Intel Hit With a Massive Antitrust Suit, In the US This Time

via Gizmodo by John Herrman on 11/4/09

Remember how Intel got smacked in the face with a $1.45 billion fine in the EU for shadily suffocating AMD into submission? Today, New York’s Attorney General has brought the fight to the US. This is going to get messy.

From the looks of it, this case will mirror the European Commission’s case almost exactly:

“Rather than compete fairly, Intel used bribery and coercion to maintain a stranglehold on the market,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement. “Intel’s actions not only unfairly restricted potential competitors, but also hurt average consumers who were robbed of better products and lower prices.”

The AG even echoes some of the same cases used in the EC’s investigation, like the time Intel allegedly paid $130 million to keep IBM from selling AMD-based servers, which IBM execs considered as much a business deal as a way to avoid incurring the “wrath of Intel.” I too avoid the wrath of Intel, by using AMD chips. Bam! Also: no. But still, dick move!

Cuomo is working with the same body of evidence that the European Commission was, and probably quite a bit more—the FTC’s been breathing down their necks for over a year now—so I’d expect this to get pretty uncomfortable for Intel. And by uncomfortable, of course, I mean very, very expensive.

[NYT]

AMD Phenom II X4 955 and 945 benchmarked to high heaven

via Engadget by Paul Miller on 4/23/09

Just when you though you’d had your fill of insanely detailed benchmarks of processors you may or may not have ever heard of, AMD’s new Phenom II X4 955 and 945 hit the scene to get those overclockers all in a tizzy. The top of the line is the 955 “Black Edition” at 3.2GHz, while the 945 plays with a petty 3GHz. And the verdict? They’re clearly AMD’s fastest so far, but that might not be fast enough. AMD offers great value, but only really matches Intel’s Core 2 offerings on performance — Core i7 is still out in front. There is the fact that Phenom II offers a nice upgrade path for certain people who already do the AMD thing and are looking to upgrade, along with “enthusiasts” who are “enthused” by easy-access overclocking, but overall it looks like AMD is still playing catch-up with Intel.

Gateway intros four new gaming desktops

via Engadget by Darren Murph on 2/25/09

While Gateway‘s been on the laptop bandwagon of late, it’s good to see the company doing its thang on the desktop front, too. Kicking things off is the bargain-priced LX6810-01, which houses 8GB of RAM, NVIDIA graphics, a built-in TV tuner and a $799.99 price tag. The even more affordable DX4200-11 gets going at just $609.99 and features an AMD quad-core CPU, ATI Radeon graphics, 6GB of RAM and a 750GB hard drive. Stepping things up quite significantly is the FX6800-09, which sports a Core i7 CPU and a $1,649.99 sticker. Rounding out the bunch is the $1,299.99 FX6800-11 and the currently unpriced entry-level FX6800-01e. If any of these caught your fancy, head on past the break for a look at the full release.

Continue reading Gateway intros four new gaming desktops

AMD ushers in five new Phenom II CPUs, benchmarking ensues

via Engadget by Darren Murph on 2/9/09

Just a month after AMD launched its Phenom II CPUs and Dragon desktop platform, the chip maker is hitting back with five new processors in the quickly expanding line. The newcomers include the planet’s first 45nm triple-core CPU and three more quad-core siblings, all of which can operate in either AM2+ or AM3 sockets. As for performance? We hope your expectations haven’t been set too high, as the chips were generally found to be just “a logical extension of [the company’s] piecemeal upgrade plan and a fill in [the] gap to its lineup.” Reviewers across the web were generally pleased but underwhelmed by test results, with HotHardware noting that “overall, Intel still has the performance edge clock-for-clock and core-for-core.” In fairness, these chips were found to be good for overclocking, and for the right price, we could certainly see a few gamers giving them a go. For the full spill, dive on into the deep, intricate reviews below.

Read – Official AMD announcement
Read – HotHardware benchmarks
Read – PCPerspective benchmarks
Read – DesktopReview’s review

AMD Phenom II processor bought, benchmarked, coveted

via Engadget by Tim Stevens on 12/23/08
AMD Phenom II processor bought, benchmarked, coveted

AMD, a company not exactly known for meeting its own deadlines, seemed to be trying to avoid news of painful delays for the Phenom II by simply not letting anyone say when the thing would be available. Now the chip is apparently in the hands of one lucky gamer at the HardOCP forums, Table21, who was kind enough to run it through its paces. The Phenom II 940 running at 3GHz scored a 4,091 on 3DMark06 and, once OC’d up to 3.85GHz, delivered a score of 5,086. It’s rather too early to draw any conclusions from these numbers, and we don’t know what he paid for the thing, but that performance does fall well behind Intel’s Core i7 Extreme that was similarly benchmarked last month, scoring 6,608 at the same clock speed. That’s quite a gap — but nothing a little liquid nitrogen won’t fix.

[Via PC Perspective]

Intel patent attorneys kick some dirt at AMD

via Engadget by Nilay Patel on 10/9/08
AMD’s breakup into two separate companies is certain to have wide-ranging impact in the industry, and unsurprisingly, Intel’s among the first to react — it’s warning that it has “serious questions about this transaction” as it relates to its patent cross-licensing agreement with AMD and that it’ll “vigorously protect” its intellectual property rights. That’s about as aggro a patent attorney can get without coming to your house and peeing on the lawn (or, uh, filing a lawsuit), so we’ll see how this shakes out — for its part, AMD says that it’s taken the deal into account, and that it’ll “continue respecting Intel’s intellectual property rights, just as we expect them to respect ours.” That’s a respect throwdown, right there — you gonna take that, Intel?

Mid-Range Graphics Card Showdown: Nvidia 9800 GTX+ Slides Past ATI Radeon HD 4850

via Gizmodo by matt buchanan on 6/20/08

Poised and waiting for ATI’s latest graphics card to hit, Nvidia immediately fired off the 9800 GTX+, a nimbler version of its behemoth 9800 GTX, aggressively priced at $229 to put serious pressure on the $199 HD 4850. Benchmarks comparing the two weren’t available yesterday, but PC Perspective has ’em up now. In short, while the HD 4850 can mostly keep up with Nvidia’s older, regular 9800 GTX, the steroid-injected 9800 GTX+ has enough juice to edge it out in almost every single benchmark. The Radeon HD 4850 has about a month on the shelf to itself before the 9800 GTX+ hits though. Check out PC Perspective for more graphs and numbers than your brain wants to deal with on a Friday.

[PC Perspective via Engadget]

Demand for Intel’s Atom already outstripping supply?

via Engadget by Nilay Patel on 4/30/08

There’s a ton of upcoming laptops and devices based around Intel’s Atom processor, and it looks like all the early interest is causing that best of all possible problems for the chipmaker: it’s gotten too many orders. Intel told the WSJ that it’s planning on producing “millions” of Atom chips this year, but that it’s “seeing better-than-expected demand” as production begins and that it’s “we are working quickly to address it.” Still, it looks like manufacturers are expecting a shortage to last for a while — ASUS predicted that supply would be constrained until the third quarter during its quarterly conference call, for example — and various Chinese trade publications have reported the same. That’s definitely not encouraging news, and with AMD’s Puma and VIA’s Isaiah nipping at Atom’s heels, Intel might want to kick things into a higher gear.

ATI Breaks Teraflop Barrier with Radeon HD 3870 X2 GPU

via Gizmodo by Wilson Rothman on 1/28/08

ATI_Radeon_HD_3870_X2.jpg

Remember that honkin’ ATI graphics card we showed you at CES? The one that was 1,000 times as fast as a Cray-1? Well, it’s official, making its debut today as the $450 ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2. It’s the first GPU to break the teraflop barrier, and is nearly double the performance of the HD 3870 you spent all your money on back in November. Press release with technical details after jump. [Product Page]

AMD Delivers Enthusiast Performance Leadership(1) with the Introduction of the ATI Radeon(TM) HD 3870 X2

— Industry’s First Teraflop Consumer Graphics Card Redefines High-Definition Performance for 1080P Gaming and beyond —
SUNNYVALE, Calif. –(Business Wire)– Jan. 28, 2008 AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced the immediate availability of the ATI Radeon(TM) HD 3870 X2 graphics processor, expanding the visual boundaries of PC entertainment well beyond the 1080P High Definition (HD) threshold. The industry’s first graphics processor to break the Teraflop (one trillion floating point operations per second) barrier, the ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 nearly doubles the performance of the award-winning ATI Radeon(TM) HD 3870 introduced in November 2007.(2)

Through an elegant yet aggressive design, the 55 nanometer process-based ATI Radeon 3870 X2 combines two ATI Radeon HD 3870s on a single graphics board, connected through integrated CrossFire(TM) technology. ATI Radeon 3870 X2 is also the first performance-leadership graphics product in the world to support Microsoft’s upcoming DirectX(R) 10.1 technology. The ATI Radeon 3870 X2 delivers a new class of price and performance leadership with unbelievable enthusiast value at a suggested retail price of US $449.

This launch follows on the success of the recently released ATI Radeon(TM) HD 3400 and ATI Radeon(TM) HD 3600 series graphics products, completing a comprehensive portfolio of next-generation 55nm GPUs that deliver unparalleled price, performance and energy efficiency from entry-level to performance-leadership class products.

“PC gaming enthusiasts demand the ultimate in performance and scalability for their HD gaming experience and the ATI Radeon 3870 X2 sets the standard by which all should be compared in this segment,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, Graphics Product Group, AMD. “With this launch we reaffirm our commitment to enthusiast performance leadership and send a clear message that the ATI Radeon 3870 X2 is the new gold standard of the PC gaming world.”

Ultimate Performance

With the upcoming introduction of Microsoft’s DirectX 10.1 specification, gamers can expect more realistic gaming environments while developers have access to an increased amount of tools and resources to enhance overall image quality. Through delivering top-to-bottom DirectX 10.1 support, ATI Radeon HD 3000 series users can enjoy a more complete gaming experience now and in the future.

“We’re pleased to see our newest DirectX 10 technology brought to market so soon with the introduction of AMD’s latest enthusiast hardware,” said Kevin Unangst, senior global director of Games for Windows, Microsoft. “One of the greatest advantages of PC gaming is the rapid pace at which the experiences evolve and improve. ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 delivers on the promise of DirectX 10 gaming with significantly improved visuals and enhanced performance.”

ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 will also provide support for ATI CrossFireX(TM), the innovative next-generation AMD multi-GPU technology designed to support up to four GPUs. Software support to enable ATI CrossFireX is planned for late Q1 2008.

Ultimate HD Experiences

With the launch of ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2, AMD continues to support the industry-leading Unified Video Decoder (UVD) and ATI Avivo(TM) HD for exceptional platform efficiency and image quality for H.264 and VC-1 high definition content. Enhanced HDMI functionality is also offered via integrated HDCP and audio for HDMI video.

“Alienware prides itself on staying at the forefront of HD gaming innovation so that our brand stands for the best possible experience for our customers,” said Patrick Cooper, director of product group, Alienware. “With the launch of the ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 in our Area-51 ALX CrossFire platform, we can push the boundaries of visual realism one step further and provide enthusiast gamers with the perfect blend of next-generation features, performance and platform efficiency.”

Ultimate Efficiency

The ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 is the first enthusiast graphics processors to use TSMC’s 55nm process technology. The smooth transition to 55nm has allowed for a 2X increase in performance-per-watt over the previous generation. Through an elegant board design, the ATI Radeon 3870 X2 delivers exceptional acoustics that are roughly equivalent to a single ATI Radeon HD 3870. When combined with ATI PowerPlay(TM) technology, the ATI Radeon 3870 X2 delivers exceptional idle power efficiency with the ability to dynamically raise or lower GPU power depending on the usage scenario.

The ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 launches with broad availability and ecosystem support from AMD’s Add-in-Board (AIB) and Systems Integrators (SI) partners. AIB partners building boards based on the ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 include Asus, ASK, Club3D, Diamond Multimedia, HIS, ITC, Jetway, MSI, Sapphire, Triplex, Tul and Visiontek. Systems integrators launching ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 series include ABS, Alienware, Canada Computers, CyberPower, Falcon-Northwest, iBUYPOWER, Maingear, Systemax and Velocity Micro.

About AMD

Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) is a leading global provider of innovative processing solutions in the computing, graphics and consumer electronics markets. AMD is dedicated to driving open innovation, choice and industry growth by delivering superior customer-centric solutions that empower consumers and businesses worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.amd.com.

(1) Performance comparisons using ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 versus NVIDIA 8800 Ultra using 3D Mark 2006, Supreme Commander, Call of Juarez, BioShock and Unreal Tournament 3 at 2560X1600 on AMD Phenom 2.6GHz CPU, AMD 790FX chipset, 2GB DDR2-800, Windows VISTA 64bit and ATI Catalyst display driver v. 8.45

(2) Performance comparisons of ATI Radeon HD 3870 versus ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 using 3D Mark 2006, Supreme Commander and Unreal Tournament 3 at 2560X1600 on AMD Phenom 2.6GHz CPU, AMD 790FX chipset, 2GB DDR2-800, Windows VISTA 64bit and ATI Catalyst display driver v. 8.45