It looks like AMD is trying real hard to get rid of the 0.13micron processors that are still in stock, because they are selling them at considerably lower prices now. According to our colleagues from the German Planet3DNow.de web-site, starting March 7 AMD is giving their wholesalers special low prices for Athlon 64 4000+ and Athlon 64 3800+ . Of course, the discount should depend on the quantity and total shipment cost. This fact, as well as the first engineering samples of the new Athlon 64 4200+ processors on San Diego core that have recently appeared in the market prove that the new 0.09micron generation from AMD is to arrive next quarter already.
We shouldn’t also forget about the recent incident with the Venice based CPUs from AMD, which have been mentioned on the price lists of a few Swiss on-line stores. Despite the disclaimers posted by some German web-sites, these offers are not disappearing, but keep growing in number. Luckily, today we have finally got the chance to shed some light onto the actual shipment schedule for the notorious San Diego and Venice based CPUs.
So, on the British AMD web-site we found three announcements about the revision changes for Athlon 64 processors.
The first announcement stated that the current D0 revision will be replaced with the new E3 revision for the following CPUs:
- Athlon 64 3000+ (ADA3000BIBOX) -> Athlon 64 3000+ (ADA3000BPBOX);
- Athlon 64 3200+ (ADA3200BIBOX) -> Athlon 64 3200+ (ADA3200BPBOX);
- Athlon 64 3500+ (ADA3500BIBOX) -> Athlon 64 3500+ (ADA3500BPBOX).
Here I would like to stress that this core stepping used to be called “E0” by many sources, although AMD decided to stay with “E3” index. The idea of this core stepping remains the same independent of the name: new CPUs on Venice core with 512KB L2 cache will acquire SSE3 support and enhanced memory controller, and the most important thing will be much higher frequency potential. Since we do not know the marking for the OEM processors yet, we cannot share any information about the electrical or thermal characteristics of the new Venice based solutions. The best we could do here is trust this Swiss source.
AMD claims that the CPUID of these processors will also be changed from 00010FF0h to 00020FF0h. The new CPUs will be compatible with the existing Socket 939 mainboards. Although you will have to reflash the new BIOS before installing the CPU.
The second announcement tells about the mysterious transformation of the Athlon 64 3800+ processor on 0.13micron Newcastle core (ADA3800AWBOX) into Athlon 64 3800+ on the 0.09micron Venice core (ADA3800BPBOX). Well, this is how this CPU managed to easily skip the entire Winchester evolution stage (D0 core stepping). In fact, it should make most overclockers happy: they will not be facing the choice between two 0.09micron processor versions.
The third document is devoted to transition of Athlon 64 4000+ with CG stepping of the ClawHammer core to E4 stepping of the San Diego core (ADA4000BNBOX). This new stepping exists for both: Opteron and Athlon 64 processors with 1MB cache memory. The CPUID will change as follows: 00000F7Ah -> 00020F71h. Athlon 64 4200+ processor will have similar features and marking, however, its shipping schedule hasn’t been finalized yet.
On the other hand, the shipping dates for 0.09micron processors with up to 4000+ performance ratings have already been revealed:
- Venice 3000+, Venice 3200+, Venice 3500+ and Venice 3800+ should start shipping on April 4, 2005;
- San Diego 4000+ should start shipping on April 15, 2005.
This way, we can already speak about the availability schedule for the Venice and San Diego based AMD CPUs. According to our most optimistic forecasts, they should start selling in about a month.