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AMD memo leaked to DailyTech shows Phenom availability

AMD and Intel have historically traded the title of the best performing CPUs. Recently, however, the battle has been largely one-sided with Intel taking the volume and performance crown.

AMD hopes to change that with the release of its new Phenom processors. MSI was the first mainboard manufacturer to announce an RD790 mainboard, the K9A2 Platinum, for the quad-core and tri-core Phenom's. Mainboards from ASUS and Gigabyte based on RD790 were announced in October and also support Phenom quad-core processors.

More details of the AMD platform launch that included the Phenom, the RD790 chipset and the RV670 graphics processor surfaced early in November. DailyTech reported early in November 2007 on the pricing structure of the Phenom processors ranging from about $280 to $330 USD. 

An AMD internal memos hows the AMD Phenom 9700, 2.4 GHz processor is slated for mid-December availability. Allocation for the Phenom 9600 running at 2.3GHz has been pushed back to a Q1 2008 date.

The Tech Report, in an interview with AMD's desktop product marketing manager Michael Saucier, confirmed an erratum for all Phenom processors that will cause the system to hang due to an L3 cache miss.  The Tech Report claims this fix will degrade performance as much at 10%.

The mainboard favored by AMD, the MSI K9A2 Platinum is impossible to get currently since it is out of stock. MSI confirmed to DailyTech that this board will start shipping again next week, and that the board itself is not with any defect, but just in high demand and low availability.



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kinda..
By Oregonian2 on 12/4/2007 1:47:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
AMD and Intel have historically traded the title of the best performing CPUs. Recently, however, the battle has been largely one-sided with Intel taking the volume and performance crown.


Only for the couple years prior to release of Conroe did AMD ever have the highest performing CPU, that I recall. They've long had the best performing at any given price level (below the top level), but not the best performing "period" other than for a relatively short period of time. Am I forgetting some other high-end blip for AMD (faster 8080's?)?




RE: kinda..
By DM0407 on 12/4/2007 1:57:05 PM , Rating: 2
I think he meant clock for clock their technology leapfrogs one another.


RE: kinda..
By Oregonian2 on 12/4/2007 3:12:27 PM , Rating: 2
Clock for clock really means little (speaking as a digital designer) other than inferring how much pipelining is going on.


RE: kinda..
By SoCalBoomer on 12/4/2007 2:02:11 PM , Rating: 5
"Best Performing" has always been vague enough to allow for interpretation - best per clock cycle, best per dollar, best for gaming (which was AMD for quite a bit), best for server applications, best for peanut butter, best for jelly . . . :D


RE: kinda..
By Omega215D on 12/4/2007 3:17:10 PM , Rating: 5
I wish you didn't mention the last two...

IT'S PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME!


RE: kinda..
By cochy on 12/4/2007 3:59:26 PM , Rating: 3
don't forget best per watt. That's the catch phrase of the day.


RE: kinda..
By gerf on 12/4/2007 8:11:08 PM , Rating: 2
And best per watt at idle, best per watt at 100%...


RE: kinda..
By zpdixon on 12/4/2007 6:12:13 PM , Rating: 3
Good point. I would like to emphasize what you said by giving 4 main metrics that matter to different groups of people:

1. Performance/dollar: usually what matters most to desktop/workstation users and small groups of servers where people don't care about the cost of electricity. (Note: perf/dollar replaced the perf/cycle metric a long time ago).
2. Performance/watt/dollar: usually what matters to laptop users where battery life is important, as well as the initial hardware cost.
3. Performance/watt: usually what matters to large datacenters where the hardware cost is negligible compared to other costs: electricity, A/C, floor space (related to power consumption per rack), etc.
4. Absolute performance: usually what only matters to some rich enthusiasts :P

Intel is certaintly not the leader in all of them.


RE: kinda..
By theapparition on 12/5/2007 9:47:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
4. Absolute performance: usually what only matters to some rich enthusiasts :P

I'd remove workstations from #1 and include in #4 since most "workstation class" hardware runs xeons or opterons and have quadro or firegl graphics.

quote:
Intel is certaintly not the leader in all of them.

I'd venture to say they do.
Your item 1 may be skewed a bit. While performance/dollar on the surface seems like a good metric, I think it is better suited as performace/budget. Most have a fixed amount in mind and try to configure the best performing system based on that budget. We know that most AMD processors offer better performace/dollar, but unquestionably, Intel rules this catagory by the sheer number of systems sold.

You'd be better off with a 5th catagory, price only. In that case, I'd concede that catagory to AMD.


RE: kinda..
By zpdixon on 12/5/2007 12:42:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

I'd remove workstations from #1 and include in #4 since most "workstation class" hardware runs xeons or opterons and have quadro or firegl graphics.


Yes, I think you are right.

quote:

I'd venture to say [Intel is the leader in all of these metrics].


Well it's arguable. About metric #1 for example (perf/dollar), Intel and AMD seem head-to-head. For example, I remember this extensive tomshardware.com review arriving to this conclusion: "The Phenom 9600 is about 13.5% slower than Intel's Q6600 in our benchmarks. On the other hand, its price is also 13.6% lower than that of its direct competitor. Thus, the two products offer practically the same performance for your money". See http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/11/19/the_spider_...

About metric #2 (perf/watt/dollar), Intel seem to have a general advantage (laptops, desktops, workstations and entry-level servers), except in the 4-socket quad-core server market where the only low-power quad-core Xeon is the L7345 (for $2301 !) while AMD offers the Opteron 8347 HE and 8346 HE (for $698 and $873). This matters to high-density blade servers for example.

About metric #3 (perf/watt), depending on the scenario being evaluated, it's either Intel or AMD who have the advantage. For example in servers with lots of RAM (8+ GB), an AMD platform would consume less electricity because Intel's FB-DIMM requirement means each memory stick will consume 7-9 W vs. only 1-2 W for regular DDR2 sticks. See http://www.theinquirer.net/en/inquirer/news/2007/0...

About metric #4 (absolute perf), Intel is the clear leader.

quote:

You'd be better off with a 5th catagory, price only. In that case, I'd concede that catagory to AMD.


Good idea. A 5th metric, "absolute price", would indeed be what matters to the entry-level market.


RE: kinda..
By Martimus on 12/4/2007 2:05:16 PM , Rating: 2
The AMD 80486 was generally faster than Intels. Also the K6 was faster than any available Pentium or Pentium Pro, although that only lasted until the P2 was released. I am not sure about the Athlon vs. the P3, or anything after that though.


RE: kinda..
By tayhimself on 12/4/2007 3:17:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also the K6 was faster than any available Pentium or Pentium Pro

Do not deride the Pentium Pro. The K6 came waaay after it. The Pentium Pro was the fastest chip *PERIOD* (Alpha was eclipsed for the first time). Everyone likes to say the Conroe is a derivative of the 686 core (or P6), and the Pentium Pro was the first 686 core chip.


RE: kinda..
By Clauzii on 12/4/2007 9:24:03 PM , Rating: 2
I would include the Pentium also.

A k6 200MHz was also upto 40% slower than the Pentium 200 MHz when doing FPU operations!


RE: kinda..
By Martimus on 12/5/2007 12:47:12 PM , Rating: 2
The way I remember it, the Intel chip was only better at MMX optimized applications, but AMD had better performance on just about anything else clock-for-clock. Of course, P2 came out soon after, and AMD didn't have an answer for it. Heck, Cyrix had some pretty powerful chips at the time, if they were at all reliable then they may have had the best value. Of course they were just known for being nothing but problems.


RE: kinda..
By Clauzii on 12/6/2007 1:11:17 PM , Rating: 2
No - I mean FPU..


RE: kinda..
By Martimus on 12/5/2007 12:42:32 PM , Rating: 2
I bought a K6 233 within a year of the Pentium Pro being released. In fact, I had thought that the K6 was released just before the Pentium Pro, but it was a long time ago, so I don't remember that well. Either way, the K6 was about 1/3 the price of a comparable Intel chip, and it did better on the benchmarks that we tried at the time. (I am trying to remember the two that we used to use to measure performance at the time, but alas my memory is not very good)


RE: kinda..
By thornburg on 12/4/2007 2:08:33 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, you are forgetting some. The original Athlon was hands-down faster than the Pentium 3s available at the time. There were many issues with the press coverage, and lots of fanboyism on both sides, but Athlons were faster until the best of the Coppermine P3s, IIRC. Then, for part of the P4 era, it depended on which benchmark you were running which CPU (AMD or Intel) was faster. And of course there was a time during the ridiculous P4 clock-speed ramp-up that AMD was the clear king, as long you weren't looking at cycles per second as the measure.

However, since the Core line was released, Intel has taken off. The Core processors were good, the Core 2 series are great. The question is, will the next major overhaul be another P4 disaster, or will they continue strong improvements?


RE: kinda..
By 91TTZ on 12/4/2007 2:19:29 PM , Rating: 2
AMD made the fastest 286, 386, 486 CPUs, usually coming late in that product's development. Their K6 was also faster than the Pentium for a while until the P2s and P3s came out.

The Athlon was faster than the P3, and until faster P4s came out until had no answer.


RE: kinda..
By Omega215D on 12/4/2007 3:19:36 PM , Rating: 2
The Athlon 64 dominated the P4 line. I believe the K6 3 was faster than the P2 and competitive with the P3 for a bit.


RE: kinda..
By MustangMike on 12/4/2007 7:45:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Athlon 64 dominated the P4 line.


I hate to be a nitpick, but your really comparing apples to oranges as the Athlon 64 is a 64bit cpu while the Pentium 4 was 32bit. Not only that but you're forgetting the Athlon XP Series. The Athlon series went up to 1.4GHz, the Athlon XP started ~1.4GHz and up to 2.2GHz When Intel came out with the higher P4 chips, AMD did respond with the Athlon XP series. Anyone remember the Quantispeed architecture and the ridiculous Model naming scheme. For example the Athlon XP 1800+ was running at 1.538GHz but due to Quantispeed architecture it was said that the 1800+ could beat a 1.8GHz Pentium 4. In the beginning it was the case but when you got to the 2400+ and up the numbers really didn't match up.


RE: kinda..
By MustangMike on 12/4/2007 7:48:55 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry about that, it seems I have a couple grammar issues.

quote:
but your really comparing apples to oranges as the Athlon 64 is a 64bit cpu while the Pentium 4 was 32bit.


Should be

but you're really comparing apples to oranges. The Athlon 64 is a 64bit cpu while the Pentium 4 is a 32bit cpu.


RE: kinda..
By Clauzii on 12/4/2007 9:29:15 PM , Rating: 4
Since most A64s are running 32bit OSes, this doesn't matter much.


RE: kinda..
By Locutus465 on 12/5/2007 12:55:28 AM , Rating: 2
It does for those users that plan to take advantage of it... I waited for Vista 64b to switch up to 64b, and was happy I did.


RE: kinda..
By Calin on 12/5/2007 2:27:36 AM , Rating: 3
K6-3 had better IPC than the P3 line. However, the K6-3 was a product with low availability, it ran on what was known as an aging platform, and was limited in frequency (clock speed).
While K6-3 might have surpassed in performance the P3 in some point of its life cycle (the fastest K6-3 ran at 450Mhz), AMD was already going after its Athlon (Socket A Athlon) line.


RE: kinda..
By jak3676 on 12/5/2007 10:42:35 AM , Rating: 2
It wasn't too hard for AMD to beat the early P4's. Intel's 1.13 GHz PIII was faster than the 1.2 GHz P4. Both were beat by the Athlon.


RE: kinda..
By Locutus465 on 12/4/2007 2:28:46 PM , Rating: 3
original athlon v. Pentium was a whole lot of back and forth, AMD owned all levels durring the Athlon 64 v. P4 Era and Intel has finally struck back with Core. If AMD gets on their manufacturing game we could possibly see another round of back and forth, but unfortunetly that is one area where AMD has historically been weak. Anyway, I plan to upgrade AMD again when the time comes thanks to Phenom, prior to that I was leaning towards intel.


RE: kinda..
By Lightning III on 12/4/2007 2:46:03 PM , Rating: 3
Intel had best at doubling for a space heater


RE: kinda..
By TomZ on 12/4/2007 3:04:27 PM , Rating: 2
Intel didn't have a monopoly on processors that could double as space heaters.

My last desktop had a pair of Athlon MP's in it, and that box did literally heat my office. With no other heat, that box kept my office warm in the winter, and uncomfortably warm in the summer. I was glad to replace that. But now I have a separate space heater!


RE: kinda..
By Clauzii on 12/5/2007 12:05:24 AM , Rating: 1
True, just as 1 CPU + 1 CPU = 2 CPUs ;)


RE: kinda..
By Clauzii on 12/5/2007 3:11:25 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, lame comment I know :( I must have been in some kind of HEUREKA moment :o

What I meant was that at least You needed 2 CPU's to do what the P4 did with one, and You were taking 2 CPUs into a 1 CPU comparison.



RE: kinda..
By robp5p on 12/4/2007 7:03:12 PM , Rating: 2
I remember convincing my friend to buy a 40mhz AMD 486DX when Intel topped out at 33mhz (back when AMD used the EXACT same designs as Intel). So there was at least one other period :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Am486


RE: kinda..
By martinrichards23 on 12/5/2007 6:57:32 AM , Rating: 3
Athlon thunderbird was faster both in clock for clock and in terms of mhz than the P3. Astonishingly, it was cheaper as well.


Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By MagnumMan on 12/4/2007 1:47:35 PM , Rating: 3
I've got 4 video cards, a Koolance rig, a Phenom 9500, memory, hard drives... basically everything except I can't find a darn MSI K9A2! Koolance will be shipping water blocks for the 3870, I want to set up a quad 3870 setup, water cooled, with SAS support. Only the K9A2 Platinum will get me there within budget! Come on MSI, don't fail me now!




RE: Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By SeeManRun on 12/4/2007 1:51:53 PM , Rating: 5
What a ridiculously over powered system! What do you use that rig for? Heating your house? Maybe for crunching global warming data?


RE: Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By DM0407 on 12/4/2007 2:00:31 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
What a ridiculously over powered system! What do you use that rig for? Heating your house? Maybe for crunching global warming data?


lol, after months of number crunching this supercomputer shows that in just 10 years, no one will give a shit about global warming-the ice caps will still be there!

Man-Bear-Pig is the real danger.... I'm wicked cereal!


RE: Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By dgingeri on 12/4/2007 3:03:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What a ridiculously over powered system! What do you use that rig for? Heating your house? Maybe for crunching global warming data?


Sorry, that would not be an overpowered system. it would be too processor limited to do anything really powerful. The 2.4Ghz Phenom isn't enough to drive those 4 video cards. you'd have to get up to at least 3Ghz with a Phenom to get the best performance from those video cards, maybe higher.

My A64 6400+ would outperform that in most things.


RE: Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By ImSpartacus on 12/4/2007 3:13:53 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. It's almost depressing that the chipset that allows the most graphical power (scaling problems aside) has a cpu that can't keep up.

I doubt that's too much of a problem though, because those quad 3870's won't be worth too much more than dual 3870's.


RE: Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By MagnumMan on 12/4/2007 3:39:01 PM , Rating: 2
This is more of an experiment and desire to push the envelope more than anything else. I wanted to get into water cooling. Almost everything is there to do it. I'm certain that we'll see 3GHz Phenoms next year, and who knows how far I can push the one I got. If I am CPU bound on the rig, there are solutions on the horizon.

Once customers are using a solution the companies have to support them (or risk the consequences of not..). If everyone was too afraid to set up a rig like this then the companies would drop support for it. (Hopefully this doesn't end up like QuadFX). I'm simply curious what this combination of stuff can do, and I'm sure it will get better over time with driver support and whatnot.

It's also a "Far Cry" from my Athlon XP 3200+ with GeForce 7600GT... why not push the envelope a little when you upgrade?


RE: Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By MGSsancho on 12/4/2007 4:33:28 PM , Rating: 2
take pics and post them. and there are cases where you can use all that GPU power. like AA. again post pics and benchies :)


RE: Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By Clauzii on 12/4/2007 9:54:01 PM , Rating: 3
I would also say that, without knowing what You are working on :), You'll have space for PowerUps!! when HOPEFULLY some GPU drivers with FPU like support, using all those shaders You plan for, a whopping 1280(!), will show up soon.

At least there's some buzzing about it once in a while around the net!
- Come on Nvidia and AMD/ATI!! It can't be THAT difficult to invoke some callable routines in the drivers that can be used outside a Graphics context. What's the problem?

Anyone?

--

So to conclude: If the Phenom/4x3870 can deliver, say, >1 TFlops using about 500 Watt wouldn't it be sweet enough to be considered usefull for some people (amateur scientists, 3DMax/Maya etc.) for around $2000-2500?

I know it's not for most people but evolution is mostly driven by stuff like this. The V8 Turbocharged Rocketfueled NitroChrome Bit-cruncher is ALWAYS welcome :)

At least to see where we're going.


RE: Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By Shoal07 on 12/5/2007 2:40:08 PM , Rating: 2
The fastest computer in my house right now is a Barton 2800+ OC'd to something like 2.4ghz, 1GB DDR and a 6800GT. I still can play whatever game I want, just not maxed. I still play at atleast med. settings. Of course, I haven't tried crysis, but I don't care much for it anyway. I do plan to upgrade in Jan, likely to a Quad intel chip and 8800GT, but I am in no rush. That $700 computer back in 2003 was the best computing investment I ever made, price/performance wise. I've only upgraded the vid card one time (from a 5900 something).

Seriously, I can play RTSs, MMOs, WOW, DAOC (yes, DAOC) and I don't have any issues.


RE: Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By rogard on 12/4/2007 7:06:17 PM , Rating: 3
I cannot follow you there: you bought 4 gfx cards and all the other not exactly cheap stuff, and now all of a sudden you start worrying about your budget? Strange world...


RE: Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By Clauzii on 12/4/2007 10:10:21 PM , Rating: 2
Have it occurred to You (even though You could be right too) that he had gotten som amount of money besides the pay-roll check (which might be used for daily living with no space for upgrades?) and can finally buy his new dream sytem after some years,maybe...

This is not to take the words out of his mouth, but I am soon to be able to do just that too. The only thing I can say is that the CHOICE of ATI for graphics I'll agree in. I'm really concerned at the moment, if AMD can deliver Phenoms that are both ERRORFREE (well, the L3-thing anyway. ErrorFREE is as good as impossible in current PC-CPUs) and FASTER.

Until then Core2Duo is also getting my attention. (Not to mention SSD's and Fanless PSU etc. to FINALLY shot that mother-f#¤%&@ up!)


RE: Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By Clauzii on 12/4/2007 11:55:05 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, spell correction:

"...to finally SHUT the ..."


RE: Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By Anosh on 12/4/2007 7:16:00 PM , Rating: 2
They are available in Scandinavia and cost around 240 bucks.. would you like me to ship you one?

http://www.prisjakt.nu/produkt.php?p=244872&ref=10...


RE: Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By JumpingJack on 12/4/2007 11:43:06 PM , Rating: 1
Ohhhh, man, I hope you don't end up buggered (literally), you do realize that most everyone is reporting lockup and stability problems, and this is with just one graphics card.


RE: Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By Clauzii on 12/5/2007 12:02:45 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously ???

Links?


RE: Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By JumpingJack on 12/5/2007 1:28:28 AM , Rating: 1
http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2226939...
quote:
Stability is an equally important axis in computer performance, and the story isn't particularly robust yet. Earlier, we noted the inability of the platform to run Adobe After Effects CS3. In our game testing, the Supreme Commander benchmark crashed several times, while Quake Wars: Enemy Territory locked up once. Thermal issues didn't seem to be the culprit here. It's very likely another BIOS update or two for the motherboard will be needed to fix these issues.


http://www.legitreviews.com/article/597/4/

quote:
The spider platform looks good overall if you ignore some bugs they have right now.
...
the processor we did have had a number of issues that added up.
...
AMD's Phenom Processor falls short of expectations and needs to have the bugs worked out with higher clock frequencies.


http://www.techreport.com/articles.x/13633
quote:
AMD's plan to release an unlocked version of the Phenom 9600 may help tip the scales in the 9600's favor for some folks, but I suspect they won't find much overclocking headroom in those chips. In fact, our 2.6GHz engineering sample wasn't 100% stable, which is why you won't find any overclocking results in this review.
(of course this is an engineering sample)

http://www.guru3d.com/article/processor/477/12
quote:
Now the other part of the Spider project ... really impressive is the new AMD 790FX chipset we tested. Surely we had a number of bugs
(This guy was happy witht he platform, sorely disppointed in the CPU)

From the forums: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showpost.php?p...
quote:
I've been play with it for a couple days now, and not have gotten it completely stable


But the biggest one, the one that will eat their lunch... is here:
http://www.techreport.com/discussions.x/13721

They had to stop shipping Barcelona because of it ... no tier 1 OEM has shipped one, not a single box, with a dual socket Barcey/Opteron quad.

quote:
AMD's quad-core "Barcelona" Opterons have been notably difficult to find since their introduction two months ago, and The Tech Report has learned that a chip-level problem has impacted the supply of these chips to both server OEMs and distribution channel customers.


OEM vendors are steering people away from this chip:
http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=7226
quote:
If you call an OEM today to get an AMD quad-core powered system, you’re
likely to get a pitch for an Intel system or an AMD dual-core chip. Why? Quad-core Opterons, those formerly known as Barcelona chips, are in short supply.


RE: Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By Clauzii on 12/5/2007 4:20:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"So overall I'm not at all disappointed by AMD Phenom at all. It's just that we were all expecting a little more." - guru3d.com


So, what he says is that a updated Phenom performs well, but the speed is behind, compared to Intel. But viewed by price/performance, Phenoms aren't that bad.

I'm confident that AMD will get the problems with Phenoms solved. Also needing motherboard BIOS updates incl. some new micro code. OK, the Phenoms gets slower (VERY bad indeed!) but at least it can run :-/

I referred to the DFI motherboard btw. regarding links, not the Phenom :)

But thanks for that comprehensive list anyway. Pretty much sums up the Phenoms 'phenomenon' :)


RE: Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By Clauzii on 12/5/2007 4:23:42 PM , Rating: 2
Ahh, I reffered to the DFI AND HD3870. my bad..


By JumpingJack on 12/6/2007 1:24:32 AM , Rating: 1
Well, I thought you were challenging the assertion that I stated it is a bit buggy.

I have not doubt these will iron out, but it has been a while since a major product launch where I have seen such a large number of 'stability is a problem' statements, not that it never happened... in those cases, I also recommend people to wait if asked.


RE: Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By Clauzii on 12/5/2007 12:14:46 AM , Rating: 2
Seems like most are ok when they use ATIs Driver Cleaner and THEN installs the cards, 2 at a time if You'd wish.

No big deal...


RE: Waiting for a K9A2 Platinum!
By Martimus on 12/5/2007 1:02:42 PM , Rating: 2
Really? I haven't had any issues yet, but then I have only had it for a week. I guess I should look up these issues to see if I can curb them. So far I have heard more about of issues with the 8800GT locking up or completely dying (http://www.anandtech.com/weblog/default.aspx#318), but they have been out longer, so of course I would hear more about those problems.


By JumpingJack on 12/7/2007 2:41:53 AM , Rating: 2
Consider yourself lucky then I suspect, I linked several sites above that reported problems from glitches to simply not being able to run some software.

Of course, not all the glitches are CPU related, far from it... but AMD is trying to sell the platform here, and the OP was looking to build this platform, he should be aware that it is still buggy ... most of which will likely get squashed with BIOS and driver updates as many are likely chipset and GPU related as well.


Way to go AMD
By DigitalFreak on 12/4/2007 1:47:05 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
AMD has stated publicly that the workaround can lower performance by as much as 10%, although one source characterized the performance hit to TR as 10-20%.


As if these chips needed to be any slower.




RE: Way to go AMD
By KernD on 12/4/2007 2:28:08 PM , Rating: 2
The workaround is probably already on the computer used in all the benchmark you've seen, it might actually explain why it's not performing so well, I guess we should wait for a revised version where the bug will get an actual fix.


RE: Way to go AMD
By radializer on 12/4/2007 4:45:48 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, that may not be correct ... based on Tech Report's article quoting Michael Saucier, the Desktop Product Marketing Manager at AMD.

quote:
Saucier clarified the exact nature of the workaround for the erratum that AMD has provided to motherboard makers and PC manufacturers. The fix comes in the form of a BIOS update, and this BIOS patch includes an update to the CPU microcode. This update disables the portion of the chip's TLB logic that is problematic. Saucier noted that the L3 cache "still works" with this logic disabled, and he said AMD has no plans to implement the fix for existing chips in a different way.


quote:
Incidentally, the presence of the TLB erratum may explain the odd behavior of AMD's PR team during the lead-up to the Phenom launch, as I described in my recent blog post. The decision to use 2.6GHz parts and to require the press to test in a controlled environment makes more sense in this context. Since 2.6GHz Phenoms, when they arrive, should be based on the B3 revision of the chip with the TLB erratum fix, AMD could justifiably argue that their performance won't be limited by the BIOS-based workaround. Saucier confirmed to us that the test systems at the Tahoe press event did not have the workaround enabled.


http://techreport.com/discussions.x/13724

So if this TR article is to be believed, the benchmark numbers out of Tahoe may end up overstating performance for systems where the TLB work-around is enabled.


RE: Way to go AMD
By TomZ on 12/4/2007 5:24:31 PM , Rating: 2
That's also how I interpreted that situation.


RE: Way to go AMD
By KernD on 12/4/2007 6:43:25 PM , Rating: 2
It's unfortunate, they must have rushed it a bit, well anyway by the time the good fix comes out the chip will run faster. Good thing I'm only buying in 2 quarter 2008


RE: Way to go AMD
By sweetsauce on 12/4/2007 11:17:52 PM , Rating: 1
LOL this has to be the quote of the day. This should go on the bottom of your pages.
quote:
It's unfortunate, they (AMD) must have rushed it (PHENOM) a bit


RE: Way to go AMD
By KernD on 12/5/2007 10:07:51 AM , Rating: 2
Quoting a joke has little value, quoting one of Sony's obvious lie, now thats priceless.


AMD is a Joke
By bull2760 on 12/4/2007 5:44:43 PM , Rating: 1
You know what I'm tired of reading about AMD's supposed next great processor. I've been building computers for customers for the last 10 years and have never wavered from AMD, until now. I can't wait anymore, their continued screw ups with manufacturing problems and design has turned me off. AMD do us all a favor and shut your doors already, Hector time for you to step down and be held accountable for everything that has gone wrong. Good bye AMD hello Intel!




RE: AMD is a Joke
By rogard on 12/4/2007 7:19:11 PM , Rating: 2
I can't remember anyone suggesting that intel should close their doors when all they had was Prescott. Not to mention the danger of intel being all alone in the market for CPUs (well I know there's VIA, but, you know...)

I sure hope that AMD will stay, be it by having cheap CPUs with a good perf/price ratio for sale or by presenting world's fastest CPU next year for 2000$, as long as they survive the constant money drain they have been suffering from for a while now.

Cause if they go down, any hardware seller will soon have a hard time selling the 'ware to people that do not want to spend insane amounts of money for ridiculously overpriced intel CPUs. Think about that.


RE: AMD is a Joke
By JumpingJack on 12/4/2007 11:45:16 PM , Rating: 1
I think he may be speaking from the point of view of a small business, when your supply line is not providing the stuff you need when you need it, you lose money....

It will be interesting to see the server share numbers for Q4 and Q1 coming up.


RE: AMD is a Joke
By caqde on 12/4/2007 7:19:56 PM , Rating: 4
Companies make mistakes just like you. Just because they are messing up right now doesn't mean they won't be able to come back and be as good as you wish they were. Anyways this processor might not be as great as I hoped, but it does seem to be a good step towards that next great processor.

So that you can understand what I mean. This processor has an awesome memory subsystem. With a bit of work AMD could get it to work more efficient allowing the processors to cooperate with each other faster than they are now. Another section they could work on is the actual cores which bulldozer seems to be focusing on. I doubt the quad core design is the main issue with speed in this design, but rather the cores themselves, but AMD had to make a choice and they went this way.

They couldn't make a quad core any other way, and Intel took advantage of it while they could. Intel won't be able to do this again with Nehalem. Since they will both be using onboard memory controllers both will be stuck designing their architectures around this issue. Although both seem to be going modular in design so I doubt this will be an issue anymore soooo... Let's just see how bulldozer changes things. And remember AMD just MERGED... ATI could make a big change to the way AMD's processors work and vis versa. :)


RE: AMD is a Joke
By sweetsauce on 12/4/2007 11:20:07 PM , Rating: 2
You must believe in the tooth fairy.


RE: AMD is a Joke
By caqde on 12/5/2007 11:51:17 AM , Rating: 2
??? what are you talking about.. I have a background in software engineering and design (low level design) and I have read up on how the Core2 and Barcelona processors work. I can see changes that could be made that could make the Barcelona a killer processor. If you don't believe small changes can make a processor that much faster fine. But if you want an example look at the speed difference between the Core and Core2 processors...


RE: AMD is a Joke
By Shoal07 on 12/5/2007 2:47:00 PM , Rating: 2
Damn, too bad AMD doesn't have anyone on their staff with a software engineering and design (low level design) background. That could fix all their problems!

(sorry, you left yourself wide open)


RE: AMD is a Joke
By jay2o01 on 12/5/2007 12:34:12 AM , Rating: 2
Without AMD's next great processor, intel would be able to charge whatever they pleased for their Core2's. Its competition that got prices to current levels (anyone remember a price war).

Lets be serious Samsung (holds a bunch of ARM proc patents) and Via (c7 or whatever it is now) are in no position to challenge intel.

Consumers need healthy competition, it lowers prices and ensures inovation.


What fix takes a ten percent performance hit?
By AMDJunkie on 12/4/2007 3:16:39 PM , Rating: 2
Are we talking about a BIOS fix, which is supposed to be available ASAP? Or are we talking about the re-release of the 9700 and 9600? I would imagine the reemergenece of the Phenoms in December/January would be those processors corrected without performance penalty.




By TomZ on 12/4/2007 3:57:04 PM , Rating: 2
The BIOS change is a workaround (with performance hit), the actual fix will be available in a later processor stepping (presumably without the performance hit).

In other words, it seems like it would be smart to avoid the "beta" Phenoms they're initially releasing into the market, unless the 10-20% makes no difference to you. (The 10-20% figure comes from the linked article.)


DFI Motherboards are also available
By Yoshi911 on 12/4/2007 7:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
Just today I was thinking, "I wonder if DFI has another motherboard I didn't know about" sure nuff, the LANPARTY UT 790FX-M2R ETA is Dec 4th (today) I've been building computers with DFI for four years now. I've built two computers with DFI's P35-T2R and it was crazy good, over clocked like a champ and was rock stable.

Linky:
http://www.motherboardpro.com/DFI-LanParty-UT-790F...




By myocardia on 12/5/2007 4:32:47 AM , Rating: 2
Umm, see the above links as to why people aren't buying that board from your company.;)


By SilthDraeth on 12/4/2007 2:20:40 PM , Rating: 2
And you can find the Asus board online now as well if you search for it.

So these are available now.




Doubts ....
By crystal clear on 12/5/2007 6:18:06 AM , Rating: 2
Picked this via AMD zone-

No Confidence In AMD 7 Series Phenom Chipsets

Whilst out in Taipei we learned that ECS appears to have little confidence in AMD's recently-released 7-series AM2+-supporting chipsets - at least that's how we read the company's decision not to market 790X- and 790FX-based motherboards in the near future. Could that statement be inextricably linked to the poor performance of the AMD Phenom quad-core processor, we wonder?

Rather, ECS will concentrate on the budget 770 chipset, bereft of CrossFire support. As we know, it supports the regular Athlon 64 and Sempron processors as well.

The A770M-A pairs the new RX780 (confusing codenames) northbridge to the previous-generation SB600 southbridge, with SB700 being introduced with RS780G: the IGP-equipped model that's due to be released in January.

http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=10493

They summarize with this-

We wonder how many other manufacturers will forego the higher-specified 7-series models.

I wonder also....is it true....can ECS confirm or deny this ?




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