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Apple in advanced discussions to adopt AMD chips - Page 4

post #121 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

AMD has been shipping Opteron servers for ages in 24/7 environments. I'm not too worried about them delivering garbage.

Give me 12 core Opteron's with 2 slot boards and their Dual PCI-E 2 boards in SLI mode crunching streams for OpenCL and blocks from GCD any day of the week.

Bulldozer will be even more sweet.
post #122 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

BS. No matter what, AMD is considered to be a second tier supplier.

Sure, if you want a $400 piece of junk, get an AMD machine.

I have no respect for anyone who knows nothing about the technology.

AMD is the innovator in the space with Intel.

There is a reason Intel paid > $1 Billion in penalties to AMD for IP theft.

The new direction for AMD and it's spin-off foundry corporation that's on it's own and the advanced technology lead in the GPGPU space over all contenders, combined with the CPU advances moving forward are great to see.

AMD Opteron servers for XServer would be sweet. Price would drop and also the option to have 4 12 Core Opteron CPU slots on one board for nearly the price of 2 Xeons would be sweet.
post #123 of 394
AMD is the second-largest global supplier of microprocessors based on the x86 architecture after Intel Corporation, and the third-largest supplier of graphics processing units, behind Intel and Nvidia. It also owns 21% of Spansion, a supplier of non-volatile flash memory. In 2009, AMD ranked ninth among semiconductor manufacturers in terms of revenue.

Not bad, I think it can perform fine inside iMac, MacBooks, Mac Pro...
post #124 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsighi View Post

AMD is the second-largest global supplier of microprocessors based on the x86 architecture after Intel Corporation, and the third-largest supplier of graphics processing units, behind Intel and Nvidia. It also owns 21% of Spansion, a supplier of non-volatile flash memory. In 2009, AMD ranked ninth among semiconductor manufacturers in terms of revenue.

AMD also has copper, SoI, and ZRAM technology.

Maybe Apple is interested in licensing these for their CPUs...
post #125 of 394
Just keep in mind that as a huge personal computer maker (yes, PC), Apple has access to CPU roadmaps and engineering samples that we do not. Maybe AMD has some kick ass CPU/GPU fusion combo down the line.

Besides that, The new 13" MBP may be a leading indicator that Apple is showing that they are willing to use a slower C2D cpu in order to get a better integrated graphics solution than is possible from Intel. This is obviously a market segment that AMD should be able to address -- combine a mediocre x86 cpu with a very capable ATI integrated gpu.

Oh, and Mac Mini. Nuff said.
post #126 of 394
I think Apple should go with AMD. That can give us more choice. I prefer AMD-ATI than Intel-Nvidia or Intel-ATI solutions.
post #127 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I don't want this to happenEVER!!!

This is out of character for you as I'd expect you to be more objective.
Quote:
Despite what some people here think, there is no advantage going to crippled AMD, and some big dangers. AMD is nowhere near as reliable as Intel, and as usual, they are behind in every area that matters.

First off little truth is to be found in the above statements. There are several advantage with AMD especially in the context of Intel forcing intel graphics down customers throats. This highlights one important consideration system performance is not defined by just the CPU anymore.

Besides that some of AMDs solutuions compete very well against Intels. It is all about the benchmarks choosen and the compilers used.

Quote:
I hope, assuming that this article is true, that this is just a negotiating ploy on Apple's part.

I suspect this is indeed a real possibility and is likely a reaction to some really poor engineering and management decisions coming out of Intel. Arrandale is a gross mistake if you are a company like Apple.
Quote:

I have no respect for anyone running AMD. None at all.

Then you are largely illiterate when it comes to technology.


Dave
post #128 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

This is out of character for you as I'd expect you to be more objective.

First off little truth is to be found in the above statements. There are several advantage with AMD especially in the context of Intel forcing intel graphics down customers throats. This highlights one important consideration system performance is not defined by just the CPU anymore.

Besides that some of AMDs solutuions compete very well against Intels. It is all about the benchmarks choosen and the compilers used.


I suspect this is indeed a real possibility and is likely a reaction to some really poor engineering and management decisions coming out of Intel. Arrandale is a gross mistake if you are a company like Apple.


Then you are largely illiterate when it comes to technology.


Dave

Thank you Dave, you have a wonderful weekend.
post #129 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

I have no respect for anyone who knows nothing about the technology.

AMD is the innovator in the space with Intel.

I'm sorry, but this is simply inaccurate. Both AMD and Intel are responsible for substantial innovation. However any informed objective observer will acknowledge that Intel is without par in terms of manufacturing and design innovation. While one can point to a short list of AMD innovations (hypertransport and 64-bit chief among them), a similar list for Intel would span pages.

Quote:
There is a reason Intel paid > $1 Billion in penalties to AMD for IP theft.

Again, completely inaccurate. The fine had nothing to do with IP theft. It was an antitrust action.
post #130 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsighi View Post

AMD is the second-largest global supplier of microprocessors based on the x86 architecture after Intel Corporation, and the third-largest supplier of graphics processing units, behind Intel and Nvidia. It also owns 21% of Spansion, a supplier of non-volatile flash memory. In 2009, AMD ranked ninth among semiconductor manufacturers in terms of revenue.

Not bad, I think it can perform fine inside iMac, MacBooks, Mac Pro...

Unfortunately none of the statistics you mentioned provide any reason to think that they produce a processor that is appropriate for Macs.

At this time, Intel owns performance in nearly all x86 market segments. Apple charges a premium for its products because it claims they are the best. Putting a lower performing chip in its products does not endear me to their pricing philosophy.
post #131 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Intel has fought against Nvidia to close the market for alternative chipsets for use with its CPUs, which resulted this week in Apple being forced to use Intel's own limited integrated graphics chips inside its new MacBook Pros instead of using more capable parts from Nvidia.

I know the relationship between Intel and Nvidia has been sour for some time, but it's just wrong for Intel to tie system makers into using its own GPU solutions. I don't want Apple to go with AMD because I really DO like Intel CPUs, but I think Intel needs to hear the message: I would not buy a product with any current Intel GPU.
post #132 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by igxqrrl View Post

At this time, Intel owns performance in nearly all x86 market segments. Apple charges a premium for its products because it claims they are the best. Putting a lower performing chip in its products does not endear me to their pricing philosophy.

Apple does not use the best-performing Intel chips, so that argument has no merit.

Raw number-crunching speed has never been a priority for Apple. And now that they are a mobile device company, even less so.
post #133 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by HardBall View Post

Well, what do you mean by "developers coding for Intel", they are both use the same ISA, and compilers would generate the binary machine code for run time. Do you mean that these "developers" actually code in x86 assembly?

As a computer engineer, you must surely know that compilers can *and do* optimize for a particular target, even within the same ISA. Also note that while both AMD and Intel support x86-64, they each also support their own extensions. Their implementations of virtualization and vector extensions have diverged.

You must also know that the highest performing x86 compiler is generally acknowledged to be 'icc', and is provided by Intel. It is reasonable to assume that it is well tuned for Intel's products, and less well tuned for AMD's products.

Quote:
I assume you mean process technology, as that would be the standard terminology in ECE. Well, AMD has always been 9-12 months behind in transitionning to smaller nodes at their fabs (when they still owned them). So I'm not sure what do you mean by "anymore".

As a computer engineer, I'm sure you understand that 'technology' is a generic term. It can include micro-architecture, process, or even packaging technologies. Yes Intel has, for a long time, led in *process technology*. However for several years AMD had an indisputable lead in processor performance. I assume the OP was referring to this time period.

Quote:
Just look at their problems in the past two years Now, without their own fab, they will have even more problems with optimization.

So what are you suggesting, that design houses such as ARM and Nvidia all output sub-standard products? What are your justifications for such?

As a computer engineer, if you keep up with the trade you surely are aware of the process issues that Nvidia has had. You are probably also aware of the process problems that AMD has experienced when outsourcing production to foundries. Linking design and litho provides tremendous advantages that AMD will start to lose as GF becomes more independent.
post #134 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamG View Post

Apple does not use the best-performing Intel chips, so that argument has no merit.

Raw number-crunching speed has never been a priority for Apple. And now that they are a mobile device company, even less so.

While it saddens me that you feel my argument has no merit, I would like to point out that usually upgrades are available to very high performing chips that, at this time, AMD cannot compete with.

We can hope that AMD has shown Intel a roadmap that indicates it will be able to compete in the future. But any move by Apple to ignore performance would be at its own peril.
post #135 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by igxqrrl View Post

But any move by Apple to ignore performance would be at its own peril.

C'mon. The MBP upgrades ignored performance, especially in the 13 inch version, and they are selling like hotcakes.

Apple has never been the fastest. They do not sell based upon specs.

That would be like Mercedes putting horsepower figures in their headlines. Not gonna happen.
post #136 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by iMacmatician View Post

I posted some speculations here about AMD and Apple. The GPU (of Llano) appears to be AMD's strongest advantage over Intel, while the high-end desktop area is where Intel may retain the largest lead over AMD (which incidentally isn't a CPU type used in any Macs, although the iMac may come close).

A Sandy Bridge core will be significantly better than a Llano core, but the Sandy Bridge GPU looks to be far behind the Llano GPU (if the rumors are true). CPU-wise, Sandy Bridge will easily beat Llano with equivalent core counts. But what about a TDP and price area where 2-core Sandy Bridge competes with 4-core Llano? There will be a similar one in the 25/35 W space where 25/35 W 4-core Champlain goes against 35 W 2-core Arrandale. Coincidentally, that space is right where the MacBook Pro is.

If the major advantage of going AMD is better options for IGPs for OpenCL which is especially beneficial in accelerating multimedia applications, it'll be interesting to see how much that is offset by AVX which has a similar purpose. Bulldozer's is getting AVX but presumably won't have as good an implementation as good as Sandy Bridge since Bulldozer was originally intended to have the abandoned SSE5 and I believe Bulldozer's AVX implementation does not fully conform to the final AVX spec due to the late addition. Sabine, AMD's future mobile quad core with Llano IGP, won't have AVX at all. AVX will presumably be more broadly applicable across different applications and easier to implement by using existing SSE code as a basis, but a powerful IGP and OpenCL will still be much faster

The other wild-card may be that Sandy Bridge sees a return of the CPU microarchitectural stewardship to the Haifa team in Isreal who was responsible for the Pentium M and it's descendants the Core and Core 2 product lines and for regaining the performance and power lead for Intel. Nehalem and Westmere was designed by the Hillsboro team who was responsible for Netburst and Pentium 4 and we can see their influence on getting Nehalem to regain the server performance lead for Intel with lots of memory bandwidth, large slow L3 cache, and Hyperthreading. I'm expecting the Haifa team to implement major in tweaking the microarchitecture to maximize performance/watt using things like decreasing cache latency, hopefully substantially in the case of the L3 cache, increasing interconnect bandwidth, expansion of micro and macro-op fusion, expansion of the loop stream detector, increasing the number of instructions kept in flight and associated buffers to maximize Hyperthreading in anticipation of Bulldozer's SMT, optimizing clock gating, power plane distribution, and the PCU for higher Turbo Boost modes, and hopefully other new tricks. Most of the rumours seem to indicate quad core mobile Sandy Bridge to maintain the 45W TDP due to the integration of the IGP, but you would think some 35W TDP quad cores would be possible considering the CPU moves from 45nm to 32nm over Clarksfield and the IGP also moves from 45nm to 32nm over Arrandale combined with the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture being tuned for power efficiency should open up some thermal room.

EDIT: I believe Sandy Bridge was pushed back from Q4 2010 into Q1 2011 and due to the lack of reports of sandal, the reasoning is probably lack of competition rather than something being wrong with the design. I wonder if this rumour will encourage Intel to step up their plans? AMD is definitely closing on Intel and it seems a lot of this depends on scheduling and execution.
post #137 of 394
I believe if Apple is looking at AMD they're looking at the lowend range (Macbook, Mac mini) and the high end (Mac Pro)

Intel is probably going to own the iMac configs. Who knows though but my guess is that AMD is discussing 2011 products because it appears that this is their "make it or break it" year with Bulldozer.
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post #138 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by igxqrrl View Post

While it saddens me that you feel my argument has no merit, I would like to point out that usually upgrades are available to very high performing chips that, at this time, AMD cannot compete with.

We can hope that AMD has shown Intel a roadmap that indicates it will be able to compete in the future. But any move by Apple to ignore performance would be at its own peril.

AMD Thuban (Phenom II X6) is scheduled for late April launch(in about 10 days). Some of these chips are already in hands of many enthusiast in Asia. The performance expectations and early leaked benchmarks of Thuban is clock per clock comparable or even better than i7 9xx platform, exception of i7 980X with HT on. This can be attained by almost 1/2 to 1/3 of the price point of intel chips, not to mention intel mobo costing 2x as well.

AMD Thuban incorporates turbo mode which allows increasing the multiplier by 2 to 2.5 (400 to 500 MHz) boost when only 3 cores or less are running just like intel's offering but it does with all three cores at same speed boost. This is the current line up of AMD's offer. Why would you want to use intel i5 or i7 for much higher price for less performance? Not to mention these chips come with 95W/125W flavor.

It looks like AMD is back on track, like the old days of AMD64 X2 vs. Intel P4 days. You may also want to look up Bulldozer for the future line up.
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post #139 of 394
Great idea. Stick to Intel

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post #140 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by bitemymac View Post

AMD Thuban (Phenom II X6) is scheduled for late April launch(in about 10 days). Some of these chips are already in hands of many enthusiast in Asia. The performance expectations and early leaked benchmarks of Thuban is clock per clock comparable or even better than i7 9xx platform, exception of i7 980X with HT on. This can be attained by almost 1/2 to 1/3 of the price point of intel chips, not to mention intel mobo costing 2x as well.

AMD Thuban incorporates turbo mode which allows increasing the multiplier by 2 to 2.5 (400 to 500 MHz) boost when only 3 cores or less are running just like intel's offering but it does with all three cores at same speed boost. This is the current line up of AMD's offer. Why would you want to use intel i5 or i7 for much higher price for less performance? Not to mention these chips come with 95W/125W flavor.

It looks like AMD is back on track, like the old days of AMD64 X2 vs. Intel P4 days. You may also want to look up Bulldozer for the future line up.

http://forums.extremeoverclocking.co...34&postcount=2

Not bad. If Thuban is close to I7 then things would indeed be looking very good because AMD can make up performance delta in some areas via superior GPU.
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post #141 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

I believe if Apple is looking at AMD they're looking at the lowend range (Macbook, Mac mini) and the high end (Mac Pro)

Intel is probably going to own the iMac configs. Who knows though but my guess is that AMD is discussing 2011 products because it appears that this is their "make it or break it" year with Bulldozer.

I definitely see AMD CPUs being a viable option in the low-end due to the stronger IGPs, but I don't see the justification for AMD CPUs going into the Mac Pro. One of the major new features of Bulldozer and Sandy Bridge are AVX instructions and 256-bit execution units. Whereas each core in Sandy Bridge has 4 256-bit AVS execution units on 3 ports (MUL, ADD, SHUFFLE, and BOOL) each core in Bulldozer only has 1 admittedly more powerful 128-bit FMAC, but to execute
256-bit AVX instructions it seems both cores in a module need to combine into a into a single 256-bit FMAC unit. There are no doubt more intricacies involved, but it definitely seems Sandy Bridge will have better 256-bit AVX instruction throughput.

What's more, Sandy Bridge seems heavily skewed toward high-end CPUs, particularly Xeons that Apple uses in the Mac Pro. Whereas notebook and mainstream desktop Sandy Bridge seem to be targeting 1.5MB to 2MB of L3 cache per core, Xeon Sandy Bridge seem to be targetting up to 2.5MB of L3 cache per core. Xeon Sandy Bridge also look to have quad channel memory controllers and PCIe Gen 3. Bulldozer's 16 core version seems impressive, but presumably it's actually 8 modules so I wouldn't count an 8-core Sandy Bridge out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bitemymac View Post

AMD Thuban (Phenom II X6) is scheduled for late April launch(in about 10 days). Some of these chips are already in hands of many enthusiast in Asia. The performance expectations and early leaked benchmarks of Thuban is clock per clock comparable or even better than i7 9xx platform, exception of i7 980X with HT on. This can be attained by almost 1/2 to 1/3 of the price point of intel chips, not to mention intel mobo costing 2x as well.

AMD Thuban incorporates turbo mode which allows increasing the multiplier by 2 to 2.5 (400 to 500 MHz) boost when only 3 cores or less are running just like intel's offering but it does with all three cores at same speed boost. This is the current line up of AMD's offer. Why would you want to use intel i5 or i7 for much higher price for less performance? Not to mention these chips come with 95W/125W flavor.

It looks like AMD is back on track, like the old days of AMD64 X2 vs. Intel P4 days. You may also want to look up Bulldozer for the future line up.

The issue is that Thuban's closest competitors are not the Bloomfield Core i7 which Intel has let stagnate, but Lynnfield Core i7 which have a much more reasonable 95W TDP and much higher Turbo Boost modes than Bloomfield. Intel is also preparing to launch a faster 3.06GHz Core i7 880 Lynnfield and will probably do a price cascade if Thuban is that threatening. If Thuban causes Intel to wake up and speed up the replacement of Bloomfield Core i7 with cut-down Gulftowns I'm all for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

http://forums.extremeoverclocking.co...34&postcount=2

Not bad. If Thuban is close to I7 then things would indeed be looking very good because AMD can make up performance delta in some areas via superior GPU.

From those benchmarks it looks like Thuban is still slightly clock for clock slower than Nehalem despite a 1.5x core count advantage. But regardless, it does show AMD really closed the performance lead even if it's not done in the most economically feasible way given the larger die size and cost of production for Thuban. It does give great expectations for Bulldozer. I think the top performing X6 1090T has a 140W TDP though so it's not appropriate even for a Mac Pro.
post #142 of 394
We still have several AMD servers - all are great machines and all of them still run 24/7. Starting with Athlon MP through several Opteron lines ending with the newest dual socket 4 core Opterons, all running Linux. I can imagine Special edition 24 core Opteron Mac PRO - one ugly MF.
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post #143 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post

The other wild-card may be that Sandy Bridge sees a return of the CPU microarchitectural stewardship to the Haifa team in Isreal who was responsible for the Pentium M and it's descendants the Core and Core 2 product lines and for regaining the performance and power lead for Intel. Nehalem and Westmere was designed by the Hillsboro team who was responsible for Netburst and Pentium 4 and we can see their influence on getting Nehalem to regain the server performance lead for Intel with lots of memory bandwidth, large slow L3 cache, and Hyperthreading. I'm expecting the Haifa team to implement major in tweaking the microarchitecture to maximize performance/watt using things like decreasing cache latency, hopefully substantially in the case of the L3 cache, increasing interconnect bandwidth, expansion of micro and macro-op fusion, expansion of the loop stream detector, increasing the number of instructions kept in flight and associated buffers to maximize Hyperthreading in anticipation of Bulldozer's SMT, optimizing clock gating, power plane distribution, and the PCU for higher Turbo Boost modes, and hopefully other new tricks.

I'm wondering about Sandy Bridge improvements almost as much as I am with Bulldozer. Someone on the XtremeSystems forums has been claiming for a while that the Sandy Bridge core for the 6/8 core variants will be tweaked compared to the Sandy Bridge core for the 2/4 core variants, presumably to counter Bulldozer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post

Most of the rumours seem to indicate quad core mobile Sandy Bridge to maintain the 45W TDP due to the integration of the IGP, but you would think some 35W TDP quad cores would be possible considering the CPU moves from 45nm to 32nm over Clarksfield and the IGP also moves from 45nm to 32nm over Arrandale combined with the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture being tuned for power efficiency should open up some thermal room.

I was a little surprised that quad-core didn't move down either in market segment (so it seems) or in TDP. The IGP has something to do with it so if it was turned off (when a discrete GPU is on), the 45 W quad-core would probably act like ~35 W.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post

I definitely see AMD CPUs being a viable option in the low-end due to the stronger IGPs, but I don't see the justification for AMD CPUs going into the Mac Pro.

I can see AMD in the Mac Pro as long as the dual-die variants are used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post

From those benchmarks it looks like Thuban is still slightly clock for clock slower than Nehalem despite a 1.5x core count advantage. But regardless, it does show AMD really closed the performance lead even if it's not done in the most economically feasible way given the larger die size and cost of production for Thuban. It does give great expectations for Bulldozer. I think the top performing X6 1090T has a 140W TDP though so it's not appropriate even for a Mac Pro.

That (and roadmaps from Intel and AMD) tells me that AMD is going for more cores for more performance while Intel is going for higher per-core performance (clocks, microarchitectural).
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post #144 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by gabberattack View Post

We still have several AMD servers - all are great machines and all of them still run 24/7. Starting with Athlon MP through several Opteron lines ending with the newest dual socket 4 core Opterons, all running Linux. I can imagine Special edition 24 core Opteron Mac PRO - one ugly MF.

So ugly it'll look identical to the Xeons as Apple will swap out the bus architecture for Hypertransport [the same transport they helped pioneer] and the CPUs in the exact same location.

Stunning!! It's sooo damn fugly!
post #145 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post

From those benchmarks it looks like Thuban is still slightly clock for clock slower than Nehalem despite a 1.5x core count advantage. But regardless, it does show AMD really closed the performance lead even if it's not done in the most economically feasible way given the larger die size and cost of production for Thuban. It does give great expectations for Bulldozer. I think the top performing X6 1090T has a 140W TDP though so it's not appropriate even for a Mac Pro.

AMD absolutely has a competitive product for workstations and servers, but what I don't see is any competitive product for notebooks (and AIOs, likely Apple's second biggest Mac category).

YoY stats consistently show notebook purchases growing. Does AMD having anything that compete with Intel on the mobile front? From what I've read on AnandTech for a long time (and I'm sure you have too since I've seen you in the forums) AMD is still woefully behind in this area.
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post #146 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by iMacmatician View Post

I was a little surprised that quad-core didn't move down either in market segment (so it seems…) or in TDP. The IGP has something to do with it so if it was turned off (when a discrete GPU is on), the 45 W quad-core would probably act like ~35 W.

Well there is be hope since there are reports that quad core desktop Sandy Bridge are targeting a TDP from 65-95W TDP, so on desktop TDP is dropping despite adding an IGP. Hopefully the same will be true for mobile quad core Sandy Bridge to have some lower 35W TDP models.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gabberattack View Post

We still have several AMD servers - all are great machines and all of them still run 24/7. Starting with Athlon MP through several Opteron lines ending with the newest dual socket 4 core Opterons, all running Linux. I can imagine Special edition 24 core Opteron Mac PRO - one ugly MF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iMacmatician View Post

I can see AMD in the Mac Pro as long as the dual-die variants are used.

That (and roadmaps from Intel and AMD) tells me that AMD is going for more cores for more performance while Intel is going for higher per-core performance (clocks, microarchitectural).

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

AMD absolutely has a competitive product for workstations and servers, but what I don't see is any competitive product for notebooks (and AIOs, likely Apple's second biggest Mac category).

The problem with extreme focus on core count is that even professional software is not well optimized for more than 8 cores, much less the 2x12 cores that are possible with Magny-Cours.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpu...x5650-review/1

Magny-Cours is really targetted at servers, whereas it fails to beat 6-core Gulftown in workstation usage as in the Mac Pro. The Mac Pro only uses 95W TDP CPUs when configured dual processor, which limits Magny-Cours to the 2.2GHz 80W ACP/115W TDP Opteron 6174 while a slightly cheaper Gulftown alternative is a 2.66GHz 95W TDP Xeon X5650. The Xeon X5650 is overall faster, sometimes much faster. What's worse is that the Opteron 6174 is the fastest 12 core Magny-Cours whereas the X5650 is one of the slower 6-core Gulftown with a 2.93GHz X5670 available at the same 95W TDP. Apple will see no benefit in adopting AMD CPUs so soon with Magny-Cours.

AMD's core count focus will no doubt be better realized in Bulldozer which should adopt Turbo Core like the upcoming desktop Thuban to increase clock speed in low threaded applications, which are going to be most of them for a while. The interesting thing will be seeing how well multithreading solution in Grand Central scales to extreme core counts, although we should already be able to get an idea if there are any well implemented Grand Central applications that someone can test on DP 16 thread Nehalem Mac Pros and presumably future DP 24 thread Gulftown Mac Pros.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

YoY stats consistently show notebook purchases growing. Does AMD having anything that compete with Intel on the mobile front? From what I've read on AnandTech for a long time (and I'm sure you have too since I've seen you in the forums) AMD is still woefully behind in this area.

I believe most of AMD's performance in the mobile arena is due to pricing rather than performance. I believe AMD's current Caspian mobile CPUs are based on K10 which would make them competitive with the original Meroms and maybe approaching Penryn, but certainly not approaching Nehalem or Westmere.
post #147 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

AMD absolutely has a competitive product for workstations and servers, but what I don't see is any competitive product for notebooks (and AIOs, likely Apple's second biggest Mac category).

YoY stats consistently show notebook purchases growing. Does AMD having anything that compete with Intel on the mobile front? From what I've read on AnandTech for a long time (and I'm sure you have too since I've seen you in the forums) AMD is still woefully behind in this area.

Guess it depends on how well the Llano APU performs in the Sabine platform. The darkhorse here is OpenCL. AMD is on top of things with this regard. AMD can make up some ground but we need some realworld benefits to OpenCL before we can grok how the GPU can boost general computing software.
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post #148 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Guess it depends on how well the Llano APU performs in the Sabine platform. The darkhorse here is OpenCL. AMD is on top of things with this regard. AMD can make up some ground but we need some realworld benefits to OpenCL before we can grok how the GPU can boost general computing software.

I'm actually curious how good ATI's OpenCL performance is currently compared to nVidia? I believe at least initially, ATI's HD4000 series was woefully behind nVidia's G80 performance, there were even reports that the HD4870 was slower in OpenCL than the 9400M. It's clear that the HD4000 series wasn't fully designed for OpenCL in mind and is penalized by incomplete support for local shared memory in hardware having to drop back to VRAM, but has performance improved by better drivers? Similarly, the HD5000 series has these limitations solved so is performance significantly improved to be competitive to the nVidia GT200 and Fermi?

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2977/n...th-the-wait-/6

Early benchmarks show the HD5870 is still at a distinct disadvantage against the GTX285. I was annoyed that Apple chose to include the GT330M in the new MacBook Pros compared to the HD5650 which would be faster in games and cooler, but the GT330M would presumably be a superior OpenCL choice. As such, it concerns me whether even going with AMD CPUs and Llano will yield an OpenCL advantage over the 320M considering Llano is still based on the same HD5000 architecture. If AMD IGPs don't give an OpenCL advantage over the current nVidia 320M IGP, then maybe Apple should consider just dropping the IGP/chipset licensing moral stance, and redesign the 13" MacBook Pro so it can accommodate a low-end discrete GPU in addition to Intel CPUs which would yield better performance than any IGP, AMD or nVidia, anyways.

Arrandale's IGP does support GPGPU operation with Intel reported to be working on a DirectX Compute Shader driver for later this year. If Apple and Intel could write an OpenCL driver for Arrandale's IGP, it'd be very interesting to see how well it does. At 12 shaders I'm not expecting a miracle, but I wonder if they'll having compute efficiency more similar to what nVidia can do with a small number of stream processors compared to ATI's many SP VLIW strategy which seems to scale better for graphics than compute.
post #149 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post

The Mac Pro only uses 95W TDP CPUs when configured dual processor, which limits Magny-Cours to the 2.2GHz 80W ACP/115W TDP Opteron 6174 while a slightly cheaper Gulftown alternative is a 2.66GHz 95W TDP Xeon X5650. The Xeon X5650 is overall faster, sometimes much faster. What's worse is that the Opteron 6174 is the fastest 12 core Magny-Cours whereas the X5650 is one of the slower 6-core Gulftown with a 2.93GHz X5670 available at the same 95W TDP. Apple will see no benefit in adopting AMD CPUs so soon with Magny-Cours.

I see a lot price comparisons to AMD and Intel with AMD always being much lower, but rarely do I see it mentioned how much this cost savings is after 2 or 3 years of power usage for AMD over Intel on servers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Guess it depends on how well the Llano APU performs in the Sabine platform. The darkhorse here is OpenCL. AMD is on top of things with this regard. AMD can make up some ground but we need some realworld benefits to OpenCL before we can grok how the GPU can boost general computing software.

Nvidia might not be on par with AMD/ATI with OpenCL but it looks like Nvidia has plenty of time to get it figured out.

It's funny that Khronos Group ratified OpenCL with in a record 5 months, yet 15 months later it seems dead in the water yet with so much potential. Hopefully that will change this year with a hopeful revision of many apps to Cocoa/64-bit, including iTunes X around September.
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post #150 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post


From those benchmarks it looks like Thuban is still slightly clock for clock slower than Nehalem despite a 1.5x core count advantage. But regardless, it does show AMD really closed the performance lead even if it's not done in the most economically feasible way given the larger die size and cost of production for Thuban. It does give great expectations for Bulldozer. I think the top performing X6 1090T has a 140W TDP though so it's not appropriate even for a Mac Pro.

The real benchmark actually scales much better due to more aggressive L2/L3 cache timing vs. prior phenom II X4 and does perform better than the estimated bench scores on the prior link.

Here's a link of one of the enthusiasts playing around the with Thuban 1055T @ 2.8GHz with turbo boost to 3.3GHz on three cores(current base x6 model). He has done some overclocking to 3.2GHz to match i7 980 on cinebench 10 & 11.5 which does beat out i7 at the same clock speed. There are few more posters with their own experience on different threads with other benchmark comparison to i7 scores.

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...d.php?t=249606

The official bench cores will probably flood out as soon as NDA expires on the 26th of April.

cinbench 10 scores of Thuban running at 2.8GHz


estimated bench:


and cinbench 11.5 scores
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post #151 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

BS. No matter what, AMD is considered to be a second tier supplier.

Only in your limited view of the world! Besides why do you think there are so many super computers built with AMD chips?
[quote]
Sure, if you want a $400 piece of junk, get an AMD machine.[/QUOTE

]You can buy $400 junk computers with Intel processors in them so what is your point?

In any event there is a common theme in this thread that AMD offers up only low end solutions. That isn't the case at all. They have weak spots right now but so does Intel. The important thing with AMD is that in many ways they have been given a second chance at the low end with Intels Arrandale which as we all know has just about the worst shipping GPU going.

In any event the idea that Apple can't implement a viable AMD system is silly. AMD has a number of products that Apple could successfully implement. Especially in the Mini where Apple needs a product that Intel no longer offers.

As an aside I have to wonder if anybody here has even a remote clue as from where the current architecture came from? It wasn't Intel boys.


Dave
post #152 of 394
As more and more of the CPU's heavy lifting is shared with the GPU, a lessor capable CPU wouldn't necessarily be felt if the lessor capable CPU was equipped with a better GPU then a competing more capable CPU equipped with a lessor capable CPU. So in theory overall performance could be the same or better with two main CPU's that aren't equal in processing power depending on the quipped CPUs.

Further, Apple has been designing processors for a long time through it POWER PC partnership with IBM and Motorola. It's expertise is seen in it's new iPads that are quite snappy for relatively low powered devices. If Apple were to use AMD, it would make sure performance wasn't an issue especially if Apple were giving AMD advice.

I might not trust AMD, but I would trust Apple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

I understand that Apple wants to get great deals on chips, but no way they should be satisfied with possibly getting 80% performance at 60% cost. They need to get 100% performance at all times when possible. If AMD can deliver, more power to them. I personally wouldn't buy an AMD-based Mac. I've had minor stability issues with them on the Windows side.
post #153 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

As an aside I have to wonder if anybody here has even a remote clue as from where the current architecture came from? It wasn't Intel boys.

This isn't another all roads lead to DEC Alpha question is it?

Intel's Haifa team, who's working on Sandy Bridge, does have a history with many of the features we're seeing adopted. In the late '90s, they were working on the Timna which among other things included an on die IGP and memory controller. Timna was cancelled, but the experience in SoC design and micro-architecture efficiencies would eventually become the Pentium M and form the basis of the current CPU microarchitecture. Fittingly, the Haifa team will finally get to produce what I believe is the first x86 CPU with native on die IGP in Sandy Bridge. The Intel Pineview Atom does have a on die IGP, but appears to be structured as a traditional northbridge connected via FSB just on the same die rather than something completely integrated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

I might not trust AMD, but I would trust Apple.

Well, after making fun of PCs for using Intel IGPs, Apple switched from the dedicated Radeon 9200 in the PowerPC Mac Mini to the Intel GMA 950. The GMA 950 was decidedly slower than the Radeon 9200 in anything graphically intensive, but did have the advantage of having more flexible/programmable shaders even if they were slower, but sufficient to support light Core Image acceleration which was what Apple promoted. Trusting Apple doesn't necessarily mean you'll get better value or more performance, just that there will be a feature that will be well marketed that may or may not otherwise justify other sacrifices that might be made.
post #154 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

For Geeks.

Consumers don't care and they see AMD branded hardware in every Best Buy across the US. Opteron has enjoyed a good reputation amongst IT professional.

And I find the concern over the AMD brand even more puzzling as Apple doesn't promote Intel. Yes, they mention them in the text, but I find it easy the only logo's you see in the iMac pages are for ATI an NVIDIA, no Intel logo. Apple also doesn't advertise Intel on the outside of the box like other PC manufacturers.

I don't think the average Apple user would notice or care if it was AMD inside instead of Intel inside.
post #155 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

BS. No matter what, AMD is considered to be a second tier supplier.

Sure, if you want a $400 piece of junk, get an AMD machine.

I've got two AMD PC's and they work just as fine as Intel machines.

A cheap AMD will be just as crappy as a cheap Intel, and a good AMD machine will be just as good as a good Intel machine.

I think AMD gets branding issues because they tend to be in the purely bargain basement machines so they get stigmatized by the sucky components their CPUs get surrounded with.

Want to understand why Apple isn't in the under $700 market? Look at the comments quoted above. There are definite advantages to not playing in the ultra-low margin, high volume "value" segment.
post #156 of 394
This smells of BS.

Apple ditched ATI and has in the past leaked 'high level talks' to goad its partners into accommodating its needs. I'd expect bing maps before AMD chips...
post #157 of 394
Nooooo! Apple should stick with Intel (or maybe just start making their own processors like the A4) and intel should let apple use the nvidia chips with their processors. AMD and ATI suck. And intels graphics chips suck so bad. lol
post #158 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

And I find the concern over the AMD brand even more puzzling as Apple doesn't promote Intel. Yes, they mention them in the text, but I find it easy the only logo's you see in the iMac pages are for ATI an NVIDIA, no Intel logo. Apple also doesn't advertise Intel on the outside of the box like other PC manufacturers.

I don't think the average Apple user would notice or care if it was AMD inside instead of Intel inside.

I can't help but wonder if the allowable exclusion of the stickers, which I assume is part of the licensing, is in no small part because Apple agreed to only use Intel chips in their Macs.
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post #159 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

The fact is that software is where the biggest bottleneck is in performance right now.

And I would wager Apple is farther along than any other company in this regard right now. You don't think if they weren't contemplating AMD that they haven't been updating the LLVM compiler with the necessary optimizations?

Me, I think it's a no brainer. They ran OSX on Intel in the labs for years. Who's to say they haven't had AMD specific optimizations running the whole time as well? All I know is I wouldn't bet against Apple being prepared...
post #160 of 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazimzadeh View Post

With OpenCL in Snow Leopard Apple could switch to AMD and not lose any processing performance, right? Wouldn't apps be able to take advantage of better, ATI, graphics to make up for slightly weaker processor speed?

Who's to say the processor will be weaker or slower? Apple is at the fore front of LLVM compiler technology which makes abstractions and optimization for low-level hardware much simpler. This is over and above what OpenCL brings to the table, BTW...
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