Monday, October 09, 2006

4x4 is the game in town

Alienware shows 4x4 power, Conroe does not worth mentioning. It's highly probable that a K8L chip will be used in 4x4 demo.

Conroe is a tragedy. It pushed DELL to AMD, it is not good enough for high end, and it's too expensive for the mainstream.

I expect DELL to go 100% AMD by the end of 2008.

25 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you explain what is the difference between 4x4 and double Opteron ?
I can expect unregistered DRAM, eventual SLI. Anything else ?

1:04 PM, October 09, 2006  
Blogger ashenman said...

As nice as it would be for AMD to finally have an exclusive customer that is worth mentioning, I'd need to see some serious evidence to believe it would be happening that soon. Chances are the market will regulate a bit over 2007, then give Intel a bad turn (or possibly AMD if there's an execution error, though that's less likely) in late 2008, just looking at the sustainability of each one's product and market plans. Even then, if anything, Dell will leverage AMD's strong position to get cheaper prices from Intel, and would only threaten something like excluding Intel from their more common systems, or making them as hard to find as AMD systems used to be.

1:05 PM, October 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it would be less confusing if you would say "Alienware will show 4x4 power in a few days". I hope there will be some benches too, especially nice would be if the environment wouldn't be as strictly controlled as with the first C2D tests.

On a completely unrelated topic, what do you think about the AMD plans to fire roughly 1/10'th of its workers?

1:24 PM, October 09, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

what do you think about the AMD plans to fire roughly 1/10'th of its workers?


Last time INQ said AMD would layoff thousands, AMD laid off 20 and hired more. If AMD+ATI lays off 1000 sales folks, I won't be surprised. With DELL on board, all AMD needs to do is to crank the FABs, DELL will push the volume.

2:09 PM, October 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why SLI unless you're dirty filth rich? Same could be said for 4x4;) RAM should be registered, as FX 51/53 which came out on server socket 940 used registered RAM. 4x4, on server Socket F, looks to be the same.

http://techreport.com/onearticle.x/10091
"Motherboards and processors will eventually be available in the market for DIYers, but not at first."

For all that AMD complains of companies being Intel exclusive..Hypocritical? And VooDooPC was AMD exclusive for a good time, until Core 2 came.

Dell has only been getting worse, not better. AMD partnering with Dell should drag both down.

2:30 PM, October 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the significant of having a 4x4 vs a typical 2 sockets board?

I know that when the two sockets are next to each other, you get some advantage in I/O between them. But that should be not much.

Did I miss the big idea about 4x4?

:)

-Longan-

3:57 PM, October 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.hothardware.com/viewarticle.aspx?page=3&articleid=877&cid=9
Alienware already has Kentsfield..
http://voodoopc.blogspot.com/2006/10/intel-kentsfield-general-observations.html
The man that has been hyping 4x4..
"When Larry Clark at Intel insisted that Kentsfield would "shock us all" we went ahead and built a couple of platforms for fun.

Let's just say Larry wasn't lying."

"To put this in perspective, usually two instances of Prime will cripple any dual core CPU at any level of performance. Not only did this machine run the through the most intense benchmark without breaking a sweat, it blew away our expectations with the DVD test."

"There is clearly something amazing about this processor - it easily takes place as my most wanted CPU for 2006. Not only does this machine run cooler than the AMD Athlon FX or Core 2 Duo Extreme, but it seems to run more applications at one time without breaking a sweat."

"Needless to say Intel Kentsfield is a killer processor, and we are certain that at most of our high end OMEN machines will ship with it when it becomes available." Most means 4x4 will only sell to fools;) Funny how AMD chose Alienware, the 'mainstream sellout', to demonstrate 4x4.

4:04 PM, October 09, 2006  
Blogger ashenman said...

I don't see where you're getting that it runs cooler than an FX, in neither article did the reviewer mention temperatures (though I'm pretty sure they were the exact same article). If you checked THG (ya, I know they're really Intel biased, but they at least were objective about temps) they said this processor ran 100 watts higher than the x6800 machine when fully loaded, which is substantially hotter than an FX fully loaded. You may be referring to the bull that Intel calls its "average operating wattage" number, but to put that in perspective, Intel rates its core2 xe at 75 watts however, if you look at Hard OCP's comparison, the xe runs about 58 watts hotter than the 35 watt TDP, meaning it theoretically has around a 90 watt tdp (figuring in for error on the part of chipset power usage differences and the fact that AMD uses theoretical TDP, which is higher than actual TDP). Using all this data, we can assume the 6700 uses maybe 180-190 watts of power, far more than any fx processor I know of. You may be referring to the 4x4 platform, (125 watts per processor) however, AMD treats wattage as a per package deal (they refer to the 4x4 processors as a single unit). So in reality, the kentsfield chugs power and blasts heat much more profusely than 4x4 (unless AMD was lying about the per package assumption, which given that companies history, would be disappointing and unexpected).

5:55 PM, October 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
Could you explain what is the difference between 4x4 and double Opteron ?
I can expect unregistered DRAM, eventual SLI. Anything else ?"

Dual SLI.

6:40 PM, October 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"anonymous said:
Funny how AMD chose Alienware, the 'mainstream sellout', to demonstrate 4x4."

And VoodooPC's recent "acquisition" by HP isn't a mainstream sellout?

6:53 PM, October 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did I say anything about VooDooPC?;)

But of all companies, Alienware:(
At this secluded event too, you'd think AMD would at least set up a press event or something.

8:09 PM, October 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

--
Oops, I did mention VooDoo. But witches eat aliens for Halloween;D

8:16 PM, October 09, 2006  
Anonymous enumae said...

Ashenman said...

"You may be referring to the 4x4 platform, (125 watts per processor) however, AMD treats wattage as a per package deal (they refer to the 4x4 processors as a single unit)."

The new FX processors are still 90nm, and the previous 90nm parts were 125W for a single dual core, so the new FX will be per dual core as well.

"So in reality, the kentsfield chugs power and blasts heat much more profusely than 4x4 (unless AMD was lying about the per package assumption, which given that companies history, would be disappointing and unexpected)."

Kentsfield will use less power than 4x4.

I do not think AMD is/was lying, you just misunderstood.

9:32 PM, October 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see 4x4 v Kentsfield performance wise and in relation to the entire system price.

It seems to me that Kentsfield can be stuck in quite a few standard boards whilst 4x4 needs some server type hardware and also two heatsinks, which presumably mean they run hotter or do not overclock as well.

10:21 PM, October 09, 2006  
Anonymous Edward said...

"Could you explain what is the difference between 4x4 and double Opteron ?
I can expect unregistered DRAM, eventual SLI. Anything else ?"


The same difference between a single-socket Opteron and an Athlon64.

With desktop software starting to utilize multiple cores, 4x4's advantage over single-socket desktop will be just like double Opteron's over single Opteron.

Eventually AMD's desktop and server cores will diverge, making 4x4 and double Opteron both "dual-socket" but with different performance characteristics.

11:20 PM, October 09, 2006  
Anonymous gnode said...

Lets not forget that 4x4 systems will be able to use true quad core chips. Maybe that is why they call it 4x4 instead of 2x2? Maybe 2x4 would be more appropriate. But whatever.

If you buy a 4x4 system now, you should be able to have 8 athlon64 cores in the not too distant future. If you get an 8x8 next year you can have 16 athlon64 cores.

Intel will just have a saturated FSB that can't do 8 cores.

But I think that will all be meaningless if the computer costs $10,000. Lets be honest here. If you bought a $10,000 alienware 4 years ago would you still be using it? You could spend $600 now to build a better machine.

The key, in my opinion, is for AMD to lay out a roadmap that will involve long run compatibility, flexibility and upgradeability. I would be a lot more willing to buy a 4x4 or 8x8 if I knew that I could run it with 1 dual core now, then maybe drop in an fx70 in a year when its cheaper, and then maybe a barcelona when that is cheaper. If I could use 3 mixed cpu chips and maybe drop in a quad GPU chip in such a system, I would not hesitate to buy one now. It would also have to be DDR3 and have like at 8-16 memory slots.

8:12 AM, October 10, 2006  
Blogger TheKhalif said...

Well, regardless, I live in NYC and plan on attending this to see if my money will be well spent on 4x4.

I will post here Monday with my findings. I would bet that no one will be able to open the boxes but because this is a trade show, I assume people will be able to play around with them.

10:54 AM, October 10, 2006  
Blogger TheKhalif said...

But of all companies, Alienware:(
At this secluded event too, you'd think AMD would at least set up a press event or something.


Are you kidding Digital Life happens at the Javits Center in NYC. That is hardly secluded. Every company that makes digital products trie to get their products shown off.

I'm going Saturday and will try to take pics.

10:57 AM, October 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Maybe that is why they call it 4x4 instead of 2x2?

If you get an 8x8 next year you can have 16 athlon64 cores."

You make no sense First you say it's called 4x4 because it'll able to have quads. Then later you call it 8x8. Err..Contradicting yourself. And where would the other 8 come from? Octo SLI?

12:12 PM, October 10, 2006  
Anonymous Dr. Yield, PhD, MBA said...

The key, in my opinion, is for AMD to lay out a roadmap that will involve long run compatibility, flexibility and upgradeability

The first 2 are important. Upgradability is meaningless in the marketplace- the overwhelming majority of systems purchased for both the consumer and business markets are never opened after they are sold- OS doesn't change, CPU doesn't change, drives and RAM don't change. The typical end user installs SW and assorted crap until it is too slow to be usable or it just plain old breaks, and then they buy a new one. Don't confuse the enthusiast market with that which drives the industry...

1:19 PM, October 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I expect DELL to go 100% AMD by the end of 2008."

Don't you mean Q3'07 when you have predicted Intel's BK. So you are predicting Dell going 100% AMD 4-6 quarters after Intel goes BK?

9:58 PM, October 10, 2006  
Blogger ashenman said...

AMD's original statements were that 4x4 would be available for less than $1000 for the consumer. Apparently that means for the OEM consumer? I'm not convinced, but it should be comparable to kentsfield. At the high end, the core frequency should make up for the architectural disadvantages. The low end will be cheaper than kentsfield, and mid-end will be... Well, it sorta works. I'm leaning 4x4 right now, because I was planning on upgrading to dual proc opteron anyway.
AMD says both processors will sold in a package, which means it would make more sense for the to list the total TDP of the package. However, even if they don't the only real concern for most people buying this is heat. And since the 4x4 system has 2 processors will have twice the surface area to disperse that much heat. Obviously, they still have more heat (if you're right about the heat rating), and the same size case, and the same amount of airflow, you'll probably have about equal thermal loads on the entire system.
I think the 125 watt thermal load is doable because they already have low power 65 watt chips, and aren't planning to release a lot of the 4x4 chips. If you are concerned about TDP because you want to make sure you don't have to buy too expensive a power supply, then don't buy a 4 core processor for a few years. Both will eat power like no other.

8:50 PM, October 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Current info states that cheapest 4x4 CPU combo would cost $999. For that you get two 2.6GHz dualcore CPUs without motherboard. There might be cooling though.

I'm not sure how much will 2.4 and 2.66GHz Kentsfields cost.

2:32 PM, October 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4x4 demo - Don't look, Don't touch.

Went over to the Javits today and took a look at the "4x4". It was hard to find. I had to ask at the Alienware booth.

What were they showing?

A LARGE case (I believe with water cooling) connected to a monitor. They were showing 6 windows running some videos and games.

I asked if I could see the processor utilization.

No.

Can we take a look inside

No.

Can we see some other benchmarks.

We don't even have a mouse on here. We don't want anyone touching it.

Yea, that sounds like a stable product!

6:50 PM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much is AMD's 4x4 technology worth?

Ask a kid 5 years old, and he will tell you that AMD = 16 bux a share, that's how much AMD's 4x4 is worth. AMD is going back to 16 dollars a share hole that it came from.

5:30 PM, October 20, 2006  

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