CPU Chipset - Published on Friday, 21 January 2011 10:06 Written by Anton Karmehed
We have already heard most worth knowing about AMD's coming 9 series of chipsets, and now we also have official product presentations of AMD 990FX, 990X and 970. The presentation confirms many of the previously leaked details, including increased bandwidth between chipset and CPU, and better RAID support.
AMD willl launch a trio of chipsets with the introduction of the new Bulldozer architecture. With AMD's new microarchitecture and fresh 32 nanometer technology the new Bulldozer circuits will require a new socket and along with Socket AM3+ the new chipsets steps in.
AMD continues with the same naming scheme as in the past and will launch the following chipsets;
|Chipset||PCI Express 2.0||IOMMU||TDP||Southbridge|
|AMD 990FX||2x16 or 4x8 PCe x16 and 6x1,1x4||Yes||19,6 watt||SB950|
|AMD 990X||2x8 PCIe x16 and 6x1||Yes||14 watt||SB950|
|AMD 970||1x16 PCIe x16 and 6x1||Yes||13,6 watt||SB950/SB920|
The FX chipset is as usual the top model and offers full bandwidth for two graphics cards in CrossFire. The chipsets also gain support for IOMMU (Input/Output Memory Management Unit) a function that translates virtual addresses to physical addresses and will be used for demanding I/O virtualization. Exactly how AMD will use it isn't entirely certain though.
If we look to the southbridges it will improve performance between it and the northbridge, while also adding SATA 6.0 Gbps and RAID 0, 1, 10, 5 (5 only in SB950). With full speed over Express 2.0 both storage controller and USB 3.0 circuits will get beter bandwidths to work with, which should improve performance over current solutions.
Multiple motherboard manufacturers are espected to present their new Bulldozer motherboards at CeBIT 2011 in Hannover in March. The launch of Bulldozer is expected to happen in Q2 2011 and performance of the hexa-cores is reumored to match that of Intel's equivalent models.