AMD ships new 'performance' gaming chip

Chip allows gamers to safely run Phenom-processor-based systems at speeds of more than 3.0GHz using a technology AMD calls "Advanced Clock Calibration."

Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday announced the availability of silicon targeted at the "performance" gaming community.

The new 790GX chipset is slotted below the existing, higher-end 790FX, which is targeted at the ultra-enthusiast game segment.

The 790GX allows gamers to safely run Phenom-processor-based systems at speeds of more than 3.0GHz using a technology AMD calls "Advanced Clock Calibration." A processor rated at 2.5GHz, for example, can be "overclocked" to run at 3.2GHz to get better performance in games.

AMD Advanced Clock Calibration boosts processor clock speed
AMD Advanced Clock Calibration boosts processor clock speed AMD

"Significant tuning enhancements via Advanced Clock Calibration...introduced with the AMD 790GX make it the best platform for unlocking maximum AMD Phenom processor performance," AMD said in a statement.

AMD has enhanced the part of the chipset called the southbridge to achieve this extra performance.

"Performance cache" memory technology, which places a discrete memory chip on the motherboard, boosts video performance, the company said.

The 790GX chipset integrates an ATI Radeon HD 3300 graphics processor but can also scale up to high-end ATI Radeon HD 4800 series graphics cards, AMD said.

Major system makers such as Asus, Foxconn, and Gigabyte Technology are supporting the 790GX. "We share AMD's commitment to raise the performance bar," Asus said in a statement.

A high-end motherboard built around the 790GX combined with a quad-core X4 9850 2.5-GHz Phenom processor is priced at $355. By comparison, a motherboard based on Intel's P45 chipset with an Intel quad-core Q9300 (2.5GHz) is about $90 more, AMD claims.

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