AMD revs up 4x4 PC engine

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AMD revs up 4x4 PC engine

Software industry supports chip manufacturer's 4x4 plans.

Software industry supports chip manufacturer's 4x4 plans.

The software industry has come out in force to support AMD’s plans for a four-core, high-end enthusiast PC.

As revealed by CRN Online, AMD recently unveiled its plans for the new system, code-named 4x4, which will see motherboard makers create dual-socket boards to support two dual-core Athlon 64 FX processors, and to support quad nVidia SLI and ATI Crossfire graphics cards. The result will be a PC with four CPUs and four graphics processing units (GPUs).

Two weeks after the original announcement and the 4x4 concept is getting the thumbs-up from the leading multimedia and gaming software developers, including Nero, Sony, Bioware, Cakewalk, Crytek, Havok, Irrational Games and Midway.

“We’re looking at a decidedly multi-core processor, multi-threaded application future for the PC industry,” said Bob Brewer, corporate vice- president, desktop business at AMD.

“AMD has planned this enthusiast platform so that software developers can design outstanding multi-threa-ded applications for consumers who demand the very best immersive computing experience.”

Mark Caldwell, executive producer at Midway Home Entertainment, said: “Now that AMD is planning a four-core, multi-socket architecture, we are able to process more gaming threads simultaneously. We can also increase our frame rates and lower the requirements on the OS [operating system] to allow it to continue processing important system-level functions.

“With Rise & Fall we saw an improvement of 10 frames per second (fps) and a 30 per cent reduction running the OS on a two-core system, and 15fps and more than 75 per cent reduction on a four-core system.”

Multi-threaded games will be the first applications to benefit from being run on multi-socket, multi-threaded architectures such as 4x4, but a growing number of digital media applications are also in the pipeline.

“AMD’s combination of HyperTransport technology and an integrated memory controller gives us the bandwidth we need to see impressive performance scaling on multi-core systems,” said Curtis Palmer, chief technologist at Sony Media Software.

“Because of Direct Connect Architecture, an AMD four-core, multi-socket solution will help Sony Vegas 6 users edit high-definition video with unparalleled responsiveness, and use effects that would have been unthinkable on earlier hardware.”

4x4 systems will start arriving from PC makers in the third quarter.

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