AMD shows off 6-core Thuban

CeBIT 2010 Hard to get excited about

AMD LogoAMD WAS SHOWING OFF its 6-core Thuban CPU at CeBIT along with its 890 chipset. The good news is the showing, the bad news is that it wasn’t saying anything about it.

AMD Thuban board

Thuban, Corsair Green Dominator and Gigabyte 890 board

Here is what the official word is about Thuban. It is a 6-core AM3 socket chip that will be coming out in the second quarter, and is built on the venerable AMD and GlobalFoundries 45nm SOI process. It has a clock speed, but that is all AMD would say on the topic, the demo staff would not even mention that it was running at 1.30V, we had to read that off the chip. Together with the 890 chipset, the whole platform is called Leo, but that is old news.

Thuban Demo

More cores make desktop demos better

While it will undoubtedly be marketed as an enthusiast chip, it really isn’t well suited to be one. Having six cores means that it will clock slower than an equivalent 4-core model, and until there is a game or some desktop software that needs a third core, not to mention core numbers 4 through 6, what is the point?

Unless there is some massive hidden magic in Thuban that AMD doesn’t backport to a 4-core variant, this isn’t going to be good for overclockers, gamers, or enthusiasts in general. Go with a Shanhai or an Intel i(nexplicable) something instead. Color me unexcited.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate