by Stuart Davidson | 5th June 2013
To tie in with Computex which takes place in Taiwan this week AMD are following Intels launch of "Haswell" with their own refresh. That comes in the form of "Richland", a new range of APUs which look to enhance what we have seen from the current generation "Trinity" parts. Today we take two of AMDs new "Richland" APUs through a selection of platform and gaming tests which include media playback and conversion, Crysis 3, Grid 2 and even a peek at PCMark 8.
by Stuart Davidson | 1st June 2013
We will be taking a look at the new i7-4770K and combining it with Gigabytes new G1.Sniper 5 which is about as extreme a socket 1150 board as you will find at launch (including upgradable audio components on-board). These products will be put up against the previous generation i7-3770K, enthusiast X79 system and the fastest AMD has to offer too in a selection of platform and gaming tests which include Crysis 3, Grid 2 and even a peek at the soon to be released PCMark 8.
by Stuart Davidson | 23rd October 2012
Now a year on from the FX-8150 launch AMD are back with a revision of their performance orientated CPUs. The new FX-8350 revises the cores used and bumps up the speed for a product which again is designed to maximise price and performance for those looking to spend about $199 on a chip. We will be taking a look at the new chip in a selection of real world and synthetic tests against the FX-8150 and i5-3570K along with a look at the benefits of AMDs recently launched 12.11 beta driver which promises much improved 7000 series performance.
by Stuart Davidson | 2nd October 2012
Can the new A10 series of APUs from AMD match, or even exceed Intels range of low/mid range CPUs? We find out now in a selection of real world gaming, multimedia, overclocking and productivity tests while also taking a look at how the APU can perform with a mid range GPU... and of course there are the standard memory, USB 3.0, SATA and PCIe tests to round things off.
by Stuart Davidson | 27th September 2012
Today AMD are allowing previews of their latest APU range based around gaming performance. So we have taken the top model, the A10-5800K, combined it with the ASUS F2A85-V Pro and some high spec components before throwing the system at a selection of the latest games. How does the new platform deal with Borderlands 2, F1 2012 and more? Read on to find out.
by Stuart Davidson | 1st June 2012
Recently AMD set us the challenge of building a low cost APU system to see if it would be possible to build a decent media/productivity/gaming PC on a minimal budget. It's something different to a review which is always a nice change so we set about looking at what could be done when pretty much every component has to cost £60 or less.
by Stuart Davidson | 23rd April 2012
Today Intel launch their CPU range and we are combining the i7-3770K with Gigabytes rather impressive looking G1.Sniper 3 and G1.Sniper M3 to find out if these components can make the ultimate Ivy Bridge System. Testing will of course include synthetic and real world, with the likes of 3DMark 11 and Battlefield 3 making an appearance with the GeForce GTX 680.
by Stuart Davidson | 30th January 2012
The Core i7-3820 will be released soon and already available to buy is the i7-3930K. We will be taking a look at both to determine where they sit in comparison to the older i7-990X, AMD FX-8150 and Intel i7-2700k in a selection of real world and synthetic tests.
by Stuart Davidson | 28th December 2011
With the release of the A8-3870K AMD have a processor which is aimed very much at those who love to tweak and overclock but can't quite afford the higher cost of AMD or Intel's other components. Today we take a look at the potential of the A8-3870K on its own and in dual graphics mode to see what it offers for Skyrim, StarCraft 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic players.
by Stuart Davidson | 14th November 2011
Updated: ASRock Extreme4 results added. Intel Core i7-3960X Processor and X79 Chipset featuring: ASUS Rampage IV Extreme, ASRock X79 Extreme4, MSI X79A-GD68 8D, ECS X79R-AX and Intel DX79SI Extreme Series Motherboards.
by Stuart Davidson | 12th October 2011
Today we get to see for the first time how the top model in AMDs new FX range of CPUs, previously known as Bulldozer, performs against the existing Intel equivalent as we put the two CPUs head to head. Not only that though we will test their entire platform, testing gaming, USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s and PCIe performance.
by Stuart Davidson | 26th July 2011
Today we have the A6-3650 on our test bench along with the Sapphire Pure Platinum A75 motherboard to find out how these models fit into the current marketplace. We'll be running each through a selection of synthetic and real world tests to see just who each appeals to.
by Stuart Davidson | 3rd May 2011
Today we have the Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition on our test bench and will see how it compares to one of the latest Intel CPUs as well as existing AMD models in a selection of synthetic and real world tests which include Blu-Ray 3D, 3DMark and media conversion.
by Stuart Davidson | 4th January 2011
The Phenom 2 X4 975 Black Edition is the new high end model in AMD's four core CPU range and they are aiming it at the sub $200 price range for enthusiasts and gamers. Today we have one on our test bench and will see how it compares to the latest Intel CPUs as well as an existing AMD model in a selection of synthetic and real world tests which include Blu-Ray 3D, gaming and media conversion.
by Stuart Davidson | 3rd January 2011
On our test bench today we have an evolution of the Core architecture in the form of Intels “Sandy Bridge” components. These Include the P67 and H67 chipsets and two CPUs, one from the i5 range and the other from the i7.
by Stuart Davidson | 7th December 2010
Today AMD are launching the latest version of their X6 CPU in the form of the Phenom 2 X6 1100T Black Edition. This new CPU is the fastest 6-core AMD chip to be released and comes in at a price which is almost identical to Intels quad core i7-950. For that reason we will be putting the two head to head in order to find out which performs best in a selection of tests from Gaming to media playback and encoding.
by Stuart Davidson | 21st September 2010
Today AMD are releasing their lastest batch of CPUs which include hex, quad and dual core models. We have one of each and have run them through a selection of real world tests including media playback, encoding, gaming and productivity tasks to find out where they sit in the current market.
by Stuart Davidson | 21st August 2010
There is one CPU from Intel which has remained at its price point without a refresh for some time now. That CPU is the Core i5-750 originally released in September 2009 it was long due a refresh and just a few weeks ago Intel made that move, releasing the Core i5-760. Today we have that very CPU on our test bench to find out how it compares with the older model and the direct competition from AMD at $200, the 1055T.
by Stuart Davidson | 29th May 2010
Today Intel aims to satisfy the needs of enthusiasts on a budget with the release of the Core i7-875K and Core i5-655K, two processors on Socket 1156 which feature unlocked multipliers.
We will be running each through a selection of real world tests to establish how they compare to the latest offerings from AMD, and finding out how well they overclock using the unlocked multiplier.
by Stuart Davidson | 27th April 2010
Today we will be taking a look at the AMD 890FX and Phenom II X6 1090T in a selection of real world tests to find out how it fits into the current marketplace. In addition to this we will also cover some additional 890GX products and a few boards which use the new budget 880G chipset to ensure readers have the full picture when it comes to AMD performance.
by Henry Butt | 19th April 2010
AMD is well known for producing a range of good value for money processors which often excel in different areas such as thermal performance and low power draw. Today we are going to look at three of AMDs latest Athlon II CPUs: the X2 255, X3 440 and X4 635 as well as the Phenom II X2 555 CPU on an ECS A785GM-AD3 motherboard to find out what performance AMD offer in the sub $120/£99 market segment.
by Stuart Davidson | 11th March 2010
Today sees the release of Intels latest CPU, the Core i7-980X Processor Extreme Edition. While the model number may be similar to the existing i7-975 this release is more than "just another speed-bump". Today we take Intels new high end processor through a selection of real world productivity, media and gaming tests to establish how much of a step forward it is from the existing product range.
by Stuart Davidson | 4th January 2010
Today we're taking a look at the Core i5-661 processor along with the new H55/57 chipsets which feature Intel's new onboard graphics chip.
Roundup: Intel DH55TC, Gigabyte P55A-UD3R, ECS H55H-M, Asus P7H57D-V Evo and MSI H57M-ED65.
by Stuart Davidson | 8th October 2009
Today we take a look at the AMD Athlon II X4 620, Gigabyte GA-MA785GPMT-UD2H, Gigabyte 4650 1GB OC, Gainward 4850 512MB Golden Sample and HIS 4890 1GB iCooler X4.
by Stuart Davidson | 8th September 2009
Today Intel are releasing CPUs based on the Nehalem architecture but with prices and specifications designed to appeal to mainstream consumers. Today we will be putting two of these models through their paces and comparing them to existing i7 CPUs as well as AMDs top Phenom 2 model and the best Core 2 CPU. In addition to that we will cover various memory configurations and throw a handful of the more interesting P55 based motherboards into the mix with two aftermarket coolers.
by Stuart Davidson | 13th August 2009
Today is AMD day! We take a look at the new 965 BE which replaces the fantastic 955BE. We also look at a plethora of AMD based motherboards from Asus, Gigabyte, ASRock and ECS as well as the brilliant Sapphire 2GB 4890 graphics card which is aimed at enthusiast users who need a lot of memory for high resolution gaming. Are you looking for a new system? then be sure to check out this review.
by Stuart Davidson | 7th July 2009
We are one of the few sites to get a sample of this processor which isn't being sold in the market. We overclocked it on Vapo and managed to get over 6GHZ out of it - which makes it the fastest AMD CPU we have ever tested...
by Stuart Davidson | 3rd June 2009
Nehalem EP used the same D0 core as that found in the new 920 which left the top performing 965 processor on the older C0 revision. Rather than change the CPU to bring it up to date Intel are once again pushing the market forward with the release of the Core-i7 975 Extreme Edition and we will be putting it through its paces in a selection of mainly real world tests to establish how much of an improvement it is over the existing models in the range.
by Stuart Davidson | 2nd June 2009
Since the Phenom CPUs were launched we have seen a number of models become available with performance regularly increasing and more recently the addition of support for DDR3 but there was no sign of energy efficient versions. That changes today with the launch of the Phenom 2 X3 705e and Phenom 2 X4 905e. Also we have our first look at a dual core Phenom 2 and secondly there is the new Athlon 2 model which brings DDR3 support to the older family of CPUs.
by Stuart Davidson | 23rd April 2009
Today AMD release the latest AM3 processor, the 955 Black Edition, the first to have a real chance of competing with the 940 in that all important enthusiast market. Combined with a high specification 790FX based motherboard and ATI GPU it creates what could be AMDs most powerful system ever. Today we take a look at the latest performance figures from the AM3 (Dragon) platform using the 955, MSIs new 790FX-GD70 and XFXs 4870 X2. Is it finally time for AMD users to make the switch to DDR3?
by Zardon | 5th April 2009
Today we look at Intel's new highest specification W5580 processors running on the new S5520SC motherboard. Just how smoking fast is this platform and are we about to break a bunch of records in our testing today?
by Stuart Davidson | 24th February 2009
The one thing which was missing from the AMD line-up was support for DDR3 which Intel have been providing for quite some time, today we look at the first couple of CPUs which resolve that issue.
by Stuart Davidson | 8th January 2009
Today we will be taking a look at the latest processor in the Phenom family, the Phenom 2 X4 940 Black Edition. This CPU will be AMDs highest performing processor until the DDR3 variants reach the market later this year. Through a selection of benchmarks including media encoding, Photoshop and gaming we will establish how good the Phenom 2 is, and whether it is worth the upgrade for existing Phenom users.
by Stuart Davidson | 12th December 2008
We have to admit to being a little surprised a few weeks ago when AMD emailed us to say our review sample of the new high-end Athlon CPU was on its way. 2006 was the last time we had such an email and since then the Phenom line of processors has been AMDs focus, with a limited number of Sempron models released into the budget marketplace. Today we are looking at the 7750 Black Edition, quite a jump from the current highest model, the 6400+.
by Stuart Davidson | 1st November 2008
Join us for our review as we cover why the Core i7 is such a great improvement over Core 2 as we put it though numerous tests against the best of the socket 775 CPUs, the X9770. In addition to this we will also look at the best motherboard you are likely to see in some time and if that is not enough, how about some overclocking of the new platform thrown in for fun, can we hit 4ghz on air? Time to find out...
by Stuart Davidson | 6th May 2008
It has been some time since we reviewed an AMD processor on Driver Heaven, but quite a lot has happened since then with the release of various CPU revisions, as well as triple core, the 780G chipset and further energy efficient Athlon models. So today it is time to catch up with the current range of AMD products starting with the Phenom 9850.
by Stuart Davidson | 7th December 2007
Intel certainly haven't been resting on their laurels. The extremely successful Core 2 launch was quickly met with quad core refreshes and recently they followed this up with the release of 1333 front side bus processors. Intel, yet again pushed the envelope and recently released a refresh of the Core 2 quad using a new core with enhanced specifications. Quite surprisingly for us before we could even get a review of the new QX9650 ready for publication the QX9770 sample arrived in our labs.
by Stuart Davidson | 16th July 2007
It is hard to believe that it has been nearly a year since Intel first launched the Core 2 brand of CPU’s; it seems much longer. This is not a negative statement, but there have been so many revisions of the product line up since then that it seems like the Core 2 should have been around for much longer. Regardless of budget there is now a dual or quad core CPU to fit everyone's requirements with speeds ranging from 1.6GHz to 2.9GHz...
by Zardon | 8th June 2007
When will it end? and when is 4 cores not enough? Last month Intel sent us their new 8 Core Xeon X5365 V8 hardware and I have been busy testing on 64 Bit Vista with a wealth of CPU's kindly donated by Intel and AMD.
Read our indepth analysis and start saving those pennies.
by Zardon | 3rd April 2007
With the recent release of games such as Supreme Commander which make use of more than two processing cores many of our readers may be contemplating a move to a Quad core CPU. It is fair to say they are still expensive especially when you look at the £650 QX6700. Attempting in someway to address this Intel have released the Q6600 which is meant to be targeted at a slightly lower end market. Don't be jumping for joy just yet, they still retail in excess of £500. The Q6600 offers 1066mhz FSB and 2x4MB of level 2 cache abeit at a lower clock speed of 2.4ghz (266x9) compared to the 2.66ghz its “extreme” edition brother offers. The Q6600 is also multipler locked (above 9x).
by Stuart Davidson | 2nd November 2006
Not content with resting on their laurels and waiting for AMD to reply, Intel have followed the age old adage of “attack is the best form of defence” in releasing the world’s first QUAD core product, and on the 14th of November will be available to buy around the world. This processor obviously will be aimed at the high end enthusiast sector, so today we will be ascertaining if parting with your hard earned money is a wise investment.
by Stuart Davidson | 29th July 2006
Intel have handled this product launch differently because as well as the usual splattering of marketing mumbo jumbo there has been an uncharacteristic level of access to an unreleased product.
The first major example of this was back in May when we were invited to Intel Headquarters in Germany and were able to get hands on with a pre configured Core 2 system, a full two months before retail availability. Initial impressions were very positive however there is only so much faith you can have in pre-configured systems with limited testing, many sites published “their” results which basically were nothing more than glorified Intel PDF’s, we choose to wait until we could build our own systems and do our own indepth testing.
Over a month before Core 2 reviews could be published we were sent a final review kit by Intel. This almost never happens, most launches are shrouded in secrecy and last minute rushes, having over a month to fully test a new product really gives the impression that Intel are confident in their new line of processors, time to find out if this faith is well placed.
by Stuart Davidson | 10th February 2006
The FX-60 is a 90nm part based on AMD’s Toledo core. AMD pack over 233million transistors into the FX60 at 90nm and end up with a die size just over 199mm2. The chip comes clocked at 2.6ghz and features 2 cores (like the X2 range of CPU’s). Cache levels are set to 64kb of both L1 data and L1 code and L2 cache is 1mb (per core). The chip supports all the usual technologies such as SSE3 and x86-64 and has a reasonably low operating voltage of 1.3-1.35v. We say low because the same Toledo core was used on the X2 4800+ and on that chip the voltage requirement is 1.35-1.4v for a slower 2.4ghz clock.
by Stuart Davidson | 20th October 2005
A few months back we took a look at a couple of AMD's X2 CPU's in the form
of the 4800+ and the 4400+. Both provided excellent
performance in all tasks however they did come at quite a hefty price.
Since publishing those articles AMD released the 3800+ which
provides AMD users with all of the benefits of Dual Core computing -
however at a much lower cost. Aimed to compete directly with the
Pentium D 820 in terms of price and performance we were very interested to
see just how well the new chip would compete with our previous
Gold Award winner.
by Stuart Davidson | 1st August 2005
Earlier this year AMD announced the availability of 64bit enabled Semprons on the 754 platform with models ranging from the 2600+ to the 3300+, these processors are ideal for consumers who want all the latest features and decent performance at a very reasonable price. Today AMD are further enhancing the performance of their Sempron range by releasing the 3400+ model which is the very same chip we have on test today
by Stuart Davidson | 13th July 2005
As mentioned earlier in the article we were not originally going to compare the 820 to the FX57/X2/EE due to the latter chips being much more expensive than the Pentium D however what was an afterthought was well worth including in the end. It is clear when comparing the Intel chip to those three products there are some situations (such as encoding) where the higher clock speeds, system bandwidths and architectures will help you get value for money. So now we move onto Photoshop, what can we say? the 820 is a phenomenal performer, exceeding even the X2 4800+ in terms of overall performance. To date the Pentium D is the fastest chip we have tested in Photoshop performance.
by Stuart Davidson | 27th June 2005
We really cant fault AMD for their activity of late, they’ve been hard at work refining the Athlon64 core with the release of Venice which provided improved memory performance and the availability of more settings on the memory configuration side of things. In addition to this they also released the X2 range of CPU’s recently which are without doubt the best performing dual core desktop CPU’s on the market. There’s nothing wrong though with increasing the speed and specifications of your current single core performance brand and that’s why we’re here today. AMD’s launch of the Athlon64 FX-57.
by Stuart Davidson | 11th June 2005
It’s been quite a while since we looked at an AMD processor on Driverheaven and in that time AMD have been busy enhancing their range of CPU’s. The socket 939 Athlon64’s have begun moving to the Venice core and AMD have also launched the X2 brand of Dual Core Athlon64’s so let’s kill two birds with one stone and have a look at a processor of each type. The 3800+ and the 4800+, and see how they compare to one of Intel’s latest and greatest, the 3.46 GHz P4EE.
by Stuart Davidson | 2nd November 2004
The FX-55 is essentially the same chip as the FX-53, the only difference being the move from 2.4ghz to 2.6ghz (through a multiplier change from 12x to 13x). The core is still based on the 0.13 process, 0.9 is for a future chip as is dual core. Also as the FX-55 and FX-53 are based on the same design all of the features of the A64 remain such as the HT speed sitting at 1000mhz and the additional virus protection that the chip provides (in conjunction with XP SP2) is also still enabled. Support for the FX-55 should happen out of the box on most socket 939 motherboards, our MSI 6702 motherboard for example doesn’t even need a bios update to the original retail bios to support the new chip, just plug n play. This is also the case for other boards such as the Gigabyte GA-K8NSNXP-939.
by Stuart Davidson | 11th August 2004
The Sempron is basically an AthlonXP “Thoroughbred” chip re-badged, this means that it has slightly lower performance than the Athlon XP Barton (Caused mainly by the lesser cache on the Sempron - 256k level 2 cache vs. 512k on the Barton). The model numbers also vary slightly from the Thoroughbred cores of old. AMD have based their Sempron model numbers on the performance of the chip in several benchmarks when compared to other Sempron processors. These benchmarks include Sysmark 2004 and Content Creation Winstone.
by Stuart Davidson | 31st May 2004
At Computex today AMD are launching the newest members of their Athlon family, the Athlon64 3800+ and along with it a FX53 with a twist. As it's launch day we have both of the processors in for review, we have spent some considerable time running tests so read on to find out how they compare and what’s new…
by Stuart Davidson | 17th March 2004
The FX-53 is architecturally identical to the FX-51 in all but the clock rate…where the FX-51 is rated at 2.2ghz the FX-53 is rated at 2.4ghz. Today we shall be taking a look at how this 200mhz increase improves on the performance of the FX-51 on 2 systems.
by Stuart Davidson | 7th March 2004
A couple of weeks ago we looked at the Athlon64 FX-51 and how it compared in single channel mode to the Pentium 4, Athlon XP, Opteron and Athlon64. The result was that the AFX and p4 were the clear leaders however neither really established its dominance. So today we take a look at the 2 leaders and see if there is a clear winner when the Athlon64 FX moves into dual channel mode. We’ll also take a look at how well the FX-51 overclocks.
by Stuart Davidson | 20th February 2004
Over the past few months we have been lucky enough to have access to 2 different AMD 64bit processors, the Athlon 64 3200+ and the Opteron 146. We were completely impressed by the Opteron 146 and the Athlon 64 3200+ wasn’t half bad either. Today we have the opportunity to take a look at the final desktop model in the AMD series – the Athlon 64 FX-51. We shall also put a Pentium 4 3.0ghz and Athlon XP 3200+ into the mix to complete the comparison.
by Chaos | 5th January 2004
Recently AMD announced their latest CPU’s the 3200 64 bit and FX 64 bit processors. Promising groundbreaking performance and a new way of personal and professional computing. AMD took a huge and somewhat risky step in being the first to market 64 bit CPUs to the masses.
by Stuart Davidson | 20th December 2003
Here for review today I have one of AMD’s new 64-bit based processors, the Opteron 146. Rather than see how it performs as a Workstation or Server chip.
by Chaos | 24th August 2003
Looking to get the best performance for the smallest amount of money, I opted for an AMD upgrade path. This would entail getting a new processor, motherboard, RAM, and (to be safe) a new power supply: