Intel's new marchitecture and other musings.

Sazar

F@H - Is it in you?
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#1
We have had a lot of discussion lately about Merom, Conroe, AM2 and, occasionally, some K8L chatter thrown in for good measure.

I just wanted to sit back and get a basic idea of what was going on and see what the near future held for us.

Currently Intel is plugging along on the enterprise scene with Dempsey. A good product, it is still, IMO and in general benches, slower than Opteron's. A measure of Intel's success in lowering TDP (typical dissipation power) on it's proc's mean that even the Dempsey is a decent competitor for the K8 procs.

The AMD K8 procs have been a very big success story, almost single-handedly turning around AMD's fortune's and allowing them to expand, both in India and here, locally, in Austin, Texas, where a new facility is coming up.

With racks and blades packing more and more components these days on the enterprise scene, reducing the overall space occupied by heatsinks and fans is part of the equation. Additionally, reducing the power-draw of these devices is key to a lot of people's investment plans. Not everyone (microsoft/google) can afford to build their new storage/server facilities next to prime power production and distribution sources :D Most have to rely on conventional spaces.

Woodcrest, the next Xeon from Intel, will utilize Intel's very interesting dual-bus technology that should make the whole power/watt equation something to look at closely.

AM2 is not going to reduce TDP dramatically, though there are obviously improvements. K8L should see some further improvements though exactly how much and in what relation to the dual/quad core products remains to be seen.

With Conroe/Merom/Woodcrest and other products coming to the fore from the very excellent Israeli design team, Intel has made a concerted effort to develop a marchitecture that reduced overheads and shorter pipelines to improve efficiency. The work done per clock cycle has gone up a good bit and the power consumption/heat generated is well down on a clock basis.

Now, a dual-bus setup does not mean that all is well with Intel's enterprise procs (and hopefully soon, their consumer procs) because there are still design bottlenecks. Cost, unfortunately, is a huge issue :(

There is still the issue of the memory bus and how the cross-bar will efficiently operate wrt I/O based on the design of the proc because this will still be shared by the procs. Major bottleneck possible, depends a lot on the sheer amount of data and the logical design choices Intel makes for the final boards and procs. Actually, the final choices should already have been made and I can't WAIT to see the 9g servers from Dell and other products from various system-builders with these procs.

Dempsey is not bad, opterons have a heady reputation, can the upstart Woodcrest overtake the existing performance kings? It certainly seems so.

K8L v/s the new procs from Intel will make for a very interesting 'H2 2006/2007.

:smoker:
 

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