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AMD's 4x4 Platform

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November 30, 2006 11:00:32 AM

Buy One, Get One Free! Since AMD is unable to provide quad-core processors yet, it has now launched the dual processor "4x4" platform and two-processor kits to fight Intel's imminent Core 2 Quad threat. Socket 1207 and a pair of Athlon 64 FX-70 series CPUs do well, but they cannot counteract Intel's Core dominance - at least not yet.

More about : amd 4x4 platform

November 30, 2006 11:15:39 AM

Beaten to death everywhere else and now it'll be beaten to death in a official thread.
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November 30, 2006 12:24:11 PM

Wake me up before you go go.
November 30, 2006 12:26:44 PM

Way too many 4x4 threads... can't we just... have one?
November 30, 2006 12:48:07 PM

Windows Vista Ultimate RTM HAS been released, and is available to MSDN subscribers. I have the final Vista Ultimate running. Why doesn't THG? The article is littered with, "Well, AMD will probably run better on Vista Ultimate."

Not just that, but how many people will actually be running Vista Ultimate? It's $400. It's not like the glory days of Win 98 and Win 2000 where all you needed was a friend with access to corporate licensing or a little P2P savvy. Let's face it: I'm sure a LOT of entusiasts don't pay for the 5 or 6 OS' they have running on their home LAN. How many are going to favor a $400 OS license over an upgrade from a 7900GS to an 8800???

I liked the article other than the Vista references, and this:

Quote:
The results of our tests are somewhat ambiguous, so let's first summarize the pros and cons:


I didn't find the results ambiguous at all. They were clearly in Intel's favor. Was the conclusion written before the benches?
November 30, 2006 12:56:07 PM

This was more of an eye opener for me than I thought. Not that I was going to buy a 4x4 b/c of its "supieriority". Let me explain.

If you use 3Dmark0* to gauge your system, its a nice baseline, but just doesn't translate at all into the real world. I was aware of this, but not to the degree that are shown in the CPU charts:

http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu.html

Looking at what I would realistically do, it still behooves me to buy an e6600 and OC it to x6800 speeds and above.@ $310 for an e6600, I can purchase a decent liquid cooling set up, still save a few hundred dollars and reach speeds over x6800 (probably spend 700 including cooling), outperforming an FX-74 or QX6700 in REAL LIFE.

Until we see some software that can take advantage of multithread CPUs such as these, stick with C2D. Its MUCH more bang for the buck.
November 30, 2006 12:56:41 PM

At least the Pricing is better.. hehe 2 for one looks like the motherboard will take a hit in th ewallet as well though. Was thinking of maybe trying this out but :? seems too expensive for me.
November 30, 2006 1:02:14 PM

HHHMMM...Maybe I would agree on you, benchmarks aren't everything, they only represent a small piece of the puzzle. Granted, it is a good standard to test on, it will never represent anything concrete. I would recommend a C2D to anyone, but would never really have one, would purchase an AMD if I had the option. You're not really gonna see the advantage over 4 CPU's to 2 at the minute...
November 30, 2006 1:07:51 PM

Quote:
Way too many 4x4 threads... can't we just... have one?


We could SLI them in the spirit of 4x4. :twisted:
November 30, 2006 1:11:34 PM

I still can't get over this image; holy freaking god thats a ton of hardware packed into a very confined space.

November 30, 2006 1:15:05 PM

You could have added some benchmarks using the 8800 gtx...
November 30, 2006 1:15:58 PM

The more i look at it, the more it looks like a chipped up car engine. 8O

If someone would´ve shown me that picture 3 years ago, i would´ve said "nice photoshop".
November 30, 2006 1:16:52 PM

Quote:
You could have added some benchmarks using the 8800 gtx...


They tried. Didn´t you read about the blackout in the newspaper?
November 30, 2006 1:23:43 PM

Anyone wanna try cable routing on this beast?

12 SATA cables, power cables for everything, not to mention the 10 fans that need to be powered...

Then throw in liquid cooling too... a bunch of tubes everywhere?

It'd take Picasso to build a computer with all that in there and still look nice.
November 30, 2006 1:27:36 PM

Do it yourself? Not unless you have plans on pulling out your hair and weeping in frustration. If I ever lost my mind and decided to buy one of these things, I'd leave it to the guys at Falcon to build. Let them route that thing.
November 30, 2006 1:30:07 PM

Quote:
Do it yourself? Not unless you have plans on pulling out your hair and weeping in frustration. If I ever lost my mind and decided to buy one of these things, I'd leave it to the guys at Falcon to build. Let them route that thing.

Make sure they understand that you really, really want that 12 drive raid 0. :wink:
November 30, 2006 1:33:35 PM

"Sir could you please repeat that?.... A twelve drive configuration in RAID 0.... But its a Quad FX sir.... yes I understand that it's your money.... maybe you'd be better suited with an Alienware sir."
November 30, 2006 1:34:54 PM

Lol... gives shoehorn technology a face...
Reading some reviews really convinced me that the hw... is more of a joke than anything else... doesn't even give you any good oc and what a nightmare to find good coolers for that thingy...
The Dodo bird revived.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/425/1/
November 30, 2006 1:39:41 PM

I'm still happy with my P2B-D.
November 30, 2006 1:39:56 PM

Can it do 12 drive raid, I have a feeling since their's two dedicated controllers it can't raid between the two controllers, or I'm missing something here...

2 6 drive raid 0? Shrug...
November 30, 2006 1:41:19 PM

I've seen enough benchmarks from many different sources. My conclusion:

Quad FX = FAILURE
November 30, 2006 1:41:34 PM

No, RAID 0 can accommodate any amount higher than two. Any RAID controller worth its salt should be able to run that much.
November 30, 2006 1:57:29 PM

Quote:
Buy One, Get One Free! Since AMD is unable to provide quad-core processors yet, it has now launched the dual processor "4x4" platform and two-processor kits to fight Intel's imminent Core 2 Quad threat. Socket 1207 and a pair of Athlon 64 FX-70 series CPUs do well, but they cannot counteract Intel's Core dominance - at least not yet.

OMG the ASUS has 4-16X PCIE slots. Could this make for an AMD advantage until Intel comes with 4-16X PCIE slots mobo of their own? A quad GPU enthusiast setup for xmas?
http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/pcs/first-amd-4x4-mobo-s...
November 30, 2006 2:05:36 PM

Quote:
Buy One, Get One Free! Since AMD is unable to provide quad-core processors yet, it has now launched the dual processor "4x4" platform and two-processor kits to fight Intel's imminent Core 2 Quad threat. Socket 1207 and a pair of Athlon 64 FX-70 series CPUs do well, but they cannot counteract Intel's Core dominance - at least not yet.

OMG the ASUS has 4-16X PCIE slots. Could this make for an AMD advantage until Intel comes with 4-16X PCIE slots mobo of their own? A quad GPU enthusiast setup for xmas?
http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/pcs/first-amd-4x4-mobo-s...

Nope.

The last 2 slots are too close together. All SLI setups are double-length. It doesn't make sense to have 4 PCI-E slots on a motherboard if you're going to make them too close together to be usable....

Unless I'm just missing something....
November 30, 2006 2:07:33 PM

Quote:
"Sir could you please repeat that?.... A twelve drive configuration in RAID 0.... But its a Quad FX sir.... yes I understand that it's your money.... maybe you'd be better suited with an Alienware sir."


Yep, yep, it takes the kamikaze raid to a whole new level, yep.
November 30, 2006 2:08:01 PM

Why Quad... thats like 1 % of the enthusiast population which is 1% of the total population... basically a non-factor

To Ninja:

I meant 2 six-drive raid arrays because each controller should only control 6 drives, and I don't think the controllers will be able to talk to each other in a way to facilitate raid between them...

But I'm probably wrong.
November 30, 2006 2:08:57 PM

Quote:
I've seen enough benchmarks from many different sources. My conclusion:

Quad FX = FAILURE


Heck, and here i am, thinking the F stood for Frankenstein.
November 30, 2006 2:11:20 PM

Quote:
Why Quad... thats like 1 % of the enthusiast population which is 1% of the total population... basically a non-factor


More correct would be that 1% of the total population are enthusiasts and that 1% of them are, shall we say, challenged enough to buy "it".
November 30, 2006 2:24:05 PM

I wish I was challanged enough to buy it. :p 
-cm
November 30, 2006 2:26:56 PM

Quote:
Buy One, Get One Free! Since AMD is unable to provide quad-core processors yet, it has now launched the dual processor "4x4" platform and two-processor kits to fight Intel's imminent Core 2 Quad threat. Socket 1207 and a pair of Athlon 64 FX-70 series CPUs do well, but they cannot counteract Intel's Core dominance - at least not yet.

OMG the ASUS has 4-16X PCIE slots. Could this make for an AMD advantage until Intel comes with 4-16X PCIE slots mobo of their own? A quad GPU enthusiast setup for xmas?
http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/pcs/first-amd-4x4-mobo-s...

Nope.

The last 2 slots are too close together. All SLI setups are double-length. It doesn't make sense to have 4 PCI-E slots on a motherboard if you're going to make them too close together to be usable....

Unless I'm just missing something....
True but from what information I have the nvidia 8800's only works up to 3 cards in SLI. This mobo with 3 8800's would work as Nvidia designed. ATI may have a 4 GPU setup just for this system. This may well be an avantage AMD is handing to ATI for the R600.
November 30, 2006 2:36:01 PM

After browsing through the bench's out there this morning I can conclude:

1) Intels Quad Core is cheaper
2) Intels Quad Core is faster (in the majority of the benches)
3) Intels Quad Core is cooler. A LOT COOLER.

So 4x4? More like No x No. Have fun wasting your cash Baron!
November 30, 2006 2:37:38 PM

Sigh, don't know why people are trying to cram as much shiz on their mobo's as possible, but I guess there are always people with money to blow...

Wonder if Quad-SLI will really net any benefits, it still seems to be fairly troublesome driver-wise... not to mention newer and better cards will always come out...
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
November 30, 2006 2:41:00 PM

I would tend to agree.

Each Raid controller is on a separate 680a chip. Unless some HT wizardry is going on, I wouldn't expect it to actually be possible.

6 X Raptor 74 gig in Raid 0+1
6 X 750 gig in raid 5

Holy Hd batman!
Holy Fans batman

Holy what! can't hear you!
November 30, 2006 2:42:17 PM

I am waiting for that "one" chip to rule them all. Then I will never have to buy another cpu ever again! :roll:

(Possible names for the "one" chip)

The "Uber" or the "Genesis" or the "Darwin" take your pick. :wink:
November 30, 2006 2:42:40 PM

Quote:

True but from what information I have the nvidia 8800's only works up to 3 cards in SLI. This mobo with 3 8800's would work as Nvidia designed. ATI may have a 4 GPU setup just for this system. This may well be an avantage AMD is handing to ATI for the R600.


I think right now that doesn´t even matter. The power consumption of 4 current high end cards would push the overal consumption over what a 1000Watt power supply can deliver.
If someone really wanted to put more than 2 cards into that monster, at least one of those 150 Watt 5 1/4 bay psus would be needed in addition to the 1000 Watt PSU.
Using water cooling would reduce the size of the needed fans and heat spreaders etc. Looking at the 4x4, it is very likely that someone buying that is using watercooling too. And a diesel generator.
November 30, 2006 3:08:21 PM

AMBIGUOUS RESULTS?!?!?! ARE YOU KIDDING?!?!

AMD's solution seems to be an excercise in wastefull foolishness that is completely trampled by Intel in every single way. Who writes this stuff?

Anyone who actually buys quadro fx will be the laughing stock of the enthusiest community.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
November 30, 2006 3:11:09 PM

The price of these CPU is excellent, I mean you get 2 for the price of one!

Any chances they would work in 'cheaper' single socket Opteron board?
I'd be curious to see where they land on the Price/perf curve in single socketed(dividing the price by 2)action.

Anyhow, that is one huuuge ePenis in perspective!
November 30, 2006 3:11:24 PM

I think it is time to say goodbye to the ATX form factor. This ASUS baby maybe the last one of its kind. The ATX was created by Intel in 95'. BTX won't be able to be enough too. Now it is in AMD's interest to build a new motherboard form factor in 07'...here comes the a new, larger board, the QTX, a 15 x 12" motherboard. Quad SLI standard, with room to spare.

Maybe they could get rid of that ugly, poor engineered, ATX backplate for good, and take some clues from Apple machines.
November 30, 2006 3:13:02 PM

Quote:
AMBIGUOUS RESULTS?!?!?! ARE YOU KIDDING?!?!

AMD's solution seems to be an excercise in wastefull foolishness that is completely trampled by Intel in every single way. Who writes this stuff?


"QuadFX" not Quadro (the unofficial name for Kentsfield).

Quote:

Anyone who actually buys quadro fx(read: BaronMatrix) will be the laughing stock of the enthusiest community.


He already is.
November 30, 2006 3:22:19 PM

BaronMatrix,

After seeing the results of Quad FX's lackluster performance will you still get a Quad FX system?

Intel Quad CPU costs a little more than a pain of FX-74's, we'll say $100
However AMD's Quad FX motherboard will cost you an extra $150
And also you'll have to spend, and I'm being nice to AMD with this figure, and extra $100 on a high end 1kw power supply

By my rough numbers that makes a Quad FX system cost $150 MORE than an Intel system that can beat it nearly all benchmarks.

Also, the FX-74 does not have much overclocking potential. However, the Core 2 Duo's are PROVEN overclockers.

So you'd be willing to pay MORE for something that will give you so much less?

If I'm wrong, please correct me.
November 30, 2006 3:24:04 PM

They say they can work by themselves, as long as it's socket 1207 (I think)...

Sigh, I'd like BTX to come, but companies are damn slow... what can you do...
November 30, 2006 3:47:39 PM

More and more I'm glad that I won't be upgrading my computer for about 13-14 more months. I want to see where this is headed.

Sure, currently 4x4 stuff is expensive and doesn't give the sort of performance that people are expecting. But, along with quad core processors and tighter CPU/GPU integration, I'm hopeful that AMD might be able to make some interesting products before I have to make my purchasing decision.

If, for example, AMD were to expand the range and number of processors you could use, things could get interesting. If you were able to buy regular X2 processors and stick 2 or 4 of them onto a motherboard, that would be pretty awesome. Ignoring heat and power considerations (because I naively assume that the amount of silicon, capacitors, power draw, etc will be the same whether you divide 4 cores over 1 or 2 dies) as well as the pesky need for Vista Ultimate, multiple CPUs is definitely the way to go. You can scale higher if you need to. Say quad core processors are the most complex being made when you get your system--if you're limited to one processor you're limited to quad core, if you can put more in your limit increases with your wallet size. You can also increase your computing experience at your own pace by reusing parts. Say you can't afford a $1000 quad core CPU. However, you can get a decent dual core CPU for $200-300, and besides, that's all which is really cost effective for your use. If in the next year or two you decide that your computer could use a speed boost, it's much easier to add a new processor--you don't have to throw away the old one and pay $200-300 for a new, better model. You can either pay that amount and add the performance directly, or you can spend $100-150 and get a second copy of the original processor. You've paid half of what the quad core would cost you, never had a gross waste of money or power usage when you don't need it, and get a comparable amount of performance in the end.

It's similar to hard drives I suppose. You *could* spend $300 on a 750 GB drive, or you could spend that same amount on three 320 GB drives that give you more capacity for the same cost. And when you want more space, you can put a new drive in to supplement the old, instead of totally replacing it. I've got a Shuttle PC which already has two drives and I had to wait a long time until I could find an affordable drive which offered a big enough capacity jump over the one I'd replace to justify the annoyance of copying over files and opening up my computer. Same thing with CPUs, if you've got a limit (currently 1) on how many you can put in, if you just want a speed bump between two totally new systems you have to wait longer for a considerably faster CPU to drop to a very low price--if you could slot a second one in at any time, you don't have to do that, and could just wait 4-6 months for the price of your original CPU to drop so you can throw a second one in.

Of course I'm ignoring a bunch of technical stuff, advantages of having "all your cores under one die", stuff like that. But still I wish that there was more going on along the multi-(insert PC component) front. It's worked well with hard drives (both for independent drives and RAID arrays), RAM, SLI/Crossfire, multiple optical drives for easier copying and even multi-monitor too. CPUs are the last major PC components which need to embrace the ability to add to what you've got rather than totally replace it.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
November 30, 2006 3:50:21 PM

Not to burst your bubble but BTX as been dropped by Intel.

Sorr I can't find a link, but I know they did. BTX was a band aid for prescott, that and the Thermally Advanced Chassis.

Not that BTX is bad, but Support from anyone other then large OEM has been way to slow. Intel being frugal now, is cutting back expenses and BTX fell in that category.

Now I could be wrong but I've read that at more then one place, just no link =(.

Hehe Funny I don't think it's accurate at all.
November 30, 2006 3:52:53 PM

1. Two 90nm processors use WAY more power than 1 65nm processor.
2. Athlon X2's could never be used because the Quad FX processors have extra HT links so that they can access each other's RAM and communicate with each other.

What makes this Quad FX not exciting one bit is the fact that it either loses to or barely bests a FX-62 system that would cost WAY less.
November 30, 2006 4:06:05 PM

One thing I gotta say is,

This is revision 1. 1 Mobo, and 3 processor sets.

I want to see where this goes. It could be very good in the end.

With the Agena's launching in less than a year, and this workstation style enthusiast style format.

And then with Vista launching in january, threading processes thru each specific processor and core.

It could be very interesting to see the gains. And then with HT 3 ready to drop, this stuff gets even more interesting.

This Mobo raises some read flags and possibly dead in the water, but could definitely be the 1st casualty in a war that's getting ready to boil over...
November 30, 2006 4:16:40 PM

Quote:

If, for example, AMD were to expand the range and number of processors you could use, things could get interesting. If you were able to buy regular X2 processors and stick 2 or 4 of them onto a motherboard, that would be pretty awesome. Ignoring heat and power considerations (because I naively assume that the amount of silicon, capacitors, power draw, etc will be the same whether you divide 4 cores over 1 or 2 dies) as well as the pesky need for Vista Ultimate, multiple CPUs is definitely the way to go.

Agreed.

Quote:

You can scale higher if you need to. Say quad core processors are the most complex being made when you get your system--if you're limited to one processor you're limited to quad core, if you can put more in your limit increases with your wallet size. You can also increase your computing experience at your own pace by reusing parts. Say you can't afford a $1000 quad core CPU. However, you can get a decent dual core CPU for $200-300, and besides, that's all which is really cost effective for your use. If in the next year or two you decide that your computer could use a speed boost, it's much easier to add a new processor--you don't have to throw away the old one and pay $200-300 for a new, better model. You can either pay that amount and add the performance directly, or you can spend $100-150 and get a second copy of the original processor. You've paid half of what the quad core would cost you, never had a gross waste of money or power usage when you don't need it, and get a comparable amount of performance in the end.

There are several problems with that approach. There is the mainboard cost. Quadcore ready mainboards are a lot cheaper than 4x4 mainboards.
While i like the thought of adding a second processor later, it will probably be just like it is with new gpus and SLI. It is faster and cheaper to buy a more powerful single solution. Since you defined the playing ground being 4 cores tops, your argument remains valid.
Your mistake is to asume that people only want to upgrade only their processor after, say, two years. There might be a new RAM standard, a new interface for graphic cards and so on. It is unlikely that it makes sense to upgrade instead of buying something new.
If you had bought a 2 processor opteron system 2 years ago with a single core 246. You could buy another one for it right now. Would you do that? Or would you just sell the old 246 and put a higher clocked dual core chip into it? I think you wouldn´t buy another single core processor to "upgrade".

Quote:

It's similar to hard drives I suppose. You *could* spend $300 on a 750 GB drive, or you could spend that same amount on three 320 GB drives that give you more capacity for the same cost. And when you want more space, you can put a new drive in to supplement the old, instead of totally replacing it. I've got a Shuttle PC which already has two drives and I had to wait a long time until I could find an affordable drive which offered a big enough capacity jump over the one I'd replace to justify the annoyance of copying over files and opening up my computer. Same thing with CPUs, if you've got a limit (currently 1) on how many you can put in, if you just want a speed bump between two totally new systems you have to wait longer for a considerably faster CPU to drop to a very low price--if you could slot a second one in at any time, you don't have to do that, and could just wait 4-6 months for the price of your original CPU to drop so you can throw a second one in.

That logic is flawed. As you said yourself the new harddrive would supplement the old one. If you buy a 300GB harddrive at the beginning you would only be able to add other 300GB drives later. And if you go on with that analogy you will have to keep the speed in mind too. It wouldn´t be a RAID, it would be a JBOD. And speed would be rather ugly since you never would be able to add a faster drive than the original one.

So assuming you have bought that 300GB drive with a Transfer rate of say 60mb for 100$. Two years later you need more space. Do you buy the 600GB drive with a transfer speed of 110mb per second for 100$ and replace the old one, or do you buy another 300GB drive for 70$ like you had and just add it? That´s roughly the scenario you will be facing. There are some people that still will upgrade, but the more performance/cost efficient solution is to replace it.


Quote:

Of course I'm ignoring a bunch of technical stuff, advantages of having "all your cores under one die", stuff like that. But still I wish that there was more going on along the multi-(insert PC component) front. It's worked well with hard drives (both for independent drives and RAID arrays), RAM, SLI/Crossfire, multiple optical drives for easier copying and even multi-monitor too. CPUs are the last major PC components which need to embrace the ability to add to what you've got rather than totally replace it.


SLI and Crossfire only work if you add roughly the same compontents that you already have. Same goes for RAID.
Two 2 year old 80 GB drives in raid are more expensive and more prone error than a single 160 GB drive is. Two 6600GTs in SLI use more power and generate more heat than a single 7600GT.
It is a nice idea to offer an upgrade path, you got that right, but at what expense? Technology is moving. It´s moving fast. The way it´s going right now, upgrading makes almost no sense at all.

If you had the possibility to combine an FX72 (dual core) with an FX106 (quad core) and a Geforce 8800 GTX with a Geforce 9900 GT, then it may start to make sense.
November 30, 2006 4:21:46 PM

Quote:

I want to see where this goes. It could be very good in the end.

This Mobo raises some read flags and possibly dead in the water, but could definitely be the 1st casualty in a war that's getting ready to boil over...


That´s the whole point. This thing right now is a disaster. When i first read about 4x4 i thought it was AMDs glue-job to counter conroe or it may be a whole new idea for a new platform. Even if amd fails with this, i appreciate that they tried. It´s risky and throwing this thing on the market with a bad performance and a stellar power consumption seems rather stupid. I do hope that they get around though, that they can somehow make this work. In fact, i want to see this work.
November 30, 2006 4:22:11 PM

Did anyone else get PM spammed?

Blah.
!