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IBM Opts for AMD

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the new-chip dept.

195

ExE122 writes "Since the unveiling of the low-cost, low-energy AMD Operton in 2003, Intel has been struggling in the server-grade processor insdustry. Now, IBM has announced their decision to use the AMD Opteron processor in their new line of BladeCenter servers. System x3455, x3655 and x3755 rack-mount servers, two-way Bladecenter LS21, and four-way LS41 blade servers sporting the new AMD processors have already been announced. IBM will continue this transition over the next three months.

From the article:
"IBM's choice is by all means an important victory over rival Intel, which is struggling to sell the remaining deposit of server processors before the general acceptance of Woodcrest X5100 chips. Unfortunately for Intel, at the end of the second quarter, Advanced Micro had 26 per cent of the market for servers built on personal computer chips, more than double its share a year earlier, according to Mercury Research."

Could this be lights out for Intel?"

cancel ×

195 comments

Sun made the move in April (5, Informative)

SIGALRM (784769) | more than 7 years ago | (#15836932)

Earlier this year, Sun announced new Galaxy servers based on the new 3.0GHz Opteron chips (called x56 chips). As part of this announcement, Sun announced 16 new benchmark records. Among the new records, (using Sun Studio Compilers btw):
  • New SPEC CPU 2000 FPrates for V40z, beating Dell PowerEdge 6850 based on Xeon on similar benchmark
  • New SPEC CPU 2000 FPrates for SunFire X4100, X4200 servers
  • Best SPEC CPU 2000 FP numbers on SunFire X2100 servers

Re:Sun made the move in April (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15837143)

Wow, Sun actually released benchmarks?!?! Thought they stopped that five years ago... But it seems to me that they announced their latest Opteron servers on July 11th. And finally a blade, too.

Re:Sun made the move in April (2, Interesting)

b0r1s (170449) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837554)

The real impact will come when IBM switches to AMD in their lower lines - the x306, x336, x346 - the ones that hosting companies and colo providers buy by the dozens.

The power savings for 50-60 racks full of 1U servers could be significant.

Re:Sun made the move in April (2, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837569)

The x3455 is basically an Opteron version of the x336.

Nice! (5, Funny)

JanusFury (452699) | more than 7 years ago | (#15836943)

You'd think that with AMD sponsoring Slashdot, they could at least spell 'Opteron' right once or twice in stories...

Mods (0, Troll)

Morosoph (693565) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837096)

Although I agree that less than +4 funny shouldn't be worth mod points, your post shows how much fairer it would be if funny mods countered down-mods, IMO.

I'm amazed at what's now called troll or flamebait, but it's actually a general rising tide of political correctness; we're "legislating" for people's feelings. Scary stuff.

Re:Nice! (4, Funny)

pookemon (909195) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837179)

What! You haven't heard of the AMD Operton?

Google it [google.com.au]

Sad that it seems to be a common mistake... (made 28,900 times apparently...)

Re:Nice! (1)

Borgschulze (842056) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837434)

If you search for Opteron you get less results...

Re:Nice! (3, Funny)

pookemon (909195) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837476)

I got 18,900,000 - are you sure you didn't spell it wrong. :)

Re:Nice! (1)

Boone^ (151057) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837635)

People at work called them "Optermerons" for the longest time... :(

New Facility (1)

absinthminded64 (883630) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837446)

it's where the new fab facility is.

Planet ... . Chrome E Eye Purr Si Eye Opertron Eight.

Kip! Grab the nail clippers. I have an invasive infection on toe unit 16.

Flame war in the making? (3, Insightful)

Jtoxification (678057) | more than 7 years ago | (#15836944)

You just opened the floodgates, Mister. But yes, I love AMD - look at my sig for the sake of /.

Intel is going nowhere, however - there are far too many consumer-oriented PC corps out there that adore Intel. And sheesh, AMD has been on the short end for so long, it's hard to imagine that a corp like Intel couldn't wait it out, too.

Re:Flame war in the making? (2, Insightful)

tanveer1979 (530624) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837585)

Its not about the processor, its the whole package, including the deal. For example even after wanting an AMD 64, I went for Intel Duo laptop because the kind of 30% deals which exist for Dell dont exist for other manufacturers! Once Dell comes out with AMD based laptops, Intel is going in for a real shocker.

That's an easy one. (5, Insightful)

fuzz6y (240555) | more than 7 years ago | (#15836947)

Could this be lights out for Intel?

No. No it could not.

Re:That's an easy one. (4, Funny)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 7 years ago | (#15836962)

But, it could be the dimmer switch, or the swimmer ditch for them...

Re:That's an easy one. (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837026)

temblor or (building collapse?)... happened at at 808 PM PST...

Re:That's an easy one. (4, Informative)

kingkade (584184) | more than 7 years ago | (#15836986)

Not if AMD's stock price in the recent 6 months is any indication. it's gone from around 42 to 17. AMD has accomplished a lot but Merom, Conroe and Woodcrest seem way too impressive to deny. Intel may finally strike back, especially considering AMD still needs to move to a 65nm process by the end of the year, no less. Please correct me if I'm mistaken.

Re:That's an easy one. (3, Informative)

Barny (103770) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837092)

Woodcrest (and conroe for that matter) are awsome single cpu solutions, the unified L2 cache and extended proccessing options allow them to bypass most speed problems of traditional code (cache coherancy thrashing, unoptomized code, etc) but all this gain is LOST when useing 2 CPUs (differant sockets) running in 64 bit mode, you will thrash the cache just like usual, the fancy microcode optimizer disables, it all falls apart.

Intel have put a lot of nifty tricks into these new chips, tricks that will only work in single socket desktop systems. If amd add these soputions to their chips (unified cache running as part of memory controler for instance) they will gain not only in single CPU solutions but due to the mesh bus network (hypertransport), it would be able to deal with coherancy much better.

Re:That's an easy one. (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837291)

But "single CPU" doesn't quite mean the same thing anymore when talking about dual core chips. All those systems that were dualies would now be singles. And of course it doesn't matter for clusters, nor for blades (which have their own memory on each blade). So are we just talking about quad-core servers here? Or future 4 and more core x86 chips that don't exist yet?

Re:That's an easy one. (2, Informative)

edmudama (155475) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837511)

Not all "blades" are single-socket implementations. Sun's flagship x86 blade is 4 sockets/8 cores using the Opteron 885, with up to 32GB of shared memory for those 4 sockets.

It would make sense for blades to appear in all sorts of configurations, depending on what application is being targeted and the available budget.

Re:That's an easy one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15837515)

No! You obviously didn't understand the post. Anything which has more than one socket form Intel will have problems.

Re:That's an easy one. (4, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837524)

all this gain is LOST when useing 2 CPUs (differant sockets) running in 64 bit mode, you will thrash the cache just like usual, the fancy microcode optimizer disables, it all falls apart.

Sorry, but there is no evidence for this. Real-world benchmarks show that 2-socket, 64-bit Woodcrest systems have good performance (usually better than Opteron).

Re:That's an easy one. (4, Informative)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837102)

Your post seems to imply that AMD's stock price went down because of the Conroe and that the market has decided that the Conroe will crush AMD. That's misleading. Intel has recently slashed prices quite dramatically and initiated a new price war with AMD. That's the real cause of the stock price drop as margins in both companies are go down. The effects of new technology on Wall Street's thinking takes a little while to sink in. They're not nearly as quick as Slashdot.

Re:That's an easy one. (2, Informative)

kingkade (584184) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837181)

Your post seems to imply that AMD's stock price went down because of the Conroe

I didn't imply anything or at least wasn't trying to. Ths stock price went down because of the repeated downgrading (first by UBS, if I believe). Since then even the Dell niche had little impact when it rose from around 30 up to 35 and then proceeded to tank toward 17. I agree that those downgrading is because of Intel dropping prices -- because they can afford to. or at least more than AMD can. Couple that with Conroe, and I really don't see what AMD can offer to compete. By the way I'm not against AMD b/c I'm an INTC holder b/c, it's the other way around. I dumped AMD after losing quite a bit :(. They do seem to be picking up some steam FWIW.

The effects of new technology on Wall Street's thinking takes a little while to sink in. They're not nearly as quick as Slashdot.

You're underestimating traders. They research their thousands (like me) to millions of dollars of investment in tech just like they do oil, etc. I bet you they know Otellini's bowel movements a factor that in. Compare that with some intel/amd fanboys drowning out most of the knowledgeable people on this site.

Re:That's an easy one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15837306)

Not if AMD's stock price in the recent 6 months is any indication.

Well there's a little market stupidity and some market savvy in that. First the stupidity: Intel is a big chunk of the CPU market so it has a disproportionate affect on the market. It has been my observation that AMD's good news seems to depress their stock price somewhat. I believe that what happens is that good news for AMD -> bad news for INTC -> bad news for "chips" -> lower stock prices all around. The market savvy: Intel has a lot of cash and a lot of excess inventory. If you are looking to buy a PC, Oct/Nov is going to see some ridiculous prices on last weeks Intels. That's not good news for AMD: while they still own the gamer and server market, low-med home and office PCs are going to be dirt cheap and Intel powered for the rest of this year at least.

Re:That's an easy one. (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837498)

Um it started at 17? went higher and went back down. AMD has always been a consistent stock (in the last 5 years or so atleast)

Re:That's an easy one. (2, Insightful)

Alaria Phrozen (975601) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837644)

Really? Thanks for the stock tip. AMD, Intel, Nvidia, and ATI are four companies I don't expect to be going anywhere bad anytime soon. This similar plummeting of ATI stock happened back in 2002, and I bought a whole bunch. It fell even more, so guess what? I bought even more. Six months later I sold and made 40% on my investment. Optimally I could have made over 100% in under 6 months. I'll definately go check out AMD's stock. As for the secondary market stock price reflecting the actual quality of the product - let's just say I don't think it's a good indicator. "What is right is not always popular. What is popular is not always right."

Re:That's an easy one. (1)

Cypheros (971145) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837328)

I really hope that Intel isn't gone. I don't like their stuff right now, but I hope to see innovation from them create more competition in the CPU market (server and PC). Competition = lower prices + better stuff. If Intel and AMD fight each other hard enough, the market will advance WAY beyond what it would have otherwise, and prices will be more acceptable to boot.

Re:That's an easy one. (2, Funny)

fbg111 (529550) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837622)

I beg to differ. Absolutely, indubitably this is the end for Intel. Anyone who argues otherwise is clearly a fool, an Intel phanboi, or someone with a lot of Intel stock. The question is purely rhetorical, and not in any way intended to generate faux commentary or a flamewar.

first post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15836949)

first post?

Re:first post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15836974)

No. Why?

Lights out for Intel? (4, Insightful)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 7 years ago | (#15836956)

Intel are still ahead in market share, and have just released some very competitive chips.

I'm an AMD supporter, but the near future is them trying to hold the ground they've recently taken, not expanding further.

(And Intel probably the reserves to stuff up again, be uncompetitive for a few years, and still make a comeback with the next generation of chips.)

Re:Lights out for Intel? (1)

thedletterman (926787) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837285)

I own stocks in both Intel and AMD, and I've got to agree with this statement. AMD needs to hold ground between now and 1Q 2007 when it can get their 65nm and quad-core chips to the market.

Odd.... (4, Interesting)

VikingThunder (924574) | more than 7 years ago | (#15836961)

It's kind of odd how everybody is jumping on the AMD train when Intel is finally having viable products with their new architecture (For instance, Dell finally jumping on board).

Re:Odd.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15836983)

It's kind of odd how everybody is jumping on the AMD train when Intel is finally having viable products with their new architecture (For instance, Dell finally jumping on board).


These decisions are far more complex and take more time than choosing between two processor lines.

Re:Odd.... (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837127)

I'd guess so, and they have to know it's stable etc. But still it won't be much of a selling argument anymore, with the new intel dual cores coming. Why should corporations buy amd now if there is a current intel version that is faster and cheaper?

I think this is all on a whole different level than you and me buying a new PC, so I guess there must be some reasoning behind it.

Re:Odd.... (1, Insightful)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837035)

(For instance, Dell finally jumping on board).

When has Dell *not* been on board the Intel Train?

Re:Odd.... (1)

CaptnMArk (9003) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837169)

It's not odd.

AMD will now have to drop prices, and why would AMD cpus suck today if they have ruled yesterday. They are just a good deal, especialy since new Intel CPUs (and even more, their
motherboards) are still unproven. (and quite expensive due to low availability).

Put a fork Intel...not (5, Funny)

slyborg (524607) | more than 7 years ago | (#15836965)

Paul Otellini : "AMD has 26% of the market? Well, screw that - if we can't have 75% of the market, we're outta here. Call up Slashdot, let 'em know we're closing the doors tomorrow."

Re:Put a fork Intel...not (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837503)

The point wasn't the size of the market share, the point was how much AMD's market share grew. If AMD's market share continues to grow at the current rate, Intel wil be out of business within a few years. Not that I think that likely, but it's a more valid point than you make it out to be.

Lights out for PPC? (4, Insightful)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 7 years ago | (#15836967)

Better question: Is this lights out for the Power line?

IBM seems to be giving up on their Power cores. That's what concerns me, because it looked like they had a big shot of gaining territory in the gaming-and-entertainment market.

Re:Lights out for PPC? (2, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837041)

I don't think so, but I think IBM has realized that there is just a big market out there for x86-based server hardware, and if they don't provide it to the customer, somebody else (Dell/HPaq) will.

My understanding is that their new generation of blade servers will let you mix and match Power and x86/Opteron blades on the same backplane, so that you can mix and match whatever you want, in order to fill your needs.

Frankly, this might be a good thing for Power if it's true, since it might allow customers who aren't ready to jump to Power completely (as in, buy a system that's exclusively Power based) to get a system that's mixed. Or get a predominantly x86 based system, but pop in a few Power boards to see how they work and really compare them apples-to-apples under whatever their business workload is. If Power is as good as IBM says it is, that can't be anything but a good thing.

IBM not offering an x86-based blade system would be just suicidal; they have a great brand name but it's not enough to keep people buying their RISC stuff if what they really want is x86.

Re:Lights out for PPC? (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837098)

ok, I found the right page, always a bit of a hassle on the ibm website, but here is it: http://www-03.ibm.com/servers/eserver/bladecenter/ advantage/advantage.html [ibm.com]

Point, they now can offer 3 types of CPU on their blade systems. They compare with HP and DELL, but seem to "accidentally" forget SUN who deliver some very nice AMD-based blades at the moment http://www.sun.com/servers/blades/8000/specificati ons.jsp [sun.com]

Anycase, IBM blades were x86 already before, this won't change too much on that.

Re:Lights out for PPC? (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837059)

This concernds the Blade systems only, which were Xeon before, and does not at all affect their Regatta lines based on Power architecture, which are still the ones you see in the top500 clusters. I'm not sure what new stuff we can expect on the power line though.

Re:Lights out for PPC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15837610)

This concernds the Blade systems only, which were Xeon before, and does not at all affect their Regatta lines based on Power architecture, which are still the ones you see in the top500 clusters. I'm not sure what new stuff we can expect on the power line though.

FYI, Regatta was the project name for Power 4 based systems. Squadrons was the project name for Power 5 based systems. The next generation of hardware is collectively called Eclipz. pSeries and iSeries Eclipz is sometimes called p6. zSeries Eclipz is sometimes called z6.

Re:Lights out for PPC? (3, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837066)

IBM offers x86 and Power5 based solutions for years. The PowerPC used in IBM servers and Workstations is very different from the ones Apple shipped in their desktop computers.

Gaming territory is almost invaded by PowerPC RISC chips. Even XBox 360 uses sort of PowerPC and Cell processor in PS3 is also PowerPC.

The chips used in servers are from same standard (PowerPC) and shares some stuff but completely different. We are speaking about some monsters here.

Can check here for more info http://www-03.ibm.com/chips/power/index.html [ibm.com]

Those things shows my Quad G5 as a toy :)

"Power" is sort of standard in fact, check http://www.power.org/ [power.org] , it is very alive and well. In fact, it looks like taking over the World.

Re:Lights out for PPC? (4, Insightful)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837197)

IBM is most definitely not giving up on Power6 or Cell just because they're announcing Opteron blades. You have to remember this is IBM. They'll still sell you a System Z mainframe to run your COBOL code from 1972 on VM. Or you could run linux on it, if you'd like.


The next Power processor will be the Power6 [wikipedia.org] , and is supposed to come out next year. It's still be dual core, but meant to run at 4-5GHz. They also continue with PowerPC products [tradingmarkets.com] , even without Apple.

Re:Lights out for PPC? (1)

wateriestfire (962915) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837339)

Power6 is also supposed to be twice as fast as anything that Sun/Intel/AMD has.

Re:Lights out for PPC? (2, Informative)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837354)

If the Power6 is 4-5GHz and they don't figure out a way to make it run cooler, then you'll need water cooling on the servers. That's not easy and not cheap. I've seen water cooling on racks (basically heat exchangers) but internal to a server is very different. Intel gave up on the high GHz due to HEAT and I don't recall the Power chips being much cooler than Intel chips. BTW, it's called the "Z-series" and it's all the IBM mainframes (except AS400s) from small to HUGE.

Re:Lights out for PPC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15837597)

BTW, it's called the "Z-series" and it's all the IBM mainframes (except AS400s) from small to HUGE.

Nope, they've been rebranded to System z.

"Could this be lights out for Intel?" (5, Insightful)

jbellis (142590) | more than 7 years ago | (#15836984)

Let's see... 100 minus 26... carry the 9... that leaves 74% share left for Intel, right? I'm going to have to go with "No, doesn't look like lights out."

Please, quit it with the retarded questions at the end of the article summaries.

--
Carnage Blender [carnageblender.com] : Meet interesting people. Kill them.

Re:"Could this be lights out for Intel?" (2, Informative)

MadEE (784327) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837076)

Let's see... 100 minus 26... carry the 9... that leaves 74% share left for Intel, right?

Nope, Intel has 72.9% [com.com] .

Re:"Could this be lights out for Intel?" (0)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837108)

But is it really a retarded question?!?

Re:"Could this be lights out for Intel?" (1)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837232)

But is it really a retarded question?!?
Are you being ironic?

My thoughts exactly (2, Interesting)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837109)

Except I was thinking that even if Intel chucked their whole x86 line, they still make a boatload of other chips. Like XScale [intel.com] , for instance. Their previous line of ARM processors (the SA-1100 family) are freaking *everywhere*.

Could this be lights out for intel? (5, Funny)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 7 years ago | (#15836996)

Of course, as we all know, THIS the year that Linux takes over the desktop, and MS goes down the drain.

Gee, I love living in Slashdot Land!

Re:Could this be lights out for intel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15837301)

Good sir, if I had mod points I'd mod you up, up, and away!

(But I've been in a mod point drought for a good year and a half, now, see ... I wonder why?)

Oh well. I think it's another "Director Jackson" special - where the awards were given on the last movie in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, when the first movie clearly deserved them the most. (Not to say that the others weren't good, it's just that, well you know.)

Not too suprising (3, Interesting)

jjthe2 (684242) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837022)

You know this switch was coming sooner or later. AMD already does a lot of their serious R&D at IBM. They'll be the same company within 5 years.

Re:Not too suprising (4, Interesting)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837278)

You know this switch was coming sooner or later. AMD already does a lot of their serious R&D at IBM.
Sort of. They're definitely sharing the Silicon-on-Insulator and some Strained Silicon secret sauce for a few process nodes, and even settling on some process compatibility-- Chartered Semi is now a second source for both AMD processors and the IBM-designed XBox processor. I wouldn't belittle AMD's own R&D, though. They're doing good things at Dresden.


However. Process codevelopment hardly predicts systems codevelopment-- Just ask Sony and Toshiba, who collaborate on silicon but are on opposite sides of the HDDVD vs BluRay battle.

End of intel as likely as end of IBM (5, Insightful)

gethoht (757871) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837034)

Core 2 Duo is posed to dominate the desktop market unless AMD comes back with a strong chip ASAP.
It seems to me intel will gain back some lost market share with the Core 2 Duo.

It's ridiculous to add the "end of intel" comment to the end of the article.

Re:End of intel as likely as end of IBM (1)

Aadain2001 (684036) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837086)

I agree, all these "the end of Intel" comments are so off base it's comical. First, Intel is coming out with new chips that are already kicking the butt of AMD's best chips. Second, Intel still has over 50% of the market, no matter how you look at it. And third, AMD does not have the production capacity to provide chips for 100% of the market share even if they had it. That means that even if the market demanded more AMD, they would have to either turn them away or put them on a very very long waiting list (think year+). Why wait when you can get Intel right now? Intel isn't going anywhere, but AMD has always worked on very thin profit margins. If they can't respond with a very good line of new chips in the next 6 months, I can easily see their stock falling and profits going south very fast.

Re:End of intel as likely as end of IBM (1)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837136)

DO you really think AMD is not planning to increase capacity? They are going to increase it. Will they ever be as big as Intel? Maybe, if Intel keeps screwing up like they have for the last 5 years of producing overpriced ceramic heaters. Don't forget this article is just about Opterons, not all CPU types. They can cover plenty more customers in that market right now.

Re:End of intel as likely as end of IBM (2, Insightful)

Aadain2001 (684036) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837166)

Time to build a new fab, from the ground up, is around 4 years (and 4billion dollors). Last time I looked, AMD wasn't expanding very quickly or had the assets to build many fabs in parallel. Intel's current generation sucks, even Intel people will admit that. But the current direction is much more efficent and has great performance, so I definatly think we'll see Intel regain market share.

Re:End of intel as likely as end of IBM (1)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837310)

Look into the deal to use Chartered Semiconductor as a second source for AMD processors. If that works out, they don't need to build fabs to expand capacity.

Re:End of intel as likely as end of IBM (4, Informative)

rts008 (812749) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837467)

"But the current direction is much more efficent and has great performance, so I definatly think we'll see Intel regain market share."

I agree 100% for the short-term, but I don't count AMD out of the picture. (short-term: Intel kicks butt, medium-term, AMD kicks butt, long term: lather, rinse, repeat)

Note this: (http://www.eetimes.com/news/semi/showArticle.jhtm l;jsessionid=VCQM2KMTL4VXUQSNDBECKHSCJUMEKJVN?arti cleID=188700612)

(quote from above link) "EE Times: With fab 38, AMD is planning to install a very modern production line. But this fab will launch production only in two years. What are AMDs plans for the time between?

Udo Nothelfer: Presently, the main focus of Fab 36 is an aggressive ramp-up for 90-nm chips on 300 mm. Also we are about to complete the 65-nm technology qualification and will bring them to production in the second half of 2006.

EE Times: Are the technological issues solved, especially regarding lithography and materials?

Nothelfer: With the relevant problems, we are through. We are nicely on track and will reach our goal in the second half of the year. Our next major challenge will be the rapid ramp-up of 65-nm volume production. Our goal is quite aggressive: By mid-2007, we want to have the conversion to 65-nm in fab 36 done. "

He (Nothelfer) then starts talking about the 45 nm hurdles they are working on.

I'm sure Intel is also forging ahead (one hint: get rid of the wole FSB concept, HyperTransport works!), and it will take a long time (if ever) for AMD to break over the 50% market share, but AMD increasing it's market share by any significant amount has an effect on Intel.

BTW, I happen to be partial to AMD cpu's, but I am not a rabid fanboy, I have both AMD cpu's(2), and Intel cpu's (3) on my home network.

Core Duo is a big step up for Intel, and I expect them to take full advantage of this while they can, then AMD will step in with their volley.

Who wins? So far, the customers. Hopefully that will continue, as I for one welcome my Star Trek computer-like overlords!

Re:End of intel as likely as end of IBM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15837550)

Thank you, Mr. Barrett [wikipedia.org] . Now would you please stop posting in these AMD discussions? It's usually a bad idea to wave your gun in enemy territory.

lack of competition, not too much competition (5, Interesting)

Dr_Art (937436) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837069)

I think TFA misses an important point. It's not whether Intel or AMD captures the entire market, or what market share these two players have. With only two major players, I'd say the main problem is that we have too little competition, not too much!

Regards,
Art

Apple Curse? (3, Funny)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837071)

Is this the Apple Curse coming to fruition? Any chip supplier Apple picks seems to constantly have problems. It happened with Motorola, it happened with IBM, now Intel for goodness sake! Let's just hope Intel doesn't start having major production issues out of the blue.

Re:Apple Curse? (0)

rts008 (812749) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837300)

The Apple curse only exists in the minds of Apple fanboys, if you're not one, forget it; if you are, then deal with it.
Only an Apple fanboy would whine about *curses* in an article about IBM adopting AMD's Opteron chips for servers.

Way to twist this around to your fanaticism!

I wish I have used my mod points up (about 30 minutes ago), as I would have modded you -1 offtopic.

I have the karma to withstand negative mod points, so I'm not worried, I just had to respond to your inane post, even though it will probably inflame some of your fellow fanboys.

That is not my purpose, as it has nothing to do with the article or topic without applying a lot of unnecessary spin.

Crawl back in your hole, or contribute to an informative, relative, on-topic conversation.

Thank you.

Re:Apple Curse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15837494)

Speaking of fanaticism, way to be a kook and completely overreact. Poster was only making a joke. That's where you laugh, you humorless nutsocket. And don't bitch about Apple fanbois. Sure there are a few Apple faggots around here just as there are a few M$ lackeys, but when the other 98% are loopy Linux jackasses, you only demonstrate how giant of a fucking proportionless idiot you must really be.

Re:Apple Curse? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837499)

Funny really but if you think, Apple had option to be more "neutral" between AMD and Intel. They decided to be exclusive Intel people again tying themselves to one particular company,

I mean, it is x86, you can select between AMD and Intel and offer BOTH brands.

Even Dell offers AMD stuff...

Operton vs Xeno (0, Troll)

nutbar (138893) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837089)

Because, you know, the ADM Operton kicks the Inlet Xeno's butt.

Intel still has no answer to 4P and above Opteron (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15837130)

Even with their new Woodcrest CPU finally making it out of vapourware status, Intel has no real answer to Opteron in the 4P and above server space. Itanium is a failed venture that is on life support. It often performs worse than Opteron systems much much cheaper, so no hope there.

Intel might regain a little marketshare in the 1P/2P server space with Woodcrest, but they're still in full retreat in the Enterprise market as more and more companies move to 4P+ servers.

Seeing as AMD are releasing Socket F and Rev G chips soon, much of the performance advantage Woodcrest might have had will vanish quickly.

Re:Intel still has no answer to 4P and above Opter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15837309)

Actually, Woodcrest is trash at anything more than 1p (well, not exactly trash, but not noticeably better than any of AMD's offerings, and loses on price/performance). Much of the major improvements in Woodcrest, such as some of the more significant microcode and cache optimizations, only work well in a 1p setup, and are outright disabled in 2p+.

So yeah, right now they'll beat anything AMD has in a 1p setup, so it looks like Intel is coming out swinging hard in this round of the desktop wars, but it seems like they're set to take a licking in not only the 4p+ server arena, but also the workstation market yet again.

AMD to hold and possibly take back ground in '07. (3, Interesting)

Black-Six (989784) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837182)

I recently Googled "AMD Quad Core" and clicked on the first or second result and read the article. If this article holds true, AMD could very well blow Intel off the map and into orbit. The article said that the recent buyout of chip maker ATI is part of a grander strategy by AMD to take a bite out of Intel. The article said that the current CPU dye made by any manufactuer contains 18 individual components, minus the cores, to create the CPU dye. AMD's 4x4 quad core slated to launch in early '07 is being rebuilt from the ground up. AMD is going to attempt to modularize a CPU dye to allow for quicker, cheaper, and easier manufactuering. By that they mean that each individual component will be interchangeable and have an on dye socket to be plugged into. A good visual image of this is building blocks. Identically shaped and sized units rearranged to create a new structure. The article said that the only difference hardware wise between an Opteron and an 64 X2 is 3 components. If AMD is successful in modularizing the CPU dye, this article estimates that AMD will have "entry level" 4x4 CPU's in 8000-9000+ range avaliable to CONSUMERS for around $400-$600 and industry quality models at around $1000 on the low end. Only time will tell if this is true, but for me, I hope it comes true as I'm being asked at school by the teachers as to who will have the better CPU in the future and my answer is "AMD of course.".

Re:AMD to hold and possibly take back ground in '0 (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837572)

You're forgetting two very important factors:

1. More cores does not necessarily a faster CPU make. Simply adding more cores isn't going to be enough for AMD. Every core you add tags on overhead... in many cases I would venture to guess 8 cores would be SLOWER than 1.

2. Exactly how many applications out there right now are able to take advantage of 8 cpu's? Most everyday business applications people use aren't even SMP aware.

Uhh... this isn't new and it's FUD (4, Informative)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837185)

IBM already has bladecenters with opterons... [ibm.com] why is this news? How is this a defeat for Intel? IBM is basically announcing a refresh of their current lineup... you can bet your ass they'll be doing the same thing when intel rolls out the new Xeon in full force as well.

Remember kids, just because you like to pull for the underdog, doesn't mean it's OK to make false statements about the king.

without HyperTransport, AMD would be dead (3, Insightful)

tetromino (807969) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837187)

Intel dead? Have you people been living in a cave for the past few months?

Look at some [anandtech.com] benchmarks [anandtech.com] . The new 5100 series Xeons with the Woodcrest core have been out since June, and a dual Woodcrests crush dual Opterons in almost every test. AMD's only hope at the moment is HyperTransport, with which they rule the market for 4-socket servers (Intel's old-fashioned FSB doesn't really scale to 4 sockets). But thanks to Core2 (Conroe and Woodcrest), Intel has taken over the 1-socket and 2-socket market. Prepare to see AMD's market share take a nosedive.

I am generally an AMD fanboy, but my next system will use Intel chips. Now that Core2 is here, I am simply not interested in an antiquated AMD chip which can only complete an SSE2 operation once every two cycles. Until the K8L comes out, it's Intel Inside for me.

Re:without HyperTransport, AMD would be dead (1)

Black-Six (989784) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837216)

You're the one living the cave for the past few months. I've reasearching the K8L since it came out in June THIS YEAR and it is currently avaliable on newegg, here's the link:
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?N=2 010200302+1071518098&Submit=ENE&SubCategory=302)

And if that's newegg posting crap, then I'll eat my hat!!!

Re:without HyperTransport, AMD would be dead (1)

Black-Six (989784) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837238)

Here's the correct URL: (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N8 2E16813131059)

Re:without HyperTransport, AMD would be dead (1)

tetromino (807969) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837270)

Yeah. That's either +5 funny or -1 confused. Your "correct url" is for ASUS's K8N motherboard. I'm talking about AMD's K8L processor core, which they plan to release in 2007, and which might allow them to catch up to Intel.

Re:without HyperTransport, AMD would be dead (1)

Black-Six (989784) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837592)

Thanks for the info. I was unaware of a K8L core type. I was mostly confused due to the fact I've seen people use this to describe motherboards before. Sorry for the mix up.

Re:without HyperTransport, AMD would be dead (1)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837280)

Is Intel really that good above 1 socket? I was led to believe that a 2-socket Woodcrest system has real bandwidth problems, because the inter-chip communication must go over the FSB. You're saying that the problems only set in at 4 sockets, but why not then also at 2 sockets?

Re:without HyperTransport, AMD would be dead (3, Informative)

tetromino (807969) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837388)

Intel mitigates its lack of a modern bus by giving each 771 socket its own FSB to the northbridge (making the northbridge much more complicated as a side effect), upping the frequencey of that FSB to 1333 MHz, and implementing a very clever memory prefetch algorithm to hide resulting northbridge latency. Plus, of course, tons of cache to help limit the amount of data you need to send over the bus. As a result, a dual Woodcrest will still kick a dual Opteron's ass, although Woodcrest on HyperTransport would have been much faster. Of course, all these tricks don't really scale to more than 2 sockets, which is why Intel is pushing so hard for 4-core chips.

Re:without HyperTransport, AMD would be dead (1)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837471)

Thanks for the info. Two further questions: how is cache coherency handled? And how will the pricing of a 2-socket Woodcrest system compare to that of a two-socket dual-core Opteron system?

Re:without HyperTransport, AMD would be dead (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837553)

how is cache coherency handled [in Woodcrest/Blackford]?

Bus transactions that need to be seen by the other processor will be reflected onto the other FSB by the northbridge. So even though there are two FSBs, the effective bandwidth is not quite twice because of the broadcast traffic. (This is essentially the same scheme used by the PowerPC 970 and AMD K7, BTW.)

And how will the pricing of a 2-socket Woodcrest system compare to that of a two-socket dual-core Opteron system?

You can bet that Intel will make it comparable or cheaper.

Re:without HyperTransport, AMD would be dead (1)

tetromino (807969) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837560)

how is cache coherency handled? And how will the pricing of a 2-socket Woodcrest system compare to that of a two-socket dual-core Opteron system?
Cache coherence between the cores on one Woodcrest chip is ensured automatically using some sort of internal intercore bus (in fact, the two cores actually share the same pool of L2 cache). However, for cache coherence between sockets, Woodcrest does have to pass a message down the FSB, to the northbridge, and up the second FSB to the other socket, which is no the most efficient way of doing things.

As for pricing:
A Xeon 5130 generally performs better than an Opteron 275.
The guts of a dual 5130 system will cost 2 x $350 + $500 motherboad = $1200.
For a dual 275, you will pay 2 x $600 + $300 motherboard = $1500.
Even though Intel's pushing-obsolete-FSB-to-the-limit northbridge makes their motherboards ludicrously expensive, a Woodcrest system is still cheaper and has better performance. I would expect AMD to slash Opteron prices in the near future.
One factor you might consider though is overclocking. If you don't mind voiding your warranty, several Opteron motherboards allow (software-only) overclocking. As far as I know, Woodcrest motherboards can't be overclocked at all, neither in software nor in hardware, although that might change as newer BIOS revisions come out.

Re:without HyperTransport, AMD would be dead (3, Insightful)

kscguru (551278) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837599)

Crap benchmarks. Seriously, those reek to high heaven.
  • Comparing FB-DIMM to DDR. FB-DIMM has something like 4x the bandwidth, and isn't even available outside Intel OEM samples. AMD is moving to DDR2 real soon. Comparing pre-production Intel parts to half-year-old AMD parts isn't benchmarking. It's PR.
  • The benchmark list is mostly home-brewed. A hacked-together transaction processor (when there are industry standard ones out there for comparison - TPC numbers would be ideal), and RSA crypto optimized for the Intel processor.
  • Their SAMP benchmark and portgresSQL benchmark are worthless (they dropped to single-socket for them). The only common ones on the list are specInt and specFP - both single-processor benchmarks that don't show scalability.
  • The second link is a well-known example of Anand running a benchmark and discovering severe performance problems (i.e. mysql scales very poorly with more Opteron processors due to a mysql bug) - then still proclaiming Intel's huge victory.
Woodcrest is faster in single processor configurations. Duh - it's a preproduction model compared to AMD's 3-year-old design. These benchmarks ultimately say NOTHING about multiprocessor configurations - I have yet to see any useful 2-socket benchmarks.

Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15837212)

It's definitely lights out for this writer...

"Could this be lights out for Intel?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15837219)

I hope so

Actually I have never owned a computer with a intel processor so I dunno.So,pretty much my post is useless

Spin Away.. (2, Informative)

thesupraman (179040) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837222)

Wow, AMD Really are spnning evrything they can get their hands on in the last few weeks - could it be that they are trying to divert attention away from something?
Let me think.. what was AMDs last real news?? When is the next major milestone in their processor lineup?

What goes around comes around.. Intel have been busy beavers for a while, relying on their rapidly aging netburst architecure, and hurting for it, while they got their next generation in order - perhaps AMD should have done a bit more work to have an answer ready... oh well.

IBM of course will do anything to divert server attention away from Intel, due to the fact that they have their own large-systems architecture to support - Power, and Intels ia64 is a competitor, whereas AMD have nothing even close to that market - of course IBM want people to like AMD and avoid Intel...

I think the correct technical term is 'Duh!'

DOOM AND GLOOM (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15837254)

Could this be lights out for Intel?

Do the editors really think that adding stupid little phrases like this to every article enhance the experience? Why do we need to read this every time that something happens that gives an avatage to Intel or AMD? Sheesh, give us a break.

Minnesota twins batters hit 2 home runs in yesterdays game. Could this spell apocalptic doom and drawn out painful deaths for the New York Yankees?

I hope it's not the end for Intel (3, Insightful)

Rotten168 (104565) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837269)

AMD needs competition just as Intel does. More competition = good.

What's this "lights out for Intel" bullshit? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15837287)

Slashdot, aka Pimp My Clicks

Re:What's this "lights out for Intel" bullshit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15837540)

Slashdot, aka Pimp My Clicks

Yep, click-whoring by adding a troll sentence to the end of each front-page summary.

Hypertransport (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15837324)

Yes, Hypertransport is better than the FSB, but for up to 4 processor systems, I don't think Intel is too disadvantaged. And Intel is working on CSI which they claim will beat Hypertransport and will be out in 2008. Will it live up to their claims? Who knows, but when Intel is pointed in the right direction (the management isn't throwing around their money like a spoiled trust fund kid) they seem to put out some pretty nice stuff.

AMD manufacture costs (2, Insightful)

BigFootApe (264256) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837346)

Everyone keeps talking about K8L. If they can deliver it in the short term (hah!), great, but what they really need is K8 Rev. G.

A current AM2 K8 dual core with 512k+512k cache is similar in size to Conroe with a 15% (roughly) disadvantage in performance (at common price brackets). Moving to 65nm will drastically reduce die sizes, allowing AMD to squeeze more chips on each silicon wafer, even compared to Conroe.

Consequently, AMD will be able to sell their chips to us at really cheap prices while still making a good profit, building a war-chest for when K8L faces off against CxQ. Then we repeat the whole process again when Intel moves to 45nm.

I think having a 4m L2 cache might be a bit of a boat anchor around Intel's neck when it comes to manufacturing. Time will tell.

Re:AMD manufacture costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15837415)

IBM is offering more options for people that like AMD. It still will offer Intel products which accounts for 90% of the server market.

Could this be lights out for Intel? (2, Funny)

fbg111 (529550) | more than 7 years ago | (#15837611)

Yes, of course. Absolutely, indubitably this is the end for Intel. Anyone who argues otherwise is clearly a fool, an Intel phanboi, or someone with a lot of Intel stock.
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