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Subject: General Tech, Processors | January 11, 2012 - 06:21 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows, processor, microsoft, cpu, bulldozer, amd
Let us take a little break from the CES news with a load of bull -- a download of Bulldozer. If you have an eerie sense of being in this situation before then you may in fact have a bad memory as it did in fact happen and it was only about a month ago. Microsoft released an update in mid-December to optimize their operating systems for AMD Bulldozer technology; that patch disappeared without any listed reason. As of today, we have access to both the patch as well as most of the reason for the delay in the first place.
You know: part of me wants to see a Bulldozer go 100MPH, and another part of me fears greatly.
The first order of business is to explain to those who have an AMD FX series, Opteron 4200 series, and/or an Opteron 6200 series processor how to increase their potential performance: KB 2646060 and KB 2645594 each contain a patch which will optimize Windows to the Bulldozer architecture for most users when both are applied.
It turns out that Microsoft pulled the Bulldozer update last month when discussions with AMD revealed that the patch would not provide the promised performance increases for most users. The problem specifically centers on the Core Parking feature within Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2: after the hotfix in December was applied, Core Parking would still interfere with Bulldozer’s design by attempting to save power and sleep cores that were unused without understanding that Bulldozer cores are not typical cores. With Core Parking disabled for Bulldozer-based CPUs either through this hotfix or by changing your performance profiles to “High Performance” from the often default “Balanced” you would allow Bulldozer to run as it actually desires to run. According to how these bulletins are worded, should you have been on “High Performance” profile back in December before the hotfix was pulled you would have experienced what should only have been available starting today.
These performance increases are not for every application, however. AMD has stated that applications which are more sparsely multithreaded would benefit most from the update.
Workloads that are moderately threaded have the potential for uplift. This could include virtualization, database, or transactional environments that are “bursty” – a mixture of light and heavy transactions, or legacy applications that are by nature not very threaded. The more heavily threaded the application, the less the likely the uplift.
My intuition knowing this as well as the Core Parking issue is that once Windows finally wakes the Bulldozer core, your experience is maximal with the December patch; applications which only temporarily become multithreaded either do not wake the proper portions of the processor or wake the processor in time to be of maximum benefit.
It appears as if the removal of the hotfix last month was simply because AMD believed that while the patch was effective, it would not be correctly applied to the vast majority of customers without a second hotfix and thus give the appearance of little to no real benefits.
Subject: Cases and Cooling, Processors | January 10, 2012 - 08:13 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: VLIW-4, trinity, piledriver, CES, APU, amd
Today at CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, we got to see a demonstration by AMD of an AMD powered computer running dual monitors. Only, it was not just a dual monitor pushing desktop computer. In a surprise twist, AMD took the side panel off of the desktop computer to reveal that it was actually a laptop computer using their next generation AMD Trinity APU that was driving the game on one display, and the windows desktop on the other display. Even more, on the laptop screen itself, it was playing a 720p video.
Here you can see the two displays that the Trinity powered laptop was driving with Dirt 3 on the left monitor and the Windows desktop on the right one where a video conversion was happening in the background. AMD did not get into any details regarding the transcode, however.
This is the "desktop" computer case that they opened up to reveal that it was, in fact, a Trinity laptop that was driving all the displays.
A die shot of the upcoming Trinity APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) sitting next to a USB flash drive. Specifications of the Trinity APUs have not yet been released by AMD; however, if this leak holds true the Trinity APUs will have either two or four Piledriver CPU cores and TDP (thermal design power) of 65 W, 100 W, and 125 Watts (depending on particular chip). Clock speeds will further vary between 2.2 and 3.8 GHz at stock speeds (will run a bit faster with Turbo Core 3.0). The GPU aspect will be clocked between 563 MHz and 711 MHz and is based on the VLIW4 technology of the Cayman graphics Cards (69xx). They estimate that it will deliver up to 30% more performance versus current Llano chips and will support all the fancy new X86 instruction sets like AVX and AES-NI. A nice boost and hopefully the real specifications will come close to this (or be even better, of course).
Update: Another interesting bit of information is that AMD will have a low power Trinity APU with a TDP of 17 watts and will supposedly deliver the same level of performance as the current Llano chips (that draw twice the power).
Update: AMD has stated Trinity will deliver a 25% increase in CPU performance and a 50% increase in GPU performance versus current Llano APUs. Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more Trinity info as it develops.
PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: Processors | January 5, 2012 - 05:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: westmere, linux, ironlake, Arrandale
It has been a busy year for Phoronix as not only have they had a lot of hardware to review, also Linux developers have been quite busy this year updating drivers and the base kernel. They decided that the beginning of 2012 was a perfect time to reflect on the effects of these changes, specifically the graphics driver that powers the Intel Core i3-330M. The results are mixed, with one driver version excelling in a single task but lagging in others. On the plus side, the performance never stays consistent which gives hope that there is still room for improvement and the performance has not plateaued.
"Back in December I posted historical Intel Sandy Bridge benchmarks looking at the graphics performance over the course of 2011 that this latest-generation of Intel hardware has been supported under Linux. In this article are some similar Intel OpenGL benchmarks of each quarter going back to the end of 2010, but this time it is for the previous-generation Intel Ironlake hardware."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- Intel Core i7 3820 Review: $285 Quad-Core Sandy Bridge E @ AnandTech
- Desktop CPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Mobile CPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- AMD A8-3870K - Radeon HD 6550D Graphics @ Phoronix
- AMD A8-3870K Llano APU Linux Overclocking @ Phoronix
- AMD Fusion A8-3870K Overclocking and Dual Graphics Performance Review @ HardwareHeaven
- AMD A8-3870K Graphics With Gallium3D @ Phoronix
Subject: Processors, Mobile | January 5, 2012 - 01:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: WonderMedia, PRIZM WM8950, SoC, arm, cortex-a9
Taipei, Taiwan, January 5, 2012 -WonderMedia Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of energy-efficient, feature-rich system-on-chip platforms, today announced the WonderMedia PRIZM WM8950 SoC.Combining a highly energy-efficient ARM Cortex-A9 core running at 800MHz with advanced graphics and stunning 1080p video playback capabilities, the WonderMedia PRIZM WM8950 further extends WonderMedia's leadership in the fast-growing Android media tablet market.
Prizm WM8950The next generation WonderMedia PRIZM platform and software suite provides customers an easy migration path to a Cortex-A9 SoC and offers support for the latest Android 4.0 and Windows CE 7.0 operating systems. With its high-performance, and feature-rich design, the WM8950 is also optimized for a wide range of innovative system design applications, including smartbooks, Smart TV, SmartStream for wireless display and multimedia streaming, networked projectors, digital signage, and thin clients.
"Our line of PRIZM platforms has spurred the explosive growth in the Android media tablet market," commented Tzumu Lin, President and CEO, WonderMedia Technologies, Inc. "The new WM8950 delivers greater computing power and richer multimedia experiences to meet the ever growing global demand for affordable smart mobile devices."
PRIZM WM8950 Highlights:
- 800MHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor
- ARM Mali-400 3D graphics Processor
- Multi-standard 1080p video decoding engine
- H.264 video encoding
- DDR3/LPDDR2 DRAM interface
- Multiple video interface including HDMI, LVDS, and DVO
- Flexible networking and peripheral interface
- Advanced hardware security engine
- Android 4.0 and Windows CE7.0 support
Subject: Processors | December 28, 2011 - 07:15 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: pine trail, netbook, Intel, cedar trail, atom, 32nm
Intel has been pumping out quite a few new processors lately, with new Sandy Bridge-E CPUs, a new Sandy Bridge i7 2700K processor coming out, and now a new line of Atom CPUs sneaking in the news right before the new year! Not to mention, they are also working on Ivy Bridge.
The new Atom CPUs are of the Cedar Trail variety and succeed the older Pine Trail-M Atom processors. Currently, there are three Cedar Trail chips that will be available as soon as January in OEM systems including the N2600, N2800, and D2700 CPUs. Further, the new chips are 32nm and have a 22x22mm package size. These little chips are destined to power netbooks, tablets, embedded devices (think medical devices, ruggedized tablets, machinery). Yes, Intel still believes in netbooks, and feels as though emerging markets will keep the market alive and growing as people want for cheap computers that are able to get them on the web. While the netbook is losing popularity in the US, Intel expects the South American, Eastern European, and African markets to see great interest in the netbook platform. Their netbook plans involve three price tiers with accompanying use cases including netbooks at $200 with minimal features and a price to match that enables people to access the web all the way to $400+ netbooks with lots of features that would fill out the market up to where the Ultrabook territory begins at around $900.
The new Cedar Trail processors improve upon the previous gen Atom chips by quite a bit, according to Intel. The graphics aspect in particular has been improved such that 1080p HD Youtube and HD Netflix streams are playable at at least 24 FPS. Something that early netbooks using Intel's integrated graphics will never be able to do. Intel further estimates a 50% lower TDP and a 28% processor performance increase over the Pine Trail chips. Further, the new Cedar Trail chips have more cache at 2 x 512 L2 cache(s), higher clockspeeds, lower TDP, higher C-State (C6 vs C4E)/lower power usage in sleep mode, a 200MHz higher clocked graphics card (400MHz vs 200 MHz), and increased memory speeds (DDR3 800 and 1066 vs DDR3-667). The fastest Nxx chip, the N2800 manages a .2GHz clock speed increase while also knocking off 2 watts from the TDP versus the previous top N570.
Needless to say, Cedar Trail is looking very good, on paper at least. The individual chip specifications are listed below.
|CPU Clock Speed||Graphics Clock Speed||TDP|
|N2600||1.60 GHz||400 MHz||3.5 W|
|N2800||1.86 GHz||640 MHz||6.5 W|
|D2700||2.10 GHz||640 MHz||10 W|
What are your thoughts on the new Cedar Trail chips, do you think they will provide enough "oomph" to make new netbooks desirable again? Some more information can be found here and straight from Intel here.
Subject: General Tech, Processors | December 28, 2011 - 02:33 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: intel atom, Intel, atom
Intel’s Atom processors were created as a tier below their Celeron product line. Netbooks, then running VIA Nano processors, have started to gain popularity since their introduction in late 2007. Intel’s Atom processors took the place of the VIA parts since that time. In 2009, Intel has stated that they have seen approximately twenty percent of their sales of notebook processors replaced with sales of their cheaper Atom processors. Intel still maintains the Atom processor line, but apparently with new goals in mind.
Up and ATOM!!!
According to Digitimes, the demand for Intel’s Atom processors has declined recently. Intel, in response, decided to market that tier of parts to embedded and server customers for use in network-attached storage devices and very low-end servers. Intel is also rumored to have plans to shrink the process size of Atom in 2013 to 22nm and again shrink process size to 14nm in 2014. The upcoming 32nm Atom processor is expected by the second quarter of 2012.
Subject: Processors, Mobile | December 26, 2011 - 01:44 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Intel, Medfield, Android, x86, SoC
Intel hopes that 2012 will finally be the year they see mainstream phones with Intel inside. Despite Intel's attempts to tell us otherwise for the past several generations, the upcoming Medfield design is the first truly serious attempt to enter the phone and tablet market currently dominated by the many ARM-based partners of phone manufacturers all over the world. A recent post over at Technology Review discussed the advantages that Medfield offers over previous Intel Atom-based designs with Steve Smith, Intel's VP of Architecture.
First shown at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco this past September, a Medfield-based reference design has many believing in what some thought was impossible but what others thought was inevitable: Intel x86 cores in a phone that matters. Why the change from many in the analyst space? Medfield is the first option from Intel that is truly a single-chip solution, removing design space concerns and power consumption issues that previous Atom-architecture solutions were saddled with.
Intel showed Technology Review the Android-based reference phone running Gingerbread.
The phone prototype seen by Technology Review was similar in dimensions to the iPhone 4 but noticeably lighter, probably because the case was made with more plastic and less glass and metal. It was running the version of Google's operating system shipping with most Android phones today, known as Gingerbread; a newer version, Ice Cream Sandwich, was released by Google only about a month ago.
Intel has a lot of experience in the consumer markets though it took a shift inside the company to really put the focus on phones and tablets over netbooks and convertible-notebooks. At the recent showing not only did they have the reference design phone but also an iPad-like tablet device running Ice Cream Sandwich, another key to the consumer's dollar. And as you can clearly see in the diagram below, there is a lot of money being made that Intel wants in on. A LOT.
Source: Technology Review, IDC
Intel will also enjoy a process technology advantage over the competition with current Medfield SoCs built on the company's internal 32nm process and the upcoming 22nm technology promises even more power consumption advantanges. ARM designs are built at different foundries including Samsung and TSMC and while they are competitive, no one can keep up with Intel on this front.
Anandtech also had some interesting information to share from an investor conference earlier this month about the power consumption and performance levels of Medfield.
The diagram shows that power consumption on Medfield should be competitive with the current ARM-based SoC leaders in the market today. Areas like 3G standby, basic audio playback and video playback should be accomplished with minimal power draw in order to have battery life extended to at least current expectations. The performance graphs here on Browser Mark and "Graphics" are impressive as well though obviously we have a TON of missing information to really make the graph meaningful. Anand puts it well:
Barring any outright deception however, there seems to be potential in Medfield.
I tend to believe that Intel is too smart to misjudge a product to investors, but remember how impressive the initial performance results of Larrabee were for years?
I am hopeful and excited for Intel's mobility plans in 2012 as other information we have seen looks impressive. Let's see what CES has to offer.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | December 20, 2011 - 04:34 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, CUDA, CARMA, capital letters, arm
Okay so the pun was a little obvious, but NVIDIA has just announced the specifications and name for the development kit used to develop for their ARM-based GPU computing platform. The development kit will provide a method to build and test applications on a platform similar to what will be found in the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre’s upcoming GPU supercomputer until you are ready to deploy the finished application with real data on the real machine. Such is the life of a development units.
Carma: What goes around, comes around... right Intel?
The development kit is quite modest in its specifications:
- Tegra3 ARM A9 CPU
- Quadro 1000M GPU (96 CUDA Cores)
- 2GB system RAM, 2GB GPU RAM
- 4x PCIe Gen1 CPU to GPU link
- 1000Base-T networking support
- SATA, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB.
Subject: Processors | December 16, 2011 - 12:41 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, bulldozer, cpu, processor, windows, microsoft
Intel was far from demolished when AMD's Bulldozer came to town. Users still clung to hope that Microsoft's Windows 7 was not optimized to take advantage of Bulldozer's multi-core environment. Vindication came sweetly with a knowledge base article and a patch from Microsoft confirming the issue and offering a solution. While they can still feel comfortable knowing they were right, the solution has been pulled from Microsoft's website without any announced reason. Who should we feel sorry for: those who didn't download it yet, or those who did?
To be entirely fair, Microsoft's knowledge base article was quite clear in its instruction to users regarding this hotfix.
A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing the problem described in this article. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.
Still, AMD users have another reason to be upset as if they needed one. The hotfix will come, and will come in completely stable form; it just looks like today is not that day. If you already received this update and have experienced technical difficulties, the comment form awaits.
Subject: Processors | December 16, 2011 - 01:56 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: amd, bulldozer, cpu, processor, windows, microsoft
When AMD’s Bulldozer processors arrived, they were unable to best Intel’s fastest at most tasks. A number of users held out hope for Bulldozer; however, as it was discovered that Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system was not optimized to take advantage of the multi-threaded execution scheduling engine. While MS has implemented this optimization in the Windows 8 kernel, the current stable release has been without a fix until recently. The fix in question is available for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 and can be downloaded here. It should be noted that service pack 1 is a pre-requisite to this hot-fix.
Conservatively, previous indications suggested such a fix would add a 5 % to 10 % performance boost in multi-threaded applications. That number is based on the estimates from around the web from people comparing benchmarks between Windows 7 and Windows 8 Developer Preview. If you are running a Bulldozer processor in your machine, be sure to apply this update and let us know how performance improves.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | December 15, 2011 - 04:03 AM | Scott Michaud
NVIDIA lays as the current front-runner for the “Last Year’s Best Decision, This Year” award. You may remember our coverage last June of the AMD Fusion Developer Summit; industry members such as ARM, Microsoft, and of course AMD discussed the potential of utilizing specialized processors and developing on open platforms such as OpenCL and Microsoft’s announced C++ AMP. Do you know what would have been an amazing announcement for AFDS to stomp OpenCL and C++ AMP? That NVIDIA would open up CUDA. Know what announcement missed that bus by a whole half a year? NVIDIA will open up CUDA.
Your platform pooh-pooh? Bear a CUDA.
While I just harassed NVIDIA for their timing, it might not be too late. CUDA is still a powerhouse of a GPGPU platform with substantial software support from absolute mammoth software packages such as Adobe Creative Suite to smaller projects like KGPU. With the open sourcing of the CUDA compiler, NVIDIA is also permitting manufacturers like AMD and even Intel to support CUDA with their GPUs, x86 CPUs, and other processing units. While I am excited at this outcome, I am still somewhat confused about NVIDIA’s timing: they are just a little late to open up and crush the market, and they seem quite abrupt if they originally intended CUDA to survive as a forever-proprietary computing platform.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | December 6, 2011 - 04:45 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, sandy bridge, core i7, APU, amd, a8-3850
Our collection of videos comparing the AMD A8-3850 Llano APU to the Sandy Bridge-based Core i3-2105 have been very popular. We thought we would wrap up 2011 with one final video that looks at the integrated graphics solutions on both processors in five of the top games released in 2011. Here is what and how we compared them:
- Batman: Arkham City - 1920x1080 - Low
- Portal 2 - 1920x1080 - Very High
- Battlefield 3 - 1366x768 - Low
- Skyrim - 1920x1080 - Low
- Modern Warfare 3 - 1920x1080 - High
Not to give away the secret but...
Be sure you check out our Video Perspective below!!
Subject: Processors | December 5, 2011 - 01:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Ivy Bridge, Intel, i3-3200, i7-3700, i5-3500, i5-3400, 22nm, tri-gate
Good news for those of you who have been waiting to upgrade in the hopes that Ivy Bridge will be arriving on time. It seems your patience has paid off but you will have to wait a while longer before you can get your hands on Intel's next tick. You can look forward to more PCIe 3.0 lanes, just like those who've jumped onto the new Sandy Bridge E chips and a bump on the GPU portion of the chip. X-bit Labs doesn't have any pricing for the new chips, but they do list all of the models you will be able to buy. One thing you should note are the impressive TDPs, they may not count as low power CPUs but they're certainly lower than other Intel and AMD chips currently on the market.
"Intel Corp. has notified its partners about its decision to introduce of its next-generation code-named Ivy Bridge processors in the second quarter of 2012. Previously the company planned to release the Core i 3000-series central processing units (CPUs) for desktops in March - April timeframe, which left a possibility to unveil the chips in the first quarter."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- Intel Core i7-3690X-EE @ LostCircuits
- Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition Review @ Techgage
- Desktop CPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- AMD FX-8150 CPU @ Metku.net
- AMD FX-8150 With The Open64 5.0 Compiler @ Phoronix
Subject: Processors | December 1, 2011 - 11:50 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Ivy Bridge, Intel, delayed, 22nm
Although Intel’s latest Sandy Bridge successor, Ivy Bridge, was slated for a January 2012 launch, the situation is now looking more bleak. According to these slides over at BSN, Intel is delaying Ivy Bridge until at least April. While the top end Core i7 3770 Ivy Bridge processor might be available as soon as Q2 2012, it is also the most expensive part, and usually not the one that the majority of enthusiasts are waiting for. Rather, the important processors to watch for are the mid range and overclocker-friendly Core i5 series which will be available in Q3 2012 at the earliest if the current road-map holds true. The i5 3550 part may come out in Q2 2012 along with the top end i7 CPU; however, the majority of i5 processors will be released as soon as Q3 2012.
Further, the budget Core i3 Ivy Bridge parts are in the same boat as the i5 processors, with at least one (possibly) becoming available along with the top end Core i7 part in Q2 2012 and the rest slowly trickling out over the remainder of the year. While it is generally the case that the top end processor(s) are released first, followed by the lower end and less expensive parts, the delay has pushed back a April release for some of the budget parts to a Summer release. Needless to say, it is less than ideal for those consumers eagerly waiting for certain chips to go on sale. Not to mention that for those adventurous few that were willing to pay top dollar for the top end i7 chip this January now have to wait even longer.
The delay is likely due to Intel wanting to get as much money as possible out of the Sandy Bridge platform, and the lackluster launch of AMD’s Bulldozer products. Intel is likely taking the extra time to refine the new chipsets and the PCIe 3.0 support (that is also not technically rated for PCIe 3.0 speeds, sort of (heh)). On the other hand, Bright Side Of News speculates that the delay may be in part due to various retirements throughout the company requiring more development time in addition to needing more time to flesh out the graphics drivers for the GPU portion of Ivy Bridge processors.
Were you hoping for an Ivy Bridge upgrade early next year? Because of the further delays, will you spring for a top end Sandy Bridge system or wait it out for Ivy Bridge despite the money burning a hole in your pocket? As someone that is still rocking a 1156 system, I was hoping to skip Sandy Bridge and go for Ivy Bridge (I seem to love near-end-to-life sockets); however, with the delays I’m not sure what I’ll be doing now.
Subject: General Tech, Processors | November 25, 2011 - 08:45 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: xeon, SC11, mic, many integrated core, knights corner, Intel
This year saw the 40th anniversary of (the availability of) the world’s first microprocessor- the Intel 4004 processor- and Intel is as strong as ever. On the supercomputing and HPC (High Performance Computing) front, Intel processors are powering the majority of the Top 500 supercomputers, and at this years supercomputing conference (SC11) the company talked about their current and future high performance silicon. Mainly, Intel talked about its new Intel Xeon E5 family of processors and the new Many Integrated Cores Knights Corner Larrabee successor.
The Intel Xeon E5 is available now.
The new Xeon chips are launching now and should be widely available within the first half of 2012. Several (lucky) supercomputing centers have already gotten their hands on the new chips and are now powering 10 systems on the Top 500 list where the 20,000 Xeon E5 CPUs are delivering a combined 3.4 Petaflops.
According to benchmarks, Intel is expecting a respectable 70% performance increase on HPC workloads versus the previous generation Xeon 5600 CPUs. Further Intel stated that the new E5 silicon is capable of as much as a 2x increase in raw FLOPS performance, according to Linpack benchmarks.
Intel is reporting that demand for the initial production run chips is “approximately 20 times greater than previous generation processors.” Rajeeb Hazra, the General Manager of Technical Computing of Intel’s Datacenenter and Connected Systems Group, stated that “customer acceptance of the Intel Xeon E5 processor has exceeded our expectations and is driving the fastest debut on the TOP 500 list of any processor in Intel’s history.” The company further reiterated several supercomputers that are set to go online son and will be powered by the new E5 CPUs including the 10 Petaflops Stampede computer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center and the 1 Petaflops Pleiades expansion for NASA.
While Intel processors are powering the majority of the world’s fastest supercomputers, graphics card hardware and GPGPU software has started to make its way into quite a few supercomputers as powerful companion processors that can greatly outperform a similar number of traditional CPUs (assuming the software can take advantage of the GPU hardware of course). In response to this, Intel has been working on it’s own MIC (Many Integrated Core) solution for a few years now. Starting with Larrabee, then Knights Ferry, and now Knights Corner, Intel has been working on silicon that using numerous small processing cores that can use the X86 instruction set to power highly parallel applications. Examples given by Intel as useful applications for their Many Integrated Core hardware includes weather modeling, tomography, and protein folding.
Knights Corner is the company’s latest iteration of MIC hardware, and is the first hardware that is commercially available. Knights Corner is capable of delivering more than 1 Teraflops of double precision floating point performance. Hazra stated that “having this performance now in a single chip based on Intel MIC architecture is a milestone that will once again be etched into HPC history” much like Intel’s first Teraflop supercomputer that utilized 9,680 Pentium Pro CPUs in 1997.
What’s interesting about Knights Corner lies in the ability of the hardware to run existing applications without porting to alternative programing languages like Nvidia’s CUDA or AMD’s Stream GPU languages. That is not to say that the hardware itself is not interesting, however. Knights Corner will be produced using Intel’s Tri-Gate transistors on a 22nm manufacturing process, and will feature “more than 50 cores.” Unlike current GPGPU solutions, the Knights Corner hardware is fully accessible and can be programmed as if the card is it’s own HPC node running a Linux based operating system.
More information on the Knights Corner architecture can be found here. I think it will be interesting to see how well Knights Corner will be adopted for high performance workloads versus graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD, especially now that the industry has already begun adapting GPGPU solutions using such programming technologies like CUDA, and graphics cards are becoming more general purpose (or at least less specialized) in hardware design. Is Intel too late for the (supercomputing market adoption) party, or just in time? What do you think?
Subject: Processors | November 23, 2011 - 01:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, bulldozer, cool 'n' quiet, Turbo Core, linux, fx-8150
AMD's Cool'n'Quiet feature, which lowers your CPU core frequencies when they are not under heavy usage has been around for a while, but Phoronix though it was time to revisit the Linux support for this feature and Turbo Core as we have a brand new architecture to test. They fired up the FX-8150 again, running under Ubuntu 11.10 with the Linux 3.1 kernel and started benchmarking. Their results show that AMD's power saving features are still working well under Linux, better when using single threaded applications than with multi-threaded but still worth enabling for those who want lower heat production and energy consumption. It is hard to say how much you will save on power though, as the software Phoronix used to measure, fam15h_power, never budged from the 125W mark even when the system was pulling less power from the wall.
"For those wondering about the impact that AMD's Cool 'n' Quiet and Turbo Core technologies have under Linux for the latest-generation Bulldozer processors, here are some tests illustrating the changes in performance, power consumption, and operating temperature."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- Bulldozer for Servers: Testing AMD's "Interlagos" Opteron 6200 Series @ AnandTech
- AMD's Bulldozer server benchmarks are here, and they're a catastrophe @ Ars Technica
- How-To: 8 GHz on Bulldozer @ Overclockers.com
- AMD FX-8150 Bulldozer Overclocking On Ubuntu Linux @ Phoronix
- Desktop CPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Intel HiZ Is Finally Ready For Sandy Bridge @ Phoronix
- Intel Core i7 3930K @ Tweaktown
- Intel Core i7-3930K, Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition Processors for LGA 2011 @ X-bit Labs
- Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition CPU @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | November 21, 2011 - 10:00 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, sandy bridge, mw3, modern warfare 3, Intel, APU, amd
There is little denying that Call of Duty: Modern Warfar 3 is a success; I think it sold like 19 billion copies on the first night. Something like that. So, as we have done quite a bit in recent months, we wanted to see how our processor-graphics based solutions compared to each other in the title. We recently took a look at how Battlefield 3 performed and we had a lot of great feedback on that post - so let's try this again!
Luckily for gamers (or not, depending on your point of view), MW3 is pretty light on graphics hardware. We did our testing at 1920x1080 with the following quality settings:
With 2x anti-aliasing enabled and most quality settings turned up to their highest options, the game still looked pretty good during our testing. No, it's no Battlefield 3, but very few titles are.
Both systems come in with a total cost of about $450 with the Core i3-2105 and A8-3850 at the center of each configuration.
As you might guess, the integrated graphics on the AMD Llano APU outperforms the Sandy Bridge graphics, but by how much? Check out the video for all the details!
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | November 15, 2011 - 05:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: AMD VISION Engine, amd, fusion, APU, steady video
The AMD VISION Engine is the name that AMD is using to describe the new features they are offering for users of their GPUs, APUs and those with both. One example is the AMD Steady Video feature that Ryan and Ken showed off in July. That is not all, this encompasses the hybrid Crossfire that exists in Llano laptops with discrete GPUs straight through to support for 30bit colour depth (aka 10bit per channel, 10 bit per pixel) and the GPU accelerated Flash.
If you are interested in getting more from your APU then head to the AMD VISION site to download their driver package, think of it as a Catalyst with benefits.
Subject: Processors | November 14, 2011 - 03:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, sandy bridge-e, x79, 3960x extreme edition
It has been a while since Intel has released a CPU at $1000, which has felt a little strange as historically they've had a flagship processor in that price range. Sangy Bridge E spells the return to this price point with the Core-i7 3960X Extreme Edition CPU. The basic stats will make you drool, 6 cores and 12 threads of 32nm, 130W TDP CPU with a base clock of 3.3GHz, Turbo speed of 3.9GHz and 15MB of shared cache. The benchmarks however leave something to be desired; certainly it is faster than the original Sandy Bridge but it does not leave the competition eating its dirt. Single GPU gamers probably won't even notice a change from previous chips, however with the extra power of the 3960X paired with the amazing amount of PCIe lanes available on the X79 series of motherboards, multi-GPU users may benefit much more from this chip. That still doesn't change [H]ard|OCP's final comment about this chip, "Sandy Bridge E, maximizing BitTorrent ratios, one desktop at a time."
"Intel debuts its $1000+ Extreme Edition 3960X processor parroting how great it is for the gamer and enthusiast. With 6 cores and 12 threads, a new motherboard and chipset platform, and quad channel DDR3, Intel as done the impossible, given us everything we don't want, and nothing we do want."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- Intel's Core i7-3960X processor: Sandy Bridge goes Extreme @ The Tech Report
- Intel Core i7 3960X (Sandy Bridge E) Review: Keeping the High End Alive @ AnandTech
- Intel Sandy Bridge E 3690X CPU Reviewed @ Madshrimps
- Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition CPU Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition Review @ HCW
- Intel's X79 Chipset, Core i7 3960X & DX79SI Motherboard @ Bjorn3D
- Intel Sandy Bridge Extreme and X79 Chipset Launch - Core i7-3960X Processor Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Intel Core i7-3690X Extreme Edition CPU @ Benchmark Reviews
- Intel Sandy Bridge Extreme Core i7 3960X Review @ OCC
- Intel Core i7-3960X Processor Extreme Edition Review @Hi Tech Legion
- Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition @ Tweaktown
- Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition and Core i7-3930K processors for LGA 2011 Platform @ X-bit Labs
- Intel Core i7 3960X Sandy Bridge-E Review @ Neoseeker
- Intel Sandy Bridge-E Debuts: Core i7-3960X @ Techspot
- Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition @ Legion Hardware
- Intel i7 Sandy Bridge Extreme @ Overclockers.com
- Intel Core i7-3960X @ OC3D
- Intel Sandy Bridge-E i7-3960X CPU Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Intel i7 3960X EE / Gigabyte GA X79 UD3 / 16GB GSkill Ripjaws Z (2133mhz) @ Kitguru
- Intel i7 3960X EE / Asus Rampage IV Extreme / Corsair GTX8 (2400mhz) / Quad GTX590 @ Kitguru
- Intel i7 3960X EE / Asus P9X79 Deluxe / 32GB Corsair Vengeance (1600mhz) @ Kitguru
- Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Processor Review @ Legit Reviews
- Core i7 3960X processor & MSI X79A-GD65 & ASUS Rampage IV Extreme @ Guru3D
Subject: Processors | November 12, 2011 - 06:50 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Sandy Bridge E, microcenter, Intel, ddr3, core i7, asus
Sandy Bridge-E is almost upon us, and enthusiasts are no doubt salivating over the shiny new motherboards, quad channel memory, and PCI-E bandwidth that these chips offer. Naturally, there are bound to be price and information leaks as the launch date gets closer whether it is due to a PR move by Intel or a leak by a person or company on down the line. One such leak came to our attention recently via a leaked company bulletin. Microcenter, a US based computer electronics store has leaked the prices of some of the upcoming Sandy Bride-E processors.
While Sandy Bridge-E will not officially launch until the 14 of this month,Microcenter is already busy preparing for the launch by setting prices and organizing promotions. One such promotion has come to our attention recently, and involves two SB-E CPUs and a slew of supporting motherboards. The two processors in question are the Intel Core i7 3930K and the Core i7 3960X. The i7 3930K will be sold at $649.99 USD while the Extreme edition i7 3960X part will go for 1,149.99 USD. These prices are limited to one per customer and are in-store deals only. While the prices are a bit higher than expected, the retailer is trying to sweeten the deal by bundling a "free" Corsair H80 sealed loop water cooler with the purchase of any one of the Sandy Bridge-E CPUs. While the free H80's price is likely built into the processor's mark-up, it's at least a decent cooler (HardOCP has a review of the water cooler here). Whether it will be beneficial will depend on the user's existing cooler and whether it will be compatible/upgradeable to socket 2011.
The company will also have a "limited stock" of X79 motherboards available at launch, with more stock to become available in the coming weeks after launch. Throughout all Microcenter stores, the following motherboards will be available at the following prices.
- ASUS P9X79 PRO 2011 ATX $339.99
- ASUS Sabertooth PX79 2011 ATX $349.99
- ASUS P9X79 Deluxe 2011 ATX $389.99
Asus must be a crowd favorite over at Microcenter!
A bulletin containing the Microcenter leak ended with a positive note in stating "this launch should provide a tremendous opportunity for some very high end BYO builds for the most extreme enthusiast customer who is wanting the absolute latest and greatest from Intel!" Will you be hitting up a Microcenter at launch to get your Sandy Bridge-E on?