ED#57 : The AMD Phenom Goes Triple Core!

Discussion in 'Reviews & Articles' started by Dashken, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. Dashken

    Dashken Administrator!

    AMD has announced that they are going to go triple-core with their Phenom desktop processor. AMD promises that this new class of processor will be a "triple threat" to Intel's domination of the desktop market.

    But is the triple-core Phenom really that amazing? Some have argued that it is nothing more than typical AMD bluster - all wind and no substance. However, this triple-core processor may have more than meets the eye.

    Here's a quote from the editorial :-

    Link : ED#57 : The AMD Phenom Goes Triple Core!
  2. peaz

    peaz ARP Webmaster Staff Member

    Hmm Not sure if it's relevant or not, but what if there are no applications that is optimized for tri-core processors? What then?
  3. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    The triple-core processors should face no more optimization issues than the quad-core processors. Applications that are tuned for quad-core processors (more than 2 cores) should work well with the triple-core, IMHO. :think:
  4. ZuePhok

    ZuePhok Just Started

    hahaha this is utterly bullshit. here they go again, announcing another product as if they are ready to be sold. where is X4? where is X2??? AMD is so desperate, they are acting like a 40 y.o virgin!!! :haha: :haha:
  5. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    It sounds pointless to me, unless they are using bad quadcore chips for triple core. :mrgreen:
  6. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    Strange, 3-core. I thought they will be all even numbers for multi-core setup.

    Well, they gotta make optimizations for 3-core systems, which looks pretty strange. Unless they are sold cheaply, everyone still have a chance to go more than 2-core! :haha:
  7. peaz

    peaz ARP Webmaster Staff Member

    Multicore optimizations aren't that simple as many developers have already mentioned. it's just odd that AMD decides to sell it as a tri-core processor when everyone else is multiples of 2. the usual dual-core, quad-core and octa-core (SUN).

    Unless AMD's processor architecture is able to automatically split all the instructions load equally to all 3 cores, the performance of this tri-core processor might not be too far off a dual core.

    Hmmm only time will tell when we finally get to see and test this tri-core procs.

    And it's definitely made out of broken quad cores. There's no way AMD can design an odd tri-core proc and not announce it well before the release date. 3 cores... so unique. and knowing AMD, if this was in their roadmap 2 years ago, we would have heard how great and wonderful 3 cores is compared to 2 for years and years until we got sick out of hearing it. And not to mention... why no 'projected' benchmarks of this 3 core procs? LOL!

    Update: from News.com - http://www.news.com/8301-13579_3-9780049-37.html
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2007
  8. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    Never mind if the processor is cheaper, and can fit AM2 sockets backward compatible. The main thing is if it reaches the consumers well and good, it'll be great.

    But how can they split workloads into 3 parts? The parts couldn't be symmetrical. Four parts will be easy - the smaller parts are all the same in the end. :shifty: :shifty: :shifty:
  9. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Typical la. :mrgreen:

    Well, let's see if they will make the December 2007 launch for the Phenom FX and Phenom X4. :mrgreen:
  10. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    They most definitely are. The yield isn't good, and they have trouble ramping up the speed. Going 3 cores would either :

    a) allow them to salvage some of the defective processors, or

    b) allow them to ramp up the clock speed of processors that have one really slow core preventing it from qualifying for a higher speed grade.
  11. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Exactly what I wrote (referring to the News.com report). :mrgreen:

    Well, I'm no programmer, but I believe the biggest problem with optimizing for multi-core is dependencies, where an instruction has to wait for data from another instruction. This prevents them from running simultaneously. I think it applies to all multi-cores, no matter whether it's 2, 3 or 4.

    So, some apps should work better for multi-cores than others. Those that can issue simultaneous, independent threads should work well. Unless there is something else about multi-core optimization (that I don't know about, sorry!), apps optimized for quad-core should work well with 3-cores... and 3-cores should see less penalty for apps NOT optimized for more than 2 cores. :think:
  12. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    I don't believe the "load-balancing" is done by the processor. It's all based on processing independent threads simultaneously.

    If you are running a single-threaded application, then only one core would be running, no matter whether you have 2 cores or 4 cores.

    If there are 4 separate threads, then the tri-core processor should be able to run at full 3 cores while a quad-core processor should be able to use all 4 cores.
  13. dess

    dess Newbie

    The article says:
    Well, this is not true, just take a look on the Xbox360's triple-core Xenon by IBM.
  14. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Ooops. Let me correct that. The only triple-core processor for desktop PCs.
  15. peaz

    peaz ARP Webmaster Staff Member

    it all depends on the way the application is coded for multi-core optimization. it's not that easy to support n-core. most applications are specifically designed to utilize dual core if I'm not mistake. 4 cores = 2x2. that makes it easy for the programmers to double the number of threads to process the instructions since it's all multiples of two. I could be wrong here though.

    it just strikes me that 3 core would make things very odd. even in the SMP world. we hardly see 3 CPUs. It's usually multiples of 2.
  16. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Yeah, right now many apps seem to be optimized for dual-cores. But if I'm not mistaken, if you optimize the app for quad-core (i.e. more independent threads), then it will not be as fast as a quad-core but there should not be any problem for all 3 cores to run those threads, since they are independent anyway. :think:
  17. peaz

    peaz ARP Webmaster Staff Member

    Need someone who knows multi core optimizations to help us out here. What AMD is doing here is quite similar to SUN's Ultrasparc T1 architecture which have 4 or 8 independant cores connected via a onchip crossbar interconnect to the L2 cache. The difference being AMD's phenom/barcelona has dedicated L2 cache and a shared L3 cache. Sun's T1 does not have an L3 cache.

    But similarly, Sun's T1 cores acts as independant processors like AMD's Barcelona. ANd we all know that the T1 ultrasparcs are superb short-instructions multithreading processors but lousy when it comes to long running instructions processing. That makes it a great web server but a lousy video processing/3d rendering server for example. Unless of course, if the application is designed to make use of all those 32 independant threads (4 hardware strands per core, similar to hyperthreading on Intel P4s).

    Much is to be proven by AMD here. can't wait for the actual benchmark results.
  18. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    I think that's the problem with going with more than 2 cores. Not many applications can support more than 2 independent threads at once. Many are even single-threaded. However, more cores will allow you to run several single-threaded applications simultaneously.
  19. dess

    dess Newbie

    Don't you intend to correct it in the article as well? :wave:
    1 person likes this.
  20. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Ooops! Corrected it to "world's first and only triple-core x86 processor", but forgot to upload it. :wall:

    Thanks for the reminder! :thumb:

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