Sunday, December 31, 2006

AMD will beat Intel by 50% in gaming

First, AMD GPU will contribute 20% performance advantage, then the AMD K8L core will contribute 25% performance advantage.

To get within 25% of AMD in gaming performance, Intel would have to use AMD GPUs. Once Windows Vista is launched, people will realize that only AMD and Nvidia GPUs are suitable for true Vista experience.

Interestingly, Charlie at INQ did not bother to try Solaris 10 -- otherwise, I bet you will see 10 more ##@$@s.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Quad FX fragging Conroe Quad

An old benchmark as a refreshing piece of information-- if people know how to read.

Cinebench: Quad FX leads QX6700 by 13% and leads Con XE6800 by 68%.

PovRay: Quad FX leads QX6700 by 23% and leads Con XE 6800 by 130%.

MyriMatch: Quad FX leads QX6700 by 5%, but pay attention to scalability from single to four threads, AMD is far superior.

As you can see, once you eliminate those retarded results which show Con XE 6800 faster than QX6700, in true multithreading scenario, Quad FX wins hands down.

This paper worth another read

A simple idea indeed... but Yahoo was simpler.

Power 6 to run at over 5GHZ

It seems that IBM's 65nm process is quite good.

Jerry Sanders said real men own FABs.

As I analysed previously, there are only two viable CPU architectures going forward: AMD64 and Power are all you need for enterprise computing and gaming. As Hector Ruiz promised us, the next AMD64 will be a real killer.

George Ou must be very happy to see this: Pentium D 805 with motherboard for $88, or Pentium D 945 with MB for $149 -- pre Vista yard sale. Years ago, I bought a Duron with MB for $88, now, Intel feels the urge to get some buck. But this is a much better deal--a doom3 capable combination for $179. You have to remember that AMD solutions are always Vista capable.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Programmer created utility to backup HD movie

See INQ report here. The programmer states that his backup utility is for fair use -- primarily for backup purpose.

Cyphers are used to protect messages from being read in plaintext by unauthorized persons listening to the communications, the recipient MUST obtain the original message. For this reason, you can only make DRM harder to crack--do it at the OS kernel and hardware. One attack on DRMed content is using virtual drivers to record decoded stream. If one goes extreme, she can use a virtual machine....

You can see that unless all video hardware is DRMed, there is no way to stop people from making a copy of the video. But, then people still have ways to defeat the system, using stuff like mod chips...

What else? FBI and courts. But, if a significant of percentage of the society is doing it, then legal remedy won't work either. It is impossible for RIAA to sue 100 million people--those who got sued are extremely unlucky ones. There are only a handful of Article III judges in a district, and copyright is a federal question.

BTW, I realized that AMD64 is probably the best solution to the DRM problem. With HT3 plugin cards, one can embed the encryption algorithm and keys in hardware. The encrypted data is sent via HT3 to the plugin cards to get decoded as raw content streams and then directly sent to the rendering hardware...

Intel must produce documents related to foreign conduct

Discovery rules basically have no limits, with the exception of some privileges. So AMD naturally wins this round. As I pointed out earlier, once AMD got more evidence, it can freely amend its complaint to add the dismissed portions back in.

PS: I found that AMD has shifted most of its production to Athlon x2 4200+ (65 w). The X2 3800+ which frags Pentium XE 965 by a good margin is now purely entry level.

PPS: You can get two brand new Opteron 265 (1.8GHZ dual core) for a total of $350, plus a $300 Tyan board, that's enough performance to frag any Intel chip at $650 by 60%, in fact, two Opteron 265s ought to be enough to frag the 8 core T1.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Real test for 64bit CPU

Can your desktop chip handle 4GB? Some can't, some can.

Charlie at INQ says AMD frags at least 75% of Intel. Sounds familiar? But, Charlie is missing the big picture here. What we see in 2006 is that AMD is capacity constrained. With FAB36 starting its flood of 65nm chips, and with AMD's cost well below Intel's, AMD is going to deny Intel's oppurtunity for profit, not the other way around.

Microsoft is demoing Vista 64 on AMD notebooks.

AMD should make a high clock speed single core Athlon64. A 3GHZ single core is better than a 2GHZ dual core in most cases.

SUN's behaviour immature

Making fun of two paintings resembling HP founders is teenage behaviour.

If you are good, beat your competitor in the market. HP's share of server market is at least 5x of SUN's. No amount of hyping and reckless advertising (<-- click to see DELL's response to SUN) can help restoring customer confidence. The IT world is getting more and more professional and SUN needs to have a mature image. You don't want your enterprise gear made by a bunch of script kiddies.

PS: I can't help LOL reading DELL's counter ads against SUN . One of DELL's ad is "Sun, it rhymes with shit". As always, DELL dudes are not as good as SUN on creative English -- SUN execs are liberal arts educated. DELL's execs have, well, some of them don't have college diploma . I think something like "rhymes with dun" (or cun) would be far more accurate with regard to the message DELL was trying to deliver.

Visual Computing Age is here

Windows Vista has adopted some 3D features, Mac OS has done it too. The idea is simple. With the continuous evolution of computer hardward and software, we finally reached a stage that a computer system can be intuitively managed without a steep learning curve.

What about Linux?

Well, Linux may be far ahead in this game. Look at Beryl , or Compiz.

Currently, the 3D visual focus is still on windowed desktop applications. But, there is no reason why we can't have a visual representation and management interface for server objects. In both Linux and Windows, there are some GUI interfaces for configuring and managing the system, but those are still quite simplistic.

I'd like to go back to the Su-35 fighter example. That machine is a complex piece of hardware with hundreds of processors--a mission critical realtime distributed computing system with complicated I/O requirements. The system must be able to track, distinguish, engage multiple targets on ground and air, it must also be able to detect and evade incoming threats. That's not all. There are links between fighters so they can coordinate their actions. Such a distributed system has 10000x the complexity of a simple system such as Solaris 10. Its sophistication also shows up in its easy to use interface -- head up displays, point-and-click...

In the Visual Computing Age, anything doesn't have a visual interface will be simply too crappy to be worth anything.

Now we understand why AMD bought ATI.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Wii -- the smart game

I played a few minutes of Wii last night. It is an all new concept of gaming-- you can exercise both your brain and body while playing console games. One of the game is boxing, you punch your opponents. But, instead of pushing buttons, you and your opponent both stand in front of the TV and do real punches -- holding a wireless controller in both fists--on each other faces (of course the virtual ones). The harder you punch, the harder your opponent got hit. Try it, it's a real exercise. I tell you.

The Wii CPU is single core and low clocked, it costs $16 to make. The Wii GPU is a $29 AMD chip. But Wii made up the deficiency in raw performance through smarter user interface (video showing Wiiremote working for Windows) and better story telling in the games.

The next thing we should expect to see is an interface based on speech recognition.

You may wonder what kind of OS game consoles are running. Xbox runs Windows NT. I am not sure about GameCube. I do know there is a Linux for GameCube, but I haven't tried it out yet. Work is under way to port Linux to Wii. Soon you will be able to run your web infrastructure on a bunch of Wii consoles -- you manage them by waving your hands (Linux video). Cool!

Now, I have a million dollar marketing idea for the OpenSolaris folks, and I give it away for free:

Port Solaris 10 to Wii and show off the root login prompt.... I bet half of the slashdotters will cheer in their usual geek fashion -- writing poems in PERL or shell scripts.

My outlook for a happy 2007

Check out this eBay page,, pay attention to the upper right corner, it says "Powered by SUN Java Technology".

But unfortunately, the site is obviously running Microsoft Windows with IIS server and ISAPI. Java has earned the reputation of being a slow memory hog. At least at the front end, eBay is running Windows.

IT Kitty Cat wrote that the blog-sphere is getting duller -- I felt the same too. When there were fierce battles, we all paid attention to the news of war. I like to watch the History Channel. Some say History Channel is the war channel, that's very true. Wars decide the major evolution events of the human history. In the computing world, the epic struggle between AMD and Intel entered a period of trench war-- we see attrition. The major movements and manuvers have been done. AMD is rapidly building up its forces behind the lines for the final assault against its anxious foe. The silence is deafening.

Looking forward, we see only two viable CPU architectures: One is AMD64 with Direct Connect and Accelerated Architecture, the other is IBM's Power architecture. The AMD64 will rule all general purpose computing with massive I/O capability, integer performance and ultra high FP power. The Power architecture may rule the gaming market. The two can co-exist, as we have seen from IBM's Opteron+Cell combination.

In terms of 64 bit operating platform, we also see only two viable architectures for enterprise. Microsoft Windows and Linux. Both have wide hardware vendor support, both are highly usable. Linux was viewed a movement against Microsoft monopoly, but, it's an open platform that does not shy away from adapting the good elements of Windows. I also expect Linux to adopt some of Solaris 10 or even Mac OS's strength. All other alternatives will be irrelevant. Any attempt to halt Linux will be futile.

In software development, we expect the GPLed Java to become more widely used. Compared to C++, Java's portability and rich class libraries are unbeatable advantages. But C++ is probably 20x faster, or in other words, Java makes your 2GHZ CPU run at an equivalent of 100MHZ. I expect the open source community to vastly improve the speed of Java and make it more usable.

The rest of the IT hardware vendors will be a bunch of assemblers who take offshelf parts and put labels on boxes. There will be very little to distinguish between one vendor from the other.

We will see the above trend with more clarity in 2007.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Solaris 10 quality

Quite a few people who have Solaris 10 auto patched found their system broken. If there was such a problem with Microsoft Windows, you would have seen the news in CNN Headline News and People's Daily (of PRC).

But this is Solaris 10, and INQ did not bother to report it.

My Solaris 10 installation is having an error during boot, asking me to enter root password to enter maintenance mode -- this is on a virtual machine...Then what? I ran fsck and stuff like that, the problem persists. Running "svcs -s" showing a long list of services not started... I don't have the time to investigate further. I see others having similar problems (system in continuous rebooting loop), here too (system hangs on boot). And more crap out here(SUN hardware, system hangs after reboot), more failure here(HP hardware), more failure here (DELL hardware), failure to install (HP notebook), SATA drive support issue, system hangs (no final resolution).... SUN brags that Solaris 10 embraces HP, DELL and IBM customers, I seriously doubt it, as I found Solaris 10's hardware support lacking.

I never had such problems with Linux. I don't remmeber when was the last time I had to reinstall the Linux kernel after a power failure. With ext3, Linux can boot without root intervention even when filesystem inconsistency occurs. Performance-wise, Linux is simply unbeatable.

I don't see a C/C++ compiler with the default Solaris 10 installation. Javac is there though.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Charlie lost a few IQ points reading Anand

Full story here.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Solaris 10 fails to generate interest

SUN published a map showing number of connected Solaris 10 users. The number is less than 100,000 (80713 to be exact). SUN announced OpenSolaris in January 2005. It has been two years. During this period, SUN itself sold about half million servers. In other words, less than 20% of SUN customers use Solaris 10. SUN touts that its UltraSparc T1 machines generated $100 mil revenue in a couple of quarters, Pat Gelsinger made a scornful comment on that.

Frankly, most of SUN's software projects failed. The plan for Java desktop went nowhere, the Java Enterprise System went nowhere, the $100 per head subscription plan went nowhere... In the end, SUN has to open source every piece of software that is not making money.

I personally tried SUN's application server, it's terribly slow even on simple JSP pages. The Tomcat server (part of the Apache project) is much faster.

As I pointed out long time ago, in software, it's a winner-take-all situation. People would rather pay big bucks for the best software, instead of paying less for one with lower quality.

For an average user, Linux is much more user friendly than Solaris 10. Linux has a control panel where you can access common system tasks, such as setting up network and mounting hard drives. Linux even comes with a GUI app to configure Apache virtual hosts.

I tried Solaris 10 on a few machines, on two machines, it failed to install due to unsupported hardware. A bunch of cryptic messages scroll across the screen and that was the end of it. I tried it on a virtual machine, and it had a problem using the virtual disk. Linux has none of such problems. Solaris 10's installer is extremely primitive, a bunch of text commands, you have to press arrows then space to select options, and press F2 to continue to the next step, very tedious. In my opinion, Solaris 10 is a technology, but it's not a product.

For any OS to have mass appeal, it must be simple to use. Otherwise, it's just a niche.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Intel lost another 5% of market share

11% of DELL's notebook is AMD, 21% of DELL's desktop is AMD. The situation with server is similar.

By 3Q07, expect at least 50% of DELL to be AMD.

My predictions for DELL all come true

Dell's SEC troubles continue as Schneider being replaced.

During one analyst meeting, Hector Ruiz spoke first, then Dell Jim Schneider afterwards. No one asked a question about AMD during Schneider's talk. I heard Schneider said right after the Q&A: "Gee, no one asked an AMD question?".

That's was sometime in 2005. Dell was 100% Intel and enjoyed taking shots at AMD.

Time has changed. Dell had to go AMD.

I said it was inevitable.

Not that Dell doesn't like Intel, but that Dell loves itself more. It had to go AMD, the only alternative is Enron.

Search "Dell Enron" on this blog and read my prophecies.

AMD capacity estimate again

The 65nm Brisbane die size is 126mm^2, using a geometry of 11.5 x 11.5 for the wafer program, we find a 300mm wafer can produce 492 dies.

At 18000 wspm at FAB36, quarterly die output is 18000*492*3 = 26.6 million.

At FAB30 (90nm), the die size is 183mm^2, with a geometry of 14 x 14, a 200mm wafer produces 137 dies. At 30000wspm, quarterly die output is 12.3 million.

Total AMD dual core die output 39 million per quarter.

Throwing in Chartred FAB 7 at a small number of 2 million, we get 41 million dies/quarter.

With a yield of 90% (mature yield, extremely low defect density), we get 37 million dual core CPUs per quarter, leaving a 20 million market for Intel.

Expect AMD to improve its 65nm transistor soon, and expect major clockspeed bump sometime next year.

PS: Some retards are wailing about this estimate. My suggestion, do your own math.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Intel will have to copy AMD again

Intel was forced to adopt AMD64 instruction set, followed AMD on dual core, followed AMD to open up bus, will follow AMD on embedded memory controller and direct connect, will follow AMD on true quad core....

But AMD simply keeps innovating. In two years, we won't have CPU anymore, we will have APUs-- Accelerated Processing Units. While Intel is blindly contemplating CPUs with 100 cores, AMD engineers do use their brain. The APU concept, much like the Torrenza concept, makes perfect sense.

Expect Intel to copycat that again.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Anand made another negative scaling discovery

Recall Anand's last great discovery in computer science? Negative scaling in server performance--adding an Opteron CPU leads to lower performance.

Now, he did it again. This time, negative frequency scaling, a 2.6GHZ Athlon slower than a 2.4GHZ one.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Intel stuck with the hot and slow image

I talked to someone in a datacenter yesterday, and he complained that Intel Xeons are too hot, and AMD Opteron is fast and cool.

Now, guys, that's the reality.

The majority of the servers running today are Netburst ones and they will take Intel to road of BK. A few Woodcrests won't do any good, because at the 4P level, the Tulsas are even worse than Dempsey.

I suggest to the datacenter guy that they should charge higher price for those who use Intel.

BTW, Core 2 Duo is completely unsuitable for running Windows Vista, you get a dreaful score of 1.0 out of the box.

Athlon 64 X2 3800+ PIB is being sold at $130 now. The x2 3600+ is now below $100.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Patty sounds desperate

You have to be nuts, he said. The cruel reality is more and more Intel exclusive OEMs are switching to AMD and Intel's market is shrinking fast.

Intel will exit 2006 with less than 25% of its products being Core 2, leaving 75% of its products total junk. That's why you don't see AMD in a hurry to bump up clockspeed or release K8L. K8 is more than enough to frag Intel. The $140 Athlon 64 x2 3800+ is faster than 75% of Intel CPUs. The $50 Sempron is faster than 50% of Intel's CPUs.

AMD has started designing a 8 core chip. However, the solution for heavy computing needs will be solved using Torrenza and specialized co-processors. I can forsee an Azul Vega2 chip with Java capability plugging into a Torrenza socket, or a PERL6 chip that is 100x faster in doing RegEx. As AMD64 becomes more and more powerful, and Torrenza able to meet any specialized need. The RISC architectures such as Power are pretty much goners.

By 2Q08, Patty will be jobless.

AMD's channel supply problem finally solved

After over three months of shortages, AMD processors are finally in stock for the Christmas season. The 65nm process did help.

I reiterate my old prediction.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

AMD X2 4600+ will replace X2 3800+

AMD introduced the X2 5400+, and X2 5600+, the latter is basically the FX62 at lower power consumption. I am surprised that AMD keeps 90nm processors at the top end. It may have done so deliberately, so FAB30 remains a valuable asset. Now the spectrum looks too colorful, and AMD may eliminate the X2 3800+ to X2 4400+ soon, leaving X2 4600+ as the lowest dual core, which is more than enough to frag the Conroe E6300.

So we would have x2 4600+ at $150, x2 5000+ at $200, X2 5400 at $300 and x2 5600 at $400.

I also expect AMD to pump up frequency with its 65nm parts.

AMD's single core needs some major clock upgrade. Its mobile single core has a top frequency of 2.6GHZ and desktop single core stuck at 2.4GHZ. AMD should definitely introduce some high speed single core desktop chips.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Another dull day

Ever since DELL went AMD, the amount of interesting news fell off a cliff--probably because AMD is too busy supplying chips. Azul's Vega2 chip might be a killer, but unless one can buy one for less than $5K, it will be irrelevant for the mass market.

SUN's Jonathan Schwartz talks about losing sales on big machines, it is indeed worrisome. As AMD64 chips get faster and denser, the only way to keep revenue up is by pumping volume. DELL has a full supply chain in place to crank millions of $299 desktops and still make a profit. SUN's future depends solely on the success of Solaris 10, but, with Linux and Windows dominating the market, the future of Solaris is far from certain.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Charlie at INQ not using his brain

He complains that AMD boot Windows 2003 Server Enterprise Edition on K8L showing 16 cores cranking, but did not dare to run Windows Minesweeper. I guess Anand would ridicule AMD the same way: K8L is only good at running Task Manager on Windows 2003 Server Enterprise Edition--nothing else.

See the brain damage here? Even if we assume that AMD somehow got Windows 2003 Server to boot and running all those enterprise services without a crash by pure luck--somehow the 100 million lines of noodle code Microsoft programmers put into that OS did not cause K8L to run into a bug on any of the 16 cores, and AMD was lucky to also have Task Manager running without crash, there is something more. On the Task Manager, CPU usage was near 100% on all 16 cores--which means something heavy duty is running.

Use your brain, folks, or you are like a talking monkey.

BTW, Intel is pretty much finished. A Sun Fire x4600 will have 32 K8L cores.... Intel will be at 25% of AMD performancewise.

On Floating point performance, two dual core Opterons get a score of 119, two quad core Xeons get a score of 101. Conclusion, a dual core Opteron is faster than a Quad core Xeon, as far as FP performance is concerned.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Quad FX for $2000

AMD Power! George Ou at ZNET was dancing like crazy saying Quad FX was "slaughtered" by Intel's double cheeseburger. Idiot. Quad FX is never designed to be a little sports car for ladies in pink. Quad FX is for big masculine men who like to drive Hummers which can last 10 years under combat conditions. Gas mileage is a non issue in this case. It's horse power, torque and towing weight that matter.

You can't compare a Ford F150 truck (AMD 4x4) to a Volkswagen (Intel) by speed alone. Try throw some weight at the system, you will find Intel choked down. An Intel system doesn't have enough bandwidth to handle DDR2 800. The 4x4 can allow 4 gamers play 4 different games at the same time without a glitch.

I expect Quad FX to become a cheaper server alternative. 12 SATA drives, 8TB, cheap ram, one such beast can handle 8000 Google mail users or more. With 100,000 such machines, you can kill Google.

Retarded dudes like Anand (who proudly discovered negative scaling on MySQL--adding CPU leads to lower performance) would reach retarded conclusions. But true multitasking benchmarks would show Quad FX fragging anything Intel has in stock. As I said long time ago, the right way to measure multitasking performance is to launch multiple instances of the same program and measure the completion time. In this case, one should launch four copies of the same program at the same time.