"AMD today announced the availability of a new six-core desktop
processor and platform to accompany it, which includes a new
chipset and support for hobbyists who like to tweak their
processors to the limits of their heat sink and warranty.
"The Phenom II X6, codenamed "Thuban," ranges in clock speed
from 2.4GHz to 3.2GHz and has a new feature called Turbo Core that
turns off unused cores and gives more clock speed to the few cores
in use. Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) offers a similar feature it calls
TurboBoost on select processors. In the case of Thuban, AMD said it
can offer about 400MHz to 500MHz more per core. So the top-end part
can hit 3.6GHz, according to Adam Kozak, platform marketing manager
for desktops at AMD (NYSE: AMD).
"The Turbo Core technology monitors the power levels of the
processor, so it knows when cores are being shut off from disuse.
As the cores are "falling asleep," Turbo Core kicks in, keeping the
processor in its existing thermal levels. It does not require a new
cooling fan and older motherboards may be able to support it, said
Kozak. Those that can support it will need to perform a BIOS