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AMD Releases Mobile CPUs 66

epoh writes "AMD has finally released their new (fast, affordable, slick) line of notebook processors. They are supposed to blow the Pentiums out of the water. Check out the full story. Yum. I want one. " It's a shame the K7 runs so hot. I'm sure it's just a matter of time, though.
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AMD Releases Mobile CPUs

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  • by scumdamn ( 82357 )
    It's too bad they'll still be so much slower in floating point calculations since they're based on the K6 family, but that won't matter at all if they're used for the applications that most laptop users will be using. I'd like to see AMD clean up in the notebook market since they seemingly have a very strong product.
    When the K6s first came out I was very excited. I knew they were no panacea, but I overclocked my first 166 to a 210 using the newly available 83 MHz bus and I loved that little bad boy.
    Is it just me, or is Intel every bit as predatory as Microsoft? Every time I think about that little chip company that could and how much Intel has hurt them it just makes me sick!
    Andy Grove is a spawn of SATAN!
    ; >
  • by Anonymous Coward
    AMD has been losing some key deals lately. I wonder how much longer they can last.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Those should be _really_ fast... with the 256K of on-die cache, assuming the laptops they go in have good chipsets.

  • Always been a big fan of the K6 family in spite of its performance shortcomings. Hell, K6/200 at work, K6-2/400 at home and soon to be another K6-2/400 running my Webserver.

    Damn fine processor for the price. Heck, those 400s are down to $70 now with a fan. Hard to beat that price/performance ratio.

  • IMO I think AMD is better than Intel anyway. Let alone the price. I have a friend that has a pentium II that runs at the same speed as my AMD and my blows his out of the water all day long. I don't have a laptop yet, but when I do I plan on getting one with an AMD in just because I like to root for the underdog, but in this case it's just a better product to me. With Intel I think you only pay for a name and the wild commercials they make. With AMD you are getting some down and dirty fast computing dirt cheap. Rock ON AMD!!!
  • Can AMD processors compete with Intel processors in the notebook market? The answer is probably no. Why? Even if the AMD processer was faster, cheaper, and more advanced, the well brainwashed consumers know to look for that "Intel Inside" logo and the word "Pentium". The notebook manufacturers know this, and they are not going to risk using the AMD chip too widely because in many peoples eyes that will be an instant nix on their product. The well educated computer user may know the advantages of the AMD line and look for it when purchasing/building a computer, but the proprietary nature of notebook hardware makes it necissary for the manufacturers to cater only to the masses. Maybe some manufacturer will put out a notebook so dazzling that it can succeed with the AMD chip, but that doesn't seem very likely.

    Despite my pessimism, I'd love to see AMD suceed. Let's wish 'em the best!

  • -Every time I think about that little chip company that could and how much Intel has hurt

    It just occured to me how odd this reference, which is often applied to Linux as well, must seem to people who weren't indoctrinated with "The Little Engine that Could" in their preschool years. I'd wager that that book isn't nearly as pervasive overseas as it is in the U.S.
  • Typical power consumption on both new chips (no clock speed specified) is around 12 watts, according to AMD. Not cool. Har har.

    As I sit here on my 2.2 volt OC'd celeron, mourning my dead G3, I wonder at how we free-software, open-sourceys still use or rely on this blasted, 20+ year old rube goldberg arch.

    The new G4's havent even gone through manufacturing and minor design refinements, nor are they aimed at low-power environments but they still (yield issues aside) draw something like 5.0w typical/11.5 peak. And consider how power consumption varies with the SQUARE of wattage (i believe :P). sheesh. too bad intel has possession of the strongarm arch now. that was elegant.

    its a shame. for my laptops, i look for the most elegant solution and designs. too bad apple doesnt exactly have real competition with powerpc laptops.

    ah. sad how quake frame rates drive the market, no? i think i go soak in the tub with gottfried von strassburg's tristan. save my money for some sound system that can work while i bathe so i can enjoy my bach. apparently the world beyond maya has only gotten worse since these "enlightened times"
  • I couldn't find a text of the story anywhere, though I'm sure the story should be in the public domain by now. Doesn't the copyright run out in 50 yrs?
    Anyway, for some of our non-US friends who may not have heard the story, here's the most info I could find on it.

    The story is about steam engine who thinks positively and is able to climb a hill. (Of course, that's the zip version of the Reader's Digest version.)
    The engine says "I think I can! I think I can!" and when he hits the top and speeds down the hill he's saying "I thought I could. I thought I could."
    Of course, they forgot to mention that the bridge was out, but that's just details. Right?
  • by crayz ( 1056 )
    So if Apple releases a G4 laptop, it'll basically destroy any x86 ones. Here's hoping Motorola gets their act together. I'd rather have IBM help out, though.
  • by geekfuzz ( 71255 ) on Wednesday September 22, 1999 @03:39PM (#1666192) Homepage
    It's good to see that AMD hasn't been put out of the running like so many of Intel's other competitors (like Cyrix). Granted, in many cases AMD has a superior product at a lower price versus Intel, but as stated, consumers most often look for brand recognition over technical statistics. IMO, this has been a crucial time for AMD, a time to decide it's place in the chip market of the future. Will they keep innovating, and releasing fantastic products like the K7? The answer appears to be yes. I sincerely hope that the marketing machine that is Intel doesn't destroy them. With the rapid growth of the computer market over the last few years, I think there is ample room for a lost cost, high performance chipmaker to snag it's piece of the market share from the big boys. Let's just hope they keep setting the pace...
  • Errr buddy ... The prices are being driven up right now due mostly to the fact that one of the largest chip producing areas was devasted this week. It has little to do with greed.

    Unless God bought up a shitload of RAM before he shifted those plates. Hmmmmmmmm..

  • I think the customers who are interested in low price notebooks are less interested in "Intel Inside" and pay more attention to the sticker with the dollar sign on it. Circuit City and Best Buy have even put the cool little K6-2 logo prominently on their advertisements. The only advantage Intel has with their Intel Inside program is the fact that PC makers are tied to them and their advertising dollars. Hopefully Intel will be hurt enough by their low prices they won't have enough control over the market to beat AMD over the head with anything but low prices. I'm really rooting for an AMD/Motorola merger. Motorola would gain power and marketshare and AMD would gain cash. Just months ago I was hoping the same thing would happen with Compaq, but now that I see what they've done with Digital I'm backing way off that idea!
  • RAM prices were headed upwards, and were already almost double prices from a month ago, long before the earthquake struck. They really haven't increased noticeablt since the earthquake. Any price fluctuation attributable to the earthquake will not show up to the end-user until domestic resources of RAM (which are merely stockpiles of foreign resources) are used up. This, of course, is merely my evaluation of the market. I would humbly recommend you do a bit more market research before jumping to conclusions about Acts of God.
  • Strange. I went laptop shopping about a week ago with my cousin and there were several compaq K6-433s and 450s. For them to be released in the stores, it must have had been at least 2wks prior amb released the chips..? Anyone know when they were actually released?
  • I don't see your point about the "Intel Inside" and "Pentium" brand names. You can argue the same thing about desktops, but AMD is now doing pretty well for itself in that market. Why would it be substantially different in the laptop market?

    If anything, I think they might be more popular in the laptop division, simply because laptops are inherently more expensive and anything to make it cheaper would probably be well received.
  • Ahh.. moderate that last comment into oblivion. I read the article in more detail and found it was the II not the III.
  • The K7 marks a big breakaway from the past architecture for AMDs. As far as FP calcs go, AMD's Raw FPU has always been faster then Intel (compare 2 cycles to 3-5 for Intel). In the past, Intel has outperformed AMD bacuase they have pipelined their FPU. So, although AMD's FPU is more efficient on a per-instruction basis, overall for alot of calculations it is slower.

    However, enter the K7. It has a pipelined FPU! (with three units) So, unless Intel's new chips crank up the heat on FPU latency, I believe AMD's new chips will be around (or above) Intel's level.

    Review Zone [] has a fairly well flused out discission of the K7's features. Enjoy :)

  • Every time I think about that little chip company that could and how much Intel has hurt them it just makes me sick!

    Oh, give me a break. Can we please forget this "little chip company that could" crap?

    AMD is a multi-billion dollar company (their stock is at a year-long low right now, and they STILL have over 2.75 billion in market capitalization) with a history of:

    1) Filing lawsuits against other chipmakers, some of which have been regarded as frivolous by some analysts.

    2) Getting lawsuits filed against them, some of which alledge infringement of other people's patents.

    Look, I like AMD as much as the next guy, every single one of my home office PCs uses an AMD chip, and I'll probably buy a laptop with an AMD chip soon.

    But I'm not doing it because they're some kind of Saint Chipmaker swooping in to save the industry from the evil Intel. Let's get a little perspective here, folks.
  • "The new G4's... draw something like 5.0w typical/11.5 peak. And consider how power consumption varies with the SQUARE of wattage"

    Get your facts straight before posting: Power varies as the square of the voltage, not the wattage. Cast your mind back to freshman physics: V=IR -> I=V/R, P=IIR -> P=(V/R)(V/R)R -> P=VV/R. Watts are a unit of power, and power can't vary as the square of itself. This is why you should drop the core voltage on your overclocked Celeries by 3% when upping the clock by 10%.

    And what do you mean "Apple doesn't have real competitioin with powerpc laptops?" With the exception of the blasted one button trackpad, the current crop of Powerbooks is a match for anything on the market, IMHO. You can even run Linux on the damn things, what more could you want?
  • AMD claims 12 Watts, which sounds OK until compared to competition. Motorola PPC 750 (G3) [] at 400 MHz draws 5.8 to 8 Watts. PPC 7400 (G4) [] at 400 MHz draws 5.0 to 11.5 Watts and architechturally outstrips the others.

    If the CPU were the only thing to run (I know, this will exagerate the differences) a battery could last up to twice as long if either the G3 or G4 spent most of its time chilling in the low range of usage. User driven tasks like word processing allow such idling to take advantage of the PPC doze and nap power conservation modes, which is appearantly how Apple can claim 6 hour battery life on the iBooks. Other tasks would certainly run it down faster by preventing either the processor or the disk from idling.

  • Hm. Physics I: Wattage is a measure of power. 1 Watt = 1 Joule / sec. Using a 100-watt bulb for an hour is 0.1 kWh as your electric company bills it.

    My current laptop (a Sony Vaio PCG-F270), according to the specs, draws 80 watts maximum; however, the 38.48 Wh battery lasts for about 2 hours (short, I know, but I leave it plugged in most of the time), which indicates an average power draw of about 19 W. I'm sure this has some relevance, but I'm not quite sure what.

  • Not only does Intel get to stay out of the DOJ antitrust warpath, we, the 'consumer' get better, cheaper chips! I think it was a serious, almost Microsoftian mistake on Intels part to junk the s7 processor scheme.(We'll make them pay for the CPU AND the MB chipset!) While they were bust pushing overpriced PII chips and Slot1 MBs, AMD has been silently stealing away market share with the K6 I/II/III, and then using that share to undercut Intel further.

    In addition, I can see them hurting Intel with the incredible Athlon. Even if Intel can get stable, faster PIIIs to market, AMD will have the capacity to one up them monthly in both performance and clock speed for years!

    (Forgive my toadiness. I have owned far more AMD-based machines in the last few years than Intel, and they ALWAYS give me more zip for less cash)
  • Okay I read the article.. I fail to see how this chip will blow Intel out of the water. K6-3s are still more expensive then celerons, and while they edge it out in non fpu related tasks they also loose in fpu related activities. Seems like a fairly balanced scale with the celeron costing a bit less. Hardly an innovative and amazing technology. As a side note... has anyone actually seen the K7 in stores? (Not web) I've been looking around Fry's electronics and see no sign of it. All this clapping of AMD on the back for defeating the "evil Intel giant" is great but all I see so far is no AMD cpus available, and Intel continues to smugly ship their cpus out while slashing prices. I think I'm beginning to see why Intel is not overly concerned about AMD, a few price cuts, AMD's inability to deliver mass quantaties of product, and presto. Any technological advantage of the K7 is nullified.
  • I wonder at how we free-software, open-sourceys still use or rely on this blasted, 20+ year old rube goldberg arch.

    Free software is all about letting people use the software. All the free software in the world doesn't do your average Joe any good if he has to pay 2x for a computer that can run it...

    And consider how power consumption varies with the SQUARE of wattage Power=watts=current*voltage. You are thinking of P=I^2*R, which is only really useful when you are talking about power vs. current over a fixed resistance. With CPUs, the voltage is fixed (2.0 / 3.3 volts) by the gate technology, while the current varies by power consumption.

    In any case, 12 watts is actually pretty good. I don't know what a celeron or a mobile PII run, 2.8 V PII (333 and slower) can hit 40 W, and a 2.0 V PII can be 30W

  • On the whole, I think that the favorable bias toward Intel has significantly lessened in the private sector. The bias I speak of is merely the blind "Intel is inherently good.. I've heard of them, and my buddy has a Pentium." For simplicity, if you divide the home computer consumers into two groups: informed and uninformed.

    I think it's safe to say that most of the informed users realize the decent price:performance ratio that AMD-based systems offer. Either that, or they're already hardcore AMD or hardcore Intel, but they can usually backup their preference with reasons (quality or otherwise).

    On to the uninformed clueless folks. The main factor conributing to their increasing lack of Intel bias is the salespeople that tend to not be Intel-pushing maniacs anymore. Comments like, "Well, AMDs aren't as good; they're cheap & have compatibility problems," are less common on a sales floor, as they're usually replaced with, "For a lower cost, you can get equal performance. Same thing, sometimes better, less money." Another contributing factor is that clueless people's friends are no longer saying, in response to, "What kinda computer should I buy?", "Just make sure it's a real Pentium."

    There are also more AMD systems for sale, percentage-wise, on any given retail floor. That is, if Joe's PC shop is selling computers, 25-60% of them might be AMD-based, vs. 0-25% 5 years ago.

    So where's the problem?

    Big companies don't dig anything but `the best'. It is rare to see a highly technical person who is also in direct control of any large portion of a Fortune 500 budget. When the buyer has hundreds of thousands of dollars in a budget that doesn't have much of anything to do with their own pocketbook, they often tend to choose Intel over AMD, because at the moment, most people tend to compare it to Nike vs. Brand X Shoes. It isn't that Brand X shoes won't necessary last as long, or aren't as cool looking, but "everyone knows Nike's are the best." They've used Intel for as long as they can remember, and they also remember when AMDs tended to not be great at all. They also like the Intel guys dancing around in their jumpsuits on TV.. and they're too good to shop at Wal-Mart, so why would they buy AMDs?

    So, that's my take on the whole scene: commercial folks don't dig AMD-based systems as much as the wide array of home users do. I'd love to see the breakdown of usage of AMDs across the commercial and private markets, but I think that my evaluation is a functional representation of reality in many instances (and probably common knowledge to most Slashdot folks).
  • by Gorth ( 35695 )
    If I am thinking right, it's not so much because AMD can't produce the Athlons, but it's because very few MB manufacturers have come out with Slot A MBs yet. There is also the point of getting the new technology polished... AMD has built the core for the Athlon from nothing, and as such the firmware and hardware to go with it and support it aren't perfect yet. AMD has several big name companies that are gonna sell Athlon systems, but these companies aren't gonna release their boxes until all the kinks are worked out.

    Give AMD time to break into the market. Monopolies can be made overnight, but time is required to break a monopoly. AMD has slowly been working on breaking the Intel monopoly, and AMD is succeeding, albeit slowly..
  • actually, ist quite happy with my powerbook g3... except for it being dead for a while. dunno why i bother overclocking my celery except to save about 1 second for every 4 spent every 10 minutes rendering a massive slashdot page in bloody netscape.

    dunno. just really would prefer 2-3 buttons on a powerbook trackpad. and maybe a subnotebookish enclosure.

    sorry bout my little physics error. never took freshmen physics so thhhbt.

    and does anyone know if the current Motorola G4's are really manufactured in copper .15 micron 6 layer metal as the motorola site says. that would be pretty impressive manufacturing, and some less impressive chip design imho.
  • I'm not sure why retail isn't carrying them, but the places (web) that claim to have them, do. I ordered a complete system last and it's already been shipped (today actually) though the company had been shipping Athlon boxes for about a week. (I can't wait to my grubby little hands on it!)

  • by HWA ( 39552 )
    Just a quick side note, I happen to work at a Best Buy computer store, sad but true, and we do carry an IBM that houses the ATHLON 550 at a cost of 1599.99. Got some pretty cool things about it, not really time or tolerance to go into them, just thought that I would point that out. Thanks.
  • At least AMD didn't try to release a mobile Athlon. Either they realized the power consumption would be too great or they learned from INTEL's mistake when they put their processor into notebooks without testing how the casing and rest of the laptop held up the the heat. I bought an old gateway (this was a while back) laptop w/ a PII 233 and left it running for a while and when I came back the case had melted to my table. I called up gateway and they told me I had to wait until Intel gave them the assurance that their new Processor+LARGER heatsink combo + less voltage wouldn't be melting people's Gateway laptops. All in all I bet AMD will think twice about releasing the mobile Athlon (provided they get the mobile chipset engineered in the first place) until the power consumption goes down or they can manage heat better...
  • AMD K-7 500 - $223
    AMD K-7 550 - $394
    AMD K-7 600 - $494
    AMD K-7 650 - $841

    No $1000 processors here...

    [humor] he must have been talking about those Athlon Xeon chips [/humor]
  • Its the IBM 590
    AMD Athlon 550
    96mB of RAM
    25GB HardDrive
    S3 8 MB video card (it does OpenGL)
    Some Generic soud card... Probably Crystal *****

    It gets 64 fps in Quake 2 in OpenGL - Demo2.dm2 at 640x480
    the PIII 600 HP w/ 16mb of VRAM (OpenGL) and 128mb of Memory only gets 44 fps in demo2.dm2 at 640x480... I was shocked...
  • Hmm I see.. so Best Buy has them. How are they priced as compared to the P3?
  • Do you think only US citizens read books?

    I remeber this story from my younger days, as I`m sure most of the other non US readers do.
  • Actually, I would say that it is the reverse; laptops are exactly the market they could make some real ground in! The technology is so short-lived in laptops that something slightly innovative or cheaper can make some real headway.

    You just have to beat the competition to really make it work... lower power consumption, smaller, faster, whatever...
  • by gig ( 78408 )
    The G3 laptops already make the (slow) mobile Pentium chips look really bad. You can argue the desktops, but Apple has owned the portable market for a long time.
  • People should BUY, listening won't help !
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The 6 hour run time in the iBooks has more to do with the 12" monitor (rather than the 14.1" founder in the PowerBooks) than with the CPU. The displays, and the specifically the backlighting, and the hard drives are what kill the batteries.. Apple's 15" studio display requires roughly 35W, and I have no idea what it takes to spin a hard drive.. I do know that a little extra ram acting as a ram-disk can dramatically improve battery life..
  • AMD has always put out good products, I'm a die-hard AMD fan and this new Athlon processor blow's p3's away. One problem that AMD has is most people who don't know much about computers don't know who AMD is.. . meanwhile kids which are 4years old know what intel is. I think AMD should go on an advertiseing campaine to promote the new Athlon stateing the facts, if not to bost sales then to let everyone know there still around :) the k6 2 was well marketed.. lets hope the same is instore for the Athlon.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The 6 hour run time in the iBooks has more to do with the 12" monitor (rather than the 14.1" founder in the PowerBooks) than with the CPU

    And what about the 5hours run time of the new powerbook G4.

    Also notice that future G4 used for notebook will use the SOI (silicon on insulator) technology, which would permit to clock chips 35% higher while using 65% less energy.

    That would make a 3.25W typical, 7.5W peak power consumption for a 550 MHz G4. And rumors are that the cheapest G4 powerbook will cost around 1899$.


    Sven LUTHER
  • Dude... I wasn't making my own certified Toms Hardware [] type of benchmarks... I was merely protraying that the PIII had twice the VRAM and that both the cards did OpenGL.
  • I have a UMAX 738 notebook with an AMD K6/2(?)-380 chip. It's only got 32mb SDRAM (sodimm chips) so it's a little pokey when doing more than one thing at a time, but it's great for note taking in class (where I am now, heh) and it surfs the web handily too. I only notice it running hot when I run a game on it. I chose the UMAX because it was a couple hundred bucks less than the P2 based notebook my school was hawking.

    Besides, it's got a nice black case :)
  • Actually, you're number 42. Good job, man.
  • by Axe ( 11122 )
    Portable market? What have you been smoking? As for my place I can see only Intel pieces running NT around.
  • hello, as a real and hard AMD fan i setup an ftp site with applications optimized for k6 , compiled with the pentiumgcc , using max stable flags. packages are all RPMS. includes kernel,glibc,kde etc etc ... you can check it out at, have fun !
  • Especially considering the fact that there aren't a whole lot of people that like to do floating point intensive apps on notebooks. When was the last time you saw someone rendering a bryce 3d scene on the plane from LA to chicago?

  • Plenty of Athlon systems in the UK's biggest high-street PC retailer - PC World... though prices (and specs) are often a tad steeper than their Pentium III counterparts. But me? I've got a Celeron-400 running at 594MHz on a BP6... 1/3 the price of a K6/3-500 and I would assume a tad faster, too. Got a K6/2-300 @ 380, too though...
  • > Do you think only US citizens read books?

    Not at all. I just don't presume to think you read all the SAME books that we do.

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire