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AMD Intel Hardware

AMD and Intel Update CPU Roadmaps 222

vincecate writes "Recently AMD updated their processor roadmap. It shows their move to 90 nm and has a range of new processors over the next 1.5 years, including dual-core chips. An unofficial AMD roadmap shows speeds and performance increasing. Intel also recently updated their roadmap. Intel does not show anything faster than the current 3.6 Ghz in the next 11 months, including the recently delayed 4 Ghz chip, except to say '3.6 Ghz or greater.' Strangely, some of the recent SPEC benchmark results show the 3.6 Ghz chip to be slower than the 3.4 Ghz chip. One possible explanation for this is that the 3.6 Ghz chips will slow down due to 'thermal throttling' if you are not very careful to keep them cool. So it seems like heat may be the reason Intel's roadmap does now show much improvement."
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AMD and Intel Update CPU Roadmaps

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  • Water cooling? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cyberax ( 705495 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @05:28AM (#9856884)
    Well, why not just make water cooling mandatory for new CPUs, just like Apple did?
    • Re:Water cooling? (Score:2, Interesting)

      I've never used watercooling myself, but doesn't it require a bit more maintainance than say your fan cooled processor? I think that might be a problem for some people. Then again I doubt those people will be buying $1000 processors.

      I guess though, at some point in the future water cooling will have to be implimented in some form.

    • Re:Water cooling? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by NoodleSlayer ( 603762 ) <ryan.severeboredom@com> on Sunday August 01, 2004 @05:48AM (#9856923) Homepage
      This still does not address the massive power consumption problem seen in the P4s, especially the "Prescott" version of the P4s. While heat is a problem, when you're already using +1 lb heatsinks more active cooling is just a temporary fix. Not to mention that Intel, while it can give recomendations it can't ensure that every OEM to produce machines to their specs. I've opened up a number of Dell boxes only to find below-spec power supplies and such.

      Prescott in general has had more then its fair share of problems. Prescott is a massive CPU with a 31 stage pipeline, compared to the older P4's 20 and the Athlon XP's 12. I'm not sure off the top of my head how many stages the Athlon 64 has.

      All this extra complexity is supposed to make it easier to clock up the processor, and was the same trick Intel used to gain clock speed from the PIII to the P4, so the marketing folks said "Do it again."

      Of course the biggest reason why Intel doesn't show many (or any) speed increases is they've scrapped all their future P4/Prescott based designs, even projects that were closed to or already completed because of the problems they have had with Prescott. Intel's plan is to rework their Centrino/Pentium-M core into a desktop chip, but that will take several years.
      • "I've opened up a number of Dell boxes only to find below-spec power supplies and such."

        Right. Identified by a "below-spec" sticker on them I assume. What's the "and such" specifically?

        Using Pentium-M as a desktop processor won't take several years.
      • Re:Water cooling? (Score:4, Informative)

        by multipart ( 732754 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @03:19PM (#9858907)
        Prescott in general has had more then its fair share of problems. Prescott is a massive CPU with a 31 stage pipeline, compared to the older P4's 20 and the Athlon XP's 12. I'm not sure off the top of my head how many stages the Athlon 64 has. All this extra complexity is supposed to make it easier to clock up the processor, and was the same trick Intel used to gain clock speed from the PIII to the P4, so the marketing folks said "Do it again."

        That's the problem Intel has right now, really. Marketing seems to say, "Make it sound faster", only looking for good warrior CPUs in the Mega Hertz Wars. IBM/Apple and AMD have not been trying to go for faster clock speeds but instead for faster CPUs.

        Such long pipelines as the Prescott line may help achieving higher clock speeds, but 31 stages means that you'll see more pipeline stalls, so your CPU is happily running at higher clock rates, doing nothing. Of course, not all instructions actually have to go through all 31 stages, but still, it's impractical to have so many stages in an architecture when you know that every so-many-but-fewer-than-31 instructions you're going to hit a branch. Not to mention the additional complication for the on-die dependency tracking that you need in out-of-order cores like Prescott.

        Of course in-order architectures with full predication ISAs would solve some of the problems with longer pipelines, but I guess we can't say that this other Intel architecture, ia64, is such a great success ;-)

    • Re:Water cooling? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Wytter ( 786394 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @05:51AM (#9856930) Homepage
      Actually, during a review session with the 3.6GHz LGA775, we experienced so high heat production that we had to use water cooling to ensure that the thermal throttling was not enabled. When using regular air cooling the processor would reach temperatures > 70 degrees during load, and from the results at this load we saw that at some times the processor had to use thermal throttling.

      Another disadvantage with this high heat production is that other core components in the computer (such as the mainboard) will be exposed to more heat as well, hence the durability of these components will be lower.

      If Intel and AMD continues to approach Itaniums heat production, water-cooling or similiar technologies will become mandatory for high end processors.
      • Re:Water cooling? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Rich0 ( 548339 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @12:10PM (#9857992) Homepage
        FYI - I have an Athlon 64 and heat hasn't been a problem at all. I just have the retail processor with the el-cheapo heatsink that it comes with (nothing fancy - just thermal compound and a reasonably-sized sink). I haven't seen it exceed 55C under heavy load. Granted, my case is fairly well-ventilated, but nothing excessive (well, the case was excessive, but I unplugged about half the fans). Oh, did I mention that I overclocked it by about 8% or so?

        AMD used to have a high-heat reputation and used to be known for difficult-to-overclock processors. Honestly, I don't think that is nearly as much the case with their newer processors. The Athlon64 seems to run fairly cool, plus it supports frequency scaling when it isn't busy (note - the 55C figure I gave was under heavy load for considerable time - no scaling in effect). Right now, I'm typing on the machine and the CPU is reading 37C - only 1.5C higher than case temperature.

        I think AMD is actually passing Intel in this respect. Intel had better watch out if they expect year-long delays - eventually AMD will be releasing 3-4GHz Athlon 64's and they'll be FAR faster than anything Intel currently has...
    • ...but maybe the cheaper PCs cannot?

      Also, a liquid cooler is probably inherent harder for Intel to package with an OEM processor. Affixing a liquid cooler to a processor requires more case aware design than simply clipping a fan to a mainboard socket.

    • At least Intel and AMD submit their results to SPEC...

  • The clock rate of the CPU went up madly through the 90s but the wind appears to have gone out the sails a little. Is the actual speed of the CPU still climbing but they're doing this without adjusting the clock rate?

    Don't really keep up on the hardware these days.. :P

    Cheers,

    Simon.
    • Kind of but not really... There was a time in the nineties where if you waited two years you could get a system at least 2x as fast.

      I built my system about two years ago (actually it's a few months short of two years). AMD would have to release the equivalent of 5600+ within a few months to match the speed of the 2800+ they released almost two years ago.

      If they were a few months late that would be normal but it looks like it will take far longer.
    • by opk ( 149665 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @05:44AM (#9856917) Journal
      I've noticed this. I got a 1GHz Athlon a few years back and it doesn't seem to be much behind the latest Athlons (especially when I count my athlon's overclocked speed). My previous machine was a 100MHz pentium and that seemed to go out of date really quickly.

      Are the new processors really much faster?
      • Well, it's a matter of opinion but, imo... yeah they are.

        But then and again your upgrade cycle seems to be longer then mine. I think it all depends on whether or not you want to run some apps that require a more powerful system or actually runs them a good deal faster.
    • It's more along the lines that the clock speed was getting faster, but the performance wasn't proportional. Right now I've got a 2GHz Celeron laptop that is much slower at compile than my Athlon 1.47GHz. (Both have a modest 256MB RAM.) So obviously, clock speed isn't everything.

      Don't get me wrong... I still love my Laptop! :-)

      The important concept to keep in mind is that all these computers are powerful enough to do what I need them to do, so merely making CPU clocks tick at a higher rate isn't going to

      • by Anonymous Coward
        I've got a 2GHz Celeron laptop that is much slower at compile than my Athlon 1.47GHz.

        The Celeron is a severly crippled chip, unlike the Duron, which is a respectably performing budget processor. It only has 128KB cache, which is CPU sucide on a P4 core. The P4 needs large amounts of cache to keep its long pipeline filled. People who buy high clock speed Celeron, thinking they're getting a fast CPU are getting massively screwed by Intel. So much so it borders on being an unethical and immoral business
    • The clock rate of the CPU went up madly through the 90s but the wind appears to have gone out the sails a little. Is the actual speed of the CPU still climbing but they're doing this without adjusting the clock rate?


      I'm hoping that because of this 90nm barrier (or pause, what have you) that the advent of dual core chips actually comes around this time. There have been many promises & comments from the G3 750FX a few years ago up through to today, of chip manufacturers turning to Dual Core CPUs.

      I'd r
      • Of course, there's always dual CPU motherboards...

        That's the roadmap that I'm going to be following for any workstation that requires it. Downside is the cost, but from all reports it makes the operating system and everything much more responsive. Still, you know what they say, the only thing faster then X is *two* of X.

        I'm hoping for dual-core as well... but unless they break the 90nm issue, are they really going to have room on the die for a 2nd core?

    • The AMD roadmap says it all: "As market requires". If the market says give me 5 GHz and I'll pay anything you can bet 5 GHz will be on the shelves. Right now you can buy sub $500 supercomputers that sit relatively idle. Word processing, db query, e-mail, web surfing, solitaire - most of the world goes no further.

      The next market force is competition. If AMD looks like it will be selling a 4000+ Intel will match that.

      Processors capable of this speed are most likely possible. There's no way Intel can sell an
  • Whew (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 01, 2004 @05:36AM (#9856898)
    An unofficial AMD roadmap shows speeds and performance increasing.

    And here I was, afraid that they had decided to not increase speeds and performance. That was close.
  • So I'm screwed? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by reub2000 ( 705806 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @05:39AM (#9856903)
    I just got an MSI K8N Neo Platnium, which is a socket 754 motherboard. Looks like socket 754 is going no where.
    • Re:So I'm screwed? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mondoterrifico ( 317567 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @05:49AM (#9856924) Journal
      It has been known for some time that amd was going to go with socket 939, until 2006. The socket 754 will simply move into the budget category, replacing the xp line.
      Recent price drops of athlon 64 3000 make socket 754 solutions attractive price wise.
      • Actually, even the semprons won't be much faster than your athlon XPs. The 754 is a dead end, even for the budget stuff. The Semprons are going to be on the 939 as well, where they will likely get better performance.
      • Re:So I'm screwed? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Mesaeus ( 692570 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @06:57AM (#9857056)
        And no worries about heat production either. I just assembled a quiet pc for a customer, containing the Athlon64 3000+. Boy what a cool chip. I used a 80mm 1800 rpm fan instead of the default and still it gets really cool. In fact on the motherboard I used, Asus K8V, there's a Q-Fan technology that lowers the speed of the cpufan according to the temp, and the fan regularly stops completely. And yes, this is by design. When not under load, the cpu temp actually goes UNDER the case temp if you disable Q-Fan and thus let the fan run at its full 1800 RPM (very quiet BTW). On top of that, it's real easy to undervolt the cpu, so you can run it at 2.0 gigahertz (3000+) and lower the voltage from 1.55V to 1.30V, this gives another big bonus in temps. The largest temp I saw while running under full load was 42 degrees celsius, the lowest 32. At the same time Intel has serious problems with heat, AMD seems to have made their coolest chip in years. Anyone else have positive experiences with this ?
        • Cool 'n' Quiet keeps the CPU ticking over at 800MHz when idle, where it puts out about 35W; hence the fan stopping when idle.
          • Re:So I'm screwed? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Mesaeus ( 692570 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @09:24AM (#9857340)
            Actually, I've managed to stop the fan even under full load (when Cool 'n Quiet doesn't work). The important part is the temperature, and undervolting the cpu can drop the temp quite a bit. The important thing is that the Athlon64 can be made to run REALLY cool, while it is already a cool processor to begin with. So I don't have to use loud fans to cool it, that's why it's so fantastic for "quiet" pc's. I've lost count of the number of people who have asked me for recommendations to lower the noise of their jet-engine-screaming prescott towers.
        • When not under load, the cpu temp actually goes UNDER the case temp if you disable Q-Fan and thus let the fan run at its full 1800 RPM

          Are you aware that means either your case temperature reading or the cpu temperature reading is wrong? Fans are not heat pumps.

          • You are assuming a homogenous case temp.

            As many people place an intake fan right outside the CPU to feed the CPU outside air (with a slot fan or normal case fan), so it is quite plausible that the CPU temp is under the average or representative case temperature. Especially since the exhaust from the CPU fan is usually directed into the case and further heated by hard drives, GPUs, etc.

            Granted, the output air temp cannot be lower than the intake, but there is no reason to assume that the intake temp is th
        • You do realize that CPU temps -can't- be under case temps (when using air cooling) and your sensors are just poorly calibrated, right?
      • The socket 754 will simply move into the budget category, replacing the xp line.

        One problem with this, the s754 line stops at the 3500+, the majority of the s754 Athlons aren't available in the s939 package. Right now the best price/performance combination that also has an upgrade future is the s940 Opteron 100 series. Which is really confusing to me. I wish AMD would re-release some of the sub-$200 Athlon 64s in s939, so I can start with something that is worth the price but also has upgrade potential. I'

    • I wouldn't worry too much. Although some people talk up the ability to drop in a faster CPU down the track, this is largely either not possible or not worthwhile.

      For example, I've got an EPOX motherboard ( can't remember which one ) and an Athlon 2100XP. It's got a 266MHz FSB ( from memory - I may be wrong ). I'm pretty sure if I wanted to, I could put a 3200XP chip into it. But at the moment, I really don't see the point. This runs all games quite well indeed ( partly due to my video card of course ). I d
      • For example, I've got an EPOX motherboard ( can't remember which one ) and an Athlon 2100XP. It's got a 266MHz FSB ( from memory - I may be wrong ).

        Weird I have a 2100 and epox MB, wouldn't be the 8rda+ would it ?

        Anyway you are absolutely right, most upgrades are short term temporary solutions, eventually you have the bite the bullet and upgrade teh whole MB, CPU and RAM combo.

        Plus if you are a gamer, you really should wait till next year before spending any money, with PCI Express just around the corne
  • Strangely, some of the recent SPEC benchmark results show the 3.6 Ghz chip to be slower than the 3.4 Ghz chip. One possible explanation for this is that the 3.6 Ghz chips will slow down due to 'thermal throttling' if you are not very careful to keep them cool. So it seems like heat may be the reason Intel's roadmap does now show much improvement."

    Sure, but this is just another form of performance problem. That it takes the form of heat is just a sign of a too inefficient design for the speed. I'm of the
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 01, 2004 @05:40AM (#9856906)
    The reason the 3.6GHz processor runs slower than the 3.4GHz processor is because they're different processors, not the same processor running at different clockspeeds. Just look at the die photos (www.chiparchitect.com) and you'll see what I mean. The idea is that the new processor will scale to higher clockspeeds which it, uh, already has. (Just look at the "OC records": nobody got an old Pentium 4 beyond 4GHz with standard HSF cooling - nobody. On the other hand, this is more or less straightforward with the new Pentium 4s.

    What I don't understand is why more people aren't building Pentium M desktops.
  • *sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SinaSa ( 709393 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @05:42AM (#9856909) Homepage
    As I wait for the skin to grow back on my eyes from this horrible colour scheme, I can consider the information in the story summary.

    We're obviously starting to see a convergence between the industrial processor market and the end-user one. I mean three years ago you would get a dual 3.2GHz (1.6 * 2) system to host a medium sized website, and that kind of horsepower is probably still adequate today. So what kind of apps (I mean, apart from Doom 3) do end users need this kind of grunt for? 3GHz? 3.6GHz? 4Ghz?! If Architects could use AutoCAD 2000 on a 950MHz cpu, without complaint, what has changed? Obviously a speed increase is nice, but three or four times that?

    Are we going to see a point where the convergence turns to over taking, and end-user CPU's need to be faster than a lot of corporate stuff?

    p.s: I'm aware of shit.slashdot.org, no karma whores please.
    • I just read my own post and realised I forgot to make a point. The point was, maybe the reason Intel and AMD have slowed down on their roadmaps is because we have a over abundance of CPU horsepower at the moment?
    • Re:*sigh* (Score:4, Insightful)

      by sholden ( 12227 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @06:36AM (#9857020) Homepage
      As I wait for the skin to grow back on my eyes from this horrible colour scheme

      Didn't that skin make it hard to see the colour scheme?

      But back to the actual topic...

      CPU speeds are just stupid for most people. I write code for a living (at the moment anyway) and the 400Mhz "Mobile PII" I'm using at the moment is adequate for that.

      I understand that if your job involved compiling Mozilla or X11 a lot then more CPU (and more importantly more and faster RAM) would make you more productive.

      I understand that if you are doing computer generated animation or physics modelling or whatever then more grunt would make you more productive.

      But for most people, computers were fast enough a long time ago. This 400Mhz laptop is my fastest machine - both home computers are 300Mhz or so. One of them runs Windows XP Pro just fine, runs Office just fine, runs firefox and IE just fine, runs gimp just fine and even does all of those at the same time just fine.

      Every time someone asks me for advice on buying a computer, I ask "do you want to play games?", and if the answer is no then my answer is "buy the slowest CPU model they sell and spend any extra money on RAM".
      • Every time someone asks me for advice on buying a computer, I ask "do you want to play games?", and if the answer is no then my answer is "buy the slowest CPU model they sell and spend any extra money on RAM".

        Another good thing to spend the extra money on is monitor, keyboard, mouse - the things you actually interact with. I've seen people pay through the nose for the absolute latest Pentium, then buy a shitty mouse with it...

        These are things you look at and touch all the time when using the computer, i

        • A very good point.

          In fact I'm using my laptop right now, because the significantly better desktop machine at the in-laws place (which is where I am) has an especially bad mouse (and to make it worse not enough "mousing space" on the tiny desk) - so bad that my laptop touchpad is nicer to use...
      • Re:*sigh* (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Wetware ( 599523 )
        Well... CPU speed is very important to me. One app I tend to spend a lot of time on is iMovie (run on an Apple machine of course, but IBM seems to be running into the same sort of troubles in its transition to 90nm processor manufacturing that Intel and AMD are experiencing) and I am always frustrated in waiting for each title, effect, transition, etc. to render. I don't think that iMovie is a particularly inefficient application. And home video editing is certainly no longer an obscure application. For tho
        • Clearly that comes under the "grunt work" I mentioned. In fact I'd classify it under "computer generated animation" which I specifically mentioned.

          [Aside: I've done video editing (with Premiere, which I suspect was a particularly inefficient application) on a Power Mac 7100 (I think, may have been a 6100 or an 8100...) - we went home for the weekend while it rendered and hoped it didn't crash]
    • Re:*sigh* (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Okonomiyaki ( 662220 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @07:28AM (#9857095) Homepage
      Are we going to see a point where the convergence turns to over taking, and end-user CPU's need to be faster than a lot of corporate stuff?

      I think we will actually. If I understand your meaning correctly when you say "corporate stuff" I'm thinking web, file, email servers and so on. Like you said, 3 year old machines are fine for most of that stuff now and will continue to be for some time. On the other hand, the end user is going to be requiring more and more power and not just for games or pretty interface animations. Apple and Microsoft have both been talking about the idea of the PC as a digital hub (well, I don't think MS uses that term exactly because it may be a Steve-ism) for a while. As it becomes a hub for more and more devices it's going to need more power. Loading an iPod with songs is trivial. Manipulating digital photos is a bit tougher. Beyond that you get into editing video and burning DVDs. Encoding and Decoding video. Music creation software. Maybe it won't be long before we see easy to use, prosumer quality 3D animation software...

      We've seen a lot of things that used to require very expensive, specialized equipment make their way into the consumer space in the past few years. It's not too hard to guess where that trend may go next. One thing is for sure, it will continue to require more and more powerful processors. Not everyone will need all that power every day but when you get back from that European vacation and you want to do something cool with all the video you shot, you'll be glad it's there.
    • Re:*sigh* (Score:3, Informative)

      by KingOfBLASH ( 620432 )

      . I mean three years ago you would get a dual 3.2GHz (1.6 * 2) system to host a medium sized website, and that kind of horsepower is probably still adequate today

      A dual 3.2 GHz P4 would host a web site quite a bit larger than "medium sized." Consider this: for a web server, the vast majority of the computational resources are spent in bandwidth. If you had a number of static pages, you could probably serve up web pages from a single 1Ghz to millions of visitors a day[1]. Anything more than that, you'd

    • It all depends on what you want to use your computer for.

      If all you want from your computer is word processing, web browsing and email access then you don't need much processing power at all.

      If, in contrast, you want to do video editing, applying plenty of real-time effects, and decoding/encoding to a compressed format then a high-end dual processor machine is handy.

      People are getting used to their computers being able to do things in real-time. Consumer-level applications make a lot of use of real-time
    • Re:*sigh* (Score:2, Informative)

      by kf6auf ( 719514 )

      So what kind of apps (I mean, apart from Doom 3) do end users need this kind of grunt for? 3GHz? 3.6GHz? 4Ghz?! If Architects could use AutoCAD 2000 on a 950MHz cpu, without complaint, what has changed? Obviously a speed increase is nice, but three or four times that?

      IDL, IRAF, Mathematica, Matlab, etc. In other words, physicsists and astrophysicists can always use faster computers for their everyday work. Even more so, (astro)physicists running fluid dynamical systems of galaxies need every bit of spe

  • by rokzy ( 687636 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @06:02AM (#9856949)
    I have always thought AMD is better than Intel (price/performance, no annoying jingle, no annoying "... inside", no "MHz myth"), but now it seems Intel is getting its arse kicked so much I worry AMD might get too complacent.
    • How about we wait until they're getting close to 50% market share _before_ we start to worry about AMD turning evil? AMD has a better product, and they have had a better product for _years_. Thanks to their better product, and our support, they have very slowly being gaining market share. However, they are still very much the underdog. If we withdraw support now and go with something else (transmeta?) then I would guess both AMD and transmeta would end up as minority players.
  • by arcade ( 16638 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @06:07AM (#9856964) Homepage
    More people than me seem to have noticed that clock speeds seems to have stalled. I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing - as computers has grown fast enough for me lately. I'm still content with my 1.3Ghz Duron.

    What I personally really, really want to see is cooler CPU's. CPU's that doesn't require a huge fucking fan. CPU's that are content with a heatsink would be nice.

    Furthermore, I would love it if Dual configuration became more widespread (and thus cheaper). Personally I would love a multi-CPU machine far more than single-CPU ones.

    My personal wishlist:
    - 64bit CPUs to become the norm (seems to be happening).
    - Cooler CPUs, not requiring fans (seems to be happening, look at the VIA EDEN CPU's)
    - Dual/Quad/Multi -CPU configurations becoming the norm in home computers.

    I don't care much whether single CPU's grow much faster at the moment, as there doesn't seem to be applications requiering it for regular use. There are of course specialist tasks that require more horsepower, but those are .. specialist tasks.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      - Get yourself first cheap Athlon XP you can see
      - downclock and undervolt
      - result: cool CPU
    • by 10Ghz ( 453478 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @06:48AM (#9857036)
      My personal wishlist:

      - 64bit CPUs to become the norm (seems to be happening).
      - Cooler CPUs, not requiring fans (seems to be happening, look at the VIA EDEN CPU's)
      - Dual/Quad/Multi -CPU configurations becoming the norm in home computers.


      You can have those, just not at the same time. Via Eden runs fanless. But it's still 32bit! And it doesn't run in SMP-configurations (yet. there has been some info about SMP-solutions).

      I think you could buy an Opteron 2xx-machine, underclock it to around 1GHz so it might run fanless. Then you would have your fanless 64bit SMP-machine,
    • What I personally really, really want to see is cooler CPU's. CPU's that doesn't require a huge fucking fan. CPU's that are content with a heatsink would be nice.

      Well I don't know about fanless, but if you're really after a quiet computer, and don't care at all about speed, there's always underclocking. I bought an AMD 2600+ for my dorm room PC and underclocked it (gasp) to 2100+ speeds. The Shuttle power supply has a small 40mm fan, but the only other fan in the case is a Zalman 80mm fan with a big fat

    • by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @08:10AM (#9857174)
      There are of course specialist tasks that require more horsepower, but those are .. specialist tasks.

      Once upon a time, viewing images was a specialist task. Then, viewing them in full colour, then editnig them. Sound used to be a specialist task, then editing sound.

      Now, things like video encoding/editing is a specialist task, requiring (relatively) serious amounts of horsepower.

      Well, once that sort of horsepower becomes commonplace, the task stops being specialist, as more and more people do it simply because they can.

      True, there will always be truly specialist tasks that never become mainstream (animation and rendering work, phsically simulation and similar number crunching), but there is stuff now that could most certainly benefit from more CPU power (whether it be from single- or multi-cored machines) that would become more mainstream when that power became affordable.
      • True, there will always be truly specialist tasks that never become mainstream (animation and rendering work, phsically simulation and similar number crunching), but there is stuff now that could most certainly benefit from more CPU power (whether it be from single- or multi-cored machines) that would become more mainstream when that power became affordable.

        Animation isn't going to be a specialist task forever either. The porn applications of it are obvious. One example: remember how Celebrity Deathmat

    • Curious that you see no requirement for a single CPU to get faster yet desire to see multi-CPU configurations become the norm. That doesn't make any sense. Two half speed CPU's are a liablity compare to a single full speed one though a system designed in that manner may be much easier to build.

      The future may be MP via multicore processors because that's the easiest path to superior performance. It won't be because there's no demand for a faster single processor though.

      Processor manufacturers have to co
      • Curious that you see no requirement for a single CPU to get faster yet desire to see multi-CPU configurations become the norm. That doesn't make any sense. Two half speed CPU's are a liablity compare to a single full speed one though a system designed in that manner may be much easier to build.

        It makes lots of sense.

        With one CPU, one task typically occupies the entire CPU for an an entire timeslice, however that is defined by the kernel at hand.

        With two CPU's, two different tasks may occupie the differe
    • Where have you been, and where do people find these crazy screaming HSFs for stock-speed CPUs?

      The first thing to do is stop buying cheap cases/power-supplies. It costs money to make things quiet; extra sensors to throttle fan speeds & quality bearings add a few $$$s to the cost of a unit.

      With that said, I just threw together an Athon64 3200+ with the stock AMD heatsink into one of these [newegg.com] and I couldn't hear it over the ventilation system. This is under full load, not sitting there idle with some sort
      • If only specialists need faster CPUs, what's the justification for pushing SMP machines into home machines? I can't see the average home user needing multi-processor systems any more than they need 3MHz CPUs...

        Doing many tasks at the same time. One music player, one movie player shoveling a movie to the TV in another room, some CPU intensive work for the guy sitting at the computer, some this and some that, while the system still being responsive.

        With a single CPU, this takes a lot of timing, prioritizi
    • In a recent article, anandtech reported that Shuttle is planning to release a SFF desktop platform for the Pentium M by the end of the year. A 1.1 Ghz ULV Pentium-M is supposed to dissipate a scaldingly hot 5 watts. Even at 2 Ghz it is only supposed to dissipate 21 watts.

      Considering my 1.13 Ghz PIII-S dissipates 29.9 watts, I'm pretty impressed. I could keep my current clock speed and only use 5 watts. That Shuttle is going to be my next upgrade. Hopefully the Pentium M chips will have dropped somewhat in
    • "64bit CPUs to become the norm (seems to be happening)"

      Why do people care about this so much? A 64-bit address space only matters if you have more then 4 GB of RAM. That's a crapload of RAM, any way you look at it. In some cases, moving from 32-bit to 64-bit can even slow things down, because now you're spending time managing twice the address space. I'd much rather have a dual-core 32-bit chip then a 64-bit chip.
      • This has been brought up many, many times before. 64 bit processors also have 16 GPRs, which is a HUGE improvement over 8.
        • "64 bit processors also have 16 GPRs, which is a HUGE improvement over 8."

          The number of registers has nothing to do with the word size. The 32-bit SPARC has 24 general-purpose registers, for example. The 64-bit Alpha has 64 GPRs (32 integer and 32 FP). There's no reason we have to have a 64-bit word size just to get more registers. Nor is there any reason to limit the number of registers to 16, for that matter. That smells like 8086-induced brain damage. If we're going to go for more registers, why n
  • by gregluck ( 668236 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @06:15AM (#9856978)
    Last week I benchmarked the 2.2Ghz Opteron on 64 bit Linux 2.6 and Java. I got almost three times the performance of a 3Ghz Xeon. For details see http://gregluck.com/blog/space/start/2004-07-29/1# AMD64,_JDK1.5.0_and_Linux_2.6_rock!/ [gregluck.com]
  • by MancDiceman ( 776332 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @06:55AM (#9857050)
    Where is the roadmap for low-power consumption chips that can operate either fanless, or with low less cooling gear?

    I survived just fine on a PII for several years until recently biting the bullet and getting myself a P4 box in a Shutttle Zen XPC case (relatively quiet). I seriously considered getting myself an EPIA box as my main machine, simply because it would be lower power (therefore cheaper to run), silent and enough umph to use mutt, firefox and ssh into the server kit where the real work is done. The only reason I ended up with a P4 is because a friend had a 3GHz one going very cheap.

    I want less power, not more. The idea I should overclock, buy liquid cooling systems and should pay a ridiculous amount so I can play some games? I'm sorry, what planet are you all on?
  • by RhettLivingston ( 544140 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @08:24AM (#9857193)
    Normal applications are not as likely to drive a processor into thermal throttling as a benchmark is. It sounds like benchmarks are going to need to be rewritten to either be short enough to not cause thermal throttling or to spread the benchmark out so that the CPU has a chance to dissipate heat buildup caused by the artificially intensive benchmark code.
  • By focussing on clock speeds the
    article's author has failed to notice that Intel's
    new flagship line (the 7xx series) is continuing to
    improve while their higher-clocked but end-of-life
    Pentium 4 line is topped out.
  • When will they start building chips that have no support for 32-bit software?

    I mean, we don't really support 8-bit today and I'm not really sure if we even have support for 16-bit software in todays CPU's. So when are we going to rid our selves of the legacy throw backs?

    • All x86 CPU's today STILL support 8 bit and 16 bit software, amazing enough as that sounds. This mostly has to do with the CPU registers that exist.

      Example, AH is an 8 bit register and AX is the 16 bit counter part. EAX is 32 bit, I forgot what new 64 bit registers are called... but yes you will find these instructions in old software and it can usually still run.
    • I mean, we don't really support 8-bit today and I'm not really sure if we even have support for 16-bit software in todays CPU's. So when are we going to rid our selves of the legacy throw backs?

      CPUs will never lose its 32 bit support because 64 bits are bad for a application if it isn't necessairy. The binaries get larger, the pointers get larger and the application won't run faster.

      A good operating system, and a good processor will allow for a mix of 32 bit and 64 bit applications. Use the technoogy we'
    • "When will they start building chips that have no support for 32-bit software?"

      "64-bit" is not "better" then "32-bit" just because 64 > 32.

      The size of an address word determines the memory space you can address, and most people are simply unlikely to need more then 4 GB of virtual segment size for at least the next ten years. I'm convinced that most processors will have a 64-bit address word because obviously most people think like you do and believe a bigger number automatically means a better produc
  • As technology improves, devices get smaller. As devices get smaller, leakage (that is, wasted power) gets much larger. As this happens, more power is required to run the chip and more heat is generated. This creates the throttling. To achieve a higher clock speed you need the improved technology. We now have the situation where leakage is so high (I won't give a percentage but it's a big one) we've got real issues.
    One possibility is to keep throwing more power at the problem and keep cooling it off.
  • I am planning to upgrade from my aging Athlon XP 2200+ CPU after September 2004. I have not decided which brand and speed to get for CPU. I am into gaming like DOOM 3, Far Cry, etc.

    Should I go AMD Athlon64 or Intel P4? I heard P4 Prescott CPUs have issues like heat which is bad because my room can get up to 85 degrees(F) during heat waves. Any recommendations welcomed. :)
    • Get a northwood P4. The actual differences between amd and intel are mainly benchmark numbers. Real life differences are not that large.

      If you get a 775 based prescott you will have a hard time finding a pci express video card to go along with that new processor. I just bought (last week) a 3.4Ghz northwood core P4 instead of a prescott and a 875 chipset motherboard to go along with it.

      A lot of folks here will probably say go AMD and give a reason like "its 64bit". Don't let that sway you. Currently
  • How much of Intel's development force was moved over to Trusted Computing development? That could be strangling some of the CPU development roadmap.

    -

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