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AMD announes new server chipset for Shanghai

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August 16, 2008 10:16:44 PM

AMD Zone is reporting that AMD is working on a new server chipset that uses HT3 and perhaps DDR3. I think this is their best choice as though Braodcom and nVidia have great chipsets, it can only help for them to do a server chipset also. I mean, supposedly Power 7 will fit into the next Opteron socket so they can do low end chipsets for that if IBM is agreeable.

Here's the link.

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/081508-amd-to-make-a-splash.html?hpg1=bn

Is this a good thing?
August 16, 2008 11:13:09 PM

Nice find Baron. Definitely a good thing.
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August 16, 2008 11:36:56 PM

Quick question, and not to give you a hard time like some people think I do, but what does the chipset have to do with what type of memory Shanghai will use if the memory controller is on the CPU itself?

Now I understand the HT3 being dependant on the mobo, Phenoms already support HT3 but the current mobos hold them back at HT3.

Now if we takr from the last change from DDR to DDR2 I am doubting the desktop market will see a change in performance. The server market however should see a great jump since this will offer much more memory bandwidth.
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August 17, 2008 12:49:57 AM

jimmysmitty said:
Quick question, and not to give you a hard time like some people think I do, but what does the chipset have to do with what type of memory Shanghai will use if the memory controller is on the CPU itself?


I didn't mean to imply that RAM for Opteron is chipset dependent, I just meant to say that it may be either for a DDR2 or DDR3 chip. Deneb is supposed to have DDR3 so it should be mobo-agnostic.

Now I understand the HT3 being dependant on the mobo, Phenoms already support HT3 but the current mobos hold them back at HT3.

Now if we takr from the last change from DDR to DDR2 I am doubting the desktop market will see a change in performance. The server market however should see a great jump since this will offer much more memory bandwidth.

A lot of that will depend on how much the L3 contributes to bandwidth usage and the increases in IPC over Agena. The issue is that desktop doesn't really need extra bandwidth, it needs IPC optimization.

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August 17, 2008 4:04:12 AM

^I never said Deneb itself wouldn't increase the Phenoms performance. Heck I am sure it will at least put it on par with Kentsfield and on the heels of Yorksfield.

What I am saying is that the move to DDR3 will more than likely hold little to no benefit just like the move to DDR2 held very littleperformance increase.

The reason why the move from DDR to DDR2 didn't hold that much benefit is because the IMC that AMD had already took advantage of all the bandwidth needed for the system. The same will be in the move to DDR3.

Now it may change in time when DDR3 gets lowe latencies like say CAS 5 like current DDR2 stands but at the current timings and highest bandwidth I don't see much of a performance increase with just the move to DDR3.
August 17, 2008 4:23:56 AM

jimmysmitty said:
^I never said Deneb itself wouldn't increase the Phenoms performance. Heck I am sure it will at least put it on par with Kentsfield and on the heels of Yorksfield.

What I am saying is that the move to DDR3 will more than likely hold little to no benefit just like the move to DDR2 held very littleperformance increase.

The reason why the move from DDR to DDR2 didn't hold that much benefit is because the IMC that AMD had already took advantage of all the bandwidth needed for the system. The same will be in the move to DDR3.

Now it may change in time when DDR3 gets lowe latencies like say CAS 5 like current DDR2 stands but at the current timings and highest bandwidth I don't see much of a performance increase with just the move to DDR3.


In my opinion the primary reason for the switch to DDR3 at this time is simply because Intel system have it and ignorant people ( the vast majority of computer buyers) will use this as a reason to favor one system over another. I recall that in the months before the AM2 socket was released people were slamming AMD for not supporting DDR2 even though the Athlon X2's were still murdering the Pentium D's at the time.
August 17, 2008 4:33:23 AM

Just_An_Engineer said:
In my opinion the primary reason for the switch to DDR3 at this time is simply because Intel system have it and ignorant people ( the vast majority of computer buyers) will use this as a reason to favor one system over another. I recall that in the months before the AM2 socket was released people were slamming AMD for not supporting DDR2 even though the Athlon X2's were still murdering the Pentium D's at the time.


Very good point
August 17, 2008 5:09:06 AM

i await the ddr3 price crash! :) 
August 17, 2008 6:34:22 AM

Hmmm nice find, that kind of confirms what I was thinking would happen, when they were talking about getting higher IPC and performance out of shanghai. The switch to DDR3, and HT3 on the server side should allow it to compete with Nehalem when it comes out there. Now just need to confirm whether they're tying the L3 speed to the core speed, or whether it's still tied to the NB/IMC speed. And if thats the case, whether or not the new nb/imc is running at higher clocks to allow for full HT3 speeds.
August 17, 2008 2:14:32 PM

Mathos said:
Hmmm nice find, that kind of confirms what I was thinking would happen, when they were talking about getting higher IPC and performance out of shanghai. The switch to DDR3, and HT3 on the server side should allow it to compete with Nehalem when it comes out there. Now just need to confirm whether they're tying the L3 speed to the core speed, or whether it's still tied to the NB/IMC speed. And if thats the case, whether or not the new nb/imc is running at higher clocks to allow for full HT3 speeds.



From what I heard, upping the L3 only brings more power use and not that much perf improvement. AMDs big advantage is that it will be several months before Nehalem shows up in the server market. Especially the lucrative 4P space.
August 17, 2008 3:18:20 PM

BaronMatrix said:
From what I heard, upping the L3 only brings more power use and not that much perf improvement. AMDs big advantage is that it will be several months before Nehalem shows up in the server market. Especially the lucrative 4P space.


Well, it increases performance for file compression, I know that for sure, due to my own tinkering. From what I've seen upping the IMC/L3 also has an effect on CPU score from 3dmark. I think that is mostly due to the lowering of the Latency on the L3 though. Which the biggest issue with the L3 right now is Latency and the fact that it runs at a much slower speed than the L1 and L2 making them have to wait for data. It should have a positive effect on things that aren't FSB bound, due to allowing the CPU a bit more horsepower.

Bout the only time upping the IMC L3 causes more power usage is if you have to up the NB voltage on the chip. Which at this point in time on the b3 phenoms already runs much higher than it should. In fact the NB voltage is a major part of the 125w tdp. My 9600be never went over 110w at 2.6-2.7 by 2.4. But also the nb on that one was running much lower voltage. It's also one of the main reasons why in C&Q idle mode, the Phenoms power consumption doesn't go as low as it should when compared to an x2.
August 17, 2008 10:40:43 PM

Mathos said:
Well, it increases performance for file compression, I know that for sure, due to my own tinkering. From what I've seen upping the IMC/L3 also has an effect on CPU score from 3dmark. I think that is mostly due to the lowering of the Latency on the L3 though. Which the biggest issue with the L3 right now is Latency and the fact that it runs at a much slower speed than the L1 and L2 making them have to wait for data. It should have a positive effect on things that aren't FSB bound, due to allowing the CPU a bit more horsepower.

Bout the only time upping the IMC L3 causes more power usage is if you have to up the NB voltage on the chip. Which at this point in time on the b3 phenoms already runs much higher than it should. In fact the NB voltage is a major part of the 125w tdp. My 9600be never went over 110w at 2.6-2.7 by 2.4. But also the nb on that one was running much lower voltage. It's also one of the main reasons why in C&Q idle mode, the Phenoms power consumption doesn't go as low as it should when compared to an x2.



Though the L3 is slower than L2 it's still alot faster than main memory, so it does in fact increase data rates for the L2, but mainly in multi-threaded cases. Single threaded apps may not benefit at all from increasing the speed increase because it's an eviction cache (is loaded from L2). Loads go directly to L1 in K10 if I remember correctly so L3 isn't the route from main memory.

That's why DDR3 may help Shanghai moreso than Deneb as more server loads are tightly multi-threaded and can benefit from the additional bandwidth, especially web-servers.
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