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AMD pushing 2x512KB chips instead

Not to the surprise of DailyTech, AMD representatives are telling its CPU distributors to play down 2x1MB L2 cache Windsor processor sales in favor of the 2x512KB AM2 parts.  Several days ago, DailyTech published the entire AMD July 24th pricing guide complete with price cuts across the board.  The price list was surprisingly devoid of AMD 2x1MB cache CPUs, and today we know the reason why.

Several US distributors all confirmed the same story with DailyTech, either claiming either a lack of information about the 2x1MB AM2 parts or claiming AMD employees were told to disregard 2x1MB cache desktop parts for the time being.

While distributors could not tell DailyTech exactly the reason for the reduction, the cost of running two separate cores and logistics for those cores is obviously eating at the bottom line for AMD.  The additional cache per chip means fewer chips per wafers and the additional SKUs means that more marketing dollars must be spent -- and when battling it out with Intel on the pricing front, every dollar counts.

Furthermore, AMD can dedicate all of its fab resources to work on a unified design rather than splitting development between two separate cache revisions.  AMD's Turion X2 lineup does not contain any 2x1MB L2 cache components.

Update 06/14/2006: Scott Wasson from The Tech Report seems to have also confirmed that the 2x1MB chips are toast.

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By erwos on 6/14/2006 11:54:10 AM , Rating: 2
I hate to toss AMD under the train, but I wonder how well this is going to play out when compared to Conroe's comparatively-giant cache sizes. Cache is very, very handy in certain operations - I know 3D gaming isn't generally one of them, but that's not all computers are used for.

RE: Bleh
By Samus on 6/14/2006 12:14:34 PM , Rating: 3
Cache is more important to Intel's architecture than AMD's. AMD is making the right move. Keep 1MB caches for server environments, no need for it in any desktop applications. Even if it gives you a 5% performance improvement somewhere, you'll get at least a 5% improvement going to the next higher clockspeed.

Even Intel admits onboard memory controllers would aid in reducing dependency on cache.

RE: Bleh
By RamarC on 6/14/2006 12:50:09 PM , Rating: 2
cache is important to AMD also... its the only thing that distinguishes an x2-4800+ from an x2-4600+. but using either higher clock speed OR increased cache is causing too much confusion. not too mention the strategy sometimes backfires when the x2 5000+ can't beat the x2 4800+ in some benchmarks.

RE: Bleh
By Araemo on 6/14/2006 1:25:20 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, cache isn't really important, you said it yourself:
"its the only thing that distinguishes an x2-4800+ from an x2-4600+"

As in, they are not distinguished by performance(in 90% of the programs out there, games included). So why release the second one at all?

RE: Bleh
By RamarC on 6/14/2006 2:30:14 PM , Rating: 2
i'm not saying cache is (or isn't) important. i'm simply saying that AMD uses it as a differentiating factor. thus, it is important to them (from both a performance and marketing standpoint).

RE: Bleh
By Motley on 6/14/2006 1:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
And in other news, AMD admits that if they removed the memory controller from the CPU they could adopt newer memory technologies faster and be more flexable in the marketplace. Uh, duh.

RE: Bleh
By peldor on 6/14/2006 4:31:15 PM , Rating: 2
Cache was very important to the P4 architecture. I haven't seen a good comparison for Core2Duo yet. It's a important question to answer as there will be 2MB and 4MB versions of Core2Duo. It's possible Core2Duo is no more dependent on a large cache than K8.

RE: Bleh
By TheDoc9 on 6/14/2006 12:18:58 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure about that. I remimber reading that in AMD's case with at least the L1 cache, that a smaller size is actually better and larger sizes slow down the processor. This could be the case with the L2 however I doubt it.

They didn't say they were eleminating these processors, just down playing them because of the manufacturing cost. So for the hardcore - the ones who will be looking for them, they'll find them.

RE: Bleh
By GoatMonkey on 6/14/2006 12:57:45 PM , Rating: 2
I don't buy that. The 4200+ and 4400+ are the same clock speed, the cache size difference is where the higher performance rating comes from.

I would prefer the 4400+ with 1MB caches to a 4600+ with 512k caches. But it's all a matter of opinion. Some people say that you can get a better overclock out of the 512k cache because it will generate less heat. It's my opinion that the overall performance will be better with the 1MB caches even if you can't get quite as high of a clock speed.

RE: Bleh
By smitty3268 on 6/14/2006 7:07:04 PM , Rating: 2
The larger the cache, the harder and more expensive it is to keep it going fast. L2 caches for the A64 are (I believe) the same speeds, so there was no performance downside. However, you could see this affect in Intels transition from Northwood to Prescott P4's. The Prescott doubled the L2 cache but made it slower as well which caused some applications to gain speed and others to slow down.

RE: Bleh
By Clauzii on 6/14/2006 9:44:00 PM , Rating: 2
For doing realtime audiosequencing with virtual FX and instruments, cache is vital.... I hope AMD know what they are doing this time :O

RE: Bleh
By Clauzii on 6/14/2006 9:44:49 PM , Rating: 2
For doing realtime audiosequencing with virtual FX and instruments, cache is vital.... I hope AMD know what they are doing this time :O

RE: Bleh
By ceefka on 6/15/2006 6:58:48 AM , Rating: 2
The coming generation DAWs will be Core Duo based I guess. It's a small market anyway.

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