Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Trend for bashing AMD

A few years ago it was fashionable to bash Intel's Pentium 4 as a braindead architecture. It is now trendy to bash AMD. One" PC doctor" at ZDNet goes as far to say that:

"When I look at AMD’s current product line, all I see is a forest of deadness. Intel has products trump every category of products going. Server, desktop, mobile, low-end, high-end, dual-core, quad-core. Intel has all these markets stitched up."

Like any design, the K10 is a trade-off. And most trade-offs were made in favor of the applications in the server and HPC market, at the expense of games and other desktop applications.



A 2 GHz Barcelona is capable of keeping up with the best 65 nm Xeons in those applications.

It is pretty clear why AMD focused on the server market. Without a complete redesign it is not possible to beat Intel's integer crunching power and the fast and big L2-cache and that is exactly what a modern game needs. Barcelona built further on the K8 architecture and inherited the relatively inflexible integer pipeline. While Core 2 has sophisticated reordering of loads and stores, Barcelona does a limited reordering of loads. While Core 2 offers a 32 entry queue to the integer units, Barcelona has 3 rather inflexible separated 8 entry queues.

So the right way forward for AMD was to focus on HPC and server applications where it could leverage it's strong points. We can bash AMD for being so late, and coming up with relatively low clocked CPUs, but even a 2.8 GHz Phenom would not have raise AMD's ASP significantly in the desktop market.

Projecting the bad performance of the desktop chip to say that "AMD's products are a dead forest" is ... just silly. AMD is very competitive in the HPC / Server market.

Quoted from : Anandtech weblog by Johan de Gelas

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