View Full Version : Coming Soon: Athlon64

Sir Penguin
20-06-2003, 06:43:40
The current rumours say that the first 64-bit CPU to be marketed to the desktop crowd will be released in August. They'll be rated at 3100+ and 3400+ (about 1.8GHz and 2GHz, respectively). Since AMD is starting to up the hype now (assuming it was an intentional leak), maybe it won't be that bad, right? Do we dare hope?


Sir Penguin
20-06-2003, 06:50:01
Well, maybe it won't be that bad not considering that they're marketing a 64-bit desktop CPU.


20-06-2003, 13:39:16
Fuck an Athlon. I've had nothing but trouble with my Athlon.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
20-06-2003, 22:13:49
I built two Athlon machines from the ground up, and I've owned two custom built Pentiums, all in the past 6 years or so. Haven't had a problem with any of them.

I do know that Athlons need better than adequate cooling. Intels will shut down gracefully if they overheat, wheras Athlons tend to burst into flames :D

Venom, what troubles have you been having, and what have you done to your system (if anything - like, opening it up and messing with the insides). What's the power quality like in your home? Finally, you didn't buy Darkstar's old PC, did you?

21-06-2003, 05:46:54
I'm gonna wait and see with the Athlon64. One factor will be who makes the chipsets and boards. The other will be how well it'll execute floating-point stuff that goes slowly on my current CPU. That'll depend on how soon things are ported to x86-64.

Sir Penguin
21-06-2003, 06:01:39
According to something in the link tree from the news post, VIA, NVidia, and SiS have announced the names of their new x86-64 chipsets. No specifics yet. Meanwhile, nothing's been heard of from WinXP for x86-64.

Does anybody know what's involved in porting from x86 to x86-64? Does it just involve recompiling the code with a compiler that knows about the ISA and extra registers?


Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
21-06-2003, 18:02:50
No, I think it has to do with completely rewriting the APIs to handle 64-bit calculations and such nonsense.

Either that or MS is stalling because Intel told them to.

22-06-2003, 06:41:15
Architecture-dependent code has to be rewritten for x86-64. Compilers are certainly architecture-dependent. Other code that's independent just needs to be recompiled with a x86-64 compiler. A Hello World program written in C shouldn't need to be rewritten. I think. :)

23-06-2003, 08:11:02
I am all for the Athlon.

At my last triathlon they also ran a 'duathlon' for people who would like to compete in a tri but can't swim very well. They ran/biked/ran. I guess the first run was to make up for all the swimming they never did.

As opposed to a biathlon where you shoot and ski. I don't think I'd want to try it. Those atheletes can get pretty competitive. Competitive and loaded rifles don't mix well.

And a decathlon would be tougher still. Especially since they do some strange sports like pole vaulting.

I guess I can understand the pentathlon but the heptathlon is just silly. Why did they come with a goofy idea that seven was a good number of sports to compete in.

I am guessing an athlon would be a single sport event, short for 'uniathlon'. In which case it would be pretty easy.

Thus concludes probably my only contribution to the techie forum.

Sir Penguin
23-06-2003, 18:19:07
The generic form for the others is AthlonMP.


23-06-2003, 20:51:27
The problem Venom is having with his Athlon is that he heard that they tend to burst into flames, and his hasn't.

No longer Trippin
08-07-2003, 04:43:41
The Althon 64 has no real chipset. All the chipset makers are working with AMD as of right now becuase both the north and south bridges will be on the chip. The chipset will just be a controller for the BIOS to interface with from what I've read - ie, it's useless as the Althon 64 really doesn't need it, but to get people to make the board they need to allow them to have their own chipsets and give them some tweakability. It now means though that most likely the multipliers with be locked like Intel chips. With people buying the 1800 BBJBB chip and getting 2600+ performance ratings I can see why. Also with the new ceramic it's on, you can't even play with the bridges. Time to flip the chip over and start connecting pins to do your modding. FUN. :bash:

XP will support only 32 bit processes from what I've heard until they release a service pack - it only recognizes one processsor, thus thinks it is on a 32 bit memory bus - it isn't like hyperthreading which is on a 32 bit bus to begin with. You will have to wait until late 2004 or 2005 for MS to release the Longhorn OS to take advantage real advantage the 64 bit chip I imagine given MS track record with SP's.

They already have the 32/64 Opteron out, just they have no motherboards that can run it last time I checked. :)

08-07-2003, 13:07:51
No longer Trippin...I think you're confused.

The only thing integrated on the chip is the memory controller.

AGP, PCI, ATA, etc. are all still on the chipsets. The nForce 3 is one of these chipsets.

And full x86-64 support for Windows XP will be released in SP2.

No longer Trippin
08-07-2003, 18:58:23
Just rechecked the faq, seems it has changed a bit - which is good news. Posted the details below.

Before they were toying with throwing it ALL on the cpu die and having a simple outside controller that mobo makers could use to add what wasn't in the core logic. Better onboard sound, SATA, RAID, etc. Though ATA, Serial, PCI, PCI-X, and AGP were to all be intergrated. Seems they hit some problems and are going back to more of the opteron's style of design.

No longer Trippin
08-07-2003, 20:53:33

The "southbridge" has been moved back off the chip it seems.

They are keeping the northbridge onboard the CPU for the most part now.

This is odd though, looks like three chipsets, two of which look to be socketed (note the arrow denoting how to place the chip on the first two compared to the traditional style chipset thats the 8111 hub. They are going to fit all three on a the mobo? Damn, looks like more heatsinks now - though splitting the PCI-X and the AGP bus will reduce heat on the individual chips, they will probably be running hot due to the bandwidth.


I thought the idea was stupid to intergrate it all into the chip when I first read it (the faq has been changed from a month ago), seems they realized it as well. Raises cost and doesn't give chipset makers any room to do their own thing, with the current solution they can again.

Though AMD is known to change it's mind a lot, why do you think the A64 isn't available yet, they kept changing what they were fabbing every other week nearly. Also why the Barton was delayed as well. I hope they don't as I prefer options and keeping what's not needed off the CPU is cheaper than tossing everything on it like they had planned.

Thanks for the heads up on that one Asher (AMD would have had a customer had they not posted the opposite on an ealier faq, I'd have ignored the Barton and waited for the A64). .The Althon 64 now looks like it shows true promise in cost and performance now that they are removing some stuff from the cpu - that will drop temps and voltage, thus raise clock speeds (which is probably why it was done). On a side note, have you seen the ceramic they are placing it on? You can't modify the bridges at all, it's even "painted" to make finding the bridges next to impossible - so it seem the bridges can still be burned at the factory with a laser like they do now, just the overclocker won't be able to access them. But that's what the underside of the chip is for - though with the amount of pins that may be impossible to do - as in unlocking mulitpliers. Looks like they have gone Intel's route in a way. Only time will tell as for when we get actual reviews.

Oh well, I'm happy with my Barton 2500 running at 3200+ speeds at only a .1 volt increase and a vdd mod to the motherboard. Runs stable in cooler weather with less humidity at 11 x 212 though i've had to back down from when in new york, so I'm at 11 x 200 currently running in sync.

Not bad for a total cost of 200 at the time from newegg. Already had two 512 Corsair XMS 3200 sticks - whch costed more than the board and cpu.

It will still be awhile anyhow before games take advantage of 64 bit processing - there isn't a game out that I know of that requires D9 yet, and that's been around for awhile, especially if you count the Beta. They aren't going to implement it until it is more commonplace as far as 64 bit gaming goes. It isn't cost effective yet. So I guess the Barton was a wise choice afterall.

12-07-2003, 02:08:42
Didn't Intel try the CPU+Northbridge combination once?

12-07-2003, 02:12:37
They scrapped it.

No longer Trippin
12-07-2003, 03:04:54
I can see Intel trying it again soon, they need to as Intel's chips are hell on the cache. That's how they slowed the Celeron down to justify companies using it only for their low end products.

12-07-2003, 04:48:43
It's also how they can ratchet up performance and scale it very well.

The Pentium 4's reliance on cache size and memory bandwidth was a brilliant design decision, it allows them to constantly tweak performance without major core changes.

AMD increases its memory bus and cache to very lackluster performance boost, Intel ups its and gets large ones.

Which is the better design for someone in a dynamic marketplace?

12-07-2003, 10:08:19
The Athlon core has a couple of years on the Pentium 4 core. Also, Intel has a lead in manufacturing. They've been able to consistenly shrink their chips while other CPU designers have been unable to see their designs produced in a similar fashion. I doubt we'll ever see an Alpha produced with the latest .09 micron process.

No longer Trippin
12-07-2003, 23:44:57
AMD's chips run 30% more efficient per clock cycle than P4's though P4's have the advantage of reaching higher bus speeds. They are just incredibly cache oriented while AMD's chips aren't. Overall Intel has the speed lead by a great margin as the diffence in megahertz btw a 2500 and a 3200 Barton is only 370mhz, which would mean the core is actually far more effiecient, but benchmarks put the 3200 more on par with a 3B P4 w/out hyperteading. I don't think overall the Althon core has more years on the Pentium core, it still is short SSE2 and several other instruction sets. like hyperthreading (as of Barton) which would boost performance. They are more durable than an Intel core (SNDS) when overclocked, so their .13 fab and their cores are solid. The Norhwood has a weak link somewhere allowing electron migration. I'd say the cores are almost even with AMD being slightly behind - though they have teamed with IBM to work on .09 fabs, larger wafer yields, and semiconductor technology. So Intel won't be boasting 0.9 fabs for more than 6 months at the VERY most before AMD has one out.

The Athlon needs to catchup, but at it's price, it can afford not to.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
13-07-2003, 03:27:22
Except that recent chip releases have shown the price of Athlons increasing. The 3200, while running slower than a comparable 3.2MHz Pentium, is priced higher than performance would allow.

Let's hope AMD gets back on track with the A64 release.

No longer Trippin
13-07-2003, 04:12:06
AMD's highest speed chips undoubtably aren't a reasonably priced item, but they don't make large yields of them. Generally they go to enthuist who don't overclock or those who a new to overclocking and don't necessarily realize the fastest processor has virtually no advantage over a cheaper "lower" end Athlon (90 bucks for a 2500+, compared to well over 200 for the 2.4C. The only "high end" AMD chip I would get would be the 3000 if I could afford as I would have to pop the l3 brigde to unlock the multiples over 12.5, thus making it a really great chip (the 3200 is locked though since it runs 400 standard, but 2500's hit 400 quite often with a good chipset.

Compare the prices of Intel's 3.02 ghz P4C to Intel's 3.2 ghz P4C at www.Newegg.com (great resellers ratings and have had EXCELLENT service from them in the past). Look at how much more your paying for 200 mhz at 3 ghz speeds already. Ridiculous for less than a ten percent gain.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
13-07-2003, 19:05:17
Yeah, NewEgg is pretty good, got some stuff from them in the past.

Cowie of mine has a 2400+ which we overclocked to (supposed) 3200+ equivalent. I also got a free water cooler system out of it :)

No longer Trippin
14-07-2003, 00:58:44
What watercooling system do you have. If I go back to it I'm going all custom parts - might use a double loop and some TEC's to chilll the water so I can get nicely below ambient temperatures.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
14-07-2003, 18:42:09
It's a Koolance PC2-601 33lb case, with a Koolance CPU-200G cooler. Does a nice job, and is quiet to boot. Coworker bought 3 80mm fans also to keep the rest of the system from getting too hot.

Tom's Hardware had a nice qouple of articles recently about coolers with condensers. And I found a web page by just some guy about the cooling system he build that chilled his CPU so far it wouldn't turn on (something like -28 C :) )

No longer Trippin
14-07-2003, 19:18:17
Oh, as for Athlon's bursting into flames, you need a kt333 or prior chipset as those don't monitor the thermal diode on the cpu to shut it off. Intel just built it into the chip while AMD has it on the motherboard. Both work just as fast, temps hits x, shutdown. Also some new boards also support thermal throttling through the board. You'll still burn the cpu up without a heatsink, but if the fan dies, or it's mounted wrong it will throttle down or just shut off. The only two ways to screw an althon up now are to install the heatsink wrong (coat the entire ceramic in AS3 or just plain crush the core) and the other is extreme overclocking without adequate cooling and power.

Qaj: Your thinking of a Prometia or Vapochill. I sold mine off since I'd have to get a new attachment block most likely for the new socket and also I can still pull 500 mhz and a solid FSB increase with good aircooling (SLK-900 with a 120mm 80CFM Sunon via adaptor). So I don't hear it. Don't need extreme cooling now that I'm not doing CAD work - games only benefit so much from processor speed before other factors come into play. Only "lost" 50 bucks off the cost from it brand new.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
15-07-2003, 19:52:58
The Tom's articles were, yes.

The guy built his own "extreme cooler" by sticking his motherboard inside a freezer filled with mineral oil. Apparently, it's not electrically conductive, so since it's suspended in a liquid, you don't get condensation problems. He hooked up some kind of pump be bought from Walmart to circulate the oil to prevent heat build up in one spot.

I wish I could find the article...

No longer Trippin
15-07-2003, 20:33:57
Been helping my friend's "little" brother the past couple days in finishing up his laser. The transformer he ordered to step the power up weighs 350 pounds when filled with mineral oil - without it you'd get sparking across the coils and blow it up.

So far he has managed to burn a hole in a cinder block about a centimeter wide and it took about 15 seconds - running lengthways. Once he gets the parts in to focus it and watercool the laser (which has been done, just needs to be installed) I can imagine 2-3 seconds maximum before it burns completely through (lengthways) as he'll be drawing more than twice as much current and have it aimed at less than a quarter of the previous space.