The workstation server market is one that has been neglected in the mainstream technical media. Yes there are a few “upper-end” sites that cover the workstation arena but they tend be a little snobby at times and almost always talk over the heads of the average consumer. So we are going to try and bring some of that talk to you in plain English. To kick things off we have a very nice product. This is the first Dual socket 1366 motherboard in a standard ATX package. It has been brought to you by the Asus Work Station team. These guys are a very talented bunch and have made some workstation products that can even compete head to head with some of the Republic of Games boards that Asus has. So let’s introduce to you the Asus Z8NA-D6C.
It is no secret that Intel pretty much owns the desktop market. This is not only in terms of performance per watt but in most cases performance Vs. Cost. Their chief rival AMD has had setback after setback which has hobbled their ability to compete. In fact is has gotten so bad that AMD has officially stated that they will no longer compete head to head with Intel in the desktop market (they will continue to make desktop CPUs but are moving more toward mobile CPUs). This is a shame and normally could mean that new products from Intel will slow down along with innovation (nothing makes you invent like real competition). However this has not stopped Intel from pushing out a new line up of Desktop CPUs that fall under the title of Ivy Bridge. Ivy Bridge is the Tick part of Intel’s Tick-Tock strategy where Sandy Bridge was the introduction of the microarchitecture and Ivy Bridge is the official die shrink from 32nm to 22nm. So let’s see what Ivy Bridge brings to the table in the form of the 3rd Generation Core i7 3770k.
The rise of the ARM architecture has been a meteoric one and came as something of a shock to many of the mainstream players in the mobile industry. The concept for the ARM based SoC (System on Chip) is pretty simple: build a small, energy efficient device that is able to use memory and processor cycles as efficiently as possible. This is what x86 CPU manufacturers are trying to do as well. So why are there more manufacturers of ARM based SoCs than there are x86? Well, the problem here is one of licensing. You see, it is much easier and less expensive to license the ARM architecture than it is x86. Right now there are very few players that even have an x86 license. This limits the competition down quite a bit and also (unfortunately) slows progress. However, the fight between Intel and ARM is just heating up. And despite the small number of players in the x86 market, things are far from certain in this area as we enter into a new round of combat between RISC and CISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing and Complete Instruction Set Computing).
The recently introduced AMD FX processors codenamed Vishera could remain on the market throughout the next year. Unofficial sources have said in part of the presentation that showed AMD's processor roadmap for the coming year, apparently FX chips for desktop computers will stagnate on Vishera solutions with the Piledriver core.
Yesterday there was a flurry of news posts with dire warnings that Intel would soon be removing the ability to upgrade your CPU. The news talked about the future of Intel CPUs and their associated sockets after Haswell. When we first saw some of these posts they read like the latest Facebook update rumors, but as with many rumors there is a nugget of truth somewhere in them (at least most of the time). We did reach out to Intel, but as expected they were not able to comment on unannounced products and had nothing more to say. So exactly what is going on with Intel and the future of the DIY market, let’s take a look and see if we can make some sense of the rumor that is going around.
It looks like AMD might be taking a leaf out of HP’s book. According to a report from ZDNet Asia AMD will begin to shift its focus away from the desktop to the server side where the margins are much higher per unit. This latest news plays into some additional rumblings that AMD is getting out of the x86 market (which is not true at all). We have already told you that AMD is planning to shift its consumer line up toward the mobile market where AMD feels they have an advantage over Intel and the Atom.
AMD has introduced another processor within the Vishera platform for AM3 + socket. It is a quad-core FX-4130 chip with a Piledriver architecture. This new CPU inherits the old model name FX-4100 and it is very similar in price and performance. It looks like AMD wants to give at least a small upgrade for users of this older socket.
The Irish agency for construction planning An Bord Pleanala approved Intel’s plans to build a new factory for the production of processors. It is a facility in which they should produce processors built on the 14 nanometer process, and should be located in the Intel campus in Leixlip County Kildare.
We have talked quite a bit about AMD’s move to the APU (something that they talked about long before the ATi buyout) and what it has, so far, meant to AMD. Right now AMD’s Llano and Trinity APUs have brought something of a resurgence of AMD in the market at least at the lower priced level. AMD CEO Rory Reed has even go so far as to state that AMD is pushing for more GPU processing to handle more graphically geared content and to work with future cloud services. The problem is that so far, while AMD’s APUs are working great for gaming they have still not been able to keep up with Intel for computing power even at the same price points.
Although the news has been more about the massive global war between Apple and anyone that makes an Android phone there is more going on in the world of tech than just those few items. Today we have heard that AMD will be launching a new CPU and it has already popped up for pre-order on at least one site. The news is noteworthy in that the CPU was originally expected to hit earlier this year with a number of other SKUs. We are not sure if today’s announcement is an indication that we will be seeing the other six missing products in the coming months, but for AMD fans this is potentially very good news.