Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Jun 2008 21:51 UTC, submitted by irbis
AMD AMD has seen a few serious setbacks lately, especially with their Barcelona server processor, but it seems as if the company is trying hard to get things back on track. The first step in solving an issue is acknowledging it exists in the first place, and AMD CEO Hector Ruiz did just that last December. "We blew it and we're very humbled by it and we learned from it and we're not going to do it again." Reseller Advocate Magazine asks, are you ready to believe him?
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ciplogic
Member since:
2006-12-22

AMD promess one CPU in 2007 and release it in dec 2007, the "phenomenal" CPU. Intel in response have the Peryn and yet the Core2 series. Most persons that have "fake" quad core did not mind if in benchmarks they perform better. A Phenom is nice on paper but with low frequencies, with cache bug, with incompatible mainboards (which mostly work after a bios update), makes them not so attractive.

The integrated memory contoller is a part of the next CPU of Intel, named Nehalem:
http://anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc.aspx?i=3326

If AMD will not offer for real a CPU that compete, and of course a video card that compete, they will became the future Cyrix, runs well for today apps, run bad for tomorow ones, and at the end may be bought by nVidia or IBM.

I wanted to buy a Quad core from AMD, I've bought one but I was dissapointed, and I've sell the AMD box and I bought an Intel one, no comment for more.

Reply Score: 1

Ravyne Member since:
2006-01-08

AMD has been on the outs for awhile now, but things have turned around and are going to get better. Remember, having the performance crown doesn't get you a whole lot besides bragging rights and some free marketing. To be successful AMD has to be competitive in the mainstream in performance, power and price -- In which light, they're not nearly as far behind as you'd believe looking only at the high-end market segments.

The same goes for the GPU market competing against nVidia. AMD doesn't even seem to be pursuing the high-end GPU market with single-chip solutions at this point, letting their x2s compete with nVidia's high-end single-chip solutions. However, the new ATI card (4850) launching next Wednesday is, by early accounts, competitive (+/- 15% or so) with nVidia's current high-end card, the 9800, at less than half the price. The higher-end variant, the Radeon 4870, should be competitive with nVidia's next-gen (also due soon) high-end GPU, and again will have a significant price advantage.

Some people will pay twice as much for 10% more performance, but most will not -- and that's the market you have to be competitive in to succeed.

Reply Score: 1

AMD
by 10wattmindtrip on Mon 16th Jun 2008 23:19 UTC
10wattmindtrip
Member since:
2007-04-01

Honestly, I think AMD has the potential to move things in the right direction. Not doing so would seem foolish in my opinion. So, I would 'like' to believe it when he said "We know we screwed up! It won't happen again!" Now, I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this save for the blatant logic that has been stated clearly by AMD themselves.
With that said, I really do think things will change. Does this mean I will go and buy the chip? Probably. But not right now... I'm a student.
Good luck, AMD.

Reply Score: 1

.....
by islander on Mon 16th Jun 2008 23:20 UTC
islander
Member since:
2007-04-11

Back on track.Hope they do.I am a big AMD fan.

Reply Score: 6

AMD will bounce back!
by corbintechboy on Mon 16th Jun 2008 23:28 UTC
corbintechboy
Member since:
2006-05-02

AMD is a great company and tends to hit the market in the middle of the road for users. With that in mind they will find that middle again and regain the edge they at one time had!

Have faith, AMD will return stronger then ever!

Reply Score: 4

Hector Ruiz Is the Man
by Mapou on Tue 17th Jun 2008 00:24 UTC
Mapou
Member since:
2006-05-09

I have complete confidence in Ruiz. He just let his guard down for a little while and has learned his lesson. The man is a fighter and I see good things ahead for AMD. Now that the non-essential management personnel were sent packing, AMD can use its superior engineering know-how to focus on the task at hand. For one thing, AMD's gonna give both Nvidia and Intel a run for their money in the graphics arena. Intel's foray into real time ray-tracing will turn out to be a costly mistake because the raw processing power that is required for ray tracing would be better used elsewhere such as processing the physics and feel of the game. AMD's adoption of Apple's OpenCL is a wise move to counter Nvidia's Cuda. Its latest announcement regarding its 500-core Stream Processor is sure to send chills down the competition's spine. Ruiz is making all the right moves lately. Bravo, AMD.

Reply Score: 2

dont underestimate AMD
by Redeeman on Tue 17th Jun 2008 01:49 UTC
Redeeman
Member since:
2006-03-23

DO NOT underestimate AMD's cpu's.. phenom and amd64 in general still beats core2 badly for some stuff, and the rest, is almost certainly just because of intel smashing an insane amount of cache into the core2's...

just try run stuff like openssl, or gmp..

a very very optimized core2 asm(with lots of core2 hacks) gmp is slower on a 3.2ghz core2 45nm than standard x86_64 asm on a 2.6ghz amd64..

Reply Score: 2

RE: dont underestimate AMD
by evangs on Tue 17th Jun 2008 05:41 UTC in reply to "dont underestimate AMD"
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07


a very very optimized core2 asm(with lots of core2 hacks) gmp is slower on a 3.2ghz core2 45nm than standard x86_64 asm on a 2.6ghz amd64..


I'm assuming that you're running the Core2 in 32 bit mode and the AMD is running in 64 bit mode? That'll explain your difference as applications like GMP and OpenSSL benefit loads from the wider integer registers.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: dont underestimate AMD
by Redeeman on Tue 17th Jun 2008 11:57 UTC in reply to "RE: dont underestimate AMD"
Redeeman Member since:
2006-03-23

"
a very very optimized core2 asm(with lots of core2 hacks) gmp is slower on a 3.2ghz core2 45nm than standard x86_64 asm on a 2.6ghz amd64..


I'm assuming that you're running the Core2 in 32 bit mode and the AMD is running in 64 bit mode? That'll explain your difference as applications like GMP and OpenSSL benefit loads from the wider integer registers.
"
no, both are naturally 64bit.. im not stupid. These are simply the results.

Reply Score: 3

RE: dont underestimate AMD
by javiercero1 on Tue 17th Jun 2008 06:42 UTC in reply to "dont underestimate AMD"
javiercero1 Member since:
2005-11-10

Riiiiiiiight,

Here on planet earth, under similar conditions (same ISA, system, OS, configuration and optimization flags) there is no way a wider CPU, with better OOO scheduler, more aggressive branch predictor, larger caches, and which is running almost 25% faster clock cycle performs wors.

Unless AMD has some sort of pixie dust which breaks the rules of physics, or you are simply making stuff up.

I have both quad Opterons and Core2 Quads extensively, clock by clock the Core2 quad xeons take the Barcelona Opterons to the woodshed. Only in some very rare FPU codes the Opteron can use the memory controller to better stream data as opposed to the Quad Xeon. But if compare a 3Ghz Quad Xeon to a 2.2Ghz Quad Barcelona, I am yet to see a single piece of code I use that the Xeon is slower, the Barcelona for the most part is embarrassingly slower than the Xeon.

AMD is going to have to pull many hat tricks to overcome the fact that a) It does not have a fresh microarchitecture to compete with Nehalem (which is an almost completely new microarch from Intel), b) It can barely manage to produce 65nm parts, never mind that intel has had 45nm online for a while, with 3*nm nodes almost ready to go.

So indeed AMD will need all the pixie dust and denial to overcome the fact that they are at least their microarchitecture is 1 generation behind and unless they manage to pull it off and skip 45nm altogether, their fab may be 2 generations behind.

With the amount of money they are hemorrhaging, I have no clue where they are going to raise the hundreds of millions it takes to design a new microarchitecture and the billions it takes to get the new fab lines ready for sub 65nm nodes.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: dont underestimate AMD
by bert64 on Tue 17th Jun 2008 09:29 UTC in reply to "RE: dont underestimate AMD"
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

Riiiiiiiight,

Here on planet earth, under similar conditions (same ISA, system, OS, configuration and optimization flags) there is no way a wider CPU, with better OOO scheduler, more aggressive branch predictor, larger caches, and which is running almost 25% faster clock cycle performs wors.


It varies heavily depending on workload, different processors do different things better, for comparison i am using a Phenom 9600 (2.3ghz quad core), and a Q6600 (2.4ghz clocked to 2.3 for comparison purposes), both have 2GB DDR2/667 ram, tho the Q6600 is running in dual channel mode and the phenom is not (order f--ked up, it should have 4gb dual channel).
Both are running 64bit gentoo, compiled using gcc 4.3.1, cflags are =-O2 -fomit-frame-pointer -march=" with core2 or barcelona used as the -march appropriately.
All benchmarks are single threaded, and run with nice --19 so they can hog 1 core... Nothing else is running in the background aside from ssh (my login process).

John the ripper (single threaded) DES benchmark make linux-x86-64 using SSE2 asm:
Core2: Many salts: 2197K c/s real, 2201K c/s virtual
Phenom: Many salts: 1669K c/s real, 1669K c/s virtual

Compiling the same program using make generic (gcc optimizations, no sse2 asm) yields different results, using the default john CFLAGS:
Core2: Many salts: 1061K c/s real, 1061K c/s virtual
Phenom: Many salts: 1130K c/s real, 1130K c/s virtual

Running the synthetic flops benchmark (http://www.firenzee.com/flops.c) (compiled with -O3 -fomit-frame-pointer -march=core2/barcelona:

AMD:
Module Error RunTime MFLOPS
(usec)
1 4.0146e-13 0.0079 1769.8765
2 -1.4166e-13 0.0074 945.6464
3 4.7184e-14 0.0097 1751.3078
4 -1.2557e-13 0.0103 1457.3055
5 -1.3800e-13 0.0283 1025.4144
6 3.2380e-13 0.0176 1644.2968
7 -8.4583e-11 0.0254 471.5272
8 3.4867e-13 0.0274 1094.7969

INTEL:
Module Error RunTime MFLOPS
(usec)
1 4.0146e-13 0.0135 1038.9985
2 -1.4166e-13 0.0122 575.1838
3 4.7184e-14 0.0091 1868.4960
4 -1.2557e-13 0.0071 2118.3583
5 -1.3800e-13 0.0282 1026.7758
6 3.2380e-13 0.0138 2095.7179
7 -8.4583e-11 0.0407 294.7069
8 3.4867e-13 0.0283 1061.8881

So both processors are faster in some tests...

OpenSSL benchmarks are similar too, Intel seems to be faster at things like RC4, while AMD is faster at AES, tho the benchmarks are a bit too big to paste...

See:
http://www.firenzee.com/openssl-intel
http://www.firenzee.com/openssl-amd

I will re-run these tests when the dual channel memory for the AMD system turns up, but i doubt it will make much difference considering the nature of these benchmarks...

Ofcourse these benchmarks are a rough unscientific idea... Core2 may be faster at SSE2 code, or the asm written for john might simply be optimized for core2... Similarly with gcc, it could simply be that the architecture specific optimizations are better for phenom.

My experience has been that AMD systems generally seem quicker under load, and multi processor systems seem to outperform their Intel counterparts. The AMD system also seemed to compile the system packages faster than the Core2 system.

Of course, even if AMD cpus aren't up to scratch this time round, it was Intel's turn not so long ago with the P4 that was ridiculously inadequate. We need healthy competition between these two companies, or we'd be stuck with overheating single core P4 systems and proprietary RDRAM.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: dont underestimate AMD
by mckill on Tue 17th Jun 2008 10:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: dont underestimate AMD"
mckill Member since:
2007-06-12

those numbers are nice, but the Q6600 is ancient. i think the reality is AMD will be competing for the low-end while Intel will be able to release high-end products and provide under-clocked/semi faulty parts to beat up AMD's low-end market too.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: dont underestimate AMD
by BluenoseJake on Tue 17th Jun 2008 11:21 UTC in reply to "RE: dont underestimate AMD"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

"3Ghz Quad Xeon to a 2.2Ghz Quad Barcelona, I am yet to see a single piece of code I use that the Xeon is slower, the Barcelona for the most part is embarrassingly slower than the Xeon."

It's 800Mhz slower, what do you expect? An onboard memory controller can't make up for a 26% difference in speed. AMD's main problem is that they can't scale as well as Intel. If they could, they would be in a much better position.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: dont underestimate AMD
by Redeeman on Tue 17th Jun 2008 12:01 UTC in reply to "RE: dont underestimate AMD"
Redeeman Member since:
2006-03-23

Riiiiiiiight,

Here on planet earth, under similar conditions (same ISA, system, OS, configuration and optimization flags) there is no way a wider CPU, with better OOO scheduler, more aggressive branch predictor, larger caches, and which is running almost 25% faster clock cycle performs wors.

Unless AMD has some sort of pixie dust which breaks the rules of physics, or you are simply making stuff up.


I invite you to actually test yourself.

instead of your nice little pixie dust remarks, maybe you should.. i dont know... KNOW SOMETHING about what you are saying?

its really quite simple, for the code gcc generates for openssl, amd is superior, and as for gmp, the standard x86_64 implementation on AMD, beats the crap out of a special core2 asm hacky version, on core2.

Again, test it for yourself, then you will see.. And if you come here claim otherwise, then we will all simply know that you couldnt admit to being wrong..

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: dont underestimate AMD
by javiercero1 on Tue 17th Jun 2008 17:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: dont underestimate AMD"
javiercero1 Member since:
2005-11-10

You provide no quantitative numbers to back anything up, what is the system config, OS, compiler flags, etc, etc, etc.

The burden of the proof is on the one making the claims: i.e. you, not me.

I am yet to see a 3+Ghz core2 machine perform slower than a 2.4 Ghz Barcelona, period.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: dont underestimate AMD
by Redeeman on Wed 18th Jun 2008 09:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: dont underestimate AMD"
Redeeman Member since:
2006-03-23

I can get you the openssl numbers, not the gmp, as i dont have access to the hardware right at this moment, and i dont want to spread out false(though fairly accurate from memory) numbers.

openssl rsa 4096 signs/s
phenom 2.5ghz: 167.42 signs/s
core2quad 3.2ghz: 159.72 signs/s

altering compiler flags or anything, doesent appear to really affect it (i suspect its asm code? either way, its what one gets for openssl.)


and believe me, its worse for gmp.

edit:
oh btw, it seems gmp's own site back me up aswell (allthough they dont have tests with the special core2 asm optimized version, which i did)
http://gmplib.org/gmpbench.html

Edited 2008-06-18 09:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: dont underestimate AMD
by Rugxulo on Thu 19th Jun 2008 21:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: dont underestimate AMD"
Rugxulo Member since:
2007-10-09


its really quite simple, for the code gcc generates for openssl, amd is superior, and as for gmp, the standard x86_64 implementation on AMD, beats the crap out of a special core2 asm hacky version, on core2.


AMD is known for being very friendly to the GCC developers (et al.) and donating a lot of hardware. So, it's no surprise (and nice to hear) that GCC supports them well. Of course, the (in)famous Intel compiler is probably better for their chips, but they are supposedly? still kinda braindead re: SSE working on AMD chips (still using a "GenuineIntel" check ??).

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Ishan
by Ishan on Tue 17th Jun 2008 06:08 UTC
Ishan
Member since:
2007-10-24

They are behind since the first Core2 came out. They need to sort power consumption, frequencies, and efficiency. Nothing "undoable" IMHO.

Reply Score: 1

Dead horse flogged...
by kaiwai on Tue 17th Jun 2008 07:13 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

I know like I'm beating a dead horse, but for me (the reason I don't go for any laptop or desktop with AMD in it), the nail in the coffin is this:

1) Crap wireless; why did AMD team up with broadcom of all companies? their wireless chipsets are monumentally crap; their hatred of opensource is renound by the fact that they refuse to work with the community.

Their products are poor quality - showing their unreliability in both PC's and MacBooks that use them (the recent wireless problems with MacBooks were not present when MacBook used Atheros). They should have gone Atheros, and made a complete integrated platform like how Intel have with Centrino. The only disappointment I have is that Intel didn't move the Centrino idea into the desktop world.

2) It took far too long, after they purchased ATI, to work out the issues with alternative operating systems. Couple that with problematic drivers - I stay clear of their products. yes, they're working towards improving their relationships with 'geekdom' - but they lost their respect the moment they started to stuff around. Set a course, and damn well implement it - screw the inside politics; if people within the company get in the way, fire them.

Edited 2008-06-17 07:16 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Doesn't have to be the fastest...
by dagw on Tue 17th Jun 2008 10:40 UTC
dagw
Member since:
2005-07-06

I think AMD could to well by not chasing after making the fastest process money can buy. Make a solid line of cool CPUs that can run well with passive cooling and I think there should be money to be made there, even if they lose to Intel in the spec benchmarks on the high end.

Reply Score: 2

gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

I agree....

Afterall, laptops will soon outsell desktops (if they aren't already) and mobility, power consumption and heat are key here, not the number of gigaflops.

They key word here is 'cool'. I have an old Acer with a Turion 64 MK-38 and the amount and heat and fan noise is unbelievably irritating, and the battery life sucks as well.

It would also help if AMD were more Open Source friendly.

Reply Score: 1

dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

laptops will soon outsell desktops (if they aren't already) and mobility, power consumption and heat are key here, not the number of gigaflops.


Even on the desktop I can see it playing more of role. My girlfriend is looking to get a new computer and her number one requirement is that it must be as silent as possible, while still powerful enough to run 3Dstudio and AutoCAD. Also as computers start to 'invade' other rooms of the house I can see there being more and more of a market for silent or near silent computers that still have enough power to do some reasonably heavy lifting like playing video at 1080p.

Reply Score: 2

Rugxulo Member since:
2007-10-09

They key word here is 'cool'. I have an old Acer with a Turion 64 MK-38 and the amount and heat and fan noise is unbelievably irritating, and the battery life sucks as well.


I have an AMD laptop (Compaq) from last year, and upgrading the BIOS _dramatically_ changed the way the fan works, so try that if you can. It's much much quieter now.

As far as battery life, all laptops suck (more or less). Some get 3 hrs, some really high-end can get 5 hrs or 8 hrs., but mine gets max. 2 hrs (6 cell?) on "power saver" under Vista x32 (heh, sad but true). A better battery would help, but luckily, I don't ever go anywhere, always keep it plugged in. Of course, stupid widescreen probably sucks a lot up of energy (as well as RAM, HD, wifi, USB devices, who knows what else).


It would also help if AMD were more Open Source friendly.


Yes, of course, but they have to kiss up to Windows in order to succeed (apparently). Face it, it takes a lot of time, talent, energy, and motivation to support Windows AND Linux, even as a hobby. Supporting just one is pretty much a full time job.

Reply Score: 1

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

I think AMD could to well by not chasing after making the fastest process money can buy. Make a solid line of cool CPUs that can run well with passive cooling and I think there should be money to be made there, even if they lose to Intel in the spec benchmarks on the high end.


Selling x86 chip with passive cooling has been Via's strategy. Their processor have long been known to run very cool, but they are also known to be rather slow since they optimize for low power rather then fast processing. Via's processors have been a hit in the embedded space, but haven't really caught on in the mainstream.

The new Nano line from Via should level the playing field, somewhat, as it's a more modern processor design. It's an "out of order" processor rather then then in order design of the current C3, EDAN, ColdFusion, and C7. It's similar to stepping up to a Pentium 3 from a Pentium 2.

Anyway, AMD has the Geode line to fill the low power embeddable x86 processor niche, and they need to compete in the high end to bring margins up. Price parity with Intel was the original reason AMD took the risks they did with the K7 and K8 cores to begin with. The bulk of the PC market may be in the midrange, $100-$200, but having the benchmark crown gives a halo effect to the rest of the product lines and gives the company bragging rights.

Reply Score: 2

gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

Flatland Spider,

Well, you have a point. Some Ferrari fans who can't afford them buy Fiats because of the connection. Many people love Valentino Rossi, but end up buying a Fazer instead of Yamaha's flagship R1....

But most consumers purchase based on needs. They tend to buy what they want/need without caring about the cutting-edge, top of the line, halo products.

AMD have always been at a disadvantage compared to Intel - money wise. But they've also shot themselves in the foot quite a bit recently. Smaller companies succeed because they find room to maneuver in the marketplace and create/fill niches based on the current economic climate. Granted, AMD ain't 'small' but they can be more flexible than Intel because they have less to lose. Besides, wouldn't it be cheaper to focus your R&D on slightly slower, cooler CPUs than multicore performance-oriented beasts.

Try to recall the Honda story back in the 50s/60s. If you rode a bike (Harley, Triumph) then, you'd be branded a thug, renegade or junkie. Honda released it's cub which appealed to college students, housewives and even execs. It revolutionized the motorcycle market, but none of the buyer's back then knew of Honda's multiple Isle of Mann victories or they didn't care.

Just my 2 cents.

Reply Score: 1

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Oddly enough, I cut out a bit about the Nissan GT-R being great for the sale of Sentras. ;)

Yeah, AMD really showed they were bush leaguers used to coming second. They found out it's easy to get the lead, but it's much harder to keep it.

I honestly don't know what the cost difference between designing a power miser and a performance beast would be. If they're just tweaking an old core for process shrinks, probably not that much, but if they're trying to increase the performance while being low power, I'd guess about the same. The only thing that would change would be the power budget in the latter process.

You have to wonder how much technology from those Isle of Mann TT victories filtered back to the Cub.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts
Member since:
2007-09-06

If they can make a cpu that runs cooler while performing higher than Intel, provide a cmopetitive GPU and continue to show support for cross platform drivers; I'll come back in a heartbeat.

It broke my heart to not buy AMD and ATI for my last upgrade. It was the first non-ATI gpu I've put in my machine but the real-use benchmarks favoured Intel at a cooler temperature, the 8800gpu (not much else to say there) and nVidia showed better cross platform support at the time.

Here's too hopeing..

Reply Score: 2