Monday, February 13, 2006

AMD's Dual core faster than INTEL's quad-core

AMD's Opteron 285 (2.6GHZ) will arrive for purchase on Feb 24, 2006. Unlike the 120 watt Opteron 285SE which has been used by SUN for months, this is a 95 watt CPU. It seems AMD can continue to derive efficiencies from its advanced SOI process.

In Apache Benchmark, a 2.6GHZ FX60 dual core is twice as fast as a INTEL 2.8GHZ dual core Xeon Paxville. This implies that a 2.6GHZ AMD dual core is faster than INTEL's 2.8GHZ quad-core expected in 2007.

No real surprise here, we know INTEL's outdated shared bus architecture can't scale beyond two cores.


Blogger Slippery Slope said...


Hmmm. Can't tell from the referenced web site whether the tester used the 64-bit version of Apache. If only the 32-bit version was used, then there could be even more upside for AMD in an all 64-bit benchmark.


Also, when the x86-64 architecture was being designed, I recall from the trade press articles at the time that Microsoft was in favor of upwards compatible x86 rather than the previously released non-compatible Itanium. Furthermore I speculate that Microsoft may have encouraged AMD, either explicitly or implicitly by making AMD x86-64 the only such compatible architecture that they would support with Windows. This happened I believe on the heels of Intel beginning to back Linux which greatly irritated Microsoft. When Intel reacted by dusting off one of their shelved x86 64-bit designs, they probably went to Microsoft and asked for the 64-bit Windows to support the Intel version - sure to be somewhat incompatible with AMD. But trade news reported that Microsoft said to Intel that they would only support one version of x86 64-bit, and AMD was first. Wouldn't you like to be fly on the wall in that conference!

Many years ago, Bill Gates was the key influence as to why IBM chose the intel 8088 (16-bit) rather than the intel 8080 (8-bit) for the IBM PC. He prided himself in nudging IBM to choose the most ambitious and forward-looking (intel) architecture of the time. It is not unreasonable to assume that the AMD x86-64 architecture-backing decision at Microsoft was made by Bill Gates himself. The NX bit was another good feature that would have appealed to Bill Gates.

What does this mean today? Well it means that Intel probably cannot use its evil means to arrange for a version of Windows that shuts out AMD, or else that already would have happened. Its to Microsoft's advantage not to have a monopoly CPU partner. Microsoft, in this particular case, wants competition to move the microprocessor market along, and that's just what is happening.

You might dig into elements of this story. It unfolded long enough ago that perhaps some of the participants will talk. My main acquaintance at AMD (here in Austin) left for Singapore last year to get the Chartered fab set up.
-Slippery Slope in Austin.

5:42 PM, February 13, 2006  

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