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Thread: Intel vs. AMD - The Road Ahead




  1. #1
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    Feel free to post any concerns or questions you have regarding this article here.

    http://www.tweaktown.com/document.ph...review&dId=236
    Asher Moses

  2. #2
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    The thing we, the consumers, have to always bear in mind is that, despite what we want (be it higher bus freq. for the Athlon, eDRAM for 3D chips, etc), the business side of things will always be factored into the equation.

    As I'm looking at the current pricing scheme's for the AthlonXP/Pentium4, it's pretty obvious which one is logical choice...despite the shortcomings of the platform. So, even if Intel were to bring a quad-pumped 133 MHz FSB to the market today, you can also imagine that they would price those chips higher than the current P4 lineup.

    The current price ratio between their respective high-end chips is basically 2:1...By the time Intel releases their next major chip, it might be slightly higher (I would expect it to be higher)...At the end of the day, will it really prove to be a difference maker for consumers? Perhaps...

    But by that time, there's no telling how AMD's products will fare in comparison, again, despite their shortcomings. Personally, nothing is going to excite me at all until the Hammer is released. I have held onto my 1 GHz. Athlon (clocked to 1.33 GHz) since early 2001, and don't have any real need to upgrade, *despite* the fact that I use this system for doing reviews.

    Anyhow, I expect the advances that Hammer bring to the table will more than makeup for these things...

  3. #3
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    I agree with you on the pricing. Regardless of how cool Intel's chips run I doubt most people are going to spend $550.00 for a top of the line Pentium 4. One could always just spend about $200.00 for a 1.8Ghz P4, but since it will perform slower than a 1.733Ghz Athlon XP you might as well just get the latter.

    Performace-wise, DDR above RDRAM and it is quite a bit cheaper to build a DDR-based AMD system than a DDR-based P4 rig. AMD does need to ramp up speeds with the Thoroughbred, but I don't think they are in too much trouble yet of just being delegated to the low-end value segment.

    As always, only time will tell though.

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    What I find interesting is the fact that no where in the article was there mention of an RDRAM based system. DDR400 was thrown around quite a bit, but in analyzing the performance over the next year or so, I do think that it is important to consider RDRAM for the P4. As old as it is, the i850 still outperforms most competitors(arguable all). With the i850E coupled with PC1066 or even PC1200 RDRAM, I think that RDRAM deserves serious consideration. In terms of performance, there is a good chance that the P4 with 533FSB and PC1066 RDRAM will be the leader. So, why was it not mentioned in the article?

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    The article was based around DDR and not other memory techniques, at the moment. Chances are we will keep this article updated on an on-going basis and include things like RDRAM. Things like RAMBUS 2 we'll talk about later.
    Cameron "Mr.Tweak" Wilmot
    Managing Director
    Tweak Town Pty Ltd

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    With Intel arguably moving away from RAMBUS memory (see: http://www.ebnews.com/story/OEG20020226S0040 ) it will be interesting to see what happens in terms of future pricing/and acceptance. As it stands the P4 was designed for the high bandwidth that only RDRAM can provide, so this is where the best performance can be had (at a price).

    As mentioned the price verse performance ratio of AMD cpu's leaves allot in AMD's favour that I think will bear AMD well until Hammer makes it appearance (possibly 2002 Q4 unlike the 2003 mentioned in the article). The ability for AMD to produce CPU's with a very small footprint has allot to do with this, basically allowing AMD to get more per sheet of silicon. This interview here with Jerry Sanders is quiet a good overview of AMD past, present and future (See:http://www.upside.com/texis/mvm/news/story?id=3c98da541)

    What Hammer brings isn't just a new CPU, but an entirely new platform and selection of technologies - SOI (See:http://www.deviantpc.com/articles/SOI/index.shtml), integrated memory controller (lower memory latency) and HyperTransport interface to name some (See:http://www.aceshardware.com/read_news.jsp?id=55000382). The design of Hammer further allows for simpler motherboard layouts (4 layers) which hopefully will translate in to cheaper AMD motherboards in comparision to P4 parts (See:http://www.aceshardware.com/read.jsp?id=45000313).

    Final key point I'd like to raise is upgrade ability. By sticking with the current 266(133mhz) FSB AMD until Hammer creates an upgrade path for current socket A owners, something that Intel owners haven't had of late. Obviously AMD have the option for more to a 333(166mhz) FSB but from all reports with the current architecture - EV6 bus - this results in marginal (if not no) real world performance increase. (See: http://www.anandtech.com/cpu/showdoc.html?i=1595&p=12).

    So do I see the AMD being left behind with only value processors . . .no, most certianly not. From the first Slot A Athlon AMD has gone from strength to strength slowly eating market share from Intel. I don't see this good execution failing soon, where as Intel has struggled with competition in the market stumbling along the way only now really finding their footing again recently. I predict Hammer will, if brought to bear as promised, require something special from Intel in retaliation. At the end of the day it's us, the consumer who will always benefit from this market competitiveness, and that's what should really matter wether it be AMD or Intel.

  7. #7

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    I agree with most of you in this reguards

    While AMD do have a strong platform at the moment i fear it will loose some groung very shortly with 533FSB, DDR 400 (RDRAM at this point is not worth mentioning as Intel are moving away from RDRAM) will make shorter work of the AMD CPU now.

    On the Value side AMD will either have to increase the Duron's bus as it can kill a P3 core Celeron but P4 core will leave it dead now with its lower FSB and lower cache

    You won't see RDRAM for P4 533FSB last long as its even more expensive than currant RDRAM (which is almost non-existant today). Intel has already developed its chipsets for the P4 533FSB and they are moving towards DDR-SDRAM rather than RDRAM as the I850 is the last of the line or RDRAM chipsets and even in high end server RDRAM is being shoved aside in place of DDR and Dual Channel DDR SDRAM sollutions

    RDRAM at PC1066 and PC2100 will not last long against 5.3GB/s Dual Channel DDR-333 and Dual channel DDR-400 at 6.4gb/s. more than enough for bandwidth for P4's new bus.

    As Tweak said we will be updating this article (most likely every end of quater) to reflect on our speculations and make future speculations

    That my rant for this evening
    Cameron Johnson
    Senior Hardware Reviewer
    TweakTown

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    I have a few problems with the article...

    While it addresses memory issues quite well, it tends to quickly gloss over (or not mention) many of the others...

    1. Along with deeper pipelines (and their associated problems of higher latency which was mentioned...), the P-IV suffers from a very poorly designed FPU. The only apparent solution Intel has for this is SSE2 (if your software has it...most don't)

    2. Duron is due to be discontinued by the end of this year (according to the Conference Call by AMD last week). This means that the AthlonXP will actually be the low-end part, and the Clawhammer will replace it as the flagship.

    3. The Hammer chips are a full generation ahead of the P-IV. Molman has some excellent points, but allow me to expand...
    a. Memory controller on die - allows for the increased memory bus speed as system bus increases
    b. MUCH lower latency (because of "a") which allows for longer pipelines and increased clock speed with no net decrease in IPC (instructions per clock)
    c. It will be able to address >4 Gig of Ram (I know that seems ridiculous today, but how long ago did HDDs top out at 500 Meg and processors at 90MHz?)
    d. It should be priced along the lines of today's P-IV, with 64 bit ability to rival the Itanium and simultaneous 32-bit ability of a 3.4 GHz P-IV (quite possibly in stores by Xmas...)
    e. Hypertransport connections to all points
    f. Motherboards shouldn't require much of a Northbridge (if any) because most of this function is built into the processor (much cheaper chipsets/motherboards...), not to mention Molman's point of 4-layer boards.

    One last point...I see it was mentioned that if Nvidia were to base their Nforce on the P-IV it would show far more significant gains than on the present Athlon. While this seems plausible, I would be stunned if it ever happened...
    1. Intel won't license Nvidia with the P-IV's bus as this would be a major and superior competitor to their own chipsets (unlike SIS who are strictly bargain chipsets...)
    2. NForce uses Hypertransport (owned by AMD...)

    Just my .02 worth...

    Cheers,
    Charles

  9. #9
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    ahmen to that Charles! hit that right on the head.

    pAc

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    Well, I was going to reply to this article in regards to AMD's updated roadmap, which does phase out the Duron and moves the Hammer in, possibly as early as even late October!!! This is speculation as well, but some rumors are floating around that AMD will be making additional architectural changes to the Barton core. So there will be 512Kb L2 cache and possibly some other things though AMD hasn't said what. To me, it looks like Intel better step it up while it can cause I think AMD has something big planned for the entire computer market. (IE Hammer)

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