AMD Now Includes Wraith Cooler With FX 8350 and FX 6350

AMD’s upcoming CPU architecture, codenamed Zen, is going to offer a 40 percent IPC improvement compared to Excavator and could dawn in a new era of competitiveness. Hopefully, if AMD can produce something which rivals Intel, it could instigate a pricing war and make enthusiast processors more affordable. Clearly, many consumers are eagerly anticipating Zen’s release which makes the current range seems rather outdated. Despite this, there are some users who own AM3+ motherboards and don’t want to upgrade to an entirely new platform. On another note, consumers on a tight budget might feel they’re a great option to create an affordable HTPC.

Traditionally, bundled CPU coolers are fairly poor at thermal dissipation due to the low fin array and compact heatsink size. Also, they can be alarmingly loud under full load which makes for a shoddy desktop experience. As a result, I always encourage people to invest in a third-party cooler, such as the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO. Interestingly, Intel decided to ditch the stock cooler altogether on Skylake K series chips because they knew people would be opting for a better option. Although, this didn’t reduce the retail price at all! During CES this year, AMD displayed their new Wraith stock cooler capable of lower thermals compared to the previous model and significantly reduced noise. The design evokes a premium feel and it looks rather nice.

Today, AMD announced that they will now bundle this new cooler with the FX 8350 and FX 6350. Previously, this was limited to the FX 8370 and A10-7890K. The FX 6350 will retail for $129.99 while the FX 8350’s price is set at $179.99. This is fantastic news for consumers wanting to order a new AMD processor right now. Of course, if you can wait, it would be advisable given the upcoming Zen release.

Are you looking forward to Zen?

AMD Bundles Hitman with GPUs and CPUs

Freebies are something that we all like and AMD has now bundled the new Hitman game with some of their graphics cards and processors as well as systems prebuilt with these components. AMD has partnered with IO Interactive again to bring this deal and they also joined the AMD Gaming Evolved program in order to get the best out of the hardware with top-flight effects and performance optimizations for PC gamers.

The bundle deal runs from the February the 16th and it is valid with the purchase of selected products from participating retailers – as it always is. In this round, AMD bundles Hitman with their Radeon R9 390 and 390X graphics cards as well as their FX 6 and 8 core processors (PIB). The bundle will last until 30th of April 2016 or whilst supplies last. Vouchers can be redeemed until 30th of June 2016.

The new Hitman game is offered in a seasonal fashion with a base game and periodic add-ons that will continue the story, but it is handled in the best possible way. The full experience with the full season off new missions won’t cost more than other games costs in themselves without DLCs and this AMD bundle also includes the full game rather than just the initial release. You will also get access to the BETA for Hitman that will run from the 19th to the 22nd February.

Those that have upgraded to Windows 10 will have the best experience with this new game as it has been built to take advantage of DX12, a feature that will make a very noticeable difference for AMD CPU users.

“Hitman will leverage unique DX12 hardware found in only AMD Radeon GPUs, called asynchronous compute engines, to handle heavier workloads and better image quality without compromising performance. PC gamers may have heard of asynchronous compute already, and Hitman demonstrates the best implementation of this exciting technology yet.”

You can find all the fine print and redeem your game code on the official Hitman mini-site. The beta phase is almost here, so it might be time to make that upgrade that you’ve holding back with. The full hardware specifications and recommendations have also been published a few days ago, in case you missed them.

AMD Releases VR-Ready CPU List

With the arrival of the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and other VR headsets later this year, the talk has turned to the hardware necessary to drive these displays. Unlike regular gaming, VR gaming will require much higher framerates, meaning higher performing hardware. While Oculus has released their own system hardware checker, it is missing many other potentially workable hardware, something AMD is remediating with their own CPU list.

As expected, the list contains the 2 top end 220W models, the FX 9590 and 9370, AMD’s top CPUs. Further down are the usual suspects for gaming systems, the FX 8370 and 8350 and the more budget FX 6350. Surprisingly, the 2M/4T Steamroller based A10 7890K and 7870K as well as the Athlon X4 880K and 870K. It looks like the list is mostly made up of faster-clocked CPUs either above 3.9Ghz with 3M/6T or based on the new Steamroller architecture. This is expected as VR requires a good amount of single-thread performance and higher frame rates than usual. It’s surprising that we don’t see the FX 4320 and 4350 given that those carry a hefty base clock as well.

Even with this list though, AMD has only tested the FX chips against VR, while the Steamroller chips are theoretically good enough. Intel still holds a strong lead in single-threaded performance so it really depends on how the VR titles if AMD will run well on them. AMD won’t have to worry soon though if Zen delivers later this year.

“Archer” Season 7 Release Date Revealed

Archer, one of the biggest hits in modern animated comedy is set to return to our screens this year. After six strong seasons, the show is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down or running out of sarcastic quickfire wit to entertain the masses, and H. John Benjamin, Aisha Tyler and Jessica Walter, to name but a few, will all be returning to reprise their now famous roles.

CES John Landgraf announced this weekend at a TCA executive session that the show will be returning to the FX network. As some of you may already know, the show was renewed for two more seasons during season 5, meaning that season 6 and the soon to be screened season 7, are the only confirmed seasons coming to FX. That’s not to say that more seasons of the Adam Reed and Floyd County Productions show won’t be commissioned after this one, but for now, the contract only covers them throughout 2016.

At least now we can look forward to more iconic moments such as this.

Let’s just hope that the team can keep the magic alive for another season and that we’ve got many more years of Archer ahead of us. As I’m sure that many of the tech loving community that read eTeknix are also fans of the world’s greatest secret agent; Dutchess. Keep an eye on FX on March 31st for some sterling action.

https://twitter.com/sepinwall/status/688421103539253248

What’s your favourite moment from Archer so far? Let us know in the comments section below.

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

AMD Zen Rumours Point to Earlier Than Expected Release

Before anyone gets too excited about this news, so far this is only a rumour that originates from one source, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t dream, hope and get a little bit excited. A german tech publication got wind from a Motherboard manufacturer that we could see new AMD Zen based motherboards as early as March 2016, well ahead of the otherwise known Q4 2016 plan.

The new AMD Zen CPU will use a new socket and also incorporate the current DDR4 capabilities and as such completely new boards have to be designed. In a routine inquiry about this, the publication got a surprising response from the manufacturer. The response: “The internal timetable foresees a March 2016 launch”. That is a lot sooner than expected.

There are however several ways that this could be both good and bad, true and false. The original Zen timetable has a Q1 2016 schedule that later got pushed. So the company could have been getting the information from old documents. Another possibility could be that we see Opteron CPUs on the new Zen architecture before we get the consumer FX versions around the holiday sales 2016.

Either way, I am one of them that is excited to see what AMD has cooked up in their labs and how well it will perform compared to the competition.

AMD Announces the Specifications for its Upcoming Kaveri Mobility APUs

It appears that AMD has just revealed the specifications of their upcoming Mobility Kaveri APU lineup via AMD’s website, indicating that the company is planning to launch the lineup as soon as possible, having Computex 2014 in June as possible date of launch.

The AMD Mobility Kaveri APU lineup is said to come with the most basic features compared to the desktop Kaveri lineup launched in January, arriving in a variety of SKUs such as A-series, FX and Pro A-series APUs. There is also information of technologies such as Dual Graphics, Face Login, Eyefinity, Gesture Control, Wireless Display, Quick Steaming Technology and Start Now which would be available on the models.

In terms of specifications, the FX-7600P, which is also said to be the mobile platform APU, will feature 4 CPU cores and 8 GPU cores, while the x86 Steamroller would be clocked at 2.7 GHz stock and 3.6 GHz while in boost, having a 4 MB L2 cache and displaying a GCN graphics of 512 stream processors operating at 686 MHz with a TDP of 35W. The APU is also said to support 32 GB DDR3 memory having speeds of up to 2133 MHz.

The A10 Mobile Kaveri APU series includes the A10-7400P, having 4 CPU cores and 6 GPU cores, while the x86 Steamroller APU will be clocked at 2.1 GHz stock with a boost speed of 3.3 GHz. Looking at the cache, the L2 will present the same 4 MB cache as the FX version previously mentioned, while the GCN graphics will boast 384 streaming processors working at 654 MHz with a TDP of 35W. The amount of memory and frequency support is similar to the FX model, having a 32 GB DDR3 memory limit with up to 2133 MHz operating frequency.

The more business-oriented Pro model includes the A10 PRO-7350B, featuring 4 CPU and 6 GPU cores. The x86 Steamroller is said to be clocked at 2.1 GHz stock and 3.3 GHz in boost, while boasting a 4 MB L2 cache with a GCN graphics of 384 stream processors working at 553 MHz with a TDP of 19W. The APU will support 32 GB DDR3 with a working frequency of up to 1600 MHz.

The rest of the Kaveri Mobility lineup can be viewed below:

A few benchmarks have been made with the lineup, and the results show that AMD is gaining some ground in terms of gaming performance, since the retail FX-7500 is currently ahead of the ULV Maxwell and even the A10-7300 is showing its power ahead of Intel’s i7-4500U, i5-4200U and i3-4010U. The 3DMark11 and PCMark8 benchmark results can be viewed below:


In addition to the above, it is said that there is also a small chance of AMD along with its OEM partners will introduce the Crystal Series-based notebooks along with the mobility APU launch. Information about the new Crystal Series GPU also mention some enhancements including GCN 1.1 architecture, with a probability of offering Dual Graphics support along with the Kaveri Mobility lineup. A list of the latter GPUs can be viewed below:

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

AMD’s Revenue Propels By 38% At The End Of Q4 2013, $1.59 Billion Recorded

AMD has related its financial situation today at the Q4 2013 Earnings Conference, where they have detailed their milestones, earnings and overview of their company’s financial situation. They have stated that they were successful in executing their “3 step strategic turnaround”, which ultimately lead to “transform” AMD.

According to AMD’s officials, they have accelerated their business growth during the 2013 year, leading to profit growth in the second half of 2013 by diversifying their product range from semi-custom SoCs, ARM and all the way to the PC component market.

In Q4, AMD reported a $1.59 billion revenue, a 9% sequential increase and 38% annual increase since 2012. They have also exceeded the goal for the semi-customed and embedded market with a 20% revenue growth in this sphere for the Q4 2013, ultimately leading to their expectations of reaching a 50% increase in revenue by 2015.

The embedded and semi-customed market propelled the business in Q4, where the demand for Sony and Microsoft had been met and both companies combined sold and estimate of 7 million next-gen consoles in less than 2 months (double than the previous number of consoles sold in their first quarter).

In terms of graphics solutions, AMD pointed to an excellent year in growth revenue, pointing to the dual FirePro graphics solution inside Apple’s Mac Pro. Though, the R7 and R9 chips have also been brought up, where they related a sequential increase in revenue from the chip demands, which they are expected to see in 2014 as well.

APUs and FX CPUs have also seen a steady increase during the third and all the way to the fourth quarter of 2013, having the launch of the Kaveri chipset market as a turning point and an exponential increase in revenue. AMD is aiming to provide a performance oriented solution at a reasonable price, having mentioned the A8 and A10 series of Kaveri CPUs as the best alternative to other competitors, which we mainly think is Intel’s Haswell.

The hardest part comes last, where AMD is aware of the 2013 decrease in the PC market, which they felt as well, and are continuing to cautiously approach it during 2014. They have predicted a slight decrease in 2014 as well and have stated to tackle the decrease quarter by quarter, while managing their expansion into other areas where AMD is not strongly represented to compensate their estimated loss in the PC sphere this year.

All in all, AMD has been keeping in on the green last year, and are going to do the same in 2014 by getting more involved in the semi-customed SoC, embedded and ARM markets.

AMD FX-4130 Black Edition Processor Review

Mid last year, AMD announced that they were going to be giving their FX line of CPUs a little boost of energy and a little face lift to rekindle their budget appeal and performance for the entry level markets. The FX line of CPUs, also known as Bulldozer, has always filled in the gap between entry level processing power and top performance with chips that are able to give performance on a budget.

As part of this regeneration, AMD have targeted their 4-core lineup of chips and one of these in particular is the FX-4100, a quad-core 3.6GHz chip that still retails for a wallet friendly ~£70-80, although we do have to take in consideration that this older model is now end-of-line. In order to keep this chip alive and to boost its energy, AMD have upped its core clock speed by 200MHz taking it up to 3.8GHz and boosting to 3.9GHz when it feels like doing so. Other changes to the package include a far improved stock cooler which AMD claim will allow for better overclocking from the totally unlocked Black Edition chip over its older brother.

On top of the higher clock and better cooler, AMD claim that users should see a gain in performance of 3-9% in general day to day computing which for a chip of roughly the same price is a welcome sight. Given the FX-4130 is here to replace the FX-4100 we have tested the older chip alongside this one to give up-to-date test results and a far better comparison to see how much of a difference there is to be had at stock clock speeds.