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AMD "Puma" Can't Compete With Core 2 Duo

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 34 comments

Zagreb (Croatia) – This morning we received delicate details about AMD’s answer to Intel’s Montevina design from our moles in Taiwan. The information we received could get you concerned about the new mobile processor Griffin as well as the Puma platform. Since our sources inside AMD confirmed the information, we have reason to believe that the Puma story might get ugly.

If you think about characteristics and features a mobile platform requires, the answer always boils down to power consumption. And according to our sources, power consumption is exactly AMD’s problem with Puma. It seems that AMD is in trouble and created a processor that actually consumes more power than its predecessor. If Griffin eats more juice than AMD’s Turn-me-on (Turion 64), take a guess what the main problem will be when AMD is trying to be getting those mobile design wins?

The 780M chipset for Puma is not really different than the already existing desktop-based 780G chipset (it will use the RS780M Northbridge and SB700 Southbridge chips). But AMD didn’t spare a dime to get the most recent TSMC production line for RS780M, which takes the chipset on a power diet, we hear.

The Griffin processor itself, however, is an in-between product of the K8 and K10 architectures: The processing cores belong to the old world, while the power optimization of memory controller/Northbridge and HyperTransport 3 are taken from the Barcelona/Agena generation of CPUs. Griffin also comes with three independent power planes (Barcelona/Agena has only two).

Performance-wise, we were told that Griffin won’t be able to match Intel’s Core 2 Duo speed, which will be an obvious problem. However, Puma could be running circles around Montevina as soon as you mention the term 3D. RS780M is expected to be a much stronger (DirectX 10) graphics engine than what the Santa Rosa platform offers. But we will have to wait for Intel’s new Montevina platform to get a better idea of how the rivalry will pan out. The good news for Puma is that the platform is on target to be available for the for Back-to-school season.

Regardless Intel’s 45 nm design has the edge and and consumes less power. However, the current situation apparently prompted AMD to adjust its marketing message, stating that it is focused on delivering “balanced” platforms. An AMD source told us that "Griffin will not be able to touch Core 2 Duo", which is quite a bombastic statement coming from a senior source.

It was explained to us that AMD does not care that much about CPU performance anymore, but rather about the platform performance. This goes in line with NVIDIA’s efforts, but the reason for this shifted message at AMD might lie somewhere else.

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  • 0 Hide
    KyleSTL , April 25, 2008 2:00 AM
    Wow, just wow. It's like Fox news "balanced". It's as if Porsche came out and said fuel efficiency doesn't matter, and neither does performance, because the outside of the car is sexy and it matches the comfortable interior. Ok, we'll give the victory to Ferrari, because we can't compete with them (or Audi in more recent history).
  • 0 Hide
    piratepast40 , April 25, 2008 2:33 AM
    Kyle, I'm with you and just dumbfounded at this news. "Wow, just wow", pretty much captures it. It sure doesn't sound good but we really have to wait and see actual performance and power consumption at different load levels. Maybe "platform performance" will be more than just marketing fluff.
  • 0 Hide
    Kostya , April 25, 2008 6:05 AM
    Unless speed of work notebook is defined only by speed of the CPU? In HD-video, strongly will help the processor a chipset 780M. In games, to the processor also strongly will help 780M. I consider, that weak 3D just the strongest restriction in application notebook with what just will successfully consult 780M and that is not present now at Intel.
    If together with mobile processor Intel to use a discrete graphic card it will strongly affect for the period of autonomy notebook, i.e. that for what notebook has been created.

    P.S.
    Sorry for my English, i'm from Russia.
  • 0 Hide
    CheloctonusJonessi , April 25, 2008 11:28 AM
    Well we all know what the history of AMD is:
    perfect "gaming"
    and to offer a cheaper solution to the consumer.

    But now they are losing their focus and don't really focus on what they are doing. They are falling more and more behind with CPU power(don't let me mention the problems and they can't even keep up with the "Core 2 Duo"). I for one am still a AMD fan, mainly because they haven't failed me in the past. Now I ask them don't fail me now....
  • 0 Hide
    piratepast40 , April 25, 2008 1:56 PM
    After looking at some earlier articles again, this particular story doesn't say squat. In fact, it sounds more like THG jumping on a doom and gloom scenario without looking at the platform and it's design. Here's an article that talks a little about the "Power Express Technology" and how it switches between external and integrated graphics: http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=1406. If you take this into account, the above article doesn't say anything about when power consumption is high so it's really not saying anything. They're just repeating rumors without any facts or explanation.
  • 0 Hide
    jonxor , April 25, 2008 2:05 PM
    There is very little solid fact in this article. Alot of "so we hear" and "Our sources tell us it might". Basically all we know are model numbers, and a little about the processor architecture. Everything else has been stated to be speculation. I'll wait and see when the real numbers come out, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. They're recovering from the mess of merging with ATI, and are starting to get their momentum built up again.
  • 0 Hide
    amdfangirl , April 25, 2008 3:28 PM
    Still everyone knows how good the 780G+Athlon X2 is...... so maybe its not that bad....
  • 0 Hide
    ram1009 , April 25, 2008 3:29 PM
    Sorry for my English, i'm from Russia.

    Not to worry!! Your English is much better than my Russian.
  • 0 Hide
    amdfangirl , April 25, 2008 4:31 PM
    ^ There, there comrade enthusiast
  • 0 Hide
    chechnyan , April 25, 2008 5:17 PM
    ohh God is it impossible to hear something positive from AMD
  • 0 Hide
    amdfangirl , April 25, 2008 5:25 PM
    ^ 780G happy now?
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 25, 2008 9:34 PM
    The good news for Intel is that they are running at such low power that it allows then to build systems like the Apple Air, and Lenovo X300.
    The good news for AMD is that they can cook your eggs for breakfast while you work with their laptops. I was at a best buy few days ago and I was touching the button of the laptops that were on display. The Intel systems were extremely cool to the touch while the AMD systems would be extremely hot even at idle. If you don?t believe me just next time your are at an electronic store give it a shot yourself. By the way most of the performance that 99% of people experience in laptops is associated with HD performance and not the CPU.
  • 0 Hide
    spearhead , April 25, 2008 11:43 PM
    chechnyanohh God is it impossible to hear something positive from AMD
    yes there is one thing the 4870 will be out soon and its a good bang for a buck :)  but on cpu run there indeed behind. graphics is going well if not soon even better then that of the competition. especialy amds low end solutions such as the IGP or dirt cheap high end 3850 do great. but for cpu's there behind. and on the most optimistic side of the story they will have by the end of the year a processor which can follow up with intels products with may be a margin of 5-15% diffrence? who knows most major bugs in the phenom are gone now and it seems they are increasing the clock speeds as well now with the B3 stepping.
    i my self have a TL-56 in my notebook which actualy was a good deal for the price preformance since it had a good graphic card with it geforce 8600GS, and the intel competition did only offer a radeon 2300 for same price at that time.
  • 0 Hide
    famwka , April 26, 2008 2:27 AM
    I'm guessing AMD is losing focus here or they're putting their place up for grabs due to them not caring about CPU performance. I feel as if they have lost a lot since they merged with ATI, especially in regards of financial stability. Secondly, they have not come up with anything new for quite a while now, and the competition is really breaking apart. Remember when Intel used to clock their CPU's at 3.8GHz? That was because of AMD's competition. But now, the highest they've been to since the Core 2 series is up to 2.93GHz, regardless of Dual or Quad core. I am neither an Intel or AMD fan, rather I buy what's better, however, it seems AMD has gone way down in my list, and reading this report doesn't make it any better. It's disappointing.
  • 1 Hide
    NarwhaleAu , April 26, 2008 3:49 AM
    I call BS on the power comment. I'm sure it isn't a heap better, but if it has the power plane technology of the K10, but the core of the K8, it should be consuming less power. The statement that it consumes more power than the Turion sounds like an exaggeration to me.

    Rest of it sounds about right.
  • 1 Hide
    amdfangirl , April 26, 2008 4:29 AM
    Quote:
    The good news for Intel is that they are running at such low power that it allows then to build systems like the Apple Air, and Lenovo X300.
    The good news for AMD is that they can cook your eggs for breakfast while you work with their laptops. I was at a best buy few days ago and I was touching the button of the laptops that were on display. The Intel systems were extremely cool to the touch while the AMD systems would be extremely hot even at idle. If you don?t believe me just next time your are at an electronic store give it a shot yourself. By the way most of the performance that 99% of people experience in laptops is associated with HD performance and not the CPU.


    The macbook runs with a Core 2 and it burns!!! Explain that.........
  • 0 Hide
    MTLance , April 26, 2008 9:12 AM
    Yo guys, clam down, I don't know is this actually a true fact or not or one of Intel fanboys is spoiling this. I wanted an PUMA + 780M, yeah who is actually spoiling this?
    Let just wait for the real numbers, I especially hate rumors. This article really makes me wanna buy an Intel laptop with Nvidia GFX right now. So clam down.
  • 0 Hide
    amdfangirl , April 26, 2008 10:45 AM
    ^ don't know about you but I wanna wait until the benchies are out.........
  • 0 Hide
    KyleSTL , April 26, 2008 4:55 PM
    Quote:
    Yo guys, clam down ... So clam down.

    Or oyster, whichever you perfer. :kaola: 
  • 0 Hide
    amdfangirl , April 26, 2008 5:01 PM
    ^ free food
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