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.75 GHz Athlon Released 137

News.com is reporting that AMD has released a new 750 MHz Athlon. The chip is quite pricey ($800 in lots of 1000), but should be available before the year is over. Jerry Sanders says AMD is having a strong quarter. Cnnfn.com also has an article about the release of the chip, and also mentions that a 533 MHz K6-2 was released.
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.75 GHz Athlon Released

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  • A 750 Mhz Athlon cannot be much better than a 733 Mhz Athlon...? Surely the huge price premium is more to make a profit for those k-rad hax0rs who can go and measure their processor speed in gigahertz... AFAIK there are no > 700 Mhz CPUs available in the UK, so I can't get one for the moment, but when they do come out, will there be a practical use for them?
  • Since I didn't see any mention that these parts were coming from Dresden, does anyone know if that means Austin has already switched over to the 0.18um process? I was under the impression that they were going to ramp up Dresden and then take Austin down for the switch.
  • by citizenx ( 117856 ) on Monday November 29, 1999 @07:34AM (#1496425) Homepage
    I'm all for technology advancing, really. Everything's getting smaller faster "better", and that's just beautiful. But this really screws up bragging. It just sounds weird to say "Yeah, I just bought a P5 1.25" "Pfft, I've got a 1.3, loser"
  • You better believe it.

    At least strong enough to produce a good TV commercial where because some guy doesn't know the Athalon is faster than the Pentium III, he causes a train to smash into the building he's working in.

    Although they can't be doing that well, since I've only seen it once as opposed to the millions and millions of times Intel commercials have aired.
  • I think you are confusing the Athlon with the P3/Coppermine. Until today, the fastest "real" K7 available was in 700mhz. The fastest P3 was 733mhz.
  • The article makes a very minor mistake. They imply that the speed advantage has something to do with clock-rate, and of course, it has nothing to do with that. Other than that, it's a good article, though I'm not sure that the Intel stock price had anything to do with this development DIRECTLY.
  • Hey everyone,

    Just to let everyone know that the exciting thing about this chip is that it is made using the new .18u process. Yes, that means less heat and better OC possibilities abound!!

    I may be just me, but I am waiting to see what KryoTech can pull off with this baby!

  • That is, the ongoing battle between AMD and Intel. I seriously hope that AMD will be able to continously deliver CPUs with a higher MHz rating than Intel (_real_ speed not that important, we all know MHz is what counts when bragging/marketing)

    Intel has had a close-to-be monopoly for all too long, and AMD is the best chanse we have to change that.

    I've already done my part, I've strongly advocated the buy of Athlon-based computers for the software developers where I work, and hopefully they'll come (I'm not in IS, but they usually listen to what we developers have to say ;)

    So, all you tech-people with a chance to make a statement out there - you _are_ helping AMD in breaking Intels monopoly, right?

    (and if you ask me, yes, Athlon is the better CPU also ... if it wasn't, I wouldn't recommend it ...)

  • by questionlp ( 58365 ) on Monday November 29, 1999 @07:42AM (#1496431) Homepage
    There is a very nice review of the new 750Mhz Athlon over at http://anandtech.com

    The review states that the new Athlon's external L2 cache does not run at 1/2 CPU speed but rather at 1/2.5 of CPU speed. So L2 cache dependant programs don't perform quite as well on the 750Mhz Athlon as anticipated. According to the review, the processor's FPU marks are (of course) faster than it's 700Mhz brother, but does the extra cost justify the minimal performance increase?

    Many people would say no (including me), but remember that the consumers don't care about the internals of the processor, but rather care about the Mhz rating... That's why both Intel and AMD have pushed out 700+ Mhz processors already, even though their previous roadmaps show that they weren't going to push out those processors until Q1 or Q2 of 2000.

    Anywho... just to inform you guys about the difference in the L2 cache...
  • Athlons have steps of 50 MHz, there is no 733 MHz Athlon, it jumps from 700 MHz to 750 MHz. I saw an interesting review here (hope I can remember how to do links!):

    Anandtech Review [anandtech.com]

    I do hope they get the L2 cache on die in a hurry, but of course, think of the transistor count after dumping in another 512 kB of memory!
  • From AMD's own press release on their site:

    AMD Athlon processors are now manufactured on AMD's aluminum 0.18-micron process technology in Fab 25 in Austin, Texas.

    So I have no idea what comes from Dresden...
  • I'm sorry... you're right. There have been shops over here advertising 733s, although when quizzed they've all said they're 'out of stock'... how convenient (!)
  • A 750 Mhz Athlon cannot be much better than a 733 Mhz Athlon...? Surely the huge price premium is more to make a profit for those k-rad hax0rs who can go and measure their processor speed in gigahertz...

    Can't you see what's happening, though? We're actually seeing AMD for the first time as a competetor rather than an alternative.

    Back with the K6, AMD leapfrogged Intel for a moment, but when Intel released the Pentium II a month later, AMD cowered back to it's corner, releasing processors where one could only brag about the price rather than the performance.

    But now, AMD's no longer accepting second banana. They release Athlon, leapfrogging Intel. Intel releases Coppermine, catching up to Intel and leapfrogging them in MHz speeds. What does AMD do? They leapfrog Intel again in MHz speeds.

    AMD no longer wants to say that they have a "cheap alternative" to Intel. They're finally saying "Screw Intel, we got the faster chip!" And they even have TV Adds now kickin Intel in the butt over it! And for the first time, Intel's actually worried over it!

    The important point here is that AMD's fighting back Intel, and they're doing quite a nice job, too! Just because 750 MHz isn't much faster than 733MHz, it does mean that AMD's fighting back!
  • Most of the K6 motherboards I've seen support at most 5x100MHz for a 500MHz clock speed.

    What is 533 anyway? 7x75?
  • This is just more proof that AMD has finally got something working well for once. Rumours have it that AMD could release 1GHz Athlons whenever they want, but they want to upset Intels "750MHz" day in January (the 10th) by releasing it then (or an 800/900MHz Athlon.

    The Athlon is a much better design than the PIII. Now it is 0.18micron it should run cooler too. I would estimate that a 750MHz Athlon was around the equivalent of an 800MHz+ PIII.

    Of course, there is the motherboard availability problems, but they are out there now in ever increasing numbers. The technology is old enough now for most of the early problems to have been ironed out.

    I would like to see the spec figures for the new Athlon. Should provide interesting reading. I noticed that the FP figures for the 733MHz PIII were an abnormal jump higher than the normal PIII figures. Of course, if you really want power, then get an Alpha!

    Of course, AMD has yet to concentrate on the SMP versions of the Athlon. When these arrive, Intel might start looking wistfully at its high end server market.

    I am glad for this competition in the 'popular' CPU market, as it really drives prices down. Intel are on the losing end at the moment, but I imagine that they will have their day again. I don't think it will be with Itanium or IA-64 though. AMD have their own 64-bit expensions to IE-32 which they are creating, and the compatability _with speed_ issue might sway a lot of people towards AMDs offering rather than Intels EPIC monstrosity. Shame that such a old unwieldy ISA is still alive though.

    I remember about a year and a half ago when Motorola confidently predicted that there would be 1GHz PPCs by the end of 1999. Strange that the one company you wouldn't have thought would have got there are within a hairs breadth of this goal.

  • I havent bought a computer since 1992, yep all 486s at home. How are they cooling these fast chips it must be more than multiple fans and heat sinks.

  • It's nice to see that AMD is keeping ahead of Intel in the speed wars, but not so nice to see they seem to be pushing up into the same sort of price bracket to do so. One of the GOOD things about the AMD Vs Intel wars was that it was acting to push prices for chips down; I don't really *want* to be forced into buying the latest and greatest chip at enormous expense, just so I can play the latest games; I would much rather have a chip at a price I can afford, that is just below the leading edge
    That said, the tiny little trailer that points to the new 553MHz K6 [amd.com] at a reasonable price is a much more welcome sight....
  • I havent bought a computer since 1992, yep all 486s at home. How are they cooling these fast chips? it must be more than multiple fans and heat sinks. What do you people have for setups at home?
  • From the announcement on AMD's website..

    The 750MHz AMD Athlon processor is the first processor that is built using AMD's aluminum 0.18-micron manufacturing process, and new AMD Athlon processors are now being built using that advanced technology. The 0.18-micron manufacturing process shrinks the size of the AMD Athlon processor die, enabling faster processor speeds and lowering power consumption.

    So, yeah, starting now.. everything >750 from AMD is .18 micron.
  • by LarsWestergren ( 9033 ) on Monday November 29, 1999 @07:51AM (#1496443) Homepage Journal
    I have been startled by the recent development in the computer business, how quickly a company can fall from grace and another rise to take its place. A few years ago (before I knew about Linux and Slashdot I should add) I thought the Wintel alliance had such a deathgrip on the market it would take at least 10 years before something would come along that could replace them.

    But this year there have been at least three companies that went practically overnight from being the standard that all others were measured against to being rather pathetically looking has-beens. Microsoft is in deep shit. Most people consider 3Dfx thoroughly beaten by nVidia in the current generation of cards, and from what I have seen in their next generation cards nVidia will continue to widen the gap. They are finally beginning to handle enough polygons to give realistic outdoor scenes with "real" trees. What is 3Dfx boasting about? Putting four identical old technology chips on a new board, which wastes memory and requires a separate power line in to the card. A buffer that can give you blurred motion lines? Whopee, that must be fun all of five minutes. And now AMD finally getting everything right, including the timing of the launch.

    But even if the upstarts are current media darlings they are still fighting an uphill battle. They have less money to throw around on advertising and continued research, and they must make a lot of profit and contine to win consumer loyalty or they risk falling back into obscurity.

    ************************************************ ***

  • Does anyone have any info on any Dual Athlon Boards in the works? I looked around Tom's the other day and only saw the 5 single athlon boards available at the moment.. does anyone know if any manufacturers are developing a dual board? I would LOVE to find one.. 1.5GHz would make me very happy.

  • Of what I've heard... AMD is working on their new chipset that will handle dual and quad processor setups, with RAMBUS and AGP 4x. There was a rumour that the new chipset is set to debut late Q1 of 2000, but the source didn't have a firm answer from AMD nor from any of the motherboard manufacturers.
  • In case anyone is interested, here are links to the technical specs pages for the Athlon [amd.com] and the K6-2 [amd.com]
  • by Gerv ( 15179 ) <gerv@@@gerv...net> on Monday November 29, 1999 @07:58AM (#1496447) Homepage
    ...what with all the problems they've had this year - the fiasco over Camino, then the Processor Serial Number thing (the E.U. is considering banning serialed P3's altogether, of course) and serious shortages of its high end processors.

    AMD, on the other hand, has the fastest Mhz processor (good for PR, even if the speed increase is only a few percent) and is selling its lower end processors as fast as it can crank them out.

    Could it be that we finally have competition in the processor industry? (faint)

    There's a good review of Intel's year at The Register [theregister.co.uk].

  • Anandtech [anandtech.com] recently conducted a test to evaluate the performance tradeoffs of a higher clock rate and L2 cache speed.

    He concluded that while the reduced L2 cache speed DOES affect some things, clock rate is way more important. This suprised me, the L2 cache speed reduction affected it very minimally.
  • KryoTech has announced/released their 1GHz system which uses the 750MHz (0.18 process).

    It should be fairly easy to get this processor up to 850MHz with the usual OC tricks. The stock cache runs at 1/2.5 of CPU (1/2.5*750=300MHz) which might need to be set down to 1/3 to get it running.

    Should see some additional improvements once they add the copper process (which is probably what will be needed to reach 1GHz with normal cooling).

    Also, didn't see this mentioned elsewhere, but AMD did demo a 900MHz air-cooled (i.e. heat sink/fan combo) Athlon at Comdex. This means their availability can't be far off!
  • At http://www.hardocp.com, they have an article on how to remove the casing around the AMD Athlon processors and expose the `slug' and the cache chips. But if you choose to leave the casing on, any SECC1 cooling fan will cool those suckers down!

    There is supposed to be several articles on how to convert a SECC1 or SECC2 alpha heatsink to fit on a bare Athlon processor, but the article isn't done yet.

    Since the processor is manufactured using the .18 micron process, the chip `should' run cooler than the 700Mhz .25 micron Athlon. But in any case, those things radiate 90+ watts of heat, which is a lot for a processor, but not as bad as some of the DEC Alpha, Pentium !!! 600+ Mhz, and the newer SPARC processors. The Alpha's can radiate over 120 watts of heat. Hey! With a dual processor Alpha system... I might be able to make some toast, since it does tend to toast x86 systems running Linux ;)
  • Gah when will the novelty wear off so we can see these babies used in real life, not in this ridiculous only techies would care circus.

  • How are they cooling these fast chips it must be more than multiple fans and heat sinks. Difficult to tell - the cooling information should be Here [amd.com], but that seems to only go up to the 700. I suspect they haven't gotten around to updating that bit yet, or Marketing are outstripping Production - just like at Intel :+)
  • Small point folks: 750 mega-hertz is .732 giga-hertz. Please, don't make math errors like this, it looks dumb.

    BTW: The light that burns twice as bright actually only burns one-eigth as long. Please stop saying it's half, that's wrong.

    I also have a lot to say about other homilies but I'll let it rest.
  • I did read that article about the difference between running a processor with it's cache at original speed and at a lower speed. I do agree (and that's why I stated that the FPU marks are higher on the 750Mhz) that lowering the L2 cache speed really doesn't affect performance in many cases, but in some cases it can.

    I did leave out some of that in my post, but thanks for adding that ;)

    One thing AMD does need to do is bump up the bus speed and/or try to push for PC200 RAM (which I think there was a link on Anand's page this morning... 8am PST). That would really start things up in the high-end workstation and server market.
  • SlotA [slota.com] has a K7 motherboard list that tells you this. I think the first dual Athlon boards will appear in January or February.
  • 0.75Ghz == 768Mhz
  • Ahh... I should've realized that someone posting about it would've read the article anyways. But in any case, others may not have known.

    But, I agree about the PC200 RAM... it's too bad it seems so far off yet. It could make Rambus look even less ideal right now.
  • Don't worry about it ;)

    It just never really entered my mind until after I submitted the post... but people are now informed...

    If AMD pulls the right strings and work at it, they can help push along the PC200 development quicker and cheaper (well... at least when compared to RAMBUS anyways).
  • > 750 mega-hertz is .732 giga-hertz

    Actually it isn't! In frequency land 1000 Mhz is
    exactly 1 Ghz. It is only in computer land that we get the 1024 (2^10) multiplier.

    Well, this isn't quite true... anyone who has ordered a 2 Mbit leased line knows they are getting a 2048000 bit/s connection ;-)

  • I know that AMD has already released information that they will be making the Professional and Select versions of the Athlon processor, but right now Intel is slipping on the high-end workstation side.

    News.com had an article stating that Dell and HP will not be using some of Intel's newer Pentium III Xeon processors because the processors cost too much and don't provide that much more performance over the new Pentium III .18 micron processors (which are at least $100 cheaper and their closest Xeon cousin).

    Currently, AMD has been pushing at the consumer and middle-level workstations, but not enough at the high-end workstation and server market enough. With the Camino stink, the possible EU ban on the Pentium III processors, and the cost/performance problems with Rambus... Intel has opened themselves to losing some of their share in the workstation market.

    With VIA producing their new PC133/AGP 4x Athlon chipset, this might help Micron and HP to look more at the Athlon processors as a workstation processor and start pushing those workstations at possibly a lower price than their Pentium III counterparts. If AMD starts working on a more robust and more flexible chipset (read: supports multiple processors, possible support for DDR RAM or Rambus, 64-bit PCI and even on-board Firewire), they might be able to influence Dell to start making Athlon-based Precision workstations or Athlon-based PowerEdge servers (running Windows NT, Linux or even FreeBSD!)
  • To add to this: HZ is a measure for frequency. It is equivalent to the SIS unit 1/s (s is second) or one per second. A MegaHerz MHZ is 1000000*1/s or 1000000HZ. GigaHerz just adds a factor 10^3.
  • This is interesting, especially the relative shift in stock prices of AMD vs Intel.

    Back when I got my K6/2 (I'm now running a K6/3-400), I resolved that I would support AMD exclusively, until the were within 5% of the market share with Intel. I would then just go with whichever company offered the best product/price match for me at any given time... hopefully, AMD and Intel are always neck and neck with each other, letting neither gain an enormous edge so they have to really scamble to compete and keep up, this is the only way to keep innovation alive...

    Speaking of which, does anyone have a favorite source of market-share stats like this ? I'd like to keep up on a day-to-day basis. =)
  • Sorry to deride you; I mean, you are backing AMD in your own way. And that's good. But my view is that the best way to back AMD is the way I did, with my wallet. I have bought not one but two processors for the my home computer from them. My first was the AMD K6-2, 300MHz (and it was *so* sweet, what an upgrade from the DX-4 100MHz Cyrix....), and just recently, a K7-600MHz (with a ASUS K7M motherboard). It is a very nice system.

    So, I hope I haven't insulted you, and I am glad you are spreading the good Athlon word. I just think that the best method is to *buy* AMD, and not just spread the word.
  • Those of you interested in the release of the 533Mhz K6-2...you're welcome. I *just* placed an order for the 500Mhz chip this morning. So, of course, to ensure that the things I buy are immediately outdated, AMD felt it necessary to announce the 533 model today...

    Ugh. Obsolete before it even arrives...
  • I agree with you on this. AMD depends on the techie/OEM market to sell many of their chips. It is basic common sense that this would help them.

    By the way, the AMD processors I have owned so far are:

    AMD 286/16, AMD 386/25, AMD 486/40, AMD 5x86/133, AMD K6-2/350, and an AMD K6-3/450. I'm holding out on the Athlon until the dual (or quad) processor boards come out. If I'm going to go above 450, I want to be able to put in more than one processor.
  • Unfortunately, when I bought my computer (in August) the Athlon chips were out, but motherboards weren't readily available. Whats the current situation with motherboards? How many options does one have?

    i dont display scores, and my threshhold is -1. post accordingly.

  • ... Intel [which] is on the cusp of bringing out Merced, which, combined with RAMBUS technology, sponsored by Intel, represents a virtual processor revolution?

    You should be aware that most of the technologies used in the Merced architecture (which you should be aware is now called "Itanium") were previously pioneered in architectures like PA-RISC. 64-bit architectures in general have been around for a long time, too. RAMBUS was developed outside of Intel by Rambus Incorporated.

    Intel is bringing these technologies to the desktop market, which is not a bad thing, but there are no recent indications of any special ability to innovate, as none of these technologies originated with Intel.

    The only reason AMD has currently stuck with implementing ia32 clones has been that they have not been in a secure enough situation to do much else (although, they have made some interesting technological advances even in implementing their clones). If they manage to gain a reasonably comfortable position in the market, they will finally be able to take the same kinds of risks.

    Based on past performance (cheaper processors, better designs, less bastardly behavior, less bungling), I would much rather have a financially secure AMD in the role of introducing newer technology to the desktop market, rather than Intel. That is why I (and I suspect many other slashdot readers) choose to support AMD.

    I think the Linux community has a tendency to favor the underdog, regardless of facts or the situation...

    I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but I think some critics (read: you) of the "Linux community" (read: slashdot posters) have a tendency to blindly take Intel PR material at face value, regardless of the facts of the situation.

  • Is it AMD that is just pushing out processors, which, despite their speed, are not technological leaps forward

    I wouldn't call the equivalent Intel chips "technological leaps forward" myself. I think that AMD has done an awful lot of technological work. The Athlon is a much better design than the Pentium III and is therefore faster, cycle for cycle, than a P3, and that was at 0.25micron. Now it is at 0.18micron, so it is cooler and faster. AMD aren't resting on their laurels though. They are using their Lightning Data Transport to provide very fast interconnects between SMP Athlons, which will mean an even greater increase in power!

    Intel has always produced good products and is on the verge of pushing past the outdated i386 architecture; AMD is, on the other hand, what it always has been, namely, a company which lags 1-2 years behind Intel.

    Intel designed the i386 architecture, and it was outdated when it was designed. Since then Intel has created such 'innovations' as MMX and motherboards that aren't futureproof (because they change their processors so new processors won't work on old boards). AMD did imitate originally, but now they innovate - witness their 64-bit extensions to x86 (sure, a crock, but x86 is here and everything runs on it, and I think it will be here for another 5 years at the very least).

    Intel haven't done much RAMBUS stuff - they can't get it to work properly. Putting a lot of money into a company to produce RIMMs is a lot different. Would you call Apple a company that was innovative in the TFT LCD screen market? No.

    Anyway, the true innovation was done in the 80's by ARM and the '90s with the Alpha. Altivec is another great innovation. Itanium is NOT an innovation, it is the bastard child of VLIW and predicated execution, and done in a horrible way that people will laugh at in years to come. Anadium (my name for McKinley) might be better, but by then Alphas will have risen, with the £100m advertising campaign that Compaq are going to do for it!

    Oh, for cheap, low-cost Alphas...

  • It's easy to confuse, because 1 kB = 1024 bytes and 1 MB = 1024 kB, but that's just because the original computer geeks had some strange facination with powers of two.

    Actually, not that strange. The original propeller-heads (though they weren't called that, 'cause propeller beanies hadn't made it big time yet) thought in hardware terms and each time you added an address line to your memory chip/block you ratcheted maximum capacity up to the next power of 2 level. Now, unless you were a misplaced HR manager or some flavour of Arts/Humanities grad., in the old you'ld never consider releasing a part with less than the maximum possible capacity, hence the universal power of two fetish. OK, there was the decatron tube, but once engineers got over the base 10 obsession, they went whole hog and the world has never been the same!

    Of course, units of frequency were defined by physicists, not engineers. This probably says something, but just what I leave as an exercise for the reader.

  • I was happy to see the AMD commercial for two reasons:

    1. IMO, the TV commercial means that AMD is finally reaching the masses (the people that wouldn't buy anything excpet that "Intel Inside" sticker). Making Intel shake, and continue to lower prices.

    2. I finally got AMD's pronunciation of that stupid marketing nickname. Better than pentium, that's for sure.

  • Why have they brought out a new K6-2 at 533MHz?
    Surely they should phase out the K6-2 in favour of the K6 III which has integral level 2 cache, and is therefore a bit faster at the same clock speed.
    What am I missing?
  • There had been a lot of hand-wringing about the time of the 486-100 / Pentium 66 Mhz introduction about heat. The P-66 was about as hot as a chip could get, as I recall, and a lot of them failed due to heat. But there were several saving graces that happened around the same time. One biggie was the change to 3.3 volt chips, which run cooler because of lower voltage (just like turning down a dimmer on a light bulb - less volts, less heat). The others have been covered by the responses already made (lower micron technology, making smaller parts to radiate less heat). I just bought one of the Compaq's that the article mentions with the K6-2 for $550 with 64 M of ram. I don't need a lot of horsepower and can think of other things to do with the remaining $1000 for a new system. The speed is OK, I know I'm buying obsolete technology but hey, I know what it takes to make me happy.
  • The problem is that they aren't always playing fair. Competition is over-rated. Recently Intel has been throwing dirt. Since the icecream sandwich style P2/Celeron/P3 method of inserting chips replaced ZIF, motherboards have been either AMD - or - Intel.

    Bad, Intel! Bad!

    This hurts the industry by limiting consumer choice. You can't go out, buy a motherboard, then go buy a chip; you have to plan it out, and if you buy an Intel, you can't just switch to AMD.

    • And duh, of course this is exactly what Intel wanted.
  • From what I have gathered reading the reviews on the web, it looks like AMD is having problems with the onboard cache at speeds over 450 MHz in the K6-3, so they are speeding up the K6-2 to keep in competition with the Celery chips from Intel. I hope that we will see the K6-3 chips speed up when the Athlon moves its L2 cache on die.
  • Anyone know if Abit is going to do an Athlon board? I really like their MBs. I'm going to do a BP-6 for now, but would like to have Athlon as an option down the road.

    Interested in XFMail? New XFMail home page [slappy.org].
  • That's correct, the aluminum .18 micron CPUs are coming out of Austin's Fab 25. The Dresden Fab 30 is working on .18 micron CPUs with copper interconnects. You won't see these ones until Q1 or Q2 next year.
  • 750 MHz is 0.750 Ghz.

    1 GHz = 1000 MHz
    1 MHz = 1000 kHz
    1 kHz = 1000 Hz

    The above figures are exact.

    1 kb = 1024 bytes
    1 Mb = 1024 kb
    1 Gb = 1024 Mb.

    These values are also exact. 1024 is used because CPUs always address a power of 2 number of addresses no matter how many address lines it has. So it is a mathematical convenience to use 1024 = 2^10 here.

    No such advantage when dealing with Hz.
    Thus, 1 GHz, which is a physical unit, stays at 1,000,000,000 Hz.
  • Have you forgotten that AMD beat Intel to market with enhanced 3D instructions by several months? The K6-2 was out WAY before the Pentium-III, which was simply a Pentium-II with Intel's version of AMD's 3D-Now! instructions. Happily, AMD didn't try and call this a whole new generation of processor like Intel did.
  • Why the hell would anyone want Rambus??? It's a crappy technology that perfoms worse than 100MHz SDRAM we have now and costs 5 times as much. Oh wait I know -- it's the Intel's marketing hype. I hope they'll still have a chipset that properly supports SDRAM (not Intel's SDRAM-to-RDRAM converter).
  • is it Intel that is on the cusp of bringing out Merced, which, combined with RAMBUS technology, sponsored by Intel, represents a virtual processor revolution

    Is "virtual" some kind of new poltically correct euphemism for "vaporware"?

    The only significant item available in PIIIs and not Athlons is the Big Brother Inside chip ID of the former.

  • I'm about to buy a couple of systems for some novice non-nerds. I was about to get them the boring old Pentium III, but I'd much prefer to buy an Athlon. The catch is, the most important thing is service, since these are newbies.

    Gateway doesn't do Athlon. What's the best alternative? Any suggestions?
  • I agree totally with you on the price war being a awesome thing for us little people. =] But, I can't say AMD is trying really to screw consumers with the pricing of their K7. I think they are excellent prices. You might forget that AMD is much much smaller and has much much more riding on the K7 then Intel has on the P3. Intel can afford to screw up a bit here and there (820, rambus, etc, etc) They have the market(mind)-share and the spare cash to do this with.

    On the other hand, AMD really doesn't. They are taking (took?) a major gamble on their K7 chip. I wish AMD the best of luck with their business, and hope everything pays off for them. I wouldn't mind paying 200$ for a K7-500 or so, because I know the chip is worth it. I've read the articles, reviews, etc. I've also seen it in action, so I know my 200$ would be going to something worthwhile.

    On the other hand (I'm on my third hand now) Intel charges more Mhz for Mhz on their chips then the superior (IMHO) K7. Why? Because they can. Because they know people will pay for it. AMD can't afford to think like that.

    Anyway...That's just my 2 pennies worth.
  • > 1kb = 1024 bytes
    Actually, isn't 1kb == 1024 bits? :-)
  • You're way off. Currently RDRAM is selling for $12 - $15 per MB. :-)
  • by Pope ( 17780 )
    I remember about a year and a half ago when Motorola confidently predicted that there would be 1GHz PPCs by the end of 1999
    Yeah, I was a little disappointed with Moto's batch of chips, especially that nast "errata" which resulted in the G4 being bumped down by 50MHz to fulfill demand.
    Since the introduction of the 601, the PPC has been met or beaten each developmental timeline. This past year, it kinda stalled.
    Don't forget Joe PeeCee doesn't know the difference between a G4 and a P3; the P3 has higher clockspeed so therefore "it must be better."
    However, Moto is discussing a new 780MHz "G4+" according to The Register [theregister.co.uk]. It was originally annouced last month. I can't wait to get my mitts on one of those!

  • Lot's of motherboards out now. I got mine here [bigfootcomputers.com], and they did a great job with everything. But anywhere you look, on the web, should have them.

    Generally, the MicroStar, the Fester (from AMD), and the ASUS are considered pretty decent. Main problem with the ASUS is that it isn't supported very well (the American webpage has NOTHING on it about the K7M, only the Taiwan page [asus.com.tw] has info on it). I have heard that the FIC board (SD-11) was just a prototype board that was pushed into production because AMD needed the boards.

    As for finding the boards, I haven't had a problem.
  • > I remember reading a guide for how to build a low cost linux system years ago. The advice was to decide how much power you needed, then how much you are willing to pay. Stage 2 is to wait.

    I agree. I just built a dual Celeron 550 system for $260 ! (I'm a game developer and the extra cpu will be VERY welcome for compiling.)

    2 x $35 Celeron 366
    2 x $30 Alpha-7 Heatsink/Fan
    1 x $130 ABIT BP-6

    3D card are another great way to prevent your system from coming obsolete in 6 months. My Voodoo2 really extended the life of my old PPro200. Unreal, and Half-life played just fine. It wasn't until I started playing Thief last month, that the system was starting to chug in some of the larger levels.

  • Look at it another way... In the Intel system all CPU's share the 100/133Mhz system bus. In the EV6 Athlon system all CPU's get their own 200/266 (currently) connection to the system bus. Which is better? That is VERY obvious!!!

    Well maybe not as obvious as you think given that the memory subsystem's also running on the same clock (or 1/2 of it) and is probably the bottle-neck. The solution - the ability to support bigger/wider/more concurrent memory subsystems

    On Slot1 the memory transactions on the shared bus are snooped by all CPUs when the original transaction is launched, while on a P-P bus like SlotA I'd guess that snoops must be forwarded to the other bus before snooping can occur (on the other hand this can happen in parallel with the memory access so that's probably not a big deal).

    The big problem with EV6 is that with a P-P bus the number of pins on memory controllers goes up linearly with the number of CPUs in an SMP system - there's a DEC paper somewhere on their web site showing how they get around this by making bit-slice datapath chips - but that's going to cost

    SlotA still seems to get a 2x transfer rate over and above Slot1 and probably has slightly lower latencies (still largely governed by dram access times).

  • Interesting indeed.
    I hope they produce a 500MHz K6 III so that I can use it on my motherboard...

    Now if they'd only release a dual Athlon motherboard.
    ... but I know that's no use to the people who play MS Flightsim.


    Give me a good book and I'll learn multithreading!!!!!!
  • 750/1024 = 0.732 Ghz not .75
    Gotta remember that 2^10 stuff :)
  • Ahhh, sorry about that guys. Too much english and too little math makes Mark go crazy... Too much english and too little math makes Mark go crazy... Too much english and too little math makes Mark go crazy... (Think Homer Simpson with no beer and no TV)
  • From what i have seen, the K6-3 has the same problem the G4 does. When it hits 500 MHz, the onboard cache goes crazy.
  • Commencing "bowing down in respect" manouevre on my mark...Mark!
  • on the nVidia/3Dfx thing.

    The chips used in Voodoo4/Voodoo5 are not old chips. They are new fully 32bit colordepth chips. Voodoo3 was the last of the Voodoos based on the old SST1 technology (which does indeed date back to the Voodoo1) AFAIK.

    As for the "blurry lines", antialiasing is a major component of image quality. Making an argument on the correct tradeoff for fillrate and polyrate is a subtle thing. GeForce may have the next generation of Voodoos beat for poly rate (I don't have my GeForce, and you can't believe the numbers any of these companies put out; you have to do your own real-world benchmarks), but Voodoo4/5 are clearly ahead in fill rate.

    That, to my mind, puts things up in the air as to which will be the better card in the end. Remember, this depends heavily on the kind of things programmers can figure out to do with the technologies available on the board. Not enough programmers are even using the dual texturing currently available on TNTs and Voodoo2+s


    I guess I just get tired of the automatic siding with the perceived underdogs. Intel had (but seems to have lost) control of the PC chip market, I fully agree. And things are better pricewise and performancewise than they were three years ago, in terms of relative bang for buck (taking into account the predictable scaling in processor speeds).

    But I'm not aware that 3Dfx ever had anything resembling a monopoly in the accelerator market. They made the best high-end boards for a long time, and that dominance may now be up in the air. But I'm not aware they ever screwed customers. The 3D market has always been a favorite example of mine of the power of competition -- a lot of companies seeking to one-up the other on a fairly even playing field. And so far the consumer has been the winner.
  • He concluded that while the reduced L2 cache speed DOES affect some things, clock rate is way more important. This suprised me, the L2 cache speed reduction affected it very minimally.

    Well, this is probably because the Athlons have a rather hefty 128KB of L1 cache...so for most apps your data can easily be held in the L1 (after all, a Celeron has an 128KB L2). Therefore most of the time you're not even going to be needing to access the L2, so the increase in L2 latency won't show up too much.

    If the 750MHz Athlon was benchmarked on some server or maybe scientific code (which tends to make more use of the higher-level caches, due to the apps' larger data sets) then we'd probably see a bigger performance hit. The desktop-oriented benchmarks in the Anandtech review, however, don't stress the caches that much.
  • They imply that the speed advantage has something to do with clock-rate, and of course, it has nothing to do with that

    Well, it does have *some* to do with it...though the Athlon is simply a better design which accounts for more of the performance increase.

    The thing is, for the average Joe (and apparently the author of the article), clock rate == performance. Now, this isn't strictly true, as we know, but since AMD has to sell to Joe it has to play the MHz game by one-upping Intel's clock rates. Which is why the 750 MHz speed is important - psychologically as well as for performance.
  • It's been tested and retested so many times. Even at 66MHz, the memory bandwidth is morethen enough to keep the CPU working at full speed.
  • Where did you get that information from? You should read some info about it (and I don't mean Intel's marketing stuff). While RDRAM has double the bandwidth of the PC100 SDRAM, it also has a higher latency. Furthermore, the bandwidth of even 66MHz SDRAM is more then enough for 99% of applications. (Yes, even 3d games, which transfer very large amounts of data in memory). Because of that, applications are much more affected by the memory latency, and higher latency will slow them down.
    So, the benefit of higher bandwidth of RAMBUS is offset by the higher latency resulting, in many cases, in lower performance. Anyhow, it is certainly *not* worth 5 times the price of SDRAM.

    Where you *do* need high memory bandwidth (and the benefit of SDRAM starts to show), is in high-end SMP systems (like large databases). (Since you have more CPUs, you also need more memory bandwidth to keep them busy). Too bad the maximum amount of RDRAM you can put in a box is 512Mb. So much for high-end.

  • We don't "finally" have competition. AMD has been a competition for Intel for a while now. Unless you want a knock-down dead gaming system, AMD has been a resaonable choice. My previous box was a K6, and it was just as good as any of the P-IIs of the time for my purposes, and a lot cheaper.

    Maybe "we finally have competition on near equal footing" would be better, but that's just symantics.

    And I wouldn't be too surprised in the case that if AMD completely wins over Intel (not that likely in the near future, but let's pretend it happens) that they won't be any better than Intel was when they were the clear industry sector leader.

    So, the current state of two companies vying for the same position is nice for consumers. Hopefully, they'll both be able to continue for a while longer, and better+cheaper technology can reach the consumer in a nicer amount of time. Someone else noted that both Intel and AMD are trying to push their scedules forward on raw speed, not that it's that useful to J. Random Consumer at this point, but it's a nice step forward to be able to puch scedules ahead of time and get working chips rather than excrutiatingly long delays and/or bug-ridden chips.

    Here's to progress.

  • but, you cant get more then 450mhz, now can you?

    I'd really like a 10Ghz Athlon, but it just aint gonna happen
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • that's just because the original computer geeks had some strange facination with powers of two.

    Binary is set in powers of two (on, off) and hard drives are measured in binary capacity! It's not some obsession, it's how the damn things actually work. Binary is the very basis of this entire technology.

  • AMD does have a winner in its Athlon series. Its performance even outweighs setups that utilize dual Pentiums. It even gives the Motorola/IBM G4 a run for the money. According to Barefeats.com, the Athlon holds its own well against a 400 MHz G4 Macintosh (Yosemite motherboard) and a dual-600 MHz PIII WinNT machine.

    Bare Feats comparison of Athlon, Dual PIIIs, and G4 [barefeats.com]

    Linux user: if (nt == unstable) { switchTo.linux() }
  • heh heh, have you actually looked at the sticker price for those babies? OUCH! Sure, they're awesome machines, and if I could afford one, I would grab one in a second. But, sadly, I'm not rich. Neither are most other consumers who buy this stuff. So, we all must stick with x86 for the price. There's more software available for it, anyways.
  • infact, its about 10 - 15x as much :)
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • The 450 K6-3. On-die cache rules! However, because of that great cache, yield is low, so prices are still high. In fact, K6-3s with braindead cache are a big source of K6-2s. In the spring, two factors will change this:

    1. .18 micron process for the K6 line. Yield is better, prices drop

    2. Compartmentalized caches. If one half the cache has flaws, they can keep the other 128KB of cache and sell it like that, for a reduced price. This will be done for Athlons, too.
  • you don't need a book on multithreading, I used some in a simple sample program I wrote make a function in the format

    UINT functionName(LPVOID pParam)

    then call AfxBeginThread (functionName,&pParam);

    pParam is the paramiter you can pass. If you want you can make it a pointer to a class, and call a 'run' function or similar (its not quite as simple as Java, where you interface runnable, then make a new Thread instance, and start it but its close). Look up the help on AfxBeginThread (Its in afxwin.h)

    I don't know how to do it in linux, I think it involves the 'fork()' function, or somthing. but you were talking about MS-flight sim, so I guess you're a windows user
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • those SPEC95 numbers you wanted to see:


    Alpha 21264A____700MHz__39.1____68.1
    Pentium III_____733MHz__31.5____18.0

    As an aside, why doesn't Slashdot allow TABLE tags in comments?! It would make the above chart much easier to write/read.
  • As an aside, why doesn't Slashdot allow TABLE tags in comments?! It would make the above chart much easier to write/read.

    I hear what you're saying, but 99% of Slashdot comments wouldn't require them. Also, its totally feasible that people would start messing up the page formatting, like I used to do with The Mirror forum till it broke. There are several options here ... one is to post very early on, with the TABLE tag, and later on, with the /TABLE, or to do millions of nested tables. Also, it makes their CGI script more complicated, cos then it would have to recognise TR and TDs. And tables take ages to load in Netscape.

    The Mirror forum was great, because it didn't do ANY filtering at all, just whacked things in a PRE tag. So, it was trivial to redirect it to other rival newspaper pages, mess up the frames, etc. Also, changing the font face to Wingdings, by posting a /FONT, waiting and then posting a FONT FACE=BLAH a while later (new comments appeared at the top of the page). Once someone posted a marquee tag, which didn't display properly on some people's screens, and there were panicky comments about "is this a virus?"! One thing I never tried was to see if it would execute SSIs, now that might have been fun :-) Btw, we gave them a sporting chance by e-mailing them telling them of the risks, but they never replied. Oh well!

  • That's right... who needs 64-bit RAM running at 133 MHz when you can have 8-bit RAMBUS RAM running at 800 MHz! It MUST be faster, right???

    - A.P.

    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • I heard that AMD might break even this quarter, which hopefully will give the motherboard manufactuers some courage. I'm hoping that the EU does boycott the P3, so that AMD gains a major foothold in Europe (that is, if cheap celerons don't flood the market).

    Then there's the KX133. VIA advertised an early November release date both before and after the earthquake. However, all the Comdex articles point to a January 2000 release of KX133 motherboards.

    Not to mention the fact that nobody is advertising SMP KX133 boards, not even the Mighty Tyan, who showcased the Dolphins 2 board at Comdex which featured only one measlely CPU slot.... and this from a company renown for their dual processor high end boards. It's almost as if people *want* the upcomming Athlon Ultra to fail... I mean come on, who in thier right mind would buy a crappy old Xeon with 2 megs of cache for $2k + when you can have an Ultra with much better FPU architecture and *8* megs of cache at a lower cost?

    It looks like people are out to screw AMD, but I will support them, and I'm happy that they didn't lose money this quarter, and I hope they clean up next quarter, and sell a ton of Athlons in Europe & the U.S.

    I for one would buy AMD even if it were inferior *which it isn't* because I do_not_want a CPU with some nefarious embeded ID # broadcasting across the internet for whatever reason, and you shouldn't either.

  • I'm actually a Linux user, but thanks for the info anyway.

    The point I was making about MS flightsim is that people who play games need the fastest machines available, and most games are for Win9x, which is single-threaded, so the market is obviously for faster single-processor machines. That's why people will pay way over the odds for a 600MHz processor, when two 400's at a fraction of the price would give better performace on properly optimised code.

    I really must learn multi-threaded coding.
  • Win9x, which is single-threaded

    No. win9x == win32 == multi-threaded.

    Done it myself!

  • ...by then Alphas will have risen, with the £100m advertising campaign that Compaq are going to do for it!

    Wishful thinking or a genuine rumour?


  • "AFAIK there are no > 700 Mhz CPUs available in the UK, so I can't get one for the moment, but when they do come out, will there be a practical use for them?"
    HAH!!! Am I the only one to see in that statement why we (America) are the best and greatest country in the world? Can you imagine someone asking five years from now (hell, TWO years from now) whether there is a "practical use" for a CPU over 700Mhz???!! In America, we live by and proceed with the unspoken ethos that more speed and more capability are ALWAYS better. We don't question it. Carnegie used that approach to dominate the steel industry till he sold out for almost $500 million in 1901. His counterparts in England were babying their steel ovens to make them "last longer." They were simply taking much, much longer to produce the same amount of steel from each oven! Man, am I glad my ancestors left whatever pathetic, socialist country in Europe they left, and came to America. Moderator: OK...I know it's off-topic, but I couldn't resist the opportunity. "Can" the whole message if you must.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes