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Speculative Talk: AMD K10

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March 19, 2006 9:58:05 PM

As with Nehalem, I want to get views on AMD's next architecture, K10 and I ask for non-fanboyism. Some sources say it is dead, while others say it is on track for release. What I know about K10 is that it will bring Multi-Core, possibly 8-Cores or more, DDR3/DDR4, use HyperTransport 3.0 or 4.0, probably use Z-RAM or another form of Static RAM for L2 Cache and may include L3 Cache. I also heard AMD is shooting for 10GHz Operation, including additional registers, possibly SSE4, and looking for a 2007-2009 release date. What you guys think?

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time

More about : speculative talk amd k10

March 19, 2006 10:06:19 PM

10 GHz seems to be quite a step up for a 07-09 release. How long did it take to go from 2 GHz to 3? Also, how are software companies going to keep up with a jump like that? I can only assume that development costs are gonna go way up to be able to use all 8 cores.

I'm a gamer by nature, so this kinda stuff doesn't bother my wallet much as I know that a dual core will still be viable in '07 and probably '08.
March 19, 2006 10:13:13 PM

Quote:
Sounds more and more like a Prescott to me...


That was my first impression, but it depends on where AMD goes with this, it could turn out to be a big surprise, or a huge flop.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
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March 19, 2006 10:25:31 PM

Quote:
Sounds more and more like a Prescott to me...

We don't need more Prescotts.

hmm... 10GHz? I thought the GHz race was over?

That doesn't mean more GHz won't be better. I'm sure Intel is aiming for alot higher clock speeds as well, especially with a 3.33GHz Conroe. W/ 45nm and 22nm, 5GHz+ should be easily obtainable.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
March 19, 2006 10:56:23 PM

Isn't there a bit of a snag when smaller than ~45nm?
March 19, 2006 11:01:31 PM

I think Intel will go for higher clocks as well. Especially now that they're on the right track as far as getting the right technology in place. If their new processors put out as much efficiency as they claim they do, they can certainly do it now vs. Prescott.
March 19, 2006 11:08:39 PM

it all seems very attainable, except the 10ghz optertron, unless theyv are THAT confident that going to 65nm will allow them to clock that high. I am really liking this z ram, it sounds great with the size reduction, and performance boost, just hope its as amazing as it sounds.
March 19, 2006 11:22:33 PM

Quote:
it all seems very attainable, except the 10ghz optertron, unless theyv are THAT confident that going to 65nm will allow them to clock that high. I am really liking this z ram, it sounds great with the size reduction, and performance boost, just hope its as amazing as it sounds.


Yeah, Z-RAM will be the best thing for the new SMP Opteron 64 Servers, it should secure AMD's hold on the Server market for the future.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
March 19, 2006 11:23:37 PM

What happened to K9?
March 19, 2006 11:26:11 PM

Quote:
What happened to K9?


K9 was dropped as the codename, but it originally was the Athlon 64 X2's.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
March 19, 2006 11:35:45 PM

There will need to be some big advancements in silicon technology to achieve 10ghz. The biggest issue is that as the die size gets smaller and heads towards 45nm and less other problems have to be overcome, and the primary one which is also the speed hurdle is (to put it in simple terms) cross talk in the chip. Fixes such as strained silicon have been brought out to help this, and subsequently other new ideas abound on how to reduce this, but until a stable way can be found to reduce data contamination within the chip speeds much over 5 to 6 ghz will be extremely difficult.

This article is slightly old but might interest some of you, it has some basics about strained silicon and also a bit about some other techniques, but it gets across the main issues with increased speed and reduced die size.

http://www.penstarsys.com/editor/tech/cpu/amd/str_sil/

Someone asked how software would keep up. Once software has been developed with any sort of multi core in mind, it doesnt care how many cores your chip has. The compiler libraries that developers will use will basically compile for either single core, or more than one core, its that simple. If a prog runs dual strings on a dual core, it will run 4 strings on 4 core and so on. This is basically the same as software which has been designed to work on multichip server or workstations. For example a lot of the video rendering packages are known to run well and make great use of dual core chips. This is because video rendering was originally compiled for use on workstation class machines which would quite commonly have 2 or more processors, so the software reacts in pretty well the same way to dual cores as it does to 2 processors (not exactly but close enough). As dual core and becomes more prevalent in the market more and more software will be compiled for this, and effectively support any number of multi cores. There will of course be optimisations for more cores and depending on the compiler and the skill (or time/cost restrictions) of the programmers the increase of cores will not necessarily cause uniform scaling of performance with more cores.

That all said, 10ghz 8 core would be rather nice.

As far as will it wont it is concerned, we will have to see what happens after AMD release its labradour and Husky cores (K9).


Sorry, couldn't resist....
March 20, 2006 12:18:47 AM

I did not articulate it very well since I was in a hurry, but I tried (in Msg #7) to say about what you just said, malphadour.

Hello, everybody. I am the new guy. :oops: 

Be gentle.
March 20, 2006 12:43:09 AM

The problem with 45nm much like decreasing any die size is cooling.
Its not that the core puts off extreme heat, its the fact that the surface area
is now becoming so small, that properly setting up a cooling solution could
be difficult.

As for the GHZ. Its over guys...Intel isnt going with the netburst philosophy of the higher the frequencies the better. Now its starting to depend on instructions per clock cycle, energy efficiency, heat dissapation and features. Notice how low the consumption for AM2 and Conroe Dual cores are? --- :D 

Yes, Quad core is 07. So I'm assuming we'll be seeing 4-8 cores per silicon
around this time. I think its going to be about marketing this time around.
Now that Intel has a respectable product to compare, AMD might hurt itself
with the lack of advertisement. Notice any good AMD commercials lately?? (Web doesnt count) Which is my point exactly. Now look at Intel's marketing department.....they just signed Mariah Carrey for christs sake,
these guys know what there doing. So AMD better start understanding,
that they need to somehow reach midstream users.
March 20, 2006 1:53:33 PM

1) First of all, AMD may not include SSE4 since they're going to implement a new instruction set to take full advantage of the extra registers for multimedia purposes.
3D-Now performed very well for the K6 and early Athlons, the reason why AMD didn't continue with it was because programmers around the world were using Intel's SSE standard (indeed, SSE was never better than AMD's 3D-Now).

2) They'll have double the floating point and integer units for K8L and double K8L's floating point and integer units in K10 (this is 4x K8 floating point and integer units).

3) They'll have a revamped memory controller thanks to Rambus.

4) HTT 4.0.

5) A revamped cache hierarchy with huge L1 and L3 caches thanks to Z-RAM technology.

6) Some sort of DSMT for better multitasking (akin SUNs Niagara chip)

7) Improved RAS features.

These are some of the features of what we can expect from K10.
March 20, 2006 2:05:54 PM

This is a very engaging discussion. I hope that AMD does not rush K10 in an effort to compete against Intel Core Micro-Architecture (ICM).

I do not know if 10 ghz would be possible from the next generation, but you have to keep in mind the Intel's ICM is going to start off around 2ghz and only go up from there, I could see ICM hitting 5 or 6 ghz as manufacturing processes improve.

I read into Z-RAM for processor cache and it sounds EXTREMELY exciting. I don't know how L3 cache would fit into the picture, but it sounds neat! In terms of release date, I hope AMD gets it out soon, but does not leave things out or make compromises to meet a time-frame.

Thanks for the info MadModMike and others.
March 20, 2006 2:11:31 PM

Quote:
This is a very engaging discussion. I hope that AMD does not rush K10 in an effort to compete against Intel Core Micro-Architecture (ICM).


AMD doesn't needs to rush out K10. Conroe is already beated with K8L.
And if I'm not wrong, Intel rushed Conroe to "ease" the beating they were getting from AMD.
March 20, 2006 2:36:27 PM

Quote:
There will need to be some big advancements in silicon technology to achieve 10ghz. The biggest issue is that as the die size gets smaller and heads towards 45nm and less other problems have to be overcome, and the primary one which is also the speed hurdle is (to put it in simple terms) cross talk in the chip. Fixes such as strained silicon have been brought out to help this, and subsequently other new ideas abound on how to reduce this, but until a stable way can be found to reduce data contamination within the chip speeds much over 5 to 6 ghz will be extremely difficult.


I wonder if Intel and AMD are currently trialing polymeric dielectric materials? At one time, Intel was testing various polymeric products in processes down to 20nm. A few years ago, IBM was touting polymeric dielectrics as the key to 5GHz and beyond, but I think they now just use them in one process. SiO2 has been stretched to it's limits. What's gonna be next?
March 20, 2006 2:46:40 PM

No ones made the point that maybe they mean 10GHz combined. 4 x 2.5GHz cores. Its a long shot but possible.

Anyway. I don't see anything over a 4GHz processor happening for a while. Maybe when Conroe gets down to 45nm we will but until then probably not. Definitely not over 5GHz for a long time.

I hope AMD doesn't try to pull an Intel though. They proved that clockspeed doesn't matter.
March 20, 2006 3:10:22 PM

Sometimes clockspeed does matter.
If you have a process that can't be parallelized the only way to make things faster is clockspeed (going from 4 to 5 to 6 issues is quite difficult and still will not work for all types of load).

Here you can use a nice engine analogy.
Although the saying goes "there any no subsitute for cubes", you'll find the most powerfull engines aren't the ones with the most cubes, but the ones with the most revs (look at F1 engines, small 3.5l but rev upto 15000rpm).
A big 7litre is going be heavy and would not suite a lightweight racing car, great for trucks where you need the low down torque, but you'd just spin the wheels in a lightweight car.
March 20, 2006 3:13:21 PM

Quote:
No ones made the point that maybe they mean 10GHz combined. 4 x 2.5GHz cores. Its a long shot but possible.


Gigehertz do not exist. It is a measure of operating frequency and therefore cannot be added together such as something like processor cache amounts.

Adding operating frequencies together would be like saying you can travel at 220 mp/h when in fact you just have two vehicles capable of traveling at 110 mp/h.
March 20, 2006 3:40:07 PM

I am also interested in 2007/2008 CPUs and Chipsets.
2007 might sound like a long time away, but I only buy new (everything) systems about every 3-4 years.

Knowing this can keep me from buying a 939 CPU if it's not supported much longer. Or knowing PCIe will be supported for years to come will help me decide on what graphics card to get.
March 20, 2006 4:19:34 PM

MadModMike

I need your expert advice. :wink: I want to upgrade my existing AGP motherboard to a PCIe to run some of the later video cards but not sure how far to go with the upgrade. I have a FX-53 processor currently and would like to continue using it unless you feel dual core is just that much better. I would like to overclock the processor but not sure how well a FX-53 will perform in that area. I know it is fully unlocked but never attempted to take it past the normal clock speed. I know, so please don't jump on me too bad. The thing is I don't really feel like putting a ton of money into this upgrade right now with so many changes coming from both Intel and AMD. I'm a gamer and really just want a really good PCIe video card. I have come to trust you over several weeks of reading your posts and would like you take on it. Thanks. :lol: 
March 20, 2006 4:25:00 PM

Quote:
I am also interested in 2007/2008 CPUs and Chipsets.
2007 might sound like a long time away, but I only buy new (everything) systems about every 3-4 years.

Knowing this can keep me from buying a 939 CPU if it's not supported much longer. Or knowing PCIe will be supported for years to come will help me decide on what graphics card to get.


Well, first off, Socket 939 is in its final few months. In June Socket AM2 will come out. In your situation I would at the very least wait for Socket AM2 or Conroe to come out.

If you are going to stick with AMD, then you may want to consider waiting for K10, but there are no solid time frames for this, so that would be your call.
March 20, 2006 5:13:41 PM

I just hope they fix the problem with TSC drift, thus eliminating all these dual/multi core patches. It looks like one is in the works.

excerpt:
Future TSC Directions and Solutions
===================================
Future AMD processors will provide a TSC that is P-state and
C-State invariant and unaffected by STPCLK-throttling. This
will make the TSC immune to drift. Because using the TSC
for fast timer APIs is a desirable feature that helps
performance, AMD has defined a CPUID feature bit that
software can test to determine if the TSC is
invariant. Issuing a CPUID instruction with an %eax register
value of 0x8000_0007, on a processor whose base family is
0xF, returns "Advanced Power Management Information" in the
%eax, %ebx, %ecx, and %edx registers. Bit 8 of the return
%edx is the "TscInvariant" feature flag which is set when
TSC is P-state, C-state, and STPCLK-throttling invariant; it
is clear otherwise.

The rate of the invariant TSC is implementation-dependent
and will likely *not* be the frequency of the processor
core; however, its period should be short enough such that
it is not possible for two back-to-back rdtsc instructions
to return the same value. Software which is trying to
measure actual processor frequency or cycle-performance
should use Performance Event 76h, CPU Clocks not Halted,
rather than the TSC to count CPU cycles.
.
.
.
Until TSC becomes invariant, AMD recommends that operating
system developers avoid TSC as a fast timer source on
affected systems. (AMD recommends that the operating system
should favor these time sources in a prioritized manner:
HPET first, then ACPI PM Timer, then PIT.)


The full report can be found here.
March 20, 2006 5:24:03 PM

All this talk about cpu speed as nice to dream about.... BUT!!! even if it were to come to reality right now it will not offer much benefit to systems using the current popular HD's.
The HD is probably the biggest bottleneck to systems performance today. Personally I would prefer significantly faster HD's right now than a 10GHz CPU & I await the day when the Hybrid ram/disk drives become available. & my system will boot in 1-3 seconds.... my .02c
March 20, 2006 5:34:11 PM

Quote:
As with Nehalem, I want to get views on AMD's next architecture, K10 and I ask for non-fanboyism. Some sources say it is dead, while others say it is on track for release. What I know about K10 is that it will bring Multi-Core, possibly 8-Cores or more, DDR3/DDR4, use HyperTransport 3.0 or 4.0, probably use Z-RAM or another form of Static RAM for L2 Cache and may include L3 Cache. I also heard AMD is shooting for 10GHz Operation, including additional registers, possibly SSE4, and looking for a 2007-2009 release date. What you guys think?

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time

Well Mike, there are some things that all of us can guess and some things that are allready proved.
10GHz sounds SF to me as long as this manifacturing process is used. SOI offers less power consumation, but will not offer operating freqfency at 10GHz on 65nm or 45nm either. Adding unreasonable number of stages of the pipes is proved(P4 Netburst) as unsucessfull for performance(less instructions per clock are achieved). Today parallel processing at lower clock is forced instead of sequentional at higher, as more efficient for the overall performance race.
4 core chips are in the baseline of AMD and they are expected to apear in the 65nm SOI after H2 2K7. SOI might offer implementation of Z-RAM and that could be expected in K10 too. I guess lower freqfency than 4GHz while on 65nm SOI.
SSE4 are not only registers, instructions(not much effective on the reviewed Conroe) are also included. I guess there would be no problems for AMD to implement them in the current K8 and future K10.
No DDR3 before 2009, its too much expencive and there will be no need of that much memory bandwidth until then. I guess they will optimize the current architecture for high latency memory and will find DDR2 usefull for their chips.
I think there will be no L3 Cache. The integrated memory controler and the DDR RAM are exactly L3 for the K8. If Z-RAM technolgy succeed, with builtin memory controler there is no reason for another level of cache.
We shall see more HTT links and with better badnwidth(more bits width and on higher freq) for sure.
March 20, 2006 5:41:22 PM

Quote:
No ones made the point that maybe they mean 10GHz combined. 4 x 2.5GHz cores. Its a long shot but possible.


Gigehertz do not exist. It is a measure of operating frequency and therefore cannot be added together such as something like processor cache amounts.

Adding operating frequencies together would be like saying you can travel at 220 mp/h when in fact you just have two vehicles capable of traveling at 110 mp/h.

I know in reality it doesn't add. I was talking more like they market it to the average consumer like that. Look at all the BS companies push on people successfully without telling them the details.
March 20, 2006 5:42:34 PM

@10Ghz... will we be able to hear it? :lol: 

<just a silly madeup statment>

Here at AInMtelD, we don't make hurricanes.
We sell CPUs that cause global warming, to make stronger hurricanes.

We didn't invent the deficit,
Instead, our CPU will crash the market to make the deficit rise.

Here at AInMtelD, we don't make allot of your problems,
We make allot of your problems you have... bigger.
March 20, 2006 5:53:32 PM

Quote:
Here you can use a nice engine analogy.
Although the saying goes "there any no subsitute for cubes", you'll find the most powerfull engines aren't the ones with the most cubes, but the ones with the most revs (look at F1 engines, small 3.5l but rev upto 15000rpm).
A big 7litre is going be heavy and would not suite a lightweight racing car, great for trucks where you need the low down torque, but you'd just spin the wheels in a lightweight car.


Yes and those F1 engines also only last one race and barely at that (assuming the car doesn't break down). The most powerful street engines are bigger ones. Thats like saying a 540 cubic inch big block that'll rev to 10,000 rpm and makes 4000 hp is the most powerful car engine out there and can be put in your average Mustang. Or the 1600 hp Ecotecs out there.

And the new Corvette Z06 engine is a 7.0L 427 all-aluminum small block and weighs only about 300 pounds.
March 20, 2006 6:37:50 PM

Quote:
MadModMike

I need your expert advice. :wink: I want to upgrade my existing AGP motherboard to a PCIe to run some of the later video cards but not sure how far to go with the upgrade. I have a FX-53 processor currently and would like to continue using it unless you feel dual core is just that much better. I would like to overclock the processor but not sure how well a FX-53 will perform in that area. I know it is fully unlocked but never attempted to take it past the normal clock speed. I know, so please don't jump on me too bad. The thing is I don't really feel like putting a ton of money into this upgrade right now with so many changes coming from both Intel and AMD. I'm a gamer and really just want a really good PCIe video card. I have come to trust you over several weeks of reading your posts and would like you take on it. Thanks. :lol: 


Sure I can help.

I'm going to assume it's a Socket 939 FX-53. If you don't already have a good motherboard picked out, and you want to save a buck or 2, grab the ASUS A8N-SLI. The board isn't the best overclocker, but since you're just beginning and probably don't wish to push your CPU too far, that will get you to 2.6-2.8GHz easily. And it and will recognize your FX-53 without a hitch, but if you do purchase it, make sure to upgrade the Chipset and BIOS. Alot of people complain that board sucks but after I upgraded to the latest BIOS and Chipset Driver, it's been smoothe as silk.

For a good GPU, I recommend the 7900GT. If price is a concern, or $300-$350 is too much for you, I recommend the 6800GS. The 6800GS beats every other 6800 series cards (I have them all) and it's only $175. If you wish to go ATI, I recommend the x800GTO2. I do that because it can be unlocked to an x850XT and perform above the 6800GS, plus it's about $150.

I also recommend, since you wish to overclock, you get an aftermarket heatsink and fan. I recommend the Thermaltake VENUS 12. That cooler I have on 2 Opteron 64's @ 2.4GHz and keeps them less than 30c idle and less than 40c load. I hope this helped, if you need more help, PM me or drop a post here.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
March 20, 2006 6:51:18 PM

First, thanks for your advice and taking the time to answer. I just can't see putting a lot of money into a current socket 939's with it being so near to AM2, Conroe, etc. I am alittle surpised to see the FX-53 overclocking so well. I suppose all that extra money was worth something in the end. By the way, sorry to get off topic guys. Again, thanks.
March 20, 2006 6:58:18 PM

Quote:
First, thanks for your advice and taking the time to answer. I just can't see putting a lot of money into a current socket 939's with it being so near to AM2, Conroe, etc. I am alittle surpised to see the FX-53 overclocking so well. I suppose all that extra money was worth something in the end. By the way, sorry to get off topic guys. Again, thanks.


No problem. If I were you, I would wait until AM2 came out, than the prices for Socket 939 stuff should drop. I wouldn't buy an AM2 when it comes out, due to high DDR2 and Motherboard costs when it first arrives. I would grab a high-end (DFI LanParty nF4) Socket 939 Motherboard, and a 4200+ or 4400+, and overclock it to mad. A 4400+ or 4200+ @ 2.8GHz will be a beast of a machine and should run less than $500 - $650 for the mobo, CPU, RAM, and cooler when AM2 comes out and that system will last for quite some time. But, it's up to you, your FX-53 is still a nice chip and you have many choices for what next computer you build/buy. If you need anything more, PM me or drop a post here.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
March 20, 2006 10:06:41 PM

stormy, that FX-53 is more than enough CPU for todays and tomorrows games. No need to overclock it either unless your just looking for e-peen growth. Game are getting more and more GPU based taking many tasks away from the CPU. So if I were you, id get a pci-e and get the best video card you can buy, which since your upgrading from AGP, the best you can buy will be a vast improvement. I myself from bought a 7800gs AGP card mainly because im looking to be held over for a year then build a new rig.
!