AMD gears up for a hardware fight on all fronts with cheaper chips, graphics cards and SSDs

Dave James at

Whether it’s a new bunch of processors, cheaper chips, new graphics cards or even the arrival of a new range of solid state drives, AMD are trying to build a bit of a buzz about their new hardware at the moment.Considering its Intel and Nvidia-shaped competition are on the verge of releasing brand new, super-exciting products themselves, AMD know they’ve got some serious work to do. The latest slew of announcements should help.

On the processor front they’re taking to the prices of their high-end processors like a deranged lawnmower, slashing the tray price (the cost of buying in bulk) of their FX-9590 from $299 down to $219. At the moment you can pick one up for $299 at retail, so when the new prices come into effect - according to Xbitlabs that’s going to be September 1st—you might even be lucky enough to find them sitting at that $219 price point.

Those top-end chips are their octo-core Piledriver CPUs with a seriously high baseclock of 4.7GHz and a Boost clock of 5GHz. You do though also need serious cooling to go with that baseclock; we’re talking water-cooling here because the TDP of that thing is some 220W.

More FX processors, but still no new FX architecture on the horizon

Reports suggest AMD are also releasing some new mid-range chips too with a 4.1GHz / 4.3GHz base/boost clock. This FX-8370 then has just another 100MHz over the existing FX-8350, which is itself starting to look a little long in the tooth in performance terms.

With Intel shifting Devil’s Canyon and Pentium Anniversary chips out recently, and with Haswell E on the near horizon, whether this push on the existing FX range will do anything good for AMD's CPU market share is difficult to say.

On a more positive note, there are reports AMD are going to be shipping out a new Radeon R9 285 card soon too. Reports on VideoCardz have the announcement coming this weekend with a full release on September 2nd.

The new Tonga GPU-based card is set to replace the current R9 280. At the moment the full specs are still being kept close to AMD’s chest, but early reports suggest a smaller 256-bit memory bus, but a Stream Processor count much closer to the quicker R9 280X.

And finally...AMD is getting in on the SSD game. Kinda.

They’re shipping Radeon R7 branded SSDs, which are, in reality, mildly tweaked OCZ Vector 150/Vertex 460 drives. They’ll have the same Toshiba 19nm NAND and OCZ’s own Barefoot 3 controller and will come with some impressive performance figures.

OCZ have been working hard on the consistency and longevity of their drives recently, so AMD could actually have some quality little SSDs on their hands.

They're going to struggle with pricing for these 120, 240 and 480GB drives. At the moment Samsung and Crucial rule the roost in terms of both price and performance and the awesome Crucial MX 100 is available for just £150 / $220 in 512GB trim right now.


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