AMD Phenom & Spider vs Intel QX9770 (What a joke AMD is)

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Osiris

Golden Master
Let’s Just Say It

It has been a long road for the computer enthusiast that looks to AMD for solutions. If you are an “Intel guy” and don’t look to other brands for computing solutions the last year has been good to you, and it looks like the next year will be even better. There is no other way to put it; I am disappointed in AMD’s Phenom. The Phenom is nine months late to market and has a hard time keeping up with Intel’s Core 2 processors when it comes to a clock to clock comparison. While you can cherry pick a suite of benchmarks that might give a Phenom to Core 2 comparison a good look on a clock to clock basis, the fact is Intel has better instructions per clock and better scaling than AMD’s Phenom. All that talk from AMD about “clock rate does not matter,” just went out the window all of a sudden. Clock rate today means a lot. I have said for months now to AMD that if it did not launch at least at 3GHz it would have a failure on its hands. Today AMD comes out with 2.2GHz and 2.3GHz Phenom processors. Gone are the 2.4GHz and 2.6GHz parts it wished to be shipping at launch due to a TLB (translation lookup buffer) L3 errata issue. All this is being fixed by AMD, but it means lower clocked processors for now as the TLB issue pops up at 2.4GHz+. Undoubtedly today AMD is going to lose a lot of fans and a lot of folks that have been waiting patiently to be impressed by Phenom are going to throw in towel and move upgrade paths to Intel. But while it is a bad situation, there are some good things to be panned out of the muck.

If you have not been up with the latest in AMD's native quad core architecture, you can check out previous articles of ours here and here. I would highly suggest reading both those articles as they will give you a lot of Barcelona/Agena core architecture background.

Gold in Dem Der Hills

Well, maybe not gold, but a silver lining at the very least. Yes, there are more than a few saving graces to today’s Spider platform launch.

Aggressive Pricing

First off, there is pricing. AMD Phenom 2.2GHz and 2.3GHz processors will be selling for US$251 and US$283 respectively. This pricing puts it in line with the quad core Intel Core 2 Q6600, which is where AMD needs to be. There is no grand illusion at AMD that Phenom is something other than exactly what it is; the Kool-Aid may have been drunk a few months ago, but the reality of what Phenom is has set in, and that is perfectly reflected in its pricing. There will be no $1000 or $1200 processors for sale here today.

Black and Unlocked
Second, the enthusiast has been promised a “Black Edition” Phenom right out of the gate. Given the Phenom’s performance levels, we petitioned AMD heavily to deliver an unlocked Phenom to the enthusiast and they have listened. AMD knows the current Phenom is not going to feed the enthusiast needs if it is locked. I see this unlocked 2.3GHz Phenom as a huge olive branch being extended to the computer hardware enthusiast community. From our experiences, it should be fairly simple for any user to get their 2.3GHz Phenom running at a respectable 2.8GHz, 2.9GHz, or 3GHz on the right 790FX motherboard. In order to show support for the computer hardware enthusiasts AMD is pricing these unlocked 2.3GHz Phenoms at the same price as the regular 2.3GHz Phenom. There will be no pricing penalty implemented by AMD for the unlocked CPU. The first unlocked CPUs will likely not carry the “Black Edition” branding but will be likely have a sticker on the box to identify the contents.

Great Motherboards on the Way

Third, the overall Spider platform looks to be very solid. I can say that the 790FX chipset from AMD looks to be the best “ATI” chipset ever produced. It is cool running, and has been configured with a BIOS with enough toggles, switches, and dials to keep any tweaker happy for weeks. CrossFire support is of course native on all 790FX motherboards with “CrossFireX” featuring support for dual, triple, and quad CrossFire, as shown here working last week. The MSI motherboard shown in the picture has proper spacing to allow for 4 double slot video cards to be used in the PCIe slots. The MSI board is the only board I have seen configured to allow this. Also, while the motherboards I have worked with have not been perfect, they have not been in shambles. For being so new, these 790FX boards are very mature. I have noticed bugs and small issues, but none of them that are deal breakers. Even with questionable processors we have been able to run up to 3GHz on retail motherboards.

A REAL Overclocking Tool

Lastly, AMD has delivered an overclocking tool that actually works and does what it says. Sami Maekinin, an enthusiast brought into service by AMD is the lifeblood behind this product and if you ever see him out and about, make sure you buy that man a beer.
I know very well that the first thing you think of when you hear “AMD OverDrive” overclocking tool is NVIDIA’s nTune tool. nTune has always had lofty goals, but it always has been a flaming piece of ****. AOD is the polar opposite of nTune. AOD while extremely immature works better than nTune could ever aspire to. AOD is still far from perfect, but is still a tool that alone might have the enthusiast purchasing a Spider platform.

[H] Enthusiast --- enthusiast.hardocp.com==
 

gurusan

Golden Master
there's already been a discussion on this (and anandtech's) review. Perhaps I placed it in the wrong section
 

Trotter

Grandfather of Techist, , ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Staff member
Fanboys tend to like to cry and flame, and that applies to both sides of the aisle.

I will reserve my judgment on Phenom until there is more in the public channels. Early processors are either ungodly overclockers or buggy. While I don't think these are buggy, I also know that these will not be all that Phenom will achieve. Once the second crop comes in, we'll see what Phenom will actually do.

For now, though, Intel is still one up on AMD.
 

Peter.Cort

TF's First Dry Ice User!
careful what you say about AMD you might make some people cry.. and close a thread cos of fanboy retaliation.
ummm..... why would you say that. thats a completely ridiculous statement. being a fanboy isn't just like saying that one is better then the other. being a fanboy is liking one thing over another. we will all admit that at the moment amd/ati isn't as good as intel/nvidia. its just we amd fanboys don't wanna fully admit that its over.
 

BennyV04988

Fully Optimized
by saying something like that your just as bad as we are, how long did you stand by intel until the c2d came out?
He's denouncing fanboyism in general. We don't claim to be Intel fanboys by any means...

We "performists" are technology whores. We go with whatever is best. We're that guy who looks at other girls while on dates, or the 22" lcd just after we bought our 19" lcd.

I'd rather be a technology whore than value a piece of pc hardware for any reason other than its performance.
 

NosBoost300

I poop on the rug
ummm..... why would you say that. thats a completely ridiculous statement. being a fanboy isn't just like saying that one is better then the other. being a fanboy is liking one thing over another. we will all admit that at the moment amd/ati isn't as good as intel/nvidia. its just we amd fanboys don't wanna fully admit that its over.
yes, exactly.. the race, is never over....

they're at a stalemate now.. but just wait, thing will change in due time...
 

maroon1

Banned
how long did you stand by intel until the c2d came out?
Pentium 4 was just a mistake made by Intel, if intel used the P6 architecture (It was used in Pentium 2 and 3) instead of the crappy NetBurst, then Intel would have outperformed Athlon long time ago (Or at least they would have made something that performs as good as AMD)

Mobile Athlon and Turion were not faster than Pentium M and Core Duo, because they were based on the superior P6 architecture, not the crappy NetBurst architecture

In other words, Intel was able to make superior processors for desktops long time ago, but they didn't want to because there were many dumb consumers who thought that higher GHz means better performance.

The new Core architecture which is used in Core 2 Duo is also an update of the old P6 architecture.
 

maroon1

Banned
they're at a stalemate now.. but just wait, thing will change in due time...
I don't think anything will change. (note I said I think)

NetBurst was just a mistake from Intel, but it seems that Intel will not repeat the same mistake

Currently, AMD have noting that can beat Kentsfield, even Phenom can't beat that. Intel will soon release Yorkfield, and then Nehalem.

Nehalem will come out on late 2008 and it seems that AMD would have made 45nm Phenom at that time, but 45nm Phenom is not powerful enough to beat Yorkfield (Because 65nm Phenom can't beat 65nm Kentsfield). So, AMD doesn't have any strong weapon against Nehalem.

Nehalem is a revolutionary architecture, it have its own memory controller, 8MB shared L3 cache, 2 threads per core, and the FSB will be replaced by Intel QuickPath Interconnect
 
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