"My love/hate relationship with AMD PR continued last year. But lately, it’s been far less hate. Let’s rewind back to the Summer of 2009. I’d been waiting for AMD to call for weeks.
We all knew that the RV870 was going to launch sometime before the end of the year, and we’re normally briefed on new GPUs around a month or so before we get hardware. The rumors said that the launch had been pushed back, but just like clockwork I got a call in June or July of last year. It was my old friend, Chris Hook of AMD PR.
Dealing with current news means that we rarely have the opportunity to review old products and of course a comparison between the most recent products and those that came out several years ago can get a little problematic. But we’ve decided to push the boat out and take as exhaustive a look as possible at the Intel and AMD processor offer spanning the last five years.
To be included in the report, processors had to fulfill several criteria, the first being (we had to limit things somewhere) that they’re all dual core.
The talks about graphics processors powering servers have been around for the last three years, but so far only a number of special-purpose supercomputers take advantage of graphics processing units (GPUs) and their extreme amount of cores.
According to IDC researchers, AMD has done a rather good job in 2009 and managed to steal back part of its lost market share from Intel. AMD's share has been shrinking for several quarters, due to a lack of competitive products, but it seems new processors offered at tempting prices managed to rekindle interest.
IDC reports x86 processor demand grew by record levels in Q4 2009, as shipments jumped by 31.1 percent sequentially. During the same quarter, AMD managed to recover some of its lost share. Intel's market share was 80.5 percent, while AMD managed to grab 19.4 percent.
Advanced Micro Devices on Thursday introduced a sub-$100 ATI Radeon graphics card that supports DirectX 11, Microsoft's latest collection of Windows technology for handling multimedia tasks, especially games and video.
The ATI Radeon HD 5670 gives many owners of lower-priced mainstream desktops the option of boosting graphics performance without spending a lot of money. DirectX 11 ships with Windows 7, but can also be installed in Vista.
AMD has announced a bunch of fresh DirectX 11 mobile GPUs at CES and the diverse lineup should be enough to meet anyone's needs.
In the high end AMD will offer a choice of three chips, HD 5870, HD 5850 and HD 5830. However, for some reason AMD changed the naming scheme a bit and the mobile 5800 series seems to be based on the desktop 5700 series. This will undoubtedly cause a fair amount of confusion, as most consumers don't really follow the mobile GPU market closely.
AMD plans to launch four new CPUs later in January, but don't expect to see anything revolutionary, they are just faster iterations of existing models.
The company claims the new Phenom II X2 555 BE dual core will be its fastest dual core CPU, but the three new Athlon IIs are also worth looking into, primarily the 635. AMD's cache-less Athlon IIs offer great bang for buck. The Propus-based 630 runs at 2.8GHz and costs under €90, which is truly unbeatable value for money. The 635 will continue the tradition and could easily end up being the CPU of choice the sub-€100 market.
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