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• #### Re:Model Numbers (Score:2)

The problem with this is that the LARGE majority of users out there do not run applications that would match the SPEC results. AMD uses benchmarks that reflect the programs used by the majority of there users (the same sort of stuff that Tom's or Anand's uses to benchmark), I don't see how this is a problem. People who want SPEC numbers know where to find them, this marketing scheme is not aimed at them.
• #### Spec scores - more detail is available! (Score:2)

It's nice to have a SPEC2001 test to look at and compare, but the SPECINT and SPECFP aren't the only results of this test. If you look at the whole reports for the P4 2GHz [spec.org] and the Athlon 1.4GHz [spec.org], you'll see that the score is based on the 12 programs. If you're looking for performance in only one type of application (as I am), you can see how the two processors compare:

Timberwolf (300.twolf) is closest to what I do:
Athlon=703, Intel=683 --> a 3% difference - it's fairly even.

GCC (164.gcc) is something else I use a lot:
Athlon=254, Intel=197 --> a 29% difference - bigger difference

To select what test matches what you do best, you can get more info on the individual integer tests here [spec.org], and the floating point tests here [spec.org]

Still, these two applications show that the variantions from the composite 18% SPECINT and 56% SPECFP advantage the P4 has can be great.

Also, these pages detail the hardware setup used to reproduce these tests. We can see the Athlon was tested with 256MB and an ATA66/7200 rpm drive. The Intel was tested with the same amount of RAM and the faster ATA100/7200 rpm infamous 75GXP [slashdot.org] drive. That may explain some of the gcc differences. Also included are the compilers to build these test programs - If you're not (or your software vendor isn't) using the Intel 5.0 compiler, then these results probably aren't as applicable to you. Still, you've got to wonder why AMD is using the intel compiler... (it has K7 optimizations, but how much work is intel going to put into then?)

Lots more info on SPEC2001 here. [spec.org]

FYI - the difference between peak and base - from the the spec run rules [spec.org]:
"Peak" metrics are produced by building each benchmark in the suite with a set of optimizations individually tailored for that benchmark. The optimizations selected must adhere to the set of general benchmark optimization rules described in section 2.1 below. This may also be referred to as "aggressive compilation".

"Base" metrics are produced by building all the benchmarks in the suite with a common set of optimizations. In addition to the general benchmark optimization rules (section 2.1), base optimizations must adhere to a stricter set of rules described in section 2.2. These additional rules serve to form a "baseline" of recommended performance optimizations for a given system.
• #### Re:Model Numbers (Score:2)

"The 'proper' way to compare processors would be to use the SPEC benchmarks"

No, the SPEC benchmarks are a pretty awful way of comparing processor performance. Those synthetic benchmarks are often not equivalent to real-world performance.

The "proper" way to compare CPU's is to be an educated consumer and check out real-world benchmarks the accurately reflect the kind of software you use.

I don't mind AMD using the "XP" equivalent rating, as long as they stay realistic/humble and use the XP-rating to EDUCATE, not OVERHYPE. So far, they're calling their 1.53ghz model an 1800. I'd say that's pretty humble/realistic, since it beats the P4 2.0ghz in the majority of benchmarks.
• #### SPEC isn't a good benchmark for consumer CPU's (Score:2)

Why? Because it's all about how much the compilers can be optimized for it. Even worse, compiliers highly optimized for SPEC often produce poor code for realworld applicatios. The fact is, very little software is optimized for SSE2 anyway. Especially consumer software, which for the most part is written to the least common denominator. Without the special optimizations, Pentium 4's just don't compete well with Athlons.
• #### Re:Model Numbers (Score:5, Informative)

on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @12:55PM (#2406681)
AMD is now not selling thier processors as 1500MHz, but instead as 'equivilant to a P4 at 1800MHz' -> an AthlonXP 1800+

Not quite right. AMD is labeling a 1500MHz processor as equivilant to how a Pentium 1800MHz based on the coming Northwood core should perform. The Northwood core will be more efficient than the P4 architecture so an AMD AthlonXP 1800 will easily outperform a P4 1800MHz but should be roughly equivilent (better still but not by as much) to an 1800MHz Northwood.
• #### Good CPU in spite of AMD marketing (Score:5, Interesting)

on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @12:24PM (#2406478)
I think in spite of AMD's awkward marketing plan for the Athlon XP CPU's, you have to admit they are impressively fast.

Both Anandtech and Tom's Hardware show the Athlon XP 1800+ to have pure-CPU performance that exceeds that for the Pentium 4 2,000 MHz CPU (with the exception of any program that takes full advantage of SSE2 instructions, which are still quite rare). This is a tribute to the fact that the Athlon CPU core itself is very fast, particularly the FPU unit.

Once people realize the Athlon XP's excellent performance I think the new CPU will be a good seller.
• #### 1900+ still tomorrow? (Score:2)

For months now there have been reports that this announcement would be today, with the 1.6/1900+ tomorrow. Does anyone know if this is still likely? (or why that was expected in the first place???)

I have $5k burning a hole in my boss's pocket waiting to order my workstation. mmm, dual athlons, 4 15krpm scsi drives, 2g of ddr, and a 21" screen. \end{\drool} hawk • #### MP? (Score:5, Interesting) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @12:26PM (#2406496) From reading the various reviews, the Athlon XP doesn't seem to have SMP capability. Are the Athlon XP and Athlon MP essentially two lines now? It sucks to see AMD succumb to marketing in order to combat Intel. • #### Re:MP? (Score:2) At least it's smart marketing. Average Joe doesn't know of or care about SMP capabilities. Slashdorks like us know that the rating system's a sham. All I see is a divided marketing tactic for a divided market. Simple for the simple, special for the special. • #### Re:MP? (Score:2) The Athlon XP is the official name for the desktop Palimino version of the Athlon. In essence, the XP and the MP are the same processors, but I'm not sure if AMD has validated the XP processors for dual-processor use yet. • #### Re:MP? (Score:5, Informative) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @01:44PM (#2407008) The Athlon XP uses the Palomino chipset just like the Athlon MP, so yes you can use it in an MP configuration. For that matter you can use an Athlon tbird in an MP configuration, but the Palominos have AMD's blessing. The HardOCP article talks about this somewhat. • #### Re:MP? (Score:2) I don't understand why the CPU is the problem with SMP. I understand that it took a while for Athlon MP chipsets to come out, but the Athlon uses the Alpha EV6 bus, and Alphas have been SMPing for years! Can someone explain to me (I guess in words of one syllable :P) why the stock Athlon CPU doesn't support SMP? • #### Re:MP? (Score:2) huh? Every singe AMD CPU from lowly Duron to the latest Athlon 4/Athlon XP /Athlon Foo supports SMP. • #### Re:MP? (Score:2) This is what I thought. People kept saying that the Athlon couldn't do MP. I thought it was just motherboard problems... Question. Why couldn't someone take a MP Alpha motherboard and plug a bunch of Athlons into it? • #### Re:MP? (Score:2) Question. Why couldn't someone take a MP Alpha motherboard and plug a bunch of Athlons into it? Someone did. The old slot Athlons fit in the Alpha boards and work fine. The current socket ones do not. Question is why would you want to do it? If you have an Alpha board you might as well stick Alpha CPUs in it... • #### Re:MP? (Score:2, Informative) Other guys have already told that all athlons can MP but that is not exactly true. Thunderbirds could work in a MP configuration but they did much worse than athlon MP's, sometimes even worse than single thunderbirds. So what I really wonder is how well these XPs work under SMP. I guess, since it is the same core now, there would be little or no difference in performance, but there might be issues about stability. Anyone read about XPs in SMP configuration yet? • #### A chip by any other name... (Score:3, Interesting) <lailoken@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @12:28PM (#2406501) Journal .. would still run as sweet. Aparently that are following suit, with NVidia and their DetonatorXP drivers, everyone seems to be trying to get onto the WinXP hype. They seem to call it Extended Performance (isn't that AthlonEP then?), and sure it has 3-7% more bang for clock than the TB line. My only question is this, since AMDs are so popular in the linux comunity, what will the change in name do to that support? I for one don't care... :) Any thoughts on the name's impact? Anyone know what happened to UserFriendly? • #### Athlon "XP"? (Score:3, Interesting) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @12:28PM (#2406506) Erm, this is getting frightening. First we had nice, normal products. 80286. Windows 3.0. DOS 6.2. Simple to note differences, no? Then we had products which were easier to copyright the names of. Pentium. K6. Windows 95 (OK, that wasn't really for copyright; that was just for misleading people). Now we're seeing a return to the old days, except without the clarity. Office XP. Windows XP. Athlon XP. See, now companies appear to be marching in lockstep. Have the same name, and confuse the customer. I can hardly wait for the "Pentium XP" . . . • #### XP hype (Score:5, Funny) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @12:29PM (#2406508) Homepage Journal Since X-( is listed in the smiley guide as: User just died I nominate the new XP smiley to be listed as User just died of confusion (with tongue sticking out) after trying to figure out if Windows XP would run better on a machine with an Athlon XP CPU or a faster(?) Intel cpu (NOTE: Trademarks above are owned by respective companies blahblahblah) • #### Athalon XP site (Score:2) This site [amd.com] is all about the processor - it was made by a friend's company and he'd love to see how it does against the /. effect. ;) • #### Re:Athalon XP site (Score:2) Not so well apparently... :) Andrew • #### Re:Athalon XP site (Score:2) Apparently it didn't do so well :). • #### Subliminal story (Score:2, Interesting) Am I dreaming or a story appeared on the front page and had disappeared a few seconds later when I reloaded ? • #### Now what? (Score:3, Interesting) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @12:35PM (#2406548) Homepage Ok... so, now I apparently have to stop using AMD processors after my athlon 1.4, because I won't be able to determine the true mHz that my processor is running. I don't necessarily see the reasons why this rating is masked on the XP processors... its probably ok for the average home user, but I'm not average. MhZ ratings mean something to me, because I enjoy tweaking the most from my system. I stopped using Intel processors a while ago, after learning that AMD's chip architecture was superior to Intel's, the choice was obvious. If you haven't read this document [emulators.com], please do. It'll give you a good technical understanding of performance issues with Pentium processors compared to AMD processors. So, now what? I guess I'm forced into some hard choices over the specs of my next machine. It may be time to consider Intel again... I just don't know. AMD's new CPU scheme sounds really sketchy to me. • #### Re:Now what? (Score:4, Insightful) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @12:42PM (#2406596) MhZ ratings mean something to me, because I enjoy tweaking the most from my system. MHz ratings _shouldn't_ mean something to you in that case. You'd really pick a 2GHz CPU over a 1.8GHz model, even if the latter were 20% faster? Consumers in general will be fine with this change, but geeks are going to implode. Too many have made a hobby out of tracking MHz and transistor count and other meaningless numbers. Unfortunately, it's about the same as horsepower in cars. More is not necessarily better. And no one who buys a car fixates on horsepower above all else. • #### It's not the end of the world. (Score:3, Insightful) You'll still know what speed your CPU runs at. It's not like it'll be a huge secret. Go in to the CPU setup on your Abit board and it'll tell you, they just hide it during boot so normal users don't see it. • #### Re:Now what? (Score:2, Interesting) Excerpt from the article: AMD Motherboards will not pass AMD validation or be posted on the AMD recommended motherboard website if the frequency is displayed by the BIOS during bootup for AMD Athlon(tm) Model 6 desktop and multiprocessing processors. It'll be interesting to see how many companies release "un-approved" motherboards for the processors, and how many computer geeks buy them. I know I would. I don't agree with the arguement that the MhZ rating is arbitrary. Its not... there is a direct correlation between mHz and clock cycles. Clock cycles mean something to some talented computer users. By masking the mHz rating, it only obfuscates the technical aspect of the chip. Their silly rating does NOT take that away, because the chip still runs on a clock. • #### Re:Now what? (Score:3, Informative) Chip still runs on a clock, so what? No, clock cycles do not mean anything about performance to "some talented computer users." Here's why, using CPUs other than AthlonXP and Pentium4 so as not to inflame anyone: The old Intel 8-bit CPU used in PC/XT machines ran at 4.77 MHz (4,770,000 clock cycles per second) but this does *not* mean that it could do 4,770,000 *things* per second, because each time it needed to execute an instruction, it took several (i.e. more than one) clock cycles to do so. Furthermore, the largest numbers it could operate on natively were generally 8-bits long -- a 32-bit calculation, for example, required user code to complete, which of course meant many, many more cycles. The Hitachi 6309 CPU of the same time period, by comparison, ran at 2.0 MHz (2,000,000 cycles per second), but was **MUCH** faster for the same types of tasks than the Intel 8-bit CPU because it could *often* finish a complete instruction in only one clock cycle and because it had 16-bit registers and a 32-bit register and could thus do MANY types of math *natively*, in just one or several cycles, that the Intel CPU needed user code (and thus, hundreds or thousands of cycles) to complete. Because of these types of _architectural_ differences, clock cycles have little or nothing to do with the real speeds of different chips performing real-world tasks (which, for gamers, includes things like Quake 3). In fact, clock cycles and MHz are *the same thing*, as MHz on a CPU simply means "number, in millions, of cycles per second." You will find no statistical correlation between the *actual* clock speed on an AthlonXP and each of the benchmarks vs., say, a Pentium4 at 1800 MHz. Yes, one is running at ~1,500,000,000 cycles/second and one is running at ~1,800,000,000 cycles per second, but that doesn't tell you how many cycles each one is spending doing different types of tasks or (as is often the case) sitting around waiting for data from the rest of the system or from the bus. • #### The P4 needs a PR rating... (Score:4, Interesting) <slashdot.helix@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @12:37PM (#2406562) Homepage Journal The most irritating thing about AMD switching to a PR rating is most folks miss the fact that mhz vs mhz, the Pentium III blows the Pentium 4 out of the water. It all comes down to what gets used as a normal - using a P3 as the mHz reference point, you get the AMD chip wiping the P3, and the P3 owning the P4. The P4 could use a PR rating as well... Intel can't make it faster, but we can increase the number of cycles... can marketing do anything with that? Intel killed the PIII because the last thing they wanted was for someone to take a 1.5gHz chip and put the P3 & P4 side by side. Depending on how you tweak the benching and load things up, you will see strengths and weaknesses in each CPU. Priced the same, the AMD chips are a better deal for my development and gaming needs. • #### Marketing capitulation (Score:4, Insightful) <dgb2n@@@comcast...net> on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @12:38PM (#2406563) Its very sad but AMD is essentially admitting through their marketing ploy that the average consumer is incapable of realizing that the speed of a processor and indeed a system is more than a clock frequency. Although virtually every reviewer pans the confusing processor labelling, I believe that it was a good business decision. With the success of the Athlon processor, AMD went a long way towards minimizing the marketing impact of "Intel Inside". Now they find themselves "burdened" with a processor which out performs its competitors significantly at a given clock speed. If they label the chip with its clock frequency they invite price comparisons to similarly clocked (but underperforming) Intel products. I think the new labelling scheme is actually a win for AMD. Smart consumers will buy the chips because of their superior performance, regardless of the name. "Joe 6 pack" will buy it because he can buy the AMD 1700+ system for less than the Intel 1600. • #### No cheaper than Intel (Score:4, Insightful) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @12:38PM (#2406570) Homepage From CNNfn [cnn.com]: "In 1,000-unit quantities, the Athlon XP 1800 is priced at$252. The most recent list price for a 1.8 GHz Pentium 4 was $256. The Athlon XP 1700 will sell for$190, compared with $193 for a 1.7 GHz Pentium 4. The Athlon 1600 lists for$160, compared with $163 for Intel's 1.6 GHz Pentium 4. The list price for the Athlon 1500 is$130, compared with $133 for a 1.5 GHz Pentium 4." So AMD doesn't have a significant price edge on this round. That's bad for AMD; they need a price edge to win over vendors. Without competition from AMD, Intel CPU chips would cost around$1000. We know this because they used to cost that much. Remember when Pentium Pro CPUs cost around \$1000? AMD didn't have a high-end offering back then, and Intel could get away with huge markups. That's the difference between a monopoly and competition.

The real test will come when AMD starts shipping the Thunderbird, which is not instruction-compatible with the Intel Itanium.

• #### Re:No cheaper than Intel (Score:3, Informative)

("Thunderbird" above should be "Sledgehammer". Sorry. Considering that I'm writing this on a Thunderbird machine.)
• #### Re:No cheaper than Intel (Score:2)

They do have a significant price edge.
The Athlon XP 1800+ (according to all the reviews) is actually faster than the 2.0 GHz Pentium 4, which in turn is considerably more expensive.
Of course, because of AMDs new marketing, people will think that the Athlon XP 1800+ is really comparable to the P4 1.8GHz, because they know that marketing ploys seldom are entirely accurate.
• #### AMD's heatsink problem? (Score:3, Insightful)

<publicNO@SPAMkered.org> on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @12:40PM (#2406584) Homepage
Has anyone heard whether or not AMD's heat problem has been solved? Reading Tom's article on what happens if your heat sink falls off really put a kink in my AMD-buying choice. I mean, it wasn't even like you had time to hit your power button - you went from 'snap' to 'smoke coming from case' in less than a second.

No matter how much faster and cheaper they are then Intel, that's a HUGE risk to take on your system.
• #### Re:AMD's heatsink problem? (Score:5, Funny)

on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @12:51PM (#2406654) Homepage
I worry about my heatsink falling off about as much as I worry about my dink falling off, i.e.: not at all.
• #### Re:AMD's heatsink problem? (Score:5, Insightful)

<zibby+slashdot@ringworld.org> on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @12:56PM (#2406682) Homepage Journal
Umm...if you're heat sink falls off, you have one of the following problems:

You're and idiot and installed it wrong in the first place.

You're system vendor is an idiot and installed it worng in the first place.

You're motherboard is made of cheap materals

You forced something didn't you (see 1)

There is no good reason for your heat sink to just fall off.

• #### Re:AMD's heatsink problem? (Score:2)

The whole "Tom's article on the heat sink falling off" bullshit is silly. If the water pump in your car fails and you keep running it then your motor will burn up. Luckily we have temperatore gauges [livewiredev.com] on most autos to let us know when our car is overheating.

AMD CPU's, for the most part, kick mule all over Intel's offerings at the same rated speed. If you follow normal precautions with your CPU (i.e. fasten the heatsink properly) the likelihood of the heatsink "falling off" is next to nil.

• #### Re:AMD's heatsink problem? (Score:2)

Well, a car engine will take at least a couple of minutes to go from cooling failure to overheat to physical damage.

Your car's engine won't burn up in a couple of seconds like an AMD processor will.

With a car, you have time to pull over and shut down the engine. With an AMD, even the fastest temperature sensing system won't be able to detect it and remove power in time. Even if you knew instantly when your heat sink failed, the combination your reaction time and the delay between pressing the power button and dropping of the power supply voltage to zero would be enough time for your CPU to burn.

As for a motherboard temperature monitor, most can only poll every 1.5 seconds or so (HW limitation). That doesn't leave enough time between when the cooling fails and when the power gets cut off. Remember also, that monitoring software and the power off BIOS calls take time, and there is also a delay between the power off bit on the MB being toggled and the power from the power supply dropping to zero.

• #### Re:AMD's heatsink problem? (Score:2)

What do you think will happen if your Intel heat sink will fall off?

My motherboard will shut off if the fan dies(far more likely then your heatsink falls off) and I run soft ware that alerts me if the CPU reaches a certian temperature. It can also close down my system if I want it to.
these two precautions need to be taken with any modern system regardless of manufacturer>

FYI. My athlon 1.4 runs at 40c with the heat sinkan fan, and is rated above 90c.
• #### Re:AMD's heatsink problem? (Score:5, Funny)

<kreyg@sh[ ]ca ['aw.' in gap]> on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @01:19PM (#2406862) Homepage
Wow, if my heatsink fell off, it would fall directly on, and likely short out, my video card - which costs as much or more than my processor.

Welcome to FUD.
• #### Re:AMD's heatsink problem? (Score:2)

I estimate that the probability of heatsink "falling off" is about equal to the probability of the sky "falling off"
• #### Comparison with the old Cyrix-scheme (Score:4, Insightful)

on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @12:45PM (#2406620)
Cyrix used to sell their processors with a PR-rating. PR150 which tried to compete with a Pentium 150, was actually a lower MHz.

The difference in the policy is that the Cyrix PR150 was only in _some_ applications the equal of a Pentium 150, at others (gaming) it was truly pathetic.
The AMD Athlon XP 1800+ is in almost every regard better than Pentium IV.

The conclusion is that, even though I wish AMD would market their processors on MHz, they are actually not overhyping their processors when stating in this marketing, like Cyrix did.
• #### Analagies of the XP processor... (FUNNY!) (Score:2, Funny)

This is taken from:
http://athlonxp.amd.com/includes/content/whitePape rs/quantiSpeed.pdf [amd.com] (a whitepaper about the "technical details of QuantiSpeed")

AMD Athlon" XP processor with QuantiSpeed" Architecture Analogies
1. Adult and Child Walking

If a child and an adult are walking together, the child needs to take more steps to keep up with the adult. Since the adult has a longer stride than the child and travels further with each step. The child has to work harder by moving faster to try and keep up.

2. Automobile Engines
Two cars are in a race. The Blue Car has a 6-cylinder engine while the Green Car has a 9-cylinder engine. While the Blue Car s engine works hard in terms of high RPMs, it doesn't actually go all that fast down the road. In contrast, the Green Car s more powerful engine doesn't have to run at high RPMs. Yet on the road, the Green Car blows the doors off the Blue Car. The more powerful Green Car engine is designed to run efficiently and to deliver a faster, more powerful driving experience.

3. Bucket and Cup
You and a friend are out on the lake in a rowboat. At some point, you both notice that the boat is taking on water. Your friend starts bailing water with a cup while you start bailing water with a bucket. In a panic, your friend bails faster than you, but since your container is larger, you end up bailing more water in the same amount of time.

4. Cycling
Two cyclists ride together on 10-speed bikes. One cyclist uses the 10th gear, pedaling slower but moving faster down the road and covering more distance with each stroke. The other cyclist uses 1st gear and has to pedal like a lunatic to achieve even close to the same speed on the road and cover the same ground.

This is what one finds by going to athlonxp.amd.com and clicking on any links that say "technical"

• #### SMP (Score:2)

Im waiting for the MP version of the AMDXP chipset. After they come out with thier 2000+ procs, im upgrading from my dual P3-800. SMP is the only boxes I want to use now, going from 1ghz to a dual 800, my system doesnt hang when an application use all the cpu resources.

I just wish I could pick up a cheap powerpc atx motherboard, and through a couple power4's in it. But for some reason IBM/Motorola doesnt want to compete against Intel in the desktop market, im denied the joy of a smp box. I have been toying with the idea of picking up an SMP Mac now that OSX is patched and running smoothly.

Speaking of PowerPC chips, Recently /. had a nice article on the Power4 [slashdot.org] cpu with 2 processor cores.
• #### Re:SMP (Score:3, Informative)

The previously released Athlon MP is the multiprocessor certified version of the Athlon XP. Faster versions of the Athlon MP are expected to be announced next week, with new dual processor motherboards (in addition to the Tyan Thunder and Tiger MP boards already on the market) expected next month.

The Athlon4 notebook CPUs are also equivalent to the Athlon XP desktop CPUs (with the addition of PowerNOW! power management, natch). As notebook and MP-certified CPUs are higher margin parts than uniprocessor desktop CPUs and AMD had no previous MP or notebook Athlon offerings, AMD directed their new Palamino-core fabrication lines to those markets first.
• #### whetstone/dhrystone (Score:2)

What is the difference between whetstone and dhrystone benchmarks?
• #### Customers prefer numbers to letters (Score:2, Insightful)

I think Microsoft is hurting itself by using letters instead of numbers.

If I has Windows 7 and I saw that Windows 8 is out I would feel behind the times. If I had Windows ME and I saw Windows XP is out I would not notice so much.

Customers are used to numbers. Sequels to movies have numbers. I think they will want to upgrade more with the old version scheme.
• #### Problem with marketing based on mhz (Score:3, Interesting)

on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @01:37PM (#2406970)
We know that marketing your product based on MHZ alone will kill it. This was seen right from the early days of the 386's. People looked at the generation of chip and the equivalent clock speed. Teck people would ignore this ask they knew real benchmarket would tell the truth.

Look at recient times, you have a bigger gap in this problem. The G3's and G4's are clocked between 400mhz and 800mhz, but people are put off buying one cause they can get a PC with 1.2Ghz for cheaper. The G4 can be a faster chip with lower clockspeeds but people won't buy it cause all they see is 800mhz vs 1.2ghz. The bigger number in compters means it's better, everyone knows that!

If AMD doesn't start PR rating their chips people won't buy them. They are slower and cheaper (in the mind of Joe Sixpack) so they must not be as good as an Intel.
• #### bfd. (Score:2, Insightful)

Wow, another new CPU that current RAM and bus architectures cannot keep up with. Is it just me, or does it seem we would be better off if they just got RAM, data storage and bus speeds up to snuff so that data is able to pass between the system compotents at full blast?
• #### 20 cities, not 6 (Score:2)

If you read the website for the giveaway, they mention it's been expanded to 20 cities from the original 6.

While this is cool, especially since I've got shares in AMD, one wonders how many of us are really just overexcited due to the name.

I mean, XP, that is just the hottest thing since buttered toast!

• #### new proposal (Score:2)

This is my new proposal to incorporate all the factors of a microprocessor into its product name, thus giving a more accurate and precise measure of its speed.
Multiply all the frequencies together you can think of, i.e. 133mhz ram * 2x(ddr) * 6x clock multiplier * 266mhz FSB = Athlon 371868. If more marketing is desired, use pretend scientific notation. 37186800000000 * 10^(-8).
• #### AthlonXP 1800+ != 1.8 GHz P4 (Score:2)

Instead, AthlonXP1800+ == theoretical 1.8 GHz Athlon Thunderbird

(As measured by some suite of benchmarks AMD has put together, although it's not exactly clear what because they keep fouling it up and talking about the P4 in their so-called whitepaper [amd.com]).

Thus, while this may be a misguided marketing ploy destined to backfire, it is nonetheless a fundamentally fair one, strictly meant to compare Athlons to Athlons, not Athlon's to P4s!

"Model numbers are designed to communicate the relative application performance among the various AMD Athlon XP processors, as well as communicate the architectural superiority over existing AMD Athlon processors." (From the FAQ [amd.com].)

Thus an AthlonXP 1800+ is (supposed to be) just as much better than a 1.8 GHz P4 as a 1.4 GHz Athlon Thunderbird was better than a 1.4 GHz P4.

(In reality this is not always so much the case, the main reason being that at higher processor speeds the chipset comes into play more, and the dual-channel RDRAM i850 for the P4 delivers more bandwidth than a single-channel PC266 chipset for the AthlonXP (eg. VIA KT266A). This advantage will be all-but-gone once PC333 chipsets hit in a few months...)

Please get it right!
• #### One more thing (Score:2)

Everyone and their mom is comparing this to the old PR performance ratings employed by Cyrix et. al. and what a big ripoff they were, and how everyone caught on and Cyrix went out of business and so on. There are two problems with this:

1. PR was a terrible benchmark. It was proprietary, synthetic, had little to do with real-world applications. Moreover, it was integer-only, and thus rather neatly covered up the fact that while the Cyrix CPUs were indeed faster clock-for-clock than a Pentium on integer programs, their floating point seriously sucked. In contrast, the suite of benchmarking suites AMD is using is well chosen, all based on "real-world" application benchmarks, and covers most problem domains pretty well.

The only missing component which might be interesting to have included is SPEC, but the only new data that would really provide is how well cutting-edge, mainly-experimental compilers support each processor. On the one hand, this exclusion does tend to disadvantage the P4, since modern compilation techniques are important to top P4 performance, and eventually these techniques will make their way to mainstream precompiled applications. On the other hand, for the next couple years or so 99% of the programs consumers run will still be compiled with not-so-modern compilers (i.e. MSVC++), and as Intel now owns every single important compiler research team in the world, they may have a slightly unfair advantage here.

In any case, this doesn't really matter because the AthlonXP rating system is comparing AthlonXPs to Athlon Thunderbirds, not P4s.

2. PR meant "Pentium Rating", even while Intel was selling "Pentium-II"s. This is the big thing people tend to forget about the whole PR thing: it was more or less accurate (integer only, of course), but the problem was that Cyrix was trying to position a "PR250" chip against, say, a PII-266. Great, except that the PII was significantly faster clock-for-clock than the Pentium was, especially running 32-bit apps (eg. the then-newly-standard Win95). The PR thing *was* a scam, not because performance ratings are innately a scam, but because the "P" in PR confused the fact that the comparison was to an obsolete processor and not to the current competition.

In any case, this doesn't really matter because the AthlonXP rating system is comparing AthlonXPs to Athlon Thunderbirds, not P4s.

(sorry to reply to self, etc.)

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