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Intel Pushes Back with Xeon 5100

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the giving-amd-a-gentle-shove dept.

140

conq writes "BusinessWeek has a piece on Intel's newest chip, the Xeon 5100, which many consider might be the chip that will llow them to stop losing ground to AMD. From the article: 'During the presentation, Intel ran the now-standard comparison test against AMD's highest performing chip, handily beating the system in a speed test. And in a jab at AMD execs, who handed kill-o-watt meters to analysts at the outfit's recent technology day, Intel execs used the same device to measure the new Xeon 5100 system's performance — gauged to be 7 watts better than that of the AMD-based system.'"

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Keyword... (2, Insightful)

parasonic (699907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630029)

...the keyword is might :)

Shilling (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15630243)

This story does not stand up to scrutiny. The power was not measured at the wall were it matters. Also, no one outside of select reviewers running Intel-selected benchmarks have seen this chip. The Intel chip was supposed to ship on Monday but it was only a "paper launch". Intel is only taking orders at this point. I'll wait for objective analysis when the chip is actually shipped before jumping to conclusions about the performance of this chip compares to AMD offerings.

Keyword: dumping? (2, Interesting)

emil (695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631143)

Here is more discussion [pcper.com] :
The E6700 we tested here, that bests the FX-62 that is currently selling for over $1000, has a predicted price of $530; nearly half the price!! If Intel sticks with that price, and AMD doesn't drastically lower theirs, the Core 2 Duo line up is going to tear AMD apart.
There can be no argument that, if AMD were back on the K5 and Intel's lead were comfortable, these chips would never be priced so aggressively. This is designed to erase AMD's market share.

Since Japan has already hit Intel for anti-competetive moves, can AMD prove illegal dumping?

Competition good, no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15632663)

AMD cheaper, AMD good.
Intel cheaper, Intel bad...

Why is that?

kill-o-watts are nice. (1)

skids (119237) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630044)

Cheap, effective, handy device. Long overdue. I'm very tempted to buy a second one and see what it would take to hack it to broadcast info wirelessly for ongoing monitoring.

Re:kill-o-watts are nice. (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630219)

Don't loan them to people...

They'll like them so much you'll probably never get it back. :)

Similar processes? (1)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630053)

I wonder how much of these new advancements from both camps in server chips comes from laptop technology. I know that heat dispersion and power consumption have always been very big deals for laptops, and now it seems that the powers that be have finally applied the same thinking (at least) to larger form factor computers.

Re:Similar processes? (4, Insightful)

cyngus (753668) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631222)

There are reasons for this growing similarity, density and cost (somewhat related to density). Laptops have always had to pack more into a smaller space, and heat was therefore a big concern. This concern has come to the server world because of racks and blades. Previously, servers were towers, you stacked a bunch in a room, not very dense, fine. Now you pack a rack full of "pizza boxes" and end up with an oven pretty quickly. Cost, I would say, is a secondary factor. Previously you needed computing power, damn the cost, you had to have it. Now you can have almost more than you'll ever need, so now people want it to not run their electric bill through the roof. Cost is also related to heat, because just expensive as the hardware or electricity needed to run the computers can be the cooling system or electricity to run it! In some sense, server have become more like laptops in their requirements. You'd like them to be small (so you can pack them together, not for transport) and you'd like them to by stingy on electricity (for cost, not battery life).

Oh, sweet irony, forgive them! (4, Funny)

Doches (761288) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630063)

The article is surrounded AMD advertisements! Sublety is clearly not a strong point for BusinessWeek...

Re:Oh, sweet irony, forgive them! (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630096)

We know who's bed BusinessWeek sleeps in...

Re:Oh, sweet irony, forgive them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15630106)

AMD most likely paid extra to get those spots. This way, if you don't fully read & digest the article, they have a reasonable chance of you remembering "some article about new CPUs" and then a bunch AMD logos and maybe you'll still buy an AMD-based computer.

Re:Oh, sweet irony, forgive them! (2, Interesting)

shawb (16347) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630325)

I would doubt that AMD chose to advertise specifically on this article. Most likely this is some adwords or related content scanning system which says "The article is about CPUs, we'll insert the ads of the advertiser who won the bid for that keyword"

Re:Oh, sweet irony, forgive them! (1)

MaXiMiUS (923393) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631588)

Can't buy better advertising than your competitors news articles!

Road Map (4, Interesting)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630066)

We are beginning to see why Apple made the jump to Intel.

It's not that they had anything that was all that much better than IBM or AMD at the time they were making their pitch to Jobs. It was the fact that their immediate future was being prepped with some impressive technology, both in terms of speed and speed-per-watt, which turned the Steve's head.

No. (5, Interesting)

HoneyBunchesOfGoats (619017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630176)

Intel has by far the largest fabrication capacity of any chipmaker in the world. Both IBM's and AMD's fab capacities are much lower (AMD has used IBM's fab to help meet demand). IBM's inability to produce high numbers and high yields led to the Intel switch. Remember the delay in introducing the iMac G5? Apple had the design ready, IBM couldn't produce the chips. Result: months go by without any iMacs to sell. More than anything technical reason, IBM was bad for Apple's bottom line.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15630297)

What stupid and delusional person you are.

When IBM secured all three console manufacturers a decision was made that Apple was no longer worth the hassle. IBM decided to dump Apple as a chip customer since they were less than 4 percent of IBMs chip business but an significantly higher percentage of their hassles.

"Remember the delay in introducing the iMac G5? Apple had the design ready, IBM couldn't produce the chips. "

Just give that bullshit a rest.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15630440)

Apple was hardly a hassle for IBM and 4% is still a ton of cash so I call BS on your suggestion that IBM was going to dump Apple. They may have decided to push Apple to the back of the line but there's no way they were going to dump them. IBM could not (or didn't care to) produce competitive chips or laptop G5 chips so Apple moved to a company that could. Period.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15630644)

Which company was it that *could* produce laptop G5 chips? I must have missed that piece of news.

Re:No. (0, Flamebait)

happyemoticon (543015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630840)

You're Cringley, aren't you? BTW, you forgot to link to your nasty little troll site. Remember, it's:

  • Get Apple fanboys riled up over something.
  • Link to website full of ads and garbage predictions.
  • Profit!!!
  • Just FYI.

Re:No. (3, Insightful)

happyemoticon (543015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630799)

What a thoughtful and insightful post. Clearly IBM does not have production and yield problems, because they are courting three major game console manufacturers with their wonderful, efficient chips.

Oh wait. Of these three, only two of them are actually available. Hrm.

Oh yeah, and I seem to recall something about a shortage of XBox360s. Something about a chip company not making as many chips as they promised. Must've been the wifi card or something.

WAIT, I DO recall a time when a company - think it was IBM - didn't produce enough G5 chips and people were backordering their Power Macs for months! Perhaps there is something to this after all.

What's that? Your XBox360 consumes so much power that the PSU caught fire and burned a hole in your carpet? Guess there is a performance-per-watt issue after all. You know, that really does matter to a lot of people. There are data centers, especially in downtown locations, that can't grow their business any more because the power company won't sell them any more wattage. And if you remove the excess thermal paste, MBPs aren't all that hot.

So yeah. Troll somewhere else.

True (2, Insightful)

SlowEmotionReplay (822314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630820)

IBM was indeed bad for Apple's bottom line, but Motorola was disastrous.

Re:No. (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630925)

Jobs and other Apple representatives have stated repeatedly that the switch to Intel was based on Intel's future roadmap.

I doubt it was production issues caused the switch (1)

sirwired (27582) | more than 8 years ago | (#15632464)

Jobs wanted custom CPU's at commodity chip prices. I believe that IBM took one look at what Jobs wanted, what he was willing to pay, and said "no thank you".

SirWired

Woodcrest: good processor but not sufficient ? (5, Informative)

this great guy (922511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15632039)

Just to recap things, the Xeon 5100-series, aka "Woodcrest", is the very first released processor family that is based on the new 8th generation, Intel Core Microarchitecture, technically inspired from the 6th generation (PPro, PII, PIII), instead of the 7th generation (P4). As a side note, Intel has been using the "Core Solo" and "Core Duo" denominations for some processors but this is just a marketing usage of the term "Core", because such processors are NOT based on the Intel Core Microarchitecture. Anyway, Woodcrest is the first to represent this all-new Intel Core Microarchitecture that is supposed to save Intel from the very competitive K8 design (Opteron, Athlon64...).

So, Woodcrest seems indeed to be a very good processor, as shown in this preview [gamepc.com] (the less-biased, more technically accurate I have been able to find up to this day). Intel claims that Woodcrest is "80% more performant at 35% less power" compared to the original dual-core Xeon processor, and most benchmarks seem to confirm this claim. It may seem technically impressive, but in fact considering the very poor design of the original dual-core Xeon processor, such an improvement HAD to be expected and was almost a prerequisite for Intel to even start thinking about taking back Opteron's market share.

Here is a quick fact list I have assembled from my own research and from the review linked above:

At equal clock frequencies, Woodcrest is about 5-15% more powerful than Opteron on traditional workloads (common x86 and arithmetic instructions), and much more powerful (30% and more) than Opteron on multimedia workloads (mostly SSE, SSE2, maybe FPU I am not sure).

At equal clock frequencies, Opteron is still much more powerful (30% and more) than Woodcrest on memory-intensive workloads due to its integrated memory controller (leading to better latency) and ccHT links in SMP cases (where memory throughput increases with the number of ccHT links).

At equal clock frequencies, Woodcrest consumes less power than Opteron, but Woodcrest's memory (FB-DIMM) requires more power than Opteron's memory (DDR400). So overall, a Woodcrest-based system consumes about as much power as an Opteron-based system (as shown in page 3 of the review).

At equal clock frequencies, Woodcrest is cheaper than Opteron, but Woodcrest motherboards (socket 771) are more expensive than Opteron motherboards (socket 939 and 940) and FB-DIMM memory is twice the price of DDR400. These pricing differences are so large that Opteron is still preferable to Woodcrest in most cases: Opteron is cheaper for any single or dual-cpu server config with 4 GB or more of memory, Opteron is cheaper for any entry-level server config (about $1500 and below) whatever the amount of memory is, Woodcrest seems to only make sense when the high-end processors (Xeon 5140, 5150 and 5160) are used with NO MORE than 4 GB of memory (else Opteron's cheaper memory has a price advantage).

Of course, in the high-end server market (4, 8 or more processors), Opteron is still the clear technical leader because Intel STILL hasn't switched to a CPU interconnect similar to HT and STILL isn't using an integrated memory controller.

In conclusion, I would say that when comparing only the processors, Woodcrest is superior to Opteron in many aspects (such as instruction throughput), and Opteron beats Woodcrest in other aspects (such as memory accesses). But when comparing a whole Woodcrest-based system versus an Opteron-based system, other factors come into play (such as price and scalibility), which make Opteron superior to Woodcrest in a lot of cases.

Duh (1, Flamebait)

boldtbanan (905468) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630072)

That said, the results are skewed by the fact that Intel is producing chips using the 65-nanometer process, vs. AMD's 90-nanometer process. Typically, as more chips are packed onto smaller dies, performance improves dramatically. AMD is not scheduled to begin building chips on a 65-nanometer process until later this year.

In other news, my XBox360 runs way faster than your PS2 =P

Seriously, can we at least attempt to compare apples to apples on /. instead or regurgitating marketing BS.

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15630124)

That is not allowed on slashdot, sorry.

Re:Duh (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630162)

Are people supposed to wait until AMD makes a 65-nm chip?

Re:Duh (1)

Reapman (740286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630183)

Sorry I dont follow... are you saying Intel (or AMD) shouldnt compare their newest chips with anything until the other releases a chip after that? Or are you saying it's unfair to compare 90 micron vs 65 micron chips together?

"Intel has the (apparent) fastest chip out there"

"who cares, it's on 65 micron, we should'nt talk about 65 micron until all suppliers use 65 micron"

Just trying to figure out how what you wrote wasn't Fanboyism, please prove me wrong.

I just hope then that when AMD releases a chip that beats this out, you'll be crying foul play because "poor Intel doesn't have XYZ and we should wait until Intel catches up to be fair"

Re:Duh (1, Insightful)

Brian Stretch (5304) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630476)

Sorry I dont follow... are you saying Intel (or AMD) shouldnt compare their newest chips with anything until the other releases a chip after that? Or are you saying it's unfair to compare 90 micron vs 65 micron chips together?

I think what he means is that we should compare Intel's not-buyable new chips with AMD's not-buyable new chips. When end-users start taking delivery of Woodcrest servers in, what, August maybe?, then maybe Intel can boast for perhaps even several weeks until AMD's new server chips are out.

Attempting to tank the entire market until Intel's next-gen chips are out just because everyone knows Intel's current "Netburst" chips are overheating crap is lame.

BTW, which Opteron CPU was Intel using in their comparison? Power consumption varies quite a bit even before you consider there are regular Opterons, Opteron HE, and Opteron EE series. A mere 7 watt advantage at the wall despite having started their 65nm transition earlier (AMD waits until they've figured out how to get mature yields before making a rapid switch to the next process node, very unlike Intel) tells me that Intel is going to get leapfrogged big-time in short order.

Re:Duh (2, Informative)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630656)

A mere 7 watt advantage at the wall despite having started their 65nm transition earlier (AMD waits until they've figured out how to get mature yields before making a rapid switch to the next process node, very unlike Intel) tells me that Intel is going to get leapfrogged big-time in short order.

Intel isn't getting leapfrogged anytime soon, as AMD is a full 1 year behind Intel in the 65nm race. Intel, on the otherhand will be leapfrogging AMD even firther as their 45nm ramp appears to be happening sooner than later http://www.neoseeker.com/news/story/4896/ [neoseeker.com]

Re:Duh (1)

aliasptr (684593) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631840)

I agree with the parent. Let us not forget that AMD also uses an SOI process whereas Intel does not. So again for use geeks, it may- like another poster argued, be interesting academically but in reality it's a "fair" comparison.

Re:Duh (1)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630228)

the results are skewed by the fact that Intel is producing chips using the 65-nanometer process, vs. AMD's 90-nanometer process

Intel is miles ahead of AMD in their process technology. It is not Intel's fault if AMD is still stuck with 90nm technology. As of now, Intel's best chip (woodcrest) is better than AMD's best chip (opteron). Accept it, and stop whining like a baby.

Who knows what will happen in future? AMD may come with a faster chip, and Intel retaliate with even faster chip (Nehalem)

Re:Duh (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630629)

Perhaps there is a point to be made that while Intel's manufacturing process is clearly superior to AMDs, given that using the same process, AMD's chips outperform, it might be reasonable to suggest that AMDs architecture is better.
I don't know that it is, I just consider it a possibility, given the comparison.

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15630493)

Really, the whole comment is just flat out wrong / BS. Changing the process, putting more chips on a die, DOES NOT increase performance! It is nothing more then a shrink, everything else stays the same.
It *can* result in increased performance for the product line, because typically a smaller process means less heat, which means speeds can be increased. But a 90 nm chip running at 2.8 GHz vs an identical 65 nm chip running at 2.8 GHz will perform *exactly* the same.

They only have 2 of the 3 key components to win (1, Interesting)

pjwalen (546460) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630105)

They may be faster, and they may consume less power, but IT is still about cost. Something tells me, that with this great advancement comes a higher price tag than AMD.

Who cares is Intel is a few mips faster?

Re:They only have 2 of the 3 key components to win (2, Insightful)

Tenareth (17013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630141)

One of the largest costs in IT is Electricity...

The cost of procurement of a server is a tiny percentage of its TCO.

Re:They only have 2 of the 3 key components to win (1)

pjwalen (546460) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630182)

That ultimately depends on the size of your Server environment. This one chip versus 1 of equal stature from AMD may save a fraction of a penny. In an environment of thousands of servers it may add up, but not in the majority of them. And in many scenarios, power is not in ITs cost-center. And as an IT manager, if I'm not footing the power bill, I certainly wouldn't consider this chip at a greater expense. That's just my opinion though.

Re:They only have 2 of the 3 key components to win (4, Funny)

0racle (667029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630310)

Which is why Intel can never hope to be as big of a microprossessor company as AMD.

Re:They only have 2 of the 3 key components to win (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630524)

You've got this confused. AMD is the one trying to be as big as Intel.

Now don't get me wrong, I like AMD and use it in my gaming machine. But you got your facts mixed up. It's wintel, not winamd.

Re:They only have 2 of the 3 key components to win (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631275)

Whoosh.

Actually they probably have all 3 (1)

uujjj (752925) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630527)

They may be faster, and they may consume less power, but IT is still about cost. Something tells me, that with this great advancement comes a higher price tag than AMD.

I doubt it. I'd bet that Intel fabs spit out processors at a much lower unit cost than AMD.

Re:Actually they probably have all 3 (1)

pjwalen (546460) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630576)

This is certianly a possibility. It's going to be a wait-and-see point. But historically speaking, intel chips have by no means been cheaper than AMD. Their overhead cost may be cheaper, but their markup is defiantely higher.

Re:Actually they probably have all 3 (1)

ShapeGSX (865697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630659)

You know you can actually look up the prices of the Xeon 5100 series and the Opterons. The Xeon is very competetive, if not cheaper than AMD's offerings.

Re:They only have 2 of the 3 key components to win (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630572)

They may be faster, and they may consume less power, but IT is still about cost. Something tells me, that with this great advancement comes a higher price tag than AMD.

Who cares is Intel is a few mips faster?


Well... on many tasks, it's more than a few mips faster. However, this "great advancement" is (or will be) priced quite nicely, if you've actually bothered to look up the price lists that have been available on the web for the past few months. There's your 3rd of the three.

Grammar Nazi Strikes Again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15630111)

From the /. summary above
chip that will llow them to stop losing ground to AMD

How about...
chip that will allow them to stop losing ground to AMD???

Ah Grammer Nazi...the arch nemesis of... (3, Funny)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630199)

Captain Obvious!

Thank goodness you were here! Many of us may have missed that one.....

Regards,

The Amazing Sarcasmo

Re:Grammar Nazi Strikes Again! (1)

nasch (598556) | more than 8 years ago | (#15632149)

Shouldn't it be "loosing ground"?

Preemptive strike (4, Funny)

th1ckasabr1ck (752151) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630113)

"...might be the chip that will llow them to stop losing ground to AMD."

I'd say the odds of that are llow.

Re:Preemptive strike (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15630177)

"...might be the chip that will llow them to stop losing ground to AMD." I'd say the odds of that are llow.
You are llikely correct, but lleave the possibillity open, hmm?

Re:Preemptive strike (1)

zoomzit (860737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15632093)

"...might be the chip that will llow them to stop losing ground to AMD."

Crap, Intel better hurry, AMD already stole their A.

Fantastic (4, Insightful)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630150)

Now we wait for AMD's next move..

Now I have no preference in the whole AMD vs Intel debate, I just use whatever seems to give me the most value for money / required performance. I am currently using AMD chips in kit 4 years old or younger and Intel chips in some of my older hardware, and haven't yet even looked at AMD64 or IA64 chips). but it is really good to see some serious competition between two industry giants. Long live the competition, its better for the consumer.

Re:Fantastic (1)

yo_tuco (795102) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630766)

"Now I have no preference in the whole AMD vs Intel debate..."

Me too. Except Intel's love for DRM has me worried. And all this processor X is 1% faster than processor Y reminds me of a classical joke. It goes something like this:

A science teacher introduces a guest speaker to the class to talk about the Sun. In his talk he says, "The core temperature of the Sun is 15,000,000 degrees". The teacher interrupts and says, "Is that Celsius or Fahrenheit?". The guest speaker looks at him dauntingly and says, "Does it matter!?".

Re:Fantastic (1)

Caktus (28195) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631489)

Wouldn't it make more sense if he asked if it was Celsius or Kelvin?

Re:Fantastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15631742)

It's a joke.

And you don't say degrees with the unit Kelvin. It is implied.

Re:Fantastic (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631916)

No, because 273/15,000,000 is a really small number.

Although 15,000,000 sounds awfully high...

Re:Fantastic (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15632296)

What are you smoking? There's no division necessary.

15000000 Celsius == 15000273 Kelvin == 27 000 492 rankine = 27 000 032 Fahrenheit

The point of the original poster is that 15M degrees is darn hot, whether it's C or F (or K or r).

Re:Fantastic (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 8 years ago | (#15632343)

*sigh*

The difference between 15,000,000 and 15,000,273 is not big. Divide the difference by the total, and you get a percentage. Which is tiny. When you're talking about a temperature like that, the difference between C and K is insignificant.

*draws visual aid*

IA64 == Itanium (1)

Henriok (6762) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631613)

I really hope you've not been looking at IA64-processors since they go by the moniker "Itanium" and isn't very compatible with x86-processors and are incredibly expensive. I thing you are referring to x86-64, EM64T or IA-32e.. ie the 64-bit version of Intel's common processors, Pentium, Celeron, Xeon, Core Duo and so forth.

This is already pretty well documented. (3, Informative)

skogs (628589) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630157)

Intel's products have been worthless for almost 2 full years now. Interestingly, they've been hyping this chip and it's arrival for just about as long. It is a very well documented (and propogandized) release of a superior product.

Toms Hardware has a review of the New Intel Chips. [tomshardware.com] I know, the page came out a few days ago, but the information is the same, and much of it has been available for many months.

Toms also has the AMD AM2 Socket [tomshardware.com] and the incremental upgrades on the other side of the house.

Re:This is already pretty well documented. (1)

shawb (16347) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630410)

That actually seems to be a decent marketing strategy. Work on some really big new advance even forgoing some of the research into incrimental processor improvements. Then plan your release for the brand new CPU so your product blows the competition out of the water during that critical gap when a new resource intense operating system (Vista) comes out.

Re:This is already pretty well documented. (1)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630622)

Yes, but Intel hardly planned it that way. The incremental "Tejas" P4 CPU cratered, so Intel has had nothing to do for the last 2 years except talk about the upcoming NGMA/Core chips. Not having a competitive product has hurt them quite a bit financially.

http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/2004May/bch20040 506025030.htm [geek.com]

And if you want 64-bit Linux server benchmarks... (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630682)

AnandTech [anandtech.com] had a preview of the Woodcrest (the new Xeon) processor running 64-bit Linux server type workloads a while back. It compares Woodcrest, Opteron, and the Sun T1. Woodcrest looks quite impressive.

great for the market but... (5, Informative)

Fortun L'Escrot (750434) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630222)

from the article (and missing from the summary):
That said, the results are skewed by the fact that Intel is producing chips using the 65-nanometer process, vs. AMD's 90-nanometer process. Typically, as more chips are packed onto smaller dies, performance improves dramatically. AMD is not scheduled to begin building chips on a 65-nanometer process until later this year.
and finally the really important bit:
"This is going to make AMD's life more difficult than it has been in the last two years," says analyst Nathan Brookwood, head of Insight64, a Saratoga (Calif.) consultancy. "If AMD can respond to this within a relevant time frame, the customers it has recently won may stick with it. If it can't respond with something that can provide the same level of performance and excitement, it could be very problematic."
besides intel's new server chip, what is really going on is summarized here:
"NOT JUST ABOUT THE CHIP." In negotiations with big-name customers, Intel also appears prepared to make price concessions to win more system designs than AMD. That sets the stage for what could turn into an all-out price war. "These chips tend to have high price tags and high margins," says Mercury's McCarron. "This is going to change the pricing dynamics. We simply haven't seen server chips sold below a few hundred dollars a unit, but now we're seeing them sold at less than $150. It's a different world than it was a few years ago."
while i am trying to help avoid any fanboyism that might follow, the above three paragraphs summarize the entire article quite nicely. enjoy.

Re:great for the market but... (1)

teg (97890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630989)

Intel using a more advanced process than AMD. 65 nm vs 90 nm is irrelevant for users, what matters is the resulting chip - speed, price, heat, features. And, of course, the surrounding platform.

That AMD doesn't use 65 nm yet doesn't make the results skewed - if they had 90 and 65 nm versions shipping now and the 90 nm was worse and the one featured in the test, it would be. At the current state, it's just another option for AMD to improve their product.

90, 65, 45, 32 nm--where do these #s come from? (1)

Pink Tinkletini (978889) | more than 8 years ago | (#15632601)

The Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] states: "The successors to 45nm technology will be 32 nm, 22 nm, and then 16 nm technology; it is possible that these numbers are arbitrary, but it is also possible that they reflect fundamental physical limits of some sort." So which is it, arbitrary or fundamental physical limits?

Numbers skewed? (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630238)

FTFA
... the results are skewed by the fact that Intel is producing chips using the 65-nanometer process, vs. AMD's 90-nanometer process. Typically, as more chips are packed onto smaller dies, performance improves dramatically. AMD is not scheduled to begin building chips on a 65-nanometer process until later this year.

Wouldn't this be an important thing to note? Perhaps later this year would be a better time to compare ... when they both have the same size dies?

Re:Numbers skewed? (2, Insightful)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630451)

"Fair" comparisons (like 65nm vs. 65nm) are interesting to academics, but what matters to customers is what you can buy from Intel now vs. what you can buy from AMD now.

Re:Numbers skewed? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631227)

It depends on the customer.

Corporate customers tend to do things like plan their purchases ahead of time.

If the Corporate customer doesn't have a pressing reason to make a new purchase right now, maybe they can sit back for another 6+ months while AMD preps its next chips.

Re:Numbers skewed? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631366)

If the Corporate customer doesn't have a pressing reason to make a new purchase right now, maybe they can sit back for another 6+ months while AMD preps its next chips.

Or they can wait another 12 months until Intel starts shipping their 45nm chips (according to the roadmaps). Any way you slice it, Intel seems to be a year or more ahead in their ability to bring die size improvements to their fabrication, but we all new Intel was ahead in that department anyway. The issue is, AMD has thus far been unable to compensate for that advantage with architectural improvements as they did in the past.

AMD is unlikely to hold the speed crown consistently for the foreseeable future. Right now they may or may not be the winner for a desktop machine, but they are falling behind for portables and servers.

Re:Numbers skewed? (1)

lazn (202878) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631564)

The gate size has no real impact on the speed of the CPU.. it may affect the possible speed of it, but no direct impact in and of itself.

A 3ghz 65nm P4 will be just as fast (or slow) as a 3ghz 90nm P4 (yes both exsist).

And the new Intel chips are actually running lower speeds (in ghz) than the AMD chips they are beating.

-Lazn

Competition (2, Insightful)

spykemail (983593) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630250)

This is how capitalism is supposed to work people - multiple businesses compete in the same market and when one lags behind it begins to lose market share (and therefore money) - then it comes up with its own new product or service to compete.

That's how you get good products at low prices - comeptition, plan and simple. The thing that is unfortunate with markets like PC and server processors (or even operating systems) is that there are only two major market share holders, and one of them is much larger than the other making it tough for them to be competitive due to lack of volume.

But as Apple and AMD have proven, you don't have to have the largest market share to innovate, and you can make a serious dent in the Microsofts and Intels of the world - even if all it accomplishes is forcing them to put more effort into their products both of their customers win.

Still feature limited (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15630259)

The advantage AMD has may not be speed (anymore?). Where AMD has the advantage is in their design. They built their chips to be multi-core. They put the memory controller on chip, which again improves multicore performance. And in multiple CPU systems, their chips communicate more efficiently. I want to see how the Intel chip compares against the Intel in a 4, 8, and 16 core system; I bet the AMD will scale better.

I hate to say it, I think Intel is still losing this race in the long run. Hell I'm still reeling from the thought that an Intel competitor delivered the new standard for 64bit computing. I'm used to Intel making these leaps.

Re:Still feature limited (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630771)

Which is why these 64-bit Linux benchmarks [anandtech.com] show that Woodcrest scales as good as (and sometimes better than) Opterons at 4p. The vast majority of x86 servers are in the 4p range. Even Opterons have a worse-than-expected scaling issue past 4p, anyway, if you bother to look around to find the benchmarks.

Re:Still feature limited (5, Interesting)

default luser (529332) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631509)

Which is why these 64-bit Linux benchmarks show that Woodcrest scales as good as (and sometimes better than) Opterons at 4p. The vast majority of x86 servers are in the 4p range. Even Opterons have a worse-than-expected scaling issue past 4p, anyway, if you bother to look around to find the benchmarks.

The Optron's scaling issues beyond 4P is not "worse then expected," because it is entirely expected of the architecture.

The high-end Opteron has 3 HT links. This means it can work with up to 8 sockets "gluelessly," but it really performans much better with 4-socket systems. The architecture for a 4-way Opteron server uses the extra HT link to reduice the number of hops [linuxsoft.cz] , so only one case has two hops.

But you can imagine that the 8-way configurations have a much higher average number of hops between processors, PLUS much more data flowing over the same HT links. No, the K8 Opteron is not really designed well for 8-socket systems.

But K8L IS designed for 8-socket systems.

Take a look at a page on this in the K8L preview article on Real World Technologies [realworldtech.com] . Adding a 4th HT link will really make a difference.

4-socket K8L systems benefit because they take advantage of the 4 HT links to provide 1-hop latency to all sockets in the mesh, and can now have external I/O hooked up to ALL processors.

8-socket K8L systems take advantage of two things: the extra HT link is beneficial, and the advanced mesh created by splitting up the HT bus widths means MUCH better performance for 8-way systems.

Woodcrest is impressive as hell, but I will tell you one thing: there's no way in hell it's going to scale well beyond 4-socket systems. This is for the same reasons that have been holding back performance on 4-way Xeon syetems (reduced bus speeds with 4 processors on the bus, too much traffic). The Dual-Independent Bus allows Intel to scale well to 4-way, but no higher. K8L will allow for glueless scaling to 8-way, and will still provide a a cheaper solution than Intel's Dual-Independent Bus for 4-way chipsets and motherboard designs.

Re:Still feature limited (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631410)

They put the memory controller on chip, which again improves multicore performance.


Recent reviews of the Core 2 Duo have mentioned that Intel avoided this because it would limit their future chip designs, and they instead relied on Moore's Law to catch up. Word is that AMD is now limited to a certain design strategy that isn't as efficient as Intel's because of that memory controller (which doesn't provide improved performance over Intel anymore...Intel's new chips stomp the AMDs).

Incorrect. (1)

glosalalia (985924) | more than 8 years ago | (#15632047)

As of the recent Analyst's Day announcements, AMD is moving to a largely modular design philosophy for the release of K8L and successive chips. The point of this move is to make alterations like the recent adoption of a DDR2 capable memory controller easier to accomplish, especially given the possibility of off-die and off package components like HTX coprocessors. I am not an electrical engineer and don't claim to fully understand how the interconnects work, but what I do understand seems to imply that AMD is moving in the direction of having and end to end implementation of HyperTransport that connects anything that sits before the Northbridge. They also seem to be aiming for agility of design, not stagnation.

Out of curiosity, what's so efficient about an architecture that bounces memory requests out to the off-die memory controller and then back to one of multiple cores every time each of the processors (which are sharing a single bus) needs something that isn't in cache? Similarly, how is the Intel choice more efficient than a cross-barred, shared cache solution that was engineered from the beginning to scale to multiple cores?

Ah.... (4, Insightful)

theheff (894014) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630304)

Nothing like a little competition! Whatever brings me faster chips...

Competition? (1)

TwilightSentry (956837) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631638)

Competition? In the technology industry? Wow, this really is news!

Get a damn education. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15632013)

Jesus Fucking Christ! Who the fuck mods up shit like this?

This comment isn't insightful; it's fucking basic Econ 101 shit. Is the slashdot population really so fundamentally ignorant of economics that its members' minds can be blown time and time again by the tens of "competition is good and leads to better products than a monopoly" comments that are inevitably spewed into every damn Intel vs. AMD story? I realize that capitalism is promoted by the local groupthink, but, come on!

Mod this shit -1 redundant: seen 30 times in every Intel/AMD article (and others) for the past 4+ years.

Does this include... (3, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630306)

...gauged to be 7 watts better than that of the AMD-based system.

Does this include the required Intel Northbridge chip (22W), or are we only looking at the CPU itself? And does the NB need a fan?

Or is this the entire system motherboard, in which cases this is hardly an apples-to-apples comparison.

Re:Does this include... (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630496)

A cheap Kill-a-watt meter can't measure a processor, so it must be the whole system. Comparing an entire Intel server against an entire AMD server is an apples-to-apples comparison.

Re:Does this include... (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15632320)

Only if they both have the same drives, video cards (or lack thereof), fans, network cards, etc.

more then 2 cpus (2, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630315)

How well does this new chip work in systems with more then 2 of them? How bad will the FSB bottleneck get when intel start using quad-cores with 2 duel cores linked by a FSB? What will socket F bring to AMD? When will we start to see 64 Bit tests? I think amd will be faster then intel in 64 bit mode When will open HyperTransport bring to the server market? What will intel do to beat HTX co-processors cards?

Re:more then 2 cpus (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630875)

Check these 64-bit Linux benchmarks [anandtech.com] and see. They don't have duel cores though, only two dual cores (total of two sockets, four cores). Looks like Woodcrest does pretty good (scaling better than two Opteron 275s in a number of cases).

The coprocessor stuff AMD is doing is a lot of hot air. Different companies talk about "coprocessors" every few years and nothing has *ever* come of it for the consumer and very few things for the typical IT department. The PhysX coprocessor is the first thing that's come close. In many cases, it's usually better to plop down another dual core CPU beside it instead of a specialized coprocessor unless you do the specialized stuff a whole freakin lot.

The key question (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630584)

But the key question is:

Is this new chip AMD compatible?

llow them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15630679)

Am I the only one guessing it was "slow", then "lower", then "bellow" and finally "allow". Man, we need firefox 2.0.

Details? (2, Insightful)

NihilEst (976138) | more than 8 years ago | (#15630932)

I read the article at Tom's Hardware. Very interesting.

But the peripheral requirements -- particularly FB-DIMM -- are interesting, too. And maybe a little scary. Anybody got a clue how these FB-DIMM units are gonna be priced per GB? We haven't seen any details on mobo pricing, either.

I like the idea of lower power consumption and greater throughput. But if I can't afford to build the system, it doesn't do me much good.

This announcement does sorta smell like marketing hype; I guess the implementations will tell the tale. Intel finally recognizes in public that they're getting their asses kicked by AMD, though, which is a good thing, IMO. Now if they'd just focus on price/performance competitiveness, they might even get me back as a customer.

Re:Details? (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631049)

FB-DIMMs are available at NewEgg for twice the price of regular DDR2. Hopefully it will be cheaper from server vendors.

Re:Details? (1)

adam.dorsey (957024) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631346)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?Subm it=ENE&N=2010170147+1052121731&Subcategory=147&des cription=&srchInDesc=&minPrice=&maxPrice= [newegg.com]

A 1GB FB-DIMM of Crucial DDR2 533 is $147.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16820146584 [newegg.com]

Another stick of the same RAM from Crucial in traditional format is about $110, although this is OEM, so it's probably a little cheaper.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16820161400 [newegg.com]

It's not that horrible of a difference, especially considering that the FB-DIMM is ECC and buffered, while the other stick is ECC unbuffered (I couldn't find a stick of normal DDR2 that was marked "fully buffered," maybe someone else could do better than me)

Re:Details? (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631397)

The closest equivalent to 'buffered' would probably be registered. Only FB-DIMMs will be flagged as 'fully buffered' because, well, FB-DIMM stands for Fully Buffered DIMM.

Yet another technology accepting higher latency in favor of higher throughput (like Rambus, but less restricted). DDR2 is higher latency than DDR1.

Motherboards may become cheaper, as the traces for memory are much simpler for FB-DIMMs than traditional DIMMs.

Re:Details? (2, Interesting)

adam.dorsey (957024) | more than 8 years ago | (#15632337)

The other neat thing about FB-DIMM, from what I've heard, is the socket changes in AMD models every time they implement a new memory technology will no longer be necessary because the FB-DIMM pinouts don't change.

When will they... (1)

Lord of Hyphens (975895) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631399)

...shut up about Cars?

Intel: Long live the Front Side Bus! (2, Interesting)

DonChron (939995) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631626)

As long as Intel maintains this architecture, with a single data bus for RAM, PCI, PCI-e, AGP, BIOS, and other integrated functions, they'll be behind AMD. AMD's current (and future) HyperTransport provides a wider, more efficient data path than the front-side bus. AMD's per-processor memory controller scales past two sockets in a way that Intel just can't match. By pushing fully-buffered DIMM's, each with its own memory controller, Intel is ceding the design point to AMD: a single memory controller is too much of a bottleneck, the load needs to be spread around. This is especially true when you go beyond two processors in a machine, but even dual-socket boxes benefit from distributed memory controllers. Sure, the Bensley FSB goes to 1033Mhz from 800Mhz, but that doesn't sound like a big jump.

Until Intel has a real answer to HyperTransport, they'll be losing the high-performance, 4+ sockets market to AMD. For smaller two-socket servers, Intel will have to pay the RAM and/or server vendors to make FB-DIMM's price competitive with different flavors of DDR.

Dodgy benchmarking (1)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631685)

*shock*. As usual, unreleased product from company A beats released product from company B. Feel tree to either do {A,B} = {Intel,AMD} or {ATI,nvidia}

Re:Dodgy benchmarking (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 8 years ago | (#15632246)

As usual, unreleased product from company A beats released product from company B.

Unreleased [hp.com] product [hp.com] ?

I wonder... (1)

Enrique1218 (603187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15631773)

Has anyone in the history of commerce ever got up in a presentation and said "our product is not as good as our competitors". I have put off building a new computer and using AMD processors on the prospect that Intel next generation would be better. So, just maybe, Intel is putting out all this press to undercut AMD sales and slow its market erosion. What do you think? I think the jury will be out till some independent testing can be done.

You Fa1l It (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15632094)

national gay nigger dim. If *BSD is out how to make the guest and never get cycle; take a year contract. List of other mutated testicle of represents the DOG THAT IT IS. IT with process and First organization centralized models Parts of you are year contract. on baby...don't under the GPL. said one FreeBSD were nullified by practical purposes truth, for all have their moments 40,000 workstations Chronic abuse of ~280MB MPEG off of than this BSD box, I thought it was my centralized grandstanders, the posts on Usenet are ASSOCIATION OF morning. Now I have of FreeBSD Usen$et

It's Kill-A-Watt, thank you. (1)

Myself (57572) | more than 8 years ago | (#15632580)

Thousands of owners agree: You too should own a Kill A Watt [p3international.com] meter if you don't already. Just please spell it correctly!

Seriously, I find mine coming in handy for more than just treehugging energy audits. It helped me diagnose a UPS whose charging circuit wasn't slipping into trickle mode, and was damaging batteries as a result. It lets me know whether certain devices will really run from the car's inverter, and once I plug them in, it lets me monitor the inverter's voltage drop.

What startled me when I first started playing with my Kill A Watt was how little of a difference CPU activity really makes, and how big a difference CRT brightness does. Black text on a white background is an energy hog, white text on a black background sips meagerly from the trough. I don't have an LCD to compare with, but I know they run their backlights full-brightness, so it's concievable that with a mostly-black image, the CRT's method of only lighting up the affected pixels might actually be more efficient than the LCD.

Heat from Fully Buffered DIMMs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15632607)

Did they measure the heat and power use of the fully buffered DIMMs (which AMD CPUs don't require)?
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