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Engineering Sample of A64 Benchmarks

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August 11, 2003 4:20:17 PM

Made you look :) 

Just ooc, does anyone think this is going to be a flop?

I'm just your average habitual smiler =D
August 11, 2003 4:22:30 PM

Athlon 64 is basically an Opteron so we already know what to expect performance wise - its gonna rock especially in gaming benchmarks.

<font color=purple>Ladies and Gentlemen, its...Hammer Time !</font color=purple>
August 11, 2003 4:49:09 PM

But do you really think that? Imagine a single Opteron with less cache (right?) used for the purposes that 64 bit probably won't help with. That's really going to be an excellent chip?

I'm just your average habitual smiler =D
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August 11, 2003 4:54:55 PM

An opteron @ 2.2ghz has been reviewed with the same cache as A64 on an early nforce 3 board. It already beats the 3.2 P4, and once the boards/memory and process has matured, things will only get better. I think that it will at least compete with the new pentium. For the A64 to really shine though, it will need cas 2 memory and a few tweaks here and there.

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August 11, 2003 6:27:06 PM

The 940pin A64 will still have 1MB cache...the low end 754pin will have 512KB L2 cache and single channel mem controller.

The 754pin version will probably be equivalent to a low/mid range Athlon XP.

<font color=purple>Ladies and Gentlemen, its...Hammer Time !</font color=purple>
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August 11, 2003 6:34:53 PM

The only thing that bothers me is that the A64 sucess really lies in the acceptance and the fast migration to 64 bits. It's good to see amd trying to go a new path but they depends on many other compagny too...To bad AMD doesnt have the Intel budget to really accelerate the adoption...

So at first it will depend on A64's 32 bit performance...
I'd like to see AMD succeed. Last amd success, the early athlon series as done nothing but good to the CPu market. Put more pressure on Intel and its always good.
August 11, 2003 6:41:30 PM

Exactly. In my opinion A64 will really shine in Q1 2004, when the 939pin version will be released. That CPU will be able to accept CAS 2 DDR400 memory, and possibly when used with a newer chipset (Nvidia's Crush maybe?), then we will see even more performance.
August 11, 2003 6:45:50 PM

I think AMD64 adoption is going pretty well already. Opteron has only been out for 4 months and they already have the following support:

1) SUSE Linux x86-64
2) Red Hat (still under development)
3) Windows XP/Server 64 (under development)
4) Oracle beta 64bit for Opteron (avaliable to download now)
5) 64bit Java (due 2H04)
6) Apache Web Sever 64 (under development)
7) 64 bit version of RSA Security Encyption

The snowball has already started rolling down the hill...

AMD64 will really take off when Microsoft release 64bit XP.

<font color=purple>Ladies and Gentlemen, its...Hammer Time !</font color=purple>
August 11, 2003 6:48:46 PM

Check out <A HREF="http://www.amdzone.com/articleview.cfm?ArticleID=1329" target="_new">this</A> review of Opteron @ 2.2GHz. I was personally impressed by its performance. The first 940pin A64s will be basically Opterons and we already know that no CPUs under 2GHz will be released. So this review is exactly what we can expect from the dual-channel version of A64. Later on, in 2004 when A64 will be able to also accept non-ECC memory (so this means CAS 2), then we will see even more performance. Of course many will say that this is a review from a site biased towards AMD and all that but even if these benchmarks are not 110% accurate, they are still very good indication about what we will get in about 1 1/2 month.

So to answer your question, I am not sure whether the A64 will be able to beat Prescott, but on the other hand I don't believe Prescott will dominate either. What I am sure though is that A64 will not be a flop.
August 11, 2003 6:53:10 PM

"AMD64 will really take off when Microsoft release 64bit XP."

that is the single most important thing in the whole pc market right now probably.

"keyboard error or no keyboard present, press F1 to continue or DEL to enter setup" spot the deliberate mistake
August 11, 2003 6:59:49 PM

Indeed...I predict on the Athlon 64 launch date we will see a beta version of Windows XP 64 with the final release sometime in Q104.

My only worry is 64 bit driver support from hardware manufacturers.

<font color=purple>Ladies and Gentlemen, its...Hammer Time !</font color=purple>
August 11, 2003 7:06:03 PM

why?

The a64 will be able to process 32 bit app's with ease...i feel that there will be stability issues (like we saw in ME) if manufacturers scramble to write 64 bit drivers...32 bit drivers will be fine IMO...eventually the manufacturers will switch over but i don't think it is a high priority...

If i put my k6 in a Ferrari it would be faster than your your pentium 4 or Athlon XP :tongue:
August 11, 2003 8:09:36 PM

i dont really know anything about this kind of stuff, but isnt it quite easy just to recompile 32bit drivers/applications into 64bit?

"keyboard error or no keyboard present, press F1 to continue or DEL to enter setup" spot the deliberate mistake
August 11, 2003 8:13:28 PM

i really don't know...i beleive you could...but the program would run inefficiently as 64 bit because it would not take full advantage of all the extra registers?

I dunno i am over my head...but if it were that easy...then windows me would have been a stable os!

If i put my k6 in a Ferrari it would be faster than your your pentium 4 or Athlon XP :tongue:
August 11, 2003 10:57:41 PM

Quote:
i dont really know anything about this kind of stuff, but isnt it quite easy just to recompile 32bit drivers/applications into 64bit?

Not all that easy.

First the driver code has to be 64-bit clean. That basically means no stupid assumptions about integer or pointer sizes. You'd be surprised how often minor programmer mistakes slip by and blow 64-bit cleanliness out of the water.

Then the driver code has to account for different PCI memory mapping. PCI devices and drivers have the luxury of full access to the 32-bit address space for bus-mastering et al (although some, like the SBLive!, impose their own artificial limits on PCI DMA addressing). When the addressable space expands to 64-bit quantities, that may become a problem. PCI devices may find themselves having to use a "DMA hole" under the 4GB range, like some ISA devices require under 16MB.

Third is possibly different overall conventions for things like SMP et al. Remember, NUMA is something that isn't yet supported in MSWindows. When it is, device drivers may have to adjust the way they work to get maximum mileage out of NUMA topology. Of course, this won't matter so much on uniprocessor systems.

Using the expanded register set is a rather distant fourth. It's not so important, except for bumping speed a bit. Also, updated compilers can theoretically take care of that without any fuss.

That being said, driver support isn't all that far behind. nVidia's already posting AMD64 drivers, at least for Linux. I imagine they'll have corresponding Win64 drivers ready to roll.

<i>I can love my fellow man...but I'm damned if I'll love yours.</i>
August 12, 2003 12:26:42 AM

yeah, those amd64 drivers have been there for a while havent they.

do you think applications will be easier than drivers to make 64bit? is that just a question of recompiling, or does it require re-writing from scratch in 64bit?

also, i am almost cerain the answer to this is yes, but, if (or when) intel eventually releases a 64bit Pentium, will it be 100% compatible with 64bit drivers/applications/OS' etc. that have been written based on the Athlon 64?

"keyboard error or no keyboard present, press F1 to continue or DEL to enter setup" spot the deliberate mistake
August 12, 2003 12:59:08 AM

I still am suspicious of those benchmarks. AMDZone is pro-AMD, god knows what they could have fitted the P4 with behind those already revealed specs.

Furthermore they used a lot of pro-AMD benchs, like the Science ones where Athlons always did well.

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August 12, 2003 1:04:31 AM

We may find out they used pc133 ram in conjunction with a p4...lol

If i put my k6 in a Ferrari it would be faster than your your pentium 4 or Athlon XP :tongue:
August 12, 2003 1:57:07 AM

hahaha. Cas3 PC100 dont you mean ;) 

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August 12, 2003 2:30:05 AM

The P4 never had a 66Mhz bus. :p 

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Mr no integrity coward.</b>
August 12, 2003 2:55:46 AM

One may argue about how importantly the amount of memory affects those benchmarks, but 2G on opteron vs. 256M on P4? Shame on AMDZONE!
August 12, 2003 3:20:03 AM

Pc133 will make it run faster. That way it will beat PIII's.
August 12, 2003 3:20:49 AM

They don't release it on time. It will be.
August 12, 2003 4:01:42 AM

i guarantee in realwold apps...a overclocked tualatin will kill any sdram p4!

If i put my k6 in a Ferrari it would be faster than your your pentium 4 or Athlon XP :tongue:
August 12, 2003 6:03:44 AM

Quote:
do you think applications will be easier than drivers to make 64bit? is that just a question of recompiling, or does it require re-writing from scratch in 64bit?

Applications will generally be easier to port. The 64-bit cleanliness hurdle still applies when making userland applications stable, but the PCI memory mapping quirks shouldn't matter in userland. Everything else (NUMA and extra register usage) is really optional performance tuning.

Optimizing register usage is generally a compiler issue. AMD's NUMA implementation is slightly tricky for multithreaded apps, because the more multiple threads share data, the more traffic will have to go between the inter-CPU HyperTransport links--which incurs a bit of a performance hit.

Quote:
also, i am almost cerain the answer to this is yes, but, if (or when) intel eventually releases a 64bit Pentium, will it be 100% compatible with 64bit drivers/applications/OS' etc. that have been written based on the Athlon 64?

Well...that's a good question. I can think of two scenarios:

1) AMD64 really catches on before Intel can get a Yamhill(ish) implementation going. In this case, Intel will probably (wisely) make a set of Yamhill extensions 100% compatible with AMD64. W00t! :smile:

2) Intel manages to get their Yamhill(ish) implementation going before AMD64 really catches on. In this case, Intel can make theirs just slightly incompatible with the AMD64 instruction set, and due to Intel's dominant marketshare, AMD will be cut out of the 64-bit loop. Even if the AMD64 ISA manages to hang on, we'll be stuck with two divergent, incompatible 64-bit x86 ISAs. Suck! :frown:

I'd consider (1) to be the most likely outcome. (2) is still possible, and there are even rumors of 64-bit Yamhill(ish) extensions in Prescott. Deciding whether Yamhill would be compatible or incompatible with AMD64 will probably be a simple matter of microcode changes, so Intel could make that decision even after committing to a Prescott tapeout.

<i>I can love my fellow man...but I'm damned if I'll love yours.</i><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by kelledin on 08/12/03 01:06 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
August 12, 2003 3:54:22 PM

Just a few notes:

A.) Grabbing "benchmark data" from AMDZone is worse than believing everything that comes of The Inquirer. I think it's funny in the mentioned benchmark link that they briefly mention the lower amount of memory for the P4 and Athlon systems and add this blurb

"The P4 and Athlon system were run with Cas latency at 2 while the Opteron was only able to run at Cas 2.5 which is a distinct disadvantage for it"

While there may be a little disadvantage from this, i think doubling the memory (at least...they don't give the number of 256 memory sticks used on the P4/Athlon machines) MORE MORE MORE MORE than compensates for this. This site could have gone even more rediculous by using DDR266 and i'm actually surprised they didn't.

B.) I think the reason Yamhill is still so far out (what do the rumors say 2005-2007, somewhere in there?), because Intel doesn't recognize the extreme need for desktop user 32/64 support. And i tend to agree with them on this conjecture.

C.) I think some good points have been made that show that we don't really know if 64 bits (on average) will increase or decrease performance on most real world applications

Here's the smartest thing AMD can do. AMD is changing their arch around with the A64, right? Right. A lot of that will be new speedpaths and improved efficiency. They also will be making the switch to 64 bits. What they should try to do is blind everyone to the fact that this chip with 32 bits would have done much better than current technology ANYWAY (because of arch enhancements) and hint that it's because of the 32/64 bit support.

We'll just have to see...

I'm just your average habitual smiler =D
August 12, 2003 8:19:20 PM

Quote:
B.) I think the reason Yamhill is still so far out (what do the rumors say 2005-2007, somewhere in there?), because Intel doesn't recognize the extreme need for desktop user 32/64 support. And i tend to agree with them on this conjecture.

C.) I think some good points have been made that show that we don't really know if 64 bits (on average) will increase or decrease performance on most real world applications

It might not be essantial to have 64 Bits APP now! But if AMD do is job well! they will "impose" their 64 Bits technology for the future...

So instead of MMX/SSE/SSE2 AMD processors. We may see Intel with AMD64 thecnology. This would gives AMD a big BOOST in reputation. Since many people still think that AMD makes only low/mid qualitu CPUs.

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August 12, 2003 10:38:20 PM

Quote:
While there may be a little disadvantage from this, i think doubling the memory (at least...they don't give the number of 256 memory sticks used on the P4/Athlon machines) MORE MORE MORE MORE than compensates for this.

Not if the extra memory capacity isn't put to use. If the system never swaps even without the extra memory, then the added memory capacity is no benefit at all. And 512MB is actually a LOT for simple benchmarks, gameplay, desktop usage, and even professional apps. Photoshop, 3DSMax, and some other professional apps could benefit from gobs and gobs of memory, but generally not in an artificially-condensed benchmark scenario.

On Linux, it might matter, since Linux takes all unused memory and puts it to use for little piddling tasks, just so that memory will add some benefit instead of sitting idle. I don't think Windows manages memory like that, though.

<i>I can love my fellow man...but I'm damned if I'll love yours.</i>
August 12, 2003 11:37:26 PM

I thought that Win xp changed the how it uses its memory so that it keeps more info so that programs run fasters and that 512mb is basic amount of memory to have programs to run well.

<font color=blue>"You know, that my backstab attack does double the damage. I can make an off button for him." </font color=blue> :cool: <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by SJJM on 08/12/03 04:40 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
August 12, 2003 11:46:27 PM

I don't see why it would make that much of a difference to change to 64bit. As the reveiws show that even in 32bit that cpu is still running fast. I feel that it will not help with changing to 64bit software. In fact I think they are trying to make it in with microsoft, by trying to get people to move to 64bit software. Think of all the people who are going to go out and buy windows 64 just for a64.

<font color=blue>"You know, that my backstab attack does double the damage. I can make an off button for him." </font color=blue> :cool:
August 12, 2003 11:51:21 PM

"Think of all the people who are going to go out and buy windows 64 just for a64."

thats what i find strange, as it wont be very many people, as amd only has a small market share, and a lot of them will keep their existing OS.

"keyboard error or no keyboard present, press F1 to continue or DEL to enter setup" spot the deliberate mistake
August 14, 2003 5:51:33 AM

Microsoft will NEVER produce a product if they won't reap tons of cash from it.

This is just one more in their lap of schemes. Windows 64, if ever out, will go public like never before seen. Microsoft will advertise the living hell out of it, or make sure it does by OEMs. So trust me, if it will be out, OEMs will be forced to adopt Athlon 64s, and use Windows 64, on account buyers will fall for the new number.

THAT'S marketting. If AMD gets that succesfully, they WILL win this battle. So, I am still baffled as to how MS will really accept AMD's dare, being a small company will little resources, relatively.

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August 14, 2003 6:44:16 AM

"One may argue about how importantly the amount of memory affects those benchmarks, but 2G on opteron vs. 256M on P4? Shame on AMDZONE!"

Wrong - AXP and P4 rigs used two high end corsair sticks. 512 megs of ram is more than overpumping for almost all bechmarks.

opteron rig only gets latency penalty from such a massive amount of ram, and amdzone shows us how easly opteron platform handles such amounts of ram.

Anyway, opteron impressed me with beautiful performance and even more beautiful scaling.
!