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AMD Launches Counterstrike Against Core 2 Duo

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the back-and-forth dept.


DigitalDame2 writes to mention a PC Magazine article about the AMD 4x4 enthusiast platform, which is meant to counter Core 2 Duo. The article observes that AMD is now facing many of the same business practices it used in its war against Intel. From the article: "While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, improvement can often be a slap in the face. Intel's C2D was designed with both low power and performance per watt in mind, two key design metrics that helped AMD cut into Intel's market share with the Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 X2. And, as preliminary numbers have indicated and final performance reviews now show, the C2D has learned its lesson well: its performance now tops AMD's Athlon 64 architecture by a substantial margin."

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4X4 is more a marketing ploy than anything else (4, Interesting)

Harry Balls (799916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720751)

4X4 sounds more like a marketing ploy to me than like a feasible solution for Joe Average or even Joe Gamer.


Consider the cost of Athlon X2 processors: []
The least expensive Athlon X2 costs a cool 300 bucks, while the mid-range Core 2 Duo (Conroe) E6600 costs $315 (projected wholesale price).

Now factor in a more expensive (because of 2 processor sockets) 4X4 motherboard, two Athlon X2 chips at $300, and you wind up with a $350 to $400 surcharge for being an AMD fanboy.

The situation gets worse if you want a high-end system:
Two FX-62 will set you back $1045 + $1045 = $2090 []
and while this combination is expected to outperform a single Core 2 Duo at $1057 rch+Froogle&lmode=online&scoring=p []
factoring in the more expensive two-socket motherboard expect to pay a cool $1100 more than for the E6800 system.

Personally, I'll probably buy an E6600 ($315) or an E6400 ($240) as soon as they become available.

Re:4X4 is more a marketing ploy than anything else (4, Informative)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720806)

remember that AMD is slashing the prices of several X2 processors by about 50%, hence the price differential is mostly only the mobo differential, which I don't think will be that much...

The name certainly is (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720819)

Because dual-core Opterons have been around for a while. The 2xx series will run in systems with two processor sockets, the 8xx in systems up to 8 sockets. Giving you a maximum of 4 or 16 cores.
I think the new "4x4" processors will essentially be rebranded Opterons from the 2xx series. So if you really want it and are willing to pay up, you can have a "4x4" AMD system now.

Re:4X4 is more a marketing ploy than anything else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15720873)

Like another poster said, you are forgetting that there is a price cut coming, and if it is as much as they claim it to be, AMDs 4x4 will work rather well until the 65nm cores are out and then they can afford to ramp speeds. It is also important to note that this should be a PR move more then anything. Intel has been losing this fight for years, and they still have the majority of market share because of the crap people believe when they see commercials for Intel and/or Dell (Intel's bestest friend).

Benchmarks on systems have shown the differences to not be as massive as thought in high end games run at real resolutions, who are the people who matter most when it comes to FX and Xtreme processors. Actually, the biggest limit right now on modern games appears to still be the GPU. Honestly, we got two AMD v. Intel posts in one day...I would wait to buy your new E6600 or E6400 until a few more real reviews are done, and not just the Intel phantom system reviews...I hate those stacked previews companies do...

You are Right: AMD may Die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15720983)

Competing against Intel requires entering niche markets that Intel ignores. The reason is that no company has the money or the army of slave engineers that are needed to compete directly against Intel.

Look at what happened to Transmeta. It specialized in low-power processors for laptops because Transmeta could avoid direct competition with Intel in that market. Then, about a year after Transmeta released Crusoe, Intel gunned for that niche market. Transmeta vaporized and its crew of Stanford Ph.D.'s fled.

As for AMD, it had been hoping to avoid direct competition with Intel by focusing on low-power desktop/server processors. Intel had been focusing almost exclusively on (1) performance at any energy cost in the desktop/server market and (2) ultra-low power for laptops. Now, Intel is refocusing on maximum per-watt performance across the entire processor market.

AMD is in deep trouble. AMD has already reduced its revenue guidance for the rest of the year.

Still, there is hope for AMD. If Fujitsu bought AMD, Fujitsu could transform AMD into a formidable competitor in the market for x86 processors. Just look at the SPARC64. It is competitive with Power4 and Itanium.

Re:You are Right: AMD may Die (4, Insightful)

GoatMonkey2112 (875417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721137)

AMD is in a much better situation than they have been in the past.

Their server chips will continue to sell well. Opteron is still very competitive in multiprocessor systems.

There will still be people buying AMD processors based on price and past performance. If you've got some market share people will come back to you for upgrades.

AMD has other sources of income than just CPUs. Their flash memory is the most obvious one.

AMD made a name for itself as being a low cost alternative to Intel years ago. This trip into the high end is a new thing and it made them a nice pile of money to invest in the next generation due out next year.

All of that being said, I'm still going to be buying a Conroe. But your predition of the company going under is a major exaggeration. They will most likely be back and strong around a year to a year and a half from now.

Re:4X4 is more a marketing ploy than anything else (1)

GoatMonkey2112 (875417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721086)

The situation IS worse, because you HAVE to use FX processors in a 4x4 system.

Re:4X4 is more a marketing ploy than anything else (3, Informative)

Azarael (896715) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721130)

[Blockquote]Mounted on each socket will be an AMD dual-core processor (not necessarily an AMD Athlon64 X2, according to an AMD representative)(Emphasis Mine), for a total of four cores.[/blockquote]

The article says otherwise.

Re:4X4 is more a marketing ploy than anything else (2, Insightful)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721115)

They even talked about 8x8 (2x 4 core CPUS). Just 4x4 strikes me as wasted power that the vast majority of enthusiasts would never touch. Most of the time the 2nd core is barely used even now.

Gillette has already created a version of this overkill in shaving:

Mach 5 []
Platinum Mach 14 []
5 Blades! []

Re:4X4 is more a marketing ploy than anything else (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721250)

The apps that are going multithreaded now, though, are typically going to 4+ threads to be future ready for the next couple of years. For people who use any of those applications, they'll see an immediate boost per core.

Personally, I'm dying to get my hands on an 8+ core workstation.

Re:4X4 is more a marketing ploy than anything else (3, Insightful)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721163)

Bingo. The price is what is killing AMD.

Not sure if Intel is trying to salt the fields here, but AMD did not drop prices at all until they were forced to over the last couple years. Benchmarks can be somewhat unreliable, but with enough reading you can find how the midrange CPU's compare to each other. Since AMD also dropped the 939 socket, I'm going to look real hard at Intel as I have to update RAM and mainboard the next time I do a major update. Were I buying today, it would be Intel - that has not been the case for me since I replaced a 450 mhz slot 2 xeon with a 700mhz slot A thunderbird. I'm not the type of guy to buy an FX or Extreme! Edition of anything, but when I stack up what kind of bang for the buck I can get between $200-500, AMD has a real problem on their hands. Both the X2 and Core 2 Duo are solid technology, but I will not pay for 'brand'. The AMD kit is going to have to drop a fair bit more to be competitive in the landscape I buy in.

Part of the vicious cycle in Tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15720754)

Part of the vicious cycle in Tech, darwin^2.

Re:Part of the vicious cycle in Tech (3, Interesting)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720778)

I don't see why we're talking about flattery and being slapped in the face. It seems that AMD and Intel are competing more directly than in the past, which could ultimately be good news for consumers. By reducing power (/. reported on congress' urge to reduce power consumption earlier) these chips save money and run very quickly. Now that both parties are fighting for efficiency and other similar things, they will have to pull out some amazing science to directly compete instead of simply bosting that their paradigm is superior.

Re:Part of the vicious cycle in Tech (5, Interesting)

Uryene (307391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720880)

...A cycle I learned my lesson about many, many moons ago.

At home, I keep a $640 check I wrote back in 1990 for a 486 CPU.
It's framed and visible on top of a bookcase to serve as a reminder.

At the time, I thought it was a great deal; screaming processors were
never going to get much cheaper than that!

These days, last years tech (or even two years ago tech) is usually
MORE than sufficient. Except for games, which always seem to
need NEXT years processor in order to be playable... ;-)

Re:Part of the vicious cycle in Tech (1)

Punko (784684) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720966)

Pop paid almost C$3,000 for a wide format (17") dot matrix printer to hook up to our TRS-80 Model III in 1981. I spent a bunch of time making really freakin' huge banners on that continuous feed computer paper. Adjusted for inflation, that's C$6,755 for a dot matrix printer! I'm fairly certain I could get a decent printer now for that much . . .

Re:Part of the vicious cycle in Tech (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720978)

Heheh, yeah. I got thwomped by freshman in their shiny Pentium's vs my trust 486/16 on Duke Nukem's Water level (over the brand new dorm ethernet!) when the FPS became 1 , and I've been a console gamer ever since.

I just bought one of those amazing cute HP slimlines for like $550. It's probably the first PC I owned that does well with "Liberty City", and does everything else amazing well. If you don't need a PC for games, you can get by with some very old hardware indeed. (And yes, I do recognize how much better PCs do in certain genres, and how much I suck for not like WASD/mouse play)

Re:Part of the vicious cycle in Tech (1)

shelterpaw (959576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721222)

Try running a slew of virtual software synthesizers and effects and you'll be happy to see faster processors. I know I couldn't be happier and I can't wait to see which one Apples puts in it's next machine.

Heh... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15720755)

If Intel had tried this a year ago with their inferior P4 processors, AMD fanboys would have complained that they were being stupid and basically saying they needed two chips to beat AMD's single chip.

Now, I'm sure that AMD is "innovative" by introducing this platform. Genius, I tell you!

Re:Heh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15721141)

Come on, it's FANBOI - not fanboy...

umm? comparison to Intel please... (3, Interesting)

sofar (317980) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720757)

but does it perform better than core 2 duo? I fail to see any performance test between them, and it's also AMD having the bigger market share right now, not intel. Seems like a lot of AMD FUD nowadays... AMD is no longer the underdog here.

Re:umm? comparison to Intel please... (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720776)

Not so much, but AMD still doesn't have larger market share than Intel - not nearly. It's just that the gap is shrinking.

Re:umm? comparison to Intel please... (1)

qbwiz (87077) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720808)

I think the grandparent was thinking about retail market share, where AMD has indeed passed Intel. Overall market share is a different story....

Re:umm? comparison to Intel please... (2, Informative)

treeves (963993) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720845)

Even that's not quite true. . .Intel takes back lead in US retail | Tech News on ZDNet []

Re:umm? comparison to Intel please... (1)

qbwiz (87077) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720965)

Well, I did say passed. I just never mentioned whether they were still ahead.

Re:umm? comparison to Intel please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15721200)

You said "has passed" implying that they still are past. You could have said passed or had passed and not implied that.

Counterstrike (3, Funny)

m_chan (95943) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720759)

I tried to read this article and all I could think of was that AMD is mad that strafe jumping got patched and that Intel learned how to bunny hop. I'm hung over. Need sleep.

Re:Counterstrike (1)

Trouvist (958280) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720773)

Strafe jumping is bunny hopping...

Re:Counterstrike (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15720838)

Close, but not quite [] .

Re:Counterstrike (1)

alexhs (877055) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720886)

Yeah, we soon will get two incompatible MS-Windows systems :
  1. Intel Pentium / nVidia Geforce / iD Quake
  2. AMD Athlon / ATI Radeon / Valve Half-Life

I guess I need to sleep too ;)

Performance improvement? (4, Interesting)

Atroxodisse (307053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720767)

Re:Performance improvement? (1)

Iamthefallen (523816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720875)

How big an issue was the GPU in that test? None, or some? When they dropped a quality level down, the gap increased.

Another OCP comparison [] , without GPU limitations.

Re:Performance improvement? (1)

InsaneGeek (175763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720882)

Only problem is that article basically shows that the CPU isn't the bottle neck in what they were doing. It's like saying there isn't a performance improvement from an original K6 to an opteron and to prove it I'm going to time how long it takes to transfer a 100mb file over a modem with the different CPU's and prove to you how the performance difference is minimal.

It was all GPU (4, Insightful)

Atroxodisse (307053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720903)

The point was that Intel is hyping the new processor for gaming but you really don't need the best processor for gaming. Might as well drop $180 on a good processor instead of $800 on the best because it won't make a difference.

Re:It was all GPU (1)

Iamthefallen (523816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721051)

Right, you don't need the $1000 CPU. But a $300 Intel CPU would apparently go a lot further than a $300 AMD.

Re:It was all GPU (2, Insightful)

ben there... (946946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721285)

Right. As someone was saying in the other article, they didn't test 800x600 (where you would have seen the difference) because most people who spend $500 on a CPU and $500 on a GPU wouldn't play at that resolution.

But my opinion is that if they're testing the CPU, they should test at 800x600, simply to factor the GPU out of the equation. If they're testing for a particular game that's one thing, but they're supposed to be testing the CPU. Even if they pulled the 800x600 out into a separate table for comparison of atypical scenarios, fine, but they should still show it.

If a new generation of GPUs suddenly comes out, you'll be happy you bought the more powerful CPU, regardless of current GPU limitations.

Re:Performance improvement? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721262)

But then, if you trusted HardOCP, you'd have to be stupid, so why should we care if you're misinformed?

Re:Performance improvement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15721397)

Bah... Point us to a better quality review site. Tom's Hardware just doesn't cut it for most enthusiasts.

Stop acting like a clownshoe. Its not like we're talking about the Inquirer or something.

Performance number? (3, Interesting)

Soybean47 (885009) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720782)

AMD also plans to push a sort of "performance number" into the market to redefine how consumers should think about power, they said.

Doesn't AMD already label their processors with a relatively meaningless number designed to... say... redefine how consumers think about processor speed?

Was that a highly effective marketing technique? I mean, I guess it did get people to think about speed, and it helped convince many people that GHz isn't the be-all and end-all of processor comparison. But at some point won't people just be annoyed by the mess of pretend numbers AMD is throwing around to "make us think?"

Re:Performance number? (2, Informative)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720856)

I think they mean power, as in Watt usage. Currently they just rate the maximum usage which is not really that usefull.

Re:Performance number? (2, Insightful)

Soybean47 (885009) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721050)

I got that. It just seems kind of odd to me that they're trying to convince people to measure speed in magic AMD numbers instead of GHz, and now apparently power consumption in some different magic AMD numbers instead of Watts. It's good to get people thinking, but after a while it just seems like you're trying to fudge things to make yourself look better.

Re:Performance number? (1)

Siward (966440) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721155)

Frankly, I tend to think of GHz as being meaningless. If your architecture is powerful enough that you don't need to push big numbers at people, why bother? Intel's high-range of GHz values makes me think of car manufacturers who advertise huge horsepower figures, when the true measure of a car's ability to accelerate is a lot more subtle than that.

AMD has been pushing processor architecture for a while, which is something that a handful of people understand. Do you really think the average computer expert is going to understand architecture improvements? Not to speak of mom and pop buying a new computer -- they're going to look at rating.

The bottom line really is that you shouldn't be paying attention to numbers at all. Benchmarks (although some can be skewed) are the true test of a processor's power. Do you think they want to tempt fate and test the hardware review community? Beyond that, do you think AMD really wants to overinflate their processor value so they can piss off the enthusiast crowd they pays attention to these things? Aside from poor business practice, it would be dumb for them to just throw big numbers around if those numbers didn't correspond to some well-understood performance value. (I realize I just said that GHz is meaningless, but it is the historical metric.)

Re:Performance number? (1)

Afrosheen (42464) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721405)

It was a brilliant move by AMD marketing to get people to think outside the GHz box because it's how much work a processor can do per cycle that counts, not how fast its internal clock rate is. They proved, with the Athlon64 chips, that a lower-clocked chip can perform as well as, or outperform, a chip with a higher clock rate.

  The old timers, such as yourself, that think GHz ratings mean anything anymore are just wandering around blind. Intel proved that themselves with the switch from Pentium 4 to Pentium M for their mobile chipsets. All of a sudden you have a 1.6ghz chip that outperforms the older P4 2.xghz chip. So yeah, it seems like magic to the unitiated, but then again, everything technical does.

Re:Performance number? (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721313)

I find normal consumers have a great deal of difficulty figuring out what the performance level of a given Intel chip is compared to others given how their model numbers jump around. AMD's numbers are more straightforward, though they still don't always tell the right story.

Fanboyism... (4, Insightful)

TripHammer (668315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720793)

is wasteful. I'm glad to see Intel back in the mix with some good offerings. I think those of us whom are fickle come out on top: you buy what makes sense. Fanboys step back!

Re:Fanboyism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15720993)

"I'm glad to see Intel back in the mix with some good offerings."

What about Intel's love for DRM? I haven't been following CPUs much ever since I stopped playing games for some time now. But does anybody know if AMD is going to/is doing support for DRM in their stuff?

Re:Fanboyism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15721167)

Well my last proc was an AMD. Why? It was the old AMD socket 657 (not the new 989) or whatever. Im getting mixed up.. so I got it at a price that simply was better than anything I could get from Intel at that time. I always said that Intels Centrino procs were the best tech around and now they've advanced those into a new generation designed for the desktop in the form of core duo.

Right now I'd by an Intel proc but its not that big a deal. We're still pretty much at the end of the semiconductor proc envlope thats why theres all this multicore nonsense. AMD can still compete with Intel far into the foreseeable future (however far that is ..)!

It's about Goddamn time! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15720796)

AMD Launches Counterstrike Against Core 2 Duo

We need corporate wars to thin things out. Fuck'n A! The Governments of the World are just too incompetent! It's obvious that the MBAs of the World need to unite and show these Bozoes how to fuck'n do it!

Yes siree, profit above all else! Fuck these Goddman bald monkeys!

Hey, I'm not done yet! Put those fucking jackets away!!! Hey!!! Mmmmmmmm!mM!M!M!M

Put in straight jacket and sent to a Ph.D business program.

Re:It's about Goddamn time! (1, Informative)

ak3ldama (554026) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721129)

AMD Launches Counterstrike Against Core 2 Duo We need corporate wars to thin things out. Fuck'n A! The Governments of the World are just too incompetent! It's obvious that the MBAs of the World need to unite and show these Bozoes how to fuck'n do it! Yes siree, profit above all else! Fuck these Goddman bald monkeys! Hey, I'm not done yet! Put those fucking jackets away!!! Hey!!! Mmmmmmmm!mM!M!M!M Put in straight jacket and sent to a Ph.D business program.

That is funny, not flamebait. Mod Parent up. I would but I have no points! Is there no justice in the world?

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15720802)

The latest technology from XYZ corp beats 3 year old technology from ZYX corp.


"well.. my dad can beat up your dad!" (4, Insightful)

Churla (936633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720814)

This smacks to me of AMD realizing Intel had actually landed a well placed shot into thier gut and needing a fast "get positive attention back on up" spin.

So we'll have to buy TWO processors to compete with what Intel is doing with one? If they're aiming for the Enthusiast market they have to remember that "enthusiasts" have price constraints (usually referred to as "wife")

I could be wrong. But I really don't think I am.

Re:"well.. my dad can beat up your dad!" (2, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721088)

My processor goes to eleven.

Intel responds with Core 4 Quadro (1)

poopie (35416) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721093)

Intel will see AMD's 4x4 with their Core 4 quadro and raise them with their uber-secret

Mega-Core-8-octo Pentium-Z MMVII Pro ultra-thread 999 energy-star

Re:Intel responds with Core 4 Quadro (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721135)

string bet, bad form.

Re:"well.. my dad can beat up your dad!" (1)

bigmike_f (546576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721122)

You're mistaken... AMD solution is 4x4... which means with two chips you get four processors.

Re:"well.. my dad can beat up your dad!" (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721368)

Doesn't that make it a 2x2? I'm sorry, I don't do marketing-flack math.

Re:"well.. my dad can beat up your dad!" (4, Interesting)

uop (929685) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721185)

Well, having the strongest offering usually does count for something (especially if you ask the marketeers).
The 4x4 initiative basically looks like DP for the desktop, which Intel offers as well (although Xeon only).

imho, the really interesting thing about 4x4 is the possibility of plugging in a coprocessor in the future.
For example, you may settle for a single Athlon64 X2 in a 4x4 board for now, and add a physics/video/dsp/whatever coprocessor in the future.
That's wild speculation, of course, but it does make the 4x4 setup intriguing as a future-proof product.


Re:"well.. my dad can beat up your dad!" (1)

Zoop (59907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721223)

price constraints (usually referred to as "wife")

Oh, is that what we're calling the dot com crash now? Clever. Explains the lower salaries since the dot com crash and gets your mom off your back.

Now, do we call the computers "grandkids"?

I for one... (2, Insightful)

rowama (907743) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720818)

am happy that I finally know what will be in my computer 5 years from now, when I swap out my pentium III based system. Us poor folk at least get to enjoy the anticipation longer.

Re:I for one... (3, Insightful)

doti (966971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720916)

Well, a pIII can play movies and run quake3.
That's the two most demanding uses for a computer.
The rest is futile.

Re:I for one... (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721175)

You forgot the other one:

It can, in fact, run Linux.

Re:I for one... (2, Insightful)

fotbr (855184) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721228)

Not poor, but still happily running my dual P-III 1Ghz setup I built 5 years ago. I've upgraded from the original GeForce Pro to an ATI Radeon 9800Pro last year, swapped out the CD burner for a DVD Burner the year before that, and added two 400GB drives 6 months ago to complement the two 80GB drives that I originally had. The thing that'd really help me would be more RAM, but from day one it was maxed out with 2GB.

Until I meet anything it can't do that I really want to do, I don't see the need to replace the machine. Unfortunetly, it is about at the end of its upgradeability -- new graphics cards will require PCIe, which means new MB, and therefore new CPU(s). More RAM would also require new MB, etc.

Maybe I'm frugal, maybe I just don't see the need to always have "the latest and greatest" but I'll stick with my strategy of building a beast of a machine every few years, but not throwing much money at it after its built.

Forget the small details... (4, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720826)

It does not matter how much these processors cost today, nor whether AMD's 4x4 is real or a maketing ploy.

What matters is that AMD has captured sufficient marketshare over the last years to become a real competitor to Intel. Opterons have become the CPU of choice for large servers, the niche that Itanium was meant to capture.

Now Intel's comeback means we're seeing the start of a new growth of CPU power, this time into multi-core land, a nice solid metric on which to compete. You can fudge the Ghz but you can't really fudge the number of cores. This means we have the perfect conditions for an explosion of growth, until the numbers get into meaningless territory. Within 3-4 years, common desktops will have 8 to 16 cores, and high-end workstations will have 128 or more.

I'm just very glad my company made the move to writing multithreaded code so we can get the best from this new landscape.

Ah, but you can fudge the number of cores... (2, Interesting)

Dr. Zowie (109983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721009)

... as did Intel with their previous round of patched-up dual-core machines. The reason AMD's multicore is so much better than Intel's is because AMD provided a much better caching architecture. Intel's 64-bit multicores could be compared to a large V-8 engine stuck behind a tiny VW carburetor -- totally starved for data. AMD's multicores effectively shared one anothers' L2 caches (a big win), and achieved lower latency on RAM fetches (another big win).

If the two giants start to compete on core count, you can bet your family farm that there will be fudging going on over cross-communication, latency, and RAM bandwidth.

Re:Ah, but you can fudge the number of cores... (3, Informative)

Bitmanhome (254112) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721243)

Not at all. AMD's cores have unique caches per core, plus they share the same memory bus. However, AMD put some effort into the crossbar. While Intel's early multicore offerings were essentially the same, there was no crossbar, so bus contention was a little worse.

The Core 2 series now has shared L2.

Re:Forget the small details... (2, Funny)

joto (134244) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721118)

Now Intel's comeback means we're seeing the start of a new growth of CPU power, this time into multi-core land, a nice solid metric on which to compete.

Look, we have hyper-threading/SMT/whatever, so our 2 cores are as good as 4 of your cores. Besides each of our cores are faster than your cores. And nobody needs more than 4 cores anyway. With our supercallifragilisticexpiallidotious memory bandwidth, even our dual core processors will beat your 16-core processor, because memory bandwidth is what really matters. So in order to make consumers think about performance again, and not just the number of cores, we will name our processors with a "virtual core number" that reflect real-world performance better. Thank You!

Re:Forget the small details... (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721299)

Nice prediction, but you are wrong. While MS sits firmly on desktop market it's going to be hard going beyond 2 cores unless you do your stuff on linux. Granted some of us are going to buy the multicore setups, but thats because we need the power and feel at home with linux.

On top of that, last time I checked the cache wasn't shared, which means we won't get anything really usefull with more cores unless they start doing crossbar switching in the cache (expensive, but damn its nice).

And in other news (4, Funny)

plusser (685253) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720835)

Mayor of London Ken Livingston introduces a GHz charge on microprocessors used in London as he gets confused by the fact that AMD are to launch 4x4, as he thinks that they take up too much space and are bad for the environment.

Intel leading with heat and watts (4, Insightful)

minion (162631) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720854)

People are forgetting though that its not just desktop CPUs that AMD took such large pieces of marketshare away from Intel.
There have been a few benchmarks (I believe one was on Anandtech's site) that have shown Intel Xeons running in 64bit mode performed slower than the same processor running in 32bit mode. Now, I know, we're talking about copying larger data segments around, because the address space is larger, so a bit of a slowdown in some areas are expected. But when they're talking 5% slower, thats a bit.
We replaced 3 Dual Intel Xeon servers (2.8GHz Xeons) with 4G of RAM each, with a single AMD Dual Opteron server, running in 64bit mode for MySQL. This system is immensely faster than the old Xeon systems. MySQL shows upto 23% performance increases in SELECT commands on 64bit vs 32bit on the AMD. On the Intel, it was a performance loss.
As far as heat output, the air coming out the back of this server feels cooler, not to mention that it replaced 3 servers with one.
People need to focus on the server market, and not the desktop market to see the real king in the (x86) CPU wars. Lets not forget hypertransport, and seperate data paths for memory and IO, whereas the Xeon has a shared 800MHz FSB (now 1066 with the newer rendition).

Re:Intel leading with heat and watts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15720926)

Actually the newest Xeons have a 1333 Mhz effective FSB and 666Mhz FB DDR2 to go along with it.

Re:Intel leading with heat and watts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15721000)

Wow, you clearly don't have much clue about MySQL. During that upgrade, did you upgrade your disks? How did your 3 MySQL severs were configured? Did you have replication going?

This reminds the blind-guy and the elephant story.

Re:Intel leading with heat and watts (3, Interesting)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721037)

You noted how you changed (3) Intel servers with (4) GBs of ram for a single AMD server yet you left out a TON of information about the AMD. What and how are the disk connected compared to the Intel boxen. Secondly, how much ram does this 64-bit AMD have? (16GB?)

We had (2) IBM servers (Dual AMD 64-bit Opteron) with 12GB ram each running 32-bit RHEL3 and Oracle 10g. Because it was 32-bit RH it was only using 4GB in each server. We upgraded the RHEL3-64 and Oracle 10g 64-bit (using all 12GB of memory in each box) and we got about 140% improvement on the same hardware.

What was the difference? 8 more GB of ram each. The fact that a single server has 12GB of ram and all queries happen on a single server makes a HUGE difference than have (3) servers with only 4GB of ram as the database can cache more data in memory.

While I don't know your *true* setup, I can say that a single server with a TON of ram will kill many servers with only a little bit of ram on simple select statements. CPU doesn't do a whole lot on select statements compared to what it will do on say stored procs or all kinds of subselects/joins/aggregate functions in your select statements.

Re:Intel leading with heat and watts (3, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721138)

That would be an insightful comment..if it were made 1 month ago.

Woodcrest changes your equation completely.

Re:Intel leading with heat and watts (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721221)

How are you measuring your performance? Total query bandwidth database SELECTS are inherently bound by the speed of a single processor. More agressive multi-processor design often increases throughput, but for sheer performance a 2-way machine with faster chips beats a 64-node beowolf cluster of slightly slower ones 99.9% of the time. Databases are also often secondarily (or even primarily) disk bound. If you replaced 3 machines with 1, I'm betting that you moved from a network-based disk system to a locally attached one, right?

This is just dual dual-core (3, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720889)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this just two dual-core AMD processors on a single board? What's to stop Intel from releasing a dual-socket board and slapping two Conroes in it (provided the chip supports it)?

Re:This is just dual dual-core (1)

UID30 (176734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720988)

appears on the surface to be as you have described, but from what i've read they are also going to support 3rd party co-processors in the extra slot ... for say ... a dedicated physics or encryption engine. not that i think either of those are particularly useful except in overspecialized situations...

i'm not an intel fan ...but i've got to tip my hat to them. they've put out a chip that actually looks "worth buying" for a change. amd needs to update their fab to 65nm and increase on-die cache sizes ... imo that will do a lot to close the performance gap again...

Re:This is just dual dual-core (2, Insightful)

Azarael (896715) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721248)

I believe that the difference would be AMD chips support hypertransport while Intel's don't. The theory is that with the hypertransport bus the communication between processors will be almost as fast as if they were on the same die. If Intel had to use the FSB, then they'd be limited by the available bandwidth.

FINALLY! (4, Insightful)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720898) Intel fanboys get to see AMD scrambling to polish a turd, the same way Intel had to with the P4 core for the past 4 years.

AMD CEO to Marketing: "Attention marketing team: Full Steam Ahead with the scrambling and spinning in place!"

I'm going to take a few moments to enjoy AMD's panic. Because: a) its been a long time, and b) it probably won't last long.

Re:FINALLY! (3, Insightful)

groundround (962898) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721182)

I'm just curious what you get out of being a fanboy. I mean, it is a corporation we're talking about. So, unless you work there, cheerleading a group of people employed to create company profits is meaningless.

OT: Tickle ads? (-1, Offtopic)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720907)

I don't know what tickle is, but the ads here on slashdot the last few days seem really out of place. I just can't imagine many slashdot readers clicking on a banner ad that says "Which of these flying animals is a mammal? ()Bat, ()Fly, ()Chicken. Tickle." I'm surprised it's not blinking with animated cartoon fonts. I'm not complaining, I'm just somewhat surprised they're paying for what would seem a poorly-targeted advertisement.

Re:OT: Tickle ads? (-1, Offtopic)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720933)

One word: Adblock.

Ads? Where? (-1, Offtopic)

deesine (722173) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721272)

You're still viewing internet ads?


Let me be the first to say to AMD (2)

Jakhel (808204) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720932)

Go! Go! Go!

while you're copying intel... (1, Insightful)

mseidl (828824) | more than 8 years ago | (#15720961)

Why you copy AMD a lot lately, why not! copy the best thing of them all, HT! HT as in hyptertransport, not hyperthreading. Im curious to see the new 'xeons' compete with am2 opterons. While the new architecture is seeming much faster than AMD's offering at the moment. The FSB is still old and flawed. The AGTL+ max bandwith of the CD2 is maxed out at ~8gb/sec, where as HyperTransport maxes out at ~14gb/sec.

Actually (1)

necrodeep (96704) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721235)

The HyperTransport 3.0 Specification provides 41.6 GB/s of 'aggregate bandwidth' - nice, huh?

Re:Actually (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721393)

There are a lot of other goodies behind HT3.0. I dunno how many are public so I won't say. But just say "speed isn't the only improvement".

There is no reason why Intel hasn't chosen to do their own HT "like" network. Other than they would have to aboutface on yet another Intel "truth". That the FSB [with their uber overclocked goodness] is the way to go.


Obligatory (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15721002)

Begun these core wars have


Misleading title... (4, Insightful)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721042)

There doesn't seem to be any AMD counterstrike yet other than hot air. It would be a shock if AMD spokespeople said anything other than that they were 'supremely confident.' What else can they say...that they are facing several quarters of deep price cuts, low margins, and they're scared to death about their stock options? The original P4 delivered a pretty big smackdown on AMD that took them two years to come back from and the Conroe Core 2 Duo looks like it's going to do the same thing. AMD still has the better fundamental architecture, though, just like they did against the P4 with its 26 pipeline stages and power-sucking 'netburst' architecture, so in the long run the AMd direct connect stuff should win out but that's not going to put food on the table for the next year or so.

The 4x4 motherboard excellent for servers? (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721091)

Why do they call it an "AMD 4x4 enthusiast platform"? It seems to me that the 4x4 motherboard would be excellent for servers.

Re:The 4x4 motherboard excellent for servers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15721195)

You can already buy 2 200 series dual core opterons (265,270,275,280,or 285) and a dual socket 940 motherboard and have 4 cores.

Re:The 4x4 motherboard excellent for servers? (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721381)

Yes, but that didn't answer the question.

Title (2, Funny)

PuppiesOnAcid (792320) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721095)

After reading the title, I was expecting to see projectile CS:Source CDs shattering Intel processors.

65nm (2, Interesting)

Azarael (896715) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721186)

My question is, how would the comparison stackup once AMD finally releases 65nm chips? Everyone knows that Intel has the best fabs, but I'm curious to see what happens when AMD catches up further in that area.

Re:65nm (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721271)

Well, on a guesstimate based on Intel's 90->65nm chips, I would say it could bring the Athlon64s closer but the Core 2 architecture is a winner in itself. Anandtech showed that the new chips could hit 4GHz on air cooling. The K8 architecture, even on 65nm is probably out of headroom and needs an upgrade.

Re:65nm (2, Interesting)

Aadain2001 (684036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721382)

About the time AMD does, Intel will be moving towards their 45nm or 40nm or whatever their next smallest size is. Intel has the best fabs for a reason: they invested a LOT of money into fab R&D just after the bubble burst. They called is their One Generation Ahead strategy. While everyone else was trying to cope with the loss of capital and drop in stock prices, Intel want to make sure that they came out one generation of silicon manufacturing ahead and stayed that way. While they have in some respects (physical size of transisters) they have missed some advances in some other areas (SOI). In the end, Intel will probably stay ahead of AMD until they hit the physical wall on the size of transistors (can't go smaller than an atom!).

What I gathered.... (1)

Rendo (918276) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721202)

From reading the article is that AMD is aware of Intels changing business practices and are now preparing their next line as soon as possible to combat the possible shift in market share. Let's face it, most of us know that AMD has been killing Intel for years and it's about time Intel finally pull their heads out of their asses and start working on something WORTH the money. Not only will this make more competition, it will give us those very nice price cuts that I can't wait for. :)

Consumer Dual Processor (1)

LordMyren (15499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721216)

Affordable dual processor boards would be very tempting. Unfortunately, I suspect most will be gimped, and only have memroy and a northbridge hanging off one processor. A $250 dual processor board with a memory and a PCI 16x off each processor would have a huge impact on countering Inte's Duo2 strike.

Healthy Competition (2, Insightful)

Stompp (987549) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721326)

All I can say is, "keep one-upping each other!" The more competition (not marketing!) we see, the better we, as consumers make out. So what if the performance gains are negligible (in certain areas) the more they release, the cheaper some of these older (still extremely viable) chips get!

Age old fight: Intel vs. AMD... you want to know who wins? Us.

Not really that great (4, Insightful)

bberens (965711) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721356)

It depresses me that innovation in the processor market is adding additional cores. The geek in my loves it, but the consumer in me isn't impressed. What I (and I presume most other regular users) want is the ability to double-click on my Word/Evolution/Eclipse/Firefox/IE/etc icon and have it instantly display on the screen. What I don't need is to be able to run multiple programs just as slow as I could run one program 2 years ago. What's the holdup? Is it bus speed? Hard drive speed? Memory speed? Will I ever have zero (apparent) latency between running apps and seeing the result? The problem with PC makers is that if they ever do reach the holy grail of zero (apparent) latency, then they will have to decrease the life expectancy of their products in order to continue to make a profit. Maybe I'm slightly off topic and maybe I'm just bitter, but the latest and greatest PC today just doesn't seem to massively outperform the latest and greatest 3 years ago in any way meaningful to the end user. My compile times are faster, but for the most part, users simply can't/don't tax their processor.

What benchmark will they use now? (1)

Amiga500_Rulez (988955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15721399)

If anyone has looked at the C2D specs, the MHz race is over (for now). AMD stopped publishing their MHz and relied on the relative performance to the P4 counterpart. Now with Intel releasing the E6300/6400/6600 what will AMD do? We used to have MHz, MIPs, bogoMIPs, FLOPs, etc.. What will be the new benchmarking standard?
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