Commoditization of 4-way

Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

I know there is a little bit of skepticism (well actually a lot of it) about
x86's potential in the 4-way market. The high-end server market has feasted
on the high prices due to the lack of competition from any commodity systems
at this level. There's been talk for years that Intel is finally going to
make something real for the 4-way systems. It's hasn't happened yet. But it
may be finally starting now. Opterons are the real deal now.

The following article expects that AMD will take the price of 4-way systems
down from an average of $10,000 to $5000 by next year. And customers seem to
be responding. Some of the smaller OEMs are seeing a demand shift towards
AMD systems, ranging from 40% to 100% AMD at some server makers. And they're
all getting ready to pound Dell, which won't be able to match these systems.
But really the more long term effect will not be the one against Dell, but
the one against the big-iron boys who will see one of their most profitable
segments disappear into the sea of commoditization.

http://www.crn.com/sections/coverstory/coverstory.asp?ArticleID=50198

Yousuf Khan

--
Humans: contact me at ykhan at rogers dot com
Spambots: just send mail to above address ;-)
44 answers Last reply
More about commoditization
  1. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    In article <hFiqc.60030$0qd.20251@twister01.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com>,
    Yousuf Khan <news.20.bbbl67@spamgourmet.com> wrote:

    >The following article expects that AMD will take the price of 4-way systems
    >down from an average of $10,000 to $5000 by next year.

    The price of a 4-way system is not much over $5000 *now*, isn't it?
    $1700 for the Tyan board, $2800 for four Opteron 844's, $250 for a chassis,
    and, well, you get one SATA disc and only one of the Opterons gets any memory
    with the change from $5000.

    If I had anything resembling a business plan, I'd be tempted to get something
    like the system above, but if I'm spending UKP3000 I think a second-hand
    Smartcar would be more fun.

    I wonder if AMD will drop the Opteron 840 price enormously at some stage;
    4 x 1400MHz with separate memory to each processor isn't bad for, say, a
    shell-account machine.

    Tom
  2. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    "Yousuf Khan" <news.20.bbbl67@spamgourmet.com> wrote in message
    news:hFiqc.60030$0qd.20251@twister01.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com...
    > I know there is a little bit of skepticism (well actually a lot of it)
    about
    > x86's potential in the 4-way market. The high-end server market has
    feasted
    > on the high prices due to the lack of competition from any commodity
    systems
    > at this level. There's been talk for years that Intel is finally going to
    > make something real for the 4-way systems. It's hasn't happened yet. But
    it
    > may be finally starting now. Opterons are the real deal now.

    Intel's antiquated FSB design means 4-way (and up) systems require
    specialized chipsets to avoid bottlenecks, and the low volume of these
    chipsets means higher prices which leads back to low volume.

    Opteron's scalability using glueless HT for SMP is turning the 4-way market
    on its head, and probably the 8-way market as well once people figure out
    how to cram that many CPUs and memory slots into a starndard-sized system.

    S

    --
    Stephen Sprunk "Stupid people surround themselves with smart
    CCIE #3723 people. Smart people surround themselves with
    K5SSS smart people who disagree with them." --Aaron Sorkin
  3. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    Fresh from an Iraqi prisoner interrogation Thomas Womack
    <twomack@chiark.greenend.org.uk> smirked:

    >The price of a 4-way system is not much over $5000 *now*, isn't it?
    >$1700 for the Tyan board,

    Where did you find a price? I can't locate ANYONE that has that MB available.

    >$2800 for four Opteron 844's,

    Not even listed on Pricewatch now, 842s and 846s are though.

    >and, well, you get one SATA disc and only one of the Opterons gets any memory
    >with the change from $5000.

    Hmmm, less than $200 to cover memory and 'other things'.
    I think you're going over $6K by a decent margin for working system.


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    Lumber Cartel (tinlc) #2063. Spam this account at your own risk.

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  4. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    Never anonymous Bud wrote:

    > Fresh from an Iraqi prisoner interrogation Thomas Womack
    > <twomack@chiark.greenend.org.uk> smirked:
    >
    >
    >>The price of a 4-way system is not much over $5000 *now*, isn't it?
    >>$1700 for the Tyan board,
    >
    >
    > Where did you find a price? I can't locate ANYONE that has that MB available.

    $1545 at Lynn Computer, up from $1495 a couple of weeks ago.
    They are taking orders only - no stock yet.
    http://www.lynncomp.com

    >
    >
    >>$2800 for four Opteron 844's,
    >
    >
    > Not even listed on Pricewatch now, 842s and 846s are though.

    $750 at Lynn, down from $9xx.


    >
    >
    >>and, well, you get one SATA disc and only one of the Opterons gets any memory
    >>with the change from $5000.
    >
    >
    > Hmmm, less than $200 to cover memory and 'other things'.
    > I think you're going over $6K by a decent margin for working system.

    Even a $6K, that is half the price of a basic 4-way Opty 840
    system from the vendors that actually have something to sell.
    Now if only I could get that percentage saving when building
    my own desktop ...
  5. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    On 18 May 2004 20:23:23 +0100 (BST), Thomas Womack
    <twomack@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:

    >In article <hFiqc.60030$0qd.20251@twister01.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com>,
    >Yousuf Khan <news.20.bbbl67@spamgourmet.com> wrote:
    >
    >>The following article expects that AMD will take the price of 4-way systems
    >>down from an average of $10,000 to $5000 by next year.
    >
    >The price of a 4-way system is not much over $5000 *now*, isn't it?
    >$1700 for the Tyan board, $2800 for four Opteron 844's, $250 for a chassis,
    >and, well, you get one SATA disc and only one of the Opterons gets any memory
    >with the change from $5000.
    >
    >If I had anything resembling a business plan, I'd be tempted to get something
    >like the system above, but if I'm spending UKP3000 I think a second-hand
    >Smartcar would be more fun.
    >
    >I wonder if AMD will drop the Opteron 840 price enormously at some stage;
    >4 x 1400MHz with separate memory to each processor isn't bad for, say, a
    >shell-account machine.
    >
    >Tom
    IMHO, it borders a crime not to outfit all 4 Opterons with the memory
    in such a highest end system. And then, I have not seen a quad box
    that didn't have a nice SCSI RAID (at least 3 disks in RAID 5 config).
    Only the RAM (4 GB in 8 516 MB sticks of PC400 DDR ECC Registered) is
    near $1000 ($122 for each - the lowest on PW). As for the price for
    SCSI RAID solution, the sky is the limit.
    Yet, the price point may be reached if we believe Mr. Ruiz on dual
    core chips getting ready by next year. In this case, every dual board
    will be capable to effectively host a quad system (and it will be true
    SMP, not just hyperthreading!). Dual boards are already close to
    $200, and probably will only get cheaper by next year.
  6. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    Fresh from an Iraqi prisoner interrogation Rob Stow <rob.stow@sasktel.net>
    smirked:

    >Even a $6K, that is half the price of a basic 4-way Opty 840
    >system from the vendors that actually have something to sell.

    Well, as you already said, the MB you mentioned isn't even
    available to end-users.

    Add in that I said MORE than $6K, plus the time and effort it
    takes to put such a beast together and get it running, and
    $10K isn't that much of a leap.

    When I can get a 4-way Opty MB for about $500, and the
    CPUs for about $350 apiece, I'll consider the price almost
    in my range.


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    Lumber Cartel (tinlc) #2063. Spam this account at your own risk.

    This sig censored by the Office of Home and Land Insecurity....
  7. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    In article <500la0dt4k46pekd3imk8fucs66535id6p@4ax.com>,
    nobody@nowhere.net <MyGarbage2000@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >On 18 May 2004 20:23:23 +0100 (BST), Thomas Womack
    ><twomack@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
    >
    >>In article <hFiqc.60030$0qd.20251@twister01.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com>,
    >>Yousuf Khan <news.20.bbbl67@spamgourmet.com> wrote:
    >>
    >>>The following article expects that AMD will take the price of 4-way systems
    >>>down from an average of $10,000 to $5000 by next year.
    >>
    >>The price of a 4-way system is not much over $5000 *now*, isn't it?
    >>$1700 for the Tyan board, $2800 for four Opteron 844's, $250 for a chassis,
    >>and, well, you get one SATA disc and only one of the Opterons gets any memory
    >>with the change from $5000.
    >>
    >>If I had anything resembling a business plan, I'd be tempted to get something
    >>like the system above, but if I'm spending UKP3000 I think a second-hand
    >>Smartcar would be more fun.
    >>
    >>I wonder if AMD will drop the Opteron 840 price enormously at some stage;
    >>4 x 1400MHz with separate memory to each processor isn't bad for, say, a
    >>shell-account machine.
    >>
    >>Tom
    >IMHO, it borders a crime not to outfit all 4 Opterons with the memory
    >in such a highest end system.

    Well, of course; a more sensible system won't leave much change from
    $7000, since you probably do want 4GB of memory and 15krpm SCSI
    RAID. It's still cheaper than manufacturer-guaranteed second-hand
    cars, and deeply cheaper than any new car in the UK. It's probably
    too *loud* to have as a desktop, even if I could think of desktop
    tasks for which such a behemoth would be sane.

    I'm not sure I'd call a system with two dual-core CPUs a quad system,
    though I'm not quite sure where that prejudice comes from; I suppose
    that part of the issue of a quad system is the enormous motherboard
    required physically to fit four sockets, four cooling systems, four
    sets of memory ... on memory-intensive tasks I think I'd rather have
    more memory subsystems than more cores, dual-core Opterons will be no
    less memory-starved than 800MHz FSB Noconas.

    Tom
  8. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    the big steps towards 4 way will be the incoming motherboard
    technologies. the processors have only a marignal role here.

    fb-ram and pci-express, together, represent the greatest enabler of 4
    way or better technologies. fb-ram will enable far less pins with far
    less demanding specifications for those huge banks of ram hanging off
    your processors: and advantage only compounded by a direct to cpu
    connection. pci-express by its serial nature allows for further
    simplification of a overgrowing pci bus, as well as, iirc, longer signal
    paths.

    although opteron has eliminated the massively expensive switching
    responsibility of the motherboard, it poses new challenges of feeding
    four processors ram and i/o. the current technologies use gi-normous
    amounts of channels to accomplish this. when fb-ram and pci-express
    come out, the number of paths and the tolerances for these paths should
    be improved by an order of magntiude. it is only when everyone and
    their mother can cook up a new motherboard design from cheap parts that
    we will see the rediuculous 4-way margins slowly be eatten away. you
    can bet the current big boys will be fighting against this
    commoditization as hard as they can.

    opteron is amazing in that it has its switching technology built in via
    ht. when it comes out natively supporting fb-ram in another year and a
    half, then we will see a dawn of the new four way systems.
  9. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    myren, lord wrote:
    > fb-ram and pci-express, together, represent the greatest enabler of 4
    > way or better technologies. fb-ram will enable far less pins with far
    > less demanding specifications for those huge banks of ram hanging off
    > your processors: and advantage only compounded by a direct to cpu
    > connection. pci-express by its serial nature allows for further
    > simplification of a overgrowing pci bus, as well as, iirc, longer
    > signal paths.

    FBRAM has yet to prove itself (or even come out).

    Hypertransport allows one to do something even more performance oriented for
    the overgrowing PCI bus than PCI-E. It allows you to hang multiple PCI buses
    directly off of separate processors, load balancing the load and
    partitioning the data off in a way.

    Yousuf Khan
  10. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    > opteron is amazing in that it has its switching technology built in via ht.

    Yawn - the 21364 had that how many years ago? Oh yes, and all the transputers
    had a programmeable memory interface on-chip. Glue logic? We need no stinkin'
    glue logic!

    Jan
  11. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    "Jan Vorbrüggen" <jvorbrueggen-not@mediasec.de> wrote in message
    news:2h0gpiF75niiU1@uni-berlin.de...
    > > opteron is amazing in that it has its switching technology built in via
    ht.
    >
    > Yawn - the 21364 had that how many years ago? Oh yes, and all the
    transputers
    > had a programmeable memory interface on-chip. Glue logic? We need no
    stinkin'
    > glue logic!

    True, but AFAIK the K8 was the first chip with a non-negligible market share
    to
    have such features.

    Nothing is new under the sun, not even when the Alpha did whatever is
    currently being discussed. Making innovation _profitable_ is arguably more
    important than bringing it to market first and then going under, because the
    former leads to permanent change and the latter is just fodder for
    comp.arch.

    S

    --
    Stephen Sprunk "Stupid people surround themselves with smart
    CCIE #3723 people. Smart people surround themselves with
    K5SSS smart people who disagree with them." --Aaron Sorkin
  12. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    Jan Vorbrüggen <jvorbrueggen-not@mediasec.de> wrote in message news:<2h0gpiF75niiU1@uni-berlin.de>...
    > > opteron is amazing in that it has its switching technology built in via ht.
    >
    > Yawn - the 21364 had that how many years ago?
    > Jan

    And how many did they sell?
  13. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    "myren, lord" <thefowle@wam.umd.edu> wrote in message news:<c8em94$cm7$1@grapevine.wam.umd.edu>...
    >
    > fb-ram and pci-express, together, represent the greatest enabler of 4
    > way or better technologies. fb-ram will enable far less pins with far
    > less demanding specifications for those huge banks of ram hanging off
    > your processors: and advantage only compounded by a direct to cpu
    > connection. pci-express by its serial nature allows for further
    > simplification of a overgrowing pci bus, as well as, iirc, longer signal
    > paths.

    FB-RAM pins operate in the 2.5GHz to 6GHz range. Anybody who thinks
    a simple protocal makes operating at these pin speed easy should pass
    the pipe.

    Second, the push for FBDIMM is to enable even larger memory systems
    not to save a few pins. With FBDIMM, an opteron can go from 8 DDR-II
    DIMMs to 32 FBDIMMs using a similar number of pins. This allows even
    larger memories to be built and capture ever more of the footprint
    of the database applications.

    PCI-express brings little to the party that HT does not already
    bring except that Intel is pushing it rather than AMD.
  14. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    > FBRAM has yet to prove itself (or even come out).

    This is true. Whether its FBRAM or the next technology is in question.
    What is certain is that RAM presents a significant design challenge
    for motherboard builders in terms of signal integrity and simple volume
    of routing.

    > Hypertransport allows one to do something even more performance oriented for
    > the overgrowing PCI bus than PCI-E. It allows you to hang multiple PCI buses
    > directly off of separate processors, load balancing the load and
    > partitioning the data off in a way.

    I have a sneaking suspicion this is going to be how we'll start seeing
    multiple x16 pci-e links for multi-display systems. I'm scared we
    havent seen anyone advertising multiple graphics links.

    Yes, the I/O bandwidth to feed these processors is essential, but a
    fibre array does the job well enough across pci 66/64. the ability to
    pipe network data every which way is extremely fun, but non essential.

    Although this is certainly useful and advantageous, the fact of the
    matter is that having multiple pci busses will not /initially/ be a
    major factor in making 4 way systems cheaper, in commoditizing the
    market. The main limitation as it stands is $3000 motherboards. When
    someone kicks out an order of magnitude cheaper because they can and
    because its simple, then we'll come back to the virtues of HT and the
    multiple pci busses it can provide.

    The problem is that until this event happens ($300 quad mobo), system
    builders can make boards as cheap as they please or utilizing all the
    excess amounts of HT glory they want, but they'll always charge $2000+
    because sales would not differ signficantly from $1000. The market is
    defined as high end servers, so presumably the customer is going to be
    paying through the nose for 15k scsi raid and all those other goodies,
    $1000 on a mobo here or there is nothing. When $300 quad comes out, the
    tune changes a lot. Quad is suddenly considerable for web clusters.

    I'd wager to define commoditization as the threshold where mainstream
    enthusiasts (a contradiction in terms if i ever heard one) consider
    building 4 way systems.

    Myren
  15. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    "Mitch Alsup" <MitchAlsup@aol.com> wrote in message
    news:e90782f7.0405190913.1f196670@posting.google.com...
    snip
    > PCI-express brings little to the party that HT does not already
    > bring except that Intel is pushing it rather than AMD.

    PCI-Express doesn't crash and burn on an error.

    del cecchi
  16. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    On 18 May 2004 20:23:23 +0100 (BST), Thomas Womack
    <twomack@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
    >In article <hFiqc.60030$0qd.20251@twister01.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com>,
    >Yousuf Khan <news.20.bbbl67@spamgourmet.com> wrote:
    >
    >>The following article expects that AMD will take the price of 4-way systems
    >>down from an average of $10,000 to $5000 by next year.
    >
    >The price of a 4-way system is not much over $5000 *now*, isn't it?
    >$1700 for the Tyan board, $2800 for four Opteron 844's, $250 for a chassis,
    >and, well, you get one SATA disc and only one of the Opterons gets any memory
    >with the change from $5000.

    Even with such an incredibly stripped-down system you're still looking
    at $5000, but for all practical 4P Opteron systems you're looking at
    about $10,000 as a base price. Also, Opterons are very reasonably
    priced as far as 4P systems go. XeonMPs will tend to cost you more,
    and the price only goes up from there when you start looking at
    Itaniums, IBM Power chips, Sun SPARC chips, etc.

    FWIW the absolute cheapest that HP will sell you a 4P Opteron server
    for is $11,297. That gets you 4 Opteron 842 (1.6GHz) chips and 2GB of
    memory, For comparison, the absolute cheapest 4P Intel XeonMP
    server that HP sells will set you back $11,265, but there you only get
    4 2.0GHz XeonMP chips and 1GB of memory. With Itanium things start
    getting REAL pricey. A bare-bones 4P Itanium2 systems from HP will
    set you back $31,555, and that only gets you 4 x 1.3GHz/3MB L3 chips
    and 1GB of memory.

    >I wonder if AMD will drop the Opteron 840 price enormously at some stage;
    >4 x 1400MHz with separate memory to each processor isn't bad for, say, a
    >shell-account machine.

    Highly unlikely. They've already got their 840, 842 and 844 all
    priced exactly the same, $698. VERY reasonable price as compared to
    the competition, but very unlikely to drop any further. Normally when
    you start seeing price parity with higher speed chips like that it
    means that the slower models are in the process of being discontinued.

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
  17. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    On Tue, 18 May 2004 15:54:33 -0600, Rob Stow <rob.stow@sasktel.net>
    wrote:
    >Never anonymous Bud wrote:
    >> Where did you find a price? I can't locate ANYONE that has that MB available.
    >
    >$1545 at Lynn Computer, up from $1495 a couple of weeks ago.
    >They are taking orders only - no stock yet.
    >http://www.lynncomp.com


    Ahh the infamous Lynn Computers. They ALWAYS take orders for thing,
    regardless of whether or not they plan on getting them in stock! That
    store is constantly listing products that won't ship for months.

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
  18. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    On Tue, 18 May 2004 22:15:11 GMT, Never anonymous Bud
    <newskat@katxyzkave.net> wrote:
    >When I can get a 4-way Opty MB for about $500, and the
    >CPUs for about $350 apiece, I'll consider the price almost
    >in my range.

    Hopefully that time might be coming soon, that's what started this
    whole thread. The trick is that next year AMD is expecting to ship
    dual-core Opterons that are pin-compatible and
    infrastructure-compatible with existing single-core Opterons. If all
    goes according to plan they will be drop-in replacements for current
    Opterons, so all you would need for a 4-core machine is a "2
    processor" motherboard (whether or not that makes a true "4 processor"
    system or just a "2 processor with dual cores" machine depends on your
    point of view).

    Those 2P motherboards start at only ~$200, though good ones will cost
    you more like $500. No word yet on the price of the chips, but they
    might sell for $350 a piece, and most likely will sell for less than
    $700 a pop (2 cores for $700 will keep in your price range of
    single-core for $350).

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
  19. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    On Wed, 19 May 2004 09:30:57 +0200, Jan Vorbrüggen
    <jvorbrueggen-not@mediasec.de> wrote:
    >> opteron is amazing in that it has its switching technology built in via ht.
    >
    >Yawn - the 21364 had that how many years ago?

    Considering that the 21364 only just started shipping a few months
    before the Opteron... not much (Jan. 2003 for the Alpha EV7, April
    2003 for the Opteron). Also there is a grand total of *ONE* system
    being sold with the Alpha EV7 processor, the HP GS1280, and it'll set
    you back a cool million dollars or so.

    In short, not really a worthwhile comparison. For all intents and
    purposes, the 21364 is a non-existent product.

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
  20. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    Tony Hill wrote:

    > On Tue, 18 May 2004 15:54:33 -0600, Rob Stow <rob.stow@sasktel.net>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>Never anonymous Bud wrote:
    >>
    >>>Where did you find a price? I can't locate ANYONE that has that MB available.
    >>
    >>$1545 at Lynn Computer, up from $1495 a couple of weeks ago.
    >>They are taking orders only - no stock yet.
    >>http://www.lynncomp.com
    >
    >
    >
    > Ahh the infamous Lynn Computers. They ALWAYS take orders for thing,
    > regardless of whether or not they plan on getting them in stock! That
    > store is constantly listing products that won't ship for months.
    >

    If *any* vendor doesn't have something in stock I don't order
    from them. At best I'll ask them to call or e-mail me when
    they do actually have something to sell. And with any vendor,
    if the product isn't at my door within 24 hours of the promised
    delivery date I call in to cancel the order.

    As far as Lynn goes, I've ordered three Tyan S2885 motherboards
    and 6 Opty processors to put on those - two orders altogther -
    and both orders arrived 3 days later. Not that bad for cross
    border shipping (US to Canada). I suspect it takes 24 hours to
    get to Regina and then another 48 hours to cover the last 70 km
    from Regina to Moose Jaw.
  21. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    "Mitch Alsup" <MitchAlsup@aol.com> wrote in message
    news:e90782f7.0405190913.1f196670@posting.google.com...

    snip

    > PCI-express brings little to the party that HT does not already
    > bring except that Intel is pushing it rather than AMD.

    And the fact that it preserves the investment in software of lots and lots
    of PCI drivers that exist today. Preserving that investment was one of the
    reasons that the Intel desktop people decided they wanted to do PCI Express
    rather than sign on to IB.

    --
    - Stephen Fuld
    e-mail address disguised to prevent spam
  22. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    i thought intel was one of the infiniband people too. infiniband and
    pci-e arent mutually exlcusive technologies by any means.

    parents said amd wasnt a fan of pci-e. are they designing any competition?
  23. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    i agree that the 2 core opterons will likely open the floodgates on
    4-way heaven and begin the price falls.
  24. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    "Stephen Fuld" <s.fuld@PleaseRemove.att.net> writes:
    >
    > And the fact that it preserves the investment in software of lots and lots
    > of PCI drivers that exist today. Preserving that investment was one of the
    > reasons that the Intel desktop people decided they wanted to do PCI Express
    > rather than sign on to IB.

    Seen from the software (not firmware) side HT is basically completely PCI
    compatible. I don't know of any visible differences. The north
    bridge on a Opteron system is implemented in the CPU and e.g. all the
    PCI config accesses originate from the north bridge. But the request
    has to travel over an HT link before it can actually talk to an real
    PCI bridge. This works completely transparent.

    For the OS it looks like any other x86 compatible PCI PC. Of course
    on basically every other modern x86 "PCI" chipset there is some kind
    of non PCI link involved in such an operation; an HT system is not very
    different e.g. from a typical Intel based system.

    The only software that really knows about HT is the firmware that has
    to set up the routing. But even on an "pure PCI" system this is
    completely chipset dependent black magic and not standardized at all.

    As far as I can see the main difference in practice right now is that
    there is a PCI-E connector and there isn't one for HT. And the error
    handling issues Del noted (hopefully be fixed with HT 2.x)
    Ok and HT hotplug would be nice too.

    -Andi
  25. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    In article <m3vfis9m83.fsf@averell.firstfloor.org>,
    Andi Kleen <freitag@alancoxonachip.com> wrote:

    >As far as I can see the main difference in practice right now is that
    >there is a PCI-E connector and there isn't one for HT.

    But there is a candidate for one -- if anyone is interested, I can put
    you in touch with the people involved.

    -- greg
  26. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    "Andi Kleen" <freitag@alancoxonachip.com> wrote in message
    news:m3vfis9m83.fsf@averell.firstfloor.org...
    snip.
    >
    > As far as I can see the main difference in practice right now is that
    > there is a PCI-E connector and there isn't one for HT. And the error
    > handling issues Del noted (hopefully be fixed with HT 2.x)
    > Ok and HT hotplug would be nice too.
    >
    > -Andi

    Can't have much wire and a connector in a 56 ps skew+jitter allocation
    (at 1.6 Gb/s), with no provision for aligning clock and data. :-(
    The last draft of V2.0 goes to 2.8 Gb/sec still with no alignment. I'll
    have to look at the "networking extensions", but the 8131 doesn't have
    any recovery. Maybe there is a new version coming.

    del
  27. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    In article <16qna0l7vrgmi92ds2nh75m3c1q2im5e3h@4ax.com>,
    Tony Hill <hilla_nospam_20@yahoo.ca> wrote:

    >In short, not really a worthwhile comparison. For all intents and
    >purposes, the 21364 is a non-existent product.

    Can we please stop wasting everyone's time by telling other posters
    that their example is irrelevant because it doesn't ship in enough
    volume, etc? It's pointless.

    -- greg
  28. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    In article <40abef20$1@news.meer.net>, lindahl@pbm.com says...
    > In article <16qna0l7vrgmi92ds2nh75m3c1q2im5e3h@4ax.com>,
    > Tony Hill <hilla_nospam_20@yahoo.ca> wrote:
    >
    > >In short, not really a worthwhile comparison. For all intents and
    > >purposes, the 21364 is a non-existent product.
    >
    > Can we please stop wasting everyone's time by telling other posters
    > that their example is irrelevant because it doesn't ship in enough
    > volume, etc? It's pointless.

    Is it any more pointless than to say "XYZ" did it first, but
    failed in the marketplace? ...other than in the .folklore group?


    --
    Keith
  29. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    On 18 May 2004 23:59:57 +0100 (BST), Thomas Womack
    <twomack@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:

    ....snip...
    >I'm not sure I'd call a system with two dual-core CPUs a quad system,
    >though I'm not quite sure where that prejudice comes from; I suppose
    >that part of the issue of a quad system is the enormous motherboard
    >required physically to fit four sockets, four cooling systems, four
    >sets of memory ... on memory-intensive tasks I think I'd rather have
    >more memory subsystems than more cores, dual-core Opterons will be no
    >less memory-starved than 800MHz FSB Noconas.
    >
    >Tom
    With each dual-core chip containing the same dual channel memory
    controller as the current crop of socket 940 chips, each core would
    have the same memory bandwidth as current socket 754 Athlon64. While
    not quite as impressive as A64 FX/Opteron, A64 xx00+ is still a
    formidable CPU and doesn't seem to really badly suffer from
    insufficient memory bandwidth. If I could get a quad A64 on the cheap
    (comparably priced to the dual Opteron 242/MSI Master2-far I am
    building now), I'd go for it without much thinking. Unfortunately
    it's not possible technically (the number of HT links enabled on each
    CPU etc.) But 2 dual core Opterons would closely resemble that
    hypothetical quad A64, just better because it would have 2
    heatsinks/fans less.
    As for having more memory subsystems than cores, here is an article
    comparing lowly (among dual boards) MSI K8T Master2-far to higher end
    Tyan K8W Tiger and yet even higher Tyan K8W Thunder.
    http://www.neoseeker.com/resourcelink.html?rlid=68739
    Contrary to expectations, the more expensive Thunder with both CPUs
    connected to own memory is not any better than its humble competitors
    with one CPU accessing the memory through the other (give or take a
    fraction of a percentage point).
  30. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    In article <kgtna0l6kofic8bdbc6945n0dujisnci4p@4ax.com>,
    nobody@nowhere.net <MyGarbage2000@hotmail.com> wrote:

    >Contrary to expectations, the more expensive Thunder with both CPUs
    >connected to own memory is not any better than its humble competitors
    >with one CPU accessing the memory through the other (give or take a
    >fraction of a percentage point).

    Given that you didn't give any details at all, the most likely
    explanation is pilot error. I know that STREAM on Linux 2.6 with the
    bios interleave set off and a user-level utility to confine the
    processes appropriately is much improved. And my testing with
    various HPC codes also showed significant improvement.

    -- greg
  31. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    Tony Hill <hilla_nospam_20@yahoo.ca> wrote:
    > Hopefully that time might be coming soon, that's what started this
    > whole thread. The trick is that next year AMD is expecting to ship
    > dual-core Opterons that are pin-compatible and
    > infrastructure-compatible with existing single-core Opterons. If all
    > goes according to plan they will be drop-in replacements for current
    > Opterons, so all you would need for a 4-core machine is a "2
    > processor" motherboard (whether or not that makes a true "4 processor"
    > system or just a "2 processor with dual cores" machine depends on your
    > point of view).
    >
    > Those 2P motherboards start at only ~$200, though good ones will cost
    > you more like $500. No word yet on the price of the chips, but they
    > might sell for $350 a piece, and most likely will sell for less than
    > $700 a pop (2 cores for $700 will keep in your price range of
    > single-core for $350).

    That's another thing, dual-core 2-way processors. However, I think these
    server makers are actually looking to getting down the price of a true 4-way
    processor system down to the $5000 range.

    Yousuf Khan
  32. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    On Thu, 20 May 2004 01:45:39 GMT, lindahl@pbm.com (Greg Lindahl)
    wrote:

    >In article <kgtna0l6kofic8bdbc6945n0dujisnci4p@4ax.com>,
    >nobody@nowhere.net <MyGarbage2000@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >>Contrary to expectations, the more expensive Thunder with both CPUs
    >>connected to own memory is not any better than its humble competitors
    >>with one CPU accessing the memory through the other (give or take a
    >>fraction of a percentage point).
    >
    >Given that you didn't give any details at all, the most likely
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Have you not noticed the link? Just in case I am providing it here
    again: http://www.neoseeker.com/resourcelink.html?rlid=68739
    Please note that I bear no responsibility for either the content of
    that article or the methodology the authors applied to their
    benchmarks. I just found the comparison interesting and worth noting
    in the groops.

    >explanation is pilot error. I know that STREAM on Linux 2.6 with the
    >bios interleave set off and a user-level utility to confine the
    >processes appropriately is much improved. And my testing with
    >various HPC codes also showed significant improvement.
    >
    >-- greg
  33. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    "myren, lord" <thefowle@wam.umd.edu> wrote in message
    news:c8gen6$5sq$1@grapevine.wam.umd.edu...
    > i thought intel was one of the infiniband people too.

    Initially they were. There was a "falling out" between the server people,
    who wanted the advantages of IB and the desktop people who, while they were
    initially on board, saw it getting too complex and too far delayed for their
    tastes and decided to go with their own solution. That was when Intel
    decommitted doing IB in the chipset.

    > infiniband and
    > pci-e arent mutually exlcusive technologies by any means.

    I'm not sure what you mean here. If you mean you can have some sort of PCI
    adaptor that talks IB on the other side, then yes, but I wouldn't consider
    that to be "real Infiniband". A big part of the advantage of IB is the
    elimination of the PCI, memory mapped I/O scheme, etc. and having the
    interface directly in the chipset. If you mean you could have a chipset that
    supports both, then yes, I suppose you could, but I don't think anyone will,
    as they are pretty much competitors for that function.

    > parents said amd wasnt a fan of pci-e. are they designing any competition?

    I don't know anything about what AMD is doing.

    --
    - Stephen Fuld
    e-mail address disguised to prevent spam
  34. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    "Andi Kleen" <freitag@alancoxonachip.com> wrote in message
    news:m3vfis9m83.fsf@averell.firstfloor.org...
    > "Stephen Fuld" <s.fuld@PleaseRemove.att.net> writes:
    > >
    > > And the fact that it preserves the investment in software of lots and
    lots
    > > of PCI drivers that exist today. Preserving that investment was one of
    the
    > > reasons that the Intel desktop people decided they wanted to do PCI
    Express
    > > rather than sign on to IB.
    >
    > Seen from the software (not firmware) side HT is basically completely PCI
    > compatible. I don't know of any visible differences. The north
    > bridge on a Opteron system is implemented in the CPU and e.g. all the
    > PCI config accesses originate from the north bridge. But the request
    > has to travel over an HT link before it can actually talk to an real
    > PCI bridge. This works completely transparent.

    Then ISTM that HT and PCI are at a different level. i.e. if you have HT to
    PCI, then PCI and HT aren't direct competitors. This jibes with my,
    admittedly modest, understanding of HT as primarily an interchip (CPU-CPU
    and CPU-"Northbridge") interconnect and PCI as primarily a way to connect
    external peripheral interfaces such as Ethernet and Fibre Channel/SCSI.
    Thus there isn't a decision between HT and PCI, as each have their potential
    (though different) place in a system.

    --
    - Stephen Fuld
    e-mail address disguised to prevent spam
  35. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    >>>Contrary to expectations, the more expensive Thunder with both CPUs
    >>>connected to own memory is not any better than its humble competitors
    >>>with one CPU accessing the memory through the other (give or take a
    >>>fraction of a percentage point).
    >>
    >>Given that you didn't give any details at all, the most likely
    >^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    >Have you not noticed the link?

    Yes, I read the link. It didn't say anything about the BIOS settings
    or whether the OS was told/has the capability of restricting processes
    and their memory to particular cpus. As you can see from my
    explanation of how I saw better performance, these details all matter.

    -- greg
  36. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    lindahl@pbm.com (Greg Lindahl) writes:

    >>>>Contrary to expectations, the more expensive Thunder with both CPUs
    >>>>connected to own memory is not any better than its humble competitors
    >>>>with one CPU accessing the memory through the other (give or take a
    >>>>fraction of a percentage point).
    >>>
    >>>Given that you didn't give any details at all, the most likely
    >>^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    >>Have you not noticed the link?
    >
    > Yes, I read the link. It didn't say anything about the BIOS settings
    > or whether the OS was told/has the capability of restricting processes
    > and their memory to particular cpus. As you can see from my
    > explanation of how I saw better performance, these details all matter.

    An NUMA aware OS with the right BIOS settings (no node interleave)
    should be able to run multithreaded STREAM even without explicit tuning,
    giving near perfect scaling on Opteron systems with local memory
    on each CPU. Linux does usually.

    -Andi
  37. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    "Stephen Fuld" <s.fuld@PleaseRemove.att.net> wrote in message
    news:8RXqc.30889$hH.653926@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
    >
    > "myren, lord" <thefowle@wam.umd.edu> wrote in message
    > news:c8gen6$5sq$1@grapevine.wam.umd.edu...
    > > i thought intel was one of the infiniband people too.
    >
    > Initially they were. There was a "falling out" between the server
    people,
    > who wanted the advantages of IB and the desktop people who, while they
    were
    > initially on board, saw it getting too complex and too far delayed for
    their
    > tastes and decided to go with their own solution. That was when Intel
    > decommitted doing IB in the chipset.
    >
    Some Intel folks are still involved in the trade association. But not
    to the extent they were before.

    del
  38. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    On Wed, 19 May 2004 23:34:59 GMT, lindahl@pbm.com (Greg Lindahl)
    wrote:
    >In article <16qna0l7vrgmi92ds2nh75m3c1q2im5e3h@4ax.com>,
    >Tony Hill <hilla_nospam_20@yahoo.ca> wrote:
    >
    >>In short, not really a worthwhile comparison. For all intents and
    >>purposes, the 21364 is a non-existent product.
    >
    >Can we please stop wasting everyone's time by telling other posters
    >that their example is irrelevant because it doesn't ship in enough
    >volume, etc? It's pointless.

    It's no more pointless than pointing to the 21364 as an example of
    much of anything beyond a proof of concept. One pointless message
    answered by another? Perhaps.. welcome to Usenet.

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
  39. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    On Thu, 20 May 2004, Tony Hill wrote:

    > It's no more pointless than pointing to the 21364 as an example of
    > much of anything beyond a proof of concept. One pointless message
    > answered by another? Perhaps.. welcome to Usenet.

    Oh, for goodness sake.

    And it was Ford who invented the motor car, since noone else
    mass produced, right?

    Peter

    > -------------
    > Tony Hill
    > hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
    >
  40. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    "del cecchi" <dcecchi.nojunk@att.net> wrote in message
    news:2h56tjF9d036U1@uni-berlin.de...
    >
    > "Stephen Fuld" <s.fuld@PleaseRemove.att.net> wrote in message
    > news:8RXqc.30889$hH.653926@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
    > >
    > > "myren, lord" <thefowle@wam.umd.edu> wrote in message
    > > news:c8gen6$5sq$1@grapevine.wam.umd.edu...
    > > > i thought intel was one of the infiniband people too.
    > >
    > > Initially they were. There was a "falling out" between the server
    > people,
    > > who wanted the advantages of IB and the desktop people who, while they
    > were
    > > initially on board, saw it getting too complex and too far delayed for
    > their
    > > tastes and decided to go with their own solution. That was when Intel
    > > decommitted doing IB in the chipset.
    > >
    > Some Intel folks are still involved in the trade association. But not
    > to the extent they were before.

    Fair enough. But back when they started, with their IB predecessor
    proposal, NGIO, the idea was a total replacement for PCI, embedding it into
    the chipsets, etc. Of course there was to be a transition, but there were
    no plans for a "serial PCI" for all the reasons we discussed. That changed
    for the reasons we also discussed.

    --
    - Stephen Fuld
    e-mail address disguised to prevent spam
  41. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    In article <Pine.GSO.4.58.0405210517400.17672@holyrood.ed.ac.uk>,
    Peter Boyle <pboyle@holyrood.ed.ac.uk> wrote:
    >On Thu, 20 May 2004, Tony Hill wrote:
    >> It's no more pointless than pointing to the 21364 as an example of
    >> much of anything beyond a proof of concept. One pointless message
    >> answered by another? Perhaps.. welcome to Usenet.
    >
    >Oh, for goodness sake.
    >
    >And it was Ford who invented the motor car, since noone else
    >mass produced, right?

    Pointing it out probably constitutes nitpicking, but Oldsmobile (or the Olds
    Motor Works, as it was then known) had its cars in production for several
    years before the first Model T hit the streets. (Neither Ransom E. Olds nor
    Henry Ford invented the automobile; they were just the first to mass-produce
    them. Mass production != assembly-line production...while the latter
    implies the former, the reverse isn't true.)

    We now return to the regularly-scheduled topic, already in progress... :-)

    _/_
    / v \ Scott Alfter (remove the obvious to send mail)
    (IIGS( http://alfter.us/ Top-posting!
    \_^_/ rm -rf /bin/laden >What's the most annoying thing on Usenet?

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
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    =PV6m
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  42. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    >>>opteron is amazing in that it has its switching technology built in via ht.
    >>
    >>Yawn - the 21364 had that how many years ago?
    >
    > And how many did they sell?

    And in what way is that relevant to opteron being amazing, or not?

    Jan
  43. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    Peter Boyle wrote:

    >
    >
    > On Thu, 20 May 2004, Tony Hill wrote:
    >
    >> It's no more pointless than pointing to the 21364 as an example of
    >> much of anything beyond a proof of concept. One pointless message
    >> answered by another? Perhaps.. welcome to Usenet.
    >
    > Oh, for goodness sake.
    >
    > And it was Ford who invented the motor car, since noone else
    > mass produced, right?

    Gottlieb Daimler or Karl Benz.... dicounting things that ran on wood burning
    stoves.

    Martyn
  44. Archived from groups: comp.arch,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

    "Stephen Sprunk" <stephen@sprunk.org> wrote in message
    news:cea7be8cf3b003d69a5c9287e9f5c4ee@news.teranews.com...
    ....

    Making innovation _profitable_ is arguably more
    > important than bringing it to market first and then going under, because
    the
    > former leads to permanent change and the latter is just fodder for
    > comp.arch.

    1. Alpha was profitable, and could have been far more so. The consequences
    of the fact that Compaq (and DEC before it, post-Olsen) chose to concentrate
    on its failing PC business rather than on its profitable high-end products
    have little relevance to this discussion.

    2. Given the somewhat incestuous relationship between Alpha and AMD over a
    significant period of time (e.g., high-level people and the EV6 bus), it is
    not unreasonable to suggest that EV7's memory and glueless MP architecture
    at least inspired and to some degree may have informed AMD's.

    - bill
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