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AMD

AMD Roadmap for Coming Year and Beyond 215

nexex writes: "With a new year comes new products, and AMD certainly has some new toys for us to drool over. The first of 2002 will see the release of "Thoroughbred," a version of the Athlon XP chip made on the more advanced 130-nanometer manufacturing process. The chip will cover 80 square millimeters in area, or 65 percent of the space of the "Northwood" Pentium 4 coming from Intel in early January. That chip measures 116 square millimeters, according to AMD estimates. For more, including info on Clawhammer, Sledgehammer, and all the Intel bashing you can handle, see here." I hope they don't really mean that "these new chips will also consume less heat than current AMD notebooks chips."
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AMD Roadmap for Coming Year and Beyond

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  • Hrm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by autopr0n ( 534291 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @03:40PM (#2548967) Homepage Journal
    Hrm, the third paragraph is an intresting one. "Instead of a (Microsoft-Intel) duopoly, we are going to have a holy trinity," he said.

    I guess we know where AMD stands with regards to Linux :P
    • Re:Hrm... (Score:3, Informative)

      by shimmin ( 469139 )
      I guess we know where AMD stands with regards to Linux :P

      Actually, AMD has been at least making an effort to look like they encourage the development of 64-bit Linux for their upcoming "Hammer" processors.

      See www.linux64.org [linux64.org] for more details.

    • I guess we know where AMD stands with regards to Linux :P

      Yes. The holy trinity will be:

      AMD, Intel, and Linux

      Not necessarily in that order!

      Kevin
    • Re:Hrm... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by krogoth ( 134320 )
      Open Source will actually be hurting AMD. The biggest advantage of the Hammer over the Itanium is that the Hammer can still run native x86 software - Itanium software has to be recompiled. While this will hurt Itanium with commercial software where the vendor may not release an Itanium version, Open Source software can easily be ported and recompiled for a new platform.
  • When did they transistion from code-naming their CPU cores after cars (Thunderbird, Mustang), to using names of horses (Mustang, Palomino, Thoroughbred)?

    Have to say I like horses better than rivers in No-Cal and Oregon.

    • The switch from car names happened when the auto manufacturers started threatening to sue.

      Then they switched to World War II fighter names (Spitfire/Duron) When someone pointed out that this wasn't politically correct for a company with a big FAB in Dresden (which the allies firebombed in WWII), they switched to horses.

      Pretty hard to offend anyone that way.
  • consume less heat? (Score:2, Informative)

    by ChazeFroy ( 51595 )
    Consume less heat? I believe they mean dissipate less heat.
    • maybe they use heat to turn turbines, which generate the electricity the chips need to run...
      • Actually, I was thinking this would be great for a dual-processor system... Have one chip that generates heat and one that consumes it, slap them back-to-back and say goodbye to clunky cooling fans!
    • by rneches ( 160120 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @05:09PM (#2549130) Homepage
      These new processors actually do consume heat as they operate, turning it into valuable CPU cycles. These processors require the use of a whole new CPU packaging technology that pumps heat into, rather than out of, the CPU core. Initial tests in laptop configurations have proven uncomfortable to use, due to the fact that the laptop begins to condense water out of the air, and eventually frost over as it runs. AMD expects that these problems will be solved by the time these processors reach the marketplace.

      They will no doubt use this new technology to bury Intel, Microsoft, AOL Time Warner and the Soviet Union. Having vanquished these foes, they will split their company into a half dozzen competing CPU manufacturers that compete fairly with one another. Each of these new chip makers will pour billions of dollars into Linux development. Their executives and directors will use their extra income to feed starving children and help build a better public education system.

      Oh, wait. That would break the laws of thermodynamics. Never mind.
      • These new processors actually do consume heat as they operate, turning it into valuable CPU cycles. These processors require the use of a whole new CPU packaging technology that pumps heat into, rather than out of, the CPU core. Initial tests in laptop configurations have proven uncomfortable to use, due to the fact that the laptop begins to condense water out of the air, and eventually frost over as it runs.

        Sweet! So a dual processor system with two of these and an aluminum bar connecting them could do away with fans entirely?

      • while you're compiling your code

        I better not type what I was planning to type next, otherwise I'd get a moderated lame.
    • AMD has apparently found a way to reverse the third law of thermo-dynamics. Their CPUs literally 'consume heat' That must be why they've been beating Intel, and now they let it slip
    • Consume less heat?


      Yes, just swap VCC and VDD. Can't see why this hasn't been thought of before. (-:

      Disclaimer for the idiots: trying this will almost certainly popcorn your entire computer.
  • by Black Acid ( 219707 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @03:44PM (#2548975)
    Geek.com has a short but informative [geek.com] page on AMD's future Thoroughbred processor. Interestingly, AMD will produce both mobile and desktop versions of the processor. Some specifics:
    Speed: 2.0GHz?
    Bus Speed: 133*2=266
    L1 Cache: 128K
    L2 Cache: 256K
    Microns: .13=130nm
    Form Factor: Socket A
  • fear in their eyes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Frothy Walrus ( 534163 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @03:46PM (#2548977)
    "My biggest fear is that Intel will come out with a 32-bit processor with 64-bit extensions because it is the right thing to do," Sanders said. "The Itanium it turns out is a niche product...We are going to have a role in the industry because we better fulfill Microsoft's needs."

    the Itanium is a niche product now. in a few years i expect its time will come. 64-bit is not cool now but eventually OEMs are going to lean that way for upward compatibility. remember that the PowerPC existed in relative obscurity for a while too, and now it's the basis for what are probably the best UNIX machines [apple.com] on the market.
    • 64-bit is not cool now but eventually OEMs are going to lean that way for upward compatibility.

      The AMD x86-64 does do 64 bit math and addressing, so if someone wants 64 bits the AMD will do it (in kind of a gross way, but quickly). In fact upward compatibility is exactly what the x86-64 is good at. It runs 32bit x86 apps quickly (unlike the iTanic), and it also runs 64 bit apps (unlike the P-IIII).

      Personally I don't like either arch from a nice simple design point of view, but that's not what sells CPUs (otherwise the Alpha and MIPS would be in the lead, and AMD would be selling AMD 29000 series CPUs still...).

    • by Yokaze ( 70883 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @04:27PM (#2549056)
      The reason, why Itanium is considered as niche product by AMD is not because it's 64-bit (as AMD upcoming Hammer is too), but it's new instruction-set and architecture (in contrast to AMDs Hammer)

      The Itanium-architecture currently seem to have some problems.
      A group surounding Professor Wen-mei Hwu from the University Illinois is developing a compiler called IMPACT [uiuc.edu] which should take advantage of the EPIC architecture. He made some observations concerning the Itanium.
      Theoretically, the Itanium is capable of issuing 6 instructions simultanously. But on a SPEC benchmark, called mcf, the processor achieves only 0.15 IPC. Throughout the SPECint2000 benchmark the CPU calculates only 10% of the time. Most of the time the CPU idles because of memory accesses or pipeline-flushs.

      Currently, the Itanium leads in certain benchmarks (Floating Point, IRC), but lags in other areas.

      > the Itanium is a niche product now. in a few years i expect its time will come

      You're probably right, but only time will tell.
      Maybe EPIC is the wrong way, maybe not.
      • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @09:15PM (#2549598) Homepage
        Even within Intel, there was considerable opposition to the Itanium. Very Long Instruction Word machines are notoriously hard to program, and take very elaborate compilers to get even marginally good utilization of their explicit parallelism.

        The best case for VLIW (Intel calls it EPIC, because VLIW has a bad rep, but it's VLIW) is inner number-crunching loops. Think rendering, audio/video compression and decompression, and similar stuff. But most computing isn't about tightly coded inner loops any more. Least of all on servers. Mostly, it's about calling lots of little subroutines that call more little subroutines. That's the worst case for explicit parallelism. Unless the compiler optimizes over subroutine call boundaries (which typically means very heavy inlining), explicit concurrency stalls at each subroutine call. Not good. The HP compiler guys working on the Itanium compiler admitted a few years back that it was going to take a major breakthrough to generate good Itanium code.

        Three times in the past, Intel has tried to move away from the x86 architecture to a new, more modern one. The iAPX 432, the i860, and the i960 were all moves in that direction. All three were dismal flops. In Andy Grove's book, Only the Paranoid Survive [intel.com], he takes this as a lesson that Intel should't try to force an architecture change on its customers.

        I would have expected Intel to come up with the Sledgehammer and somebody else to be pushing the Itanium.

        • I was at the computer markets today & I could've sword I saw a old SCSI/RAID controller, or something, with a i960 chipset.
          • The Intel i960 is a general-purpose 32-bit RISC CPU. Intel sells it mostly as an embedded device, but it's capable of more. It's been used in some "thin Internet clients", such as the Boundless Technologies [zdnet.com] box from 1997.

            There's no MMU, so it can't do virtual memory, and Intel never added an MMU in later versions. On the other hand, prices start at $7. There's a ucLinux port [linuxdevices.com].

            So it's a real CPU, first offered about ten years ago and still sold. But it's a niche product.


        • Three times in the past, Intel has tried to move away from the x86 architecture to a new, more modern one. The
          iAPX 432, the i860, and the i960 were all moves in that direction. All three were dismal flops.

          Intel own Alpha. And StrongARM. Why don't they try those?
          • Simple answer as to why they don't use Alpha or StrongARM, Intel doesn't like non-Intel instructions sets. They have some good reasons for this, ie it keeps control over the instruction set in-house and prevents them from getting screwed over by some other company. I suspect that there may also be a bit of political/marketing type stuff going on as well, in that having their own instruction set means that they have much more control over who produces competing products.

            In any case, StrongARM will continue to live on, under the X-Scale name, and Intel does have some rather impressive plans for these chips. Alpha will be put to rest. A bit of the technology might be incorporated into the Itanium line, but probably not much since the two designs are quite different. The real thing that Intel gained through the whole Alpha deal with Compaq was that they acquired some of the brightest CPU designers around and some very good compiler writters (the latter being VERY important for the Itanium).

    • 64bit is hugely important, but the Itanium is a big gamble because of its architecture. An x86 architecture with 64bit extensions makes a lot of sense because it makes it easy to extend existing code generators to it. But the Itanium architecture requires code generators to be completely rewritten, and writing code generators for Itanium is a lot harder than writing code generators for x86. For practical purposes, you are probably only going to see C, C++, and maybe Java for some time to come.

      If AMD managed to release their x86 with 64bit extensions in 2002, Intel would be big trouble. Too bad that they missed their targte again.

      • by Waffle Iron ( 339739 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @06:25PM (#2549306)
        In fact, I think that the trend for the future is for CPUs to contain their own code generators, like Transmeta (code morphing) and the P4 (trace cache). The legacy X86 instruction set (plus maybe AMD's 64-bit extensions) become nothing but a compact byte code to drive the new designs.

        That way, the underlynig hardware architecture can be changed at will with little or no impact on OSes or apps. I think that it was a mistake for Itanium to expose strange hardware features to the software compilers. It's too inflexible.

    • What makes this really interesting is the fact that Intel already has quite a bit of the OEM server market in the bag.

      HP's new 8800 proc, was designed to be both bus and pin compatible with Itanium. That had to of been a deliberate act on HP's part quit a while back during the design process. Also, with Compaq dropping Alpha and acquiring HP, it seems as though at least a few key players have been betting on Itanium's success.
    • Remember the Pentium Pro? Intel thought consumers would eventually move to this platform, but since - like the Itanium - it was actually SLOWER than the regular processors executing consumer applications, this didn't happen until Intel "fixed" this with the Pentium II.

      This is the exact same thing. We can not expect a majority of users to get new software for Itanium, when other processors run their present software faster.

      Do not underestimate the power of backwards compatibility. You don't have to like it, though.
  • by Zach` ( 71927 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @03:50PM (#2548982)
    http://www.amd.com/us-en/Corporate/VirtualPressRoo m/0,,51_104_608,00.html [amd.com]

    That link includes a pretty roadmap graphic. It also shows the Barton design following the Thoroughbred release.
  • The Mhz barrier (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Quizme2000 ( 323961 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @03:52PM (#2548985) Homepage Journal
    "At the end of the day, we need to get a Compaq, Dell or HP," he said. "IBM is going to be tough."

    On the consumer desktops and notebooks it will be hard for AMD to displace Intel. The "Oh it must be faster it says so" mantra will always be a key selling point in the retail world. The server side will be interesting with promise of less heat, smaller size and 64-bit application support, Intel chips will have more competition in the rack systems market. IMHO I would love to see dell ditch intel for all its notebooks and use the new AMD chips. The batteries have to discarge so fast it fries my PC cards with the heat.
    • IMHO I would love to see dell ditch intel for all its notebooks and use the new AMD chips. The batteries have to discarge so fast it fries my PC cards with the heat.

      Do you have one of the famous Dell speedsteps without a speedstep incompatible [theinquirer.net] desktop chipset?
      Even though intel gets a good deal of profit from their notebook chips they seem to be better at it than AMD. Mainly because they were large enough to begin production of their 0.13 um Tualatin chips on notebooks before they had the fabs to use the process on desktop chips.

      For your next mobile, consider that today the 750MHz ULV PIII could be a better choice on batteries than the 1 LV GHz variant.
      • Yes I have a 8K series and a 7500 inspiron. That article is a little off though. The 7500 was the first dell laptop w/speedstep, but it would throttle down only if it was running off batteries when it booted. The 8K series changed speeds in realtime(?) I ended up patching both and disabling speedstep. But dell is much better than gateway's attempt with the 750 Mhz solo. Not only did it fry PC cards, and occassionlly make a burn mark on my desk. It would power up and down the so much, it crapped out the little HD after 3 months, burned up the internal modem and then the onboard video card went. That notebook (9300) went through 3 HD, 2 MB and about a gig of notebook RAM. Talk about a lemon.
  • by Black Acid ( 219707 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @03:54PM (#2548991)
    The article says AMD's new processor will utilize SOI technology. A great page on SOI technology is UCL/DICE - SOI (Silicon On Insulator) and quantum devices [ucl.ac.be]. Heavy stuff. There's also a nice explaination of SOI [ibm.com] from IBM:
    SOI refers to placing a thin layer of silicon on top of an insulator, such as silicon oxide or glass. The transistors (switches that are used in microprocessors) are then built on top of this thin layer of SOI. The basic idea is that
    the SOI layer reduces the capacitance of the switch, so it operates faster.

    IBM has built and tested SOI-based chips that have 20-35 percent (frequency) performance gain or 2-3X lower power at the same frequency as bulk CMOS technology. This is equivalent to about two years of progress in bulk CMOS technology.

    The ultimate goal is to use SOI as the substrate for mainstream CMOS technology used in the manufacturing of microprocessor chips that power computers and other emerging electronic devices.

    Earthweb has a detailed explaination [earthweb.com] of SOI by Robert Richmond. Apparently, SOI was invented by IBM.
  • These new chips coming from AMD are nothing short of amazing. While Intel struggles with their attempts to force a slower, proprietary memory architecture [rambus.com] on PC users and push a weaker processing architecture [pentium4.com], AMD is leading the market and producing technology that is faster, more reliable, and cheaper.

    Unfortunately for AMD, better technology [betamax.com] often loses to superior marketing forces [microsoft.com]. Several of my friends went to work for Dell [dell.com] after graduation, and they told me that their employer is not going to be supporting these new AMD offerings out of allegiance to Intel. Dell (and many other manufacturers, such as Gateway) are afraid of Intel cutting them out of the loop when supplies are tight so they give AMD [amd.com] second-rate status or drop support altogether. The problem also exists that many customers buy Intel exclusively, despite its low performance/price ratio.

    The future isn't nearly as bright for AMD and TMTA as it should be. If our government actually punished companies for anticompetitive [intel.com] practices, things would be different. Maybe in 2004 it will be a priority for the new administration. But I am not holding my breath.

    ~walter
    • by IntlHarvester ( 11985 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @04:12PM (#2549024) Journal
      (Nice karma whore post with the links! See you at 5:Insightful.)

      AMD is leading the market and producing technology that is faster, more reliable, and cheaper.

      Everything I've heard about AMD mobos is that they are *less* reliable than the Intel ones. For corporate customers (cf Dell), that's far more important than the 10-20% speedboost that AMD or better-than-SDRAM memory technology gives you.

      You have to get out of the gameboy thinking that performance matters uber alles. Any ol' 2001 CPU, even Celerons, are fast enough for the vast majority of users, even those using client-side Java. That puts the "value" somewhere other than the Quake FPS benchmarks over at Biff's Hardware.

      Furthermore, AMD might be cheaper on "Pricewatch", but that's not where Dell buys their CPUs. I would suspect that with the whole package (CPU/Mobo/RAM/Discounts/Kickbacks), Intel isn't a whole lot more expensive than AMD for a big OEM. You see those chips cheap on PriceWatch because the vendor has excess stock.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        If Dell &co want reliability, then why do they put up with stuff like this [ebnews.com] and this [cnet.com]? Your argument just doesn't hold water.

        Do I even need to mention the Pentium I floating point flaw, coverup, and recall?

      • Tom's Hardware corroborates the belief that AMD systems, if not AMD chips as well, are unstable.

        "while all Athlon [systems] suffered from occasional instability
        in our tests, the Pentium 4 platform ran without a glitch.
        "
        - Athlon XP Meets P4: A Comparison Of All CPUs [tomshardware.com]

        I say they should add troubleshooting and reboot time to all benchmark runs and calculate "performance" that way.

        --Blair
        "This never happened to me before, honest."
      • Your comments are classical FUD, claiming intangible advantages in order to gloss over tangible, concrete advantages.

        I have seen no evidence whatsoever that current AMD chips are less reliable. The fact that AMD chips use a lower clock rate and generate less heat strongly suggest the opposite. In fact, reliability of processors does not seem to be a significant factor in overall PC reliability at all: disk drives, fans, memory, motherboards, and ports all usually go first.

        If Dell would ship AMDs, we'd buy them. Instead, they are shipping souped up versions of the Pentium 3 to their corporate customers because that's the only thing they can ship from Intel. I really wonder whether the cosy relationships between, say, Dell and Intel, are merely friendly or whether there are some other arrangements...

        • Re:classical FUD (Score:2, Informative)

          My comments are far less FUD oriented than the person I replied to, by your definition.

          (Full disclosure: I run an older IBM 2xPIII BX system with no intention to upgrade for a year or two. If I was in the BYOB market today, I'd buy AMD.)

          First of all -- I was talking about motherboard chipsets, not CPUs. The CPU has no value until you plug it into something.

          Second, Dell is shipping PIIIs for the exact reasons I mentioned -- known stability and standard RAM is more important than performance for their customers. Intel has to 'prove' their new chipsets to this market just as AMD does, and Intel has a much better trackrecord of doing so.

          Sure it's fun to think about an Andy Grove/Micheal Dell goatsex conspiracy, but just maaaybeee Dell buys Intel because it's a better value for them and their customers.
          • 99% of stability problems with AMD motherboards where with early VIA chipsets. Nowadays there are viable alternatives to VIA motherboards (namely AMD 761 and SiS 735 boards) which are rock solid. The newer VIA chips have fixed all the old problems as well. The bottom line is that the "AMD is unstable!" argument doesn't hold water anymore.
            • Well, as I indicated, I'm pretty conservative, so I'll wait and see. I've heard "These new brand new boards fix all the stability problems" time and time again, and I'd have a little trouble trusting a SiS on facevalue. (Another important factor for me is vidcap hardware compatiblity.)
        • One thing everyone is missing AMDs chips are manufactured using Cu, Intel is still using AL for the majority of their chips. Cu chips will produce less heat and allow for higher speeds.

          So bassicly Intel is acheving the same speed as AMD by better chip design over chip manufacturing. I believe once Intel locks into Cu and the market turns up a little they will be able to out manufacture and out design AMD, (But I bet Intel will have learned from M$ and keep AMD around so they can avoid the Monopoly stamp.
      • OEMs might get huge kickbacks for buying from Intel, but if they went exclusively AMD wouldn't they get the same kickbacks? And since AMD chips are cheaper to start with, they would still be cheaper with kickbacks than an Intel with kickbacks.

        Seeing as how no big companies have switched to exclusive AMD, a failing OEM could stand to make a deal with AMD and sell their systems at the same prices and advertise their CPUs as superior but as a result make a lot of profit.
        • And since AMD chips are cheaper to start with

          Cheaper according to who? PriceWatch? If AMD was able to sell out their entire production run to (say) Compaq, I don't think you'd see the price advantage on the commodity market - they'd be just as expensive as Intel. They aren't lowballing their product to DIY folks because they love you.

          (Kind of like when PIII-1Ghz were going for something ridiculous like $900 on PW, but you could go and buy a 1Ghz system from Dell for $1500)
      • AMD is leading the market and producing technology that is faster, more reliable, and cheaper.
        Everything I've heard about AMD mobos is that they are *less* reliable than the Intel ones.
        If you slap a GHz Duron on a PC Chips motherboard, don't be too surprised if you run into problems. The same can be said if you stick a P4 on a PC Chips motherboard (does PC Chips even make P4 motherboards?). Whether you get your processors from AMD, Intel, or somebody else doesn't make any difference if you stick it on a crappy motherboard.

        I've bought only AMD processors for years now (starting with a K6-200), and I've never had any problems with the systems in which they were used. It's the result of not getting the absolute cheapest motherboards and other components for these systems. I've seen plenty of Intel-based systems crash and burn, but they were usually dollar-engineered boxen with shitty motherboards (usually PC Chips and similar, though I've had a few MSI boards go south as well).

        (I could make some wisecrack about the FDIV bug or the 820 MTH SDRAM compatibility debacle, but I won't. :-) )

    • I [slashdot.org] am a URL [dictionary.com] Happy Slashdot [slashdot.org] user.
    • You can say a lot against RAMBUS, but it's not slow. Check any benchmark comparing Pentium4 systems with RDRAM against P4s with DDR-SDRAM.
    • Actually, Beta/VHS is an interesting comparison for a Linux/Windows discussion, as well as this AMD/Intel discussion.

      VHS gets used by the consumers, but Beta is heavily used in "production" applications.
  • I remember reading a comple of months ago that Dell would offer Athlons on thier laptops. Well, the other day I went to Dell's web site to check them out and gasp! no Athlons. And now that Dell discontinued Linux too, they are back to being the Wintel bitch they always were.

    Anyway, I think Sanders is overly optimistic in his analysis. It doesn't matter that Pentium 4 is a dog -- it's made by Intel, therefore it will sell. Also, without support of large OEMs, AMD is going to have a tough time. I only hope that it doesn't end up like Alpha -- a great technology that's been effectively killed and buried.
  • I have been an Intel fan for years because I want quality even if it's at a higher price.
    AMD processors used be cheaper and slower. But lately this has changed. Athlon XP + DDRAM make a killer combination because they are faster much cheaper than the P4 + RDRAM option.
    I will be upgrading my system from P3 733 + i815-powered motherboard to Athlon XP 1800 + KT266A.
    If Intel doesn't lower prices, they're going to lose, and that would suck.
    • I really hate how people use the word "cheap" when what they really mean in 'inexpensive'. Cheap carries with it a negative connotation of being constructed with less quality. Inexpensive just says what it means, -not expensive-.
  • I've been thinking about what keeps Intel alive. If the decisions were made on a strict technical basis, what would keep Intel alive? Considering that AMD processors are much cheaper and equally fast, there is no reason to buy Intel these days. Mabye the free market rules are not applied to computers?

    Mikael
    • Quick answers: Dell, HP, Gateway, IBM, and superior marketing. Intel is basically a household name, whereas AMD is still thought as the nockoff brand. So long as consumers believe that Intel is the real thing, therefore it must be better, and AMD is just a copy, therefore worse, then the big names will not support AMD processors.
    • by Metrol ( 147060 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @04:31PM (#2549065) Homepage
      If the decisions were made on a strict technical basis, what would keep Intel alive?

      Lower cost bundling to the OEM's
      Fewer customer returns
      Faster turn around to OEM's with replacement parts
      High power processors ready for laptops today

      Mind you, I run 2 Athlon machines at home, and 1 at work. On all of these machines I have been extremely pleased with stability and performance of the AMD processors. I always build my own PC's, and I am not an OEM. I don't have the same kinds of concerns they do.

      Mabye the free market rules are not applied to computers?

      The free market works just peachy. Athlons are doing quite well with folks such as myself purchasing individual components. It's the OEM space that AMD is hurting in, and for a variety of reasons.
      • well...just read what OEM's packages of 1K chips run at. I think you will find that AMD's are cheaper for similar chips. Read the article, it says they produce cheaper... As to fewer customer returns, unreliability, etc...I don't know. personally I've had all kinds of trouble with Intel, but my Athlon 500 and 1.2-C have worked beautifully. (shrug). Just 2c...
      • The free market works just peachy


        Sure. Intel is able to push an inferior product for excessive prices, simply because they have more money in the bank and thus have bigger sales, marketing, and legal divisions.


        In other words, par for the course in a 'free market'.

  • is that AMD is a huge supporter of Linux, compared with Intel. In their press releases, they do need to stress Windows compatiblility because they do need to sell to that part of the market to survive (and their sales are traditionally extremely strong in the Linux community anyway, because Linux users are more informed buyers).

    Intel has been in bed with Microsoft for years, as can be seen from their use of the PE32 format in their bootloader code [arium.com]. AMD has not (despite naming their chips after Windows XP) been in a position or had the goal of reinforcing Microsoft.

    AMD's success is crucial to Linux's success. Without a major hardware vendor who supports us, we will be left out in the cold. It is nice to see that AMD is headed for market dominance with this fast new hardware so that Linux can continue to thrive in the mass market.

    -sting3r
    • What the article misses is that AMD is a huge supporter of Linux, compared with Intel.

      Oh really? I seem to remember Intel going out of its way to make IA-64 run under linux. Also, how many optimizing compilers has AMD written for linux? There was a story just yesterday about Intel's new compiler for linux.
      • I seem to remember Intel going out of its way to make IA-64 run under linux.

        I think that is because they had no choice. I don't think that there is any good microsoft architecture for IA-64. So if you want to have speed, you need Linux or *nix.

        Michael
        • plus the fact that linux is doing good in the server market and lets face it thats the IA-64 its first goal, and yes of course if the thing would not run linux until sambody ported it they would not be able to sell alot to the linux users out there and thus giving that part of the market to amd.
  • Why is AMD making these things so sensitive to heat? I'll bet they're also sensitive to vibration, electricity, and about anything that its competitors handle every day. Most thoroughbred hammers can resist hundreds of degrees before they melt/disentigrate

    .
  • ...as far as I know.

    They would however (as I'm sure a lot of other people will point out) consume less electricity. Therefore their power consumption will go down, which in turn will lower the heat emission.

  • by AA0 ( 458703 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @04:41PM (#2549081) Homepage
    "Appaloosa, a discount version of Thoroughbred."

    they must have been smoking something really heavy when they named that.
    • The article itself appears to have expired, although the Google cache [google.com] is still available. Quite an underrated article I'd say, too bad SingaporeCNET turned into CNETAsia. Appaloosa and Thoroughbred are core names:
      In turn, the Palomino will be superceded by the 0.13-micron Thoroughbred in 1H02. This process makes the components of the CPU smaller, and hence, CPUs can go faster without overheating.
      After the Thoroughbred, our dear "uncle" Barton makes an entrance in 2H02. Barton also uses the 0.13-micron process, but it will incorporate the Silicon on Insulator (SOI) technology, a manufacturing technology that makes chips faster and cooler. As for Morgan and Appaloosa, they are the low-end versions of the Palomino and the Thoroughbred, respectively (Duron 4, anyone?), and are technically inferior chiefly because they have less level 2 cache.

      Level 2 cache is more significant than more people realize. It's also insanely expensive compared to system RAM because cache RAM is often static, rather than dynamic, requiring more circuitry (actually, an entire flip-flop) than dynamic RAM requires (which is a single transistor and capacitor). Interesting naming convention nonetheless.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 10, 2001 @04:57PM (#2549112)
    I've said it once, I'll say it again... No one ever wants to flat out say that the motherboards for AMD chips are a lot less well supported than the motherboards for Intel chips because they're so busy cheering for the underdog.

    But if you dig deep into, say, Tom's Hardware Guide: Another factor is the stability and product quality of a system: while all Athlon processors suffered from occasional instability in our tests, the Pentium 4 platform ran without a glitch. (http://www6.tomshardware.com/cpu/01q4/011031/xpvs p4-15.html [tomshardware.com])

    Now, for me and I'm guessing a lot of people, system stability is far more important than a few percent performance increase. Since these machines are so closely matched and overpowered anyway, I'd like to see more emphasis on other factors like stability. More than a single sentence buried in one review, anyway. If these things are crashing during the tests, I want to know about it with a big red X on the graph...

    Or just the chance to stop having to download freakin' 4-in-1 drivers for my KT7A... if I had known about the KT7A Faq (http://www.viahardware.com/faq/kt7/kt7faq.htm) before buying one, I probably would've passed... but all the "review" sites just a good things to say about it...
    • I ran a KT133 Motherboard for well over a year. Other than the need for a BIOS update within a week of installing the board, I have never had a problem with it. Never. And I was running an old version of the 4 in 1's. I was also using a Sound Blaster Live! the whole time and never had a speck of trouble with it, either.

      All in all, the VIA solution was just as stable for me as my BX mobo with a PII 350.

      I recently upgraded to the AMD 761/VIA motherboard, and even without an OS reinstall, it is stable and reliabe.

      I suspect those having a great deal of problems are overclockers who are pushing the PCI or AGP bus way out of spec, or those not even installing the drivers.

      IANAAZ (I Am Not An AMD Zealot). If at some point Intel exceeds the price/performance ratio that AMD currently offers, I will switch back. But until then, I will support AMD products.
    • I tihnk history has shown Tom is not the most reliable source of hardware reviews. Besides, I've recently upgraded to a Althon XP using an Abit KG7-RAID and have had absolutly no stability problems at all, even with my MX300 which is known not to conform to the PCI spec. Ad far as I can tell it's every bit as stable as my old P2/440BX system. I think the big trick with AMD motherbaords is to stick with Abit or Asus if you want stability (note that Tom was using an Epox board).
    • by Anonymous Coward
      >I've said it once, I'll say it again... No one >ever wants to flat out say that the motherboards >for AMD chips are a lot less well supported than >the motherboards for Intel chips because they're >so busy cheering for the underdog.

      It also happens not to be true. Sure, you can point to specific examples of buggy or poorly-supported Athlon boards or chipsets. But you can also point to things such as Intel's i815 MTH fiasco. Or the botched 1.13 Ghz PIII release, in which Intel essentially released an overclocked processor (and a poorly-done overclocked processor at that) to the OEM market just so that they could win back the performance crown for a few more weeks after the gigahertz embarassment.

      >But if you dig deep into, say, Tom's Hardware >Guide: Another factor is the stability and >product quality of a system: while all Athlon >processors suffered from occasional instability >in our tests, the Pentium 4 platform ran without >a glitch.
      >http://www6.tomshardware.com/cpu/01q4/011031/x pvs>p4-15.html [tomshardware.com])

      If you read the testing procedures described in that article, ALL of the Athlon XP processors were tested using *one* motherboard - the Epox EP-8KHA+. This board uses the relatively new Via KT266A chipset. In contrast, the P4s were tested with a board using the long-established i850 chipset. You cannot make a proper generalization from a sample size of one. It's likely that if Tom had used a Socket A board based on a well-established chipset like the AMD 760, reliability would have been far better.
    • If you dig deep into Tom's Hardware Guide, you'll also find that Tom is a nutcase that knows VERY LITTLE about computers. He also has a VERY short temper and tends to paint in a good light whatever company is giving him the red-carpet treatment for the month. Tom runs his site for ne purpose, to make a LOT of money, and he does VERY well at that. He probably has one of the most profitable non-pr0n sites on the net.

      Anyway, as far as stability goes, VIA, SiS and ALi chipsets have always had more ups and downs then Intel chipsets. Intel hasn't been perfect either, both the i810 and i820 had horrible problems when they first came out (and the i820 never really did go anywhere), and even the old 440LX chipset had it's share of problems. However by and large Intel has been fairly consistant with their chipsets, while the Taiwanese guys have been a bit more over the map.

      Another MAJOR issue when it comes to stability of a system is market share. Intel traditionally had the most market share when it came to chipsets, so the third party sound card, video card, NIC, etc. manufacturers test their products against Intel chipsets first and foremost. Testing against VIA, ALi and SiS chipsets used to be a secondory objective at best. Now, I know that some people will jump on this and say that if VIA doesn't work exactly like Intel it's VIA's fault, but really that ain't always so. As the old saying goes, "Standards aren't". VIA and Intel could follow the PCI spec exactly to the word 100% of the way and be TOTALLY incompatible. Actually that's just what happened when PCI first came out, though now things are much better. Still, there are a lot of cards out there that have buggy drivers which only work due to some quirk in some chipsets, and when paired with a different chipset that doesn't have said quirk, things go wrong. Case-in-point, the "VIA" data corruption bug that was caused by buggy Sound Blaster Live! drivers.

  • Sure, I use the things. They are fast compared to
    Intel, clock cycle for cycle. They ARE NOT Alphas
    like 21264's clock cycle for cycle! I would love
    see a really good 64-bit chip that makes a really
    good computer and doesn't give a damn for Micro$oft!

    Maybe the big challenge is making a good
    motherboard? Not much matters when win32 is what
    your design is aimed at. Do I really have to pay
    $10k for anything that comes close to a modern
    computer?
  • How about something similar to the "full support of the p4" code set that XP has for Athlon proc's?

    In a twisted way, it would be leveraging a duopoly for the greater good. Use Microsoft's ...ahem...talents for pushing/pulling/dragging the industry over to AMD chip/sets.

    I forget off hand if this was an OEM thing or a MS thing, but it would be quite nice.

    Call up a OEM or Screwdrive shop and say "I'd like a 6bay tower, AMD/Intel, MB (speed/stability) and XXX amt of memory, disk space, OS, etc, etc.

    At this moment we can do exactly that, save for OS and Processor.

    After all, it is not called the Wintel duopoly for nothing, and if AMD's holy trinity dream is to come to fruition, the'd better act fast while the trial drags on or join the fray.

    (let's just hope the trinity does not equate to an equilateral triagle whose side length is 6).
  • Maybe AMD has a new angle on power consumption. Maybe their proccessors extract thermal energy from the surrounding atmosphere to power the chip.

    Or maybe not.
  • I bought an Athlon (Score:2, Insightful)

    by attackiko ( 170417 )
    Buying an Athlon gives you that fuzzy feeling that you're supporting the underdog. Even if the prices were the same I would choose AMD. We NEED 2 competitors (or more) beating each other to have low prices and fast progress in technology.
    • Buying an Athlon gives you that fuzzy feeling that you're supporting the underdog.

      Technically, yes, AMD is the underdog. But they're both hulking corporations with budgets in the billions, so the difference is moot.
  • The Register (my favorite news website) has an article [theregister.co.uk] titled "AMD plans to beat 4.4GHz desktops".

    I can't imagine what a 4.4 GHz would be like to run. If bus and hard drive speeds keep improving, maybe a hog OS like Windows could boot in only a couple of seconds.

    Ooooh, 2003, please get here fast ;-)
  • by tcc ( 140386 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @07:36PM (#2549441) Homepage Journal
    I buy what's good, I buy the TOOL that gets the job done.

    I need a mission critical server that is x86 based? Forget intel chipsets, forget VIA, forget SiS, I go with Serverworks chipsets [serverworks.com] With pentium III processors, Serverworks are proven reliable chipsets vendor, and while the cost of the motherboard is a bit (well a big bit :) ) higher, it's still way cheaper than goind into most other platforms.

    I need building an x86 renderfarm? NOTHING beats the power of a tigerMP with dual athlon price/performance wise. Stability? it is, it's simply rendering, not running quake while processing SETI units and running beta video drivers with leaked chipsets drivers.

    The processors are a tool, you don't see people fighting over mastercraft vs black and decker when they come to buy a screwdriver, why you guys gets so religious about processors? I remember how happy most of you were when celerons with cache came out, overclocking that 300A to 450... you didn't think about AMD back then (well most of you didn't).. you were just saying "the k6 sucks, celeron rules" (I own a dual 366->550 that I'll probably change to a tigerMP). Of course most of what intel did to get flamed happened after that (rambus, crappy chipsets after BX, patent crap with via, etc), It's still pathetic to see how people react so badly...

    Don't get me wrong, I find what intel did (especially with the rambus and via case) disgusting, but buisness is buisness, if they deliver good stuff at a decent price, I'll still get it, I have a company to maintain and a job to do. Of course if in the process I can do something about it as a IT manager, I will do it, but NOT at the demise of the company that employs me. There are alternatives to Rambus (serverworks gives a nice memory bandwidth with standard PC133 ram, they should come out with the same technology with DDR memory soon so that WILL kick hard). This is where I voice my opinion. Still, I wouldn't pay 50% more for AMD if intel would offer a similar technology same specs, same performance for less, this is where it becomes religious and pathetic.

    If tomorrow I could get dual 2.2GHZ intel processors with rambus, 33% cheaper than an AMD based solution with DDR ram, I'd go for it, right now, it's AMD that has the upper hand, so these are the guys that I buy from for general computing/renderfarming.

  • by mrm677 ( 456727 )
    The EPIC instruction set architecture of Itanium/McKinley is not a good match for Java Virtual Machines....at least thats what I read in a technical article about IBM's Power4 architecture. Apparently JVM's can't take advantage of VLIW as well as compiled code can, and this makes sense because Java is compiled to machine-code on the fly. Like it or not, Java is a major player in today's software technology. If AMD continues to excel with IA-32 (which is a decent match for Java), it will help Java as well as AMD...

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