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CPU Gurus . . .

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March 31, 2005 7:13:28 PM

I was wondering what you thought about this comment made in another forum:


I am in a serious minority by owning an AMD Athlon64. Also, in hinderance of 64-bit computing's development, after a good examination of them, I realized that the Intel Pentium 4 600 series ARE NOT 64-bit processors; they are merely 32-bit Pentium 4s modified to have 64-bit memory registers, allowing them to surpass the 4GB RAM limit that was present since the introduction of the original Pentium. Personally, this saddens me that Intel isn't as willing to go with the advancement, instead chanting clock speeds over and over. It also makes me mad that Intel has the guts to claim that the Athlon64 is not a true 64-bit processor, (in a way, it isn't, as it is actually a 64-bit processor with a 32-bit processor built-in for backward compatability) yet claiming that their processor is a real 64-bit chip, when it merely advances to be EQUAL in a single aspect, (RAM capacity) and falling short in all other aspects. (such as the key element: floating-point precision, as well as system bus speed, where the 200MHzx4 FSB of the current P4s is far below the 2000MHz Hyper-Transport Bus, which is currently the fastest "road" for computer data ever put into common use, until the development of PCI-express x32 comes along, that is)

Of course, Intel DOES make a true 64-bit processor: the Itanium2. However, it was a special-purpose workstation/server/mainframe chip that sadly fell off of the market with a more "mainstream" general-purpose 64-bit CPU: the AMD Opteron.

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March 31, 2005 8:19:04 PM

What a load of nonsense..

What is a 64 bit cpu ? A cpu with architecturally visible integer or GP registers that are 64 bit wide. Period. Both P4 (Em64Tsomthing) and A64 are absolutely and without a doubt 64 bit cpu's. Of course, they are *also* 32 bit, 16 bit AND 8 bit cpu's, as these chips will hapily run 8088 code AFAIK.
Should we say the Pentium MMX was a 16 bit cpu now ? or 8 bit ? BS. Should we call IBMs power 3/4/5 32 bit cpu's because they also support 32 code ? Or Suns Ultra Sparc ? HP PA-Risc ? PPC ? All these are backwards compatible 64 bit cpus just like x86-64. The only 64 bit cpu's that are NOT backwards compatible are Alpha and IPF simply because they had nothing to be backwards compatible with. Hardly a merit

Now, what is NOT 64 "bit":

1) being able to address more than 4GB RAM. A 10 year old Pentium Pro 166 could do that This is a common error, the difference with a 32 bit cpu lies in the virtual address space which is nearly unlimited with a 64 bit cpu, and getting seriously cramped on 32 bit cpu's (which in reality can only provide 2GB worth of address space per app, regardless of any ammount of RAM). We've had virtual memory since the 286, but today, because of the 32 bit virtual adress space limitations, we are almost unable to make any good use of it anymore.

2) floating point precision. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with anything. 387 coprocessor could handle 80+ bit FP precisson, this is about as relevant as the number of pins of the cpu to determine its "bitness"

3) I/O speed or FSB.. sheesh.. btw, given the author seems to believe HTT runs at 2000 MHz where P4's fsb would run at 200, how clueless can you get ? Clueless or a silly troll.


= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
March 31, 2005 8:25:23 PM

^^^ do I have your permission to quote you in this "other" forum?

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March 31, 2005 8:30:15 PM

If that would help enlightening some clueless souls, I don't see why not.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
March 31, 2005 8:31:13 PM

Damn the guy who wrote that must be one hardcore fanboy.

Some people are like slinkies....
Not really good for anything but you cant help smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.
April 1, 2005 12:13:17 AM

Gives a link to the other forum

Intel P4 550(3.4)<font color=red>@4.2 posted 4.8</font color=red>
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a b à CPUs
April 1, 2005 7:09:39 AM

Actually you're completely wrong: The Athlon 64 is an Athlon XP (32-bit processor) with 64-bit registers and an integrated memory controller added. The 600 series, on the other hand, is a P4 processor with 64-bit registers added. For more information, consider <A HREF="http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/you.html" target="_new">this source</A>.

Also, there is no 2000MHz HT, unless you want to call the highways in Michigan 140MPH roads. Which makes sense from your perspective, but not to anyone with any sense of reality.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
April 1, 2005 10:41:05 AM

The difference being that the A64 is usually faster when running 64bit code which is was designed to do. Intel's implentation of AMD64 does not work very well and from what i understand, cripples it compared to 32 bit code in the ALU's.
a b à CPUs
April 1, 2005 6:01:28 PM

AMD's real advantage so far has been the on-die memory controller, I have no reason to believe that it won't continue to be their greatest advantage over Intel processors.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
April 2, 2005 1:04:06 AM

I thought that Amd had added more GPR and SSE registers than Intel. Wasn't there also some question about how Intel exacuted memory above 4 gigs?
a b à CPUs
April 2, 2005 4:53:21 AM

The REAL question should be whether Intel will ever move their products forward technologically at a great enough speed to catch up with AMD!

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
April 2, 2005 8:26:58 AM

With the numbers that are showing up for 65 nanos with FD-SOI, I would say yes. More speed will just be a temporary fix though. Intel needs to work on IPC, if they want to be able to hold onto the crown.
a b à CPUs
April 3, 2005 1:26:28 AM

That's one of the things included in what I said by "moving the products forward technologically".

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
April 4, 2005 1:43:06 PM

Quote:
I thought that Amd had added more GPR and SSE registers than Intel. Wasn't there also some question about how Intel exacuted memory above 4 gigs?

As for the registers, if I remember correctly (it <i>has</i> been a while) Intel would have had to added them too because they're required for the x86-64 to work. Yeah, AMD added GPR at least, but Intel would have had to too. (And Intel is on SSE3. I don't think AMD has matched that yet.)

But you're right on the 4GB memory thing. Intel and AMD implemented that in different ways, and AMD's solution definately seems the better route. I've forgotten the details though. I think it was something about a lookup table for >4GB handling vs. copying the data into the <4GB space. :\ And that was why Intel EM64T wouldn't run the 64-bit Linux flavours for a long while, because they were all built exclusively using AMD's >4GB handler. There's got to be an article or two on that somewhere.

<pre> :eek:  <font color=purple>I express to you a hex value 84 with my ten binary 'digits'. :eek:  </font color=purple></pre><p>@ 185K -> 200,000 miles or bust!
April 5, 2005 5:39:21 PM

Quote:
Uhhh... they just did with the new Venice core.

I thought you've already read the news about the new Athlon64 core by now?

**ROFL** Yeah. My bad. I read the news just <i>after</i> I posted that. :o  How's that for bad timing?

Actually, combine that with the timing of my whining about being eternally stuck as a poster in the Intel didn't invent HT thread and it's been a really weird week. :eek: 

Maybe I should complain about never winning the lotto and then go out and buy a ticket before these freakies end. (Or course, with my luck, it's all over already.)

<pre> :eek:  <font color=purple>I express to you a hex value 84 with my ten binary 'digits'. :eek:  </font color=purple></pre><p>@ 185K -> 200,000 miles or bust!
April 5, 2005 5:45:27 PM

Yup, we are bothe into the "forum" tittles now. It's 4600 posts to get out. Sounds like a life sentence.
April 5, 2005 5:51:44 PM

Congrats on the title. And good grief! It'll take me ten years to post <i>that</i> much.

Of course, I suppose I could write a quite little bot to up my post count in the other-other section or something. **ROFL** I wonder if that'd get me banned... Actually, I wouldn't do it even if it wouldn't get me banned. It'd be a totally meaningless title then.

Besides, I'm not a poster anymore, so that's not so bad. A veteran is a big step up in style. Though I think I'd probably prefer jester over veteran, but hey. At least Fredi didn't have a sick sense of humor and make my title Eternal Loser. **ROFL**

:\ I need help.

Or lunch.

Time for a Maruchan Instant Lunch. Yay for ramen noodles!<pre>Definately looks like I need the help though too...</pre><p>
<pre> :eek:  <font color=purple>I express to you a hex value 84 with my ten binary 'digits'. :eek:  </font color=purple></pre><p>@ 185K -> 200,000 miles or bust!
April 6, 2005 9:49:51 AM

>AMD64 and EMT64 are all based on x86-64. From this
>perspective I don't see much performance difference really.

Well, the 386, VIA C3, transmeta crusoe, Athlon FX and P4EE are all based on x86-32, yet I see some performance differences :) 

Seriously though, it does look like EMT64 is a bit of a quick hack, and some compromises have been made. I'm not sure what exactly (nor do I know anyone outside intel knows), but it looks like some ALU operations take a latency hit in 64 bit mode that is not being observed on the K8. This was pretty much expected btw, even MS hinted at that over a year ago.

Now the performance decrease isn't too terrible in most cases, and I expect future intel cores to fix this, so don't loose too much sleep over it.


= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
April 7, 2005 5:50:10 PM

Of course, one could argue that one step further, that x86-64 is itself a cheap hack of 32-bit x86. ;) 

<pre> :eek:  <font color=purple>I express to you a hex value 84 with my ten binary 'digits'. :eek:  </font color=purple></pre><p>@ 185K -> 200,000 miles or bust!
April 8, 2005 12:15:44 AM

Seems like a fairly good hack to me.
!