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Intel Begins Shipping 64-bit Prescotts

CowboyNeal posted about 10 years ago | from the unheralded-releases dept.

Intel 411

Rucas writes "With a minimum of fanfare, Intel has begun shipping a version of the Pentium 4 with 64-bit instruction set extensions. The news came to light not via an Intel press release, but rather through the spec sheet for a new server from IBM. In the midst of the new IBM eServer xSeries servers based on the recently released 64-bit Xeon is a blade server powered by the 64-bit Prescott. This marks the first product appearance of the new CPU."

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And tought that before was the oposite (4, Insightful)

agoliveira (188870) | about 10 years ago | (#9896176)

Now it's Intel running behind AMD :)

Finally! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896204)

We have all waited for it for so long, now it is there: gay.slashdot.org [slashdot.org]

Congratulations for the continuous support you and CowboiKneel gave and give to the homosexual community.

Re:Finally! (-1, Offtopic)

MaxQuordlepleen (236397) | about 10 years ago | (#9896217)

don't forget goatse.slashdot.org [slashdot.org]

Re:Finally! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896236)

don't forget goatse.slashdot.org

No offence meant.

Of course, the goatosexual community has my full support once I am in office.

--
John Kerry [johnkerry.com]

My Question... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896181)

64 bit = twice the heat

Re:My Question... (1)

shepmaster (319234) | about 10 years ago | (#9896500)

Perhaps you do not understand what 'Question' means?

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896182)

hahah cool ,first post

Re:first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896218)

heheh ghey ,little asshead .

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896184)

Finally I got one!!!111!1

Figures (4, Insightful)

BCW2 (168187) | about 10 years ago | (#9896185)

Intel has been, in reality, behind AMD for at least two years. Now it just gets confirmed.

Bang for the buck means AMD wins hands down.

Re:Figures (2, Interesting)

cmdrxizor (776632) | about 10 years ago | (#9896210)

Which makes it even more surprising that Intel wasn't really hyping this themselves. You'd think they would want every reason to get people to switch back to them for high-end tasks where 64 bits could be useful.

Re:Figures (1)

DAldredge (2353) | about 10 years ago | (#9896212)

They spent too much (over 1 BILLION USD) on the itanium for them to hype this chip so much.

Re:Figures (1, Interesting)

TCM (130219) | about 10 years ago | (#9896222)

"Bang" is not only raw speed. It's working chipsets, no PCI transfer issues (e.g. sound clicks when transferring via IDE), no lockups. I'm not so sure AMD is ahead in every aspect. Nothing compares to an Intel chipset + Intel CPU combo IMHO.

Re:Figures (1)

BCW2 (168187) | about 10 years ago | (#9896237)

I'm using my third AMD system and have never had a problem with anything. This one is N-Force2 and will whip any P4 within 1Ghz of the speed.

Fan Boy Alert (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896279)

Fan Boy Alert

Yeah of course a 2000+ AMD will wip a 3.4Ghz P4 EE.

Give it a break.

I was going to buy Althlon MP's except for the fact that USB was broken and they never fixed it.
Have had sound/ide noise issues on Via Boards too.

Re:Fan Boy Alert (1)

Jorkapp (684095) | about 10 years ago | (#9896374)

Much the same of the ATI X800XPE getting 0.6fps lower than the GeForce 6800. Give me a break.

Re:Fan Boy Alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896396)

Yeah, you are a fanboy. Dude said "within 1ghz of the speed". Your comparison is not within 1ghz of the speed.

Fanboys see everything through their favorite company filter. Whoever modded your post informative is a dumb little fanboy too.

Re:Fan Boy Alert (1)

hobbesmaster (592205) | about 10 years ago | (#9896423)

Of course he said within 1ghz of the speed. Which is funny considering that assuming he has an AMD processor between the speeds of 1.0ghz and 2.0ghz hes probably right. Of course not that that really means anything, it just means that the netburst architecture needs a lot more clock cycles than the athlons to get stuff done.

Re:Fan Boy Alert (4, Interesting)

jusdisgi (617863) | about 10 years ago | (#9896468)

Uh...he did say "within 1GHz of the speed." You're talking about a chip that's well over twice as high in frequency....or, another way, nearly 2GHz faster. Or, a third way, several times as expensive. So, uh....can it.

And while you're at it...what's this about USB being broken and never fixed? I haven't noticed it on any of my AMD machines.

For the record, I have many, many Intel boxes, and many (though not quite *as* many) AMD ones as well. If cost is no object, and insano speed and/or 64bit isn't necessary, I'll choose Intel. If I'm paying for it, it will be an Athlon. If I want the fastest thing I can lay hands on, I'll get an opteron.

There is no point in bickering over vi vs. emacs. Or NVidia vs. 3dfx.

Re:Figures (1)

Dr Reducto (665121) | about 10 years ago | (#9896285)

Well, the Nforce was what turned chipsets for AMD around. It used to be if you got a Pentium processor and Intel motherboard, you got a solid motherboard. If you got an AMD processor, the quality of the chipset would be a crapshoot. The NForces are very nice boards.

Re:Figures (2, Interesting)

andreyw (798182) | about 10 years ago | (#9896357)

I realize its pretty much hit-and-miss with VIA chipsets (just like with Windows... make sure you're using a "newer revision" or else...), but the KT266A (note the "A" revision) is a pretty damn good chipset under Linux at least. I've never had any issues with it under 2.4 or 2.6 kernels. All the built-in on-chipset crap work. No problems with AGP 1x, 2x or 4x + nVidia GFX. No problems with ATA-100 IDE.

Re:Figures (1)

HFXPro (581079) | about 10 years ago | (#9896458)

I've had good luck with my Asus board based on the KT333 chipset.

Re:Figures (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | about 10 years ago | (#9896463)

Have you ever used a Via chipset? If you have, I'm quite surprised you've never encountered any issues (most of which are directly tied to their out of date 4-in-1 driver system)

Re:Figures (2, Interesting)

DAldredge (2353) | about 10 years ago | (#9896330)

Funny my AMD 760MP based system has not show any of the issue you describe.

Re:Figures (1)

jusdisgi (617863) | about 10 years ago | (#9896501)

Yeah, pretty much all these complaints are about Via chipsets, not AMD procs. They may be founded...but all it says to me is "go get an nforce board."

Re:Figures (1, Redundant)

kinema (630983) | about 10 years ago | (#9896425)

I would be very carefull about saying that nothing compares to an Intel chipset and CPU combo. You might want to take a look at Apple's dual 970 offerings.

Re:Figures (4, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | about 10 years ago | (#9896503)

Intel's current chipset for the Noncona (Tumwater?) has an error in it. Certain PCIe cards cause the error (I don't know if it's hangs or no-boots or what). So untill new chips are made and distributed near the end of this year, boards with the Intel chipset can't run various PCIe cards. PCI and PCI-X work, as do some validated PCIe cards, but that's a major hang-up.

I'll take a chipset that work (never had a problem with my NForce2) over one that doesn't work with a major new technology (PCIe) any day.

Re:Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896369)

Two years? Less than 1 year since the Athlon 64 shipped. Before then the Opteron was hampered by poor board support. Even now, major OEMs are just starting to use AMD.

> Bang for the buck means AMD wins hands down

Except on the bottomline. By any right, AMD's parts should be priced higher than Intel's.

Re:Figures (4, Insightful)

AstroDrabb (534369) | about 10 years ago | (#9896375)

AMD has been kicking Intel's butt value/speed wise, but not in the corporate world. I have worked at three fortune 500 companies, and _all_ desktops and servers are Intel running Linux or Windows with some Sparc boxes. I did not see _one_ AMD box. It seems Intel has built a killer name in the corporate space and AMD has not made a dent in that. My last three home boxes have been AMD and they have all run great. I wonder why the corporate take-up of AMD has been so slow?

Obsolete? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896186)

If intel gets their faster 64bit processors out now, will my lower class athlon 64 3000+ be obsolete sooner?

ars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896191)

Is slashdot now an arstechnica news aggregator?

plagiarism (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896193)

more like arstechnica.com writes....

/.ed technic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896325)

This way, people will go and slashdot arstechnica!

Original Article (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896196)

A link to the original on Ars might've been nice:

http://arstechnica.com/news/posts/20040804-4070.ht ml [arstechnica.com]

Re:Original Article (1)

aiken_d (127097) | about 10 years ago | (#9896268)

Damn straight. How lame is it to submit a cut-and-paste paragraph, while changing the links so there's only one eetimes link and no arstechnica links? Not to mention not giving credit for where the cut-and-paste came from.

Cheers
-b

Re:Original Article (1)

ozzmosis (99513) | about 10 years ago | (#9896345)

How is that the original if it was posted a day later than the eetimes article ?

Re:Original Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896394)

original as in where the submitter cut and paste the whole description from....

Isnt it the other way around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896490)

You guys are a classic. Ars links EE in the first sentance, and Ars was published a day later than the EE article. You've so obviously got it wrong.

strange (1)

huxrules (649822) | about 10 years ago | (#9896198)

So I wonder if this new CPU doesn't run as well on desktops as the AMD64. I wonder if the intel guys were waiting for doom3 to come out to see how it ran against a amd64.

Re:strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896446)

heh might be nice if you could actually get ahold of a 64 bit windows,without it you're screwed anyway, still 32 bit no big improvement at all, just built a new comp, since 64 bit winblows wasnt out i went with a 3.4GB with HT and Dual Channel DDR, very fast windows xp boots in 10 seconds. MICROSOFT CATCH YOUR ASSES UP! LINUX HAS BEATEN YOU AGAIN! (referring to the 64 bit support in the 2.6 series kernel)

Re:strange (1)

AsylumWraith (458952) | about 10 years ago | (#9896507)

My shop has built ~30 Athlon 64-based, and at least one (that I know of,) AthlonFX based systems since AMD's 64 bit line has come out. And let me tell you what, there IS a big difference. I would put ANY Athlon 64 up against ANY Pentium, and bet a paycheck that it would whoop the Intel in terms of real world performance.

Can't wait until I've saved up enough to buy my new system.

Disabled 64 bit extensions on first chips shipped? (4, Interesting)

eltoyoboyo (750015) | about 10 years ago | (#9896200)

"Intel president Paul Otellini said that Intel was building the capability for its 64-bit extensions into Prescott. At the time, he said that Intel wouldn't enable the feature until Microsoft released a 64-bit version of Windows; that operating system is expected later this year. "

Does this mean that we will have disabled and enabled versions? Like the old 486SX and DX (SX I understood was a disabled/failed math co-processor). I suppose like all their other chip lines, each will be labled distinctly with some marketing nomenclature.

Re:Disabled 64 bit extensions on first chips shipp (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896340)

Like the old 486SX and DX (SX I understood was a disabled/failed math co-processor
The full details of that:

486SX - a 486DX with its FPU disabled.

486DX - 486SX with a working FPU.

487 - 486DX with a slightly different pinout for use in 486SX systems and sold as a "math-coprocessor;" actually, it would disable the 486SX and be used exclusively!

Source [ic.ac.uk] .

Re:Disabled 64 bit extensions on first chips shipp (2, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | about 10 years ago | (#9896418)

It's entirely possible that things have changed since the version that had it disabled. While your 486 analagy makes sense (and they probably will do that with some chips that fail the 64 bit tests), it's possible there have been other changes. Inten could have added instructions since the eariler chips that had it disabled, or bugs could have been found that mean the chip wouldn't run correctly if the extra circuits were enabled.

My guess is that it would work, but they've been fine-tuning it the whole time and so if you could enable an old one, a new chip (pre-enabled) would be faster than an old one, as they were using the extra time MS gave them (intentionally or not) to make things better.

Subdued Release (5, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 10 years ago | (#9896220)

The low profile introduction can be explained by the official designation for the new instruction set features: they will be known as the IA32-NIH extensions.

The last thread on Xeons... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 10 years ago | (#9896223)

...had a post with a link to the Dell site which was selling the Pentium 4 and Xeons, both with available x86-64 compatibility and ready to order now.

Supposedly Intel released the chips in June too.

Re:The last thread on Xeons... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896495)

HP too offers workstations with both Xeon processors and Pentium 4's with EM64T http://www.hp.com/workstations/pws/xw4200/ [hp.com]

Amazing (5, Interesting)

Castaa (458419) | about 10 years ago | (#9896224)

It's pretty astounding that major jump from 32-bit to 64-bit processing isn't even mentioned by Intel.

Think about how big a jump it was from the i286 to i386 (16-bit to 32-bit.) That release was a major deal for Intel.

Re:Amazing (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 10 years ago | (#9896267)

As the #1 volume desktop operating system doesn't support it yet, why?

IIRC, nobody cared about 32 bit until Windows 95 came around, and even that was a hack. I don't rememer intel hawking 32 bit for 386s so much.

For a company whose main business is to businesses and retail, who in turn primarily use an OS with no x86-64 compatible variant, it is pointless. Thus why this is being promoted to the workstation and server market.

AMD's rare Athlon 64 ads seem to pay lip service to this missing OS issue. Given that few switch because of said OS's insecurities, not a lot of people are willing to switch to a 64 bit OS for bit-ness sake.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896303)

At the time, everyday computer users were hitting their heads on the 16-bit barrier. But right now, there's no legitimate need among the majority of computer users for 64 bits. To get an idea of how severe this need was, remember that it took something like five years before we saw the first fully-32 bit desktop operating system (OS/2). The entire intervening time everyone was writing DOS extenders and the like: rewriting huge portions of the operating system just so they could take advantage of the processor's new features.

I'm not saying we won't find needs for 64-bit CPUs, but the way things stand right now, what we've got is good enough for well over 99% of computer systems (even servers). We won't be seeing games that include "Windows extenders" to make it function in 64-bit mode, even if it takes another year for a 64-bit Windows to come out. There's just not the pressing need that there was.

The main advantage to new 64-bit CPUs is that the engineers are taking advantage of the opportunity to make some more fundamental architectural changes, like more registers. Those are where the "need" is really evident and where people are seeing the most improvement. It has little, if anything, to do with the number of bits.

Re:Amazing (1)

garompa (714684) | about 10 years ago | (#9896341)

The i286 microprocessor was designed after the i386. as a stripped down 386.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896361)

Think you mean the 186 don't you as that controls traffic lights.

286 was pre 386

Re:Amazing (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896441)


Think you mean the 186 don't you as that controls traffic lights.

286 was pre 386


The 186 was pre 286 as well.

I think he means the 8088 is a stripped down 8086, or that the 386sx is a stripped down 386dx, or the 486sx, or the celeron...

Re:Amazing (0, Redundant)

MBCook (132727) | about 10 years ago | (#9896377)

I wasn't into computers when the switch from 286 to 386 happened (I was 2 when it was released in '85). But I can imagine all sorts of situations where a normal person would bump up against numbers bigger than 64k. If you want to keep track of finances and you do it with integers (better than floating point for money), then you max out at ~65000 pennies. That $650. It's not that hard to wrap around a 16bit number in real life.

32 bit numbers work much better. The main reason to upgrade is not because people are using so many 64 bit numbers, but because memory space is becomming a problem and the added memory (or even just extra address space) can make a big difference. This isn't the revolutionary leap that the 386 was. I doubt we'll see such a big difference again.

Re:Amazing (2)

tonyr60 (32153) | about 10 years ago | (#9896402)

I can remember going from 8 bit 6502 based systems to a sort of 16 bit IBM XT. Boy was I disappointed.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896386)

Currently, there is 0 operating system support for these chips. (Linux/86-64 distros don't boot yet). Why sell a feature nobody can use?

Two reasons why it's not hyped. (4, Insightful)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | about 10 years ago | (#9896399)

1) "Not invented here". Actually, Intel does have a 64-bit platform, it's called the Itanium. They don't want to detract from their own product line by hyping this. They're marketing it like a way to extend your RAM and a way to get compatibility with those newfangled versions of NT that were once the province of AMD beta testers.

2) The 64-bit instructions are reportedly emulated and are not as fast as the AMD equivalent. Therefore they will make x86_64-specific optimizations seem slow. They'd rather you use it for the 40-bit pointers, but to keep the word sizes 32-bit and not to use those extended registers.

It's a half-hearted effort to get the compatilibity where it matters (OS, database) while exploiting the fact that most of the code is still x86_32 with a sprinkle of performance-critical SSE* and that runs fine on Nocona.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896404)

It's pretty astounding that major jump from 32-bit to 64-bit processing isn't even mentioned by Intel.

Not really. They are actually embarassed by it. They had to abandon their 64-bit Itanium [intel.com] processor and instead make their processors compatible with AMD's 64-bit processors [amd.com] .

You'll probably find little "64-bit enabled" stickers on the computers and logos like that in the ads, but aside from that they're going to be as quiet about this as they can. When the 64-bit version of XP [microsoft.com] starts shipping, they'll say something like how their processors have been compatible with it since August 2004, and how all their current processors are compatible, and leave it at that.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896465)


Think about how big a jump it was from the i286 to i386 (16-bit to 32-bit.) That release was a major deal for Intel.


What was a major deal? The 286 to 386 jump was *IGNORED* by everyone for quite a while. And when it did come about, there as a lot of press about Compaq jumping IBM as first to 32bits...

Ofcourse, nothing could use 32 bits until OS/2 2.0
Several years later that is.

Windows 64 Bit? (0, Flamebait)

stroustrup (712004) | about 10 years ago | (#9896228)

In May, at its spring analysts meeting for the business community, Intel president Paul Otellini said that Intel was building the capability for its 64-bit extensions into Prescott. At the time, he said that Intel wouldn't enable the feature until Microsoft released a 64-bit version of Windows; that operating system is expected later this year.

That is, if they get their 32-bit [slashdot.org] thingy working right to start with

At least for now (0, Troll)

garompa (714684) | about 10 years ago | (#9896230)

AMD is leading in x86 computing, but they don't have anything like Itanium or other architecture than x86 which has been dominant in the last 25 years... how many more years do you thing it's going to last?

Xeon-Nocona no faster on 64-bit code? (5, Informative)

vincecate (741268) | about 10 years ago | (#9896241)

There are benchmarks from anadtech.com [anandtech.com] and xbitlabs.com [xbitlabs.com] that show AMD64 chips have higher performance on 64-bit code. Since there are more registers in 64-bit mode, it seems very reasonable for it to run 64-bit code faster. However, both theinquirer.net [theinquirer.net] and infoworld.com [infoworld.com] claim that the 64-bit performance of Xeon-Nocona is no higher than its 32-bit performance. At first this seems unreasonable, since it will also have the additional registers that helped AMD. However, some of the 64-bit instructions can be longer [x86-64.org] , so relying on a big cache may not work as well and high memory bandwidth may be more important. So it could well be that AMD's chips are better suited for 64-bit code.

Though Xeon-Nocona has been available for more than a month [intel.com] it seems there there are no substantial reports on 64-bit performance of Nocona. Is there anyone here who can report anything about the 64-bit performance of Nocona?

Re:Xeon-Nocona no faster on 64-bit code? (0)

MBCook (132727) | about 10 years ago | (#9896393)

There are other differences that could account for it. For example I've heard that Intel "tacked on" the 64-bit part to the chip, while the Opteron was designed with the 64-bit stuff from the ground up. That could account for the difference (if true). Also remember that the Intel has a longer pipeline (misperdicted branches and such hurt more), and that the Opteron has it's on-die memory controller (drastically reduces latency to RAM). There are other options. Code out there today is most likely optomized for the Opteron.

Where are the 64 bit apps? (4, Insightful)

DroopyStonx (683090) | about 10 years ago | (#9896243)

Ok, so Win XP 64-bit is in beta. Great! But where's everything else?

At what point are people actually going to start making 64 bit applications? I'm not talking 64 bit linux or anything like that, I'm talking consumer level apps and games.

I see a lot of people upgrading to 64 bit chips, but what good does it do if there's nothing to utilize them? Is it just for bragging rights or what?

I'm a programmer and I have yet to see a need to get a 64 bit chip.

Re:Where are the 64 bit apps? (1)

Crizp (216129) | about 10 years ago | (#9896278)

When WinXP is 64-bit I guess big companies like Adobe will be quite quick to release 64-bit versions of Photoshop, AfterEffects etc. Photoshop FLIES on a G5 (granted, the AltiVecs has something to do with that too) Also, a 64-bit version of 3D Studio MAX would be sweet.

Re:Where are the 64 bit apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896475)

hahaha mac os 10.3 has LIMITED 64 bit support from what i understand, 10.4 is supposed to be fully utilizing the 64 bit g5's

Re:Where are the 64 bit apps? (1)

sodre (453685) | about 10 years ago | (#9896283)

Well, try programming a large simulation system where you have items with XX degrees of freedom and you'll start seeing why having that extra memory and registers will help.

As far as consumer apps are concerned: "Build it and they will come!"

Re:Where are the 64 bit apps? (4, Informative)

Christopher Thomas (11717) | about 10 years ago | (#9896309)

At what point are people actually going to start making 64 bit applications? I'm not talking 64 bit linux or anything like that, I'm talking consumer level apps and games.

Among other things, it should let the OS map more than a few gigabytes of memory into the address space at one time. A 32-bit application will only be able to see 4 gigabytes (or 2, or whatever the limit ends up being after tag bits and OS space are reserved), but the total amount in use can be more, without an application rewrite needed. This is already done to some extent (my understanding is that the 32-bit processors have 36 bits of address space in total, with a 32-bit per process maximum), but moving to 64 bits gives a lot more headroom.

I see a lot of people upgrading to 64 bit chips, but what good does it do if there's nothing to utilize them? Is it just for bragging rights or what?

I'm a programmer and I have yet to see a need to get a 64 bit chip.


It's handy to have native handling of things like 64-bit integers, but addressable memory space is the most pressing reason right now. You'll be able to mmap() a file larger than 2 gigabytes on x86-64 machines (where up to now you had to use a non-x86 platform). You'll be able to hold more than 2 gigabytes of working data in RAM, which is significant if you're doing video editing (or heavy rendering or really heavy image processing).

Consumer apps and games will move into this niche in a few years (there are algorithms that let you trade off memory footprint and speed, and memory is cheap). But there are several places where the ability to address more memory is important _now_, even for user workstations.

Re:Where are the 64 bit apps? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896491)


I'm a programmer and I have yet to see a need to get a 64 bit chip.


This is commonly known as VB disease.

Re:Where are the 64 bit apps? (1)

Compholio (770966) | about 10 years ago | (#9896504)

In the way of games, Unreal Tournament 2004 has a 64-bit version (available for Linux of course).

Intel with a 64-Prescott (2, Insightful)

btsdev (695138) | about 10 years ago | (#9896248)

You know, I'm starting to feel sorry for Intel; they've had a terribly rough year with no performance gains (while AMD has run past them) and failures with the Prescott (overheating, big time). As we've seen on slashdot, they've recently released their roadmap for the next year and we don't even see speed improvements coming then. Well anyway, about the 64-Prescott. This seems like a very desperate move from Intel in the midst of all their problems -- they've had no official release for this new technology move (this seems sketchy ... this would normally be a humungous deal!) and, moreso, because they're basing this huge move on the Prescott, a chip which has been pushed beyond it's limits. There's reports everywhere about people's fans on heatsinks melting. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what Intel can manage to push out in the coming quarters -- it doesn't seem like them (as has been said by Intel's CEO in an intra-company memo) and, with their past, it only makes sense that they'll emerge from this alive, and may be in the lead again in the near years to come.

That write up looks familar ... (3, Informative)

BigAl_nz (39616) | about 10 years ago | (#9896252)

Where could I have seen it before [arstechnica.com] .

AMD wins? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896254)

The Stupid heatsink retention mechanism design award!

I saw an opteron install for the first time a few days ago and OMG, why in gods name are they still using the sping clips to hold the heat sinks on.

Those things must weigh a tonne and yet they are still on clips! Somebody tell me clips is just an option rather than the norm.

Still I think I will stay with my mix of 32bit Intels & AMD's and let this mess sort itself out.
To be honest I'd quite like to see Itanium/Power/Sparc win it out, just bacause it would be really nice to get rid of all that legacy crap thats in current CPU's.
x86 is a horrible cludge, 8 to 16 to 32 and now to 64 bits and all by extensions. Get Rid of it now for a better future and faster future chips.
MHz for MHz the x86 gets murdered by all the EPIC and MIPS/SPARC/Power RISC chips.

The Mac lot did emulation of the old CPU & look at the benifits of that.

Re:AMD wins? (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | about 10 years ago | (#9896403)

Spring clips? What you say? My Opteron heatsink is bolted onto a metal plate on the back of the motherboard. There is no way that sucker is coming off.

makes sense... (1, Flamebait)

wickedmm (711725) | about 10 years ago | (#9896262)

They had to release now after they found out that XP SP2 was being delays. If Intel waits for Win64 they'll be out of business.

Re:makes sense... (1)

Creamsickle (792801) | about 10 years ago | (#9896308)

That post sucked but at least it's not in DOOM BEIGE...or is it?

Quick! (2, Insightful)

Stevyn (691306) | about 10 years ago | (#9896264)

I need to know what proper cflags I should use.

Anyway

I'm still unconvinced about 64-bit computing for the present. I think most businesses will wait a long while before making upgrades based on this. One obvious reason is that software is compiled for 32-bit processors, but how much faster is say Gentoo compiled for a 64-bit AMD processor?

A lot of people's arguments defending 64-bit computing is that no software is designed for it. I'm sure I'm completely ignorant on this, but how well does gcc take advantage of it if I were to compile programs to make use of it?

Re:Quick! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896346)

As of 3.4.0 GCC recognises and supports optmisations for AMD64 architecture with the march=k8 flag.

Re:Quick! (1)

btsdev (695138) | about 10 years ago | (#9896400)

Well, I've found it pretty helpful just to go on over to the Gentoo 64-bit forums and just read random threads that seem interesting.

http://forums.gentoo.org/viewforum.php?f=46 [gentoo.org]

Gives good insight to speed differences, experiences (they all seem to be pretty good), and technical stuff (cflags, etc). Also I would try asking in #gentoo on irc.freenode.net -- lots of people are running Gentoo on 64-bit processors and are happy to answer questions there.

Re:Quick! (3, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | about 10 years ago | (#9896457)

While the 64-bit part may not seem to make that much of a difference, the other parts of the architecutre (like the 20+ extra general purpose registers) can make a large difference in some programs. As compilers get better, so will the performance of 64-bit code.

There are also the "intangibles". For example right now software can only use about 3 gigs of memory without hacks (PAE and such). This is because there is only 4 gigs of address space and the OS and libraries must be in there somewhere, so most OSes give the OS 1 or 2 gigs of that address space. And you must map a library into each program's view of the address space, possibly into different areas. With a 64-bit address space, you could give a full 4 gigs to tons of programs, all while having lots of libraries loaded and have a simple linear addressing space for everyone. This simplifies things quite a bit. And when you need to use more than 4 gigs of data, you'll be able to without any performance hit.

The biggest difference you'll see are the registers. While it won't help you type faster into a word processor, it could very well help a game out.

Opteron Still Better (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | about 10 years ago | (#9896269)

Even if the two chips performed identically in how fast they executed instructions, ran the same clockspeed, etc... AMD still has the edge.

Because the Opteron has an on-die memory controller. That can boost things up to 20% in some cases. It also makes designing motherboards easier because you don't need both a north and southbridge. It makes it harder to upgrade to a new memory technology, but it can be disabled allowing you to do that (I think). If they switched to that buffered "FB-RAM" or whatever (there was an article on the idea a while back on a big hardware site) that would fix that.

But anyway, Intel is stuck in a hard place. Because of the memory controller, their chips perform slower because of the extra latency, so they must ratchet up clockspeeds. The solution? An on-die memory controller. So why don't they do it? They CAN'T.

Intel has been pushing BTX for a variety of reasons (although most people blame Prescott's heat for it). But the way BTX is designed Opteron boards can't be made into a BTX form-factor because the memory is too far away from the CPU (there is too much electrical noise, IIRC). This means that Intel can't switch to an on-die controller without either changing BTX (what I think will happen because of AMD), or finding a way around the noise problem (little faraday cages?).

If you add in things like that the Intel chip only supports 36-bit address (I believe) while the Opteron handles 64-bit addresses (the actual bus is smaller right now, but that could easily be changed) and other performance factors (the top P4EE is outperformed in Doom 3 by a chip that costs more than $800 less, see the Inquirer) and Intel is in hot water.

All of this should be interesting to see what happens. Intel seems to be in trouble (performance wise, at least in the short term).

Re:Opteron Still Better (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | about 10 years ago | (#9896343)

FB-DIMMs can be farther away from the memory controller, so an Intel chip with a built-in FB-DIMM memory controller would probably work fine in a BTX case.

And everyone who can afford 2^36 bytes of RAM, raise your hand...

Re:Opteron Still Better (1)

mercuryresearch (680293) | about 10 years ago | (#9896445)

Um, Intel is quite capable of on board memory controllers.

They did it many years ago as part of the ill-fated "Timna" project, which integrated a rambus memory controller on the processor. It was a cool and pretty performance oriented design, however it was intended for the value segment of the market -- and it was using a memory that was far more costly than SDRAM, so Intel killed it.

Whatever their reasons, the memory controller isn't on their current processors because it was design choice, not due to lack of ability to do so. AMD obviously made a different design choice here -- so this is more a question of decisions made rather than ability.

Re:Opteron Still Better (0)

MBCook (132727) | about 10 years ago | (#9896480)

Yes, they are capable. And yes, it was a design choice not to put it on-die for the P4. But the Opteron came around and does fantastic in many areas, and that on-die controller helps a load for a relativly few transistors. But my point was that now because Intel want's everyone to go to BTX, if they decided to go on-die now, they are going to have a big problem because of trace length. That is why no one (to my knowledge) makes (or has announced) a BTX board for the Opteron. Intel can't make the memory controller on-die because of that reason (BTX), not because of lack of ability.

I mean, if they can design a chip as complex as the P4, surely they can design an on-die memory controller. Especially since they could probably lift more than half of it off a northbridge chip.

Sorry if you miss-understood my point.

Re:Opteron Still Better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896513)

Well 2 opterons with 4GB RAM installed has to go with either 2 banks of 2GB so nothing that *needs* all 4 would run, or have a bank of 4GB and use CPU 0 as an effective northbridge to pass the memory requests from CPU 1 to the RAM Bank.

Could be a good reason to not do it prehaps?

A few months late to the party... (2, Interesting)

quibbler (175041) | about 10 years ago | (#9896299)

Go Intel! only 7.5 months behind Apple [apple.com] and IBM [ibm.com] who collaborated to put out a nice 64 bit solution in August of '03.

Re:A few months late to the party... (2, Informative)

trckjunky (761468) | about 10 years ago | (#9896437)

A few months? You mean a decade late! Alpha, Sparc, and MIPS were all 64 bit in the early '90s.

http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/DEC-Alpha [nationmaster.com]

Re:A few months late to the party... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896443)

Yeah shame their OS is still only a 32/64 bit hybrid too hey.

A few decades late ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896448)

ripped off from extremetech.com (via google) ...

Digital introduced Alpha in 1992 and shipped its first Alpha processor in January 1993

Sun's had 64-bit sparcs for a long time, too.

Wasn't IBM's mainframe 64 bit back in the 1960s.

The reality distortion field does strange things.

AMD welcomes Intel to the world of AMD64 (5, Interesting)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | about 10 years ago | (#9896320)

"AMD welcomes Intel to the world of AMD64 [com.com] , said Ben Williams, director of server and workstation marketing at AMD.

It's kind of funny to watch. Intel is choosing their words very carefully. They're saying things like, the new chip "will run programs currently being developed for AMD's 64-bit processors with very little modification." They absolutely refuse to call the new chip "AMD compatible" even though that's exactly what it is. Intel is having a lot of trouble facing the facts: they poured zillions of dollars and years of R&D into an architecture that nobody wants (Itanium), meanwhile AMD got it right (Opteron) and now they're playing catch-up.

You'd think that Intel, moreso than anyone else, would know that you just can't kill x86.

WTF? This isn't a SCO story (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896323)

Who in the fuck thought THIS was "news for nerds" or "stuff that matters"?!?!!?!?

So we wait for an Intel 64-bit because of slow MS? (2, Interesting)

cytoman (792326) | about 10 years ago | (#9896338)

According to the article,
At the time, he said that Intel wouldn't enable the feature until Microsoft released a 64-bit version of Windows; that operating system is expected later this year.

But according to Computer World,
Microsoft Corp. has further delayed versions of Windows for PCs and servers equipped with x86 processors with 64-bit extensions. Analysts said the extra delay will slow the advent of 64-bit desktop computing and provide a head start for rival operating systems on servers.

Windows Server 2003 for 64-bit Extended Systems and Windows XP 64-bit Edition for 64-bit Extended Systems won't be available until the first half of 2005, a Microsoft spokeswoman said yesterday. The 64-bit Windows XP client was originally due early this year but had already been delayed. The server software was scheduled for late 2004. Who's correct?

Begin sarcasm I want my 64-bit Prescott chip desktop with the most awesome world's number 1 OS a.k.a. Microsoft's Windows XP (64-bit) and I can't take these delays any longer. Waaaa. end sarcasm

Seriously, though... why not release 64-bit prescott for retail and let people install whatever they want... e.g. Linux (64-bit)...

Is this just on e big penis size competition. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896339)

Who the hell needs 64bit CPU's at home. I mean really does word run better? Does a Radeon/GeForce run faster when the CPU is doign 64bits - no!

Fact is that nearly all the AMD64's will be running in 32bit mode running windows XP and 32bit drivers.

Most desktops that are not used for gaming would be fine with a duron/celeron. This rush to 64 bit confirms one great big penis size competition between all the |33+ k1d13z @ h0m3.

A Note on memory addressing (4, Informative)

Coventry (3779) | about 10 years ago | (#9896349)

It has been revealed that these 64 bit intel chips are not able to address as much memory as AMD 64 bit chips. Specificaly, whereas the Opteron/Althon64 has a 40 bit physical and 48bit virtual address space (not the same as virtual mem, remember that AMD chips each have a memory controler, thus upto 256 Banks of memory, via 256 processors), these intel chips are limited to 36 bits.

Thats right, the same 36 bits that intel has supported via PXE for years...

Thus, total system memory size for these processors is limited to 64GB, meanwhile the per-processor limit for AMD chips is 1TB, 256TB total in a system (max 256 CPUs, if anyone ever makes a board and Hypertransport bridges capable of supporting such a large number of chips).

Anyway, it is a big difference, and it hints that the actual implementation may be the same old slow PXE implementation intel has had for years (since the pentium pro, if I remember correctly).

------------ This post was made while on percocet and no spell checking has been done. deal.

Re:A Note on memory addressing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896370)

Damn, I already ordered 256GB of RAM! I guess I'll have to return most of it.

Re:A Note on memory addressing (2, Informative)

PXE Geek (754288) | about 10 years ago | (#9896485)

I know it's the percocet talking, but I think you mean PAE [thefreedictionary.com] not PXE [pxe.ca] ...

Apart from that - absolutely correct.

Crapola (1)

desmogod (792414) | about 10 years ago | (#9896379)

Maybe the reason there was no fanfare is the fact that the chip is shit.

People! Get some Priorities! (-1, Offtopic)

teamhasnoi (554944) | about 10 years ago | (#9896385)

Natalie Portman is on the Daily Show right now!

Get out of your mom's basement and watch!

So what.... (1)

kinema (630983) | about 10 years ago | (#9896407)

If I were Intel I would be pretty quiet about it as well. How well can one or two of these stack up against a uni or dual Opteron? Sure they have the contiguous memory support (36 bits of it IIRC) but they are lacking the NUMA style Hypertransport interconnects and the on die memory controller.

Intel Marketing Blunder (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896424)

They should have gone for 65bit chips.

Who wouldn't want a chip that's one better than the competition?
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