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AMD Unveils Barcelona Quad-Core Details 206

Posted by kdawson
from the four-in-hand dept.
mikemuch writes, "At today's Microprocessor Forum, Intel's Ben Sander laid out architecture details of the number-two CPU maker's upcoming quad-core Opterons. The processors will feature sped-up floating-point operations, improvements to IPC, more memory bandwidth, and improved power management. In his analysis on ExtremeTech, Loyd Case considers that the shift isn't as major as Intel's move from NetBurst to Core 2, but AMD claims that its quad core is true quad core, while Intel's is two dual-cores grafted together."
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AMD Unveils Barcelona Quad-Core Details

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  • Re:wha? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @02:20AM (#16389511)
    AMD is limited to claims nowadays!
  • Once again... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tygerstripes (832644) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @02:49AM (#16389647)
    Firstly, can I just say that stating that "the shift isn't as major as Intel's move from NetBurst to Core 2" is like... er... comparing a decent incremental car improvement with swapping a bicylce for a car. Or something. I'm not saying Core2Duo isn't great tech, but look; Netburst was shit. Everyone knows it. They flogged that horse for far too long, so comparing on the grounds of the proportional improvement is not a useful comment. It's like when the thick kid in school got the "most improved" award, and everyone sat there and went "Well yeah, but what was his alternative?".

    As for the quad-core thing, it's the same story all over again. Intel rush out a solder-together-two-chips job to beat the competition to market, and then the actual innovators come out with something coherent that works more efficiently etc.

    I'm not saying the AMD will necessarily be better. What I'm saying is I don't care who gets to market 2 months earlier. I want the better chip, and I can live with the mystery for a few weeks.

    Although, frankly, I can barely afford to eat having just built a decent Core2Duo rig, so I won't be investing either way just yet...

  • by cperciva (102828) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @02:49AM (#16389649) Homepage
    AMD claims that its quad core is true quad core, while Intel's is two dual-cores grafted together

    Note to AMD: We don't care about the implementation details. We care about performance, cost, and power consumption; the clock speed, cache sizes, and how cores talk to each other is irrelevant.

    For all I care, Intel's "quad core" processor could be using a team of psychic circus midgets.
  • by Mikachu (972457) <jjburke@NOSpam.hunter.cuny.edu> on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @02:58AM (#16389695) Homepage

    So a Siamese twin is not really a true twin because they are two persons grafted together? :)

    No, actually, it's more like saying that siamese twins are not actually two people in the same body because they're grafted together.
  • by wysiwia (932559) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @04:07AM (#16390043) Homepage
    I won't buy any AMD processors anymore until AMD clears its socket plans and guaranties a minimum of 3 year availability for processors on a socket. See also http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=19821 5&cid=16242757 [slashdot.org].

    O. Wyss
  • by tygerstripes (832644) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @04:17AM (#16390103)
    Is that meant to be sarcastic?

    You don't care because you don't understand. Performance, cost and power consumption are directly affected by such things as clock-speed, cache, core integration, architecture etc, and different aspects offer different advantages for different uses.

    If it were that easy to put a reliable figure on Performance, the Megahurtz shambles would never have happened.

  • by somersault (912633) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @04:42AM (#16390215) Homepage Journal
    Why - do you think todays processors won't still be useful in 3 years? Most games don't take advantage of current technology for a year or more I'd say, and your office applications/OS are going to run fine on any of today's decently specced systems (3000+, 3Ghz Pentium, doesn't even matter if they only have one core). The only people that can truly make use of multicore chips would be scientists and people who do any other kind of intensive parallel processing, like like graphics rendering. In 3 years you'll probably want a new mobo anyway to take advantage of whatever new-fangled technology has come out. I guess you could say I'm becoming less of a geek these days even though I'm an IT manager, but if my computer works, and plays the games I like sufficiently (say 1280x1024@60fps with details maxed out), I don't see the need for upgrading my processor (I'd upgrade my graphics card before anything else, since graphics cards come out more often and usually would have a larger effect on performance from one generation to the next).

    Since most of the chipset is becoming integrated into the processor these days then your argument will make more sense over time, but if you were more patient and waited for things to come down in price, as they always do, and rather quicker than I expect sometimes, then you'd be able to buy a new mobo, ram and processor for the same price as the new processor would have cost 6 months previously (not meant to be a perfect example, I haven't been following the prices of stuff since I built my last system a couple of years ago, but the idea is sound :p )
  • by Visaris (553352) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @07:25AM (#16391133) Journal
    Note to AMD: We don't care about the implementation details. We care about performance, cost, and power consumption; the clock speed, cache sizes, and how cores talk to each other is irrelevant.

    AMD it taking the route that will give better performance. I hear you saying that soldering some copper pipes with rubber-bands would be fine as long as it would perform. The point is that it will work... just not very well.

    If you don't think I'm right, look at Intel's own product roadmap. They plan to release a new version of Kentsfield that has all four cores on one peice of Si, with a shared cache, just like AMD is about to do... only later in 2007 after AMD's version comes out. When the two major chip companies move in the same direction, usually that means it is the right one. The only difference is that AMD is going to get there sooner because they didn't bother to play around with this MCM (Multi-Chip-Module) junk. Intel just wants to get to market first; they don't seem to put quality first.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @07:52AM (#16391383)
    Like how he missed the world processing, file/print sharing, directory/identity
    services, internet, internet search booms? The reason why they're ahead in those
    fields is because they used (questionable) business tactics to claw their way to
    the front.

    The "computer in every home" thing wasn't a profound prediction: there was a
    big dollar sign pointing there from his business model.

    Aside from the fact that there isn't really a (PC) computer in every USA home,
    if we do generously concede Bill that one prediction, he has missed a great
    deal more to really be considered a computer visionary.

    A business visionary, perhaps.
  • Re:Once again... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JebusIsLord (566856) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @11:09AM (#16394359) Homepage
    Well that's not really completely true though, is it?

    I mean, if you read about the K8L architecture, they can throttle the voltage and clock rate for each core independently, and all 4 share a common L3 cache as well. Plus there are additional hypertransport links for inter-core communications.

    The Intel solution has none of these, as a direct or indirect result of not being a "true" multicore setup (technologically very similar to a quad-cpu setup, really, let alone two dual core cpus). This doesn't mean they won't still be faster (Core2 is a better design it seems, despite these limitations). And it doesn't make me a "fanboi" for discussing it.

    My prediction is that Intel will hold the performance lead, but by a narrower margin.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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