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  • del - Friday, August 15, 2008 - link

    Don't be a hater. :P Intel has got it goin' on right now. Believe in the POWAH of Larrabee... unless it proves to be a failure upon release.

  • Thatguy97 - Sunday, June 28, 2015 - link

  • atlmann10 - Saturday, August 09, 2008 - link

    Think about this ok AMD originally was a private IBM cpu manufacturer. Then bought out and run as a side unit of INTEL, that was dropped after they were done with them. So in a way the were partners and I'm sure there was some friendliness. As it's always been said keep your friends close but your enemies closer. There have been some things especially in these past two years that struck me kind of odd. Such as AMD's graphics chips running fine on a x38/48 chipset and the physics collaboration things as well as a few other rumors. Then Nvidia starts spouting off about how they could kick INTELS A77 etc. Now AMD has a definite GPU coprocessor in ATI and they wanna break into the market of GPU's etc. They know that there will be graphics competition with Nvidia being there largest competitior because there dedicated to GPU's solely and have a reputation. However now AMD has some chips that compete straight on weakening Nvidia to a point. Then AMD is getting more and more out of there cpu's gpu's and chipsets so INTEl jumps in the CPU GPU market just like AMD. Either way it turns out more are going to go with INTEL cpu's and many other products where AMD is kind of a fringe player. Who would you rather compete against full on 2 major GPU manufacturers or attempt to kind of co-align yourself with there competetitor while the somewhat down. Then throw out a whole new way to do graphics that performs well Nvidia is already loosing market share. So more people try it and the same number of people go with ATI. That leaves a much lower market for Nvidia plus there paying back what some 200 million dollars in bad GPU's right now as well and a few other problems they been having. Now this is not anything I know but knowing INTEL loves to stick it to competitors when there weak think about it. Reply
  • benkantor - Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - link

    if you could fit 10 Larrabees on 143 mm^2, you could fit 40 Larrabees on 286 mm^2, not 20... :P Reply
  • MamiyaOtaru - Saturday, August 09, 2008 - link

    For the love of education. We've already been through this. See the end of page 6 through page 7 in the comments section.

    143mm^2 doesn't mean 143*143. It means 143 square millimeters. 286 square millimeters is twice as many, allowing twice as many cores.">

    The article is right and you are so very wrong.
  • Barack Obama - Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - link

    Derek and Anand deliver again! Reply
  • KGR - Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - link

    I am not a profeesional about software and hardware that is why maybe this question can sound nonsense .
    If larrabee will have a software renderer and programmed by C++ is it possible that it is not depended on windows? I mean if it doesnt need direct X can we run the games on Linux also??
  • npoe1 - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    I enjoyed reading this so much. I think that this kind of articles is what Anandtech needs; I usually go to Arstechnica to read things like this one.

    Again, thanks!
  • TrEmEnDo - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    I am definitely impressed with this new development and I expect that this technology will be disruptive down the road, however I feel that somehow they are about to commit another of their megalomaniac mistakes.
    Has anyone stopped for a sec and look where all gaming industry is heading into? Are PCs the future gaming platform? Maybe I am missing something but aren't the big guys already struggling to retain a 'decent' percentage of the multibillion gaming pie (PC gaming alliance anyone...)? I believe that whether us, tech enthusiast, hardcore pc gamers like it or not, it is the console arena where the big guns are going to be playing in a few years from now.
    Guys, we are seeing this happening everyday, we see tittles appearing and disappearing everyday b/c companies don't want to commit the resources to develop games for more than one or two platforms (normally doing a sloppy work BTW). Now that the grandpas of graphic hardware had manage to get DX/D3D derived engines into the last gen consoles (xenos, RSX) and a terribly inertial and rigid developer community avoids and whines about how difficult is to program for the few hardware 'jewels' that we have already in our hands (Cell/RV770/G200) do you think anyone except Intel is in the mood for yet another graphics industry spin?

    I have no doubt that this new development will have its own niche application or someone will definitely find something appropriate for it, but to say that Larrabee CAN do graphics and to say larrabee will kick ass so bad that in 3 years from now we all will be gaming from a Larrabee containing computer are two very different things.
    Congrats to Intel as the fathers of the creature, and congrats to us to see the tech world moving on....but just don't think this will change the world as we know it.
  • hooflung - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    They are doing something very AMD like and taking it a step further and tossing in a few Power ideals in. I just wonder what the power profile will look like and who will partner up with Intel for it.

    I am sure they will have 4+ of these cores built into integrated chip sets for OEMs and laptops to really boost those areas. And people who buy laptops will see that they can get a desktop with 'bigger larrabee' and play their games faster than their budget/laptop computer.

    So it does make sense. However, it is an empire made on a lot of ifs. It will be fun to watch. Thanks anandtech for the informative article.
  • christophergorge - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    is it just me or does it look like another transmeta crusoe in the making? Reply
  • Byte - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    Looks like Puma will have a hard prey to hunt. This should be pretty successful, even if it will be underpowered in DX games, but that shouldn't matter as even now Intel is selling lots of graphics just because they almost force it onto OEMs. Intel could similarly force these onto OEMs, but at least this time it won't be a huge pile of crap. Reply
  • ilkhan - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    So is the on package GPU we expect to see in Havendale & Auburndale chips going to be larrabee chips?

    If anything Id expect to see 8 or 16 core versions to be the onboard GPU for those. Probably 8 core, to keep costs down for onboard chips.
  • steveyballmer - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    It only gets better on my blog!">
  • DeepThought86 - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Nice HPC platform, terrible idea for a graphics chip. Just look at the die allocation, it's optimized for instruction-heavy and data-poor tasks. Killer for BOINC and folding type stuff, but there's no way this general purpose use of transistor budget makes sense for graphics.

    Power consumption for the high-speed ringbus will be killer as well. In idle today's GPUs are quite efficient, Larrabee will burn watts doing nothing.

    This architecture will occasionally handle a particular game excellently, but completely fall down in others. In a way it's the opposite of Nvidia or AMD today.

    Ah well, they've had a good run since 2006, looks like they're headed for their next down cycle, just as AMD has started rising again...
  • ltcommanderdata - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    From Intel's Siggraph paper, Larrabee's claimed performance is pretty decent.

    Intel's internal results are that Larrabee will only require about 10 cores running at 1GHz to maintain HL2 Episode 2 above 60fps at a 1600x1200 resolution. They estimate that a 25 core 1GHz Larrabee will be sufficient to maintain FEAR and Gears of War above 60fps at 1600x1200. FEAR is older than Gears of course, but FEAR had an occasional frame spike, probably on a more complicate frame, so 25 cores should guarantee a 60fps minimum fps. Of course, these are Intel's own benchmarks and they only tested a very small section of the game that they picked, but things do look promising. At the very least performance is better they trying to play the game on current Intel IGPs.
  • iocedmyself - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    1ghz core x 10 to maintain HL2 above 60 fps in's on par with a x1800xt? at absolute most.

    1ghz core x 25 for FEAR and gears of war @ 60 fps..that is the equivolent of a
    $180 ATi 4850 running in 1920x1200,@ 1600x1200 does 90 fps 50% better


    the same frame rate as the $290 ATI 2560x1600, in 1600x1200 it does 114 fps, nearly twice the performance.

    yes, they could scale it up to 50 cores, running 3ghz and it would still only equal about 2/3 the processing power as a single core 4870. Intel's 80 core terascale chip does 1 teraflop/sec at 3.2ghz.

    This is a horribly flawed design...they are doing the opposite of the logical what twisted reality can someone say,

    "well if GPU's are capable of delivering x20-x40 the performance of a desktop cpu package running at 1/5th the clock speed (or more accurately x80-x110 the performance on a core by core basis) the logical solution is to put 48 cpu cores in a single package!"

    Intel couldn't manage to produce an IGP that ran the GUI of an operating system smoothly at all times, they took years longer than AMD to develope 2 core die dual core, years longer to be able to make a photocopy of thier IMC, and continues to fail in 64bit computations comparitively...

    but they think because they've developed a 32bit arch, built of a 10 year old design and gained market control for less than two years after producing complete and utter crap for the previous 7 straight...that they can take the video card market from 2 companies each having 13+ years expeirence in the market.

    AMD is already testing 40nm die 64bit dual/quad cpu with IMC supporting DDR2 AND DDR3, 1 or more gGpu's and a total of 6-10MB on die cache.

    Native dual core Gpu's, cpu's gpu's and a combination of both with built in memory...ya know, designs that actually have some promise...but they are going to nail an x86 in which developers will have to change the way they think, program and deploy ideas. We barely have software that will utilize 4 cores, let alone 40. Meanwhile all amd has to do is intergrate the 780G IGP into a cpu package and intel is screwed.

    But hey....i bet AMD could make a kick ass Gfx card if they took the r540 (x850xt PE core) gave it a die shrink down to 55nm and added SM4 support, then stuffed 50 or 60 into a single package it would do great.

    HELL why stop there, just give the r770 a die shrink down to 40nm, put 10 cores to a gpu die,
    make a dual gpu board,
    2x5 gigs of of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1250mhz (5ghz effective)

    they would have a single card capable of doing more than 20 teraflops/sec.



    Then it would become aware, and improve the game code, crysis would spill over into Halo, halo would break into COD4, Fallout 3 would spill over into World of Warcraft where the characters would become self aware and program viruses to only infect intel based platforms...which would destroy Mac's completely,


    It would be sold with a 6000w PSU, and it would be Green because it would run on the power of internet porn, and have the power to heat your entire would save the enviroment....ZOMFG!!

    But would come back from the wreckage...

    bringing with them the next revolutionary product...

    the octo-punmped Itanium 4...with Netburst 3.4 arch, featureing 127 Pentium MX cores, Each core could handle 3 threads, and it would scale to 50,000mhz, with 2 terabyte SATA 4 hard drives used for the L1 cache of each core...and testing has shown that each core will only have to run 4.7ghz to achieve 60fps in the human genome project...

    Sigh...sorry, i was pretending i worked at intel. It sure is fun to imagine what could be...isn't it?
  • ZootyGray - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    Hey OC - I just had a flashback to the "jump to light speed" scene in StarWars. Dude, total nirvana, o yeh, thx for the ride. :)

    BTW - my GF says, she heard a rumour that the whole thing runs on 'corn'.

    I think it must be nextgen corn, cos that's a lotta teraflops. Does any of this convert to metric tonnes of refined bs? Anyway, I think I will wait for your next release.

    And you accomplished that in less than one page? nano shrink, huh!

  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    So your own estimates are:


    the same frame rate as the $290 ATI 2560x1600, in 1600x1200 it does 114 fps, nearly twice the performance. "

    So you are admitting that a 1GHz x 25 core Larrabee could be about 50% the performance of a HD 4870. But, Larrabee could be available in configurations up to 48 cores, so then a 48 core Larrabee at 1GHz could match a HD 4870. Of course, launch clocks will be better than 1GHz, since the Intel only clocked the Larrabee cores at 1GHz in their benchmarks because it's a convenient reference base. You say that Terascale clocked at 3.2GHz, but being more conservative, if Larrabee clocked in a 2GHz at launch with 48 cores, then it would be twice as fast as a HD 4870.

    This is of course based on preproduction drivers. Final performance may be higher. Admittedly, this is mainly hypothetical on early Intel provided data, but using your own figures for comparison, Larrabee may not be able to be able to overtake the fastest GPUs available in 2009/2010, but it'll likely be competitive in the mid-range $200-$300 segment. Which is really all Intel needs, since the point is to get a more general purpose x86 based accelerator card into as many computers as possible. Gaming is just the vehicle to do it, and the mid-range is far higher volume than the top-end.

    And in terms of flops, I believe it was in the SIGGRAPH paper somewhere that a baseline prototype Larrabee with 1 core at 1GHz gets about 32GFLOPS. Now no doubt scaling isn't perfectly linearly, but just assuming it is through clock speed and core count, a 48 core Larrabee at 2GHz could peak at 3072GFLOPS or 3 times that of a HD 4870. ATI and nVidia will obviously keep moving forward in the next year or two, just as Larrabee is still evolving, but for now, Larrabee isn't really in as bad a position as you make it out to be.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    What's worse is that there are all these assumptions made with no knowledge of the settings. 1600x1200 in HL2 at absolute maximum detail settings is nothing to scoff at, and certainly 60FPS would surpass an X1950 XTX. Are we running 4xAA or not? No idea from Intel, so we've got no reference point other than to say that it should be able to generate playing performance.

    FEAR is even better: 25 cores at 1GHz to hit 60FPS. Okay, that doesn't sound like a lot, but is that with or without 4xAA, and is it with or without soft shadows? Both of those factors can make a HUGE difference in performance. If they are enabled, 60 FPS at 1600x1200 is very impressive for early hardware. Now go with the assumption that Intel will hit clocks of at least 2GHz at launch and will likely have 32 or 48 cores. That should compare quite favorably with NVIDIA and ATI hardware next year.

    Besides all of the above commentary on not knowing settings, we don't even know the scenes that were tested. Pretty much we have nothing to go on without a frame of reference. If Intel had said, "we achieve 60 FPS with 10 cores at 1GHz, and that compares to an 8800 GT running at 60 FPS with the same settings" we could start from a meaningful baseline. Which is probably why we didn't get that information.

    Finally - and this is really the key - I believe all of the stuff right now is merely theoretical. They have modeled the performance of Larrabee in the various tests, but they do not have hardware and thus have not actually run any true tests. Okay, the modeling of the hardware is probably sufficient in all honesty, but some of you are talking as though these chips are actually up and running, and they're not (yet). We'll know a lot more in another year; until then, it all sounds very interesting but the proof as always is in the pudding.
  • The Preacher - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    Man, you must have OC'ed yourself way too high! :D Reply
  • iop3u2 - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    First of all it's called d3d not directx.

    Secondly you seem to imply that direct3d/opengl will cease to exist at some point if larrabee succeeds. I thinks you don't quite get what they are. They are APIs. Larrabee won't make programming APIless. Are you serious anand or what?
  • The Preacher - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    It could make programming D3D/OpenGL-less for programs/PCs that exploit Larrabee. And if the share of such programs/PCs increases, the share of competing solutions logically decreases and might eventually vanish (although not anytime soon). Reply
  • iop3u2 - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    Just because you can for example write a c program without the c lib it doesn't mean that people follow that road. It's all about what programmers will choose to do.

    Also, even if they do vanish there will still be a need for an api. So there will either be a new api or they won't vanish. Both situations make no difference whatsoever to the fact that larrabee will always need api implementations.
  • ZootyGray - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    right - and I will put hotels on boardwalk and park place :)

    I used to own an 815chipset - it was like version 14 or whatever so it didn't suk as bad as some of the earlier ones - but it did blow up - I think pixelated FarCry and Doom3 really killed it. But o sure, the software fixes and bubblegum patches made it good, for a while. I really do think I am going to wait for this just so I can watch the lineups of returns - or read the funny forums posts of sheep seeking help - baaaahaha :) The best part is that it doesn't exist - delay, postpone - kinda like the 64bit chip also. Maybe later, maybe. But the ads invade the livingroom.
    Make sure you keep yer getouttajailfree card - receipt.
    Ummm let's see: I think I will buy this one!

    Reality is that 4870x2 is on deck. Not 'rumour and sigh'. I just know there will be a 16page article on that - not!
  • Pok3R - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Larrabee means good news for consumers, and definitely bad news for nvidia. Maybe the worst in decades...with AMD and Ati having enough human resources now to face it, and Nvidia having nothing but bad policies and falling stocks despite good $elling numbers...

    The future, today, is definitely Intel vs AMD/Ati.
  • initialised - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    a miniature render farm (you know like they use to make films like Hulk and WALL-E) on a chip. Lets hope AMD and nVidia can keep up. Reply
  • ZootyGray - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Really? Guess again. There is NOT anything to keep up to.

    I do not accept that the grafx loser in the industry is going to simply become numero uno overnight.

    You really think that nvidia and ati have been sleeping for decades?

    Supporting the destruction of ntel's only competitors leaves us at the mercy of a group that's already been busted for monop and antitrst.

    Well written article? Of course, but I think it's like you are all fished in on many fronts. Nothing is really known except spin. This is beachfront property in the desert.

    There's nothing to watch except what we usually watch - released hardware benchmarks.

    I tell you AMD is going to be the cpu of choice in a few months when the truth about the bias in the benchies is revealed. And try - try real hard - to imagine ati+amd creating the ultimate cpu+gpu powerhouse. ntel needs this hype because I am not the only one with vision here. they are rich and scared, for now.

    but such talk seems to be frowned upon - so let's all cheer for the best grafx manufacturer - ntel = kkaakk! sorry to offend, so many of you just might be lost in the paid mob. so just watch and you will see for yourself- no need to believe me. I really know almost nothing - but I am free to see for myself. sorry to offend - I just can't cosign bs. but that's just me and a very few other posters here who have also been criticized. watch and see for yourself. watch...
  • Mr Roboto - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    I'd have to agree with the skeptics here. While the article is well written and informative (What AnandTech articles aren't?) it's purely speculation that Intel can get all of the variables right. How does a company that hasn't made a competitive GPU since the days of the 486 suddenly jump to Nvidia and ATI GPU type levels on their first try, never mind surpassing them. It's absolutely absurd to think that these chips are going to replace GPU's in terms of performance. I believe Larrabee will kick the shit out of Intel's own IGP but then again that's not much of a feat.

    Again I have to agree with previous posters that Intel just isn't that innovative. Even as I speak their are many lawsuits pending against Intel, most of them having to do with accusations of stolen IP that were used to design the Core2Duo. Antitrust suits aside, it's clear that Intel is similar to MS in that they just bully, bribe or outright steal to get ahead then pay whatever fines are levied because in the end they can never fine them enough to not make it worthwhile for Intel or MS to break the law.

    The 65nm Core2Duo is amazing. The 45nm E8400 I just bought is even more so. However the more I think about Intel's past failures as well as how they operate as a company the more far fetched this whole thing becomes.

    IMO they should have tried to compete in the dedicated GPU market before trying something like this. From a purely marketing standpoint Intel and graphics just don't go together. To come in to a new field in which they are unproven (I would bet Intel executives believe that building IGP's have somehow given them experience) and make outrageous claims such as the GPU is dead and Intel will now be the leader, is absurd.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    I think a lot of you are missing the point that we fully understand this is all on paper and what remains to be seen is how it actually pans out in practice. Without the necessary drivers to run DirectX and OpenGL at high performance, this will fail. How many times was that mentioned? At least two or three.

    Now, the other thing to consider is that in terms of complexity, a modern Core 2 core is far more complex to design than any of the GPUs out there. You have all sorts of general functions that need to be coded. A GPU core these days consists of a relatively simple core that you then repeat 4, 8, 16, 32, etc. times. Intel is doing exactly that with Larrabee. They went back to a simple x86 core and tacked on some serious vector processing power. Sounds a lot like NVIDIA's SP or ATI's SPU really.

    Fundamentally, they have what is necessary to make this work, and all that remains is to see if they can pull off the software side. That's a big IF, but then Intel is a big company. We have reached the point where GPUs and CPUs are merging - CUDA and GPGPU aim to do just that in some ways - so for Intel to start at the CPU side and move towards a GPU is no less valid an approach than NVIDIA/ATI starting at GPUs and moving towards general purpose CPUs.
  • Midwayman - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    I not interested in the graphics so much. It may or may not compete with the the top end nvidia chips if released on time. What is more interesting is if this can easily be integrated as a general purpose cpu for non-graphics work? Imagine getting a benefit out of your gpu 100% of the time, not just when you're gaming. I know its possible to use more modern GPU's this way if you code specifically for them, but with its x86 architecture, it might be able to do it without having apps specifically coded for it.
  • ocyl - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Larrabee will be shipped when Diablo III is, and it will mark the beginning of the end for DirectX.

    Calling it first here at AnandTech.

    Thanks go to Anand and Derek for the very well written article. You are the ones who keep tech journalism alive.
  • erikespo - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    "At 143 mm^2, Intel could fit 10 Larrabee-like cores so let's double that. Now we're at 286mm^2 (still smaller than GT200 and about the size of AMD's RV770) and 20-cores. Double that once more and we've got 40-cores and have a 572mm^2 die, virtually the same size as NVIDIA's GT200 but on a 65nm process. "

    this math is way off

    143 mm^2 is 20449mm.. if they fit 10 there that is 2044.9 per core
    286mm^2 is 81796mm.. that is 4X the space so 40 cores in 286^2
    and 572mm^2 is 327184mm is 160 cores..

    double length will double area.. doubling length and width will quadruple area.
  • bauerbrazil - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Hahahaha, YOUR math is way off!!!

  • erikespo - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    I see where the article and you got your math..
    you both did 143mm^2 / 10 and got 14.3 then divided 286^2 by 14.3 and got 20.. this math is only acting on the one number..

    I know this because the area of 14.3 is 204.49 mm. 10 of those would be 2044.9mm. but the area of 143mm^2 is 20449mm.
  • WeaselITB - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Wow ... No.
    143mm^2 is NOT equivalent to 143^2 mm ... Your analysis is flawed.

    If we use your example, 2mm^2 is NOT 2mm x 2mm ... it's actually root(2)mm x root(2)mm ... 4mm^2 is 2mm x 2mm, not 4mm x 4mm (that'd be 16mm).

    Maybe you should examine in depth that Wikipedia article you linked earlier ...

  • MamiyaOtaru - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    143mm^2 is NOT equivalent to 143^2 mm


    That's it in a nutshell. mm² doesn't mean you square 143, it refers to Square Millimeters, a unit of area (unlike Millimeters, a unit of distance).

    Revised mspaint illustration:">
  • erikespo - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Anandtech Comment Section.. Forever record of my retardedness Reply
  • erikespo - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Dang.. Many apologies..
    got my square area and squared numbers confused..
  • WeaselITB - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    [quote]4mm^2 is 2mm x 2mm, not 4mm x 4mm (that'd be 16mm).[/quote]

    Dang, that was supposed to read "(that'd be 16mm^2)."

  • erikespo - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    another way to look as it is how man 143mm^2 squares does it take to make up 286mm^2?

    only 2 would only be 143mm x 286mm

    since 10 cores fit into 143 x 143, 20 will fit into 143 x 286mm
    286 x 286 (which is double that of 143 x 286mm) the 286mm^2 would fit 40
  • erikespo - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link">

    helpful page to take you back to first grade

    and excuse my decimal point.. it is 204.49mm total per core or 14.3mm^2
  • erikespo - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link


    lets use smaller numbers for you 2mm^2 is 2mm by 2 mm or 4 total mm

    double that and it is 4mm^2 or 4 mm by 4 mm or 16mm total..

    we are talking about area or 2 dimensions not 1 dimension.

    Same math applies to the article
  • MamiyaOtaru - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    No, you're way off. 2mm² is TWO square millimeters. (a rectangle 1x2 for example). Double that would be 4mm², which could either be 1x4 or 2x2.

    NUMBERmm² doesn't mean NUMBERxNUMBER mm, it means exactly what it says: NUMBER mm².

    Using your smaller numbers: 2mm² is not "4 total mm"; it is TWO mm². Saying it is 4 total mm doesn't even make sense. You _can't_ measure area in millimeters. You measure it in square millimeters, and there are two of them (_2_mm²).

    Here's an mspaint visual (if links work:">

    You're so sure you're right on this, it's really depressing :(
  • darkequitus - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    I did not appriciate the writer creaming over every digital page they wrote. especially when Larrabee's performance is mainl at the moment based on INtel hype and nothing real. Reply
  • ZootyGray - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link


    Somebody finally said it.

    The others prefer Eutopian illusion - aka the curse aka ntel antitrust. ntel has no grafx and the fools in the public buy "inside' and nvid and ati aren't exactly friends of the curse.

    welcome to the matrix. wakey wakey
  • ZootyGray - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    and a 16 pager on maybe might could be should be = wannabe "employ-boy"
    - payday ? hooyeh. This is so disappointing for me. Credibility sags to a new low.
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    Someone whose two posts contain about 10 complete words and no complete thoughts says Anandtech's credibility has sagged to a new low? Reply
  • ZootyGray - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    haha yeh - lots of room for thinking.
    or - if no thinkeez - ya gots der 16 pg inundation (that's a big word like marmalade) all based on nothing-is-real - you like that kind of brainwash? we don't know anything; but here's the tekspex?
    btw - did u get it? the matrix idea? watch the movie. cos here it is. pardon my loaded cryptic literacy.
    if you don't get it - well, that's what they want - a world of sleeping mob. never mind, that's just my concern.

  • The Preacher - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    I don't really care about how good it will be executing some software renderer but I feel it is going to kick ass in scientific calculations. Matrix operations, FFT/convolution, tremendous bandwidth, double precission... I may write C++/x86 assembly code directly for it and I may put this into a rack of servers and use it through MPI. Give me a compiler with vector intrinsic functions for it and my dreams just came true! :) Reply
  • elerick - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    I have been a daily reader of another hardware review site for years. I ready nearly every articles that headlines and find many of them quite lacking. Today I got wind of your review for the Larabee. It was very well written and produced an amazing amount of tech knowledge not really commonly reviewed. I'm glad to have found you this site, and I never create an account but today I felt obligated to. Great work.

    PS: any news on that AMD / Fusion? or is that just them being intimidated by Intel's Larrabee?
  • skochnet - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    I have been a daily reader of Anandtech and computer tech enthusiast for the past 6 years. I found this article so interesting and well written that I felt compelled to signup for an account today to post my appreciation for it. The depth of this article was fascinating. This could be a leap ahead technology which would change and potentially restructure the industry as it stands now if successful. …or not make the grade and the industry players all continue the tug-of-war. I especially enjoy your speculation. Your group is no doubt privy to a unique vantage point that makes these thoughts even more valuable and interesting. Thank you. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    We really appreciate the kind words.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the article, and this is definitely and exciting development that I think -- whether it succeeds or fails -- we will all have our eyes on.
  • iocedmyself - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Actually crysis is the point, or a good example anyway since intel has been touting that larrabee will be something like up to 2.5 - 5 times faster than traditional present day gpu solutions. I didn't think they had been working on this for 4 years, and while it may have seemed like a good idea back then at a time when they hadn't launched a worth while product in 4 or 5 years: they just aren't that innovative.

    HP and intel teamed up in 94 to develop the original IA-64, spent billions in developement launching it 3 years late and making platform sales in the triple

    During that time they also started developing the Timna in 97, what was supposed to be for the low-power sub-$600 desktop system bracket and their "first" cpu with an IMC. To achieve this they designed the IMC for use with Rambus memory...they pushed launch back several times to nearly 2 years after projected, during which they redesigned the IMC for use with SDRAM, though it ended up having some pesky fatal design flaw and they scrapped it just before the launch of...

    Pentium 4! mmm...netburst, tastes like cowpie. Intel originally quoted netburst as being able to scale to 10Ghz, but they were close there weren't they? 3.8ghz is close...isn't it? It's almost half-way...besides, it doubled as a hotplate!

    It has taken them 5 years to reach the point of being able to essentially copy AMD's IMC design, to luanch on a chip which they licsence the x86-64 code from...AMD. Intel may do great work when it comes to designing new motherboard and networking standards (sata, Pci-e, and ehternet) but a high performance 32bit chip launched months before the consumer 64bit OS isn't an achievment in my view, so much as a reminder of the success they enjoyed in the P4 days.

    From a performance standpoint, it just doesn't seem realistic. The HD4870xt can surpass 1 teraflop of computations on a single 55nm die, where as Intel's $1000+ highest performing quad-core chips clock in at 38-51 gigaflops or 9.5-12.75 gigaflop per core.

    Their 80 core Terascale which used a 65nm fab if i'm not mistaken hit 1 teraflop clocked at 3.2ghz (12.5g Gflop/core) and 1.8 teraflop when clocked up to 5.1ghz (22.5 Gflop/core)

  • ltcommanderdata - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Perhaps it's not so, but it seems to me that Larrabee is quite similar to the SPEs in Cell. Simplified cores based on a common ISA (x86/PPC) optimized for floating point/vector ops. It might be interesting to compare the Cell's and Larrabee's architecture and eventually performance when the products are released. I believe Toshiba is already incorporating the Cell as the Spurs Engine accelerator in notebooks so I can see it running into Larrabee. Might be a return on the x86/PPC debates. Reply
  • Lux88 - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    I'm glad Intel strongly believes they can provide a solution. Novel approaches are always welcome :)!

    But there are couple of things that keep me from becoming overly optimistic:
    1. Itanium also relied (relies) on very smart compilers to produce the optimal machine code. Didn't quite happen.

    2. Dynamic compilers, i.e translationg DirectX to Larrabee on the fly, can't be very smart because this translation has to run in "real time".

    3. Intel seems to be heavily touting raytracing. Again, I'm glad they are doing this. But it seems to confirm that they know they can't have a sellar win by just rendering "same old DirectX" through additional layers.

    In addition to hardware, they have to juggle with drivers, compilers and libraries. Also came up with software renderer. Also support developers to code great apps on Larrabee (I bet Carmack can't wait to try out his octree-renderer). Quite a number of moving targets to nail down...
  • DerekWilson - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    1) Itanium does do certain things very very well -- it's just not the future of the desktop.

    2) note that we did not use the word emulation or translation at any point -- Intel is NOT doing this with DirectX. It's just like any other API: the DirectX functions that must be implemented in a driver will be implemented in code written for Larrabee as opposed to code written for GT200 or RV770 ... Imagine some other API or even just a DLL with some functions in it -- it's all the same no matter what hardware it's written for. In some cases we'll see the actual implementation just set registers and issue a single command to the hardware to get something done. In Larrabee's case, functions to perform any complex operation will have to be called, but they are essentially doing the same thing.

    When I first go started on OpenGL, it was running in software. Hardware companies came along and implemented OpenGL functions in a way that used their hardware. These APIs are hardware independent (essentially).

    3) the raytracing talk is, to a degree, posturing. raytracing scales well with traditional CPUs. rasterizers fit well on wide vector hardware. Larrabee happens to be both ... so ... I think they are interested in the long term. honestly, when hybrid renderers come along that combine raytraceing for specific effects inside a rasterizer we'll see some really cool things. I think this is where Intel is going.

    NVIDIA even showed off some hybrid tech that could run on their hardware.



    Intel does have a lot of hurdles to get past, and that is definitely worth pointing out.
  • mars777 - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Just one curiosity:

    A predicted 64 core Larabee would contain 64x32KB of L1 cache and 64x256KB of L2 cache.

    - 2048 KB of L1 + 16328 KB L2 -

    Given a chess field configuration on silicon this lead to an abnormal die size with too much parallel leaking lines where cache coherency will be impossible or given a 4/8 block configuration which leads slower L2 cache (but this means these are not just cores sticked on silicon but rather a custom core which defeats the purpose of the project and makes this a pretty $$ solution).

    IMHO Larabee will probably work out but will be nothing to cheer about, probably a pushed up product that will eventually die out slowly (itanium...).
  • DerekWilson - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    itanium has what? 24mb of on die cache? Large cache is not unreasonable for something like this -- but you are forgetting register space and the fact that the L1 has both 32k data and 32k instruction (so 64 cores would be 4MB of L1)

    The L2 cache is segmented so that each core can only directly access 256kb. The arrangement can be quite flexible because of this. Cache coherency is maintained through the ring bus. if one core needs data being used by another core, in the L2, it goes through the ring. at least that's my understanding.

    I apologize if we didn't do a good enough job in the article, but this isn't just a solution where Intel wants to drop stock cores on a die -- everything is custom from the scalar and vector processor upto the internal memory bus and added fixed function logic.

    the project has been in development for 4 years and is not meant to be cheap -- intel is putting a lot into it.

    by the way -- i still think 32 cores is the sweet spot for launch based on the data Intel provided -- I don't think they'll target a larger size off the bat.
  • Griswold - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    One of the few comments here that actually make sense. Reply
  • FujiT - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Some if you just don't get it.

    It's not about whether or not it can play crysis with 100 FPS and it's not as much about whether it can compete with AMD/nVidia (although that's important too).

    I see this chip as a beginning of a new revolution in computing. It reminds me a lot of a cell processor (although i don't know that much about architecture) where a smarter CPU will tell the dumber CPUs what to do. The ability to have a many core CPU with a mixture of really smart and dumber, but FP optimized cores will really make stuff like rendering a lot faster on a CPU, and would take programs such as F@H to the next level. The added perk is the fact that it's all x86 as anand pointed out.
  • DerekWilson - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    this is a pretty good observation ...

    but no matter how much potential it has, performance in games is going to be the thing that actually makes or breaks it. it's of no use to anyone if no one buys it. and no one is going to buy it because of potential -- it's all about whether or not they can deliver on game performance.
  • Griswold - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Well, it seems you dont get it either. Reply
  • helms - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    I decided to check out the development of this game I heard about ages ago that seemed pretty unique not only the game but the game engine for it. Going to the website it seems Intel acquired them at the end of February.">">

    I wonder how significant this is.
  • iwodo - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    I forgot to ask, how will the Software Render works out on Mac? Since all Direct X code are run to Software renderer doesn't that fundamentally mean most of the current Windows based games could be run on Mac with little work? Reply
  • MamiyaOtaru - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Not really. Larrabee will be translating directx to its software renderer. But unless Microsoft ports the directX API to OSX, there will be nothing for Larrabee to translate. Reply
  • Aethelwolf - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    I wonder if game devs can write their games in directx then have the software renderer convert it into larrabee's ISA on windows platform, capturing the binary somehow. Distribute the directx on windows and the software ISA for mac. No need for two separate code paths. Reply
  • iwodo - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    If anyone can just point out the assumption anand make are false? Then it would be great, because what he is saying is simply too good to be true.

    One point to mention the 4Mb Cache takes up nearly 50% of the die size. So if intel could rely more on bandwidth and saving on cache they could put in a few more core.

    And am i the only one who think 2010 is far away from Introduction. I think 2009 summer seems like a much better time. Then they will have another 6 - 8 months before they move on to 32nm with higher clock speed.

    And for the Game developers, with the cash intel have, 10 Million for every high profile studio like Blizzard, 50 Million to EA to optimize for Intel. It would only cost them 100 million of pocket money.
  • ZootyGray - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    I was thinking of all the p90's I threw away - could have made a cpu sandwich, with a lil peanut software butter, and had this tower of babel thing sticking out the side of the case with a fan on top, called lazarus, or something - such an opportunity to utilize all that old tek - such imagery.

    griswold u r funny :)
  • Griswold - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    You definitely are confused. Time for a nap. Reply
  • paydirt - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    STFU Griswald. It's not helpful for you to grade every comment. Grade the article if you like... Anandtech, is it possible to add an ignore user function for the comments? Reply
  • Shinei - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Some competition might do nVidia good--if Larrabee manages to outperform nvidia, you know nvidia will go berserk and release another hammer like the NV40 after R3x0 spanked them for a year.

    Maybe we'll start seeing those price/performance gains we've been spoiled with until ATI/AMD decided to stop being competitive.

    Overall, this can only mean good things, even if Larrabee itself ultimately fails.
  • Griswold - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Wake-up call dumbo. AMD just started to mop the floor with nvidias products as far as price/performance goes. Reply
  • watersb - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    great article!

    You compare the Larrabee to a Core 2 duo - for SIMD instructions, you multiplied by a (hypothetical) 10 cores to show Larrabee at 160 SIMD instructions per clock (IPC). But you show non-vector IPC as 2.

    For a 10-core Larrabee, shouldn't that be x10 as well? For 20 scalar IPC
  • Adamv1 - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    I know Intel has been working on Ray Tracing and I'm really curious how this is going to fit into the picture.

    From what i remember Ray Tracing is a highly parallel and scales quite well with more cores and they were talking about introducing it on 8 core processors, it seems to me this would be a great platform to try it on.
  • SuperGee - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    How it fit's.
    GPU from ATI and nV are called HArdware renderers. Stil a lot of fixed funtion. Rops TMU blender rasterizer etc. And unified shader are on the evolution to get more general purpouse. But they aren't fully GP.
    This larrabee a exotic X86 massive multi core. Will act as just like a Multicore CPU. But optimised for GPU task and deployed as GPU.
    So iNTel use a Software renderer and wil first emulate DirectX/OpenGL on it with its drivers.
    Like nv ATI is more HAL with as backup HEL
    Where Larrabee is pure HEL. But it's parralel power wil boost Software method as it is just like a large bunch of X86 cores.
    HEL wil runs fast, as if it was 'HAL' with LArrabee. Because the software computing power for such task are avaible with it.

    What this means is that as a GFX engine developer you got full freedom if you going to use larrabee directly.

    Like they say first with a DirectX/openGL driver. Later with also a CPU driver where it can be easy target directly. thus like GPGPU task. but larrabee could pop up as extra cores in windows.
    This means, because whatever you do is like a software solution.
    You can make a software rendere on Ratracing method, but also a Voxel engine could be done to. But this software rendere will be accelerated bij the larrabee massive multicore CPU with could do GPU stuf also very good. But will boost any software renderer. Offcourse it must be full optimised for larrabee to get the most out of it. using those vector units and X86 larrabee extention.

    Novalogic could use this to, for there Voxel game engine back in the day's of PIII.

    It could accelerate any software renderer wich depend heavily on parralel computing.
  • icrf - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Since I don't play many games anymore, that aspect of Larrabee doesn't interest me any more than making economies of scale so I can buy one cheap. I'm very interested in seeing how well something like POV-Ray or an H.264 encoder can be implemented, and what kind of speed increase it'd see. Sure, these things could be implemented on current GPUs through Cuda/CTM, but that's such an different kind of task, it's not at all quick or easy. If it's significantly simpler, we'd actually see software sooner that supports it. Reply
  • cyberserf - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    one word: MATROX Reply
  • Guuts - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    You're going to have to use more than one word, sorry... I have no idea what in this article has anything to do with Matrox. Reply
  • phaxmohdem - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    What you mean you DON'T have a Parhelia card in your PC? WTF is wrong with you? Reply
  • TonyB - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    but can it play crysis?! Reply
  • phaxmohdem - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Can your mom play Crysis? *burn* Reply
  • JonnyDough - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    I suppose she could but I don't think she would want to. Why do you care anyway? Have some sort of weird fetish with moms playing video games or are you just looking for another woman to relate to?

    Ooooh, burn!
  • Griswold - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    He is looking for the one playing his mom, I think. Reply
  • bigboxes - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Yup. He worded it incorrectly. It should have read, "but can it play your mom?" :p Reply
  • Tilmitt - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    I'm really disappointed that Intel isn't building a regular GPU. I doubt that bolting a load of unoptimised x86 cores together is going to be able to perform anywhere near as well as a GPU built from the ground up to accelerate graphics, given equal die sizes. Reply
  • JKflipflop98 - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    WTF? Did you read the article? Reply
  • Zoomer - Sunday, August 10, 2008 - link

    He had a point. More programmable == more transistors. Can't escape from that fact.

    Given equal number of transistors, running the same program, a more programmable solution will always be crushed by fixed function processors.
  • JonnyDough - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    I was wondering that too. This is obviously a push towards a smaller Centrino type package. Imagine a powerful CPU that can push graphics too. At some point this will save a lot of battery juice in a notebook computer, along with space. It may not be able to play games, but I'm pretty sure it will make for some great basic laptops someday that can run video. Not all college kids and overseas marines want to play video games. Some just want to watch clips of their family back home. Reply
  • rudolphna - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    as interesting and cool as this sounds, this is even more bad news for AMD, who was finally making up for lost ground. granted, its still probably 2 years away, and hopefully AMD will be back to its old self (Athlon64 era) They are finally getting products that can actually compete. Another challenger, especially from its biggest rival-Intel- cannot be good for them. Reply
  • bigboxes - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    What are you talking about? It's been nothing but good news for AMD lately. Sure, let Intel sink a lot of $$ into graphics. Sounds like a win for AMD (in a roundabout way). It's like AMD investing into a graphics maker (ATI) instead of concentrating on what makes them great. Most of the Intel supporters were all over AMD for making that decision. Turn this around and watch Intel invest heavily into graphics and it's a grand slam. I guess it's all about perspective. :) Reply
  • Griswold - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    You seem to be confused. Time for a nap. Reply
  • MDme - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    but AMD will have Cinema 2.0. did you see that demo? by 2010, AMD will have the RV990 or whatever...and Nvidia will have GT400? Reply
  • phaxmohdem - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    Considering how long it took nVidia to release a single GPU significantly faster than G80, I'd be shocked if we wee GT300 by 2009/2010. however a GTX 295GT X2 ULTRA OC is not out of the question ;) Reply
  • shuffle2 - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    mm², how hard is that to write? >.> Reply
  • 1prophet - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    They need to hit one out of the park with the drivers (software)as well. Reply
  • jltate - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    I've got a bunch of comments, so I'll just list them all here.

    SSE doesn't have fused multiply-add operations. Larrabee does -- thus that 10 core processor could perform a peak of 320 floating point operations per cycle (it's mentioned in the SIGGRAPH paper).

    Larrabee's programming model is variable width -- the hardware can and likely will be augmented in the future to perform more than just 16 operations in parallel.

    The ring bus between cores was stated to be for each group of 16. Intel stated that for more than 16 cores they'd use "multiple short-linked rings".

    Also, the diagram only shows one memory controller on one side with fixed function logic on the other, not two memory controllers as you showed on page 5 of your article. However, Intel stated in the paper that the configuration and number of processors, fixed function blocks and I/O controllers would be implementation dependent. So in effect it could very well have a half-dozen 64-bit interfaces like G80.

    My forecast? This thing will rock. I for one simply cannot wait.
  • Laura Wilson - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    that's the truth

    they say they know this. it sounds like they know this ... we'll see what happens :-)
  • gigahertz20 - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    I'm going to predict Larrabee will provide a huge boost of performance over Intel's current crappy integrated graphic solutions, but will not be able to compete with AMD/ATI's and Nvidia's high end GPU's when it (Larrabee) finally launches. If Intel can deliver a monster that can push 100+ FPS in Crysis and doesn't cost so much that it breaks the bank like the current Nvidia GTX 280's, then they will have a real winner! When it finally launches though, who knows what AMD/ATI and Nvidia will have out to compete against it, wonder if Intel is just trying to push out a mainstream chip or go high end as well...guess I need to read the rest of the article :) Reply
  • JEDIYoda - Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - link

    dreaming again huh??? you people who want top notch performance without having to pay for it....rofl..hahaha Reply
  • FITCamaro - Monday, August 04, 2008 - link

    This isn't mean to compete with their IGPs. At least not initially. Reply
  • NeonFlak - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    "Remember that Larrabee won't ship until sometime in 2009 or 2010, the first chips aren't even back from the fab yet, so not wanting to discuss how many cores Intel will be able to fit on a single Larrabee GPU makes sense. " Reply

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