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Quad Core Battle, Intel Yorkfield vs AMD Altair 172

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the four-is-way-more-than-three dept.
Joe writes "Yorkfield Extreme Edition based on the 45nm Penry core architecture will meet heads-on with AMD Altair based on the 65nm K8L core in Q3 2007 as reported by VR-Zone. Due to its advanced 45nm process technology, Yorkfield XE is able to pack a total of 12MB L2 cache (2 x 6MB L2) and still achieving a much smaller die size and higher clock speed of 3.43-3.73Ghz. Yorkfield will feature Penryn New Instructions (PNI) or more officially known as SSE4 with 50 more new instructions. Yorkfield XE will pair up nicely with the Bearlake-X chipset supporting DDR3 1333, PCI Express 2.0 and ICH9x coming in the Q3 '07 timeframe as well."
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Quad Core Battle, Intel Yorkfield vs AMD Altair

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  • by Demanche (587815) <chris.h@rediffmail.com> on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @09:39AM (#16305413)
    I for one... Will... wait for those 80 core CPU's intel said they will have in a 'few' years. I'll refuse to upgrade till I get one! :D
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CastrTroy (595695)
      Well, I recently (In June?) just bought a new computer after having my previous one for 7 years. If my current one lasts as long as my last one, I could very well be upgrading to the 80 core CPUs that Intel said would be ready in 5 years. If you buy something good with lots of room for expansion, and take good care of your computer, you shouldn't have to replace it every 2 years.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jimstapleton (999106)
        I don't think I've ever replaced my computer.

        Rolling upgrades for 10 years or so. Never more than half the computer has been replaced at any one time.
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          Well, when I say same computer, I mean same Motherboard and Chip. I had replaced the video card, added a hard drive or two, some RAM, and a CD Burner and DVD drive onto the original. I don't really consider it the same computer if you replace the CPU an Motherboard. I hope my current CPU and motherboard combination last another 7 years. BTW, it's AMD64 3200.
          • ok, two motherboard replacements in that time...

            the first died because it had a disagreement with the PSU, and they both lost. Antec + Tyan = bad.

            The second... Well, you buy cheap crap, you get what you pay for...
            • Re:I for one... (Score:5, Interesting)

              by michrech (468134) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @10:26AM (#16306211)
              Antec + Tyan = bad

              In my higher than average experience, Antec = bad. I couldn't believe how many of their P/S's (all above 400w) I've had to send back compared to the cheap-oh CoolerMaster 350w supplies we were using. Got to a point where Antec tech support number was being answered by a voicemail (we couldn't get a live person any longer).

              When it got to a point where it was taking them *weeks* to get back to me (if they ever did at all), I got fed up and sent an email to the complaint email link they have on their support page (Yes! A complaint link! Only company I've ever seen that *needed* one due to such poor tech support!). In the email I stated my position, that I had a handfull of supplies I was going to dumpster because I could not get anyone to respond to me, and that I'd be reccomending *against* anyone using anything Antec again.

              Long story short, someone actually replied fairly quickly, dragged me along for a couple weeks telling me how he'd get me help (he had me fill out an RMA form several times because he claimed there were errors, then refused to take the supplies back because I didn't have a recepit available (it got filed away and sent to storage) even though they were *well* within the manufacturer 3 year from the date of manufactuer instead of date of sale!)..

              I've since switched to Enermax or Thermaltake and never looked back. Never had anywhere NEAR the quantity of P/S's to send back and of the FEW I have, it was taken care of right away.

              In short, Antec can kiss my ass.

              • Re:I for one... (Score:4, Interesting)

                by mrmag00 (200868) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @10:47AM (#16306537) Journal
                I agree 100%. People praise Antec, but from my experience they consistantly fall short of their performance and have a comparable lifespan to, say, a $20 no-name PSU.
                • by michrech (468134)
                  I agree 100%. People praise Antec, but from my experience they consistantly fall short of their performance and have a comparable lifespan to, say, a $20 no-name PSU.

                  With your message (and it's positive moderation), and the moderation on my message, I'm glad to know I wasn't alone. I was half expecting a bunch of Antec "fanbois" to come in and mod me into the ground. :)
                  • by El Torico (732160)
                    Antec has fanbois? I had a power supply die after 9 months and I haven't gotten a replacement for it from Antec yet.

                    Pretty cases and crappy power supplies. No, no Antec fanbois here.
                • by Khyber (864651)
                  Anyone with a brain only buys Antec for the massive cases and cooling/expansion potential, not to mention they're fairly cheap. Fuck any PSU that comes with a case, I've blown ALL of them.
              • by DarkSarin (651985)
                I don't know what is typical, but I've never had trouble with any Antec product, (I have an Antec case and PSU). I realize that I am dealing with a limited sample, but all the same, I've not had any trouble.

                My experience with their customer service (my children busted the front USB ports on the case) was positive and reasonably responsive.

                Of course, I wasn't dealing with them in volume, and I have only had the one incident, so I may have gotten the one good guy, but I don't know.

                Just my experience.
            • by Aardpig (622459)
              Funny you should say that, but I plugged an Antec PSU into a Tyan S2895, and the fucking mobo actually caught fire -- a little yellow flame, and lots of smoke.
          • by lymond01 (314120)
            You say that "if you take care of it" a computer can last you 7 years. You could say that about a car, perhaps, but if you want to stay current with software updates (not even upgrades), you'll need something more than a Pentium II 400 MHz computer. If you play modern games, it won't cut it. If you run Windows, the only OS that is remotely secure is Windows XP SP 2 fully patched, and I won't say that's secure without a 3rd party firewall. You can't run XP SP2 without 512 MB of RAM (it's *possible* put h
            • by CastrTroy (595695)
              Ah yes, but you can run VectorLinux, or Mandriva with Fluxbox/XFCE on a P2-266 with 512 MB of RAM. Even KDE wasn't that slow. Sure you can't play the latest games, but I never said I did. That's what I was running on for the last 7 years (RAM was upgraded, I think it was originally 64 MB running windows 98). Windows always ends up raising the processing requirement without any reason. Just look at the hardware requirements for Vista. Sure you can say look at the nice new Aero desktop, but then compare tha
            • by MrHanky (141717)
              Games? Of course not. But browsing the web, sending email, writing documents in OpenOffice.org, etc., all work well on a ~300 MHz computer, as long as it has enough RAM. Yes, even OpenOffice.org 2.0. A fresh XP install doesn't need more than 256 MB to run efficiently for simple tasks like that (it will boot with 128 MB), and will stay good until you install loads of crap on it.
            • by smash (1351)
              On the contrary, i've seen more security issues with Windows XP (all versions) than Windows 2000.

              Both OSes are insecure, so you put them behind a firewall and install a virus scanner. Most of the vulnerabilities that count when protected in this way are IE related, so don't run IE and keep firefox up to date (at least its patched somewhat regularly).

              Given that Windows 2000 uses less resources, does less behind your back, will install to SATA devices with no issue (XP will not even install on my current

          • when I say same computer, I mean same Motherboard and Chip

            I can see your point, but I'll respectfully differ. I bought a motherboard with the "new!" AGP slot and a top-of-the-line AGP card. I eventually wound up replacing the motherboard (+CPU +memory) with one with a "legacy" AGP slot. I was able to re-use all my other components (except for the too-lame-to-die ISA Ethernet card, but the new MB had Ethernet built-in). Had to do a little device driver tweaking, but everything worked without too much has

        • by AceCaseOR (594637)
          My next upgrade is the closest I'm getting to "replacing" the computer - I'm upgrading the MoBo, processer, video card, and probably getting an sound card instead of using the onboard one.
        • by Aladrin (926209)
          I had the same experience up until a lightning strike totalled my system. Not even a hard drive or NIC left. -sigh-
        • by Khyber (864651)
          I still have my Packard Bell 8088 with an ungodly 2 megs of RAM, running DR-DOS. BTW, I've had that computer for well over 18 years now. I don't think any other geek could say that, at least not with that kind of computer. Hell, the 300 baud modem STILL WORKS, which just goes to say that today's manufactured hardware is pure and simple CRAP. Antec PSU, anyone?
          • by maelstrom (638)
            Oh yeah, back in the good ole days of ultra reliable Packard Bell. Wait WHAT?!
        • I built myself a new system last year to replace my ancient Micron 486. It was so old that the CPU didn't even use a fan (had plenty of dust in the heatsink though), the VLB graphics board had 2 MB vram, 48 MB RAM, the monitor was a 14" CRT that had ghosting probs, and the hard drive space was less than most high-end MP3 players. Even the mouse and keyboard barely worked anymore. I pretty much milked it for every penny I paid.

          I did a 100% rebuild. Now I've got a AMD 64 X2 3800+, Lian-Li case, UPS, 19" L
      • If you buy something good with lots of room for expansion, and take good care of your computer, you shouldn't have to replace it every 2 years.

        Let's not deceive ourselves with that "have to". Need has nothing to do with this.
      • by dfghjk (711126)
        "...and take good care of your computer..."

        What exactly does that mean? Feed it right and take it on regular walks?
        • "...and take good care of your computer..."

          Maybe he means using good airflow, cleaning out the dust every so often, installing updates and using software utilities (anti virus, spyware, etc) to keep the OS running smooth.

          I personally turn off my system at night to save power but i'm sure it does help somewhat to prolong the life of the system?
    • by mendaliv (898932)
      Yeah, and when AMD comes out with some they'll be called the S-Tair Master. (props to whoever gets this reference)
    • wait for those 80 core CPU's intel said they will have in a 'few' years
      Good. Then you probably have the right specs for Vista.
    • by rthille (8526)
      Yeah, I'll wait too, especially since it seems every time I upgrade I spend all my time fighting with driver issues for the new hardware...
  • Altair? (Score:3, Funny)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @09:43AM (#16305503)
    Ooooh. Blinkenlights on a processor!
    • by einhverfr (238914)
      Yeah, who would recommend an Altair for modern computing tasks?
      • Hmmm, I wonder if an Altair with sufficient memory (8K might be enough) and some kind of network interface could run a text-based IM ("IRC Classic")? Assuming it had an appropriate terminal connected, of course. I mean, 99% of its time would be spent waiting for the user to type something, or waiting for input on the network interface.
    • by in2mind (988476)
      " Ooooh. Blinkenlights on a processor!" Ah ! Blinkenlights. Is it still on anywhere?( I think the last I saw it was in Germany..) May be quad cores can run Blinkenlights.Guess someone will try it.
  • by mattnuzum (839319) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @09:45AM (#16305557) Homepage
    I've said it before, I'll say it again: This is exactly why competition rocks. Soon, we'll say Moore was no prophet, he was a pessimist!
    • It specifies an approximate period in which transistor packing density doubles. Getting to 80 processors on a die is about size and yield as well as packing density. The cost of die size depends on economies of scale among other things, and the increased demand for silicon (especially large consumers like solar panels) must help drive the price down.

      Like many laws, people mention Moore's without actually knowing what it says.

  • One sided (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Daemonstar (84116) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @09:45AM (#16305565)
    Ok, so we have all this neat info about the Intel chip; what about the AMD processor (it gets a whole sentence and a half)? If this is supposed to be a "battle", it seems that most of the comparison has already been done in favor of Intel before the event even takes place, if this article is any reference. :P
    • by LarsWestergren (9033) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @09:54AM (#16305681) Homepage Journal
      Ok, so we have all this neat info about the Intel chip; what about the AMD processor (it gets a whole sentence and a half)? If this is supposed to be a "battle", it seems that most of the comparison has already been done in favor of Intel before the event even takes place, if this article is any reference. :P

      Ooh, but dont' count out AMD yet! According to the nifty diagram from TFA, the Windsor has a "HT1.0", and the Altair a "HT3.0", and I can't see anything like that for the Intel processors. I don't know what a HT1.0 is, but I'm TERRIBLY excited about it, let me tell you.

      More bullet points or higher numbers in a press release indicates a superior system much more clearly than any real life performance tests.
      • by prefect42 (141309)
        HyperTransport. I believe 3.0 is twice as fast as the current incarnation, but could be wrong.
        • Re:One sided (Score:5, Informative)

          by Wdomburg (141264) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @11:07AM (#16306903)
          The specifications list bandwidth for the 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 specs as 6.4, 11.2, and now 20.8GB/s respectively. AMD is jumping from 1.0 to 3.0. They're actually pushing a bit more than the original spec on the current processors though, since the spec originally only included bus speeds of up to 800MHz and they've got it running at 1000MHz which bumps throughput to 8.0GB/s. So, assuming they max bus speed, it'll be about two and a half times faster.

          This is where I think AMD gets themselves a big win. Intel's FSB, even clocked at 1333MHz (actually it's 333MHz QDR, but we'll not quibble) pushes only 10.6GB/s. And that's not accounting for the off-die memory controller. Even with dual buses (like the 5000 series chipsets tout) they only just barely have enough aggregate throughput to handle memory transfers.
          • by MojoStan (776183)

            This is where I think AMD gets themselves a big win. Intel's FSB, even clocked at 1333MHz (actually it's 333MHz QDR, but we'll not quibble) pushes only 10.6GB/s. And that's not accounting for the off-die memory controller. Even with dual buses (like the 5000 series chipsets tout) they only just barely have enough aggregate throughput to handle memory transfers.

            TFA was about AMD's and Intel's future single-processor desktop platforms, so it didn't mention updates to Intel's current server platform that you

  • Processer speed as well as cores are just numbers to me. The only thing high processer speed means to me is that I am able to write unefficient code and get away with it. For(int i = 0; i9000;i++){For(int j = 0; j9000;j++){For(int l = 0; l9000;l++){System.out.println("More Cores")}}}
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      // May as well use all the cores...
      int i,j,l;
      fork();
      fork();
      for(i = 0; i<9000;i++)
        for(j = 0; j<9000;j++)
          for(l = 0; l<9000;l++)
            printf("More Cores");
  • I've mocked intel in previous threads for not beating AMD by a much larger margin with core2 than they actually did. This stuff (mentioned in post) is the kind of performance jump I was expecting to see. Bravo! If they get this stuff out the door ontime, Intel just might make it back onto my vendor list.
  • Interesting. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @09:53AM (#16305667) Homepage Journal
    Intel is going to need that HUGE cache because of it's limited FSB. It will be interesting to see how they do side by side.
    The AMD with it's Hyper-transport could have an advantage over the Intel chip but right now it is all pie in the sky.
    I wish that AMD had access to the Intel Fab tech. Just how fast and low power would their chips be if they where 65nm right now like Intel's?
    • by sgt scrub (869860)
      Just how fast and low power would their chips be if they where 65nm

      That is where I was going with my post so I'll just add this. If Intel can retool to .45 before AMD gets to .65 then I can't forsee any kind of battle. AMD has the edge on everything else, IMHO. Unfortunately, the die size is what allows for the best performance/heat and that is what is important to customers these days.

      As far as the cache expectations go, I don't think Intel will go that high. Your right. They will need it to keep inst
      • by shawnce (146129)
        Intel was supposed to have 4M cache on the core 2 duo and it is only 2.


        You may want to visit Intel's site... several of the Core 2 Duo based processors have 4 MiB shared L2 caches (X6800, E6700, E6600, Xeon 51xx).
        • by shawnce (146129)
          oops... I also meant to list the mobile Core 2 Duo (Merom) with 4 MiB cache: T7600, T7400, T7200
        • by sgt scrub (869860)
          Note to self. Self, Intel's release specifications are for what will eventually be on the later and high end version of the product. See also the note to self titled: "Things you want but will most likely not be available in the product until you have purchased something else".

          I stand corrected.
    • by Dr. Spork (142693)
      AMD may not have access to Intel fab tech, but they do have access to IBM fab tech. This may be moving forward more slowly than Intel, but maybe on a more solid foundation with Silicon-on-Insulator. It's true that Intel made more progress in fab tech than people realized. The progress was largely invisible until they started fabbing something better than the dreadful Netburst cores. Now they seem to be way ahead, but for the first time next year, AMD will be able to crank out some serious volume thanks to F
    • by grumpyman (849537)
      I wish that AMD had access to the Intel Fab tech. Just how fast and low power would their chips be if they where 65nm right now like Intel's?


      Aie... Can you imagine Intel/AMD merge? When we have that we'll all yell and holla about the monopoly.

    • I don't think the FSB is really as much of a limitation as you think. For one, the FSB bandwidth matches the memory bus bandwidth. Sure, there is other I/O, but that's much lower order of magnitude, and that memory bus bandwidth is what would be the limiting factor on AMD's chip as well. Hypertransport isn't necessarily what makes AMD's system better, what helps them more is the on-die memory bus to get better latency.
      • by dfghjk (711126)
        Exactly! When you add more processors with AMD you add more memory controllers. When you add more cores to a single processor that's not true. People seem not to grasp that here.
      • by LWATCDR (28044)
        You may be right but the proof will be when we can test both system.
        until then it is all guess work.
        I will make one prediction. Both of them will be bloody fast.
  • by backwardMechanic (959818) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @10:04AM (#16305835) Homepage
    I've often wondered, what are these new instruction Intel keep thinking up? Are they some sort of fancy array processing, new addressing modes? I'm curious. Whatever happened to RISC?
  • Penryn new instructions = PNI = SSE4

    Prescott new instructions = PNI = SSE3

    Therefore SSE3 = SSE4...?

    Strikes me that Intel is running out of buzzwords! Was the marketing dept. severely depleted in the last round of purges?

    THe next 12 months or so are going to be a very interesting time for the CPU world. All Intel needs to do it get their chips' idling power down into the same ballpark as AMD, and AMD need that 65nm process in volume *now*! I've actually been finding myself forcing myself not to look at compu
    • by Afrosheen (42464)
      Yeah it seems like the processor wars are really heating up. The days when every PC had PC100 or PC133 ram are way over, but those days lasted *years*. It was 'good enough' for a very long time. PC3200 had a good run but DDR2 is just beginning to replace it, and next year we'll be dealing with DDR3.

        I guess there's not alot to complain about. At least it's not more-valuable-than-platinum-per-ounce Rambus.
    • by Ant P. (974313)
      Well, they could've made it a distinct acronym by calling it "Penryn New Instruction Set", but I don't think that'd go down too well with their marketing department.
  • I used to upgrade systems about every 3 years when CPU speed typically tripled or more.
    So my first system was a 486-25.
    Second system was a P-90.
    Third was a 300MHz AMD.
    Fourth was 1.2 GHz AMD.
    Current system is a P4 2.7 GHz and it's at least 3 years old. And I don't feel any urgency to upgrade my basic system, perhaps a video card and some more RAM instead.

    I simply don't see that CPU horsepower increasing in the steps like it used to. Yes, I understand multicore, more-cache, hyperthreaded CPUs are going to o
    • You'll be happy to know that CPU speed has, in fact, tripled in the least three years. I've got a 2.8GHz P4, and the high-end Core 2 Duo and Athlon FX chips fit your criteria.

      I might celebrate my computer's third birthday by replacing it. Then again, I can't imagine what I would need to do three times faster.
    • by Sloppy (14984)
      Yes, I understand multicore, more-cache, hyperthreaded CPUs are going to offer performance not indicated by something as simple as CPU speed, but is it THAT much?
      It depends. What do you use your computer for? A new multi-core computer won't load Nautilus (*snore*) much faster than your 300 MHz one, but it may "make -j2" over twice as fast as your 2.7 GHz P4.
    • by dfghjk (711126)
      Yes, it is. When you consider that you can get dual-core processors with higher clockrates and vastly superior cores than your P4, expecting a 3x improvement (roughly) over what you have isn't out of the question. Whether that benefits you or not is another question. As processors get faster, less and less software ultimately benefits from the speed especially when your IO doesn't improve at the same rate and tasks can't be made to take advantage of multiprocessing.
    • by mnmn (145599)
      You sir havent discovered the joys of using a Core2 Duo chip with the latest round of graphics cards and a .75 TB drive.
      The original P4 @ 2.7 is rather crap. But then again maybe the apps you use dont need more than a PII really.
    • by Ant P. (974313)
      In my own experience, it's not necessary to upgrade at all. Just offer to "recycle" other people's discarded hardware for no charge. You'll still be about 3 years behind the curve, but you'll have it all at others' expense. Plus, it's helping the environment.
      • by toddestan (632714)
        In my own experience, it's not necessary to upgrade at all. Just offer to "recycle" other people's discarded hardware for no charge. You'll still be about 3 years behind the curve, but you'll have it all at others' expense. Plus, it's helping the environment.

        On the other hand, the new computers at my office are 3.0Ghz P4's with 512MB of ram, and are less powerful than my aging Socket A system. Even 3 year old technology is still considered "new" by many people - certainly different from the old days. Back
    • by adisakp (705706)
      Current system is a P4 2.7 GHz

      If you upgrade when performance triples, the Core 2 Duos with 4MB L2 are at least 3-4X faster for any tasks that will multithread in raw CPU than your current CPU. They're almost 2X faster in single threaded tasks as well.
  • Yorkfield will feature Penryn New Instructions (PNI) or more officially known as SSE4 with 50 more new instructions.

    I hope they come up with a new acronym. PNI is already used for Prescott New Instructions.

  • The Altair, AMD's Quad-Core CPU, being named for the first widely available home computer, the Altair 8800, is just too fun.

    Let's hope AMD's altair is more useful.
    • by rcamera (517595)
      my altair is extremely usefull. without it, i'd have to stand downstairs and hold the door to my office open all day.
    • by mnmn (145599)
      Wait till you hear of Intel's new Commodore 64. Its a 64-core chip on its way to the 80 core.
  • The biggest diff between the two, in my opinion, is the drastically different methodolgy they took to acheive 4-core status.

    Intel took two dual cores and packaged them in one unit (but inside that unit they are actually just two separate dual core CPUs) whereas AMD has made an actual quad core single die CPU.

    I'm not saying Intel's method is wrong or even disadvantaged, just that it's quite different. Intel will therefore get to market much quicker than AMD, I beleive, but once bother are on the shelves (sa

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