Thoughts on AMD Thuban CPUs

Well, AMD did it, they released their Thuban hexacores today with much praise from many review sites. The Phenom II X6 1055T (clocked at 2.8 GHz) and the 1090T (clocked at 3.2 GHz) were released for (C$216 and C$316 from respectively).

So now you're wondering, what's so good about these processors? It's the fact that AMD added so many new improvements to the core like Turbo Boost, hardware C1E and the fact there's now 2 more physical cores. With Turbo Boost, the CPU will overclock one or more of its cores as long as it shuts down the unused cores to provide better single threaded or not that multithreaded application performance. Hardware C1E allows faster CPU frequency scaling for each of the cores. The original Phenom II design (revision C2) had C1E working at the BIOS level and caused issues with overclocks and was slow. With the new enhanced hardware C1E, frequency scaling is now done a lot faster and much more stabler.

If anyone has read my post about hexacores, then they would know my stance about AMD and Intel rushing them out before the market truly needs them. However, I think the reason why these hexacores are worthwhile is because of those added functionalities and the fact that they run surprisingly cool and doesn't use that much power. Guru3D reports that they were able to run the cores at stock at 30C at full load. This goes to show the strength of AMD's revision for Thuban. The only issue I see is that the Phenom II integrated memory controller isn't strong when compared to the Nehalem memory controllers. I hope that for Bulldozer, it will be much better.

In a couple of months, AMD will release a quadcore based off the Thuban dies called the 960T (a Thuban with 2 cores disabled) which will definitely be welcomed by those who don't need a hexacore but would still want the improvements brought by the improvements AMD has added to Thuban. What's great is that it also means you get a chance to unlock them if you're willing to risk it. A hexacore for the price of a quad core? Who's not sold at that idea, but remember, unlocking is NOT guaranteed and if anything happens it's your problem.

At a price as low as C$216, why not jump aboard even though you probably won't fully use the full potential for a couple of years? It's a definite recommended buy due to the price and improvements and not really the fact that it's a hexacore.

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