Itanium 2: Intel and the megahertz myth

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Well, Intel announced the Itanium 2 today.



<a href="http://intel.com/pressroom/archive/releases/20020708comp.htm"; target="_blank">http://intel.com/pressroom/archive/releases/20020708comp.htm</a>;



They're offering two clock speeds, 900MHz or 1GHz, and models with either 1.5MB or 3MB of integrated L3 cache.



Itanium is obviously architecturally very different than the Pentium 4. While the Pentium 4 was designed to be a standalone processor and run at high clock speeds, Itanium is a low clock speed; high bandwidth processor designed for multiple CPU environments. It is very similar to AMD?s Opteron and IBM?s POWER4 in this respect.



So, what will Intel do once they decided to start pushing IA-64 for the desktop? After spending millions of dollars to convince the world that megahertz is the only thing that matters, will Intel be forced to begin educating its customers about the megahertz myth?



Or will they just continue lying and replace megahertz with meaningless performance ratings as AMD did?



Either way, Apple will undoubtedly benefit from the whole mess. I personally think the PC industry is setting itself up to take a huge fall, but I also want to know what you guys think?



What are your insights?
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    blackcatblackcat Posts: 697member
    If they get the IA64 as a desktop chip and Apple are 'only' using 32bit chips, we'll still be behind.



    If we get the 64bit G5 (or more likely a enhanced G4) at 1.5Ghz while the IA64 is at 800-1Ghz... WE'RE AWAY!
  • Reply 2 of 40
    mikemike Posts: 138member
    [quote]Originally posted by Kecksy:

    <strong>Well, Intel announced the Itanium 2 today.



    <a href="http://intel.com/pressroom/archive/releases/20020708comp.htm"; target="_blank">http://intel.com/pressroom/archive/releases/20020708comp.htm</a>;



    They're offering two clock speeds, 900MHz or 1GHz, and models with either 1.5MB or 3MB of integrated L3 cache.



    Itanium is obviously architecturally very different than the Pentium 4. While the Pentium 4 was designed to be a standalone processor and run at high clock speeds, Itanium is a low clock speed; high bandwidth processor designed for multiple CPU environments. It is very similar to AMD?s Opteron and IBM?s POWER4 in this respect.



    So, what will Intel do once they decided to start pushing IA-64 for the desktop? After spending millions of dollars to convince the world that megahertz is the only thing that matters, will Intel be forced to begin educating its customers about the megahertz myth?



    Or will they just continue lying and replace megahertz with meaningless performance ratings as AMD did?



    Either way, Apple will undoubtedly benefit from the whole mess. I personally think the PC industry is setting itself up to take a huge fall, but I also want to know what you guys think?



    What are your insights?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    The clients that this processor targets could care less about Mhz. This type of client understands processor performance and the simple reality that faster Mhz != faster processing performance.



    I just ordered a machine to replace a dual PIII 933 machine. The machine has PIV Xeon's running at 2.4Ghz with DDR. Believe it or not, this machine is a stepping stone to an 8 way PIII Xeon machine...probably PIII 900's.



    Apple has been VERY smart in trying to educate people about ease of use. Ease of use is much more important than faster processors 99% of the time.
  • Reply 3 of 40
    kecksykecksy Posts: 1,002member
    Oops. I forgot about the whole 64-bit versus 32-bit issue.



    Intel will definitely abuse this by telling people that a 64-bit processor is twice as fast as any 32-bit processor. That would solve the problem about the 32-bit Pentium V (or whatever) having more megahertz.



    Educated people will not be deceived, but unfortunately most PC users aren't nerds.



    We know 64-bit isn't twice as fast a 32-bit simply because 64 is equal to 2 X 32. What makes 64-bit processors powerful is their ability to manage large volumes of memory (we're talking terabytes) and work with very large integers/floats.



    I'll stop here and let someone more knowledgeable explain the 64-bit?s advantages in greater detail.



    One reason I?d want a 64-bit desktop processor is so I could have a small hard drive?s worth of RAM in my system and not have all my apps slow down because of paging.
  • Reply 4 of 40
    spookyspooky Posts: 504member
    If we don't get an a*se kicking G5 the whole point is Moot.
  • Reply 5 of 40
    kecksykecksy Posts: 1,002member
    [quote]Originally posted by Mike:

    <strong>



    The clients that this processor targets could care less about Mhz. This type of client understands processor performance and the simple reality that faster Mhz != faster processing performance.



    I just ordered a machine to replace a dual PIII 933 machine. The machine has PIV Xeon's running at 2.4Ghz with DDR. Believe it or not, this machine is a stepping stone to an 8 way PIII Xeon machine...probably PIII 900's.



    Apple has been VERY smart in trying to educate people about ease of use. Ease of use is much more important than faster processors 99% of the time.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    IA-64 may be target for Enterprise now, but do you think Intel will really let AMD brag for long about having the only 64-bit desktop processor or let x86-64 win acceptance over IA-64?
  • Reply 6 of 40
    [quote]Originally posted by Kecksy:

    <strong>So, what will Intel do once they decided to start pushing IA-64 for the desktop? After spending millions of dollars to convince the world that megahertz is the only thing that matters, will Intel be forced to begin educating its customers about the megahertz myth?



    Or will they just continue lying and replace megahertz with meaningless performance ratings as AMD did?

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    They somehow managed to avoid even discussing this when they changed to the Pentium IVs. I think they just managed to get away with it by running the IVs clock speeds up so quickly, that no one noticed they were slower clock-for-clock than Pentium IIIs.
  • Reply 7 of 40
    mikemike Posts: 138member
    Something else I should point out about the Xeon's and 64 bit processors. Generally, you don't see a HUGE performance increase. For example...



    Let's say I have a dual PIII 933 database server that can only safely handle an average of 100 queries per second. A dual PIV Xeon 2.4 could probably handle an average of 600 queries per second. However, these queries would not see a 6x increase in speed...the machine can just handle more and you would probably see only a 2.5 to 3x speed improvment per query.



    I honestly believe that we are close to maximum machines needed for desktop use. Most home users won't load the machine like you would a database server.



    Also, the move to 64 bit is a HUGE move. Unless the OS is doing some behind the scenes magic most applications will need to be re-written.
  • Reply 8 of 40
    [Reality Check]



    "Prices will range from about $1,300 for the 900MHz version to $4,200 for the 1GHz version with the 3MB cache, according to sources close to the company."



    [/Reality Check]
  • Reply 9 of 40
    cowofwarcowofwar Posts: 98member
    [quote]Originally posted by apple.otaku:

    <strong>[Reality Check]



    "Prices will range from about $1,300 for the 900MHz version to $4,200 for the 1GHz version with the 3MB cache, according to sources close to the company."



    [/Reality Check]</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Target customers will be glad to spend that much money and more. For large corporations, to whom they are targeted, that's pocket change.
  • Reply 10 of 40
    kecksykecksy Posts: 1,002member
    64-bit processors will be needed much sooner than you think.



    In a couple years most games and creative application will require more memory than a 32-bit processor can handle.



    64-bit processors will be necessary if you want more than 4GB of RAM in a desktop. That may seem like a lot today, but I'm telling you it's not far off.



    Many people already have 512MB or even a 1GB of RAM installed on their machines. For people who use Maya, 512MB of RAM is a minimum, and more demanding apps are on the way. By 2005, 4GB of RAM will not sound outrageous on a desktop.



    64-bit processors will allow us to keep adding memory to our systems well into the terabytes. This is real reason why Intel and AMD are all moving to 64-bits. We're going to need more memory someday.



    [ 07-09-2002: Message edited by: Kecksy ]</p>
  • Reply 11 of 40
    timortistimortis Posts: 149member
    Can someone please show me a document, or a TV ad, or a magazine ad or something, anything, where Intel said "megahertz=performance"?

    I mean, sure, their engineers made a design decision and went with a hyper-pipelined architecture, and so far it seems to have worked for them. Pentium 4s are currently the fastest desktop processors.



    It seems to me that, just because Intel's processors have high clockspeeds, people are upset at them for trying to fool the innocent public into thinking that megahertz means everything. Sure, I haven't seen Intel's marketing people trying to educate people, going "look, our new processors have lower IPC then the previous ones so a 2 Ghz P4 isn't necessarily twice as fast a 1 Ghz Pentium III", but who would do that? I know Apple wouldn't, that I know...



    Maybe some marketing droid or two might have said something stupid in an interview somewhere, I don't know, but I certainly haven't seen Intel abuse this anything like Apple would have if it were in the same situation.
  • Reply 12 of 40
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    McKinley should perform much better than Merced...basically Intel swallowed up the PA-RISC and Alpha folks and sent them to work on Itanium. This is the result. It should provide anywhere near as much performance as a POWER4 or upcoming UltraSPARC IV, but it'll be a whole lot cheaper.
  • Reply 13 of 40
    bigcbigc Posts: 1,224member
    Is that should provide.... or shouldn't provide....?
  • Reply 14 of 40
    junkyard dawgjunkyard dawg Posts: 2,801member
    MHz sell themselves in a country where everyone is obsessed with size. Bigger is always better in the great USA.
  • Reply 15 of 40
    bigcbigc Posts: 1,224member
    Everyone? Really?
  • Reply 16 of 40
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,773member
    I'm sure 640MB of RAM is more than anyone will ever need...



    <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />
  • Reply 17 of 40
    [quote]Originally posted by cowofwar:

    <strong>



    Target customers will be glad to spend that much money and more. For large corporations, to whom they are targeted, that's pocket change.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Yeah but I was responding to those who say that because of the Itanium2 we must have the 64-bit G5 PowerMacs at MWNY or else. These people are comparing a $3500 PowerMac computer with a chip that costs $1000 more alone. Totally different markets.
  • Reply 18 of 40
    cowofwarcowofwar Posts: 98member
    [quote]Originally posted by apple.otaku:

    <strong>



    Yeah but I was responding to those who say that because of the Itanium2 we must have the 64-bit G5 PowerMacs at MWNY or else. These people are comparing a $3500 PowerMac computer with a chip that costs $1000 more alone. Totally different markets.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Well both target markets have way too much money to spend. 64bit compatability is not something Apple shoudl be focusing on. Apple doesn't even have a hook in the market that needs it.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    telomartelomar Posts: 1,804member
    It's worth mentioning a lot of the PIVs power isn't from the CPU so much as the fact is has a lot of bandwidth available to it to keep the CPU fed. Athlons and PowerMacs are both starved so far as bandwidth is concerned and it is really the area of improvement that would make the greatest difference to the chips (PowerPC chips could do with with some other changes too but...).



    A lot of the performance increase in the hammer series in fact comes from exactly that improvement (apparently).



    [quote]Originally posted by cowofwar:

    <strong>64bit compatability is not something Apple shoudl be focusing on. Apple doesn't even have a hook in the market that needs it.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Every PC manufacturer should be interested in 64-bit architectures, especially Apple considering they do have some say in their chips. Graphic artists use huge amounts of RAM compared to a great many areas.



    The major two areas that would exceed them in memory usage are the scientific community, which is a perfect target market for Apple right now, and large database servers.



    Apple should have a very careful timeline about now for when it is going to introduce it's 64-bit support.
  • Reply 20 of 40
    yurin8oryurin8or Posts: 120member
    [quote]Originally posted by apple.otaku:

    <strong>



    Yeah but I was responding to those who say that because of the Itanium2 we must have the 64-bit G5 PowerMacs at MWNY or else. These people are comparing a $3500 PowerMac computer with a chip that costs $1000 more alone. Totally different markets.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    well for 3.5k i'd pc able to get an it2 pc....wouldnt i?
Sign In or Register to comment.