Archive for October, 2010

AMD Turion ii ultra dual-core m600 processor review

October 31st, 2010 No comments

The Turion ii M600 is a dual core processor from Advanced Micro Devices which has a nominal core frequency of 2400 MHz. Manufactured with 45 nm technology the Turion ii M600 has a TDP rating of mid range 35 Watts suitable for medium and large size notebooks.

The performance of the Turion ii processors should be close to the Intel Core 2 processors in the nominal clock frequency of 2.0 to 2.2 GHz. In other words, the similarly clocked Intel core 2 processor slightly outperforms the AMD Turion ii Ultra processor M600.

The Turion ii Ultra M600 has, however, integrated memory controller, which leads to lower memory latency and a better overall performance. The integrated memory controller in the Turion ii M600 is a dual channel DDR2-400.

The communication with the chipset is using HyperTransport Bus at 3600 MT/s. Although many websites including AMD’s own website at

mentions the front side bus as 3600 MHz, we at starredreviews, believe that they meant 3600 Million Transaction per second. Dirk Meyer, are you listening ?

It may have been more appropriate to call it either 1800 MHz or 3600 Mt/s. The confusion is created, since, the HyperTransport Bus works on the rising as well as falling edge of the clock. So even though the clock frequency is 1800 MHz the effective rate of the transfer of bits is 3600 MT/s.

The Turion ii M600 has a 1 MB of L2 Cache in each of the two cores, making up a total of 2 MB L2 cache. This core is not a shared core, unlike the intel smart cache in its core i3 and i5 processors. The dedicated core, however, simplifies the design and keeps the things clean, and potentially reduces the overhead in latency. The discussion of the dedicated Vs shared cache is beyond the scope of this review. In some test environment, the shared cache definitely has a point, especially if a particular application, for example, need a larger cache.

According to AMD –

Each core has its own dedicated L2 cache, which enables simultaneous independent core access to cache, eliminating the need for cores to arbitrate for cache access. This helps reduce latency on L2 cache access.

The Turion ii M600 supports the various multimedia instructions including the latest SSE3, Enhanced 3DNow!. It also supports the AMD64 – the 64 bit instruction set from AMD.

The AMD Virtualization support should help your system if you are planning to use two operating systems and you need to switch between the operating systems seamlessly.

The Super Pi 1M and 2M benchmark scores for the Turion ii M600 processor is 32 seconds and 75 seconds respectively. The 3DMark score, a benchmark score for the graphics intensive task has been reported to be close to 1900.

Some of the notebooks powered by Turion ii ultra M600 processor include
– HP ProBook FN063UA Notebook
– Gateway NV5336u 15.6″ LED Notebook
– HP ProBook 6445b
– Gateway NV5387u 15.6″ notebook,
– Acer AS5542-5547 15.6-Inch Laptop
– HP Pavilion DV7-3060US

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2012 Buick Verano Review and Price

October 31st, 2010 No comments

General Motors has always been playing safe in the automobile industry with its innovative styling and refreshing designs. It maintains its trend of understanding the current buyer’s needs and the market conditions before planning a refreshed design. Considering these concepts GM has announced the plan of introduction of its Verano model to be known as 2012 Buick Verano.

2012 Buick Verano is a compact sedan with four doors and 5 seating arrangements with fabric upholstery. The seats will come with multi level heated driver seat and passenger seat. The rear seats have the split folding option as well as easy passage through foldable center armrest. Though hatchbacks are in form in China, it is not expected to come with similar styling in American market. It is strongly estimated that 2012 Verano will come in three trim levels comprising of Basic CX model, mid-class CXL model and the premium level CXS model. Its dimensional appearance is almost similar to Chevrolet Cruze. It is also believed that some features can mirror those of Astra and Volt. Its glances show the vertical bar grille front and lowered body. Verano is sure to gain premium interiors with higher standard cabin. The sedan is expected to be equipped with power doors, power windows and the power moonroof panel. It would also be added with rear defogger.

Under the metal skin 2012 Buick Verano would be added with the assembly of 1.8 liter and 4 cylinder engine with 16 valves to generate the momentum of 136 horsepower. The option of 1.4 liter turbocharged engine with 4 cylinders is also likely to be offered. This has the ability to produce 138 horsepower. Both the engines would be designed to work on front wheel drive mechanism. Probably the third choice of engine can also be showcased which is the assembly of 2.4 liter and 4 cylinder engine to generate momentum of 182 horsepower. All the engines are certain to be paired with 6 speed automatic transmission gearbox. The architecture would be based on 17 inch alloy wheel set with the choice of 18 inch alloy wheels.

2012 Verano will certainly be attributed with huge array of safety features comprising of 4 wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, traction control mechanism, vehicle stability control to add grip over slippery roads, a range of 10 airbags comprising of front and rear head airbags, side airbags and side curtain airbags as well as passenger sensing airbag to prevent from internal collision. The seats will come with 3 point seat belts. The sedan will be added with anti-theft alarm mechanism, engine immobilizer and daytime running lights.

The stylish dashboard will be furnished with leather wrapped tilt telescopic steering wheel, climate control system, Bluetooth wireless connection for phone, iPod and USB connectivity, voice controlled navigation system, multi functional audio system with AM/FM, XM satellite radio, volume control with speed sensitivity, CD/DVD player and built in hard drive. Additionally the interior is featured with dual vanity mirrors, floor mats running throughout the floor and trunk light.

The early foot print of 2012 Buick Verano is expected to be seen in the market around mid of year 2011 with the estimated price tag of $22,500.

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Intel Pentium E5500 Processor Review

October 31st, 2010 1 comment

In the second quarter of the year 2010, Intel came up with their new dual core processor named Intel Pentium E5500 Processor. This processor stands out in the performance by working at an amazing speed. The clock speed of Intel Pentium E5500 Processor is 2.8 Giga Hertz and with Intel smart cache ( L3) of 2 Mega bytes in place which adds improvement to the processor’s performance.

The bus to core ratio of this processor is all time low value being 14. The Front Side Bus operates at a speed of 800 Mega Hertz. The data width alias the instruction set is 64 bits. 45 nano meter lithography technology is used for the manufacturing of Intel Pentium E5500 Processor. However Intel E5500 Pentium Processor does not run fall into the category of low power laptops / notebooks or Ultra low power laptops / notebooks or even laptops as the maximum thermal design power is 65 watts, thus it falls into the category of desktop processor. Also there should be good cooling features should be implemented to keep processor cool.

Intel Pentium E5500 Processor has voltage identification technology implemented in it. The voltage identification happens for a range of voltage between 850 milli volts to 1.3625 volts. This processor does not have an inbuilt graphics engine, thus external graphics card is needed for improved graphics performance like video acceleration for High Definition video content. LGA775 is the only socket type supported by this processor. There are close to 228 million transistors that are packaged into this processor using the Integrated Circuit or shortly called as IC technology.

Intel Pentium E5500 Processor does not support most of the advanced Intel technologies. The Intel Turbo boost technology, which can improve the processor’s performance by allowing it to change its clock frequency dynamically, is not supported in Intel Pentium E5500 Processor. Similarly Hyper Threading technology, which allows the processor to handle multiple threads at the same time, is not supported. Since the technologies which improves the processor’s performance by allowing it to change its clock frequency dynamically, is not supported in Intel Pentium E5500 Processor. Similarly Hyper Threading technology, which allows the processor to handle multiple threads at the same time, is not supported. Since the technologies which improves the processor’s performance are missing this processor provides a lesser performance than what it can actually provide. However Intel Pentium E5500 Processor has Hardware Virtualization technology in place which allows multiple operating systems to reside on the same CPU simultaneously. Since Intel Pentium E5500 Processor is compatible with most of the available graphics cards in the market missing the inbuilt graphics card does not make huge difference. The T case temperature can be as high as 74.1 degree Celsius up to which the processor can remain stable and safe.

Benchmark of Intel Pentium E5500 processor

The passmark  score of Intel Pentium E5500 processor is 1916

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AMD Athlon ii P360 processor review

October 31st, 2010 8 comments

AMD’s Athlon ii P360 is a dual core processor clocked at 2.3 GHz.
We can categorize P360 as an entry level processor and it should be good enough for your home computing. However, we do not recommend it, if your task involves some degree of programming, compiling and video processing. As you can see in some of the benchmark comparison on the right hand side tables – P360 lacks performance as compared to similarly clocked core i3 processors and are comparable to the earlier core 2 duo processors. We strongly suggest that you take a look at the core i3 based notebooks for performance.

The P360 has integrated memory controller which makes the processor communicate with memory directly. This improves the speed with which the processor communicates with the processor.

The Athlon ii P360 lacks teeth in its Cache. While its L1 cache with 64 KB of data and 64 KB of instruction cache for each core is adequate, the mere 512 KB L2 cache per core may lead to slow performance. Fortunately, the integrated DDR3 memory controller ensures that the cache miss does not lead to too slow memory access.

The communication to the Chipset is using fast 1600 MHz 16 bit HyperTransport Bus. This fast bus improves upon the performance of the earlier Front Side Bus.

How does the Athlon ii P360 compare with the Core 2 Duo T7500 – a 2.2 GHz processor – Read on – Athlon ii P360 Vs Core 2 Duo T7500 ?

The performance of the Athlon ii P360 is similar to the Intel Core2 Duo processors in 2.00GHz to 2.2 GHz range. The Passmark Benchmarking score for the Athlon ii P360, for example stands at 1172 as compared to the 1148 score of Core 2 Duo T5800 ( 2 GHz, Dual core).

The Athlon ii P360 is a low power processor with TDP rating of just 25 Watts. Its low TDP rating helps in the design of slim and thin notebooks requiring less emphasis on heatsink, fan and ventilation.

Athlon ii P360 does support advanced multimedia instructions including SSE3 and SSE4a. With the support for the 64 bit instructions you can take advantage of many of the newer software that work on 64 bit.

The Athlon ii P360 has support for Virtualization technology, which helps you if you run two operating systems in parallel and you need to switch between the operating systems seamlessly.

Built with 45 nm technology, Athlon ii P320 is packaged in 638 pin Micro BGA and fits in S1g4 socket, which is a variant of S1 socket to accommodate DDR3 memory.

No benchmark score information was available at the time of writing. We have updated the Benchmark results of the Athlon ii P360.

We (still) encourage readers to post the Super Pi and Windows 7 Experience index if they are in the possession of a notebook powered by Athlon ii P360 processor. This greatly helps potential notebook buyers who are undecided about buying a notebook powered by Athlon ii P360.

There are not many notebooks we could find powered by Athlon ii P360. The one we could see was Toshiba C660D-10C. We expect more notebooks powered by Athlon ii P360 in the coming future.

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HyperTransport Bus

October 31st, 2010 No comments

HyperTransport Bus

HyperTranport Bus was pioneered by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). The HyperTransport bus is used to interconnect processor to chipset and processor to processor.

The high frequency of the HyperTransport Bus is made possible by the use of the differential signaling. A differential signal requires a set of two wires. In differential signaling, a positive signal is sent on one of the two wires and a negative signal is sent on the other wire. At the receiver side a differential amplifier looks at the difference in the signal to determine if it is a 1 or 0.

HyperTransport Bus was introduced in April 2001 and at the time of writing it comes in 4 versions 1.x, 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1. The latest HyperTransport version 3.1 runs at a clock frequency of 3.2 GHz.

The HyperTransport Bus work at the rising as well as the falling edge of the clock. The HyperTransport 3.1, for example, which has a clock frequency of 3.2 GHz can trasfer 6.4 Million bits ( 3.2 GHz x 2) working as the data is moved on the rising as well as the falling edge of the clock.

The maximum width of the HyperTransport Bus is 32 bit. However designs with 16 bit wide are more common. HyperTransport is a bidirectional bus. The bandwidth of the Hypertransport bus is massive. To give you an idea consider HyperTransport 3.1 bus with 32 bit width working at 3.2 GHz. Since it works on rising as well as falling edge of clock it transfers 6.4 Giga bits per seconds.

The bandwidth is given by 6.4 Giga bits/sec x 32 bits = 204.8 Giga Bits per seconds or 25.6 Giga Bytes per seocond. You can transfer entire content of a 256 Giga Byte Hard disk in just 10 seconds !!! And yes HyperTransport is a bidirectional bus, and both directions and transfer bits simultaneously.

The HyperTransport bus is faster than most other differential bus technologies, including Intel sponsored PCI Express Bus.

HyperTransport Bus is an open specification. It is managed by HyperTransport Consortium. HyperTransport bus replaced the slower front side bus in the AMD processors starting with Opteron Server processor and Athlon 64 desktop processor.

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