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Intel Says No SMP Support For Pentium 4 180

the Man in Black writes: "AMD dropping the Mustang core to concentrate on an SMP solution seemed to bode ill at the time, but it seems that this was the wisest possible decision, given the below news. ZDNet is reporting that Intel will not have dual-processor support for the Pentium 4 at launch time ... indeed, not until the second half on next year, when the Pentium 4 is re-released with a new core."
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Intel says no SMP support for Pentium 4

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  • Intel is blowing it big time here. The single cpu desktop market is over-saturated! Inventories are way too high! Its the server chips that are in demand. A single CPU server is like... well... crap.
  • You mean encoding!=encryption. Say it ain't so.
  • So they will buy a Alpha or SPARC with a lower MHz speed over a P4 that is slower in the real performance figures.

    I take it you didn't see the SPEC performance figures published the other day. The P4 is the fastest microprocessor in the world according to SPECint, and the second fastest (to Alpha) in SPECfp.

  • I'd say it's probably because making a dual-processor system is hard and takes time. The P4 is a new processor with a new core. I suppose they could have made the decision to release single- and dual-processor systems at the same time, but that would probably mean waiting until next year for both That doesn't help Intel or their customers. Or AMD's customers, for that matter. Incidentally, how many years has it been before AMD's first dual-processor system? What are THEY smoking?

  • Well, my sig contains a preincrement, but the "++i" is not meant to be interpreted as an elitist assertion that "I am assigned a higher value" or anything like that -- it's just the way the program works. Sorry for any confusion.

    David Gould
  • now that's funny ;-]
  • Intel has announced that the dual-processor Pentium 4's won't be available until Q2 2001: They will come. Just not when it debuts.
  • by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Friday November 17, 2000 @07:53AM (#617924) Homepage
    Mainly because their manufacturing process sucks. Chips faster than 500 MHz do exist, however:
    • Motorola can't churn them out at halfway-decent yields.
    • IBM can turn them out well, but thanks to some truly twisted licensing deal with Motorola, they're not allowed to sell them until Motorola gets a decent process.

    That's the short version of things, anyway.
  • I like your idea for naming the P5 the P-P-P-P- Pentium.

    It could go "P-P-P-Pick up a Pentium" and feature five dancing pengiums (a la Penguin buscuits) to replace the blue men adverts.

    Why not go the whole hog and call the P5 the Penguin, then you could "P-P-P-P pick up a Penguin".

    All the newbies would start to think Intel=Penguin=Linux.

  • True, but on the flipside, _IF_ they actually come out with SMP in Q2 like planned, they will still be on scheduale. The reworked core may not be as major as you think, and I'd bet that Compaq and others aren't even planning on looking to P4 until early 2002 anyway. This still gives them over a year of P4 and over 6 months of the modified SMP P4
  • Probably "not doable"... since SMP support requires circuitry on the CPU to handle the synchronization of the CPU's.
  • I've no plans to buy a P4 in the next year, anyway. On the other hand, it probably means quite a bit to the people who actually will buy them. Personally, I've been running SMP for several years, and when I "upgraded" to a much faster single processor box, I was so disappointed that I will not consider another single CPU desktop PC. It is much faster, but when the processor is busy it lags in a way that my old box didn't.
  • Seriously. It's all marketting hype. Apple's dual G4's are mostly useless until OS X 1.0 ships...

    Well, that's not entirely true. For apps which use OS 9's MP library (like Photoshop or After Effects) there is a dramatic improvement on an MP Mac.
  • by yawhcihw ( 171760 ) on Friday November 17, 2000 @06:39AM (#617930)
    Ok, so SMP is not supported at launch time. Is this the same "not supported" as Celeron SMP, which many people have in their box right now? Could a mobo maker come out with a board that allows P4 SMP, and just not have it supported by intel?

    Or is this "not supported" as in not doable?
  • First of all I haven't seen any benchmarks yet, but the 1.2 gig tbird is probably going to be on pace with the 1.4gig P4. Add the fact that it can't dual and the tbirds soon will then there is more trouble in Intel land. So they tell us its going to be another 6-9 months to get the dualed up? Ouch. Good luck Intel, you're gonna need it.
  • by DeadMeat (TM) ( 233768 ) on Friday November 17, 2000 @06:41AM (#617932) Homepage
    So they decided to focus on their single-processor customers first. At least this way customers will be able to get at least a single-processor P4 board on the P4 launch date.

    Oh, wait. Damn.

  • Now AMD really will get the chance to conquer the big-end market!

    And that's what we want? What we want is AMD taking over 50% of the market so we can see two giants bashing each other's heads in with us being the beneficiaries of it all. I wouldn't Intel losing some market share to Transmeta though...3 major players would be really cool...
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Friday November 17, 2000 @06:41AM (#617934) Homepage Journal
    When the much anticipated Piv launches on Monday, what will the commercials be like?

    Revive Burger Kings flop Herb ads

    Symbolic sheep or lemmings leaping off a cliff, but falling much faster now.

    Bunny suited dancers and 'Who let the dogs out'

    Something so incomprehensible you're not ever positive it's an Intel ad

    A big chart illustrating how it's nearly as fast as the Piii

    Co-venture ad with Alcoa, on the virtue of 1Lb aluminum heatsinks

    The invisible man showing off the available motherboards against a black background (indistinguishable from your set being off)

    Other ideas?


  • by imac.usr ( 58845 ) on Friday November 17, 2000 @06:42AM (#617935) Homepage
    even Apple has a dual-processor system [apple.com] available, fer chrissakes. Soon AMD-baseds dual-processor motherboards will be available. What are the guys at Intel smoking?

    Maybe they're trying to emulate Motorola's slide into desktop-processor oblivion...

  • With the current cure it is "not doable." The reason was went over about 1-2 months ago. I forgot the specifics, but i'm sure definately it's not doable.

    They're going to release a new core later that will support SMP supportedly later though. This time gap lets competition get in and match their speeds (if there's a speed increase at all).
  • by FeeDBaCK ( 42286 ) on Friday November 17, 2000 @06:43AM (#617937) Homepage
    Strangely enough, the Pentium 4 is actually targeted at the market where Intel is being hurt the most by AMD, the home computer. The Pentium 3 has been getting thrashed by AMD's chips in the home market. The home market is also where MHz (or now GHz) count. I could create a 2GHz 386 and it would probably sell better than anything else on the market, even if it was inferior in every other way. This is once again proof that the common Joe user is entirely overwhelmed by the actual differences in different solutions. I mean... the bigger the number, the better it should be, right?

    The "new" Pentium 4 is already slated to be obsoleted by the next Pentium 4 chip/chipset. I honestly believe that Intel is releasing the P4 to slow the spread of AMD. On the server side, they are still pushing the Pentium 3 Xeon line... and probably will until they get the P4 going in SMP where they'll probably make a "P4 Xeon" so that they can rape companies even harder.

    What I am really curious about it exactly how viable AMD's chips are going to actually be in the server market. They are going to need to make large cache versions of the chip... not to mention, does the 760MP chipset have the scalability? Can it support Quad and 8-way SMP configurations? AMD may overtake Intel on the lower-end server market by offering a Dual CPU solution, but unless they are capable of these other configurations, Intel will still be king in the server room. Remember, one of the main differences between the P3 and the P3 Xeon is the extra "glue" logic that Intel has added to the chips to allow for more than Dual CPU configurations.

    I really am looking forward to seeing what AMD has to offer in this area. I also can't wait to see the great commercials that Intel puts out to advertise the new chip. Those blue guys crack me the hell up. Just think, in a couple months, we'll have Joe User going to Best Buy and picking out his 1.5GHz P4 systems out of the showcase.

    For a uniprocessor system, I think that the P4 may actually reclaim the crown for fastest chip in the x86 market... I just wonder how long Intel will be able to hold out with AMD right on their back.
  • G4, G4, G4...

    motorola should ditch Altivec, and invest some time and money putting a whole shitload of full-speed L2 cache on the G3, and crank that motherfucker up in clockspeed.

  • there've been multiprocessor extensions in MacOS since 7.6 - just not a lot of applications to take advantage of them.
  • man, if the fuckers who put together these intel boxes don't do something about their memory bandwidth problem, they aren't going anywhere in the server room.
  • Since AMD's licensed the SMP from DEC [from the ALPHA's] (and If memory serves me right, that can support upto 14 CPU's).
  • That's not how to burn karma. Here's how to burn karma.

    Slashdot sucks, you closed minded linux zealots. Your OS does too. That's right, I said it: WINDOWS IS BETTER THAN LINUX!!! One more time, just for fun: WINDOWS IS BETTER THAN LINUX!!! Damn that's fun. If you think that Windows is so crappy, then why don't you do something about it? That's right, you have created a virtually useless "OS" that averages two lines of code per developer ("developer" == 1337 5kr1p7 K1dd13), explained on jumbled buletin boards written by people who don't know the difference between "then" and "than". You tried to make Netscape better, and I haven't seen so many bugs since Mandrake 7! Do something fun with your free time rather than rewriting software so you don't have to pay for it. Get a life!

    ...and if that doesn't work, you can always insult the British. Happy anti-whoring!
  • lea edi,Napster.DownloadStream
    mov ecx,[Napster.Buffersize]
    repnz SDMIcrypt
    mov ax,1234
    int 4f
  • The Celeron isn't really an SMP-incapable chip. The microprocessor itself has full SMP support, with the only thing keeping users from using a Cel in a dual processor system is fancy packaging. That's why it was so easy to make a mobo like the aBit BP6.
    With P4s, on the other hand, the processor core doesn't support it, so the closest you're going to get is a Beowulf cluster.
  • Consumer chip? Intel targets it at the workstation market, heavy one's especially. This really puts AMD in a nice spot (if they'll bring that 760MP chipset earlier than 2/4 2001), because SMP support is a pre in this market. The Foster will be the Xeon version of the P4. But I have to agree, the P4 isn't meant for large servers or midium ones, small ones however might be considered a market for it... I don't expect that much of the P4, I have strong beliefs that the Mustang will be a lot better AND cheaper... and the SMP support will guarantee a success. TGEN
  • The author deserves it, and the irony is irresistable!
  • Yeah, but the lack of mainstream SMP support by Intel (which started with the i815) is a screw-job for people who run NT/Linux/NetWare/whatever on x86 servers.

    A year or two ago, Compaq and friends were selling buttloads of high-profit SMP-capable systems on BX as 'workgroup servers' or whatever. ('Workgroup' serving being NT's dominant market.) Now, these boxes, in the $3K to $6K range, are being pushed uniprocessor-only, and have less scalability than the machines they replaced, and might well be slower than a 2-way BX machine.

    So, yeah, this doesn't affect the $10K+ big Xeon boxes, but it does make an opening in the lower-range for AMD and the 760MP chipset.
  • Actually that's not entirely true. Intel does in fact have legal protection on certain numbers, 5 not being one of them. I can't quickly locate the relevant info, but the copyright/legal trouble, was that they wouldn't get to name the pentium the 586..so Pentium came out.
  • I hear it's because initially most OS X apps will run in the OS 9 compatibility layer, which is a VM running OS 9. It's not a happy solution, because OS 9 is less well behaved than Windows 3.1 apps running on an NT box (which is a very comparable situation). When OS X comes out, it can use one processor for OS 9 and everybody is happy, since most people using it will have SMP. Not to mention the all good side effects of having SMP for everything else in OS X when the older stuff becomes mostly irrelevant.
  • Whoah, whoah, whoah... Hold the phone... I haven't been watching TV in over a year. You mean to tell me that the Blue Man Group sold out to Intel? Oh dear...

    The funniest thing is that there is actually a profile of Blue Man Group here [apple.com] on the Apple site because they use Macs in their act.
  • I don't think the dual [name your variation] will flood the market very soon... AMD's 760MP isn't going to be available for more than half a year... In the meantime, the P4 will already be well know and consolidated in the market.

  • The guy on the computer next to me was looking into buying a p4 off of ebay (he's not all that bright) and was showing me all this stuff about how great the p4's are. unfortunately for him...noone would want to get a p4 because you have to get a brand new system, new mobo, powersupply and the heatsink weighs 454 grams (1 lbs) Anyone who buys one of the first runs of p4s can't be all that with it. Mr. know-it-all in the next computer will have lots of fun with his supposed p4 system.

  • I already tested these machines and they were quad-CPU Itanium running @500MHz.

    More information here:
    http://www.suse.de/en/news/PressReleases/Itanium.h tml [www.suse.de]

    Here's the output of 'cat/proc/cpuinfo' (I ripped the CPU numbers just in case and just showed the last CPU to reduce this message's size):


    processor : 3
    vendor : GenuineIntel
    family : IA-64
    model : Itanium
    revision : 0
    archrev : 0
    features : standard
    cpu number : xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    cpu regs : 4
    cpu MHz : 500.053000
    itc MHz : 500.053000
    BogoMIPS : 497.02

    So I now wonder if I tested real machines or were they just beta PCs or simulating such an architecture ? Anyone has information about these ? SourceForge also has such PCs, I don't know however if they are SMP but SuSe's ones were definitely SMP.

  • Actually, your right, I don't use Photoshop much. I was referring to 3D modelling mostly, and while I mentioned that I wasn't sure where video editing, I forgot to add image editing. Speaking of which, anyone know a rough ratio of how all workstations sold are used across the various fields (3D, DV, Imaging)? I assume that most workstations sold are for 3D, since every workstation I see advertised is for 3D.

  • a little while ago I got a dual 466 celeron rig, and I'm never going back to a single processor board. The reponsiveness is amazing.

    Sure not every app is build for smp, so what the os balances the apps, you can run more stuff!!!!

    And my next upgrade will be to a dual athlon, PIII are way over priced.

  • And with this "new" system, are there still ribbon cables(which are a PITA) present for attaching drives? I'd really like to see that phased out completely. Often I've had ribbon cables not be long enough, require twisting, etc(for 2 ide drives) or get in the cpu fan's way.
  • Looks like AMD did bring the dual board in at the right time.

    What do you mean by that? AMD still does not have dual support for Athlon and will not have an MP chipset (according to what they say at least) until Q2 2001.

  • If you paint your 386 Mauve, it will perform like a P4 (and even support SMP!)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I would be in favor of watching those three blue guys getting tied to a stake and set on fire. But maybe I'm just more cruel than most.
  • No, read the ZDNet article. It is literally there.
  • Want a server? Just pick one up in liquidation from a failed dotcom, they're dropping faster and faster.

    BTW, Sorry to any of you readers who've been differently employed by all that.


  • I don't doubt that it is there. I'm making fun of the monkey who wrote the article he heard encoding wrote encryption. (This is what I think he did at least) Life is just not worth living when you have to explain the joke.
  • Great, then we end up with a situation like there was in Detroit... The Big 3 churning out products that are virtually indistinguishable and of questionable quality, relying on tradition and brand recognition to ensure their share of the market.

    Then we get to wait until some new foreign company wants to come in and do things right...

  • Just as long as my CPU runs at a faster frequency than my roomate's, I will be happy. NO I dont want to see how many fps my machine gets versus yours.

    duh. did you even read the rest of his comment?

  • Point taken.

    However, you can't automatically say that the AMD 760MP is going to suck. You haven't seen it yet. Remember, the i820 was supposed to be a BX on Steroids, not the piece of crap it is now. It could be the next BX.

    Okay, even I doubt that, but if the best chipset available today is three or four years old, that has to tell you something about the sorry state of the chipset market right now.
  • You know, one of these days Intel is going to stop selling the BX. Intel has *not* made another chipset that can compare to the BX, and when it drops from the motherboard landscape, I imagine the AMD 760MP is going to look a lot more attractive.

    I mean Hell, the VIA chipsets are starting to look better than the Intel ones, after you remove the BX from the equation. VIA!

    So, by your reasoning, no SMP chipset will succeed once the BX is discontinued.

    (Pretzel logic at it's finest).
  • "This got me thinking that the name "Pentium" was Intel's way of avoiding calling their next chip the 586"

    maybe they could switch back to the old school naming system again. that means that the P4 would actually be an 886. 72 processors (and many many years) later, they develop the almighty 8086! HOORAY!

  • Actually 760MPs Mobos should be available late Q1. See here [pcstats.com]
  • Dammit, don't give their marketing folks ideas...
  • You're a genius!
    While Intel and AMD are working on their ancient 7th and 8th generations chips, I'll be releasing my 486 chips! They run at an unbelievable 10 MHz!!! Thats a full 8 numbers more than they pentium 4! And its only twice the price!

    -Elendale (</sarcasm>)
  • Not much choice will depend on things more than just speed. I'd just as soon stick with P3 Xeons at 700mhz than a 1.4ghz chip with a small cache, poor or no (n>2)-way SMP support, and based on boards that haven't been shown to be stable. There is more to life than clock-speed. There's even more to life than reliability and stability (there are reliable and stable solutions other than Intel, and at least so-far on uni systems AMD is actually one of them...)
    What is the pipelining architecture going to be like on these AMD duals? Will the SMP routing backplane be fast enough? Cache size?
    How do the two instruction sets compare? Can they both do the same things in-chip? Can one do them in fewer instructions than the other - and if so, how does this wind up modifying the clock speed / real performance gain ratios?

    There is also compatibility. Our first foray into using several AMD machines as single-proc servers was aborted because we had more problems with hardware and OS compatibilty than with P3's or even Celerons. We didn't give up on AMD completely, we just put the machines on corporate user desktops and vowed to try new AMD machines out one-at-a-time from now on and see if the problems get fixed...

    The actual comparisons will require some research, the information for which I can't find at this time - so what's the point of making judgements one way or the other regarding the tech?

    Regarding the marketplace - Intel is certainly responding to AMD in the home market making big gains with high clock-speed chips. That's fine for the home market, they can compete for clock-speed afficianados and maybe AMD's dual 1.2s will come out before Intel's dual 1.4s and there will be more competition and more scrambling by Intel to recapture home/gamer/office geek market share...

    But in the server room, and in the IT Depts run by people who know their stuff, the verdict isn't in yet regarding whether or not AMD can give Intel a run for their money...
  • it seems that intel is folowing the lead of Microsoft.

    Windows had 2 product lines. one was windows 9x and one was NT. They have recently released a slightly dummed down version of their high end product (NT) targeted at geeks/power users/business, their most popular line (win 9x) has been dummed down even more and is now the os of choice for "joe home user"

    Now if we look at Intel they seem to be doing the same thing:

    there once was a chip for everyone (pentium x range) and a chip for the diehard servers (xeon)
    Now the new version of intels chip for everyone has been dummed down (had its SMP support pulled) and is now targeted at "joe home multimeda watching user"
    Now all the powerusers who want smp and do some real processing have to move up a product line and get the more expensive Xeon chips.

    So we end up with cheeper chips for those who dont notice the difference and those who want professional power have to pay professional prices.

    bats = bugs
  • You all seem to be forgetting the biggest boon to us all...no more Blue Men. There are only three members of the group and unless they add a fourth member and change all their performance art pieces they are doomed unless Cyrix picks them up.
  • According to this press release [link.com] Intel has abandoned their quirky, colourful disco-dancing techs in technocolour cleansuits. They've decided to get serious about selling their wares, and are trying to appeal to a broader, more intelligent audience.

    They have George Foreman.

    "There's a party," she said,
    "We'll sing and we'll dance,
    It's come as you are."

  • Actually, I think the Pentium IV would be the 80786. Intel only used to increase the number for a new architecture, not has as they do these days with every enhancement. For instance, the difference between a 386SX and a 386DX was that the latter had a 32-bit bus, a pretty significant architectural difference. What counts is the core of the processor.

    Had Intel continued to do this, we would have had:
    80586+........Pentium MMX
    80686..........Pentium Pro
    80686DX.....Pentium II
    80686DX+...Pentium III
    80686SX+...Celeron FC-PGA
    80786..........Pentium IV

  • Intel usually targets new systems at servers.

    Not really. The P4 is a consumer chip. Sure, it might be used in small servers, but that's not where Intel make their money. You can bet that when Intel release a Xeon version of the P4, it'll scale to lots of CPUs. The Xeon line is what Intel expect to go in servers, not the current P4.

  • Fuck you monkey-humper, don't you know anything? You are a third-world sewer, just look into the fucking mirror. Asshole! What with all the monkey fucking you've been doing, I'm surprised you're not already dead from eubola.
  • Near as I can tell, there are a group of people on here who will come up with any excuse for Intel.

    1. "It's incompatible!". Which was a blatant lie.
    2. Sure it may be cheaper, but Intel is slightly faster, and _always_ will be!
    3. Sure, it's faster, but Intel has SMP!
    4. AMD may have SMP, but nobody knows how stable it will be.
    5. Intel's new chip may not have SMP, but people should still stick with old and slow because nobody knows how stable AMDs SMP will be. Only 31337 H4X0R5 will use AMD!

    I bet soon it will be: You should stick with Intel because they will be faster than AMD in their next generation. Or something equally stupid. Any excuse for Intel.

    One is tempted to wonder where these people's heads are. Or perhaps not, since most people don't like to think about smelly, dark places that are full of solid waste.

  • My favorite line:

    "It's possible that some of our sales force overstated the benefits of dual-capable CPU systems, unfortunately, by being overly critical of single-CPU-capable systems," said the executive, who asked not to be named.

    Gosh, I just can't imagine how that might have happened...
  • Thought for the day:

    Why do lots of people predecrement their names in sigs? Is it a sign they're feeling down.

    I'd much rather be on the way up....

    Instead of
    how about

  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Friday November 17, 2000 @06:54AM (#617982) Homepage Journal
    Maybe they'll do a spiffy perspective shot of the heatsink and play theme from 2001.

    If it's big, black and you can't figure out why you need one, it must be impressive!

    ...or a Cadillac .. or about to crash into the sun of Kakrafoon...


  • ...anything to do with aluminium (or aluminum)!!

    [Think heatsinks]
  • by deander2 ( 26173 ) <public@ke r e d . o rg> on Friday November 17, 2000 @06:56AM (#617984) Homepage
    personally, i don't know if i could ever go back to single proc machines. i've been doubling up since the p-pro.

    screw intel. my next machine will be a double amd box.
  • G what would those blue guys do for the pentium IV.....

    Add a fourth?


  • Dost it matter if it's not 'supported' as in Celeron?

    Are Compaq, Dell, IBM, etc. going to produce servers to sell to their clients unless Intel back them to the hilt?

    I highly doubt it, they have to much to risk, and even say if they did how many people would buy them?

    An SMP Celeron is a great development/home machine, but it would be madness to base anything business-critical on technology the manufacturers of which do not trust

  • That would be great for Apple, but not too good for Motorola. They need the Altivec to have the G4 compete against DSPs. The Altivec instructions are cool but, you are right, L2 cache would be cooler. IBM is however making some CPUs like this. The last I heard they were at 750MHz. No Altivec but they have the SMP and FPU of the G4!

  • Those gigahertz badboys suck up around 80+ watts of power. If you put two in a box you'll need like a 400watt power supply and *lots* of cooling.

    How convenient. High-end PC servers have >400watt power supplies and move more air than the jet stream. This is a non-issue.

  • What I am really curious about it exactly how viable AMD's chips are going to actually be in the server market. They are going to need to make large cache versions of the chip... not to mention, does the 760MP chipset have the scalability? Can it support Quad and 8-way SMP configurations?

    Well, AMD's website is being especially unhelpful, but I can tell you the CPU itself can handle SMP up to something like 31 processors. Unfortunately, I can not remember the precise number. The bus architecture of the athlon processor leads me to believe that it will be easier to support obscene numbers of CPUs with Athlon than with intel's chips, as well. The 760 chipset might only support two chips, but if it does, and it goes over well, look for 4, 8, and 24 way (!) SMP chipsets to follow.

  • Yes this muther is big. The P4's will be kicking off MAJOR heat. Hell, the freakin chipset needs a heatsink too. Not only that, the P4's are allegedly just all around fond of radiation. Hope you dont have an internal modem bucko, because the EMI is gonna make it swoon.

  • Time makes all things cheaper. I bought a Pentium II 333 dual with 256 MB of ECC RAM after it was 'non-fashionable' and only paid a total of $1000, and that includes the SCSI controller and three kickass IBM 4 GB disks (now running in RAID!), plus my 16MB TNT vid card and ensonique AudioPCI card. If I bought the same stuff now though, it probably wouldn't cost me over $500.

  • Multimedia encryption? What the hell is that?

    I guess this means the P4 will have DeCSS in microcode. ;)

  • by willy_me ( 212994 ) on Friday November 17, 2000 @08:59AM (#617993)
    The chip is designed to be produced and run efficiently . That's right, designed for a small die size (lower production costs) and lower power consumption. You thing Apple could make an fannless iMac with a P4? I think not.

    The G4 has a 4 stage pipeline (compared to 20 to the P4.) This is one of the reasons why it's so fast while only running at 500MHz (larger pipelines allow for greater speeds while decreasing equivalent performance.) It's also why it's got such a small die size and low power consumption. Now the G4e will move up to a 7 stage pipeline but that's still a far cry from the 20 the P4 has. This is good though. I would rather a good SMP OS using 2 CPUs at 1/2 the clockspeed rather then an equivalent chip costing twice and much and drawing four times the power. A dual 500G4 is faster then a 1GHz P3 when using a good OS and a threaded app. I seriously doubt a 1GHz P3 sells for less then $300 - a 500MHz G4 sells for ~$150.

    It's my belief that if it weren't for Microsoft's crappy non-SMP operating system, the 8x86 chips of today would be much different then they currently are. Even just putting multiple CPU cores in one chip should result is a significant performance boost (given the same overall die size.) Linux would benefit greatly from a chip like this!! ;)

    Having said that I must admit Motorola screwed up the the G4 design. They made a very efficient chip that runs at a maximun of 500MHz. Problem is the yields are so low it makes for chips that cost more then they should.

    ----- I want my G4 for under $75!!!!

    I know it sounds unreasonable, but technically quite possible with a modified chip design. I bet Nintendo is currently paying less then that! But the big question is, will it be the G4e? I hope Motorola learned something from this past disaster.....


  • Joint venture with Train for a home heating system


    Remember when TVs contained tubes and heated the house? (Well, I do anyway =o) Until now I had been under the impression that PC's were getting smaller. Not so, I see. Better pull those old Osborne cases [compududes.com] from the recycling heap for Piv Portables.

    Patient: Doctor, sometimes I have no feeling in my legs.

    Doctor: Do you have a Piv laptop?


  • This was well known about a year ago, when it was announved that the first P4s would be on a .18 micron process, and only after they switch to .13 micron would they release the server/workstation version of the Pentium 4.

    Anyway, do you really want two 50W processors inside your case? Wait a minute, I guess that's what a dual K7 system would look like anyway.
  • If Intel keeps delaying the Pentium 4, they might as well just skip it and go straight for the Pentium 5. This got me thinking that the name "Pentium" was Intel's way of avoiding calling their next chip the 586. So maybe Intel is afraid of the number 5, which means they won't have a Pentium 5 after all. What will they call it instead? Penta-Pentium? Or will they do something like making the "5" an exponent, as in "Pentium to the 5th power"? Or maybe just P-P-P-P-Pentium? Or Pentiummier? Anyone else have any other stupid ideas?
  • Think about it. 3dfx tried to pimp their multi-processor Voodoo 5 cards, yet the NVidia GeForce series still outpaced them. V5 went so sour that the 6000 was ditched, as the speed improvement paled in comparison to the astronomical price of such a card.

    And now, an unnamed company exec says, "It's possible that some of our sales force overstated the benefits of dual-capable CPU systems, unfortunately, by being overly critical of single-CPU-capable systems."

    Paul Otellini, the exec VP and GM of Intel's Architecture Group, reported on the workstation performance of the P4: "The Pentium 4 processors that we're announcing Monday have the highest performing floating point of any PC processor that's out there. And, in fact, [they] compare very favorably to a lot of RISC microprocessors which for so long have been resident in things like workstations. That's one of the reasons you'll see on Monday that there are workstations also being introduced with Pentium 4." I'd like to see the quantitative results of some tests to back this up. Intel just might steal the FPU crown from AMD, and a good thing too: as it stands now, the AMD Athlon series has been shunned by C/C++/assembly programmers due to the fact that their projects will not compile with a 100% compatibility guarantee. The general rule for the last ten years has been: "If you're programming for the PC, use Intel."

  • by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Friday November 17, 2000 @07:13AM (#618028) Homepage
    Intel usually targets new systems at servers. That way they can charge thousands for the new chips. How will that work if SMP is not available for several months?

    It will not. I mean NOT AT ALL. No servers. Nada. Non. The reason is very simple - server also means lots of RAM. And there is no non-RDRAM solution for P4 currently available. The average server currently ships with at least 0.5G RAM, usually 1G or 2G (for those brave or stupid to run Intel on a 32 bit system in non-flat mode). The price tag on such RDRAM system puts P4 outside of the server market completely for now.

    And IMHO this is the reason for Intel strange behaviour and trying to bail out of the RDRAM obligations. They got their marketing onto completely new grounds (no server release to show off and the much thinner profit margins) where they do not feel comfortable.

  • by tewwetruggur ( 253319 ) on Friday November 17, 2000 @06:25AM (#618039) Homepage
    I was hoping to replace my 386 with a quad Pentium 4 system, but I guess I can scrap that... and it seemed like the obvious upgrade path, too.

    Maybe I'll just call IBM and see if I can get one of those ASCI yellow's. Or was it green? Beige? Magenta? Oh, hell, I can't remember.

    Anyway, I thought that the Pentuim 4 itself was supposed to be physically huge, yes? Wouldn't haveing multiple P4's then require you to have a case the size of a coffin? Though it could be possible o heat your home with such a system...

  • by Joe Mucchiello ( 1030 ) on Friday November 17, 2000 @06:25AM (#618041) Homepage
    "It's possible that some of our sales force overstated the benefits of dual-capable CPU systems, unfortunately, by being overly critical of single-CPU-capable systems," said the executive, who asked not to be named.

    Intel usually targets new systems at servers. That way they can charge thousands for the new chips. How will that work if SMP is not available for several months?
  • by tshak ( 173364 ) on Friday November 17, 2000 @06:27AM (#618049) Homepage
    The Mustang had some serious fab-cost problems (mainly in the large amount of cache). There's nothing wrong with this if you can sell a large volume, but AMD just didn't see the volume for the server market right now.

    With Intel lacking SMP support for the P4 through next year, AMD will be ahead with a Dual [name your Athlon variation here].

    At the same time, this doesn't make Intel incompetent. Intel knows that most servers are not built on the latest chip, rather, chips that have been well tested. Server CPU's are usually a few steps before the top of the line. By the time Compaq, Dell, etc. are comfortable with the P4, SMP will most likely be available.
  • That sucks, now I can't get an extra 10% out of my machine and roast chicken in my computer case... I guess it's back to toasting bread on my p3...
  • It costs money to build SMP stuff into chips and if your market is "no-name" chips then you don't spend the money on something you won't get any return on. It is only in the last year or so that people have gotten a clue and realized AMD makes a quality CPU. Now that they are percieved to have a good company, they can afford to make more expensive chips that will go into high-end servers and company's might buy them in mass.
  • by Kierthos ( 225954 ) on Friday November 17, 2000 @07:22AM (#618055) Homepage
    Okay, wait a second... a one pound heatsink??? Can anyone explain this one to me? I thought heat sinks could be made light because what you're theoretically after is something shaped so it has lots of surface area and a good heat disapation index.

    So how did they manage to make the sucker weigh a pound? Does the P4 generate so much heat (a bad sign, IMAO) that it needs a one pounder?

    I have to wonder if the second or third generation P4's will be any better (well, from the looks of things, they can't get worse).

    Christ, I think the heat sink on my POS computer weighs a couple of ounces...

  • What are most of the SMP machines around the world right now? Right, Intel P3 Katmai/Coppermine with SDRAM/ECC in them. Sure, AMD is trying to release an SMP board for the Athlon, but it won't succeed unless it can be proven to be as stable as a 440BX with 2 processors. Of course, the 31337 H4X0R5 will jump into the Athlon SMP bandwagon once it's released, but it won't be accepted by legitimate users until its stability is proven.
  • Your teachers lied to you when they said that you would never get anywhere by slacking off.

    So Linus, what are we doing tonight?

  • Redmond, WA - In keeping with his long term business alliance with processor manufacturer Intel, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, when informed of Intel's decision to not support SMP for it's upcoming P4, rose from his desk, drove to a local gun dealer, bought a pistol and a single bullet.

    He returned to his desk, loaded the newly acquired pistol, took careful aim at his foot and pulled the trigger.

    He is listed in satisfactory condition.

  • "What I am really curious about it exactly how viable AMD's chips are going to actually be in the server market. They are going to need to make large cache versions of the chip... not to mention, does the 760MP chipset have the scalability? Can it support Quad and 8-way SMP configurations? AMD may overtake Intel on the lower-end server market by offering a Dual CPU solution, but unless they are capable of these other configurations, Intel will still be king in the server room. Remember, one of the main differences between the P3 and the P3 Xeon is the extra "glue" logic that Intel has added to the chips to allow for more than Dual CPU configurations."

    Think about AMD's past stratagy. They have never been a company to jump in over their head. AMD always "tests the waters" first. AMD entered the low end desktop market with it's 486DX4's, k-5 and k-6 series. They managed to get k-6 machines into a 49% (compusa's statistic) of the lowend computer market with intel holding another 49%, i guess cyrix had the rest. This brought enough recognition and capitol to move to a stronger chip.

    Then they bring in the athlon to compete in the highend desktop market. Not sure how much of that market they have, I think it was around 25% with Intel around 60% maybe? There next step following this patter would actually be lowend server market. I'm sure they will want to test the waters like before and eventually when the RandR has paid itself off move to the meduim or highend desktop. They will need to stimulate demand for a high-end solution by capturing the interest of low-end market. I have a feeling they will wait til 64 bit has been a out a while before moving into this.

    AMD's buisness stratagy seems very wise, most companys try to take on too much too soon.

  • by TheAncientHacker ( 222131 ) <TheAncientHacker ... inus threevowels> on Friday November 17, 2000 @07:24AM (#618064)
    Strangely enough, the Pentium 4 is actually targeted at the market where Intel is being hurt the most by AMD, the home computer.

    Not strange at all. Those home systems are the bread and butter product for Intel. They may make more per box off a big server but they'll sell chips for a few dozen to a few hundred home systems for each of those big servers. The general consumer market is also what feeds the public impression of the company. Intel hasn't been stupid enough to go after niche markets at the cost of the mainstream. If the glass house systems are running PIII Xeons in stead of P4s, well, that's OK with Intel. If they walk down the K-Mart aisle and keep seeing AMD stickers, that isn't OK with them.

  • by jkujawa ( 56195 ) on Friday November 17, 2000 @06:29AM (#618072) Homepage
    The Pentium 4, to be introduced at 1.4GHz and 1.5GHz clock speeds, features a new architecture designed not only to provide faster frequencies but to boost performance of multimedia encryption, such as that involved in audio and video editing.

    Multimedia encryption? What the hell is that? Where does ZDNet find these people it tries to pass off as writers, anyway?

  • by nothng ( 147342 ) on Friday November 17, 2000 @06:30AM (#618073)
    I've been a long time supporter of AMD and really love their products. I'm glad that there is competion now pushing prices down and developement ahead. Unfortunately it seems like intel is rushing too much trying to keep ahead and making several mistakes. While I prefer AMD I certainly don't want to see intel loose too much of the market (I know it would take quite a few years for this to happen if it does). I'd hate to see a one processor market again.

    Looks like AMD did bring the dual board in at the right time. It will be interesting to see if this stratagy and Intel's mistakes can really get them in the server market. As of right now, I don't know many people willing to give up there Pentium servers for AMD, but without dual support they may not have much choice.
  • I read somewhere, can't remember, but it said the 1.5 GHz P4 was actually slower than the P3 at 933 MHz. What kind of improvement is that?

    Meanwhile, the Athlon continues to kick ass.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Imagine a beowulf cluster of one pound heatsinks.
  • by FFFish ( 7567 )
    Oh, if only there were someone so cynical as to start making 2GHz 386 CPUs!

    I'd piss myself laughing.

    [and, you know, I think it's entirely plausible: the 386 was a lot more simple than the Pentium-class CPUs. Combine that with .13micron process. They'd be low-power, low-heat chips. Toss 'em on a cheap-ass mobo with 66MHz bottlenecks.

    Gahd. I hope someone with a chip fab in their basement is reading this. I really want to see it happen!]

  • Next time, they will announce it doesn't run windows 95 for being a 16 bit processor.

"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H.L. Mencken