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Intel's new Conroe looks to give AMD a punch to the gut -- or maybe not

Benchmarks posted yesterday of Intel's unreleased Conroe processor have sparked quite a firestorm in forums around the web. Users from both the AMD and Intel camp were quick to examine the numbers provided in the articles, but the end result was still the same -- Intel has a slam dunk with Conroe.

As is the case with benchmarks held outside of a controlled environment and conducted with equipment provided by a party that has something to gain from favorable performance numbers, suspicions have arisen over the benchmark results.

VoodooPC president and occasional DailyTech writer Rahul Sood adds, “The long and the short of it is Intel has crafted an excellent marketing strategy to show off their baby in its first trimester. They are trying to win the hearts and minds of enthusiasts half a year before they have anything to show us. They created these platforms in house, and we can only hope they unknowingly crutched the AMD system by using a chipset and motherboard - with an outdated bios - that no enthusiast supports.”

While the test systems and circumstances surrounding these benchmarks of an unreleased Intel processor and an overclocked AMD processor are far from ideal, this question must be asked -- how often do you get the opportunity to test a fully functional, unreleased product six months in advance?



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Is this right?
By Questar on 3/8/2006 4:56:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
we can only hope they unknowingly crutched the AMD system by using a chipset and motherboard - with an outdated bios - that no enthusiast supports.


Did he say that?

Why would somebody "hope" that Intel goofed the setup of the AMD system?

Frankly he sounds scared that Conroe performs the way it does.




RE: Is this right?
By Bootstrap on 3/8/2006 4:58:17 PM , Rating: 2
I was just going to post this... the quote makes no sense unless he actually wants to see Conroe flop. Typo, maybe?


RE: Is this right?
By Tegeril on 3/8/2006 4:59:41 PM , Rating: 3
I agree, this makes no sense whatsoever. However, Rahul hasn't exactly been unbiased in his commentary on that lame blog in the past.


RE: Is this right?
By alphaaa on 3/8/2006 5:03:08 PM , Rating: 2
he probably does want to see conroe flop. rahul's an amd fanboy, unfortunately.


RE: Is this right?
By Questar on 3/8/2006 5:09:48 PM , Rating: 1
Oh! My GOD! Intel used a bios revision from NOVEMBER!! I mean that's so OLD!!

Heh, wish I could crack open one his machines a to see what bios version he's shipping.


RE: Is this right?
By smitty3268 on 3/8/2006 5:16:30 PM , Rating: 2
We know they crutched the AMD system (although it is debatable how much slower it actually is), but what he is hoping is that Intel did this accidentally rather than on purpose. Or at least that is how I read it. Personally, I don't see why it matters whether it was done accidentally or not, what matters is that the test might not have been completely fair.

The bigger problem, I think, is that the tests were very limited. The only ones done were:

1. Gaming, which is usually VERY dependant on the amount of cache. I think if the X2 had 4MB of L2 cache it would probably be back in the lead.

2. Video/Audio encoding, which was never exactly the strongest point for the X2. Also, 2 of the 3 tests only had Conroe in the lead by about 10%. I figure that is probably due to their better SSE throughput.

I'm not saying that these tests aren't useful, becuase they are. But I'd like to see tests in other apps before concluding that Conroe is the monster most people are right now.


RE: Is this right?
By JackPack on 3/8/2006 5:29:00 PM , Rating: 3
Uh, yeah, Intel "crutched" the AMD system by overclocking it, using 2-2-2 memory, and a DFI motherboard.


RE: Is this right?
By smitty3268 on 3/8/2006 5:41:32 PM , Rating: 3
Try reading the original quote:

quote:
crutched the AMD system by using a chipset and motherboard - with an outdated bios - that no enthusiast supports.


Intel DID do this, and you are using a straw man argument.

As for the argument I've seen several times that Intel has no reason to inflate their numbers because they will be tested again in 6 months... I never understood that. Intel has millions of reasons to hype up their future processors, and nothing really important to lose. I don't think the performance tests were really wrong, but I do think that they carefully selected which apps to let people test and made sure that they were the most flattering.


RE: Is this right?
By JackPack on 3/8/2006 5:46:06 PM , Rating: 2
Outdated BIOS?

Since when has a speed bump required a BIOS update? Uh, yeah, as if performance will be drastically reduced if it does not identify FX-60 during boot. Aside from cosmetic reasons, and perhaps a minor microcode update, an updated BIOS certainly isn't going to affect benchmarking results, given FX-60 is still E6-step.


RE: Is this right?
By smitty3268 on 3/8/2006 6:00:40 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I think you are probably right. Which is why I said I didn't think that was the important issue. Although you sure seem to be focusing on it...

Still, are you sure it doesn't matter? I assume the apps are going to directly query the CPU for its supported instruction sets, but is there any chance this goes through the BIOS? If so, then the AMD benchmarks might have been without SSE2. Or even SSE. Like I said, I don't think this is the case, but it is enough to give me pause.


RE: Is this right?
By tauron on 3/9/2006 3:02:39 AM , Rating: 2
One thing everybody missing is that very soon the sample CPU's will be delivered to the important vendors & partners (also web sites like Anandtech, Hexus, etc.), where Intel will have no chance to lie.

In fact it's at least technically possible to disable SSE support by the help of BIOS but here this is not the case since the performance numbers got by overclocked X2 in those "Intel controlled benchies" are very real life !

Of course people can get better numbers by using better components like DDR500 with low latency, nvidia based mobo and some other optimal settings but still the difference between Conroe scores and that would be dramatic.

Besides that Intel's 975 chipset supports also DDRII 800 like the upcoming AM2 AMD's. And in the tests Conroe used only DDRII-667.


RE: Is this right?
By BigT383 on 3/8/2006 5:38:48 PM , Rating: 2
Personally, I hope that intel was either crippling the AMD system, or AMD comes out with something that can compete by the time we actually get our hands on this thing. Why? Becuase the industry moves the most when the companies are neck and neck (just look at the GHz race). One company keeps trying to outdo the other, and we get speed increases as fast as the companies can put them out. Unlike right now. Today AMD can afford to release updates since they've clearly won this round.

Also- gaming has VERY LITTLE to do with cache at all! In graphics programming, most of the data changes every frame (in an FPS, every time you move the entire scene must be recalculated), thus there is very little that can be cached from one frame to another. Look back at how popular the original celerons were with gamers- they had no L2 cache but still did alright in games (and you could overclock them to be faster than the fastest Pentium 2s). Office apps, which do the same integer ops over and over again and rely heavily on cache, were a different matter. More recently, look at how well Prescotts do vs Northwoods at the same clock speed- doubling the cache doesn't make Prescott blow Northwood out of the water in games. Nowadays, there really is no difference between 512k per core and 1mb per core in games on the X2. Not having any would definately hurt, but the 512k is enough room to cache the small amount of info that stays the same from frame to frame. Plus, with the low latency on-die memory controller, cache misses are less of a problem.

That said, it looks like conroe certainly holds promise. If AMD can't step up, it looks like I may head back to intel for my next upgrade. My last intel processor was a celeron 300a o/c to 450!


RE: Is this right?
By smitty3268 on 3/8/2006 6:05:42 PM , Rating: 2
You're partially right about the cache for gaming - it only makes about a 5% difference on AMD to go from 512K to 1024K. Since the increase in size for the Intel chip is larger and it has no integrated memory controller, I could see the cache being as much as 10% or even 15%, but no more. And maybe only 5% or so, but that is a little more than you seemed to imply.


RE: Is this right?
By ninjit on 3/8/2006 5:13:23 PM , Rating: 2
Morons,

the quote says "we can only hope they UNKNOWINGLY..."

meaning, he hopes intel didn't use a crippled AMD system INTENTIONALLY, because that would make things even worse for them publicity wise.



RE: Is this right?
By TomZ on 3/8/2006 5:26:57 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree - I think he is saying that he hopes the numbers for the AMD system are artificially high so that the difference between Conroe and the AMD are less than was reported. I don't think that he gives a crap about possible Intel publicity problems if they made a mistake.

As has been pointed out by others on the 'net, the AMD numbers are pretty consistent with other benchmarks performed by objective third parties. That only leaves open the question about whether the Conroe numbers are inflated. But again, as has been pointed out by others, it is unlikely the case, since in a few months others will be able to run the same tests and prove/disprove Intel's numbers. Intel would look foolish if there were large differences.


RE: Is this right?
By rahulsood on 3/8/2006 6:03:52 PM , Rating: 4
Yes, sorry guys, I edited it for clarity - I can see where the misunderstanding is.

EDITED FOR CLARITY - If you read the article you'll see that the AMD system is clearly crutched - I am hoping that Intel had no clue that this was the case. I suspect they did this unknowingly.

By the way, I have openly suggested that Intel is going to be back on the rails this year on more than one occasion. We are still a customer of Intels - mostly on notebooks, and I don't have my blinders on.

I am suggesting that the benchmarking is not an accurate representation of what AMD can offer today. If an AMD expert built the AMD machine, just as an Intel expert built the Intel machine we might see closer results. In no way am I discounting the power of Conroe, but I am certainly discounting the quality of the build :)

Just wait until we get some real product in our labs, then you can make an informed decision. Until then we're still talking about a product that is months out. They can't possibly pull it in sooner.

http://voodoopc.blogspot.com/2006/03/if-only-they-...

Rahul.



RE: Is this right?
By TomZ on 3/8/2006 9:40:05 PM , Rating: 5
Rahul, your bias towards AMD is clear. I don't mind bias, but at the same time you deny you have any bias. You're either trying to fool us, or you're fooling yourself.

At the end of the day, your opinion is meaningless anyway. Consumers buy PCs and CPUs, and we will decide the market share between AMD and Intel. It is not for you to decide. Your job is to produce PCs that we want to buy, that include the processors we prefer.

So get to work - you aren't being paid to believe in the power of your dreams.


RE: Is this right?
By rahulsood on 3/8/2006 9:56:53 PM , Rating: 3
Rahul, your bias towards AMD is clear. I don't mind bias, but at the same time you deny you have any bias. You're either trying to fool us, or you're fooling yourself.

Well, it's true my bias is towards better technology. Around 80% of our notebooks go out with Intel processors, however. As far as workstations and desktops go, we'd be doing our customers a dis-service by making poor recommendations. We prefer the Pentium M for desktops over the Pentium 4.

At the end of the day, your opinion is meaningless anyway. Consumers buy PCs and CPUs, and we will decide the market share between AMD and Intel. It is not for you to decide. Your job is to produce PCs that we want to buy, that include the processors we prefer.

I totally hear what you're saying here - but technically the gaming market tends to influence the mainstream. This means that many people visit our site and see our recommendations and base their buying decisions on ours. This includes other people in the channel, people in I.T. departments, and gamers who build their own PCs. Our opinion does matter in that sense. ..but you are correct, our job is to produce PCs that people want to buy. It is also our job to ensure we are giving informed buying advice as I'm sure you can appreciate.

So get to work - you aren't being paid to believe in the power of your dreams.


Thanks :) How did I know that was going to bite me in the ass ;)



RE: Is this right?
By rahulsood on 3/8/2006 10:01:28 PM , Rating: 2
..also on that note I should mention that I've also been accused of being biased towards Nvidia (many many times). If you've read my battles with ATi over the years you'd know that I am only telling it from the inside. When you are dealing with these companies it's completely different from what you all see on the outside.

I am biased towards great technology no doubt, that's why we were first in line to launch Crossfire on RD580 - I love it! I am also looking forward to Nvidia's upcoming launch, but that doesn't take away any positive feelings towards ATi at the moment.

In any case, I do see your point and understand where you're coming from. Thanks for the advice ;)




Yea but...
By Marlin1975 on 3/8/2006 4:55:05 PM , Rating: 2
Was it not Intel that also showed off a p4 ruinning at 4Ghz YEARS ago and here we are with no 4ghz P4's.

So it looks good, but the REAL question is will it come to be as they, intel, want us to think.


Sell the sizzle, not the steak.




RE: Yea but...
By Questar on 3/8/2006 4:59:23 PM , Rating: 2
Please, let it go. The 4Ghz P4 was cancelled, you know it, I know it, everyone knows it.

Everyone uses this line, think of something original if you want to bash Intel.


RE: Yea but...
By Spoonbender on 3/8/2006 5:08:34 PM , Rating: 2
So that makes it less true? It's still a valid point. It shows Intel sometimes promises more than they can deliver.

Anyway, yeah, their benchmarks look impressive, but they're Intel benchmarks, and we don't even know exactly how it was made, using which hardware in which systems.

And we don't know what AMD is going to do in the time up to launch. (Well, we know more or less, the launch of AM2 and so on). And we don't know what they were comparing. Keep in mind that if you choose the right benchmarks, you could show the P4 to be those 30% faster than an A64. Why wouldn't the same be the case for Conroe?

We'll see. It seems Intel will at least catch up. They might also outperform AMD, or they might only do so in certain areas. (They're still stuck with an old-fashioned FSB. How much impact will that have? They still have separate memory controller. How much does that limit them?)


RE: Yea but...
By Questar on 3/8/2006 5:16:51 PM , Rating: 2
How is it valid? A product was canceled, so what? Do you have any idea how many tech products are cancelled every day?




RE: Yea but...
By segagenesis on 3/8/2006 5:25:59 PM , Rating: 3
This is exactly the problem I described in my post below. Can you please give the auto-reply-on-intel-bash a rest already? He has a valid point and no matter if you say it one time or one hundered times to the contrary it doesnt make you any more right. It's like people on forums who have 9000 posts and reply to everything thinking that post count makes one better than the other.

And before you get on my case about being an AMD fanboy I could think of many times both AMD and Intel has promised and not delivered in the past.

As I said, give it a rest you are only adding static to the conversations. Let the moderation system handle out "bad posts" like it was designed for... you so easily forget the day of "in Soviet Russia" jokes and "omg first post!"? People have an opinion and if you do not agree with it at least try to constructively critisize it rather than auto-reply with the equivalent of "OMG YOUR WRONG".


RE: Yea but...
By retrospooty on 3/8/2006 6:23:09 PM , Rating: 2
The point is, its all PR so far, pre-release benchmarks mean nothing, wait til its released, and hopefully does not cost $1000 per chip to see how well it performs.


RE: Yea but...
By JackPack on 3/8/2006 5:22:29 PM , Rating: 2
Of course it's less true.

The 4 GHz target was made in 2003 before they decided to cancel it in late 2004. Not only that, the decision was made by the new CEO (Otellini).

Core Architecture was shown running at 3.0 GHz yesterday (Woodcrest). This is not the same as when Intel overclocked the P4 to 4 GHz in 2003.


RE: Yea but...
By Cygni on 3/8/2006 5:58:42 PM , Rating: 3
Its not? Seems the same thing to me. The poster has an excellent point. The point is: You can show things at shows, thats not a problem. Cherry picking the best chip that comes down the line isnt hard. Producing millions of them that can all do it IS hard. There is a countless number of products that have been shown at shows, and then actually hit the streets with lowered specs. Infact, i would say thats NORMAL in this industry.

By the way, Conroe was only clocked at 2.67ghz, not the Woodcrest 3.0.

In the end, i dont think it will matter. If those benchmarks are even close to reality, Conroe is going to pack a serious damn wallup. Its no wonder AMD is holding back its benchies. AMD has likely known for months what Conroe has up its sleeves.


RE: Yea but...
By JackPack on 3/8/2006 9:27:47 PM , Rating: 2
Like the original poster, you're applying a general conception but have failed consider the details.

The 4 GHz target was set in 2003. Intel abandoned it in late 2004. They weren't even able to cherry-pick a 4 GHz chip in 2003 to demonstrate it. In 2004, it was clear that Prescott could reach 4.0 GHz+, but Intel chose not to invest resources to validate such a product. Instead, they chose the alternate path -- to be the first introduce a dual-core product.

The situation today is entirely different. With NGA, it's clear they have a winner. They don't need to opt for some contingency plan like in 2004. Intel has committed to producing Woodcrest 3.0 for Q3 - that's only two quarters away. If they weren't sure whether they could meet the target, they could have said 2H'06 or 1H'07. They demonstrated Woodcrest 3.0/1333 in an HP Proliant server, which is an even better indicator than Conroe 2.66 in some black box. I'm not sure if you realize, but server processors take much longer to validate since they are used in an DP/MP environment. Historically, these server processors have always been at least one or two speed grades behind the consumer products. Woodcrest is virtually the same product as Conroe except for DP/MP capability. If Intel can demo Woodcrest 3.0/1333, that's a strong indicator of what Conroe can do.


RE: Yea but...
By Cygni on 3/8/2006 11:25:31 PM , Rating: 2
The point of applying general conceptions is to not get into details. ;)

The fact that Intel COULD have gotten to 4.0Ghz does not change the fact that chip was slated to appear, was shown at trade shows, and then dropped. Whatever the circumstances may have been behind it, the product was shown at a trade show... and then never appeared. Thats whats important to this debate.

Again, i never stated that Conroe WONT run at 3.0. But the simple fact of the matter is you cannot, at any time, hold your breath for products you see at trade shows. I dont care how close release dates are set, i dont care how close the product is to completition, i dont care how critical a product is... history has shown these factors to be irrelevant. Whole products have vanished from retail markets WEEKS before their supposed introduction. Some have been delayed MONTHS even though some of the product was already available and already in some peoples hands.

The original posters point is valid. Intel has now shown a 2.67 Conroe (now officially known as the CornRow), and a 3.0 Woodcrest. We now will see if they can actually deliver these products on time in 6 months. I imagine they will, but that doesnt mean they absolutly are going to. Again... as history has shown us.


RE: Yea but...
By JackPack on 3/9/2006 2:14:53 PM , Rating: 2
Again, you're applying a general conception based on the tech industry rather than looking at details of this case.

The 4 GHz P4 was a target made by Intel in 2003 for 2004. They didn't (and haven't) demonstrated an off-the-line 4 GHz P4 processor.

Yes, lots of firms have shown vaporware at trade shows. But how many of them have the multi-decade, blue chip credibility of Intel? How many of them pulled in nearly $40b of revenue last year? Yes, there are one or two blips on Intel's record, but if you have rational expectations and understand that when a VP or CEO makes such announcements as Q3 and 3.0 GHz, they place the entire firm's credibility on the line.


RE: Yea but...
By bob661 on 3/9/2006 5:45:47 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Again, you're applying a general conception based on the tech industry rather than looking at details of this case.
Again, you are ignoring the point.


RE: Yea but...
By JackPack on 3/9/2006 9:42:55 PM , Rating: 2
Great, a one-liner.

So what's the point? Because Intel backpedaled on their 4 GHz target due to special circumstances, they should never be trusted again?

AMD had a target of 30% world market of x86 by 2001. They clearly never achieved that, yet they recently revived that goal. So no matter how strong their products are, I guess we should never place the same amount of trust with AMD again.


RE: Yea but...
By Cygni on 3/10/2006 2:06:33 AM , Rating: 2
Intel is certainly not immune from dropping products at the last second, and releasing products into channel, only to pull them. The 1.13 PIII, the "computer on a chip" that intel scrapped weeks before its intended launch date, the i752 in the graphics world that was even shipped in a limited number of OEM PC's, the highclock Northridge's that were dropped from roadmaps just weeks after its launch, the nonexistant EE's that shipped to channels supposedly and were nowhere to be found, even in OEM systems, for up to three months, the i850/rambus debacle with rambus memory not even available for months, etc.

Intel isnt immune to the problems everyone else has. Infact, as Intel is in so many markets and pushing so hard to keep up with its many competitiors, they have had MORE mistakes than alot of smaller companies who hang back a bit and release fewer products a year.

Again, I think its unlikely that Intel will miss 2.67ghz or even 3.0ghz at launch. But just because they are intel, and just because they are showing it at a show, does NOT mean we are going to get the exact same thing on launch day. That can NEVER be guaranteed.


RE: Yea but...
By defter on 3/8/2006 6:08:25 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
It shows Intel sometimes promises more than they can deliver.


I recall that 4GHz was supercooled demonstration. I hope that you aren't seriously suggesting that Intel cannot deliver 2.67GHz Conroe this year? :)


I don't get it...
By chaosrain on 3/8/2006 5:50:09 PM , Rating: 2
Okay...I've got a few questions. Some will likely demonstrate my overall ignorance, so I apologize, but I'm getting confused.

Isn't Intel's newest processor based on a 65nm fab process?
Isn't AMD's based on a 90nm fab process?
Is it fair to truly compare the two and declare performance dominance?
Isn't it a lot like saying my aluminum aircraft performs far better than the one you made from wood?

Now I could be wrong on multiple fronts...maybe they do use the same scale fab process...maybe it's reasonable to compare a series of processors based upon a new fab process against those from an older fab process...maybe the determination that it's a fair comparison is due to the fact that the processors coexist in the same time period in the same marketplace.

Any way you slice it, I'm confused. Also, what ever happened to the folks who were complaining that Intel is hobbled by their FSB? Did Intel give up on the FSB, or were those contentions bogus? If neither is the case, why is everyone so impressed with Intel's ability to bring an evolutionary technology to the market with marked performance increases which are likely mostly due to the upgrade in fab scale?




RE: I don't get it...
By menting on 3/8/2006 6:14:57 PM , Rating: 2
size of process (lithography) doesn't have to do with how a processor performs at a certain frequency. the same family processor at the same speed but different process will perform the same. You probably got that confused with something else.
Thus it's fair to compare the two even though they're based off a different fab process, like it's fair to say your aluminum aircraft performs better than my wood one, because in the end, performance is all that matters. what happens under the hood is irrelevant.


RE: I don't get it...
By deeznuts on 3/8/2006 6:21:01 PM , Rating: 2
Well, what if AMD doesnt' come out with a new fab for 1-2 years, are all the hardware sites going to have to go dark until amd catches up? Nope. You compare what's available that day. The first to new tech is rewarded, plain and simple.

And no I don't want to hear "ooh well conroe isn't today's tech." Well this was a preview of benches, not an actual hardware review, so shut it. Plus, I don't think there is a 2.8GHz FX either.

And AM2, I want to get something clear. How is this supposed to help AMD? I thought RAM didn't matter much for the A64's, and that latency was king over bandwidth for the A64. Doesn't DDR2 have an inherent lower latency? Has this been fixed? Is there a chance AM2 will never be faster then regular DDR1 platforms (a la AT's blog)?


RE: I don't get it...
By mxzrider2 on 3/9/2006 2:18:29 AM , Rating: 2
they went to ddr2 cuz mem manufactures dont want to make it anymore and it will get expensive, so unless you want ot pay s ton for a gig let em go. with ddr2-800 we should see equal performance with no changes to the logic of the cpu


RE: I don't get it...
By nrb on 3/9/2006 8:45:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Isn't Intel's newest processor based on a 65nm fab process?
Isn't AMD's based on a 90nm fab process?
Is it fair to truly compare the two and declare performance dominance?
Well, we're clearly comparing a pre-production Intel processor that won't be relased for six months with a present-day AMD chip, which isn't ideal. But, on the other hand, we do have a fairly good idea of what AMD is going to be producing in the next six months. In particular, we know that, at the time Conroe launches (third quarter) it will be at least another three months, and possibly more, before AMD releases any 65nm parts.

If the AMD chip in the test is reasonably representative of the sort of chip AMD will have on the market when the Intel chip launches and for several months after that, then it's an entirely reasonable comparison.

Is it representative? Well, we don't know, because we don't know how much, if any, performance boost AMD will get from moving to socket AM2 and DDR2 memory, and we also don't know for sure whether AMD will be able to bump up clock speeds some more in the next few months. But current indications are that the change of socket and memory will make little if any difference to AMD performance, and that there isn't much room for manoeuver in clock-speed terms at least until after the move to 65nm.

Intel are also comparing their future "one level down" chip with AMD's current "top of the line" chip, so the performance of AMD's "one level down" chip will probably be quite close to that when Conroe launches.


RE: I don't get it...
By JumpingJack on 3/11/2006 5:13:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well, we're clearly comparing a pre-production Intel processor that won't be relased for six months with a present-day AMD chip, which isn't ideal. But, on the other hand, we do have a fairly good idea of what AMD is going to be producing in the next six months.


This is a good point, but I have heard mixed signals on actual release dates, from beginning of July (4 months away) to mid Sept (~ 6 months away).

Would it not be a hoot if miraculously we saw product ship on June 5, 2006 :) .... talk about turning the tables... this would be AMD behavior :)


Yeah, right whatever you say...
By cornfedone on 3/8/06, Rating: 0
RE: Yeah, right whatever you say...
By hans007 on 3/8/2006 6:43:19 PM , Rating: 2
intel apparently is selling 920 and 930 chips like hot cakes..

the 820 and 830 did not sell that great.

if you don't believe me go to dell.com

they dont even offer the 920 or 930 anymore because they are sold out and had to replace it with 820 and 830 chips (whcih are slower and run hotter).



that said, for the one about proces technology. amd even when it moves to 65nm probably wont get much of a performance boost if it is a dumb shrink (which it likely will be for a while), the winchester was a dumb shrink with only very minor improvements and it was no faster than newcastle based athlon 64s and even did not clock any higher.


case in point the fx55 ran at 2.6 ghz, which is only barely slower than the fastest 90nm chips (2.8 ghz in the fx57) amd made (fx55 being 130nm).


RE: Yeah, right whatever you say...
By TomZ on 3/8/2006 9:51:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
amd even when it moves to 65nm probably wont get much of a performance boost if it is a dumb shrink


I'm not sure why you wouldn't expect a performance increase associated with a die shrink. Intel saw a good performance increase with Presler. The die shrink reduced power consumption, allowing them to speed up the clock speed, which increases performance. The Presler family can go up to ~3.6GHz nominally and can overclock past 4GHz. Previous 90-nm processors couldn't achieve this.

I would expect AMD will be able to do the same when they transition to 65-nm process. The physics are the same.


RE: Yeah, right whatever you say...
By MrKaz on 3/9/2006 11:04:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
intel apparently is selling 920 and 930 chips like hot cakes..

quote:
they dont even offer the 920 or 930 anymore because they are sold out and had to replace it with 820 and 830 chips (whcih are slower and run hotter).


Why dont you say:

Intel is having issues with .65nm and is not delivering enought .65nm parts so they have to keep selling crapy .90 over .65.
Maybe they run out of stock because they dont have anything to sell.


RE: Yeah, right whatever you say...
By TomZ on 3/9/2006 11:00:11 PM , Rating: 2
That's a line of BS. Check the online retailers for availability - all the 900's are readily available.


By masher2 (blog) on 3/8/2006 9:29:41 PM , Rating: 3
> "the same shit they pulled a year ago with gluing two chips together to claim that they had a dual core"

Heh, where do people get such nonsense? Two cores in one mounting = a dual core cpu. By definition. It doesn't matter whether they're integrated on a single die or held together with frigging rubber bands...its still two cores.


Easy to validate
By finalfan on 3/8/2006 5:30:16 PM , Rating: 2
It will be easy for Anandtech or Toms to validate if there is any thing behind the bechmark.

They just need to setup the same AMD machine using the latest BIOS and run the FEAR bench again then everything will be clear.




RE: Easy to validate
By Bonrock on 3/8/2006 5:58:24 PM , Rating: 3
Not quite. That would address the issue of whether they crippled the AMD machine. That would not tell us anything about whether they did anything shady to enhance the performance of the Conroe machine.

At any rate, Conroe looks pretty impressive in those limited benchmark runs, but I never trust benchmarks that weren't performed completely independently, and these were definitely not performed independently. Not to mention that Conroe is still a full six months away from release--a lot could change by then (on Intel's end or AMD's end or both).

Anyone who is declaring a winner at this point is jumping the gun, whether they're assuming Conroe is as good as it looks or assuming Intel is cheating on the benchmarks. I'll reserve my judgment for final hardware, thank you very much.


RE: Easy to validate
By mxzrider2 on 3/9/2006 2:14:47 AM , Rating: 2
yeah ok no thats why i got a 15 percent increase in fps in battlefield2 ony my overclocked opty when i updated to custom bois for my dfi.


Were they rigged?? Read for the answer.
By Egglick on 3/8/2006 8:04:20 PM , Rating: 2
This is what you do:
Set up an AMD system with the same specs as Intel chose, and run the same tests shown.

Compare the results for the AMD systems and see if they match.
Rocket science.




RE: Were they rigged?? Read for the answer.
By hoi33 on 3/8/2006 8:40:49 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah only Intel deliberatly made that impossible by using their own time demo's in games instead of standard ones, no one else has these time demos so they're not reproducible.


By finalfan on 3/8/2006 9:07:58 PM , Rating: 3
No. The FEAR one is reproducible. It is the official demo.


have to wait
By Zelvek on 3/8/2006 5:02:36 PM , Rating: 3
I never trust these sort of tests in the slightest there is to much room for bias, besides we have no clue how AMD's processors of that time will compare. There just isn'y enough info to draw any conclusions.




RE: have to wait
By BaronMatrix on 3/8/2006 5:39:13 PM , Rating: 2
Let's all just admit that Intel has finally caught up and say that AMD will not be embarassed when AM2 comes out. One thing this has done though is generate A LOT OF BUZZ about Conroe.


I wouldn't be surprised if someone hijacks a sampling (maybe final) FX62 with NF500 and DDR2-800. if the chip adds the tweaks I have heard of around the net and what is generally known, 30% will be possible per clock. Probably more with the Opteron.


I believe the tests are accurate because you can't flip flop from believing in his reviews and not depending on how it turns out. I'm sure Intel tried to setup a "fair" comparison but how good at configuring an AMD system should they be?



The summer will be hot!


This is like a bad political debate
By segagenesis on 3/8/2006 5:08:47 PM , Rating: 2
I had been taking a break from reading tech news the past week or so and yesterday I read "the news" and from an outside party it seems like the gates of Hell had opened discussion wise. I would dare say the debates between Intel vs. AMD users is akin to discussions of Democrats vs. Republicans. Nobody wants to admit they are wrong, and half of everyone discusses with fingers in thier ears going "la la la I cant hear you". It's just ridiculous. I would name two people posting on DailyTECH that stick out like sore thumbs on this but I'd rather keep the discussion professional.

As I mentioned before I'm slightly biased towards AMD lately because the last Intel machine I bought was a P3... which was HOW long ago? But I could care less who does what as long as its performance per price value. If Intel can sell a $250-$300 cpu thats drastically faster than my current Athlon 64 4000+ later this year I'll go back Intel. Simple as that. People quickly forget the bad old days of AMD trying to defend the company when they obviously didnt work with any computers based on K5 and K6 chips.

Personally I think AMD is making a mistake trying to go for DDR2 memory rather than really advance the processor, yet at the same time they still have a hold on the 64-bit market. I took a read at the FB-DIMMS planned for the new Intel line and its pretty impressive compared to previous technologies. So honestly I dont know what to think for the future, other than somebody is going to make a faster processor after a year or two of stagnating progress in the CPU world. I dont care who does it as long as I can afford it and it comes with all the features I need.

A bit of an aside here... does Conroe support 64-bit? Not that it really matters (I'm not running 64-bit windows on my AMD64) but just curious. One thing that still brews in the back of my mind when I see the future of Intel desktops also is Trusted Computing. A fast platform would really turn me off if I cant have full control over something I bloody well own and paid for.




By Questar on 3/8/2006 5:12:16 PM , Rating: 3
1. AMD needs to go with DDR2 to keep platform cost down.
2. Conroe is 64-bit.
3. AMD and Intel are in sync with TPM.


They forgot that
By Staples on 3/8/2006 6:17:57 PM , Rating: 2
Neither Intel nor AMD's CPUs have gotten any faster in the last 6 months. Sure these are 6 months away but if AMD comes out with nothing new in the next 6 months just as they have the last, then the Conroe will will hands down.




RE: They forgot that
By TomZ on 3/8/2006 9:47:08 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Neither Intel nor AMD's CPUs have gotten any faster in the last 6 months.

I disagree. AMD's FX-60 that came out a few weeks back is faster than their other processors. Intel's Presler that came out around the same time is also faster than their older processors.

While these are not orders-of-magnitude improvements, they are good incremental improvements.


Shut yer holes
By Pythias on 3/8/2006 6:44:54 PM , Rating: 3
Where I come from, there a little thing called presumption of innocence. Questioning the journalistic integrity of the people involved in this preview is far below and behind contempt.
Provide proof that these tests are "rigged" or shut it.

Impugning the source is an age-old tactic for folks with no evidence to stand on.




RE: Shut yer holes
By mdbusa on 3/8/2006 8:51:22 PM , Rating: 2
Where do you come from??


By porkster on 3/9/2006 4:35:06 AM , Rating: 1
What a laugh. AMD users panicking. They have built their whole world around AMD being the gamer machine and all this trip, now they will have to change their whole shop deck out or swallow their words.

And.. To think all these new AMD buyers have invested in such old gear that can’t be expanded... Oh well I tried to warn them years and months ago.




By Griswold on 3/9/2006 5:29:41 AM , Rating: 2
I know how you feel, I warned your parents, but they wouldnt listen. Now we have to deal with you...


By Blackraven on 3/9/2006 10:38:10 AM , Rating: 2
1)The New Conroe would replace/be a successor to the Pentium D???
2)The Quadcore Processors (due early 2007) will serve as replacements to the entire Pentium 4 line including top-of-the-line P4 Extreme Edition w/HT?
3)Conroe series would serve the mainstream market while the new Quadcore units would cater to the enthusiast, high-performance market???
4)Intel Core Duo is currently the latest,fastest,most powerful Intel chips for laptops?

Thanks.


Reminds me
By Slaimus on 3/8/2006 9:56:21 PM , Rating: 2
Reminds me of the PS2 pre-launch, where Sony showed how much better it was compared to the Dreamcast. People who were going to buy a DC held off and waited for the PS2, and the Dreamcast never recovered.




RE: Reminds me
By Powered by AMD on 3/8/2006 10:26:30 PM , Rating: 2
AMD is not SEGA.
I think Conroe is just what we need in order for AMD to make something really NEW. Anyway.. its still far away, 6 months is a lot of time, time for AMD to enjoy its supremacy and work hard to have a really new and faster processor. To regain the top of the charts again!
Obviously is gonna take much longer than 6 months to make a "k9" but im sure they have an ace on its sleeves.


Can't we all just......
By BaronMatrix on 3/8/2006 5:40:34 PM , Rating: 3
Let's all just admit that Intel has finally caught up and say that AMD will not be embarassed when AM2 comes out. One thing this has done though is generate A LOT OF BUZZ about Conroe.


I wouldn't be surprised if someone hijacks a sampling (maybe final) FX62 with NF500 and DDR2-800. if the chip adds the tweaks I have heard of around the net and what is generally known, 30% will be possible per clock. Probably more with the Opteron.


I believe the tests are accurate because you can't flip flop from believing in his reviews and not depending on how it turns out. I'm sure Intel tried to setup a "fair" comparison but how good at configuring an AMD system should they be?



The summer will be hot!




so many fanboys out there
By menting on 3/8/2006 6:30:07 PM , Rating: 3
I can't believe how many fanboys are out there (intel or AMD)
Conroe whoops AMD's butt? GOOOOD..means we get better processors.
It was all a big joke and AMD still whoops Intel's butt? GOOOOD..since Conroe if anything will show that Intel is at least catching up to AMD and will make AMD work harder at putting out better processors.
It doesn't matter which way it ends up, as long as we're reaping in the benefits. Why all the company loyalty? It makes sense if you're working for them or if you have a business interest in them, but else it's just blind following.
Buy something worth the most for its price, not because it's a certain brand.




Excuses
By JackPack on 3/8/2006 5:10:28 PM , Rating: 2
Excuses, excuses

Especially the one about FX-60 BIOS support. Since when has a speed bump required a BIOS update? Uh, yeah, as if performance will be drastically reduced if it does not identify FX-60 during boot. Aside from cosmetic reasons, and perhaps a minor microcode update, an updated BIOS certainly isn't going to affect benchmarking results given FX-60 is still E6.




maybe nothing was real
By mforce2 on 3/8/06, Rating: 0
RE: maybe nothing was real
By clnee55 on 3/8/2006 7:06:37 PM , Rating: 2
No, I think AMD chip is overclocked and Intel chip is underclocked. Intel probably did that not to embarrass AMD too much.

Just kidding... Don't start another war. He he! I love fanboys. They remind me of my kids fighting.


cool
By spwrozek on 3/8/2006 8:23:17 PM , Rating: 2
The test scores were very impressive. Hopefully it is like that when the chip is released. We have to wait another 4-6 months for it though. I think that all the tests were fair but I think that comparing an unreleased not even close to finished conroe to the FX-60 which is mass produced and available to the consumer is kinda funny. I am pleased with what we have to look forward to but I would like to see benchmarks of each compaines best chip at the time they are actually available. Like some others said it is a win win situation for the consumer, which is always nice.




Sigh
By Anemone on 3/8/2006 9:20:08 PM , Rating: 2
While I respect the caution he sounds like he's whining. Be HAPPY they gave such a relatively open test at all. That is not like their usual and it's a good sign. Intel should be encouraged to act like that. Now if they pulled some shenanigans I don't think anyone is rushing out to buy one before seeing some real tests, but honestly the results were impressive enough that even if they were 15% too high, they'd still be impressive, because a 2.8ghz X2 is no slouch.

Intel could do more and let some samples out for testing, but that's yet the next step.

I applaud Intel for showing us rather than keeping the show all slides and a couple demos without comparison. They SHOWED us and the let the attendees to the telling.

Good plan. Now let's hope that the real chips can do as much.




wow
By unparalleled intellect on 3/9/2006 1:56:44 AM , Rating: 2
I cannot see why anyone can get so emotional over a set of CPU benchmarks. It's so amazing, the amount of crap that both camps can spew. If you want to go paranoid (accuse Intel of being unethical) and defend a company that probably doesn't even know you exist, then go right ahead... Just please don't pollute the internet with your silicon based ideology.

I think that the people that accuse Intel of being unethical in this case are being way over the top. The simple, incontrovertible fact of the matter is that Intel has almost NOTHING to gain and EVERYTHING to lose by falsifying results. This is where people should begin to use the logical side of their brain. Intel is a high profile company that needs to maintain an image. This is a public set of benchmarks given to organizations that are highly professional and organizations that can dissect and recognize fraud immediately. Moreover, Intel's image would be infinitely harmed for trying to pull a fast one over the enthusiast community. The fact that Intel allowed Anandtech and Hexus to even perform the benchmarks speaks volumes. Before, Intel always performed benchmarks from a stage but these particular benchmarks were given to professionals because Intel is that confident in this product; this allows the enthusiast community to verify these results. That's pretty much it. I challenge the nay-sayers to come up with a position as substantiated as this one, the one that most rational people stand by.

Moreover, I hate reading all these posts complaining. The FEAR benchmark and others as well are reproducable. Just reproduce it on a similar configuration of AMD's machine. That deals with people who say that AMD was crippled in this test. Heck, perform it under OPTIMAL conditions. I still don't think that the remaining performance able to be squeezed from the OC'd FX60 would be too miniscule to make up this margin. For the allegations that Intel is illegitmately boosting its own scores, refer to the paragraph before this one.




Excellent Marketing Strategy...
By Tuor on 3/8/2006 10:21:37 PM , Rating: 1
'Rahul Sood adds, “The long and the short of it is Intel has crafted an excellent marketing strategy to show off their baby in its first trimester."'

Yeah. Intel's "excellent marketing strategy" is to set up benchtests as contrived as a Bush press interview.

I think I'll wait until the product actually ships before handing it any sort of speed crown.




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