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Hammer, The Chip To Break or Make AMD?

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February 4, 2002 5:55:39 PM

As I see it the K-8 is AMDs Chance to get the approval it deserves and for ever leaving the image of being second place and a follower to Intel.

Performance was never the problem for AMD since the Athlon.

Poor Media coverage & public awareness, notorious VIA chip-sets complains (some legit some not), the Mhz issue with the uneducated crowds and HEAT were clouding the undeniable high performance of the K-7 series.

Now with Hammer AMD gets another shot! A shot to gain the Media & public attention to the MHz vs IPC issue and a chance to departure from the OLD AMD image as being second to Intel.

A chance to tackle the issues clouding the athlon, Like Heat and lack of thermal protection.

And gain a Brand name associated not with a follower but as a leader!

Will the K-8 be the processor to MAKE AMD?

This post is best viewed with common sense enabled
February 4, 2002 6:24:19 PM

Great Question. There are lots of challenges that AMD is facing with their Hammer processor. First of all is to make sure they deliver what they say they will deliver. And Make sure they deliver it on time. After all that they have an up hill battel with Intel in Corporate Market where there is huge profits. Most of the IT shop don't look at the benchmark they just look at what worked before and buy the same. So they got long way to go. But For us consumers we hope they come through since it will keep Intel on it's toes. And the fight will continue which will give us great price for our CPUs.

KG
February 4, 2002 7:57:52 PM

I certainly hope it does, but I honestly do not want them to be like Intel AT ALL.
Once they do, they will lose the care for single-support of the crowd and become money-craving like Intel and slowly degrading consumer awareness and start OEMing us....at least I hope they won't.

--
The other day I heard an explosion from the other side of town.... It was a 486 booting up...
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February 4, 2002 8:27:27 PM

AMD are taking a very big step in designing and producing the Hammer processor. Because Hammer is an extremely complex processor/architecture there is a LOT that can go wrong. I hope it goes smoothly and Hammer bitch slaps the P4/Xeon but in real life things are not that easy.

We recently heard that AMD have produced thier first silicon Hammer, personally I think AMD are behind schedule. It is going to take months to debug the 1st silicon version...the second silicon version will take just as long. I dont think we will see Clawhammer in the shops until Q103. Intial benchmarks and limited supplies of the processor might be avaliable in Q402 but I dont think we will see mass production till Q103.

Intels P4 processor may not have the highest IPC but it can sure turn up the Mhz when it wants to. I reckon Intel are lying in wait for AMD to make the first move and will counteract AMD's offering by releasing a super fast P4. Make no mistake Hammer will be against some stiff competition e.g 533Mhz FSB, Hyper-threaded P4's running in an excess of 3Ghz. Intel already have <A HREF="http://www.theinquirer.net/04020212.htm" target="_new"><b>5Ghz air cooled P4's</b></A> running in thier labs. Can AMD really compete with such a huge Mhz gap ? AMD's roadmaps show a +4400 PR rated Hammer by Q403. It would be no suprise to me if Intel reach +5Ghz by that time.

<font color=purple>~* K6-2 @ 333MHz *~
I don't need a 'Gigahertz' chip to surf the web just yet ;-)</font color=purple>
February 5, 2002 4:17:03 AM

Well, AMD <i>is</i> the leader on the performance front right now, even with the Northwood P4 2G2 released, at least on the clock for clock basis, but with Intel price reducing stunts especially for P4 (since its launch October 2000, Intel has cut the P4 price by almost 90%! Recall Oct 2000 docs on THG or Anandtech or other sites and you will see! Out of them, P4 price was cut thrice by 50~55%, twice by 30~50% and twice by 10-30%!!!)

Looks like Intel can win the battle only on performance/dollar front! Something they wouldnt have imagined for last 30+ years!!

But now, they will have to do something they wouldnt have imagined in their life times of each of their CEOs combined! They are follwing AMD! They are incorporating x86-64 extensions in their new P4, for which they might have to obtain a license from AMD!

This Prescott core P4 due launch in 2003 will have 64 bit instructions enabled and will incorporate the x86-64 architecture that will enable them to compete with the AMD Hammers that will be released by then! Its should be a major victory for AMD! This secret project codenamed <i>Yamhill</i> is perhaps Intel's admission to the failure of their IA64 architecture based Itanium, which hasnt really made anything in teh market. With the Hammers due to occupy the 64 bit x86 compatible market, Intel certainly doesnt want to be left behind. Of course, they have full one year, and this project is seen as a plan B for Intel. Should Itanium sales pick up by next year, they will simply disable the x86-64 extensions and come out with the IA64 again. If not, they will have to face a mini-humiliation of using AMDs technology to sell their chips! What a turnaround!

That certainly makse sure, the K-8 will be the processor to MAKE AMD!!!!

girish

<font color=red>Nothing is fool-proof. Fools are Ingenious!</font color=red>
February 5, 2002 4:26:59 AM

Its hard to say wether Hammer will launch Q4 02. They already have the space set aside in the Dresden Fab. They already have "taped out". I am sure they got the prototype. The key is ramping up the Fab. Never underestimate the Germans, Im sure they can pull it off.
As to Hammers performance. One of their engineers said Hammer was doing better than they expected. Hammer has two more stages but thats not enough pipe to close the Mhz gap. I am hopefull the on-die memory controller and hypertransport will make the difference. I, like the rest of us, anxiously await the benchmarks.
Saw an article that intel will launch a chip in 2004 that "will have 2 cores right on the same die! Isnt that amazing?" Well no, it isnt. The Hammer will have 2 cores.

Benchmarks are like sex, everybody loves doing it, everybody thinks they are good at it.
February 5, 2002 4:41:27 AM

i really think they are doing the right thing with the onboard mem controller/northbridge... that should bring fantastic advantages :) 

and it would be good to see AMD break into the monopolystic OEM market.


The lack of thermal protection on Athlon's is cunning way to stop morons from using AMD. :) 
February 5, 2002 6:22:36 AM

Quote:
Looks like Intel can win the battle only on performance/dollar front! Something they wouldnt have imagined for last 30+ years!!

Even with the 0.13mu die shrink, the P4 core is huge. The clawhammer will be 64mm^2, which is tiny in comparison to the Northwood's 146mm^2. Intel will be at the price disadvantage, even with their 12inch fabs coming online.

-= This is our wading pool.
Stop pissing in it. =-
February 5, 2002 6:37:29 AM

I agree with all what you said and i am sure AMD's performance is much better than Intel.

but lets be logical.......how many people around the world know the performance difference? and how many know about AMD and its capability? many people who has no idea about the performance buy AMD becuase of its price..........therefore and in order to cut this point you need MARKETING and PROMOTION, otherwise do not think you will gain alot of shares and buyers.

In the other hand, the stability and compatibility problem, unfortunately yet there is no perfect AMD platform, the best performer is VIA but it has bugs......ALI is not well performer like VIA (and i personally do not have any idea about the compatibility and stability) and few motherboard manufactueres uses ALI, Nforce still new chipset and also can not compete via, AMD chipsets where are they now?
the best thing is that AMD begin to supply the market with the chipsets for their CPU but unfortunately they are not availabel now even in the performance they can not compete via.

two things will kill Intel, Marketing and stable chipset for AMD cpu........otherwise the story will remain the same and AMD will gain slowly

wish if there was UnDo in the life
February 5, 2002 10:35:52 AM

I agree that many people do buy AMD for price. However, the Hammer is not aimed at the comsumer. It is targeted to the corp. market. This is a much more educated group. They will be looking for performance and stability not price. If the price is lower that is just a bonus.

I am sure that some version of the Hammer (clawhammer) will be targeted at the consumer. Therefore, pricing will likely be nice as well.

I think that many people in this forum and others underestimate the general consumer and his/her understanding of performance. The reason AMD is not selling more is that if you go to most stores it is hard to find a good selection of AMD based systems. If the choice is not there it does not matter if the general public understands the performance. The normal member of the general public is not going to build their own.
February 5, 2002 1:30:08 PM

Quote:
The reason AMD is not selling more is that if you go to most stores it is hard to find a good selection of AMD based systems

this is because of the marekting and advertisment......i believe 10 or 20% of people who are buying computers do not ask the seller about AMD, therfore the sellers are not going to invest and fill their stores with low demand hardwares, but if there were shiny advertisments for AMD then not only 50% of the buyers but most of them are going to ask, so the seller at that time has nothing to do only selling AMD's and Intel's hardware ...etc

most new users/buyer and for any type of goods go behind the croudy advertisments.

AMD can gain more market share specially for new users because of its competitive price.........so you need to have good merketing and stable platform and your price is already competitive, then lets see how much Intel will sell at that time

wish if there was UnDo in the life
February 5, 2002 1:34:32 PM

That is not definite yet. It is a possiblility and before that happens, IA 64 would have to have been seen to flop in a big way.

CHarlie

Never spit into the wind. Never eat yellow snow.
February 5, 2002 1:48:50 PM

thats why its a plan B for intel.

if anybody could make a *crack* for the P4 in 2003 to enable x86-64, it would be great, not too good knowing they do exist in yoour chip and not being able to use them!

<font color=red>Nothing is fool-proof. Fools are Ingenious!</font color=red>
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February 5, 2002 1:58:31 PM

Intel doesn't have a response for the Hammer. Rumor has it their skunkworks are hard at work developing their own x86-64 processor in case Itanic sinks (hasn't it already) but it will be a long time before it sees the light of day. As far as 5GHz P4's go, big deal. It's nothing more than the same ol' PR game that Intel always plays. The P4 needs a huge clock speed advantage to outperform the Athlon and that gap will widen even much further with Hammer. Intel will need every clock-tick they can ring from the P4 to stay competitive with AMD.
February 5, 2002 3:39:17 PM

Just because they're there, doesn't mean they can be enabled. The 486SX has an FPU, but to my knowledge no-one ever found out how to enable it. If Intel did put X86-64 in Prescott, they could just remove some circuitry, thus permanantly disabling the X86-64 instructions.

But having the X86-64 instructions enabled would be cool though!
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