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AMD Starts Shipping First Bulldozer CPU

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the needs-more-cores dept.

AMD 202

MrSeb writes "After an awfully long wait, AMD has finally begun shipment of its Bulldozer-based Interlagos (Opteron 6200) server-oriented CPU. If you believe AMD's PR bots, it is the world's first 16-core x86 processor. Unfortunately, and possibly because of reports that AMD is struggling to clock its Bulldozer cores to speeds that are competitive with Intel's Core i7, there's no word of the 8-core desktop-targeted Zambezi CPU. If AMD doesn't move quickly, Intel's Sandy Bridge-E will beat Zambezi to market and AMD will lose any edge that it might have."

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Sandy Bridge-E (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325622)

If AMD doesn't watch out their mainline $200 processor will be made obsolete by Intel's $1000 EXTREME CPUs!

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (3, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325680)

You may laugh but think of it this way... if that $1000 Gulftown CPU from March of 2010 can still beat an 8 core Bulldozer that comes out 19 months later, then you would only have to realize a marginal benefit of about $1.75 per day to make it economically worth your while to have bought the "overpriced" Gulftown chip. (that includes the cost from Intel motherboards that tend to be more expensive and the extra RAM for a triple-channel configuration). Nevermind the fact that 6-core chips have been sold for $600 for some time as well. I can think of a bunch of professional applications that can easily show a $1.75 / day benefit from the extra cores. Maybe not for playing games, but for a lot of real applications.

  Bulldozer should beat the consumer-level SB chips at perfectly threaded integer benchmarks, but it remains a very open question if it will be able to beat the almost 2 year old Gulftowns at the same tasks, and it is an almost foregone conclusion that it won't beat the 6 core SB-E chips at those tasks. Factor into account the 315 mm^2 die size of EVERY Bulldozer (not just the 8 core ones, but the cheap 4 core ones too since AMD only has 1 die design) and the immaturity of AMD's 32nm process and things could be expensive for AMD on the desktop. That's why it makes sense to ship the server chips first where AMD has some hope of getting higher ASPs.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325832)

I've (honestly) just been asked what our expected budget requirements are for hardware for the next year. Please inform me where I can go to use the patented Intel time travelling technology so that I can retroactively use things before I decide to purchase them.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325876)

Please inform me where I can go to use the patented Intel time travelling technology Haha an anti-Intel snarky comment on Slashdot... way to speak truth to power. What's funny is that if I actually told you I had a time machine in 2010 that could bring you the fastest CPU available from AMD at the end of 2011 and you only had to pay a few hundred bucks for my service, you'd probably jump at the chance... which is exactly what Intel effectively did with Gulftown.....

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326182)

Except Intel's have no pins. This summer, my computer shop repaired over 300 machines. Over 100 of them were Intel boxes, that after a customer bumped their knee on the tower, it didn't work. Re-seating the CPU fixed it, but its a design flaw that i won't pay for. It can cause a BSOD, or serious data loss. Depending how it shifts, it can even blow the motherboard by shorting. Also, paying 800$ for that extra 2% of speed, not even remotely worth it. Considering you can run dual Opterons for the cost, not worth it.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326244)

That is ridiculous. The processor is locked in. It can't move. Unless you are using the cheapest mainboards in the world whose processor sockets aren't spec.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37326318)

Its like blame Nike that your shoes didn't stop your vehicle because the car manufacturer didn't provide brakes. Ridiculous indeed.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (0)

trum4n (982031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326424)

The socket 775 design was a joke, and they keep playing it for some reason. It's not reliable. And if it was designed properly, it doesn't matter who made the motherboard, cause it would just work. And where the HELL did you get the Nike thing? It's like I'm talking to sarah palin. I DONT AGREE, SO ILL MAKE SOMETHING UP! THEN ILL INSULT THEM!

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326936)

The reason for the pinless chips is obviously to reduce returns. With a chip with 1000+ pins, it's easy for one to get bent during transit and then you have customers returning them. On top of that, they pretty much have to use gold conductors for the pins, and have you seen the price of gold lately?

You put the pins on the motherboard and you shift the liability and cost to the motherboard manufacturer. And since Intel designs the socket, that's what they did.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

Billhead (842510) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327248)

It's the required car analogy, what more can you ask for?

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37326756)

Opterons are LGA (i.e. no pins) as well.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326934)

Really? Noted. Last one i used was socket. Been using Phenom II's since they came out. Id still use Opterons. They cost that much less for the same performance.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (4, Interesting)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325930)

the immaturity of AMD's 32nm process and things could be expensive for AMD on the desktop.

That is true, and as you point out, for the desktop. Machines in a data center are cooled so the number of cores is a better measure of functionality. If you build machines that run multiple VM's, which is usually the case, that cheaper 6200 will not only outperform Intel's Gulftown and more likely be preferred when adding more machines to the data center even over the SB-E chips. If AMD can get a better footing in the "cloud" infrastructure they might make enough to move to a die size smaller than 32nm, which is REALLY what they must to do.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326300)

Yes, they really have to move away from the 32nm process fast. Is the 6200 16 physical cores or just 8 dualthreaded ones? If the cores are physical I can see dual opteron boards become a must for renderfarms/supercomputers and why not virtualization aswell.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326530)

"the Opteron 6200 has eight Bulldozer modules, and each module contains two independent integer processors, but only a single FPU and shared fetch/decode/execute units; in other words, it has more than one core, but not quite two."

This is an interesting architecture. Most general processing is just moving data so an FPU per core is overkill. Also, the main part of an algorithm (or a benchmark, anyway) is likely to fit in cache so use of the bus fetch hardware is likely to be in bursts. It should give better performance than 8 HT cores, anyway.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327096)

Most programs can't saturate the FPU anyway.

Intel/AMD FPUs can accept data on every clock cycle, the data bubbles through the system and a result pops out N clock cycles later. It's a rare program that can keep putting data in on every cycle so it makes sense to have one FPU per two cores.

You can easily see the effect, try this:

float array[arraySize];
float result=0;
for (i=0; iarraySize; ++i) {
    result += array[i];
}
print(result);

float array[arraySize];
float result1=0, result2=0;
for (i=0; iarraySize; i+=2) {
    result1 += array[i];
    result2 += array[i+1];
}
print(result1+result2);

If your compiler's any good the second loop will run about twice as fast as the first because it keeps the FPU busier. The effect is much more noticeable when the code has lots of divisions and square roots.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327562)

Actually, if your compiler is any good it would rewrite the first loop to look like the second (or another even faster variant) at compile time.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37326584)

It's two full integer units (ALU) per core that share a single 256bit wide FPU that can handle a 128bit operations from each core at the same time. They share the L2 data cache and the L1 instruction cache. Since the Bulldozer Module has full circuitry to run two threads at the same time on full circuitry it is generally considered to be two cores

Intel's hyper threading has only one set of computation circuitry but has the ability to keep state for two threads (known as SMT). It allows Intel CPUs to take advantage of pipeline stalls without the huge cost of switching to another thread in software, it makes up for poor branch-prediction/instruction-reordering. The Intel Atom gains 50% performance through this.

Sun's Niagara Falls chip did 4 thread SMT and had the ability to switch between them with only 1 clock delay. It was a beautiful beast.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326616)

IIRC, all of AMD machines are full multi core, Intel has patents on the partial application.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327296)

They are 16 physical cores sharing 8 fetch/decoder units, 8 L2 pools, and 8 dual pipline FPU units. It's basically halfway between a HT setup and a "pure" SMP setup. It's AMD making more efficient use of silicon to make up for Intel's process lead. Intel may end up copying the basic design principal because it's just better engineering, much like they did when they copied hypertransport to move away from the front side bus.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (4, Funny)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327402)

Is the 6200 16 physical cores or just 8 dualthreaded ones?

Part of what makes Bulldozer interesting, is that there is no quick straight-forward soundbite answer to that question. It's 16 less-than-complete cores, or 8 more-than-merely-dual-threaded cores.

I look forward to the day when some profiler nerd figures out that most cost-effective ratio is to make a chip with 3 memory busses, 17 integer units and 11 floating point units, with 23 sets of registers. /proc/cpuinfo will say it's a 23-core machine so that'll be the soundbite answer, and then some math twit will whine that it's really only an 11 core machine. And everyone will be both wrong and right simultaneously.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327152)

It really depends. Even with lots of VM's single core performance can matter. We have a lot of varied workloads but I'm much more likely to have a single core in one VM pegged than I am to have any host be processor bound (my entire production cluster averages ~50k MHz of Gufltown processor time at peak load over the last month, this is out of almost 250k available).

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

Targon (17348) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326880)

Could be, could be, but there is no information out there how production Bulldozer processors will perform once they start pumping out consumer chips. AMD may have been forced to wait this long to release Bulldozer just to deal with those 32nm process issues. I am not saying that Bulldozer will beat SB, but on the flip side, AMD machines have been selling well in that $500 and under range to this point, so Bulldozer SHOULD help.

The average consumer doesn't need a LOT of processing power, so if the Athlon 2 and Phenom 2 has been enough for THEM, then Bulldozer will be better yet. You also have to look at how far behind AMD has been to this point, and how much of an improvement Bulldozer is. In a Marathon, if Intel was 3 miles ahead, and the release of Bulldozer closes the gap to Intel being only 1 mile ahead, Intel is still in the lead, but AMD is looking better in comparison.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325772)

^ This ...

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (2)

aliquis (678370) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325796)

If AMD doesn't move quickly, Intel's Sandy Bridge-E will beat Zambezi to market and AMD will lose any edge that it might have.

Ok, so nothing will be lost?

(No, I'm not trolling or flaming, personally I would get a new machine to play Starcraft II, AFAIK SCII only seem to use two cores. AMD themselves has claimed their chip (best consumer chip?) would be similar to 2600k in performance. 2600k is quad core vs octo core for the AMD chip. Considering the work load the 2600k will still outperform the AMD by a lot. Also with socket 2011 we talk quad channel memory instead of dual channel and even back in 1156 vs 1366 days and with SCII only using two cores the 1366 chip beat the 1156 chip. So obviously memory bandwidth was an issue even at two cores. So I'm just stating the obvious. Intel is the leader and will remain the leader for the time being.)

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326362)

Funny, that's why I went dual-core vs quad-core when I built my game machine (specifically for Starcraft II).

[John]

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325824)

There's no evidence to indicate that AMD's "mainline" $200 CPU will be much better than the existing "mainline" $200 2500K that's out right now... Just because Intel offers chips at a higher range than AMD doesn't mean that AMD automatically beats Intel at everything below the highest range. When the 2500K first came out it was priced lower than AMD chips that were substantially slower... AMD "corrected" the price to performance ratio by slashing its own prices, which didn't do too much to help its profitability.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (0)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325838)

Personally I don't care. I'm still not buying Intel if I can help it.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325866)

It's a free world, or well, market, or well, neither, but you are free to pick the AMD.

Just don't claim it's superior because you'll be wrong and make a fool out of yourself. Or well, feel free to claim it's superior and make a fool out of yourself to :)

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (5, Interesting)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325974)

Talk to a server farm when Intel is putting money in the development of Coreboot and we'll talk.

For now AMD is superior, because a server reboot requires about 1/100th of the time that it takes an Intel CPU farm to get back up due to horrible BIOSes. The more motherboards you have, the longer it takes due to serialized bootup. Ouch... Massive ouch...

Downtime versus marginable CPU speed... And less cores...

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326354)

Any particular boards you recommend for Coreboot server work? I've transitioned to all AMD over the past 9 months, but I still suffer with legacy BIOS.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37326534)

Yeah, make up scenarios that are a fuckup in themselves.

"Buy our CPUs because when they run you over, your back on your feet faster." - AMD

"Buy our CPUs because they run circles around the competition and don't run you over" - Intel

Hmm, yeah, difficult choice.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327174)

You can start working for Microsoft. I heared they were looking for good PR in case Windows 8 throws a Vista...

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326976)

At 3 universities I have been to, not one of them had Intel clusters for scientific computations. Some of them have Nvidia tesla, etc., but no Intel. The biggest one I went to was a Tier 1 research University, meaning they get shitloads of funding to buy whatever they want.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (2)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325862)

There's no evidence to indicate that AMD's "mainline" $200 CPU will be much better than the existing "mainline" $200 2500K that's out right now

There is some, depending on your application of course. If computer chess analysis is your thing, you would see benchmarks results like these [hardwarecanucks.com] , where the $189 Phenom II X6 1100T beats the $219 Intel 2500k.

So AMD already has CPUs which are price-performance competitive, surely Bulldozer shouldn't be worse in terms of price-performance.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326220)

Yes but that's not really comparing apples to apples. A 6 core 125W processors should beat out a 4 core 95W processor. Yes the AMD is cheaper which is good but it also requires more power which will be offset by electricity costs.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (5, Insightful)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325940)

That $200 is still a fuzzy number given the motherboard prices. You can get a very good AMD chipset(880/890) for $100 and have all the latest features(USB3, SATA3, etc) while being forward compatible for quite a while(manufacturer dependent, but Bulldozer(AM3+) is compatible with AM3 chipsets with BIOS updates). With Intel, you're still paying more for the equivalent and next year you'll need to get another motherboard to upgrade that processor because of constant socket changes.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37326204)

With Intel, you're still paying more for the equivalent and next year you'll need to get another motherboard to upgrade that processor because of constant socket changes.

Wikipedia: [wikipedia.org]

Ivy Bridge is the codename for the yet-to-be released 22 nm die shrink of Sandy Bridge. Ivy Bridge processors will be backwards-compatible with the Sandy Bridge platform.[6] According to a leaked Intel roadmap, Ivy Bridge processors will be released in March-April 2012.[7]

...
While Ivy Bridge will be compatible with the Cougar Point chipset motherboards associated with Sandy bridge, Intel will also release a new 7-series Panther Point chipset with Ivy bridge.

http://www.overclock.net/hardware-news/988606-tpu-ivy-bridge-1155-compatible-panther.html [overclock.net]
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4318/intel-roadmap-ivy-bridge-panther-point-ssds [anandtech.com]

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37326328)

Bulldozer(AM3+) is compatible with AM3 chipsets with BIOS updates).

Not quite [wikipedia.org] .

AM3+ is compatible with AM3 and AM3+ processor. AM3 is not compatible with AM3+ processors.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326618)

Huh? You can get $70-80 intel boards with the feature set you're describing, and next year's Intel CPU (Ivy Bridge) will still use LGA1155. Notably, the whole "AMD boards carry on working with future CPUs" thing is a myth –they work for one generation, at most. Bulldozer chips will not work in AM3 boards, only AM3+. Similarly, the current crop of Phenom IIs will not work in AM2 boards.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37326710)

Furthermore, AM3+ is a single-generation socket. Bulldozer is the final AM3+ CPU. For once, AMD did worse at socket compatibility than Intel.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327204)

Well what do you expect? That they would make a Bulldozer with no memory controller and a 100MHz bus so you can drop it into Socket 7 motherboards? The idea is that you can buy a motherboard, then a year or two later get the next generation processor and drop it in. After that it doesn't even make any sense -- the bottleneck stops being the CPU and becomes the fact that the older socket is using two channels of DDR2 instead of four channels of DDR3 etc., which is the whole reason that sockets change in the first place.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

MyCookie (1983480) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327208)

You would be correct until now, but reports indicate that next year AMD will move all of it's processors to it's new FM2 chipset.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325834)

It spells even more trouble for AMD that they cannot charge even $800 for their new top-of-the-line CPU. It is a negative feedback loop for them - by failing to create competitive technology they are forced to keep down their next-generation development budgets, and they need a lot of luck to hit the jackpot on the next round. Still, they are not dead yet, as they can still compete quite well at the low end, and it is not impossible for them to maintain that market position indefinitely even without spending top dollar for best possible engineering designs.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326000)

It is a negative feedback loop for them - by failing to create competitive technology

You missed the bit about how they create competitive technology and never get any customers because intel has a huge monopoly.

Also, for cramming flops into U's the quad socket AMD 6100s beat out anything Intel has to offer in the same segment.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326296)

How is it a monopoly if (as purported) AMD chips are both better AND cheaper? Decision makers don't give a crap about the name, they care about the value for the dollar. And Intel has that. It doesn't take too many productivity-sapping weird incompatibilities and spontaneous reboots to sap any dollar advantage AMD might have.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1, Troll)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326406)

How is it a monopoly if (as purported) AMD chips are both better AND cheaper?

Well, Intel provided huge kickbacks provided that they didn't sell AMD processors. AMD lost billions when the Opteron was stomping all over the Pentium 4 on the desktop and in the datacentre. Intel got a big fine, but not big enough. Given the amounts involved, there is no way the whole thing wasn't a net benefit to Intel.

Decision makers don't give a crap about the name, they care about the value for the dollar. And Intel has that.

Not across the board and they certainly didn't when it counted.

It doesn't take too many productivity-sapping weird incompatibilities and spontaneous reboots massive illegal kickbacks to sap any dollar advantage AMD might have.

FTFY

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326664)

A few years ago, AMD had intel by the balls. I mean, seriously they were the king in terms of price, performance AND efficiency. I'm talking about the Athlon and Opteron 64's, the clawhammer/sledgehammer. They had a brilliant chip design, they pushed 64bit computing and all Intel could offer was the Pentium 4, which struggled to go above 3Ghz and could heat your entire home.

Intel bet on pushing more and more Ghz while AMD decided to go down the efficiency route. Sure, they had to create a new way to name processors so people didn't get confused about a 2.2Ghz Athlon 64 beating a 3.06Ghz P4, but none the less Intel hit a brick wall while AMD kept on going. 3000+, 4000+, then dual core. Intel had their own dual core chips, but they were somewhat crude by design, little more than gluing a couple of Prescott P4's together and hoping for the best.

AMD were on a roll, so while the Gravy train was in, they bought ATI with the intention of creating some sort of monster "hybrid" chip that combined the CPU and GPU. Fusion was the future that AMD was going to pioneer, just like they did with 64bit and dual core desktop chips.

What happened? Intel got their shit together, that's what. Intel dumped the P4, went back to the P3 and came up with Conroe, a real performer that didn't overheat the way Prescott did. AMD stagnated, fusion got pushed back again and again, then it got castrated more and more. Within less than a year, AMD/ATI was worth less than what AMD paid for ATI. Fusion has only recently appeared and, surprise surprise, Intel now has graphics embedded in the CPU as well. Whatever advantage AMD was hoping to curtail has gone. AMD needs to step it up several gears, they need something new, another home run like the Athlon 64's and just hope Intel makes another mistake like the P4.

I can't see that happening, though.

*Note: all of this was typed from memory, so some dates/names may be slightly wrong.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327670)

The real problem for AMD is that they didn't expect Intel to turn it around so quickly with Conroe. They had an excellent design and they expected to continue extracting reasonable margins from it in order to fund Fusion development, but when Core 2 came around they lost that.

The thing is, Bulldozer is a great direction for them. It will not beat Intel's best at single-thread performance, but it isn't supposed to. What it's supposed to do is offer better performance per watt and per rack unit for common server workloads, which it very much does. And that gets them back into the server room with reasonable margins and keeps AMD alive to continue developing new products.

The real interesting thing is that I'm not sure Intel has a good way to respond to it. SB is designed to be the fastest processor for single threaded performance, and it does that. The trouble is that the server rack is where the high margins are and most of those people don't care about single thread performance, they care about the things that AMD has designed for. So Intel ends up with a bad choice: Choice one is that they can try to adapt SB to be more like Bulldozer, i.e. SMT with more execution units so that you can get nearly two cores worth of performance out of substantially less than two cores worth of silicon and power budget, with the consequent hit to single threaded performance. Or choice two is to continue developing SB on its existing goals for the desktop and for the relatively small number of non-threadable server applications and then dump a billion dollars into developing an entirely new processor to meet Bulldozer for the lucrative parallel server market.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325926)

Yeh... Because AMD's $200 X6 1100T isn't already beaten by intel's $190 i5 2400... oh wait, yes it is.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (2)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325994)

On what applications? Post benchmarks...

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37326094)

Yeh... Because AMD's $200 X6 1100T isn't already beaten by intel's $190 i5 2400... oh wait, yes it is.

No it's hasn't been.
AMD [cpubenchmark.net]
Intel [cpubenchmark.net]

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326324)

Here's a much more complete set of benchmarks that don't rely purely on synthetics –oh look, the i5 wins everywhere except for h264 encoding, which the i5 has a hardware unit for.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/203?vs=363 [anandtech.com]

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37326314)

All video games currently in existence. http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core-i5-2500-2400-2300_7.html#sect0 [xbitlabs.com]

1100t wins in applications using 6+ threads. Which is obvious. If you're doing heavy threading then ofc the 1100t is the better CPU. At 2-4 threads, even an 1100t overclocked @ 4.2GHz loses.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326342)

Even at 6 threads, the i5 gives the X6 a very very tough time http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/203?vs=363 [anandtech.com] . More very-multithreaded benchmarks go the i5's way than the X6's, and they're all extremely close.

Conclusion... for 6 threads and more they're equally fast, for less than 6 threads the i5 beats it silly. That's the i5 being a faster CPU in my book.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37327410)

1100t has a lot more overclocking room. i5 2400 doesn't compare to 6 K10 cores @ 4.0 GHz in a thread-bound app.

I'm dubious about those benchmarks too. Which of them are core-bound and scaleable? I recognize 7-zip, x264-second-pass, WinRAR... are there more? IIRC, x264's first pass doesn't fully utilize all available cores.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (0)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326968)

On what applications? Post benchmarks...

If he posts benchmarks, the AMD fanboys will say 'oh, but that's just synthetic, my X6 feels much faster than any Intel CPU'.

If he posts game benchmarks, the AMD fanboys will say, 'yes, the Intel chip is twice as fast at 1024x768 when the game is CPU-limited, but when you run at 4096x2048 with the game GPU-limited, the CPU makes no difference, so you should buy a slower CPU so long as it's the most expensive AMD chip.'

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326508)

So in your universe motherboards are free?
List price of CPU and board.

Re:Sandy Bridge-E (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326672)

okay then...
X6 1100T - $200
cheap AMD mobo - $50
mid ranged mobo that supports SATA 6000 and USB 3 - $100

i5 2400 - $190
cheap Intel mobo – $50
mid ranged mobo that supports SATA 6000 and USB 3 - $65

and amd has more MB choice will more pci-e lanes (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326888)

and amd has more MB choice will more pci-e lanes on some of the boards. While on intel you have to take some of the x16 lanes for video or use the x4 DMI bus to fit in USB 3.0 sata and other stuff.

Re:and amd has more MB choice will more pci-e lane (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326918)

Except that USB3 and SATA 6Gb/s are all on the chipset, so you're bullshitting. What are you, as a desktop user (note, server boards have QPI links and hence more PCIe bandwidth) actually going to do with that extra PCI bandwidth?

BULL DOZE ?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325624)

Sounds a bit lazy to me !!

The price/performance ratio. (3, Interesting)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325634)

What will be interesting is the price/performance ratio compared to the Intel chips. This chip will be typically used in server farms, and this will be at least as important as the raw power - though obviously there is an overhead in running more servers. AMD has usually been ahead of Intel, and it still is on most mid-range and low-end chips, but it has started to fall behind at the high end [cpubenchmark.net] .

Re:The price/performance ratio. (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325882)

AMD has usually been ahead of Intel, and it still is on most mid-range and low-end chips, but it has started to fall behind at the high end.

What? AMD got mid-range chips now?

Now that is trolling. It's funny trolling though :D

Re:The price/performance ratio. (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325968)

Shouldn't post this but whatever:

AMD has usually been ahead of Intel

Also "usually" = During P4?

I mean the K6 or whatever it was called vs the MMX both had their merits. P4 was probably worse than Athlon XP/Athlon 64 (64 bit + integrated memory controller = short lead for AMD). Pentium-M was a step in the right direction and since Core 2?

I would buy AMD if they where competitive because everyone benefit from more players and Intel is huge as is.

But to claim AMD is usually ahead of Intel? Some people would probably say the same about ATI but Nvidia had the lead with TNT, TNT2, Geforce-Geforce4 and still have it if nothing else for alternative OS support (Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris) and PhysX. Was it really ATIs superiority which took the lead over the FX-series or was it because the FX-series was a bad product which gave them the chance for a short while?

The future is open for both of them and both can become the leaders. But as of right now I would still pick Intel + Nvidia.

Re:The price/performance ratio. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37326084)

You dont know the difference between the server market and the desktop market.

Evidence of this is that you only talk about desktop processors in your anti-amd diatribe on a story about server chips. Also, when talking about desktop chips you makes laughable observations such as "P4 was probably worse than Athlon XP/Athlon 64"

Probably? lol.. Intel fanboy go home.

Re:The price/performance ratio. (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326348)

I wasn't an Intel fanboy back when I thought the P4 was worse.

And I'm not now.

I just buy what's best for my purpose.

AFAIK Bulldozer will show up in the desktop to.

I honestly don't even know what's the major difference of AMD and Intels server vs desktop chips. As long as we speak Opteron and Xeon atleast.

Re:The price/performance ratio. (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327476)

From 2005 to 2010 in real world server applications, yes AMD beat Intel on price/performance. Then Nehalem was release and for most workloads AMD got beat like a redheaded step child. They battled back for large multithreaded server workloads by adding more and more cores but they still get beat silly for anything where single thread performance matters (a whole bunch of things).

Re:The price/performance ratio. (1)

sco_robinso (749990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326160)

AMD has usually been ahead of Intel?? At the low-end price-point maybe. For under $100, AMD has usually offered the more competitive options. But rarely has AMD really been ahead of intel in any other market segment.

The Athlon XP was more or less on par with the P4, P4A, and P4B. I bought into AMDs architecture at the time because it was a bit more bang for the buck, and excellent companion chipsets for gamers and enthusiasts (nForce and nForce 2). They couldn't stand up top the P4C's, so in comes the Athlon64. The Athlon64 compared to the later P4's / PD's were indeed competitive. Hence, AMD did really well during this time, and most would argue this was really the only time when AMD was truly "ahead" of intel. Their financials reflected as much.

Post-core has been another story. Since Core2 (Conroe), Intel has pretty much dominated. The only times I really see AMD doing well is, again, the low price point segment. This is partially because they always shove another core in, so 3-core chips end up getting compared to 2-core chips.

AMD is certainly competitive, always has been... They've often offered slightly better bang for the buck, but saying AMD has 'usually' been ahead of intel is a big, big strech.

Re:The price/performance ratio. (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327528)

Only if you're looking at the desktop market, in the server market Intel really couldn't compete till Nehalem with the introduction of QPI, at least for most of my big workloads.

Worthless Article (0)

Life2Death (801594) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325672)

Look! A news article that links to another news article!

First to market is relevant, but not everything (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325722)

If AMD can kick out a believable press release stating that they'll have the 8-way chips out in a reasonable amount of time, then they'll be fine.

I had such high hopes for Bulldozer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325760)

Especially after Intel started shipping hardware DRM and remote killswitches in Sandy Bridge..

What is the FPU performance of these things...? (4, Interesting)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325764)

Does anyone know the FPU performance of these things?

So comparing a 16 "core" 'dozer to a 12 core magny-cours:

The number of parallel integer (and memory addressing) threads has gone up from 12 to 16.

The number of FPUs has dropped from 12 to 8.

The new FPUs are now twice as wide with the AVX instructions.

So, two threads share one wider FPU now. If it's hard keeping an FPU full, then this should make better use of the hardware. It seems that if your code does well for parallel, scalar FPU work already, then there may be a performance drop.

If you have trouble filling the FPU for scalar work, then this should give better utilisation of less hardware. There's a possible performance increase if your utilisation is currently under 67%. Since the two core units can feed the FPU independently, there is a little latency hiding now. This could help even if there are two completely independent processes using the FPU at the same time.

I suppsose the reasoning is that there is often fine-grained parallelism to be had, and the problem of fine grained parallelism and keeping the FPU full are often independent. So AVX will improve performance there.

So, it seems that the peak FPU performance has increased in the ratio of 16/12.

The actual performance could be all over the place. It will be interesting to see.

The other thing is that these are now single chips with 8 bulldozer units on and 16ish cores. Perhaps AMD will go and make more MCMs like before, giving 32ish cores per socket :)

Re:What is the FPU performance of these things...? (1)

lorax (2988) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326212)

There's a whole lot of variables in play and I don't think we'll know until people really start using this. Intel's first viersion of AVX didn't extend all SSE instructions to 256 bits, I don't know if AMD's does so you might give up performance in some workloads there. I think for desktop use this will be a real win since you rarely run two applications that both use floating point.

Re:What is the FPU performance of these things...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37326386)

it is a MCM ; the single chip is 8 cores, and the MCM is 8 modules, so I guess you're mixing them up :)

you can still build a mildly affordable 64 core box with 256GB ram that way.

Re:What is the FPU performance of these things...? (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327170)

Does anyone know the FPU performance of these things?

No.

Or at least nobody who can talk.

Next question?

:-) Sorry, but what kind of answer did you really expect? :-)

Re:What is the FPU performance of these things...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37327624)

"...what we do when we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?"
"You put it on 11?"
"Eleven. Exactly. One louder."

It is all about the die size (4, Informative)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325816)

Unfortunately, and possibly because of reports that AMD is struggling to clock its Bulldozer cores to speeds that are competitive with Intel's Core i7, there's no word of the 8-core desktop-targeted Zambezi CPU.

If you increase the clock on the CPU you have to cool it. Reducing the die reduces the amount of cooling that needs to be done. AMD is not able to shrink their die. Yet.

Re:It is all about the die size (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37326014)

Yeah, Intel's vast capital reserves mean they typically have a generational lead in process tech, and get the increased efficiency / decreased temps of a die shrink "for free". AMD have to out-innovate them just to produce an equivalent CPU, let alone a better one. Unfair, but that's how (near-monopolistic) business works I guess.

Re:It is all about the die size (1)

trickyD1ck (1313117) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326414)

AMD could outsource production to those who have competitive process tech.

Re:It is all about the die size (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327176)

AMD could outsource production to those who have competitive process tech.

Maybe they could get Intel to make their chips.

Re:It is all about the die size (1)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326112)

It's more complicated than that. As you shrink die size, you have to fight all sorts of things that bleed current through paths its not intended to go. As you increase frequency, you have to increase voltage to make it work. As you increase voltage, you increase the bleed through. The better you are at fabbing a particular die size, the less bleed through you have and the more you can crank up the voltage and frequency. That's what they were talking about when they discuss AMD's problems getting their cores up to competitive speeds.

As they get more experience in 32nm, AMD will get better yields. Trouble is, they're behind in the race. While they're messing around with 32nm, Intel is forging ahead with their work, constantly staying ahead. But this isn't all bad. Without AMD nipping at Intel's heels, they wouldn't have any incentive to keep up the pace in development and we'd be stuck with slow, hot Itaniums.

Re:It is all about the die size (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37326206)

Unless you remove some cores along with the shrinking die size, a smaller die will mean more cooling, since you are dissipating the same energy in a smaller area.

Re:It is all about the die size (1)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326396)

Not necessarily. The smaller die usually means shorter paths through the chip (less resistance so less heat). Also, you can generally get higher speeds with less voltage (within reason). Less voltage generates less heat. And that's the whole point to smaller die sizes. Faster speeds, less power draw, lower heat generation.

Re:It is all about the die size (1)

scheme (19778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327558)

Not necessarily. The smaller die usually means shorter paths through the chip (less resistance so less heat). Also, you can generally get higher speeds with less voltage (within reason). Less voltage generates less heat. And that's the whole point to smaller die sizes. Faster speeds, less power draw, lower heat generation.

That hasn't been true for a while. Nowadays, reduced sizes mean that the heat generation doesn't go down because the gates and chip features are small enough that voltage leaks through and generates waste heat. Intel and AMD have done a lot to avoid or mitigate this through better materials and different process technologies. However, it's still there since the TDP for processors have basically been stagnant for a while.

real time core (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325836)

I am now using a lot of parallel programming for what I do in report generating (funny?), it's not an easy thing to do, because I am using aggregate functions upon data, so splitting data retrieval and then recombining it once it's back (and having to poll for all of the DB requests to return) is tricky to say the least.

The reports make dozens or even hundreds of calls to the DB (PostgreSQL), and that DB doesn't run SQLs in parallel on separate processors (maybe some day, but not now), so I split the data retrieval into multiple segments and then recombine the data. To me the advantage of multiple cores at this point is only found in having completely independent processes running in separate cores, and nothing else on the DB side. The project itself is in Java, so it's using pthreads, so I have more control on the front than in the DB.

So basically to be honest, until the software like databases, takes advantage of more cores, there is no value in paying to switch to the new CPUs. However I would be interested in having a CPU with multiple cores, where some of the cores could have different architecture, to guarantee real time processing.

Wouldn't it be interesting to be able to have one CPU with normal applications running, but also with an app or part of apps running in the same CPU that could do real time processing - guarantee real time response with a simpler OS running on that core?

Having more than one OS running on the same CPU, one being a real time OS, but this would require real changes to the environment around the CPU - at the minimum there would have to be a dedicated memory bus.

Of-course the same can be achieved with just separate computers, so maybe there is no point in it.

Maybe AMD needs to look into helping some projects to switch to their architecture, to fix existing code base to use multiple CPUs at the same time, maybe that would make some sense. There is definitely a need for tools that would help switching existing applications to multi-processor/multi-core environments actually to use this stuff.

Re:real time core (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325908)

You should take a gardening class. Gardening is excellent. Pay is not that bad and you get to work the soil, away from the sterile environment of an office. Or maybe a cooking class? Working as a chief de cusine is great and always impress the chicks!

Just stay away from IT, please. You don't have a fucking clue about what's going on.

Re:real time core (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325954)

Postgres uses a new backend process for each connection. Each of these will be scheduled independently by the kernel, meaning that it does take advantage of multiple cores at the level of the connection.

Since you're already threading your java, try not using a shared connection for all of the threads, and instead open a new connection in each. See how that goes.

Re:real time core (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326320)

PostreSQL can use a separate process for separate SQL executions actually, but it cannot use parallel processing for one SQL execution.

I am using a connection pool, so this is not even the question.

The problem right now is that PostreSQL does not split one SQL request into parallel pthreads or processes, so one query executes on one processor sequentially.

PostgreSQL is wonderful, I am using it for all my projects, but to overcome this problem I have to do much more on the front to speed up execution for large requests by splitting the requests into sub-requests that can be ran in parallel and that make sense to run in parallel because the data that comes back can be merged back together meaningfully.

This would be less of an issue of the database itself had ability to split the query into multiple parallel processes. PostgreSQL actually used to have this feature long ago, it came from Ingres I think but then it was pulled out due to some patenting issue.

Re:real time core (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326240)

However I would be interested in having a CPU with multiple cores, where some of the cores could have different architecture, to guarantee real time processing.

I don't think CPU architecture has much to do with that.

Wouldn't it be interesting to be able to have one CPU with normal applications running, but also with an app or part of apps running in the same CPU that could do real time processing - guarantee real time response with a simpler OS running on that core?

Just get yourself an RTOS. These days a stock kernel with CONFIG_PREEMPT_RT defined dopes a pretty good job. There are other options (RTLinux, RTAI) which I don't know much about.

Just avoid getting a motherboard with a terrible implementation of SMBus routines. And good luck finding one of those without trial and error...

Having more than one OS running on the same CPU, one being a real time OS, but this would require real changes to the environment around the CPU - at the minimum there would have to be a dedicated memory bus

That's how RTAI and RTLinux work (or so I gather). They are essentially a micro-OS which can run a number of processes. Linux is one of those processes. Other non-linux processes communicate with Linux and each other using FIFOs provided by the micro-OS. When Linux runs, it runs whatever of its processes need running.

Re:real time core (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326410)

You don't think there is an issue with the common 86 architecture for real time processing? I put together an Atmel based 3d printer controller back in 2003. If the bus for that controller was shared with another processor somehow, then there would be conflicts created in resource sharing.

When I said architecture, I should have been saying: bus architecture. How do you have an RTOS running on the same bus with another OS without having to rely on messaging and sacrificing actual real time?

Re:real time core (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37326528)

You don't think there is an issue with the common 86 architecture for real time processing?

Well, not per se, but there can be a lot of strangenesses of particular implementations. Like the SMBus horror, for instance.

I put together an Atmel based 3d printer controller back in 2003. If the bus for that controller was shared with another processor somehow, then there would be conflicts created in resource sharing

I guess that's the problem with shared busses, though probably not limited to x86. Modern x86 multiple CPU architectures don't share a FSB any more, they use a high speed message passing bus (HT or QP).

When I said architecture, I should have been saying: bus architecture. How do you have an RTOS running on the same bus with another OS without having to rely on messaging and sacrificing actual real time?

Well, if the non-RTOS is pure software (of course it isn't), then it will be pre-empted happily. I suppose that the thing to do is to avoid having shared busses. This might not be as hard as it seems: most motherboards have several independent PCI and PCIe busses, though you have to dig into the device tree to find out which is which.

DMA transfers on one bus shouldn't affect the others. PIO stuff should be preempted happily unless you have a stupid piece of hardware (sadly not unusual).

But yes, sometimes it is easier to make two separate computers on a single board and communicate over some noddy serial link to avoid any contention.

Didn't just yesterday you said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325952)

the next generation is on hold?

AMD SERVER CPUS?? (1)

BlackTriangle (581416) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325986)

AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA. AHHAHAHAHAHAHAAH. Who in their right mind would use AMD chips for servers???? They're crash prone junk. Always have been, always will be.

Re:AMD SERVER CPUS?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37327028)

Cray?

Still no benefits to multi-core CPUs... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37326192)

...In the consumer market.

There are currently no programs in the consumer (not commercial) space save browsers and operating systems that even know what multi-threading is.

Re:Still no benefits to multi-core CPUs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37326646)

If only I knew someone who had a use for browsers and operating systems...
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