What is what in the AMD feature list

AMD's processors and CPU features explained

PC Games Hardware takes a look at AMD's processor sockets and lists all AM2, AM2+ and AM3 processors that have been released. Furthermore several features that are currently offered by AMD are explained.
AMD's processors and CPU features explained
[Source: view picture gallery]

The computer business is one of the most fast paced sectors of the economy. New developments are released in short intervals. PC Games Hardware explains features and attributes of processors, and chipsets as well as basic keywords.

AMD Socket AM2+ vs. AMD Socket AM3: Processors for the Socket AM2+ (left) have two more pins than processors for the Socket AM3 (right).
AMD Socket AM2+ vs. AMD Socket AM3: Processors for the Socket AM2+ (left) have two more pins than processors for the Socket AM3 (right). [Source: view picture gallery]
Socket AM2(+) vs. Socket AM3
In February 2009 AMD launched the new Socket AM3 in combination with new Phenom II processors. Although the Socket AM3 is the successor of the socket AM2+, the new processors are downward compatible. This means that an AM3 processor will fit into a Socket AM2+, or even the older Socket AM2, and work within the limitations of the Socket - features exclusively provided by the Socket AM3, like support for DDR3 RAM, won't be available.

The other way around, putting an AM2+ processor into a Socket AM3 is not possible though because such processors have additional pins that don't fit into the new Socket.

AMD features
Advanced Clock Calibration
ACC is a feature offered by AMD's SB710 and SB710 Southbridges and processors with a K10 architecture. It allows separate settings for all individual cores of the processor and also the CPU's overclocking capabilities by altering internal settings. Besides that it is said to be possible to unlock deactivated cache and cores of certain processors although this is not officially supported or recommended by AMD.

AMD Overdrive
This tool grants access to real-time adjustments of many system attributes and thus it allows for example easy, on-the-fly overclocking. Furthermore AMD Overdrive also offers benchmarking and stability testing features.

AMD Virtualization is the virtualization extension for AMD's x86 processors.

AMD CPUs with an open multiplier are called Black Edition.
AMD CPUs with an open multiplier are called Black Edition. [Source: view picture gallery]
Black Edition
The processors that carry the Black Edition tag differ from the other AMD CPUs because of their open multiplier. Increasing the multiplier is an easy way to increase the frequency a processor is running at. Therefore Black Edition CPUs are especially popular among overclockers.

Cool'n'Quiet is a feature of AMD CPUs that automatically reduces the frequency and the voltage of a CPU in order to lower the power consumption and the temperature.

The Enhanced Virus Protection, also known as NX Bit, is a security system that prevents so called buffer overflow attacks. If a system supports EVP the processor prevents that malicious software can insert code into the memory area of other programs and execute it there.

Hyper Transport
Hyper Transport is a bidirectional serial/parallel point-to-point link with a high bandwidth and a low-latency. HT has several areas of application. In certain processor architectures AMD uses Hyper Transport as a replacement of the Front Side Bus., but it is also part of AMD's Direct Connect Architecture.

AMD's Presidio is a feature of AMD processors that uses special commands to provide a fundament for Trusted Computing.

Side Port Memory
The idea behind side port memory is to provide the integrated graphics unit of certain AMD chipsets with an extra amount of memory in order to reduce the usage of the system memory itself and thus to increase the overall performance.

The Thermal Design Power is the maximal heat a CPU can emit and thus the maximal heat the cooling solution in use has to deal with.

AMD processors
The Central Processing Unit could more or less be called the brain of a computer. It is the component responsible for executing programs. Below you can see a list of AMD processors that have been release for the Sockets AM2, AM2+ and AM3. The chart also delivers detailed information like the frequencies, the amount of cache or the Thermal Design Power.

Several CPUs are listed twice. Those processors are available in different steppings respectively revisions.

Author: Kristoffer Keipp (Aug 18, 2009)

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