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AMD Athlon 64 Compatibility Question

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  • CPUs
  • Compatibility
  • Microsoft
  • AMD
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January 11, 2004 4:41:50 PM

I was all set to pick up an MSI K8T Neo-FIS2R motherboard and drop in an AMD Athlon 64 3000+ after reading all the hype, hoopla, and recent reviews... but then a tech at my local computer store brought me to a screeching halt.

He says that the current AMD 64-bit processor code will have to be re-written after Microsoft finalizes their upcoming 64-bit operating system, as Intel is taking a different road to 64-bit, and Microsoft will undoubtedly tweak/design their final code to take advantage of the Intel chip since they’re 80% of the market... leaving the AMD 64-bit chips out in the cold.

His assertion was that anyone purchasing a current AMD Athlon 64 was wasting their money unless they only wanted to run Unix, Linux, or Windows XP. He says that the AMD Athlon 64 will never be able to run Redmond's new 64-bit OS.

Is there any truth to this? Or will Microsoft be optimizing their 64-bit operating system for both AMD and Intel chips?

More about : amd athlon compatibility question

January 11, 2004 5:07:26 PM

I don't know if there's any thruth in it...

But if we look at the past, it's not impossible that this will happen. AMD was also the first to bring floating-point SIMD instructions with 3DNow!, but Intel designed the superiour SSE instruction set and AMD 'had' to license and implement it in the Athlon XP. There's still some software that has been optimized for 3DNow!, but it's nothing compared to the SSE optimizations.

As a developer, I always buy Intel because of the newer instruction sets. And looking at AMD's hacky methods for 64-bit support, I'm fairly sure Intel can come up with something much better...
January 11, 2004 5:23:09 PM

3dNow! as i understand is atleast as good as SSE, problem is that no applications use it - simply because noone dared to use AMD technology (Quake III has som unfinished 3dNow! code in it, and a bug prevents AMD from using SSE in that game)

Whats "hacky" about the Way AMD decided to implement 64bit into the mainstream?? i can't find a better way than to make a preocessor completely compatible with both 16bit/32bit or 32bit/64bit - Legacy mode for 32 bit OS AND long mode for 64bit OS.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by InkSpot on 01/11/04 02:27 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
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January 11, 2004 5:37:42 PM

Re: 3dNow! as i understand is atleast as good as SSE, problem is that no applications use it - simply because noone dared to use AMD technology (Quake III has som unfinished 3dNow! code in it, and a bug prevents AMD from using SSE in that game)

yeah that is what I heard too. Also amd does not licence sse1 or 2 they just use it. I think intel has a time limmit on how long they can patent it for do to anti competative rules. Seems like 2 years or so. so if intel produces sse3 amd cannot use it for 2 years. I think that is fair because why should amd make things like 3dnow when software developers won't utilize it because of the smaller market share and when major benchmark testing seems more egar to write code optomized for sse over 3dnow.

If I glanced at a spilt box of tooth picks on the floor, could I tell you how many are in the pile. Not a chance, But then again I don't have to buy my underware at Kmart.
January 11, 2004 5:39:06 PM

3D Now is a bit different that SSE. Has a few less instructions last I checked, it's also a library based set of instructions. Meaning it needs to make calls to a library set to utilize the instructions. SSE on the other hand is all silicon based requiring only a recompiling of whatever software you are using, recompiled specifically if your software will benefit from it.

Also the Quake 3 thing was not so much a bug, Carmack is a very avid Intel and NVIDIA fan. It’s been seen for quite some time. Some would say that he purposely crippled AMD by ignoring the AXP's SSE calls. It’s been seen that recompiled DLL's boast a performance increase for AXP's.

Less the conspiracy people who believe Carmack is out to get AMD fact of the matter is it was nearly 2 years (rough guessing) before AMD implemented SSE into their CPU line. Fair bet that the DLL's are just that made to work with what was available.

Truth be known it’s been see with SSE and SSE2 that AMD's implementation of Intel technologies just aren’t 100% perfect, most likely because of the architectural differences between both companies silicon.

But for a point of reference 3Dnow wasn’t so hampered by the fact it was AMD implementing it, its more from the fact they didn’t have a decent compiler available (AMD has yet to make one), and as far as I am concerned going through say 100,000+ lines of code and hand coding for special ops is not a good use of ones time. Others will most likely feel differently.

It was also not as flexible in looping, strings shifting and most importantly code streaming as SSE is as well as SSE2. There might be a few programmers here that have taken the time to code for either or and should know exactly what I’m talking about.

Also 3Dnow wasn’t so much FP accelerant derived, as it assisted in Int calcs. But again neither here nor there since not very many software engineers, developers use it

-taitertot

If this post has attitude, seems to be overly aggressive, rude, distasteful to 99% of the users here, and shows a zealous defense of Intel... It’s probably Spud.
January 11, 2004 8:43:39 PM

Quote:
3dNow! as i understand is atleast as good as SSE, problem is that no applications use it - simply because noone dared to use AMD technology (Quake III has som unfinished 3dNow! code in it, and a bug prevents AMD from using SSE in that game)

It is inferiour. SSE has eight totally new registers which each hold four floating-point numbers. 3DNow! re-uses the MMX registers, that's eight registers with each two floating-point numbers. The worst thing about that is that you have to share eight registers for FPU, MMX and 3DNow! Mixing these is a hell for assembly programmers, and even totally unmanagable for compilers. With SSE it's a lot simpler: use MMX for integer vector operations, use SSE for all floating-point operations.
Quote:
Whats "hacky" about the Way AMD decided to implement 64bit into the mainstream?? i can't find a better way than to make a preocessor completely compatible with both 16bit/32bit or 32bit/64bit - Legacy mode for 32 bit OS AND long mode for 64bit OS.

Just have a look at the encoding format.
January 11, 2004 8:46:02 PM

dunno, sounds to me like the sales guy is just an intellite. Not like, MS will drop AMD64 windows after putting it through beta. A lot of sales guys are just full of [-peep-].

It may well be that the intel x86-64 cpu will have a different instruction set to that of AMD, but MS pretty much already has a Windows for AMDs X86-64. If the intel instruction set is different, I don't think there is a way to "tweak" it to that so much that AMD is left in the cold. Especially since they've been working on AMD hardware.


<b><font color=red>"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."</font color=red><font color=blue> - Benjamin Franklin</font color=blue></b>
January 11, 2004 9:19:48 PM

The problem is people have to understand that linux is actually progressing quite well. I think Microsoft will finally have some competition within the next 7 years.
I would love to see Linux and AMD rise above the Intel and M$ stronghold.

I was happy when ATi finally got there [-peep-] together like no other whith there new cards.

I like to go where the performance leads me , but i've finally realized that spending money on a top notch system isn't really worth it, mostly becuase it isn't utilized untill the next progress comes.

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January 11, 2004 9:39:15 PM

Not to worry, by the time you actually need 64-bit, your entire system will be outdated! But that's not to say "don't buy one" because they still operate perfectly in 32-bit mode! The best chipset for A64 is the SiS 755, the only board currently using it is the ECS 755-A.

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January 11, 2004 10:52:44 PM

If you're in the market for a new system right now then the A64 offers the best price/performance even in 32bit applications so you can't really go wrong.
January 11, 2004 11:17:12 PM

M$ has already stated publicly that windows 64 will support Amd64. Can you say Breach of trust? Can you say class action.
January 12, 2004 12:17:06 AM

Sounds like the tech down at my local computer store doesn't know what he's talking about... or maybe he's just trying to sell his inventory of AMD XP's and Intel Celeron's.

Hey Crashman: Is the ECS SIS 755 mobo on the market yet? And isn't ECS more of a reseller mobo manufacturer? I thought they specialized in low price mobo's. Are they any good?
January 12, 2004 12:26:55 AM

The ecs 755-a board is in stock at newegg.
Ecs is the second largest manufacturer of mobos in the world. Most of thier products are low cost, without a multitude of features, but tend to be stable and are longer living than they used to be.
January 12, 2004 5:15:46 AM

Quote:
M$ has already stated publicly that windows 64 will support Amd64. Can you say Breach of trust? Can you say class action.

I don't think M$ has anything to fear for Amd law suits, because Bill Gates got some pretty good lawyers. i really don't think there is much AMD can do about it if M$ decides to optimize for Intel 64 bit instructions. like as someone said before, Intel hold 80% market share. that is big money if m$ want to sell windows xp 64-bit desktop to the world. Intel has the capacity to do that. :smile:

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January 12, 2004 5:42:07 AM

A fact is On a Sales person there out to make Money. And Look at the prices Of amd and Intel. If the Sales person can sell a Intel Board and chip he makes More Money. And then your reading all the reviews. And we all Know from Intel or Amd and Apple site we cant beleave On Chip scores. For they are Like the Sales person. And alot of people are finding it on Tomshardware. Where 7 Websites and PC Mag. say amd 7% faster.

Now here a Fact Most people dont know. If Tomshardware use differnt applications all the time for the test they would be More Right. And Use Differnt Games. And differnt software. So it harder for Intel or Amd or Apple to tweak there system on the test. for go back 6 months and write down which software is being use. And then watch the scores.

Now What slowing down Amd is Mirosoft 64. For there OS is not running yet. It like what slowing down Intel is Presscott chip. For the last chips where Too Hot.

And hay Right now I m Looking into a laptop 3.2ghz ee L3 2 megs of cache with dual batterys. Or one battery with a spare and dual Hard drives.
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