MicroStar International (MSI), a leading maker of mainboards, on Monday said that select platforms originally designed for current-generation central processing units (CPUs) in AM3 form-factor will support the forthcoming AMD FX-series chips with Bulldozer micro-architecture in AM3+ package.
Various AM3 mainboards from MSI based on various AMD 7-series and AMD 8-series chipsets will support AM3+ microprocessors after a BIOS update. This will allow end-users, who own appropriate platforms, to upgrade to multi-core AMD FX-series CPUs code-named Zambezi once they become available in the coming months. At present MSI offers BIOS updates for three mainboards, but the list contains fourteen models and will be updated.
The maker of motherboards implied that the AM3 mainboards will support all the advanced capabilities of chips based on Bulldozer micro-architecture, including technologies that improve power efficiency as well as Turbo Core 2.0 technology that can dynamically overclock CPUs by up to 500MHz.
Earlier on Monday Gigabyte became the first company in the world to release mainboards with AM3+ socket, which support the next-generation 32nm chips offficially. Meanwhile, Asustek Computer - just like MSI - claims that even its AM3 motherboards will fully support AMD FX-series "Zambezi" processors with Bulldozer micro-architecture.
The first breed of AMD FX8000, FX6000 and FX4000 currently known under Zambezi code-name will completely support all the advantages that the Bulldozer micro-architecture is supposed to bring, including new Flex FP floating point processing unit. The new chips in maximum eight-core configurations are projected - by AMD's internal documents - to offer roughly 50% performance improvement over Phenom II-series microprocessors in multimedia applications.
The Sunnyvale, California-based chip designer plans to introduce AMD 900-series chipsets compatible with Zambezi processors in Q2 2011. The Bulldozer processors, Radeon HD 6000 "Northern Islands" discrete graphics cards and AMD 900-series core-logic sets will power AMD's next-generation enthusiast-class platform code-named Scorpius.