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What should be in a CPU spec database?

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a b à CPUs
December 4, 2009 7:28:03 AM

Hey guys, I'm working on creating an online spec database for CPUs. I know for instance that Intel and AMD already have their own databases but I want something that allows comparison between competing brands.

What characteristics are common among all CPUs, past, present, and most importantly, future? Here's what I've got so far, based on what I've seen on Intel and AMD chips:


Type | Desktop | Desktop

Name | Core i7-920 | Athlon X2 7850 Black Edition

Model Number | BX80601920 | AD785ZWCGHBOX


Socket | LGA 1366 | AM2+

Cores | 4 | 2

Frequency | 2667 MHz | 2800 MHz

Cache(s) | L1: (none specified), L2: 4 x 256KB, L3: 8MB | L1: 128KB+128KB, L2: 2 x 512KB, L3: 2MB

Core Code Name | Bloomfield | Kuma

Form Factor | 45 nm | 65 nm

Thermal Design Power | 130W | 95W

Voltage | 0.80V-1.375V | 1.20-1.25V

Virtualization? | Yes | Yes

64-bit Support? | Yes | Yes

Hyper-threading? | Yes | Yes



Release Date | November 17, 2008 | April 28, 2009

Release Price | $284(?) | ?

Anything I missed out? Should I use a different format for displaying the info above?

More about : cpu spec database

a b à CPUs
December 4, 2009 7:51:06 AM

I wouldn't call 45nm the form factor - typically, that is called the process node, or manufacturing process. You could also add in the SSE extensions supported by each, transistor count and/or die size.

Oh, and some of the stuff on that table is wrong. For example, I'm pretty sure an athlon doesn't have hyperthreading.

a b à CPUs
December 4, 2009 8:40:34 AM

Supported Instruction Sets : MMX, 3DNow, SSE SSE2, SSE3, SSE4, SSE4.1
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a b à CPUs
December 4, 2009 1:20:09 PM

When AMD says HT they mean hyper transport, not hyper threading. I pretty much agree with everything else in Cjs post. You could/should also mention whether it has an IMC, FSB speeds, memory used, code names, threads supported, and a ton of other things.
a b à CPUs
December 4, 2009 1:44:55 PM

I wouldn't mention "thread supported", because this is mostly OS dependant and in modern OS the answer would probably be "unlimited". However, I think I understand the meaning you intended and dividing the "# of cores" into "Physical/Virtual" would be more technically accurate.

You should also go see on AMD/Intel websites what are the information readily available. For example, Intel specifies a maximum RAM supported on their i7. As for price, would you give OEM or Retail prices? Would warranty information be valuable? Locked/Unlocked multiplier. Number of memory channels. The "stepping" might also be of value. Depending on the intended purpose of the list, max OC with stock/air/water/other cooling could also have a value.
a b à CPUs
December 4, 2009 10:38:04 PM

You can't just say cores because of the problems that will come about with bulldozer. Each bulldozer "unit" will have two Int cores, but only one FP core. AMD will start counting Int cores as cores, so a quad core Bulldozer chip will have two units, four Int cores and only two FP cores. If you said 2 cores, you'd only be partially right.
December 4, 2009 10:54:15 PM

This seems remarkably similar to what has already been on http://www.cpu-world.com/ for quite some time, perhaps it would either suit your needs or give you some ideas for yours?
a b à CPUs
December 8, 2009 3:28:26 AM

Sorry for the late reply! Dunno why I missed bus speed there, and memory used sounds like a useful spec as well. So...

Name | Core i7-920 | Athlon X2 7850 Black Edition
Brand | Intel | AMD
Type | Desktop | Desktop
Model Number | BX80601920 | AD785ZWCGHBOX

Socket | LGA 1366 | AM2+
Cores | 4 | 2
Core Code Name | Bloomfield | Kuma
Frequency | 2667 MHz | 2800 MHz
Bus Speed | 2400 MHz | 1800 MHz
Max Supported Memory | PC2 8500 | PC2 8500

Cache(s) | L1: 4 x 32KB, L2: 4 x 256KB, L3: 8MB | L1: 128KB+128KB, L2: 2 x 512KB, L3: 2MB
Supported Instruction Sets: MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2 | MMX, 3DNow!, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSE4a
Manufacturing Process | 45 nm | 65 nm
Die Size | 253 mm² | 285 mm²
Transistor Count | 731 million | 450 million

Virtualization? | Yes | Yes
64-bit Support? | Yes | Yes
No Execute bit? | Yes | Yes

Thermal Design Power | 130W | 95W
Max Operating Temperature | 67.9 C | 73 C
Voltage | 0.80V-1.375V | 1.20-1.25V

Release Date | November 17, 2008 | April 28, 2009
Release Price | $284 | $69

Sheesh, my quick research reveals that both Intel and AMD are calling the same things different names. Why waste marketing money on coming with "Execute Disable Bit" and "Enhanced Virus Protection" when you can just say "NX Bit"? Hopefully this database—which aims to cover other computer components as well—will make this slight weirdness more clear.

So, what do you guys think of the revised list? I've decided to just list the number of physical cores, for the sake of clarity.
a b à CPUs
December 8, 2009 3:27:31 PM

Looks a lot better. If your not going farther back you won't have to worry about listing which chips have an IMC and those that don't. All AMD/Intel chips from here on have one. You might want to list actual/effective bus speeds.

I'm not sure what you want to do about the cache problem. For those who know the Intel cache listing makes sense. (four cores each with their own 32kB L1, 256kB L2, and a shared 8MB L3.) But what the heck is that going on on the AMD side? 128kB + 128kB? Is that two cores sharing? I know that its 128kB for data and 128kB for instructions, so it should be listed as 2 x 128kB +128kB.

If you will be doing this for other things, you should mention chipsets. Knowing that the 7850 Kuma can be pared with a 780 chipset might be of help to people. More so if this is all hyperlinked and they can then click on 780 and read what it supports. I have on paper some charts that talked not only of CPUs, but chipsets as well. The magazine hasn't been published since the days of the Athlon I.

You've decided to list the number of physical Int cores or FP cores? What about hyperthreading? Just remembered, not all recent Intel CPUs support VT. I think all the i5/i7s do, at least so far. If your going back to the C2D days and/or i3 doesn't support, you should include a line about VT.

edit in bold.
a b à CPUs
December 9, 2009 2:05:14 AM

So, in the case of the i7 920, effective bus speed is 4.8 GT/s right, and for the AMD chip, 3.6 GT/s? Aren't those values based on the PCIe specification? *scratches head* Thanks btw!

And by VT you mean virtualization, right? Think that's covered. I'd rather not use any Intel- or AMD-specific marketing label, not if I can help it.

And yes, I plan to hyperlink this database like crazy. Like say, on a laptop page, you can click on the processor to get to the CPU page.
a b à CPUs
December 9, 2009 4:49:32 AM

Yes, VT = Virtualization. I thought it wasn't up there but I see it now.

The problem with listing effective speeds is the multiplier doesn't work. (you might want to list that come to think of it.) Think back to the old P4 days. 200MHz bus quad pumped is 800MHz effective. If the multiplier is 10, then you have a 2GHz chip. If you only list the effective bus speed, then when someone does the math they get an 8GHz CPU.

The values aren't based on the PCIe spec. They are based on the actual values of the bus, be it the HT or BLK(?) bus. They are both "pumped" resulting is better transfers then if they only moved one bit per clock.
a b à CPUs
December 15, 2009 3:30:50 AM

Hmmm... I might work in both later on, the system is designed to accept new specs at any rate. Chipset sounds good, will add to list.

Thanks for the feedback guys! Will post a link to the site once it's up. Might take a while though, so watch out for this thread to get bumped months later. :) 
!