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Dual-Core Shoot Out - Intel vs. AMD

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the draw-pilgram dept.

AMD 311

sebFlyte writes "The Intel vs AMD battle of the benchmarks continues. ZDNet is running its rather comprehensive-looking guide to a side-by-side test of Intel and AMD's dual-core desktop chips, the Athlon 64 X2 3200+ and the Pentium D 820. They look at pure performance, as well as the difference it makes to apps you might use on the desktop. In the end, AMD comes out as the winner. From the article: 'AMD currently offers the most attractive dual core option. The Athlon 64 X2 3800+ may cost $87 more than its Intel counterpart, the Pentium D 820, but the AMD chip is a much better performer. It also uses considerably less power.'"

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311 comments

The best deal RIGHT NOW in processors (4, Informative)

Work Account (900793) | more than 8 years ago | (#13952965)

The best price/performance deal is the $146 AMD 3000 chip.

It is an amazing little bugger that can git er done with ease but does not cost and arm + leg.

Backwards? (1)

cyrusl (255402) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953139)

So let me get this straight. The AMD chip is more expensive and uses less power than the Intel chip? Isn't it usually the other way around?

Re:Backwards? (4, Insightful)

Zathrus (232140) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953313)

The AMD chip is more expensive and uses less power than the Intel chip? Isn't it usually the other way around?

AMD chips have been the "low power" leaders for quite some time now -- at least 2 years. Pretty much since the introduction of the Athlon XP models.

As for the price difference -- yes, the Athlon64 X2 chips are more expensive than their Intel "counterparts", but if you look at the benchmarks or the design you'll see why -- the Intel chips are a rush job and poorly (but cheaply) designed. You don't get anywhere near the performance of the AMD design though, and Intel's already stated that this won't change until mid 2006.

Trust me, Dell is screaming bloody murder over this -- since the superiority of the Athlon64 X2 chips is completely undeniable, more and more of the server market is now shifting to AMD. And Dell is still purely Intel. Thing is, even if Dell was willing to break their allegience, it's doubtful that AMD could fulfill the quantities that Dell would want. They just don't have the fab capacity. And unless that changes, there's little reason for Dell to anger Intel (and lose some of the vast discounts that they get from Intel in the process).

Re:Backwards? (2, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953505)

Oh well, Dell can easily ride it out - they probably make majority of their money off ordinary computer users who don't know any better and have no clue what this "AMD" thing is.

Re:The best deal RIGHT NOW in processors (1)

JPriest (547211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953215)

You talk like you are from the same part of eastern US (PA/NY) as I am :)

git er done??? (0, Flamebait)

krakelohm (830589) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953258)

Sorry... but anyone who says "git er done" should be clubbed like a baby seal.

I am a MAN (1)

Work Account (900793) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953300)

There are few of us in the IT/geek field, so I strive to stand out and attract fellow men into the profession ;)

You are a NEANDERTHAL. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953341)

And you should really stay in shipping where you belong with that kind of language. :)

Re:I am a MAN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953513)

Dude, who cares about men. Think of the big picture here... WOMEN.
But maybe that proves you're a geek, so I donno.

Re:The best deal RIGHT NOW in processors (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953307)

And Orange juice contains significantly more vitamin C than apple juice, a comparison which has just as much to do with dual-core processors as your comment about the single core Athlon 64 3000+.

Re:The best deal RIGHT NOW in processors (3, Informative)

msormune (808119) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953314)

No, the best deal is to do absolutely buy nothing if you have a less that 3 year old system and do not play any modernish games.

Nice, But..... (0, Troll)

Hamilton Publius (909539) | more than 8 years ago | (#13952969)

Q: Dr. Hurd, I am tired of reading you bash religious conservatives! You defend the "right" to abortion and gay marriage, for example. You care about the freedom of abortionists and homosexuals. What about freedom of religion?

A: There is not, and there should not be, any such thing as "freedom of religion." Think about what this simple little phrase implies. It implies that people have freedom not merely to privately practice whatever religion (if any) they choose; it implies that people have the "right" to impose the practice of religion on other people. Freedom OF religion is a blank check for religion being free to do what it pleases. The ultimate manifestation of this idea, that today we know all too well, is that of the militant Islamics.

There is no "freedom of religion" to do what it pleases. The only type of freedom relevant to religion is the right to practice religion privately, without imposing force on other people. If a religious person believes a fetus is a human life, then it's his right to believe so and to try and persuade others of this religious belief; the line stops, however, at forcing women to bring unwanted pregnancies to term. If a religious person believes that only religiously sanctioned marriage is a valid context for sexual relationships, then it's likewise his right to believe this; but again, the line stops at arresting or otherwise using the force of government to condemn non-religiously supported relationships (between consenting adults, of course) as immoral. If a religious person wants to put a nativity scene on his lawn, or at his church, for Christmas, this is certainly his right; the line stops, however, at requiring tax-supported courthouses and other government agencies to host religious scenes in the name of state-sponsored religion.

During the Clinton years, I strenuously argued against the growing statism I saw coming from the secular left. The Clintons tried to nationalize health care, turn doctors into slaves and to legally prosecute people like Bill Gates simply for being gloriously successful. Now, during the George W. Bush years, I proudly and boisterously oppose the religious statism of the right and Zonk. Through it all, I hope people come to understand that the only way to restore full freedom to this society--and keep the great number of freedoms we still enjoy--is to oppose statism of every variety. I want church and state to be separate for the same reasons I want economics and state to be separate. Stay out of our wallets; and stay out of our wombs, our bedrooms and our personal lives.

Re:Nice, But..... (1)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953085)

What the hell is this doing in a discussion about processors?!?

If it was a mistake, so be it, but if not, get a damn life!

Re:Nice, But..... (2, Interesting)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953173)


What the hell is this doing in a discussion about processors?!

You don't get the joke. Re-read the message a few times slowly.
hint: try forming words out of every X letters. It's brilliant.

Re:Nice, But..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953340)

Still don't get it.... even tried stripping out all punctuation, spacing and lowercasing the whole thing but all I see is the original statement.

Really? (4, Insightful)

NVP_Radical_Dreamer (925080) | more than 8 years ago | (#13952971)

It costs almost $100 more and is faster? What are the odds...

Look at my First Post above (2, Insightful)

Work Account (900793) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953047)

That is why I told everyone the best chip overall based on VALUE.

You can get a brand new chip that is almost as fast as any other chip in the world, but at the PERFECT sweet spot in terms of price/performance.

Information here in my first post above that ironically 1 person modded off-topic in a thread about the best consumer processors: http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=16735 5&cid=13952965 [slashdot.org]

Re:Look at my First Post above (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953245)

He was responding to the article, not your post. If you look at the hirearchy of the message tree, posts indented below yours "might" be responses to something you said. Posts at the same indentation have nothing to do with you.

So basically "off topic" is kind of "your thing"

Re:Really? (1)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953195)

It is the performance/price ratio that they talk about. The price is known so they just have a performance benchmark. The CPU that can crank the most FPUs (or something like that) per unit of time per $ is the winner. You can also factor in power if you want. The most expensive != the fastest sometimes.

Re:Really? (1)

rovingeyes (575063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953246)

Well if you had bothered to read the whole article, then you'd have noticed that Intel's top of the line costs $196 more than its AMD counterpart and still manages to practically suck in every department.

Re:Really? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953467)

Well that extra 50W the Intel pulls down, at 8 hours a day, for 3 years, and 10 cents a unit will cost you you an extra $43 or so over the years. Never mind that it performs a lot worse, so you'll be running at full load for longer on intensive tasks or getting less performance. Oh, and the Intel chip requires a top-of-the-line Intel chipset to run it, so factor in some extra costs for the platform. At least DDR2 memory is roughly price-equal to DDR now.

No Soo-prise here. (-1, Troll)

r0bVious (923965) | more than 8 years ago | (#13952989)

AMD
Is not gay
Intel
You go to hell

AMD
Your price is right
Intel
Puke, I might

AMD
I love you dear
Intel
You can kiss my rear.

I am teh poet.

Re:No Soo-prise here. (1)

Calydor (739835) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953202)

How on earth did you rhyme 'gay' with 'hell'? Back to Writing Poetry 101 for you.

compared to the top-of-the-line pentium (4, Interesting)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953011)

Or, put another way, the bottom-of-the-line AMD 3800+ is less than 1/3rd the price of the top-of-the-line Pentium 840 EE ($328 vs. $999), yet it still beats it in most of the benchmarks.

Too bad they didn't compare the Pentium D 830 in the benchmarks - this is closer in price to the AMD 3800+

Re:compared to the top-of-the-line pentium (0, Flamebait)

chill (34294) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953224)

RTFA. They included the Pentium D 820 and AMD handily beat that as well.

Re:compared to the top-of-the-line pentium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953277)

RMFC. I said the 830, not the 820.

Re:compared to the top-of-the-line pentium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953290)

If you'll allow me to do some quick calculations...

Hrm. It seems that
Pentium D 820 != Pentium D 830
Imagine that!

Yawn... buy AMD. RAM access is everything. (5, Informative)

Dr. Zowie (109983) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953020)

Isn't this like the fourth time we've seen a Xeon-vs-AMD benchmark on the front page? It's old news.

The problem with the Xeons is they're totally throttled. The Xeon was like a V-6 engine under a VW carburetor; the dual-core Xeon is like a big-block V8 under the same carburetor.

The AMDs have better access to RAM and better (independent) cross-CPU communication. The dual-core Xeons were clearly rushed to market to answer AMD's offering, before Intel could get their own memory-access ducks in a row.

RTFA (1)

ipjohnson (580042) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953114)

This isn't a opteron-xeon review. Its a Athlon dual core vs. the new intel dual core (i.e. not the P4 line).

I mean hell it says it in the summary.

Re:RTFA (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953152)

Its a Athlon dual core vs. the new intel dual core (i.e. not the P4 line).

The Pentium D 820 is P4 core based. Same line, just an evolution.

Re:RTFA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953441)

Ohhh! No wonder! So Pentium D 820 is not intelligently designed?

Interesting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953028)

The AMD processor certainly provides a bit better performance for the price. Unfortunately, it seems that AMD still has several stability issues to solve... Perhaps this explains why major companies still prefer using Intel processors for building robust servers.

I am _so_ sick of the x86 architecture (-1, Offtopic)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953037)

Won't somebody please make a commodity Power PC box I can run Linux on?

Re:I am _so_ sick of the x86 architecture (0, Redundant)

RailGunner (554645) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953073)

Won't somebody please make a commodity Power PC box I can run Linux on?

They already did, it's called the Mac Mini. You can run Yellow Dog Linux, Slackintosh, an several other distros on it right now.

And technically, the Opteron is the x86-64 architecture.

Itanium (0, Troll)

Work Account (900793) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953076)

(If you can afford it) I have found Itaniums to be very QUALITY platforms.

They basically got as fed up as you with archaic x86 instructions and set out to make a good new platform.

Engineering-wise Itanium is the bee's knees.

Unfortunately they ARE expensive, so you probably have to be a full-time geek like me to afford one ;)

Re:Itanium (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953122)

If you could afford to hire someone to write a proper compiler for them, I'm sure they'd be great. Shame there isn't already one on the market....

Nice troll (1)

Work Account (900793) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953141)

I have used both GCC 2.x, GCC 3.x, and Intel's compiler on Itanium with much success, in addition to running and building all my Java code using 1.4.x.

Re:Nice troll (1)

spitefulcrow (713858) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953218)

Uh... assuming that Java 1.4.x is implemented in C/C++, one would think that running and building Java code on Itanium is entirely irrelevant since Java uses a virtual machine. :)

Re:Nice troll (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953252)

How good is GCC at generating Itanium code? From what I have read the Itanium really requires the compiler to do a lot of work at code optimization (not a traditonal GCC strong point) to get good performance.

Re:Nice troll (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953318)

Not trolling, the Itanium architecture relies heavily on a quality compiler to properly handle optimizing the order of execution at compile time to see good performance. Historically, they haven't been very good. If that's changed, it must be a new development and I'm not aware of it. If you are, go ahead and cite a source, because it sure looks like you're astroturfing to me.

Re:I am _so_ sick of the x86 architecture (2, Insightful)

panth0r (722550) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953129)

Grant it, it'd be cool to have a greater amount of choice when choosing a platform, but the IA32 ISA is pretty well locked as the standard, and looking into the future with the "Apple Switch," the standard is going to stick, anyway, what's wrong with the IA32/x85 architecture. I can think of several reasons, but seeing as how embedded the architecture is in society and business, a change to a new architecture (preferably one that doesn't have it's roots in really old technology, like the x86 does) would take years, if not decades. Just a little warning, IA32 is here to stay, and if you're a developer or EE, then it seems preferable to stick with the current standard.

Re:I am _so_ sick of the x86 architecture (2, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953414)

I am _so_ sick of the x86 architecture

Why? Unless you write your code in assembler (or you have some kind of irrational preference for a particular endianness), you'll never tell the difference between instruction set architectures. The only user-observable or programmer-observable difference between CPUs is speed, and x86 is faster.

again, find an informed author!!! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953052)

I was doing ok with article until I got to the two points about how their disk defrag and antivirus/spyware apps were running, slowing the machine down, and how a dual core would make this so much better. A dual core will do NOTHING for this user!!! Those two examples highlight the perfect situation where the bottleneck isn't even close to being the CPU, the disks are simply working at 100% capacity, and you can add as many cores as you want, it doesn't change that fact.


zdnet is usually fairly good, but not this time.

Re:again, find an informed author!!! (1)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953101)

Then why is my CPU at 100% when I scan with an antivirus app?
This holds true for norton, mcaffee, kapersky, trend micro, and nod32 antivirus, so it sure isn't bad programming.

Re:again, find an informed author!!! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953210)

In the Task Manager, click View->Show Kernel Times. Then the red on your CPU Usage History chart (under the Performace tab) will represent processor time spent in the kernel. Most of this is a result of disk accesses (be it direct or indirect).

Re:again, find an informed author!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953197)

Actually it depends on what the anti-virus scanner is scanning. Scanning through compressed files (which almost all anti-virus scanners will do depending on the setting) can be quite cpu intensive while on the other hand scanning through text files obviously is not. Admitly this only holds true for anti-virus scanners and anti-spyware (scanning through the registry can be proc intensive) but not for a defragmentation. Since I didn't rtfa, i can't comment on their benchmarks but dual core does have beneifits to some of the users you pointed out.

Re:again, find an informed author!!! (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953200)

That is a commonly-utilized theoretical application for Dual Core technology. You can do a virus scan and play a game at the same time, one running on each core, and not interferring with each other.

I don't know how well it actually works. :)

Re:again, find an informed author!!! (1)

DeafByBeheading (881815) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953379)

It should work brilliantly if you can scan for viruses without accessing the hard disk (or, alternately, if your game doesn't need the hard disk). That was the grandparent's point--when you bring heavy I/O use into the picture, which is millions (literally, *millions*) of times slower than the CPU, dual cores don't really help you much.

Use Two Disks (3, Funny)

AthenianGadfly (798721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953387)

That's why you install two hard drives to match the dual cores - then you run the antivirus/spyware scanner on the one that you're not using - i.e. the one without your OS and programs.

Re:Use Two Disks (1)

x3v0 (831326) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953481)

then you run the antivirus/spyware scanner on the one that you're not using - i.e. the one without your OS and programs.

Then what are you going to scan? Perhaps a better solution would be to use raid to speed up disk access.

Re:again, find an informed author!!! (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953449)

Not a norton 2005 user are you?

All jokes aside, the biggest bottlenecks in AV scanning (and anti-spy) is cpu performance and ram, now most of us now have 1-2G of ram (thanks to its price) so CPU is the next problem.

Not really surprising... (1)

panth0r (722550) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953058)

This doesn't really surprise me, AMD has outdone Intel in most (nearly all) benchmarks in the past, this is just continuing the trend, it's cool, though, to know AMD keeps beating out the deeper pockets of Intel.

Dual core == (sort of) dual CPU (3, Informative)

Homology (639438) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953062)

Most arguments for dual core reminds me very much for similar arguments for using dual CPU, apart from the price, that is.

A kernel compiled for a single CPU is faster than a kernel compiled for multipe CPU's, even when you only have one CPU. This is why OpenBSD has two kernels: 1) one cpu and 2) multpiple CPU's. The main developer of DragonBSD said that his preference is single CPU, performance wise (I'll leave that as a Google exercise).

Re:Dual core == (sort of) dual CPU (3, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953189)

Personally, I don't use dual cpus for servers because they are faster. As you say, they are not, kernel wise anyway. Dual CPUs do offer a higher availability, and the ability to crank the crud out of one cpu (compiling, etc.) while you can still get stuff done with the other. I use dual cpu VERY limited on desktop, but even then, I notice a difference in my ability to switch back and forth and start new apps, etc. while I am doing very heavy tasks.

On the server side, if a single threaded process goes haywire, instead of locking the box up, I can still log in and kill the process, no biggie. I have accidently "infinite looped" myself to death on single cpu boxes, and had to hard boot them, where on the dual, that wouldn't be an issue. That is just my experience, but I've been using dual cpus on several servers for over 6 years now. I would rather have dual 1gz than single 2.5ghz any day.

Re:Dual core == (sort of) dual CPU (4, Interesting)

ArbitraryConstant (763964) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953207)

"A kernel compiled for a single CPU is faster than a kernel compiled for multipe CPU's, even when you only have one CPU. This is why OpenBSD has two kernels: 1) one cpu and 2) multpiple CPU's. The main developer of DragonBSD said that his preference is single CPU, performance wise (I'll leave that as a Google exercise)."

Dillon said he felt FreeBSD's focus on many CPUs to the exclusion of single-CPU performance was a mistake, not that single CPUs are preferable.

Also, most desktop workloads benefit from having two CPUs, it helps responsiveness quite a bit (even on OSes with good schedulers like Linux). There is overhead for the locking in the kernel, but the benefit almost always outweighs the cost.

Pick two (2, Funny)

Crouty (912387) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953067)

So again it's
  • Cheap
  • Fast
  • Low power consumption
Pick any two.

Re:Pick two (2, Insightful)

Ignignot (782335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953251)

Add to that "fails gracefully"

If you have ever seen the videos of people taking the heat sinks off Intel chips while running quake 3, and the chips surviving then you would understand where the chips stand in this category.

Re:Pick two (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953325)

I would hazard a guess that not more than 30% of slashdot readers are the kind of people who think it is fun to pop the heat sink off while playing Quake 3, but that is still good to know.

Re:Pick two (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953395)

Last month at a lan, someone forgot to reattach their HSU to their A64 3500+ when they got there.

The computer just shut off. At first he couldn't figure out what was wrong. Then he ran back to his car to get the HSU and pop it back on.

I don't think the A64's fail poorly at all, at least not compared to the old XP's (and previous). But maybe you just weren't aware that the A64 is so different from any other processor AMD has released before that any old comparisons don't even have a place in discussion any longer. But maybe that's the way old, outdated annecdotes should be. After all, they're only useful when the person using them really knows what they're talking about.

Re:Pick two (1)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953417)

1) Cheap
3) Low power consumption

crap...I guess I can't pick too. That would require a low power Intel part based on this list of CPU's (Athlon 64 3000+ gets all three though).

AMD looks fine on paper, but... (0, Flamebait)

October_30th (531777) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953084)

Intel has a native compiler, AMD doesn't and gcc just plain sucks when it comes to floating point performance.

Hence, there's still a good reason to buy Intel instead of AMD.

Re:AMD looks fine on paper, but... (1)

repruhsent (672799) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953175)

Oh no sir, you must be mistaken... we all know there is no reason to buy Intel; I mean, after all, Slashdot says I should buy an AMD so I better hop to it.

Re:AMD looks fine on paper, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953269)

Microsoft + Cutler + compiler = Fast AMD 64 bit processors. MS (Among others) makes compilers, no one is forcing people to use gcc.

Re:AMD looks fine on paper, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953298)

icc does a shithouse job compiling ATLAS. If you're doing linear algebra and using BLAS libraries (doing, oh, I don't know high performance computing [top500.org]), gcc outperforms icc by 40-50% on Opterons. Go figure. gcc compiles the hand-tuned assembly, and icc skips it and compiles optimized C only, missing out on SSE and other enhancements.

Re:AMD looks fine on paper, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953299)

Actually, there are several third party companies that make good compilers for AMD. Pathscale comes to mind. Intel's compilers also work well on AMD arch.

Re:AMD looks fine on paper, but... (5, Informative)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953305)

Huh? No reason you can't use Intel's compiler for AMD64 it if you like the code it generates (AMD64 supports SSE/SSE2).

Intel themselves even point out that their compiler supports AMD.

http://www.intel.com/cd/software/products/asmo-na/ eng/compilers/clin/220007.htm [intel.com]

Incidently gcc 4.0 does automatic loop vectorization using SSE/SSE2, so I wouldn't dismiss it too quickly either.

Compilers are not a problem (2, Interesting)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953319)

AMD-optimized compilers are available from PathScale and AMD, but AMD processors will run Intel-optimized code pretty well anyway.

Re:AMD looks fine on paper, but... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953342)

Microsoft's compiler works just fine on AMD.
Also for most heavy duty floating point work people tend to use hand tuned libraries that use SSE and do not depend on the compiler to vectorize their code for them. Not to mention that the AMD cpus have much better memory bandwidth which their really isn't a good way to code around.
The Pentium M is a good notebook chip but at this time for best bang for your buck server AMD wins.

Great, but call me when the price comes down (2, Interesting)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953111)

Like most people, I will wait it out until the dual-core chips / products are stable and less expensive.
Not everyone is playing Quake 4 and Half-Life 2 on a daily basis.

Re:Great, but call me when the price comes down (2, Insightful)

Knight Thrasher (766792) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953194)

HL2 ran fine at 800x600 a year ago on a $200 build I made with a AMD Athlon 2500+ Barton, and 512meg DDR333, with a Geforce5700LE.

A benefit that's not been discussed so far is that all the Intel or AMD backers that run out, buying handfuls of whichever their preference, rapidly decrease the price of technology that's not absolutely brand new.

AMD's M2 release in the spring will drop the AMD X2's in price, and the s939 single-core 64bit processors even lower. Wait until you can secure yourself true 64bit goodness for less than $200. Right now it's hovering around that mark, just above it. When it dips we all profit.

Re:Great, but call me when the price comes down (1)

jcnnghm (538570) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953214)

I too will wait. I'm holding out for the chips with the new virtualization instructions and Xen 3. Dual core is nice but better virtualization is more important to me at this point.

Re:Great, but call me when the price comes down (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953267)

I imagine that the dual-core chips are already quite stable. Expensive is another matter, and like you I don't currently need that much power. I recently got an Athlon64 3000, and am quite happy with the speed bump from my old K6-3-400. It's also on a socket 939, so by the time the board obsolescence rolls around, I may well pick up a cheapo dual-core and extend its life a few more years. That presumes something else isn't driving replacement, but then again, my current server is an ancient Celeron 300A, and I just barely got rid of the P150.

AMD more expensive? (0, Flamebait)

recycledpork (808313) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953138)

Remember when all AMD's were inheritly less then thier Intel counter parts? Times have changed indeed.

Re:AMD more expensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953268)

I guess it depends on what you consider a "counter-part"

Most AMD Dual cores perform as well or better than similarly priced Intel compeditors... I guess AMD doesn't see the purpose to release a ummmm 1.6? 1.4? clocked processor to compete with the Intel 820D

Re:AMD more expensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953273)

Times have changed indeed. Sometime around 1999. Intel's been playing catchup for over 5 years now.

Wait a minute... (3, Funny)

MyOtherUIDis3digits (926429) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953169)

I read somewhere recently that 'more watts used' = 'more powerful'

Re:Wait a minute... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953297)

Are you saying I should be doing computations on my space heater?

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

demiseofman (914884) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953304)

It depends how efficiently the power is used. Intel engineers created this huge pipeline in the P4 that ultimately makes the processor less efficient. Both the Pentium M and the AMD64 processors have smarter, more efficient designs with shorter pipelines which ultimately use less power. Intel knew the P4 was dog when they released it, but went ahead anyway because of pressure from AMD offerings. Also, redesigning and running another simulation on a new model would be very expensive and would mean a big delay which would sacrifice market share. Kudos to Intels marketing for successfully ramming the P4 down our throats.

motherboards (1)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953211)

Plenty of people have bought the top of the line chip while not realizing that their motherboard's performance's limiting reagent could be a number of things like bus speed and salt water. Someone do the elitenessly-challenged a favor and please post the minimum board specs one needs to take full advantage of this chip's juice.

Oh and no need to mention which kernels and OSs would be ideal; we already know about the answer to that. [debian.org]

The battles been over for 2 years (2, Insightful)

Xonstein (927931) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953237)

"The Intel vs AMD battle of the benchmarks continues."

AMD has pretty much trounced Intel performance at every desktop and server pricepoint for the last 2 years at least, so who cares anymore? Even Dell has started carrying AMD CPU parts:

http://tinyurl.com/c57po [tinyurl.com]

Dell is pretty much singlehandedly holding up Intel on the desktop, as they can drive the overall system price down on volume despite the higher-priced parts.

If their little Israel division hadnt come up with their M chips they'd even be worse off.

You're being generous, they didn't come up with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953445)

They merely updated the p3, glueing other stuff together that already existed.

Re:The battles been over for 2 years (1)

stu42j (304634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953500)

Why the heck does Dell sell Athlon CPUs when they don't sell Athlon systems? I'd like to see someone try to cram an Athlon into their Dell/Intel board.

Itanium (3, Interesting)

msbsod (574856) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953311)

The ultimate multi-core processor technology is VLIW (or EPIC as INTEL calls it). The cores are broken up into lots of tiny pieces, instructions are distributed through various pipes and run through whatever is available in parallel. The Itanium processor is Intel's EPIC problem child. Too complex, too much heat. Maybe it is just a bit too early for this technology. I think Intel could try to start a "mobile" Itanium project. They were quite successful with their Pentium M. Maybe that will give Intel an advantage.
Or, Intel designs a dual-Alpha processor to beat AMD, but that sounds not like Intel, does it? Someone at AMD who might like the idea? ;-)


Your PC may have Intel inside, but did you know that Intel's fabs have VMS and Alpha inside?

Where is our desktop Pentium-M? (1)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953404)



The Pentium 4 is weak. The Pentium D isn't any better.

Where are the Pentium-M based desktop chips?! They are proven to be faster than AMD's chips.

It Intel just toying with us for fun?

Intel left in the dust (2, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953460)

Call me old school, but back in the day when 283, 386, 486, Pentium, P2, and P3, I always praised Intel for their products over AMD in regards to performance and stability. Of course, nothing lasts forever. Which is really sad when you think about it. Nothing hurts an Intel Fanboy like myself then to see lackluster performace and innovation from the the very company that started the x86 momentum in the industry.

Times have changed. It's time I started drop my "trust" and "faith" and start going with AMD this time around. Clearly, they are the leaders in innovation this time.

AMD is cheaper (after a month) (2, Interesting)

daedalus-prime (854575) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953491)

By my calculations, the power difference between the Intel and AMD will make up the difference in the chip prices in about a month of continuous operation, at lease for Seattle electric rates (~$0.06/kWh)...
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