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AMD Hardware

Athlon 64 Debuts 481

SpinnerBait writes "AMD launches their Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 FX chips today and there is a full analysis with benchmarks up at HotHardware. Interestingly enough, Intel pulled a fast one (literally) and released a new breed of Pentium 4 chips with 2MB of on board L3 cache, just in time to boost their performance in the benchmarks for this launch. Regardless, the performance levels for AMD's new flagship look very strong." Tom's has a story, or Tech Report, or see info straight from AMD.
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Athlon 64 Debuts

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  • Anandtech (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Custard ( 587661 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:39PM (#7035346) Homepage Journal
    And Anandtech [] has a good article up, as well.
    • by pyrros ( 324803 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @03:39PM (#7037325)
      >And Anandtech has a good article up, as well.

      Ha! good article my ass.

      The anandtech article runs a measly 18 pages, while tom's runs 53. So it is clear that the THG article is 194% better than the anandtech one (see fig.1).
      55| __
      50| ||
      | ||
      40| ||
      | ||
      30| ||
      | || __
      20| || ||
      . THG. A/T
      What's more, in our second test, "pretty pictures on the first page of the article" the beleaguered news site falls even further behind. While THG has 4 pictures on the first page, including one of the athlon XP (oh shiny!) anandtech has none. This could be due to a browser incompatibility or a hyper-active web-filter but we couldn't be bothered to check. (see fig.2)
      A/T |
      THG |================]
      0 1 .. 2 .. 3 .. 4
      As we can see, the THG article has !DIVISION_BY_ZERO! times the images of the anandech one, and so it must be much better.

      [I am quite surprised that this post passes the lameness filter, considering the amount of ugly ASCII art. The fact that ./ kills whitespace in ecode is annoying though ]
  • "Fast one"? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by micromoog ( 206608 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:39PM (#7035347)
    Interestingly enough, Intel pulled a fast one (literally) and released a new breed of Pentium 4 chips with 2MB of on board L3 cache, just in time to boost their performance in the benchmarks for this launch.

    So Intel cheated by, uh, making better hardware?

    • by reporter ( 666905 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:02PM (#7035595) Homepage
      Unfortunately for AMD, the upcoming Prescott by Intel could kill the Athlon64 -- and the UltraSPARC III. Please read "Prescott has 64-bit compatibility built in []".

      AMD created the 3DNow! extensions to the 80x86 instruction set architecture (ISA), also known as IA-32. They were a significant improvement over the original set of MMX extensions. However, later, Intel created the SSE (and SSE2) extensions. Guess what? AMD was forced to incorporate them into its future chips in addition to the 3DNow! extensions. Ignoring the SSE extensions would have cost AMD dearly in terms of marketshare. The fact of the matter is that Intel sets the global standard for the IA-32 ISA.

      Now, AMD has created its own x86-64 extensions to the IA-32. You can be sure that Intel has created a different set of 64-bit extensions (which we shall call "INTEL-64") to the IA-32. After all, why would Intel support AMD in any way? Once Intel activates the INTEL-64 extensions in the upcoming Prescott, AMD will be forced to go back to the drawing board to incorporate the INTEL-64 into all future chips. The current Athlon64 will be like the K-5 -- interesting but without a future.

      AMD will probably take an additional 2 years to produce an INTEL-64-compatiable chip. By that time, Intel would have locked 90% of the 64-bit desktop market with Prescott.

      The worst news is for Sun. With Prescott, Intel has a 64 bit chip that will be significantly faster than the UltraSPARC III/IV. Right now, the Pentium 4 crushes the UltraSPARC III in performance. Please review the performance characteristics of the Pentium 4 at the SPEC web site []. Since Prescott (successor to the Pentium 4) will be faster than its predecessor, Prescott will clean UltraSPARC's clock. Moreover, the number of applications that will run on Prescott -- the heir to the software empire of the x86 -- far exceeds the number of applications that run on UltraSPARC III/IV. On the key TPC-C benchmark, Prescott will clearly deliver outstanding performance, compared to the UltraSPARC III/IV.

      In short, when Intel activates the INTEL-64 extensions in Prescott, Intel will force (1) AMD back to its usual state of borderline bankruptcy and (2) Sun into being a software company.

      ... from the desk of the reporter []

      • by Bo Diddly Squat ( 688214 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:32PM (#7035845)
        While it's likely that Intel has some form of 64 bit instructions built into Prescott, it is highly unlikely that they will enable it. They would have to lose much ground to the Athlon64 and Opteron systems to do that.
        Remember that they are betting on the Itanium as their 64 bit processor. Enabling the 64 bit instructions on Prescott will almost instantly kill the Itanium and I doubt Intel wants to do that.

        As for 64 bit Prescott killing Sun. I don't see any reason for that. It seems to be fashionable to predict the death of Sun these days, but they are not in that much problems. The Itanium already crushes UltraSparc for performance, but Sun is still doing fine. A 64 bit Prescott will not change that. The software base difference doesn't really matter here either as there is simply stuff that runs on UltraSparc but not on x86 systems. Also, a processor is not the only part of a computer. While UltraSparc's performance may be lagging at the moment, Sun's systems are very well designed and no x86 system can compete with their high end systems.

        Hell, Sgi is in much more trouble than Sun and they still design their own processors (MIPS).
        • While it's likely that Intel has some form of 64 bit instructions built into Prescott, it is highly unlikely that they will enable it.

          Actually, I would dissagree. Remmember way back (at the very least, I haven't encountered such a message in a while) when a program would say, "Requires a 386" and you would try it on a 286 and it would complain? Most of the time today, if you are trying to install a program and your computer does not meet the minimum requirements, you can usually squeek by and still ha
      • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:33PM (#7035860)
        Actually the 64 bit instructions from Prescott ARE x86-64 which is AMD's extensions. Intel has a liscense for x86-64 and has been working on project Yamhill for some time to integrate the x86-64 instructions into the P4 core architecture. They did this when they Microsoft agreed to make Windows for x86-64 as well as IA64, MS will NOT keep three forks of their codebase so Intel's option was so ceed the low end to AMD or use their liscense, they of course chose the latter since almost noone has installed Itanium systems. Btw Intel chips have been faster than Sparc for some time, people don't buy Sun machines for number crunching they buy them for stability and scalability. Until there is an Intel machine that can scale like the 6800 and is as stable as Sun hardware there will be a niche for Sun. Of course Oracle with it's RAC initiative may reduce the scalability argument.
      • by tugrul ( 750 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:34PM (#7035865)
        I would take your post seriously if you had mentioned what part you believed Microsoft would play in the world of competing 64-bit extensions.

        WXP for the Althon 64 is well on its way, as seen in the linked HotHardware review. Will Microsoft and the driver writing departments at hardware firms put up with a stealth announcement of another set of 64-bit extensions?
      • by dAzED1 ( 33635 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:37PM (#7035897) Journal
        fortunately for SUNW shareholders, Sun released some rather good news yesterday about a breakthrough they had in CPU interconnects. So, the ultrasparc3/4 might be devalued, but Sun was about to devalue them with their own stuff anyway. In addition, the ultraspac3/4 are still very solid chips, and its easier to have an E15k with zillions of them than to try to figure out how to get zillions of p4's to operate in the same space.
        Check out the new info posted about sun's interconnect tech here [] (free reg, blah blah). With the new tech, processors and/or memory can be directly connected to each other.
        I still wish my wife had let me buy AMD a couple months ago when it was in the 5's. They're losing money fast, but...since the stock is up 140% from its price in late June, I guess investors still have hopes for them...
      • by pmz ( 462998 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:41PM (#7035940) Homepage
        "Right now, the Pentium 4 crushes the UltraSPARC III in performance."

        I honestly don't care, because there's more to a computer than SPEC drivel. Quite honestly, I'm suprised you forgot to mention Itanic in your anti-Sun rant, because INTEL-64 will make the multi-billion dollar IA-64 go bye-bye. Have you ever seen several billion dollars seem as if it never existed? Intel may.

        BTW, here are the actual competitors for your entertainment:

        Itanic 2/Power4/UltraSPARC III
        Opteron/PowerPC 970/UltraSPARC IIIi
        Pentium 4/Athlon

        You see, the people considering the first trio aren't necessarily even considering the second trio, because their needs are different. Fancy that, Mr. Troll.

        • The Power4/Itanium/UltraSPARC advantage has always been in their scalability. They have point to point links with gobs of bandwidth to handle many parallel CPUs which are capable of handling large transaction-oriented workloads.

          Now that Opteron has Hypertransport -- a highly scalable big bandwidth point to point link protocol, what exactly is the advantage of the other RISC contenders in the high end enterprise space?

          A nice instruction set? Sorry, that doesn't cut it anymore. The only thing holding ba
  • Yes, but... (Score:4, Funny)

    by vacaboca ( 691496 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:39PM (#7035353) does it benchmark against the Commodore 64???
  • this is great but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by chef_raekwon ( 411401 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:39PM (#7035358) Homepage
    when will we see some serious APPS that utilize this technology?? why would joe user go buy one? to check their mail?

    although not intended to be a troll, its looking that way....
    if the OS, AND the Apps run 64bit - i'll buy one...till then, i'll stick with my original thunderbird, 1.4ghz.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Once Windows for 64bit AMD comes out (soon), I'm sure you'll start seeing quite a few more apps. We're in the transition phase now, where we'll buy 64-bit chips that can still work well in a 32-bit world. It's not an upgrade for Joe Homeuser quite yet, but give it a year.
      • It's out. (Score:3, Informative)

        You can get Windows 2003 Server and Windows XP 64bit 2003 Edition from the MSDN Website (assuming you have an account).
    • No, a troll would be saying that you're going to buy some eggs to fry on this processor, or even better some grits to pour on Natalie Portman.

      And the end user won't realize a big difference, and the bang-for-buck ratio won't be there either. But serious database apps, cad, and any other high-end market will most definitely benefit.
      • by Slime-dogg ( 120473 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @02:02PM (#7036192) Journal

        I'm not sure that you really understand the meaning of the word "Troll." Check here [] for a good definition of "Troll." The word came from "Trolling for n00bs," where people would purposely get something wrong in order to get all the new people to jump on them. A good troll is really quite amusing, and very difficult to pinpoint... such as this comment's parent's post, I would guess. ;-) Good trolls usually do not include Natalie Portman, Grits, or AYB. Those posts would generally be modded "Offtopic," which is a euphamism for "Useless."

        What is interesting is that the grandparent thought they were posting a Troll by posting a valid thought held by many people. If there are no apps, then why would I buy the processor?

        In answer to that question, I would propose the analogy: Would you wait until the flood hit to get sandbags? It's always good to have the sandbags on hand, they don't get in the way, nor do they cause you to live life in a different way. The Athlon64 is like that, a latent 64 bit platform that doesn't hurt to have, and even gives incredible performance gains in 32 bit apps.

    • why would joe user go buy one? to check their mail?

      You're right, it's useless. Any advance in processor technology should be stopped at once, we can already mails after all.
    • by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:57PM (#7035534)
      Just because checking mail is all you use YOUR computer for, doesn't mean that's all everyone else uses their computers for. There are already plenty of apps around that will suck up this much processing power and still beg for more, and they're not as obscure as you'd think. I have a friend who does a lot of 3D animation, and rendering will ALWAYS leave you wanting more CPU power and RAM. Enough will never be enough for stuff like that. And when you want to rip your CD collection to mp3 (or ogg, or whatever), you're gonna want the fastest thing around, if you've got a decent collection. DIVX-encoding is pretty nasty on the CPU, too. These are all fairly common tasks now.
    • A company I previoulsy worked for sells nothing but Opterons for workstations and servers. It is amazing what dual 64bit chips can do on a properly optimized workstation. It is quite impressive. We used suse 64bit version and gentoo linux on those machines
    • ignoramous! myopic! moron!

      I write apps, that people use to read email, and I write these apps on the J2EE platform. Have you ever tried writing a 3 to 4 tier'd app? all running on one development machine running NT? Including the Oracle server? .... or even better...
      I write apps, that programmers use to write apps for people to read their email. You can bet I need all the horsepower I can get!. .... or even better...
      I write Virtual Machines that code jokey's use to develop tools to confuse, er uh, emp
    • by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:04PM (#7035609) Homepage Journal
      I don't get this. Aren't you missing the point? The idea is that it is supposed to be forward compatible. Simply because there were no 32 bit apps at the time didn't mean that people didn't buy 386s and 486s.

      If you are waiting for everything to catch up, then there is currently little advantage to x86-64.

      Most apps don't need this power, the ones that do will be rewritten as the need arises, everything else can still run in 32 bit mode.
    • Chicken and egg (Score:5, Insightful)

      by siskbc ( 598067 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:08PM (#7035637) Homepage
      Unless they come from the same company, either the 64-bit OS had to come before it had a 64-bit chip to run on, or the 64-bit processor had to come before it had anything to run. Which makes more sense - releasing a chip so the OS makers can finalize their designs, or releasing an os that uses mythical 64-bit opcodes?

      I think we can all see the wisdom of releasing the new processor before the new OS.

    • I'm looking at a 1TB disk array. Since that's more than 2B blocks, I can't store the disk block address in a signed 32-bit number any more.

      Barring that, what do I have that cries out for 64 bit arithmetic? Not much.

      Also, try compiling the same app in 32-bit and 64-bit modes. The 64-bit app is a lot bigger and slower, since all the pointers doubled in size, so less code fits in cache, and I'm using more memory bandwidth.

      The 16 to 32-bit conversion was forced, because it didn't take much of a problem to
      • Also, try compiling the same app in 32-bit and 64-bit modes. The 64-bit app is a lot bigger and slower, since all the pointers doubled in size, so less code fits in cache, and I'm using more memory bandwidth.

        Actually, this is only partly true. Because the new AMD64 instruction set includes 8 more general purpose registers, compilers now generate far less load/store code during periods of register contention. This alone ALMOST makes up for the extra byte per instruction that 64-bit instructions require.

    • when will we see some serious APPS...
      Add -m64 to you march flags then emerge -e world
    • by j-turkey ( 187775 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:34PM (#7035866) Homepage
      if the OS, AND the Apps run 64bit - i'll buy one...till then, i'll stick with my original thunderbird, 1.4ghz.

      If you actually want the industry (and 64-bit computing as a whole) to move forward -- then go out and buy a chip...if nobody buys these because no OS/Software manufacturer writes 64-bit code, then there will be big trouble for little AMD. The idea was to build a chip that runs 32 and 64 bit code very quickly. What it sounds like you're saying is that you're waiting for Intel to release a 64-bit chip so that everyone optimizes their code for that. I, for one would rather back the company who was innovative and was first to market with a pretty cool product than the biggest guy on the block (er...industry...whatever).

      From the benchmarks I've seen -- it does a pretty damn good job at both 32 and 64 bit code (especially for a first release without a good 64-bit clean codebase). It manages to beat the existing 3.2 Ghz P4 for cheaper.

      I hear what you're saying about waiting on at least one level though -- I can't remember ever spending $400 on a CPU, but I'm confident that in 6 months, those things will be selling for quite a bit less than they are now...they'll be a good bargain.

      Finally, I have a 1.4Ghz Thunderbird as my primary desktop. At this point, it should be called a 1.4Ghz Shitbird. I intend to replace it -- the only questions are: when, and replace with what? I know that if I decide to get an Athlon64-ish chip, I won't be making that decision based on whether or not there are 64-bit apps/OS'es for it. For what you pay, it works great...I'll make my decision based on price:performance ratio on what's available now...and from what I can see, it already shines against a much more mature platform.

  • Will wait (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Brahmastra ( 685988 )
    I'll wait until they actually come out with applications that use the 64-bit extensions to the x86 instruction set. Doesn't seem like its worth it to pay big bucks and buy this for 32-bit applications
    • Re:Will wait (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Slack3r78 ( 596506 )
      But if you're in the market for a high end machine, this seems to be the way to go right now. The benchmarks I'm seeing show it outperforming the P4 3.2GHz chip, and from the pricing I've found so far, it's nearly $200 cheaper.
  • Mmm yesss (Score:3, Funny)

    by mesmartyoudumb ( 471890 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:41PM (#7035371) Homepage
    Begun these processor wars have!
  • by tanveer1979 ( 530624 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:41PM (#7035373) Homepage Journal
    Regardless, the performance levels for AMD's new flagship look very strong.

    Though I am a die hard AMD supporter, i have to admit Intel has really pulled one up on AMD this time. The 64bit 3200+ is just about 15-20% faster than the stock and barrel Intel 32bit 3.2 GHz. Bad news for AMD this is, considering the retail price of these babies is 450 & 800$ (Normal and FX).

    And BTW windows released XP 64bit Beta1 today.
    • by digidave ( 259925 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:50PM (#7035464)
      Remember when the P4 came out and it was slower than the P3 at the same clock speed? Like P4 was then, the Athlon64 is designed with the future in mind, not blowing away everybody on day one and having no room to scale from then on.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      And BTW windows released XP 64bit Beta1 today.


      Don't speak like that again. :)
    • by Zathrus ( 232140 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:17PM (#7035718) Homepage
      Though I am a die hard AMD supporter, i have to admit Intel has really pulled one up on AMD this time. The 64bit 3200+ is just about 15-20% faster than the stock and barrel Intel 32bit 3.2 GHz. Bad news for AMD this is, considering the retail price of these babies is 450 & 800$ (Normal and FX).

      Yeah. I can't believe that you can get a brand new CPU that's 15-20% faster than the previous champion for only 25% less! Oh, and that's in 32-bit mode. If 64-bit computing takes hold then Intel is SOL at the moment - despite the rumors flying around about Prescott and 64-bit instructions.

      Yeah, the Athlon64 3200+ is $465 [] (note, look at the retail price w/ heatsink to be fair), but the P4 3.2GHz is $619 [].

      The Athlon64 FX-51 is certainly overpriced, given how miniscule the performance differences are, but that's hardly a surprise.

      What Intel did pull wasn't a price/performance coup (because it isn't, by any means) but a paper launch debacle. Every single review I've seen thus far includes benchmarks for the P4 3.2EE -- which isn't available until November, and at prices similar to the Ath64-FX (based on preliminary 1000 CPU lot prices). The P4EE is competitive with the Ath64, but it's a smokescreen. You can buy an Athlon64 right now, but the P4EE is non-existant.

      And BTW windows released XP 64bit Beta1 today.

      Unfortunately it appears that there's a severe lack in available drivers. All the sites are having to use nVidia 5900FX's and even then can't bench any DX9 apps in Win64 due to no 64-bit DX9 being available.
    • Take a minute and look at the platform that the applications were compiled for. Only the OS was compiled for the 64 Bit chips, and even that was a pre-beta. Most modern apps released allow for updates that include specifically compiled code (ala Windows, as much as I hate to say it). Once this is taken advantage of, then you can be sure that you have a larger performance delta.

      The other thing that comes to mind is that these chips are brand new, and are not running at the speed for which they were plann

  • The first 64-bit PC processor, in a class by itself,...

    Did someone forget to remind their marketing department that PC means "Personal Computer" and not necessarily x86?
  • Benchmarks (Score:5, Informative)

    by I_am_Rambi ( 536614 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:42PM (#7035382) Homepage
    Here are some more benchmarks

    AMDzone []
    AnandTech []
    XbitLabs []
    Ace Hardware []

    There are even more at AMDZones [] main page.
  • Paper launch? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dzym ( 544085 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:43PM (#7035397) Homepage Journal
    I'm seriously hoping that this isn't a paper launch. There are as yet many factors that could limit the potential for this powerful new product, and a paper launch would significantly weaken AMD's thrust.

    First, we still don't have a mass market consumer OS for native x86-64, and even when Windows XP for x86-64 does come out (the word from the betas is that it's very very good and solid), we still need to wait for x86-64 compatible drivers to be developed and released by the various manufacturers, and it would be no small feat to even have a small core sampling of drivers available by say, summer 2004. Personally, I'm hoping that Nforce3 and ATI Catalyst drivers will be ready very early on.

    Mad props to AMD, but they're not out of the woods yet on this release.

    • by eddy ( 18759 )

      There's a limitied supply, but they're available. Here's one: Athlon64 3200+ [] bundled with a MSI K8T Neo-FIS2R, in stock and available, for "only" 6600SEK (~$835 /w tax)

      I'm salivating, but the limited supply is going to keep the price way, way up for a time.

    • With regards to the OS, here's just a little more interesting plot info. I just noticed that has this article [] which mentions that Microsoft launched the official beta of Windows XP 64bit as a "precursor" to AMD's launch today.

      AMD! Don't cater to the evil Redmond mole-men! ;)
    • Re:Paper launch? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jungle guy ( 567570 )
      If this is a paper launch, Alienware is selling some interesting paper [].
    • Re:Paper launch? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by p3d0 ( 42270 )
      First, we still don't have a mass market consumer OS for native x86-64...
      That's the beauty of it. You don't need one. Normal IA32 Windows runs as fast on AMD64 as on a Pentium.
    • Re:Paper launch? (Score:3, Informative)

      by randombit ( 87792 )
      I'm seriously hoping that this isn't a paper launch.

      Why don't you go go buy one from here [] or here [] and let us know?

      First, we still don't have a mass market consumer OS for native x86-64

      Very true. And some of us just don't care. I wanted benchmarks for GCC and OpenSSL and Postgres, and all they showed was 32-bit Windows apps, which nobody but nobody cares about. Well, life is tough, I guess.
  • Wow! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Finally, a 64-bit desktop processor!

    Oh wait it's been done []!

    But seriously, there are a number of reasons why this is a great chip.

    Namely, if Intel actually thinks putting a cache that's too big on a chip is actually going to help, good luck.

    A Toast to AMD for once again making the superior product.
    • Too big? (Score:3, Insightful)

      Did you see the performace gain by the cache you say is too big (Normal 512K P4 versus Extreme 2MB P4)?

      The cache is the main reason the G5 Dual 2.0 isn't that much better than a G4 Dual 1.42. If the G5 had 2MB Cache as the G4's do it would perform even better (L2 would be significantly better than L3 as well, but costs increase significantly).

      Next time you're trying to run some 3D modeling or any other intensive CPU based software, just realize the cache is significant.
  • Oh no! (Score:3, Funny)

    by gpinzone ( 531794 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:44PM (#7035404) Homepage Journal
    A site with the name "HOT" Hardware had to review an AMD chip. Why not just post a Slashdot article asking for AMD overheating jokes? Open the floodgates!
  • HardOCP []
    Tom's hardware []
    Ace's Hardware []
    As you would expect, no chip is dominate. though the more interesting thing for me than the nip and tuck between $800 CPUs, is the Athlon64 3200+ performs right there with the 3.2C in mosts lets. Not bad considering it retails for more than $100 less.
  • Now all we need is someone to get this running in a C64 :)
  • A happy coincidence (Score:5, Informative)

    by RealAlaskan ( 576404 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:47PM (#7035438) Homepage Journal
    By a happy coincidence, I just today got my copies of the x86-64 programmer's manuals. There are five volumes:
    1) Application Programming
    2) Ssytems Programming
    3) General Purpose and System Instructions
    4) 128-Bit Media Instructions
    5) 64-Bit Media and x87 Floating-Point Instructions

    Get them here [].

    Then go make your favorite compiler [] or windowing system [] work better on this.

  • Linux 32 bit on the P4, 32 bit on the AMD and 64 bit on the AMD. Throw in 64 bit Linux on the P970 and G4.

    It would be nice to see something that could be well controlled (all non-proc specific compile flags equal) to do the testing.

    Besides, no one runs this Windows XP rubbish right, where can I see an article testing real systems? ;o)
  • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:48PM (#7035450) Journal
    We saw Athlon XP get released when Windows XP was still "hot" and aggressively marketed by Microsoft.

    We now see Athlon FX get released when the GeForce FX graphics card series is the state-of-the-art among hardcore gamers, along with ATI's Radeon series. Hardcore gamers are also coincidentally a target group for AMD's processors since they're known to look for the latest and greatest processor-wise.

    I wonder if this is just coincidental, or if AMD is actually using the popularity of other brands to market their own? Are they even using dirty tacticts to try to fool people into thinking "Ooh, this Athlon XP should work especially well together with this newly released Windows XP then, right?" and "Oooh, great, I must have the Athlon FX for my latest video card!"

    But perhaps they just happen to choose the same abbreviation as other popular brands at the time for the second time in a row. However, I still can't say AMD's Athlon marketing smell good to me at least.
    • Easy - the Athlon 64 FX 51 is 5.1GHz.

      Right? :)
      • I sure hope so! ;)

        Anyway, my point wasn't that the Athlon FX doesn't use the infamous Processor Rating, but how AMD seemingly tie their model names to currently popular brands from other manufacturers, riding their wave of success.
        • by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:02PM (#7035586)
          I couldn't care less about their silly-ass naming schemes - I'm much more irritated with their ridiculous lack of planning on socket formats & memory controllers. Single channel on that kind of processor (the non-FX) - what were they smoking? Maybe if they want to call that the new Duron, but otherwise, that's just idiotic. They should also have increased (doubled!) the L1.

          It's not like any of this _really_ concerns me, mind, as I'm now saving up for a G5. It's time to 'Switch'! :)

          I'd say with CPU prices like that AMD & Intel are now charging, the whole 'PCs are cheaper than Macs' theory is gonna get a lot less credence.

          I'm _really_ interested in seeing some real & comprehensive benchmarks between all the processors, now that they're all out. G5 vs P4 vs P4EE vs Xeon vs Athlon 64/FX.
    • well, it's still better than intels EXTREME EDITION.

  • Come on now (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MalleusEBHC ( 597600 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:50PM (#7035474)
    I would hope that Tom's Hardware would at least try to keep the anti-Mac bias down to a tolerable level.

    "At the same time, Apple laid claim that with the G5 model, it would offer the world's most powerful desktop system. Apparently there are users who will believe these kinds of claims. Whatever - at least the G5 also has 64-bit support with regard to the software. Nevertheless, there is still no final operating system available for it."

    FUD, lack of evidence, and outright lies - they call this journalism? They dismiss the Apple's claims about the G5's performance without a) including it in their later benchmark or b) citing any references. Why am I suppose to believe someone who is trying to put down a group of users like they are petulent 2 year olds. Also, what is the crack about not having a "final operating system" out yet? 10.2.7 is a fine OS for the G5. If he means that there is no 64-bit OS, why not just come out and say it?

    Pfff. I can't believe I took time away from constantly reloading my Fedex tracking page to read that drivel.

    • Re:Come on now (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheNetAvenger ( 624455 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:53PM (#7036089)
      FUD, lack of evidence, and outright lies - they call this journalism? They dismiss the Apple's claims about the G5's performance without a) including it in their later benchmark or b) citing any references.

      Because sane, savvy people in the technology industry should know better.

      We have had 64bit AMD systems running here before the Apple G5 announcement, additionally, we have had Itanium with Windows XP 64 edition running here for over a year.

      Considering we ACTUALLY have these 'shipping' systems already in our office and labs for quite some time, do we need a reference from the article's author to know that Apple was lying out their ass?

      Where in the hell have you been?

      Apple was NOT the first 64bit desktop PC, their performance numbers were 'admittedly' pulled from a comparison of slower 32bit Xeon CPUs, and only showed the specific few tests that the G5 actually outperformed even the older Xeon chips.

      And the last nail in this Apple shenanigan is that Mac OSX (even the new release for the G5s) is NOT a 64bit OS, and has no plans to be a 64bit OS in the near future.

      I don't dislike Apple or their products, but their marketing department needs to be whacked up side the head. Instead of billing the G5 for what it IS and its TRUE good points, they go out on this hyperbole that is false and make a fool of themselves.

      I'm sorry you and other people buy into it. If you are so worried about facts and citing references, why haven't you checked the facts that Apple has been purporting? You would have found they are false which is what the rest of the industry already knew.

      • Re:Come on now (Score:5, Insightful)

        by WiseWeasel ( 92224 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @02:45PM (#7036708)
        You claim to have been using 64 bit x86 CPUs for over a year (Itanium) as well as from AMD (Opteron), but what you fail to realize is that Apple is claiming first 64 bit DESKTOP. The Itanium and Opteron chips are not desktop CPUs, but server and workstation chips. This is just silly semantics, and anyone who believes marketing drivel should have their head examined. But to simply dismiss a whole platform for these stupid marketing claims is ridiculous. The 1.6 and 1.8 GHz G5s have been in the marketplace with a final version of MacOS X 10.2.7 for over a month, making them the first viable 64 bit DESKTOP solution available in my book, since they run a final, stable version of MacOS X which is as tuned as it needs to be for 64 bit operation (mostly 42 bit memory address space support and a few 64 bit math libs), and a good consumer user experience. Someone trying to use Windows XP 64 right now had better be an expert user, to deal with all the problems with missing drivers. If you want to argue that the opteron was a desktop CPU or had desktop solutions (since it can run Win32), that might be a valid argument, but you can't fault Apple's marketing department for trying to cash in on the 64bit buzz, especially since most people who watch those commercials have never heard of an opteron.
        As for benchmarks, it's silly to omit the G5s from the comparison for religious reasons, and people want to see how they stack up. The only way to counter Apple's marketing drivel is to do actual real-world benchmarking using cross platform apps and benches. The 'slow' Xeon chips Apple compared the G5 to were the fastest available at the time from Intel. I don't know why they didn't compare themselves to the Opterons, but them's the breaks. What we need now is for all these PC tech sites to get some dual G5s and compare them to what they think is the top of the line on the x86 platform. FUD and hostility will only make people see these sources as biased and unprofessional. Objective comparisons between G5s, Athlon64 FX and P4 EE will drive lots of page hits, since people are starved for this info right now (due in part to Apple's excessive marketing claims). So, either put up or shut up, and be happy that Apple's marketing claims drove so much interest in G5 comparisons w/ x86 offerings.
  • by Realistic_Dragon ( 655151 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:53PM (#7035498) Homepage
    A physical address space that can support systems with up to one terabyte of installed RAM, shattering the 4 gigabyte RAM barrier present on all current x86 implementations.

    If you implement x86 with PAE then you get 8gb.

    It's only 4gb if you exclude dirty hacks - but if you did that then you would have to rule out x86 in it's entirety.
    • If you implement x86 with PAE then you get 8gb.

      You also get horrible performance and require different compile flags for the application.

      Compile something for x86-64 and you get 48-bit addressing out of the box with no performance hits and no special flags.
    • No, PAE does not allow a single program to access more than 4GB, only the OS. So while they were stupid to add the physical portion to the address space tag they were basically correct. How many people that run applications that need 4GB or more of ram run more than one at a time? Basically anyone who needs more than 4GB needs it available to just one app so PAE is worthless in most cases.
  • by asv108 ( 141455 ) * <> on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:54PM (#7035514) Homepage Journal
    Tom, if your listening this is want we want to see:

    A benchmark of Linux on the following systems:

    • 2 GHZ Dual G5
    • 2 GHZ Dual Opteron
    • Athlon 64 FX
    • Pentium 4 3.2 Spicy Edition

    GCC Settings for each system should be optimized for the best possible stable performance. I'm so sick of seeing 32 bit windows benchmarks for testing 64bit processors.

  • Competition (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Stalyx ( 633692 )
    Although the numbers look impressive, I personally would wait till their are more 64 bit applications in the market. If you are a gamer there would be modest increases in performance but really waiting a few more months will not hurt if you are more interested in value.

    I love the fact that AMD is competing, this bodes well for all computer users. A technology war will definitely keep prices down. In the same sense, I am hoping that Intel comes out with a "decent" 64 bit chip. Not that I am fond of Intel,
  • by deltagreen ( 522610 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:01PM (#7035573) Homepage

    Tom's hardware has got another article, called The Intel v. AMD Performance War: You Lose [], about the more cynical, money-making sides of the launch. Perhaps it's a bit conspiratory, but certainly worth a read, as it raises many valid points.

  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:01PM (#7035582) Journal
    ...of both the new AMD-64 and the Pentium 4 Extreme is that the prices of the older chips should start dropping like a stone.

  • by carbona ( 119666 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:13PM (#7035684)
    For those of you lucky enough to be already considering what mainboard your new Athlon 64 will be running on, OCWorkBench [] has been posting reviews in the past month on three motherboards/chipsets:
  • available at newegg (Score:3, Informative)

    by uiucryan ( 663325 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:21PM (#7035754)
    It is already available at newegg.
    here []
  • by squarefish ( 561836 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:32PM (#7035849)
    here []

    it looks pretty interesting and it's pretty reasonably for what it is at $1650 including a dvd burner;
    AMD Athlon(TM) 64 3200+ PC Processor
    3 IEEE 1394 Firewire Ports
    512 MB DDR 333 main memory (2 GB Max)
    10/100 NIC Port
    160 GB Ultra ATA/100 Hard Drive
    128 MB 8X AGP ATI Radeon 900 SE Video Card
    17" Monitor (1280 x 1024 Res.)
    1-Year Limited 24Hr/365 Day Tech Support click here to upgrade the monitor
    30-Day Money-Back Guarantee Details
    56K Max v.92 Send/Receive Fax Modem
    DVD-RW with Ulead VideoStudio 6
    DVD Bonus Software: DVD X Copy Xpress
    Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
    4 USB 2.0 Ports
  • by bluGill ( 862 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:39PM (#7035924)

    I read several of the reviews, and all stuck with 32 bit code for the comparition between the Intel P4 and the AMD Athalon 64. Linux runs on the Atahlon in 64 bit mode, wouldn't be hard to compile PovRay and Doom on a 64 bit compiler and see if anything changes. Thats just for an easy test.

    Many real world (science?) applications benifit from 64 bit processors, find some (presumably running on UltraSparc, PPC, Alpha, or such) and port them over to see how the 64bit abilities of this chip compares to the other existing chips.

    I run open source OSes, and open Source applications. I don't care about 32 bit performance because I'm fairly sure that if I did have an Athalon 64 I wouldn't run 32 bit code very often. I can choose between many chips, compatable instruction sets to me means gcc (or other compiler) has an output for them. 32 bit x86 compatiabily is nice for the few times I have to run something 32 bit (normally in Wine) and that doesn't happen very often.

  • Athlon 64 Laptop (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Experiment 626 ( 698257 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @02:00PM (#7036168)
    I ran across this article today... apparently someone is already trying to put together a mobile system [] around AMD's new 64-bit offering.
    • Re:Athlon 64 Laptop (Score:3, Informative)

      by puppetman ( 131489 )
      There are mobile Athlon-64 CPUs.

      From The Inquirer []:

      "First, off AMD has a mobile Athlon 64 reference design which includes 256MB of PC 2000 memory, the K8T400 chipset, and an ATI M9 graphics card. The mobile chip will be launched in September."
  • Costco sells it. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by semenzato ( 445337 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @02:26PM (#7036473)
    My friend Boris informed me that Costco is selling [] one of these.
  • by PissingInTheWind ( 573929 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @02:27PM (#7036483)
    64 bits words have an advantage I would not have realized before programming compilers for dynamically-typed languages:

    In a DT language , you need some way to 'mark' information to say wether it is a number, a pointer, etc. The usual technique is to mark the bit field with a 1 or 2 bit tag at the end.

    Also, for garbage collection (ie Mark-And-Sweep) you need to be able to 'mark' the object that needs to stay alive so they are not reclaimed by the gc.

    That being said, taking 2 or 3 bits on a 32 bit field is a lot, but it is very interesting to realize that that cost go away on a 64 bit machine.

    So, 64 bits = more memory (larger address space) but it also means some techniques becomes much more viable in terms of feasability of implementation, which is a very exciting (for some loose definition of exciting) prospect!
  • by mnemonic_ ( 164550 ) <> on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @03:09PM (#7036974) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if or how Apple Computer, Inc. will modify its marketing efforts. Will it continue to ignore AMD like they did with G4 ads, neglecting the fact that the "megahertz myth" had existed for years in the PC world in the competition between the Athlon and Pentium processors? Which led to numerous Mac users enlightening us lowly PC peons about how processor clock alone does not determine processor performance, a fact which many of us had been aware of long before the release of the Motorola G4.

    It is true that the G5 was the first 64bit desktop computer processor. Now there is a second. Apple should show some G5 vs. Athlon 64 benchmarks, which should be a much more competitive comparison price-performance wise than one dealing with G5's and Xeons. And much more realistic, with both catering to (roughly) the same market.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky