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AMD Reveals Roadmap For ARM and X86 SoCs

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the chips-are-ready dept.

AMD 75

DeviceGuru writes "On the eve of the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, AMD unveiled what it calls an ambidextrous embedded roadmap, based on a series of new system-on-chip (SoC) and accelerated processing unit (APU) products built from both ARM and x86 CPU cores. Planned for launch in 2014 are an ARM Cortex A57-based 'Hierofalcon' SoC, a 'Bald Eagle' APU using a new 'Streamroller' x86 CPU, a multi-core x86 'Steppe Eagle' APU, and an 'Adelaar' discrete Embedded Radion GPU. 'There are different customer needs in different segments of this market, from low-power to high-performance, Linux to Windows, and x86 to ARM,' commented Arun Iyengar, VP and general manager, of the AMD Embedded Solutions division." Update: 09/10 16:54 GMT by T : As Slash DataCenter notes, this roadmap includes an SoC aimed specifically at datacenters.

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75 comments

Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (4, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | about 7 months ago | (#44809055)

The Kaveri-based APUs in servers are certainly not going to be great for every workload, but for servers that can take advantage of GPU compute, they give AMD a unique advantage in a competitive server environment.

Those ARM parts on the other hand have proven one thing: Just because ARM (and more importantly, Qualcomm) make good chips for smartphones doesn't mean that ARM is magic and can avoid physics.

  The 8 core Cortex A57 parts on AMD's roadmap for late 2014 have a 50% higher power envelope than the high-end 8-core Avoton parts that Intel has on sale *this year* (30 watts vs. 20 watts). By the time they launch, Intel will either have launched or be on the verge of launching 14nm microserver parts. These things are a nice prototype, and AMD is easily the best vendor for ARM servers since it has experience in the server world, but ARM ain't about to take over the server room at this pace.

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 7 months ago | (#44809221)

So what if the power envelope is larger if they spend more time in a lower power state? What exactly is included in the SoC that Avoton does not have? Intel loves to report only CPU watts and ignore the rest. The first atoms were almost hilarious in that the northbridge/southbridge drew more power than the CPU but Intel only reported CPU power in their advertising.

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (1)

CajunArson (465943) | about 7 months ago | (#44809239)

ARM fanboy quote from 2013: "So what if the [ARM server part] power envelope is larger if they spend more time in a lower power state?"

Intel fanboy quote from 2008: "So what if the [Intel Atom parts] power envelope is larger if they spend more time in a lower power state?"

Watch the wheel o' time turn & turn.

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 7 months ago | (#44809261)

I am not a fanboy for either.
I want to see them compete.

2008 intel fanboy was a liar. His Atom was low power but the rest of the stuff an SoC has was not in it and drew far more power. So it never got to a lower power state. Its idle usage including the MB was never low enough. I had one.

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (2)

CajunArson (465943) | about 7 months ago | (#44809279)

Actually, Atom has had extremely competitive idle power draw going back several generations... the trick was that the idle power draw was best on the embedded platforms that were not widely released prior to Clovertrail and *not* on the desktop platforms where the separate chipset alone used more power than the CPU.

That's not my point, however. At best I'd expect those A57 parts to have performance parity with Avaton under load... and Intel has already solved the idle power draw issues, especially when it comes to SoCs.

Hey, if your servers sit around doing absolutely nothing all day, then I have a better idea: Turn them off and use zero power.

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 7 months ago | (#44809405)

I agree.
I just meant neither number is trustworthy. Both will lie about it, or say it in a way that looks better.

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44817433)

A computer doesn't use zero power when it's turned off, you have to physically disconnect it either by removing the cable or switching a physical breaker on the machine or PDU it's connected to.

Also there are good reasons to have a machine which is doing nothing MOST of the day. For example you might have a horizontally distributed table in RAM across a large number of servers and have very low latency requirements. Storing the data on HDD or even SSD might be unacceptable.

A ram-backed table engine ASIC might be a better alternative to either type of chip, but unfortunately these aren't commodity technology, so in practice an x86 or ARM cpu might be more cost effective, even if it is strictly worse from a energy and component engineering basis.

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (3, Informative)

Phreakiture (547094) | about 7 months ago | (#44809375)

I actually have one of those Atoms. It's on a D945GCLF2 MoBo. The CPU is passively cooled, but there's a more-or-less-standard 40mm CPU fan on the Northbridge.

Despite being dual-core, the performance is not very good. I have a similarly-clocked AMD Athlon II single-core that runs circles around it. The Athlon II machine uses less power in toto (i.e. monitor included) than the Atom desktop, just the computer (i.e. monitor excluded).

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 7 months ago | (#44809755)

At least your Atom has Intel graphics and not that sucky PowerVR with no drivers, so I would like it over some alternatives for a 40%-decent desktop ('cos I don't want to say half-decent)

I wonder how a desktop with a Pentium 3 733 compares (with ATI Rage Pro and 440BX, or with Intel graphics)

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 7 months ago | (#44810019)

Funny you say that, take a look at the following and see how many are PowerVR graphics. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atom_(system_on_chip) [wikipedia.org]

For quite a while there were atom powered linux machines that could not be updated and keep graphics working because of those bastards.

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 7 months ago | (#44810299)

Yeah, I looked at replacing our netbook recently, but all the current generation of Atom netbooks have unsupported PowerVR chipsets so they can't run Linux.

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 7 months ago | (#44812405)

Get an AMD one. Their CPU part is a bit crappy, but GPU is top notch. Many games are actually playable on it because of it.

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 7 months ago | (#44814855)

They can : a buddy has a dual core Atom and Xubuntu 13.04. You get 2D display at the correct resolution, and even software OpenGL with llvmpipe (Google Earth launches and executes rather than give you a black screen or an error message).
But it's all raw unaccelerated X11 : in VLC you have to choose the X11 output (xv bugs if the video is scaled). Youtube video is choppy but somewhat usable, at least for 360p.

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (1)

Phreakiture (547094) | about 7 months ago | (#44821561)

I don't really need the graphics capability beyond enough to run a GUI. I use that machine to DJ. As long as it can keep the waveform displays on screen reasonably up to date, it's good enough.

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 7 months ago | (#44809905)

The Athlon II machine uses less power in toto (i.e. monitor included) than the Atom desktop, just the computer (i.e. monitor excluded).

That's because the standard Intel north bridge sucks, and takes about 4x as much power as the CPU (which is why it needs the fan).

My dual-core Ion system with the same CPU and a more powerful north bridge takes about 25W from the wall when playing HD video.

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (1)

jcdr (178250) | about 7 months ago | (#44809361)

... but ARM ain't about to take over the server room at this pace.

For servers that run distributions that will have a good quality arm64 port, the transition could be as easy as the transition from i386 to amd64 architecture. Linaro, Debian and Ubuntu seem to work to make this a reality as soon as the hardware hit the market (and maybe even before for Linaro). Don't known for Fedora, but there will certainly not miss the opportunity.

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (1)

CajunArson (465943) | about 7 months ago | (#44809449)

Yeah.. as a raspberry pi early adopter, lemme tell you something: You're full of it. It's irrelevant if some flavor of Linux has a particular version targeted at particular ARM platforms because AMD's ARM platform will have its own requirements that will require quite a bit of software work to ensure that a full, production-quality software stack can get running on it from day zero.

Trust me, if everything ARM + Linux was completely perfect, then Torvalds wouldn't be on his high-horse about ARM SoCs. ARM's customization is wonderful... for vendors that want to lock you in to a particular platform even if most of the software is open source. ARM's non-standardization and proprietary nature is a giant PITA in a whole bunch of other areas though.

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (1)

jcdr (178250) | about 7 months ago | (#44810049)

Don't compare the raspberry pi obsolete armv6k architecture, that is bored to support from a distribution point of view, to the new arm64 architecture that will without any doubt gain a very large support in the future. The machine specific code will be limited to the kernel. Linus expectation about the arm* architectures will ensure that this will be integrated in a fare better way than it used to be in the past.

ARM was really not designed from the start to be a coherent ecosystem targeted to run a standardized operating system. The fragmentation only reflect that and the fact that there is a very high financial motivation to run Linux on that chips. Nobody are really happy about the current arm SoC fragmentation. Even the SoC designer are not completely immune to the critics of the kernel developers. If a chip can be tested more quickly by using already available driver, the hardware engineers hare happy too. So expect a big reset/reload on that subject for the arm64 architecture.

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (1)

edxwelch (600979) | about 7 months ago | (#44809493)

It's all acedemic anyway, because the micro server market is tiny at the moment. Only 100,000 mirco servers were sold last year - that's about 1% of the entire server market.

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (1)

jcdr (178250) | about 7 months ago | (#44810131)

Humm... Once upon a time Intel was saying very similar claim about the AMD64 architecture asserting that there own 64bits architecture will rule the market in a few years anyway. Today I can't even remember the name of that Intel architecture, but all my PCs and servers runs AMD64 distributions.

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (2)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 7 months ago | (#44809621)

Slight difference, the AMD parts embeds 10 gigabit ethernet controllers (four or two, I dunno), while the Intel part embeds four gigabit ones. That may turn the power efficiency around, if you needeed such fast controllers for networking / I/O.
AMD may be open to doing custom SoC for some big customer too, with some other specialized units.
Seems AMD would go in places Avoton won't, like high speed network appliances, will still be usable for web hosting and the like. Avoton is just easier for low cost VPS renting as you can just install any x86 linux distro or BSD, it runs Windows too (until Microsoft eventually comes out with an ARM version of Windows Server)

Re:Good: APUs. Not so good: Server ARM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44809793)

>for servers that can take advantage of GPU compute, they give AMD a unique advantage in a competitive server environment.

You do realize Intel has had this advantage for a few years, like with Quick Sync.

Radion? (1)

fewnorms (630720) | about 7 months ago | (#44809071)

I'm sure that has to be Radeon right? Overall, pretty nice. Good to see AMD realizing what direction the wind is blowing.

AMD is dying (1, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 7 months ago | (#44809189)

So basically, AMD has given up going for top of the line, and has decided to focus on commodity hardware because it just can't upgrade it's fab plant because earlier management decided profit was more important than investment... and now they're going to lose out on both. And this is just a consolidation move in that direction... downward.

Enjoy your slow fade to obscurity, AMD. If I could just open up a chasm and drop your fab plants and senior management into the center of the Earth, I would give serious consideration to doing this. Stupidity like this should be a criminal offense.

Re:AMD is dying (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 7 months ago | (#44809235)

How much top of the line stuff is sold vs the rest of it?

CPUs for most purposes, outside of mobile, are good enough. I think they already sold of their Fabs anyway.

Re:AMD is dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44809423)

A shiat-ton. It's far and away the most profitable portion of the business. Large scale compute in the enterprise environment is where most of the real money is made. Businesses are willing to pay a premium to get the absolute most compute out of the smallest space. The real cost to companies is PRC (power/rackspace/cooling) and anything that can be done to squeeze more out of PRC is worth it to them. As a consumer, you are myopic and believe that that is where the money is. You're simply wrong. There margins on consumer products are razor thin where as they're quit fat on enterprise grade equipment.

Re:AMD is dying (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 7 months ago | (#44809627)

Large scale computing in the enterprise is not the top end. They buy lots of middling range Xeons and Opterons. I buy these all the time. I am not your typical consumer. The top end CPUs don't even come as Xeons, Xeons lag behind.

Re:AMD is dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44811699)

I rather think his point was that, compared to the typical ARM processor in a phone or tablet, even a mid-range Xeon is 'top end' (since it's literally an order of magnitude faster, clock-for-clock...).

Competiing for top performance keeps you relevant (1)

default luser (529332) | about 7 months ago | (#44811273)

If you're just making mid-tier or lower gear, releasing months after everyone else with mediocre specs, then you're going to fade into obscurity. This means you get less FREE ADVERTISING, because everyone ignores your press releases, so you are stuck charging lower prices for devices.

Just look at a company like VIA Technologies: they used to be relevant, producing competitive chipsets for Intel and AMD. But they were more complacent in their other "visible" product categories (x86 CPUs, GPUs) so they made little-to-no long-term brand-name recognition driven by the chipset sales. So when the chipsetm sales were stolen by AMD and Intel, they dropped like a rock.

Today the company has practically collapsed [geek.com], with earnings more volatile than ever before (dropped from 500 million USD/yr to 140 million USD/yr revenue in 4 years). They make 2nd-run parts a year after top-tier component makers because being first to market would take too much R&D budget (and they can't charge high dollar for their 2nd-run parts either). They make "me too" ARM cores and try to sell people on gimmicky platforms, living life from one press release to the other.

AMD is getting DANGEROUSLY close to this line, and if they cross it they will likely not be able to afford to re-enter the top-end (due to the massive increase in R&D costs to remain there). Generic "just like everyone else" ARM server parts are just the beginning of this slide.

Re:AMD is dying (1)

alen (225700) | about 7 months ago | (#44809453)

intel beat AMD decades ago when they decided to concentrate on their production capability

the CPU's have always been about the same and most people don't care about the minor differences. Intel was able to manufacture enough CPU's to meet demand from all the top customers who were afraid to sign with AMD because of their production issues.

you can announce and hype products for months like nvidia does, but revenue is made by selling real manufactured products to customers writing checks. and you need to manufacture tens of millions of chips to make money, something AMD has always had trouble with

to bad intel sucks in some ways (4, Interesting)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 7 months ago | (#44809637)

Like having forcing you to go top of the line $300+ cpus just to get more then X16 pci-e lanes with out switches.

No Thunderbolt add in cards the demo used a mac pro with an add in card.

Poor on board video.

Trying to kill sockets that will drive up price for OEM's and limit choice.

If amd dies intels prices will go up and they do all kinds of stuff to make you pay.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (3, Informative)

jcdr (178250) | about 7 months ago | (#44810221)

Mod parent up.

I just sold my almost new i5-4670K to replace it by a A10-6800K. With the i5, it's simply impossible to get a working machine by using the new Debian Wheezy: no audio, no accelerated 3D, no fluid video, screen instability on the HDMI output, and high price. On the contrary, the A10 work perfectly well: audio, accelerated 3D, glitch free 1080p full screen video, rock stable HDMI output, and half of the i5 price.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (1)

CajunArson (465943) | about 7 months ago | (#44812235)

You're doing it wrong.
Signed, Arch Linux user who has multiple Haswell machines running perfectly... oh and with open source drivers too.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (1)

jcdr (178250) | about 7 months ago | (#44812755)

Still twice the price compared to the A10, even using Arch Linux...

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (1)

CajunArson (465943) | about 7 months ago | (#44813017)

If all you care about is the IGP and don't care about power consumption and don't mind using closed-source drivers if you need real 3D performance, then the A10 is nice.

If, like me, you care about CPU, then the very-high end Haswell parts are about twice the price but deliver more than twice the performance in a lower power envelope. You can also buy Haswell parts for lower prices that are still comfortably ahead of the A10 at any CPU-bound load and have even lower power envelopes.

Oh and if the GPU is really that vital, there's are these things called "under $100 discrete cards" that are easily ahead of any IGP made by any company and are not insanely expensive.

When I say they are ahead, let me put it in perspective: Next year's highest-end Kaveri parts will -- in a theoretically perfect world -- approach the performance of an HD 7750 that's by no means high-end. Oh, and they are guaranteed to have a higher power envelope and substantially lower CPU performance than the systems that I have already been running for several months. Oh, and don't expect them to be given away for free, and yes, you have to buy a new motherboard just to use one.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (1)

jcdr (178250) | about 7 months ago | (#44813413)

Why I will pay more for a CPU and pay for an additional GPU card to get what I can get with a APU for half the price of the CPU ? Oh and this GPU card will probably need a closed source driver anyway.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (-1, Flamebait)

CajunArson (465943) | about 7 months ago | (#44814791)

Guesss what moron: You can buy vastly cheaper Intel parts that are price competitive with AMD and still having faster performance. But since you are some irrational kick of comparing parts that shouldn't be compared, LET'S PLAY: AMD was stupid enough to release a $900 CPU that's provably slower in practically every workload than my boring old Haswell part that cost $550 less and doesn't cause the lights to dim when I turn it on. Therefore, I get to say that ALL AMD parts cost at least $550 too much using your irrational fanboy logic! YOU'RE WINNER!

Here are a couple more reasons:
1. Intel CPUs are only twice the price because you ignorantly choose to compare top-end Intel parts against AMD parts that have a fraction of the performance. P.S.: I know that you are a liar and that you never owned or even used a 4670K... because 4670K goes for $229 on Newegg, while that magic A10 part goes for $150... Now you obviously went to a young-earth creationist school, but here in "reality" $229 is a hell of a lot less than twice of $150..

Oh and I also know that AMD APUs don't magically make RAM, SSDs, etc. magically cheaper so the overall delta in system price is a joke when you consider the fact that the $229 4670K is guaranteed to be faster than AMD's 2014 product lineup where you get to spend another $150+ for Kaveri then spend more for a new motherboard... in order to be slower & guzzling more power than what you could have already owned. So, please, tell me again how a new motherboard + $150 APU is CHEAPER than a system that is guaranteed to have a faster CPU, has a $75 video card that is guaranteed to give better performance, and has a lower power envelope.. I INVITE YOU.

Evidence, you stupid shill, something that you don't like to read:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116899 [newegg.com]

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113331 [newegg.com]

Another reason why it's morally superior to buy Intel if you care about open source instead of just being some shill who acts like he is a God because he made it halfway through an Ubuntu install once:
AMD has dumped some out of date documentation on the internet for third parties to do their Linux driver development for free... Intel *pays* people to develop the entire Linux graphics stack.. and yes, that includes pretty much the entire infrastructure that makes it possible for any AMD gpu to run in Linux. If you want to be such a purist do this: Take out all the code that bad-old Intel wrote and see how well your amazing AMD graphics work on Linux, now do the reverse with AMD & Intel: guess what still runs fine because AMD doesn't do squat for the Linux graphics stack?

I choose to do the morally right thing (and intelligent thing) by spending less than 10% more on the total purchase price to get parts that are faster on a price/performance basis than AMD in the CPU and support Linux. You obviously don't choose that, but please stop acting like anyone who doesn't goose-step to your marching music should be sent to a Kim-Jong camp, OK?

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (1)

jcdr (178250) | about 7 months ago | (#44815169)

First, I never insulted you. I just share my experience. I am not a liar. Two weeks ago my 5 years old main machine motherboard failed and I needed a new one quickly to finish my work. My nearest PC shop have not so many parts in stock, some underpowered AMD processors and only a few mid to high end Intel processors. This is why I end up with the i5-4670K. I used it a few days with the configuration of my old machine as I have no time left. So I worked without sound, video, or 3D, and with some display glitch, a few per day that last just a second but I never observer this before. One week ago I take time trying to fix the configuration. I tried many new install, loosing a lot of time, without reaching a fully working setup. So I ordered the A10-6800K for testing. It was shipped last Friday and to my surprise it worked fairly well on the first try, using open source video driver. I added the fglrx driver and the result was simply perfect.

The i5-4670K was CHF 252.00 and the A10-6800K was CHF 162.00. So, ok this is not half the price out of the shop, I concede this. But if I count the hours passed on each setup, and the final result, the A10-6800K is a clear winner to me: lower price + shorter time + better result.

As for your morality, keep in mind who have invested first in 64 bit x86 architecture, integrated memory controller, integrated multiple core, and integrated GPU while under the attack of a bigger concurrent that have payed a really impressive transaction to close the case a few years latter.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44816027)

You're an asshole and your posts aren't worth reading.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (1)

MattJD (1020453) | about 7 months ago | (#44816491)

Another reason why it's morally superior to buy Intel if you care about open source instead of just being some shill who acts like he is a God because he made it halfway through an Ubuntu install once: AMD has dumped some out of date documentation on the internet for third parties to do their Linux driver development for free... Intel *pays* people to develop the entire Linux graphics stack.. and yes, that includes pretty much the entire infrastructure that makes it possible for any AMD gpu to run in Linux. If you want to be such a purist do this: Take out all the code that bad-old Intel wrote and see how well your amazing AMD graphics work on Linux, now do the reverse with AMD & Intel: guess what still runs fine because AMD doesn't do squat for the Linux graphics stack?

This isn't true. While AMD's main focus is on their proprietary driver, they do pay for developers to make an open source driver. Important recent driver work includes enabling uvd, better power management, and continued work on enabling the 7000+ series. Intel doors seem to get more done, but AMD is working with the community too.

Also, Intel still refuses to use the gallium 3d architecture. Gallium is supposed to help centralise various pieces of writing a graphics driver, making less work for everyone. By not using gallium, less work is shared, meaning more work for the other 3d drivers. So while they are definitely a Linux friendly company, they sure aren't perfect.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44818035)

Also, Intel still refuses to use the gallium 3d architecture. Gallium is supposed to help centralise various pieces of writing a graphics driver, making less work for everyone. By not using gallium, less work is shared, meaning more work for the other 3d drivers. So while they are definitely a Linux friendly company, they sure aren't perfect.

That's a stupid argument for not using Intel Graphics drivers. All using Gallium would get you is more indirection and slower graphics.

FACT: The Intel GPU drivers are entirely opensource, and don't require any proprietary firmware blob, unlike their network cards and wireless cards.

FACT: Indirection and library stacking/API stacking has a significant cost.

FACT: Using a direct optimised-for GL/DRI driver allows for optimisations that simply wouldn't be available if Intel tried to shoe-horn their GL driver into the Gallium API.

FACT: Gallium is an intermediate API, and is not visible to end users or application developers, you still program in GL and create contexts with GLX, Wayland or EGL.

FACT: Intel's MesaGL driver supports GLX, Wayland and EGL, and you can render using offscreen buffers with EGL. I have used Intel's Mesa driver and DRI without Xorg to implement my own custom UI, this might be possible with other mesa drivers, but it certainly isn't possible with AMD or Nvidia's drivers, which require Xorg.

OPINION: There is very little in common between GPUs from different vendors and therefore there is nothing to be gained from Gallium and a lot to lose from your kum-bye-yah, "many hands make less work" idealism. There's certainly nothing immoral about building your own high quality implementation of something, rather than using another guys flawed work, or I suppose you think OpenBSD are evil because they choose to reimplement NTP* and BGP, rather than using others flawed implementations.

*OpenNTP is itself flawed when used as a precision NTP server, but is perfectly adequate for general workstation and server timekeeping, and a lot less complex/less overhead.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44816529)

Guesss what moron

Hmmokay.. the left one?

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 7 months ago | (#44812557)

I just sold my almost new i5-4670K to replace it by a A10-6800K. With the i5, it's simply impossible to get a working machine by using the new Debian Wheezy: no audio, no accelerated 3D, no fluid video, screen instability on the HDMI output, and high price. On the contrary, the A10 work perfectly well: audio, accelerated 3D, glitch free 1080p full screen video, rock stable HDMI output, and half of the i5 price.

So let me get this straight: Because you can't get a working computer running with your operating system of choice, that's the fault of the hardware? This seems like a case of misplaced blame. Especially when another operating system handles these things just fine. Now, if you want to make the argument that the necessary documentation of the hardware isn't available to the developers of your operating system of choice, or restricted by patents, etc., is what is the real problem here, I will grant that you may have an argument. But blaming the hardware because of the inadequacies of the software is not a very good argument.

And for the record, I have a similar cpu - the i5-3570K. Same architecture. I wouldn't go with AMD if you gave it to me at a third the price, because I can't just glue three computers together and get the same performance as the one I have now. AMD screwed the pooch when they opted for short-term gain at the expense of long-term growth. They depleted their cash reserves paying out dividends instead of investing in a new chip foundry, and they've cut their engineering staff. And this is such a highly specialized field, there's only a very small number of people who can design CPUs... and now that they're working for Intel, the only way to get them back is to pay more.

AMD management will never do that. They're just sucking the life out of a dying company now... selling it off piece by piece, maximizing profits... they've committed themselves to obscurity for the sake of lining their own pockets now. And in a few more years, Intel will start jacking up the prices for everyone... and there will be nobody with the ability to compete with them.

This isn't just AMD that fucked itself... it fucked the entire consumer PC market in the process.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (1)

jcdr (178250) | about 7 months ago | (#44813201)

Ok, the Debian Wheezy argument is a bit off tropic out of my concern.
But still, compared to the A10-6800K, the i5-4670K is not the nirvana:
* The HDMI output was not stable.
* The GPU performance was way inferior.
* The price was twice.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (-1, Flamebait)

CajunArson (465943) | about 7 months ago | (#44814979)

THE PRICE WAS NOT TWICE YOU LYING SHILL.
4670K: $229 Proof: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116899 [newegg.com]
A10: $149 Proof: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113331 [newegg.com]

Even if the 4670K was twice the price.. .and it's not... the CPU is just a fraction of the total system price, so the delta gets even smaller.

You never owned a 4670K, and frankly given how well Intel supports its drivers under Linux, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want you doing anything that involves computers if you can't get a simple Linux installation running.. but then again, since you're lying, you never did any of those things anway.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (1)

jcdr (178250) | about 7 months ago | (#44815363)

For me the price was CHF 252 for the i5-4670K and CHF 162 of the A10-6800K. Ok, it not twice the price, it's 55% more to be more exact. The DDR3 ram was the same and the motherboard price near identical.

I really owner a i5-4670K for two weeks. I have sold it this week-end to a young boy that will use it for gaming with an additional HD 8970 card.

I run Linux since 1995, I build embedded Linux system since 1999. I really prefer to run Debian stable on my main machine because I like the stability it granted to me since so many years. I have Ubuntu on a auxiliary machine, but it's not so stable and more and more filled by Ubuntu specific code, not counting the Unity interface that is so unproductive when you have to manage many applications.

So the goal for me was simple: buying a new main machine that will work on Debian stable. The i5-4670K failed, the A10-6800K succeeded. Try by yourself if you don't trust me.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44818369)

So the goal for me was simple: buying a new main machine that will work on Debian stable. The i5-4670K failed, the A10-6800K succeeded. Try by yourself if you don't trust me.

Well, shit. You're a dumbass. Firstly, because Debian is so shit, it makes Ubuntu look good by comparison.

Secondly, because assuming your idiotic goals, you could have easily got Debian stable running on your hyper-new machine by simply installing a new mesa, libdrm and kernel (which is made much harder by Debian's insane package manager, but is not that hard if you just hack around it).

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (1)

jcdr (178250) | about 7 months ago | (#44819145)

Are you award that Ubuntu is a Debian variation ? There uses exactly the same package management: apt and dpkg. I have tried Debian Sid without much success on the i5-4670K so backports will have not solved the problem anyway.

You can blame my decision if you like, you can blame Debian if you like. I think that expecting that a new machine work without trouble with the last new stable revision of one of the leading distribution is not so insane. I personally blame Intel for there overpriced processors with low end GPU, instable HDMI, and lack of support to Debian (after all there have far enough money to help a little). I have made a bad experience with Intel, no with you, so why are you so emotive ? My expectation was perfectly realist: the A10-6800K meet the goal very well for a lower price. That's so simple.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 7 months ago | (#44820201)

I have made a bad experience with Intel, no with you, so why are you so emotive ? My expectation was perfectly realist: the A10-6800K meet the goal very well for a lower price. That's so simple.

Your english needs work, bud. That said... if low price is your only concern, AMD might be fine. That is, afterall, the market they're going for. But if you want performance, especially for games, or for running VMs, etc, forget it. And as far as this "HDMI not stable, blah blah blah"... that's not a hardware problem, that's a software problem. Stop blaming the platform for shitty drivers. It works fine on Windows.

If you want to say Intel isn't providing the specs or reference implimentations necessary for Debian to produce a good driver, you may have an argument, but saying the hardware is shit because Debian produced a shit driver... is the height of ignorance.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (1)

jcdr (178250) | about 7 months ago | (#44821275)

English is a difficult task for me. Would you like to continue in french ?

My first concern was a new stable machine, not the price. If the price was a high concern I will have not even buy the i5-4670K in the first place. That said, I observe that a lower priced A10-6800K do the job just fine. Actually there is no processor on the Intel inventory that can match the GPU performance of the top AMD processors (and this is also true for discrete card as Intel don't make any of them). That might change in the future, but this fact is true as today.

Debian don't write drivers. You are ignorant if you pretend the contrary.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 7 months ago | (#44838043)

English is a difficult task for me. Would you like to continue in french ?

If you feel more comfortable with it, sure. But alas, english is the apparent default language of the internet, at least everywhere but China... which is weird because more people speak Mandarin than english, but I digress...

My first concern was a new stable machine, not the price. If the price was a high concern I will have not even buy the i5-4670K in the first place.

I suppose after all these exchanges, now is a bad time to point out that the 'K' at the end signifies it is meant for overclocking and, I'm wondering if maybe you tried this and the system became unstable, and so you concluded that Intel was shit at processors... rather than the rather more accurate conclusion that overclocking is really hit or miss, and running it over spec is a gamble... maybe you lost with Intel and won with AMD, and all this is, is a spot of gambler's fallacy.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (1)

jcdr (178250) | about 7 months ago | (#44838839)

Vous avez donc bien compris pourquoi je fais l'effort de vous parler en Anglais.

Since I have to quickly replace a defect machine, I go to the nearest PC shop, and there only have the "K" version in stock. The non-"K" would have show exactly the same result as I did't even tried to overclock the processor. I only used the BIOS default conservative configuration. I did not overclock the A10-6800K either. So this point is not a concern for this exchange.

Note: I never overclocked, but I sometimes underclock or limite the clock of a processors to stay into a comfortable thermal power range of a embedded system. I usually underclock my NFS servers too as my experience make me confident that it help a little to make them last longer, and there very rarely need a lot of processing power anyway.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (1)

pavon (30274) | about 7 months ago | (#44813317)

So you bought brand new hardware, and expected it to work with an OS/drivers that entered feature freeze almost a year ago, and which was released slightly before the hardware was? I'm sorry, but that is no one's fault but your own. Haswell works fine in distros that were released after the hardware was. Even Debian Testing has Haswell support (as of a week or so ago).

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (1)

jcdr (178250) | about 7 months ago | (#44813521)

The A10-6800K was released the same month as the i5-4670K: june 2013, so there the two equally brand new hardware.
I have tested last week without success the Debian Sid on the i5-4670K. Can't repeat the experience this week as I have sold it.
And I doubt that the distro was the cause of the HDMI instability.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44815831)

I have a 4 year old Dell workstation with Core i7 and two "corporate" graphics cards (the fanless kind that are closer to integrated graphics than discrete). I have two Thinkpads with Intel graphics of two different generations (Core i5 and older Core2). Considering the rate at which I see bugs come and go on kernel and Xorg minor revisions, I'd say the distribution has everything to do with it.

I was on the 6 month threadmill with Fedora for a long time, then tried CentOS 6, then went back to Fedora 19 because I found CentOS to be such a step backwards in hardware support. The distribution has caused a particular version of Xorg and kernel drivers that doesn't work for your hardware combination. I have been using Linux almost exclusively since 1992 where I started by beta-testing some of the first 2D accelerated drivers for XFree86. It's only gotten worse in recent years, as far as seeing stability regressions with different kernel, userspace, and hardware combinations.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 7 months ago | (#44822411)

Actually the A10-6800K is a re-release of the 5800K, but with more complex power management and new sensors bolted onto the chip ; motherboard/chipset are the same too and as far as I can tell the chipset are the same than with former APUs on socket FM1. The GPU has the same architecture as the Radeon 6970, released in December 2010.

Re:to bad intel sucks in some ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44816459)

More THAN. Idiot.

Re:AMD is dying (1)

wmac1 (2478314) | about 7 months ago | (#44809795)

AMD does not own a fab anymore. It is just another priority customer of global foundry. It is sad that they are in the path of vanishing (if they cannot reinvent themselves in another market). They cannot compete with a company 50 times bigger than themselves forever.

If it wasn't for ARM we would now have no option other than Intel. I think every attempt to create competition even if it is a futile Windows RT (but open for native programming) is good for consumers.

What about console architectures in PCs? (2)

lehphyro (1465921) | about 7 months ago | (#44809477)

Does anyone know about any plans AMD might have to implement that unified memory model in next-gen consoles in desktop PCs?

Re:What about console architectures in PCs? (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 7 months ago | (#44809667)

Was wondering that myself. I would of thought "Bald Eagle" would of been a likely candidate but looks like the roadmap:

* Hierofalcon CPU SoC 2014 Q2
* Bald Eagle APU/CPU Q1/2 2014 - The next generation high-performance x86-based embedded (???) processor
* Steppe Eagle APU SOC Q1/Q2 2014 ... doesn't include any mention.

--
With all these "bird" names does that mean AMD has flown the coop? :-/

Re:What about console architectures in PCs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44811149)

You mean this HSA / hUMA thing?
Well if I understand their presentation [0] correctly, then this will be implemented not only in processors for consoles. (see especially slide 24 for this)

[0] http://www.slideshare.net/AMD/amd-heterogeneous-uniform-memory-access

Re: What about console architectures in PCs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44814385)

Yes, the Kaveri generation of APUs will have support for hUMA features - that includes the x86 APUs in this article. I cannot comment on the support in consoles (I can comment but I won't :-)

FFS (1)

jon3k (691256) | about 7 months ago | (#44810677)

AMD needs to find a way to clarify their product line. I follow this stuff and I can't keep with all the shit AMD is doing. I just give up and buy Intel.

Re:FFS (2)

halltk1983 (855209) | about 7 months ago | (#44811627)

Sempron: low power, low price
Athlon: Medium Power, medium price
A-Series: APU with built in graphics
FX: High end, lots of cores, high price

They're adding an ARM processor, which if you can't figure out 4 levels of processor isn't for you.

Re:FFS (1)

jon3k (691256) | about 7 months ago | (#44814387)

That's actually really helpful, thank you. I think what else I'm having trouble with is the never ending stream of new code names.

Re:FFS (1)

halltk1983 (855209) | about 7 months ago | (#44840681)

Both companies do this, though, it's not just an AMD-ism. They describe the actual architectures underlying the market name. It allows you to know what specific features will be in a specific processor, if you actually care. But for the most part, at least with AMD, the bigger number is better. An A10 is better than an A8. And then an A10 with a higher number after the dash is better than an A10 with a lower number. If you plan to always have a discrete video card, the FX series is probably better. If you ever plan on falling back to the on-board, the A-series is better. Honestly, the APUs AMD puts out now are quite nice for a low end gaming desktop, or mid-range gaming laptop. Make great HTPCs with an ability to load up games. Anything a generation or two old will run at high settings. As long as you don't expect to be able to run Crysis 4 on a $130 CPU/GPU combo, you're alright with the A-series. If you later decide you want to, plug in a discrete card.

Glad I could help a bit, regardless.

Re:FFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44815723)

Sempron and Athlon are pretty much gone.

You just have A-Series APU (cheap, lower power) and FX series, more cores.

Dear AMD (2)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 7 months ago | (#44812053)

AMD, please please please offer a socketed version of these chips and it would be even better if you offered an ARM processor only socketed chip that can plug into a full motherboard. I really want a full and snappy and upgradable PC in a small(er) form factor that does not need to crank up a fan to "OMG! I THINK I'M MELTING!"-speed because the CPU is running under a full load. If you insist on making it an APU, I can live with that. x86 is dying fast and Windows 8 runs on ARM which makes it the perfect opportunity to change and the time for change is now. Please AMD, do me this one favor.

Love,
A loyal customer

Re:Dear AMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44818099)

if you offered an ARM processor

To do this, they would have to include an 8086 emulator (complete amd64 emulator for UEFI) in ROM for executing BIOS/EFI code, or insist all motherboard manufacturers that support the socket include tested dual-architecture BIOS.

If they do the former, they will have unending problems from users installing amd64 OS on it and wondering why the performance is so suck (because it's emulated, dummy). If they do the latter, neverending problems will plague any users who buy into it, as vendors of motherboards and peripherals will inevitably screw up one architecture or the other.

What I would like to see is a slotted north-side board, with a soldered on CPU and DIMM slots, so I can upgrade my PC without replacing the whole motherboard. The SuperIO, soundchipset, NIC, SATA controllers, PCIe slots don't change often between CPU upgrades, yet I'm currently forced to replace the whole lot because of incompatible sockets (and less common RAM).

If I could just replace the parts that have changed, and save money in the process, I would be happy.

Hardware encryption (1)

ops2048 (3002301) | about 7 months ago | (#44815565)

I note that the Hierofalcon and some of the Avoton Atom SoC have hardware encryption co-processors. Given that, post Snowdon, many many ordinary and corporate consumers will be switching to https and using Tor and ciphers much more regularly are there any plans to release hardware encryption to other market segments additional to the micro server market ? I think there's a real opportunity for pc and laptop makers here. Additionally, would any /.ers care to speculate as to the possibility that the NSA may have leaned on Intel and AMD in an effort to compromise these co-processors ?

NSA sure has its smudgy little fingers in there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44816731)

...would any /.ers care to speculate as to the possibility that the NSA may have leaned on Intel and AMD in an effort to compromise these co-processors ?

It is Good Practice to assume that your adversary is in there if he can.

And the NSA can.

(And yes, based on past experience I'm convinced they are in there).

The most interesting part will be to ponder on "how" and "how can we detect that".

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