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AMD Unveils Barcelona Quad-Core Details 206

mikemuch writes, "At today's Microprocessor Forum, Intel's Ben Sander laid out architecture details of the number-two CPU maker's upcoming quad-core Opterons. The processors will feature sped-up floating-point operations, improvements to IPC, more memory bandwidth, and improved power management. In his analysis on ExtremeTech, Loyd Case considers that the shift isn't as major as Intel's move from NetBurst to Core 2, but AMD claims that its quad core is true quad core, while Intel's is two dual-cores grafted together."
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AMD Unveils Barcelona Quad-Core Details

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  • by RuBLed ( 995686 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @03:41AM (#16389611)
    "AMD claims that its quad core is true quad core, while Intel's is two dual-cores grafted together."

    So a Siamese twin is not really a true twin because they are two persons grafted together? :)
  • by masklinn ( 823351 ) <[ten.nnilksam] [ta] [gro.todhsals]> on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @05:46AM (#16390231)
    It was indeed, Intel didn't have integrated ("true") dual-core (AMD-style) before the Core architecture. Pentium-D's two cores, for example, had to use the FSB to communicate with one another, they didn't have a specific, fase, core-to-core bus. In the end, they were no better than regular dual-core, except that you only needed a single socket.
  • by Kopretinka ( 97408 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @05:48AM (#16390245) Homepage
    Can anyone please shed some light on the difference (for the user) between a true quad-core and a dual dual-core processor? I expect a quad-core can be cheaper because it is more integrated, but is that it?
  • by aminorex ( 141494 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @06:50AM (#16390571) Homepage Journal
    "...what matters is benchmarks..."

    Lies, damned lies, and statistics. I both agree and disagree. Throughput on applications is what matters to end users. Synthetic benchmarks are useful (and so matter) in as much as they identify specific architectural performance characteristics for a given implementation. They are less than useful (and do not matter) when they do not correspond in a predictable way to throughput results.

    "...vs total power usage..."

    For your application, perhaps. Most home and office users don't care about the power dissipation of their CPU, as long as the cooling rig is zero-maintenance. GPUs completely overwhelm small variations in CPU for gamers these days. For high-throughput computing systems, there is a major shared/distributed memory split. For shared memory systems (i.e. capable of scaling throughput on multithreaded applications by increasing CPU counts), interconnect scalability matters more than any thing else, and AMD wins handily. For distributed memory systems, blade farms, etc, scalability and rank density will be determined by power dissipation, and there, finally, I can agree with your comment, and Intel may have a (very small) lead. It's a rather small slice of a diverse market, however.

Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982