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Secret weapon of the AM2 CPU's

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I have had trouble deciding which would be better and I will not order any chip until someone I can rely on like happy tests it themselves. I hate marketing people for what they do. My girlfriends mother is very nice but she is a marketing rep for some online company and runs internet explorer on an Ibook, I still like her but hate what she does. nuff said.

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I hope the rumors about Conroe are true.

I also hope the rumor about Reverse threading are true.

Competition only lowers prices and gives us a greater choice.

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I tend to not be brand loyal. Show me a company that cares more about my experience as a customer than their own bottom line and I will be loyal to that company. Beyond that, I buy what I think is best for me.


This is my first AMD rig; I like it- it's fast and fun to play with. This is also my first foray into overclocking, so it's hard to compare my Intel rigs to this AMD rig from a stability standpoint because I've never really run the AMD cpu at stock speeds. Yes, I have BSOD's with this rig, but most of them are caused by me.


The point of this post is really in response to what Smoken Joe said about having problems with Intel machines. I've never, ever had a problem with an Intel machine. The last one I built, which is now my son's, is a P4 2.6 with an Intel D865Perl mobo and that machine has never ever had one problem- EVER. It's 3 years old and has never even had the OS reloaded. It's been so stable that I'm afraid to mess with anything. Not one part has ever died- nothing. Now that my son has it it has far more games played on it than what I ever did and it's still been stable as a rock and it will play any game currently in production without lagging.


I agree with what Happy said regarding competition. When companies are pushing the technology envelope and are experiencing price wars, we, as consumers, win.



see... I can remember back to the days when you built Intel for BOTH performance and reliability because AMD's K6 was crap and so were, for the most part, machines made with their cpu's (in terms of reliablity)


I remember when the Athlons first came out...this was HUGE cuz we knew how much Intel kicked AMD's butt in gaming, and Quake/Doom really is what got the craze going on gaming cpu's...along with Windows95 and more specifically Windows98 as games didn't have to be freaking scripted and batch filed and ran in DOS anymore, and vid cards had 3d acceleration and their own vid memory etc.


Athlons were just as good as the Pentium II and III...slightly better even...but ran hot hot hot like P3's did.


And since AMD relied mainly on VIA chipsets...getting them to work 100% stable in all games and such was kind of a problem...but not with Pentium3's since Intel built their own chipsets (and come on....has there ever been a better chipset than the 440BX???)


So at the little computer store I worked at in Orlando (Cheap Guys Computers if anyone is interested...they are still in business), we got to play with all the new stuff...and especially when AMD's SocketA cpu's came out...I bought hte 900Mhz T-Bird and an Asus A7V that very day.


I also had an Asus P5 something or other I think and a 700Mhz Pentium3.


The SocketA Athlon blew the freaking doors off my Pentium3...


(speaking of...that A7V and 900Mhz cpu are still in use to this very day in my friend's mom's rig with 512MB SDRAM lol)






again, when I built rigs for regular users and businesses, we ALWAYS used Intel. They might have been a little slower in the games (but since Athlon/P3 days, performance was alwasy neck-and-neck really), but they were super reliable because of the Intel chipsets (except for the crappy 810 lol...the 815 solved that though)


But for my gamer buddies...it was 1200Mhz Thunderbirds all the way and the GeForce and GeForce2 GTS 32MB cards for Unreal Tournament and Quake3 slaughtering. We gamers accepted that these badass machines would crash a bit more and give us more problems and be hotter than anything our Intel cousins could provide...but it is why I am still around, doing the overclocking/gaming thing still...because it's that overall performance that is important...and in Unreal Tournament...10fps to 20fps could make all the difference....



and then the music died for Intel


Their 1.13Ghz Pentium III was a disaster. They never really recovered from that...their designed moved away from the Pentium3 architecture and they decided the P3 core design wasn't good enough for future clock increases...


Their initial Pentium4 cpu's were trash, loaded down with nasty RAMBUS...and AthlonXP's refined themselves, became faster, got double cache, faster bus, and more and more games were starting to look for the 3dNoW! instructions etc.


Pentium4's had a short burst of goodness when they finally ^%[email protected][email protected]# killed off RAMBUS crap and went to DDR SDRAM...and the day they hit the 800FSB Northwood core, it was again on like Donkey Kong.


But slowly AMD's cpu's kept getting better, and at the same time Intel's cpu's were having to ramp up higher and higher in the clock department to keep up with cpu's that were now getting farther and farther behind in clock speeds compared to Intel cpu's.


Can you imagine the horror of Intel execs when they themselves bench an AthlonXP 3200+ @ 2.2Ghz 400FSB vs their own Pentium4 3.0Ghz 800FSB and the AthlonXP pretty much trashes it in just about every test except for Intel-optimized software like video/audio/3d rendering/encoding?


Ya...and then AMD plays the trump card....


"hey, Intel, while you were trying to beat us on the clock (and we have to admit, your ad campaign made it almost impossible to gain market share because you forced consumers to think in MHZ terms and the only way to explain that our chips were better at slower speeds was simply too complex and would take a 9 minute commercial! so good on there dudes!), we were off busting out a new design...and you see, this is the one we warned you about...a 64-bit design with a memory controller built into the cpu's core..."


I remember Intel trying everything under the sun to counter the Athlon64, and their best attempt was "there's no need for 64-bit cpu's!!!! 64-bit is not necessary!!!"


which is exactly how it sounded to me...like a pitiful cry from a wounded dog about to get ran over on the freeway.


And in the meantime, AMD was MORE focused on the big prize...servers. Intel was pretty confident about the consumer markets because they controlled most of the OEM's by forcing them to be exclusive with Intel or giving them incentives they couldn't resist. They never thought to look to their server market, which was their FATAL mistake that still is haunting them.


See...these guys...that run big corps, that have big databases to crunch, that have multiple machines in series working on rendering a single scene....these guys are not idiot consumers who are fed everything they see on TV (and come on...who wouldn't buy from the 3 blue guys beating on colored drums and making funny noises with pvc pipes in the same fashion as the group Stomp does!???).


These guys are pros who know exactly what kind of work needs to be done. These guys are going to listen seriously to AMD tout their new Opteron server 64-bit cpu.


They are going to show up or invite AMD to a little get together where AMD takes a 2-way, 4-way, 8-way Opteron setup and run it against anything that you can bring that Intel has a cpu in....and they are going to watch the Opteron box run circles around anything with an Intel.


And then you are going to see other savvy persons who write software see this, and start compiling things like Linux and Unix specifically for the Opteron's architecture...and holy smacks you are going to see Opterons dominate EVERY ASPECT. Even Intel Optimized software now ran better on an Opteron...and the Opteron didn't even have to work very hard sheesh.


At the same time, guys like you and me, already impressed with AthlonXP, couldn't wait to get our hands on something even FASTER BETTER BIGGER BOOYAH.


And man...we did...and man...when the right chipset came out (NF3 250Gb), we showed the world just how good AMD was and just how weak Intel was.


Let's face it...nothing that Intel could put out was a match for a finely tuned Athlon64 @ 2400Mhz.


And there wasn't anything that could touch a 2700Mhz or higher Athlon64. Not even the 4Ghz overclocked Intel P4 PrescHOTt lol.


And what did we do?


We demanded more and more by spending our money. And telling friends to stop being stupid and buying from Dell who only carried inferior Intel cpu's.


And friends listened finally (took a year or two tho dammit but a few times of them not being able to play the newest game while yours ran like smooth sild convinced them maybe you were right!). And friends begat friends who begat friends who then started convincing everyone they could on the internet that the true ultimate power in the universe probably had an Athlon64 cpu in it.


Intel's marketing machine was still going strong, but it wasn't doing them any good as we used it against them (and put places like Tom's Hardware forever in the halls of shame). Then dual-core X2's hit and it was pretty much lights out for Intel, and they knew it...and the AMD lawsuit against them...I mean...how much more could go wrong???




meanwhile, in a dark corner of the universe...someone somehow figured out how to overclock this new Mobile Intel chip that had a code name of Dothan.


Then somehow someone convinced DFI and another mobo mfg to make a motherboard for it...this would be a special motherboard that only would run a specific Dothan series of cpu's (totally different socket type...479 pins). The motherboard would also include a stock cpu heatsink specific for Dothan cpu's and our board...and it would be this little thing lol....but it would work.


And our bios would allow as much overclocking as we could get out of it...right about 2.66Ghz final speed on the cpu (if I remember right, cuz i never had one, but if I remember right, it was like 166FSB was as high as it would go, or maybe 180, but I do remember the final cpu speeds lol...they were the important factor).


2.66Ghz was 60Mhz faster than the FX-55 cpu that was just released...and the FX-55 had a 400Mhz FSB (DDR) even though of course A64's don't really have a 'front side bus'.


The funny thing about the little Dothan was that it was running at like 133 or 166 or something oddly low...but the 2.66Ghz cpu scores were simply obliterating the FX-55.


This wasn't Intel running this either...these were your buddies at XS forums and Anandtech etc that could afford the $300+ motherboard (and we maybe made 1,000 of them? not many at all for sure) and the super expensive Dothan cpu's.


And they were running against their very nice Athlon64/FX systems...and pretty much trashing them with the Dothan.




Intel had one last gasp...dual core cpu's @ 65nm and 2x2MB L2...but even their monster EE's just couldn't beat an FX, and they were simply too power hungry still.





But way back when, someone at Intel took notice of the overclockers on the internet who were getting 2.4-2.66Ghz out of Dothan cpu's.


These guys convinced someone to let them do some R&D and realized that the phenominon was more about the core of the cpu...*GASP!* it was basically based roughly on the Pentium3 with fewer stages, shorter pipelines. Intel had created these chips to be power savers...they basically modified the P3 cores to be mobiles and the shorter pipelines and fewer stages were another way to conserve precious power...


I honestly believe that it was an unintended side effect that the Dothan core was able to perform like it did when you jacked it up to 2+ Ghz.


I can imagine a good little engineer's thoughts when he realized what they had...and I can barely imagine if it was a classy lady to get someone else in the company to actually listen to him because Intel was so dead-set on keeping that stupid Pentium4 name...believing like Corsair did for a long time, that a name can keep your head above the waters and your feet out of the shark mouths below you.


A lot of us knew what Intel was up to all these months before the name "Conroe" or "Mermon" was. The funny thing is, you'd have known too if you paid any attention to the few select guys who were overclocking these Dothan cpu's. But almost no one but the hardest of the hardcore overclockers paid attention. Because of the price, and the exotic board/cpu/mem combinations, very very few ever did anything but say "wow, that little cpu can crush an A64's balls!" and then go back to clocking their A64's up past heaven and punishing little Pentium4 users' egos lol.


Meanwhile, back at the lab!


Little Jimmy or whoever sat down with his newly assembled team and worked out the problems...how to make this little Dothan into a desktop cpu, and how to give it two cores as that is exactly where everything was headed now thanks to AMD rolling out dual-core's that smoked Intel...Intel couldn't even rely on Hyperthreading recognition anymore because everyone would say "oh that's just a fake second cpu...dual core is TWO TRUE cpu cores!" as you know...a lot of us have gotten pretty wise these days about differences, and its guys like us who spread the love of the tech and the information about it around to the rest of non-dorks.


But anyway, Jimbo and his crew...they been working diligently these last 6+ months on getting more than just engineering samples ready. Jimbo I think awoke the beast at the heart of Intel...awoke them like I wish I could awaken a few companies to get with the times and wake up to a new world order of computer users.


Intel isn't going to rely on Mhz anymore.


I mean...they will...but not like they did with Pentium4.


Intel is going to (hopefully) wisely use this opportunity to poke a very sharp stick in AMD's eye, and while AMD is rolling around on the ground bleeding, Intel is going to be the king of the playground for a little while...


and the biggest reason why?


Because Intel's name STILL overpower's AMD.


If i tell you that the Milwaukee Brewers won a world series...would you be able to name any player on teh Brewers?


What if I said Golden State won the NBA title? Can you name any Golden State players?


See...Intel...they are still the Yankees and the Lakers of the computer world. You and I may hate them, but sooooo many people recognize them and are willing to root for them for no other reason than because they know what Intel is and they might know what or who AMD is, but not like they do Intel because of the Intel name that has been bandied about for 20+ years.




So now Intel has their name reliability, AND a product that will prove that it is the king of the heap.




That isn't an unbeatable combination, but it is just like getting a sharp stick in the eye for AMD who has whipped every other bully on the playground to be #1. He can still get up and kick the dirty snot out of Intel, but it is going to be a good close fight again, as Intel has re-found their power I think.



Even if AMD comes right back with a cpu that is better than Intel's cpu, it won't be anything light years ahead...it will be typical...10% to 20% gains in some or most areas. To be really that much better, it will require specialized software or compiling or drivers...hey...just like Intel's P4 needed for a while before it lost the fight against AMD's cpu's that could win on raw power!




Now...don't get me wrong. You guys know I love my AMD stuff. But you guys also know I love my Intel stuff.


For a long time I felt bad for Nvidia because they were getting smoked by ATI in the gpu wars.


Now I feel bad for ATI because they are getting smoked by Nvidia in the chipset war and for a while Nvidia was owning them badly in the gpu war.


I felt bad for AMD when they were getting crushed by Intel (back when I couldn't afford intel so i had to settle for inferior AMD K6-2 @ half the price but also half hte performance).


Now I feel bad for Intel who has been getting their butt handed to them for a VERY long time in computer time lol. (a year or more could be a death sentence for a tech company!)



I don't want any one company to win.


That would be bad...because that one winning company could then jack the prices up too high on the best stuff and there's be no competition...


We got to have competition...look at what competition has done to Intel and for us, the consumer.


It forced them to change their plan, and finally walk away from a dead-end architecture (Pentium4).


If AMD had never dominated Intel's cpu's like they have in the last couple of years, we'd all be eating 5th generation Pentium4 crap and paying a premium for it.


AMD forced Intel to build cpu's that were better, faster, and CHEAPER (look at the incoming Conroe prices!). Intel was forced to change their tech model and that is good for us.


AMD forced companies like Microsoft to stop optimizing ONLY for Intel architecture cpu's...simply by being the cpu of choice for most non-OEM users.




Intel will force AMD to stay on their heels and come up with new, better technologies and implementations so Intel cannot get the upper hand for too long.


This is going to be a good fight...and I am going to do my part as a good soldier and fight for both sides.


Because this aint USA vs Terrorists like in Counter-Strike


this is more like USA vs Terrorists vs Space Aliens


Terrorists and Space Aliens want to dominate us consumers by forcing us to accept their crap at the price they demand.


if you let both companies fight it out, they have to do whatever it takes to convince you to join their side...and that is exactly what we, as good tech soldiers, should be wanting.




so try not to be too loyal to one company or another...do like most of us with common sense do...buy what is the best at the time you buy it.


this time it is going to be Intel...in a month...six months...? AMD again...then Intel will come with Conroe2 or a 3.4Ghz Conroe or something then AMD will ramp up their 4x4's and Intel will say Conroe2 4-core, and then AMD will say Opteron 8x8 and Intel will...



well you know what they will do...


as long as they keep fighting it out, we win ;)

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Your message touched on a subject that I was thinking about earlier- Why don't we see more people running multi-Opteron rigs? I know it's not a money issue because there are plenty of people with money to burn. The only thing I can think of is that it must be an issue with motherboards- maybe because multi-Opty systems are designed for server environments?

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I dont think that most people have a practical use to justify spending that amont of money. For a 4 socket 940 mobo that can handle 4 dual core optys it is $1000 for just the mobo.

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Even DarthBeavis doesn't have that kind of money... lol

he could if he sell his old alienware:)

edit : alienwares

i bet by the time this comes out

Intel will up the ante

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Guest nibs

At the end of the day I don't care who makes what I'm buying as long as there is bang for the buck. My next project/ upgrade will probably be in a few months after Conroe and AM2 are out. I'm planning on building a Myth TV box for some PVR fun. Slow current tech 3000+ is plenty fast enough so maybe I can use most of my current system (proc, cpu, mb, gpu, ram) stick it in a new case and then upgrade to whatever provides me a greater level of performance at a good price point. Maybe in six months the best thing for me to buy will be used socket 939 parts from people who have upgraded to AM2/ Conroe.

What makes me happy is when my computer does what I want it to do and I feel like I didn't pay a fortune for it.

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no worries, im highly doubtful that AMD implemented REverse-HT capability in there processors, or if tehy did ti was NOT completel, most likely crippled, to be corrected in a later revision (Winnie-->Venice anyone?)


Amd i am SURE that Conroe will kick major butt

will i buy one?



because my Opteron will serve me well until K9 omes out, which is when, well im hoping at least AMD comes back into the lead


AMD has had the crown for too long, they got complacent with there lead, they DIDNT work on enough improvements for AM2

and now they pay, but they need a kick in the butt like this


and for teh record, Conroe kills at SuperPi and other similar benchmarks becasue the standard modes (1M for SuperPi) GREATLY benefit from cache, so Conroes 4 MB of it give it insane scores


I am an AMD Fanyboy, always have been, always will be. But that wont stop me from addmiting that the battle is over, the war is still raging, but you win some, you lose some, Conroe won this, like the Athlon 64 won the last battle

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