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Comment: Re:You seem to think .NET is a language (Score 1) 330

by Guspaz (#48644329) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Up To the Job?

There are dozens of languages that compile to the .NET CLI, including BASIC, C++, Ruby, PHP, Java, JavaScript, Python, Lisp, Pascal, Perl, Scheme, etc. C# is the most popular language to compile to the CLI, yes, but almost any other common language out there can be used too.

Comment: Re:3 minutes is slow? (Score 5, Interesting) 128

by Guspaz (#48638125) Attached to: Tesla About To Start Battery-Swap Pilot Program

It seems like they're going to be doing part or all of the battery swap manually, so the improvement from 3 minutes down back to the target of 90 seconds is more about getting everything automated again rather than simply improving the process. It's not practical to roll out large numbers of battery swap stations all over the world if they need a pit crew at each one.

From their press release, it sounds like the culprit is the additional armour that was added to the car to avoid damage to the battery packs from road debris. The original swap demonstration was fully automated, but then they went and stuck a bunch of other stuff on the underbody, invalidating their existing automation work for it.

Comment: Re: From practical experience... (Score 1) 216

by Guspaz (#48629985) Attached to: What Will Microsoft's "Embrace" of Open Source Actually Achieve?

You can buy hardware with lower-power Intel chips from NewEgg, you just can't buy the CPU by itself. It's not in your price range, but here's a Zotac mini computer for $380 (which includes the RAM and SSD):

They also sell numerous tablets/laptops/etc with that processor.

For an Intel motherbaord/CPU/RAM combo, you're looking at around $40 for the motherboard (all these prices from NewEgg US), $30 for 4GB of RAM, leaving you up to $130 for the processor. That puts it at an Intel i3-4360, a high-clocked dual-core Haswell part.

For AMD's part, assuming the same CPU budget, you're looking at an A10-6800K.

Right off the bat we can notice a disparity in TDP, being 54W on the Intel chip and 100W on the AMD chip.

In terms of performance, AnandTech Bench conveniently has both of those chips in their system. The benchmarks show that the Intel chip is faster (sometimes substantially) in almost every benchmark, be it single or multithreaded... And all that while using much less power.

After looking up those results, though, I realized that that AMD chip was a Richland, while there is the newer Kaveri cores available. There is also a Kaveri CPU at the same $130 pricepoint (but with a lower clockspeed/model number), the A10-7700K, with a TDP of 95W. That one is unfortunately not in Bench, but looking at other sides indicates that it manages to narrow the gap substantially, while still generally being slower than the i3 chip. But in order to do this, it uses 10W more power at idle and 26W more power at load.

Intel's got Haswell chips at decent clockspeeds down to roughly the $40 pricepoint, where I expect they'd still compete favourably with AMD. Below that is nothing, and I suspect there might be a point somewhere between $40 and $130 where AMD makes more sense.

All this said, I'm disappointed in AMD. I don't want Intel to beat them, I want AMD to put out parts that are competitive in price, performance, AND power consumption. Most of my early CPUs were AMD chips. I've owned a K6-2, a Duron, and an Athlon XP, and all were fantastic. The Athlon 64 was also great. But ever since then, AMD has been behind, and the lack of competition has certainly not helped the market. I keep hoping that AMD will put out something new that wows me, a completely new architecture that shakes things up like Conroe did for Intel or ClawHammer did for AMD. But thus far they seem to keep iterating on the same non-competitive designs.

Unfortunately, it seems like ARM is more likely than AMD to bring competition to the market as they keep slowly creeping up the TDP ladder, and we're just now starting to see them going head-to-head with Intel in the PC space with lower-end Chromebooks. nVidia's Denver core is supposed to be competitive with Haswell in terms of performance/power, but I can't find any benchmarks that directly compare them.

Comment: Re: From practical experience... (Score 1) 216

by Guspaz (#48627513) Attached to: What Will Microsoft's "Embrace" of Open Source Actually Achieve?

It's not entirely clear to me that ARM chips offer better power efficiency than Intel chips when comparing modern parts at similar performance targets. There's not traditionally been much in the way of comparison points between them, because only very recently have ARM chips and Intel chips begun overlapping in terms of power envelopes.

I'd be interested in seeing a comparison between nVidia's Denver cores (or the A15) and Intel's new Core M parts. I believe they have similar TDPs.

Comment: Re: From practical experience... (Score 1) 216

by Guspaz (#48627475) Attached to: What Will Microsoft's "Embrace" of Open Source Actually Achieve?

So, if NewEgg doesn't sell it, then Intel doesn't make it? Intel's lower power parts are packaged to be soldered directly onto the motherboards of tablets and notebooks, places where people don't replace CPUs. NewEgg doesn't sell those parts. It's also worth noting that TDP is going to be the maximum power draw, but isn't going to tell you how much power it takes to accomplish a given task. Two CPUs with the same TDP can exhibit dramatic differences in battery life in mobile products.

Your implication was that AMD offers better power efficiency than Intel chips. This is false. Intel's parts offer either substantially more performance at similar power consumption, or substantially less power consumption at similar performance. This is true from tablets through servers. But AMD is still competitive on price. This has led to them holding onto some market share, but it means that they have minimal presence in the mobile space, since power efficiency is a big deal in tablets and ultrabooks.

Comment: Re: From practical experience... (Score 3, Informative) 216

by Guspaz (#48623363) Attached to: What Will Microsoft's "Embrace" of Open Source Actually Achieve?

i3 processors start at a TDP of 11.5W and are almost as fast as those 25w amd chips despite using less than half as much power. AMD chips have not been able to come remotely close to the performance per watt of Intel's chips since Conroe launched in 2006. They compete on performance per dollar, not power efficiency.

What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind. -- Thomas Hewitt Key, 1799-1875