AMD Preps a New FX-Series Microprocessor with Bundled Liquid Cooling

AMD Readies a Response to Intel’s Devil’s Canyon

by Anton Shilov
06/21/2014 | 09:06 PM

While the FX-9000-series central processing units from Advanced Micro Devices has not really become popular, they demonstrated AMD’s desire to compete for the high-end of the desktop market. On Friday the company reaffirmed this and said that it would release a new AMD FX central processing unit, possibly, to offer an alternative to Intel Corp.’s new chips code-named Devil’s Canyon.

 

Roy Taylor, vice president of global channel sales at AMD, on Friday published a teaser on his Twitter. The post contains a picture of an FX processor packaging, which is vastly different from packages that AMD currently uses for its FX product line. The label on the box says that it contains an “FX-series processor with liquid cooling technology.” The teaser is entitled with the phrase “something new is coming.”

Since AMD calls the new product a “processor”, the chip is clearly not an accelerated processing unit (APU) and therefore is a “classic” central processing unit (CPU) with no integrated graphics engine. A source close to AMD confirmed that the new FX chip for desktops is indeed a new multi-core CPU aimed at high-end desktops. The new FX microprocessor is fully unlocked and comes with a closed-loop liquid-cooling solution, which means that it is aimed at enthusiasts and overclockers.

Since AMD’s roadmaps do not contain any multi-core CPUs for servers or desktops based on the Steamroller architecture (which powers the code-named Kaveri APUs), it is highly likely that the new FX chips will be based on the Vishera design and the Piledriver micro-architecture.

Last year, in an attempt to respond to the launch of Intel’s code-named Haswell microprocessor, AMD released two “extreme” FX-class central processing units code-named “Centurion”: the FX-9370 (eight cores, 4.40/4.70GHz, 8MB L2 cache, 8MB L3 cache, 200W thermal design power) and the FX-9590 (eight cores, 4.70/5.0GHz, 8MB L2 cache, 8MB L3 cache, 220W thermal design power). The CPUs are compatible with advanced AM3+ mainboards and require sophisticated cooling systems.

AMD’s FX-9000-series microprocessors could offer decent performance in numerous applications, but the chips were slower compared to the unlocked Haswell chips – the Core i7-4770K and the Core i5-4670K – in many other programs. The CPUs did not manage to offer a true alternative to their competitors partly because of lower performance, but mostly because of extreme thermal design power.

As it appears, AMD decided to offer an even faster FX processor (or, maybe, processors) in order to fight the new code-named “Devil’s Canyon” central processing units from Intel. While exact specifications are to be confirmed, it is logical to assume that AMD is preparing something with default clock-rate(s) of 5GHz or higher (the source close to AMD could not confirm the target frequency) since the clock-rate is the main trump that AMD has against the Haswell micro-architecture.

What remains to be seen is how competitive will AMD FX “Vishera” at 5.0GHz+ be against Intel Core i7-4790K at 4.0GHz.