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AMD Spider Technology Report
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AMD Spider Tech Report

AMD Spider Launched!

ATI Radeon
HD 3800 Series



The Radeon HD 3800 Graphics Cards
Better Energy Efficiency


ATI Avivo HD
DirectX 10.1


The RV670's Performance
- The ATI Radeon HD 3870
- The ATI Radeon HD 3850

AMD Phenom



The Phenom(enal) Details

AMD 7-Series Chipset



Chipset Details


First 65nm Chipset
Price Points





So, there you have it - the AMD Spider platform. A new triumvirate of the AMD Phenom quad-core processor, the ATI Radeon HD 3800 series graphics cards and the AMD 7-series chipset. If you cannot tell it by now, the AMD Spider platform is really just a marketing platform. One can say that it's similar to the Intel Centrino platform.

There's really no additional advantage of buying an AMD Spider PC from a vendor, and building your PC from those three separate components. As long as you have all three components, you have the AMD Spider platform. But this may just what AMD needs to ride the tide to safer shores.

For all the talk about the superiority of the monolithic design over multi-chip module, the AMD Phenom has shockingly under-delivered on its promise of superior performance. This may be due in part to the problem with its Translation Lookaside Buffer (TLB) which AMD says will be corrected soon via a BIOS patch.

Even if we ignore that problem, AMD cannot deliver the clock speeds necessary to pose a serious challenge to Intel. At launch, the AMD Phenom is officially maxed out at just 2.3GHz. This will hardly worry Intel who has already launched a 45nm processor that runs at 3GHz and is scheduled to release a 3.2GHz model in January, 2008. We should also not forget the reported poor yields AMD is experiencing with the large, expensive monolithic Phenom processor dies.

Curiously, the ATI RV670 GPU and the ATI Radeon HD 3800 series of graphics cards that's based on it are afflicted by the same performance and yield issues. The ATI Radeon HD 3870 is slower than the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT. Only the current supply problems and inflated pricing of the GeForce 8800 GT are giving the Radeon HD 3870 and 3850 cards a decent shot at making some serious inroads in sales.

However, the Radeon HD 3800 cards may be facing supply troubles. So far, none of the vendors we spoke to have received shipments of the RV670 GPUs for their own production lines. All Radeon HD 3870 and 3850 graphics cards in the market right now were all BBA (built by ATI), and supplies are extremely limited. So, the ATI Radeon HD 3800 cards may not deliver the impact AMD expected them to make.

The only shining star left is the AMD 7-series chipset, especially the 790FX. For one thing, it will be the only motherboard to support four graphics cards (always a big deal for some rich enthusiasts / braggarts!). But more importantly, motherboards based on all three chipsets will offer leading-edge capabilities like PCI Express 2.0 and HyperTransport 3.0 and split-plane power supply for the CPU at lower prices.

The AMD 7-series allows AMD to deliver a complete system solution at an affordable price. You can think of it as the backbone of the AMD Spider platform. Without it, AMD's new Phenom processor and ATI's new Radeon HD 3800 graphics cards might not seem attractive enough for users to migrate to a new platform. Hence, the AMD Spider platform could really be a good thing for AMD-ATI, even if it does not really offer us, the user, a real technical advantage.


Questions & Comments

Please feel free to post your questions or comments here!


Date Revision Revision History
24-11-2007 1.0

Initial release.

<<< First 65nm Chipset, Price Points : Previous Page


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