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AMD's Barcelona to Outpace Intel by 50%

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the harder-better-faster-stronger dept.

AMD 199

Gr8Apes writes "AMD is upping the performance numbers for Barcelona by stating that "Barcelona will have a 50% advantage over Clovertown in floating point applications and 20% in integer performance 'over the competition's highest-performing quad-core processor at the same frequency'". AMD also claims that the new 3.0 GHz Opterons beat comparable Intel Xeon 5100 series processors in three server-specific benchmarks (SPECint_rate_2006, SPECint_rate2006, SPECompM2001) by up to 24%."

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Where would you want to live? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18841069)

Barcelona or Clovertown?

Where would you want to live? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18841639)

Barcelona or Clovertown?

Where would you want to live? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18843151)

Barcelona or Clovertown?

zoom! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18841073)

faster faster

Re:zoom! (1)

mdocod (1091853) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841125)

lets see the bacon

Nice attempt, AMD. (1, Insightful)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841113)

Barcelona will outpace Intel's "current-gen" chips by 50%, not the ones that are currently in production. Nice attempt by AMD to become relevant again, though.

Re:Nice attempt, AMD. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18841147)

Je demande un recompte!

Re:Nice attempt, AMD. (3, Insightful)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841215)

Well, quite.

But you know what they say about lies, damn lies, and benchmarketing.

Or, if they don't say it, they ruddy well should.

Lawsuit Pending (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18841487)

I fucked your dad

Re:Nice attempt, AMD. (5, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841257)

Yeah, and notice that they say "at the same frequency", when Intel currently has a frequency advantage (not as big as P4, but then again Core 2 isn't an IPC dog like P4 was). Not that I expect any minor improvements Intel makes in the next 60 months to produce their own 50% leap in performance, this comparison still seems very suspect. As in pure marketing BS.

However AMD doesn't need to attempt become relevent again. They are currently very relevent. Did Intel become irrelevent when they were behind AMD on performance? No. In the past, AMD did lose more by not having the performance crown, and one could certainly imagine the momentum they were gaining in the K7 days fading quickly if Intel had come out with a superior chip. But today, AMD has both the marketshare and the OEM support to be merely competitive performance-wise and still be relevent. So they lose out at the top speed grades. If they can continue to match up their products to Intel's at lower speed grades, and they will, then they will continue to be a good choice for many people, and will definitely still be relevent.

Re:Nice attempt, AMD. (2)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841421)

Obviously that was supposed to say "in the next 6 months", no "60". I'm betting Intel can produce at least a 50% speed improvement in 5 years. :P

Re:Nice attempt, AMD. (5, Informative)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841605)

Note that AMD has 3GHz Opterons out now. The frequency advantage at the moment is slim to non-existant in shipped CPUs.

In any case, what matters is what Barcelona will ship at, which has not yet been specified. In any case, if Barcelona lives up to AMD's stated expectations on performance, it will be a killer CPU. Your statement about Intel's potential improvement leaps are spot on, and fall into Inforworld's Tom Yager's statements about Intel which are essentially phrased as "Core 2 is Intel's last hurrah". Why? Because Intel is essentially running on 10 year old technology and is rushing to catch up, despite some of the nifty architectural things they did recently to speed up C2D (integrated L2 cache for example).

I also believe that Intel is now following AMD's lead by leaving extra headroom for those that prefer to OC their CPUs and concentrating more on TDP and stability. I've noticed that Intel's chips since P4 are certainly more stable, while my rather severely OC'd AMD CPU occassionally (twice this year) shuts down, most likely due to heat or a RAM instability (since the shutdowns happen during low usage periods at night, I'll bet the 20% OC'd RAM is probably to blame).

Basically, right now Intel owns the crown, but they own it while comparing to AMD's last gen CPUs which are 3+ years old.

Re:Nice attempt, AMD. (1)

donglekey (124433) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842029)

Intel is also leaving a big gap for AMD to fill with the price of their quad core cpus. A grand? AMD should be able to compete with that. I just want a shuttle with four cores, and if AMD delivers with procs that are 'only' $500 that will be pretty significant.

Re:Nice attempt, AMD. (2, Interesting)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843441)

Intel has already announced major price cuts for the Fall. I can't see how this does anything other than hurt Intel and current sales. For instance, I'm sure I'm not the only one that sees that and goes... hmm, I might have considered a new Intel CPU, but the prices are dropping significantly in a couple of months. And then there's the AMD roll out at the same time, maybe I'll wait and see what that brings to the table.

It's going to be very very interesting.

Re:Nice attempt, AMD. (4, Insightful)

logicnazi (169418) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842459)

Actually if Intel is running on 10 year old chip design technology (I presume this is primarily a remark about the FSB) then this suggests they have the potential to *radically* increase performance over AMD. If Intel's process advantages and chip design teams can actually gain a performance advantage while using 10 year old technology they can sit back and pick the low hanging fruit (changing to modern methods) and gain huge performance boosts while AMD has to do truly innovative things to gain any performance increases.

Frankly this sounds more like fanboi talk than a serious analysis. If your goal is to diss Intel and give AMD props then saying they are using 10 year old technology makes sense. If you are actually trying to argue that AMD's future is much brighter than Intel's it's totally non-sensical. If Intel can gain huge performance benefits just copying stuff AMD is doing now while AMD has to make huge advances just to stay competitive I know who I would put my money on.

Re:Nice attempt, AMD. (1)

didde (685567) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842821)


Frankly this sounds more like fanboi talk than a serious analysis. If your goal is to diss Intel and give AMD props then saying they are using 10 year old technology makes sense. If you are actually trying to argue that AMD's future is much brighter than Intel's it's totally non-sensical. If Intel can gain huge performance benefits just copying stuff AMD is doing now while AMD has to make huge advances just to stay competitive I know who I would put my money on.

Err, you're assuming Intel in fact has a brand spanking new architecture up its sleeve, ready to be rolled out at any given moment. State your sources please. Otherwise, let's not speculate on the future x 2.

Re:Nice attempt, AMD. (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842985)

Intel has been doing a lot of work to get around the relative limitation of not having an on-board memory controller. When they integrate the memory controller, quite a bit of that work will be irrelevant. Sure, being smart about how you cache things is good. But intel has done what they can to reduce their dependence on a bottleneck. When that bottleneck is removed, they won't necessarily be able to scale to full use of the new bandwidth.

I think it is AMD that has been increasing the performance by making drastic changes (64 bit, on-die memory controller, HT bus) whereas intel has been using their fab capacity to their advantage, by including big caches (for x86) and being the first to a die shrink.

Re:Nice attempt, AMD. (2, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843073)

It's not purely about FSB, although that is a major short coming for multi-core designs. Intel won't radically improve their performance by going with a hypertransport design, but they'll improve their scalability (the quads are already beyond the maximum FSB - see the Xeon benchmarks for Mac Pros that's available). The 10 year old design refers to their falling back to the P-III core and then adding in a bunch of cache logic, fab processes and other more minor tweaks to improve that core's performance to what it is today in the C2D. The next major improvement for Intel's performance scalability is with Nehamal (I think it is) when they're supposed to finally implement a HTT type solution for memory communication, although I was unclear whether it also addresses multi-CPU/core communication. I would think it would, as anything less would be moronic.

AMD has other items up its sleeve. Not all are pure performance improvements, but interesting things like hardware virtualization. This will become more improtant in the future, and may even filter down into the consumer space. Wouldn't it be great for every app to essentially have its own virtual world? That would indicate a much lower potential for harm inherent to the OS architecture. (Note, odds are MS won't go this way because it breaks forced dependencies on the OS, but it certainly opens up new worlds for others)

Intel can't copy AMD's advances. They'd have to license some tech to do so, and that's not very likely (I believe HTT for instance belongs to AMD). Intel's current big performance leap occurred because they dumped P4 and followed AMD's approach. In any case, Intel did have a lot of smart people, but with the 10,000 personnel layoffs, how many of those smart peopel won't look for better jobs elsewhere? (Layoffs don't exactly inspire confidence for a company's future) Of course, AMD announced they may have to do the same after Q1's results.

Re:Nice attempt, AMD. (1)

fullmetal55 (698310) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842149)

another thing, yeah they don't need to become relevant again, they are still. But, The "At the same frequency" has me a bit confused. since AMD has often had a higher performance per frequency, That's not news, however the "same frequency" did not = "same pricepoint" and a similar freqency product from AMD cost more than from intel. example a 2 Ghz Athlon XP (3000+) was more than a 2.0 GHz P4. while the similar pricepoint 2000+ ran at 1.66 Ghz... I'd like to see a price-point comparison...

Re:Nice attempt, AMD. (2, Insightful)

MrFlibbs (945469) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841523)

Note that AMD's claim is to be faster "at the same clock". When the P4 was pushing clock speeds into oblivion, AMD stressed the point that clock speed is irrelevant -- what really counts is how fast the system runs your software. How you get there is quite beside the point. How odd that AMD is now using clock speed as a key indicator.

Intel is already shipping 3GHz Clovertowns, and the article states that AMD has not released the Barcelona clock targets. It they ship substantially below 3GHz (2.4?), then Barcelona will probably still win on FP benchmarks (barely) but lose on everything else. This suggests it will be more competitive, but not compelling.

Re:Nice attempt, AMD. (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841679)

And then add in the power savings, among other things. I actually expect Barcelona to have an even larger gain on multi-threaded applications, it's single-threaded apps that will have the smallest gain or be roughly even.

I'm seriously wanting to see what video editing and rendering performance numbers will be between the two. Clovertowns will have inherent cache flushes, as there are 2 independent caches each shared by 2 cores that need to stay in sync. Barcelona has a shared L3 cache among all 4 cores and independent L2 caches.

Re:Nice attempt, AMD. (5, Insightful)

egomaniac (105476) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842099)

Note that AMD's claim is to be faster "at the same clock". When the P4 was pushing clock speeds into oblivion, AMD stressed the point that clock speed is irrelevant -- what really counts is how fast the system runs your software. How you get there is quite beside the point. How odd that AMD is now using clock speed as a key indicator.

Ummm... they're not. If they were using clock speed as a metric, they would be saying "Look! We're running at 3.5GHz and Intel is only running at 3GHz!" while completely ignoring the actual performance -- exactly what Intel did all those years. They are instead talking about performance-per-clock-cycle, which (according to this) means that a 2.66GHz AMD chip would be considerably faster than a 3GHz Intel chip. We can expect them to continue touting the overall performance rather than raw clock speed, since they look better from a performance standpoint and worse from a raw clock speed standpoint.

How is that different than what they've been saying all along?

Exactly (1)

CasperIV (1013029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842641)

That's exactly it. People for many years bought Intel chips because they said 3ghz on the box while the AMDs said 2.2ghz. What people took a long time to figure out is that Intel was just bumping the cycles up so that it sounded faster, while the AMDs were getting more work done per tick. I always equated it to engines. You can have a 4 cylinder engine that makes 200 horse power at 7,500 rpms and a 8 cylinder engine that makes 200 horse power at 4,800 rpms. Even though one may have nearly double the rpms they do the same amount of work over time (the equation for horse power). If I increase the rpms (overclock) both, the one doing more work per cycle will have better gains. It is about time that the processor races heated up again, maybe now we will get some real performance gains from the chips. I wonder who will be the first to product another chip that worked as much magic as the Thoroughbred B core in the over clocking world.

Re:Nice attempt, AMD. (1)

Skadet (528657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841571)

Barcelona will outpace Intel's "current-gen" chips by 50%, not the ones that are currently in production.
Could you explain how current generation chips differ from those that are being produced and shipped today?

Re:Nice attempt, AMD. (1)

Yoooder (1038520) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841617)

Does anyone here actually expect either IBM or AMD to win this tug of war any time soon? I'll keep buying the best proc for the money, for the past few years it's been AMD, now it's Intel. It'll change again, and again after that...

Re:Nice attempt, AMD. (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842219)

More like an attempt by AMD fanboys to make up for the past two negative articles on AMD by declaring that they will "Outpace Intel by 50%" in a Slashdot headline. Just to make themselves feel better about their choice of processor team to root for. Me? I go for whoever's best, and right now that's Intel.

Re:Nice attempt, AMD. (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842649)

AMD's release will be first, so they'll be in the lead for a little while - in exactly the same way that Intel's Core 2 Duo release came before Barcelona.

In the mid 90's, Intel stuff was pretty obviously better. Then AMD was pretty obviously better for a while. Now it's really interesting - they're basicly neck and neck with each pulling ahead with new releases and then falling behind again.

Bring on the competition (3, Funny)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841115)

I really hope this plays out. Not only do we benefit from better technology, but I get to read all the fanboy flamewars too!

Re:Bring on the competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18841801)

Screw you! Fanboy flamewars suck!

i certainly hope so (3, Insightful)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841127)

It would be a shame if after what, 4 or 5 years? of being in the lead, AMD loses focus and stops making fast CPUs.

The last thing we need is for Intel to have no real competitors. Innovation would slow and prices would hike up.

Re:i certainly hope so (1)

Bodrius (191265) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841477)

It would be a shame if after what, 4 or 5 years? of being a strong competitor, AMD loses focus on what is relevant in the market and just keeps making faster, more power-hungry, CPUs.

The last thing we need is for Intel to have no real competitors. Innovation would slow and prices would hike up.

Re:i certainly hope so (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843489)

It's not as if AMD was suddenly not making fast CPUs, just that Intel's best was faster than AMD's best.

There was just a little issue of whether they make the fastest. I would expect that few people would notice the difference in speed between a top AMD and a top Intel chip in actual use.

SPECint_rate_2006 vs SPECint_rate2006? (4, Funny)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841135)

Wow! The underscore makes all the difference!

Yes!!! (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841137)

I just bought an Intel Core 2 Duo, and I love it. But I was beginning to worry that AMD's rocky quarter, lack-luster product line up, and soon to be cut backs, might lead to a less competitive playing field. But I'm excited to hear that AMD is still in this fight and will be upping the ante for my next PC purchase.

-Rick

Re:Yes!!! (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841569)

Historically, company come out with something 'unexpected and amazing' after a really disasterious quarter.
I would be prudent.

Using "up to" in benchmarks and comparisons... (4, Insightful)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841181)

has always bothered me.

"Up to" is sugar-coated for "You can't expect any better than this" with a implicit translation of "It can get a whole lot worse".

Ex: If CPU X get "up to" 100% more performance than CPU Y, but in all tests but one, actually has 1% of the performance, I'd rather have CPU Y.

"Up to" means nothing to me, except as an advertisement for the competator; whichever has the least unpleasant average and worst case performance is the one I'm interested in.

Re:Using "up to" in benchmarks and comparisons... (3, Interesting)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841279)

"Up to" means nothing to me, except as an advertisement for the competator; whichever has the least unpleasant average and worst case performance is the one I'm interested in.

And those numbers would be indicative of anything either. The problem with CPU benchmarks is that they have no real world application; Everyone has different needs. However, the marketing types for both the suppliers and consumers need numbers to push in front of each other, so they make up these things which those of us in the field understand have no real world meaning.

It's a vicious circle, non?

Re:Using "up to" in benchmarks and comparisons... (2, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841993)

Actually, benchmarks DO have some real-world meaning - but only for comparison.

If your specific needs happen to be similar to the things benchmarks stress, then you can expect the results to be relevant. If your needs differ wildly from benchmark methods, then you can expect the results to be irrelevant - but most likely they will be equally irrelevant.

Benchmark performance is, at the very least, a better indication of relative performance than clock speed of cache size.

Fact is, few end users actually NEED the kind of power modern processors provide. How often does your typical web surfing, middle class consumer see a CPU usage above even 10%? Most of that power goes into running heavier and heavier GUIs and OSs instead of actual work anyway. Anyone who would actually use a machine for all it's worth will probably know enouh about computer systems to know if a benchmark rating is useful for them or not.
=Smidge=

Re:Using "up to" in benchmarks and comparisons... (1)

donglekey (124433) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842253)

Not true. I have a top of the line computer from 3.5 years ago, and it cannot play high def trailers. Combine this with lots of flash video, video conferencing, etc. and you have various cpu needs that need to be met. It is hard for me to believe too, but flash and quicktime are pushing the needs of people's hardware.

Re:Using "up to" in benchmarks and comparisons... (1)

seaturnip (1068078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842315)

How often does your typical web surfing, middle class consumer see a CPU usage above even 10%?

When I load a large slashdot page in Firefox, my CPU usage shoots to 100% for several seconds.

"at the same frequency" is pointless (5, Insightful)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841277)

When the fastest Barcelona is ~2.5GHz and Clovertown is 3.0GHz, comparisons at the same frequency are pointless. What matters in reality is performance at the same price or performance at the same power or highest available performance at any price.

Re:"at the same frequency" is pointless (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841359)

Agree, caveat that performance-per-watt needs to be added in, at least in part because watts are money.

C//

Re:"at the same frequency" is pointless (0)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841723)

So AMD will win outright then?

Seriously, Intel's got nothing on AMD in performance per watt.

Re:"at the same frequency" is pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18842041)

huh? I'm not sure if you've been keeping up with recent hardware developments. Ever since the Core2Duo, Intel's taken the performance-per--watt crown from AMD.

See: http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx? i=2933&p=9 [anandtech.com]

Re:"at the same frequency" is pointless (2, Informative)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843263)

that article happens to state that
1) only the 3800 is an EE chip.
2) they're running on one of the most power hungry motherboard chipsets made for AMD: the nVidia 590 SLI
3) only the X2 5000+ is a 65 nm CPU

So basically, let's stack the deck as much as possible against AMD in this test without showing a best case scenario, while postulating that they're showing a "worst-case scenario" with a "bad E6300 sample".

I like Anandtech usually, but this article could almost have been sponsored by Intel and is far from Anand's usual quality and attention to detail. It almost reads like a Tom's Hardware piece. Lines like the below from the Conclusion just cement that feeling. So equal prices and equal performance? (Remember, AMD's tech is 3 years old...) Oh, and AMD is faster in "outlier cases". Intel should have totally rocked these tests. That they don't indicate something else. Lastly, let's note that Intel has already stated a large price cut for the fall, around when AMD is set to ship. I wonder if they got hold of a pre-prod Barcelona or two and had to change their undershorts?

With the latest round of price cuts AMD is far more competitive than at any other point since the release of Intel's Core 2 processors. Unfortunately for AMD, this means that at best, it can offer performance close to that of Intel's Core 2 processors at similar prices.

Overall, the performance advantage still goes to Intel's Core 2 lineup but there are a few situations where the performance between the two families is close enough to be considered a tie. There are also the outlier cases where the Athlon 64 X2 actually ends up faster than the Core 2, but we suspect that they are more isolated incidents than indications of the norm.

Re:"at the same frequency" is pointless (-1, Troll)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842249)

Hush, you're shattering the dreams of hardcore AMD fanboys who post at Slashdot and submit biased headlines.

Correction (3, Funny)

matt me (850665) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841289)

Barcelona will have a 50% advantage over Clovertown in floating point applications and 20% in integer performance.
I think the figures for relative performance should be 1.500000000000000 and 1 respectively.

((x*12)+5)/10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18841481)

((x*12)+5)/10

Re:Correction (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842435)

I think the figures for relative performance should be 1.500000000000000 and 1 respectively.

Of course Intel claims that they are 1.499999999326112 and 0.999999994351582.

amd quad-cores are true quad-cores with a better.. (2, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841293)

Chipset to cpu and cpu to cpu link with intel you have to use the chip set for one cpu to talk to another one.
Also If amd where to copy intel and put 2 dies on the same cpu they will have a better link for them that will not eat up chipset to cpu bandwith.

Re:amd quad-cores are true quad-cores with a bette (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18842547)

with intel you have to use the chip set for one cpu to talk to another one.
Flat out incorrect. CPUs are fully capable of "talking" to one another over the FSB without any involvment of the chipset.

With current FSB speeds, the distinction between quad-core and "true" quad-core is only relevant to fanboys. By the time it would become relevant, the FSB will be a thing of the past.

Re:amd quad-cores are true quad-cores with a bette (2, Interesting)

logicnazi (169418) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842627)

This post is very confused.

First of all you can't put two dies on the same cpu, or at least it would be a horribly bad idea. You can put 2 cpu's on a die. Now I thought AMD already did this but they could just package several chips together and I'm feeling too lazy to look it up.

Anyway, yes for Intel chips they must communicate over the FSB. However, as I've recently been finding out they don't do that much communicating. For instance most cache state info is generated just by listening on the FSB. Though sometimes one CPU needs to invalidate a read.

However, not having an FSB AMD's chips don't have a set total system bandwidth they 'use up.' Each chip has it's own memory controller and HT lanes. Perhaps putting the chips in the same package will allow AMD to speed up hypertransport or indirect memory lookup but since AMD doesn't use just an FSB it seems they actually have less to gain than intel by putting many cpus on one chip.

Why casual users can't be bothered (5, Interesting)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841361)

Over the past week we have heard about Intel's dominance and flashy new products, AMD's disastrous quarter, and now AMD's supposedly dominant new offering.

I read tech news daily and am getting sick of the media wars... It is no wonder casual users get fatigued trying to keep up. Casual opinions depend on which day (or week or month) a person chooses to research product offerings. It is no wonder I am always hitting a brick wall when trying to get my users to educate themselves so they can get more out of their tech. They don't know what to make of all the posturing.

This is not a function of the tech world developing *that* quickly. It is a result of the major players trying to out-strategize each other. I don't want to see anymore benchmarks (or hear about anymore promised software) until I am standing in front of a demo machine that is running the tech.

Guess I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

Regards.

Re:Why casual users can't be bothered (2, Informative)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841835)

Well, blame Intel. ;)

Seriously though, Intel's got the performance lead for now, but AMD's got the better tech and their release schedule "lags" Intel's a little. So Intel got the "jump" on AMD release cycle wise, and now you've got the situation where Intel has a brand spanking new product out that beats AMD's old offering by about 10-20%, at best at stock speeds.

I personally am waiting for AMD's release and benchmarks before making a final decision, but the fact that I'm doing so already says which way I'm leaning. I should also mention I recently bought both a C2D and an X2 system, so I'm not exactly a fanboi in either direction. The C2D is in a laptop and rocks. The X2 is in a desktop and OC'd and for the money an Intel C2D system couldn't touch it. I had 2GB of DDR RAM sitting on my desk, so that's essentially free and a $40 high end motherboard didn't hurt things either.

Re:Why casual users can't be bothered (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842147)

if by lags you mean 3 year spread...
-nB

Re:Why casual users can't be bothered (2, Insightful)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841953)

FWIW, it seems to be AMD doing all the posturing.
Intel seems to have taken a "no response" approach to media claims, instead producing product and letting guys like toms hardware do their thing. This isn't to say they don't advertise, but they don't take out full page NYT (or was it washington post?) ads chest pounding like AMD does.

-nB

Re:Why casual users can't be bothered (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18842449)

FWIW, it seems to be the Democrats doing all the posturing.
Republicans seems to have taken a "no response" approach to media claims, instead running the countryt and letting guys like bill O'Reilly do their thing. This isn't to say they don't advertise, but they don't take out full page NYT (or was it washington post?) ads chest pounding like the Democrats do.

Re:Why casual users can't be bothered (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842605)

Wait... what?

That's why we're constantly hearing about the performance advantages of Penryn. If anything, AMD has been a bit quieter than Intel. Compare the references on the Wikipedia pages for Barcelona and Penryn if you want evidence.

Re:Why casual users can't be bothered (1)

logicnazi (169418) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842683)

Well, as much as I think Intel usually gets a bad rap on slashdot and similar places, in fairness I out to point out that this is really easy to do when you have the performance crown. Taking out ads bragging about their superior performance would mostly just give people a reason to doubt intel (if they are taking out ads does it mean it's in doubt?) while AMD had better take out these ads as at the moment no one else is going to do it for them.

If the situation ever reverses and AMD's strategy to keep up sales while on the losing end works don't be surprised for Intel to do exactly the same thing.

How much for HyperTransport? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18841381)

We already know AMD at 4-cores beats Intel. Its not due to processor design, but the mere fact that Intel can't feed its processors fast enough. AMD's HyperTransport provides the bandwidth, while their integrated memory controller helps hide the latency. Intel instead has traditionally favored larger and smarter caches to resolve this, but this doesn't scale as well. Their next generation will put them on even or better terms than AMD.

So, the real question is how the cores compare head-to-head? We need to know where this supposed gain is coming from, which will tell us how far behind (or ahead) Intel is.

Re:How much for HyperTransport? (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842079)

"We already know AMD at 4-cores beats Intel."

Who is "we" that already "know"s that? What 4-core AMD processor beats its Intel competition?

Re:How much for HyperTransport? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18842925)

Anyone whose looked at the benchmarks. :)

Yes, a 4-core procesor beats Intel's. This isn't due to AMD having a "true" 4-core (utter bs, btw), but due to bandwidth. This will likely change once Intel releases its next generation infrustructure (CSI and on-chip memory controller). Until then, AMD can continue to raise 4-core performance for PR, while their singe and dual core varients continue to be outpaced by Intel. Thus, the question of whether this is a true architectural improvement (only minor in K8L, from what I've heard) or largely based by exploiting HT (which means that by the time the chips are released, they'll be slower then Intel's).

Re:How much for HyperTransport? (2, Interesting)

logicnazi (169418) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843345)

Well, I highly doubt that AMD's integrated memory controller's ability to hide the latency can scale any faster than Intel's cache tech. After all they basically control latency in the same manner, smartly guessing what memory the chip is going to need and making sure they keep the cache filled with that data. Of course the on board memory controller means that the latency starts at a lower place in the first place. Though it could be that the extra latency of going across the northbridge gets worse as clock speeds increase but I kinda expect it will remain proportional to bus speed.

The real issue in the next generation is simply the raw bandwidth. If AMD keeps moving in the direction it has it's next systems will be NUMA architectures like the Quad FX. This means that each chip (maybe next gen it will be core) has a constant memory bandwidth while Intel has to divide one FSB by the total number of chips in the system. Also AMD no doubt will have copied some of Intel's smart cache techniques.

Still if Intel can just keep parity (and they have the advantage of just now moving to 45nm) for another year or so (and not fuck up CSI again) that's pretty much good enough. At that point Intel no loner suffers a fundamental architectural deficit compared to AMD and their superior process technology gives them a serious advantage.

The three two questions are these:

1) How much market share can AMD gain capitalizing on Intel's memory starvation in the next year or two? Mostly this is going to depend on how well AMD can copy Intel's fancy cache and memory conflict checking hardware. If they can do a fair job of this then their underlying architectural advantages should let them overcome Intel's process advantages and make a fair bit of headway.

Unfortunately for AMD they could end up not being able to take full advantage of their superior (large scale) architecture if OS vendors don't provide better NUMA support. Eventually this is the way both AMD and Intel are going but better support now would be a huge boon for AMD.

2) Can AMD pull another rabbit out of it's hat that will give it a fundamental *architectural* advantage before Intel comes out with an acceptable version of CSI? Simply upping the GHz on HyperTransport isn't enough. AMD and Intel face the same fundamental obstacles to making high speed serial links and this area just isn't complex enough to let them totally out do Intel on transport speed. This is what AMD needs to overcome their process disadvantages and remain a serious contender for the performance and performance/watt crown (unless Intel just gives up the former to pursue the later). Given AMD's history they very well might pull this off but it's going to be tough.

Of course there is always the chance of a total shakeup in this industry if either Intel or IBM manages to patent some amazing process trick that isn't easily copied.

vaporware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18841397)

Ship some engineering samples to Tom or Anand, otherwise this is just marketing BS.

Re:vaporware (1)

rootofevil (188401) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841771)

reviews posted by tom are also marketing BS.

Re:vaporware (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841859)

pre-production runs have been shipped. I'm sure we'll be starting to see some numbers sometime soon, but I feel safe in saying that AMD's increased optimism about Barcelona's performance is based on these first chips performance.

Re:vaporware (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842525)

I agree... proof or STFU AMD. I'd be more than happy with a faster processor, I don't care who makes it. But I'm not going to buy into the hype until I see some benchmarks done with it, even the kind Intel did with Conroe and Penryn where they provided machines and babysat the reviewers.

On the other hand, with this kind of hype they're putting out, they'd better deliver or they're sunk.

Awesome! (5, Funny)

xerent_sweden (1010825) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841465)

I can't wait to run Microsoft Word on these babies!

Heh. (5, Interesting)

Skadet (528657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841627)

Indeed. I work in a law office as a graphic designer/web designer/video editor. That's what I do all day (when I'm not reading slashdot).

2 of our attorneys just got quad-core Mac Pros with Studio displays. For writing documents on. Maybe the occasional slide show. I'm stuck on this 3-year-old Dell with dual CRT monitors. Old ones.

Sorry, just had to bitch a little. Your comment is more real-world than you may have realized.

Re:Heh. (1, Insightful)

xerent_sweden (1010825) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841825)

Yes, sadly, I have to agree to that. Then again, who knows what the next version of Word will require to display a blank paper?

Re:Heh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18842013)

Keep bitching.

That and not trying to forge forward in your life will keep you right where you are.

I fucking hate people who whine about shit ass jobs they have. Learn how to sell and start earning what your worth.

Re:Heh. (2, Insightful)

Skadet (528657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842245)

[...] Learn how to sell and start earning what your [sic] worth.
I hate selling. I'm damn good at it, but I hate it. To quote Zoidberg:

It's all so complicated with the flowers and the romance and the lies upon lies!
Selling's about kissing ass and pushing off whatever it is you're selling on whoever has a wallet, no matter what their needs. Ok, at the retail level maybe not so much. But any sales job that pays close to 6 figures, yep.

Yeah, I'll pass. And I'll be doing what I want when I leave work at 4:30pm sharp, while you're closing a deal (still) at 9pm.

Re:Heh. (1)

yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842329)

I think the bitch was more that the budget was being used in such a way that it was not doing any good for anyone. Partner X & Y don't need five grand machines to write up their depositions on. Instead a better use of the budget would have been to buy them some nice three grand machines and spend the other 4 grand on an upgrade for someone who's work relies more on the amount of computing power they have than those attorneys.

But of course you just wanted to troll. I wonder how much you have invested in your rig such that you can troll at maximum speed?

Re:Heh. (4, Funny)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842199)

2 of our attorneys just got quad-core Mac Pros with Studio displays. For writing documents on.
They probably also got Ferraris. To commute to work in.

Re:Heh. (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843401)

Dude, convince them to get you a cheap mac mini and set up Xgrid clustering on those quad core mac pros. You'll be leaching off their processors in no time. :)

Re:Awesome! (1)

Heembo (916647) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842201)

I think you are the first person in the world to ever use that sentence.

Shows what you know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18843473)

The next version of Microsoft Word will require at least 4 of these guys! Just think how much bloat you need to add to slow a processor like that down?!? It will make the bloat of Office 2007 look trivial!

AMD needs to rebrand itself too (4, Insightful)

Prien715 (251944) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841603)

I think one of the major reasons why AMD did so poorly last quarter was its silly marketing campaign. Towering signs on billboards and large airport ads tout AMD as "smarter choice", since it uses less power.

Marketing a chip as using less power is the same as having Toyota make an exclusive advertising campaign toward wheel-chair bound people: the group you're targeting has few people in it and they're going to research any product they buy. The server market is important, but when I buy my shiny new server, power consumption isn't my first consideration, nor is that the only thing AMD offers.

With this announcement, I'm hoping AMD starts a new slogan touting, say speed. That's what I buy a processor for primarily. AMD's always been fast for the cost and it's high time they market themselves as being faster and better rather than being "as good as" Intel. My new pick for a marketing slogan? "Upgrade to AMD" AMD should position its chips to be slightly more expensive at every pricing tier, but in doing so, blow them away in performance. (In the present economy, businesses have money and will gladly spend more money on products they feel are superior. Ford spends more money on marketing than BMW (but which would you rather own?). AMD should be trying to make Intel look like Ford, rather than being the "Ford alternative".)

AMD is marketing to a minor concern of a niche audience, while they ought to be using their superior performance (at a given price point) to sell hardware. Would you rather be a "power saver" or "upgrade to AMD".

Re:AMD needs to rebrand itself too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18841799)

What are you blabbing about? We all want to pay less for energy bills, so less power is a very good selling point.
It does make a difference for business. Now if you are merely speaking of home use, but even there, I want power for less cost too.

Re:AMD needs to rebrand itself too (1)

bfields (66644) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841961)

Now if you are merely speaking of home use, but even there, I want power for less cost too.

And I assume there's a strong correlation between power and noise. Most people's homes are quiet enough for a loud machine to really call attention to itself.

Re:AMD needs to rebrand itself too (3, Insightful)

bockelboy (824282) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841951)

The server market is important, but when I buy my shiny new server, power consumption isn't my first consideration, nor is that the only thing AMD offers.

That's nice - but when we look at purchasing $250k - $500k of servers, power consumption as an important factor.

Back in the days when dual-cores were just beginning, this indeed was HUGE. Do you want 30% more Irwindales which would require 100 tons of cooling, or the AMD dual-cores which require 30 tons of cooling? The same is going to happen at the dual-core/quad-core boundary.

As CPUs are cheaper and cheaper and A/C systems remain a constant cost, the people who spend large amounts of money are going to look more and more at power costs. They're probably aiming at business customers who don't buy *a* server, but buy a *hundred* servers.

Re:AMD needs to rebrand itself too (1)

Spoke (6112) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842551)

Exactly. When you have a datacenter (or even a room) full of servers, the amount of heat you have to dissipate is very important.

Electricity and cooling costs are huge. And unlike a server which you buy once and may use for 3-5 years, you pay for electricity and cooling all the time. The electricy/cooling costs over the lifetime of a product can often cost more than the server itself, so anyone not looking at the power consumption of their systems as a high priority item (desktop, server, anything) is doing themselves a disservice.

Re:AMD needs to rebrand itself too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18842165)

I think one of the major reasons why AMD did so poorly last quarter was its silly marketing campaign.
The only thing silly here are your twisted and completely wrong car analogies. Hell, everything you just said is wrong.

Re:AMD needs to rebrand itself too (1)

Penguin's Advocate (126803) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842921)

Personally, I'd rather be a "power saver"

copmutronium (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18841775)

Which one is faster is pointless. They are all wastes of space as long as they confine their chip production facilities to earth's gravity and atmosphere.

DISMANTLE MARS ALREADY

Fly me... (5, Funny)

camperslo (704715) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841807)

I'll do you 50% faster and 20% harder than your date last week, and promise not to cost you more.

But marry me soon baby, I need the money

SSE4? Please, don't get distracted over little things like whether or not I can cook!

Re:Fly me... (2, Informative)

ScriptedReplay (908196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842097)

SSE4? Please, don't get distracted over little things like whether or not I can cook!

SSE4? I'm not buyin' either AMD or Intel until they're at least at SSE256. What's that? It'll take a while? That's OK, I don't have the monies to get them now anyway.
<sarcasm/>

For my type of workloads, straight SSE2 is still just fine. I'll take an improvement on that now instead of, say, waiting for the x86 world to match AltiVec instruction-per-instruction. But i would go for a wider ISA - give me 4x64bit registers with the ability to do 2x128 long double calculations in parallel and I'll be all over it. Heck, even long double on the current 128bit SSE registers would be a treat. SSE4? Fits some folks' needs, but it's mostly meh! for me.

To each his/her own, I guess.

what marketroids didn't tell us .. (0, Troll)

appelsiini (1002972) | more than 7 years ago | (#18841875)

..it will also use 100% more wattage and produce 200% more heat than any Intel product. It will be released soon(tm), which means in few months, nobody just doesn't know which year. Good news for everybody who liked AMD Athlon thunderbird, it'll also warm up your house during cold winter months. Bad news for your electricity bill. Bind it with AMD-ATI graphics product and you'll get markets 2nd fastest rig, 'n small nuclear power plant to feed it as bonus. :-) :-)

Re:what marketroids didn't tell us .. (1)

Penguin's Advocate (126803) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843197)

O the irony. Go back to the days of the P4 and you could make the same post replacing "AMD" with "Intel". Intel has only been efficient on the desktop and server since the Core series. Until the Core came out, AMD had the energy efficiency crown quite solidly on the desktop and server with the K8. Mobile is a different story, the Pentium-M ruled that land with an iron fist, and the Core is the hereditary successor to that. (Although, the Pentium 4m is yet another different story...) The K8 architecture is now old, but it still holds its own quite solidly against Intel's much more recent designs on the server side. I pick my processor based on what's available when I buy a computer. Two years ago I bought a dual Opteron system, because it was the best available. Last year I bought an Athlon64 X2 because it was, quite literally, the best available. This year I bought a Core 2 Duo because it was the best available. I'm hoping for something really interesting for next year's machine, a minimum of 8 cores in a maximum of two sockets is what I'm thinking. In any case, there's really no point in supporting AMD or Intel, just buy whatever is best when you buy a computer. Of course, if one or the other were to fail...that would well and truly suck for everyone.

What's really relevant ... (3, Insightful)

Skapare (16644) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842221)

What's really relevant to me is the performance per dollar ... not just dollar of CPU cost, but also dollar of whole system cost (including software, if that goes above zero), and dollar of energy cost (including the cost of shoving waste energy out the back door in seasons I does me no good to keep it indoors).

Re:What's really relevant ... (1)

SilentOneNCW (943611) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842403)

Nice try, but you're off by a great deal.

Real life tasks (2, Insightful)

ceka (1092107) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842349)

It would be more relevant to know how does it perform real life tasks, eg kernel compilation time comparison...

Wow, they really put the squeeze on the high end.. (1)

RalphBNumbers (655475) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842537)

I'm all for heated competition, and it's great that AMD can claim integer performance supremacy on the high end again for a while. But at what cost do they make that claim?

The article mentions that the 8222 SE is priced at $2149. So if I want a system with more than 4 cores, I'm bound to pay ~2.5x as much per processor.

I can get a workstation with 8 3Ghz Clovertown Xenon cores from Apple for just under $4000, 8 Opteron cores at the same clock will cost me more than twice that for the processors alone, never mind a motherboard and system to house them.

I'm well aware of the increasing advantages of AMD's bus topology for >4 cores, but with pricing like that who can afford a system to really take advantage of it?

Re:Wow, they really put the squeeze on the high en (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18843109)

The MAC is just a dualy with two quad core processors. The 4 way 8000 opterons with quad core inter CPU support are a very different thing.

Re:Wow, they really put the squeeze on the high en (1)

dave_boo (1089337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843413)

I suppose that when Barcelonas come out, we'll have some affordable octal core loving from AMD. It wasn't all that long ago that we'd have had to go with a quad socket intel mobo to get the performance that is now available from those quad Xenons.

BTW, I've always wondered what a really loaded 3,0 GHZ quad core Clovertown loaded up with as much FBDIMMs as possible would produce in the way of heat.

Please install this security update for MAC :-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18842721)

So they found a hole in Safari and exploited it. So one should install this security update? [mozilla.com]

minus 5, T8oll) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18842751)

as pposible? How OpenBSD guys. They

CPU Speed? Who cares?! (1, Informative)

FFFish (7567) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842823)

Sorry, AMD, but I don't get my panties in a bunch over CPU speed any more. The CPU isn't the bottleneck that it once was.

Truthfully, I have not seen a significant benefit to higher CPU speeds since circa 300MHz days. Except for gaming, things seem to always work about the same speed. The rate at which I can type this message is limited not by CPU, but by my fingers; the speed with which I browse the web is limited not by CPU, but by my ability to skim for content; the speed with which I get real paying work done remains about the same.

And even for intensive processing, CPU speed is often less limiting than GPU, HD, or RAM. Doubling my laptop's memory more than doubled its speed; doubling the CPU speed would accomplish bugger-all.

(I lied: one thing that did improve with CPU speed is the performance of Natural Painter. That little puppy loves the CPU cycles!)

How does it compare with Penryn? (1)

guidryp (702488) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843239)

Wasn't intel recently showing some Penryn benchmarks with up to 50% improvements depending on application.

All pointless till we have a 3rd party compare Penryn to Barcelona. I imagine neither will have much impact till 2008 as both will be production limited this year.

Also AMD need to stop talking and start showing.

I currently don't need more speed. (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843443)

Really I find my current PC fast enough. What I want is lower power and heat for the entire system.
Now if AMD can produce a cheap and silent system with good graphics performance I am all for it. Say something as fast as an X24400 and an Nividia 7600 GT all for about $300 then you have a winner. You will sell millions.
A quad core system? I just don't need it yet.
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