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Intel Stepping Up to Combat AMD's 4x4

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the chip-fight dept.

202

Grooves writes "Intel has said that the company is stepping up the pace of its Core 2 architecture rollout to compete with AMD's 4x4. Two "quad-core" parts originally slated for release in the first half of 2007, Kentsfield for the desktop and Clovertown for servers, will make their debut as early as the end of this year. The Ars article warns that per-core bandwidth problems could end up giving a performance advantage to AMD's 4x4 approach."

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Haste (1, Insightful)

MECC (8478) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751231)

Make waste...

Re:Haste (1)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751716)

How was this modded "off-topic"?

He's simply saying that if Intel tries to release a product simply to get ahead in the short term by entering the market with a product that just isn't ready then Intel could be very sorry.

Haste Makes Waste

And so it begins (5, Insightful)

Linkiroth (952123) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751237)

The great hardware war heats up once again. Right now, the biggest advantage Intel has is that their chips are scheduled for an earlier release. If they wait on the Core 2s, they're screwed. They need to get the Core 2 Duos out before AMD gets out their 4x4s so that people have less of a reason to upgrade when AMD releases their chips.

Re:And so it begins (5, Insightful)

vancondo (986849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751335)

They need to get the Core 2 Duos out before AMD gets out their 4x4s so that people have less of a reason to upgrade when AMD releases their chips.


Do most chip sales happen at the release date, or do most people wait for the competitors product to come out spurring price drops to compete? I know I seldom buy anything at the alpha-expensive stage, usually preferring to wait a few months for the inevitable price drop.

Re:And so it begins (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15751383)

The Core 2 Duos aren't "alpha expensive" -- they're significantly cheaper than AMD's prices as of right now.

Re:And so it begins (3, Interesting)

jejones (115979) | more than 8 years ago | (#15752040)

The Core 2 Duos aren't "alpha expensive" -- they're significantly cheaper than AMD's prices as of right now.

Agreed, but... July 24th, the date when AMD is going to cut some CPU prices almost in half, is barely over a weekend away, and there is the question of supply and demand. Will demand be sufficient to drive the price up?

Re:And so it begins (4, Interesting)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751510)

Do most chip sales happen at the release date, or do most people wait for the competitors product to come out spurring price drops to compete? I know I seldom buy anything at the alpha-expensive stage, usually preferring to wait a few months for the inevitable price drop.

It is not a question of inital chipsales, it is more a question of marketing. Back when both companies were trying to hit the 1 Ghz mark, AMD got there first. That was a big win for them, as consumers could now say 1000 Mhz! WOW! Even though intel quickly came out with faster chips thereafter. It was a win for AMD because the name AMD got into the minds of customers. The same thing with the 64 bit. Now, most people here on slashdot know what a 64 bit chip is, and does, and does not do. But the public does not. And since AMD had the 64 bit chip out first, consumers wanted it, even if it had no real benifit for them initally.

The same goes with this technology. Whomever gets it out of the gate first wins the "mindshare war" as we call it now. IIRC, the book "Predatory Marketing" covers how this works in detail - but they don't use the "mindshare" term in it.

Re:And so it begins (1)

srw (38421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751950)

It is not a question of inital chipsales, it is more a question of marketing. Back when both companies were trying to hit the 1 Ghz mark, AMD got there first. (...) And since AMD had the 64 bit chip out first...


They might have got there before Intel, but they were hardly first. (1Ghz OR 64bit) ***cough***Alpha***cough*** (Where was the marketing at DEC?)

Re:And so it begins (1)

twitchingbug (701187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751986)

Sure AMD got to 1GHz first and came out with x86-64, but really does that matter anymore? Are you really going to purchase a chip today based on who got to 1GHz first?

AMD is selling a lot of chips, not to regular joe consumers, but to OEM server makers and /. nerds that build their own computer from scratch. Joe consumer buys a dell cause it's cheap. I have a lot of friends in tech, and AMD doesn't have the name recognition that Intel has. Everyone knows Intel, very few non tech people know AMD. Plus, regular joes often ask their more tech savy friends about computer recommendations, and really what's not to like about Core 2 Duo? Plus it'll be even easier to recommend than an Athlon 64 was before. You'll just have to wait 3-6 months, and be like, "order it from dell". With Athlon 64, you'd have to buy an HP or build it for them - pain in the ass.

AMD has built up mindshare, no question. But Core 2 Duo will knock AMD down a couple places out of sheer performance, performace per watt and performance per dollar.

-don

Re:And so it begins (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751650)

... usually preferring to wait a few months for the inevitable price drop.

And bug fixes.

Re:And so it begins (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751674)

But the product cannot begin to mature until it is actually released. Then you can start to see the price drops, motherboard availability, bug workarounds, etc. A head start is a head start.

Re:And so it begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15751973)

Premature vs Early.

Early release means the engineers are working out problems much faster than anticipated.

Premature release is when the PHB decides that the engineers will work out the problems faster than they say they will.

The problem is that PHB's that decide the latter often are ignorant of the fact that they do not have the authority to make the decision. That's Mr Murphy's job.

The great hardware war heats up once again. (0)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751711)

The great hardware war heats up once again.

Unfortunately, looking at some of those benchmarks for Conroe, HEAT is the word. 370+ watts for a CPU? Shit. who needs a home heater when you could just run your computer. Seriously, one of the reasons for my last upgrade was to get a CPU which consumed 38W rather than 70+ Powerbill may be a factor on whatever Intel is shipping, screw the initial purchase price.

Re:And so it begins (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751903)

4x4 ... You mean a pair of 285s and a tyan mobo? Aside from the lack of dual SLI that's basically a 4x4 setup.

If you actually need CPU power you can already buy Opteron gear today. Also while I wouldn't mind playing with a 4-core Intel kit I still love my 2x285 kit.

Tom

Gotta love CPU wars (4, Insightful)

ntxb229 (542609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751242)

Consumers really come out on top. Better processors at cheaper prices.

Re:Gotta love CPU wars (2, Interesting)

Roody Blashes (975889) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751456)

But what if consumers don't need better processors? There's a huge disparity between this new "war" and the early P4 and late P3 days. Back then, it was a foot race to provide the newest, most exciting processors around. Now? Meh.

Here's the rub: everytime a new breed of chips comes out, I find myself just buying the increasingly cheap leftover stocks of prior generations. The last big thing that got me up off my butt to buy a CPU was 64-bit on the x86 platform, and the only reason I even did that was because my LAST chip, the innovation of which was an 800MHz bus, got a nice little roasting from a shorted motherboard.

When it comes down to it, processing power and innovation, outside a few specialized sectors, isn't really doing it for me anymore. I find myself focusing very little on processors when shopping for parts because, frankly, I literally just need "A" processor and I can practically grab just about anything I want as long as it's compatible with my chipset.

Intel and AMD need to branch off into something more interesting. As a consumer, I don't need all this stuff. Give me something truly innovative, don't just drag concepts over from other platforms and hype them up in a press release. This is all well and good, but it's just not exciting and, by extension, it's not creating anything exciting as far as applications and use go. There is niether a NEED for the latest and greatest (short of neuroses some of us suffer) nor is there any exciting drive fueled by innovative new concepts.

Bah. Wake me when the first consumer-level quantum processing unit is getting ready to be released, I guess.

Re:Gotta love CPU wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15751662)

quit your whining. the price/performance ratio is as good now as it's ever been. those of us who need more power and the ability to run more stuff at a time on their PC like the increase of capacity these chips give us.

if you need increase of power, fine. you don't have to piss in everyone else's breakfast.

Re:Gotta love CPU wars (2, Insightful)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751751)

don't you realize that the high performance wars fuel the low performance price drop?
I mean, I don't call myself an expert or anything like that, but I think one of the sole purposes of pushing a high performance part onto the market is to move med/low performance parts into consumer's PCs.
I mean, most of their revenue comes from selling consumer parts, not high performance ones.

Oooh.... core wars (3, Funny)

October_30th (531777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751250)

Cores - the more the merrier.

Re:Oooh.... core wars (3, Interesting)

DeathKoil (413307) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751286)

I'm not entirely sure that throwing more cores at the problem is neccessarily a great solution for combatting Intel's Core 2 Duo chips. Wouldn't this make AMD systems cost more money (2 FX chips on one motherboard) than an Intel gaming box would?

Don't get me wrong, I am a huge AMD fan but I'm not conviced that, "let's just put more cores into the box" is a great response to Intel's Core 2 Duo. The announcement of a new core from AMD would have been more exciting. I guess I'll have to wait for that.

Re:Oooh.... core wars (2, Insightful)

vhogemann (797994) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751382)

And also consider that many softwares over there are not prepared to take advantage of these extra core... Sure, you'll be able to run more applications at the same time without degradation.

This makes me wonder, will the developers adapt to this new reality. I mean, Intel and AMD can't give us more performance by raising the clock of their processors... so they started to put more cores on them. At one point developers will have to paralelize their code to be able to gain performance.

Re:Oooh.... core wars (2, Interesting)

October_30th (531777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751424)

With the advent of cheap dual (soon quad) core setups these days, developers will be holding back progress if they don't adapt to the new reality. Parallel algorithms are well researched. It's just a matter of taking what's available and building from there.

Re:Oooh.... core wars (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751683)

And also consider that many softwares over there are not prepared to take advantage of these extra core

I keep hearing this, but I don't think I've seen a piece of CPU-bound software for quite some time that hasn't been SMP-aware. Mind you, I haven't seen very much CPU-bound software for the last few years...

Re:Oooh.... core wars (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751725)

I haven't seen very much CPU-bound software for the last few years


Compressing video. I can't understand why all the software, at least the freely available stuff, still doesn't seem to know how to take advantage of multiple CPUs.

Re:Oooh.... core wars (1)

hawkbug (94280) | more than 8 years ago | (#15752118)

The latest free Divx codec does a great job of using two cpus right after the install, no tweaking needed.

Re:Oooh.... core wars (1)

ArbitraryConstant (763964) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751839)

Intel has deffinitely given us better performance per core with Core 2. There probably isn't that much room left for per-core improvements, but there's deffinitely some.

Re:Oooh.... core wars (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751913)

Everyone interested in high performance software is moving to data parallel many threaded designs right now. Within a couple of years, it should be fairly unusual for CPU sensitive apps not to have at least 4 threads.

Re:Oooh.... core wars (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751402)

My point was that the more cores we can get into the mainstream computing the merrier I will be. I don't really care if they're AMD or Intel or something else.

I don't do much scientific computing anymore, but I can still respect the awesome power of hundreds of cores running code that an take advantage of such resources.

it's not about gamers (1)

sofar (317980) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751427)



This isn't about gamers

The low-heat low-power low-price market for servers is dying for 4-core chips. Multi-core doesn't make sense under the desktop, but it sure makes a lot of sense in a 19" rack.

intel is about to eat market share back in the cheap multicore server market, where amd is traditionally strong.

Re:it's not about gamers (1)

DeathKoil (413307) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751483)

That does make sense, but if this is designed for the server market, how is it supposed to combat Intel's Core 2 Duo which is a desktop chip? They mention the Core 2 Duo but not the new Xeon 5100 series. The article gave me the impression of the 4x4 competing with the Core 2 Duo, not the Xeon 5100, which implies this is intended for the desktop market.

Re:it's not about gamers (1)

sofar (317980) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751715)


I think everyone knows that people will build servers out of lower-end (heh) cpu's and motherboards to reduce price. After all - you can get a conroe for about 180$, it just makes so much sense for component-builders to start selling them on pretty motherboards and put them in a 1U jacket for under 800$ or so :)

The Xeon 5100 is exclusively targeted towards the server market, but I think conroe will do really good in *any* application, and if it had 4 cores instead of 2, it would certainly be a kickass lower-end server platform cpu.

Re:it's not about gamers (2, Insightful)

chez69 (135760) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751486)

hell yeah it makes sense under the desktop. windows desktop for testing , linux desktop for development, linux dev server, linux DB server all on the same desktop.

it'll be great for developers

Re:it's not about gamers (1)

sofar (317980) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751731)

when I said 'under the desktop' I was referring to the _GAMER_ desktop. having 4 cpu's in single-threaded game world is a bit sad. But gcc -j4 beats the crap out of my kernels :)

Re:it's not about gamers (1)

chez69 (135760) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751809)

this is slashdot, where the misunderstandings are part of the fun =-)

Re:Oooh.... core wars (2, Interesting)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751520)

Which came first, the SMP or the SMP apps?

Personally, I think this is the best way to go about solving the chicken and the egg problem. Just doing it. Just start releasing the cores. I have absolutely no doubt that many, many applications will catch the drift and hop on board. It will take some time, indeed, but so did other software with hardware advancements (MMX, SSE, Graphics solutions, etc). Historically, the hardware has become before the software.

Re:Oooh.... core wars (2, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751669)

It isn't. The original linked article pointed out that while Intel's quad-core approach may suffer performance penalties compared to 4x4, BUT will likely provide more "bang for the buck".

AMD (sadly) seems to have forgotten that x86 SMP was around for at least a decade before the Athlon 64 X2, and due to cost issues, it was always a niche technology.

Dual-core-in-a-single package chips have managed to change that in the span of 2-3 years... SMP has gone from a a niche technology installed in probably less than 1% of computers sold to something present (in the form of dual-core CPUs) in what is likely 75% or more of new machines in a VERY short time. Simply put, multiprocessor in multiple sockets does NOT sell except to the extreme high end. Keep in mind how well dual-core has done despite the fact that it has clear performance penalties in most situations compared to two seperate CPUs.

In short, 4x4 isn't really going to get AMD anywhere in my opinion. Unlike dual core technology, it'll stay as a small market share niche item just like classic SMP systems did.

Hopefully for AMD, they can remain profitable even after the massive price cuts they're going to have to do (and apparently will be doing shortly) in order to remain competitive.

Re:Oooh.... core wars (1)

jigjigga (903943) | more than 8 years ago | (#15752133)

I think this 4x4 approach is a niche area in itself, this isn't to replace or succeed the dual core x2 at all. I think it is simply a new product to keep those at the high end to stick with AMD. If you can afford it or wait for it, im sure it would be very nice for people who need the power. A particularly nice area would be in CG where these cores could contribute to rendering- imagine 3 dedicated to rendering while with the 4th you continue to work on your project or work on a separate one, all on one machine. We'll just have to see how useable it really is though.

What does this mean for Mac users? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15751851)

Who wants an Apple with more than one core anyway?

Whichever... Competition is a good thing! (4, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751252)

So I'm pricing a new mobo+CPU combo for a friend. I bought an AMD64 about 14 months ago for $350. Now I see I can't even get that model anymore unless I buy the parts separately as "replacements" A few steps up from what I run is now $150. It's a good thing.

Maybe in a couple years I'll consider a Conroe or AMD 4x4 type system if I need any heavy rendering done, but for now It's astounding the bang for buck we get.

Re:Whichever... Competition is a good thing! (1)

suggsjc (726146) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751689)

In a couple of years...

In a couple of years we'll be wondering how we ever survived with puny quad core systems...and anything with just a measly single core will be referred to as a dinosaur.

So I agree...
It's a good thing

Re:Whichever... Competition is a good thing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15751754)

In a couple of years we'll be wondering how we ever survived with puny quad core systems...and anything with just a measly single core will be referred to as a dinosaur.

You won't be wondering that until you are playing Duke Nukem Forever on Vista.

Re:Whichever... Competition is a good thing! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751759)

In a couple of years we'll be wondering how we ever survived with puny quad core systems...and anything with just a measly single core will be referred to as a dinosaur.

Of course the underlying question is: What are you gonna do with all that power?

Aside from whatever waste there is with the operating system (Windows XP is using about 380 MB of my 1GB of system memory to do NOTHING, but all those DLLs and Active X thingies are there, just in case I should ever need them) If you're into audio, video, engineering, artwork or heavy game play, great. If you are into just dinking around with web surfing and some home office stuff, the computer of 4 years ago is just the thing for you, if not overkill.

My trusty laptop had the HD flake out and I'm on a desktop system right now. I had Office 2000 on there and as little as I have to do with it, I was OK with it. This box has 2003. Let me be the first to say: If you don't need some feature of 2003, don't get it. Just more crap, geez, what a cow it is. I guess you need it for XML files, though as I don't think 2000 knew what they were.

I'm seeing a greater demand for smp... (3, Interesting)

rivaldufus (634820) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751272)

in consulting. One of our clients wants to have at least 4-way SMP on each new box. With virtualization becoming so popular, those additional cores are going to help.

I wonder if AMD is going to focus on 4+ cores to maximize its hypertransport bus - and focus less on 2 core and less systems.

AMD is winning the naming war! (5, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751283)

If the war is for who can make up the worst name. What stupid names, and not just AMD or Intel, Microsoft, Ubuntu, etc. Some execs with 8 year old daughters are naming these things. Why can't we get good names, like Project:Doom, or Omega Solution?

Re:AMD is winning the naming war! (1)

tduff (904905) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751625)

If the war is for who can make up the worst name. What stupid names, and not just AMD or Intel, Microsoft, Ubuntu, etc. Some execs with 8 year old daughters are naming these things. Why can't we get good names, like Project:Doom, or Omega Solution?
What? You want execs to name their products after their 14-year-old's rock band?

Is this the project formerly known as Whitefield.. (1)

Doctor Memory (6336) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751285)

...which was cancelled for non-technical but not-so-mysterious reasons [broadbandforum.in] ?

Who is paying? (2, Insightful)

Ahnteis (746045) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751295)

I can't even afford a high-clocked AMD X2. How am I (as a fairly high-spending gamer who builds his own computers) supposed to afford TWO of them? And if *I* can't, who exactly are they targetting with this 4 core nonsense?

I may still buy AMD on principal (yes, some of us do that still) but I really think Intel has AMD beat for the next year or two.

Re:Who is paying? (2, Informative)

hawkbug (94280) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751339)

Good news for you then - people are just speculating, but at the end of this month AMD is very strongly rumored to be dropping prices on the X2 line, almost in half. So, currently a $300 3800 X2 will soon cost $167 or around there. Just wait a few weeks and check back.

Re:Who is paying? (1)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751358)

These dual core things are less than I paid for my PII 400 years back. A X2 3800+ is $150, a X2 5000+ CPU is $290 today [monarchcomputer.com] in lots of 1. I spend almost the same for a video card.... amazing cheap for what you get these days.

Re:Who is paying? (3, Interesting)

Massacrifice (249974) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751418)

You know, not only gamers use high end computers. Some of us use them as tools to actually work and earn money. in which case, we (or our employer) accumulates enough money to buy such things as quad-cores CPU, and eventually make them profitable, that is, use them to earn more money than they cost!

What's even better is that these machines, once work is over, can still be used to play games!

Fantastic isn't it? Work - maybe you should try it sometime.

Re:Who is paying? (3, Interesting)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751432)

People who use computers for work and who want four cores already bought Opteron workstations. That's why 4x4 and Kentsfield are targeted at the enthusiast (aka more money than sense) market.

Re:Who is paying? (1)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751457)

Yep, I've got a four-core Opteron rig (2x275) for work. But now I want an 8-core rig, containing two 4-core CPUs. While I understand that 4x4 will be the desktop part, designed for single-socket systems, I expect it will arrive with similar Opteron-2xx series processors that have 4 cores. *That's* what I'm interested in.

Re:Who is paying? (2, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751529)

While I understand that 4x4 will be the desktop part, designed for single-socket systems, I expect it will arrive with similar Opteron-2xx series processors that have 4 cores.

No, 4x4 is two sockets with dual-core processors in them. Since you already have that, 4x4 won't benefit you. Basically 4x4 is a way to trick gamers into buying quad Opteron systems under a different name.

Re:Who is paying? I just did! (1)

hguorbray (967940) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751530)

Drat,

and I just bought an Athlon x2 from HP at Fry's last week....

Seriously, this was such a great deal that I couldn't build one for cheaper:
Athlon XP x2 4200+
2 GB RAM
250 GB SATA Drive
DVD+-combo writer
built in firewire and NIC and every type of removable media support that you can think of.
Windows XP Media center
$820 + $50 rebate = $770

The same Frys had the CPU ~ $350 and when you add the standalone costs for 2GB RAM the SATA drive and the DVD burner (and Windows) you're already ~700. I know that you can buy the Intel dual cores for cheaper now though...

The only thing I will be adding soon will be some good video card to replace the integrated nVidia graphics.

HP a1450n Ath64X2 4200+ Processor for TRUE multi-tasking

http://shop3.outpost.com/%7BlZNEvmnJrJRmmQ+BgJ8WIg **.node2%7D/product/4796499 [outpost.com]

-What's the speed of Dark?

Re:Who is paying? I just did! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15751586)

Unless Fry's is jumping the gun on the price cuts, you do realize that July 24 the prices on that CPU you just bought last week will be cut by 50%... probably saving you about $200 or so... right?

4x4 is an inaccurate name... (4, Insightful)

CyberBill (526285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751305)

AMD apparantly cannot multiply. 4x4 = 16. The 4x4 architecture is two dual-core CPUs on a single motherboard (2x2=4 cores). This is pretty damn annoying and I wish they would rename it to something a little more accurate to whats going on... If you have a Dual 7950's (which are each just two 7900's), you wouldnt call it 4x4.

Re:4x4 is an inaccurate name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15751332)

But if you've got a four wheel drive truck, it's a 4x4, and it only has 4 wheels.

Re:4x4 is an inaccurate name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15751340)

When's the last time you bought a 4x4 vehicle with 16 wheels?

Re:4x4 is an inaccurate name... (0, Redundant)

a2d2wishmaster (980876) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751356)

Yeah, cause we all know a 4x4 truck has 16 wheels. Get over it.

Re:4x4 is an inaccurate name... (5, Funny)

dslbrian (318993) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751412)

AMD apparantly cannot multiply. 4x4 = 16. The 4x4 architecture is two dual-core CPUs on a single motherboard (2x2=4 cores). This is pretty damn annoying and I wish they would rename it to something a little more accurate to whats going on...

Well thats not the worst of it. Its actually part-time 4x4, so when your networking starts to get bogged down, you need to get out and lock the hub...

Re:4x4 is an inaccurate name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15751714)

If Intel was smart, they'd hurry up and get "shift on the fly" out there first.

Re:4x4 is an inaccurate name... (3, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751452)

4x4 means 4 cores and 4 GPUs. I guess 4+4 just didn't sound as cool.

Re:4x4 is an inaccurate name... (2, Interesting)

kupan787 (916252) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751570)

Here is what I don't get...why is Ars comparing a single, quad core Kentsfield to two, dual core Athlons? Wouldn't a better comparison to the 4x4 platform be two Woodcrest cups? Or am I missing something?

From the article:
AMD's 4x4 system features two coherent HyperTransport (cHT) AM2 sockets, each of which can gluelessly support a dual-core Athlon CPU and a pool of DDR2. So a 4x4 system gives you two cores and one DDR2 bank per socket.

Sounds an awful lot like what Intel is doing with Woodcrest (and its platform, of which I can't recall the name). 2 sockets, each with a DIB, and can hold a dual core part. So how is 4x4 new? Hell, Apple is doing it currently with their G5 [apple.com]

Re:4x4 is an inaccurate name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15751692)

How many wheels does a 4x4 SUV have?

Re:4x4 is an inaccurate name... (2, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751701)

Meh, AMD can't multiple and Intel can't divide. I guess that just leaves IBM and Sun to buy CPUs from.

It's a typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15751747)

They probably meant: 4&4 (which equals 4).

Re:4x4 is an inaccurate name... (1)

Frightening (976489) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751824)

Yes but in that case the Jeeps are all badly named as well, and that can't be right.

Re:4x4 is an inaccurate name... (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751841)

Not much of an off-road person I see.

Re:4x4 is an inaccurate name... (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751932)

The 4x4 architecture is two dual-core CPUs on a single motherboard (2x2=4 cores).

Actually, you're wrong about that.

4x4 is a platform with 2, dual core cpus (4) X 2, dual GPU graphics cards (4).
Hence, 4x4.

Latencies and more (4, Interesting)

cnettel (836611) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751315)

The fact that the two dies (with two cores on each) will communicate over the FSB is of course limiting, but we also have to remember that each of those dies will have 4 MB of L2, 8 MB in total. We've already seen what the Core 2 prefetching can do in hiding the memory controller latency, so if things are good it will work equally well in prefetching data from the L2 on the other die. Then, the memory bandwidth is irrelevant, while the FSB bandwidth is still relevant. I seem to remember reading that either Kentsfield or Clovertown would carry some kind of dual-bus solution (with support in chipset), but maybe that was further ahead.

Let's also not forget that the NUMA properties of the AMD solution, with less advanced prefetching, can actually be a more significant latency problem in latency-sensitive applications. The bandwidth, on the other hand, will absolutely be there.

memory bandwidth is irrelevant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15751353)

What if you're crunching a bunch of data just once?
Lot's of apps do that.
How many videos fit in 4MB cache?

Memory bandwidth is VERY IMPORTANT.
The disk bottle neck remains a huge problem also.

Kentsfield Panini (3, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751331)

In other words, the Kentsfield is two Core 2 Duo dice sandwiched into a single package, and likewise with the Xeon-based Clovertown part.

How long before we have a Core 2 duo meltdown and Core 2 core breach??
One Kentsfield sandwich please, extra hot! I'll take that to go in my 4x4.

and selling us the half assed solution again (-1, Troll)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751361)

I read that Intel's 4x4 is a hack, 2 sockets.

So once again they don't have a real product?

Re:and selling us the half assed solution again (1)

mudetroit (855132) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751516)

*Ugh* Did you even bother to read the explanation of the two technologies? Or did you just decide to make a half-arsed comment to play AMD fanboy?

The Intel product is two dies on one package, aka one socket. There are some issues with this setup, and it will definately have to be shown to be an effective solution, but it isn't even close to some "hack" as you decided to declare.

Re:and selling us the half assed solution again (1)

wjsroot (732775) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751538)

If you want 4 cores (or even 8) in a mother board, this is already around. It is easy to do with opterons or xeons. I doubt intel would add another socket to a desktop market board to enable 4 cores. But then again intel did make the P4, not the smartest move...

I would be interested to know where you read that!

Re:and selling us the half assed solution again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15751630)

> I read that Intel's 4x4 is a hack, 2 sockets.
> So once again they don't have a real product?
Absolutely correct! Intel isn't, hasn't, and won't be developing a technology called "4X4". You might be thinking about that other company, AMD, instead.

You earn a lifetime of ridicule on Slashdot's message boards!

Re:and selling us the half assed solution again (1)

phasm42 (588479) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751755)

Intel's chip is two dual-cores in one package, one socket. This is much more of a quad-core than AMD's 4x4 "hack": Two dual-cores in two sockets.

You must first ask the right questions (2, Insightful)

Ctrl+Alt+De1337 (837964) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751364)

Are you a gamer? Are you someone who does intense multimedia work? If not, then a single-core chip is fine, much less a 4-core chip. For the vast majority of home and business desktops, chips that are considered old right now offer plenty of computing power. The Apartment Hunters across the street from the UF campus still use G3 iMacs at the front desk. These 4-core beasts will be niche things for a while, I think, unless a lot of weasely salesmen can (continue to?) convince people to buy more computer than they need.

Re:You must first ask the right questions (1)

dextromulous (627459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751653)

I think, unless a lot of weasely salesmen can (continue to?) convince people to buy more computer than they need.

I don't think it will be that hard to convince people:

Salesman: "For only 20% more for your system, you can surf 4 porn sites at the same time!"
Customer: "What if I only want to surf 2 porn sites at the same time?"
Salesman: "That costs 10% more than the base price... but do you really want to take the risk that you have 2 sites open and there is something really good you want to see on a third site?" Customer: "When you put it that way... is there any way I can surf 5 porn sites at once?"

Re:You must first ask the right questions (2, Insightful)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751659)

Dude, even a dual core chip is pretty useless for a gamer already, there's almost no game using the second core right now (the only use it has is that it runs all your malware and the Steam client [well one could say that Steam is a malware in its own right though] so that the actual running of the games can be done on their own core).

Games making use of 4 cores? You've got the time to see it coming.

Is itanium officially dead? (3, Interesting)

acomj (20611) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751380)

Now that intel is finally throwing research and marketing on 64 bit x86 to compete with AMD, is its intel's other 64 bit chip itanium officially dead?

Re:Is itanium officially dead? NO (2, Informative)

hguorbray (967940) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751615)

No, it's just pining for the Fjords.....

Seriously, this comment is trotted out every time Intel or AMD sneezes and some 64-bit multicore goodness leaks out.

The Itanic plays in the mainframe server space -ie. up to 64 CPU machines such as the HP Superdome.

Its competitors are the Power64 chip and Sun's latest and greatest -not some $300 chip you buy at Fry's.

Itanium has just released a dualcore version with up to 24MB of cache! I think you have to move up to Opteron or Xeon to get more than a couple MB of cache.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/07/18/intel_mont ectio/ [theregister.co.uk]

You still need big-iron type CPUs for numbers crunching on the scale that simulations or Fortune500 business processes require and that will not be changing anytime soon.

-What's the speed of Dark?

Re:Is itanium officially dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15751938)

Now that intel is finally throwing research and marketing on 64 bit x86 to compete with AMD, is its intel's other 64 bit chip itanium officially dead?


Why don't you ask Netcraft?

Bandwidth will be a problem. (4, Insightful)

default luser (529332) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751396)

Intel knows this very well, they've been having trouble with bandwidth for years while stuck at 800 MHz FSB. The only dual-core Pentium 4 processors to show efficient use of the second core are the EE-series, with 1066 MHz bus.

Even if Intel can successfuly crank the FSB up to 1333 MHz bus, that's still significantly less than they need to feed twice as many processors as Conroe. If this were AMD, they'd just add more memory controllers and more HT links...but for Intel this is not an option.

Intel does offer a Dual-Independent Bus architecture, but this is designed for Woodcrest, and is extremely expensive to implement. DIP does allow Woodcreast to scale effortlessly to 4 cores, and that is why we've seen Intel encourage reviews of their 4-core (2 processor) Woodcrest platforms. Unfortunately, even this DIB architecture will not scale well into 8 cores (4 cores per bus), and Intel's cheaper-to-implement quad-core processors will really feel the squeeze.

Re:Bandwidth will be a problem. NOT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15751833)

Intel already has processors at 1333Mhz FSB, check the 5100 series, chipset and processors.

but... (1, Insightful)

mseidl (828824) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751478)

these new chips are still based on the AGTL+ bus, which doesn't compete with HyperTransport. While it'll add perfomance, can you imagine a 4way 4x4 setup with Intel? You will have 16cores sharing one bus w/ half the bandwith of HT, NOT PRETTY!

GHz war (1)

Morky (577776) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751542)

I love this. It reminds me of the race to 1 Ghz back in 2000. When AMD and Intel are neck and neck the inovation speeds way up.

Reminds me (2, Funny)

Kr5is (990004) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751595)

This reminds me of the time I wanted to try the Gillette Mach 100 razor and then had to have a skin graft to fix my face. More isn't always better, but in this case I think there may be an exception.

Re:Reminds me (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751974)

This reminds me of the time I wanted to try the Gillette Mach 100 razor and then had to have a skin graft to fix my face.

Gillette is already up to 6. 100 may seem a long way off, but I really couldn't see the reason for more than 2. They've already far exceeded my expectations, (and far exceeded my judgement of usefulness...although its ironic that 5 is so cumbersome for fine details that they had to add another 1 on the flip side to fix it.)

More isn't always better, but in this case I think there may be an exception.

Maybe, maybe not. If the cpus are all starved (and waiting) for memory, the main problem for general multi-cpu setups, then doubling the number of cores will just starve them further.

Too technical (3, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751635)

All this talk about bridges and cores makes my head hurt. What I really want to know is if there finally is a processor that can handle Vista. [ducks]

Name just one really good home use for all this... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15751646)

Name just one really killer, gosh I just can't live without it, my life depends on this etc etc application at *HOME* that an average person whose hobby is *not* computers actually needs this kind of computing power for RIGHT NOW!

I did a head count - it's ZERO! Worse still - that's the core market right there - ZERO!

Sure, we can all see a day when our computers are able to intelligently discuss life issues at length with a voice interface (Hello, Dave) but we're not there yet. And there are the enthusiasts who are always willing to pay for a little more 'go' in their machine to get one extra fps in the latest, errr, FPS. Then there are server configurations that are actually more bogged down by storage transfer rates than CPU usage.

There I said it, the Emperor is naked - let's all have a good laugh at him and think about something more important.

Re:Name just one really good home use for all this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15752066)

I'm sure you have a point there somewhere, but you're being awful circumspect. If you don't want a 4 core system for your house, don't buy it. The rest of us will figure out ways to use what's available. If we followed YOUR doctrine of hardware development we'd all be using C64s.

Total Annihilation Fanboy Joke (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751691)

I'm betting AMD will change their name to ARM, and we'll all have to hunker down for a very looooooong war.

If Intel names something Core Prime, I'm going to flip.

4x4 shouldn't worry intel (3, Insightful)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751699)

The Ars article warns that per-core bandwidth problems could end up giving a performance advantage to AMD's 4x4 approach.

I see two problems with this. First, most cpu-intensive tasks are single-threaded, and Conroe beats AMD on those. Second, even if it turns out that two Athlon64 X2s scale better than a single quad-core Conroe, the Conroe is a single-chip solution in a single-socket motherboard. AMD will have to price its X2s at less than half the cost of a quad-core Conroe. "Less than half" since they'll also need to absorb the extra cost of the dual-socket motherboard 4x4 requires. I suspect they won't be able to achieve that price point. So, given an AMD 4x4 system and a comparably-performing Intel quad-core Conroe system, the AMD system will cost more and be less attractive to consumers.

screw everything, we're doing 8 cores. (1)

TimFenn (924261) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751713)

Would someone tell me how this happened? We were the fucking vanguard of computing in this country. The Xeon was the chip to own. Then the other guy came out with a 64 bit CPU. Were we scared? Hell, no. Because we hit back with a little thing called the Pentium D. That's 64 bit processing and two cores. For supercomputing. But you know what happened next? Shut up, I'm telling you what happened--the bastards went to four cores. Now we're standing around with our cocks in our hands, selling 64 bit CPUs with two cores. Dual cores or no, suddenly we're the chumps. Well, fuck it. We're going to eight cores.

Its fun to take the original gillette article [theonion.com] and play with it in this context.

one MILLION cores~!!! (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751762)

Some time in the future...

Intel: I will dominate the market with... ONE MILLION CORE CPUS!
[AMD laughs]
Intel: Er, that is... ONE HUNDRED BILLION CORE CPUS!
[AMD gasps]

benchmarks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15751782)

doesn't anyone else here frequent overclocking forums? intel's 4-core kentsfield chip has already been put through its paces by several respected overclockers, and its performance is anything but lacking.

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php ?t=104773 [xtremesystems.org]
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php ?t=103982 [xtremesystems.org]
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php ?t=105355 [xtremesystems.org]

multi-threaded benchmarks like cinebench and dvd recompression are scaling linearly - it's quite hard to starve these cpus for bandwidth, unless you're one of those synthetic junkies who just wants to read from memory without actually performing any work on it. the single-chip kentsfield has been outperforming dual-dual-core opteron configurations (i.e. 4 cores on 1 motherboard). so much for bandwidth concerns.

More dualies than a redneck conventition (1)

GalacticCmdr (944723) | more than 8 years ago | (#15751790)

Okay, with each processor having dual cores - then dual chips on the board - then each video card having dual GPUs (Gigabyte). It is only a matter of time before we can support 2 of these dual GPU boards. Drop in the greatly over-hyped PhyisX card and the box is likely to simply melt down. However, before that happens it will be the fastest PC ever tested by gaming magazines - declared on the front cover in the big block letters they love to use.

That will be a glorious month - until a faster system comes out the next month.

Re:More dualies than a redneck conventition (1)

DarkDragonVKQ (881472) | more than 8 years ago | (#15752013)

heh I plan on building one in 4-5 years. With some water cooling system..or whatever one I found an article on that was like water but better.

Duggan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15751810)

I'm waiting for "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan [wikipedia.org] to come along and let you all know about his 2x4 core.
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