No dual-core Phenoms coming until the 45nm jump

Before AMD launched its first Phenom processors last year, the rumor mill was rife with news of dual-core and top-of-the-line, "FX"-branded derivatives of the Phenom X4. AMD has since introduced its triple-core Phenom X3 CPUs, but the entire Phenom line is still sandwiched between $145 and $235. What gives?

Citing its usual sources at motherboard manufacturers, DigiTimes says the answer is simple: AMD has shelved other Phenom derivatives. The company’s roadmap reportedly called for 65nm, dual-core Phenoms in May or June, but the Athlon X2 5600+ will fill in until AMD makes the jump to 45nm process technology. AMD stated back in April that 45nm production will begin "at mature yields" in the summer, followed by volume 45nm shipments in the fourth quarter. In the meantime, a recent Asus press release hints that AMD will introduce higher-clocked 65nm Phenoms before long.

DigiTimes claims AMD’s 45nm roadmap includes "Deneb FX" processors that could revive the firm’s premium enthusiast line. Considering Intel’s rumored plans for Nehalem, though, Deneb FX could face the same fate as purported 65nm Phenom FX processors.

Comments closed
    • thermistor
    • 12 years ago

    The dual core K8 arch is really, really old…the X2 3800 came out in 2005. Yeah, they changed to AM2 away from 939, but my understanding is the arch between the 3800 and 6400 is essentially identical, except for cache sizes along the way up the Ghz tree (not sure, but certain models have 512kb/core others have 256kb/core).

    Also, the 90 to 65 nm transition didn’t help K8 very much, did it?

    • Ashbringer
    • 12 years ago

    There was a rumor that Intel was going to preview their Hybrid GPU/CPU’s near the end of this year. I’m wondering how far along AMD’s Hybrid chips are?

      • ncspack
      • 12 years ago

      Knowing full well I’ll be branded a fanboy (again) for speaking in AMD’s favor, I’mma post this reply anyway:

      Farther along than Intel’s; §[<https://techreport.com/articles.x/14858<]§ .

      • pogsnet
      • 11 years ago
    • srg86
    • 12 years ago

    sorry, that was supposed to be a reply to #15

    Yeah, I’m not sure what to make of this, either he really has been unlucky (I’ve never had a core 2 system but I’ve never heard anything against them) or that was just a troll post.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 12 years ago

    Triple core *are* the “dual core” of yesteryear.

    • Deli
    • 12 years ago

    IMHO, a huge percent of the market has almost no need for anything past dual core X2 or Pentiums. What they need is more RAM and better PSUs so their machines last longer.

      • Flying Fox
      • 12 years ago

      That will go against their objectives of planned obsolescence?

    • albundy
    • 12 years ago

    Next thing you know they will be coming out with single core phenoms. impressive.

    • AMDisDEC
    • 12 years ago

    Not me.
    I’d like to stick with AMD, but from here into the foreseeable future it’s Nehalem (and offspring) without a shadow of doubt.
    This will be my first Intel system in over 10 years. In all that time, I’ve been building AMD. Now I have to go with the better run company with the better valued products.

    AMD MAY yet surprise me with Fusion, but I seriously doubt it.

      • srg86
      • 12 years ago

      Same here, decade long AMD user will be going Nehalem in my next build.

      • Taddeusz
      • 12 years ago

      I like cheering for the underdog but in this case I believe Intel is providing the best stability and performance for my money. Particularly once the new chips come out at the end of the year. AMD is again the position it was in pre-K7 and I don’t think Intel is going to be sitting back like it was at the time.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 12 years ago

      Except we don’t have any idea how Nehalem is going to work. It might be a blunder, we just don’t know.

        • kilkennycat
        • 12 years ago

        Have you read Anand’s sneak preview of a couple of fully-working Nehalems in compatible motherboards?

        §[<http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc.aspx?i=3326<]§

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 12 years ago

        Yeah. Apparently we’ve all been spoiled by Conroe. Older processors always came out with previews making them look good, but in reality they weren’t so much as expected. Clearly people have forgotten the past. I’m still skeptical.

      • flip-mode
      • 12 years ago

      With starting price of $316, that’s just plain too much money to spend on a CPU. Once Nahalem based stuff gets below $200 then fine I’ll consider it.

      • PoohPall
      • 12 years ago

      Nehalem looks interesting but I am not going to waste my time with Intel this time around. I made the mistake of buying in to the whole Core 2 whooaaa and got my fingers burnt.

      Intel always looks promising on paper, but fails to deliver in real life. The Phenoms are solid and can only get better from here on.

        • tfp
        • 12 years ago

        How did you exactly get your fingers burnt?

          • eitje
          • 12 years ago

          maybe he meant it literally.

            • tfp
            • 12 years ago

            and an AMD CPU is cooler? This is news indeed.

            • flip-mode
            • 12 years ago

            or just another AMD fanboytroll

        • TravelMug
        • 12 years ago

        Hahahaha, good one! 🙂

        • swaaye
        • 12 years ago

        Huh?

        Phenom is this decade’s K6-III. Hot, slow, overpriced, and exposing of those who really like seeing corporations as fan clubs.

        Now, those $60 dual core 45W Athlon 64 X2s are another matter entirely.

        • Xaser04
        • 12 years ago

        r[

    • AMDguy
    • 12 years ago

    It makes no sense for AMD to produce dual core Phenoms. The Phenom’s MC/L3 eats up too much power. AMD would be selling hot, slow dual cores that still don’t perform as well as Core 2, and would have to sell them at the same budget price points as their current K8 dual core line. This would entail the costs for the production of a new product, a product that is slower and which adds no profits.

    The sensible move is for AMD to keep the dual core K8s running and benefiting from perhaps one more bump in speed and efficiency as the 65nm node gets tweaked one last time.

      • asdsa
      • 12 years ago

      Exactly. You’ve saved me the trouble of putting that in to words. I’d like to see 65nm 6000+ and 6400+ having daylight.

        • ish718
        • 12 years ago

        Same thing I always wanted, 65nm 6000+ with 1MB L2 cache per core

          • Anonymous Coward
          • 12 years ago

          Presumably their 65nm process tech is too screwed up to allow >= 3.0ghz K8’s, otherwise that sort of thing would have been brilliantly obvious for them to make. Get a little more margin on the same tiny and cheap to make CPU. I’d even argue that they should start 45nm out with K8 type processors, maybe those fancy mobile ones with split power planes.

          (No I don’t buy the idea that they held back K8 to make K10 look good.)

      • fantastic
      • 12 years ago

      I agree with this person or dog. Make Phenom better, not further crippled.

      I jumped on the Penryn instead of the Phenom. It’s my first Intel chip since the Northwood.

      • mczak
      • 12 years ago

      I dunno I thought it would have made sense for AMD to basically replace brisbane cpus with dual-core K10 versions. The Northbridge can’t use that much power Griffin got the same (or so we’re told).
      However, for this to make sense, I think AMD should have dropped the L3 cache (which hopefully also would get memory latency up to the old K8 levels) – for two cores this cache will even help less than for four cores.
      If they’d dropped the cache (and the unneeded HT links, one is sufficient), a dual-core K10 shouldn’t be that much larger than a brisbane – maybe something like ~145mm^2 instead of the 118 of brisbane. Should also have comparable power draw at similar clock frequencies.
      But I guess that opportunity is missed – it now still would not be enough to hit c2d e8400 or so performance and thus the whole range of cpus would have to be sold at discount prices.

        • AMDguy
        • 12 years ago

        mczak, I agree that AMD should make dual core CPUs for the budget market, and they should at some point update the cores from K8 to K10. I was thinking of the situation according to AMD’s present technology and product line up.

        A new statement from AMD indicates they WILL be making a dual core K10 desktop chip, but it will be 65nm, and it will most likely be introduced late in ’08 – about the same time the 45nm quads are released.

        This makes good sense as by late Q4 AMD’s prices on the Brisbane chips may have fallen to as low as $60 for a dual core BE. AMD can release new 65nm K10 chips to recover the $100+ range, and the new 45nm quads and tri-cores can fill in the $200 and $300 price points.

        The problem with the K10 MC is that by itself it draws as much power as 4 K10 cores (50% of the power for a quad core is going to the MC).

        Also, the power draw of the K10 MC goes up dramatically as you try to overclock it. From what I’ve read, it’s easier to overclock the cores than it is to overclock the MC.

        So, having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised to see 95-125W dual core K10s running with 3GHz core clocks and maybe somewhat lower MC clocks. (The MC can be clocked independently of the cores.)

      • Stranger
      • 12 years ago

      It makes plenty of sense. AMD doesn’t have to include a massive l3/crossbar like on the phenom (if it’s as modular as they say). In addition they only have to include a single HT controller due to the fact that this part wouldn’t be used in servers and they get to skip redesigning the K8 for 45nm since I imagine they’re strapped for cash.

        • moritzgedig
        • 12 years ago

        I would have agreed with you until reading post #3.
        surely they would not include a L3 cache as sugested in #3 but making a
        dual-core in 45nm with presumably 1MB of cache per core, doesn’t make sense to me neither. it would be a low-budget part, replacing the low-budget 65nm parts. it is a wasted effort, they should instead keep the 65nm parts for the sub $100 segment, feeding of the saved investment.
        the sad truth is, that dual-core is “old” and obsolet now, why wast 45nm processcapacity on it?

    • wingless
    • 12 years ago

    Wow, we all though they were just canceled and speculation got out of control as usual. AMD needs to get these clarifying statements out a little sooner. All in all, news about AMD recently has been fairly positive and you really get the sense that they are getting back on track. I’m glad to see they’ve pulled out of their nose dive. By this time in 2009 they’ll be well into the black.

      • Meadows
      • 12 years ago

      Even if they weren’t back on track, my next system would still be Phenom based. I don’t like what intel is doing and now I’m taking the matter to moral territory. I don’t care if their stuff perform better by objective measurements, because no matter how I look at it, 4 cores is 4 cores and I get blazing speeds from either side – and I’ll pick the green side.

        • Mystic-G
        • 12 years ago

        People hate EA for their infamous PC game support (the lack of patches) along with pushing developers to create titles on a yearly basis ultimately demolishing franchises and yet people still play the games they publish.

        If AMD supporters could magically make them push out something better than a Nehalem i’m sure they would, but it’s not the case here and what people see is AMD straggling behind. Intel may not have great moral values but they have what consumers want and in the end that’s all that matters, sadly.

          • Meadows
          • 12 years ago

          I’m a consumer too and I don’t necessarily want that. I don’t like replacing my motherboard every 10 months either and I don’t need to be on the bleeding edge of RAM technology which costs even more. In the long term, AMD have always saved me money as well as giving the performance I was expecting and needing.

            • wingless
            • 12 years ago

            I agree with you guys. Intel is making some fast CPUs but they’re ass-hatting everything else. If I choose an AM2+ motherboard then I can use it well into 2009. With Intel I’d have to upgrade too often to keep it cost effective. Is the Phenom slower than Core 2? YES. Is the Phenom much faster than an Athlon X2? YES, and that counts too.

            Also Intel is going around saying things like “video encoding should stay on the CPU because its better”. WTF Intel?! Nvidia and AMD have shown that their video cards far out pace a CPU in this arena and many more. Its speculation on my part but it would seem Intel would have no problems holding innovation back.

            §[<http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2008/06/04/intel-says-video-encoding-belongs-on-the-cpu/1<]§ If Intel keeps that up and also doesn't allow Nvidia to make chipset for Nehalem I think they'll piss off all these Nvidia boys which make up the majority of their customers. I use ATI GPUs but I'll still build a Phenom system out of moral obligation.

            • accord1999
            • 12 years ago

            /[

            • Meadows
            • 12 years ago

            Only if you compare a 2.5 GHz single Phenom core to a 3 GHz single Athlon64 core. If I ever got a Phenom, I’d make sure it’s ticking along at at least 3.2 GHz and that’s much, much more than an upgrade from my current X2 4000+.

        • Dposcorp
        • 12 years ago

        I am with you.
        I started my switch over 2 months ago, and I am now running 2 X4 Phenom systems with out complaint.

      • Flying Fox
      • 12 years ago

      q[

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