Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Opteron + Microsoft Support (its official)

Last response: in CPUs
Share
April 9, 2003 9:28:22 PM

The culmination of the dream from concept to final silicon the next generation of processor from AMD will soon be here! I am itching to know which vendors and companies will be supporting x86-64. The 22nd April the official lauch date of Opteron will be something I will be watching with anticipation, and that only half the fun.

Of course there will be the benchmarks to analyse and whether Opteron lives up to its hype, remembering a good mixture of performance, stability, software and support is what it takes to be successful in the Enterprise/Server sector.

No matter what you think I reckon Opteron it going to something special especially when AMD start ramping up the clockspeed.

P.S Microsoft have <i>quietly</i> announced they are developing a native x86-64 OS (that will give Intel something to chew on)
<A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2003/Apr03/04-..." target="_new">Microsoft Announcement</A>

<font color=purple>Ladies and Gentlemen, its...Hammer Time !</font color=purple>
April 10, 2003 2:54:49 AM

It was about time!

Now no one can deny it anymore, it's official.

Now, if AMD pushes back the Athlon 64 to earlier on, now we can suspect for real they were BSing us.


--
This post is brought to you by Eden, on a Via Eden, in the garden of Eden. :smile:
April 10, 2003 3:51:59 AM

Good thing for AMD that Micr$ is supporting Opteron. Or that would be the end for AMD.
Related resources
April 10, 2003 11:23:53 AM

If AMD was really holding back the Athlon 64, worried about the answer from Microsoft, then now they should be able to go back to full throttle and really work hard on the Athlon 64. It definitely is not enough right now to compete upcoming Prescott, and hopefully the good news will boost AMD's optimism and allow them to work entirely on making the Athlon 64 the CPU it should be.

--
This post is brought to you by Eden, on a Via Eden, in the garden of Eden. :smile:
April 10, 2003 4:29:46 PM

Quote:
Good thing for AMD that Micr$ is supporting Opteron. Or that would be the end for AMD.

How do you figure?

M$ won't even release an x86-64 version of Windows until 2H 03. Even then, it'll only be beta. A full retail (or even OEM) version won't be available until much later.

So the first Opteron users won't even have any x86-64 versions of Windows, and the first Athlon64 users will be lucky just to get a hold of a beta version of the software.

Everyone else will be using either non M$ OSs or will be using the standard 32-bit M$ OSs. So M$'s "official" support is almost completely meaningless. The reality is that x86-64 support from M$ for the Hammers really isn't all that important.

<font color=blue><pre>I'm proud to be an American,
who served my country in the US Air Force,
to protect the rights of my fellow Americans,
to hold protests against others like me.</pre><p></font color=blue>
April 10, 2003 5:04:43 PM

Quote:
So M$'s "official" support is almost completely meaningless. The reality is that x86-64 support from M$ for the Hammers really isn't all that important.


Totally agree with you. Just because MS is going to support x86-64 doesn't mean anything. It also needs to be supported by drivers. If the driver doesn't support it then practically you won't be able to do anything with x86-64 windows. Because without drivers you will have Windows booting to VGA without NIC support. So the two most important things we do (Play games & browse Internet) we can't.

KC

"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity." - Sarah Chambers
April 10, 2003 5:13:10 PM

I would think that if M$ was smart (which they admittedly aren't) the x86-64 versions of Windows would run in 'compatability mode' where it can execute 32-bit and 64-bit simultaneously. In which case, all 32-bit drivers would still work just peachy.

My point is more that no one will even have a full version of x86-64 Windows available to them when they buy their shiny new Hammer, so M$'s 'support' is pretty meaningless to the survival of the Hammers.

<font color=blue><pre>I'm proud to be an American,
who served my country in the US Air Force,
to protect the rights of my fellow Americans,
to hold protests against others like me.</pre><p></font color=blue>
April 10, 2003 5:32:40 PM

I dont hink this can be done.

The long mode need 64 everything or it just can use the extra compiler 8 to 12 WOW.Still better that others X86

[-peep-] french
April 10, 2003 6:18:09 PM

I don't think you can use drivers in compatability mode. With windows 2000 and higher the 16bit-32bit thunk layer is gone which means in windows 9x we used to be able to run 16bit drivers with 32bit OS. But in windows NT we can't do it. So if the OS is 64bit we must also have driver which support 64bit. I don't think microsoft will go back and re-define the WDM model to support 32-bit drivers in 64 bit mode.

KC

"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity." - Sarah Chambers
April 10, 2003 8:12:42 PM

You might be right. I might be right. Who knows? **LOL**

Back a few M$ had a pretty lofty high-horse about getting rid of all 16-bit code. Yet today they seem to only vaguely care about even supporting 64-bit code. So where as before they had great incentive to force people to using the highest bit mode, today they might not really care about the issue this time. So they may very well just go with what is easiest for everyone, which is allowing 32-bit drivers in a 64-bit OS.

Personally, that's what I think is going to happen. I readily admit that I could be wrong though. :) 

<font color=blue><pre>I'm proud to be an American,
who served my country in the US Air Force,
to protect the rights of my fellow Americans,
to hold protests against others like me.</pre><p></font color=blue>
April 10, 2003 9:16:39 PM

Of course the success of Opteron doesn't depend on MS support and so what if x86-64 Windows isn't avaliable at launch ? (If people wish to upgrade in the future thats up to them).

Not forgetting Opteron is 'supposedly' able to run 32bit code faster than Xeon. (I dont think its coincidence that Cray decided to base a super computer on 10,000 Opterons due to it's lack of performance !)

You have not recognised the significance of what an MS x86-64 OS will bring to the table because you have failed to recognise the grand scheme of things. Essentially this will provide a 'breeding ground' upon which 64bit apps can be developed and run. It will definetly provide a springboard for software developers who wish to develop for x86-64.

So if one of the largest software corporations in the world announce they will be spending time, resources and money on an x86-64 version for Windows Server AND XP then I think thats a pretty good indication of the potential that Opteron has.

Then again I could be all wrong, but what it does mean is that AMD has another card to play with (and a pretty good one at that) for moving ino the corporate server market.

Ultimately the success of Opteron depends on the infrastructure/ecosystem supporting it. Microsoft will want to sustain x86-64 for as long as possible if they want to make something of it.

<font color=purple>Ladies and Gentlemen, its...Hammer Time !</font color=purple>
April 11, 2003 2:54:27 AM

I've been reading the manuals they sent me and running anything in 64-bit long mode is almost the same as regular 32-bit protected mode with the exception the exclusion of some instructions that mostly have to do with AX byte operations and far pointer operation. A few OS control and flag operation are also invalid in 64-bit mode but for the most part, device driver ports should have little or no problem being recompiled. Then again a lot of the hardware supporting Opteron is fresh off the boat so who knows.

Dichromatic for your viewing plesure...
April 11, 2003 3:12:13 AM

Your right. Micro$ Will not have anything for 64 bit till Sept. or later. It will be a long while for 64 bit do fully kick in everywhere. Maybe thats why Intel is not in a big hurry to release 64.
April 11, 2003 3:56:26 AM

At the very least, like DX9, being prepared to take the new technology when it is supported, is why it is being done.

--
This post is brought to you by Eden, on a Via Eden, in the garden of Eden. :smile:
!