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AMD

New AMD Athlon 2600 Processor Released 420

Ertai writes "Looks like the latest AMD processor is out today, and is taking it right to Intel! Running at 2.13 GHz, the Athlon XP 2600+ is reviewed at Amdmb.com. The benchmarks show that the new Athlon on a 'revision B' Thoroughbred core with the frequency increase is able to beat out the Pentium 4 2.53 GHz processor on almost every test. Not only that, but it is a good overclocker as well! Check it out." AMD's press release on the topic also notes a Athlon 2400 was released as well.
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New AMD Athlon 2600 Processor Released

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  • 2600? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Your_Mom ( 94238 ) <slashdotNO@SPAMinnismir.net> on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @07:30AM (#4110619) Homepage
    Old school hackers everywhere rejoice.
  • by nemui-chan ( 550759 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @07:31AM (#4110623) Homepage
    Now I just need to buy one of these badboys along with a new motherboard that will support it...

    Then switch to scsi so my hd can keep up. Change from PC133 to PC150 ram, might as well get a raid system, a new video card, and toss on a gigabit network while I'm at it ;)
    • Yuppers, all my upgrades have followed the requirement for new motherboard + RAM. First it was a 486/25 with old (32-pin?) SIMMS. Then a P100 with with the next-generation (72-pin?) SIMMS. Then a P233 with EDO RAM, then an Athlon 600 with SDRAM and now an Athlon 1800+ (i.e. 1533MHz) with DDR RAM.

      DDR seems to be around for a bit, but I'll probably get new faster DDR RAM when I upgrade again.

  • by Munra ( 580414 ) <slashdotNO@SPAMjonathanlove.co.uk> on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @07:32AM (#4110630) Homepage
    Anandtech [anandtech.com] has some alternative review links over here [anandtech.com] including the more in-depth (and perhaps more objective?) review, at Tom's [tomshardware.com].
    • Not to mention Aces Hardware [aceshardware.com]
    • And why nobody mentions the [H]ardOCP [hardocp.com] is beyond me.
    • by cheezedawg ( 413482 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @10:55AM (#4111985) Journal
      Reading the tomshardware review, I don't see this as a big advantage for AMD.

      - The p4 2.5 GHz beat the Athlon XP 2600 in over half of the tests
      - The fastest P4 is cheaper than the new Athlon 2600 (???- when is the last time we saw that?), and that is before Intel's price cuts they announced for later this month
      - The new AMD 2600 won't be available to customers for another month or so
      - Intel is releasing the 2.8 GHz P4 next week
      • Really? The Pentium 4 2.53 is cheaper? Wow, that shocks me. If that is the case, you're exactly right - this won't be a huge advantage for AMD unless prices get slashed on the Athlons. The one strong postive I do see however, is that the new Athlon is extremely overclockable. This probably means, we can expect Athlons at faster clock speeds now, not to mention the doubled cache they are supposed to get. So, the 2600+ may not be that exciting, but you can bet that the 2700+ and 2800+ will be. In fact, check out these rumors:

        http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=5053 [theinquirer.net]

        Also, if that's true, and if AMD can stay price competitive - my obvious choice for a processor would be the Athlon with the larger cache and increased FSB, but that seems to be all speculation at this point.
      • Stop comparing Intels high end cpu's, nobody buys those, they are 3x the price for a 5-10% performance hit. Unless, you like to spend money. (-;

        AMD 2600+ won over the Intel 2.5 in Quake3 by 5% at lower resolutions, and Tied at 1600x1200. (Quake 3 allways shows Intel as faster, but only by 2-5%)

        If you notice, half the programs tend to either favor Intel or AMD. The reason is.... The programs are compiled with either SSE2 or AMDnow+ which makes a good 10% performance improvement.

        Guess what, if you use opensource software, you can compile with either! Even GCC3.2 is around 12-15% improvement when compiling for with AMD flags, and its very noticeable. Im sure SSE2 will give the same performance for Intel...

        Check out toms SciSoft Sandra [tomshardware.com] benchmarks, which takes a CPU, and uses it most optimial settings, and then rates the CPU.

        CPU Bench = Winner AMD
        MultiMedia = Winner AMD
        Memory = Winner Intel

        Tom likes to say, this doesnt represent true performance, but if you notice when he looks at Production/Media products with AMD optimizations, they are faster. Mp3 encoding, and 3D Rendering is faster on the AMD, WHEN they use AMD optimizations, or same rating Intel without Intel optimzations.

        Its upto you, AMD gives the same performace for better price. And AMD has more affordable dual systems, which Intel dropped (big mistake, imho). If your a power user doing production/media work, a Dual AMD will be a very cost effective powerhouse. (Myself, I was dual Intels till AMD 2000+ rating, and I miss the dual cpu and the absent of pausing when multitasking, but the FPS in games is nice...)

        Man, keep pumping those fast cpus/gfx cards out, I love it!

  • Slow Down!! (Score:3, Funny)

    by ebooher ( 187230 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @07:32AM (#4110632) Homepage Journal

    Slow down!! All you young whipper snappers in such a hurry! Back in my day all we had was a Commodore 64, and we were *thankful* to have it!

    My poor Pentium II 333 Mhz just can't keep up

    *sigh*

  • No SMP (Score:3, Insightful)

    by heroine ( 1220 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @07:35AM (#4110641) Homepage
    But can the 2.1 Ghz Athlon run in SMP mode like the 2.5 Ghz Xeon?
    • Re:No SMP (Score:2, Informative)

      by Mad-Mage1 ( 235582 )
      Well for one thing the Xeon and the Pentium 4 are different chips, just like the XP and MP chips are different for AMD. A better comparison would be a Xeon vs. MP. Both of them can run in SMP.
      • Re:No SMP (Score:5, Informative)

        by Hobophile ( 602318 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @07:47AM (#4110699) Homepage
        I cannot comment on Xeon versus Pentium 4, but the Athlon XP and MP are decidedly not different chips. Athlon XP processors can usually run in SMP without problems, although newer ones may be locked to prevent this. The MP designation simply means that AMD has validated the processor for SMP use.
        • Re:No SMP (Score:2, Interesting)

          by TitaniumFox ( 467977 )
          I'm running 2 Athlon dualies at home, and they've got MP processors in them. (Among other things, they search for Mersenne primes [mersenne.org].)I kept up with the MP/XP debate on whether they were the same chip, and IIRC, the core is the same and the chips are essentially 99.44% [ivory.com] the same. If you look up the whitepapers on the pin-outs of both chips, I believe there is a different signal on the MP chips' pins. It had something to do with something SMP-ish. (real technical, I know, but it's early) Yes, the XP's will run in SMP mode.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @07:36AM (#4110649)

    One thing that the Pentium 4 still seems to hold over the Athlon is operating temperature..

    My 1.5GHz Athlon(1800 XP) still churns out a fair whack more heat than my 2.2GHz Pentium 4.

    And no, a liquid nitrogen cooling system is not the answer to my problem..

    • Ah, alas: the Athlon is happy at 65 oC, and will run right up to 75 oC, and not cook until 85 oC, whereas the Intel will cook off at 65 oC. This is not to say that the heat is irrelevent; I say it is not such a bad thing for the CPU microcosm itself, for the things around it I cannot say anything.
    • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @07:50AM (#4110714) Journal
      I don't see out 55 degree Celsius Athlon XP 1800+ having temperature problems. Not sure what kind of overclocking you've done to it (obviously you have - "liquid cooling isn't the answer" :), but if it's not overclocked it's cool enough for any work unless something really weird is going on.
      • I just upgraded from a Pentium to a dual Athlon MP 2000+ system at home. It raised the temperature in the 11x11 foot room by 8 degrees.

    • If you look at the specs for both CPUs, you'll notice that P4s and Athlon XPs dissipate similar amounts of energy. The heatspreader on the P4 is apparently quite effective, resulting in much lower core-temperature, since much of the heat is immediately conducted away from the core.

      Heatspreaders are also useful in prevention of cracked cores :)
    • My 1.5GHz Athlon(1800 XP) still churns out a fair whack more heat than my 2.2GHz Pentium 4.

      Soon, 1.5 V Thoroughbreds should be available at 1.4 - 1.6 GHz (1700+, 1800+, 1900+). These run at around 50 W, compared to about 65 W for the 1.75 V Palomino.

    • by prisoner-of-enigma ( 535770 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @11:54AM (#4112442) Homepage
      AMD processor temps have long been thrown around as proof that Intel processors are a "safer" buy. What one fails to realize, however, is that the P4 can and DOES generate MORE heat than an Athlon XP!

      Go to Intel's whitepaper area and note the max heat dissipation in watts, then go get the same info on the Athlon. You'll find that Intel's flagship will dissipate ~70W-75W, and AMD's flagship will run about ~68W-70W.

      The crucial difference between the two is Intel's thermal management techniques. Both AMD and Intel processors can make use of a HALT instruction provided by the chipset. This basically stops the CPU when nothing is going on, allowing it to dramatically cool down. The problem is, AMD chipsets (VIA, SiS, even AMD's own 760 series) don't properly implement the HALT instruction, whereas Intel REQUIRES it of their chipsets and board makers.

      The results of this are pretty obvious. Intel chips cool down quicker and generally run cooler UNDER PARTIAL LOAD. But when both chips are stressed to the maximum, the P4 WILL get hotter than an Athlon.
  • by GweeDo ( 127172 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @07:36AM (#4110650) Homepage
    If you read the review of the new processor by Anandtech you will find that the processor hasn't hit mass production yet. This is more of a paper launch much like what Intel did with the 1ghz P3 back when the 1ghz Athlon was released. It still won't be another month or two until we see mass production and then commericial avalibility. But the numbers sure do look nice :) Good to see AMD can still get some higher speeds out of the .13 process!
    • As per [H]ardOCP: AMD has specifically said that their 2400+ and 2600+ CPUs will be shipping today, but whom they are shipping to and in what quantities is unknown."""
      • As Per Anandtech:
        "In doing so, AMD actually mimicked Intel's own actions a couple years ago. Back when the original Athlon was the first to hit 1GHz, Intel pulled in the launch of their 1GHz Pentium III to remain publicly competitive. Intel did this despite the fact that their 1GHz CPUs had not entered mass production and only a handful of samples were available, shipping to OEMs and the press of course. Intel became known for perfecting the "paper-launch" with the Pentium III, in response to overwhelming performance from AMD's Athlon.

        Perhaps with a similar goal in mind - to steal some of Intel's thunder - AMD is "releasing" their 2400+ and 2600+ CPUs well before they hit mass production. The CPUs are sampling now but retail availability isn't expected until September with volume shipments occurring sometime between now and then."

        Shipping 5 CPU's doensn't constitute a launch ;)
  • neverending... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by elfkicker ( 162256 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @07:41AM (#4110668)
    Of course, Intel just announced it's 2.8GH [reuters.com] due out next week.
  • by qurob ( 543434 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @07:44AM (#4110682) Homepage
    Mr. Pabst [tomshardware.com] has a review too.

    Wait about 6 more days until the Pentium IV 2.8Ghz comes out....

    2.8Ghz...my first computer didn't have that many MHz
    • by 4of12 ( 97621 )

      I've been an AMD fan for several years because of the competitive pressure they put on Intel. I think it's one of the reasons we get the kind of bang for the buck in CPU's. So much so that CPU's are regarded as a mundane utility component of a computer, much as a power supply, a motherboard, or a copy of Windows XX.

      Despite the nice price/performance ratio of the K7, it's got to be refreshed, because the fastest Pentium 4 chips can beat its top performance (after all the PR ratings and MHz are laid aside).

      Conservative corporate IT buyers are quite willing to pay the relatively small extra price for P4 over a K7. Maybe a year and half ago when the K7 squeezed the PIII to the end of it's life and the K7 was the performance leader, AMD would have gotten some attention, but now it seems like the shoe is on the other foot.

      Price cuts from Intel [theinquirer.net] on the P4 and Celeron will keep the pressure on the K7 to where AMD really needs the Opteron.
    • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @10:04AM (#4111581) Homepage Journal
      2.8Ghz...my first computer didn't have that many MHz
      Log2 of 1000 is about 10, times 1.5 years ("Moore generation"), results in 15 years. Ergo, qurob's first computer was likely more than 15 years ago.
  • Toms (Score:4, Funny)

    by ethelred ( 587527 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @07:52AM (#4110724)
    Saw the same thing over at Toms Hardware Guide. And it was overclocked to 3100+
  • This looks like a great chip but I am bummed that it is not supporting a 333 mhz front side bus! We have mb's w/ 333 mhz FSB's but we still can't take advantage of it. BTW- is there any significant advantage in running PC 2700 (at 333mhz) when the processor is only running 266 on the FSB (basically asynchronously)?

    On the positive side, I hope this means a price drop on the 2200's, because I'm building a new system soon and want to take advantage of the thoroughbred (.13 micron) core.
    • Cool, I just read on AMDB (a later page) that the 333 FSB [amdmb.com] should be introduced in the XP 2800.. nice!

      Qoute:
      Also, while attending Quakecon 2002, I can finally say with 100% assuredness that AMD will be migrating their next processor to a 166/333 MHz front-side bus. This fact is again showing how much more the latest core revision was able to do for AMD and their confidence. The Athlon XP 2800+ processors will be the first to debut this new FSB speeds, probably in the 2.24 GHz range.
    • if you run that can go faster then the bus, you do have an advantage. If the heat near your ram is such that it will degrade performance by 8-10%(not uncommon) it comes off "the top". so if it is designed to run 20% faster then the bus speed, you will not notice the performance degradation.
  • AMD's 2.1ghz running better and faster then Intel's 2.5ghz. I wonder how Intel's marketing department is going to spin this?

    Running at 2.13 GHz, the Athlon XP 2600+ is reviewed at Amdmb.com. The benchmarks show that the new Athlon on a 'revision B' Thoroughbred core with the frequency increase is able to beat out the Pentium 4 2.53 GHz processor on almost every test.
    • I wonder how Intel's marketing department is going to spin this?

      Easy, they'll just release their next chip, which will outperform this one.

      And the circle of life (Moore's Law) goes on...

    • Not to mention, that if you look at the comparison here [tomshardware.com] you see that AMD is kicking out a chip which as 1/3 fewer transistors, and just over half the size of Intel's P4, yet is faster. I understand Intel is supposedly gearing up for higher clock speeds or multiprocessing or what have your, but still it is impressive that AMD is besting Intel with a chip which has 1/3 less transistors and is half as big. They must be doing something right.
      • Look at the Lightwave and 3dsmax benchmarks, where code optimized for the P4 kicks AMD's butt.

        How likely is it that Visual Studio .NET 2 or whatever is P4 optimized? How likely is it that Adobe and other big players start optimizing their code for the P4?

        Depending on how you feel about the above questions is how much it matters what AMD can do with less transistors.

        Then again, cost is also a issue, and Intel just can't win there.
    • by jpmorgan ( 517966 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @08:22AM (#4110859) Homepage

      'I will answer you from the mouth of my canon' - Le Marquis de Montecalm to General James Wolfe

      Intel releases their 2.8ghz chip next week. The speed battle trundles on.

      Of course, it's getting boring now; Intel has mostly reclaimed the performance crown from the usurper AMD, and the Athlon core is showing its age, and AMD is facing new problems with clockspeed. The previous Thoroughbred core had problems increasing clock speed due to signal propagation issues and AMD had to add another metal layer to optimise the wiring layout. Think about it, at 2 billion clock cycles every second, there isn't a lot of time for a signal to get from one side of the CPU to the other, and unlike NetBurst(the P4 core) the Athlon core really isn't designed to take signal propagation issues into account - hence why Intel is rapidly scaling up the clock speed while AMD is struggling (I calculate the P4 can probably hit at least 7-8ghz before signal propagation becomes a problem again). AMD has managed to stretch out the life of the Athlon core, but I'm not sure what they're going to do next; signal propagation speed isn't easy to solve without a complete redesign of the core. Although the TB can hit 2.4ghz, beyond that I can't see the processor continuing to increase in speed. For AMD's sake, I hope that lasts them until they can get Hammer based chips on the market.

      Still, it doesn't keep me up at night. Intel is ramping up clock speed as regularly as clockwork, AMD is keeping up (for now). Wake me up when something interesting happens.

      Actually, I am looking forward to the 3ghz since I've heard, well, rumours that Intel is enabling SMT on it. Finally, an innovation! Seriously though, SMT is pretty cool, it gives the processor the ability to run two threads at once. The main thread is slightly slower than it would be if the chip didn't do SMT (a couple of percentage points), but the CPU can use its unused resources to run a second thread at about 15-20% of full speed.

      So look back in December/January. Intel's releasing SMT chip, and AMD might be releasing Hammers. Until then the Intel vs. AMD battle will continue to be boring!

    • AMD's 2.1ghz running better and faster then Intel's 2.5ghz. I wonder how Intel's marketing department is going to spin this?

      Easy...

      "2.5 GHz inside"
    • Well, if you read the tomshardware review, you might notice that the 2.5 GHz P4 beat the new Athlons in over half of the tests.

      What really surprized me was that the P4 2.5 GHz is cheaper than the Athlon 2600.
  • by Vengie ( 533896 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @08:08AM (#4110801)
    The basis for all of Athlon's "better than intel" claims.
    Nine-issue, superscalar, fully pipelined microarchitecture: Provides more pathways to feed application instructions into the execution engines of the core, allowing the processor to complete more work in a given clock cycle (high IPC). The delicate balance between the depth of the pathways and clock speed of the processor produces high levels of performance.


    Superscalar, fully pipelined Floating Point Unit (FPU): Completes more floating point operations per clock cycle than competitive x86 processors and permits high operating frequencies. The end result is a processor with the computing power to tackle the most computation-intensive software applications.

    Hardware data prefetch: Prefetches data from system memory to the processor's Level 1 cache, which reduces the time it takes to feed the processor critical data, increasing work throughput and therefore overall performance.

    Exclusive and speculative Translation Look-aside Buffers (TLBs): Keep the maps to critical data close to the processor, which helps prevent the processor from stalling or waiting when future data is requested. These TLB structures are now larger, exclusive between caches, and speculative. Larger TLB's give the AMD Athlon XP processor access to additional data maps. Exclusivity removes the duplication of information, freeing up more space in the Level 2 cache for other useful data to be used by the processor. And the speculative nature of these structures allows the processor to generate future maps of critical data quickly.
    (from)
    http://athlonxp.amd.com/overview/quantiSpeedArchit ecture.jsp

    Anyone who has taken an OS course (ugh, NachOS) knows the pains of TLB management -- I really would like to see the 'voodoo constants' they used. (Background: the clock-hand approximation of LRU is one of those "voodoo constants" -- most of physics is filled with "voodoo constants" -- likewise...programming an OS is filled with them. If you've ever looked at SPRITE and LFS, the i/o data burst rate suggests that the time-slice should be ~8 seconds -- etc etc. I'd _really_ like to know AMD's voodoo constants.) =)
  • When the Athlon 2200 was released, one of its bragging points was that it ran flawlessly on the ECS K75SA board, by far the best board for the money.

    Has anyone tested the new 2600 on the ECS? I'd like to hear if it runs, and if there's any issues.
  • by Quila ( 201335 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @08:43AM (#4111008)
    I wonder if the Dresden fab where these are made is under water.
    • Re:Soggy Chips? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Brian Stretch ( 5304 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @08:52AM (#4111059)
      AMD Saxony Operations Unaffected by Dresden Flooding [amd.com]

      DRESDEN, GERMANY -- August 15, 2002 --AMD (NYSE: AMD) said today that its AMD Saxony operations located in Dresden, Germany - including production at the facility's Fab 30 plant - continue to operate normally despite severe flooding across Germany's Saxony region.
      "Although much of the larger Dresden area is being affected by unprecedented floods, our production is running according to plan and employee morale remains high," said Hans Deppe, vice president and general manager of AMD Saxony. "Because of the preventive controls built-in to our facility and the exemplary dedication of our workforce, we expect to continue to operate normally despite the conditions."

      AMD Saxony has its own on-site power plant, and remains accessible via the Dresden airport and federal highways. AMD Saxony's operations, including Fab 30, are located high up on the rim of the river valley and have not been directly affected by the flooding in other parts of Dresden and surrounding areas. The company does not expect that operations will be impacted even if the local flood situation worsens.
  • I guess one of AMD's engineers finally noticed that Intel had passed them in performance, so they put the Hammer CPUs down for 5 minutes to slide back up to the top of the performance charts. Pity that Intel is supposedly releasing the 1.8's next Monday. Personally, I'm all for AMD coasting along with Athlon, so long as they're really throwing all their efforts into Hammer.

  • Competition (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MojoRilla ( 591502 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @08:57AM (#4111096)
    This announcement is very important for one reason. Competition. Intel has had the CPU lead since the April release of the 2.4 GHz Pentium 4. The June release of the Athlon 2200 had to be a disappointment for AMD, since it not only was slower than the Pentium, but also had very little overclocking possibilities, which should have been possible due to the move from .18 to .13 micron production process. The only thing that the 2200 had going for it was price.

    This was a serious problem for AMD and for competition in the CPU market. The Athlon line has always promised leading edge performance. It was key to legitimizing AMD as not just a low cost knock off of Intel, but competition where the margins are, at the top end.

    Now AMD has regained if not a lead, then at least parity with Intel. And what is more important, several reviewers are saying there is a large overclocking potential with the 2400 and 2600 (The 2600 runs by default at 2.13GHz, and AnandTech overclocked to 2.4 and Tom's hardware overclocked to 2.6GHz, but only for a short time). What this means is that there is headroom in the design for much faster processors.

    One thing to remember is that this is not only important for the desktop (where one could successfully argue that all this speed is overkill). This also effects the Linux server market, where this speed is needed.

    Without serious competition at the top end, Intel produces slower, more expensive products. Competition is the key force driving the CPU market, and we have all benefited. Except maybe Intel's profits.
    • I was quite impressed that the Thoroughbred B core Athlons has achieved parity with the Pentium 4 2.4 GHz and 2.53 GHz chips.

      I can guess that by late October AMD may be shipping the Athlon XP 2800+ CPU, and that could even match the Pentium 4 2.8 GHz CPU due next week.

      It'll be VERY interesting to see what the Barton core Athlons with the 512 KB L2 cache does in terms of performance; my guess is that a Barton core Athlon rated at 2800+ will probably outpace the Pentium 4 2.8 GHz quite handily, especially if AMD does switch to DDR333 DDR-SDRAM for this CPU.
    • Without serious competition at the top end, Intel produces slower, more expensive products. Competition is the key force driving the CPU market, and we have all benefited. Except maybe Intel's profits.

      Exactly. Go back and look at CPU prices before AMD had good high-end products. Intel was pushing CPU prices upwards of $1000. If Intel had had its way, we never would have seen $400 PCs.

  • Who needs it? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xidix ( 594440 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @09:22AM (#4111247)
    Ok, stupid rhetorical question, because some gamer with far too much time on his hands is just yearning for a few more fps, a few more Mhz, and that will make everything in his pathetic life okay. Until the next new processor.

    But for the rest of us, who really needs it? I'm running dual-processor PIII-1Ghz in all of my machines. Why? Because they are dirt cheap and good enough. I can slap two PIII's on a dual m/b for around $300. And it screams (loud enough for just about anybody except Joe MegaGamer). I can do office work, CAD work, design work, run a server, etc, etc.

    People talk about the "Mhz myth", but I think a lot of them miss the point. It isn't whether a 2.53Ghz P4 is faster than a 2.1Ghz Athlon. It's whether or not you even need that much processor speed in the first place. Does a web browser run any better on a 2.53Ghz P4 than on a 500Mhz PIII? I doubt it.

    A friend of mine had his workstation (1.7Ghz P4) burn out on him, so I loaned him my laptop (700Mhz PIII) to use until he got a new board. A short while later, he asked me how I upgraded such an old laptop to a P4? I told him I didn't, it was a PIII. He was quite surprised because he didn't see much difference between it and his old workstation. If it hadn't been for the fact that he was heavily invested in DDR memory (which won't work in older PC133 SDRAM sockets), I think he would have opted for a dual PIII when he bought the replacement.
    • Re:Who needs it? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by randombit ( 87792 )
      But for the rest of us, who really needs it?

      People running big compiles a lot want it. I've got a 1.4 Ghz Athlon at home, I probably spend something around an hour a day just sitting around waiting for compiles to complete. That wait is almost completely CPU bound -- double the speed of the CPU, compile time cuts in half.

      At work, my 933 Mhz P-III, pretty much the same situation. Compiles take 10 minutes. The test suite takes about 15 minutes. This is dead time.

      Oh, I agree, for a small server or running Office, or even playing most games, you don't need much beyond a 400 or 600 Mhz CPU. But there are plenty of people out there who can use every cycle they can get.
  • AMD has integrity (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Freedom Bug ( 86180 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @09:49AM (#4111471) Homepage
    And the biggest news: they're calling it the 2600 when it would have been called the 2700 under their old scheme. In the meantime Intel has increased their cache size and FSB speed, so calling it a 2700 would have been a disservice to the customer. They seem to be committed to integrity in the PR rating scheme. Imagine that, a marketing program with integrity. What's next, icicles in Hades?

    Hopefully they can undo the damage that Cyrix did, releasing a "PR400" part that was 400 only when compared to a theoretical Pentium with a FSB of 66MHz running Doom, but only had about the performance of a 266Mhz P2 running Quake, which would have made a much more reasonable comparison for the time period.

    For a much better discussion of the subject, check out JC's [jc-news.com].

    Bryan

  • Does the 2600 play my Atari cartridges?
  • I think one of the reasons there has been a major computer slowdown as of late not only has to do with the saturation of the market, but also a dropoff in the level of perceivable change.

    To have a computer that's noticably faster well probably have to wait until the 3.5-4 Ghz range.. otherwise it's just benchmarks. Only a few years ago it wasn't uncommon for a CPU to double it's clock speed in nearly every product cycle.. Now the percentage of change over old chips is dropping and hence one less reason to buy new machines.

    The level it takes to gain a noticeable difference will only get larger as time goes on, and in my opinion we'll see computers sitting on peoples desks for greater and greater lengths of time.

    Usually I upgrade when clock speeds reach 2.5x what I have currently..
    • Only a few years ago it wasn't uncommon for a CPU to double it's clock speed in nearly every product cycle..
      Examples???

      I've been using personal computers since 1977, and I've rarely if ever seen a doubling of clock speed in a single product cycle. As far as PCs go, I can't think of a single example. At first I thought about the jump from 486DX-33 to 486DX2-66, but even that wasn't really a doubling in a single product cycle, because there was a somewhat uncommon 486DX-50 inbetween.

      The Macintosh went from 7.83 MHz with the Macintosh Plus (1986) to 15.67 with the Macintosh II (1987).

      But those sort of jumps were very uncommon.

  • by Blahbbs ( 587167 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @11:06AM (#4112067)
    Why the push for MHz and not multiprocessor systems? You'd think that AMD/Intel would like that solution because it would mean people would buy more than one processor from them at a time. Seems it would give their R&D folks a bit more breathing room, too.

    I could see holding back on multiproc systems when the big manufacturers were preloading Win98/ME, but doesn't Win2kPro and WinXP support multiproc systems? I, for one, will likely make my next PC a multiproc machine.

  • sooo (Score:4, Funny)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland@ya ... .com minus punct> on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @11:10AM (#4112099) Homepage Journal
    2600, is that the temperature in Celsius, or Farenheit?
  • According to Toms Hardware Guide, the Athlon performance is severly reduced by VIAs bad memory handling [tomshardware.com].

    Now wouldn't it be a good investment for AMD to help VIA getting an improved memory handling? Given that most Athlons are used with VIA chipsets, it would make Athlons perform much better, and VIA probably wouldn't be opposed to free help.
  • Rumors, mythos, FAQs (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sivar ( 316343 ) <charlesnburns[@]gmail...com> on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @11:51AM (#4112418)
    Myth/rumor: The Athlon XP is a furnace of unimaginable heat! I'm getting a Pentium IV! Even though they are slower and more expensive, at least they won't dim the lights then melt them!

    The fastest Athlon XP chips dissipate less than 5% more heat than the fastest Pentium IV chips. They can, however, handle more heat before cooking.

    Myth/rumor: Tom's Hardware guide is "more objectvice" or even "Tom's Hardware guide is reliable"
    I can't believe I read this, even in a Slashdot comment.
    Tom's Hardware Guide is infamous among forums such as those at StorageReview.com and among people that actually know what they are talking about for being little more than a hardware review tabloid. Read the reviews! They come to illogical conclusions and sensationalize most of their reviews.
    Read the Athlon review in question:
    This is AMD's admission that the previous performance scale was set too high, especially when it came to the higher clock speeds.
    Umm... Could it be that because the CPU is advancing where the other components such as memory and FSB are not, that it is possible that AMD added another 66MHz to make sure the rating system was still accurate? It isn't like system performance scales linearly with CPU speed when everything else sits still. Whoever thinks that Tom's Hardware is a good place to get hardware reviews doesn't have a clue about hardware!
    Read Tom's glorious review of the KT266a vs the Nforce [tomshardware.com] where despite there being less than a 5% difference between the chipsets and despite the Nforce outperforming every one of the many KT266a that outnumber it greatly in some tests, their "conclusion" was Conclusion: KT266A Trounces nForce 420D - Soltek is Front-runner
    Tom's has had some good reviews, and most of the reviews BY TOM HIMSELF are pretty good, but most of the reviews are from his editors, and the proof is in the reviews--they are making Tom's Hardware more of a tabloid than a legit hardware review site, riding on the reputation that Tom made for the site years ago. I know, I was once an avid Tom's reader and am disgusted how the once clear and thoughtful reviews have turned into manic drivel.
    If you want reviews that are actually well thought out, intelligent, and have sane conclusions based on mere facts, try Ace's Hardware [aceshardware.com], Ars Technica [arstechnica.com], and Anandtech [anandtech.com].
    Ace's Hardware reviews are clearly the best and most researched, but they are few and far between. Want an excellent review of current and future memory technologies written with the help of actual engineers? Read Ace's Hardware.
    Ars rarely has hardware reviews, but when they do the reviews are good.
    Anandtech is a good all-around major review site that as far as I can tell has never been biased, but is a little bit too PC for me. (that's Politically Correct, not the other one)

    Is Tom's biased? Read the reviews! They aren't biased in a classic sense as far as I can tell, that is, they don't "always favor Intel" or "Always favor AMD"; rather they are often biased against one or the other. They will post stories that are clearly opinionated bullshit from ignorant tech writers that tend to have a bias against one or ther other. This is a mystery to me as they surely piss off both AMD and Intel all the time, and don't make any friends in the process. Overall, I wouldn't say that bias is a big problem at Tom's Hardware as much as stupid technical writers that don't know what they are talking about is a problem.
    Want more examples? Point me to a review at Tom's and I'll tell you what's wrong with it (if there is anything wrong with that particular one)

    At Tom's--read the reviews by Tom, but everyone else is not trustworthy.

    Myth/rumor:
    When you hold a seashell up to your ear, you can hear the sea.
    Fact: You can hear the same sound reflections by holding a drinking cup up to your ear. It has nothing to do with the ocean. The question is, if you hold a Unix shell up to your ear, can you hear the C?

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

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