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LOL (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38260716)

Backwards into the future.

Re:LOL (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38260842)

Isn't this better? Doesn't this mean that the processor is smaller and more efficient?

Transistors are HUGE!!! You ever see a transistor radio?

I guess I just don't understand hardware. It just doesn't make sense to me. How can these fucking weird-ass CYLINDERS that are painted in stripes, plus weird flat "wires" on a green piece of whatever-the-fuck, actually do something? It makes NO SENSE.

Re:LOL (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38261168)

Water, fire, air and dirt
Fucking magnets, how do they work?
And I don’t wanna talk to a scientist
Y’all motherfuckers lying, and getting me pissed.

Re:LOL (1)

Grave (8234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38262254)

Not really - fewer transistors, sure, but the inefficiency where it matters (power usage, performance) is still worse than the previous generation, and well behind where Intel is. If anything, the fact that it is 1.2bn transistors instead of 2bn gives them even less of an excuse for the amount of power these things are sucking down while doing less work than the last generation.

Re:LOL (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38262738)

Whoosh!

Re:LOL (5, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263850)

From the looks of it Bulldozer is another Phenom I, where they have to use a generation getting the bugs out. Phenom II was and is an excellent chip BTW, sure its not gonna slaughter the latest and greatest from Intel but the dirty little secret AMD and Intel don't want to talk about is that for 95%+ of the users out there PCs have been "good enough" for quite some time. hell I'm the kind of guy that was building himself a new PC practically every year in the past, now my AMD Deneb quad is going on 3 years old and if I get that Thuban upgrade i plan to for my BDay i could easily see it lasting another 5 years, maybe more.

The smart move which I applaud the new AMD CEO for doing is cutting down on the desktop product to crank the living hell out of mobile because that is where the money is at right now. you look at Brazos and they have been selling out of those chips as fast as they can crank them and as an owner of a EEE E-350 netbook I can see why, 6 hours of battery life running full Win 7 HP X64, takes 8Gb of RAM easily, does full HD video without a stutter, low heat, and its a great little multitasker chip, running head and shoulder better than Atom and often beating ION at a lower price. The OEMs have taken notice it seems as i have seen Brazos in netbooks, all in ones, and HTPCs all over the place. Walking into my local Walmart the other day, a place that just a few years ago was strictly Intel land, more than 3/4ths of the laptop/netbooks and virtually all the desktops were AMD Fusion. I asked one of the guys I knew there about them and he said 'These things are selling like crazy, great for video and FB' which is of course where most folks are nowadays.

Frankly I think the path AMD is on is the smart one right now but its gonna have teething problems. They are in the process of switching their GPUs from VLIW to vector and looking at the chip bulldozer arch is really made for the new vector GPUs that simply aren't finished. by switching to vector you'll have a super FP that the CPU can hand off heavy math to when not in use for gaming while having a smaller FP on the CPU thus allowing more cores per chip. Like the switch to Stars its gonna take some teething pains to get everything switched over to the new designs and having GloFlo drop the ball certainly didn't help.

Personally I can easily see a day where Intel owns the top end and that is pretty much it, as AMD cranks out the chips for the low and midrange. Frankly the dual core Brazos is more powerful than 90% of the jobs my customers could come up with and I can see a quad version pretty much owning the low and midrange sectors due to the combo of price/performance and lower power. Just give them time folks, they are still cranking out Denebs and Thubans so I'd stick with those for now and let the new BD arch get the bugs worked out and by the time the chip after Piledriver comes out the boards and laptops will be cheap and plentiful. Until then just stick with Thuban, Mobile Phenom II and Brazos.

Do you even know what a transistor is? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38262834)

Those green panted stripes are actually paint over copper wires. Transistors are much smaller now than they were in the days of "Transistor radios" on top of that there are several types of transistors. The thing people need to notice here is that the processor performs the same task with less transistors than expected. Every transistor you remove from a microprocessor removes a small amount of leakage current. When you cut the amount of transistors nearly in half your are cutting the leakage current nearly in half. This is a good thing in many cases, it means that the processor should run just as well using less current, maybe even better. The less distance the signal has to travels (referring to how many transistors it has to pass through) the faster it will get through. This should mean you will see some speed up because of this. On top of that each transistor does take up a 'small' amount of room (measured in nanometers the measurement they measure molecules in.) on the chip, but 800mil still can take up a nice chunk of a processor. The nice thing about this is that it means they can cram more cores, graphics, or other useless junk onto your processor.

Forwards to the Past. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38260960)

WTF: this thing is fabricated in America?

PS: I was at an Irish Fair, so there were plenty of Duhloreans around for me to test my Paradox theories on the Hewie Lewiss fan-base.

PS2: Most chips are fabricated in non-American countries, so this would lead me to suspect that one-day America will return to being a continental free frontier country as it was back when it was founded on Alcohol and Tobacco and Firearms and Cotton with a new addition of Silicon fabrication. BATFE is un-American in this regards, and America has always been about displaced tribes and convicts being exported to re-build their character and fortune in America cheaper than the rest of the world and it's always been the previous 50 years of China's booming economy that stole the Light of Liberty & Freedom from Americans but that will change soon when Obama is re-elected.

PS3: I just got back from the future, and everyone is sure that they'll reclaim their freedoms on a 5th election of Obama and Palin this time as his running mate. The fire-side chats of Obama and Palin show that muslim-christianty and communism can work together like it has done in east-Africa and that we should continue the legacy of exporting jobs to foreign countries and preventing the world from spending US currency in America because like it was in 2012 just because illegal aliens have 9 of 10 US domestic dollars doesn't mean they have a right to come to America to spend their US currency and likewise it's no different even thought they have 99.9% of US currency more-so than 90% in prior years.

PS4: The Amish are running under-ground milking farms that are interfering with everyone's subcutaneous pharmaceutical dispensery rations and cerebral bio-meters, and so we need to change the early founding-father's policy of religous freedom as excluding Amish apothecaries and Amish farming.

noob (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38260738)

NO, you stupid AMD, don't do that...

And yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38260766)

The software retards get away with worse all the time, and *still* blame the hardware when their software is slow/buggy.

No problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38260770)

Get rid of 800 million transistors? Sure 800,000,000 vacuum tubes it is.

don't trust the PR (0)

madmayr (1969930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38260772)

but this 66% is really outrageous

It was a rounding error (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38260774)

The FPU in these chips rounds 1.2 billion up to 2.0 billion.

Re:It was a rounding error (0)

youn (1516637) | more than 2 years ago | (#38260880)

Haha, according to a rumor I just made up, someone from the PR Department was using an old pentium lying around with the FDIV bug. It rounds of 2 billions for very large quantities of 1 billion :p

Re:It was a rounding error (-1)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261636)

wow, nearly 20 years since f-div. this joke is about as fresh and funny as Rich Little doing George Burns impersonations.

Re:It was a rounding error (5, Funny)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261814)

We are Pentium of Borg. Division is futile, you will be approximated!

Serious policy changes here ? (3, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38260776)

With the new ceo ?

Normally the route of a true american corporate cultured corporation would be to deny everything and fool everyone and rip as much cash as it can. Until they were confronted at courts.

But now, amd marketing is rather needlessly contacting reviewers to make corrections, while taking a hit in p.r.

But is it really a hit ? Coupled with the fact that the new ceo kicked a lot of marketing staff, this tells me that the new term in amd is going to be a term reminiscent of early 90s in technology - a responsible era in which corporations have actually manufactured useful gadgets and sold them honestly, trying to get the edge on each other through tech - not with filthy dealings or deceit (hello intel and the bribery verdict)

Re:Serious policy changes here ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38260934)

With the new ceo ?

Normally the route of a true american corporate cultured corporation would be to deny everything and fool everyone and rip as much cash as it can. Until they were confronted at courts.

But now, amd marketing is rather needlessly contacting reviewers to make corrections, while taking a hit in p.r.

But is it really a hit ? Coupled with the fact that the new ceo kicked a lot of marketing staff, this tells me that the new term in amd is going to be a term reminiscent of early 90s in technology - a responsible era in which corporations have actually manufactured useful gadgets and sold them honestly, trying to get the edge on each other through tech - not with filthy dealings or deceit (hello intel and the bribery verdict)

An 800 million transister mistake? They didn't have any real choice, A 40% undercount is really noticable and admitting the mistake later would just do more damage. As for "American" corporate culture, all corporations are there to make money, not just American corporations. Really. It's what they do.

Re:Serious policy changes here ? (-1, Flamebait)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261618)

As for "American" corporate culture, all corporations are there to make money, not just American corporations

only corps in america feel free to make money at WHATEVER cost. they know they will get away with a court fine much lower than the profits they made from what they would be sued for. ala intel, ala bp, ala lockheed. examples are many.

Re:Serious policy changes here ? (4, Insightful)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261670)

what about examples from outside the USA? BP stands for British Petroleum, don't you know?

some of the food scares going on in China are just scary - melamine in milk, cooking oil salvaged and re-refined from retail liquid waste... of course, people got the death penalty for the milk thing.

Re:Serious policy changes here ? (3, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263220)

Er, well, actually, BP doesn't stand for British Petroleum any more. It officially stands only for BP. In fact, they have tried to make people think BP stands for Beyond Petroleum. OK, this sounds like an academic point, but actually it illustrates the very practical point that all these corps from whatever country are international and indistinguishable nowadays.

Re:Serious policy changes here ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38263408)

No, BP still stands for British Petroleum regardless of what their corporate HQ wants to call themselves.

And gambling is not equivalent to gaming.

And thermal is not equivalent to fossil fuel burning.

And KFC is really Kentucky fried chicken.

And marketing is really just plain old fashioned advertising.

etc. etc.

don't buy into the crap just because someone with an agenda and a bad reputation would like to change what you think.

Re:Serious policy changes here ? (0)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261124)

If AMD kicked out their PR department and replaced them with your semi-coherent fanboy rants, then I'd say they made a mistake. Fortunately, it looks like you don't get paid to do marketing for AMD... and from the looks of the knock-off PHP plugins that you likely plagiarized from open-source projects and then re-sell, you aren't making money from practically anywhere else either.

Re:Serious policy changes here ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38262066)

Yes!!! You burned him good. I hate unity100... an INSUFFERABLE know-it-all. That PHP site of his looks absolutely awful. Every single page is tl;dr and has the "look how CLEAN my page layout is!" design from ten years ago when single-pixel borders on divs were "awesome".

Anyway, fuck that guy. Fuck him good.

Re:Serious policy changes here ? (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263224)

So in other words you don't have any issue with the SUBSTANCE of what he says, that you feel it worthwhile to bring up.

Re:Serious policy changes here ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38262676)

Always interesting when people respond by attacking the person rather than the points they made.

Re:Serious policy changes here ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38263280)

It's unity100. The trolliest of tools, the tooliest of trolls.

effects of AMD marketing/PR dept layoffs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38260784)

Seems the outsourced replacements punched in the "round up" function on the Excel spreadsheet instead of "round to nearest"...

They just lost my business! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38260798)

I'm paying for *transistor count*, not GFLOPS!!!

Priorities, people!

Re:They just lost my business! (2)

vipw (228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263468)

With Bulldozer, you're not going to be happy either way.

Re:They just lost my business! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38263788)

Who is the IDIOT that tagd this as Isightful ??? A clear Funny whooshes over his head

Why? (5, Interesting)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38260886)

I understand the importance of truth in advertising, but is this information meaningful, or just an insignificant correction? The magnitude of the difference alone doesn't automatically make this an important story, or the exposure of some big, inexcusable lie by AMD.

What's the true relevance of transistor count? If I see two processors with identical performance and power efficiency but radically different transistor counts do I have any real world incentive to select one over the other? I mean, presumably the one with fewer transistors in roughly the same die space might overclock better, might have a longer MTBF, etc., but beyond that should I care?

Or did timothy post this just to keep up the fanboi flame wars?

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261016)

I suspect that transistor count means different things to different people.

The PR numbers provided for tech journalist previews and fan-wank benchmarks are pretty much just noise: If the number is big, you'll see a couple of sentences about "zOMG 2 Billion! motherfucker is a BEAST!". If the number is small, you'll see a couple of lines about how 'the foocorp design team was heavily focused on optimization for this generation'. The only thing the end customer will care about are the benchmarks at the end.

For people attempting to glean financially useful clues about a company's process strength or design prowess, or ability to hit some thermal target in the upcoming product cycle, transistor counts are likely much more relevant; but are also rather less likely to depend on PR numbers(actually reverse engineering a modern x86 chip would be Serious Business; but just paying somebody to crack the top off, get some die shots, and provide good ballpark numbers on transistor numbers and allocation between cache and various functional blocks should be relatively cheap compared to some of the moves you might make on the basis of such information...)

It seems bafflingly weird that PR would provide a number so grossly wrong, since the fanboys and the haters basically make no real use of the number and the people who really care should be able to easily detect a lie of that magnitude; but I'd be somewhat surprised if the original PR numbers meant all that much.

Re:Why? (5, Funny)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261130)

"It seems bafflingly weird that PR would provide a number so grossly wrong"

Not really.

Marketeer: How many transistors in the new chip?
Engineer: We're up over a billion now.
Marketeer: Ok, thanks. 2 billion.

Re:Why? (3, Funny)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263820)

It's like broadband, you get "up to" 2 billion transistors, or more precisely any number of transistors between 0 and 2,000,000,000.

I offered to pay them "up to 2 billion Euros" for one but they declined.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261316)

"I suspect that transistor count means different things to different people."

No, it means nearly nothing to anybody. The closest one I've seen is another answer to this thread linking it to cache sizes, but even then, people measure caches on bytes, not transistors.

Buyers want software performance, measured by benchmarks, cache size + instruction throughput, or any other functional metric. Engineers care more about hight level units, except where they optimize deeper, fabs care about die area. Nobody cares about how many times a poly line crosses over a crystaline line.

By the way, that is probably the reason such a huge mistake in the number could be made. Nobody cared.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

Macman408 (1308925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38262988)

It seems bafflingly weird that PR would provide a number so grossly wrong, since the fanboys and the haters basically make no real use of the number and the people who really care should be able to easily detect a lie of that magnitude; but I'd be somewhat surprised if the original PR numbers meant all that much.

IANALE (I am not a layout engineer), but it's my understanding that it is not an easy task to actually figure out how many transistors are contained within a modern chip. The CAD tools used aren't anything like Photoshop, where you can pop up an info window and see how many pixels it has. There are many different pieces within a chip - some might be standard library cells (like building a chip out of legos, rather than making a custom injection mold and filling it with plastic - where each building block is a few to a few thousand transistors (or more?). Other parts might be a full-custom layout, where somebody hand-placed every transistor to get the highest speed, lowest power, smallest area, or some combination of all of those. The chip might also include some hard macros, IP that is purchased from another company (like a memory controller or power manager) and just plopped onto the chip, with no insight to what is actually inside. There are hierarchies, and some parts (like cores or cache sub-blocks) are replicated a couple times, or a couple thousand times.

So it's my indication that any time you hear one of these numbers, it's really just an estimate anyway. Probably some engineer at AMD heard the 2B number after PR trumpeted it, thought it sounded a little high, and found a mistake in somebody's estimate.

Or, maybe more likely, marketing just made crap up without actually asking any of the engineers. That happens a lot too, and it pisses us engineers off to no end. At least when they do it after the product is made, PR has to fess up. When they do it before a product is finalized, it usually means engineering has to scramble and actually make it do whatever marketing promised.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38263384)

I would find it surprising if the number were unknowable, at least at this level of precision. These things are manufactured by software-driven processes, and software is really, really good at counting things. That's kind of its forte.

That said, there are allowances for partial failures on a chip, etc., that might mean that the usable transistor count is a bit less than the transistors actually added to the chip.

Re:Why? (1)

DamienNightbane (768702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263822)

I prefer to assume that everything on the cards and boards inside my computer is done with magic and witchcraft once you get past plugging it in and making sure the heat sinks aren't clogged and are seated correctly.

It's less of a headache that way.

Re:Why? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261026)

Transistor count is closely tied to cache size. This CPU just went from "Extreme Edition" to "Celeron" to use Intel terminology.

Re:Why? (2)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261232)

Transistor count is closely tied to cache size. This CPU just went from "Extreme Edition" to "Celeron" to use Intel terminology.

Alright, but doesn't that response just transform my question about transistor count in the whole processor into exactly the same question about transistor count in the SRAM? If the cache size and performance of the whole unit are reported accurately, should real people care how many transistors there are?

Is there some kickass use case for a chip with a SuperPi score of X, a SPEC score of Y, a 6MB cache, 8 threads, 2.9 GHZ clock, and 2 billion transistors that totally falls apart on a processor with the first five traits but only 1.2 billion transistors?

Re:Why? (-1, Troll)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38262384)

Alright, but doesn't that response just transform my question about transistor count in the whole processor into exactly the same question about transistor count in the SRAM?

NO! The transistor count is directly tied to SRAM size. IF YOU HAVE HALF AS MANY TRANSISTORS, YOU HAVE HALF AS MUCH SRAM. There's no possible way to reduce the number of transistors needed for a given quantity of SRAM.

You're basically saying, "Who cares if the bucket is half as large, if it can still carry just as much water?" No amount of ignorance or handwaving will get you from here to there...

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38262632)

Did this press release say that the actual cache size is has been announced to be less than orginally specified?

Re:Why? (5, Interesting)

rbmyers (587296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261040)

Bulldozer has apparently been a disappointment. Why? One wonders. One suspects that AMD encountered some late-in-the-game, unexpected, and very unpleasant surprises. Maybe 2 billion is closer to the number they wanted it to have. Sounds more and more like the NetBurst Story. Intel never did figure out how to add in enough transistors to make the design work well without breaking the power budget. Robert.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261100)

Or maybe 2billion is what the thing actually has, but in order to get it to work they had to abandon a significant portion even if they still exist on the chip.
It wouldn't be the first time unused banks of memory were left on chip but simply abandoned.

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261164)

Or maybe 2B is what Bulldozer actually has, but their new PR team came up with the idea: claim it only has 1.2B transistors, so even though it still sucks, at least it doesn't need 2 billion transistors to do it.

Re:Why? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263246)

Won't more transistors allow it to suck better?

Re:Why? (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263454)

Of course, ideally that would be true. But when it turned out not to be the case, damage control mode kicked in and they now try to claim that at least it sucks efficiently.

Re:Why? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263466)

Oh well. If nothing else works they could always use them to power a vacuum cleaner.

Re:Why? (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261728)

Or 2.0 billion is what it really has but they ship with some cores/cache disabled, so in X months time they can sell the same chip without the cores turned off as an "extreme" model or follow what Intel have talked about and have people pay more after sale for a code sequence that will make the CPU unlock the disabled cores. If that were the case then maybe someone in technical has had a word with someone in legal to the effect of "are we sure we can legally sell it in all territories with that number even though a fair chunk of them are disabled by default in all cases?" and this has prompted legal to do some checking then tell PR to fix things just in case.

Re:Why? (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263244)

eH? Two BILLION? That's a whale of a processor.

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261260)

PR department playing telephone
First person: "We have 1.2 billion transistors"
Next person: "Wow, that's about 1 and a quarter billion transistors!"
Next person: "Wait, 1 and quarter billion transistors? That's almost 1.5 billion!"
Next person: "Holy shit, 1.5 billion transistors? That's nearly 2 billion!"

Re:Why? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38262390)

That's probably not too far from the truth. Someone in marketing probably thought transistor count was a statistic you could fudge, like contrast ration (10,000,000,000:1 contrast ration display! wowie! .... from grey to dark grey). Once a number is checked out by the guy in charge of things (probably new due to the recent PR flush) it gets passed around as a word doc or pdf of bullet talking points or specs and printed on fancy glossy paper by people who don't understand computers much beyond photoshop and indesign :) I did quite a bit of marketing and had to call vendors and confirm a lot of the bogus specs that had been passed around for a while and fudged from the original specs.

Re:Why? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261530)

You as a customer, no. For the people interested in the technology or in trying to get any market insight out of it, yes. For example, customers doesn't care if something is on 45nm or 32nm but we know it has a huge impact on chips/wafer and so cost. I'd speculate but since you want the customer view, move along these are not the news you are looking for.

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38261724)

The number of transistors is roughly proportional to both the performance of the machine and its power usage. Of course 0.8b could be electrically disabled (fuses or whatever) and they would act as if they weren't there, but then they would be taking die space for no reason, which would still impact the price.

In comparison, a 4-core Sandy Bridge has 1.16b transistors, which means it still has enough transistors that a proper design should be comparable in performance at the same clock rate, so any actual differences in speed must be from design issues.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#38262162)

What's the true relevance of transistor count? If I see two processors with identical performance and power efficiency but radically different transistor counts do I have any real world incentive to select one over the other? I mean, presumably the one with fewer transistors in roughly the same die space might overclock better, might have a longer MTBF, etc., but beyond that should I care?

If you can find one processor with 2 billion transistors, and another with 1.2 billion, and they both draw exactly the same power requirements, performance, instruction set, and have the same heat envelope, then either somebody in marketing is lying, or somebody is doing something horribly wrong. On the one hand, it should not take 2 billion transistors to do something that can be done with 2/3 of that, but on the other hand, if you have 1/3 fewer transistors, you should experience an according decrease in heat leakage.

That being said, numbers like transistor count matter to enthusiasts. These are the same people who used to spend $1000 to buy the 3.8GHz P4 chip instead of the $300 3.4GHz chip. For some folks on the market, bigger == better, and there's no point in trying to explain to them that they can accomplish the same job with a less powerful chip. Some people build/buy/upgrade computers so that they can brag about being more powerful than their buddies, and when you couple that mentality with a disposable income, well, you know the rest.

For somebody like me, it's not likely to make a big difference. But I'm typing this on a laptop that's powered by a Celeron U3600 ULV chip... a dual core 1.2GHz processor that's designed for low power consumption, not high performance. It's been a long time since I have built/bought a high performance system, and I'm unlikely to get back into that game for a while: I gave up on computer gaming years ago. The one thing in this announcement that may give me pause next time I build a system is that a revision from 2 billion to 1.2 billion transistors probably means some kind of manufacturing problem that they thought they could overcome, but are now not thinking they can. Even if that's not the case, AMD is going to have egg on their face a while over this one.

Re:Why? (1)

Jonner (189691) | more than 2 years ago | (#38262560)

Of course it shouldn't matter to customers how many transistors a chip has. It should only matter what it can do and how much power it needs to do it. However, I think more transistors generally means more power dissipation, so AMD may be trying to allay fears that the chip will be a power hog.

Re:Why? (1)

Goragoth (544348) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263048)

One reason that transistor count matters is that it allows you to make some comparison regarding the efficiency of the processor. If the previous claim of 2 billion transistors were correct the efficiency of BD compared to Intels SB would have been horrible (almost twice the transistor count and significantly lower performance in most benchmarks). On the other hand if the new 1.2 billion figure is correct it means instead that the transistor density is quite bad (since the die size is still the same) and of course power consumption and performance in benchmarks is still much lower than Intel's SB chips. It does give a glimmer of hope for AMD though, so far as the basic architecture of BD goes and might mean that advancements at GloFo in their process technology might make it competitive in the future (which is better than AMD having to pull a completely new architecture out of their hat). This whole thing reeks of damage control though, and people have suggested that both numbers are "correct" but just represent different ways of counting the transistors. I just hope AMD can recover and start offering some true competition to Intel because the price of their 6-core SB-E chips is ludicrous.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38263606)

It sounds like AMD just got rid of 8 Mb of cache.

Simple mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38260890)

One has to wonder why they were using Pentium processors to calculate the transistor total, though.

Slightly smaller disaster (4, Informative)

Guppy (12314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38260898)

I guess the new figures make a little more sense. Bulldozer's performance was fairly similar to their previous (and smaller) Thuban Core, at 904 million transistors -- it was as if AMD decided to take more than half of their transistor design budget, heap it in a corner, and set it on fire.

Umm... (1)

The Evil Brain (2031868) | more than 2 years ago | (#38260904)

Does anyone have any idea why and how this happened? I mean, could there have been an intention to defraud or is this some sort of epic fail? TFA doesn't give much information.

Re:Umm... (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261086)

perhaps because intel already have products with more than 2 billion transistors and they didn't want to be left behind. Those than can do, those that can't lie?

Re:Umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38263852)

those that can't lie do what? Don't leave us hanging.

Go count it yourself (1)

CaptainAx (606247) | more than 2 years ago | (#38260936)

It's not like we are going to count this any faster.

Re:Go count it yourself (1)

rust627 (1072296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38262616)

"1,069,234,873"
"1,069,234,874"
"1,069,234,875"
"Coffee ?"
"Yes please"
"2 sugars ?"
"yes , thanks"
"1,069,...... "
"1,062........."
"1"
"2"
"3"
"4......."

Not helping their cause much.... (5, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261008)

So a few points about this rather bizarre announcement:

1. Unfortunately for AMD this does nothing to reduce the power consumption of Bulldozer which is higher than a 3960x at stock speeds. When you remember that over 1/3 of the transistors on the CPU (using the new 1.2 Billion transistor count) are in the L3 cache that only runs at 2.2 Ghz while the L3 on the 3960x runs at full-speed, you have to wonder at whether GloFo's 32 nm process has some fundamental flaws, or if AMD didn't listen to GloFo's design rules (or some of both).

2. AMD's and GloFo's combined marketing of their "gate-first" 32 nm process bragged loudly and repeatedly that gate-first (as opposed to gate-last used by Intel) gave 20%+ transistor density benefits and that Intel's process wasn't truly 32 nm. Well, when Bulldozer was reported to have a die area of 315 mm^2 and a 2 billion transistor count, this seemed like a justified advantage. Now, however, the transistor density of Bulldozer is lower than any other 32nm design from either AMD or Intel. Note: the same AMD PR guys that adjusted the transistor count confirmed that the 315 mm^2 die size is still accurate.

Rory Read is smart to shift the focus away from these unmanufacturable monsters and to put it on the next-generation of Bobcat and Trinity designs where AMD can actually leverage it's only real advantage over Intel: the GPU.

Re:Not helping their cause much.... (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261186)

All the same, I find this a little bit comforting. Let's face it, this Bulldozer isn't AMD's finest hour. And I'm sure I wasn't the only one who had the thought "That's the best you can do with 2 billion transistors? It takes the edge off a bit that it's only 1.2 billion, and maybe - as you suggest - the frequency and consumption bottlenecks can be fixed with available process tech.

Re:Not helping their cause much.... (2)

nadaou (535365) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261294)

aka version 1.0 of the new design leaves much room for refinement but they couldn't wait any longer to ship it. News at 11.

Real Transistors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38261242)

They are not some bungled mess of transistors, they are Real Transistors(tm) this time.

well, theres only one thing for it. (2)

smash (1351) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261256)

Who's gonna start counting? Methinks its a PR excercise for all the shit amd are copping not being able to best a sandy bridge quad core with 1.5x as many transistors and (according to AMD measurements) 2x as many cores.

Class action lawsuit please (2, Interesting)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261276)

If you bought a V10 car and it turned out to have a 4 cylinder, you'd be upset. No?

Re:Class action lawsuit please (4, Funny)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261356)

If you bought a V10 car and it turned out to have a 4 cylinder, you'd be upset. No?

Yeah, if it turned out it couldn't climb hills and had a 0 - 60 time of 17.1 seconds. If it performed like I wanted and happened to have only 4 cylinders I wouldn't care. Unless one of my primary 'needs' was for everyone to know I had a big-ass 'engine', if you know what I mean.

Put more directly, benchmarks and statistics are just dick measuring without some context.

Re:Class action lawsuit please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38261440)

so if you bought something advertised as such, and received something different. thats fine with you? lmao i have flux capacitor i wouldn't mind getting rid of, only 1700$ and it mows lawns...

Re:Class action lawsuit please (2)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38262326)

Have you ever bought a digital camera?

Re:Class action lawsuit please (2)

cynyr (703126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38262440)

As long as it enables time travel and mows lawns i don't care wtf it is.

Re:Class action lawsuit please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38261384)

Not if it was as fast as they claimed.

Re:Class action lawsuit please (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261470)

If the horsepower and torque figures are still accurate, who cares? Heck, it might even be better. Compare the novelty of having a 500 HP V10 vs a 500 HP 4 cylinder.

Re:Class action lawsuit please (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261698)

Chances are that 500HP V10 will last a lot longer than a 500HP I4/H4. Boosting something to hell and back tends to have a negative effect on reliability.

Re:Class action lawsuit please (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 2 years ago | (#38262062)

No it wouldn't. If you were comparing a 500hp 2l engine to a 500hp 7l engine, there would probably be a reliability correlation. Remember, # of cylinders != displacement. More cylinders means better throttle response, in general, but LESS reliability because of more moving parts. More displacement generally means more power for less stress. Take a look at some of the 3-4 litre ferrari V12s as an example of a small, high cylinder, high strung engine with the same power outputs as some of the much lower strung 7l V8s of muscle cars like the Ford GT.

Re:Class action lawsuit please (1)

Jonner (189691) | more than 2 years ago | (#38262620)

Chances are that 500HP V10 will last a lot longer than a 500HP I4/H4. Boosting something to hell and back tends to have a negative effect on reliability.

That only makes sense if you assume the cylinders are all the same size. It would be more logical to assume the cylinders in the 4 cylinder engine have a much greater displacement. Aviation engines often have much larger cylinders than automotive ones.

Re:Class action lawsuit please (4, Insightful)

SpazmodeusG (1334705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38261870)

They told you the V10 engine used 50 hours of labour in its manufacture but it turned out the V10 engine only used 25 hours of labour in its manufacture.

It's still the same engine in every way. Transistor count is simply a manufacturing detail.

Re:Class action lawsuit please (1)

thsths (31372) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263864)

Not if it has 1000Nm of torque while making a nice noise ...

There's a new update (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38261534)

AMD just clarified that Bulldozer does have 2 billion transistors after all, but only 1.2 billion work. Which explains something about its performance.

Re:There's a new update (3, Funny)

rust627 (1072296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38262626)

and the other 800,000,000 are looking for employment elsewhere ?

Re:There's a new update (4, Funny)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38262928)

and the other 800,000,000 are looking for employment elsewhere ?

No, they're just Occupying space.

Re:There's a new update (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38263496)

They're not looking for employment, they have"stopped looking", so according to US Govt Stats, don't count

Re:There's a new update (1)

fgrieu (596228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263510)

AMD just clarified that Bulldozer does have 2 billion transistors after all, but only 1.2 billion work.

Link please?

Cache? (3, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38262566)

I recall seeing that the top Bulldozer only had 8MB L3 cache, which seemed a bit low - Intel's equivalent top-of-the-line desktop models reach 15MB, and the server models 30MB.

At first, I just figured they were targeting the middle price bracket, but then they priced against the high-end. So I would not be surprised if much of the missing (or disabled, if that rumor turns out to be true) transistors belong to the cache.

What I just lost how many transistors ? (1)

MooPi (1235436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38262810)

I just paid 110 $ for my FX-4100. I want a refund ! Oh who gives a hoot is goes very fast( 4.5GHz) and I can't count that high anyway.

This is Bizarre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38262910)

AMD PR is about 2 meter away, in the vertical dimension, from AMD Engineering.

Yet, AMD PR is asking "Reviewers" to tell them, AMD PR, how many transistors the AMD Bulldozer has!

Why cannot AMD PR send someone to AMD Engineering and ask AMD Engineering how many transistors is in AMD Bulldozer? Is such a National Secret? Is AMD PR afraid? Is AMD Engineering under court order not to talk to AMD PR? How much money does it take for a reporter at the Wall Street Journal to bribe someone at AMD PR to walk to AMD Engineering and ask this National Security Super Duper question?

Billion? Billion? (-1, Flamebait)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263260)

Do you realize how many otherwise learned comments are tossing around the figure of 2 BILLION transistors on this CPU? Huh? Did anyone stop to wonder how many square mm 2 BILLION transistors would take up? I figure it would at least cover an entire ATX motherboard at extremely high density, and probably dissipate at least 50 kW of power.

It's MILLION, folks.

Re:Billion? Billion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38263334)

the square root of 2 billion is 45,000. So if a chip is one square centimeter, then u need to pack 45,000 in a hundredth of a meter, where .01/45000 is 200nm. so if its nothing but transistors, each transister can have 200 square nanometers and this was a 32nm process. sounds like theres about enuff space?

Re:Billion? Billion? (0)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263470)

You're looking at it the wrong way. First, take a look at the size of your real CPU with 2 million transistors. Now imagine a square made up of 31.6 x 31.6 of those chips to equal 1000 times as many transistors. Think you could fit those all on the motherboard? Think you could get carry the heat away? Think your power mains could supply that kind of power?

Re:Billion? Billion? (1)

Roger Lindsjo (727951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263878)

Are you joking? What is your real CPU with 2 million transistors? Embedded CPUs? Even Pentium IV has models with more than 100 million transistors.

Re:Billion? Billion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38263826)

In normal countries a billion is a million of millions, not a thousand millions.

Re:Billion? Billion? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263548)

Did anyone stop to wonder how many square mm 2 BILLION transistors would take up?

Well, that rather depends on how big they are.

It's MILLION, folks.

Yes, as in a thousand MILLION.

Re:Billion? Billion? (1)

voidphoenix (710468) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263636)

-1 Stupid. We really need a new mod. :p

Re:Billion? Billion? (1)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263868)

I have to know... Are you joking, did you just wake up from a very long coma, or are you just deeply miseducated on the subject? I honestly can't tell if I'm supposed to laugh or cry.

Transitors Server vs Desktop (2)

Sollord (888521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38263778)

The 16core server parts were listed as having 2.4billion transistors at launch so either the FX PR was wrong/confused and it really is 1.2Billion transistors as it they say it is now for an 8Core FX or AMD manged to bolts on an entire second 8core processor to the server parts with 400million more transistors.

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