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Intel

Tom's Looks At The New P-III 125

Choady McGee writes "Tom's Hardware just posted a review of a new version of the pentium iii. From what they say, it looks like it could threaten the pentium iv and because of that, may not be released any time soon."
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Tom's Looks At The New PIII

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Altivec was a stupidity. I said it at that time, and will say it again.

    This recall me the DSP in NeXT cubes. There was a demo called Mandelbrot.app, in which you could compare perf with and without DSP. A huge win. When the 040 came out the demo stopped proposing the DSP version. Because it was slower.

    IBM don't like altivec (for a reason), and don't build altivec chips. By going to the G4, apple placed itself in the nice position of having a single supplier that don't give a fuck about its own microprocessor (it is well know that the motorola IT department have outlawed macintoshes and standardized on intel platform)

    There is a rule of the thumb. High-volume chips get more money for their development, and ramp faster. There is no way apple can fight against IA32. With Mac OS X, they could make a K7 version of the mac (only for Cocoa Apps). The result would be cheaper and would blow away all their current models.

    All-in-all Apple is in a serious need of a clue. Anyone that used Aqua can tell of slow it is. Even on a G4. Having an option to remove window transparency, opaque resizes and antialising would probably get a x10 improvment. Of course, marketing is against that, and OS X is next to unusable...

    Cheers,

    --fred
  • Me! :D

    But I'm one of the Mac slashdotters so.. um.. nevermind :)

  • No no, you've got it backwards >:)

    2002: It's the ..er.. Pentium III rev2! Kniht. Eww. Oy...

  • Windows 2000 out of the box does not work with some VIA chipsets. A service pack is required.
    Being a Mac user, I just have to ask: How do you install the service pack if the OS won't run in the first place?

  • Er, haven't you got it backwards?

    No, and that's why they got in trouble with intel (whoever it was, can't remember if it was tom's hardware or x86.org).

    Intel just pushed the hype of the mmx and faster speed, but if you underclocked the PII from 233 to 200MHz, it was suddenly slower than the ppro. Unfortunatly, ppro's huge cache probably wasn't scaling that well with speed, so it probably was a smart move to go for P2s.
    Still, years later, my uni bought a netfinity from IBM, and guess what was inside? yup, 2 PPros. I guess IBM got hold of a huge stock for its servers.

    ---

  • by Eg0r ( 704 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2001 @07:01AM (#155038)
    The first PIIs!

    A PII clocked at the same speed as a PPro was slower (remember how www.x86.org [x86.org] got in trouble for publishing those benchmarks? ) was hotter than a PPro, etc... then people realised that PIIs were becoming eventually faster and cheaper than PPros, and PPros got phased-out (I think retired early by Intel to force people to buy PIIs is closer to reality).

    Conclusion? Don't buy the latest and greatest processors in their early incarnation because besides the hype, they don't run that much faster than the previous generation... but eventually will.

    ---

  • Yup, Tyan S2462 dual-athlon mobo has been tested with LM 8.0 [mandrakeforum.com], and it works great.
  • i agree.

    it doesn't make sense to me. the third guy always get damaged in some way. what are they trying to say about the PIII?
  • I can second this with the same board. Do not buy a used KA-7 Board for an Athlon.

    \\\ SLUDGE
  • I tried replying to this article, but my computer crashed as I did. No lie.

    Anyways, I was saying that I have upgraded this month to the newest version. Failures are still occurring. I'm glad you've had better luck.

    \\\ SLUDGE

  • Unfortunately, AMD needs to get back up to speed with their processor clocks. When AMD came out with the worlds first 1Ghz, we were all in awe. Now that we're all waiting for the next thing coming out of their HQ, we have the choice with overclocking one of the 1.33 Ghz chips to a respectable speed or getting the Intel's running at 1.8Ghz and above.

    I hope AMD trumps Intel again and just throws out the 3Ghz chips, blindsiding Intel into throwing their hat into the Extreeme Speed ring when they're not ready again. :)


    Secret windows code
  • AMD is eating intel alive in the low to mid budget market which is still most sales of PCs.
    Why is that? Well, P4 is expensive for a start but it is mainly because of it's RAMBUS link. RDRAM is about twice the price of DDR RAM and nearly four times that of SDRAM. P4 does not exist yet in anything else than RDRAM (and Intel can not change that right now). So in order to avoid AMD taking all the market, it has to improve performance of PIII to be a close match to Athlon anc co.

    If Intel does not do anything, it will loose it's established leader position and DELL will sell AMD to all its corporate customers...
    Intel needs to stay the market leader since it has not got the best product, else it is going to have a really tough time ahead.
    Unfortunately, I am pretty sure they will succeed, as Microsoft will succeed with .NET :o(

  • Yes, but last time Intel had problems AMD wasn't breathing down their neck. While Intel's Pentium 60 was bad, AMD's offerings were worse. That is not the case anymore.

    Another major difference is that this time there is a general softness in the PC market, and the best selling PCs are not the $2000 fire-breathers, but the sub $1000 value PCs (where AMD has done remarkably well).

    It certainly is true that Intel still has Dell in the bag that could change at a moments notice. If Intel were to have a bad recall now Dell would switch in a moment. They would have little choice.

    The fact that Intel has billions in the bank is nice, but nobody seriously thinks that they are likely to go out of business anytime soon. What is far more likely is that Intel will not be able to keep up the revenue growth that has pushed its stock price into the sky.

    And when it comes to stock prices, the two for one deal you mentioned certainly can't help things. I don't even know if what you say is true, but if Intel is giving two for one deals then one of two things must be true. Either Intel is purchasing the second stock with some of their billions (basically a stock buy back) or they are diluting the value of the stock that their investors already own. Neither of these scenarios are good (in the long run).

    You see, basically what Intel is saying (if this is true) is that their stock is really worth half of what it is currently listed (otherwise they wouldn't be giving stock away).

  • LOL. That's hilarious. I thought that sounded like a weird deal.

  • I suppose that explains why Apple went with the G3 in desktops in the fisrt place. Oh, and the 603. Apple has a history of putting slower chips out there at higher speeds in desktops if it makes sense to do so. With people complining about Apple's loss in the mHz war, would you not think that Apple would put a faster ship in their computers now if it made sense to?
  • I can see them doing this because of the extreme clock speeds running inside the P IV which could lead to some limitations faster than with their older more simplistic chips. I believe parts of the P IV (such as the arithmetic logic unit) run at 2X clock speed, so on a 1.7Ghz P4 the ALU is actually running at 3.4Ghz. Intel is probably hedging its bets.

  • At the same time though AMD generally gets more done per cycle than Intel, rending the clockspeed somewhat irrelevant. Indeed Intel itself gets more done per clock cycle with the P3 than the P4 gets.

    While there are exceptions (I think primarily floating point), in the real world the AMD Athlon 1.4Ghz is the fastest mainstream processor [sharkyextreme.com] you can buy today. While the P4 1.7Ghz sounds impressive (especially when you consider that the ALU is running at 3.4Ghz...I'm surprized Intel doesn't call the processor a 3.4Ghz), and it runs Quake really well if your video card isn't the bottleneck (which it is at reasonable resolutions), for most uses the AMD is actually faster.

  • Fanboy? You work at Intel or something and feel a little heat?

    The two PCs beside me are a P-III 850 and a P-III 667 because at the time they were the best choices, however there is no doubt that if I bought right now it would be an Athlon 1.4Ghz. I think this whole competition thing is fantastic and I look forward to a lot more of it, because seeing a 1.333 Athlon at ~$280 CDN just blows me away.

    So in any case take the lame "Fanboy" cliche (how very tacky when a term "takes off" and soon every wank is looking for the big opportunity to use it) and go back to teengirls.com, as the inappropriate use of it here is a tad ridiculous.

  • I'm aware of its lineage, however it's interesting seeing it becoming incredibly prevalent in online posts. Someone defends a product: They're a fanboy. Someone corrects a mistake: They're a fanboy. Someone likes something that you don't like : They're a fanboy. Someone enjoys a game that you don't like: They're a fanboy. The term has been diluted from meaning irrational exuberance to simply meaning "Liking something I don't like, therefore they're a fanboy" and it's just sad.

    You prefer Linux? You're just a Linus fanboy.

  • The primary competition of Intel (and the durons) is the Athlon. For ~$290 CDN I can get a 1.333Ghz Athlon and that is just a remarkable amount of performance for a very little price (and the comparable Intel, the P4 1.5Ghz, is ~$449 CDN).

  • The this is this: Floating point is used very seldomly in modern applications, and the intensive application of it is in extremely rare scientific apps (which the vast majority of us don't run), or games. In the game market the GPU on videocards is usually much faster at doing the math anyways, so that eliminates the need for a fast floating point core on the CPU.

  • Engineers and scientists spend many tens of billions of dollars per year on technical computing, a market which is driven mostly by FP performance and memory bandwidth. The fact that a $1500 Pentium 4 PC made from commodity parts outperforms the fastest $20,000 Alpha's and HP's on these types of applications is a very big deal.

    I'm sure they do, but the overwhelming majority of Slashdot readers are not people for whom floating point performance is a considerable influence. Maybe you can do FFT's super fast on a P IV, but I don't do an awful lot of them so I don't care that much about that.

    I also don't care if my computer can write poetry or sing baritone: They're not things I look for in a computer.

  • Intel is no longer in a position where they can spend too much time worrying about internal competition, but they have to worry about AMD which has been trouncing them lately. If the new PIII can let them regain some ground they've lost against AMD then you can be guaranteed that they will push it to the market as fast as they can (remember the original P3 1Ghz?).

  • Hear hear. I started reading this, then closed the shit out of disgust and came back looking for the thread bashing the writing. Thank you, sir for this opportunity to vent!
  • The PIII will be Intel's bread and butter until their 64-bit stuff is at least 9 months old.

    Yes, Intel loves selling thousands and thousands of Celerons to the masses. But they'd rather sell hundreds and hundreds of PIII-based Xeons to the the server market. Street prices for some of those high-end Xeons run close to $2000. For one bloody CPU. Most big servers are at the minumum dual rigs. Many are quad.

    Intel needs to have an excellent server offering to keep their lead there. They are starting to loose (already have lost?) the low-end to AMD. They still have the server market locked up, because AMD didn't have any SMP offerings. Now that AMD dual boards are out, Intel needs to offer something better than the current PIII's.

  • If you run SETI@Home, then you are doing a lot of FFT's on your computer.

    -B
  • by cygnus ( 17101 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2001 @06:33AM (#155059) Homepage
    There's a strong rumor that IBM can make G3s with clock rates that meet or exceed 2 GHz. But as it stands, Motorola is the only PPC manufacturer that can/wants to make G4s -- which are stuck at 733 Mhz. So the overall platform stagnates because Apple doesn't want its low-end systems (based on the G3) blowing the doors off the high-end systems (based on the G4). The situation is getting out of hand... it sucks when marketing concerns get in the way of performance computing.

  • Did anyone else see this initially as: Tom's Looks At The New Pill
    Yeah, me too. I thought Slashdot was reviewing a new form of contraception. :-)
  • I hope that's a typo ...

    ----
  • Yes, I must be the only one who read PIII as PILL since arial letter l's and capital I's look similar...

    ---

  • Did anyone else read the article and find the on going metaphor for the chip as a baby both retarded, AND retarded?

    It's fine when tech people try to make their articles more interesting, but please, just drop the first paragraph cuteness as soon as possible when talking about new hardware.
  • I agree... Intel is causing mixed thoughts and emotions about the Pentium 4, and now the new Pentium III. Intel was supposed to use the Pentium 4 with the Brookdale SDR/DDR SDRAM to aim at the lower end of the mainstream and the high-end of the economical market. The new Pentium III shows that it can easily hold it's own against the Pentium 4 with RDRAM and would compete within the same range as the Pentium 4 with SDRAM.

    With lower-end Pentium 4 machines now around $900 from Dell (not the best machine and includes Windows ME, but fits the targetted audience) and Celeron based machines ranging in the $400-700 price range... that leaves a very tiny slice for the new Pentium III (and even the 1.3Ghz Pentium 4 with 64MB SDRAM).

    I know Intel has to battle the AMD Duron processor (since the Duron is definitely able to beat the Celeron senseless and can even bet a 1Ghz Pentium III in many benchmarks)... but positioning two chips at it seems silly to me.
  • I think the Tualatin with 256K cache is a stop-gap measure for Intel to battle against the lower end speed range of the Athlon (both T-Bird and Palimino) and the higher end speed range of the Duron. It's also a way for Intel to re-introduce their 1.13Ghz Pentium III model ;-)

    I wouldn't mind seeing a dual-processor setup with two 512K Tualatin processors... of course that would endanger the 256K Pentium III Xeon workstation market share...
  • There is no way that I can personally bring myself to buy a Pentium 4 right now (not only is the price of the processor too much, but having to purchase Rambus memory in pairs isn't that cheap).

    I think the Duron would fare quite better at the mobile market (mostly when they get the die shrink to .13 micron)... heh... they could even call it the Athlon Mobility ;-)
  • The Pentium 4 is MUCH faster than Athlon on FP. The 1.7 GHz P4 scores a SPECfp of 598 and the 1.4 GHz Athlon scores a laughable 426.

    Wait a second, maybe I'm missing something here:

    (598/1.7)/(426/1.4) = 351.76 / 304.29 = 1.156.

    Intel seems to be faster per cycle, but not overwhelmingly so. Or are these benchmarks non-linear?
  • Um... the parent [slashdot.org] to your post was saying, At the same time though AMD generally gets more done per cycle than Intel, rending the clockspeed somewhat irrelevant. Indeed Intel itself gets more done per clock cycle with the P3 than the P4 gets.
  • AMD isn't behind - in almost every benchmark except Quake, an AMD Athlon 1.4GHz comfortably beats a Pentium IV 1.5GHz. This isn't some Steve Jobs reality-distortion photoshop-only benchmark, this is reality. And if you go further and compare prices, you'd have to be nuts (or an IT manager, or a SMP devotee) to buy PIII or PIV right now.

    AMD is well on track to become chipzilla. The Athlon IV (Palomino) will cement its place as number 1 - Intel confusing the market and undermining the PIV with a PIII like this will only hasten their own relegation to second place.


  • The PIII will be Intel's bread and butter until their 64-bit stuff is at least 9 months old.



    Actually Intel is serious about phasing out the desktop P3 by the end of this calendar year. Although this updated P3 core would compete very nicely against Athlons, it would also eat into P4 sales. That's exactly the point of Tom's article.. that Intel has a good product they are afraid of releasing.

    Don't worry though, you will see these new P3s in 1 GHz and higher speeds for the notebook market, which Intel completely owns.



    They still have the server market locked up, because AMD didn't have any SMP
    offerings. Now that AMD dual boards are out, Intel needs to offer something better than the current PIII's.



    I disagree with this because AMD dual systems will be most popular with tech geeks looking for low-cost home workstations and servers. Although a dual-Athlon system would have plenty of juice to run the typical "departmental" server, it won't change the simple fact that "nobody ever got fired for buying Intel." Currently, AMD has made relatively small inroads in corporate PC sales. To think they can now take market share in corporate servers just because they finally have a dual CPU offering is too optimistic.

    Although there isn't much special about Xeon CPUs themselves (besides much larger L2 caches), they will be considered a different CPU than your current run-of-the-mill Athlons (again, very fast but not necessarily excellent for company in-house servers).
  • Go figure, I just order all the parts to my new machine, including a P3 1ghz, right when Intel gets ready to re-release the 1.13Ghz p3's
  • and they're cheaper (this is just undeniable).

    And if you look quick, you might even catch the price war over at Pricewatch [pricewatch.com]. I've been debating the purchase of a new computer for the past week, and in that time, the price of the gigahertz Athlon chip has dropped 12%. In one week! So I'm going to get the motherboard and some ram delivered next week, and wait a bit to see how low the chip goes. It's already under 3 digits.

    ---

  • by selectspec ( 74651 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2001 @06:34AM (#155073)
    I don't think Intel is backing off the P4, despite its many flaws. Intel will continue expensive development projects around the PIII arch, because the P4 doesn't support SMP, and the next few revs of Xeons will be based on the PIII until they are scrapped for the 64-bit Itanium. The Itanium wont be real and ready for prime time for about 2 years.
  • > Why? So I don't have to worry about operating system incompatibities. Scoff at this you may, but remember that VIA is one of the most prominent AMD motherboard suppliers. Windows 2000 out of the box does not work with some VIA chipsets. A service pack is required.

    *Scoff* *Scoff*: But who in his right mind would waste such a beautiful machine on Windows 2000 anyways? And which motherboard doesn't need a service pack to run Windows?

  • Am I the only one who was unable to read this article because of the repeated "Intel's new baby" analogy?

    I appreciate that metaphor is sometimes a nice way of unifying your different points, but in this case, it just gets kind of insipid. I mean, it's a freaking processor! It's not a baby!

    Sigh... a nice, dry, technical article would have been much more readable IMHO.

  • Not really. Intel will price tualatins higer than coppermines.

    Intel will also have a variant of tualatin with 512KB of cache. Not only is tualatin superior (especially for mobile devices and overclockers), intel says its superior and is marketing it as a superior product.
  • You didn't look at those benchmarks very closely, did you? That overclocked "Tualatin-256" running at 1.4gig (with an overclocked FSB, mind you) didn't exactly beat the pants off that Athlon running at its rated FSB. Another 256K of cache might help it, but I don't think it's going to catch up to the Athlon MP procs any time soon.

    Another thing to consider is the fact that those new Intel procs came rated at 1.13Ghz... When Intel can get those procs to run at 1.4/1.5Ghz from the factory, I'll be interested in some test scores.
  • Well, its been my experience that every non-intel PC I've owned or used (Compaq Presario, various house assembled PCs at work) has sucked royally. Every genuine Intel PC I've used (Dell, Compaq Proliant) has kicked ass. So, when possible I go with Intel.

    However, if I ever did build my own PC from scratch, I suppose I would give strong consideration to AMD. While looking at my local computer store, it seems AMD CPUs were nearly half the cost of Intel.

  • Actually, there are a few good reasons to get a Pentium box over an Athlon, especially if one is doing multimedia work involving PCI bus mastering. It's not a fault of Athlon processors, but rather the common motherboards that it runs on; bus-mastering fails to work right for Pro Tools and other venerable recording software/hardware combinations.

    Granted, there are very _few_ and _far between_ reasons to go with a Pentium III, but give the benefit of the doubt until you know the person's reasons. I got a Pentium III 800 system recently, and I'm very happy for recording work, Athlon systems of similar speed on most known Athlon motherboards would cause my software to crash, and nobody is quite able to predict which boards will work right.

  • The Pentium 4 is MUCH faster than Athlon on FP. The 1.7 GHz P4 scores a SPECfp of 598 and the 1.4 GHz Athlon scores a laughable 426. FYI, the P4 scores higher than Alpha, PA-RISC, and every other processor, making it the fastest CPU in the world. It also is #1 on SPECint, scoring 575 vs. 495 for Athlon. SPEC benchmarks are considered to be considerably more scientific and reliable than the toy-type unsophisticated benchmarks you see on peecee hardware review sites.
  • They are still benchmarks, though. If you look at a broad range of benchmarks, the pattern is exactly what you would expect, considering the technology.

    SPEC benchmarks are based on real applications. The integer suite consists of real applications such as GZIP, GCC, etc. As does the FP suite, which consists of real kernels.

    In broad-looped, unpredictable, or multi-tasking situations, that deep pipeline and RDRAM prove lethal as the processor burns off an insane number of CPU cycles getting its act back together after each misprediction.

    For starters, P4 performance is by no means affected by the number of pipeline stages. To say so is quite a pedestrian claim. Although the branch misprediction penalty measured in cycles is higher than other processors, the P4 burns through cycles so much faster than other processors that it all evens out.

    Second, Rambus is the reason why it is so good, particularly at getting the fastest floating point performance in the world. The P4 has a faster bus than any CPU on earth (at 3.2 GB/s it is faster than 266 MHz Athlon at only 2.1 GB/s and 200 MHz Alpha at 1.6 Gb/s). The FP benchmarks are mainly driven by memory bandwidth which P4 excels (thanks to Rambus). DDR-SDRAM is considerably slower, and would not be able to saturate the P4 bus. Athlon systems only show a 4% bandwidth increase due to DDR, while P4/Rambus shows a 300-400% increase over Athlon/DDR. Whether that is Athlon's problem or DDR's problem, I'm not sure.
  • The this is this: Floating point is used very seldomly in modern applications, and the intensive application of it is in extremely rare scientific apps (which the vast majority of us don't run), or games.

    Are you new to computers? Engineers and scientists spend many tens of billions of dollars per year on technical computing, a market which is driven mostly by FP performance and memory bandwidth. The fact that a $1500 Pentium 4 PC made from commodity parts outperforms the fastest $20,000 Alpha's and HP's on these types of applications is a very big deal.
  • Why the hell would you want to compare performance vs. frequency, when one part is avaiilable at a substantially higher frequency?
  • You must be inexperienced with SPEC benchmarks. The P4 wins @ the base benchmarks, and the others win with peak benchmarks. The baseline benchmarks are for using standard optimization, which is what ISV's do when developing software. The peak number means that you are allowed to use several different optimizations throughout the suite, but nobody does that in real life. So, the P4 wins at the ones which are reflective of real software.
  • by VAXman ( 96870 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2001 @09:18AM (#155085)
    The lead vehicle for a new process (in this case 860) is always a tried-and-true CPU instead of something brand new. So, of course PIII will have a shrink before P4 because it's better understood how to shrink it. The P4 shrink is only a couple of months behind it. Remember the transition to 854 when the fast MMX Pentium's came out way before Klamath? This is the same deal all over again.

    Of course, the speedup from Northwood over Willamette will be substantially higher than the speedup from Tualatin over Coppermine. The P4 microarchicture is a lot more scalable; for example, the bus is triple the bandwidth of PIII/Athlon, so it can scale that much more without memory being a problem.

    Sounds to me that Tom is just making a big fuss since he got Tualatin samples instead of Northwood's. :-)
  • Sound like what happened with the Celeron A whipping the P2's ass?
  • Okay, these are good points. As an NT user, I am aware of the existence of some compatability problems with the popular VIA Athlon chipsets. (Although I never had such problems, even before SP1.) And I am aware of how hot the damn things get. :-)

    Does the lower power consumption really affect your power bill that much? I run two Athlon boxes, a P3 and an UltraSPARC II 24/7/365 in my apartment, so it would be good to save some dough, but to be honest I doubt that whatever you save on your power bill this year makes up for the extra money you paid for your slow Intel box. ;-p

    --

  • By the way, the "24/7/365" is also a good of those machines' relative uptimes. :-)

    --

  • Bullshit. Anand's review pits dual 1.2GHz Athlons against dual 1.7GHz P4s... and guess who comes out on top. How about we test that 1.7GHz P4 system against a 900MHz UltraSPARC III system, Intel-boy? ;-p This immature idea that clock speed == computing power is so lame. But as your .sig so plainly demonstrates, so are you. And I thought these low-UIDs numbfucks were supposed to be so l337...

    --

  • IIRC the VIA chipset problems affected AGP 3D graphics and SBLive! cards... moving lots of data on the PCI or AGP bus could prompt a hard lockup. In other words, it primarily affected gamers, although if you left the box on for long enough hacking or surfing, chances are it would lock up then too. (No uneducated NT jokes, please.) It would easily stay up and running for the five to ten minutes it takes to install a SP.

    I've been using NT5 since last May, so obviously the problems haven't keep me from being productive. SP1 and SP2 fix a lot of VIA stability issues, and the new 4-in-1 drivers and SBLive! drivers help a lot too. It's not perfect but is a major improvement... not that it was too terrible to begin with.

    I agree with the other poster about VIA. They're the weak link in the chain, and if I could go back I would've gotten a 760-based board instead of the ASUS A7V I have now.

    I'm builing a new NT server this fall, though, and I am going to use an A7V133. The VIA problems primarily affected heavy workstation users, and ASUS boards are pretty nice.

    (For the money.)

    It's been about six months since I've built a new box, and I'm always amazed at how much cheaper the hardware keeps getting. A week ago I bought a gig of Muskkin/Nanya CAS3 PC133 for $250. A 1.2GHz Athlon can be had for under $200 in retail box, and sinfully cheap if you buy grey market. $150 for a 30GB IBM ATA/100 drive (not going to be a very busy server). Hell, the software is going to be the most expensive thing in the box. :-)

    --

  • by The_Messenger ( 110966 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2001 @06:38AM (#155091) Homepage Journal
    Personally, I bought a new machine five months or so ago, and instead of buying a P4, I went with a 1GHz Pentium III. A lot of my friends ridiculed me.
    I would have ridiculed you, too -- for not buying an Athlon. With everything that we know know, how could anyone not buy AMD? (I feel like Elaine talking to that smoking pregnant psychic...) I mean, they're faster (perhaps not for all applications, but my own comparisons of the 800MHz P3 at work to the 800MHz Tbird at home say that they are), and they're cheaper (this is just undeniable). Unless you're looking at SMP solutions, anyone who has kept buying Intel chips over the past eight months needs a beating with the clue stick.

    Now that the Athlon MP and dual-CPU mainboards [anandtech.com] have been released, it just restates what we knew a year ago: AMD is slowly but surely beating Intel at Intel's game.

    Well, they're not looking so damned smart now, are they?
    I think that both you and your friends need to try developing (assuming that you develop) or gaming (and I'm sure that you game) on AMD boxes for a week.

    --

  • because the P4 doesn't support SMP, and the next few revs of Xeons will be based on the PIII until they are scrapped for the 64-bit Itanium.

    Intel release an SMP version of P4 (Foster) just a few weeks ago. New Xeons are based on P4. Itanium will probably never become a mainstream machine as it is supposed to be quickly supplanted by McKinley next year.

  • Yeah, me too. I thought Slashdot was reviewing a new form of contraception. :-)

    While I agree it's "Stuff That Matters," I fail to see how it's "News for Nerds"

  • From the article:

    It may have the same socket (Socket370) as the good old Coppermine, but it requires a different I/O-voltage and thus a different chipset.

    This is a big thing with 0.13um, the I/O voltage is moving from 3.3V (TTL compatible) to 2.5V (well, some fabs are still offering 3.3V I/Os, but it's a large jump for the level shifters to go from 1.2 to 3.3). Jedec has created a new standard for 2.5V I/Os which is not compatible with older TTL levels. This seems to indicate this new P3 is a 0.13um version.Too bad the article didn't mention the I/O voltage.

    On the other hand the 1.5V core mentioned in the article seems a bit high, they may done a quick port without re-sizing the transistors to take advantage of the low-k dielectric and copper interconnects (yay, a True coppermine).

  • From Tom's article:

    Of course we wouldn't let this CPU suffer out in the cold, far from its mum in Satan Clara!

    I knew some folks felt the whole newfangled technology thing to be evil, but jeez...

    --
  • you could not freak out... and just update your bios like i did, and everything works perfectly. i have had zero lockups on my system, and i've had it for about a year now.

    -------

  • AMD 760 boards, AMD 760MP boards, or ALi Magick boards all avoid VIA but for the moment the performance winner is SIS [tomshardware.com]

    Mind you SIS is new to the socket A scene so may still have bugs.

    If you want server grade stablity and why not get the Tyan Thunder K7 board since is designed for servers and holds dual athlons.

  • I don't think Athlons necessarily crash any more then Intel processors. I have a Classic Athlon 800 here that runs for weeks without crashing; running Win98se, even. It's much less flaky then the P2-350 it replaced. And it's even using 3 sticks of the cheapest RAM on the planet from different brands. It has a VIA chipset... they're flaky, but not crash-wise; usually it causes nasty hardware incompatabilities. I lucked out with this one.
  • by hrieke ( 126185 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2001 @07:11AM (#155099) Homepage
    Er, Slashdot is the contraception.
    I mean, how many of us have been fucked by something other than Unix?
  • Was I the only one who read this article as "Tom's Looks At The New Pill" ?

    Oy, watching "Brain Candy" will do that to ya, I guess ;)

    - Rei
  • Current PIII-boards won't be able to host the new breed. my mistake! Why is it that we hold on to incompatibilities some things but not in others, seems like in hardware its ok to constantly change the interfaces and chipsets but yet we deal with years on things like memory limits on booting and other strange x86 stuff.... It has to be due to the fact that its profitable to always have some new product to sell....new chipsets, new software to get past the hardware architecture limits....the pc is built on such a patch tradition.... -K
  • I think that Intel will release it just because they'll be able to continue to sell to the ppl with Socket 370 mainboards, and the manufacturers who already have an investment in building computers with those boards, which are probably more stable than the newer mobos. Its a way of keeping the revenue stream wide...there are still plenty of ppl that will buy the P4 just because of the 3 blue guys -K.

  • Well clock speed is not necessarily a good indicator of performance. Intel have been able to push up clock speed in the P4 by stripping out some of the clever circuitry that allows the chip to do more than one thing at a time. This is why it has generally performed poorly in benchmarks of real world applications against P3s and AMD chips.

    The reason Intel are doing this is because clock speed is a nice marketing number. It's a lot easier to explain "this processor runs at 1.4GHz" than "this processor has a dual 9 stage pipeline with a superior branch prediction algorithm etc etc etc".
  • Because internally the architecture is quite different. This has a big impact on the way a compiler optimises code and there are probably instructions on a real P4 that don't exist in the P3.
  • by jbischof ( 139557 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2001 @07:46AM (#155105) Journal
    It is clearly not easy to rank these processors in any order, especially when you usually get limited information, be it clock speed or certain benchmarks or whatenot. But I would just like to clarify a few things.

    First of all the P4 is a larger processor with more overhead so that it can easily reach faster speeds. The estimated maximum clock speed is 10Ghz for the P4, and it will be undergoing a size reduction, it will come out on DDR, and most likely w/ copper interconnects. It also has SSE2 and other special features that compilers are not yet optimized for. When that optimization comes out, you will see a big performance increase. The P4 is also designed to promote maximum bandwidth vs speed. Something everyone will probably start to appreciate when the clock speeds get up there.

    The p3 is similar to the Athlon in that they are both have aging core designs and it is becoming increasingly difficult to speed them up. Thats why Intel redesigned the core of the microprocessor to allow for faster speeds. There is a lot more overhead but that is to be expected. There is a lot more overhead when you try and fly a plane instead of taking your bicycle somewhere. I personally favor Intel over AMD, but I have biased reasons to do so. The p3 (imho) beats out the Athlon, and optimized software for the p4 beats out the Athlon (even if it doesn't the Athlon will soon be completely overwhelmed by increasing clock speed.)
  • isn't microsoft supposed to be the one humping our ass? :)
  • If someone can recommend an Athlon motherboard that (right now) doesn't use a VIA chipset, can hold a GForce 2, and is available outside the U.S. I would gladly stop buying Intel.

    Uhh, actually there are several. Try looking at some of the motherboard articles at Tom's Hardware. The AMD 760 still uses some VIA chips, but the others don't. They just did an article on the newest SiS chipset, which is a single-chip solution. I don't know about availability where you are, but SiS is taiwanese, IIRC, so I would think they would be available outside the US.

  • How about:

    Pentium 3.5?

    Celeron 4?
  • Unless you're looking at SMP solutions, anyone who has kept buying Intel chips over the past eight months needs a beating with the clue stick.

    As others have pointed out, there is a flaw in this argument, and it doesn't have to do with AMD. Every VIA chipset I have used has had some "issues". I got so tired of all that crap that I no longer use any VIA chipset, nor recommend it. Instead of a beating with a cluestick, I'll take a chipset that is rock solid, and works just fine no matter what kind of memory sticks, power supply, operating system or video/TV cards I have.

    If someone can recommend an Athlon motherboard that (right now) doesn't use a VIA chipset, can hold a GForce 2, and is available outside the U.S. I would gladly stop buying Intel.

  • Intel would wind up looking rather stupid if they released Tualatin, that's the problem. It would be very much like the situation they had trying to position the Celeron against the Athlon, and we all know how well that went over.

    The situation Intel has right now is that it's becoming obvious to all that the P4 was a mistake. If they try to market the P3/Tualatin as downmarket (the P3 seems to have pretty much replaced the Celeron these days) nobody will pay attention. If they put it up against the Athlon where it belongs, it's lights out for the P4 and the Intel marketing department will wind up guzzling Alka-Seltzer after blowing big money on commercials and such.

    Either way, it works to AMD's advantage -- all they need is an ad agency with the stones to tease Intel about pulling their punches.

    /Brian
    /Brian
  • Ick. P4SX maybe, but I think they probably need a new name for it altogether.

    That's a fun thought, though: the P6 as the pinnacle of Intel's chip design capabilities (and don't tell me Itanium's not a boondoggle). And they've been milking it for what, six years now?

    I think it's rather interesting, though, that Intel seems to have hit the limits of its collective ability to do anything interesting. FWIW, I think Sledgehammer will get a lot more mileage than Itanium myself just because there's no tricky business in the instruction set. But the fact remains -- Intel's day in the sun definitely seems to be over. They used to be the most dangerous fish in the tank; now they're just the biggest.

    /Brian
  • >how could anyone not buy AMD?

    That's just too easy.

    At the time I owned an Athlon system I was burned by the Athlon chipsets, I owned a Diamond MX-300 and a G200. I upgraded the sound to a Soundblaster Live. I then upgraded the video to an ATI Radeon.

    I thought about getting an nVidia card.

    I even thought about getting a couple of Maxtor HDDs and raiding them together.

    But then thought again: Since none of the above hardware works well with VIA chipsets and drivers, and since all the Athlon boards I see in stores use VIA chipsets, I realized someting.

    The CPU is only as good as its weakest link.

    The VIA chipset sucks extremely badly -- just look at the exceptions and workabout here: http://go.to/kt7faq/. AMD quit making uniprocessor chipsets a long time ago. Now they're teaming up with SiS for chipsets. What's next? A PC Chips "686++PRO-X-AGP-751-AMD-Extreme" chipset? Ugh!

    So I bought a BX board and a PIII 733. Not the world's fastest machine, but it doesn't explode at the slightest whim. And when it comes down to it, everything works faster than I need it as it is.

    Owning an Athlon system is like dropping a V8 engine into a Lada.
  • there are still plenty of ppl that will buy the P4 just because of the 3 blue guys -K.

    Not to make this a platform religious war or anything like that, but The Blue Man Group doesn't use Intel...it uses Macs. [apple.com]

    Just a little irony where it's needed...


    ----
    http://www.msgeek.org/html/

  • There certainly is a market for Socket-370 chips yet.

    I bought a Slot-1 i440BX* and Celeron 366 (O/C to 550), later upgraded to a Celeron-II 566 (O/C to 850), and now I'm looking forward to the Tualatin for my next upgrade. Because, amazingly enough, the i440BX still outperforms the i815 and Apollo Pro chipsets at 133MHz FSB, and it will be able to handle the new voltage requirements to boot.

    Talk about your long-lifed chipset!

    But aside from that, there's a bundle to be made with the "next generation" (sic) Socket-370 boards with the lower voltage regs. Upgraders don't want the P-IV, they want a new motherboard and CPU that'll work with their current PSU and RAM. New computer buyers don't want the P-IV, it still costs too much. Compared to Athlon hardware, at least.

    Hmm... rambling. </post>

    * Abit BE6-II

    Alakaboo

  • by IainMH ( 176964 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2001 @06:24AM (#155115)

    Did anyone else see this initially as:

    Tom's Looks At The New Pill

    I though it was going to be a Matrix II reveiw or something.

    Oh well, my mother did tell me it would effect my eyesight.

  • Am i the only one who spent the first 30 secs reading that as "Tom looks at the new Pill" ? Mebbe i've watched the Matrix too many times. I dunno. It made me laugh.
  • The Pentium 4 is MUCH faster than Athlon on FP. [clip] SPEC benchmarks are considered to be considerably more scientific and reliable than the toy-type unsophisticated benchmarks you see on peecee hardware review sites.

    They are still benchmarks, though. If you look at a broad range of benchmarks, the pattern is exactly what you would expect, considering the technology.

    The P4 excels in predictable, tight-looped applications, especially en/decoding tasks. In broad-looped, unpredictable, or multi-tasking situations, that deep pipeline and RDRAM prove lethal as the processor burns off an insane number of CPU cycles getting its act back together after each misprediction.

    I'm sure the P4 kicks butt in SPEC faceoffs, but SPEC benchmarks don't help me with games and work.

  • i wish i could have moderated this

    "Shh!! Don't give Intel any ideas"

  • All of this is true. However, it is much easier than what was done even just going to PIII coppermine, I believe. As CPU designs go, I think it was very cheap. I imagine the pipeline structure is the same, with tweaks appropriate to the new process. And the new process will buy some speed on its own, just not that much. It will give the P4 a bigger increase -- taking it from 2 GHz to 4 GHz last I heard; it will probably take PIII from 1GHz to 1.5GHz, a much smaller (though not insignificant) increase. But we'll never see 1.5GHz PIIIs is my guess. And while you can't just stuff in more cache, I don't think it's that hard either.
  • by evanbd ( 210358 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2001 @06:33AM (#155122)
    not really. There is still a PIII market, and Intel is selling to that market. It really doesn't take as much time to move the PIII to 0.13 as it would to do a redesign. I think the real problem is the Duron -- the celeron is underperforming, and so the PIII is competing in the mid-low end with slow Athlons and Durons. Hence, they needed to up the clock speed. A slight tweak to the chipset, and it's ready to go. I think the PIII will hold the mid-low market segment, and slowly ramp in clockspeed.
  • by Technician ( 215283 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2001 @07:11AM (#155123)
    They design a new chip using an established process. This gives a stable process to debug the new logic. At high speeds one thing that needed fixed was how to get the clock signal to arrive at all parts of the chip at the same time. This debugging and design was done on a known working process. Later they migrate the chip to the new process that that was developed. Making new logic and a new process at the same time is the same thing as going up the stairs 10 steps at a time. Few people make it even after many failed trys. Working out the bugs and tweaking to perfection a step at a time will get you there faster. The latest migration is from the 858 to the 860 process which uses copper interconnects. They are testing it on an established processor (PIII). I also think the marketing department noticed the problem with Rambus and decided the need for fast chips that use cheap memory may sell better. After all they do produce to fill the customers orders. Right now in a stagnet market, faster and cheaper is what sells. Faster cutting edge at any price is a slow market.
  • P6 architecture on which Pentium III is based has 6 10-stage pipelines while Pentium 4 has 9 20-stage pipelines, for out-of-order instructions execution.

    Sometime the out-of-order execution would fail due to excessive branching and mis-prediction, in this case Pentium processor will flush all the stages in pipelines. Pentium 4 has then lost more instructions then Pentium III on average, thus lost more execution cycles. Chances that a program which has a lot of conditional branching would run faster in Pentium III.

    That explain why some benchmark tests show Pentium III out-perform Pentium IV in some cases.

    P.S. FYI, Athlon only flush 1/2 stages on average and that explain why Athlon run faster then Pentium III&4 at same Mhz.
  • I thought the P4 was supposed to have better branch prediction to minimize the pipeline flush penalty. Does anyone know which CPU has a better branch prediction algorithm?

    I think its major improvement is to make each stage comparatively simple by lengthening pipelines, but it brings other problems as I said before [slashdot.org]

    There are improvements in other aspects, but they are mostly useless [zdnet.co.uk], some reviewers said.
    • A PII clocked at the same speed as a PPro was slower [...] the latest and greatest processors in their early incarnation because they don't run that much faster than the previous generation... but eventually will

    Er, haven't you got it backwards? This would have been like Intel starting to get the PII up to speed, then instead of phasing out PPro, suddenly ramping the PPro up as well and wiping out the PII's advantage. It makes little sense to do this with PIII/P4 unless there's something wrong with their P4 yields or architecture.

    But I'm just bullshitting here. Can anyone think (or does anyone know) of a good reason why they'd throw development effort at PIII instead of P4 or future chips?

    • Sound like what happened with the Celeron A whipping the P2's ass?

    Hey, at some price points, the Celeron whups the P3's ass for some applications.

  • With everything that we know know, how could anyone not buy AMD?

    Simple: They still have some stability and compatability issues. Now perhps the new 760s boards have cleared this up, I haven't use one, but I HAVE had problems with Athlons in the past. It continues to get better, but when for some it's still an issue. When I got my mobo it was really bad. I bought an Athlon 700 and an Abit KA7 (VIA KA133 chipset). I could not get my system to work. In addition ot having random crashing problem, etc, as soon as I installed my video drivers the whole thing went to hell. Took the board back, got another, same thing. Canned the Athlon and got a PIII 700 on an Asus CUBX and had no problems getting it to work straight off. Yes, I know that the KT133 is significantly better, however you can see how issues like that scare people off. AMD is going to need to prove themselves for a little bit before some people will buy them. Remember: Many people are willing to trade some speed and cost for the gaurentee of stability and compatibility.

  • And which motherboard doesn't need a service pack to run Windows?

    Any and every motherboard based on an Intel chipset. The 440BX, 815, 840, etc all work with all version of Windows straight off, no patches required.

  • Most Asus motherboards are based on Intel chipsets.
  • by Howling Wolf ( 325006 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2001 @06:26AM (#155145)
    ...that Intel is slowly backing away from the Pentium IV.

    If that isn't the spin that you take away from this story, it doesn't even make sense. Why in the world would a bellweather tech company that is having severely difficult financial times all of a sudden dedicate a whirlwind of time and energy to a previous-generation processor? Unless the Pentium IV has serious problems, this expenditure of resources doesn't even remotely make sense.

    The Pentium IV has already had a troubled history. It underperforms. It runs way too hot. Machines that use it have had some high-visibility, bad-publicity recalls. Some have estimated that as many as 70% of P4-based machines experience intermittent hardware problems. My guess? Some engineers at Intel have discovered something even worse about the P4. They've discovered that the P4 is a ticking time bomb and are looking at something .. anything .. to save their collective asses when the bomb goes off. Their 64-bit offerings are not ready to go; there is very little software support. That leaves the Pentium III.

    Personally, I bought a new machine five months or so ago, and instead of buying a P4, I went with a 1GHz Pentium III. A lot of my friends ridiculed me. Well, they're not looking so damned smart now, are they?
  • is that they actually spend research money on improving their old models. It's cool, but it seems so... unamerican
    • Imagination is more important than knowledge.
  • I suggest you read Intel's Annual Report. Buy a share of stock and you will get one for free.

    Intel is not at all in financial difficulty. They have billions of dollars in cash.

    Also recall that the original Pentium 60Mhz ran hot and even had a horrible floating point bug. They weathered that disaster. The P4 will do just fine given some time to mature. And Intel still as the world's number one PC manufacturer in their bag (Dell who doesn't sell AMD).
  • You just don't know anything about the intel design teams. The pentium III design team is seperate from the pentium IV. So P4 is in development while P three is getting shipped everywhere and tweaked still, and then P four is supposed to take over when the tweaking is done. P4's architecture is actually quite interesting, i suggest in particular that you examine the register renaming methods, which get around the legacy issues of the 80386 architecture quite nicely. You can find the manuals at http://developer.intel.com/design/Pentium4/manuals / What has happened is that the pentium III team discovered more tweaks than they thought there would be in their processor. And since the pentium 4 hasn't been able to capitalize on many of its improvements... YET, the pentium 3 has comparable performance when it is fully tweaked out. This 'older chip outperforms newer chip' thing isn't a new thing for intel either. The pentium and the pentium pro had this problem too: intel assumed that the 32 bit OS promise from MS would happen, and they were wrong, and 16 bit programs ran faster on the pentium than on the pentium pro. The celeron was actually a newer chip than the pentium 2, so it isn't quite the same thing. Also the thing that intel really has to watch out for is the competition between AMD's 64-bit dual processor system (32 bit w/ 32 bit coprocessor) and its new IA-64 (which is also a very interesting architecture, and has been in development by intel and HP for almost a decade(!!!)) Personally i'm going to wait for the next big stepping in Pentium 4 to get a new computer. The architecture has the potential to blow away everything else around, it just hasn't been realized yet.

Disclaimer: "These opinions are my own, though for a small fee they be yours too." -- Dave Haynie

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