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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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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.


"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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