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AMD Hardware

AMD Announces 65-nm Chips, Touts Power Savings 234

Several readers wrote in about AMD's entry into the 65-nm manufacturing generation. The company introduced four chips to be manufactured with 65-nm process in the first quarter of 2007 to replace existing 90-nm chips in their lineup. AMD is playing up the power economy of its line, claiming that even its existing 90-nm parts consume less than 50% the power of Intel's Core 2 Duo, averaged over a typical day's usage, while the new 65-nm chips will be even stingier with power. Next stop, 45-nm. The article says that AMD has a goal of catching up within 18 months to Intel's lead on the way to 45-nm technology.
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AMD Announces 65-nm Chips, Touts Power Savings

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  • Dang.... nice.

    Looking forward to my next laptop being a 65nm Turion X2 in about 2-3 years :) (when my current laptop dies or just looks old).

    • Re:Idles at 3.8W? (Score:5, Informative)

      by joshetc ( 955226 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @04:48PM (#17118652)
      Extremely nice. Most people dont account for the integrated memory controller reducing the power consumption of the northbridge either. As a whole Turion notebooks should be extremely power stingy.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        the best part from the article:

        AMD's argument goes like this: modern desktop and notebook processors constantly scale up and down between full speed and an idle state, which AMD has branded "Cool 'n' Quiet". At a given time, pushed to full load by an application, AMD's chips run hotter and consume more power. But across a typical computing day - where a user might check his email or surf the Web - the processor idles more often then not. At idle, AMD's 90-nm Athlon 64 X2 consumes 7.5 watts. Its latest 65-n

      • ``As a whole Turion notebooks should be extremely power stingy.''

        Well, there's still the display and the moving parts to be accounted for.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by joshetc ( 955226 )
          Of course but some of AMDs changes in the last year have made a HUGE difference on the notebook front. DDR2 consumes much less power than DDR1, catching them up to intel as far as that goes. Then theres their new 65nm proccess with much less power drawing parts. After notebooks start coming with flashmedia for most hard drive duties we should start to see smaller screens and ultra low power notebooks that last as long as cell phones when in use.
      • No, most people doing serious testing actually measure wall plug power, which takes into account everything in the case. With laptops, that just means total battery life. And last I heard, Intel's mobile chips still beat Turions.
        • Re:Idles at 3.8W? (Score:4, Informative)

          by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @09:10PM (#17122658)
          No, most people doing serious testing actually measure wall plug power, which takes into account everything in the case.
          I wouldn't measure power consumption on a laptop that way, for a few reasons:

          1) That would take into account the efficiency of the transformer, which doesn't impact battery life.
          2) Many laptops run in a high power/performance mode when plugged in.
          3) At least be sure to take the battery out of the laptop so it's not charging while you're measuring!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Bilestoad ( 60385 )
      Why, because you think Intel are going to stand still while AMD move to 65nm? By the time AMD actually ship 65nm, Intel will be shipping 45nm. And I call bullshit on AMD's power claims, at least until independent reviews have verified them. Intel's new core specifically designed for power efficiency and manufactured with a 65nm process uses more power than a 90nm has-been from AMD? Excuse me for feeling skeptical.
      • Re:Idles at 3.8W? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Firehed ( 942385 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @05:18PM (#17119240) Homepage
        So Intel is shipping 45nm? According to Bit-tech [], these 65nm AMD chips are shipping today.

        I agree, take things with a grain of salt until we see reviews. But you sound a little too skeptical of AMD to not be working for Intel.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by rrhal ( 88665 )
          Intel seems to get a bit of a pass on the whole memory controller thing. When you see people compare power usage you rarely see the memory controller on the Northbridge added onto the Intel ledger.

          Bottom line is we get very fast efficient chips for cheap.

          • Re:Idles at 3.8W? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Lonewolf666 ( 259450 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @05:56PM (#17120020)
            I remember a test in the German C't magazine where complete computers were tested. Everything being equal except mainboard and CPU. The CPUs were AMD Athlon 64 vs. Intel Core2Duo

            Under load, the Core2Duo machines used a bit less power. Idling, the AMDs were better. The overall differences were pretty small compared to the total power consumption, so I'd disregard them for a typical desktop that does NOT run 24/7.

            And BTW, avoid the old Pentium 4/Pentium D. Those are really inferior.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        And I call bullshit on AMD's power claims, at least until independent reviews have verified them.
        Tom's Hardware good enough for you? ne/ []
  • It will probably drive down the costs of the Core 2 so many of us can justify buying one.
  • Cooler is better. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @04:46PM (#17118622)
    I went from a pair of 2.8ghz xeons to a pair of Opteron 250HEs and its a world of diference.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MSFanBoi2 ( 930319 )
      I went from over 500 Opeterons to just over 400 Xeon 5100's and got:

      Better peformance

      Better power utilization

      Better BTU consumption

      And last but not least... saved some cash...
      • I take it those 2.8GHz Xeons were based on the old Netburst Architecture (P4).
        AMD did better with the Opteron, but the new Xeon 5100 are Conroe-based.
        Conroe vs. Netburst = massive improvement ;-)
  • by Junior J. Junior III ( 192702 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @04:48PM (#17118660) Homepage
    So if AMD doesn't catch up with Intel by that timeframe, they'd be pretty much screwed, wouldn't they?

    Hopefully we can see some Socket AM2 65nm stuff in the retail channel soon.
    • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @05:16PM (#17119200) Homepage
      Not really screwed, especially if they fail to catch up but do narrow the gap. AMD has always been behind Intel in terms of process technology. AMD has gotten ahead on some specific process tech, like copper interconnect and SOI, but in terms of overall process shrinkage and quality of process, Intel has always been ahead. AMD has been more behind in the past, but also a lot closer, sometimes only months behind Intel. Basically, they are familiar with this situation.

      65nm was a particularly bad node for AMD in terms of Intel's lead. Their plan for 45nm seems to be shaping up better with Fab 36, so I expect them to be closer though probably not caught up.
    • by LehiNephi ( 695428 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @05:37PM (#17119682) Journal
      AMD has consistently been a step behind Intel in the die-shrinking competition. The fact that AMD's chips run as cool as or cooler than their equal-performing Intel counterparts even at the larger process is a credit to good engineering.

      Of course, since Intel will also be moving forward over the next 18 months, they might end up still in the lead. Making a huge turnaround like they did (from Netburst to Core) in such a short time is remarkable. Creating an architecture and setting up the process and designing a generation of chips takes a looooong time. Kudos to Intel for that. Now the ball is in AMD's court, and they have to respond.

      At the high end, of course, Intel rules. What about processors that normal people buy?

      I was recently looking at a Core2Duo review, and noticed something interesting. At each brand's bottom end (E6300 vs. X2 3800), Intel outperformed AMD. The problem in my mind, however, is that Intel's bottom-end starts at a higher price point than AMD's. Very smart marketing move by Intel. However, If you match the processors price-to-price, the E6300 matches up against the X2 4200 (both currently around $180), and there is relatively little performance difference. In other words, the price/performance metric really isn't in anyone's favor.

      Another smart (but a little slimy) marketing move Intel has made is in the power dissipation numbers. AMD quotes their CPU's maximum dissipation, and Intel quotes a power figure for some arbitrary (under 100%) CPU load. Intel looks good here....until you actually measure a system's power draw at the outlet, and find that again, there's not that much difference. This may (and probably will) drastically change as AMD's 65nm parts get out, but we'll have to wait and see.
      • In other words, the price/performance metric really isn't in anyone's favor.

        That just isn't true. There are 4 consumer Core 2 Duo models. For every one, you cannot buy an AMD CPU for the same price or cheaper that won't be beaten in most workloads, and the closest performing AMD CPU will have much lower performance per watt.

        Don't get me started on the mobile and 2-8 core server market, Intel has completely decimated AMD's offerings there for now.

        I do agree with you about TDP though. I'm not sure about the m
  • Of Course.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sylvainsf ( 1020527 )
    Intel will be holding still for 18 months while AMD catches up.
  • until then we get to read about AMD fanboys talking about how much better this is then Intels current line up. Completly ignoring that fact that Intel has plans for the next 18 months as well.

    Wait and see what happens, in the mean time buy the chip that you need now.
    • "Catch up" means "We're moving faster than them, we've accelerated our research, we should have an intersection point in this timeframe."
    • until then we get to read about AMD fanboys talking about how much better this is then Intels current line up. Completly ignoring that fact that Intel has plans for the next 18 months as well.

      As long as the two of them remain mostly neck-n-neck (as they are right now if you ignore the extreme ends of the product lineups), I'm happy.

      Competition is good.

      Cheaper multi-core for everyone!

  • by theshowmecanuck ( 703852 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @05:11PM (#17119084) Journal
    "With the Vista rollout, it's more and more important to multitask and multicore without a super loud box -- that's the end goal," Huynh said.

    Is anyone as tired of software companies eating up the gain in hardware performance as me? And for what? How about someone writing better software, not just new software. I got sick of buying new hardware just to open the same document because the O/S or new Office suite was bloated/full of shit/required way more horsepower just to do the same task. No Vista for me. I'll stay will XP and Linux on my (older) machines. And if MS forces people to go Vista, I'll go Linux or BSD. If I get new hardware, it will be to make these systems faster, not make new software, doing the same job, run the same speed.

    • It doesn't matter, eventually linux will be the same.

      I have a 500MHz Pentium III laptop I use, which was fine with Windows 2000. After they EOL'ed it, I switched to Linux. I am currently running Xubuntu (Ubuntu with Xfce), but as even Firefox and Thunderbird are getting bloated, it's sluggish. I even maxed out the ram (576MB), which helped a little, but I'm going to have to replace it soon.

      Any suggestions on laptops with decent linux driver support that wouldn't crap out after 3 years? I'm spoiled by these
      • T or X series Thinkpads still rock. My T40 is almost 4 years old, has taken a lot of abuse and I have no intention to replace it.
    • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @06:01PM (#17120118)
      Features or efficiency. That's just how it goes. If you want software that does more nifty shit, you have to be willing to throw more horsepower at it. Lynx uses less memory, disk, etc than Firefox, however you certainly aren't going to see me switching. It's not like there is some magic programmers could use but don't to write fast, feature rich software.

      Now maybe you long for the days of spartan computing, maybe you want to do nothing but scroll text really fast. That's fine, there's stuff out there to accommodate you. However that's not what most of us want. I want a feature rich system, I want my computer to be everything, do everything. Well for that I need hardware, and I'm willing to pay for it.

      It would be like trying to compare frame rates between Ultima 1 and ES4: Oblivion. When you get down to it, Ultima 1 probably has a frame rate as fast or faster than Oblivion. Ultima 1 wouldn't have any trouble running at 30fps or more, even on 286 hardware. Oblivion can run under 30fps, even on an 8800GTX. However you are dealing with a totally different level of graphics. Ultima 1 was made to run in CGA which is 2D, 2-bit (4 colour), 320x200. Oblivion is full 3D with amazingly high geometry, 128-bit FP colour, 2560x1600 with anti-aliasing. Despite the speed being around the same, there is a difference.

      While games are teh most pronounced difference, it's still there with other apps. Comparing Office to an old text mode Wordperfect app is meaningless. Ok, maybe for what you do you don't notice any difference, but many of us do. As a simple example, take a highly accurate, learning, in-line spell checker. I love that feature. Well, guess what? That takes resources. You couldn't do that on a really old computer, it just lacks the resources.

      So if you are happy with what you have now, great, stick with it, but don't get mad that people want to find ways to use the new power. I do not buy a new graphics card to get higher and higher frame rates, 60fps is enough thanks that's all my screen does. I buy it for more an more features, at the same framerate. Likewise with processing in my computer. Everything is plenty fast now, my computer responds near instantaneously for normal tasks. So what I want is for my computer to do more. I want it capable of doing more complex things. In 1996 my computer played little postage-stamp sized videos, and used nearly 100% CPU to do it. Now it plays fullscreen HD videos and uses nearly 100% CPU (well ok, of one of the cores) to do it. I'm not pissed that it hasn't changed, I'm pleased with the increase in quality, the increase in features.
      • I don't see a big difference in usefulness say from office 2000 to Office 2003 or XP or whatever it is now. And when the new edition for Vista comes out, I doubt that I will see any other difference except that I understand it will have a new GUI which will piss me off since I have to learn how to use something that worked fine the way it was before (if it ain't broke for Christ's sake, don't fix it)... except if I want to use it, I'll have to buy a more powerful machine to do the same thing I am doing now
  • 18 months? (Score:3, Funny)

    by abshnasko ( 981657 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @05:25PM (#17119428)

    The article says that AMD has a goal of catching up within 18 months to Intel's lead on the way to 45-nm technology.
    How are they already 18 months behind when they were ahead 4 months ago?
    • Intel Leapt Ahead.

      4 months ago the Core2 had not been released.
      Now AMD has to deal with an extremely overclockable Core2 Duo and Core2 Quad.
  • Great. Smaller manufacturing processes are the root of all good. Well, in microchip land, anyway.
  • FTFA:

    ``AMD's 90-nm/65 watt Athlon 64 X2 chips consumed 47.6 percent the power of a 65-nm Core 2 Duo chip, the company said. A 35-watt X2 consumes 73.3 percent of the power of the same Core 2 Duo.''

    So the 35-Watt X2 consumes 1.53 times as much power as the 65-Watt X2? Something is wrong there...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Brian Stretch ( 5304 ) *
      So the 35-Watt X2 consumes 1.53 times as much power as the 65-Watt X2? Something is wrong there...

      A 65nm 65W X2 idles with lower power consumption than a 90nm 35W X2. At full CPU load the 35W X2 would still have the edge. Since your average desktop PC spends most of its time idling this is not insignificant.
      • ``A 65nm 65W X2 idles with lower power consumption than a 90nm 35W X2.''

        Why? If they just manufactured the same core on a 65-nm process that they did on a 90-nm process, they would end up with a lower power consumption (at all speeds), right?
    • AMD ratings are max TDP not average.

      For example, an Opteron 885 idles at 1GHz and consumes ~32W even though it's a 95W part.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @06:12PM (#17120304)
    I'd rather see less dense microprocessors. The problem is this big chip manufactuerers make these super dense mammoth race car processors, it concentrates heat in one place, requiring a CPU fan, which is a mechanical component that can and will eventually fail.

    I would rather have a motherboard with a CPU design distributed, where the surface area is spread out in such a way, that is completely solid state without any moving parts to fail, namely, a CPU does no require active cooling.

    The future lies in completly 100% solid state devices. What does this philosophy mean?

    No CPU fans, no power supply fans, no harddrives (flash memory instead), no noise, no moving parts whatsoever. Distributed or minimized waste heat.

    Reliability and shock resistance skyrocket. You can seal them inside waterproof and dust proof and fire proof boxes.

    I've implemented these kind of computers, at critical network points, and literally you can plug them in FOR YEARS and forget about them.

    They are absolutely silent. And absolutely low powered. And totally reliable. All of which, is a very beautiful thing from an engineering standpoint.

    These guys need to hire me on their team, because the definition of what is going to be expected in computers is going to radically change in the near future. Computers are going to go under, they are going to become *embedded* in everything with no expectaions of mainenance to them at all and installed in harsh environments. They either work or they fail after decades of use (or preferably, never), and then you replace them.

    Reliability is CORE, and to achieve it, computers are going to have to abandon all cruches and become purely solid state devices entombed in indestructible plastic modules.

    How often have you ever reformated the drive on your wrist watch? Had to reinstall an OS on your cellphone? Had to replace the CPU fan on your calculator?

    I often wondered, why in heck weren't motherboards encased in protective plastic casing, and the same for ISA / PCI / AGP / PCI-x cards. Putting a comptuer together today has become like putting together lego blocks. And each component should be as equally durable and interchangable based on standards as a lego block.

    Einstein []
  • I was EXTREMELY pleased and happy when Intel finally took over the CPU market again with the claim of most powerful consumer CPU. AMD had been at the top for a slight bit too long...after all, what good is competition in a free market if one side is ALWAYS better?

    This means AMD is trying even HARDER to make a better will release, and in a way I am hoping that it STILL isn't better than Intel. Intel continues down it's path and continues to hold the crown for the next couple years.

    Then, AMD recla
    • So you reward AMD for mediocrity by buying AMD? Why would you do that to yourself when you can get more performance from Intel? Why the undying loyalty? And how much for you to transfer said loyalty to Apple? :P
      • Now who is the fanboi... I wouldn't call the AMD chips mediocre. Even if they were [say] 5% slower than Intel, that's still ridiculously fast given that most people rarely stress their processors. I doubt that my parents box ever ramps up from the low 1GHz power setting for instance...

        AMD processors are cheaper, and the integrated memory controller makes motherboards cheaper (my experience has been by ~10-20$).

        Not to mention that the Opterons smoke Intel in HPC applications. FSB == bad.

        • Read carefully.

          He said he ALWAYS buys AMD. Always means even when AMD does produce mediocre product.

          I don't impugn their current offerings.
  • I love when AMD has to invent specific test conditions to win via marketing.

    "Testing all day."

    "Typical usage model."


    Get back to us when you have a better design, and not a better marketing department.

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer