AMD Puts Pressure On Intel In PC Gaming With New Socket For Two Dual-Core Processors

By Dean Takahashi
Thursday, June 1st, 2006 at 12:01 am in Dean Takahashi, Dean and Nooch on Gaming.

Advanced Micro Devices is going to fire back at Intel today in the enthusiast PC market. The Sunnyvale company will unveil a new socket for high-end computers today that will allow it to put two dual-core microprocessors side by side in a PC. The new 4×4 socket will help it compete for the speed crown with Intel, which is poised to launch its new Conroe desktop microprocessors in July.

"This is something we have worked on for a while based on customer feedback," said Brent Barry, director of brand marketing for AMD’s FX series of gamer chips.

It’s like Gillette adding four razor blades to its razors now. How many is enough? It could get confusing for gamers. But the techies will sort it out, much the same way they have with the Nvidia SLI and ATI Crossfire dual graphics cards: more is better.

While Intel’s Conroe chips will allegedly take the performance crown from AMD’s own dual-core FX series of microprocessors, AMD can claim leadership in terms of putting four cores into a single PC, allowing for more tasks to be done in parallel. Patrick Moorhead, vice president of global channel marketing, said the new socket would ship in the second half of 2006 and target the high-end gamer segment, which usually means high-priced.

AMD’s Barry said that machines with the new sockets will be to run multithreaded games at better performance levels than Intel-based machines. He said that more game companies have begun to adapt their games to exploit multiple threads in a PC, allowing them to handle more tasks at the same time and thereby run much games faster and prettier for gamers.

The company expects to have one computer maker showing off the performance of the 4×4 socket today at its analyst briefing.

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89 Responses to “AMD Puts Pressure On Intel In PC Gaming With New Socket For Two Dual-Core Processors”

  1. Vi5 Says:

    the amd news is really good for those of us that have always supported them in the war against intel. atleast now we can see who really gives the consumer more for thier money.

  2. Chip Says:

    While this is only a blog, you should do your homework. First, it’s doubtful that AMD would make any more than a few thousand of these — it’s expensive, niche ain’t entirely easy. Did anyone ask that simple question? So, as usual, they will be able to claim 1-2 benchmarks wins but that’s about it. Interestingly, Intel seemed to be the desperate one, but now it’s AMD ‘launching’ products like Live and this even though neither will actually make it to retail in many months.

  3. Dale Says:

    It’s an AM2 processor. I think they’ll make more than a few thousand of those. AMD won’t be making the motherboards. Enthusiast motherboard makers will.

    I expect they will sell quite a few of them (and AMD gets 2x the processor volume to this niche market!).

    The best news for AMD is, Intel ‘can’t go there’. Not feasible with their present and Next Gen architecture.

    Good move, AMD!

  4. Puking Hector Says:

    Hey - our 4×4 socket will only require about 400 watts of power - and Dean The AMD Pimp ignored this. Thank you, Dean.

    And of course, these 2 Dual Core chips will set back our 12 year old pimple-faced gamer geeks and their daddies only about $1200 - again, Dean the Pimp didn’t mention this - thanks Pimp Boy.

    Puking and Suing And Gestapo Raids At Dawn - Hector

  5. Jinx Says:

    For best performance each processor must have his own memory banks. In this case Intel will have no answer due to discrete memory controller.

  6. Clint Says:

    Okay, wait. They’re not introducing a new socket, it’s going to run on the AM2 socket right? So AMD hasn’t really changed the processors because AM2 was released like a month ago. They’re just announcing that board makers will make this possible. Makes little difference to AMD what board you choose, you’re stil buying either 1 or 2 of the their processors. My question is will these boards operate with 1 processor? I already am planning on building an am2 dual core system, and I would definately be a customer if it would allow me to build that system with the ability to add a second processor if I saw the need and had the cash later on.

  7. Kevin Says:

    Even old slot 1 dual CPU setups let you add only one CPU (with a CPU terminator in the other slot), then wait to add the other later. I’m almost completely sure that it would be designed to run with only one CPU, so you could later expand to two.

  8. Tieros Says:

    The only thing AMD needs to do to make this work is have a cache coherent HT link in the AM2 version of the X2 processor. The rest of the technology comes from the Opteron world, and is already out there, tried, and tested.

    The low power AM2 x2 3800s are 35W max each. All they need to do is sell them for no more than $500.00/pair, and Intel goes back to the drawing board yet again.

  9. Dan LaPine Says:

    Well, this would certainly be a pain for Intel, but what games can you buy today that could really get better performance with 4 cores over two now?

    I do like the idea of a pair X2 3800’s for $500 though. :)

  10. gsgsgs Says:

    I think the logic is, AMD knows that they have already been pwned by the Conroes; and that their processors are really going to struggle against the Conroes….

    So, what do they do? Hope that 2 FXs can outperform a single Conroe…

    Really, this is pathetic.

    I wonder who would make these motherboards; considering how many people would be able to afford such a high-end system.

    And, can you imagine the power consumption? 125W TDP each for the FXs alone…

  11. LiquidPsyrix Says:

    Dual Dual Core “DDC” Motherboards is an awesome strategy for AMD. Obviously there are not going to be many games readily available for this new hardware market, however, you will essentially be able to run 4x the applications at the same time with lossless performace per thread. This is an ideal move by AMD, and it -should- be directed to high/medium-high end PC enthusiasts.

    These DDC machines will make excellent servers as well. Forget the opteron price when you can still have MultiCPU hardware for a lot less money - - AMD Quality!

    Props AMD.

    See you in 2008.

  12. extera Says:

    A two socket AM2 system doesn’t make sense to me. The AMD desktop sockets (754, 939, AM2?) only have one HT link. You need two HT links to have one go to the other socket and one go to the north/south bridge.

  13. Bobble Says:

    What could need 4 AMD cores the same that needs a top the line dual core or a conroe… nothing right now but will that stop people from wanting it and getting it if they can afford it.

    I know I want a 4×4 system probably not a pair of FX62s but a pair of 3800s would keep me happy and for a much lower price.

    The current trend in games is shifting towards multithreaded apps rather then brute force power. Also this will give a lot more room for features like 2 x pcie16. ATI are running on plans for a crossfire with a 3rd graphics card which will be dedicated to physics calculations so at the very least it will need 2 x pcie16 and an 8.

    The only concern I have is where are they going to find the space on an ATX mobo for all this and still have space for other cards.

    As for it only having 1HT link would it really be a shock if they revealed it had 2 like an opti but with 1 disabled?

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