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View Full Version : AMD to counter Intel's Conroe Performance


DevilHacker
06-05-2006, 08:49 PM
AMD answers Conroe (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=366319) with "4x4"
AMD has laid out its strategy for taking on Conroe in the gaming desktop space - 4x4.

The new platform, which AMD unveiled to tech press over the weekend, puts two CPU sockets on a single board to support dual Athlon FX processors, effectively making a quad core system.

AMD says that its new, improved HyperTransport technology will allow for swift communication between the two processors. Combined with QuadSLI, AMD believes it will be the ultimate platform for enthusiasts and gamers.

The plan is not only to allow dual Athlon FX processors, but to allow a single FX to be paired with a coprocessor that would be able to handle physics or GPU tasks. This mimics AMD's approach in the server space, where Opteron servers can be paired up with coprocessors for extra power to take on specific tasks.

The 4x4 platform will be paired with unregistered DDR2 memory.

So will this be the platform that takes on Conroe? It seems like a bit of a kneejerk reaction to us. A couple of years ago, we accused Intel of raking out the Extreme (ly hot) Edition purely to counter the Athlon 64 in marketeering terms. The roll out of 4x4 seems to be the exact opposite - a quickly slapped-together answer to Conroe. If the answer to Conroe's power is to make gamers buy two processors instead of one, that's hardly a great answer.

Games barely take advantage of dual-core at the moment - adding two extra cores isn't going to help.

There's some more details on 4x4 and AMD's general strategy over at Ars Technica (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060602-6977.html), which makes for interesting reading.[Link (http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2006/06/05/AMD_answers_Conroe_with_4x4/)]

quyeno
06-05-2006, 09:01 PM
i'm getting tired of all this extreme pc technology. There aren't any games which require SLi and there aren't any games in the near future which will require SLi, so what makes AMD and Intel think that we require Dual Dual-Core systems with Quad graphics cards? and what makes them think that the average or even slightly well-off games player can afford such as systems? Dual_core cpu's and a top graphics card is expensive enough (along with decent memory), never the above setup.

mlmiller1983
06-05-2006, 09:26 PM
What gamer, or game for that matter, needs four cpus and four video cards. Having quad cores is very useful for professional applications but I don't see games taking advantage of it for some time. As for quad video cards, thats just insane.

mmkelly011881
06-05-2006, 10:16 PM
ill hold off till 16x16... my p3 350 is runnin smoooooth :)

Zephyrpower
06-05-2006, 10:22 PM
Hey if this drops the prices of Athlon's Dual core-Dual processor pc's then what harm could it do? Sure nobody needs but as competetive as people are to always have teh best of the best and beat the Joneses, I think people will buy them anyways!

Like RJ, said in Over the Hedge. "For humans, enough is never enough"

tozz
06-05-2006, 10:43 PM
This will sell, and it will sell well...
Remember the insanely overpriced piece of plastic crap Dell had for sale recently? A quad system, think they called it Renegade, it sold out, quickly.

A far more interesting news was the K8L info from the same day.

amfantasy
06-05-2006, 10:46 PM
finally this is just what I needed to make my starcraft experience lag-free :D

tciny
06-05-2006, 11:44 PM
This whole trowing more CPUs/GPUs at the issue thing hasnt worked out for anyone afaik... just look at the last video cards 3dfx did. It's not like multi processor or SLI systems are a new thing. It's just that they never made it to the gaming market, and I dont see that change in the near future.
I think Intel is on the right track with Conroe/Merom/Yonah and the whole computing power per watt thing :)

richcz3
06-05-2006, 11:54 PM
PC Gamers ehhh?
Did a few guys from marketing actually graduate to engineering?
I used to be impressed by the advances in PC archtecture. Now it's starting to look more and more like a silly pissing contest to win over a select few users.

PureFire
06-06-2006, 03:36 AM
Lots of people thought that SLI wouldnt take off...."Who would need that power?" and "Who could afford it?".

Well guess what...it didnt flop and its now the standard for higher performance gaming PC's....every gamer wants a setup like it and they also want dual core.

Both Intel and AMD are making dual core the CPU standard.

Quad wont be much different so long as prices keep falling (As they currently have been).

I also cant see why people are complaining as developments like these reduce the price of hardware and today you can buy a seriously powerful dual core PC for a fraction of what you thought it would cost.

sforsyth
06-06-2006, 08:25 AM
People complain because it's easy to complain. I agree 100%, this will only reduce the price of current hardware, making it all that bit more accessible.

SoLiTuDe
06-06-2006, 08:35 AM
Sounds like they're just changing the name of the dual core dual opterons. :)

DevilHacker
06-06-2006, 08:53 AM
Remember the insanely overpriced piece of plastic crap Dell had for sale recently? A quad system, think they called it Renegade, it sold out, quickly.What was wrong with the renegade? It was an kick ass system with a paint job usally left alone only for cars... ? Though, I would have to agree that it was way- to- much, at $10,000 flat.

opus13
06-06-2006, 09:00 AM
ill hold off till 16x16... my p3 350 is runnin smoooooth :)

good trick... for a processor that doesnt exist :P

(P1 went up to 233, PII was 233-450, and PIII was 450-1.4ghz)

sorry... i had to :D

quyeno
06-06-2006, 09:15 AM
yeah sure, it will make hardware cheaper in the LONG run but i can't see it happening anytime soon. At the moment a bottom line dual core A64 is about 200, i really can't it dropping in price anytime soon. Plus you got to factor in the price of the Quad SLi mobo as well. Dell may have sold out on the renegade system, but how many did they have to sell in the first place? i bet its around several thousand, if so i really don't count that as a success. As richcz3 said, it is a pissing contest.

inneractive
06-06-2006, 09:37 AM
I don't think you have to buy both dual-core CPUs and 4 GPUs at once. I am pretty sure I read you can start off with 1 dual-core CPU and 1 GPU and add more as future upgrades. Sounds cool to me, just buy another CPU and GPU when the price drops. If I could slap another CPU and GPU on my current 2 year old machine I would be cool for another 2 years.

It could give their hardware longer shelf life and save PC users cash in the long run.

Rick Flowers
06-06-2006, 03:18 PM
PC Gamers ehhh?
Did a few guys from marketing actually graduate to engineering?
I used to be impressed by the advances in PC archtecture. Now it's starting to look more and more like a silly pissing contest to win over a select few users.

We, as consumers of all kinds- should echo this feeling.

STOP THE STUPIDITY NOW

enygma
06-06-2006, 03:44 PM
People complain because it's easy to complain. I agree 100%, this will only reduce the price of current hardware, making it all that bit more accessible.
Personally, I've kept complaining because I stand by my opinion that focusing on how to fit more cores into a system is utter BS.

Yah, lets not work on a nicer architecture to squeeze every ounce of performance out of single threaded processing that we can. Nooo... only every application out there supports single threaded processing. Select games and applications support multithreading. By going multi core, chip makers are forcing the development of more multi processor aware applications, which is inherently more difficult to do from a developers perspective.

The problem though is that the efficiency of running in a multithreaded environment is left at the whim of the software developer and his capability to paralellize their applications properly. For some developers, this is a huge undertaking. Even large application developers have software that isn't SMP aware (Mathworks).

When I mention Mathworks, I'll take MATLAB as an example. This application is not SMP aware and only supports multithreading one way. By spending extra money on their distributed computing toolbox and the additional node packs to enable additional processors, whether locally or over the network. The problem here is now the customer has to develop his algorithms to try and work in paralell with their software, rather than just focus on designing his algorithm in the first place, unless your algorithm was designed to be deployed in a distributed computing environment.

There is only one computer in our office here that runs multi processors, and that is my workstation, only because I have the only applications that are SMP aware. All of our other systems, while using high end applications, these applications are not SMP aware nd could use a significant boost in single core processing capabilities in order to squeeze some more performance out of these apps. A dual opteron 250 will get its ass whooped in almost every benchmark within MATLAB against an Athlon64 FX-55.

lukx
06-06-2006, 03:57 PM
agian this conroe thing :(. where are any rendering tests?

mustique
06-06-2006, 04:12 PM
Quad SLI isn't nonesense as long as there are gameophiles who pay the extra cash
for the additional 2 fps. :D

For 3d guys, Athlon4X4 sounds like heaven though cause you'll be able built octa-core systems (after 2007) with shitloads of cheap non-ecc RAM at enthusiast PC user prices.
Rendering will be much less of a pain. :)

Also there has to be tech stuff like that,
cause otherways the notebook market will completely kill off the desktop.

Carina
06-06-2006, 04:50 PM
The problem though is that the efficiency of running in a multithreaded environment is left at the whim of the software developer and his capability to paralellize their applications properly. For some developers, this is a huge undertaking. Even large application developers have software that isn't SMP aware (Mathworks).


It may be worth mentioning that there are plenty of problems that just aren't suited to parallelisation. Yeah, you would probably be able to brute force it, but throwing more processors at a problem doesn't necessarily mean it will be solved any quicker.

richcz3
06-06-2006, 08:02 PM
The "bolt-on" or "add on card" process which has always worked out for the PC architecture. It's rarely been pretty but anyone using the the PC for more than 10-15 years, knows it's always about getting that 10-15% advantage. (Buy new pc's bench you apps right?)

There appears to be no limit to the number of early adoptors in the PC arena. Gamers being a niche part of that group. With that though, I know plenty of gamers who LAN at big two day events and the number of these gamers with dual SLI+dual core systems are very few. Sure they salivate, talk, and dream of such rigs, but most are running hopped up OC'd CPU/GPU systems that are showing their age.

I buy my PC's for my business first with gaming as a second use. I'm less about impulse buys these days. My early adoption days are way over. As others have mentioned, these quads should (hopefully) drive down the cost of single dualies in the process. At that point I will buy a load of dualies. :thumbsup:

One (err two) clock speeds behind the Jones's is fine place for me

Zephyrpower
06-06-2006, 09:37 PM
I buy my PC's for my business first with gaming as a second use. I'm less about impulse buys these days. My early adoption days are way over. As others have mentioned, these quads should (hopefully) drive down the cost of single dualies in the process. At that point I will buy a load of dualies.

I hope it drives the prices down too. How long does it usually take to have prices start to drop and by how much do they typically drop?

quyeno
06-06-2006, 10:58 PM
little by little i'm afraid :( Another unexpected cost of running such an expensive rig is the power supply. you will need a pretty hefty psu to run these systems, we're talking at least 550W upto 700W with plenty of ampage in the rails and these aren't cheap. you won't get much change from a 100. i'm hoping when the next round of DX10 graphics cards with HDCP support are released, the price of dual core will be more affordable.....then i can get rid of my athlon 2500+ system :)

mayakindaguy
06-07-2006, 06:39 AM
I think we are gonna have a cpu price war on our hands soon!

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2771

Especially with the new Intel pricing scheme at the end of the article:

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2771&p=6

AMD's prices should be dropping to follow suite, which means good news for everyone! Fingers crossed.

Freak!!
06-07-2006, 07:14 AM
A dual opteron 250 will get its ass whooped in almost every benchmark within MATLAB against an Athlon64 FX-55.

Who cares about Matlab?

Opterons will destroy that same single core, on just about every renderer there is...
In some of my benchmarking lately certain renderers make GREAT usage of multiprocesser environments, and it's only going to increase in the future.

Some bucket renderers are showing a 50% drop in rendertimes over single threading.
As far as i'm concerned, build me refridgerator size cabinet with rackmount shelves,
and let me making my Farm in a box, now.

As this is graphics and rendering type forum, i'm sure plenty of others would like to half, their rendertimes. I would love multicores as standard

Each to their own.

albedo4800hp
06-07-2006, 08:05 AM
.

I also cant see why people are complaining as developments like these reduce the price of hardware and today you can buy a seriously powerful dual core PC for a fraction of what you thought it would cost.

People complain since it is ridicolous and they are right. This stupid machines drain a lot of unnecessary energy without much gain. Energy is a common good so what will happen people who buy this piece of crap will increase energy usage which will lead to higher energy prices for everyone and more pollution in the world as well. So in the end saying it will only harm the pockets of the guys who buy that crap is short sighted in the end it will harm everyone on this freaking planet.

lukx
06-07-2006, 08:24 AM
did anyone read article from computex 2006 (http://www.anandtech.com/tradeshows/showdoc.aspx?i=2770)? "DirectX 10 GPUs to Consume up to 300W "!
And "Power supply makers are being briefed now in order to make sure that the power supplies they are shipping by the end of this year are up to par with the high end GPU requirements for late 2006/early 2007. You will see both higher wattage PSUs (1000 - 1200W) as well as secondary units specifically for graphics cards. " !! 1200W !!! It's scary!!

stew
06-07-2006, 08:43 AM
It's not just power consumption but it's also noise being generated in by cooling. I want a quiet work environemt! How about 10% less performance and passive cooling instead? I'd even settle for 30% less performance.

inneractive
06-07-2006, 08:57 AM
It's not just power consumption but it's also noise being generated in by cooling. I want a quiet work environemt! How about 10% less performance and passive cooling instead? I'd even settle for 30% less performance.

Maybe you should build your own box. Throw in some silent variable speed fans with some sound dampening material, then OC the CPU and have a quieter PC with 10% more performance :)

As for power consumption, sure that is an issue. But would one 4CPU box use less or more energy than two 2CPU boxes or four 1CPU boxes? I think you are getting more render performance for less energy by sticking all the CPUs on one mobo right?

enygma
06-07-2006, 01:50 PM
Who cares about Matlab?
Me obviously, otherwise I wouldn't have brought it up.

MATLAB is the single most important tool in our technology pipeline and might and up being a key element in our hardware development pipeline. The big problem is there are algorithms we are building that can process for as long as 4 days on a single dataset. Not very fun and we are really limited by the fact that CPU speeds haven't really improved much from there.

Around here, I'm sure you don't give a crap about MATLAB, but I fired that off as an example due to its importance to me.

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