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Apple ready to embrace AMD?

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a b à CPUs
April 16, 2010 10:21:06 PM

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/04/16/apple_in_...

Quote:
Intel has served as Apple's sole source for the microprocessors used in its notebook and desktop personal computers since the company began its transition away from PowerPC in 2006, but that may soon change given the company's recent talks with Intel's chief CPU rival Advanced Micro Devices.


This could be a lot of things, apple trying to get a better deal out of intel is an obvious one.

Some suggestions have been made that AMD's Llano 'fusion' is so far ahead of intels solution and that is the reason why.

It should be interesting.

More about : apple ready embrace amd

a c 127 à CPUs
April 16, 2010 10:35:25 PM

If they do go AMD, it wont be for a while. APple just refreshed its Macbooks with Core i5/i7s so they wont move for another 1-2 years.

As for Llano, no benchmarks and no real concrete proof, so I doubt Apple would take word of mouth as fact.
a b à CPUs
April 16, 2010 10:43:08 PM

AMD's CEO Dirk Meyer said during the Q1 CC that Llano was already sampling, and rumour has it that Apple were amongst the first to get samples.
Related resources
a c 127 à CPUs
April 16, 2010 10:46:30 PM

Keyword, rumor.

Apple would not switch after refreshing so fast. It took them a year to get Core i7 alone. They are slow on the tech uptake these days.

Plus changing to AMD means a redo of OS X since they only use one CPU type ever and thats how they stay more bug free.

And remember, Apple is a "premier" PC company. I highly doubt they would use a IGP GPU over a discrete since their main is video editing and no matter how good AMDs fusion will be, it will not beat discrete.

Add in VALVe putting Steam to Mac along with all their games and some others, Apple will have a new crowd to please.
a b à CPUs
April 16, 2010 10:53:45 PM

Fusion won't beat what discrete? You mean the 'new' 330M in the macbook pro?

I think you'll find that Llano will beat that hands down.
a c 127 à CPUs
April 16, 2010 10:59:40 PM

Or we could wait for actual benchmarks because there was a article about that 330M that said it was custom made for Apple by nVidia.

Besides, Llano has at least a year before it hits which means there might be a better option to go with.

Intel is also sampling Sandy Bridge but we still need to wait for actual benchmarks showing the CPUs power before jumping to conclusions.
a b à CPUs
April 16, 2010 11:04:18 PM

Llano will be here much sooner than 1 year jimmy.

Something is going on - whether apple is getting tired of intels greed/lockouts, or maybe they just want better graphics eod?

If most macs are shipping with core 2's yet, there sure as hell isn't any reason
why those couldn't be cheaper Phenom II's.

It looks to me like Apple is finally wisening up. The end user can normally be fleeced once, and with Apple and intel both trying their best to fleece us, well I guess the average apple comp isn't big enough to fit both.
April 16, 2010 11:23:47 PM

jennyh said:
Something is going on - whether apple is getting tired of intels greed/lockouts, or maybe they just want better graphics eod?


Apple would be foolish if they're not talking to AMD. They would also be foolish if they switched to AMD without a very good reason.

The fact that Apple are talking to a company tells you very little other than that the people who make technology decisions at Apple are doing the job they're paid for.
a c 127 à CPUs
April 16, 2010 11:39:16 PM

jennyh said:
Llano will be here much sooner than 1 year jimmy.

Something is going on - whether apple is getting tired of intels greed/lockouts, or maybe they just want better graphics eod?

If most macs are shipping with core 2's yet, there sure as hell isn't any reason
why those couldn't be cheaper Phenom II's.

It looks to me like Apple is finally wisening up. The end user can normally be fleeced once, and with Apple and intel both trying their best to fleece us, well I guess the average apple comp isn't big enough to fit both.


Apple locks themselves out. They went with Power PC then to Intel because they prefer to go with as little hardware as possible to maintain a more stable OS> Thats why the parts you buy for a Mac need to be Mac compatable and are normally only for Macs.

Intel in no way holds Apple, rather Apple creates a contract to get so many CPUs.



Pretty bad article. Intel not giving nVidia a QPI license in no way affects anything. In fact Apple having to use Intel chipsets, which are far better than nVidias, doesn't drop SLI support since they have SLI in both and CrossFire support.

From this, I think they might mean as in GPUs which they already have ATI for their desktop available, but the Mac Books don't. Possibly they will go with Radeons instead of GeForce cards.

Still, not being able to use nVidia chipsets does not mean they cannot use SLI or wont work with Intel chipsets. Thats just a load of bull.
April 16, 2010 11:47:19 PM

jimmysmitty said:
Possibly they will go with Radeons instead of GeForce cards.


True: that would be a very good reason for Apple to be talking to AMD right now.
a b à CPUs
April 17, 2010 12:11:15 AM

I just read this, and I don't think I could say it better myself.

Quote:
Where to put it: the iMac

Given that Intel has the performance crown for servers and the performance/watt crown in mobile, the most likely place for Apple to use AMD is in the iMac.

Right now, the iMac is still on the 45nm Core 2 Duo. The obvious Intel replacement for the iMac's C2D is Intel's dual-core, 32nm Clarkdale family, either the Core i5 or the Core i3, both of which have been out since the start of the year. But the new Core i5 Clarkdales don't really improve on the older, quad-core, 45nm "Lynnfield" part that's are currently in the 27" iMac, because the Clarkdale i5 is kind of a dog.

The entire Clarkdale family has two features that Apple—and anyone else looking for maximum performance and minimum waste—is going to hate: 1) the memory controller has moved back off the CPU die, and 2) there's a IGP and northbridge in the package with the CPU. The off-die memory controller means that Clarkdale's memory latency stinks, and the in-package GPU/northbridge means that you're paying for a sub-par Intel IGP that you really don't want to use if you're building a performance desktop.

(Seriously, Intel, just give us a straight 32nm shrink of Lynnfield for the performance desktop segment.)

The upshot of all this is that, with the possible exception of HTPC builders, anyone who's considering putting Clarkdale in a performance or mid-range desktop would really be better off with a quad-core CPU from AMD, including Apple. The cheaper, 32nm, non-Lynnfield part of the Core i5 lineup just isn't that attractive right now.

We're not claiming that we'll actually see an AMD-based iMac, but it wouldn't surprise us. Intel has left the door open for AMD's Phenom X4 to walk right through, and it's possible that Apple will go ahead and invite the X4 in.


Isn't it interesting how things can work out? Intels money grubbing in the Asian markets at the expense of the US/EU looks like it could come back to haunt them with a vengeance.

Did intel truly believe that apple would be content with poor supply of the i5/i7 and awful 32nm Clarkdales? They've dropped the ball big time here. This is intels achilles heel, trying to play everybody everywhere.
April 17, 2010 12:15:00 AM

jennyh said:
I just read this, and I don't think I could say it better myself.

Quote:
Where to put it: the iMac

Given that Intel has the performance crown for servers and the performance/watt crown in mobile, the most likely place for Apple to use AMD is in the iMac.

Right now, the iMac is still on the 45nm Core 2 Duo. The obvious Intel replacement for the iMac's C2D is Intel's dual-core, 32nm Clarkdale family, either the Core i5 or the Core i3, both of which have been out since the start of the year. But the new Core i5 Clarkdales don't really improve on the older, quad-core, 45nm "Lynnfield" part that's are currently in the 27" iMac, because the Clarkdale i5 is kind of a dog.

The entire Clarkdale family has two features that Apple—and anyone else looking for maximum performance and minimum waste—is going to hate: 1) the memory controller has moved back off the CPU die, and 2) there's a IGP and northbridge in the package with the CPU. The off-die memory controller means that Clarkdale's memory latency stinks, and the in-package GPU/northbridge means that you're paying for a sub-par Intel IGP that you really don't want to use if you're building a performance desktop.

(Seriously, Intel, just give us a straight 32nm shrink of Lynnfield for the performance desktop segment.)

The upshot of all this is that, with the possible exception of HTPC builders, anyone who's considering putting Clarkdale in a performance or mid-range desktop would really be better off with a quad-core CPU from AMD, including Apple. The cheaper, 32nm, non-Lynnfield part of the Core i5 lineup just isn't that attractive right now.

We're not claiming that we'll actually see an AMD-based iMac, but it wouldn't surprise us. Intel has left the door open for AMD's Phenom X4 to walk right through, and it's possible that Apple will go ahead and invite the X4 in.


Isn't it interesting how things can work out? Intels money grubbing in the Asian markets at the expense of the US/EU looks like it could come back to haunt them with a vengeance.

Did intel truly believe that apple would be content with poor supply of the i5/i7 and awful 32nm Clarkdales? They've dropped the ball big time here. This is intels achilles heel, trying to play everybody everywhere.

:lol:  Jenny, nothing has happened yet.

There were probably speculation pieces like this suggesting AMD had a shot with Apple when they were transitioning away from the PowerPC and we all know what happened next.
a c 127 à CPUs
April 17, 2010 12:22:49 AM

Hmm... complaints about a low end IGP that APple uses in their Mac Books when idle or low usage and switch to the high end part when heavy load.

Not sure how having a low power IGP is a down side since it will lower the desktops power drain when browsing the web or listening to music but hey, I guess Apple is so full of it.

I still say they are looking more towards the Radeon line than the CPU line.
a b à CPUs
April 17, 2010 12:40:48 AM

I think that's why Llano is being mentioned.

I don't really believe in coincidences, at least not like this. The day after the AMD CEO says that Llano is being sampled, this rumour appears. Llano is everything Apple could ever want, and you know its cheaper than any intel/nvidia combination.

Apple has every reason to make intel think hard about what they do. Intel threw thousands of cpu's at Acer recently, so many that Apple couldn't buy enough to satisfy demand. Dell would meekly accept it, Apple won't.

I expect to see a major announcement concerning this within the next 2-3 months. Llano is special for AMD, and it's something intel can't get close to.

Apple Fusion. Believe it's coming - maybe even before the end of this year.
April 17, 2010 12:49:10 AM

jennyh said:
I think that's why Llano is being mentioned.

I don't really believe in coincidences, at least not like this. The day after the AMD CEO says that Llano is being sampled, this rumour appears. Llano is everything Apple could ever want, and you know its cheaper than any intel/nvidia combination.

Apple has every reason to make intel think hard about what they do. Intel threw thousands of cpu's at Acer recently, so many that Apple couldn't buy enough to satisfy demand. Dell would meekly accept it, Apple won't.

I expect to see a major announcement concerning this within the next 2-3 months. Llano is special for AMD, and it's something intel can't get close to.

Apple Fusion. Believe it's coming - maybe even before the end of this year.

What is so great about Llano?

Isn't it only going to deliver the performance of a $35-45 discrete GPU?

How is that substantially better than a 890GFX motherboard and CPU combo?
April 17, 2010 12:49:56 AM

Chad Boga said:
There were probably speculation pieces like this suggesting AMD had a shot with Apple when they were transitioning away from the PowerPC and we all know what happened next.


From what I remember it was the other way around, with people unable to understand why Apple would pick Intel when AMD's CPUs were better at that time; Apple, of course, had seen both Intel and AMD's roadmaps of future CPUs whereas the average forum poster hadn't.
a c 127 à CPUs
April 17, 2010 12:52:13 AM

So Apple will willingly take a loss by throwing out a refresh again? I doubt it.

Llano is still nothing we have to look at. We have no real specs, no benchmarks and nothing to say that having a real GPU on the same package will be better since heat will go up as will power usage.

I am still waiting for more news. Not that I care which way Apple goes, but I would rather see a real article from Apple than chase some rumor like the "K10 40% better than Kentsfield" rumor.

MarkG said:
From what I remember it was the other way around, with people unable to understand why Apple would pick Intel when AMD's CPUs were better at that time; Apple, of course, had seen both Intel and AMD's roadmaps of future CPUs whereas the average forum poster hadn't.


Apple didn't switch to Intel until the Core 2 line. But I think the announcement came out when Pentium D was Intels top which made people question it. They also might have choosen Intel since at the time AMD had a problem with supplying enough chips to all the OEMs that wanted them.
April 17, 2010 12:58:34 AM

jimmysmitty said:
But I think the announcement came out when Pentium D was Intels top which made people question it.


Yes, that's what I meant; Apple could presumably see that Intel had more to offer in the next few years even though AMD were ahead at the time.
a b à CPUs
April 17, 2010 12:59:36 AM

AMD chips are viewed by the common apple snob as bargin bin. No way apple will risk its Elite status by using AMD.

This is obviously about GPU not CPU.
a b à CPUs
April 17, 2010 1:04:08 AM

Chad Boga said:
What is so great about Llano?

Isn't it only going to deliver the performance of a $35-45 discrete GPU?

How is that substantially better than a 890GFX motherboard and CPU combo?


LLano is supposed to be a 1 billion transistor 'APU'. 300m of those are 4 phenom II cores, or an Athlon X4 @ 3ghz. The cpu part has no L3 cache.

That leaves 700m graphics transistors on 32nm SOI HKMG. Currently, a 5670 is around 627m transistors on TSMC's inferior 40nm.

At the very least it should be equal to a 5670. But if you add HKMG (not yet seen on any gpu), another process density (32 vs 40), GF has a smaller transistor density anyway, and finally the placement of the gpu so close to the cpu - you should end up with something a lot faster than a 5670.

I expect the graphics of LLano to be close to a 5770 up to 1680x1050 resolution but a lack of memory bandwidth might hurt it at 1920x1080 and above. This isn't Clarkdale, this is a real game changer.
a b à CPUs
April 17, 2010 1:07:26 AM

Bulldozer gets all the press but Llano is the chip that is most likely to start a revolution in favour of AMD.
April 17, 2010 1:07:45 AM

jennyh said:
LLano is supposed to be a 1 billion transistor 'APU'. 300m of those are 4 phenom II cores, or an Athlon X4 @ 3ghz. The cpu part has no L3 cache.

That leaves 700m graphics transistors on 32nm SOI HKMG. Currently, a 5670 is around 627m transistors on TSMC's inferior 40nm.

At the very least it should be equal to a 5670. But if you add HKMG (not yet seen on any gpu), another process density (32 vs 40), GF has a smaller transistor density anyway, and finally the placement of the gpu so close to the cpu - you should end up with something a lot faster than a 5670.

I expect the graphics of LLano to be close to a 5770 up to 1680x1050 resolution but a lack of memory bandwidth might hurt it at 1920x1080 and above. This isn't Clarkdale, this is a real game changer.

Is there a definitive article about Llano's targeted level of performance somewhere?
a b à CPUs
April 17, 2010 1:08:26 AM

I think this might be about cpu and gpu. Fusion brings with it great potential. Especially on laptops. But at some price levels, AMD is a better value than Intel. It would be to apple's benefit to keep their options open. I suspect all of this plays into it.

The defective Nvidia laptop chip problem may have convinced them that some diversity in there suppliers is a good thing.
a b à CPUs
April 17, 2010 1:14:53 AM

Chad Boga said:
Is there a definitive article about Llano's targeted level of performance somewhere?


Nothing official, but this is pretty interesting.

http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2010/2/9/amd-llano...

Most of that was based on AMD's first showing of LLano at some semiconductor meeting two months ago. Note that AMD didn't show the gpu portion of the chip - only the cpu portion. The power saving features are really nice apparently. Imo LLano is a much more interesting chip than Bulldozer is.
a b à CPUs
April 17, 2010 1:18:55 AM

I've just read a very good post on Semi accurate.

Quote:
Don't base all of your assumptions on current performance numbers, remember: Apple chose Intel because the knew about Core2 performance long before any of us did.

Also, there was one thing in that article that I had forgotten and might be really important: Intel locked Nvidia out of chipsets for current/future CPU's.

Apple's products speak for themselves (Intel IGP's SUCK) meaning in the future ALL their products would require a discreet GPU, adding considerably to power consumption, while having no alternative.

That's part 1, moving on to part 2:

Apple designed OpenCL. Not only did they design it, they embedded it into their OS and more and more functions use it as time goes on. OS functions appear frequently and have to be dealt with quickly.

Part 3: Llano has an OpenCL-capable, comparatively powerful, power-efficient GPU sitting as close to the CPU processing cores as humanly, physically possible.

Considering all three together, this doesn't seem so far-fetched. Making the use of discreet cards a non-issue, and even circumventing the abysmal OpenCL power Intel IGP's are most likely going to have, Llano would probably even run background and non-graphical tasks faster than if using higher-end Intel CPU's - which would only become MORE true as time goes by and apple shifts more OS X tasks to OpenCL.


I'm not saying it's definitely going to happen but it all just 'fits'.

AMD CEO says Fusion is sampling to 'select partners'
April 17, 2010 1:59:33 AM

jennyh said:
Nothing official, but this is pretty interesting.

http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2010/2/9/amd-llano...

Most of that was based on AMD's first showing of LLano at some semiconductor meeting two months ago. Note that AMD didn't show the gpu portion of the chip - only the cpu portion. The power saving features are really nice apparently. Imo LLano is a much more interesting chip than Bulldozer is.

The last 5 or more years has shown that Intel hasn't been held back in any meaningful way despite not having as good a GPU solution as AMD, so with Intel releasing 32nm SandyBridge with an improved GPU over the i5's, why would LLano be a game changer?

No one is disputing AMD's advantage in integrated graphics at the moment, but that hasn't been enough to sway most people.
a c 127 à CPUs
April 17, 2010 2:22:35 AM

I can understand GPU. Radeons right now are pretty good for everything from performance to power usage. But why jump to a older tech (45nm)?

Intels 32nm can offer more in terms of energy savings once it fully ramps up and by the time AMD gets 32nm out to consumers Intels 32nm will be in full swing with Sandy Bridge out the door giving us 32nm quads and 6 cores at a great price too.

Then a year after that, Intel will push out 22nm and then have 22nm in full swing in 2012. Unless AMD can offer the same performance of a Intel CPU at a generously lower power point I don't see Apple going for anything more than Radeons for the time being considering AMD will still be at least 1 gen behind Intel in process for the time being.
April 17, 2010 2:28:51 AM

Chad Boga said:
No one is disputing AMD's advantage in integrated graphics at the moment, but that hasn't been enough to sway most people.


Probably because most people who buy PCs with integrated graphics don't expect to run 3D games or CAD software so the performance is largely irrelevant. Twice as fast as crap is still crap.

a c 127 à CPUs
April 17, 2010 2:33:08 AM

^true. And most CAD software tend to utilize CPUs more than GPUs, except for recent ones that use GPGPU but those are not too common.

Thats why Intel commands the GPU market in terms of market share. Most people don't play PC games and don't need a super high end GPU even integrated into the mobo. They just need what lets them work and browse the web.

Most Mac users don't do the touted video editing or game for the moment. VALVe is trying to change the latter with iSteam but might take a while for them to cozy up to gaming since they tend to be an elitest group.
a b à CPUs
April 17, 2010 10:42:11 AM

jimmysmitty said:
I can understand GPU. Radeons right now are pretty good for everything from performance to power usage. But why jump to a older tech (45nm)?


Llano is 32nm SOI HKMG. http://www.anandtech.com/show/2933

jimmysmitty said:
Intels 32nm can offer more in terms of energy savings once it fully ramps up and by the time AMD gets 32nm out to consumers Intels 32nm will be in full swing with Sandy Bridge out the door giving us 32nm quads and 6 cores at a great price too.


SB is dx10 compared to Llano's dx11. I dunno if you've seen the die shots of each but Llano's gpu is 3x larger than SB's. It's a no-contest, intel can't compete with ATI graphics and have stopped trying to.
April 17, 2010 4:39:41 PM

jennyh said:
]SB is dx10 compared to Llano's dx11. I dunno if you've seen the die shots of each but Llano's gpu is 3x larger than SB's.


I haven't been following DX since Microsoft refused to put DX10 on XP, but unless they've changed a long-term habit, DX11 will run at half the speed of DX10 and won't become popular for a couple of years anyway. Trying to run the latest DX on a slow integrated GPU is probably going to be pointless.

I do agree that the increased number of transistors is likely to be beneficial, but only if it's enough to actually play some recent games at moderate speeds. Otherwise you're relying on widespread use of OpenCL to make some effective use of that silicon.

Lastly, removing the CPU's L3 cache and then sharing the bus with a bandwidth-hungry GPU seems like a great way to cripple your performance. Have they increased the number of memory channels to compensate?
April 17, 2010 6:21:46 PM

jennyh said:
Charlie's article on Semi accurate is the best I've seen on Llano so far.


Thanks, that is an interesting article: if they can make the power gating work better than Intel's then that could certainly be a big win in laptops.
April 17, 2010 6:37:35 PM

jennyh said:
http://www.semiaccurate.com/2010/02/10/amd-finally-outs...

Charlie's article on Semi accurate is the best I've seen on Llano so far.

Then obviously there can't be many good articles out there or LLano isn't that promising.

Charlie suggested that AMD with LLano caught up to Nehalem in terms of power management, but that Westmere advances power management further on the Intel side, and LLano will be competing against Sandy Bridge, so presumably takes another step backwards.

And there was nothing particularly meaningful about LLano's expected GPU performance.
a b à CPUs
April 17, 2010 6:40:52 PM



All because someone goes for a bus ride and has lunch doesnt mean they are going to jump into bed with each other.


ATI produced video cards for apple before, remember...
April 17, 2010 6:45:45 PM

they can also chose amd for full setup i mean @ moment is the only ppl providing cpu + chipset + gpu all by them self though i guess amd will might end up closer to intel sandy bridge and may even end up faster though i am quite sure that they will end up faster then intel in graphics and video editing can't say same for multi tasking
a c 127 à CPUs
April 17, 2010 9:24:46 PM

jennyh said:
Llano is 32nm SOI HKMG. http://www.anandtech.com/show/2933



SB is dx10 compared to Llano's dx11. I dunno if you've seen the die shots of each but Llano's gpu is 3x larger than SB's. It's a no-contest, intel can't compete with ATI graphics and have stopped trying to.



So its 32nm. AMDs 32nm is not set for now till later in 2011. We shall see though.

Die size means nothing. Fermi is 3 billion transistors, larger than the HD5K series and yet its performance is not that much better. In fact a larger die just normally means higher heat output.

As for Intel having stopped trying, if you thin intel just stops and gives up then you must not have payed any attention during the Athlon 64 days when Intel pushed out Core 2.
a b à CPUs
April 17, 2010 9:53:37 PM

jimmysmitty said:
So its 32nm. AMDs 32nm is not set for now till later in 2011. We shall see though.

Die size means nothing. Fermi is 3 billion transistors, larger than the HD5K series and yet its performance is not that much better. In fact a larger die just normally means higher heat output.

As for Intel having stopped trying, if you thin intel just stops and gives up then you must not have payed any attention during the Athlon 64 days when Intel pushed out Core 2.




An influx of onesidedness is inevitable Jimmy.

this is all about amds video chipset again... wah wah wah... Like Apples play games anyhow.


Apples sales have jumped. Bravo for Apple, and so they should for AMD... if they didnt make a profit when the ATI 5 series was released then they would never make one.

Sandy bridge is comming, i assuming with it a decent igp for all those rag heads that think igp is for gaming.

apple could par with a intel processor and a nvidia or ati card right now just like laptops now..

AMD to be fair deserve a crack at the rotten core... if it brings the prices down then we all win.


Although they would have to do something spectacular than with the current Phenom 2 offering.

Would they call an x3 processor a x4 with ar rotten core. who knows :) 
a b à CPUs
April 17, 2010 10:40:14 PM

jimmysmitty said:
So its 32nm. AMDs 32nm is not set for now till later in 2011. We shall see though.


Jimmy, I'm not sure what you've been reading but it's really inaccurate.

Llano is sampling, now.

Quote:
Die size means nothing. Fermi is 3 billion transistors, larger than the HD5K series and yet its performance is not that much better. In fact a larger die just normally means higher heat output.


If intel had a graphics chip that was close to ATI under any circumstance that would be relevent.

Quote:
As for Intel having stopped trying, if you thin intel just stops and gives up then you must not have payed any attention during the Athlon 64 days when Intel pushed out Core 2.


I'm talking about graphics. Intel has tried, and failed, many times. Now they no longer try, instead we get to hear the mantra that intel graphics are 'good enough'.

SB will be 'good enough' once again. Not vs Llano though. :) 
a b à CPUs
April 17, 2010 10:41:30 PM

Chad Boga said:
Then obviously there can't be many good articles out there or LLano isn't that promising.

Charlie suggested that AMD with LLano caught up to Nehalem in terms of power management, but that Westmere advances power management further on the Intel side, and LLano will be competing against Sandy Bridge, so presumably takes another step backwards.


Actually no, because AMD has something major that intel has never had. I'm sure if you read the article properly you'll figure out what that is. :) 
April 17, 2010 10:45:09 PM

jennyh said:

I'm talking about graphics. Intel has tried, and failed, many times. Now they no longer try, instead we get to hear the mantra that intel graphics are 'good enough'.

SB will be 'good enough' once again. Not vs Llano though. :) 

How do you work out that Intel no longer try?

The GPU they have in Clarkdale, whilst not being the full equal of AMD's/ATI's, closed the gap considerably.

So even when LLano improves over AMD's current offerings, Intel will be improving with the GPU in Sandy Bridge and will once again be good enough for 90%+ of the market.
April 17, 2010 10:45:29 PM

jennyh said:
Actually no, because AMD has something major that intel has never had. I'm sure if you read the article properly you'll figure out what that is. :) 

I'm not reading that article again, so either you tell me or you don't, but don't expect anyone to take anything you say seriously just because you dream it will be so.

Independent corroboration is required.
a b à CPUs
April 17, 2010 11:08:34 PM

Just about the whole second half of the article was about power management Chad.

Quote:
Intel and AMD have come up with a solution. They put a ring of transistors around the core itself, it is the black border labeled PG ring in the picture above. What it does is when a CPU goes into the new C6 sleep state, all internal data is saved to off-core DRAM, and the core is powered down completely.

It does not run slowly, the power gates turn off power to it entirely, and then those 110 million transistors stop leaking. This can be a huge power savings, AMD claims a 10-fold reduction in core leakage.

How it was done is pretty interesting as well. SOI is known to be better at preventing some kinds of leakage, and in this case, it is a huge advantage. AMD can use NFETs for the ring instead of the larger PFETs. Since the ring is 1.38 Million transistors per core, smaller is a good thing.


SOI is really coming through to help out Llano.

There has been a lot of talk about power, because that is what will make or break Llano. It's not about putting 700m transistors into a notebook chip, it's about doing it under a low power (ie notebook power) envelope.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/cpu/display/20100209114243...
April 17, 2010 11:11:03 PM

jennyh said:
Just about the whole second half of the article was about power management Chad.

Quote:
Intel and AMD have come up with a solution. They put a ring of transistors around the core itself, it is the black border labeled PG ring in the picture above. What it does is when a CPU goes into the new C6 sleep state, all internal data is saved to off-core DRAM, and the core is powered down completely.

It does not run slowly, the power gates turn off power to it entirely, and then those 110 million transistors stop leaking. This can be a huge power savings, AMD claims a 10-fold reduction in core leakage.

How it was done is pretty interesting as well. SOI is known to be better at preventing some kinds of leakage, and in this case, it is a huge advantage. AMD can use NFETs for the ring instead of the larger PFETs. Since the ring is 1.38 Million transistors per core, smaller is a good thing.


SOI is really coming through to help out Llano.

There has been a lot of talk about power, because that is what will make or break Llano. It's not about putting 700m transistors into a notebook, it's about doing it under a low power envelope.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/cpu/display/20100209114243...

So when is it out? Q1 2011 or Q2 2011?

a b à CPUs
April 18, 2010 12:29:08 AM

Well I don't know but I'd wager January 2011.
a c 127 à CPUs
April 18, 2010 1:42:30 AM

I still would prefer to wait for legit news and not rumors. Sampling is great but it doesn't mean anything.

From that link too, it sounds like a cut down CPU. Lower transistor count than current Phenoms.
a b à CPUs
April 18, 2010 2:55:41 AM

Quote:
From that link too, it sounds like a cut down CPU. Lower transistor count than current Phenoms.



No its not cut down. I saw this discussed in another article. They just simplified and refined the design. Fewer transistors, more elegant design = better performance with lower power usage and lower production cost.
April 18, 2010 3:07:07 AM

FALC0N said:
No its not cut down. I saw this discussed in another article. They just simplified and refined the design.


It's smaller because there's no L3 cache: I'd call that 'cut down' myself.

Now, not having the L3 cache doesn't seem to harm the Athlon II in many cases so it might not be an issue much of the time, but this chip also has to deal with the bandwidth requirements of an integrated GPU, so if it's dual-channel I'd expect performance to suffer substantially where the GPU is working hard.
a b à CPUs
April 18, 2010 3:07:36 AM

Well for a Macintosh laptop, your biggest letdown is definitely the Intel IGP.

What Apple is trying to do here is swap Intel IGPs for AMD or Nvidia ones.

It's that or Apple has had advance samples of AMD's new CPUs.

Like when the world was in Pentiums and everybody thought Apple was nuts to go Intel.

Now if Apple ever made an AMD Macbook 13" with a matte screen...
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