Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 20th Nov 2007 16:46 UTC, submitted by Luis
AMD AnandTech takes a look at AMD's new Phenom. "If you were looking for a changing of the guard today it's just not going to happen. Phenom is, clock for clock, slower than Core 2 and the chips aren't yet yielding well enough to boost clock speeds above what Intel is capable of. While AMD just introduced its first 2.2GHz and 2.3GHz quad-core CPUs today, Intel previewed its first 3.2GHz quad-core chips. We were expecting Intel to retain the high end performance crown, but also expected AMD to chip away at the lower end of the quad-core market - today's launch confirms that Intel is still the king of the quad-core market."
Thread beginning with comment 285611
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: low yields
by butters on Tue 20th Nov 2007 22:07 UTC in reply to "low yields"
Member since:

I look at the AMD/Intel landscape from a different perspective... Intel is the natural dominator in the x86 market. The only way that AMD can compete favorably is if Intel makes a huge strategic blunder. That happened with NetBurst, and it's unlikely to happen again anytime soon. Intel will always be 12-18 months ahead in process technology, they'll always have more fab capacity, and they'll always have more R&D resources to throw around.

AMD has consistently made wise design decisions to mitigate their inherent disadvantages. The Athlon K7/8 rested on two essential pillars: the on-die memory controller (IMC) and the serial, point-to-point system bus (HyperTransport). Intel didn't have them, and they still don't, because they don't need them. Because of their process lead, they can shove double the cache onto their chips, making them less vulnerable to bus performance.

This will change next fall with Nehalem, which will all of a sudden catch them up to AMD in terms of design sophistication. It will feature an IMC, a system bus called QuickPath (formerly CSI), and a unified L3 victim cache--just like Barcelona/Phenom. AMD needs to stay at least a year ahead of Intel on design because they're always a year behind on execution.

That's going to get a lot more difficult for AMD next year. I don't know how they're going to continue to remain competitive against Nehalem, especially after the tick-tock cadence takes this architecture down to 32nm in 2009. Intel has completely recovered from its NetBurst misstep, and they're catching up to AMD's design lead.

Then there's the battle between Fusion and Larrabee, where, IMHO, Intel has the better strategy. By treating graphics as a first-class citizen of the ISA, they're developing a true MPU with pipeline integration rather than just die/bus integration. Combined with HyperThreading (to which AMD has no answer), Intel could dispatch ALU and SP instructions in parallel through the same core.

AMD looks all kinds of screwed in their head-to-head competition with Intel. They desperately need to find a way to keep making x86 processors, but ones that don't compete directly with Intel's. Because what you see right now, with Barcelona up again Penryn, is the best it's going to be for AMD from here on out. Intel's going to pulverize them next year, and their new friends in Abu Dhabi are going to want them out of Intel's bread-and-butter markets.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: low yields
by psychicist on Tue 20th Nov 2007 23:12 in reply to "RE: low yields"
psychicist Member since:

What exactly is the importance for AMD of following Intel into an x86 death match in which it can impossibly ever compete, let alone win? I'd choose for making Intel EMT64 and AMD64 each their own architectures and create optimised OS's for either, at least in the longer term.

I've been working on an OS port to little-endian MIPS because it's free from the shackles of x86 in that it doesn't have to run Windows, is under no pressure to have a clock frequency high enough to make the bloated Vista seem fast and doesn't have any legacy software base to support (it's all free software anyway).

The advantages are streamlined RISC cores with low power consumption, low cost to manufacture since it doesn't have so many transistors and therefore doesn't have to be manufactured in the latest and greatest process, i.e. it can easily be done in 90 nm.

I'm looking forward to ARM (Cortex A9 and OMAP34xx), MIPS (Tilera64 and Loongson 2F/3) and PPC(Pwrficient and AMCC's Titan processors based on Intrinsity's Fast14 technology), because they don't even try to compete with Intel and AMD, but instead try to achieve what we were headed for 10-15 years ago.

That is, low power RISC processors with efficient UNIX implementations, except this time around it's called GNU/Linux. Wintel has set back computing for more than 10 years, but its domination is coming to and end.

The end result is the same software running equally well on all architectures, so you can choose the best one for your needs. If you need raw speed, choose x86 or POWER6. If you need low power (as most consumers do, particularly now that Vista is out) then choose ARM, MIPS, POWER (which is a superset of PPC nowadays) or another efficient one.

People are asking me to completely wipe Windows from their systems or even buy completely new computers with GNU/Linux. Not because they haven't tried but because they're tired after years of dissatisfying computing experiences.

They'd even choose AIX or Solaris on their desktops over Windows, if they had to. So what's the importance of x86 for most people nowadays compared to 10-15 years ago, really?

Additional info:

Linux #1 SMP PREEMPT Wed Oct 17 04:27:14 CEST 2007 x86_64 AMD Hammer Family processor - Model Unknown AuthenticAMD GNU/Linux

Linux #1 PREEMPT Mon Jul 9 23:00:10 CEST 2007 i686 Pentium III (Coppermine) GenuineIntel GNU/Linux

Linux #2 Sat May 12 18:57:10 CEST 2007 mips GNU/Linux

I have a SPARC machine too and will have POWER hardware soon. They're all running the same software. Are AMD and Intel as important as they think they are or have they fooled themselves into thinking so and do they live by the grace of Microsoft and Windows?

Edited 2007-11-20 23:28 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: low yields
by renox on Wed 21st Nov 2007 09:04 in reply to "RE[2]: low yields"
renox Member since:

>So what's the importance of x86 for most people nowadays compared to 10-15 years ago, really?

Depends on the market: while the market for Smartphone and other appliance has grown with RISCs CPUs, the server/workstation market went from RISCs and x86 to mostly x86.

Intel has announced that they will target low-power x86: so it's possible that x86 will gain market share from RISCs in embedded markets too: even Linux OSs works better on x86 than on other CPUs..

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: low yields
by Downix on Wed 21st Nov 2007 14:17 in reply to "RE[2]: low yields"
Downix Member since:


I am saying much the same thing, but I'm focusing heavily on SPARC lately due to the ease of licensing, and the availability of open sourced chips. What is needed is the will to say "No more market domination" and push for diversity.

Reply Parent Score: 1