The latest battle in the processor world steps up a notch as AMD releases its 64bit Centrino killers. There's dual core versions on the way too.
In what will no doubt be the first of much torturous to-ing and fro-ing between AMD and Intel this week (it is a certain Hannover based event which is squashed into large aircraft hangers after all – of which more later) the former has let slip that its 64bit based Turion notebook processors are now doing the rounds and the first machines will start appearing on shelves near you this month.
Now, lest we forget, AMD has high hopes for Turion, its thinly veiled assault on Intel’s immensely popular ultra-portable Centrino line – (Cen)Turion/Centrino geddit? ”Cringe” – given the company’s relatively poor position in the notebook market (less than 10 per cent at the last count).
Hoping to change that will be an initial offering of seven chips comprised of four 35W MLs: the 30 (1.6GHz, 1MB L2 Cache), 32 (1.8GHz, 512MB, L2 Cache), 34 (1.8GHz, 1MB L2 Cache) and 37 (2GHz, 1MB L2 Cache) and three MTs (its 25W brigade): the 30 (1.8GHz, 1MB L2 Cache), the 32 (1.8GHz, 512KB Cache) and the 34 (1.8GHz, 1MB L2 Cache).
Apparently, the M stands for mobility, the second letter defines the wattage. The least power hungry processors theoretically could start at A and the most portable would end in Z, which is why AMD started at L. Confused? If not why not?
We have to say the branding and usual confusing array of numbers serves only to make an already bamboozling processor market even worse but hopefully the performance ends will justify the silly marketing means. (Earlier this month AMD wrote “Turion 64” in the sky during the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco! It’ll be pulling pigtails next).
Out now, the fastest of the new chips (no benchmarks, but we are guessing the ML-37) is priced at $357 with the rest of the lines decreasing incrementally and AMD has confirmed it will look to introduce Dual Core Turions after this initial rollout. Before we jump ahead of ourselves, however, it is worth pointing out that unlike Intel’s Centrinos, Turions require third party chipsets so wide ranging support will be vital to any long term success. Via already has a chipset ready called the K8N800A (pictured above), while Averatec and Benq are other notable backers.
Personally, we just want to get the things into the labs and run some benchmarks. No more skywriting, no brand and code worries, just some good old Half Life frame rates and SysMark scores. Is that too much to ask?