Details are starting to emerge about March updates to AMDs CPU and motherboard chipsets. Arriving in Q2 (May is claimed), four 6-core CPUs are slated for launch at the standard AM3 socket, taking the name "Phenom II X6 10xxT" - where the xx designated the model number.
alludes that they will start at 2.8GHz with a 140W TDP, and that each contains the normal 6MB L3 cache a quad core Phenom II currently uses. Notably the HyperTransport clock has also been increased from 2.0GHz to 2.4GHz, most likely in order to relieve the data stress of adding two extra cores.
The new 'Thuban' die is still made using AMD's 45nm SOI process, although recent advancements in FAB technology at AMD, which was evident in the recent Phenom II X4 965 C3 stepping, have made its leakage more manageable.
Since these CPUs still use the AM3 socket, they should be drop-in compatible with current 790FX, 790GX and 785G AM3 motherboards, providing there's a BIOS update available.
With regards to AMD's new chipsets: the 890GX will be launching in March, with announcements at CeBit we expect. Inside there's an updated graphics, named Radeon HD 4290 - so it's still RV6xx based with DirectX 10.1, although we're still waiting for boards to arrive in Feb to tell us the exact specifications. We hope the UVD video playback is updated to 5xxx series standard to compete with Intel's latest Core i3/i5 Clarkdale CPUs, and maybe, just maybe, AMD will finally support dual digital display outputs.
Most notably though is not the integrated graphics, but the new SB850 series southbridge the 890GX will be paired with. It has SATA 6Gbps natively included, but when it comes to (the arguably more useful) USB 3.0, unfortunately we still have to pay for the additional NEC controller.
Still wondering if it's just rumour or real? Check out ECS' latest 890GX board then:
Has this news made a future upgrade turn to AMD? Let us know in the forums