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AMD Launches First 45nm Shanghai CPUs

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the steady-progress dept.

AMD 264

arcticstoat writes "The wait for AMD's next-gen CPUs is finally over, as the company has now officially launched its first 45nm 'Shanghai' Opteron chips for servers and workstations. 'AMD's move to a 45nm process relies on immersion lithography, where a refractive fluid fills the gap between the lens and the wafer, which AMD says will result in 'dramatic performance and performance-per-watt gains.' It's also enabled AMD to increase the maximum clock speed of the Opterons from 2.3GHz with the Barcelona core to 2.7GHz with the Shanghai core. Shanghai chips also feature more cache than their predecessors, with 6MB of Level 3 cache bumping the total up to 8MB, and the chips share the same cache architecture as Barcelona CPUs, with a shared pool of Level 3 cache and an individual allocation of Level 2 cache for each core.'"

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Which to buy now? (2, Interesting)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 5 years ago | (#25746801)

Does this mean that AMD chips are now competitive on price-performance with Intel's? I mean for a fairly high-end desktop or server; obviously different considerations apply in the embedded or netbook market.

Re:Which to buy now? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25746865)

Depends on what you were doing, we need both heaps of memory bandwidth and good floating point so Intel wasn't competitive with AMD (though this might change now Intel have released Nehalem, aka iCore7).

But Barcelona's TLB bug certainly blotted their copybook with us. :-(

Re:Which to buy now? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25746907)

This news is about a server/workstation chip, and I don't do any purchasing of those. As far as desktop chips are concerned, AMD was ALWAYS competitive on a price-performance basis. The key word there being price.

Re:Which to buy now? (4, Informative)

blair1q (305137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748729)

No, they weren't. For the past year Intel has boxed AMD in with chips at the same performance and lower price, or the same price and higher performance, or both.

And Intel has had performance segments (QX*) stretching well above AMD's, and pricing segments (Atom) well below AMD's.

AMD's short-lived price/performance superiority in the desktop sweet-spot in 2004 and 2005 has left many people thinking they're still in that position. That hasn't been true since Core 2 came out. HyperTransport gave them a slight edge in very-high-end servers for certain applications, but Intel stayed near them with reliably higher clock speeds, and is coming out with QuickPath in four days, wiping out those few use cases where AMD can make easy sales today.

What I'm saying is, right now you are likely to choose Intel in almost all situations, if you are objective.

Re:Which to buy now? (4, Informative)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 5 years ago | (#25746963)

According to Anandtech's review, it's highly competitive for database servers. http://it.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=3456 [anandtech.com]

This bodes well for the company (5, Interesting)

default luser (529332) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747559)

Just an off-the-cuff calculation on my part shows power consumption dropped over %50 over Barcelona, clock-for-clock.

This is good news, because when AMD moved from 90nm to 65nm, their leakage was so bad that the power consumption only dropped around %10 clock-for-clock. Combine this with better cache architecture (larger, and faster), and AMD may have a winner in the server space.

I'm not sure if they're going to take back the desktop anytime soon. Intel doesn't have the FBDIMM downside on desktop systems, and I'm fairly sure that Shanghai didn't add major microarchitecure changes, so a quad-core Core2, let alone an i7, should continue to dominate the desktop.

However, it is nice to know that the market once again will have a choice in processors. AMD's 65nm offerings were spanked in terms of performance and power consumption by Intel's lineup, but Shanghai will at least compete on the power front, if not the performance front. We shall see what happens when AMD releases their desktop version.

Re:This bodes well for the company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25748219)

there is no competition. AMD ruleeeeeeeezzzz!!!!

Oh please. (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747011)

The two companies take turns one-upping each other for the bleeding edge, but every time (10 years running) I've specced out a mid-range (home gamer, single CPU motherboard) to low-end (grandma's email/photo machine) machine, AMD's been the way to go. It's a lot like trying to decide which company's video boards to pick if you're trying to make a game machine without breaking the bank.

Some people are Intel partisans, some people AMD partisans. Benching them and looking at spec, I've consistently found that AMD's got faster chips (for the same $) up to the "sweet spot" in the curve where price starts shooting upwards during the times I've been buying, but I also know there were times I was not in the market when Intel had done a price cut and AMD hadn't caught up.

I'm not going to call someone an idiot for their CPU choice, as it's a long-term purchase decision that has to be balanced with other factors (motherboard choice, RAM, video board, power concerns, cooling solution, etc) anyways. In fact, I recommend consumers try to stay OFF the "bleeding edge" because they're basically throwing money away on it; even if you buy the latest, hottest chip right from the factory it's obsolete by the time you get it home. Your best bet is looking at the curve, because there's always a spot (usually between $150 and $250) where the price starts to jump up exponentially for only an incrementally "faster" product. Buy at the spot beyond which the relationship between price and performance fails to be linear and you'll turn out pretty happy.

Re:Oh please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25747187)

Mod parent up.

Re:Oh please. (4, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747269)

Since the C2D arrived, I've been going with Intel. I usually don't overclock, but the C2D handles it so well with such little effort that I based my purchase of a $200 ~2.2 GHz chip on that alone. With the addition of a $30 heatsink I had it at 3.4 GHz with temperatures under 60 C at load (below the temperature seen at stock speed with the stock cooler, implying good longevity), back when there were no 3.4 GHz Duos and the closest thing cost about $1000. I have several friends who had never OCed before who did the same thing, all ending up with 2.8-3.6 GHz chips that all are still working perfectly and speedily ~1.5 years later.

Re:Oh please. (2, Interesting)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747545)

Starting with some of GP's requirements (game-capable PC but at a reasonable price) and wanting to use ECC RAM for reliability I ended up buying an AMD last year. It is an AMD Athlon64 X2 EE 4600, a dual core with 2x2.4 GHz, not overclocked. In practice, this machine is fast enough, especially considering that I don't run the very latest games.
The deciding factor in terms of Intel vs. AMD was that ECC capable mainboards for Intel are expensive. The cheapest C2D would have been not much more expensive than the Athlon (and a tad faster), but on the mainboard side the difference was 100 Euros or more.

Re:Oh please. (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748775)

Err.... does ECC ram actually help with reliability, or does it merely ensure that errors get detected ?

Perhaps I'm a bit of a purist, but if ECC Ram is actually self-correcting, I would worry about how/why it got corrupted in the first place. I find it much cheaper and easier to buy good quality non-ECC Ram instead.

Re:Oh please. (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748563)

I bought an E4500, expecting I could overclock it a bit. But I put the machine together, and honestly I don't know why I'd even bother. It's plenty fast enough for anything I do. At some point you reach diminishing returns, and honestly I don't care if a task finishes in 3 seconds instead of 2. Do you really see a difference between 2ghz and 3ghz for anything other than encoding video?

Re:Oh please. (3, Funny)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748821)

Do you really see a difference between 2ghz and 3ghz for anything other than encoding video?

Yes, it gives you more headroom for when your PC is bogged down with spyware and viruses!

Re:Oh please. (1)

0xygen (595606) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748757)

I have had a very similar experience - always being an AMD fan prior to this build (AthlonXP Barton was the last one) and now have a C2D E6750 which is getting a bit long in the tooth.

In my experience, I got fast DDR2 1066 RAM, lowered the FSB:CPU ratio, pushed the core voltage up to 1.4V and put the clock speed up to give about a 3.4 GHz clock speed, from the stock 2.6 GHz.
Everything still runs happily like this, even on the stock cooler.

I even can feel the difference in Far Cry 2 with all the physics set to Very High.

Re:Oh please. (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747393)

I tend to agree. The honest truth is that and AMD 780G motherboard and one of the low power X2s makes a great system for most users. If you want to play games throw on a 3870 or if you really need it a 4850.
I just built a system for my wife with an ASUS 780G motherboard, X2 and 4 Gigs of ram. Total cost was under $200 and it runs very well.
If you not into high end gaming then AMD seems like a great choice.
I can hardly wait for 45nm AMD desktop CPUs to start showing up. I really want one.

Re:Oh please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25747981)

Mid and high-class gaming rigs have been Core 2 Duo only for a year now.

Admittedly, I still recommend sticking on the Athlon 64 X2 5000+ 65w if you want decent non-gaming power on the cheap, though.

Re:Oh please. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748193)

My Athlon 4200 X2 plays world in conflict and FSX just fine since I added a 3870. I would say that an X2 5000 will do just fine for a mid level gaming rig with an good video card.

Re:Oh please. (2, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747453)

The two companies take turns one-upping each other for the bleeding edge, but every time (10 years running) I've specced out a mid-range (home gamer, single CPU motherboard) to low-end (grandma's email/photo machine) machine, AMD's been the way to go. It's a lot like trying to decide which company's video boards to pick if you're trying to make a game machine without breaking the bank.

I have to agree. When the Quad cores shipped, I tested them and I compared the speed per dollar. AMD was half price for performance. If you understand that a decent graphics card, and having a nice power supply to run the show, then you are ahead of the game.

Value is what I look for when I buy things, not bleeding edge performance. Because money isn't a factor I could easily spend to get the best available but I have too much remorse wasting an extra thousand bucks on a slight increase. It's not worthwhile to me, considering the frame rates in games I get on my AMD system are good enough for 25man raiding in WoW, or world pvp.

Re:Oh please. (-1, Troll)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747599)

The two companies take turns one-upping each other for the bleeding edge, but every time (10 years running) I've specced out a mid-range (home gamer, single CPU motherboard) to low-end (grandma's email/photo machine) machine, AMD's been the way to go. It's a lot like trying to decide which company's video boards to pick if you're trying to make a game machine without breaking the bank.

Sadly, an AMD CPU frequently means having to deal with bug-ridden and compatibility-challenged motherboard chipsets, which can very quickly make up for any small $$$-savings in frustration.

Re:Oh please. (2, Informative)

daedae (1089329) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747725)

Frequently?

Do you have any actual backup for that? The last three desktops I've owned have all had AMD processors, and the only thing that's gone bad on any of them was the AGP slot went bad on one of the mobos after about 5 years.

Re:Oh please. (2, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748289)

No he doesn't have any data to back that up. Well, not unless he is going back to the K6-2 and K6-3 days. I have used and supported many AMD system and only had 3 of them with problems with chipsets. Actually, this problems weren't even the chipsets, they were with cheap board manufacturers who used counterfeit parts and got a load of bad resisters. The ECS K7S5A had a short run on that.

Of course he might be referring to the older VIA chips that allowed the user to select optional components during the driver installs for windows 98 and early 2000 versions of the drivers but the problems there was with the USER not picking the correct options. I don't consider that as a bug in the chip either, that was back when people were expected to know what they were doing when mucking around with system drivers.

If you want to talk about buggy, I just put a Quad core pentuim system together. The store didn't have the mainboard I wanted so I settled for a paired down version of it. It said it supported my chip right on the box. After 3 days of blue screens, swapping memory out, and other problems, I found some bad reviews for the board online that said I needed a certain Bios Update before it would work with the quad core intels. Sure enough, there was a bios update at intel's site (the board shipped with a bios about 5 revisions out). I downloaded it and wouldn't you know it, the bios itself wouldn't fit onto a floppy (1.5 meg). SO I burnt a CD but the floppy boot disk couldn't find the SATA cdrom. So I spent the next day or so attempting to make a bootable CD with this bios update on it. No go with the freeware utilities and I ended up having to format the hardrive in Fat32 and copying the bios file there just to flash the bios. The techs and the shop I got the board from asked why I didn't just use the windows version of the bios updat and couldn't understand that if windows wouldn't stay running long enough to download it or even open the CDROM to run it, it probably wouldn't be wise to attempt to flash the bios from the OS in this state if I somehow did manage to get it on the machine. Anyways, 5 days to get something running that should have taken 45 minutes to 2 hours altogether. And yes, this was my fault because I didn't scope the board out before I decided to use it and I didn't know how to make a bootable CD that I could add files to. It wasn't the chipset's fault but I'm sure someone could somehow blame it if they wanted to. That's what some of the reviews were saying. Human error is often redirected to things or objects which is probably what the gp was doing.

Re:Oh please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25748413)

Quick look at newegg shows comparable mb prices for either LGA775 OR AM2+/AM2 boards.

CPU prices are roughly comparable given the higher overall performance/clock of Core 2 based CPUs.

Core 2 FTW for me ATM, as I don't consider power use at all, and that's ALL that AMD has going for it ATM.

Although that said I'd wait until next year when Intel's new CPUs are out with integrated memory controller (forget what they call it), should pretty much put the final nail in the AMD actual performance coffin truly leaving them with only power consumption advantage if even that any longer.

As to mobile processors: AMD may as well just stay home. Their performance is horrible, and their power usage isn't enough better than the P & T Intel series, leaving only slightly cheaper cost a factor. Hell, even rpe-built notebooks with a decent GPU are within a few dollars of each other, but not worth it overall as back to the first point AMD's mobile CPUs are just not good enough(never were actually even when they had a clear desktop performance AND power advantage over Intel their mobile CPUs were pretty crappy).

Add into this equation that AMD bought ATI, and while their synthetic benchmarks look good, their game FPS look terrible, although I strongly suspect bad drivers from the performance disparity shown as nVidia cards don't do nearly as well in the synthetic benchmarks, but kill equivalent ATIs in price/game performance, although some of the 3rd party ATI purveyors seem to have some awesome stock coolers, e.g. IIRC the ASUS 4850 with their heatpipe heatsink/fan combo idles the 4850 c. 35C while running somewhere in the 50sC at load which is pretty damned good for a recent highish end card, too bad that they can't write drivers to really run their hw though... and we won't even talk about their mb chipsets...

Future proofing? (1)

leandrod (17766) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747789)

Perhaps the rationale behind buying nearer the bleeding edge than your sweet spot is not having to replace as often?

Re:Future proofing? (5, Funny)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747997)

Or you can put the $500 you saved on the stock market, and by the time you need to upgrade you can use the money you saved, along with any capital gains and dividends to buy, um, a packet of waffles.

Re:Future proofing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25748107)

Perhaps the rationale behind buying nearer the bleeding edge than your sweet spot is not having to replace as often?

Yes, but this needs to be balanced against the money you saved from buying closer to the sweet spot meaning you have more money to replace sooner (if you actually need to).

I've been building systems for ~15 years and I've always found that buying 1-3 notches below the "top of the line" usually gives a very reasonable bang for your buck.

The sweet-spot is definitely there, its just a matter of exploiting it.

Re:Future proofing? (5, Funny)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748365)

If you're buying "bleeding edge" you're not going to be satisfied with your purchase 2-3 years from now (about my replacement cycle for my personal box, and even then a lot of my components like hard drive / sound card / DVD drive tend to last through 3-4 iterations), unless your tastes suddenly radically change and you're no longer interested in the "bleeding edge" games you were trying to run.

Plus, consider the following two options:

#1 - "Bleeding edge" rig. Blow $900 on processor, $1200 on dual video boards, $400 on RAM, $800 or so on miscellaneous other components. Total system cost around $3000.

#2 - "Decent Gaming" rig, single $300 video board, $200 processor, etc. Total cost: $900 if you really push your luck.

I'll take my $2000, buy more games, take girlfriend to dinner, stick some in a rainy-day fund, etc. One of these years you need to run the numbers and then you'll figure out that the "savings" you claim are there from buying at bleeding edge aren't really there at all. Even if I spend $900 every 2 years upgrading my PC, it takes me 5-6 years to equal the cost of your rig, and I guarantee you're going to turn around and want to rebuild to get back to the bleeding edge because you'll be "disappointed" that your 2-3 year old "bleeding edge" machine is only getting 15 fps in the timedemo mode of CallOfUnrealCrysisDoomQuakeTournament 3: Yet Another Non-Scaling Tech Demo Masquerading As A Game.

Re:Future proofing? (1)

leandrod (17766) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748523)

If you're buying "bleeding edge" you're not going to be satisfied with your purchase 2-3 years from now

Speak for yourself. I tend to stay with stuff until it breaks.

Besides, I never said I am buying bleeding edge. I merely suggested buying nearer it than the original poster's sweet spot.

unless your tastes suddenly radically change and you're no longer interested in the "bleeding edge" games you were trying to run.

I run no games.

Re:Future proofing? (1)

0xygen (595606) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748815)

Agreed - even if you buy "sweet spot" rigs twice as often as the bleeding edge guy, on average over the time involved you will have a better gaming experience.

"Bleeding edge" guy is essentially paying for the R&D which makes our 2nd generation cards, motherboards and processors cheaper and less power hungry.

Re:Future proofing? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748439)

It depends on where the sweet spot is and what else is going on.

I have found that if the sweet spot in capable of providing solutions at the time of the build, then it is still capable 5 years down the road. Vista being the exception of course. Even if your gaming, you will find that it is still fast enough although you want something faster. I just retired some Athlon XP 2100 machines last month which had nothing wrong with them, they were just 5 or 6 years old and when parts started failing, we decided to replace the entire bunch. I expect this latest batch which is in the sweet spot too, to be usable for another 4-5 years before component failure gets us replacing them again. Most companies I know of try to work 3-4 years replacement cycles on the same principle. But I know a few still sporting Novel netware 3x servers on 486 machines and a few sub 1 gig workstations running specialty programs on win95 and win98.

Re:Future proofing? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748503)

And what's so bad about replacing often? If, at the end of ten years, you end up having had more total cycles available AND having spent less money, AND have the additional reliability factor of not holding on to equipment for very long after it's no longer under warranty, what's so bad about that?

Re:Which to buy now? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25747023)

Ed...A fairly high-end desktop isn't anything close to comparable to a high-end server. AMD's have been superior for building high-end servers for some time now, thanks to bandwidth considerations.

Re:Which to buy now? (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747149)

Does this mean that AMD chips are now competitive on price-performance with Intel's? I mean for a fairly high-end desktop or server; obviously different considerations apply in the embedded or netbook market.

What apps are you running? Do your apps take advantage of multiple cores (regardless of the speed) or risk pushing 17.6GB/sec of memory bandwidth? Then go for the new AMD or Intel CPU, as they are both stupid fast. If not, then you might be better served with a previous gen CPU at a much lower price.

I mean, really, we are talking about very small differences in speed at this point, right? Would the average person actually be able to detect the difference? I am all for ever faster processors, as it allows us to run ever more complex software, but I don't think either processor is a loser, so you would be good to go with either one.

Add in good quality components to match like SATA/300 drives and loads of memory to actually realize all of that speed.

Re:Which to buy now? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25747167)

pick up an intel q6600

They are cheap, feature filled and perform way better than anything AMD has on teh market all for 95 Watts.

Re:Which to buy now? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25747295)

I would go with AMD for servers because of the lower power/heat for the complete system. FB DIMM's run hot as to Intels southbridges, not to mention Intel understating how much heat their CPU's will generate compared to AMD. Plus, if you go multi CPU, AMD has the more mature way of handling it efficiently.

Hey, Libertarians! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25747299)

Guess what? Our government is itself a product of the market system. Cities like New York, London, and San Francisco are successful precisely *because* of their enormous governments--they compete for capital, talent, and prestige against cities with small, ineffectual governments that are unable to effectively lure and corral said capital, talent, and prestige. And as goes the city, so go city-states and nations: Somalia, being a libertarian paradise, is a rather unpleasant place to live for non-ideologues. Somalians, those who can, vote with their feet and leave.

Now go suckle Ayn Rand's rotten tits some more and leave the rest of us alone, you stupid fucking Paultards.

Re:Hey, Libertarians! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25747561)

Somalia doesn't have strong property rights or equal treatment before the law. But if you've ever dealt with a government beaurocrat, you'd realize how stupid your argument is.

Re:Hey, Libertarians! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25748237)

YHBT. YHL. HAND.

Re:Which to buy now? (3, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747451)

It is always best to do your research when buying a new chip so you don't get shanghaied.

Re:Which to buy now? (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747623)

Actually, AMD CPUs already are competitive on performance/price with Intel's CPUs. Do you know how much those Core 2 Duos cost compared to AMD Athlons?

Re:Which to buy now? (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748035)

AMD is still doing OK on price to performance, but what I think is hurting them is that the margins are not the same, because CPU's as a whole are just so cheap now. I remember back when an ENTRY LEVEL off-brand chip like a Cyrix (or, AMD) cost $150. "Intel Inside" cost $350 or more starting out. We'll call that a 50% ratio. The AMD (and certainly not the Cyrix) chips were not quite as fast as their Intel competition, but to a high school student who was making $50 per week part time, I certainly didn't mind that small gap in performance.

Now today, the ratio has changed. AMD still beats Intel in price to performance, but not by the same ratios, and the margins are much different. If a $40 AMD chip is slightly slower than a $65 Intel chip, then that's great, but the difference is only $25. A lot of people are going to be pretty quick to drop the couple of extra $$ for the Intel chip. Particularly now that I've noticed that, quite often, when you go over to the motherboards, Intel compatible motherboards are often coming in just a bit cheaper than AMD motherboards.

Now personally, when I can, I still buy AMD at least 50% of the time, but the only reason I do that is because I remember the days when Intel's competition wasn't as tough, and I remember those days of $350 chips from them. I only support their competitors to ensure that that situation doesn't repeat itself. For people without such a goal though, Intel is certainly tempting.

Unfortunate name (4, Funny)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25746841)

"AMD Shanghai [wikipedia.org] -- the perfect CPU for your newly-acquired botnet!"

Re:Unfortunate name (1)

Loibisch (964797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25746917)

Intel Nehalem [wikipedia.org] , the "perfect CPU for your native american tribe."?

Don't read too much sense into it...

Re:Unfortunate name (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#25746979)

I still find it funny that Apple computers now use intel Core 2 Duo processors.

Re:Unfortunate name (2, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747059)

Shh. Remember apple runs "fast" and is "glorious for multimedia!" somehow we skipped Linux and AMD, but hey, want to pay 2x as much for half the performance?

Re:Unfortunate name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25747989)

ahem.... Woooooooosh!

Re:Unfortunate name (1)

raddan (519638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748395)

You seem to have forgotten that software matters too. CoreGraphics [apple.com] is both extremely fast and easy to use.

AMD needs more advances... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25746867)

They need to push for smaller fabrication.. intel released 45nm a while back..

Re:AMD needs more advances... (1)

MikeDirnt69 (1105185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747227)

That's why girls prefer AMD.

Please tell me AMD is not betting it all on shrink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25746877)

If AMD is betting the company on an improved production process, they've already lost. More of the same hasn't even worked for Intel, but unlike Intel, AMD will not be able to bounce back from that mistake.

Please tell me AMD is not betting it all on SIMD. (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747061)

"If AMD is betting the company on an improved production process..."

They're not. There's a reason they bought ATI and it's not just because they want to get into the graphics business.

Re:Please tell me AMD is not betting it all on SIM (1)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748047)

and that reason would be?

oh, i know, to bleed money ferociously and take your company bottom line so low that it nearly killed it!!!!!

oh and now you can spin off parts of it (and hope to sell them to someone) so you can at least try to remain viable?

AMD has been so poorly run over the last 4 years it's just plain sad.

HOPEFULLY, they can get their shit together and remain viable, but this new chip isnt going to do it for the most part.
there just isnt going to be enough call for it wit the way spending on IT is slowing and the fact that except for the very top end, most servers out there are under utilized to begin with.

Re:Please tell me AMD is not betting it all on shr (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747235)

If by "more of the same" you mean better, cheaper and less power hungry CPUs, well, I guess that could work for AMD.

Re:Please tell me AMD is not betting it all on shr (2, Insightful)

chrb (1083577) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747537)

Of course it worked for Intel. Higher resolution lithography processes mean you can fit multiple cores in the same space as a single core from a decade ago. It means that the latency for critical paths is reduced, which means you can run the chips at a higher clockspeed. It means current consumed by transistor switching is reduced, so that chips can run at a lower power whilst maintaining or increasing throughput (thought interestingly leakage current increases as feature size shrinks).

Manufacturing process improvements are the number one driver of processor advances. It is obviously true that processor architecture changes, but mostly this is a response to new developments allowing more circuitry to fit in the same space. The latest Core processors have basically the same pipeline design as the original Pentium Pro. If you could go back and re-design the PP using our "new" architectural advances but older technology process, you would end up with a pretty similar design, since the process itself imposes such huge constraints on the architecture.

Congratulations! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25746879)

AMD is now only 1.5 years behind Intel!

Great job!

At this rate, by the 32nm node, they will be only 2 years behind Intel.

Re:Congratulations! (4, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747129)

If you're hinging your comments on the wafer size, you're blinded by Intel propaganda. Take a look at AMD's SPECjbb numbers, their cost per socket/core, and their threading for virtualization. Then perhaps you'll stop being an Intel shill.

Re:Congratulations! (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747771)

Not that I'm an Intel fanboy, but SPECmarks are hardly the first thing that come to mind when I think about "reliable unbiased metrics". In fact the term that usually comes to mind when people start quoting SPECmark numbers is "lie".

Re:Congratulations! (2, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747975)

You haven't examined SPECjbb, then, have you? It's a Java-based business transaction kit that seems to have quite a bit of both fairness and repeatability; it's not easily manipulated, like others I've seen. After running more than several thousand runs with it, I find it pretty reasonable in terms of systems performance comparison, rather than motherboard/subsystem/peripheral benchmarks-- which shed light only on one specific characteristic of a machine, or are operating systems-specific. Admittedly, it doesn't do things with GPUs, network I/O, and the like.

But to call it a lie is specious.

Re:Congratulations! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25748543)

Java based-business transaction quantifier, without network I/O? Not trying to be a troll, but how useful is that?

Re:Congratulations! (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748621)

I'm fairly certain he was referring to feature size (nm), where AMD is 1.5 years behind. He's undeniably correct there, your (correct) implication that AMD is still in the race on performance, price, and energy use is true but unrelated to his point.

Now, you may ask "so what, they've been ahead in manufacturing". And my answer would be to look at the financials. Smaller processes are cheaper, ergo AMD leaks money like a sieve - _that's_ "so what".

Clock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25747013)

"dramatically increase" ... 2.7GHz still a bit far from the 5GHz of the Power6 from IBM

Re:Clock (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25747581)

Comparing two CPUs based on clock speed alone is like comparing the speed of two cars by measuring only the RPMs of the tires. It won't get you anywhere ... you need to know the size of the tires as well!

Thus concludes my first /. car analogy. Thank you.

...and so? (1, Interesting)

tchernobog (752560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747037)

AMD says will result in 'dramatic performance and performance-per-watt gains.'

Okay, that's marketing talk. I think that at virtually *ANY* presentation of a new CPU in the last twenty years someone had said that.

Me, I just have a 6-yrs-old P4 laptop which, compared to nowadays new models w/ Core Duo, isn't much different.

This because there are other bottlenecks: hd speed, RAM, etc.

So, why upgrade, for a desktop user? Even for middle business servers, we live with two 8-yrs-old Sun machines which are more than adequate for keeping up all the services we need internally. We never have CPU spikes.

Sometimes I just wonder if all this isn't just a grab at customer pockets.

Re:...and so? (1)

robogun (466062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747379)

Me, I just have a 6-yrs-old P4 laptop which, compared to nowadays new models w/ Core Duo, isn't much different.

I once had a P4 laptop, replaced with a Centrino. I definitely do not miss the P4's howling fan & poor battery life, the Centrino (half of a Core Duo) runs much quieter and cooler.

Re:...and so? (1)

Pulzar (81031) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747387)

Me, I just have a 6-yrs-old P4 laptop which, compared to nowadays new models w/ Core Duo, isn't much different.
This because there are other bottlenecks: hd speed, RAM, etc.

A 6-year old P4 laptop is very different from a new one, in just about every way except for maybe hard-drives which only got marginally faster. The CPUs use less power, video cards (and even chipsets) have hardware video decoding for many hours of DVD watching on one battery, the RAM is tremendously faster than 6 years ago, screens are brighter... and, well, CPUs themselves are a lot more powerful allowing you to do many workstation-type tasks on a laptop.

So, sure, if you only use your laptop to check email, surf the web, and write documents, and you don't care for long battery life, a 6 year old laptop is fine. It's not a grab at consumer's pockets if you don't need it, as there's plenty of us who do need more out of our computers. Mind you, this article is about a new *server* chip, so...:

Even for middle business servers, we live with two 8-yrs-old Sun machines which are more than adequate for keeping up all the services we need internally. We never have CPU spikes.

Not every server is a "middle business" server. Large-scale database servers, high-load web servers, simulation machines, rendering, research, video editing... all of these need (1) as much computational power as possible, and (2) for as little electric power as possible.

Re:...and so? (1)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747405)

Sometimes I just wonder if all this isn't just a grab at customer pockets.

Never underestimate a person's desire for the shiniest, newest thing.

Like you, I am happy - for now - with my Athlon XP 1500+ CPU paired with an Nvidia 128MB eGForce Ti video card. Old school, yet it handled nearly flawlessly all but the last level in Portal. Most people don't need the power of the last two years worth of hardware improvements. But remove price as a factor (i.e., you have more than enough money) or add status, and why the hell not get something bad-ass?

I wonder what would happen to the overall CPU picture is suddenly everyone stopped biting at the bleeding edge tech and waited for the inevitable price drop? Perhaps Intel and AMD begging the govt for a bailout? That would be funny.

Re:...and so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25748093)

How did you get here, you little ungrateful clueless brat?

Get the fuck off my lawn!

(And oh, the reasons why: "128mb GeForce Ti card" - I know 5 different GeForce Ti cards off the top of my head, and video memory has nothing to do with performance. Also, "it can run every level in Portal" - when we're talking about server processors. Get a clue, grow up, get some real hardware, and then return.)

Re:...and so? (1)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748497)

I believe I was responding to a commenter who was talking about a P4 laptop. Not server-related. You are an idiot.

Re:...and so? (0)

des09 (263929) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748527)

Get off MY lawn, coward.

Re:...and so? (4, Interesting)

pinkocommie (696223) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747557)

Don't know about you but try playing back a 1080p H.264 video file and watch it choke to death and then some.

Re:...and so? (1)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748081)

get a real video card that does the decoding on the GPU and the clock speed of the cpu matters very little.

Re:...and so? (3, Interesting)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748519)

So you're advocating Windows? I'd love to do H.264 decoding on the GPU in Linux, which driver and which video card do that for me?

I use XBMC, we're stuck with using the CPU for now but at least we can use both cores. So far the AMD CPUs haven't fared well with that software for full 1080P H.264 decoding either.

Re:...and so? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747687)

Ha

But there's your error .... I need six cores just to keep up the the crap I'm running

One Core for Crapware
One Core for Anti Crapware
One Core for Virii
One Core for Antivirus
One Core for Applications

and

One Core to rule them all and bind them!

Re:...and so? (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747801)

It's not aimed at you, who is not planning new purchase. But at people that ARE planning to purchase new machines.
When I bought my last system, my swing vote was overall energy efficiency - AMD beats Intel, with a big baseball bat in that area.

Re:...and so? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747819)

"Okay, that's marketing talk. I think that at virtually *ANY* presentation of a new CPU in the last twenty years someone had said that."

Decreasing the feature size has always leaded to big improvements on top performance, performance/watt and price on the past. I'm not saying that this trend will continue on the future, but it still hods for 45nm.

"Even for middle business servers, we live with two 8-yrs-old Sun machines which are more than adequate for keeping up all the services we need internally."

I see... You use neither the MS plataform nor the newest enterprizy technology at your company. I wasn't expecting you to understand such things on those circunstances.

Re:...and so? (1)

SeeManRun (1040704) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748073)

AMD says will result in 'dramatic performance and performance-per-watt gains.'

Okay, that's marketing talk. I think that at virtually *ANY* presentation of a new CPU in the last twenty years someone had said that.

Me, I just have a 6-yrs-old P4 laptop which, compared to nowadays new models w/ Core Duo, isn't much different.

This because there are other bottlenecks: hd speed, RAM, etc.

So, why upgrade, for a desktop user? Even for middle business servers, we live with two 8-yrs-old Sun machines which are more than adequate for keeping up all the services we need internally. We never have CPU spikes.

Sometimes I just wonder if all this isn't just a grab at customer pockets.

You are wrong. Everything else being equal, a CPU upgrade won't do much for you. However, that is rarely what happens. If you have a 3 year old computer and compare it to a new computer, the speed improvements will be vast in every single area of usage, except maybe Internet download speeds. If it doesn't feel faster, then put the same software on it and it sure will be.

Re:...and so? (1)

savanik (1090193) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748331)

So, why upgrade, for a desktop user? Even for middle business servers, we live with two 8-yrs-old Sun machines which are more than adequate for keeping up all the services we need internally. We never have CPU spikes.

I actually ran into a very good reason to upgrade recently - hardware cycles. Computers last about five years, not due to any particular deficiency in the hardware, but just because eventually the things break. If information is important to your company, you need to be sure that if your computers break, the parts to repair them exist.

Case in point, I have a friend who's a networking consultant, and at one point he had to pull a business's data off of an old XT machine with an MFM hard drive. Yes. Those. No ethernet port. 5 1/4" floppy, which nothing reads these days. No MFM controllers for modern machines. No expansion ports to put in something useful. He ended up finally using the serial port and Xmodem (it didn't have enough memory for Y or Zmodem) to pull the data off.

So for business, the question for upgrading isn't so much about having the latest and greatest as it is about business continuity. For the home user, it's more about running the latest and greatest game. If you don't fall into either of those categories, you may be perfectly happy with an old Pentium 5.

Me, I <3 Fallout 3.

What about motherboard integration? (1)

VorlonFog (948943) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747065)

So, what southbridge chipset are these going to use, now that nVidia has completely lost any credibility for supporting AMD processors? (note the HP and Dell laptops failing all year and the numerous Register stories about faulty self-destructing GPUs.

Re:What about motherboard integration? (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747293)

How about AMD/ATI?
They have bee producing some very good chipsets for the desktop.

great hallmark (1)

corsendonk (1352607) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747071)

yea to be honest, I don't think most people associate 'Shanghai' with something nifty (altough it is one of the most thriving city in China).

Re:great hallmark (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747255)

Thriving on *what* is the question that comes to mind for me... Thriving on manufacturing nifty cell phones, cool. Thriving on hosting pr0n and v1@35a sites, not so much. Thriving on midnight hotel-room kidney transplants, eewww! Make them stop!

Shanghai could the the melamine capital of China for all we know.

Re:great hallmark (2, Informative)

Malc (1751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747621)

Thriving on life. I've just lived there for four months and wish I could go back.

Re:great hallmark (0)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747689)

Probably beats liking in Detroit...

Hooray! (0, Troll)

Hassman (320786) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747075)

Yay! AMD leading the world into the ... past?

(plus one InfoKrmative) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25747207)

profits withoUt [goat.cx]

Making Me Feel Old (5, Interesting)

withoutfeathers (743004) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747219)

The first computer I ever worked on (as a data entry operator in the mid '70s) was an IBM S/360 mainframe with 64KB of "main" (physical) memory.

The first computer that I was a primary operator on, a S/360-135 plug-compatible 2Pi, had 768KB when it was delivered and was eventually bumped to 1.25MB shortly before I moved on to programming.

The computer upon which I wrote my first professional (COBOL) program was an IBM 3033 with a (for then) eye-popping 4MB of physical memory.

The first computer I ever owned was an RCA COSMAC with 4KB of memory.

The first DIY computer I ever assembled completely from parts (about 15 years ago) had 4MB of interleaved DRAM and a 256KB SRAM cache and was considered somewhat amazing by everyone who saw how fast it ran OS/2. I eventually boosted it up to 16MB

Now you get 8MB of on die cache with your four cores... And I still can't get a decent flying car.

Re:Making Me Feel Old (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747631)

Well, speaking to both the feeling old part and the flying car part... Gravity is a bitch, ain't it? :)

Re:Making Me Feel Old (3, Funny)

valnar (914809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747719)

You're absolutely right. The flying cars today do suck.

Re:Making Me Feel Old (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748323)

No it's gravity that sucks.

About Time (2, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747239)

It's about time... I mean, seriously. The CPUs coming out of AMD have stagnated in the last few years. The Phenoms are decent enough, I guess, if you have apps that can take advantage of the three or four cores, but they clock at slower than comparable X2s, and two cores is still the optimal point on the diminishing returns curve (on adding more cores).

I remember the 90s and early 00s when you were basically required to upgrade your processor every year or two or be hopelessly behind when the latest game came out. Now, I'm running the same machine I was back in '04, except with a new video card and an upgrade from a 3800+ (2.4Ghz) to a 4800+X2 (2.6Ghz) a year and a half ago.

I got curious how far I was behind these days, and found that as far as everything goes, a 4800X2 is still about as good a chip as anything AMD produces, only about 30% below the top chips AMD makes right now.

By contrast, Intel has the E8500 which is not only significantly faster, but is heavily, heavily OCable as well. I think Moore's Law has finally broken down for AMD.

Re:About Time (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748377)

I remember the 90s and early 00s when you were basically required to upgrade your processor every year or two or be hopelessly behind when the latest game came out. Now, I'm running the same machine I was back in '04, except with a new video card and an upgrade from a 3800+ (2.4Ghz) to a 4800+X2 (2.6Ghz) a year and a half ago.

Yeah ... around 5 years ago I got tired to the treadmill and switched to console gaming, with the occasional light puzzle game on the PC.

Suddenly my PC is now lasting 3 years without needing any parts upgraded (although the power supply needed to be replaced, but that was just poor QA by the manufacturer). I replaced my console 2 years ago (got a PS3 in Dec '06), and it looks set to last for another 4-5 at least.

On the whole I think console gaming seems to be a much cheaper way to go.

I haven't had to worry about:
- compatibility specs
- upgrading hardware
- one game's install breaking another

and best of all I don't have to sit down at a desk in front of a computer (something I do all day at work)

Jackie Chan (1, Funny)

glock22ownr (734154) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747275)

Is Jackie Chan or Owen Wilson somehow involved?

This FP for gNAA (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25747395)

Alice must be pleased... (1)

Suzuran (163234) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747521)

Will there be a Hourai as well? ^_^

Chipset?... (2, Insightful)

valnar (914809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747613)

Despite any advances AMD makes in CPU's, they still have such a sub par selection of chipset vendors. I'm very happy that Intel makes both the best CPU's and chipsets at the moment. It makes the decision easy. Because if AMD came out with a killer CPU but I had to resort to an NVidia/AMD/VIA chipset to run it, that would be quite a conundrum.

barcelona does 2.5Ghz now (1)

easycheesy (168787) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747841)

Small correction here.

AMD Barcelona processors clocked at 2.5Ghz have been available for quite some time. They are however a 105 watt part.

reference list here [wikipedia.org]

Tags are seriously broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25747859)

Seriously, you click on the triangle by the tag, start entering a tag, and the menu pops *behind* the story below it. What good is that, does nobody notice this? Can we just get rid of tags already?

Soo much power (1)

ripdajacker (1167101) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748277)

I'm not that old, but I remember when I had my first x86 pc with a whopping 133 mhz and 16mb of ram (which was virtually the top of the line back then).

The problem is with these kids get all that processing power and do not know what to do with it.

My 450mhz machine, which was essentially what replaced my commodore 64 was total overkill for my needs back then.

Hell I could do most of the programming in emacs, vi or even nano, but since I am blessed with a 2.3GHz dualcore machine at work and a ~3GHz machine at home, I tend to use an actual IDE, but I could be at least as productive without.

Today I've seen kids at age of 10 having a laptop at 1.5GHz or something, which doesn't teach them real computing, back then where freeing one extra MB of ram was essential for winamp not lagging.

If I had that computing power back then, I would be the happiest kid in the world.

Faster than the Ahtlon64 6400+ (1)

Svenne (117693) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748605)

So, thish seems as good a place as any to ask; what's the fastest AMD CPU available? I have a Socket AM2 6400+ and I'm looking for an upgrade without changing the motherboard. I'm talking single core operation, that is, I don't care if a good threaded app runs faster on a quad core Phenom than on my dual core 6400+, I just need it to run one application that doesn't thread, on one core, really fast.

Refractive fluid (1)

jarek (2469) | more than 5 years ago | (#25748681)

The exotic "refractive fluid" in question is deionized pure water, for those who wonder. However, make no mistake, this is really a small wonder. In the early 2000, few people believed immersion lithography at 45nm would ever become mainstream. However, 157nm became toooooo expensive and none of the problems anticipated with immersion lithography appeared. It is almost, as with the bike, to be considered a discovery. Hence, a full node thanks to the refractive index of water (1.44 at 193nm)

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