AMD AM4 Will Feature 140W Support and μOPGA

Later this year, perhaps in October, AMD will be launching with their highly anticipated Zen CPU architecture. Before that though, AMD will be releasing their new processor socket, AM4, with the Bristol Ridge lineup of APUs. As the socket that finally combines the CPU and APU lineups, it will replace the aging AM3+ and the relatively newer FM2+. According to a leak, AM4 will use μOPGA and support up to 140W chips and have 1,331 pins.

AMD has stuck with variants of PGA for the longest time and it looks like AM4 will continue the legacy. At 1,331 pins, that is a 33% increase over the about 950 pins previous AM and FM sockets have used. If AMD simply enlarges the current design, this would lead to a much larger package. This can lead to more fragile, costlier (especially for lower end chips) CPUs and require a new series of CPU heatsinks.

In order to combat this, AMD has used μOPGA compared to the normal OPGA they use. This will reduce pin diameter, allowing for more pins to crammed together at the cost of weaker pins. Reducing pin pitch or the distances between pins and staggering pins to fit more in the same space are also two likely strategies. For Intel, a 17% pin count cost 30% in space but moving from 115x to 2011 cost only about 66% size increase. If AMD does it well, AM4 may be compatible with AM3+ and FM2+ heatsinks and not have an overly large package.

Finally, AM4 is expected to support up to a whopping 140W TDP CPUs. This is similar to the top end Intel LGA 2011 chips will also feature a 140W TDP and not much more than current mainstream AM3+ chips which top out at 125W. By increasing the pin count slightly, AMD will sport a number close to Intel’s old enthusiasts platform of LGA 1366. By unifying the socket for their budget, mainstream and enthusiasts chips, AMD will make it easier for builders to upgrade, leaving it up to the motherboard vendors to differentiate their offerings.

MSI Announce 970A-G43 Plus Socket AM3+ Motherboard

AMD’s upcoming Zen CPU architecture requires a brand new socket, and predicted to feature a 40% IPC improvement compared to Excavator. As a result, it’s probably the most anticipated release in the processor market for some time and could potentially make AMD competitive again. This is so important to start a pricing war, as Intel has an oligopoly on the enthusiast CPU sector across various pricing tiers. Unbelievably, AMD first launched AM3+ CPUs way back in October 2010 which illustrates how old the current AM3+ socket is. Despite this, motherboard manufacturers have recently launched a few gaming themed AM3+ models to maximize sales before the arrival of Zen. Although, unless your AM3+ motherboard has suddenly died, it’s a frugal tactic to wait for Zen’s official release.

The latest addition by MSI is entitled, the 970A-G43 Plus and based on AMD’s 970 + SB950 chipset. Furthermore, the motherboard supports AM3+ processors with a TDP up to 125W, and draws power via the traditional 24-pin and 8-pin EPS connectors. The CPU is powered by a 4+1 phase VRM, which might come as a surprise given the use of 8+2 on certain AM3+ motherboards. On the other hand, this shouldn’t be a major issue given the budget $100 price point. As you might expect, the 970A-G43 Plus is capable of housing up to 32GB DDR3 2133MHz memory.

In terms of the overall layout, there is a single PCI-Express 2.0 featuring a reinforcement brace. This is designed to reduce GPU sag when using heavy graphics cards with a mammoth custom cooler. There’s also one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x4), two PCI-Express x1, and two traditional PCI slots. When it comes to storage, the motherboard includes six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, two USB 3.1 ports and two USB 3.0 ports (front panel). The audio solution utilizes the Realtek ALC892 chipset outputting 8-channels. MSI decided to opt for a Realtek gigabit Ethernet controller and UEFI firmware.

Do you think there is a need for new AM3+ motherboards in 2016?

GIGABYTE Launches Two AMD Socket AM3+ Motherboards With A Twist

It came as quite a surprise when GIGABYTE first mentioned their new AMD socket AM3+ based motherboards about a month ago and quite a few people were shocked by this news. But there can be a lot of benefits in these two new AM3+ based GIGABYTE motherboards, benefits that some people might not have considered.

The most likely scenario for these new motherboards is probably one where the old motherboard has died or generally just starts to bug around. It is time for a replacement despite that the user might originally have intended to wait for one of the new CPU architectures such as Intel’s upcoming Extreme series or AMD’s own Zen-based series. You could buy an up to six years old motherboard and gain nothing, or you could get one of GIGABYTE’s new ones and get a lot of benefits from modern technology and advancements that have been made since the AM3+ socket was introduced in 2009.

The two new motherboards are the GA-990FX-Gaming and GA-970-Gaming that both got the GIGABYTE G1 Gaming treatment. They come with an M.2 connectors that can transfer with up to 10Gb/s on the 970-based board and 20Gb/s on the 990FX-based.

Both can utilize NVMe and SATA drives, but you naturally you won’t reap the full benefits of an NVMe drive with 10Gb/s speeds. It would still be great and the board is able to use these modern drives with the result being a much faster systems and one that takes less CPU usage than an equivalent SATA version.

GIGABYTE also added USB 3.1 and USB Type-C connectors to these motherboards, allowing you to use the newest peripherals too. This again allows you to move forward with all other aspects of your system while you wait for one of the new hot platforms to be released.

The bigger of the two boards comes with three PCI-Express x16 slots and the smaller only has two, but both support dual-graphics solutions and you can add up to 32GB DDR3 memory to both. Another nice touch on the PCI-Express slots is the use of the exclusive ultra durable metal shielding that will give the slots more durability.

Being boards in the G1 Gaming series, these boards also come with great network and audio solutions. The Audio is taken care of by an 115dBB SNR HD Audio system with built-in rear audio amplifier and high-quality audio capacitors as well as the Audio Noise Guard with Ambient LED Trace Path Lighting to prevent interference. The network connection is provided by a KillerNIC E2200 network controller.

GIGABYTE didn’t reveal any pricing or availability, but considering that they are launched now they should be available soon and the pricing should be close to the predecessors.

Gigabyte Unveils AM3+ GA-990FX-Gaming Motherboard

AMD’s upcoming Zen architecture requires a new socket and supports DDR4 memory. This is the first socket change in almost five years and there hasn’t been many updates to the ageing AM3+ platform. However, in a surprise announcement, Gigabyte has just revealed the GA-990FX-Gaming motherboard which supports AMD AM3+ FX processors, and the older AM3 Phenom as well as the Athlon II.

Additionally, the motherboard can utilize a maximum capacity of 32GB 2000(O.C.)/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz DDR3 memory. There’s also a Killer E2201 LAN chip, Realtek ALC 1150 codec with TI Burr Brown OPA2134 operational amplifier, USB 3.1 with USB Type-C, UEFI DualBIOS Technology, 6x SATA 6Gb/s connectors and an M.2 connector.

On the rear I/O, we can see a PS/2 connector, single USB 3.1 Type-C, USB 3.1 Type-A, two USB 3.0 ports, six USB 2.0 ports, an RJ-45 port, optical S/PDIF connector and audio jacks. The motherboard provides a great deal of expansion slots and adopts a gamer-friendly red and black colour scheme. It will be fascinating to see how this performs compared to much older motherboards on the AM3+ platform, and we should be receiving a review sample from Gigabyte very soon.

AMD Releases FX-6330 Black Edition CPU

While Zen may still be a long way off, AMD isn’t just sitting around without new CPUs to launch. Stealthily launched, AMD is releasing a new FX-6330 chip to slot into their lineup but unfortunately only for the APAC (Asian Pacific) region for now. Set to replace the aging FX-6300 at a similar price point, the new chip is more of the same, with the same Piledriver architecture and 32nm process. The biggest change is the clock speed which gets a bump up to 3.6/4.2 Ghz, up from 3.5/4.1 Ghz.  Cache sizes remain the same at 6MB of L2 and 8MB of L3.

With speeds like that, the 6330 pretty much slots right under the FX-6350 which features a higher base clock at 3.9/4.1 Ghz. While the new chip is likely only targetted to those already disposed to get the 6300 or 6350, it should offer a better for these customers. Competing against Intel’s i3, the 6330 is a decent offering as it should age better as DX12 lowers driver overhead and allows for better multithreading in games.

The biggest competition though will be existing stock of 6300 chips which should perform really similar to the 6330. The biggest impact will be felt by the new S3.0 stock cooler which should offer much better cooling performance with less noise than previous models. Overall, the 6330 is a decent chip at $109.99 USD but with Zen just around the corner, holding off may be the better option.

Images Courtesy of WCCFTech

Vibox Element X Green Gaming PC Review


There’s a common misnomer that PC gaming costs an extortionate amount of money which can deter console players from making the switch. During the last decade, developers haven’t pushed the boundaries of high-end graphical hardware due to a fixation on the console market. Additionally, the current crop of consoles are incredibly weak and struggle to maintain 30 frames-per-second at 1080P. As a result, budget PCs can easily cope with the latest games and graphics cards have a surprisingly long lifespan. On another note, CD Key resellers provide huge discounts on pre-orders which results in average savings between £20-30 compared to the £45-55 console versions. This makes PC gaming affordable and some argue it can be cheaper in the long-term.

One major hurdle newcomers face is the confusing selection of components and lack of building experience. Thankfully, companies like Vibox source the parts to create a balanced system and utilize their engineering team’s skills. Recently, they decided to dispatch the Vibox Element X Green for review purposes which features an AMD FX-6300 processor, 8GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM, MSI R9 380 graphics card and 120GB boot SSD. Other notable mentions include an Aerocool Integrator 600W power supply, 1TB data drive, MSI 990FXA-GD65 motherboard, and Thermatake Water 3.0 closed-loop-cooler. This is a fantastic specification considering the affordable price bracket, and I expect it to perform exceedingly well in 1920×1080 gaming benchmarks.


  • Name: Vibox Element X Green Gaming PC
  • Case: Vibox Predator Green Gaming Case
  • Motherboard: MSI 990FXA-GD65 Motherboard
  • Processor: AMD FX-6300 6-Core CPU Overclocked to 4.4GHz
  • Processor Cooler: Thermaltake Water 3.0
  • System Memory: 8GB Patriot DDR3 1600MHz
  • Main Boot Drive: 120GB Patriot Blast SSD
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): 1TB Toshiba DT01ACA100 1TB SATA 6GB/s 7200RPM HDD
  • Graphics card: MSI Radeon R9 380 GAMING 2GB GDDR5
  • Power Supply: Aerocool Integrator 600W 80+ Bronze
  • Peripherals: None
  • Monitor: None
  • Optical Drive: 24x DVD-RW
  • Wireless: None
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Warranty:  2 Year Parts Cover, Lifetime Labour & Tech Support
  • Price: £649.22

Packing and Accessories

The system arrived in a durable box with precautionary labels to reduce the chance of damage occurring during transit. I was pleased to see two hand tabs which makes the packaging easier to carry for both the courier and customer.

Once opened, the chassis box is protected on the top and bottom by cardboard covers. These help to reinforce the packaging and prevent the case from moving around in an abrupt manner.

Here we can see the chassis’ box which showcases the unusual design and Vibox branding. The cardboard is quite thick and does a stellar job of keeping the case free from cosmetic defects.

In terms of accessories, the PC is bundled with a DVI-VGA adapter, driver disks, documentation, USB PCI bracket, and UK power plug. The Vibox instructions are fantastic and contain clear diagrams in colour to assist with the initial setup process. The guide also includes information about contacting the customer hotline in case any technical problems arise.



MSi 970A SLI Krait Edition Motherboard Review

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

The AMD 970 chipset is the mainstream offering of the AMD chipsets. It offers affordability with great features, with the ability to support a huge array of CPU’s thanks to the hugely popular AM3+ socket. The socket was first introduced back in October 2011 and offered the support of the newly released Bulldozer CPU’s. Despite the new CPU socket, many users decided to hang onto their AM3 motherboards as vendors were offering BIOS updates to support the new range of CPU’s.

The 900 chipset in particular features many of the same features as the 800 series and was primarily introduced to easily differentiate between the older AM3 socket (800 series) and the AM3+ socket (900 series). With the 900 series brought HyperTransport 3.1, NVIDIA SLI and AMD Overdrive for simplified overclocking. Since launch, it has undergone many updates such as PCIe 3.0 support, USB 3.0 support and most recently, USB 3.1 support.

So today we have the MSi 970A Krait Edition. Named directly after the Krait venomous snake, MSI based not only the logo, but the colour theme to it. The 970 chipset is the lowest of the 900 series, bringing affordable performance to everyone. MSI has taken this stable chipset and added the brand new USB 3.1 features, which enabled this motherboard to support USB speed of up to 10Gb/s; this is the world’s first AMD motherboard with USB 3.1 as standard.

There’s not very much new you can say about AMD, AM3+ or the 970 chipset, so let’s just jump straight into testing.

Key Features

Manufacturers nowadays need to find innovative ways to stand out from the crowd, MSi is no exception and has crammed a huge array of features into this motherboard.

  • Military Class 4
  • Military Class Essentials
  • OC Genie 4
  • Click Bios 4
  • NVIDIA Sli
  • USB 3.0
  • USB 3.1
  • SATA 6 Gb/s
  • Command Center
  • Fast Boot
  • Live Update 6
  • M-Flash

For more information on these functions, please visit the MSi 970A Krait Edition product page.

Packaging and Accessories

The Krait Edition is a relatively new addition to the MSi line up. The box is extremely plain with just the Krait snake on the front with the extremely identifiable white and black colour theme.

In the box we find very few accessories, the usual manuals and driver CD, I/O shield and 2x SATA 6Gb/s cables.


MSI releases first AMD motherboard with USB 3.1

The new motherboards featuring the new USB 3.1 that we’ve seen so far where all Intel based boards, but that’s about to change as MSI announced the first AMD based board to feature the new 10Gbit/s universal interface. Not only are MSI bringing the new standard to the AMD platform, they’ve also wrapped it in the gorgeous Krait Edition.

The classy black and white MSI 970A SLI Krait Edition has an AM3+ socket and the AMD 970 Chipset and SB950 Southbridge. The four DIMM slots support up to 32GB memory and a maximum speed of 2133MHz. The two PCIe x16 slots support both SLI and CrossFire setups and are far enough apart to provide good airflow to both cards. Six SATA 3 ports provide data connectivity and it has a total of 16 USB ports: two USB 3.1 and six USB 2.0 on the IO panel and six more USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 via front headers.

Six 3.5mm audio jacks provide the 7.1 Surround sound from the isolated audio PCB and features high-quality audio capacitors. PS2 mouse and keyboard ports are also present for those who prefer to use them and a Gigabit Ethernet port too.

Being an MSI board, it also features the OC Genie 4, Military Class 4, Click BIOS 4 as well as the M-Flash BIOS feature.

Thanks to MSI for providing us with this information

Gigabyte Rolls out the 990XA-UD3 R5 Socket AM3+ Motherboard

Gigabyte has announced that it has recently added a new socket AM3+ motherboard to its lineup. The motherboard is set to support all AMD AM3+ FX processors and AM3 Athlon/Phenom II CPUs, while also supporting 2-way SLI or Crossfire.

The company has based the motherboard on the AMD 990X chipset, featuring a SB950 southbridge chip. Realtek takes the center stage in High Definition Audio Codecs for the 990XA-UD3 R5, coming with a Realtek ALC1150 codec chip, which is said to deliver exceptional audio listening experience with up to 115dB SNR. Also, Realtek has added an isolated audio circuit to its chip in order to provide the best possible audio quality.

The 990XA-UD3 R5 is said to provide 2x Copper PCBs in order to deliver enough power trace paths between components to handle higher than normal power loads and remove heat from critical CPU power delivery area. The motherboard also comes with two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots (8x / 8x), one PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 and towed to the southbridge), one PCIe 2.0 x1 slot and two legacy PCI slots.

Gigabyte is said to have made the motherboard available at a recommended price of $125.

Thank you Guru3D for providing us with this information

BIOSTAR Reveals the TA970 Plus AMD Mainboard

BIOSTAR has released a new AMD socket AM3+ motherboard, the TA970 Plus with AMD OverDrive and the Advanced Clock Calibration feature. This full-sized ATX motherboard uses the AMD 970 chipset and supports the AMD FX/Phenom II and Athlon II processors with a TDP up to 140W.

The TA970 Plus has 4 DDR3 DIMM slots with support for up to 64GB total RAM and five SATA3 connectors with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10. It also has a combined mSATA and Mini PCI-E combo connector for additional and optional upgrades of your choice. It has two PCI-E x16 2.0 slots, two PCI-E x1 2.0 slots and two legacy PCI slots.

To get every power advantage the TA970 Plus features the AMD OverDrive and the Advanced Clock Calibration (ACC) function. This allows users to overclock their system by precisely calibrating the clock timings between the processor and RAM chips. These timings are critical in maintaining system stability when overclocking, otherwise you will end up with a system that crashes often.

The motherboard design makes the heatsink look like a piano, which might be to underline the audio features. The BIOSTAR PURO Hi-Fi technology features an integrated independent audio power design with a built-in amplifier. The technology utilizes audio components with an independent power delivery design for a significant reduction in electronic noise. The noise-blocking multi-layer PCB layout is conducive for an exceptionally clean signal.

There are plenty of external connection options with six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, 7.1 audio jacks, Realtek RTL8111GR Gigabit Ethernet, and PS2 mouse and keyboard ports. It also has onboard headers for extra USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Serial and CIR. The motherboard is available now and can be picked up for around £63.

Thanks to BIOSTAR for providing us with this information

AMD FX-8370E 95W “Piledriver” Octa-Core Processor Review

Introduction & What’s New?

The 32nm “Vishera” processors from AMD have been around for a long-while; since October 2012 to be exact. Vishera was AMD’s Zambezi successor with Vishera being based on the Piledriver architecture and Zambezi on Bulldozer. Since the first release of Vishera, AMD has continued to refresh its FX product stack with new CPUs based on the same architectural design and AMD’s most recent releases maintains that trend. On September 2nd 2014 AMD officially revealed three new CPUs for the FX line; the FX 8320E, the FX 8370 and the FX 8370E. We are looking at the FX 8370E processor which is AMD’s attempt to tame the high TDP of their 8 core FX line down to 95W; previously the standard TDP stood at 125W.

There are two other releases which we will not be reviewing today. First is the FX 8370 (4/4.3GHz) which is a new flagship part which sits under the FX 9370 (4.4/4.7GHz) and FX 9590 (4.7/5GHz), but improves slightly over the FX 8350 (4/4.2GHz) in clock speed. Secondly is the FX 8320E which is an energy efficient variant of the already-released FX 8320 which is a 3.5/4GHz part. All of the FX 8XXX and FX 9XXX parts sport 8 Piledriver cores divided over four modules.

For the AMD enthusiast these newest releases may disappoint since they do not bring anything new to the market: instead they refresh existing technology. AMD is taking advantage of a matured production process instead of advancing the FX line onto their newest CPU architecture “Steamroller”. Steamroller is what the CPU component of Kaveri APUs are based on and it features improved IPC (Instructions per Cycle) performance and greater power efficiency. The decision by AMD to opt for the same technology means we are unlikely to see any ground-breaking results – instead we should expect AMD to rely on the use of lower prices to remain competent against their main rival Intel.

Interestingly AMD’s PR pitch for their newest E series energy efficient FX CPUs relies on rallying the cost advantage versus the Intel & Nvidia combination. AMD claim by choosing an FX CPU and Radeon GPU you can get better performance at the same price point. I think the R9 285 + FX 8370e is a smart combination as the objectives of both those AMD products have been to improve power efficiency over some of their more power-hungry siblings.

In our review of the AMD FX 8370e we will not be overclocking. My reason for this is that there is no point of pitching an energy efficient CPU if you’re going to throw those power savings away with an overclock, you might as well just buy the FX 8370 instead. You can still overclock the FX 8370e but don’t expect results to be significantly different from the FX 8350 or FX 8370 both in terms of performance and power consumption. You can find 5GHz OC results for the FX 8350 in our graphs.

Before we delve into the review I would like to briefly explain how the FX 8370E’s power saving mechanism works. Unsurprisingly it manages power consumption with clock speed controls. At idle it will clock down to its lowest ratio which is 7X giving a frequency of 1.4GHz and around 0.85 volts.

If you add a medium-high intensity multi-threaded workload it clocks around 3.6GHz.

Moving on to a high intensity load that utilises all the cores and we see it drop back to its base frequency of 3.3GHz. It simply cannot clock higher than this without exceeding its TDP specification of 95W.

The highest clock speed comes on single threaded applications. If you utilise only one core to its maximum you can clock up to 4.3GHz on that particular thread.

Rumour: AMD Preparing Three New CPUs: FX-8370, FX-8370E and FX-8320E

AMD may have given up the fight with Intel in the very high end market but in the sub-$200 “mainstream” market, where most CPUs are bought, AMD is still putting up a fight. The latest move by AMD will be to launch a refreshed range of Piledriver processors, three to be exact. Piledriver has had a shelf life of nearly 2 years making it one of AMD’s longest serving CPU architectures and there’s still no obvious sign of a replacement…. although we’ve already seen Steamroller on the FM2+ APU platform. The three new CPUs will be the FX-8370, FX-8370E and FX 8320E. As the names suggest these are all 8 core parts while the two “E” marked parts have reduced TDPs of 95W compared to the standard 125W TDP for 8 core AMD FX processors. The E probably stands for efficient or energy efficient. The FX 8370 is the new successor to the FX 8350, although it still sits below the FX 9590 and FX 9370. It has 8 cores, 8MB of L3 cache, a 125W TDP, a 4.1GHz base clock and 4.3GHz boost clock, it comes in at a price of $189 which is just below the $199 the FX-9370 costs and the $215 the FX 9590 costs. Next up is the FX 8370E which has identical specifications to the FX 8370 and costs the same but has a 95W TDP. Finally the FX 8320E is identical to the FX 8320 in price and specifications but has a reduced 95W TDP instead of 125W. AMD has likely been able to reduce TDPs of their Piledriver parts through a maturation and fine tuning of the Piledriver 32nm manufacturing process.

Source: WCCFTech

Image #1 courtesy of AMD, image #2 courtesy of X-Bit Labs

Enermax’s LIQMAX 120S Liquid CPU Cooler Series Announced

ENERMAX announced a new LIQMAX 120S series composed of the ELC-LM120S-HP and ELC-LM120S-TAA, which features a patented Shunt-Channel-Technology to improve thermal conductivity, a unique 3D extruded cold-plate structure designed for better stability and rapid heat conductivity. The HP variant has a high-pressure airflow fan while the TAA variant comes with patented blue circular LED lights. Both fans feature a Smart APS Control provides 3 peak RPM options.

The ENERMAX thermal team has taken a long-term development to improve upon Enermax’s liquid CPU cooler series. With the all-in-one, closed-loop system, the LIQMAX 120S-HP & LIQMAX 120S-TAA both provide superior cooling performance without the complexity of DIY water cooling kits. These maintenance free, all-in-one liquid cooling systems come with prefilled coolant in the system and offer trouble-free user installation.

The quality and design of the water block determines the cooling performance of a liquid cooler. This is why LIQMAX 120S applies ENERMAX’s new patented Shunt Channel Technology cold plate. The SCT and the unique 3D Extruded cold-plate structure give excellent stability and rapid heat conductivity, redistribute the coolant and maximize the utilization rate. The less utilized coolant has more opportunity to combine with the heated coolant which traveled through the hot zone.

Also, the renowned ENERMAX Twister Bearing is now integrated with High-Pressure Airflow Fan with APS Control. The fans also come with 3 cooling PWM variable modes, including Silent Mode at 600~1300 RPM, Performance Mode at 600~2000 RPM and Overclock Mode at 600~2500 RPM.

LIQMAX 120S-HP & LIQMAX 120S-TAA coolers also feature a ceramic bearing for longer life span. LIQMAX series supports the following Intel CPUs: LGA 775/1150/ 1155/1156/1366/2011; AMD based processors: AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+/FM1/FM2 with trouble-free smart bracket installation.

Thank you Hi-Tech Daily News for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Hi-Tech Daily News

Kotetsu CPU Cooler Released by Scythe

With the announcement of the new Kotetsu CPU Cooler, Japanese cooling expert Scythe is going forth to offer a 120 mm tower model with an aggressive pricing and great cost/performance ratio.

With the Kotetsu CPU Cooler, Scythe is able to prove that great performance does not necessarily require the heatsink to be very heavy. Kotetsu is equipped with four high-quality six millimeter copper heatpipes, an optimized aluminum fin-structure and an all-copper base-plate, yet puts up a weight of merely 480 grams.

Fast dissipation of heat from the fins is managed by the pre-mounted 120 mm Glide Steam axial fan, which rotates in a range between 400 and 1.400 rpm thanks to the PWM-support. The noise level varies between inaudible 5,3 dBa to still very silent 28,0 dBA. Although being very silent, supplied Glide Stream axial fan is able to move from 63,49 to 165,10 cubic meter per hour, respectively 20,7 to 79,0 cubic feet per minute. Similar to other Scythe CPU Cooler models, Kotetsu can also be equipped with an addition case fan, to create a Push-Pull constellation.

Another great feature of the new Kotetsu CPU Cooler is its compact size of 130 x 58 x 160 mm (W x H x D). Hence allows it to be used even for gaming systems based on Mini-ATX and Micro-ATX form-factor. Such systems have usually high restriction when it comes to the height and size of the built-in components. Scythe utilized the „H.P.M.S.” mounting system in addition, to assure an easy and fast mounting procedure.

Compatibility to a big variety of sockets is yet another specialty of Scythe. The Kotetsu CPU Cooler supports the Intel sockets LGA1150, LGA775, LGA1155, LGA1156 and LGA1366 as well as AMD sockets AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1 and FM2. All required mounting clips for the screw-based mounting system, alongside one wrench and thermal grease, are supplied as well.

Scythe Kotetsu CPU Cooler is available at a price of $38 / €28 / £23.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of TechPowerUp

Viper 3 Low Profile Series Memory Kits Revealed By Patriot

Patriot has revealed its latest memory which is dedicated to overclocking and extreme gaming. The Viper 3 series is about 3cm tall, providing clearance for large CPU coolers. Its heat shield does not limit CPU cooling options and provides thermal dissipation to extend the lifetime of the modules. Those who are looking for no hassle plug-and-play performance, these Viper 3 Low Profile modules provide full support for Intel XMP to make overclocking easy. Simply install the Viper 3 Low Profile Series modules in any XMP 1.3 enabled system and it will automatically select the maximum overclocking performance. No further tweaking is required to obtain maximum performance from these memory modules.

Built using high quality materials and hand-tested to ensure compatibility with the latest Intel and AMD processors, more specifically they are compatible with Intel 7 and 8 and AMD’s AM3+, FM1 and FM2 series processors. The Viper 3 Low Profile Series modules are dual and quad channel packed, being available in 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB Kits, with speeds of 1600 MHz – 1866 MHz – 2133 MHz.

A price has not yet been revealed for the Viper 3 Low Profile Memory kits, but those interested in more details about where to buy or all available memory kit combos can head over to Patriot’s official website for more information.

Thank you HardwareZone for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Partriot.

ASUS Announce That Their Current 990FX Fully Support The FX-9000 Series

ASUS have revealed that all their current 990FX motherboards will fully support AMD’s FX 9000 series of processors which currently consist of the FX-9370 and FX-9590 processors. These will work fine without the need for any BIOS updates but the clarification was needed as the high TDP of the FX-9000 series means that some motherboards might struggle or fail to meet the demanding power requirements.

ASUS confirm that the Crosshair V Formula-Z, Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 and M5A99FX Pro R2.0 will all support the FX-9000 series fully. AMD recommend that you pair their CPU with a 1200W PSU (massive overkill in my opinion) and a decent closed loop liquid CPU cooler like a Corsair H100i.

ASUS are also claiming that their motherboards will be able to support up to 2400MHz on the memory side of things, something not all other vendors can offer.

“ASUS is a market leader in the motherboard industry, thanks to the quality and innovation of its products,” said Roy Taylor, Corp Vice President of Global Channel Sales at AMD. “The out-of-the-box support for AMD FX-9000 Series processors offered by its 990FX-based motherboards is further proof of the solid design and high-quality components for which ASUS has long been renowned. In fact it’s so good, I used the same motherboard in my PC at home.”

Image courtesy of ASUS

AMD’s FX-9590 Gets A Huge Price Cut, Joins The HD 7990

AMD’s FX-9590 CPU has just has its price cut in the UK from the £700 MSRP all the way down to a £300 MSRP. This means the FX-9590 is now around twice the price of the CPU it is based on, the FX 8350, which costs about £146. The retailer in question, Aria PC, did not specify if such a price drop was initiated by themselves or AMD but given the extent of the price reduction we can assume AMD has indeed lowered the price of the FX-9590 processor which is hardly surprising as it probably wasn’t selling very well at £650-700. The FX-9590 joins the HD 7990 in getting a massive price cut, for those who do not remember AMD chopped the price of the HD 7990 down $300 just a few weeks ago from $999.99 to $699.99.

AMD’s FX-9590 runs at 4.7GHz stock and turbos up to 5GHz so requires some serious cooling to keep it tamed. A Corsair H100i or Cooler Master Seidon 240M is recommended. It is also recommended that only high-end 990FX motherboards from Gigabyte, MSI, ASUS or ASRock are used with the latest BIOS updates. Though the FX-9590 is an OEM part there is a direct AMD warranty available for a period of 2 years.

You can see AMD’s FX-9590 for £299.99 right here.

Image courtesy of AMD

Gigabyte Reveal Revision 4.0 Of The 990FXA-UD3

With AMD still some way off a new motherboard platform release motherboard vendors are limited to just revamping old designs with new features, such as we saw Gigabyte do recently with the 990FXA-UD7. Their latest updates are being allocated to the mid-range 990FXA-UD3 AMD motherboard and these updates take it to revision 4.0. The major changes include a refreshed CPU VRM design with Gigabyte’s digital power engine and a 10 phase VRM. 

Furthermore the components used on this motherboard include newer and better chokes, capacitors, and MOSFETs as well as upgraded chipset and VRM heatsinks. Additionally Gigabyte have added their newest version of the UEFI setup program to the 990FXA-UD3 Rev 4.0.

Other than those changes the 990FX-UD3 is still the same core motherboard designed to support AM3+ Vishera (Piledriver and Bulldozer) CPUs as well as older AM3 CPUs from the Phenom II X2/4/6 and Athlon II X2/3/4 series. There is support for 64GB of dual channel 2133MHz memory and two PCIe 2.0 X16 slots as well as two PCIe 2.0 X4 slots that are both X16 physical. Two PCIe 2.0 X1 slots and a legacy PCI top off the rest of the PCI(e) expansion. There are 6 SATA III 6Gbps ports from the SB950 Southbridge and two eSATA 6Gbps ports from a Marvell controller. There are four USB 3.0 ports (Etron EJ168 powered), 8 channel Realtek ALC889 audio and Realtek 8111F ethernet. Pricing will match that of the older SKU at $140.

Images courtesy of Gigabyte

AMD’s FX-9590 Gets Final Pricing

AMD’s FX-9590 CPU is going to be a special limited edition processor from AMD. You can read more about the specifics here but it will basically boast the title of the first commercially available CPU that is capable of 5GHz out-of-the-box without any overclocking. In terms of pricing we were aware from the pre-order pricing that the region would be around $900 and that pricing seems to have stuck. The FX-9590, according to TechPowerUp, is available at three websites for the following prices:

So if you live in the USA and you’re interested in picking up an FX-9590 you’re basically going to have to expect to shell out at least $880 to $960 depending on what pricing your retailer chooses. It is also worth considering AMD didn’t want these CPUs to be sold separately so many big retailers may choose to respect AMD’s wishes and not sell these individually.

In the UK we have seen these retail CPUs selling for around £700 which is about €850. This is a staggering amount of money considering you can get a Intel Core i7 3960X for a similar price.

Image courtesy of AMD

Gigabyte Updates Flagship 990FXA-UD7 Motherboard To Rev 3.0

AMD motherboard haven’t really seen much change over the past couple of years and since the release of Bulldozer back in October 2011 we haven’t seen any new chipsets for the AM3(+) socket. Due to this fact motherboard vendors have mainly been opting for either BIOS updates to keep these motherboards supporting new technology or revision updates occasionally to bring the motherboards up-to-date. Gigabyte is the latest vendor to do this by upgrading its 990FXA-UD7 motherboard to revision 3.0. This was probably a move done to ensure that Gigabyte have the latest and most up to date flagship AM3(+) motherboard on the market in time for the new FX-9000 series processors AMD released recently.

Gigabyte skipped revision 2.0 and went straight to 3.0 and quite a lot has changed as a result. We find an update to Ultra Durable 4 and a 10 phase CPU VRM, slightly reinforced over the older version to allow for FX-9000 overclocking. The CPU VRM features driver MOSFETs and a rather large heatsink to cool everything. This heatsink is connected to the chipset via a heat pipe too. The memory support is up to 64GB of 2000MHz+ memory and expansion slots include four PCI Express 2.0 X16 slots with the following electrical configs x16/NC/x16/NC or x16/NC/x8/x8 or x8/x8/x8/x8.

Additionally there are two more full sized PCI Express 2.0 slots, wired to 4X, connected to the Southbridge and there is a legacy PCI. Storage is provided by six SATA III 6Gbps ports from the Southbridge and two more SATA III 6Gbps ports from a Marvell 88SE9172. USB 3.0 is provided by two Etron EJ168 controllers for two USB 3.0 via the rear plane and two via a header.

The rest of the connectivity and features are nothing out of the ordinary:

  • 8 Channel HD audio
  • Optical and Coaxial SPDIF
  • ALC 889 Codec
  • Gigabit Ethernet – Realtek 8111F
  • FireWire
  • PS/2 combo port
  • Multiple USB 2.0
  • AMI UEFI BIOS – Gigabyte Dual UEFI Tech

The expected price is $200~ and we should see availability soon.

Image(s) courtesy of Gigabyte


AMD Super Pi Performance Fixed With Patch, Benchmark Record To Be Smashed

AMD has always been very poor at Super Pi test scores since the Bulldozer architecture was released. You only need to take a quick glimpse at the graph below to see that both Bulldozer and Piledriver based AMD CPUs flat-out suck, there is no other way to put it. The reason is because the benchmark is very old and uses an instruction set that just doesn’t work very well with AMD.

Unsurprisingly it turns out that the program not AMD CPUs are what is causing the unusually low scores. The Stilt from Finland, according to the HWBot forums, have developed a fix for AMD Bulldozer/Piledriver on Super Pi. For the real world this is totally irrelevant but for the extreme overclocking and benchmarking community this is quite a huge break through.

Apparently the Stilt used BIOS developers guides, that are made available to motherboard vendors, to figure out this performance issue and devise a solution. It’s an impressive achievement and shows how just one person can develop something the entire motherboard industry ignored/missed. The patch for Bulldozer/Piledriver systems can be seen here.

A rough idea of performance is that a 4.1GHz Richland A10-6800K managed 17 minutes and 34 seconds with this patch while without the patch a 5GHz Richland A10-6800K could manage only 18 minutes and 15 seconds. The patch clearly makes a huge difference and we look forward to seeing some more results.

Image courtesy of the Stilt

AMD Confirms FX-9000 Processors Will Not Be Available Individually For Consumers

AMD recently released two brand new processors to its FX portfolio. These consisted of the FX-9590 and the FX-9370 processors. Below is a quick recap of the details about those two processors from our previous article:

The FX-9590 and FX-9370 CPUs both run AMD Turbo Core 3.0 which allows the FX-9590 to turbo up to a maximum 5GHz and the FX-9370 to turbo up to a maximum 4.7GHz. According to AMD both these CPUs have eight Piledriver cores. The base clock of the FX-9590 is 4.7GHz while the base clock of the FX-9370 is 4.4GHz. Both have 8MB of L2 and L3 cache and reportedly support up to DDR3 2400MHz memory. Apparently the OEM/System integrator pricing for these CPUs is $800 for the FX-9590 and $400 for the FX-9370.

Up until now we weren’t sure if they would be system integrator exclusives or if they would be available to consumers as retail boxed units as well, but AMD has now confirmed the status of these new products. AMD have recently told the Tech Report that these new processors will not be available to consumers. In fact they are now going to be System Integrator parts ONLY. That means you can only buy these in pre-built systems, of course that probably won’t stop some people whipping these out of systems and putting them up on eBay, or even some system integrators selling them as OEM parts. However, AMD will endorse none of this and will not sell these as individual boxed retail units.

The reason for this all comes down to the 220W TDP. This creates motherboard compatibility issues and cooling solution issues. These concerns are explained more below, with a quote from our previous article:

There is some worry among motherboard vendors as most AM3+ motherboard sockets are only designed for around a 125W TDP with a little bit of overclocking headroom. Apparently the FX-9590 and FX-9370 have 220W TDPs meaning motherboard vendors will have to issue a compatibility announcement, some lower end and mid range motherboards just won’t have the VRM to support these new CPUs. Although if these CPUs are only released through the OEM system integrator channel, then compatibility issues shouldn’t be a problem as system builders will be given details on which motherboards they can put these CPUs in.

What are your thoughts on this?

Image courtesy of AMD

AMD Release FX-9000 Series Processors – FX-9590 and FX-9370

We heard a lot of rumours about AMD preparing some kind of “5GHz” FX processor and quite frankly after the Centurion FX processor rumour fizzled out we thought that was the end of that. But then something more plausible arrived about a week back as we heard about the AMD FX-9000 series CPUs and these were to be 5GHz processors but the 5GHz represented the maximum turbo frequency not the base clock. Today AMD have informed us of the official release of the FX-9000 series of CPUs which indeed are the latter, CPUs capable of reaching a max Turbo of 5GHz.

These new CPUs from AMD consist of the FX-9590 and the FX-9370. According to AMD these new CPUs will become available immediately but the initial release will be through system integrators and OEMs only. AMD did not mention if we will see consumer availability that allows you to buy these units individually but I think we can expect this in the next few months.

The FX-9590 and FX-9370 CPUs both run AMD Turbo Core 3.0 which allows the FX-9590 to turbo up to a maximum 5GHz and the FX-9370 to turbo up to a maximum 4.7GHz. According to AMD both these CPUs have eight Piledriver cores. The base clock of the FX-9590 is 4.7GHz while the base clock of the FX-9370 is 4.4GHz. Both have 8MB of L2 and L3 cache and reportedly support up to DDR3 2400MHz memory.

There is some worry among motherboard vendors as most AM3+ motherboard sockets are only designed for around 125W TDP with a little bit of overclocking headroom. Apparently the FX-9590 and FX-9370 have 220W TDPs meaning motherboard vendors will have to issue a compatibility announcement, some lower end and mid range motherboards just won’t have the VRM to support these new CPUs. Although if these CPUs are only released through the OEM system integrator channel, then compatibility issues shouldn’t be a problem as system builders will be given details on which motherboards they can put these CPUs in.

Apparently the OEM/System integrator pricing for these CPUs is $800 for the FX-9590 and $400 for the FX-9370.

What are your thoughts on these new CPUs from AMD?

Image courtesy of AMD

Rumour: AMD Preparing FX-9000 5GHz CPU, Centurion FX Repeat Anyone?

A while back we brought you the rumour that AMD was preparing a 5GHz Centurion FX processor. That in fact turned out to be a false rumour that apparently had no accurate grounding, particularly as people were suggesting the chip would be guaranteed to run at 5GHz on air yet many industry sources confirmed that would not be possible. Now we have a similar story emerging from a SweClockers report, who I might add are normally quite accurate with their leaks and reports.

The report says that AMD is preparing two new FX processors based on Piledriver and Vishera. The FX 9000 and FX 8770 CPUs. Not much is known about the FX 8770 other than it will be lower down in terms of specifications compared to the FX 9000. The FX 9000 on the other hand is reported to run at 4.8GHz stock with a 5GHz turbo mode. This CPU will have a huge 220W TDP compared to the 125W TDP on the FX 8350 which is already too hot and power hungry for most people’s liking.

Below you can see the known specifications of these two CPUs, thanks to WCCFTech for putting this table together.

Like with the Centurion FX rumour I am highly sceptical of these rumours although 4.8GHz stock and 5GHz turbo does seem a bit “more realistic” than Centurion FX’s “5GHz on air” expectation. AMD recently teased on its Facebook page that “We’ve made something for gaming combat so you can always be ready for war. Can you guess what our announcement might be? Stay tuned…”. There is definitely something special coming from AMD but whether that is a new CPU, a new GPU or a new APU is anyone’s guess.

What are your thoughts on all of this?

Image courtest of

AMD Cutting Desktop CPU Prices

AMD have a tradition of cutting their prices down incrementally over time. Not only does it help them shift a few more units but it also allows them to keep “old tech” attractive even when they release new models. Their latest round of price cuts is no exceptions and we can see some very attractive price drops from the AMD camp:

AMD has been cutting prices from the Llano FM1 platform, the Trinity FM2 platform, the Piledriver AM3+ platform and the Deneb AM3 platform. It is interesting to see AMD still cutting prices on the somewhat “ancient-but-legendary” Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition processor, now down to a tiny $81. This makes an excellent choice for anyone wanting four real cores and overclockability but doesn’t want to pay the premium for today’s technology.

The Llano platform has had the biggest cuts as AMD clearly wants to shift stock of the A6 3600, A8, 3800 and A8 3820. There are no cuts on the A6 3670K or A8 3870K as these two units are clearly selling well thanks to their unlocked multipliers.  Trinity also gets a discount and the A8 5600K being reduced by 9.9% is my favourite reduction.

Over with Piledriver and AMD’s recently released FX 6350 and FX 4350 processors mean the price of their slower counterparts, the FX 4300 and FX 6300, have been hacked down. The FX 6300 sees a healthy 15% discount making it only $112, which is only $4 more than the FX 4300. The FX 8320 also gets a price chop of 9.5% making it more competitive against Intel offerings in the same price point.

What are your thoughts on this latest round of price cuts from AMD?


AMD Introduce FX 6350 and FX 4350 Desktop Processors

Back at the end of last year AMD released two new processors to its FX series in the form of the FX 6350 and FX 4350, both of these parts were reserved as specifically OEM-only parts – meaning sold in trays or in pre-built systems. It wouldn’t of been impossible for you to get a hold of them as a few smaller retailers and sellers were selling them individually, but any big and reputable retailers wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) of been selling them. Now AMD has decided that it is going to bring the FX 6350 and FX 4350 processors to the retail channel, a.k.a in a box for you to buy individually with a full AMD warranty at big websites like Amazon, Scan, Ebuyer, Newegg, NCIX, etc.

Both the FX 6350 and FX 4350 are based on the 32nm Vishera silicon, and the second generation Piledriver micro architecture design. AMD is going to be targeting the $130 and $140 price points with MSRPs of $122 and $132 for the FX 4350 and FX 6350 respectively. Both parts have some incredibly impressive clock speeds for such affordable CPUs. The FX 6350 features a stock clock speed of 3.9GHz with a 4.2GHz Turbo frequency, 6MB/8MB of L2/L3 Cache and a TDP of 125W. The FX 4350 features a clock speed of 4.2GHz with a Turbo frequency of 4.3GHz, 4MB/8MB of L2/L3 cache and a 125W TDP. Both parts feature unlocked base-clock multipliers, modern instruction-sets such as AVX, AES-NI, SSE4.2, SSE4.1, FMA2, and XOP.

Availability is immediate in the retail channel and you can already find these parts listed at (FX 4350, FX 6350). What are your thoughts on these two new CPUs from AMD?