CES - We met with AMD at CES this week to discuss the present situation of its desktop CPU lineup and its future plans for its desktop platforms. The company acknowledges that today's platform situation for its desktop CPUs is a somewhat confusing one. The company's Vishera CPUs require Socket AM3+ motherboards, while Kaveri and Godavari APUs need Socket FM2+ boards. Furthermore, Kabini Athlons and Semprons need the AM1 platform.
To remedy all that, AMD revealed some details of its future desktop platform roadmap. The company's next-generation CPUs, called "Summit Ridge," and next-gen APUs, called "Bristol Ridge," will both use a single socket called AM4. AMD was tight-lipped about any details of these products beyond their code names and shared socket.
In the meantime, AMD wants to make systems built around select AM3+ FX CPUs easier on the ears of system builders. It's introducing a new boxed CPU cooler called Wraith that represents a major improvement over its past stock heatsink solution. The Wraith cooler offers more of what we want in a heatsink, like more surface area and airflow, while reducing the one thing we don't want: noise.
Interestingly, the Wraith uses a constant-speed fan that produces 39 dBA at all times. While that may sound like nothing special for a CPU cooler, AMD says that figure comes from testing in its own anechoic chamber. The company thinks that in the real world, the Wraith cooler will be one of the quieter components in a PC. The constant-speed fan could also be less noticeable than a cooler that has to ramp its fan speed up and down often.
AMD had some systems with Wraith coolers on display, and going by the tried-and-true "put your ear right up next to it" method, the Wraith seems to live up to the company's claims. While overclockers will still want to set the Wraith aside for a more capable solution, this boxed heatsink is a nice improvement over the older boxed cooler for FX CPUs, which could reach 53 dBA under load in AMD's testing.