The Update Before The Storm
It’s no secret that we’re on the verge of seeing a whole new generation of processors from the AMD/Intel duopoly. Bobcat, Bulldozer, and Sandy Bridge are some of the processor architectures the chip giants will introduce between now and the second half of 2011. From what we’ve already seen and heard, these new designs are going to be real game-changers.
However, months are like years when it comes to technology, and product refreshes are always welcome when they bring more performance to the table. We've already seen mobile-based demos of AMD's upcoming technology, but there has been little indication of how the company's new desktop parts will perform. Until that happens, we're left to play with existing Phenom II and Athlon II models. Similarly, though Intel talked a big game at IDF, its Gulftown-, Lynnfield-, and Clarkdale-based processors remain the only viable competition for anything AMD launches today. We'll have to wait for late 2010 to get a more concrete indication of how Sandy Bridge fits into the market.
AMD has delivered speed bumps across the Athlon II line twice this year, and the company is doing it one more time with six new processors released today. But it’s not just the Athlon II lineup that AMD is updating this time. We’re getting the first new quad-core Phenom II in just over a year, and we even have our hands on a fresh Phenom II X6.
Before we get into the benchmarks of these speed-bumped chips, let's dig a little deeper into their technical specifications.