AMD releases Spider to snare game enthusiasts

AMD releases Spider to snare game enthusiasts

Chip maker launches platform for manufacturers to create high-performance PCs

AMD has launched its first PC platform designed to make it easier to build performance PCs.

Codenamed Spider, the platform comprises the new quad-core Phenom processors, ATI Radeon HD 3800 graphics processing units (GPUs) and AMD Series-7 chipsets.

Unlike Intel, with its well-established approach to creating PC platforms such as Viiv and Centrino, AMD has steered clear of creating a platform comprising chip, chipset and graphics chip in one bundle.

Spider is the most significant launch resulting from AMD’s takeover of ATI Technologies last year for $5.4bn (£2.6bn) and the chip maker is confident it will appeal to a large range of PC builders.

“AMD is the only company committed to delivering the ultimate visual experience across all the screens of your life,” said Dirk Meyer, president of AMD.

“The AMD Spider platform delivers a highly advanced, feature-rich computing experience. Our commitment to energy-efficient design and manufacturing excellence drives an unprecedented performance-per-watt at an amazing price point, putting enthusiast-class platforms in reach for more users than ever.”

At the core of the new platform sits AMD’s Phenom quad-core processors, designed on a 65nm process for high performance and low-power consumption. Using its PowerPlay and Cool n’Quiet 2.0 technologies, AMD claimed that consumer and business PCs based on Spider can consume an average of 32W and 29W, respectively.

AMD is also making a lot of noise about the platform’s high-definition (HD) capabilities. The 55nm ATI Radeon HD 3800 GPU supports PCI Express 2.0 and HyperTransport 3.0 technology. It also supports ATI’s CrossFireX technology, which allows Spider-based PCs to run up to four graphics processors simultaneously.

Kelt Reeves, president of Falcon Northwest, said: “Running four graphics boards in one system has been a dream of gamers, but could be a nightmare for a system builder to get all those graphics cards pro-per airflow.

“The Spider platform design allows the AMD 7-Series chipset, AMD Phenom quad-core processor, and the already cool and quiet ATI Radeon HD 3800 graphics cards to all be placed for maximum airflow and cooling,” he added.

The 2.3GHz Phenom 9600 and 2.5GHz 9500 processors are shipping now for $283 (£137) and $251, respectively, in 1,000-unit pricing.