Advanced Micro Devices Readies “K” Unlocked A-Series APUs for Overclockers - Source

AMD to Offer “Unlocked” Versions of Fusion Llano APUs

by Anton Shilov
09/07/2011 | 02:14 PM

Advanced Micro Devices plans to offer its customers versions of its A-series Fusion Llano accelerated processing units (APUs) with unlocked multiplier. The K-series chips will be aimed at overclockers, but it is unclear whether the latter will be interested in such chips, considering the fact that Llano was not designed to be a performance champion.

 

Initially the company will offer two versions - A8-3870K(3.0GHz)  and A6-3670K (2.70GHz) of its processors with four “Husky” cores and integrated AMD Radeon graphics adapters with 400 (600MHz) or 320 (444MHz) stream processors, respectively. Since the processors will come with unlocked multiplier, which allows to easily set higher clock-speed without affecting other components, the novelties will not feature automatic Turbo Core technology. The chips are in production now and projected to be launched sometimes in the fourth quarter of this calendar year, sources with knowledge of AMD's plans indicated.

With the release of AMD A8-3870K and A6-3670K accelerated processing units AMD follows its larger rival Intel Corp., which released Core i-series “Sandy Bridge” central processing units with integrated graphics adapters and unlocked multiplier aimed at performance enthusiasts earlier this year.

Intel’s Core i7-2600K microprocessor, despite of being designed for mainstream systems, offers very high levels of performance in general-purpose applications that rely on x86 horsepower and thus poses interest for enthusiasts, who usually utilize discrete graphics adapters. AMD’s Llano A-series APUs cannot compete against Intel’s latest microprocessors in terms of x86 performance in mainstream applications that do not need high-performance built-in graphics cores.

As a result, it is hard to imagine that a lot of overclockers will actually be interested in AMD's A-series "K" chips even with unlocked multiplier: they are unable to set performance records even at high clock-speeds and they will inevitably end up computing against AMD's FX line due in Q4 2011. The number of cores and their clock-speed potential of A-series APU will be lower compared to those of AMD FX-series “Zambezi” processors that will be “unlocked” by default and will sport more advanced Bulldozer micro-architecture.

AMD did not comment on the news-story.