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34 Design Flaws in 20 Days of Intel Core Duo

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the what-am-i-designing-this-now dept.

Intel 356

Pray_4_Mojo writes "Geek.com is reporting that Intel's errata (bug) documentation shows that the Intel Core Duo chip has 34 known issues found in the 20 days since the launch of the iMac Core Duo. (you can read the list) with only plans to fix one of them. While bugs in hardware is nothing new (the P4 has 64 known issues, at this time Intel does not plan to fix a single one) this marks one of the first times that Intel released a processor with known bugs, and some of the bugs are of higher severity than in the past. Also alarming is the rate the flaws have been found, at one and half per day since the launch of the iMac Core Duo."

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356 comments

Up front (5, Interesting)

emerrill (110518) | more than 8 years ago | (#14548936)

I just think it means that Intel is being more honest about the problems, rather then hiding them til others find them.

Re:Up front (1, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549220)

Always the optimist, eh? :)

Core Duo? (-1, Offtopic)

smallferret (946526) | more than 8 years ago | (#14548942)

I would assume that you mean the iMac Core Duo, as opposed to the Dore Duo?

Should've gone with AMD (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14548943)

That's what Apple gets for ignoring AMD. Yet another reason why DRM (in this case, Intel's) stifles innovation.

Re:Should've gone with AMD (4, Informative)

Transeau (869731) | more than 8 years ago | (#14548964)

You do realize that there is an 85 page PDF of errors in the AMD64, right?

Re:Should've gone with AMD (2, Insightful)

GeekDork (194851) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549041)

Now, this would've been interesting or informative if you would have provided a link to that PDF. Pretty please?

Re:Should've gone with AMD (5, Informative)

freidog (706941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549193)

Here you go [amd.com]

I didn't bother to actually count the number of unfixed or no fix planned glitches / bugs in there, so I don't know if it actually validates the 80+ the grandparent claimed, but there are quite a few known bugs in A64 and its HTT bus.

In fact there are going to be any CPU released, even stuff like Power / Itanium / USpark are going to have errata like this. Microprocessors are inredibly complex equipment, and 100% stable and glitch free under all possible conditions just isn't going to happen. Who ever submitted this story is blowing this entirely out of proportion. The link is already Slashdotted so I haven't gotten a chance to read what the bugs / glitches are, but I would be good money a normal user could go through the entire life of their Core Dou Mac and never notice one. These are typically very small gliches / bugs that occur under very specific conditions, and are meant more for hardware manufacturers to be aware of than they are to warn a user there could be problems with their chips.

publishing them publicly I think is a good move on Intel's part, but they do run this risk where people don't understand that this is a completely and utterly ordinary and expected thing to happen.

Re:Should've gone with AMD (1)

shawnce (146129) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549195)

It looks like AMD keeps errata listings for their chips in the "AMD Dev Central Vault" which requires a registered login... so it may not be possible to do a direct link (at least I couldn't find them after searching). I assure you AMD chips have errata to varying degrees and in generally the same numbers as just about ever other chip vender (see my other post [slashdot.org] for an example listing).

http://developer.amd.com/documentation.aspx [amd.com]

Re:Should've gone with AMD (1)

shawnce (146129) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549221)

Ah I see the just don't have the word errata in their document name or on the their website... it is down in the revision documentation.

Re:Should've gone with AMD (0)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549118)

You do realize that there is an 85 page PDF of errors in the AMD64, right?

You, of course, have a reference (link) for this.

Re:Should've gone with AMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14549240)

I'm not GP, but here you are: Revision Guide for AMD Athlon(TM) 64 and AMD Opteron(TM) Processors [amd.com] , 85 pages PDF, the "product errata" starts page 13 and the product errata cross-reference table itself is 4 pages long, the following pages being the descriptions of the various errors.

Re:Should've gone with AMD (0, Redundant)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549163)

You do realize that there is an 85 page PDF of errors in the AMD64, right?

you forgot the link to that [amd.com] . (I shamelessly copied it from AC's post, why he posted it with score:0 is mystery to me - no one would notice it. He indicated that #113 worth looking at).

Re:Should've gone with AMD (1)

crashelite (882844) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549246)

if some one had the time to create one (and balls to go against the big M$) there would be a some odd 1000 page PDF of windows Errors/bugs/flaws/backdoors/un pached holes.... and so on

Re:Should've gone with AMD (1)

emerrill (110518) | more than 8 years ago | (#14548967)

Wow, that was out of nowhere. Do you think that there are no flaws in AMD processors?

Also, where the hell did DMR come in? You just like throwing that in to boast AMD?

Re:Should've gone with AMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14549092)

Apple didn't go with AMD because they (AMD) are going in a different direction then what Apple is looking for. Apple wants less power consumption to drive the new Powerbooks (i refuse to call it by any other name), and to make small for computers like the Mac Mini and iMac. AMD is not making low power processors. So its not as simple as "Apple should have gone with AMD." I feel they made the right choice for what they think the needs of the company are.

No buy (-1, Flamebait)

StarHeart (27290) | more than 8 years ago | (#14548950)

I don't see any Core Duos in my future if they have those bugs. Some of the ones they aren't going to fix do sound like they could easily crash programs. Though realistically it wouldn't surprise me if Athlons and P4s already had similar bugs I didn't know about.

Re:No buy (3, Informative)

manno (848709) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549223)

And you think that the A64, and P4 are clean and squaeky?

Re:No buy (5, Informative)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549285)

All chips have errata, and custmarily are well documented and are published on the vendor's web site. BTW, errata can be something as simple as a correction to the datasheet. Most are usually minor and are dealt with by the compiler. For example, if there's an error with calculations dealing with a certain registry and decimal values, the compiler would just not use that registry for the calculations.

The documented and known errata are not what you should be concerned with. It's the unknown ones that freeze your computer or cause all robots to attack their masters.

If someone's complaining about this, they should just turn off their computers, because as we ALL know, every operating system (the OS is what runs on chips that have the errata) also are shipped with hundreds, if not thousands, of known bugs. You're not going to find a perfect chip in the real world. How many errata did the G4/G5 have? By comparison the IBM PowerPC 970FX has 24 errata, none of which is planned for a fix. When you consider the 970FX is a fairly mature chip, 34 errata on a new chip is hardly news worthy. As transistors get more and more compact and miniaturized, I'm sure we're bound to see more.

Faster (3, Insightful)

mysqlrocks (783488) | more than 8 years ago | (#14548952)

Maybe they're just getting faster/better at finding bugs?

Re:Faster (5, Funny)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549003)

Shh!!! You're ruining perfectly good FUD!

Re:Faster (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549154)

What good is getting faster/better at finding bugs if you don't have plans (yet?) to fix most of them?

Re:Faster (2, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549218)

And we know that there are no plans to fix these "show stopper" bugs because geek.com says so. Also, we know they are "show stopper" bugs because geek.com says so.

34 is actually a very tiny bug list for a bleeding-edge CPU.

Re:Faster (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549374)

I never said that just becuase geek.com says that they are 'show stopper' bugs, they must be. What I am saying is that in general, what's the use of getting better and faster at finding bugs if there aren't plans to fix it? If I could access the article, I'd read it. But the server doesn't seem to be working ;)

On reflection, I suppose that getting better and faster at finding bugs would be helpful to programmers, since they could avoid them faster. However, the programmer probably would've gotten up in frustration at some time, take a break, and then try a new way of doing it. It's one of those "Why pay money for something that time will heal?" situations.

Re:Faster (5, Funny)

adrianmonk (890071) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549192)

Maybe they're just getting faster/better at finding bugs?

Yeah, I hear they're 2 to 3 times as fast now on the most important bug finding benchmarks.

Re:Faster (-1, Offtopic)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549344)

Troll!?

Man, there are a lot of mods with sticks up their ass today.

Love or hate Apple, that comment was pretty damn funny.

Note to moderators: If you think somebody might be making a joke, and you don't get it, move on and use your mod points more constructively elsewhere.

If anything should be marked "Troll", it's the headline & summary.

Re:Faster (4, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549210)

It seems likely that given the increasing complexity, the error rate is going to rise proportionally. I mean, how many errors do you expect in a 100,000 transistor chip vs a 100,000,000 transistor chip?

Re:Faster (1)

virtualsid (250885) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549249)

You'd hope they were faster/better at finding bugs before they had to freeze the design though :-)

Oddly, I'm getting the errata sheet (a PDF file) from the Intel site which appears to be a valid PDF file, just the page content is non existant, and the ToC is garbage.

It's because (5, Funny)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549262)

... for the first time, they're releasing the chip for a stable OS first.

It used to be that testers only had an unstable testbed OS (designed primarily to run the same company's office suite) to use for validatation. Testers were never quite sure before where the blue screens, lockups, funny noises, and billowing smoke actually originated.

(Relax, it's just a joke).

"one of the first times"? (5, Insightful)

sczimme (603413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14548970)


this marks one of the first times that Intel released a processor with known bugs

No: either it is the first time or it is not. There can be only one... first time.

and some of the bugs are of higher severity then in the past

then != than

Re:"one of the first times"? (5, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549085)

this marks one of the first times that Intel released a processor with known bugs

No: either it is the first time or it is not. There can be only one... first time.


I disagree with the mod who marked you "Off-topic." It may look like you are just being a grammar nazi, but you raise a valid point.

Saying "this marks one of the first times that Intel released a processor with known bugs" is pretty much the same as saying, "this is not the first time that Intel has released a processor with known bugs, but I want it to sound like alarmingly bad news for Apple."

Re:"one of the first times"? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14549194)

If I had mod points, not only would I mod the parent off-topic, but I would mod your post off-topic as well.

Re:"one of the first times"? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14549261)

If I had mod points, I would mod both those posts "insightful" and your post "off-topic."

Does anyone know.... (3, Interesting)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 8 years ago | (#14548971)

How many "bugs" are in Athlons?/Duron/Semprons?

Jaysyn

Yeah some perspective would be nice... (4, Insightful)

sterno (16320) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549104)

So not only how many bugs in Athlon, etc, but also...

How many bugs in other Pentium chips?
What was the rate of discovery of bugs in other chips?

Keep in mind that during Intel's entire history they've released one desktop processor that had a bug sufficient to require a recall. Most of the bugs are easily worked around including that one. Hell, I've got an old P60 that I was using as a router until the last year or so and it just worked fine and it was always amusing to see Linux notice the FDIV bug on boot.
   

I wish I still had that one. (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549207)

I think we donated to charity while it was still usable with recent software. We actually got the 'new' chip sent to us tho, that was cool. First time I had pulled a chip more complex than a DIP!

Re:Does anyone know.... (4, Informative)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549173)

Re:Does anyone know.... (1, Informative)

gordo3000 (785698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549265)

to clarify: at least your first link was to one with problems concerning the entire line of athlon processors. a lot of those problems are specific to one of 10 different processors that paper covers. I would bet that tehre aren't that many in any given athlon.

Re:Does anyone know.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14549379)

I count 64 or 65 with numbers going up to 134 for Athlon 64 and Opterons. The 134 errors I suspect are from the original Athlon cores all the way until now. You know, the ones after K6 processors.

A flawed design kept alife. (-1, Flamebait)

ooze (307871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14548980)

Well, that's what you get when you stick to crufted designs and try to keep them at all costs although there are known better archtectures. It's just like code: it gets unmaintainable over time.

Re:A flawed design kept alife. (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549100)

Not quite the same. All that has been kept the same is the interface, not the implementation. It's the equivalent to having to keep an API/ABI stable. It can cause problems (see the WMF features for more information), but it's also often useful - Win3.0 apps running on Windows XP, for example, or UNIX code from the '80s compiling and running on Linux / BSD.

The problem with x86 comes from the fact that a large number of instructions interact in relatively complex ways with others. Changing a small amount of silicon can change a side-effect of an instruction, which is then a bug. An ISA such as Alpha eliminated this by keeping inter-instruction interactions to a minimum (no condition registers, etc).

Re:A flawed design kept alife. (2, Insightful)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549278)

No, that's what you get when you build something really complicated. The clever bit is that they still work despite the errors.

20 days? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14548983)

It's a little disohnest to use the phrasing "Core Duo chip has 34 known issues found in the 20 days since the launch of the iMac Core Duo."

Most of these bugs were found well before the release of Core Duo. Many of the bugs are listed as having been observed by Intel only. That means the verficiation teams did hit these issues, either with very bizarre code setup, or doing something that's probably not technically legal anyway. Odds of seeing most of it in an end-user platform are very unlikely.

Re:20 days? (1, Interesting)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549084)

Sorry, that sounds a little too much like a bug Intel claimed would only affect someone once every 27,000 years [willamette.edu] when it turns out it would hit some folks every 24 days on average. I think I'll stick with AMD.

Re:20 days? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14549152)

And AMD has no bugs in their chips? Here's the Athlon 64 Revision History document off of AMD's own website:

http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/white _papers_and_tech_docs/25759.pdf [amd.com]

There's a lot more listed there than for the Core Duo so far, and quite a few marked as "Won't be Fixed" and are scary sounding. Here's an example of a rather nasty looking ordering bug that results in system hang:

Downstream non-posted requests to devices that are dependent on the completion of an upstream
non-posted request can cause a deadlock in the presence of transactions resulting in bus locks, as shown in the following two scenarios:

1. A downstream non-posted read to the LPC bus occurs while an LPC bus DMA is in progress. The legacy LPC DMA blocks downstream traffic until it completes its upstream reads.

2. A downstream non-posted read is sent to a device that must first send an upstream non-posted read before it can complete the downstream read.

In both cases, a locked transaction causes the upstream channel to be blocked, causing the deadlock condition.

Potential Effect on System
The system fails due to a bus deadlock.

Re:20 days? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549297)

I think I'll stick with AMD.

Obviously AMD processors are perfect and have no bugs. Or Maybe AMD just does not publish those bugs. Which scenario do you find more likely? Personally, I'd much rather that I and developers had access to know what bugs exist rather than just hoping we don't run across one that is well known to AMD, but which they won't release for PR reasons. To me, the fact that this list exists publicly is a selling point for Intel, not a reason to avoid them. Perhaps AMD does publish such a list, but I could not find it with a quick search. Intel wins a point in my book for future purchasing decisions.

Re:20 days? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14549225)

I just checked on my P1, and it's really 19.9999999999999999742919319 days, not 20.

Re:20 days? (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549399)

The classics never stop being funny. Well done, AC.

AMD errata (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14548992)

Revision Guide for AMD AthlonTM 64 and AMD OpteronTM Processors [amd.com] . Just for balance. (only two of them are really interesting, #113 is one of them IIRC)

Re:AMD errata (2, Interesting)

Tucan (60206) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549042)

Just to balance the balance, the AMD document indicates that of 136 listed problems they plan to fix all but about a dozen.

Re:AMD errata (1)

WillerZ (814133) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549215)

Which won't do you any good if you have one of the buggy chips, as you'll still need to purchase the replacement. By which time, the socket will probably have changed and you'll want faster RAM, so you might as well switch vendors.

Leap Ahead? (-1, Flamebait)

catdogven (947172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14548996)

First crappy marketing. Now crappy products. I wonder where that leap ahead, leads to?

Statistics (3, Interesting)

emerrill (110518) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549000)

Another thing here that people don't seem to get, is that just because there have been 1.5 'found' a day (I would bet most were known before general release), that says nothing about the total number of bugs. For all we know, there could be only 40 total, just most of them were found quickly.

This, than that... (1)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549001)

If the flaws are more serious then in the past, than I hope they'll get right on to fixing them rather then making new ones...

*arrrrrgh* My brain hurts from injecting the spelling errors.

Post and analysis of the bugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14549008)

Can someone post an analysis of the bugs and how they would affect software, especially reliability of the operating system. Hardware has always had bugs and errata and sometimes even gets fixed (FDIV bug comes to mind). It is the criticality of the bugs and what the plan to address them include (tool changes).

First time with BUGs?!?! (5, Informative)

Ninja Programmer (145252) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549011)

... While bugs in hardware is nothing new (the P4 has 64 known issues, at this time Intel does not plan to fix a single one) this marks one of the first times that Intel released a processor with known bugs, ...


Huh? That's clearly wrong. When Intel had its famous FDIV bug, they shipped it knowing that the problem was there (the chips were already manufactured before they noticed it in their internal design validation.) In fact I would highly doubt that any Intel chip (or AMD chip) has shipped without some known bugs in them.

Its just a question of severity. Most of these bugs tend to be highly marginal in a "real software doesn't push that hard on the CPU" sense.

Why is this an Apple issue? (4, Informative)

toupsie (88295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549020)

Apple is not the only manufacturer using the Core Duo [notebookreview.com] chip [google.com] .

34 design flaws and only 1/4 faster.... (-1, Troll)

tpgp (48001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549031)

This article from the register [reghardware.co.uk] show's how the new Intel Macs are only 1/4 faster (rather then 2-4 times faster as Jobs claimed) then their powerpc equivilants.

Full report here. [macworld.com] Ouch! Iphoto is actually slower for some operations.

Slightly more ontopic - I've been reading that the mere presence of the fat binaried itunes on a powerpc mac can cause the disk utility not to run - stripping intel code from the binary fixes the problem.

Re:34 design flaws and only 1/4 faster.... (2, Funny)

catmistake (814204) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549184)

we will miss the AlteVec Velocity Engine and 64-bit full RISC processing, no doubts. Lets hope Intel designs something as useful as AlteVec developers can take advantage of, and gets Apple a 64-bit chip soon.

Re:34 design flaws and only 1/4 faster.... (1)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549311)

You mean like SSE3 [wikipedia.org] , which the Core Duo has?

Re:34 design flaws and only 1/4 faster.... (1)

happyemoticon (543015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549376)

I'm sorry if this sounds combative, but clearly you're more in love with PowerPC and IBM than IBM is in love with you.

I don't really enjoy being on Steve Job's cheerleading squad here. The transition has a lot of annoyances, not the least of which is the fact that Adobe isn't going to go Universal until late 2006 or early 07. But, judging by the number of people I know with PowerBooks, and the number of people I heard screaming, praying, and crying in their sleep for G5 laptops, if there had been any plans for a low-power, low-heat G5, we would've seen it already.

Oh thats it! (5, Funny)

catahoula10 (944094) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549033)

Why does Apple want to use an intel chip?

Oh, thats right:
Microsoft Owns Apple.

How can we tell?

      1. Apple's stock only rose 25% last week.
      2. Bill Gates's birthday now a paid holiday for Apple employees.
      3. Default Mac startup sound changed to "Taps."
      4. Wall Street brokers have stopped using Apple stock certificates as toilet paper.
      5. Apple's new slogan: "Almost as good as Windows!"
      6. Apple has been bent over with its pants dropped for so long now, even a geek like Bill Gates was bound to get lucky.
      7. Cute rainbow-colored apple now inhabited by cute rainbow-colored worm.
      8. microsoft comes out with an operating system incorporating Mac technology ... uh, wait a minute ...
      9. Phone and utilities mysteriously start working again at Apple's corporate HQ.
    10. Steve Jobs seen tending bar at the Gates' private lawn party.
    11. Diners in Microsoft's staff cafeteria can now enjoy their apple pie purely for its wholesome goodness and no longer as a symbolic act of global domination.
    12. Unsold Newtons used as cobblestones in Gates's driveway.
    13. Apple Employee of the Month gets to hunt loose change at Bill's house.
    14. New Apple employee dress code includes large "Property of B. Gates" tattoo on ass.
    15. Bill Gates still burned in effigy, but upper management no longer attends.

(http://www.ehumorcentral.com/Directory/Jokes/838. html [ehumorcentral.com] )

I like #7 and #11 myself :-)

Re:Oh thats it! (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549158)

5. Apple's new slogan: "Almost as good as Windows!"
for only some more money.

Re:Oh thats it! (2, Informative)

HeroreV (869368) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549266)

7. Cute rainbow-colored apple now inhabited by cute rainbow-colored worm.

I like #7 and #11 myself :-)

Apple hasn't used that rainbow-colored apple logo in ages, have they?

All modern processors have bugs on release (5, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549035)

It's called "errata", and it's common for most processors to be released with pages and pages and pages of errata.

Of course, what happens is that the alpha/beta silicon ships to select customers without many errata (though internal testing often finds them too, and they ship with those). Then the manufacturer goes back, resolves a few, then the cycle repeats until everyone is happy with the bugs and it's released with a book of errata on them, and workarounds for the severe ones.

"No fix" errata are common. The most serious of those have workarounds. Fixed errata are for things where there can be no possible software workaround. But there's a large number of varying severity - from cache incoherences, lock failures (you try to lock something, and it either can't be unlocked the usual way, or it doesn't reliably indicate lock), to bus and spec violations.

Nothing new here...

Re:All modern processors have bugs on release (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14549353)

I think that G5 processors are from the Power970 line (wikipedia tells me that PowerPC 970, PowerPC 970FX and PowerPC 970 MP are all G5), so here's the page for the 970 and 970FX [ibm.com] and Errata Notice version 1.6 for design revision levels DD3.0 and DD3.1 [ibm.com] which shows 24 errors, all of them marked as WONTFIX.

height of ? (1)

dotpavan (829804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549046)

I mean, there is MS which admits its s/w has bugs after every cat and dog knows about it, and here is Intel, which talks about its bug even before the product is released!

You Insensitive clod!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14549055)

vary for different cans can become MAKES ME SICK JUST to keep up as munches the most If you have Is dying. Fact: they learn from our something that you where it belongs,

Equivalent PowerPC numbers? (3, Insightful)

Angostura (703910) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549060)

This news would be a lot more interesting if I knew the size of the errata list for the G4 or the G5. I think it unlikely that there are zero unfixed bugs.

Anyone? Bueller?

Why is this listed under Apple? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14549063)

Considering that there are several other PC vendors who offer Core Duo based machines, I find it odd that this particular post focusses on Apple and the iMac.

Don't Worry Apple... (1, Funny)

frostilicus2 (889524) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549067)

...Pobody's nerfect.

It's 34 features that you just don't use (0)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549070)

34 known issues found in the 20 days since the launch of the iMac Dore Duo. (you can read the list) with only plans to fix one of them.

34 bugs is nothing when you can say to all your friends how you have the latest 'Dore Duo' processor.
Besides, other large computer companies have bugs in their software and they take their sweet old time to fix them.
If they can do it, why can't anyone else?

Sensationalized (2, Insightful)

emerrill (110518) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549075)

geeks.com has pumped up these problems by doing their own analysis, and claiming 'show stopper' on many of them, yet there are already machines in the wild that seem to have no problem with many of them. Like them saying that machines wouldn't be able to wake from sleep because of one of them. Their analysis is a lot of FUD.

more reason to wait (0, Flamebait)

i_am_sadpanda (936593) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549087)

this just adds more fuel to the fire for me about not wanting to make the switch just yet. Sure be an early adopter the voices say, I would rather wait. I hope a second gen POWERBOOK!!!! (screw the MacBook Pro name) gets released later this year.

Image Mirror (2, Informative)

XMilkProject (935232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549089)

It's going pretty slow, here's a mirror I setup to the image with list on it: http://www.xmilk.com/coreduo.gif [xmilk.com]

Re:Image Mirror (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549384)

Um, the person here links to a: http://www.xmilk.com/coreduo.gif [xmilk.com] gif file, how much you want to bet that isn't at all related to the article?
Personally, I'm not going to beta test this one...

The One I'm Waiting For (3, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549090)

The flaw I'm waiting to see:

Cannot run Windows XP. Classification: Minor.

Re:The One I'm Waiting For (1)

mlk (18543) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549150)

The old G5 had that?

The one we're all waiting for ... (0)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549250)

Cannot run Windows XP.

It's not a bug ... it's a feature.

Ignorance is prospering on Slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14549106)

Ignorance is prospering on Slashdot.

This is nothing spectacular at all...
All chips have bugs, this is in no way more than any other CPU.

Nothing really new (1)

pterjan (740570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549123)

This remembers me the centrino bug, with no fix intended.
PAE support is broken on the Dothan (most Centrino) CPU and no fix nor workaround is planned by Intel.
Due to this, kernel with PAE enabled (needed at least for NX support) won't boot on Dothan...
PDF used to be on http://download.intel.com/design/mobile/SPECUPDT/3 0220907.pdf [intel.com] but now I can only find http://www.intel.com/design/mobile/specupdt/302209 .htm [intel.com] which leads to a password protected PDF

All CPU, controllers, etc. have errata... (4, Informative)

shawnce (146129) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549127)

Not sure I understand the point of this new article... all chips have errata. This is like reporting that the sun set again or that slashdotters have no love life.

For eample...

The MPC7410 family of chips (aka G4) from Freescale (formally part of Motorola) has 21 errata currently listed: MPC7410CE.pdf [freescale.com]

The MPC7447 family of chips (aka G4) from Freescale has 36 errata currently listed: MPC7457CE.pdf [freescale.com]

The PPC 970FX (aka G5) from IBM has 24 errata currently listed: 970fx_errata_dd3.x_v1.6.pdf [ibm.com]

AMD Opteron errata (2, Informative)

mrm677 (456727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549151)

The errata for the AMD Opteron is 85 pages long [amd.com] . I once spoke with a chipset designer and he told me that the Opteron errata was especially long with some convoluted workarounds, compared to other CPUs he's worked with.

It's normal to not fix silicon bugs (5, Informative)

Theovon (109752) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549160)

As an ASIC designer, I have produced my fair share of silicon bugs. Chips are expensive to produce, making bugs expensive to fix. As a result, chip designers (even ones with deep pockets like Intel) do not look at bugs as something to FIX, but rather as something to MASK. I don't mean to hide it from people (although that does happen), but to make it not a bug by working around it.

Unless the bug is so fatal that you can't work around it, or the bug could potentially cost lives, the primary solution is to work around it. Either you write driver code to avoid the bug, or you find some other cheap solution. Sometimes, it's a simple matter of removing a feature from your marketing literature.

Intel's typical means to mask processor bugs is microcode. This hurts performance, but they can typically create a workaround that routes everything around the bug. I can't read the article (it's slashdotted), but I'm sure that by saying they won't fix some bugs, they're saying that they won't respin the silicon but rather mask the bug in some other way.

Listing the bugs (and not fixing them in this version) is an appropriate thing for Intel to do.

(I'm no Intel fanboy. I think they're bastards. But this is NOT an example of them being bastards.)

Re:It's normal to not fix silicon bugs (3, Informative)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549342)

"Intel's typical means to mask processor bugs is microcode."

That's true. Every Intel CPU since the Pentium Pro can update its microcode. Many times, BIOS will contain microcode updates from Intel. Linux also has a microcode update driver [urbanmyth.org] .

"I'm sure that by saying they won't fix some bugs, they're saying that they won't respin the silicon but rather mask the bug in some other way."

I'm not sure about that. "Will fix" seems to imply the errata could be fixed in silicon or microcode, while "Will not fix" means it won't get fixed at all.

Re:It's normal to not fix silicon bugs (2, Informative)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549397)

I'm not sure about that. "Will fix" seems to imply the errata could be fixed in silicon or microcode, while "Will not fix" means it won't get fixed at all.

A workaround isn't considered as a FIX, WONTFIX is wontfix even with published workarounds (including microcode). WONTFIX means that the error won't be fixed at the silicon level, which is the subject of errata papers.

Wow.. Look at AE30 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14549167)

Could that be the reason why Apple didn't allow their new MacBooks to hibernate at Macworld?

Imagine the possibilities :)

Re:Wow.. Look at AE30 (1)

emerrill (110518) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549233)

Probably not. Think about it, the iMac's in the wild can sleep.

While I heard nothing about them not sleeping, if true, it is more likely to do with the fact that those machine were prototypes, and they probably were not fully complete machines (that was a lot of prototypes to make for the show)

Safety critical software developers beware.... (2, Insightful)

s31523 (926314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549191)

Being in the Aerospace/Defense industry, this is disconcerning, especially for those of us that deal with the FAA and the imfamous DO-178B. Higher demanding systems are forcing us to use more powerful processors and if they are plagued with "known issues" it may be a problem with getting through a certification by some governing agency. Especially now that DO-254 has reared its ugly head... Has Intel gone the way of Microsoft? Delivering early to gain market even though the product has sever quality issues and then take the "well, it's not a critical secutriy flaw?".

Re:Safety critical software developers beware.... (4, Insightful)

emerrill (110518) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549264)

That assumes that intel wants the safety critical market for this processor. In most cases, when you develop in this sector, you have to use hardware that is specificly designed for these applications. developing chips that can be certified for SC applications can be a pain in the ass, and the may simply not car for this chip.

I like the comment on bug AE9 (2, Funny)

Phil John (576633) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549205)

Coral Cache of the image [nyud.net]

Quoth the image: Show stopper, but only observed by Intel so far. Also, any OS developer who codes like this deserves this one.

Re:I like the comment on bug AE9 (1)

sarlos (903082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549346)

I was glancing through the image and I lol'd when I read that. I couldn't believe they'd be so blunt...

geek.com discovers "errata" (1, Troll)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549208)

Next week they'll take on the difficult subject of "changelogs" and the mysterious "READMEs" you see everywhere.

One MAJOR flaw (0, Offtopic)

d3athb0x (949004) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549292)

Mac Powerbooks and G5s are WIDELY used as THE copmuter for editing film on. The new MacBook does not properly run Final Cut Pro 4, one of the biggest names in editing software. BIG mistake apple, big mistake.

Re:One MAJOR flaw (2, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549358)

Mac Powerbooks and G5s are WIDELY used as THE copmuter for editing film on. The new MacBook does not properly run Final Cut Pro 4, one of the biggest names in editing software. BIG mistake apple, big mistake.

Ummm, because some company is going to run out and buy new machines right away and expect the software to have been ported, even though anyone who follows either the video editing or Apple news knows they announced Final Cut pro would be ported in March? Do people really use imacs for pro video editing? I'd think they would be going with towers, which work fine now and will likely not be intel before march or with powerbooks, which won't ship till Feb, only a month before Final Cut Pro is ported. The only people who might get burned by this are the clueless.

I like this comment (4, Funny)

jm91509 (161085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549295)

AE 16:

Show-stopper but only observed by Intel so far. Also, any OS developer who codes like this deserves this one.

Now we know iMacs are socketed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14549301)

People were all excited by the idea thay because the CoreDuo was socketed it sould be upgraded. Looks like it may have been so that they could be replaced easily if there were huge flaws discovered after shipping the units.

Laugh (1)

TheDoctorWho (858166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14549348)

Maybe next time it will all be fixed......
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