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700 MHz Athlon 136 is reporting that AMD will release a 700 MHz Athlon this week, pushing them even further ahead in the MHz race against Intel. I hope it works well, because the article also points out that AMD is still not doing well financially...
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700 MHz Athlon

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  • by Graymalkin ( 13732 ) on Sunday October 03, 1999 @12:39AM (#1642848)
    that AMD needs really badly at this point which would probably turn the company around.
    1. A better relationship with Microsoft- Microsoft you say? How can he really think anyone needs to be friends with Microsoft? Well you need to take into account something Intel realized a long time ago. Microsoft will not go away, kinda like gum stuck to the bottom of a pair of Airwalks. Linux is great yada yada, but the linux geeks of the world don't have the mass buying power that PHB's have. 3D Now extensions in M$ products like office and maybe some special support in NT and 98 for it also.
    2. An intelligent marketing director- AMD is missing something that Intel has and it's not money. According to Intel's commercials if you buy their processors you can actually move into the internet and cute bears will walk around your screen all because of the P3. All AMD has to do is get people to believe they can do some extraordinary stuff with the Athlon and when it comes down to buying a P3 system or an Athlon system Jonny and Suzy Nontechsavvy will buy the Athlon.
    3. Some kind of relationship with any computer manufacturer that has TV commercials- People watch alot of TV so when they see a Dell or Gateway commercial with the AMD logo they'll think the processors are damn cool, like they do now with the P3. Intel makes a majority of their megabucks selling though computer manufacturers, learn the lesson AMD.
    4. Really snazzy SMP- This fits in with all of the other suggestions. Make the SMP run really snappy with up to alot of processors, companies like Dell and Compaq will put them in their servers and then sell NT on them and put them in commercials. If AMD can keep prices low we might even see consumer SMP boxes for under 2000$ with any distro of linux or Windows NT or 2K from a said computer company. SMP is sorta like RAID in that it would work wonders in a consumer environment but never panned out and has for the most part been relagated to enterprise class machines. SMP just leaves so much room for expansion on a system, if you really need more power you can buy a second processor and you're set, no worrying if you can find a slightly faster chip to work in your system or if you just need awhile new system. Thats why I got a dual motherboard, when I need more speed I want to pay 200$ for a second processor, not have to upgrade to a while new motherboard AND faster processor. When I need a faster system still I can replace both processors and up the bus speed by 133mhz giving me a much longer life span out of my investment. This is good for Joe COnsumer. Slap the motherboard companies to get their SMP boards out AMD, you need it.
    Ok that's all.
  • The point of the K7 is to penetrate some of the markets traditionally held by Intel. It has great FPU performance, having one more than the pIII's and 2 more than the k6's. The reviews I have read say it is quite good with the graphics. As for gamers, it is cheap for the $$. Sure, the 700 Mhz is way expensive, but it will be reduced in cost by the time Intel releases a 700, and thus be more appropriate for cheap gamers. Servers? I don't know..tough call...As for the lower end boxes, a lot of k6's end up here because they are cheap and compete very well with more expensive pentiums on office apps. I hope AMD makes the penetration. I really do, but as echo'd by some earlier, I want to see more improvements to internals like bus lines, memory speed, and the like. Bottleneck elimination....
  • The Motorola thing is not set in stone. There has been no agreement.

    AMD owes Motorola BIG TIME this is going to happen. Motorola is also looking for any excuse to close all it's old high labor cost U.S. fabs soon, and outsource production entirely. This is probably one reason it formed a partnership with AMD awhile back and shared its highly valuable copper technology with AMD.

    AMD could not put out a 2GHz processor by Christmas of this year. At best, they could perhaps clear a little over 1GHz.

    No KIDDING. exaggeration is a literary technique used to show absurdity, and to emphasize points, it's clear that I did not in any way predict that AMD would release a 2GHz CPU this year.

    In no way would AMD be screwed if the KX133 never appeared. There's no palpable benefit with it. With their current chipset, future Athlons would still be faster (in some cases significantly) than competing P6 (the processor family which includes the Pentium III) offerings.

    Faster yes, but there is virtually no marketing, and most OEMs are not selling or advertising Athlon systems. Gateway is not going to make any more AMD systems for instance. Here's a revolutionary idea: people buy things they know about. A lot of people don't know about the Athlon because it's not highly visible in consumer markets now. When the KX 133 comes out it will sell well be because of all the features that will be offered with this chipset. However, the CPU will become less and less important to 3D gamers as the majority of CPU intensive rendering will be done by geometric co-processors on the new generation of graphics cards coming out this month. For the non-gaming educated "build it yourself" market, the best & cheapest solution is a dual-celeron SMP set up for Linux. I personally plan on buying a Athlon because I have no need for SMP and win 9x doesn't even support SMP.

    Transmeta? You're joking! The Transmeta cpu will only have its details announced in November!

    If you had read the patents on this (as I have) you too would be impressed. I MUCH prefer RISC processors (such as my G3) to CISC x86 processors. If I weren't into gaming I would buy a G4 and load Red Hat Linux 6.0 on it, but since there aren't that many games for Linux & Apples I have to buy an x86. However, Transmeta looks like it might be a 64-bit CPU capable of dynamic reprogramming of the microcode, which would enable the CPU to switch back and forth between x86 and 64-bit RISC in REAL TIME.

    And that sure as hell is worth waiting around for, ESPECIALLY since I already have to wait till November for the KX 133.

    VIA is going nowhere fast with Cyrix and Centaur. VIA "let go" almost half of Cyrix's team, and a lot of the rest left on their own.

    Duh. Everyone knows cyrix chips can't compete (*although the MSN free computer deal sold a hell of a lot of them). However, what VIA did acquire was Cyrix's modern fabrication infrastructure. This they can use to produce a high quality, cheaply made, competitive chip, that they could dump on the U.S. markets for half the price of what current CPUs are selling for. If they don't follow this strategy, I'd be quite amazed.

  • Posted by Nr9:

    Because we already have nice and fast backside l2 caches for our processors, a faster/wider system bus won't give as much a performance boost as before.
    A 25% improvement in bus bandwidth will only yield about 2% improvement in performance in modern processors with a 512k backside cache
  • Intel has a lot more marketing going on, and the average uniformed consumer sees commercials saying that they need a PIII to properly get on the Internet. Since the Average Joe home user is basically ignorant, Average Joe home user goes and pays hundreds of dollars extra to get the PIII instead of the K6-2, and doesn't consider the K-7. Until the average joe figures out that the chip isn't as important as the Intel commercials make it out, AMD will not sell as well as Intel, and they will have trouble turning a profit.
  • 3D Now extensions in M$ products like office and maybe some special support in NT and 98 for it also.

    You hit the nail on the head! The real problem with Office isn't that it's bloated.

    Nope the real problem is the hidden flight sim easter egg isn't optimised for my TNT and 3d Now. The frame rates would be much better!

  • Posted by Nr9:

    athlon dies are larger than PIII dies.
    i find it strange that intel or AMD are not shipping multiple processor SECC packages. maybe its because of space constraints for the cache but then each processor can have only 256k and it'll fit.
    coppermine is very interesting. It does not have any external L2 backside cache like the PIII and athlon. I see this as a very good opportunity for intel to put two coppermine dies on a single Slot 1 package. I do not believe it is very hard to cool as the coppermine dies are the same height unline the cache and PIII dies. Also, an athlon like heatsink can help cool it. i think AMD should do the same with an integrated cache athlon die.
    Better yet, both companies can make a double sided Slot 1/A package with their chips on the PCB on both sides, requiring a sandwich cooler. They might be able to fit 8 chips on the package. it'll make a nice SMP system. this is the advantage for slot. then maybe with a new chipset, single slot athlon/PIII boards can ahve 8 processors and dual slot can have 16 processors bwhahahaha.
  • ... I'm not so excited about faster clock speeds of the processor either, especially when the rest of the system generally lags behind, if not far behind. I want more improvements like the Alpha bus. Also RAM, hard drive, motherboards could all stand improvements. These just don't have the "sexiness" of the higher clockspeed numbers that so enrapture society and the media.


    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein
  • by R. Anthony ( 97761 ) on Sunday October 03, 1999 @01:11AM (#1642857)
    First of all, AMD's reliance on VIA for future modifications to the 750 chipset makes me very nervous. Despite VIA's recent successes with the Apollo pro 133 beating the 820 to market, Taiwan has been very flaky recently. With 3 major power outages, and the wholesale dumping of DRAM on US markets, and now the earthquake, AMD is pretty much screwed if VIA doesn't deliver. And it's sad, nobody knows what's going on with the high tech industry in Taipei. The closest thing to a credible sounding report I had to get off a tech site in Moscow of all places.

    So what does it mean to AMD if VIA can't deliver on the Apollo KX133 chipset? It means that you give Intel a chance to get back in the market with 700 MHz Coppermines in November. It also means that you reaffirm the general sense that AMD can't deliver it's products in a timely manner. Although waiting for the KX133 rewards consumers with lower CPU prices as the OEM market has demonstrated drastic drops in Athlon CPU prices this month, it prevents AMD from signing lucrative OEM contracts at a critical time.

    In the consumer markets, people a waiting for AGP 4x, and will settle for an Apollo Pro chipset and a Pentium 3 rather than wait 2 months for VIA to release the same product for the Athlon. Personally, I don't plan on buying any more Intel products due to their shameless attempts to strong arm Taiwanese manufacturers into not making Athlon motherboard, the bogus Rambus fiasco and Intel's bribery of Gateway to stop making machines with AMD CPUs.

    Essentially, AMD is making mistakes that they _Could_Have_Learned_from Intel. For instance, Intel makes its own chipsets, and charges people royalties to use them. AMD has virtually out-sourced its chipset design and fabrication to VIA who recently acquired Cyrix. Now, you've got to ask yourself, how dumb can the execs at AMD be? And you have to be pretty suspicious about how long it's taking VIA (pre-earthquake estimate for the KX133 release was November) to get out a decent motherboard for the Athlon CPUs, as the changes they'll have to make are hardly drastic. Current Athlon boards already have the Alpha 200 MHz bus, already support PC133 SDRAM, all that VIA needs to do is slap on the AGP 4x components and onboard UDMA/66 which is technology they_already_have. You have to wonder if the aquisition of Cyrix has made them a little less eager to see AMD survive, after all should AMD go bankrupt, that would leave the entire low end PC market at their disposal.

    AMD's moving of their main Fab to Dresden was a smart play, as is the production of Motorola G4 chips (and indeed the partnership with Motorola whereby AMD has access to Motorola's copper CPU technology), However, why not shift the whole operation to Germany? Why put yourself at the mercy of VIA, and the Taiwanese?

    To be blunt, AMD could put out a 2 GHz CPU by Christmas and still be screwed if VIA is significantly late with the KX133. I for one will not wait forever for this board, especially with all the information out now on the Transmeta CPU.

  • The U.S. Department of Justice _did_persue_an anti-trust case against Intel this year. The Government lost. End of story.

  • Not only did they lose money this quarter, they are 2 Billion Dollars in debt to the bankers. However, the majority of US corporations are leveraged to the hilt, so this is not unusual. Bankers enjoy owning everything and everybody, they only get pissed when you fail to make payments.

  • by Chas ( 5144 )

    Athlon's current bus speed is 100Mhz.

    It transfers data on the rise and fall of the clock cycle. Hence "200 Mhz".

    Chas - The one, the only.
    THANK GOD!!!

  • With the demise of Camino, Athlon looks to take center stage. Can't wait for an Asus board to drop mine in. :)
  • by Matt2000 ( 29624 ) on Saturday October 02, 1999 @10:26PM (#1642862) Homepage
    Man, I didn't think they were in this much trouble. From the article:

    "Last quarter, AMD reported a walloping $173 million in operating losses and revealed that Atiq Raza, one of its most highly regarded executives, had made a deal with Beelzebub and was recalled to the astral plane for punishment.

    There was no word on how Andy Groves, CEO of Intel corp had managed to maintain his working relationship with the lord of the underworld.

    Some cite his strict open door policy, while others think he may actually be the devil." []
  • by MillMan ( 85400 )
    Man, I really, really, really hope AMD doesn't go under. We really, really, really, need competition in the CPU sector. Competition is good, good, good. Intel has been gouging the public for long enough (not to say that k7 pricing so far isn't basically gouging).

    I wonder why the gov't doesn't look into going after intel...what are the differences between m$ and intel that made the gov't go after m$ only? Technical reasons about the business? Or does the gov't just want to look like its getting something done by attacking the company everyone in the world knows of?
  • by dustpuppy ( 5260 ) on Saturday October 02, 1999 @10:45PM (#1642866)
    I'm no physics wizz so correct me if I am wrong.

    My understanding is that microwaves start at 1 Ghz and with CPU speed approaching those frequencies, does this mean that the CPU's will start emitting microwaves.

    I'm assuming that I don't know my physics that well, because I guessing that microwave emitting CPU's would be a bad thing!

    Then again, you could always cook the evening meal while you read /.

  • by trims ( 10010 ) on Saturday October 02, 1999 @10:51PM (#1642868) Homepage

    No, this isn't a flame...

    What holds my interest in the Athalons isn't the tit-for-tat clockrate match with Intel (I mean, who really cares who owns the fastest CPU this month?). What I'm far more interested in AMD producing is the SMP versions.

    To me, the biggest pain-in-the-ass right now is the P3 / Xeon product split. The slot1 architecture limits me to 2 CPUs - if I want more, I have to get Xeons, which are a huge cost uplift. Here's a good example:

    A Compaq 1850R and a 6400R are very similar machines in everything but the CPU architecture (yes, there are a couple of other important advantages in the 6400, but not that big). I pay about $4000 for a 1 CPU 1850R, and $1300 for an additional CPU. For a 1 CPU 6400R, it's $8000, plus $1800/CPU.

    Now, if AMD can come out with a chipset/motherboard that has 4-8 slots, AND I can stick the "commodity" (ie non-Ultra) Athalons in it, well, then, GoodBye Intel! AMD needs to realize that there is a huge opportunity here at the P3 / Xeon split, a place that they can heavily exploit. All the better, since Intel will NOT be able to remedy the situation, other than lower the cost of Xeons, something they are loath to do.

    Having an single architecture that will linearly scale up through at least 8 (and preferably to 12 or so) would be a real advantage to AMD. I would much prefer to see them press ahead with putting into production large SMP-capable chipsets and such than worry about getting the absolute highest megahertz CPU out.

    Just in case I'm not totally clear here, what I want is to be able to use the SAME CPU from the low-end machines to the high end ones. Now, I know I'll get better performance by buying the Athalon Ultras (much more L2 cache), but I'd at least like the option of using the base Athalons, rather than be forced to use the more expensive chips, just because the manufacture want me to (that's the reason for the Slot1 vs Slot2 division - it's a pure Intel marketing decision).


  • ...... traditionally yes I agree, however many if not most gamers in the know realize that teh K7 benches higher than intel right now. yes it needs a new motherboard, but so do most CPU upgrades, if you buy a motherboard and CPU new then you usually don't have settings available for the new CPUs available in a year and would need a mobo with higher clock settings etc. I agree there, right now graphics and video people are going mostly with the "multimedia systems" however intel does _NOT_ have better FPU performance than the K7, the recent benchmarks have shown that over and over again.. have you just been ignoring the computer news lately???? actually most die hard gamers don't believe in such a thing as too expensive. as for the history of bad FPU and incompatabilities and crashs etc... those are history, ever since the K6-2 AMD has been producing nothing but stable processors that are completely compatable with absolutely everything and the K6-2 FPU is comparable with the Pentium 2, K6-3 is comparable with the pentium III the K7 just kicks the crap out of everything by intel even on AMD's legendary weakness of old let history be history, if you stay in the past in the computer market you get left behind servers.... what kind of servers? file servers?? those are typically VAX or low end (read old) intel... file servers don't really have to worry about high powered processors. office workstations... well those will probably be OEM systems that they can get at the best price performance ratio or that the person who is in charge of ordering thought looked the neatest ;-p not much real thought is put into this unfortunately. consumer boxes? well maybe. some consumers bought the new Pentum 2 400's when they first came out. they may buy these now. and chances are they will just use them to do taxes and email on. never underestimate the stupidity of the average human finally yes AMD does have a supply problem history lets hope that remains history but its too recent to discount as of yet. there are some problems with buying the K7s (supply of motherboards and systems etc mostly) but these concerns are only minor if concerns at all.
  • I have a K6-2 and while yes it's a good chip - it isn't as good as it's cracked up to be.

    Win 95 had a timing issue that caused a general protection error 50% of the time. (fixed with a patch of the m$ site).

    Seti@home took around 18 hours on BSD to do a workunit, my friend who has a p2 same clock speed does them in 8 hours (in BSD) - that seems indicative of a bad fpu to me. (or pentium only optimisation - either is bad)

    I've bought plenty of games, and a sizeable proportion either need patching or fail completely because of incompatibilities with the AMD chip. A notable recent release, Homeworld has these problems on many systems (mine works flakily). And it's not uncommon.

    When the time comes for me to upgrade i'll most likely go with whatever the dominant chip in the marketplace is, even if the performance / cost isn't quite so good.

    Sure, the AMD is fast but I and many others have been burnt in the past.

    btw, I consider myself a hardcore gamer - buy at least 1 game a month - but I see no reason to spend $$$'s to stay ahead of the power curve. The K6-2 350, A3D sound card & TNT 1 is absolutely fine for the majority of new games. Homeworld, Command & Conquer and System Shock 2 all work beatifully on that spec.

    I'll upgrade when my system is the minimum spec, rather than the recommended spec it currently is - and save enough to buy plenty of games, go on a holiday & have some nice meals in a restaraunt.
  • 128-bit CPUs...yes, of course...if there isn't such thing as a TRUE 64-bit (through and through) processor, how can Hitachi already have an 128-bit one? I don't think I said that. My point was that subsystems are already digesting bits and pieces of information in chunks much larger pieces than 64-bits...aren't most memory controllers 128-bit and aren't Maxtrox cards chewing at 256-bits within the localized world of on-board video memory?

    I remember the transformation from 16-bit to 32-bit happened literally overnight. The 386 came out, was completely backwared compatible and all you had to do was run Windows in standard or 386 enhanced modes. Now, we are losing backwards compatibilty and it's not like these Merced chips are out tomorrow...wasn't this supposed to come out sometime closer to 2001? To me, this leap to 64-bit processing is more about changing the instruction set than changing the amount of data you can crunch. That's what worries me since it means that everything is going to be emulated and will probably run as crappy as my Win16 applications run in NTVDM.

    Unless Transmeta fixes that but that is another discussion thread entirely...

    Regarding cost...of course. But costs come down eventually as the technology becomes adopted. It may take longer to trickle down from servers to consumers but eventually it gets there. Alpha is not an accurate example because that wasn't just about "better". NextStep was "better". Better gets you nothing...if "better" also means "different" and "not backward compatible".

    Time and time again, companies prove that abandoning backwards compatibility is the WORST thing you can do. Commodore killed themselves overnight by sinking all their money into the Amiga 4000, which could not use any of the software or hardware from any previous Amiga line. And NeXT, too, learned that lesson. Microsoft, I dare say, is the success they are simply because they are still dragging along that old backward compatibility mentality, and will even be doing so in their Millenium product.

    All I'm saying is that I see 128-bit everywhere in marketting hype (look at Apple's new G4 descriptions) and 64-bit seems to be 1998's big buzzword. If Intel finally comes out with 64-bit some time towards the end of 2000, it won't be backward compatible so all the existing Pentium customers aren't going to be interested, and it won't be "cool enough" that power users will want to invest in in the making?

    If there was a 64-bit x86 processor, I would buy it understand is that there is not nor ever will be if the company that invented x86 is finally washing their hands of it...

    As far as speeds go, I dare say they can be the same I said in my original post, we now have busses running at 133MHz, the same speeds that processors were running at just a few years ago. You may scoff at the idea of higher bus speeds but ten years from now when my kids are reading SlashDot archives on 500MHz holographic displays imbedded in their eyeballs, they'll have to give a knowing smirk...

    And regarding single point of failure...I'm not talking hot swapping nor am I talking live switchovers...this isn't about 99.9% uptime for a server. I'm talking about spending $560 on a processor instead of $125 each on four of them. If that processor dies...I'm down until I can either returned it to the store (if it happened within 30 days), return it to the manufacturer (if it happened within a year) or return it to the ground from whence it came. If one of the cheap-o processors dies, I can reboot and come back with a working system, albeit with only 1 or 2 processors.

    It's like RAM and hard there anyone out there that has only one single 256MB DIMM or 20GB drive in their possession? Or more have every spare DIMM slot and IDE/SCSI connector filled even if you had to pull out a crusty 16MB DIMM or 2.1GB to do it?

    Processors, IMHO, should be no different. I don't need the same processor speeds in a BeowOOOOOlf cluster, do I? I don't need the same processors speeds for SETI@Home, do I? If the architeture had been designed for SMP years ago, I don't see why processors could be as board independant as RAM or hard drives.

    Okay...enough from me...the issue just hits a nerve for me because I really, honestly, have not felt love for my PC system since the 486 that lasted me for six years. Everything else seemed literally like junk the second I booted it. I think that since the Pentium era begun, I haven't been able to keep a system for more than two years...sad...really sad...

    - JoeShmoe

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
  • by Keeper ( 56691 ) on Sunday October 03, 1999 @02:27AM (#1642874)
    Intel started creating it's own chipsets out of GREED, not to "rid the world of unstable chipsets". This intent was made clear when they refused to liscense the slot-1 design to 3rd party companies for a large span of time.

    VIA makes some *awesome* chipsets. I can't remember the last time I saw a board with a VIA chipset on it have a problem.

    Following your line of logic, AMD ought to get in the ram business as well. We all know that Intel is creating a new type of ram, and they probably won't liscense it out. So amd had better start working on it's own ram type as well that it will produce in house, otherwise it will have to depend on outside companies to produce ram that will work with it's cpu's.

    AMD has decided NOT to get in the chipset market because it DEPENDS upon support from 3rd party manufacturers. I have serious doubts that AMD would be able to make a chipset of the same quality of a VIA chipset. On top of that, they would have to FURTHER divide their production facilities between chipsets, k6's, and k7's. They don't want to make chipsets! They won't make as much money off of them as the extra k7's they could stamp out! ;).

    You question the length of time to get a K7 chipset by VIA? "minor" changes? The bus design is COMPLETELY different. The EV6 bus is a completely different animal, far more advanced than the design intel uses for it's stuff. And alot more complicated.

    If VIA really wanted the low end market to itself, all it would have to do is stop producing Socket 7 chipsets that'll work with the k6. I'm sure they wouldn't have too many problems doing that... It'd be silly for them to drive their major source of revenue out of business; the low end market has very little profit in it, if any. That's why amd has been loosing so much money lately.

    I also must, who is waiting for AGP 4x? WHY? Nothing uses it.
  • This post is wrong on so many levels I'm not going to even bother writing 10 pages about it ...
  • I completely agree with Erik's comments. Having said that, where do I want the speed increase?

    The vast majority of my computer use deals with the most banal and everyday things. Word processing, email, figures. When I do more complicated things like video editing or playing games, I'm almost willing to accept a performance hit. But I don't like waiting 30 seconds for the machine to boot up, and eight seconds for Word to load. That's where the improvements need to be made - and that's all about I/O and bus speed. There's certainly a case to be made for multiplying cheaper components and working in parallel, but we have to get the computer architecture right first.

    That's why things like the EV1 bus are a good step forward; they impose little performance hit on parallelism. (Or, doubling the number of processors nearly doubles the CPU performance.)

  • The government won their suit against Intel, my friend. Unlike M$, Intel was smart enough to realize that they would lose and that the bad publicity would turn the public against them the way it has with M$. Consequently, they settled out of court for an undisclosed punishment.
  • IMHO communications between die's are too slow: _accept it_, use it, consider it a problem to be solved. It is so fundamental dease days that silicon is reaching it top spead, that you shouldn't want to go around this problem. It should be dealt with. Mi2e-2
  • by R. Anthony ( 97761 ) on Sunday October 03, 1999 @03:40AM (#1642880)
    Following your line of logic, AMD ought to get in the ram business as well.

    I never suggested this. Micron has had the U.S. SDRAM market locked down since it aquired Texas Insutruments, and a large tariff wall was errected against Taiwanese DRAM chips (which were being dumped on the US market for $4 a pop, $1 less than the production cost of U.S. made DRAM). Besides, I'm very happy with my Corsair PC133 memory, which is much superior to Samsung or any generic PC133 SDRAM comming out of Taiwan.

    We all know that Intel is creating a new type of ram, and they probably won't liscense it out.

    Ahh, actually Rambus created RDRAM, and Intel holds a portion of the patent, and it's already been created. However it is pretty much worthless as it only has a16-bit bus to the FSB, while SDRAM has a 64-bit bus. RDRAM also crashes when the total amount of RAM exceeds 512 MB, which is the reason for the delay of the 820, so they could strip out a RIMM slot, leaving a staggering total of 2.

    I have serious doubts that AMD would be able to make a chipset of the same quality of a VIA chipset.

    AMD can and does make chipsets. The 750 chipset currently used for Athlon boards already includes the 200MHz Alpha EV6-based FSB. VIA is not going to change this. What VIA is going to do is integrate:

    1) UDMA 66 support on the motherboard so you won't need a PCI controler (the same thing that Abit already offers with the Be6 BX boards) Why is this important? For one, Linux has trouble distinguishing between a Promise UDMA/66 controller and an adaptec SCSI controller, which is highly annoying if you'd like to run both; and

    2) AGP 4x, which contrary to your assertion, will be used in the near future. The new nVidia GeForce 256 AGP 4x card is comming out early this month for instance. By the way, APG 4x fast writes circumvent system memory and speed up all data transfers from the CPU to the graphics card, which is a huge performance gain.

    I never wrote that VIA made bad chipsets, I wrote that Taiwan's production has been flaky recently, and I'm not sure that they can deliver products the_are_required_for_the_continued_survival_of_AMD in a timely fashion. AMD has no problem making Athlons, there is an excess of Athlon CPUs, the prices are dropping because the motherboards aren't good enough yet, so people like me aren't buying the CPU. This equates to AMD losing money.

  • I warrent the settlement is well below the staggering about of corporate welfare Intel recieves annually.
  • by Christopher B. Brown ( 1267 ) <> on Sunday October 03, 1999 @04:15AM (#1642883) Homepage
    You're quite right that there's relatively little merit to further souping-up the CPU to the point of having something that will "melt itself through the motherboard;" that's only of merit if the CPU was the bottleneck.

    That actually also implies that SMP is also of relatively little merit for the same situations, as SMP is also a solution to the CPU Bottleneck problem.

    What has more merit is the notion of trying to let system components be increasingly independent of the CPU. Things like:

    • A fast UART with a big buffer, maybe 256 bytes

      (Some may think I jest... Check out the buffering specs on a 16450 versus 16550...)

    • IDE/SCSI with decently large tagged command buffers, to allow disk I/O to be suitably asyncrhonous.
    • Battery-backed RAM, preferably with a SIMM/DIMM slot that allows the user to add arbitrary quantities.

      This would be useful in providing a way to make journalled filesystems (of which two have recently made beta releases for Linux, namely ext2 and Reiserfs) both faster and more reliable, as they could have the metadata journals written out initially to this "relatively reliable cache" rather than having it vulnerable in ordinary RAM.

      1MB of battery-backed RAM would be enough for Stephen Tweedy's ext3 implementation; doubtless other uses could be imagined for larger quantities...

    • It is an attractive enough consideration that video cards have been turning into subsystems of their own considerable power.

      The increasing availability of video cards with 32MB and more of RAM implies that there's some work being pushed off to the video card.

      Extra coprocessors on the video card can't be too horrible an idea, and is consistent with things like Monster 3D boards that provide coprocessors to the "main" video card...

    On the other hand, there's one notable fallacy here, which is that there is merit to moving to a system working with 128 bit memory space sizes. This is silly from at least three perspectives:

    • 64 bits is already larger than what the PCI bus is designed to cope with; PCI implements a 32-bit multiplexed address and data bus. []

      This is why the only systems that presently support more than 4GB of RAM on Linux are UltraSPARCs,

      There is apparently a way to support a 64 bit data bus through a longer connector slot, but that does not make for a 128 bit extension.

    • It has only been recently that the 2GB addressing limitations of 32 bit systems have become restrictive sufficiently easily as to make it necessary to look at 64 bits. And 64 bits allows you to reference Rather A Lot Of Memory Space.

      Based on the rates of growth in the past, it seems reasonable to expect that 64 bit addressing will be adequate for all but highly unusual applications for the next ten to fifteen years.

      And even then, it is reasonably likely that by that time, technology may have progressed back to using some of the memory segmentation technologies of the '60s ala MULTICS to obviate the need for linear growth of adddress space.

      2^63 is approximately 4 billion billion, which is a very large value. A move to 128 bits squares that again, which provides an even more atrociously large space.

    • Increasing bus sizes generally doesn't increase performance.

      By moving to 128 bit addressing, the complexity of the memory addressing circuitry increases, as do the minimum amounts of memory that are likely to get addressed for instructions. This means that programs get bigger even if they do no more than they would on a 32 bit architecture.

  • This is really a big shame, as every one of my experience of their CPUs has shown that they beat intel's equivalent chips on performance.

    Can Slashdot do something to aid AMD?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If you have a fast enough video card (TNT2 Ultra) then the CPU *is* the bottleneck and the bus speed really doesn't matter too much. Most gamers prefer Celerons to Pentium II's and III's because the 100MHz bus doesn't help it out and the slower L2 cache hurts it a lot. On board transform and lighting w/ the GeForce 256 will change a lot of this but there *are* CPU bound apps out there and current computer hardware is not being pushed by Word, it's being pushed by 3D games.
  • Are you suggesting that AMD just stop all R&D, and make nothing better than a K6-3?

    The importance of the Athlon is that Intel now has competition in the high-end x86 market. For now, AMD still has the marketing and yield problems you say, but as word spreads about AMD being the "speed king", as C|Net calls it, the markets you list will begin to consider AMD.

    The major obstacles to this are 1) motherboard shortages due to the recent Taiwan earthquake 2) Athlon shortages due to AMD's lower (than Intel) production capacity 3) AMD's lack of profits leading to a buyout by Motorola, IBM, or somebody with a vested interest in killing the competition.
  • "and how long you stay there." oh s**t i'm screwed. :)
  • Asus originally cancelled its k7 motherbaird after intel called them. THey decided to bite the bullet and and ship it

    is this true? the part that i will hold out for on my K7 is an Asus mobo... can anyone confirm what he said?
  • WRONG!

    The name 'Beowulf' has nothing to do with Wolves - it is the name of a hero in an old English epic.

    Trying checking out the facts before you post something dumb :)
  • PCI can support 64-bit addressing even in 32-bit slots. Most "high-end" PCI chips (like Ultra-3 controllers, gigabit Ethernet, and Fibre Channel) can do 64-bit addressing even when they're plugged into a 32-bit slot. They just have to do two address cycles instead of one.

    Of course, 64-bit addressing doesn't help you much when you're using a PC with a 1 GB memory limit :-(.

  • As other posters have mentioned, microwaves ovens use frequencies around 2.4 GHz, which PCs aren't going to hit for a few years. So you don't need to worry about using your PC as a microwave oven quite yet. If you really want to cook food with your PC, you'll have to use it like the toaster-oven it is :-).

    There still won't be anything to worry about when PCs hit 2.4 GHz -- take a look at most of the new high-end cordless phones that are hitting the market in the US. They all use the 2.4 GHz band. They're just a lot lower power than your oven.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    AMD can and does make chipsets. The 750 chipset currently used for Athlon boards already includes the 200MHz Alpha EV6-based FSB. VIA is not going to change this. What VIA is going to do is integrate:

    1) UDMA 66 support on the motherboard so you won't need a PCI controler (the same thing that Abit already offers with the Be6 BX boards) Why is this important? For one, Linux has trouble distinguishing between a Promise UDMA/66 controller and an adaptec SCSI controller, which is highly annoying if you'd like to run both; and

    Sorry, the AMD 750 chipset already has support for the UDMA/66. It does NOT have support for AGP 4x or PC-133 SDRAM. From these two the PC-133 support is important, but the AGP 4x currently is not. It MAY become important in the future, but only for games and even then only if games start to use much larger textures than they use today. The 32 MB of local memory is quite enough for the textures of current games, so the APG 4x won't help much with them.

  • Are there STILL people out there that think their processor is the bottleneck of their system? It's everything else!!!

    As always, it depends on what you're doing. If you're like me and you spend all your time doing processor-intensive rendering operations that you've carefully designed to fit entirely in cache (and that 3D cards are incapable of performing) then the processor is still very much the limitation. In fact, I find that in most of what I do, the processor is the biggest bottleneck. Your milieage may vary.

    Just keep bumping that clock rate up, AMD - we love you!

    And, oh yeah, we just love that 200 MHz bus, too
  • But what about all the geeks that keep their case open?

    Oh, they all die. Everyone else is okay, though.
  • My biggest problem is the memory speed and that's still 133Mhz for $400 a stick.
  • Now, if AMD can come out with a chipset/motherboard that has 4-8 slots, AND I can stick the "commodity" (ie non-Ultra) Athalons in it, well, then, GoodBye Intel! AMD needs to realize that there is a huge opportunity here at the P3 / Xeon split, a place that they can heavily exploit.

    I think AMD is pretty aware of this. After all they went to great effort to get a good SMP bus from Digital (now Compaq). However they don't make motherboards. They don't even want to be in the motherbord chipset bisness. In some ways both of these things are good. In other ways it is bad, mostly in reducing their time to market.

    Look to Hotrail (I think that is a new compony name, was Posidon, or some other sea related name) for SMP chipsets. I heard they were trying to do 4-way, 8-way and 16-way ones. 4-way and maybe 8-way to be out first half of next year. I think. Ah, wait they say late 1999 for 4 and 8 way K7's [].

    Just in case I'm not totally clear here, what I want is to be able to use the SAME CPU from the low-end machines to the high end ones. Now, I know I'll get better performance by buying the Athalon Ultras (much more L2 cache), but I'd at least like the option of using the base Athalons, rather than be forced to use the more expensive chips, just because the manufacture want me to (that's the reason for the Slot1 vs Slot2 division - it's a pure Intel marketing decision).

    As far as I know all the K7's are SMP capable. However the Ultra's are not just bigger cached non-Ultras. They also run the point to point bus faster, which means more memory bandwidth. I think they are planning on running it twice as fast as the non-Ultra K7's. Which means the extra bus traffic won't hurt as much.

    The faster bus speed requires a cleaner eletrical enviroment the the lower bus speed. That is provided by the "Slot B" systems (shorter strighter traces I guess). Acording to AMD one could make a Slot A system that clean, but it isn't part of the Slot A specs AND costs more, so it is unlikely to be done on the Slot A systems.

    My guess is you will see 2-way K7 systems, and 4-way K7 ultra systems, and later some 4-way K7's, but no 8-way or 16-way non Ultra systems. Of corse if there is a market for 8 and 16 way non-Ultra systems it doesn't look like AMD will stand in the way. It's not like the non-ultras were designed not to work in the SMP world, and it's not like the SMP chipset, or motherboards are made by AMD!!

    Lastly when Intel first designed the Slot 1 vs. Slot 2 systems I thought that the PII Slot 1 module was too small to both hold the larger cache, and have enough extra cooling, which makes a real reason to have had Slot 2 in the first place. I assume that has gone away as SRAM tech has advanced.

  • Unless you have specifically programmed for an SMP machine, it is easy to think of it as a cure-all. I can speak from experience, and say that this is not the case.

    First, a quick summary. SMP, or Symmetric Multi-Processor systems are so called because each processor is effectively equal to the other processors. There are a number of different architectures, either using clustering of procs sharing the same bus, or clusters sharing the same memory, or even clusters expanded out.

    As a breakdown:

    AMD SMP-to-be: processors in a 'cluster' share the same memory, I/O arbitrated by a complex chipset.

    Intel SMP: up to four processors in a 'cluster' share the same bus, arbitrated by a complex bus protocol.

    Beowulf - Each cluster has its own bus, I/O, but communication is much slower.

    Now, one would think that performance would increase linearly for each CPU? So if you have two CPUs, your performance is 2X? Four, for 4X? Don't bet on it.

    In every case, you have to factor in:

    (1) SMP programming requires different algorithms to take advantage of multiple CPUs. Some tasks require too much communication, or are too linear to benefit much from having another processor. Remember that adage that you can't have a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant!

    (2) SMP split by 'thread' has limitations as well. Operating system complexity rises dramatically.. As far as I have read, the fined grained SMP necessary to make this work is still under development in all free operating systems. And this code is so complex and the tools to debug this sort of code are so expensive that it is likely to be quite some time. Linux is blessed that some large companies are contributing to the codebase for SMP support -- Intel among them if I recall. Other than operating system issues, this requires many of your programs be re-written to benefit (depending on what you want to do).

    (3) In every case, there is a shared resource or cost. If every processor wants to access the memory, who "wins"? Likewise for the bus on the P6 SMP.

    I've read numbers at one pointed that showed the most drop-off at four. I suspect that Intel, going for 'profitability', made four the maximum for many reasons based on simulations and probably electrical limitations.

    As a final point, look at the Errata listings for Intel processors, now that they are public. Given that Intel has the resources to extensively test their processors, look at how many of these relate to having more than one processor communicating?

    Now, consider that with your AMD SMP system, you have a chipset that has to handle complexities of multiple processors sharing resources, with less resources to figure out what could go wrong.

    In this light, AMDs decision to focus on a single processor environment makes a huge amount of sense. If you get a huge boost out of parallelism, buy the cheapest Mhz/$ and Beowulf it!

  • Now this chip is expensive & probably needs a new MB to take advantage of it. This is an expensive upgrade - so who will go for it?

    Intel is trying to make everyone to upgrade to a i820 motherboard and trying to make everyone switch to RAMBUS ram. Plus the new coppermine cpus aren't cheap either, so what's the difference between an Intel and an AMD upgrade?

    Graphics / Video people? Nope these people are most likely to be looking at a G4 Mac or SGI these days. Or at least an x86 with history of good FPU performance (intel)

    True, a G4 can outperform a K7 at the same clock rate, but G4s are not going to reach 700 Mhz anytime soon, so a K7-700 will be faster than a G4-450 even though the G4 has a better fpu. Also, I admit AMD has a history of poor FPU performance. But the K7 changes all that. In case you haven't looked at the benchmarks, A K7 is generally 5%-15% faster at every FPU benchmark out there {expect maybe the intel benchmarks =) }

    Gamers? Nope, this is probably too expensive - and after the history of bad fpu and wierd incompatibilities / crash bugs that AMD has, I cant see gamers going for it.

    Weird incompatibilities: All Windows require is a few extra drivers / patches to get things going. Installing them is pretty much the same as installing windows, you just keep on clicking NEXT and YES. In Linux, I have yet to see any problems with my K6-2. and crashes and bugs - It's the Intel CPUs that can't add correctly and has that weird F00F bug. AMD cpus ARE NOT cheap, crappy pieces of technology that will fail you and fry your computer. For gamers, those who are on a budget would probably go fora celeron, but those who want the best they can get - a K7-700 is it. Nothing intel makes (right now) can pump out as many FPS as a K7, just look at the benchmarks, K7s pretty much make every quake lamer drool and ...

    Servers? I really can't see it. Intel are firmly established in the server space, and cant see that ending.

    Well, AMD cpus do not have SMP capabilities yet, but as soon as that's developed, AMD cpus will (hopefully) be better. Afterall, they have a faster (200 Mhz, 400 Mhz), more advanced bus (EV6 vs GTL+), along with better cpus (700 Mhz + 128k L1 + up to 8 Meg L2 vs 600 Mhz + 32k L1 + up to 2 Meg L2).

    Office workstations? Nope, they will continue to be mid ranged intel cheaps supplied in bulk by Compaq / IBM. There is no need for this power.

    Right, and they don't need the latest PIII to "make their internet go faster" either. That's where the K6-2 and K6-3 comes in. K6-2s go up from 350 to 500 mhz and they are dirt cheap. K6-3s are way faster than celerons at interger (aka office) applications and they offer a decent performance / price ratio.

    Consumer boxes? Nope too expensive.

    Same for intel, their cpus are just as expensive.

    Sure it's a nice bit of kit, but who exactly would buy one? The big manufacturers won't use them considering AMD's history of supply problems.

    Well, when the K7 first came out, people couldn't by one because Compaq was buying up all the supplies... Who knows, maybe if AMD starts pumping out K7s... we'll see...

    There is no statute of limitation on stupidity.
  • Asus originally cancelled its k7 motherbaird after intel called them. THey decided to bite the bullet and and ship it

    is this true? can anyone confirm what he said?

    Tom's Hardware [] did a review of some Athlon motherboards when the chip first hit the market. He claimed that Asus had a nice Athlon motherboard design, but decided against production. Shortly afterwards, Asus announced they would produce it after all, citing "customer demand" or some such thing.

    The conspiracy people claim that Intel was pressuring the motherboard makers to avoid the Athlon, and that Tom's Hardware caused enough complaining that Asus decided to risk it anyway. That is pure speculation, of course, but Intel has been caught in strong-arm tactics before...
  • I forget the industry term for it, but those Dell and Gateway ads with Intel ads all over em are paid for in half by Intel. AMD clearly does not have the money to do so.

  • The average selling price of computers continues to drop. IT is now down to about 900 bucks. Also, informally, on campus here this year I simply have not seen any PIII in kids rooms.

  • There are plenty of Athlon CPUs and motherboards for sale on Tom's hardware recommends the FIC SD-11.

    I'm waiting on the KX133 & the Athlon 800, however, you can get a good deal on an Athlon 500 right now, it's actually cheaper than a P3 500, and much better :)

    SD-11's sell for around 150 now (+10 for shipping).

  • Intel's not at all hindering true innovators, just cloners who, besides AMD, don't really contribute much aside from competition. That's good, but competition and innovation are two completely different concecpts.

    PowerPC, MIPS, SPARC, Alpha, all of them exist and are largely ignored by intel, because they don't really tread on it's ground too much. Alpha did, for a while, but with NT support out of the picture, Intel feels safe to ignore them as well.

    What really needs to happen is to have a mainstream platform and OS available for said chips. Linux would fit that bill at the higher end, with Compaq trying to mass produce the Alpha and IBM releasing PowerPC specs...

    Intel's hindered only themselves, and that due to customer demand. It'll be really trying when merced arrives as the first CPU that's not compaitable with x86... And then Win2000 will arrive, also incompatible with a slew of legacy apps, and there's a window of opportunity.
  • But what about all the geeks that keep their case open?
  • I was going to address bus speed in my previous posting, but I digressed too far. I will attempt to remedy that here.

    Yes! Bus speed is an issue, but the solution is non-trivial. Those lines on your motherboard have electrical characteristics, based on length and frequency. Simply put, they become radio-transmitters! Even the layout rules for the 100Mhz/133Mhz buses are tight.

    Inside the chip, it's a lot easier to push frequency because your lengths are *very* short. Thus, it's likely that there will be consumer-level 1Ghz CPUs next year or so. But the bus speed is still down near 100Mhz (even if you try tricks like double pumping it).

    One solution to this problem is to put more on the same chip. These systems on a chip have been created less than happily before, as you lose most upgradeability, *but* you get to use whatever bus speeds you want internally. You also save a few bucks, and a few inches.

    If I had to guess (and my crystal ball is down for the RH 6.1 Upgrade ;) ), I'd think that as cpus become a commodity item, that systems on a chip will be more and more prevalent. I'd expect alliances between nVidia and 3DFX with the AMDs, VIAs, and even Intel (despite their snapping up Cirrus Logic).

    Remember, though, that if your code fits in cache and takes advance of new hints for caching present in the K7/P3, you might not even notice the faster bus speed.

    My wish for improving computer performance would not be a faster bus, faster clock speeds - it would be software:

    An excellent optimizing compiler!

    (And, a Linux port of Intel's VTune would be fairly sweet too).

    (I haven't checked lately, but last I looked there was nothing that would generate code that took advantage of P6 instructions, despite conditional moves that would eliminate many branches and give a noticeable speed boost). Here's a nice little advocacy experiment for those so inclined.. Compare the output of VC6.0 under NT (running console), versus latest Cygnus build of GCC with various algorithms, Sieve of E, etc.

  • The application front is interesting right now. Win2K is going to break a lot of apps. How many? nobody knows except MS and they're not saying. But it's certainly going to open the door at a lot of IT shops who haven't had to recode their apps for years. This is an opportunity for PPC and Sun (java).

    Right when MS is breaking apps with Win2K and giving less reason to go with Intel/x86, Apple is going to be coming out with Mac OS X which will be running *more* apps than previous because most apps from the previous OS 8 or 9 are going to run fine, BSD applications will work fine, and Linux apps should be available as well. Since this is a BSD variant, the stability should be rock solid. The currently shipping server version seems to be working quite well. This should fit in for applications that can't use the universal (but slower) performance of java.

    Where does AMD fit into this? Not very well. It's going to get hit as much as Intel, perhaps more with the Win2K software breakage problems and they don't have the cash to ride out any rough periods if x86 loses market share. Taking this into account, their teaming up with Motorola to sub out their fab for G4 production is a stroke of genius. Now, no matter what direction the market goes vis a vis these two chip families, they survive.

    The speculative issue is whether they are looking to joing the AIM alliance and improve the PPC. It would certainly make for interesting variations on the old religious war flames to have a player in both camps at the same time.

  • Overall, Athlon achieves a higher level of performance than the Pentium III at equal speeds, leading to crisper, more realistic graphics, according to testers.

    Well, *I'm* not gonna buy it unless it makes my sound more realistic, too.

    *sound of hand smacking forehead*

  • I'm sure that AMD would like to capture this market as well. The bottom line is that they might not be physically able to right now. AMD has never had a problem with demand for their processors it has always been yield. The supply has never reached the demand, it has always been limited by the amount they can manufacture (Or in the Athalon's case the number of M/B vendors and the amount of Motherboards they produce). Around 50% of the processors they make are junk, they don't work off of the assembly line. That makes for huge losses financially.

    AMD has been kicking Intel in the teeth for several years now, they really do own the x86 marketplace. Intel is no longer a monopoly. AMD makes near half of x86 CPUs (At least for consumer systems). If their Dresden 0.18 micron plant comes online on-time and at full capacity they should be all right, they might even replace Intel as the big CPU manufacturer. If it doesn't, well then it could be curtains for AMD.
  • QUICK NOTE: I am not a big gamer or 3D freak..

    Given the absolutely HUGE amounts of whitespace that you used, are you a 2D freak? It looks quite rude. only one open line between paragraphs is needed, and you have two open lines PER SENTENCE.
  • The RAM is too slow. Also the biggest improvements aren't due to clockspeed but architecture improvements like branch prediction, speculative execution, parallelized arithmetic, faster instruction execution.
  • Actually, it is still very much unknown how RF waves affect a human being. Effects can be pretty weird. But nothing too obviously damaging when the power is too small to heat you up.

    Anekdote (but true): When first radars appeared on Russian navy ships, sailors found an ingeneous way to prevent accidents during they stay in port cities. Before disembarking they were standing in front of the antenna for a while - to heat up their testicles, what makes you temporarly sterile. Then off from the ship for some good shagging. The practice was banned soon, of course. These guys were a subject of tests later on, no long term adverse effects other then those of heat were found.

    Processor does have enough power to produce damaging radition. But I believe its emmitance is kept low buy design - big reason being to keep down interference and cross-talk: big problem in high frequency design. Do not worry too much.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Will the AMD Athlon(TM) processor support multiprocessing?
    Yes. The AMD Athlon(TM) processor bus architecture
    is designed to support scalable multiprocessing.
    As the AMD Athlon processor evolves into a family
    of processors, multiprocessor systems (workstations
    and servers) based on forthcoming AMD Athlon
    processor platforms are planned to become
    available. The number of AMD Athlon processors
    in a multiprocessor system is a function of
    chipset implementation, and not the AMD Athlon
    processor design. Forthcoming optimized chipsets
    are planned to enable multiprocessor system
    designs based on 2, 4, 8 or more AMD Athlon
  • Actually I think you are wrong. The Athlon has a 200 MHz bus clock, but the RAM is only 100 MHz.
  • What are the 2 main reasons that Athlons are coming out. Gaming, media and servers. Surprisingly all three benefit immensly from SMP. Calculating transforms are fairly non linear, calculating masks, effects,and etc also are important for media, ie. Photoshop, etc. And a server handling multiple requests is a very non-linear situation. For example, a dual processor box runs 3D studio MAX 80-90% faster than a single processor box. You don't need a 700 MHz chip to run bussiness programs (as of yet) but they work very well from 3D, media and serving. That is another reason why the K7 architecture kicks so much ass. With 3 FP units, 3D goes much faster since 3D is very parallel. Lastly, there is an OS that can do fine grained threading. It is not a Unix, its called BeOS. Say it with me, BeOS. Hell, windows does better threading than any of the *Nixes. And BeOS threading is not costly and the compiler and debug tools are built in.
  • I guess Seymour Cray was a moron because he didn't use cache in his computer designs.
  • >3D Now extensions in M$ products like office and maybe some special support in NT and 98 for it also.

    MS has support for 3DNow, right in DirectX 6. This support shipped with the K6-2/3. In fact 3DNow has better support than Intel's offering (SSE is it?) because they came to market faster. At least it has better mind share, and a catchier name.

    They could advertise more, in what products support their processors and instruction sets. Traditionally they haven't had the cash to do so.
  • I fear I must viciously attack you on several points, some merely semantical, others very deep in context:

    (semantical) VIA isn't making modifications to the AMD750 chipset. They have their own chipset design that happens to work with the same processor. Saying that VIA's KX133 is a mod of the AMD750 is like saying the VIA MVP3 is a modification of the i430VX chipset, and we DON'T want to think that!

    (serious) AMD is perfectly capable of handling most (or perhaps all) of the chipset production for Slot-A. They're doing it right now, and they could continue to do it if VIA totally gave up.

    (more serious) AMD lets other companies make chipsets for their platforms *because* they believe it to be beneficial in the long run. Intel tries their darndest to prevent other companies from competing in their market, and they get burned because of it. 440NX, i810, i820, Profusion -- Intel constantly brings out new products that require instant recall for one reason or another, or that get delayed ad infinitum. It is only sheer luck that VIA happened to have a 133MHz chipset out to fit the PIII 600B -- Intel has been on and off suing them to not do that very thing! AMD, on the other hand, is allowing ALi, SiS, VIA, and whomever else to offer their own chipsets for the platform. This way, you'll get competition in this submarket. Competition can allow for companies to innovate their products at a faster rate, and they're motivated a bit more. On top of that, if VIA's production stops, AMD can make up for it. If AMD's production stops, SiS can make up for it. If SiS's productions stops ... and so on. Allowing other chipset makers to produce for your platform isn't a bad idea, it's a PHENOMALLY GOOD idea.

    (serious) AMD isn't moving their Fab to Dresden. They're making an additional fab in Dresden to complement the Austin fab. Merely "moving" their fabrication plant would be an amazingly boneheaded move on their part, since it would not benefit them at all and would incur an insane cost. By making an *extra* fab, the cost is still insane, but AMD is doubling their capacity.

    (semantic) No Slot-A chipset supports PC133 memory, and no board officially supports PC133 memory, though some can be set to take it. Also, all boards currently support UMDA66, this isn't something that VIA would need to add.

    (serious) The Motorola thing is not set in stone. There has been no agreement.

    (serious) "shift the whole operation to Germany"? That suggestion, and the statement that follows, doesn't even begin to make an iota of sense. You're acting as if AMD's production is in Taiwan or something! AMD's cpus, chipsets, and most of their other stuff is made in the US. Specifically, their processors in Austin, TX, and their chipsets in (mostly, I think) Sunnyvale, CA. If Taiwan suddely were wiped off the face of the planet, AMD's ability to make processors and chipsets WOULD NOT BE AFFECTED AT ALL.

    (semantic) AMD could not put out a 2GHz processor by Christmas of this year. At best, they could perhaps clear a little over 1GHz.

    (serious) In no way would AMD be screwed if the KX133 never appeared. There's no palpable benefit with it. With their current chipset, future Athlons would still be faster (in some cases significantly) than competing P6 (the processor family which includes the Pentium III) offerings.

    (beyond serious) Transmeta? You're joking! The Transmeta cpu will only have its details announced in November! At best, you could expect it to start popping out towards the end of 2000, and we haven't actually heard any talk about its performance or anything. Mind you, I'm hoping for the best for Transmeta, but there's no reason to yet believe that, say, it'll be faster than a Cyrix MII at x86 (which is, of course, not its native instruction set architecture).

    (serious) VIA is going nowhere fast with Cyrix and Centaur. VIA "let go" almost half of Cyrix's team, and a lot of the rest left on their own. Morale is at an all time low, and at the point that VIA bought Cyrix, their new "flagship" product (Cayenne: Jedi/Gobi/Josh) was working at below 250MHz. AMD's Athlon only services the high end of the market, and VIA's processors only service the low end. Right now, VIA makes the bulk of their moolah on chipsets, and Slot-A offers an immense opportunity for profit, an opportunity that their processors couldn't offer until at least a year from now, and even then I'm skeptical. VIA isn't going to drop KX133, it would be an incredibly unwise business decision, and they know that; the chances of them doing this are less than one in an infinity, and only a gwennap would suggest otherwise.

    PC News'n'Links
  • I guess Seymour Cray was a moron because he didn't use cache in his computer designs

    Seymour Cray never designed any consumer-grade products. Cost was not nearly the issue for him as for systems designers today. His market dictated that a 10% increase in performance was worth a doubling the cost.

  • by JoeShmoe ( 90109 ) <> on Saturday October 02, 1999 @10:52PM (#1642929)

    Are there STILL people out there that think their processor is the bottleneck of their system?

    It's everything else!!!

    Remember when the 486DX2 came out? You could have a 486DX2 running internally at 66Mhz on a bus of 33MHz...or choose the 486DX running at 50MHz on a bus of 50MHz? What did the benchmarks say? The all-50-MHz system was much faster.

    But, instead of spending their time improving the speed and data width of the bus, chip makers tripled the internal speed...then quadrupled... now the minimum is quintuple the speed and AMD thinks we need septupal (notice I conveniently skip the dirty one).

    I fail to see why the bus systems and processors can't make the speed transition at the same time. The extra time in the CPU cycle can be spent improving data pipes between components and increasing the number of processors. Imagine if the standard system today was four, 128-bit processors running at 133MHz on a bus of 133MHz?

    I say end the madness...AMD and Intel need to spend their time working on cheap, stable 128-bit SMP instead of this overwhelmingly-fast single-point-of-failure! Why 128-bit? Because if I'm going to have to throw always all my existing technology and go through another period where everything I need to run is considered "legacy" then make it worth my while and jump right to 128-bits! 64-bit is obsolete,even for game consoles. Hell, there are Windows CE portables can have 128-bit Hitachi processors (although again, nothing else in the unit is 128-bit).

    I want a nice fat data pipe running at a cool, stable 200-300 megahertz. Not some processor that is ready to go critical and burn a hole through my motherboard.


    As always, my opinion...not yours. Remember that before when you post flamebait or troll replies.

    - JoeShmoe

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  • by Axe ( 11122 ) on Saturday October 02, 1999 @10:56PM (#1642930)
    Relax. It does not just "start emitting", though emmitance does go up as GHz^4 : pretty fast.
    Remember that FCC numbers on your equipment?: they mean you are safe. It is being tested for.

    You CRT monitor is a much bigger source of troubles. Let's hope that 20inch LCD will come down in price before I go blind...
  • Damn...his post beat mine by ONE MINUTE. Which means mine is probably gonna be marked "0: Redundant"

    Oh well...GTMA...I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks this game of "anything you can do, I can do better" for processor speeds has gone far enough...

    If AMD really wants to kill Intel, they need to fire their marketing guys and realize that while they make little or no profit on their economy line of processors...if they have SMP, they can sell two, four or eight times as many...and thus make a lot more money than if they sold just a single "high-end" processor.

    - JoeShmoe

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
  • Actually, I'm right with you at that. It would be a GRAVE mistake for AMD to play the same games that Intel has in the past. We all know the reasoning behind this P3/Xeon split. Besides, it's these kinds of games that probably has Intel in the trouble it's in now with Merced (or whatever it's 64 bit chip is). Perhaps if Intel wasn't so busy about making sure nobody used their poor architecture (GTL+. And I say this in hindsight of course) and focused on developement of CPU's, then Merced would be out now and they would'nt be poised to get their buts kicked by
  • by MillMan ( 85400 ) on Saturday October 02, 1999 @11:03PM (#1642933)
    there is no exact number range defined for microwave frequencies. I think general range it starts is 400mhz to 4ghz (big range I know, its there somewhere), and ends when the wavelengh goes below about 1 cm (too lazy to do the math for frequency) at which point they're called millimeter waves.

    But it won't emit much as far as I know...

    1) you don't exactly have 5000 watts hooked up to a transmitting antennae. The power is pretty low.

    2) the cpu is totally enclosed in a metal box. Metal absorbes electromagnetic waves. Thus hardly anything escapes anyway.
  • Why 128-bit? Because if I'm going to have to throw always all my existing technology and go through another period where everything I need to run is considered "legacy" then make it worth my while and jump right to 128-bits! 64-bit is obsolete,even for game consoles. Hell, there are Windows CE portables can have 128-bit Hitachi processors (although again, nothing else in the unit is 128-bit).

    It transistor count, my friend. Athlon has 22 millions. Make it 128bit - it would be 88 millions. Two big of a die. Consoles can handle that cause they are simpler.

    Other reason is that you would not see too much of a performance increase - 128bit is good if yyou can do a lot of things in parallel - like in SIMD code. Great for specialized graphics chips, not so for a general purpose ones: if you spend you time adding small integers and pushing data in/out memory, it would not help when you integer is 128 vs 32 bit (unless you need >4Gb big address space). Not worth it now.

    BTW Athlons have 200Mhz bus, scalable to 400.

    Other way to improve in SMP is transputer type processor interconect - like in the next generation Alpha.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I read an article here not too long ago about intel making deals with vertiually every motherboard maker in Tiawan. Basically intel threatned to raise the price of its 820 chipset and chips to these makers if they ever planned on designing a k7 motherboard. Asus originally cancelled its k7 motherbaird after intel called them. THey decided to bite the bullet and and ship it. THanks to microsoft teaching intel on all these wonderfull bussiness tactics that we now can't buy suypperior technology. Kind of reminds me of buying OS/2 after windows95 was released.

    Also remember that computer makers have deals execplicitly with mothernboard manufacturers so computer venders couldn't use k7 systems even if they wanted too. Remember if they do buy a motherboard from a competitor they will lose money off intel motherboards because of increased prices.

    Intel was very smart by focusing on the motherboard makers and not the computer OEMS. It also looks better for the doj since Intel didnt bully the computer makers at all.

    What a shame. This christmass season I plan to buy an intel system. I believe AMD will be out of bussiness or will be on life support by then. After investing billions in R&D in the k7 it will fail since no one can buy one or the few that are out wont make enough money to pay for the R&D bill. Once intel puts 133mhz memory out and puts 256k of cache on each cpu then the performance difference will be negligable.
  • I'm not sure making the athalon good for multiprocessor use is really going to help AMD much, right now anyway. Developing that costs money, and right now thats what they need, and don't have much of. Bad. Which means they have to sell what they can make now. The audience for multiprocessor boards consists mainly of people who run servers, and the type of person who reads slashdot. Definatly not a small audience, but not as big as, say, the consumer market, and the business PC market. Those are mostly single processor boxes. I think the average dumb ass consumer and purchaser for companies likes bigger numbers anyway. Something to brag about to your friends...just like the horsepower of your car's engine, the size of your house, the size of your girlfriend's breasts, whatever.
  • Here is a chance for two companies that are battling the evil Intel empire to have a change in fortunes :))

    The people who *really* need to be reading this are Digital/Compaq. After all, they designed the bus, they know how to produce large, scalable servers (8 -12 processors) *and* make them work.

    If Digital can come out with a series of slightly
    cheaper (compared to Alpha boards) that provide
    4, 8, 12 way SMP using Slot A then AMD win through
    more sales and hopefully a good reputation in the high end, Digital win through increasing their presence and, if they do stuff carefully, a nice upgrade path. People could start off with Athlons then move up to 21264's if they need the power....
    Everybody wins !!

    Chances are it'll never happen, but we can all hope ;)

  • I'm not even sure why people think this will be an issue to begin with. Attenuation in air decreases as frequency goes up (roughly, to a point), maybe this is what he was referring to. But I'm 99.9% sure that the processor doesn't have enough power to damage anything anyway. Of the power it does use, it's going to the cpu to run commands, not to emitting RF noise. Any RF noise that gets out is considered loss, I think (not 100% efficient) so the number should be very small.
  • C-Net didn't do a very good job with their "spot check" for Athlon boxes. AMD owns the *retail box* market, thus the first IBM/Compaq Athlons are going disproportionately to the retail stores, not the mail order shops C-Net checked (tho had IBM Athlon 500MHz machines in stock the other day). I just got back from my local Best Buy and CompUSA. Best Buy had at least several IBM Athlon boxes in stock (couldn't see the labels on most of the boxes), including 650MHz machines (fat profit margins). CompUSA had a much smaller selection of Compaq boxes, but the salescritter I talked to said they'd already sold 3-4 of 'em, not bad for a recent arrival they're not advertising. is advertising 500-600MHz Athlon CPUs and *four* different Athlon motherboards; CPU prices are already dropping in anticipation of this week's price cuts.

    Anyhow, it looks like AMD is ramping up production on schedule, they have a *great* product, and at 1% of Intel's market cap, their stock looks like a screaming bargain. (Which is why I've dumped what little cash I have into it.) Only wildcards are how big a disruption the Taiwan quake will cause in motherboard production and if the Dresden 0.18 micron fab will ramp OK. AMD reports earnings on Wednesday. If they shoved enough CPUs out the door in time to meet the quarter's cutoff, things should get interesting, especially given Intel's recent 820/Xeon stumbles.

    Yeah, I want the multiprocessor Athlon Ultras (ships next year) too. If they can come up with a reasonably inexpensive 4 CPU board... (drool). But until Dresden ramps up they don't have any reason to push multiprocessor systems anyhow.
  • It is rumored that AMD is cranking out 800MHz parts on the plant they're already using to make all their other Athlon chips. When these higher clocked chips come off the line, they have 3 choices, they can release a higher clocked product, stockpile them to release the faster product in the future, or to mark them as a slower part. I doubt AMD is putting much or any effort into making the higher clocked Athlons at this point, the chips running this fast are probably function of their K7 design efforts over the past few years.

    Switching to the .18um process will further increase clock rate, but will take some effort. However, they already have the plant, and it's almost ready. Even if they only want to produce 600-700MHz parts, it still makes sense to use their newer plant as it will reduce the manufacturing costs.

    In short, with all the work AMD has done over the past few years, increasing clock rates now is cheap and easy, and there's no reason not to. If they can make a 1GHz chip while Intel is pedalling their 600MHz chips, by all means! Most people are open to buying a single processor machine in place of a dual processor machine if they can get the same performance out of it. Naturally, this solution doesn't scale nearly as well, to compete with 4 or 8 processor computers.

    Switching to dual processors, however requires a new chipset and new motherboards. Currently AMD isn't making either. I believe, that a chipset manufacturer, could make a SMP chipset based on the specs that AMD has released thus far, if not, AMD could simply release more specs to permit it.

    Since the chipset manufacturers aren't likely to make SMP chipsets until the Athlon is already sucessful, AMD will have to produce on themselves or wait a while. Designing the chipset would be expensive, and still won't sell until there are SMP boards.

    Given that AMD is cash strapped as it is, and the vast majority of the market is for single processor systems, designing their own chipset would probably be a grave mistake. I personally think AMD is on the right track now, they just need motherboards for their current Athlons to proceed.
  • Are there STILL people out there that think their processor is the bottleneck of their system?

    Your ignorance is blinding; memory speed is _not_ the problem with today's computers. Large/smart caches are a far superior solution than fast memory in any calculation that involves cost. Caches are a great solution in the sense that virtual memory is; optimization for the common case.

    I fail to see why the bus systems and processors can't make the speed transition at the same time. The extra time in the CPU cycle can be spent improving data pipes between components and increasing the number of processors.

    Then you fail to see why fast memory busses are expensive. It's much cheaper to take advantage of spatial and temporal locality of reference by using caches than to build a faster memory bus.

    Imagine if the standard system today was four, 128-bit processors running at 133MHz on a bus of 133MHz?

    You'd pay about $10,000 and there would be no speedup. A single Pentium III/Athlon running at 600 Mhz would probably be faster. Why? Most (95+%) of all memory accesses are found in L1 or L2 cache. The limiting factor in your system would be the excruciating slow processors. If there were no caches within the processor (as you seem to imply), you would see a Pentium/133 blowing the doors off your mythical system. Why? Bus contention between the 4 processors.

    I don't apoligize for my condescending attitude; you are spouting off about something you obviously have no knowledge of. "Bigger/faster = better" often isn't. Tradeoffs are necessary to hit price/performance goals. The hardware industry is extremely demanding; everyone is working their asses off to hit Moore's law in an industry of collapsing prices.

    Followups to Hennessy and Patterson's excellent Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, chapters 1 and 5.

  • For a single-user system, SMP does not make a whole lot of sense unless you are working with highly parallel algorithms, yes. If, however, you are deploying a multi-user machine, then SMP can give you a significant performance boost.

    Say, for example, you are running a web server that does a lot of dynamic content generation. Assumming a decent webserver program, different user requests can be running on different CPUs simultaneously.

    Another example would be a general-purpose multi-user workhorse, of the type commonly found in college machine rooms. You have 400 students logging in, reading mail, compiling, running, and debugging programs, running MatLab, whatever. That is where SMP really shines, as you have a lot of compute-intensive tasks happening at once.

    Please note that your points are well-made and perfectly valid, but I wanted to make sure it was understood that SMP is not completely worthless, either. :-)
  • the register [] has an interesting article [] about a UK box builder called mesh that has advertised its 700MHz systems already...
  • This site is slowly filling up with an elite of moderating spooks-n-spirits. Fill the chamber with odd hierarchies and mysterious things can happen. Our own little secret police, merits and demerits. What fun! Not always worthy of our attention, ov course.

    I'd like to be able to set my "maximum threshold" to 1 or 2, to be certain. Filter out the people who start out at three or above, and hope for the twos whose pithy words the elite particularly fancy get moderated out of my face in a timely fashion.
  • You're right. Commonly misspelled trademarks are a marketing manager's worst nightmare.

    I guess they should have thought of that before picking Athlon as the brand name.
  • I think it's all a whole lot of fun.

    Especially seeing people go off on it like you have.
  • I really wish AMD some success with the Athlon. Just imagine a quad-Athlon SMP machine (drool).

    A quad-Athlon SMP machine @ 700MHz will be a lot more realizable than a similar Intel SMP machine just from the sheer power dissipation. Intel, in recent years, has produced some high speed processors -- from brute force -- sure the processors are fast, but they simply throw the book out the window on power consumption and design efficiency. They can get away with it because they have had little competition (until now), and the mindless masses simply accept Intel products without a technical critique.

    AMD, on the otherhand, has produced some powerful chips that can now compete with Intel's best. They also consume less power and have smaller die. A PentiumIII has 9.5M transistors as opposed to the Athlon's 22M transistors! Can you imagine two PIII die in that SEC package? Do you know what China Syndrome means? You will if you try it!

    Go AMD! Go Athlon! At the very least, this type of technical challenge will only help us, the consumers!


  • Since this article is a little less technical, I'd like to go ahead ad voice a couple thoughts. It is of my opinion that Intel is a much more friendlier company than had been in the past when it comes to the x86 market. Intel most definately has the dough to pour into R&D to stay ahead of the x86 market. It most definately has the cash to through out a chip similiar to the G4 in raw flops, but it hasn't. So Intel doesn't hold the top bang, the top bang for the buck,and most definately hasn't come out with anything incredably exciting in some time. Intel does hold the market share. Sure the their new Merced is building a lot of hype, but when it comes down to actual production, it sure isn't rushing things. Intel has one wonderful thing goinf for it,and that is stability. Now it isn't the most stable of platforms sure, but think about the peice of mind you get when you buy intel. Odd chip sets? Nah, its the VIA and the SiS that put out those "soon to have a patch" chipsets, and wird super socket 7 MBs. Cyrix failed misribly because it wasn't even win98 compatible till way to late. You think that SGI wouldn't have picked AMD hardware if it could have? You think that the G4 is really going to be the way to crunch numbers even though the support hardware is so undeveloped (as compared to that is). MHZ is great, terra-flops: go for it!, but if you can't run the apps and keep em running.. then whats the point. Now I amilling to bet that those pro admins out there.. that if you even remotely suggested to any of the big shoulders at your company to switch from anything Intel on the x86 side, the resistance would almost come like instinct. Intel is (in my opinion) not really the MS of the CPU world as it used to be, simply because its product is tried or true. I see it as a corvette vs. hummer deal.. the army doesn't ride around in vette's for a reason. Bortbox (there goes my karma for sure)
  • by trims ( 10010 ) on Saturday October 02, 1999 @11:24PM (#1642958) Homepage

    I do agree with your observations that system componets have NOT kept pace with CPU advances, and indeed, there seems to be wide concensus that the main bottlenecks these days (at least in the x86 world) are off-chip.

    That said, I think you are making several confusing suggestions:

    • 128-bit CPUs. What you seem to be advocating is pure-128-bit, which the Hitachi chip is NOT. There is really no reason to go to 128 bits internally in a CPU - 64 bits provides more than sufficient address space (18 billion billion), and since very little requires the larger word size, the chip will be constantly doing calculations with smaller-than-optimal chunks of data. That is, most data will typically be done in 32-bit or 64-bit chunks, rather than 128-bit. What you are referring to in the Hitachi chip is the data bus width (which is indeed 128-bits wide). Internal processing is still in 64-bit chunks.
    • Remember that wider data paths are more expensive than narrow ones. Chipsets cost more too. We have the current architecture very much as a result of cost pressures. Better does not always win in the market (see the Alpha as an example).
    • Off-chip and on-chip data communications CANNOT be at the same rate. Since to do off-die communications you have to go alot further, you have to up the voltage, which reduces speed.
    • You talk of single point of failure. Anything that you suggest will not help (simply making a machine SMP does not help redunancy in any meaningful way).

    I would like to see people concentrate more on holistic system performance, but let's keep everything in perspective....


  • if ((post.score() != 1) && (post.score() 4)) { }

    Nope, the beowulf and first post things aren't going away -- let's lighten up a bit. If you don't like stupid comments, you can filter out most of the stale ones, and that takes care of most of the "problem".

    Frankly, the long winded "informative/interesting/insightful" posts make me weary eyed most of the time. In my book, flames and trolls are much more interesting, especially the grains of truth that they sometimes work from.

    Besides, it's Rob's fault for not including a "bad-attitude" option in the recent moderation roundup anyway -- lots of the flames and trolls wouldn't be anonymous if there was room made for them to be disagreeable and contrary without shame.
  • if ((post.score() != 1) && (post.score() 4)) { }
  • if ((post.score() != 1) && (post.score() < 4)) { }
  • by Pengo ( 28814 ) on Saturday October 02, 1999 @11:36PM (#1642963) Journal
    Ok, right now at home I am running a AMD K6-2 350.
    128meg ram, 16meg TNT, IDE.. yada yada..

    At work I am running a PIII 500 with about the same setup.

    this is my questions, why am I not seeing a near double in my performance? I would guess that it was ram.. BUT.. I took ram out of one of the other machines, and I am not seeing a GREAT performance increase..

    Sure, my computer at work can crunch SETI@ blocks a bit quicker, but .. in reality.. in a lot of applications my AMD 350 seems to be a bit pepier...

    QUICK NOTE: I am not a big gamer or 3D freak..

    THIS IS THE POINT.. has anyone actually used a computer that goes that fast? (700 Mhz).. is it even worth it for the average LinuxNerd(TM) :) to upgrade?

    It seems like these superfast CPU's are GREAT if you have VERY spacific needs.. (3D Rendering (ie. Games)) ... BUT, for the average user.. and the average applications.. it seems that the bottleneck is NOT the CPU..

    For someone out there that has a lot of experience with a lot of different CPU's, which CPU configuration is the price to performance ratio?

    Will I see more performance increase by purchasing a UW/SCSI-Controller / HD????

    More Ram?

    More CPU?

    :) For some reason I feel like if I dump my current motherboard and go purchase a AMD-700 w/new ram.. etc. I will be disapointed....

  • Actually, I believe that some Dell motherboards can operate in redundancy mode where if one CPU fails the other will take over. Dun' remember if it can switch from SMP -> 1 cpu, though.
  • My microwave says 2450 GHz on it.

    With CPU's, I think as emittance goes up (with freqency), power consumption may go quite a bit up. Also circuits and components on the CPU must be redesigned.

    Now if your MOTHERBOARD were running at 1 GHz, it's be a different matter.
  • PC-133 support is important, but the AGP 4x currently is not.[snip]

    Although there may not me much of a techical advantage in having 4x AGP, the fact that some graphics cards (Ultra TNT2, I belive) already support may encourage a lot of gamers to get them. Remember that some PC gamers stay at the top of the technology curve, at great expense.

    It might nto have much of an impact on the market, but 4x AGP is a very marketable point, after all, it sounds a twice as fast as 2x AGP, and besides, it's the latest, greatest thing. (said in an entusiastic marketing droid voice)

  • Maybe you can get the FSF to join up with Ralph Nader and Red Hat to produce the SMB Athlon motherboard you're cherishing. Call the chipset the Stallman.

    Don't forget to keep pounding your chest in fury. In pounding sessions, wring your hands.

  • I can see where this chip is targeted:

    At the resellers. It's the perfect upgrade to tout to those repeat customers who come in at every major CPU upgrade to buy yet another motherboard. Some people will buy whatever has the big numbers on it.

    Unfortunatley that's not a sustainable market, nor will that sort of person be fooled more than a few times. So AMD is likely in deep trouble now with this.

    The local shops here are already selling Athlons and motherboards, though I can't say I've heard how well they are selling. I bought my Pentium III a month ago so am not interested. And I regret ever buying a K6-2.
  • ... than an unemployed bum. AMD is, I believe, publicly traded. Survival and maximizing shareholder value is the bottom line in a public company, bankruptcy is the ultimate failure.

    If Athlon wins, great. It is smart for AMD to have a plan B though.

  • RAM prices are skyrocketing because of the earthquake in Taiwan. When the factories aren't permetted or able to run the supply drops. When the supply drops people want to buy as much as they can so that they aren't left high and dry when the supply disappears.

    With a shorter supply and a greater demand ONLY A FOOL wouldn't ask mor efor that product.

  • by JoeShmoe ( 90109 ) <> on Saturday October 02, 1999 @11:56PM (#1642977)
    ...would you brag about a girlfriend with only one breast? "My girlfriend has a giant F-cup breast and your girlfriend only has two, evenly-proportioned C-cup breasts?"

    Silly I know, but my point is that consumers can be trained to think anything is better if the advertising says it is. If they create some cute little "Puffy, the SMP doggy" all the JoeShmoes are gonna run out and ask for dual-processor systems at Circuit City and Best Buy.

    Tell them they need two processors so one can access the Internet and the other can play games, or better yet...tell them they need a processor for every application they want to run. That outta put consumer demand for SMP on the laps of those boys in marketting...

    - JoeShmoe

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  • I could overclock my P3 to 750mhz if I stuck a 4 foot tall heat sink on it too :P
  • A 128bit chip designed like the Velocity Engine on the PPC 750 chip would work damn well as a full processor. 32bits will do most if not all of your calculation very well, and if you need a bigger word size you can go with 64bits. But then comes the processor with it's 128bit pipe, uh oh it's wasiting most of it's pipe on small words, or not. A 128bit system would work wonderfully if it ran 32 and 64bit code because it could run 4 or 2 instructions per cycle which makes it more efficient, this is what the PPC 750 (G4) does with the Velocity Engine. The main die could be 128bit but the memory bus could be 64 so motherboards wouldnt be too much more expensive than they are now.
  • Microwave is just a number.

    Humans invented the term microwave... there is nothing different about it other than the period of the generated wave. Will it fry you is what you really want to know. The fact is any electomagnetic energy can fry you. It's a function of how much energy is output, how far you are from it, and how long you are exposed. Faster period means more energy, yes, but the fact that it is 1GHZ as ooposed to 700 Mhz doesn't mean as much as where the source is, what's between you and it, how far you are from it, and how long you stay there.
  • Traditionally AMD chips have gone into the low end consumer "multimedia" machine and into the boxes of gamers in the know / people who aren't ready to upgrade to intels proprietary chip hole.

    Now this chip is expensive & probably needs a new MB to take advantage of it. This is an expensive upgrade - so who will go for it?

    Graphics / Video people? Nope these people are most likely to be looking at a G4 Mac or SGI these days. Or at least an x86 with history of good FPU performance (intel)

    Gamers? Nope, this is probably too expensive - and after the history of bad fpu and wierd incompatibilities / crash bugs that AMD has, I cant see gamers going for it.

    Servers? I really can't see it. Intel are firmly established in the server space, and cant see that ending.

    Office workstations? Nope, they will continue to be mid ranged intel cheaps supplied in bulk by Compaq / IBM. There is no need for this power.

    Consumer boxes? Nope too expensive.

    Sure it's a nice bit of kit, but who exactly would buy one? The big manufacturers won't use them considering AMD's history of supply problems.

Show me a man who is a good loser and I'll show you a man who is playing golf with his boss.