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AMD's former executive vice president Henri Richard holds an AMD "Barcelona" quad-core processor in his right hand; yet the company's greatest advocate for native quad-core handed in his walking papers just days before the public embargo lifted.  (Source: AMD)
If there was ever a microprocessor that gave me gray hairs, it's "Barcelona"

Over the last 19 months, we've made it no secret that leaking processors and video cards is "our thing." Kentsfield, R520, G80, QuadFX, R600, Penryn -- their benchmarks came and went.  But what was the deal with Barcelona?

Charlie Demerjian may have stated it best when he said people were "dancing in the aisles" after seeing Barcelona's initial performance.  Though as one Intel employee stated, the dancing was in Santa Clara, not Austin.

In a discussion I recently had with an AMD engineer, AMD's Opteron launch this week was described as either, "the most well-executed media-lid in semiconductor history ... or the most minimized." 

I personally adhere to a third explaination -- the September 10th Opteron launch was perhaps the least prepared. How many times did we see the company claim Barcelona would launch in the Summer of 2007?  I suppose we can assume Summer ends at the autumnal equinox, though that still doesn't explain away the countless public declarations that we'd see Barcelona in June, July and then August.

Don't forget that the one of the key forefigures for the K10 project bolted for the door just two days before Monday's launch.  But nevermind the anecdotal evidence that suggests September 10th will be remembed as a day that will live in AMD public relations infamy.  Let's just look at the physical evidence.

Generally obtaining the latest and greatest hardware is but a stone's throw away, assuming you can throw a stone all the way to Taiwan or China. However with Barcelona, two critical factors prevented us from obtaining any functional pre-release hardware: overseas vendors did not receive near-production samples of the processors until August 2007; and when those vendors did receive samples, compatibility with motherboards became a problem.

The June samples first showcased on DailyTech were of the earliest possible silicon.  These samples, labeled B0 stepping and running at a mere 1.6 GHz, were actually spun nearly six months before the processors showcased this week in the Barcelona launch.

Since that benchmark during Computex, I've lost count of the number of mismatched memory, CPU and motherboard combinations I've attempted with pre-production Barcelona samples.  Dual-socket motherboards that would only recognize a single processor; DDR2-667 memory configurations that would perform better than DDR2-800 setups; BSODs and corrupt Windows installations.

Fortunately AMD made sure at least two people had working configurations for Monday -- Scott Wasson and my former boss Anand Shimpi.

I waited on publishing this blog, half-expecting to see some more in depth coverage of benchmarks.  The 2.0 GHz samples we saw on Monday were of AMD's B1 stepping of Barcelona.  But these processors are not the ones we'll see on Newegg's shelves. 

Production Barcelona samples come with the BA revision designator.  These processors, manufactured after work-week 30 (WW30 for those who work in the corporate world) include errata fixes not present in the chips reviewed on September 10th.

One AMD developer, who wished to remain anonymous for non-disclosure purposes, stated, "B1 versus BA should be at least a 5%, if not more, gain in stream, integer and FPU performance."

An AMD engineer, when confronted with the claim, stated that 5% gains when moving from B1 to BA processors "seem conservative."

But why stop at BA or B1.  The 2.5 GHz samples featured on AnandTech's second article are of the newest roadmapped spin; revision B2.  When Shimpi made the inference that the 2.5 GHz Opterons would be the closest thing to Phenom, he was hardly exaggerating.  AMD's current roadmaps peg the the B2 stepping launch for Opteron and Phenom as mid-Q4 2007. 

But wait, the buck doesn't stop at B2 either.  According to engineers at Sun and SuperMicro, B3 silicon is already on its way to American testing facilities.  Unfortunately, AMD's current desktop and server roadmap stops labeling individual processors in Q1 2008.  B3-stepped processors do not appear on that roadmap update.

We'll see at least two more revisions of Barcelona before it gets replaced with AMD's 45nm offering, Shanghai.  But if the September launch is AMD's attempt to put its best foot forward, I might have a lot more gray hair by this time next year.


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Barcelona
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/12/2007 8:41:59 PM , Rating: 1
Checking the reviews though, Barcelona isnt the Intel killer the fanboys thought it would be. Not that I ever believed it would be but its nice to be able to put the fanboys over there in their place.

Intel FTW?




RE: Barcelona
By TomZ on 9/12/2007 11:46:52 PM , Rating: 1
I guess the fanboys didn't appreciate being put in their place. :o)


RE: Barcelona
By 16nm on 9/14/2007 5:37:58 PM , Rating: 2
Word of the year: "fanboy"

What are the chances of this? I think I have seen the word "fanboy" more than any other. Probably more than words "the" and "is"!!! Seems when Core 2 Duo hit the streets, the level of use of "fanboy" was taken to the stratosphere.

F - A - N - B - O - Y


RE: Barcelona
By Expunged on 9/13/2007 12:22:45 AM , Rating: 5
It's nice to see such unbiased writing. Makes you sound like an Intel fanboy. I personally am a fanboy of whatever gives me the best price/performance ratio to hold me over until my next build. No AMD fanboy is going to take this as a loss, they will just say "Oh, well Intel is clocked higher" or "Wait for the new steppings" or or or... If it had absolutely wiped the floor with Intel chips, Intel fans would be all over "Wait for Intel to release Penryn" or "It's because the benchmarks are favoring the chips" or or or...

Fanboys are so far out on either side of the spectrum they can't see the forest for the tree in front of them. Not so long ago many of the Intel fanboys were AMD fanboys going on about "Man your P4 EE at 4000 GHz couldn't touch my A64". The few who are still AMD fanboys after the C2D will be AMD fanboys until they die. Only the true fanboys stick with a company no matter how poor their product is and it takes people like that to keep the company floating until they can strike back. I'd much rather have AMD still trying to fight than have them roll over and play dead... Unless you want your C2D chip to cost 3x what it does now.


RE: Barcelona
By mostpatriotic on 9/13/07, Rating: 0
RE: Barcelona
By rdeegvainl on 9/13/2007 5:06:14 AM , Rating: 2
What is your point?
Your sounding very much like a troll.


RE: Barcelona
By froggermaster on 9/13/2007 11:29:39 PM , Rating: 2
Repeating material of other's usually indicates trolling ..


RE: Barcelona
By Expunged on 9/13/2007 1:25:04 PM , Rating: 2
Hence I write this from an Intel powered system, but when my wife needed a new computer, she got an AMD X2 that runs everything she needs just fine and cost less. In her situation, the price/performance went to AMD.


RE: Barcelona
By Shadowmaster625 on 9/13/2007 3:09:54 PM , Rating: 1
AMD is competitve on virtually all fronts. If you only have $500 to spend on a system, you are going to get the most performance out of an AMD system. (If built right ... not built by the hacks at THG.) Only when you get up near 2 grand does it AMD lose it's edge, because they dont really have any products to compete at the high end. This has been the norm through much of AMD's history. The Athlon 64 vs netburst was sort of a fluke. But dollar for dollar AMD has always been the better performer. Going back all the way to the 386...


RE: Barcelona
By froggermaster on 9/13/2007 11:34:20 PM , Rating: 2
I can build a $500 system with either chip and the fastest one would be the C2D .. it's simply faster.

C2D starts at $120


RE: Barcelona
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/13/07, Rating: -1
RE: Barcelona
By Amiga500 on 9/13/2007 9:06:51 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree, I think AMD do dictate it somewhat.

AMD are dictating the bottom to mid pricing - and Intel have to price their low speed stuff to compete. In the current environment (regarding monopolies) they cannot have a massive gulf between lower-mid and upper-mid CPU prices with insane $2K+ top end prices, or the EU/FTC would be down on them like a ton of bricks. [kinda like saying their price-performance has to scale reasonably linearly I suppose]

While Core2 is significantly faster than K8, it performance advantage doesn't allow Intel to price the whole line above AMD and take the approach "those K8s are so slow in comparison, no-one will buy them, no matter what the price".


RE: Barcelona
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/13/07, Rating: 0
RE: Barcelona
By Expunged on 9/13/2007 1:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
"Conversely Intel managed to keep prices decent during the P4 era not because their product was better, but because their marketing was fantastic, AMD's marketing (or lack there of) is a joke."

Quote of the century... You call a bunch of guys in blue body paint jumping around on your TV screen "fantastic"? I see you are easily amused. Marketing played a role but it was maily brand loyalty. I can tell you of hundreds of
computers I know were sold over a better performing AMD solely because they said "Intel Inside" on the front. People were going "Who's this AMD company" or "Aren't they the ones who had thos knockoff 486 chips?"

Intel C2D forced AMD to lower their prices, no argument. This type of thing is good for consumers no matter if it's Intel forcing AMD's hand or AMD forcing Intel's hand. Had Barcelona benchmarks shown 200% increases Intel would be dropping prices again and AMD would have them in a corner again. The implied criminals at AMD who "steal" market share from Intel would be back in the game.

Why would anybody in their right mind laugh at AMD and Intel getting in a lawsuit over pricing? It can only hurt the end consumers who would each pay some fraction of the millions of dollars of settlement on whichever end. If AMD wants to sell chips for a loss, more power to them, it will only reward the consumers who can either buy the cheap chips or buy Intel's equally low priced chips when Intel is forced to play the same game.


RE: Barcelona
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/13/2007 4:00:45 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Quote of the century... You call a bunch of guys in blue body paint jumping around on your TV screen "fantastic"? I see you are easily amused. Marketing played a role but it was maily brand loyalty. I can tell you of hundreds of computers I know were sold over a better performing AMD solely because they said "Intel Inside" on the front. People were going "Who's this AMD company" or "Aren't they the ones who had thos knockoff 486 chips?"

You stated my point more clearly than I could. Intel's "Blue Men" got them recognition, people remembered the Intel jingle and the blue men all over their TV's. AMD had NOTHING hell I can't remember an AMD commercial from back then hitting my TV. People went to buy something they saw, and Intel made itself known. Again, back to my earlier statement, Intel's marketing was top notch. It may have been silly and goofy but it gave them brand recognition.

quote:
The implied criminals at AMD who "steal" market share from Intel would be back in the game.

Companies steal marketshare from each other all the time, its called doing business. There is nothing "criminal in it".

quote:
If AMD wants to sell chips for a loss, more power to them

I'm sorry but there is this thing called "dumping" and its technically illegal in the United States. If the situations were reversed you can bet AMD would be sueing Intel for "dumping" and "predatory pricing". The only reason Intel isn't doing it is because AMD isn't much of a threat now that Intel has a large boot on their throat. Once Intel switches to 45nm they can afford to drop prices further and pretty much demolish AMD if they wanted to, but by keeping them controlled and locked into the smaller budget market, Intel can claim the existence of AMD as not being a "monopoly".


RE: Barcelona
By crystal clear on 9/14/2007 4:21:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
AMD is bordering on "dumping" at the price some of their processors sell for and Intel might be able to sue them for it. (I would laugh long and hard if they did) Right now AMD is likely (or damn close to it) selling some processors at a loss, while Intel is still making a decent margin on each processor sold (45nm will increase that for Intel).


Fighting for survival & not business as usual for AMD.

AMD is certainly not a united camp-expect many more resignations in the near future.

Its like a ship that has taken a direct hit & the distress signal already sent out.

"Ship in distress-not sunk yet"


RE: Barcelona
By TomZ on 9/13/2007 9:16:11 AM , Rating: 2
I also disagree - the competitive pressure from AMD has surely caused Intel to (a) lower its prices relative to what it otherwise would have been able to charge, and (b) accelerate development of higher-performing chips.

Intel already proved in the past that, without significant competition, they just slow down and collect money. Things changed a lot once AMD bested them.


RE: Barcelona
By Expunged on 9/13/2007 1:22:32 PM , Rating: 2
Anybody who thinks that having a second major player in a market with agressive pricing doesn't change the overall prices of that market is a fool. How can you seriously kid yourself like that. I am by no means saying the current AMD products aren't "getting smoked" by your Intel chips. Any desktop system powered by an AMD chip today is outgunned by Intel, but 95% of the computer purchasing population doesn't give a damn.

AMD is selling chips like hot cakes right now to Dell, HP, etc because they're cheap and for the $499 Wally World special computer buyers they don't really care if it has "Intel Inside". The upper end of any market is dominated by a very small marginal return whereas the lower end of the market is dominated by great price/performance ratios.

Just take a look at the Radeon situation. the 2XXX series cards absolutely suck it up but they are selling a ton of them to OEM's because you can pick up a HD 2600 for <$100 channel price and put some fancy logos on the outside of your box that says "512MB Graphics" "Radeon Powered" blah blah... 99% of people who take home the system will be happy because they aren't playing with 16X AA and 1920x1600 resoultions.

Competition is good, end of story. AMD while not competition on the high end is a threat to Intel in the budget market right now. Of course up until C2D AMD chips cost more... They also performed better. The tables are turned and Intel has the upper hand but you can't possibly argue that it would be best for the consumers to have Intel dominate for the next 10 years.


RE: Barcelona
By crystal clear on 9/14/2007 3:51:35 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
AMD while not competition on the high end is a threat to Intel in the budget market right now.


Yes competition is good for all,but........

AMD is left with no choices-neither marketshare nor profitshare.

If they want marketshare then they have no profits on these CPUs-If they want profits then Intel prices make sure there are none around.

AMD is helpless & in the hands of those OEMs -these OEMs can squeeze (& certainly do so) AMD for the lowest possible prices for their own profits.They use the Intel trump card to bring AMD on their knees.

Remember all those low prices are for OEMs to boost their profits & not for the benefit of the buyers/users namely we the consumers.(except for retail prices for CPUs)
We barely see the difference when Intel/AMD announce price cuts.

Intel sees "no threat" currently for this year & the next.
The economies of the scale of manufacturing gives it the advantages to compete at all/any levels (low/mid/high ends)
AMD lacks this crucial/critical advantage.

For Intel it is business as usual-for AMD its "fighting for survival"


RE: Barcelona
By crystal clear on 9/14/2007 6:53:22 AM , Rating: 1
AMD Cuts Quad-Core Barcelona Prices To The Bone

http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/...


RE: Barcelona
By svenkesd on 9/13/2007 4:30:21 PM , Rating: 2
AMD does dictate pricing. Intel has to place similar prices on chips in the same performance category or they won't sell any. If AMD didn't dictate Intel pricing, the prices would certainly be much higher across the board.


RE: Barcelona
By Vanilla Thunder on 9/14/2007 11:54:24 AM , Rating: 2
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
Kenobi = Intel Fanboi.

Vanilla


it seems
By Moishe on 9/12/2007 4:35:55 PM , Rating: 3
It seems like Barcelona is really just late and the "launch" CPUs are still not tweaked. They'll work, sure, but they will be easily outgunned by later steppings.

I hope AMD gets it together because we need competition and because AMD really has been a great company for a long time and they deserve some credit and some loyalty.

Hopefully this year is the bottom of the valley for AMD.




RE: it seems
By TomZ on 9/12/2007 5:09:13 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I agree, and it kind of seems like the launch was rushed, even though it was quite late. Benchmarks so far are also not very good, and I don't see how lackluster performance at the launch of a completely new architecture really helps AMD very much. I guess the best we can hope for are quick releases of steppings that greatly improve performance.


RE: it seems
By Vanilla Thunder on 9/13/2007 3:14:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't see how lackluster performance at the launch of a completely new architecture really helps AMD very much.


Barcelona isn't so much a brand-new architecture as it is a highly refined, tweaked version of the existing AMD x86-64. Those tweaks are numerous and significant. It's probably fair to suggest that Barcelona is to the current Opterons as Intel's Core 2 is to the Pentium M—designed from the ground up, on a base of the old with a lot of new stuff rolled in.

Vanilla


RE: it seems
By maroon1 on 9/13/2007 5:52:09 PM , Rating: 1
All what you said is not true

Barcelona is based on the new K10 architecture

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_K10


RE: it seems
By smitty3268 on 9/13/2007 11:31:48 PM , Rating: 2
Umm, did you even read that link? It doesn't say anything about what Barcelona is based on, just that it is called the K10. Which, as it happens, is just what the other poster said - a highly tweaked K8. Just like the Core 2 Duo was called Conroe and the older Pentium M chips were called Dothan/Banias/etc. What they did was add a bunch of little tweaks like better instruction reordering and improved branch prediction (that was mostly either common-sense or similar to what intel did with conroe), doubled the width of the SSE execution paths, added L3 cache, vastly sped up the L1 and L2 cache, and probably a lot of other tweaks I'm not mentioning here. In short, they took the K8 and made everything faster, bigger, and smarter. They didn't start from scratch.


RE: it seems
By Vanilla Thunder on 9/14/2007 11:55:55 AM , Rating: 2
I couldn't have put it better.

Vanilla


RE: it seems
By Expunged on 9/12/2007 5:31:50 PM , Rating: 3
My guess would be that Barcelona had to launch, ready or not on the 10th. AMD has spent considerable time developing the Barcelona core Opteron's and the whole time been getting bad press from everyone from the news sites to their own fanboys. Everyone viewed the chip as empty promises because it had been delayed so long.

AMD made the decision to launch it, knowing that the chips that would hit reviewers hands wouldn't be the fastest but would show potential. Furthermore, they could do the same thing Intel has done give people a reason to hang on just a bit longer. If you were a real enthusiast/hardcore AMD fanboy or going to be using the Barcelona in an area where it accels, you could step out and get one without waiting any longer. Otherwise, you could wait for later revisions knowing the chip has potential and there were going to be tweaks before long.

Same game Intel played with the G0 stepping. Everyone knew it would be only slightly (<2%) faster unless overclocked and nobody knew how well it would overclock, just that it SHOULD be better. Some waited, some stepped into the Core 2 game knowing their early revision chips would/should be surpassed by the newer steppings. AMD just plans to release tweaked Barcelona chips on a faster cycle than Intel with the Conroe.


RE: it seems
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/12/2007 8:36:30 PM , Rating: 1
Eh? I bought a first revision 2.4 E6600 a few days after launch over a year ago from Intel. It still continues to perform quite well OC'd to 3.2GHz.


RE: it seems
By Expunged on 9/13/2007 12:14:48 AM , Rating: 3
The people who step out and buy a 1st revision Barcelona I'm sure will be happy with their purchase for some time as well. Barcelona has some areas it does well and some it doesn't, overall, it isn't the C2D chip but for those who are going to use it for it's strengths (the only people in their right minds who would buy it at this point), it will perform just fine for them.

Other than that, some AMD fanboys will step out and buy one just to say they have the lastest and greatest... Maybe a few of the world record types just to see what it will do and besides those few groups, this chip really has nobody in Intel C2D land (such as you with your E6600) that is going to jump ship to it. AMD is well aware of that, obviously, considering it's a Server/Workstation chip. They have no interest in how well it overclocks or how many end users have one in their hands.

My only point was that AMD is fully aware that the 2.0 GHz launch chips aren't going to draw the masses. It did a few things for AMD. First and foremost, it shut everyone up about empty promises, the chip is here, nobody can deny it does exist and did launch. While it might not be the hottest chip on the planet, it is on the market and it also gave them a leg to stand on when they say they will have faster chips by Q4, etc...

If one week ago AMD had jumped on their soap box and announced that Q4 they would have a Barcelona at 2.6 GHz or whatever they wanted to say, it would have been the same routine we've been seeing from AMD for a year. Everyone here would have been saying they talk a good talk but where is the product. Now that a 2 GHz chip is out, they have won back some people's ears who would have just said yeah right before.

The other major thing AMD has gained is a processor that can scale better than the Opteron. Means nothing to most people but to governments, education, and research it puts AMD where they can sell chips again. HPC applications will adopt Barcelona no matter the clock speed because it's the only game in town for the most part. When NCAR or NASA wants a new supercomputer/cluster they will give a look to something powered by the Barcelona Core Opterons. Small market but every dollar helps at this point.

This isn't going to be the move to right the ship for AMD but it did gain back their credibility and give the AMD followers a cause for hope. The people who are really looking seriously at Barcelona chips will be as happy as you are with your C2D; meanwhile, the home users will keep buying the $499 Dell/HP no matter what chip/revision/stepping/etc is inside the box.


RE: it seems
By GeorgeOrwell on 9/13/07, Rating: -1
RE: it seems
By duploxxx on 9/13/2007 3:32:54 AM , Rating: 2
well it seems that you don't now what is going on in chip world. It's not the cpu that is the problem, it is the early stage of the bios! latest bios revision brought again some major changes, previous bios releases did not offer enough juice for full 100% stability. All OEM vendors have received the latest released bios last week. so they have to test this before luanching there own products. watch the sales within 6-8 weeks you'll see a lot of announcements that the systems are ready for delivery from HP-SUN-Dell etc.


RE: it seems
By GeorgeOrwell on 9/13/07, Rating: 0
RE: it seems
By mars777 on 9/13/2007 11:27:41 AM , Rating: 4
Dear George,
I have to comment on your article, for a simple reason.
The all time most patched CPU is the Core2. It has the greatest number or microcode patches of all other Intel CPUs.
And while being the most patched it is the best processor on earth up to today. Do systems crash because BIOSes have microcode patches? No.

The crashing bugs of a processor are taken out in the first or second revision of the Chip. Most other micro patches are there to avoid system incompatibilities across various hardware configurations. And this is a job that is done by motherboard/system integrators. It is something that end users can 'feel' only if a system integrator has done a poor job since a CPU must adhere to the x86/SSE specifications. Every other thing is not a job of the CPU company.

The CPU is well defined, if it has its TDP and specification it can be processed by a hardware tester to test all its functions in every condition. There are many companies that provide such hardware, and it does its work very well.

I remember only a few examples where a CPU didn't do what it was supposed to do, the most notable being the first Pentium FDIV bug. A bug in raw calculation is something serious , other integration issues with hardware can't be a blame on the chip company.

Having said that, you didn't provide any proof of what you are saying. And since nobody has deLHA-ed a Barcelona current BIOS binary, you really can't provide any proof.

AFAIK the motherboard bioses with the most of microcode patches now in circulation are still Core2 BIOS files.


RE: it seems
By mars777 on 9/13/2007 11:32:16 AM , Rating: 2
You can even state that more microcode patches a bios contains, the companies involved in the development have done a harder work in making it stable across all situations.
And less time they use to do it means they are putting more effort in their work. It is best to find issues in the early stages than to put half workable products on the market and patch them 2 years later (aka Microsoft).


RE: it seems
By Shadowmaster625 on 9/13/2007 3:02:20 PM , Rating: 2
do you have any facts to back up your assertions? or are you just an intel shill trying to create more FUD?


RE: it seems
By Kougar on 9/13/2007 5:21:28 AM , Rating: 1
I agreed with you right up to the G0 part. There is zero performance increase going from B2 to G0 chips, see Anandtech's Q6600 G0 article since the FSB remains the same on Q6600.

There are 112 types of documented errata in B2, and for all the hype G0 fixed relatively few and created a few more unique to its own in the process. Intel waited about a year to release G0, so calling B2 "an early revision" is a bit off. The B1 press edition would deserve that title.

Much of the G0 info is hype built on hype. You don't see people calmy stating they bought a G0 and it simply didn't OC past 3Ghz without throwing errors with specific programs. I bought one of the first available B2 E6300's, and it is capable of a much higher stable overclock than my G0 Q6600, even if the G0 overclocks higher but remains unstable. According to Anandtech G0 also offers a blazing improvement of 12-17 watts of power savings over their B2 sample.


RE: it seems
By Expunged on 9/13/2007 1:36:13 PM , Rating: 2
Well said, I agree. For the most part the Barcelona will be run at stock clock speeds, Phenom is a different story. Overclocking will never be a major issue for people purchasing Barcelona chips so the later revisions will likely focus more on fixing instabilities, power consumption, etc.

A fair comparison would be the Sept. 10 Barcelona and the B1 Core 2 chips, I totally agree. B2 saw major stability fixes as compared to B1 and some performance increases, but as noted in above posts, much of the performance increases I would expect to come from the motherboard design/BIOS/etc for the moment. B2 to G0 was on mature BIOS/motherboard/NB/SB designs whereas only one Barcelona board is known in existance. This allows for the hope that later Barcelona chips along with future motherboards learn to play nice instead of just function.


With a little help from a friend-IBM
By crystal clear on 9/13/2007 7:38:44 PM , Rating: 2
The IBM results-

ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/eserver/benchmarks/news...

Results are current as of September 10, 2007. The scores have been submitted to SPEC for
review and will be posted on their Web site upon successful completion of the review. View all
published results at www.spec.org.




By crystal clear on 9/13/2007 7:44:27 PM , Rating: 6
Just an add in-

Wishing all those concerned-

A Very Happy New YEAR-(ROSH HA'SHANA)

A year of peace & prosperity


Question.
By Amiga500 on 9/13/2007 9:08:46 AM , Rating: 2
How long does it take for a (typical) respin to go from labs to fab?

And from the fabrication plant to shelves?




RE: Question.
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/13/2007 11:05:53 AM , Rating: 2
Lab to Fab about 6 months and from Fab to Shelves takes usually another 3-4 months. So your looking at 9-10 months in an ideal world. Now the trick is they can have numerous respins going at the same time so you could change the stepping every 3-4 months if your fab can adapt to the new revisions quickly. Time can be crunched if you do multiple things at the same time and have them finished in a line.


RE: Question.
By rdeegvainl on 9/13/2007 11:18:12 AM , Rating: 2
good thing we have multi core processors ehh... ;)


AMD in the news
By crystal clear on 9/14/2007 4:55:32 AM , Rating: 6
September 10, 2007

eWEEK Editorial Director Eric Lundquist and Staff Writer Scott Ferguson sat down with Ruiz in AMD's Austin, Texas, offices right before AMD was preparing to launch the much-anticipated four-core Opteron processors—code-named Barcelona.



http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,2181149,00.as...

Henri Richard, the former chief marketing and sales officer with Advanced Micro Devices, is joining Freescale Semiconductor to lead the chip maker's sales and marketing divisions.



http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,2179997,00.as...

Instead of clock speed, AMD plans to focus on the virtualization capabilities of Barcelona and its power performance. In addition to the processor, AMD plans to introduce a new metric to measure power called Average CPU Power, or ACP. The metric, said Pat Patla, director of the server and workstation unit for AMD, will offer a more accurate measurement of power use compared to Intel's TDP, which refers to how much heat a chip has to dissipate. AMD has been using the TDP metric, but will now focus on ACP.



http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2180415,00.as...




Real Barcelona will be 2H2008
By GeorgeOrwell on 9/13/2007 12:50:31 AM , Rating: 1
It will be about a year from now when AMD finishes the Barcelona redesign that will, at long last, represent Barcelona as it was meant to be.

Of course, AMD cannot simply expect Intel to wait another year, give or take, for AMD to get their ducks in a row.

Hence AMD is trying to move Barcelona (B) to what you might call B+. It will have many small design fixes, a few medium design fixes, a few performance tweaks as well as larger cache sizes. This will all be 65nm. There is no working 45nm for AMD until 2009, maybe 2010.

It is this "B+" chip that will be fully worth buying. Today's Barcelona chips are nothing more than extended beta test. Maybe if you have some dedicated floating point jobs, then Barcelona is worthwhile. Otherwise, forget it. The pain will be far worse than the gain.

The real reason AMD is in this pickle is that the original Opteron team was not treated well. Similar to some of the moves Intel made in the past where they fired a lot of smart people who were not politically compatible with the reigning corporate monoculture, AMD has done the same thing. This is why today's AMD is lead by a man who is very politically savvy but cannot ship product.

As Intel learned the hard way, you need smart people to make complicated technology. If AMD is going to have any long term survival strategy, the company will need to change.

If you look at the release of the ATI graphics chip specs, you can see part of this change.

Let us hope AMD continues to make smart moves and survives another year. Otherwise, we are back where we started with the Intel monopoly.




RE: Real Barcelona will be 2H2008
By Moishe on 9/13/2007 7:48:16 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure AMD will continue to do OK. I think that Barcelona is just new and having it's birthing pains. It will pan out over the course of it's lifetime. The only question is, what will Intel do to stay ahead? If they come back in a year or two with something significantly better... Well, the barcelona tweaks may not be enough to stay ahead or keep up.


By Regs on 9/27/2007 6:08:51 PM , Rating: 2
I was always one for the underdog. I am a Giants and Nets fan, need I say more?

I saw this launch coming a mile away. AMD being silent...more silent... and come launch it was about as dramatic as a fart in the wind. The actual product is no where to be found and AMD is obviously still trying to figure out how to design it better for their production lines.

If im just a customer then I can't imagine what a stock holder must be thinking right now. I would be asking "what is the problem, why aren't we able to make these things to sell?"

Your gripe is legitimate. The Anand preview pretty much said it all. AMD was not ready to launch the product, and they're more than a year late all ready.

A merger, a die shrink, FAB facility reconstruction, a new design, and a new company structure/chain of command in a time frame of 18 months. Holy hell, how well did Mr. Ruiz expect this company to compete after ripping its guts from the inside out? It's like stripping a baby naked, driving it off to a far distance, and hope it will crawl home just in time for Christmas.




Conclusions
By crystal clear on 9/15/2007 6:01:00 AM , Rating: 1
Barcelona is out in the market-what happens next ?

Summarized very well here by-

Paring Barcelona prices to the bone is great news for consumers—if you've got a program that scales well to eight CPUs, you can buy the equivalent of 13.6GHz of AMD CPU processing power for just over $50 a core. For AMD and AMD's quarterly income, however, this sort of situation is anything but good.

The real impact of Barcelona on AMD's bottom line over the next six months will be decided almost entirely by the processor's ability to scale both in MHz and across 2P, 4P, and 8P systems. If Barcelona scales quickly and effectively on both counts, AMD's ASPs will rise and the company will regain a measure of stability in the consumer, workstation, and server markets. If this does not occur, AMD's CPU prices will ultimately be dictated by Intel. We've seen that occur more than once in the past decade, and the results have never been pretty for Sunnyvale. Launching Barcelona was one thing, but proving it can run with the big dogs, including upcoming 45nm Penryn—that'll be another.



http://arstechnica.com/journals/hardware.ars/2007/...




Kubicki's on a Roll
By Reynod on 9/13/07, Rating: -1
RE: Kubicki's on a Roll
By TomZ on 9/13/2007 9:26:36 AM , Rating: 2
Did you RTFA? He clearly explained why he has no details, no hardware, etc. - because he could not get hold of a working system.

I think Kris calls 'em how he sees 'em. AMD has been executing poorly of late, and so they are going to catch some hell for it from sites like this that watch the industry. If Intel was executing poorly at the moment, you'd be hearing about that too.


RE: Kubicki's on a Roll
By JumpingJack on 9/28/07, Rating: 0
LOL
By mostpatriotic on 9/13/07, Rating: -1
RE: LOL
By aeroengineer1 on 9/13/2007 3:24:00 AM , Rating: 2
I think comments like this are ignorant and lack any real knowledge of how big businesses work. Is AMD down right now, yeah, but why? There seem to be two reasons, first they got into a pricing war in order to bridge the gap between their next generation chips. This price war has done a few things, it got Intel to drastically reduce their prices as well to the point that a dual core laptop can be bought for around $500, before the lowest priced dual core chips were in the $300-400 range. The other thing which has caused AMD to seem like it is down is that it just completed a merger with ATI. While some see this as a bad thing, it is just following the path of Intel in broadening its market base. AMD is here to stay, and so is Intel. AMD and Intel will trade performance crowns for years to come.


RE: LOL
By mostpatriotic on 9/13/07, Rating: -1
RE: LOL
By rdeegvainl on 9/13/2007 5:03:00 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, take the proportional amount of the market that each holds and then the assets they had, and then you say amd cheaped on R&D, but somehow they still have a server proc that is pretty competitive with Intel's at the same price points, and one that scales well, which is even more important in the server world. So it seems to me like they just didn't have the cash up front like intel did to put into R&D in the first place, but still did an outstanding job, seriously, before you start spouting out bull crap about wanting AMD to die, think about how much money they had to put into the R&D to begin with and start wondering what INTEL was doing to even let AMD get ahead before Core 2 DUO.


RE: LOL
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/13/2007 7:12:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
start wondering what INTEL was doing to even let AMD get ahead before Core 2 DUO.

Intel was testing the possibility of ramping up the GHz on processors using a very long pipeline. This proved to be a mistake. Intel did an about face when they hit the wall around 3.7GHz and got the ball rolling on C2D using a shorter and smarter pipeline. Result, Intel abandoned Netburst because it didn't pan out and rolled out a new architecture that wiped the floor with AMD. New architectures take between 3 and 4 years to bring to market, about the time of Netburst. Now Intel develops 3 architectures at once and shrinks in between to test new processes before new architectures. A model that on paper and in reality seems to work quite well.


RE: LOL
By mars777 on 9/13/2007 11:43:00 AM , Rating: 2
Intel can be lucky they have the money for 45nm fabs and a hundred persons in Israel to save their asses.
If they had the AMD situation we would be visiting the Intel grave from time to time to remember how were they.

Seriously, I cant understand how AMD can compete with such a giant...


RE: LOL
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/13/2007 4:29:11 PM , Rating: 1
AMD got lucky with the Athlon but they have now proved with Barcelona that it was a fluke compounded by Intel's mistakes with Netburst. I don't see such a fluke happening again for a while.


RE: LOL
By JumpingJack on 9/28/2007 12:43:19 AM , Rating: 2
Precisely.

The mobile Dothan/Banias was clock for clock equivalent or slightly better than K8 ... at lower power:
http://www.matbe.com/articles/lire/298/pc-desktop-...
*see 2.8 GHz Pentium-M vs FX-62.

AMD had better be thanking their lucky stars Intel did not productize the mobile chip into DT/Sever sooner.


RE: LOL
By crystal clear on 9/14/2007 2:30:14 AM , Rating: 1
By the way besides Intel-

Every major company of any fame/worth has a R&D facility in Israel-IBM,Sun,M.S.,H.P.,etc etc.

So there are many that exploit the Israeli potential not only Intel.


RE: LOL
By froggermaster on 9/13/2007 11:23:11 PM , Rating: 2
Excuses, they where taking vacations and making widgets instead of CPUs- and here we are ..


RE: LOL
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/13/2007 7:06:23 AM , Rating: 2
C2D launched chips that were $186 dollars, I think you need to check your FUD at the door next time.


RE: LOL
By froggermaster on 9/13/2007 11:27:23 PM , Rating: 2
And AMD chips were that and much more at the time what's your point? My first K6-200 was $300 ..


RE: LOL
By maroon1 on 9/13/07, Rating: 0
"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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