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Advanced Micro Devices decided to leave the market of high-end microprocessors a long time ago, when it turned out that it could not compete against Intel Corp.’s offerings with the micro-architecture it had. Even though the current micro-architecture – Bulldozer/Piledriver – is still a way behind Intel’s Ivy Bridge and Haswell in terms of efficiency, it has one important trump: ease of overclockability. As it appears, AMD wants to play that trump.

AMD is preparing a release of a new code-named “Centurion” limited edition FX chip that will conquer 5.0GHz clock-speed, presumably with all of its eight cores, and will therefore will be competitive against Intel’s Core i7 high-end desktop (HEDT) products in LGA2011 packaging, reports Hexus web-site. While the 5GHz clock-speed is not a problem even for current AMD FX-8350, the Centurion is supposed to reach the frequency with air cooling and remain stable inside desktop PCs.

The code-named Centurion chip is expected to be priced at $795, which is two times higher than the price of the most powerful Intel Core i7 microprocessors in LGA1155 or LGA1150 form-factors and clearly puts the AMD FX against Intel’s HEDT lineup in LGA2011 packaging. The new AMD chip will inherit Vishera design as well as Piledriver micro-architecture with all the pros and cons.

AMD’s current top-of-the-range eight-core FX-8350 microprocessor is clocked at 4.0GHz and in terms of performance is typically behind Intel Core i7-3770K (4 cores with HT, LGA1155) as well as Core i7-3970X (6 cores with HT, LGA2011). While in video games its performance can easily be improved by overclocking, in applications where performance difference equals or exceeds 50%, a 20% clock-speed boost will hardly help much.

While AMD must compete for the high-end of the microprocessor market, it will barely be able to do so with the current Piledriver micro-architecture since the latter needs high clock-speeds to perform on par with the rivals, which means increased thermal design envelopes and difficulties with binning (which results into high costs). Perhaps, AMD Steamroller micro-architecture will put AMD back into the high-end game.

Nonetheless, it is absolutely possible that AMD might release a limited edition Centurion chip for its fans. Such AMD FX central processing unit should offer high performance, further overclockability potential and, most importantly, attract attention to the brand in general and FX chips in particular. Several years ago AMD already offered so-called TWKR chips, which were available in quantity of less than 100 units worldwide, but which attracted loads of attention to Phenom II processors in mid-2009.

AMD did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: AMD, FX, Vishera, Piledriver, 32nm


Comments currently: 30
Discussion started: 04/12/13 04:25:55 PM
Latest comment: 04/15/13 07:45:56 AM
Expand all threads | Collapse all threads


Love it. If AMD are going to rebrand mainly as a platform for gamers, then they need at least one beast of a CPU.

@clone - no it wasn't me. It was banned troll jmlxg aka avon, 123, 789. Desktop computers are for serious work and need serious horsepower. Here, design efficiency is important. VIA could design a 5Ghz CPU but it would consume 1000W. The track record for AMD is that they don't release CPUs > 140W. I'm glad AMD will make another sports car model for the cred, even though it will probably lose money doing it. As long as their whole strategy is not based on trying to win the high end - because they can't compete with Intel's resources, including its capacity to bribe and coerce the sales channel.
4 2 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 04/12/13 04:25:55 PM]
- collapse thread

weren't you the guy lamenting desktop computers in general for their high power consumption?

the power requirements on this piece of trash will reset the bar unless AMD has done another respin and stumbled across a way to reduce it by 50% under load.

I say this an owner of an FX 8320 cpu that I'm happy with and not an Intel fanboy..... these cpu's use a lot of juice and shouldn't have too, it was the price that got me to buy not the efficiency of the cpu.

if they use a 6 core they should be ok but it's perf wouldn't be extreme enough for that price.

it'll also reset the bar for loud fans on stock heatsinks because they'll need 5000rpm to keep it cool along with the case requiring active cooling to keep the inside cool enough.
3 5 [Posted by: clone  | Date: 04/12/13 06:21:20 PM]
If the power consumption was bad, then it wouldn't be able to run at 5Ghz for stock, on air. These are more than likely the cream of the crop that performs amazing feats at ultra low voltages, enabling them to achieve 5Ghz with a low level of power consumption.
4 3 [Posted by: mmstick  | Date: 04/12/13 08:09:52 PM]
show the post
3 7 [Posted by: Brutalos  | Date: 04/12/13 11:16:17 PM]
I bet you think it's a real 8 core processor too. Don't believe anyone that tells you you're anything but an idiot.
4 4 [Posted by: AnonymousGuy  | Date: 04/12/13 11:40:20 PM]
Since you outsmart me, you can have your cookie. Long live intel.
5 5 [Posted by: Brutalos  | Date: 04/13/13 12:25:18 AM]
Ehm, except it IS an 8 core cpu. Only if the code uses the 256bit FPU does a module act as a single core instead of as 2 cores.
All 128bit FPU or lower, all ALU code, everything else runs each module as 2 cores.

And in case you forgotten, ever since the K7, AMDs cpu´s has had the minor issue of "overdoing" the FPU, not a bad thing per se, but it was probably rather wasteful for AMD to provide such highend FPU performance on a regular CPU.

So the change was not surprising.

And from a technical perspective, i would possibly call it a brilliant design choice. I just wish they hadn´t done some of the negative changes that accompanied the new modular cpu design.
Like dropping their tried and true large L1 cache, that they also slowed L1 down at the same time, BIG mistake.
1 2 [Posted by: DIREWOLF75  | Date: 04/13/13 06:09:23 AM]
@ Brutalos - Xbit is a balanced website where there is a substancal gathering of AMD users.
2 3 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 04/13/13 01:35:12 AM]

it is not 50% between top Intel vs top AMD !. it is about 30% mean difference such that an overclocked FX 8350 is about -10% top of Intel CPU.

So AMD still have chances to catch up with Intel. I think Intel make big difference in performance not just from process but most from the Power Management of the CPU.

Nvidia did for GPU some power algorithms of Intel and AMD got some tricks and began to implement them step by step.
4 4 [Posted by: tbaracu  | Date: 04/12/13 05:26:51 PM]

show the post
5 8 [Posted by: AnonymousGuy  | Date: 04/12/13 08:47:36 PM]
- collapse thread

show the post
3 6 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 04/13/13 03:15:14 AM]
And where are you bleeding from,zombie
0 1 [Posted by: Urhu  | Date: 04/15/13 07:45:56 AM]

Anyone heard anything about 5 module 10 core versions recently? Sure I read they were going to release this when they switched to Piledriver. For video encoding I think this would be better than Intels four cour threaded options and would get me tempted to buy.
0 0 [Posted by: Zimanodenea  | Date: 04/13/13 12:25:04 AM]
- collapse thread

For fast video encoding, Just install an AMD APU or AMD Radeon GNC graphics card and use Handbrake which implements OpenCL GPU accelerated encoding.

AMD promotional material, quote: "Handbrake is a world renowned, open source video transcoding utility for Mac OS®, Windows® and Linux®. Millions of people use this application every day to prepare videos on their PC for use on the road with smartphones or tablets. Over the past year, AMD has worked closely with the development team to introduce OpenCL™ acceleration into the transcoding pipeline, and the performance is exceptional"
3 4 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 04/13/13 03:36:58 AM]

show the post
1 4 [Posted by: kingpin  | Date: 04/13/13 04:55:15 AM]
- collapse thread

Yeah, my E8400 C2D can STILL sometimes outrun the latest and greatest i5 or i7 if at the same Mhz as long as i have the FSB at 400/1600.
And sometimes even at a Mhz disadvantage.

Really wish Intel had released a C2D/Q version with ondie memory controller, i have a feeling they would have competed quite well with Nehalem-derivatives.
2 2 [Posted by: DIREWOLF75  | Date: 04/13/13 06:16:01 AM]
No. You 8400 is around 40% slower than an Ivy based chip in single threading at the same clock.
3 2 [Posted by: AnonymousGuy  | Date: 04/13/13 11:48:40 AM]
show the post
0 3 [Posted by: Stickmansam  | Date: 04/13/13 02:44:43 PM]
Nope. I specified SOMETIMES for a reason.

Because in cases where the 6MB FAST L2 is at it´s best(but workload not small enough for Nehalem etc L2 to fit it), as well as the 4 ALUs per core(with i7s 3), when those are used optimally, software can easily run faster on my @3.6G than on a 4G i7.
That is not just a guess, i´ve tested it.
It´s even possible to make it happen with this cpu at stock 3G speed, but then it´s tricky because the FSB C2D uses really, utterly sucks. Changing the FSB from 333 to 400 actually makes much more difference than upping cpu clock from 3 to 3.6G.

Of course, if you make the workload go above 6MB but not above 8MB, so my cpu has to start working with RAM, while the i7 can still work completely from L3, then it can run at 2G and still outrun my 3.6. Or even worse, if you max out fully utilised threads up to 4 or more.
But if my cpu can run something completely from L2, while a i5 has to run it from L3, then in quite a few things, performance is surprisingly even.

So, i suggest you don´t just run off and claim that someones cpu is "40%" slower bla bla bla, when that´s complete rubbish.
That might be correct IN THEORY and OVERALL, but it most certainly is not an automatic truth.
1 3 [Posted by: DIREWOLF75  | Date: 04/13/13 04:44:35 PM]

I just overclocked my 8350. I highly doubt these select chips would do 5.5 or 6ghz.
0 2 [Posted by: KeyBoardG  | Date: 04/13/13 02:52:31 PM]

I don't see any reason to buy this over cheaper i7 3930K
4 1 [Posted by: maroon1  | Date: 04/14/13 12:15:48 PM]


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