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11/14/2006 01:52 PM ID: 58325 Permalink   

Quad Core Now a Reality


Intel Corp has released its new quad core processors which are touted to improve processing speed considerably over single or dual core processors.

Four server processors, dubbed the Xeon 5300 series and one Core 2 Extreme are available for hard core gaming, programming, and processor intensive applications.

The 5300 chips are as much as 4 times faster than single core processors and the Core 2 boasts an 80% increase over single core processors. Rival AMD is aiming for a mid 2007 release of its quad core competitor.

    WebReporter: Valkyrie123 Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
How pointless.

All 4 current programs are so used
  by: GogeVandire   11/14/2006 02:42 PM     
  Wake me up when it gets to 256 cores  
  by: sparky_fox   11/14/2006 03:35 PM     
  The problem..  
Is that it's just 2 dual cores in a single chip, each core has it's own cache, but the cache's aren't connected.
  by: StarShadow     11/14/2006 03:42 PM     
  no doubt  
they will annouce 8 core cpu's by may 2007 and then onto 16 by christmas, i am so glad i got out of the silly cycle of constant upgrading. Intel should put a "nolonger top spec" on its products to save people wasting money.
  by: JOCKSTEELUK   11/14/2006 04:19 PM     
  @ StarShadow  
Intel's initial dual core chips (800/900 series) didn't have a shared cache. This was solved in the Conroe chips, but not in this quad core model.

Intel will meld the cache together in a later version of the Core architecture.

Things will get much more interesting when Intel release it's CSI link and the corresponding processors. Google for it and look at the layout of the cache in those CPUs. Each CPU has independant L1 and L2 cache, but all CPUs share a massive L3 cache.
  by: BFGiles   11/14/2006 04:22 PM     
  @ Jocksteel  
If people are willing to spend £700 or $1000 on a CPU, why on earth would Intel or AMD stop selling those chips.

Consumers created that market for over the odds CPUs, now Intel and AMD supply the demand.
  by: BFGiles   11/14/2006 04:24 PM     
  Interestingly Enough  
The AMD architechture is superior and scales better, even though performance is slightly down against the Intel chips in the dual core range. The expectation is taht the AMD quad core processors will out perform the Intel offerings.
  by: lauriesman     11/14/2006 04:25 PM     
The AMD K8 architecture is far inferior to the Intel Core architecture. Core is more efficient, executing more instructions per clock than AMDs, while also clocking to higher speeds and using less power.

The expectation is that AMDs K8L offering won't bring them back in line with Intel, and there only advantage will be the HyperTransport link.

It's Intels turn to have the performance crown, and best architecture. AMD have had there fun, for now...
  by: BFGiles   11/14/2006 04:32 PM     
What I'm somewhat more interested in at the moment is IBM's new Core processor (just because it's new).
  by: StarShadow     11/14/2006 04:43 PM     
  @ lauriesman  
I am a huge fan of AMD, however they are dominated by Intel in the overall aspects of their chips. In theory AMD's are better but in reality Intel is better in the long run.
  by: ImportFanaticR34   11/14/2006 06:36 PM     
Now I admit that the core 2's are fast , faster then amd's offerings (still haven't seen an fx64 benched against the core 2's) but no one seem to talk about the major bandwidth issue it has.

Unless intel takes care of that, the crown they're currently wearing will fall off in a few months when they introduce dd3.
  by: splicer   11/14/2006 07:22 PM     
Someone found out exactly how many instructions per clock this sucker can do, I keep looking but all it say's is it's faster.

I know it can do more as the p4 has 31 stages vrs. the duo's 14 stages, but I still couldn't find the exact number.
  by: splicer   11/14/2006 07:35 PM     
  @ Lauriesman , @ImportFanaticR34, @Splicer,  
AMD right now is getting dominated by the Core 2 Duo. A64's are only good for "midrange" systems now.

As for DDR3, all that is, is memory bandwidth, if the processor isn't fast enough to fill it (which the Athlon 64 isn't) it won't make a difference, it will only widen the gap between C2D and A64 UNTIL K8L is released.

And Splicer, there are NUMEROUS benchmarks for AMD, Basically the FX-62 running at 2.8Ghz gets beaten by a core 2 duo at 2.4 ghz.


As for P4 vs Core 2 Duo, the Core 2 Duo can do approx. ~2.4 IPC (instructions per clock) vs P4's 1 IPC. Some people might even say the P4 has less than 1 IPC.

And splicer (this goes for everyone) please don't talk about hardware if you don't know much about it (saying DDR3 will level things out...), it just really bugs me.

Splicer if you want more benchmarks just search for "core 2 Duo vs Athlong 64" on google. There are tons.

  by: Chainzsaw   11/14/2006 07:57 PM     
  Intel or AMD? hmmm ...  
If not for Intel then AMD wouldnt exist, if not for AMD Intel wouldnt have a competitor.

Ive had a PII that outperformed a 1400 T-Bird, a 1400 T-Bird that outperformed a high up XP chip (I got a crap memory). Its all swings and roundabouts. Im sticking to Intel because Ive always preferred the pure brute force of the chip.

With the new Core 2 Duo I will for the first time in my life be being a chip based on HEAT. I have a 5" x 4" room that all my computer crap is kept, including the PC and I practically live here. So Ive replaced crt with lcd and will be replacing p4 with c2d.

AMD will no doubt use uts latest gfx card aquisition to its advantage and ames makers will no doubt cater so AMD might get a games advantage again in the future but games are only a part of living here and I still want brute force for other apps.

Ive built several AMD PCs and one was for myself, all others have been Intel, I'll go back to AMD again when they have a real edge in most/all areas which Im sure they are capable of but arent currently.

Cool chip, very fast games, very fast number crunching ... whoever gets the perfect combo wins. I'll take a 15% drop in games performance to take a 50% gain in 3 or 4 other areas.
  by: AccessG     11/14/2006 08:14 PM     
Remember when DDR II was introduced? DDR II 400, 533 and 667 could all be easily outperformed by DDR 500.

DDR II 800 was the first speed bin to outright beat DDR 500. I wouldn't count on DDR III giving any improvements in memory until it's been around for about a year.

As for being a fan of a company, is you ask me, it's pointless. Anyone with sence will buy the processor with the most performance at the £100 to £200 price point. When I bought my current CPU, that happened to be the X2 3800, now it's Intels Core 2 Duo offering.
  by: BFGiles   11/14/2006 09:00 PM     
  DDR II  
DDR II is cheaper to manufacture than DDR. That was a major driving force behind its adoption.
  by: bane39   11/14/2006 09:04 PM     
  Let me clarify  
The AMD quad core architechture is superior to intel's design. The actual design of the processor, how the cores inter-link etc, is a superior - and more scalable - design. At the moment, yes Intel leads in Dual core, not because the architechtural design though. As clock speed ramps up, the AMD design gains on the Intel design. When AMD releases it's quad core processors, they not only will have hopefully superior performance, but the design will scale to more cores smoothly, while Intel will have to 'reinvent the wheel' for the next iteration.
  by: lauriesman     11/14/2006 10:41 PM     
  Preadator and prey  
One evolves slightly forcing the other to adapt or die... it goes back and forth forever.

If we didnt have both companies at each others throats driving to be better, then we would have significantly crappier processors out there today.

I likem both for this reason. However I usually purchase AMDs that were made to respond to Intel's releases, but then again Im a gamer.
  by: Pyronius     11/14/2006 10:50 PM     
  Let me clarify...  
Did you miss something? Intel's Core architecture executes more instructions per clock than AMDs, and can clock faster, AND is the most advanced architecture to date on the desktop and server.

AMD have the INFERIOR architecture and SUPERIOR bus.
Intel have the SUPERIOR architecture and the INFERIOR bus.

You could clock an AMD Athlon X2 at 4.0GHz, and an Intel Core 2 Duo at 4.0GHz, guess which one would win? The Core 2 Duo by a LONG shot.

Where did you get these ideas Lauriesman?

I understand that Intel’s current Quad Core chip, is just two Dual Core CPUs slapped onto the same die, communicating via an ageing FSB, but that’s all bus related.
  by: BFGiles   11/14/2006 11:00 PM     
  It's all in the details  
Firstly, we're talking about quad and dual core processors, not what north/south bridge chipset they've been paired with OR the external memory bus.

Let's start with a basic comparison of the CPU's themselves:

I picked the AMD X2 4800+ and the Intel EE 840 for this:

Athlon 64 X2 4800+:
233 million transistors
2.4ghz clock
90nm fabrication
2mb L2 cache
110W power consumption

EE 840:
230 million transistors
3.2ghz clock
90nm fabrication process
2mb L2 Cache
130W power consumption

Pretty close together, really.

Now lets have a look at the performance:
The AMD 4800+ easily outperforms the EE becuase of its integrated memory controller yielding a sustained transfer rate approximately 1000mb/s faster the the EE. In addition, the AMD's cache performance is almost consistently twice as fast as the EE's despite identical L2 cache sizes.

Performance wise, the 4800+ almost consistently outperforms the EE 840 on integer and floating point operations, delivering better results on business applications, media and games.

The EE 840 gets close on multithreading with it's hyperthreading technology, and performs almost twice as fast using both cores as with one, while the AMD 4800+ can stay either just ahead or level with it.

In addition, the AMD design scales more efficiently, and the benefits of the integrated memory controller and core-to-core bandwidth multiply exponentially.

Of course, AMD also executes x86 instructions natively, while the Intel offerings don't.

The latest offerings from Intel in the dual core market DO outperform AMD's chips, but that's mostly because AMD hasn't released it's latest chips yet. (Comparing a 2006 holden to a 2005 model).

It's good that you realise that Intel's quad is basically retains the existing faults of the dual core design, problems that AMD's design just doesn't have.

We'll see how it plays out when AMD releases its next set of Dual core and its first line of Quad core processors.

Pentium D Pentium EE
Model number 3800+ 4800+ 820 840
Transistors 154m 233m 230m 230m
Die size 147mm2 199mm2 206mm2 206mm2
Clock frequency 2GHz 2.4GHz 2.8GHz 3.2GHz
Fabrication process 90nm 90nm 90nm 90nm
Level 2 cache 1MB 2MB 2MB 2MB
Power consumption 89W 110W 130W 130W
Hyperthreading no no no yes
  by: lauriesman     11/15/2006 05:03 AM     
need edit functionality, anyway, the figures at the bottom are from my fact checking.
  by: lauriesman     11/15/2006 05:05 AM     
  Quote from article

Title:Intel leapfrogs AMD with quad core x86 processors

AMD has said it will ship its first quad-core CPUs around the middle of 2007. However, those chips will integrate four processor cores and four memory controllers on a single die, likely sporting greater performance than the Intel parts.
  by: LuxFestinus     11/15/2006 06:29 AM     
Comparing what AMD can do in a year to what Intel does now seems, odd.

Surely it will be what AMD does in a year and Intel does in a year?

And with AMDs SOI problems, well, I'mn not banking on them...

However, its all pointlessly academic anyway, games wont even start to use 4 cores for over a year anyway, so why get one now?
Wait a year till you need it, and get a better one.
  by: GogeVandire   11/15/2006 10:35 AM     
  @ Lauriesman  
You mentioned comparing a new Intel architecture against an old AMD one, and then compare the Athlon X2 4800 with a Pentium D?

Pentium D's aren't used to make quad core chips, Core 2 Duos are...

Yes, the integrated memory controller gives AMD an advantage in memory bandwidth over all Intel processors, but that's the only advantage is has over Core 2 Duos. It scales better in multi socket configurations, has more memory bandwidth, but it stops there, and by the way, Core 2 Duo executes x64 instructions natively,

I don't understand why you used the Pentium D for that comparison… A good comparison, that isn’t tilted in AMD’s favour, would have been the AMD FX chip for socket AM2 and Intel’s Core 2 Duo Extreme Edition.
  by: BFGiles   11/15/2006 03:10 PM     
  Core2 vs Pentium D  
Lauriesman, comparing the c2d to the Pentium D cpu is the same as comparing a Pentium 2 to a Pentium 3. Completely different architecture. look on any major computer review site and they will agree the c2d outperforms the newest AMD processors. take a look at the Intel Core2 Extreme X6800 or QX6700 compared to the AMD cpu's in reviews and there is no question in which is superior.
  by: Connundrum1   11/15/2006 09:21 PM     
  Core2 vs Pentium D  
Lauriesman, comparing the c2d to the Pentium D cpu is the same as comparing a Pentium 2 to a Pentium 3. Completely different architecture. look on any major computer review site and they will agree the c2d outperforms the newest AMD processors. take a look at the Intel Core2 Extreme X6800 or QX6700 compared to the AMD cpu's in reviews and there is no question in which is superior.
  by: Connundrum1   11/15/2006 09:40 PM     
In the world of fake techs, I'd say most of you take the cake. First off Intel chips are faster, as of now. Intel chips WILL be overshadowed once again until they offload memory bandwidth from the FSB. Until that happens AMD will keep taking the lead and falling behind. Either way, that is a good thing. Competition ensures that price/performance will keep dropping. Fighting over which is "better" is asinine. First off, who cares about CPU speed in the mainstream market? Hard drives are still the slowest POS in any computer. SCSI, SATA, IDE = TOO SLOW. CPUs barely even do anything anymore with all the new GPUs and SPU (X-Fi for example). So instead of saving up an extra $200.00 for that C2D, get yourself more RAM and a 8800GTX. You'll see a much faster performance increase. Unless you just use your computer for benchmarking, then you can die and go to hell.
  by: bmxtiger   11/15/2006 09:51 PM     
  I used the EE  
Extreme Edition - because that processor, and AMD's 4800+ were on the market at around the same time, same price bracket, and same basic statistics. The point is not to show which chips are equivalent, but to demonstrate the superiority of AMD's design against the Intel design. Which is why I went to the trouble of listing the basic specs firsts - so that you can see that they ARE very similar in raw transistor count, fabrication process, etc.

Consider it like taking two 2L cars released at the same time, with the same basic specs, and seeing which one performs better.
  by: lauriesman     11/15/2006 10:11 PM     
noone considers the motherboards when they talk about CPUs.

I'll take Intel CPUs any time, because intel also makes mobos that actually work with their CPUs. (and stable drivers to match). I've built a lot of systems over the years, and I've found a LOT of crap mobos usually also coupled with crappy drivers. I've resorted to buying intel mobo and intel cpus lately, and I've since gotten rid of bizarre unexplainable *random* crashes

Have you ever had a system that had such random crashes, which could be attributed to anything from bad drivers to bad hardware, but for all the testing you could do you could never pinpoint exactly what is the culprit?
I've had a lot of them, whether it's AMD + Via or SiS/by some popular maker (have your pick, gigabyte, asus... etc), the other was Intel + Via or SiS/by some popular mobo maker. They're never as stable as my now intel/intel machines are.
I get 2week + uptimes before I start seing minor stalls, or indications that the OS has had it and might need a reboot (XP may be stable enough, but I'm a heavy enough user to eventually make it start complaining after two weeks.)
  by: deadmeat     11/16/2006 12:07 AM     
Thank you for reading my post.

Unfortunatly not only are you wrong but can't even seem to understand what I said.

I said the duo's were faster and that I hadn't see a benchmark with the fx64 a specific model of amd64 processors. (ie the model after the fx62)

Then I pointed out a major flaw that will cause problems for the quad cores, as they'll be eating alot of bandwidth to feed those core, which you decided to ignore for the sake of your arguement.

Thanks for the broken link btw.

This is the only article i've found so far that say's anything about ipc is this.

Which completely disagree's with what you said about the ipc.

Next time take your own advice and don't talk about things you don't understand.
  by: splicer   11/16/2006 12:23 AM     
And just for the ****in' record this is the first thing in 5-6 years that intel has released that I like, so don't give me bullshit about not liking to duo.
  by: splicer   11/16/2006 12:30 AM     
You can still make fun of my poor spelling and grammar though.
  by: splicer   11/16/2006 12:31 AM     
@ Lauriesman.

You have to compare whichever architecture Intel, and AMD have on the market at that point in time. One will always have a newer architecure than the other. It's pointless thinking about new ones until such point as you can hold the product in your hand.

@ BMXTiger

There's a point to what your saying, if, your a gamer. There is only so much RAM you can add to a system before you start seeing no tangible benefit. 2GB of RAM is the limit for 99% of users right now, anything more is a waste.

An 8800GTX might be nice if you like playing the latest FPS titles, but the majority of users would see much much more benefit using a Raptor or two, coupled with a faster processor.

@ Splicer

I agree with you about Intel motherboards. I've got two Intel 815 motherboards that to this day have never given me any trouble. Intel have always made very, very stable motherboards.

Currently I'm using a DFI with the nForce 4 chipset. It's a brilliant board and chipset, nVidia make the only chipset I'd ever say has come close to the polish and sheen of Intel chipsets, and DFIs implementation of it is quite excellent.
  by: BFGiles   11/16/2006 02:07 AM     
@ Splicer was meant @ Deadmeat.
  by: BFGiles   11/16/2006 02:09 AM     
  Main thing..  
I really don't like about articles such as this one (and most vid card atricles as well), is that they result in so much fan-boy bullsh**. On the upside, I suppose the companies appreciate the customer loyalty.
  by: StarShadow     11/16/2006 02:23 PM     
"The AMD quad core architechture is superior to intel's design."

HA, what a load of crap! Your in complete denial. Oh well, your loss...think what you want to what you want to buy.

Just think, the cheapest core2 will almost beat AMD's top of the line FX62. If you overclock the Cheapest Core2 vs. overclocked AMD's Top of the line FX62....The cheap budget Core2 will SMOKE the FX62. The only thing to compair to is the price. Sorta funny AMD had to quickly and largely drop its prices because Intel's Core2 CPU's dominated everything AMD had. LOL

But if you want the truth, then just go to ANY review site and look at the Amd FX vs. Intel Core 2 reviews.
  by: slayer06   11/17/2006 07:20 AM     
  Case in point ^^^  
  by: StarShadow     11/17/2006 03:57 PM     
  how much  
of a market is there really for the top end stuff? I never buy top-end anything because of the price. I can live with last year's hardware. For that reason I currently have almostly exclusivly AMD in my newer home systems. For the functionality and price I needed, Intel just couldn't compete.

For work, the next gen quad core will be a godsend. I'm using a dual cpu dual core with 16 gigs of ram and it's *still* slow when I have to run sequence files. Heaps faster than my old sequence box, but still. More efficent hyperthreading ftw!
  by: Dedolito     11/17/2006 09:03 PM     
Lol starshadow.

Basically dedolito they could sell super cheap single core's but really don't want to so they slap a bunch together to keep prices high.

Hyperthreading is the poor man's multithreading anyhow so i'll be glad if that goes away as it has had and still does have quite a few problems with single threaded processes.

Not that you're not entitled to like it or that it doesn't work for what you do. ;p
  by: splicer   11/17/2006 11:20 PM     
Not me forte, but I thought hyperthreading was simultaneous multithreading?

I'm all for whatever technology makes it possible for me to have 3 or 4 hosted databases up and receiving information from my sequence analyizer =P

All I know is that my new box smokes =P The old one with dual single-core cpus doesn't hold a candle to this one.

  by: Dedolito     11/18/2006 03:06 AM     
  AMD vs Intel  
AMDs problem is in the instability of the supporting chipsets. VIA chipsets are so unstable, they are good for nothing more than gamer tweaking where stability doesn't matter much.

I attended a Microsoft/Intel Confrence where they compared Intel to AMD and currently, Intel runs circles around AMD even in gaming.
  by: BikerDude   11/18/2006 06:45 AM     
Hyperthreading is a technique that strings multiple single treads into one thread.

Dedolito you're probably the only one here that could actually use a quad core and see the preformance.

People who are not trying to run as many things as possible at once are not really going to gain much from the quad cores.
  by: splicer   11/18/2006 01:54 PM     
Well I supposed hyperthreading is more of a process then a technique, but bleh.
  by: splicer   11/18/2006 01:57 PM     
  Hyper threading  
is a similar idea to multithreading.

However, it runs two operations on one core, rather than on two

Your never going to be using your entire CPU, so hyper threading uses the bits that arent being used at any one time.

Multi cores are being made because they cant make faster single cores, not because they wont.
  by: GogeVandire   11/18/2006 03:12 PM     
I see (I think). I don't know how any of this stuff actually works, I jsut know that the box is faster =P

So probably a stupid question, but for my fiance's home art box, where we have say Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash-MX, and Illustrator all open at the same time, what would be a greater perfomance increase, if any? Upgrading to dual cores, or increasing the ram from 2 gigs to 3+? We're looking for some sort of upgrade and my finace thinks a dual core would be better so that multiple applications can run off different cores.

But graphics applciations are hugely memory-dependant, right? Not so much for process crunching, except for when rendering or transforming something right?

Conversely, at home I run Visio, Flash, Access, and Visual Studio to design my little applets and databases, for me what would help more, if either, more memory or dual core?

We're both running identical systems right now, AMD Athlon 3200 Venices with 2 gigs of ram.
  by: Dedolito     11/20/2006 11:34 PM     
  The problem with dual core  
Is XP isnt designed to run it.
So the multi app thing isnt really a huge seller.
If a program can use it, fine and dandy.

Rams only an issue if you dont have enough.
It takes downloading torrents, running folding@Home, zone alarm, spy bot and avg all running, to stretch my 1gig of ram.

However, ifyou do lots of high res graphics/video, it might be usful.

Laurisman is probably the best person here to ask, however CPU wise, the 4300 conroes are out in january and should overclock 50% without much hassle, 30% with ease.

If your doing mostly huge databases, my understanding is ram and raid will help mkost.
  by: GogeVandire   11/20/2006 11:47 PM     
  Benefits of multi-cores  
Any multi-threaded application will gain performance from a dual or quad core processor - however remember that for many applications the bottleneck is NOT processor speed but I/O operations. For example, a network application using TCP usually blocks one thread waiting for input from the network, applications that do not constantly update screens and such are essentially idle when there is no input. A multi-threaded game however could get huge gains by offloading each of its main threads to a different core, the program has to be coded to make optimal use of threading though. A lot of games still rely on lightweight threads which are not offloaded to other cores.
  by: lauriesman     11/22/2006 06:45 AM     
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