Speaking with people inside Intel, they are sure that if AMD could produce more product – the company would represent much more of a threat. Right now, Intel engineers are working overtime on drivers and gaming support. Reason? Fusion. And there's more to follow.
As Intel prepares for the monster presentation marathon that is IDF in California – which will largely focus on strategy/vision/more of the Computing Continuum, AMD is preparing to launch a glut of new kit.
Arguably the most interesting will be the new Black Edition versions of the Fusion APU. Yep, that's right, there's an S on the end of the word ‘version'.
Originally, we only expected to see an A8 chip standing on a street corner with its clocks unlocked – looking for some dirty O/C action. Now it appears that the A8's younger brother, the A6, will also have a Dark Angel in the range.
Given that graphics performance will scale with APU clock and memory capability – we're expecting to see some very interesting results. In general, memory prices move faster than Spaniards in a Pamplona bull race, but at the time we went to press on this story, here's an idea of the kind of money you will need to lay out for 2x2GB DDR3 sticks from a ‘famous name' manufacturer:-
If you're not sure about the relationship between memory speed and graphics performance, have a quick look at this Anandtech article. In Mass Effect, changing 1333MHz memory to 1866MHz created a boost of around 25% at 1650×1080. Over time, the price of memory hits a plateau. Right now, the price difference from 1333MHz to 2000MHz is negligible – while the jump from 2000MHz to 2133MHz is around 100%. Sure, prices change all the time – but right now the sweet spot for an overclocked AMD Fusion-based system seems to be around 2000MHz.
That only brings up one question. Will Rory Read's AMD shoot itself in the foot by charging too much for these new Black Edition APUs?
We hope not. We hope to the Dark Angel of overclocking, not.
KitGuru says: Just how far these chips will go is still a mystery – but we expect to get trembling KitGuru hands on them in the very near future.
Comments below or in the KitGuru forum.