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Nehalem lonely competitor?

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August 4, 2009 1:49:18 AM

Nehalem is the king of the hill right now. What does AMD have up it's sleeves to compete?

I'm going to get an AM3 board and CPU, I'd just like to know what I can look forward to in the near future.
August 4, 2009 1:58:29 AM

If you wait til september, maybe a 3.6 cpu, stock.
August 4, 2009 2:00:17 AM

From AMD?
August 4, 2009 2:20:33 AM

Might as well wait then. Can you give me a link with info on this new AMD CPU?
August 4, 2009 2:26:01 AM

It was leaked by a tester from another site. Theres no link. He is reliable. Everyones been waiting for the new stepping, this is probably it, as everyone assumed itd be befoe the end of the year
August 4, 2009 2:28:21 AM

The 965, at 3.4 is coming, but this is to be 3.6 or higher, but most likely, 3.6
August 4, 2009 2:46:27 AM

Found [this]. August 13th for the 3.4 965.
August 4, 2009 3:29:31 AM

Yep. Thats the latest. But 1 to follow quickly
August 4, 2009 3:37:40 AM

Sounds good.Thanks for the info.
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August 4, 2009 3:52:34 AM

AMD has been promising to raise the IPC of the Phenom II with new stepping. I don't know on how many of those promises they will manage to deliver. For gaming perhaps the most important tweak will be the promised increase in floating point performance. Honestly I'm surprised they haven't been making a high-k version of their CPUs as I'm sure that Global Foundries will be offering it.
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August 4, 2009 4:33:16 AM

megamanx00 said:
AMD has been promising to raise the IPC of the Phenom II with new stepping. I don't know on how many of those promises they will manage to deliver. For gaming perhaps the most important tweak will be the promised increase in floating point performance. Honestly I'm surprised they haven't been making a high-k version of their CPUs as I'm sure that Global Foundries will be offering it.


The GF is just now getting up and running. It needs time to get everything in order plus they have yet to be able to get HK/MG working. Last report I saw, IBM was having touble with it and I doubt they will just get it down pat. Intel was working on it for quite along time (since before Core 2 came out) so they have the lead there.

We will have to see if anything they "promise" will come. I don't take it as a promise though because that just leads to being let down. I prefer to think of it as things they are going to try to do. But if they can improve the IPC they just might be able to beat out C2Q and give Core i5 a run for its money.
August 4, 2009 8:52:14 AM

The 45nm version of HKMG probably wont happen thos its superior even to Intels, its too late to be working on it for this (45nm) node, well see it on 32nm
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August 4, 2009 9:22:40 AM

3.6 amd meanwhile Intel isnt sitting around either - no doubt something coming from them soon
August 4, 2009 10:35:46 AM

h yes, hex cores are coming from both sides, but that depends on usage. Im thinking hex cores with smt are similar to when quads first came out. Almost nothing used them, and most things dont use quads even yet.
It depends on upgrade time and usage. If you plan on keeping your rig for 2+ years, itd be good to at least look into hex cores, but currently not practical for most usage
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August 4, 2009 12:35:01 PM

More cores sound great for Flight Simulator X though.
August 4, 2009 12:47:57 PM

Not sure about FSX. If its optimized beyond 4 cores or not, since SMT is apparently useless in gaming
August 4, 2009 12:50:53 PM

Yeah it's pretty S-H-I-T if you ask me and im a parfessional.
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August 4, 2009 12:51:00 PM

So far FSX can use up to 32 cores but it's capable of using 256 if there was a patch for it.
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August 4, 2009 6:02:53 PM

jimmysmitty said:
The GF is just now getting up and running. It needs time to get everything in order plus they have yet to be able to get HK/MG working. Last report I saw, IBM was having touble with it and I doubt they will just get it down pat. Intel was working on it for quite along time (since before Core 2 came out) so they have the lead there.

We will have to see if anything they "promise" will come. I don't take it as a promise though because that just leads to being let down. I prefer to think of it as things they are going to try to do. But if they can improve the IPC they just might be able to beat out C2Q and give Core i5 a run for its money.


IBM's approach is gate-first HKMG, Intel's is gate-last, so whatever Intel learned probably won't be useable by IBM/AMD. In part, the 1000 degree C annealing process means IBM had to go with a different mix - Intel's wouldn't stand the heat :D  so to speak.

IIRC games are primarily integer code, so FP improvement (or SSE, etc) wouldn't help much except maybe on some game threads such as physics...

Finally, I doubt AMD could do much for IPC without a substantially different core architecture. You can do some things like throw more cache or high-speed, low latency memory access to reduce bottlenecks, but internal to the core would require far more than just a new stepping.

Finally finally :D , one reason why the Core2 march has higher IPC is that it has 4-issue decoders, instead of the 3 that AMD's K8, K10, K10.5, etc use. There are other advantages such as better OoO execution, too, although K10 has made significantly progress there I believe, compared to K8.
August 4, 2009 6:09:39 PM

Theres a few things AMD is planning on doing to raise IPC on current arch, but being the fiend I am, Im going to make you , fazers, wade thru all the AMD material to find it heheh
August 4, 2009 6:22:08 PM

For those like me who wish to build a new rig coming this Fall 2009, which company would be best to stick with for a gamer with a $700-$800 budget? Also which has greater long term possibilities?
August 4, 2009 6:25:26 PM

^ neither on that budget, AM3 is going soon and 1156 won't see any hexa-cores or octo-cores.

the only socket that you can buy this year which has a long term upgrade plan is 1366, as you get a Quad core now, then a hexa-core in H1 2010, then an octo core from Q4 2010 and after.
August 4, 2009 6:28:08 PM

Aren't the i7's being "phased out"? I've no idea what that means but it don't sound to good.

Someone also told me I'd be smart to stick with AMD AM3 board since AMD still uses that and I could upgrade it well into the future.
August 4, 2009 6:33:03 PM

Read this link. I'm trying to make sense of it all.

Last big paragraph:

Quote:
By the end of the blog, Dessau moved on to talk about the 6-core "Istanbul" processor, which is apparently on track for launch in the second half of 2009; Istanbul will be compatible with existing OEM platforms. Then in 2010, AMD will introduce the next-generation "Maranello" platform that will feature the 12-core "Magny-Cours" processor. "Maranello" will also serve as the platform for the "Bulldozer" architecture slated to debut in 2011.


What does he mean by
Quote:
Istanbul will be compatible with existing OEM platforms. Then in 2010, AMD will introduce the next-generation "Maranello" platform that will feature the 12-core "Magny-Cours" processor.


Does this mean if were, for example, to use an AM3 motherboard I would be able to upgrade to this Instanbul in 2010 and keep my system up to date?
August 4, 2009 6:45:22 PM

Yes. Ive heard the 785 mobos have a 140 watt ability, and Id make sure whatever you do get can handle a high cpu voltage
August 4, 2009 6:46:16 PM

To the best of my knowledge, AM3 isn't going anywhere, and AMD is going to continue releasing processors for it for some time, still.

So yes, I'd go with an AM3 board (780G or 790GX/FX) and a Phenom II (probably the 720BE). 4Gb of DDR3 1333, whatever HDD/DVD drive you need, case, good 500+ watt reliable PSU, and leftover into GPU.
August 4, 2009 6:51:02 PM

I like what I hear. If I can hang onto the same motherboard for all of 2010-11 I'm happy.
August 4, 2009 6:52:11 PM

By 2011, BullDozer will be out, so thatll be the time to switch
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August 4, 2009 6:57:36 PM

^ depends.

Istanbul is pretty much a Shanghai Opteron with two more cores and a few improvements. You probably won't see a desktop translation of that, at least not until AMD moves to 32 nm. By then the plan is for AMD to be using Bulldozer so you'll only see a desktop CPU based on Istanbul if the Bulldozer architecture (in the form of Orochi) isn't ready for prime time when it's suppose to be.

I wouldn't rull out seeing a semi - Istanbul in the form of a 6 core Deneb.
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August 4, 2009 7:01:35 PM

vizering said:
Nehalem is the king of the hill right now. What does AMD have up it's sleeves to compete?

I'm going to get an AM3 board and CPU, I'd just like to know what I can look forward to in the near future.


You can look forward to slightly faster Phenom II X4s. There is a 3.4 GHz 965 Black Edition coming out soon and a 3.6 GHz 975 Black Edition is rumored. The existing 955BE is a very good chip and often beats the Core i7 920 in gaming benchmarks when using a typical single-GPU setup. The Core i7 920 is faster at most other things, although with the exception of 3D rendering and useless synthetic benchmarks, it's not a huge difference between the i7 920 and the 955BE. The Phenom IIs are excellent chips as they draw less power than the Core i7s, cost significantly less, overclock farther, and will run in considerably less-expensive motherboards. \

The Core i7 line is undoubtedly faster than the Phenom IIs and AMD won't have anything that can top the Nehalem-based CPUs until late 2010/early 2011 when they introduce the new Bulldozer-based (K11) CPUs on 32 nm. I say that doesn't really mean much as Intel really only sells one Core i7 chip in any quantity, the i7 920. The others are far too expensive, so just about nobody buys them. AMD's Phenom II X4 955BE competes pretty well with the i7 920. However, everything else Intel sells is still Core 2-based, while AMD has 45 nm K10 derivates all up and and down the product line- Sempron 140, Athlon II, Phenom II X2, and Phenom II X3. Most people buying a new system aren't going to drop $280 on a Core i7 920, so the lower-priced AMD units are very appealing, particularly the inexpensive unlocked Phenom II X2 and X3 Black Edition CPUs.
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August 4, 2009 7:10:31 PM

vizering said:
Read this link. I'm trying to make sense of it all.

Last big paragraph:

Quote:
By the end of the blog, Dessau moved on to talk about the 6-core "Istanbul" processor, which is apparently on track for launch in the second half of 2009; Istanbul will be compatible with existing OEM platforms. Then in 2010, AMD will introduce the next-generation "Maranello" platform that will feature the 12-core "Magny-Cours" processor. "Maranello" will also serve as the platform for the "Bulldozer" architecture slated to debut in 2011.


What does he mean by
Quote:
Istanbul will be compatible with existing OEM platforms. Then in 2010, AMD will introduce the next-generation "Maranello" platform that will feature the 12-core "Magny-Cours" processor.


Does this mean if were, for example, to use an AM3 motherboard I would be able to upgrade to this Instanbul in 2010 and keep my system up to date?


Those are all Opteron parts. The Istanbul 6-core Opteron has already launched; it is a Socket F part and will never be released for Socket AM3, according to AMD. The "will be compatible with existing OEM platforms" means that the Socket F Istanbul chip will work in existing Socket F servers with a split power plane. In 2010, AMD will introduce the new Socket G34 (LGA 1947) platform to partially replace the existing Socket F platform; AMD's codename for the initial Socket G34 platform is "Maranello."

By the way, you can buy six-core Istanbul CPUs from Newegg.com
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August 4, 2009 7:17:41 PM

MU_Engineer said:
You can look forward to slightly faster Phenom II X4s. There is a 3.4 GHz 965 Black Edition coming out soon and a 3.6 GHz 975 Black Edition is rumored. The existing 955BE is a very good chip and often beats the Core i7 920 in gaming benchmarks when using a typical single-GPU setup. The Core i7 920 is faster at most other things, although with the exception of 3D rendering and useless synthetic benchmarks, it's not a huge difference between the i7 920 and the 955BE. The Phenom IIs are excellent chips as they draw less power than the Core i7s, cost significantly less, overclock farther, and will run in considerably less-expensive motherboards. \

The Core i7 line is undoubtedly faster than the Phenom IIs and AMD won't have anything that can top the Nehalem-based CPUs until late 2010/early 2011 when they introduce the new Bulldozer-based (K11) CPUs on 32 nm. I say that doesn't really mean much as Intel really only sells one Core i7 chip in any quantity, the i7 920. The others are far too expensive, so just about nobody buys them. AMD's Phenom II X4 955BE competes pretty well with the i7 920. However, everything else Intel sells is still Core 2-based, while AMD has 45 nm K10 derivates all up and and down the product line- Sempron 140, Athlon II, Phenom II X2, and Phenom II X3. Most people buying a new system aren't going to drop $280 on a Core i7 920, so the lower-priced AMD units are very appealing, particularly the inexpensive unlocked Phenom II X2 and X3 Black Edition CPUs.



I'm sure that if one buys I7 920, they OC, if not to 4 Ghz, then at least 3.2 or 3.5.... No one would go out on their way to buy a new system that's far more expensive and have a "some assembly required" tag. OEM sales of these machines so far are limited to the professional / top end gaming rigs, and usually gaming machines uses the I7 EEs, while workstation uses W3520 with ECC DDR3, there are no good reason for a regular consumer to buy the i7 or the most expensive AMD BEs, and because of that, the argument that I7 920 is same as a X4 955BE is going to be flawed, and by far, when both are OCed to their extreme for 24/7, the I7 wins out, maybe not that great of an margin, but still wins.

Now the cold bug....AMD has that one hands down.
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