If you had asked KitGuru in March, when will AMD come to market with Bulldozer, we would have replied with some confidence that the product will be shown at Computex. But is that still the case? KitGuru takes a deep breath and prepares to swim under AMD's sonar nets in search of the truth.
As previously discussed, the days when Intel and AMD would lay out their plans for seasons at a time, are well and truly gone. Instead of marching toward each other, in tightly organised ranks on open fields, these two armies now engage in pure Black Ops. We love it.
The last parts of the puzzle are (a) exact clock speeds and (b) exact launch dates.
These decisions have been made harder with Intel's total recall for Sandy Bridge. As you would expect, AMD banged in a stunning quarter on CPU sales. With things going well for the older Phenom II parts and Intel only just catching up with the process of replacing all of the P67 mainboards, AMD might look at the long hot summer and decide to hold off launching for a little longer.
Sure, Bulldozer will be at Computex in mass [At least for major customers to look at – Ed], but will the public get a full set of hands-on data? That remains uncertain.
There's another factor to take into account here. Now that AMD knows exactly what Intel is launching, will it aim to rush its own forces into the field ahead of Sandy Bridge E, or hold back until it knows exactly what it's up against?
The real difficulty in making predictions, is that no one knows just how much AMD has managed to improve its core performance. All things being equal – in a world where performance scales perfectly – then you can multiply how many cores are being offered by how fast they are working and get a number that indicates how fast a chip will be. For example, with Intel's line up:-
- Take a 4 core processor and multiply that by 3.3GHz to get 13.2
- Overclock the same chip to 5.1GHz and when you multiply by 4 you get 20.42
- Finally, imagine that there is a 6 core processor @ 3.3GHz and you get 19.8
When KitGuru Labs tested the 2600k at 5.1GHz, this is close to what we found in Cinebench 11.5 – the 5.1GHz 2600k just edges past the i980x. As a parting thought, consider that if a processor with 8 comparable cores was able to run at 4GHz, then you'd multiply to get 32 and if the same chip went to 4.5Ghz you would have 36. Dream on.
With its Q3 release coming up, will Intel be sorted for Es and whizz? If AMD was being run by ATI, then it would launch every Bulldozer it has – as soon as it has them and begin working on an ‘uber-SKU' in the background, something to release just after the Intel party – with the intention of spoiling the champagne celebrations. But what do we know?
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