24 Apr 2011

AMD Athlon II X2 270 dual-core (ADX270OCK23GM)

Athlon II X2 is the next generation of dual-core budget microprocessors, that superseded Athlon X2 family. The Athlon II X2 family was introduced in June 2009, four months before the launch of X3 triple-core and X4 quad-core Athlon II families. While many features of Athlon II X2 family and X3/X4 families are alike.

AMD Athlon II X2 270 dual-core microprocessor with part number ADX270OCK23GM was supposed to launch in the 4 quarter 2010 along with two other Athlon II members, triple-core 455 and quad-core 650. One of these Athlons, X3 455, was indeed released in December as a retail processor. Two other parts, X2 270 and X4 650, eventually emerged in HP computers, so it was evident that these CPUs were released only for OEM market. Athlon II 270 is currently shipped in HP 505B micro-tower PC, while the 650 is offered in Compaq Presario CQ3545 and CQ3550 desktop computers. Additionally, both 270 and 650 are listed in specifications of HP Pro 3135 Microtower PC. AMD also produces OEM Phenom II X2 511 model, which is basically a re-branded Athlon II 270.

AMD X2 270 belongs to Athlon II line of microprocessors, which main difference from more expensive Phenom II CPUs is the lack of level 3 cache. This Athlon II has two cores, and operates at 3.4 GHz, or 100 MHz higher than the fastest boxed dual-core Athlon II 265 model. The lack of L3 cache on this and other dual-core Athlons is partially compensated by twice larger per-core L2 cache. Besides the CPU cores, the processor integrates dual-channel memory controller, that can work with DDR2 and DDR3 memory, and single 16-bit HyperTransport link, clocked at 2 GHz. Remaining features of this CPU are common for all latest AMD microprocessors, and they include support for SIMD instructions up to SSE3, 64-bit operating mode, Enhanced Virus Protection, Virtualization, and Cool'n'Quiet technology. Like other Athlon II X2s, the AMD 270 fits 65 Watt power envelope, and is produced in Socket AM3-compatible package.

Performance of the ADX270OCK23GM is predictably better than the performance of older Athlon II 260 and 265 models. As an example, with about 6% higher clock frequency than the 260, the AMD 270 has up to 6% higher benchmark results.

In the second half of last year there were reports of even faster dual-core Athlon II processor, coming in the second quarter 2011. The model 275 will be clocked at 3.5 GHz, and some time ago it appeared in CPU support lists of Biostar and ECS motherboard manufacturers. At this time it's not obvious whether these CPUs will be released as retail parts, or end up in OEM systems just like the Athlon II 270 and 650.

Model numbers of Athlon II X2 microprocessors consist from three digits with the first digit always "2", and an optional letter that signifies processor power - "e" for low-power, and "u" for ultra-low power processors.

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6 Apr 2011

Nvidia Releases Quadro 400 Graphics Card

The Quadro 400 is designed to run inside desktops and workstations, including smaller form-factor devices, according to Nvidia, and it’s certified to run on leading professional applications. The GPU offers 512 MB of DDR3 memory, a 30-bit color engine, and power consumption under 35 watts.

"Designers and engineers, whether designing the largest assemblies or smallest components, rely on Quadro," said Jeff Brown, general manager of Nvidia’s Professional Solutions Group, in a statement. "The Quadro 400 is the right tool to help ensure that job gets done the right way, especially when it comes to running professional apps like Autodesk AutoCAD."

The Quadro 400 GPUs provides up to 5X the performance of high-end consumer gaming cards and 10x more performance while running Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) applications. Quadro 400 supports both DisplayPort with up to 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution and dual-link DVI with up to 3840 x 2400 pixel resolution.

In addition, Nvidia’s Quadro 400 graphics card features its Unified Driver architecture that’s compatible with older drivers and upgradable to future ones, Nvidia’s Hardware 3D Windows Clipping for faster data transfer and improved graphics, and Nvidia Mosaic Technology for taskbar spanning and transparent scaling. Nvidia’s Quadro 400 GPU also supports its 3D Vision and 3D Vision Pro stereoscopic technology