Rumor: AMD's Thuban to have Turbo Boost-like feature


— 6:00 AM on February 8, 2010

Could we see Turbo Boost-like functionality in an AMD processor soon? "Sources close to the company" have tipped off the guys at X-bit labs that Thuban, a six-core AMD desktop processor due later this year, will be able to "overclock" individual cores dynamically.

Dubbed "C-state performance boost," this feature will reportedly operate at the hardware level, and it will give Thuban the ability to disable cores and raise the clock speeds of remaining ones automatically depending on load. Just as with Intel's Turbo Boost scheme, the clock speed modulations will all happen within the processor's rated thermal envelope.

While evidence seems sparse at this point, it's hard to argue against the usefulness of a Turbo Boost-like feature in a six-core desktop processor. Squeezing six cores in the same thermal envelope as a Phenom II X4 will undoubtedly entail a lower base clock speed, and because few desktop apps are likely to use that many threads, the lower base clock could lead to slower day-to-day performance than one might otherwise expect from a high-end CPU. Disabling extra cores and speeding up the rest could solve that problem nicely.

According to the latest whispers from the Far East, Thuban will arrive in May as Phenom II X6 1035T, 1055T, and 1075T processors. Those three parts will be based on the same 45-nm process technology as current Phenom IIs, and they'll work in the same Socket AM3 and AM2+ motherboards. (Thanks to TR forum gerbil ish718 for the link.)

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