The Nehalem Preview: Intel Does It Again

by Anand Lal Shimpi on 6/5/2008 12:05 AM EST


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  • weihlmus - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    is it just me or does lga1366 bear more than apassing resemblance to amd's logo...

    if only they could have crammed it into 1337 pins - "nehalem - the 1337 chip"
  • Proteusza - Friday, July 11, 2008 - link

    I see that on the Daily Tech main page, the headline for this article now reads:
    "June 5, 2008
    Post date on AnandTech's Nehalem preview, before it was ripped and republished on Tom's Hardware"

    Does anyone know what happened? I cant find the same article on Tomshardware, I presume they took it down.
  • xsilver - Friday, June 20, 2008 - link

    10 pages of comments and not one about the future of overclocking?

    No more FSB = no more overclocking??????
    Enthusiasts might jump ship if overclocking usually brings 20% extra performance, all amd have to do is come within 10% on performance and below on price?
  • Akabeth - Thursday, June 19, 2008 - link


    This pretty much makes it pointless to purchase any high tier mobo and quad core today... It will be eclipsed in 6 months time...

    Some of the numbers here make me wonder, "Are you f*cking kidding me?"
  • JumpingJack - Friday, June 13, 2008 - link

    Anand, you could clear up some confusion if you could specify the version of windows you ran. The screen shots of some of your benchmarks show 64-bit Vista, yet your scores are inline with 32-bit Vista.... it makes a difference.
  • JumpingJack - Friday, June 13, 2008 - link

    Nevermind, page 2 shows 32-bit Vista... makes sense now. You should becareful when posting stock photos, the Cinbench reflects 64-bit. Reply
  • barnierubble - Sunday, June 08, 2008 - link

    It appears to me that the Tick Tock cycle diagram is wrong.

    Conroe shooked the world in the second half of 2006, Penryn came in the second half of 2007, now 2008 we have Nehalem on the horizon set for the second half of this year.

    Now that is 2 years between new architectures with the intermediate year bringing a shrink derivative.

    That is not what the diagram shows; bracketing shrink derivative and new architecture in a 2 year cycle is clearly not fitting the reality.

  • mbf - Saturday, June 07, 2008 - link

    Will the new IMC support ECC RAM? And if so, what are the odds the consumer versions will too? I've had a bit of bad luck with memory errors in the past. Since then I swear by ECC memory, even though it costs me a bit of performance. :) Reply
  • Natima - Saturday, June 07, 2008 - link

    I just thought I'd point out that the Bloomfield chip reviewed (to be released in H2 2008) will infact dominate the gamer/high-end market.">

    The smaller sockets will be for what I like to call... "office PC's".
    And the larger socket for high-end servers.

    A majority of custom PC builders will be able to buy & use Nehalems by the end of the year. Hoorah!
  • Natima - Saturday, June 07, 2008 - link

    The article semi-implied that chips for the PC enthusiast would not be out until mid-2009. Just wanted to clarify this for people. Reply
  • SiliconDoc - Monday, July 28, 2008 - link

    Oh yeah, and we're getting the knocked down lesser pins version probably, though not set in stone they won't be able to resist bending us all over and making all the massive die and tool and cuting restructurings required to pump out the lesser pinned models... while they tell us "it's cost effective" ( means they can charge 18 different rates and swirl the markets in confusion and gigantic price differences for mere few percentage performance differences).
    They sure have a lot of time to diggle around with it all, don't they- and a lot of capacity, a lot of marketers, a lot of board makers/changers...
    Oh gawd it's a multi-tentacled monster... just realize they had their group megaspam session and have figured the most confusing, confounding, and master profiteering into it all. It's got nothing to do with practicality or delivering us the performance we desire. NOTHING.
  • gochichi - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    Someone mentioned the breaking laws in the past (intel did).

    Just look at the distress that AMD is under. While they had the superior products, they couldn't make deals with Dell and so on. As soon as they were finally able to make deals fairly, Intel obliterated them on performance.

    So while they should have been piling up an R&D fund during their "crown years" they hardly grew. To the extent that even thought their CPUs are not competitive they are still growing in overall market share.

    I gotta balance my desire for performance now, and my ongoing desire for performance. I can't imagine how having AMD wiped out would be good for the long term. Performance is moving up surely enough but why can't we have the full rate of improvement? I mean, lets stop poluting the world with obsolete brand new equipment. I think the legal battle between Intel and AMD prevents Intel from eliminating AMD. The more they beat up on AMD, the higher the damages of their breaking the law and the higher the penalty for Intel.

    I think AMD can make a strong comeback though. They had a sloppy start with the AMD-ATI merger but ATI is actually not far at all from NVIDIA in terms of design and performance. These pendulums do swing, and perhaps AMDs chips will be better next time. I think the price-point wars are the most important. If you can deliver a nice quad-core or 3x core for about $100.00 you're gonna be in business or at least have market share.

  • BSMonitor - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    Giving a company incentives to exclusively sell your products is not a violation of any law. Aka, is E.A. Sports in violation of the law by signing an exclusive contract with the NFLPA ? No. How many GM dealers sell more than GM lines of cars? Not many... There are many other reasons to be excluse besides a "monopoly deal".

    Were Dell customers complaining about not having the choice of AMD processors? Not enough of them, clearly. You think for a second Dell would lose market share for Intel? Sorry, the answer is Hell No.

    When AMD did have a strong processor lineup, they also hit manufacturing capacity walls.... Quite simply, AMD does not have the capacity to fill Intel's market share. Its not like there were AMD processors on the shelves because Dell was exclusively Intel...

    Intel has more Fabs. Fabs don't get built overnight to meet demand... Now, AMD has inferior products and a couple more Fabs... Too little too late as they say...
  • hs635 - Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - link

    Get aids and die painfully cunt Reply
  • Justin Case - Sunday, June 08, 2008 - link

    [quote]Giving a company incentives to exclusively sell your products is not a violation of any law.[/quote]

    Actually, it is, if you control more than a certain share (typically 50%) of the market.

    You can give volume discounts but you cannot make the cost depend on what other products your client sells.

    If you're under that "critical" market share, you can do pretty much anything you want. Above it, the rules change (and there are very good reasons for that, as anyone who's studied macroeconomy knows).

    There's really no need to come up with "examples" or ill-fitting "analogies". That's just the way the law is, and everyone who studied trade law knows that (including Intel's legal department). They've already been fined in Korea, they're on their way to being fined in the EU and Japan, and they'll probably be fined in the US too.

    Unless they bribe the right people like Microsoft did, of course.
  • SiliconDoc - Monday, July 28, 2008 - link

    I caught a couple articles on how Nvidia was hammering vendors for price structures - and how they were going to do it, a bit ahead of time of when it hit. Yeah, it hit, I saw it, eggs (hint) were broken all over the place.
    It's a kind of tyranny... lol
    Uhh, thank computers I guess, since they've made everything like that so easy to track and enforce ("private" enforcement not law enforcement)...
    Expect a lot more of it, too. Everything moves so fast in business, and courts move so slowly.
  • The Zerg - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    Guys... here's an example of bad luck, bad tech or both:

    I work in a corporation. A very large one, the largest in a specific industry.
    We use Intel-based CPUs. Worldwide.
    My Centrino (in its Dell Latitude incarnation) died two days ago (causes unknown - and this caused a lot of trouble). Be sure that I had some nice words for Intel in that moment.
    I use AMD at home (it was the best bang for the buck at that time). One week ago (and Hell YES, this is the bare truth) my ASUS motherboard died, together with an Athlon 3500+.
    See? Nobody's perfect. Maybe 2 strong CPU players (makers) are better than just one. Maybe I will not use an ASUS motherboard next time, because I have another 3-4 serious options...
    For the AMD/Intel fans: I am a Canon fan, but I really respect Nikon, Leica and Sony for their outstanding products. And: I can buy a 1Ds Mark III, but I currently own a 40D - "because I can 95% of the games with it"
    And there is never too little too late for a World Press Photo award :)
  • Barack Obama - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    Nehalem is looking to be beastly good. Let's see if it can combo well with Windows 7 and its multi-touch capabilities. Reply
  • Egglick - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Here is my biggest question: Will these chips work with DDR2? In my opinion, DDR3 still isn't worth the price premium by a long shot. Reply
  • coldpower27 - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    This shouldn't be much of an issue by the time this thing ships for mainstream platforms ala LGA1160, sometime in Early-Mid 2009.

    DDR3 is still cost prohibitive now, your looking at about 2x as much for the same amount of memory. However in 6-9 months prices can change alot.

  • Jedi2155 - Saturday, June 07, 2008 - link

    Indeed, once the OEM's start demanding DDR3 for their system's due to Nehalem, we start seeing prices drop due economies of scale playing a greater part. Reply
  • RedFoxOne - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    I am still waiting for Intel and Google to merge so with their combined powers they can take over the world!

  • 0g1 - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Dude, wtf ... "Intel managed to change the cache structure and introduce an integrated memory controller while making both significantly faster than what AMD managed despite a four-year headstart."

    Thats bs. True, they are significantly faster, but you're comparing something that comes out in 6 months to something thats been out for like 1 year. And when it does come out (in 6 months) Shangai should be close by. Die shrink, cache increase, Hyper Transport clockspeed increase, lower latencies, and DDR3. Your comparison was simply unfair and untrue (considering AMD's upcoming cache and memory structure looks to be faster).
  • SiliconDoc - Monday, July 28, 2008 - link

    Well, in this, one always likes the top dog better - they supply the goodies so much more often (even by unendorsed leaked channels which is GREAT if you ask me), and in turn the monetary stream from the resultant forces, whatever they may be.
    Add in the hype, and someone always has a favorite, so there ya go.
    However, I find at least myself disappointed, since I don't have a grand every month to blow on new parts.
    I am over and over again just not impressed, single core HT still has a really good hold on everything ( the D805 is crisys friendly for sure), and the latest videocard wars have hammered through so many tiny jumps - over such a long period and massive price restructuring... I'm sure glad I've waited.. I keep setting up the purchase then some new chip hits... the timing is very difficult the last 8 months.
    This one appears to be another so what...again.
    If you keep adding 5% to 15% to wowzie 25%, three or four or five times in a row, you finally get to something that isn't disappointing.
    IMO they keep dribbling it out to us - maybe that's all they can do(OK I just LIED trying to be nice tothem), but they certainly spend an inordinate amount of time making 10 or 20 different "flavors" of all the chips, then they lock multipliers and disable catches...
    I agree with the guy who said maybe he'll get an E8400 when they're 50 bucks. I'm not running a University server / research cruncher / consulting firm system.
    Anyway good luck to AMD. Their Dx4/100 sample was exciting, as was their K6, good on their Thunderbird and Barton, no problem.
    They do it too now though, "unlock" their chips for $$$$.
    So, the whole system holds back FAST, and lays down SLOW to "saturate price point markets" and get everyone blowing their $$$ for some peice of hacked down crud. That's the way it IS.

  • HexiumVII - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    While AMD might not have a competitor anytime soon, lucky for us, Nvidia decided to go all ape bananas on Intel. General processors are really at a plateau for consumers. We really don't need 8 cores. What we do need is focused cores for Video and 3D. We are still pretty far from some really nice multimedia acceleration to finally kill our clunky mouse interface. Reply
  • 0g1 - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    We need all the cores we can get in CPU's. In the future, games are going to be multithreaded to the point of hundreds of threads.

    Focused cores for 3D should be a separate entity from the CPU die for maximum speed because:
    1. Main memory speed is too slow compared to graphics memory.
    2. 3D can be separated with little to no penalty, thus allowing you to get theoretically twice the speed via two processors (one for 3d and one for general computation).
  • mkruer - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Compare the blue and yellow graph to Anand's two graphs. According to these benchmarks, "old" Penryn beats "new" Penryn by about 38% in single-threaded Cinebench and 17% in multi-threaded Cinebench.">">">">

    A mature Penryn system should score closer to the 3000 mark then what Anand listed.

    You can look at other review sites as well">">

    This should be raising some red flags people
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    That's a very good question, the Penryn system we ran the new numbers on is obviously different from the older systems but I'm trying to figure out now if there is a software explanation for why Cinebench is a lot slower now.

    The POV-Ray scores line up with what they were in our previous reviews, the only thing I can think of off the top of my head is that we've since switched to Vista SP1 and that has caused some problems where performance has gone down (see the 3dsmax scores).

    I'm digging on the Cinebench question right now and will post back as soon as I have some more data.

  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Just a quick check of the multithreaded numbers shows that the old and new Penryn numbers are where they should be, within 2%, so that's not an issue.

    Re-running the single threaded stuff now to see where we're at. Neither of the sites you pointed at used Vista SP1 either (including our older Phenom results), I may to run a quick install of Vista without SP1 to figure this one out.

    I'll keep you posted.

  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link


    That was entirely an error on my part, it wasn't a SP1 or a configuration issue. It was an Excel spreadsheet malfunction :) I used data from the wrong column (first run data vs. average run data) for Cinebench. Everything else looks to be exactly where it should be but I'll make another run through the spreadsheet to make sure.

    I just reran the numbers to confirm and now things make much more sense. Not only are our XCPU scores virtually identical to what they were for the Phenom article, but the single threaded tests make a lot more sense. Furthermore, the scaling from 1 to n-threads makes a lot more sense now too. Penryn gets a 3.56x speedup from multithreading while Nehalem gets a 4.18x speedup - the difference in scaling partially being due to HT.

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention and sorry for the mixup.

    Take care,
  • mkruer - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Not a problem.

    I tend not to take most things at face value. Looking at the Nehalem, its focus was to increase the multi threaded performance, not the single thread app per say. This would put it more inline with what AMD is offering on per core scalability. The Nehalem will get Intel back into the big iron scalability that it lost to AMD.

    My guess is that the Nehalem will not give users any real advantage playing games or other single threaded apps, unless the game or app supports more then one thread.

    The final question is poised back to AMD. If AMD gets their single threaded IPC and clock speed up, then both platforms should be near identical from a performance standpoint. Then it is just down to price, manufacturing and distribution. I just hope that AMD claims of 15-20% improvement in per core IPC are true. This should make this holiday season much more interesting.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Nehalem most definitely had a server focus coming up, but I wouldn't underestimate what the IMC will do for CPU-bound gaming performance. Don't forget what the IMC did for the K8 vs. Athlon XP way back when...

    As far as AMD goes, clock speed issues should get resolved with the move to 45nm. The IPC stuff should get taken care of with Bulldozer, the question is when can we expect Bulldozer?
  • JumpingJack - Saturday, June 07, 2008 - link

    Don't count on 45 nm clocking up much higher than 65 nm, maybe another bin or so.... gate leakage and SCE are limiting and the reason for the sideways move from 90 to 65 nm to begin with (traditional gate ox, SiO2, did not scale 90 to 65 nm) ... the next chance for a decent clock bump will come with their inclusion of HKMG. Which from the rumor mill isn't until 1H09.
  • fitten - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    AMD hasn't really resolved any clock speed issues from the move from 130nm -> 90nm -> 65nm (look at the top speed 130nm parts compared to the top speed 65nm parts). During some of those transitions, the introductory parts actually were slower clocked than the higher clocked of the previous process and didn't even catch up for some time. Reply
  • bcronce - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Does anyone know why Intel is claiming NUMA on these? I'm assuming you need a multi-cpu system for such uses, but how is the memory segmented that it's NUMA? Reply
  • bcronce - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Seems Arstechnica("> has info on NUMA.

    Assuming more than 1 node being used, each node connects to the Memmory hub and gets assigned it's own *default* memory bank. A one node computer won't see any diff, but a 2-4 node will get a default memory bank and reduced latencies. A node can interleave the data amoung the 2-4 memory banks, but DDR3 is freak'n fast and probably best just streaming from your own bank to reduce contention amoung the nodes.
  • RobberBaron - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    I think there are going to be other issues revolving around this chip. For example:">;task...

    Nvidia's Director or PR, Derek Perez, has told Fudzilla that Intel actually won't let Nvidia make its Nforce chipset that will work with Intel's Nehalem generation of processors.

    We confirmed this from Intel’s side, as well as other sources. Intel told us that there won't be an Nvidia's chipset for Nehalem. Nvidia will call this a "dispute between companies that they are trying to solve privately," but we believe it's much more than that.
  • AmberClad - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    That still leaves you with CrossFire and cards with multiple GPUs like the 9800 X2. It's a tiny fraction of the market that actually uses SLI anyway.

    Eh, who knows, maybe Nvidia will finally cave and grant that SLI license, and we'll finally have decent chipsets with SLI.
  • chizow - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Agreed, as much as I love NV GPUs, I'm tired of having SLI tied to NV's buggy chipsets. Realistically I'd probably just get an Intel chipset with Nehalem even if there was an Nforce SLI variant and just go with the fastest single-GPU processor. Reply
  • Baked - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Maybe I can finally grab that E8400 when it drops to $50. Reply
  • SiliconDoc - Monday, July 28, 2008 - link

    lol- Buddy you are thinking. Reply
  • magreen - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Thanks for the amazing preview, Anand!

    I hope you and Gary will get us more Nehalem information quick like bunnies.
  • yottabit - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Great Article Anand! I'm so excited for this new technology. But that socket and triple channel memory archetecture makes me want to puke in my mouth a little bit. It's very reminiscent to me of the Socket 423/RDRAM era. I have the feeling that they are going to release this setup for a lot of the early adopters and then screw them over by dropping the socket completely, when they decide that Dual Channel DDR3 is fast enough. I can't picture two platforms running side by side, with two entirely different sockets. People whant a Nehalem but need 4 gigs of ram will end up buying 6 Gigs of ram... and DDR3 ain't exactly cheap.

    I wish they had plans to through this into the mainstream faster. I'd love to have one of these, in dual channel variety. I'm still running an old early A64, and I'm holding out for these next gen processors in the next year or two.

    Its awesome to see that nice performance per clock increase, but the triple channel memory is a real slap in the face to me. Its like Intel saying "look, we increase clock for clock performance, but we also decided to use some brute force and raise our power consumption and motherboard complexity for no reason by adding another impractical memory channel". I don't see it as elegant at all. I think they are overcompensating for their lack of memory bandwith in recent times. :-

    Maybe AMD will have a chance to jump in with some nicer Phenom's before Nehalem comes out and actually capture some quad core market?
  • npp - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    I'm tired of all those people who just can live with the fact that the world is spinning and the CPUs that were reviewed here are simply far faster than the Penryn or Phenom you just bought yesterday... Get used to the fact, this is how thing happen today. Nehalem will be probably the most advanced x86 (x64) CPU when launched, and it just happened that Intel developed it - it could have been anybody else, say AMD, or nVidia, or whoever you prefer, no difference to me. Things go ahead, and some vendors simply get the job done first, in the grand scheme of things, it is all the same. All those fanboys I see around sound like some 3 year old children fighting for candy to me, It's amusing to see how AMD or Intel PR locked you up, guys.

    Now a brief question, aimed directly at Anand, I guess: I still can't figure out why memory performance is so low even via an advanced controller such as Nehalem's. As far as I can tell, 3-channel DDR3-1066 should be able to deliver up to 25,5 GB/s of bandwidth, far from the figures we see. How does this happen? And once more: you measured some 46ms latency altogether, how was that obtained? Assuming memory clock of 133Mhz, this should yield something like CAS4 (~30ms) latencies for the memory, am I right?
  • fitten - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link


    As far as single/dual/triple channel, it seems that Anand and gang were able to test with all three modes (you'll notice the comment about WinRAR being 10% faster with triple channel compared to single channel on the pre-release motherboard)... so you don't *have* to buy 3 sticks of memory... if you want 4GiB, you should be able to get 1x4 or 2x2 and leave the other slot(s) empty.
  • npp - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    It's all nanoseconds, of course, not milli- or micro, my fault. Never mind, I'm still awaiting some reasonable explanation about the "modest" bandwidth measured. 12GB/s copy is by no means little - I can't say if it's achievable via overclocking today, I'm not into that kind of business - but still I would guess no. Still, it seems little compared to the max. theoretical values. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    I think we may have to wait for a final Nehalem platform before we can make any calls on memory bandwidth figures, but do keep in mind that the amount of usable memory bandwidth will depend largely on how it's being measured. If the algorithm is even slightly compute bound we won't see perfect scaling with theoretical memory bandwidth.

    I'm not sure how Everest measures bandwidth so I can't tell you exactly what numbers we should be seeing there, but it is useful for comparing a relative increase in bandwidth between Penryn and Nehalem.

    Take care,
  • npp - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Thank you very much, very kind of you to bother answering my question! Keep up the good work here at Anandtech. Reply
  • NINaudio - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    I'm not sure hwy everyone is so concerned about DDR3 prices being high. A quick check shows that you can get a 2gig kit of ddr3-1600 for under $150 already. By the time Nehalem is out for mass consumption ddr3 will be even cheaper. I would say that it's pretty realistic to expect to be able to get a 3gig triple channel kit for under $100 and a 6gig triple channel kit for around $175 by the time nehalem is available to us. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    What I'm really interested in is why Intel felt that Nehalem needed a three channel DDR3 memory controller. Will it really be necessary for higher clocked Nehalem (or is it Nehalems)? It'd be great for the versions of Nehalem with integrated graphics but I figured those would mostly be pushed into the mainstream, dual channel SKUs anyways. Looks like we'll have to wait at least a few more months before we can find out for sure.

  • kilkennycat - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Isn't 6GB of RAM a pretty sweet spot for desktop 64-bit applications, whatever about servers? Reply
  • jimmysmitty - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Well I have been waiting for Nehalem. I gave in and decided to build a rig with the Q6600 but kinda sad now.

    Anwways. Crank the Planet, hes not showing fanboyism. He stated Intel has been promising 20-30% increase with Nehalem. They are seeing 20-50% from these benchmarks. Take 21 and divide it by 14 that gives you 1.5. That means that the AMD Phenoms latency is about 50% slower.

    If anything you are showing fanboyism. Nehalem is showing to be one hell of a chip and you are just angry that AMD has nothing to compare to it. Even after AMD finishes absorbing ATI whats next, K10.5 aka Deneb? Thats just a 45nm refresh (just like Penryn was for Conroe). Unless there are some major changes in the architecture it will just, hopefully, make Phenom run at higher clocks and cooler.

    Other than that I can't wait to see what this does for games. I know that most games are more GPU dependant but I myself play mainly Valve games using Source and thats very CPU dependant and already runs great on my Q6600 but I want to see what this game will do for their particle and physics system...
  • Nehemoth - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Please, Please, Please Intel I would to have this monsters chip in our servers without the annoying FBD, I don't want hoty FBD bring me normal DDR2 (without FBD) or DDR3.

    Just what I ask.

  • Griswold - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    I'm a big fan of multi-core systems, but I'm not blind to reality: Why no single threaded benchmarks, but only benchmarks that scale very good with more cores/SMT? By the time these things will be on the market, most applikations will still be single threaded and you know it...

    I just want to know how much faster it is per clock per core.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Interestingly enough, none of our standard CPU benchmarks are single threaded at all - even the most benign ones are multithreaded (including the games). I did run some single thread Cinebench numbers though:

    Nehalem - 3015
    Q9450 - 2396
  • bradley - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Why is there such a large discrepancy between previous single-threaded Cinebench tests from six months ago: where the Q9450 scored a 2944, or a mere 2.4% decrease, compared to the current 2396, or a more substantial 20.5% decrease.">

    I too believe single-threaded benches should be the foundation of any meaningful and relevant cpu review, if time indeed was permitting. To me this is the greatest objective real-world equalizer. There just isn't enough multi-threaded software out there, much less software able to run all eight cores. I would also like to emphasize that unlike server chips, desktop Nehalems will only have two memory channels. And as I understand, hyper threading also will only make an appearance in server and enthusiast chipsets. So already this makes an accurate comparison difficult enough.

    Finally, I understand the avg visitor will treat this like any good entertainment, where one is meant to suspend his-her disbelief. Still I have a hard time believing anyone has the ability to abscond away such important chips from a huge corporation like Intel. "Without Intel's approval, supervision, blessing or even desire - we went ahead and snagged us a Nehalem (actually, two) and spent some time with them." That initial premise does make anything coming after less impactful, or seemingly less than straightforward.

    Certainly if history has taught us anything, we know final shipping silicon is sometimes quite different from test chips. We should also assume it's a lot easier to create ond one chip than manufacture hundreds of thousands on a large scale. Nothing is ever a given, which makes it hard to draw much of a conclusion. Interesting preview nonetheless.
  • SiliconDoc - Monday, July 28, 2008 - link

    Shhhhh... gosh we have to have core hype ... and the multicore testers have to optimize for the coming chips... geeze they have to make a living somehow...
    ( You sir, are exactly correct, but we live in a strange world nowadays where the truth is so evident it must be hidden most of the time for various other reasons... )
    Gosh, you want to crash the whole economy with that sane and rational talk ?
    What are you an anarchist ? ( yes I'm kidding, that was a big high five to you)
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Ignore those numbers (check page 6 of the comments for an explanation), the Q9450 comes in at 2931 vs. Nehalem's 3015.

  • pnyffeler - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    I'm not a Mac person, but I think Mac's may benefit from this technology even more than Vista. As I recall from a previous Anandtech article, Mac's have an excellent memory management system, which very direct benefit in increasing memory size. The increased bandwidth could make the snazzy OS even better... Reply
  • Visual - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    It is great that your "clock for clock" comparisons to the penryn in encoding and rendering are showing an improvement... but could that improvement be from the doubled amount of virtual processors that are visible? Are all of these benchmarks using eight or four threads on the nehalem? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    I really wish I could've turned off hyperthreading :)

    DivX doesn't scale well beyond 4 threads so that's the best benchmark I could run to look at how Nehalem performs when you keep clock speeds and number of threads capped. With a 28% improvement that's at the upper end of what we should expect from Nehalem on average.

    Take care,
  • SiliconDoc - Monday, July 28, 2008 - link

    Great answer, expalins it to a tee....
    However that leaves myself and I'd bet most of the fans here with not much real world use for 4x4HT ...
    I don't know should we all steal rented DVD's... by re-encoding - only use I know of that might work for the non-connected enduser.
    Not like "folding" is all the rage, they would have to pay me to do their work - especially with all the "power savings" hullaballoo going on in tech.
    That's great, 28% increase, ok...
    So I want it in a 2 core or a single core HT... since that runs everything I do outside the University.
    I guess the all core useage all the time, will hit sometime....
  • Calin - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    First of all, the Hyperthreading in the Pentium 4 line brought at most a 20% or so performance advantage, with a -5% or so at worst. I don't have many reasons just now to think this new Hyperthreading would be vastly different.
    As for the scaling to 8 cores, maybe the scaling was limited due to other issues (latency, interprocessor communication, cache coherency)? It might be possible that DivX on this new platform to increase performance from 4 to 8 cores?
  • bcronce - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Intel claims that the new HT is improved and gives 10%-100% increase. The main issue with the P4 is that it had a double pumped alu that could process 2 integers per clock. This was great for HT since you could do 2 instructions per clock. The problem came with competition for the FPU, which there was only 1. This would cause the 2nd thread in the logical cpu to stall and thread swapping has additional overhead.

    You also run into the issue of L2 cashe thrashing. If you have 2 threads trying to monopolize the FPU and also loading large datasets into cache, you're cache misses go up while each thread is bottlenecked at the fpu.
  • techkyle - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    I'd like to know what AMD fans are thinking. As one myself, I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to give in and become an Intel fan.

    Intel implementing the IMC:
    I can only say two things. One, it's about time. Two, THIEF!

    Return of Hyper Threading:
    It seems to me that some sort of intelligence must go in to the design of multi-core hyper threading. If two intensive tasks are given to the processor, the fastest solution would be simple, devote one core to one thread, a second core to the other. With Hyper Threading back with a multi-core twist, what's stopping one thread the first core, first virtual and the second thread on the first core, second virtual?

    Another nail in the coffin:
    AMD can provide no competition to high end Core 2 Quad machines. Even if the K10 line can jump up to par performance with the Core architecture, can they really expect to have a Nehalem competitor ready any time remotely close to Intel's launch? AMD can't afford to keep playing the power efficient and price/performance game.

    AMD is going to be in an even worse position than when it was X2 vs Core 2 if they can't pull something out of their sleeves. Barcelona already isn't clock for clock competitive with the Penryn and now we hear that early Nehalems are 20-40% above Core 2?
    If AMD's next processor flops, is it possible for them to drop desktop and server processors and still be a functioning (not to forget profitable) company? It's no longer a race for the performance crown. It's becoming a race to simply survive.
  • bcronce - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    "Return of Hyper Threading:
    It seems to me that some sort of intelligence must go in to the design of multi-core hyper threading. If two intensive tasks are given to the processor, the fastest solution would be simple, devote one core to one thread, a second core to the other. With Hyper Threading back with a multi-core twist, what's stopping one thread the first core, first virtual and the second thread on the first core, second virtual? "

    The way Windows lists cpu is first physicals, then logicals. So in task manager the first 4, on a quad core w/ HT, will be your physical cpu and the last 4 will be you logical.

    Windows, by default, will put threads on cpu 1-4 first. It will move threads around to different CPUs if it feels that one is under-taxed and another is way over-taxed.

    Programmers can also force Windows to use differnt cores for each thread. So, a program can tell Windows to lock all threads to the first 4 cpus, which will keep them off of the logical. You could then allow a thread that manages the worker threads to run on the logical cpus. You would then be keeping all your hard data-crunching threads from competing with themselves and let the UI/etc threads take advantage of HT.
  • Spoelie - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Supposedly, Shanghai (the 45nm iteration of Phenom) will be around 20% faster clock per clock over Phenom. This is what AMD said itself some time ago and not verified by an independent source. Judging by current benchmarks, this would put Shanghai at the same or slightly higher performance level of Penryn.

    As such, a very crude estimate is that Shanghai should be as competitive to Nehalem as K8 is to Conroe. Not a very rosy outlook so let's hope this early information is not accurate and AMD can pull something more out of its hat.

    BTW, last I heard is that Bulldozer will come at the 32nm node at the earliest, since the design is supposedly too complex for 45nm. So no instant relieve from that corner. AMD will be fighting a harsh battle the coming years.
  • Calin - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    "Two, THIEF"
    AMD's vector processing is 3DNow!, if I remember correctly. Yet, the Intel's versions of it is are touted on its processors instead (SSE2, SSE3). Now who's the thief?
  • swaaye - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    MMX? Or, MDMX? Who copied who? Nobody, really. SIMD has been around forever. Reply
  • Retratserif - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    I really would not try and think of it as a Fan base. A majority of the OC'er and Benchmarkers use what works for what they are doing. I have owned and water cooled AMD CPU's. It was great at the time.

    Once Conroes came out the door swung the other way. Technology is like the ocean, it comes in waves. All waves die out. Fortunately we as the user are living it up because of Intel's success. At the same time I truly hope that AMD/ATI does something in response to the high power cpu's. If not we get what ever intel wants to give us.

    There will always be to sides to each story. Since Intel is on top and unscathed, they have time to perfect chips before they go mainstream. Same way we have seen the delay in Yorkfields. There was something seriously wrong, and they had time to address it before it was in the hands of thousands of users.

    Ok, I can say I am a fan.... of what ever works the best for what I do. Price/Performance/Practicallity. You take what you can afford and make it work harder for every penny you put in it.

    One thing you have to keep in mind. AMD is selling more budget CPU's and integrated/onboard video PC's to large companies like Dell and HP. They are moving more aggressively into typical home PC and mobile use. Intel just does not do very well there atm. With Ati in the pocket and being pretty green on power consumption, you can get a good mobile AMD that will do everything a typical PC user will ever need for 2 years at a good price.
  • Poepstamper - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    im not a fanboy but i like AMD better,i dont like big corporations anyways.
    but im pretty worried if AMD has no answer to this,then we would have to pay lots more for a processor.
  • Genx87 - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Being an AMD fan and sometimes fanboi over the past 12 years. My last major game rig build was a Core 2 Duo 6600. I did an upgrade 3 weeks ago with an E8400. I built a new computer for a friend who has had AMD chips since 1999 with an E7200.

    AMD needs to start making a show.
  • NullSubroutine - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    First off, I am not a fan of either company, just to get that out of the way.

    You do realize that Nehalem is not or will not be a mainstream product for quite some time into 2009. Enthusiast may get a few chips in limited quantities, probably in the $1500+ range. Otherwise this is designed to be a high end Server processor. It will take some time for it to trickle down to be something most average people will buy and use.

    Intel is hitting back the same way AMD hit at Intel back with the K8. Making a great scaleable high performance server chip and letting it trickle its way down to the mainstream market.

    Trying to compare Nehalem to any AMD processor (or even most Core2/quad) is like trying to compare a Chevy Mailibu to a Formula 1 race car, its just not the same thing.

    What is exciting about Nehalem right now is the technological advancement of some of the stuff Intel has done, and the happiness that it will one day be availble mainstream.

    AMD is not going to be put in a bad position (other than the one its already in) in the mainstream desktop market with Nehalem - not for probably near another year. It will hurt it in the Server market, but at first Intel wont have many of these chips availible, so AMD will have a minor chance with a Shanghai or Bulldozer core - if they can actually execute a launch.

    AMD is also not trying to stay equal with Intel, it doesnt have the resources to do it. You are likely, in any near time frame, going to see AMD come out and just PWN Intel in performance numbers. You will see AMD put together what they call a good 'platform' meaning. You can buy your whole platform, MB/CPU/GPU/etc from AMD and it will be a solid platform.

    It's not going to win bragging rights to a bunch of 'nerds' running gaming websites claming how AMD sucks so much. You will probably see that actually, people saying how 1500 dollar processor pwns some 200 dollar one. AMD isnt currently trying to win performance crowns or win over enthusiast that spend boat loads of money on a CPU (or GPU) they are trying to push the mainstream market, which actually has the largest number of people to sell to. However I am sure they would like to keep their server side doing well (it makes good margins).

    I don't think you are going to see an AMD come back to any pure performance crowns. You may some crowns for price/performance/power for the whole platform.
  • NullSubroutine - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    supposed to say You are NOT likely to see AMD come PWN Intel...

    And you could compare 8 series Opteron to Nehalem...
  • AmberClad - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    That picture of the socket -- I only recall a single board with that colored PCB in the INQ's coverage of the wall of Nehalem boards. Maybe that picture is giving away more than intended, as far as the identity of the company that provided the sample? (I suppose it's possible that whoever leaked the Nehalem sample isn't the same person that provided the motherboard.) Reply
  • RaynorWolfcastle - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    These benches are mighty impressive for such an immature platform. There had better be some serious performance and clock speed bumps in store for AMD's K10.5 or they will be dead in the water.

    Also, is there any indication as to when Intel will start transitioning Nehalem to the mobile space? I have a 1st gen (Core Duo) MacBook Pro that's getting a little long in the tooth and I'm debating whether to jump on the Montevina train or wait for Nehalem mobile. I'd love to get a mobile Nehalem if it launches any time in 1H09.
  • emboss - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    Non-Extremely-Expensive-Edition single-socket Nehalems now aren't coming until sometime in 2H09, so you'll probably be lucky to see any mobile Nehalems in 2009 at all.

    As such, I'd say Intel failed to tick on time. Conroe hit mainstream July 06 (eg: E6400). We should be getting mainstream Nehalems in 1 month, not 12+ months.

    Then again, Intel has been futzing around with the release dates quite a bit, so it may get pulled forward.
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Because Nehalem is frankly so much faster than the already rapid Core 2, that as already said, AMD is going to be struggling for a long time to come.

    Unless some miracle occurs, all I know is right now I want Nehalem.
  • TonyB - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    can it play crysis Reply
  • PeteRoy - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Exactly, where are the gaming performance? It's the first thing I care about by a long way.

    I don't do all the other stuff you benched on my PC.
  • SiliconDoc - Monday, July 28, 2008 - link

    Crysis- etc. :

    Pete, you can be very happy knowing it will do folding like mad, and you can fantasize that you've cured cancer while you spend your money for some tax subsidized already to the hilt University program, because you're such a good and loving person.
    ( I know YOU didn't mean anything like that - see sarcasm! )
    In the mean time, the OLD HT single core chips will do just fine cranking most games, and dual core or core2duo or 2180 or some other then $40 chip will be a few percentage pts. shy.
    My gawd, they've got our number.
    I bet they "unlock it !!!!! " OMG ! for like 2 grand if you're cooooool you can get one!
  • Crank the Planet - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    I know it may be exciting but the article sounds fan-boyish. For most of the marks it shows what intel is claiming 20-30% boost. He gets one mark to go 50% and now it's 20-50% boost?? He compares in another mark AMD 21 and nehalem 14 and says it's almost 50% faster!!! and then compares penryn 18 and nehalem 14 and says it's 28%. I think the AMD mark was more like 35%.

    As I've said before everybody knows AMD was going to hurt themselves in the short run by buying ATI. If they didn't buy ATI I think things would be very different. Now that the last year of payments is being made for buying ATI AMD will be able to get back into the game.

    Intel has only now integrated the memory controller. Everybody knew as soon as they did they would see a nice bump. They haven't had any significant innovations in a long time. AMD is in the same position they were before K8. Just give them some time to finish absorbing ATI, then watch out- fusion is just around the corner :)
  • hs635 - Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - link

    Fuck off retard Reply
  • masouth - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    What kind of idiot fan-boy drivel is this?

    "He gets one mark to go 50% and now it's 20-50% boost??"

    Ummm, yes?

    1, 2, 3, 4, 8

    What is the range of those numbers? 1-8, right?

    Does the majority of them being being in the 1-5 range somehow negate the fact that the actual range is 1-8?

  • michael2k - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    You're the one that sounds like a fanboy.

    What makes you think Intel's CPU-GPU integration won't be as fabulous as their IMC or quad-core components? Intel doesn't need "significant innovations" (nor does AMD), they just need higher performance, lower power, and lower cost, which is exactly what they have.

    Innovations only exist to serve those aspects.
  • Justin Case - Sunday, June 08, 2008 - link


    AMD64 (the instruction set) isn't about "more performance". Virtualization isn't about "more performance". Hardware no-execute flags aren't about "more performance". SATA's hot-plug ability isn't about "more performance".

    Your statement shows the kind of lack of vision that brought us the Pentium 4.

    I for one am far more excited about technology that allows me to do something new or different than "technology" that simply lets me do the same stuff faster. 99% of CPU cycles in the planet go unused anyway.

  • zsdersw - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Given the overall tone of your reply, the criticism of the article as "fan-boyish" is, really, the pot calling the kettle black. Reply
  • Visual - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    so you agree as well? yeah, me too.
    they are both black. they are both fanboys :)
  • zsdersw - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    I've said nothing about agreeing with anything. What I have said, though, is that a fanboy calling someone else a fanboy is perhaps not indicative of any objective truth. Reply
  • Jynx980 - Saturday, June 07, 2008 - link

    It will be a great day when I can read any CPU discussion without the word fanboy in it.

    The close up of the chip has waaaaaay to much thermal compound on it.

    Is it just me or is the first pic of the Intel roadmap rather... phallic?
  • ForumMaster - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    if you'd bother to read the article, it states quite clearly there are PCI-E issues which prevent any GPU testing as of now. it says the motherboard makers need another month to iron out the issues.

    what amazed me is how much better the performance is at this point. when nehalem is optimized, wow.
  • JPForums - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    I wouldn't expect much further optimization of the CPU. The only optimizations in code that couldn't have been made for Penryn would be further threading. Motherboard and chipset optimizations could make a difference, but only up to the point where they are mature. After that there will be little to differentiate CPU performance.

    Like with AMD, implementing the on-die memory controller gives Intel a free performance boost. There are no new instructions to implement and the improvement doesn't apply only to rare or obscure scenarios. Getting data into the core faster with less latency simply makes everything faster. It also serves to further minimize performance differences between supporting platforms.

    What impresses me is that Intel got it right on the first try. It doesn't really surprise me as they have far more resources to work with, but it is nonetheless impressive.

    The article mentions that Pat that said you can only add a memory controller once. Is this somehow different from any other architecture improvement? You can only add SSE or hyperthreading, or a new divider architecture once. Improvements to SSE2 and beyond or adding more thread support in hyperthreading are no different than putting in a DDR4 (or newer) controller with 4 (or more) channel support. Note: I don't advocate trying to add further thread support in hyperthreading. In fact, one of the few architectural change that I can think of that can be used more than once is increasing the cache size. Since AMD can't keep up with Intel's cache size due to process inferiority, it seems like an obvious viewpoint for Intel to take.

    I suspect that the real reasons Intel didn't move over sooner were:
    1) They didn't want to be seen as trailing AMD.
    2) More importantly, an on-die memory controller reduces the advantage of larger caches. Alternately, from Intels perspective, a P4 processor would not have seen nearly as much benefit from an on-die memory controller due to its heavy reliance on large cache sizes. Benchmarks of the P4's showed that raw memory bandwidth was great for the P4s, but they couldn't care less about memory latencies (the largest advantage of an on-die memory controller) as they were hidden by the large cache size. Fast forward to the Core2's of today and you'll see major performance increases from lowering memory latencies on the X38/X48 chipsets. I believe this is true even to the point that the best performance isn't necessarily in line with the highest frequency overclock anymore. Even though Core2 has an even larger cache, it doesn't rely on it as much. Consider how much closer the performances of Intel's budget line (read: low cache) processors are to the mainstream than they were in the P4 era.

    Intel was not going to introduce an on-die memory controller on an architecture that it made little sense to add it to. While it made sense with Core2, it would've taken much longer to get the chips out with one and Intel didn't have the luxury of time at Conroe's launch. Further, Intel would need to give something up to put it in. It is debatable whether they would see the same performance improvements depending on what got left out or changed. In conclusion, Intel added the on-die memory controller when it made the most sense.

    Hyper-transport, on the other hand, was something Intel could've used a long time ago. Though they probably left it out because they weren't getting rid of the front side bus and they didn't want even more communications paths. Quickpath is a welcome improvement, though I'd really like to delve into the details before comparing it to hyper-transport. It'll be a real shame if they use time-division-multiplexing for the switching structure. (Assuming it supports multiple paths of course.)

    The article mentions that the cache latencies and memory latencies are superior to Phenom's. While this is true, I don't really think AMD screwed anything up. Rather, Intel is simply enjoying the benefits of its smaller process technology and newer memory standard. You need look no further than Anandtech to find articles explaining the absolute latencies differences between DDR2 and DDR3. Intel memory latencies may still be a bit lower than AMD when they move over to the smaller process with a DDR3 controller, but I doubt it'll be earth shattering.

    The good news for AMD is that Intel has essentially told them that they are on the right path with their architecture design. The bad news is that Intel also just told them that it doesn't matter if they are right, Intel is so fast that they can take a major detour and still find their way to the destination before AMD arrives. Hopefully, AMD will pick up speed once they're done paying for the ATI merger.
  • Gary Key - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    I was able to view but not personally benchmark a recently optimized Bloomfield/X58 system this week and it was blindingly fast in several video benchmarks compared to a QX9650. These numbers were before the GPUs became a bottleneck. ;) Reply
  • BansheeX - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    The performance conclusion might be a good example of why a monopoly is neither self-perpetuating or an inherently bad thing for the consumer. It IS possible for a virtual monopoly like Intel to be making the best product for the consumer. Perhaps the fear itself of losing that position is enough for such companies to not be complacent or attempt to overprice products, as it would open a window for smaller capital to come in and take marketshare. Just keep them away from subsidies and other special privileges, and the market will always work out for the best. You listening, Europe? Reply
  • Chesterh - Saturday, August 09, 2008 - link

    Go back and to school and take Economics 101. Monopolies and corporate consolidation are part of the reason our economy is in the crapper right now. If the US government had been actually enforcing the antitrust regulations on the books, we might have done the same thing as Europe and slapped Microsoft on the wrist as well.

    Besides, Intel does not have a 'virtual monopoly', or any kind of monopoly. AMD is not out of the game; they are down in the high end CPU segment, but they are definitely not out. The only reason Intel is still releasing aggressively competitive new products is because it doesn't want to lose its lead over AMD. If there was no AMD, we might not even have multicore procs at this point.
  • SiliconDoc - Monday, July 28, 2008 - link

    Uhhh, are you as enamored with Intel as Anand has been for as many years ?
    Did you say "monopoly not overprice it's products" ?
    Ummm... so like after they went insane locking their multipliers because they hate we overclockers ( they can whine about chip remarkers - whatever) - they suddenly... when they could make an INSANE markup...ooooh..... they UNLOCKED their processor they "locked up on us".... made a "cool tard" marketing name and skyerocketed the price...
    Well - you know what you said... like I wish some hot 21yr. old virgin would kiss me that hard.
    With friends like you monopolies can beat all enemies... ( not that there's anything wrong with that).
    \Grrrrr -
    I know, you're just being positive something I'm not very good at.
    I lost my cool when I read " the 1633 pin socket will be a knocked down 1066 version "for the public" or the like....
    You never get the feeling your 3rd phalanx is permanently locked to your talus, both sides ?
    Hmmm.... man we're in trouble.
  • Grantman - Sunday, July 06, 2008 - link

    A monopoly is the worst thing that could happen for consumers in every regard, and the ease of entry for the smaller businesses to enter the processor market and gobble up marketshare is laughable. Firstly once a monopoly is established the can set the prices at any height they want and you think smaller players can take advantage of the opportunity and enter the sophisticated cpu market without being crushed by aggressive price cutting? Not only that, but as the monopoly makes it's close to 100% market share revenue it will reach a point were it's research and development is simply far ahead of any hopeful to enter the market thus perpetuating it's ongoing domination. Reply
  • Justin Case - Sunday, June 08, 2008 - link

    The only reason why Intel came out with these CPUs at all is that there _is_ competition. Without that, Intel would still be run by its marketing department and we'd be paying $1000 for yet another 100 MHz increase on some Pentium 4 derivative.

    The words "a mononopoly isn't a bad thing for consumers" sound straight out of the good ol' USSR. You need to study some Economics 101; you clearly don't understand what "barriers to entry" or "antitrust" mean.

  • mikkel - Sunday, August 10, 2008 - link

    Are you honestly suggesting that desktop performance requirements is the only thing driving processing innovation? I'm fairly sure that you'd find a very good number of server vendors whose customers wouldn't be satisfied with P4 derivatives today.

    There are market forces that Intel couldn't hold back even if they wanted to.
  • adiposity - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    AMD is not dead yet and is still undercutting Intel at every price point they are able to. Intel will not rest until AMD is dead or completely non-competetive. At that point we may see a return to the arrogant, bloated Intel of old.

    All that said, their engineers are awesome and deserve credit for delivering again and again since Intel decided to compete seriously. They have done a great job and provided superior performance.

    The only question is: will Intel corporate stop funding R&D and just rake in profits once AMD is dead and gone? I unless they get lucky in court in 2010, I think AMD's death is now a foregone conclusion.

  • Justin Case - Sunday, June 08, 2008 - link

    The chances of AMD dying are approximately... zero. The question is whether they stay as an independent company or get bought by someone else. Their IP and patent portfolio alone are worth more than the company's current value, even if they didn't sell a single CPU and didn't have any fabs.

    The top candidate is Samsung, followed by IBM, followed by the UAE. But the real nightmare scenario is this: Microsoft buys AMD, and slowly makes its software incompatible with (or run much slower on) everyone else's CPUs. After that, they have zero incentive to improve the chips, because no one else can compete anyway.

    Since it's been shown that Microsoft can violate antitrust legislation as much as it wants (as long as it pays off a few senators), this is not at all impossible. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
  • VooDooAddict - Monday, June 09, 2008 - link

    That would be the beginning of the end for MS.

    MS buys AMD? .... that would be the day I buy a fully loaded Mac Pro.
  • Griswold - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    Listenting to whom? Somebody as naive and clueless as you, who apparently believes breaking laws in the past should be forgiven and forgotten until there is no competition at all, because the market will magically make things work out perfectly for the customer anyway...?
  • n0b0dykn0ws - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    If Nehalem comes out and does run circles around current processors, then we're better off, right?

    The only problem is that Intel is holding back on it's CPUs.

    Without competition, Intel will only give us 'just a little taste'.

    Me personally? I want the full strength version at today's prices.

  • Rev1 - Monday, June 09, 2008 - link

    AMd is still competitive in the price segment of lower end cpu's, and after the PT4 debacle intel doesnt wanna loosen it's grip anytime soon to AMD. Reply
  • Zurtex - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    You've written:

    "Encoding performance here went through the roof with Nehalem: a clock for clock boost of 44%."

    But your graph shows the exact opposite. I'm assuming you just got the numbers on the graph the wrong way around, rather than your analysis mixed up.
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    Uh, sometimes bits get flipped when in transfer from Taiwan, yeah, that's it.

    Anyhow, thanks for the notice. Fixed.
  • 8steve8 - Thursday, June 05, 2008 - link

    exactly what I expected.

    imc was long overdue for intel...

    can't wait to buy one, but I've been hearing us mere consumers wont be able to until well into 09?


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