back to article AMD locks and loads 'Istanbul' six-shooter

Advanced Micro Devices, after weeks of hinting that its six-core "Istanbul" Opteron processors were right around the corner, is finally firing the kickers to its "Shanghai" quad-core Opterons right at the new and forthcoming Nehalem family of workstation and server chips from archrival Intel. With the Istanbuls, AMD and Intel …


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  1. David Halko
    Thumb Up

    Wow! Can't wait to see the benchmarks!

    Considering the Intel quad-core with integrated memory bus will often out-run the Intel hex-core without integrated memory bus, this new AMD hex-core with integrated memory bus should be a real blast!

    I can't want to see the benchmarks!

  2. blackworx

    You had me hooked at Mutara Nebula

    That is all

  3. OrsonX
    IT Angle

    6-cores.... why do I need it?

    1-core, 2..., 4...., 6...., 8.....

    I'm not being faceitious but what benefit does this give for the average web browsing iTunes playing user?

    Will we perhaps now see voice input or some such wizzy thing taking hold?

  4. Christopher Ahrens

    RE: 6-cores.... why do I need it?

    People doing real work with real computers, thats who. Why the hell would a luser have a machine with a SERVER processor in it anyway?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @6-cores.... why do I need it?

    You don't. It's for servers and workstations.

    2 cores is an obvious performance advantage for desktops - think of all the stuff that's running in the background on a Windows PC (anti-virus, instant messenger, MP3 player, etc). Beyond that, the only uses for more cores are either server apps that spawn a thread/process for each client, or apps that have been specifically written as multithreaded. I can imagine some games supporting 2 cores, or possibly 4, because they want to get the best performance out of mid-to-high end hardware.

    Given the current state of desktop software, dual core is enough for most people today.

    (There are certain tasks who benefit from as many cores as possible: e.g. most servers, many kinds of video processing, programmers who are building software, etc).

  6. Michael
    Black Helicopters

    how long..

    .......before it becomes "self aware"?

  7. Pierre

    More cores....

    "If there is a direct relationship between the cost of making a chip and its size and an inverse relationship between the size of a chip and its improving yields, you can see why Intel has decided to deploy HyperThreading on its chips, and the wonder is why AMD hasn't done its own variant of HyperThreading after all of these years." (and answers to "6-cores.... why do I need it? ")

    Well, threading has a cost, and is not necessarily improving performance that much. For servers it might help for some applications, but on my workstations I already see some apps hitting the wall at 8 cores (that's 2 times 4). They could use more FLOPs per core, but wouldn't benefit much from more cores. I do expect to reach the asymptote at 12 cores. It's all a matter of target audience. For the really heavy parallel computing, RISC-like solutions are going to be tough oponents in the years to come (GPU-based boxes are going to make a killing, I think), while at the other end of the spectrum single threaded powerhouses from IBM are not to be underestimated. So the only real open market for x86 is going to be "cheap" workstations and medium-size virtualization hives (in-house servers). To be more explicit, on high-end workstations x86 chips are spanked* by Power chips, while smaller RISC chips (let's say GPUs) will be more and more tempting for big structures like shared datacenters (aka The Mighty Misty Cloud made of Vapour). And x86 in a modern supercomputer? Are you serious? So if I was the cash-strapped AMD, I would just build a median solution, avoiding the overhead of hyperthreading, which anyway would sooner or later lead to an uphill battle against "GPUs", while still delivering straightforward, cheap FLOPS for "low" power by the use of multiple physical cores, to beat Power chips on the budget front. Intel doesn't care that much, they can afford a sub-optimal product placement: they made metric craploads of cash by bribing AMD out of business ;-) .

    Just sayin'

    Mine is the cheap, bland, worn one. But hey, it does the job.

    *OK, "spanked"might be a bit strong. "humiliated" maybe?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    $!!!! (Ouch!)

    Opteron 8435: 2.6 GHz, $2,649

    Let me run out and buy a few... what I don't have that much in the bank?

    Oh well maybe it is in this pocket...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ AC 22:16 GMT

    "There are certain tasks who benefit from as many cores as possible: e.g. most servers, many kinds of video processing, programmers who are building software, etc"

    Well, I wouldn't say "as many cores as possible". Video processing, for example, has a relatively low cut-off in terms of parallel computing benefits. Unlike database-server-like models, some video processing operations are necessarily sequential, which means a lot of cores sitting idle, waiting for the results of a single thread before they can kick in. I hate that. Programmers who are building software can use a few cores (it's always nice to assign cores to different virtual machines) but there again, too many cores kill the benefit. Unless you're coding for massively parallel structures of course, in which case the more cores you have, the closest you are to the real constraints.

    Anon as my 12-cores self-aware machines might get back to me...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    It's nice to see an article about AMD that has a positive spin for a change, even if we don't have benchmarks to back it up. AMD vs Intel = consumer win

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @6-cores.... why do I need it?

    Developers like me can easily use such power. I'm currently developing and testing client code on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 simultaneously using virtual machines and using another virtual machine runnning W2K3 Server for testing server code. My poor quad core Xeon workstation is quite stressed most of the time.

    I have a colleague developing and running multithreaded heavy maths analysis code who stresses his system as much as me.

    I hope someone puts these chips into proper workstation systems ASAP.

  12. Anonymous Coward


    will it be fast enough to run vista on?

    well somebody had to say it.

  13. Pete
    Paris Hilton

    Well, pc has RAID1, quadcore and nice ram, and it rocks, way faster for testing etc.

    I can simultaneously defrag, scan system with SEP & defender, move 2GB files around with several other programs running, and the CPU still barely hits 25% across all 4 cores.

    While this is happening, I open outlook, and as the window zooms out, I can see the inbox filling with messages pouring in before the window has finished maximising. mmmmmmmm

    This is good for me because I spend much of my time waiting for standard pcs (above avg specs).

    Then I load up CounterStrike and im the first one into a new map everytime.


    My chargeout rate is a bit more than double that of a plumber. So i could pay for the difference in parts cost in about a day. Quad 2.66 GHz is almost the same price as the C2D 3.0GHz anyway.

    Besides I can load up a beta, trial or recovery of some new OS on a spare HDD in:

    XP 14 mins

    Vista 11 mins

    Win7 13 mins

    Srv2008 SBS 26 mins.

    I wish I had a 10GB/Sec DVD drive. Hmm now if i raided up an array for VirtualDrive, brb


    So that is why faster is better, because I have a life outside of the machine.

    Paris because like data, she will come quickly if you have the right hardware.

  14. Jack Harrer

    Re: how long..

    According to Ghost in the Shell it will happen around 2030. Project 2501, you know ;)

  15. Lionel Baden

    @6 cores

    well multi core rendering is getting better so even on a dual core machine 1 program will sit accross both core and still get issues with background applications

    So if i happen to have 6 cores and a program is developed to run across 4 e.g. UT3, i agree not perfect but it does work and other programs are being developed that will run across cores much better. but it leaves room for other background apps and OS to function

    Personally i would love to see the OS contained to 1 core, And then background Apps assigned to another core, which then powers down unused cores untill needed

  16. Anonymous Coward


    You lost me at CounterStrike

  17. N
    Paris Hilton

    @ Pete

    Nice box,

    Paris, because she too, has a nice box!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    "Who needs ... 8 cores?"

    I was using a 32 processor Meiko Computing Surface back in 1992 for my paint simulation. So if you want real-time paint and brush simulation in Photoshop you need 32, 64, 128 ... cores.

    And think of all the animation rendering you could do, or whole body motion capture at home ....

    Step away from the email, surfing, media play drudgery and use your imagination.

  19. Greg


    Socket F is generally for servers, not your desktop, numbnuts.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Anonymous Coward 08:55 GMT

    "You lost me at CounterStrike"

    He lost me at

    "and the CPU still barely hits 25% across all 4 cores"

    Try some multi-threaded apps.

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