available in Q4 2009.

It's unknown whether or not the images are leaked, officially released, or completely fake, however Expreview posted three AMD slides highlighting the company's chipset roadmap. The slides are comprised of the south bridges, performance north bridges (IGP and discrete), and mainstream / value IGP north bridges. As it stands, the SB850 chipset will be available in Q4 2009 as well as the RD890 and the RS880D chipsets. AMD's slides also reveal that the 785G chipset will actually be released in Q3 2009, however no specific dates were set.

According to the images, the SB850 will be the last south bridge chipset using the new SATA 3 controller with speeds of 6 GB/s this year. Reports speculate that the chipset will only support AM3, and offer Gigabit MAC, AHCI 1.2, 6 SATA 3 interfaces, 14 USB ports, and RAID 5 and possibly the second generation PCIe 4X.

The RD890 north bridge chipset, on the other hand, offered no details in the provided chart, however it may support HT 3.0, 2x16 PCIe, and enhanced Quad Crossfire X 4x8 support. As for the RS7880D, this chipset will include the RV620 GPU (Radeon HD 3400) with a core clock of 700 MHz, and also offer support for DirectX 10.1, UVD 2.0, and CrossFire 2x8.

Finally, the AMD 785G IGP chipset will be the last of the "700" series to launch this year and was designed by ATI for Phenom processors. The AMD 785G shares similar traits to the AMD 780G released in Q2: both chipsets offer PCIe 2.0, HDMI, and possibly the Radeon HD 3200 (clocking at 500 MHz). However, the 785G will support DirectX 10.1 and UVD 2.0.

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  • 14 Hide
    eklipz330 , April 17, 2009 10:20 PM
    after seeing today's phenom II 940 go to a $160 sale price on newegg/zipzoomfly, im thinking my next rig be amd, they're pretty generous, and i think i want to give them my money
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  • 14 Hide
    eklipz330 , April 17, 2009 10:20 PM
    after seeing today's phenom II 940 go to a $160 sale price on newegg/zipzoomfly, im thinking my next rig be amd, they're pretty generous, and i think i want to give them my money
  • -6 Hide
    apache_lives , April 17, 2009 11:28 PM
    wtf?
  • 7 Hide
    apache_lives , April 17, 2009 11:29 PM
    i prefer an AMD/ATi chipset over a Nvidia solution any day - thank god AMD has the platform now which Intel has had for years (but with crap for video)
  • 8 Hide
    armistitiu , April 17, 2009 11:54 PM
    gbuttonsimply can't beat core 2 dua's

    I think this article was about chipsets. And yes 790gx beats the hell out of any Intel chipset with or without integrated graphics on any level especially power usage (just check the thermals on those x58 and you'll see what i'm talking about). About c2d...phenom II x4 ~ q9400, X3 beats e8400 ...that's enough for now.
  • 0 Hide
    yoda8232 , April 18, 2009 12:28 AM
    eklipz330after seeing today's phenom II 940 go to a $160 sale price on newegg/zipzoomfly, im thinking my next rig be amd, they're pretty generous, and i think i want to give them my money


    The Phenom II has never been $160, maybe talking about the Phenom II 720?
  • 0 Hide
    Nintendork , April 18, 2009 1:56 AM
    FYI
    Tricore 720 > E8600 > 8500 > 8400 it's a tricore and hey it's cheaper $134

    Quad 940 > Q9550 and hey it's cheaper $50 less at least
  • 1 Hide
    Nintendork , April 18, 2009 1:59 AM
    Q9650 vs 940

    http://foro.noticias3d.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=278294
  • 2 Hide
    eklipz330 , April 18, 2009 5:07 AM
    yoda8232The Phenom II has never been $160, maybe talking about the Phenom II 720?

    nope phenom II 940.
    think im lying eh?

    http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10009843

    go check right now... im typign this at 1:06AM EST, price is $168.99. blown away yet?
  • 1 Hide
    eklipz330 , April 18, 2009 5:09 AM
    Oh!! and if you go to newegg [here's the link]

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?nm_mc=AFC-SlickDeals&cm_mmc=AFC-SlickDeals-_-NA-_-NA-_-NA&Item=N82E16819103471

    and type in this -$20 coupon code AMD41420

    you get it for $169.99 =]

    i got mad connects yo

  • 3 Hide
    ta152h , April 18, 2009 8:36 AM
    AMD has to have the most convoluted processor positioning. Who would want a 940 anyway? I can't imagine why AMD would make their high-end processor AM2+ instead of AM3.

    It's good AMD is concentrating on their IGPs, since they can't compete with Intel with processors. By the same token, Intel can't compete with AMD for IGPs. Whoever thought ATI was a bad idea for AMD was a fool. Maybe they overpaid, but what possible reason would anyone have for buying AMD were it not for the exceptional IGPs from ATI. For a lot of the market, they can make AMD solutions very competitive.
  • 5 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , April 18, 2009 9:34 AM
    ta152hI can't imagine why AMD would make their high-end processor AM2+ instead of AM3.

    The reason is overall cost. the 940 is no high-end processor. Amd doesn't have any of those at the moment. The 940 is a good upper mainstream processor, and am2+ is great, since it means you can build an upper mainstream pc today for like no money. If they'd demand ddr3 like i7 does, it'll be in the same boat. ie. people dream about it, but then decide to go with the old tech as it's much cheaper. imo a system with 4gb ddr2 is much better than a system with 3gb ddr3 at twice the price.
    If you're building a cheap workhorse you'll go with a 780g or 790gx chipset and a 940 with 4 or 8gb ddr2 memory depending on your needs.
    If you need a gaming rig you'll go for something that can overclock well, and that means intel again.... so 940 as am2+ makes sense.
  • 0 Hide
    ta152h , April 18, 2009 5:47 PM
    Neiro, there's are a few points in your argument I'd disagree with. The most important is, AM3 can be used with DDR2, and even in AM2+ sockets. It is AMD's high end processor, and, agreed, next to Intel it's very mediocre, but I'm not even talking about Intel. If you want an AMD processor, you've decided they have the platform you want, and they make a better solution for you, what do you get? Who'd want the 940???? It's got a slow memory controller, slow L3 cache, but represents the fastest AMD sells. You could get the 720, but then you're going with slower clock speed and one less processor. But you get the faster memory controller, same L3 cache, good clock speed, and can use the faster/lower power modern memory. But, then again, you can get a quad core that uses the fast memory controller and can use DDR3, with the 810. Hmmmm, but then, you have lower clock speed, and smaller L3 cache.

    Who thought of this? Someone at AMD much be on crack. It's widely known that creating confusing and ambiguous product lines is bad for sales. A confused customer isn't a buying customer. AMD has a confusing product line, and they need to crown a real king of it. Not the 940, which is more of a queen.
  • 3 Hide
    eddieroolz , April 18, 2009 7:14 PM
    ta152hNeiro, there's are a few points in your argument I'd disagree with. The most important is, AM3 can be used with DDR2, and even in AM2+ sockets. It is AMD's high end processor, and, agreed, next to Intel it's very mediocre, but I'm not even talking about Intel. If you want an AMD processor, you've decided they have the platform you want, and they make a better solution for you, what do you get? Who'd want the 940???? It's got a slow memory controller, slow L3 cache, but represents the fastest AMD sells. You could get the 720, but then you're going with slower clock speed and one less processor. But you get the faster memory controller, same L3 cache, good clock speed, and can use the faster/lower power modern memory. But, then again, you can get a quad core that uses the fast memory controller and can use DDR3, with the 810. Hmmmm, but then, you have lower clock speed, and smaller L3 cache.Who thought of this? Someone at AMD much be on crack. It's widely known that creating confusing and ambiguous product lines is bad for sales. A confused customer isn't a buying customer. AMD has a confusing product line, and they need to crown a real king of it. Not the 940, which is more of a queen.


    That's why you wait for the 950 :) 

    By the way, the 940 beat or competes with Q9550, so I wouldn't call that "mediocre", as it represents the mainstream market. I believe Tom's did a review when the 940 came out too, check it out.
  • 4 Hide
    dmytty , April 18, 2009 8:40 PM
    It's foolish to upgrade virtually any element of your computer during 2009.

    As the PC is getting a complete overhaul and redesign from the groundup, updating your platform in '09 would be akin to buying a car knowing that next year's model will have 20-100% improvements in mpg, 0-60, and be designed for double or triple the lifespan.

    Consider the following:

    USB 3.0 and PCIe 3.0 will have major impacts on peripheral and add-in components both from a performance and future proofing standpoint. PCIe 3.0 GPU's will be more built on a mature 40nm process, DX11 compatible, and will be designed with Open CL and power savings in mind. Both USB/PCIe 3.0 should be supported on host chipsets in 2010.

    AMD in 1H '10 will be introducing quad channel memory access with the Magny Cours upgrades. This will be a 32nm based CPU sitting inside an AM4/G34 socket that offers more pins for the 40 GB/sec + quad RAM bandwidth.

    The effect of Intel's Larrabee should not be underestimated. Perhaps you won't buy one yourself, but you can be sure that AMD and Nvidia will be forced to make very aggressive moves to reassure shareholders that the 800 lb gorilla won't stomp them so easily.

    Speaking of Intel...Q1 '10 will see Intel pushing Westmere 32nm CPUs as part of their Larabee platform, with 8 core CPUs to follow. As Intel wrote the USB 3.0 xHCI host specs and influenced PCIe 3.0 heavily, you can expect them to push AMD and Nvidia very hard on the platform level.

    IMO, PCs are in the PC doldrums now, but there's a fresh breeze coming and whitecaps are on the horizon.

    P.S. Oh, there might just be a very cool new case concept on the market in 4Q 2009...and yes, Toms Hardware will be the first to review.
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , April 18, 2009 9:40 PM
    ta152hNeiro, there's are a few points in your argument I'd disagree with. The most important is, AM3 can be used with DDR2, and even in AM2+ sockets. It is AMD's high end processor, and, agreed, next to Intel it's very mediocre, but I'm not even talking about Intel. If you want an AMD processor, you've decided they have the platform you want, and they make a better solution for you, what do you get? Who'd want the 940???? It's got a slow memory controller, slow L3 cache, but represents the fastest AMD sells. You could get the 720, but then you're going with slower clock speed and one less processor. But you get the faster memory controller, same L3 cache, good clock speed, and can use the faster/lower power modern memory. But, then again, you can get a quad core that uses the fast memory controller and can use DDR3, with the 810. Hmmmm, but then, you have lower clock speed, and smaller L3 cache.Who thought of this? Someone at AMD much be on crack. It's widely known that creating confusing and ambiguous product lines is bad for sales. A confused customer isn't a buying customer. AMD has a confusing product line, and they need to crown a real king of it. Not the 940, which is more of a queen.

    I'm not sure I understood your point here, but just to sum up my opinion real quick - am2+ makes sence, cause almost nobody would use ddr3 with it anyway even if they had the option (cost), and I don't consider it a highend part, as it simply isn't highend. It's the same as not calling a smart roadster a racing car just because it's smarts fastest car. ps. people don't decide to go intel or amd, but to go for a certain budget or performance level. Most don't care about cache or the like anyway. They just care about the pricetag and the end result.
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , April 18, 2009 9:46 PM
    dmyttyIt's foolish to upgrade virtually any element of your computer during 2009. As the PC is getting a complete overhaul and redesign from the groundup, updating your platform in '09 would be akin to buying a car knowing that next year's model will have 20-100% improvements in mpg, 0-60, and be designed for double or triple the lifespan.Consider the following: USB 3.0 and PCIe 3.0 will have major impacts on peripheral and add-in components both from a performance and future proofing standpoint. PCIe 3.0 GPU's will be more built on a mature 40nm process, DX11 compatible, and will be designed with Open CL and power savings in mind. Both USB/PCIe 3.0 should be supported on host chipsets in 2010. AMD in 1H '10 will be introducing quad channel memory access with the Magny Cours upgrades. This will be a 32nm based CPU sitting inside an AM4/G34 socket that offers more pins for the 40 GB/sec + quad RAM bandwidth.The effect of Intel's Larrabee should not be underestimated. Perhaps you won't buy one yourself, but you can be sure that AMD and Nvidia will be forced to make very aggressive moves to reassure shareholders that the 800 lb gorilla won't stomp them so easily.Speaking of Intel...Q1 '10 will see Intel pushing Westmere 32nm CPUs as part of their Larabee platform, with 8 core CPUs to follow. As Intel wrote the USB 3.0 xHCI host specs and influenced PCIe 3.0 heavily, you can expect them to push AMD and Nvidia very hard on the platform level. IMO, PCs are in the PC doldrums now, but there's a fresh breeze coming and whitecaps are on the horizon. P.S. Oh, there might just be a very cool new case concept on the market in 4Q 2009...and yes, Toms Hardware will be the first to review.


    So essentially you're saying that nobody should buy something for the next 9-12 months, because something new and potentially better will be released q1-q2 next year?
    I'm planning on giving my parents a new pc for their wedding anniversary, and I hardly think they can wait 9 months for their present ... or it'd be rude anyway. Also, I'm quite sure I can't keep all the old computers at work running for another 9 months without replacements ....

    so while it's nice to know there's something new on the horizon, it isn't really going to matter until november or december where you can read rumors of release dates. And these will probably not be announced before xmas sales are over anyway.
  • 0 Hide
    ta152h , April 18, 2009 11:12 PM
    Eddie, By definition, mediocre means nearly average, not poor. But, let's be real. AMD can't compete effectively against Intel's previous generation except by lowering their costs. Intel's previous generation is better than AMD's current, and by a lot. So, calling it mediocre was generous. I could have called it poor, but, I agree it's a mainstream part.

    Also, I'd much rather have a Q9550 than a 940, wouldn't you? It's faster and more power efficient. On the other hand, I'd really like the 790GX based motherboard, and the G45 leaves me a bit cold.

    Waiting is exactly what people won't do. It's a great way to lose sales. If I need a computer, I'll get it now, not wait and hope AMD comes out with a more coherent product line.

    Neiro, my point is, the processor shouldn't be AM2+, it should be AM3. You could still put it in an AM2+ if you wanted to shackle it with obsolete memory to save cost, but you wouldn't have to. You're also not considering that the memory controller runs at 1.8 GHz, instead of 2.0 GHz, and the L3 cache as well. You're equating the processor being AM2+ with using DDR2, and it's just not that simple.

    For me, I will be considering a new motherboard and processor soon, and I wouldn't even consider DDR2, but I am looking at AMD, and that's why I'm so frustrated with them. I wouldn't want DDR2 mainly because it's a higher voltage part, and I don't have any machines that use it, and I'd rather standardize on DDR3. Especially with IGPs, the greater bandwidth can make a difference, but more than that is the faster memory controller and L3 cache.

    I'm not really into shooting down space aliens, so AMD's IGPs are very, very attractive to me, but their processors blow. They don't make a proper dual-core, and they are so inferior to the Core 2 in power consumption it's hard to accept. Their product line has too many holes and is incoherent and non-linear. They need a real best processor, not one that is good at this, but inferior at other things. It's bizarre and very unusual. On top of that, they need a proper dual core. There are some people that are smart enough to know quad core is a waste for what they do, and dual core is more than enough. Quad core costs more, and can be slower since it's generally not going to be as overclockable, and chews up power. The K8 is their answer for this market?

    It's bad enough they don't have a high-end processor, but to have so many holes, and weird situations where they have no real "best" processor, is just unsupportable. Whoever is doing marketing has to be fired, and soon. It's a confusing product line, and they really need to get some decent dual core processors out there soon.

    I don't mean to be so hard on AMD, since the 720 is a decent processor and would no doubt be what I bought if I had to buy an AMD. But, the mistakes they are making are those of an incompetent management that seems to lack a coherent and effective vision of what their product line should be, and just throws out products without a clearer strategy. Their ATI product line, I think, is better thought out.
  • 1 Hide
    dmytty , April 19, 2009 1:19 AM
    neiroatopelccSo essentially you're saying that nobody should buy something for the next 9-12 months, because something new and potentially better will be released q1-q2 next year? I'm planning on giving my parents a new pc for their wedding anniversary, and I hardly think they can wait 9 months for their present ... or it'd be rude anyway. Also, I'm quite sure I can't keep all the old computers at work running for another 9 months without replacements .... so while it's nice to know there's something new on the horizon, it isn't really going to matter until november or december where you can read rumors of release dates. And these will probably not be announced before xmas sales are over anyway.


    Going through my peer group, unless someone has no computer whatsoever, I would in almost all cases recommend not buying anything new until Xmas at minimum.

    As to your situation, it's actually quite considerate to have a good reason to delay a gift. Personally, I have told someone I'm buying them a tech gift but they'll have to wait a bit because there's a big hardware refresh. In every case, the recipients appreciated the advice as much as the gift because most people are frustrated by tech obsolescence. In most cases, I freely tell them what they're going to get, and how it can affect the way they use their digital cameras, etc. For example, you might want to tell the in-laws to avoid buying consumer devices as well until USB 3.0 and faster SDHC cards appear.

    Perhaps your in-laws would appreciate the dramatic power savings of Intel's upcoming GPU on a Nehalem CPU - they've achieved 65 watts for the whole Core i5 computer! That should be out before Christmas. USB 3.0 alone brings enormous improvements to the PC experience but you could use an add-in card.

    So unless you're buying a laptop, waiting for Xmas at minimum means Win 7 + new Intel CPU's and mobos (USB 3.0 chipset is theoretically possible) with DX11 graphics. Then you can give the gift as a combo anniversary-xmas present that is far superior to and much more future proof.

    And if you're buying a laptop and money's no object (or you have a $2k budget), then you will certainly wow them with a 14.1" OLED screen. OLED is definitely worth waiting for...it's literally night and day (contrast ratios are that much better). Of course, the same OLED laptop will include the Nehalem core and DX11 graphics with OpenCL support and Bluetooth 3.0.

    Laptop or desktop, there's so much refreshing going on with DX11 games, applications, OS's, and hardware that it's simply too easy to justify waiting. AMD bringing out a feeble update to it's chipsets certainly doesn't justify buying new.

    Good PC's will come to those who wait.
  • 1 Hide
    dmytty , April 19, 2009 1:47 AM
    BTW, I'm specifically referring to Intel's Arrandale (mobile) and Clarkdale (desktop) - both are dual core 32nm 'Nehalem' CPUs with integrated GPU's that supporting discrete GPU switching. Clarkdale has the 65 watt max thermals - great for a non-compromised full desktop experience.

    I guess what I'm saying is that if you put together a laundry list of what you want in a 'new' PC, you'll find that you'll get most of the things on your list (and 2012's list) by waiting until Xmas.

    Buy now and in 2010 it's soon to be e-junk.
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