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Phenom TLB patch performance

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December 6, 2007 6:50:58 AM

http://techreport.com/articles.x/13741/1

Also includes benchmark results between the ES samples for reviewers (with a 2GHz NB/L3), and the retail versions, with the slower 1.8GHz NB/L3.

All in all, there is a 14% performance penalty with the patch enabled, and 20% if you include synthetic memory benchmarks.

There is nothing else to say, except... DAMMIT.
December 6, 2007 7:00:01 AM

I think it's time Ruiz got his marching orders! So for those saying a Q6600 was 13% faster than a Phenom, the difference is now closer to 30%!
December 6, 2007 7:11:40 AM

Quote:
Maybe AMD should't release the patch it just makes things worse


If stability is paramount (ie. mission critical tasks) then the patch is a must. For most people, I would say a rare crash is better than an overall 14% performance hit.
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December 6, 2007 7:29:53 AM

Truly a sad day for amd. With all the problems they've occurred, to slap this on top of the list is just disappointing. The B3 stepping which will resolve this issue will be shipped and available for purchase around March 2008 from what it seems. That's not a very good sign. If AMD can't pull in a large sum of profit by the end of 2008 (Nehalem Release), then, sadly to say, AMD might end up going under. Or downsizing significantly to become a smaller company that will lose AMD's current aim for the future.
December 6, 2007 8:22:40 AM

wouldent that put it at around the same performance as the K8's?
December 6, 2007 8:36:39 AM

Behind atm I'd believe. They haven't done a comparison benchmark yet between the two, also too lazy to search for individual similar system benchmarks to compare. But it should be behind with this new bios patch.
December 6, 2007 8:55:11 AM

This is distressing.
December 6, 2007 9:08:29 AM

AMD really did not need this. With this stacking as well as a march issue release for the B3...There are going to be excess stock from these processors building up. With the march release, doesn't give much time for them to pull profit. If they don't get high clocked Phenoms in the 2.8 ghz range at least by the end of 2H/3H 2008...Sad to say, AMD might go under..With Nehalem due at Q4...Also with the word about it's massive performance gains, it's not looking good for AMD.
December 6, 2007 9:50:58 AM

It is distressing in that it's such a large performance hit, but remember that these are server chips first and foremost. The benchmarks used were all end-user benchmarks. Who runs Office, Photoshop or Firefox on a server? It would have been better to include benchmarks for web and DB servers, etc.

If you really are using Opterons in an end-user environment (high-end workstations or gaming machines) then you've got way more money than sense anyway. You should be waiting for the Phenom FX chips in this case anyway or just wait 3 months more for the fixed silicon. 3 months is not going to kill anyone.

And no.... AMD will not go under. Bought out or merged maybe, but not bankrupt. They have way too much IP and other assets for this to happen.

Besides which, people seem to forget that AMD still have the 45nm switch over to make plus much higher clock speeds to release, and Intel have to integrate their memory controller on chip and switch to HT bus yet. With AMD's aggressive pricing policy they only need to cover their costs to stay in the game and still increase their market share which they are doing very well at the moment.

My 4x4 platform (memory, mobo and processors) cost half what an equivalent benchmarking Intel quad core plaform cost, plus I can have 8 processing cores in the future without upgrading the mobo or memory so in the long run, it's going to cost around 1/3 of the equivalent upgrade path from Intel. For the money I save, I can live without the extra few fps in games or an extra few seconds here and there transcoding videos or audio.
December 6, 2007 10:19:36 AM

tstebbens said:

My 4x4 platform (memory, mobo and processors) cost half what an equivalent benchmarking Intel quad core plaform cost, plus I can have 8 processing cores in the future without upgrading the mobo or memory so in the long run, it's going to cost around 1/3 of the equivalent upgrade path from Intel. For the money I save, I can live without the extra few fps in games or an extra few seconds here and there transcoding videos or audio.


I'd love to know how you saved 1/2 the money on a comparable Intel platform when a Q6600/P35 board costs around $400. How much does an FX-74 / Asus QuadFX board cost? $700? $800?

I'm not even taking into account the power consumption here...

And upgrading to 8 cores? Didn't you read the news? AMD is dropping support for QuadFX... so much for that then...

December 6, 2007 11:31:36 AM

tstebbens said:
It is distressing in that it's such a large performance hit, but remember that these are server chips first and foremost. The benchmarks used were all end-user benchmarks. Who runs Office, Photoshop or Firefox on a server? It would have been better to include benchmarks for web and DB servers, etc.


The telling one for that is the Memory Throughput test which tanked.
The Excellent Memory performance was the one main thing that really helped AMD.
A big hit there is a big problem.
December 6, 2007 11:51:46 AM

Talk about getting kicked while you're down. Now I see why AMD has decided to bring back K8. It might be slower than Core2, but at least it's not broken.
December 6, 2007 1:14:04 PM

If AMD cant raise their IPC, they deserve to go under. A single phenom core needs to outperform a single athlon 64 core by at least 50%, considering its been 4 years. That's 12% a year. What they're basically saying is their IPC has improved by only 1% per year. That's horrid.
December 6, 2007 1:35:40 PM

Wow a 19.8% average drop in performance (Firefox sticks out with 57.1% drop) with the TLB patch and 13.9% without including the memory tests. That is truly disturbing
December 6, 2007 2:00:17 PM

tstebbens said:
Besides which, people seem to forget that AMD still have the 45nm switch over to make plus much higher clock speeds to release, and Intel have to integrate their memory controller on chip and switch to HT bus yet. With AMD's aggressive pricing policy they only need to cover their costs to stay in the game and still increase their market share which they are doing very well at the moment.



I thought AMD has lost $400M the last few quarters (3 or 4 quarters?). How is that covering costs? I am not understanding what you are saying I guess.
December 6, 2007 2:25:40 PM

tstebbens said:
It is distressing in that it's such a large performance hit, but remember that these are server chips first and foremost. The benchmarks used were all end-user benchmarks. Who runs Office, Photoshop or Firefox on a server? It would have been better to include benchmarks for web and DB servers, etc.


If affects both Desktop and Servers, Phenom is desktop while Barcelona is the server line. the TLB effects the B2 steppings of each line. So unfortunately it does matter for desktop users.

http://techreport.com/discussions.x/13724

Quote:
If you really are using Opterons in an end-user environment (high-end workstations or gaming machines) then you've got way more money than sense anyway. You should be waiting for the Phenom FX chips in this case anyway or just wait 3 months more for the fixed silicon. 3 months is not going to kill anyone.


It will kill AMD. At march we should see the B3 stepping if it isn't delayed. There is also plans to release a 2.6 ghz Phenom in this time frame also. If this gets delayed again, it puts AMD in big trouble. They may be gaining marketshare, but it's mostly lower dual core X2's through OEM's/Brand name desktop channel.

Quote:
And no.... AMD will not go under. Bought out or merged maybe, but not bankrupt. They have way too much IP and other assets for this to happen.


That is true, even though I stated going under, AMD really won't die, it will downsize drastically, become a privatized company, or be bought out/merged. Regardless though, it will somewhat feel as if they will go under...We won't see many new products for quite a while as AMD would rebuild itself from the ground up.

Quote:
Besides which, people seem to forget that AMD still have the 45nm switch over to make plus much higher clock speeds to release, and Intel have to integrate their memory controller on chip and switch to HT bus yet. With AMD's aggressive pricing policy they only need to cover their costs to stay in the game and still increase their market share which they are doing very well at the moment.


AMD is having huge issues at 65nm..With their SOI process, it makes it extremely difficult to even get down to 45nm. Heck, they are having trouble with it at 65nm. The difference though, Intel already has working Nehalem's, the performance increase is said to be massive compare to what we've seen in the pasts Netburst to Core transition. AMD MUST make profit, not break even. They have to attempt to pull in some profit before Nehalem is released for R&D funding. AMD's only chance of recovering without being bought/merged/privatized, would be to pull in some profit from X2/Barcelona before Nehalem is released at the end of 2008. Also keep in mind intel has been ahead of the gun lately in releases, chances are they might do the same with Nehalem, to put more pressure on AMD. March may seem close, but it is indeed far away as well, if they have issues getting faster clocked Barcelona/Phenom models out as the time ticks away to Nehalem...It literally, does not look good for AMD.
December 6, 2007 3:12:08 PM

tstebbens said:


My 4x4 platform (memory, mobo and processors) cost half what an equivalent benchmarking Intel quad core plaform cost, plus I can have 8 processing cores in the future without upgrading the mobo or memory so in the long run, it's going to cost around 1/3 of the equivalent upgrade path from Intel. For the money I save, I can live without the extra few fps in games or an extra few seconds here and there transcoding videos or audio.


bs, 4x4 was the most expencive quad solution in history and the most power hungry and the slowest.

[pointing and laughing mode on] Good luck with the whole "8 processing cores in the future without upgrading the mobo or memory" thing as AMD don't seem to be interested in you 4x4 suckers anymore lol. I mean who was stupid enough to buy 4x4 lololol hahahahaha na na naaa na na naa you bought 4x4 [pointing and laughing mode off]
December 7, 2007 1:50:34 PM

This kind of paints a sad picture for the troubled company. Even if they fix both the bug and return performance to the point where it was pre-patch with the next stepping revision, they still have a product that is not competative (and by the time they get that fixed revision, we may have Nehalem benchmarks). Ouch!
December 7, 2007 3:13:20 PM

AMD phenom suffered delay after delay, but when they actually finally release the processor it is unstable! :sarcastic:  Then to add a further insult a patch is avaliable to completely ruin performance.

This is humiliating for AMD, there's no other word for it. I would rather have had further delays and a product that actually worked properly on launch.

Shame on AMD :pfff: 
December 7, 2007 5:05:39 PM

I'm still waiting for people to do real tests with ganging and unganging the HT3 links. Some Chinese site did it and got a nice increase. Also, one with the L3 disabled would tell a lot about the bug and how effective the L3 actually is.
December 7, 2007 7:07:47 PM

I think it's totally unacceptable that all of those people who bought a Phenom, have a product not fit for purpose.
a b à CPUs
December 7, 2007 7:47:26 PM

To AMD:
Sell ATI and get the $ and use the $ to improve the CPUs. This way we get performance gains in both CPUs and GPUs :) 
December 7, 2007 7:50:35 PM

I don't listen to any of you because most of you can't spell. Excuse me, but I've read one too many misspelled rants.
December 7, 2007 8:08:00 PM

BaronMatrix said:
I'm still waiting for people to do real tests with ganging and unganging the HT3 links. Some Chinese site did it and got a nice increase. Also, one with the L3 disabled would tell a lot about the bug and how effective the L3 actually is.


I've sure you've seen this site already Baron... perhaps you just chose to ignore these numbers.

http://www.erenumerique.fr/test_processeur_amd_phenom_x...

Ganged vs unganged doesn't have a big difference on overall performance, do you have a link to the Chinese site?

a b à CPUs
December 7, 2007 8:12:53 PM

BM - Too bad Many of the top Exec do not share your optimism.

Ref Insider trading for AMD for 01/03/07 -> 11/27/07:
1, repeat ONE buyer (3600+ shares)
6 Sellers for 163,800 shares. (Mottol Topfer sold 100,000 on 07/24/07)

Normally spelling is not my forte, sorry but I'm just a dumb ET.
December 7, 2007 9:00:07 PM

Oh, fyi, forte is pronounced as "fort" when you use word as "strong point" :D 

Yep everyone, except possibly BM, is disappointed about this huge performance decrease. What more can we say? Intel is pulling ahead at a fast pace...

Hopefully a new patch would improve things.
a c 126 à CPUs
December 7, 2007 9:16:23 PM

Well this is not good for Barcy since in the server arena you throw around much more data and will use the L3 cache more often than us normal users. So now it will lose performance.

AMD keeps droping in share price. Barely raise 16 cents yesterday but lost that today.
December 10, 2007 10:13:15 AM

epsilon84 said:
I'd love to know how you saved 1/2 the money on a comparable Intel platform when a Q6600/P35 board costs around $400. How much does an FX-74 / Asus QuadFX board cost? $700? $800?

I'm not even taking into account the power consumption here...

And upgrading to 8 cores? Didn't you read the news? AMD is dropping support for QuadFX... so much for that then...


gallag said:
bs, 4x4 was the most expencive quad solution in history and the most power hungry and the slowest.

[pointing and laughing mode on] Good luck with the whole "8 processing cores in the future without upgrading the mobo or memory" thing as AMD don't seem to be interested in you 4x4 suckers anymore lol. I mean who was stupid enough to buy 4x4 lololol hahahahaha na na naaa na na naa you bought 4x4 [pointing and laughing mode off]


Go look on e-bay. Got my 4x4 system for £350 (bought from HK - didn't get charged import duty either). Look at Toms CPU charts and compare a SINGLE FX-74 to a QX6700. It's not behind by much and I have TWO of these. So I get better performance for nearly HALF the price of just the CPU from Intel - never mind buying the mobo as well!

As for power, my system idles at around 220W (measured at the wall socket) with two 8800GTS cards and 6 hard disks. Peak power can get a tad high I will admit (850W) however, I'm not playing Crysis 24x7 am I?

And as for no 4x4 support.... totally untrue. There are already 8-core L1N64's out there.

December 10, 2007 12:55:16 PM

tstebbens said:
Go look on e-bay. Got my 4x4 system for £350 (bought from HK - didn't get charged import duty either). Look at Toms CPU charts and compare a SINGLE FX-74 to a QX6700. It's not behind by much and I have TWO of these. So I get better performance for nearly HALF the price of just the CPU from Intel - never mind buying the mobo as well!


I hate to break it to you, but the FX-74 scores are for the DUAL CPU configuration... :lol: 

Which actually means your FX-74 setup is slower than a Q6600 setup, for roughly TWICE the price. ;) 

Ouch man. You got ripped off hard. I feel sorry for you, clearly you were misinformed upon your purchase, or you didn't do your research. Oh well, live and learn eh? ;) 
December 10, 2007 1:19:22 PM

Yeah you have to buy 2 FX-74 chips and the performance vs. QX6700 in Tom's Hardware shows its not even close in most of the benchmarks. In fact, Q6600 is better than FX74's
December 10, 2007 2:29:53 PM

Why did you guys have to ruin his fun :pfff: 
If you all have any decency you surely won't tell him hat AMD has dropped support for QuadFX. Remember, ignorance is bliss :bounce: 
December 19, 2007 1:03:57 PM

Okay, point conceded: it was 2x FX-74's on Toms benchmarks. I got confused as my system benches significantly faster because a) I'm running the memory at 800MHz - not 750MHz, and b) I'm using Vista (and Linux) which both have NUMA support (WinXP as used by Toms in the benchmark doesn't have this), ie. 18GB/s+ memory speed compared to a paltry 6.4GB/s. And their WinRAR bench is way off - but that's probably due to my RAID set up as well as the NUMA factor.

That brings me to the point you missed in my original post: I said I was willing to take a few FPS hit for a cheaper upgrade path to 8-cores. I'm not going to wait for a single 8-core CPU from Intel mainly because to go the Intel route will require a complete system for the current quad-core processors, then a new mobo and CPU at least for an 8-core as even a 1666MHz FSB will choke 8-cores so you need to go to HT links which means a new mobo... plus I have to wait 2 years.

Alternatively I could go the dual-socket Xeon way, but that would have meant a mobo (around £300+ at the time I got the QFX) two dual-core Xeon 5000 series CPUs (£400+ EACH at the time!!!) for the same processing power as the two FX-74's, plus crappy FB-DIMMS (£150 CL5 @ 667MHz - what a joke!) Plus - NO SLI! Then to go to 8-core, add another £170 each for two quad-core Xeon E5320's which bench around the same level as two Barcelonas and you have a grand total of £1,570+ - still with no SLI.

In the meantime, I've got a nice QFX platform that CAN run SLI (it will even run quad-SLI if I wanted it to) can have 12 SATA disks (I already use 8 SATA connectors), and - including the upgrade to 8-core Barcelonas - runs to a total of just £580.

We already have an 8-core Intel (2x E5320) and a QFX with two Barcelonas in the lab here and the QFX out performs the Intel platform by a little over 30% for our work packages. This is mainly due to the fact that I deal with large data setsso memory through-put is the number one priority where AMD's NUMA architecture knocks Intel for six.

So my choices were: a) a computer at home I can do both my work on AND play games at a reasonable price, or b) a cash guzzling Intel system without SLI, or c) buy two computers - one for work, the other for gaming... Easy choice to make really.

Anyhoo... this has gone WAY off topic.... to bring it back, we've been running some Barcelonas pretty much flat out for a week and a half now without the TLB patch and everything is rock solid. We've even been offered free replacements once the errata has been fixed so you really can't complain at that!
December 19, 2007 2:02:02 PM

If you check other sites, NUMA support didn't really help QuadFX. This is one of the reasons it is a dead-end system. The 8 core Phenom FX (FASN8) is pretty much a dead dream.
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