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Doom on Itanium

A chip without a market is slowly sinking

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Our IT guy read this article and says he'd rather have a Pentium II than a 64-bit AMD chip.

I think I should be worried.

John Rose
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Interesting IT guy you got there.  I love the Itanium and really wanted to see it be a success but I guess backward compatibility is the cold, harsh, reality for most of the computer world. (Yes I know the Itanium has IA-32 compatibility/emulation built in but its slow).

Jim Battin
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

It's amazing how a huge company like Intel can fail to see what everybody else could've easily predicted -- including AMD.

Brad Wilson (
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Regarding your IT guy, there us a lot of that sort of tribalism (i.e. "[pounds chest]AMD baddddd...Intel good!  I'd rather die before I'd used AMD!"), and personally I am sick and tired of it.

I really wish all of the technology bigots would get turfed out of this industry and get back into pickup trucks with Calvin pissing on a [insert competitive brand here], acting as little pawns for someone else's interests. Whether it's AMD versus Intel, or Microsoft versus Linux, or .NET versus Java-- too many people view these as alliances that you must declare allegiance to and defend to the death rather than solutions to be effectively leveraged and utilized for your and your customer's benefit.

Dennis Forbes
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

The blind allegiance some people have to brands is absolutely amazing and so frustrating.

He admits the reason that he hates AMD is because of a bad experience he had with like, a K5.  I wish I was joking.

He says AMD sucks because it's "not compatible", "runs too hot", and "doesn't work well with multiple programs"...  meanwhile I'm sitting 10 feet away from him, multitasking like a mofo on a Duron 1600.  Great performance, and the CPU's running cool as an autumn breeze.  He won't acknowledge it.

This is the same IT guy who just invited me to play a game of checkers using some Wild Tangent ActiveX plugin, which is known spyware.  He also advises people to just run Ad-Aware periodically... instead of adjusting IE's security settings, using a more secure browser, or just being safe in general.


John Rose
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

There might be something to the AMD running hotter than Intel thing:

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Tom has a reputation of having a bias in Intel's favor.  I don't know if it is true or if it affected the findings of his study, but due to his reputation I would in general seek out a second source confirming anything he said.

Keith Wright
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Well, I think the "runs hotter" statement is factually true -- AFAIK, Athlon XPs draws more wattage than a comparable P4, which translates to higher operating temperatures (due to those pesky laws of thermodynamics.)

However, that's a silly reason for saying that Atlon = Bad.  Any modern CPU requires active heat dissipation -- neither a P4 nor an Athlon will run without a heat sink and fan.  With adequate cooling, either works just fine.

Robert Jacobson
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

The unfortunate state of things is that there is often no other resource as detailed as - so the process of double-checking his facts goes like this:

1.  Contact the engineer that designed product X

2.  Get engineer's second opinion


1.  Attempt to browse "eXTREMeG4MERZ" hardware section for "RE-VUE" of product X.

2.  Find and interpret X-TREEM bar charts, which are probably derivate of anyway

If I've been missing out on the "Village Voice" of computer hardware web-sites (as opposed to the "New York Times"->, someone let me know.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

That Tom's Hardware video is a couple years old.  Newer Athlons have gone through a couple of die shrinks and run a lot cooler than they used to.  My AthlonXP 2500+ (~1.9ghz) actually runs very cool... a lot cooler than my Athlon 1.2ghz chips.

Also, I'm not sure about the AthlonXP's, but the Opterons definitely have thermal shutdown protection in case of a cooling failure, like P4's have had for a while.

I'm not anti-Intel, or anything... P4's with that 800mhz frontside bus are great performers from the reviews I've read.  I wouldn't mind owning one!  The price/performance of AMD chips is tough to beat, though.

John Rose
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

"If I've been missing out on the "Village Voice" of computer hardware web-sites (as opposed to the "New York Times"->, someone let me know."


They do some really thorough comparisons, free from the 31337 ExxxTREME mindset of most hardware sites.  Their reviews are much more geared towards the IT professional, rather than 31337 hacker kids.  I rate them far above Tom's Hardware, actually, because often feels to me that Tom's Hardware is pushing one agenda or another.

Right now, Ace's is running an excellent comparison between the Opterons and the Xeons.

John Rose
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Itanium has a fifty years lifespan.  Intel can afford to keep on trying and trying to get it right.

Amour Tan
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

I thought the topic was going to be how to run Doom on an Itanium or asking if anyone had done a port...

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Same thing here pdq...thought it would be benchmarks or something. :-)

Dennis Forbes
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Companies seem to have issues with the fact that the marketplace has a very, very long memory.

I think it was circa 1999 that AMD made two colossal PR blunders:
1) Their CPU design was such that if you installed the AMD factory-provided heat sink incorrectly (which was apparently not that hard to do), you broke the chip. AMD would not honor a warranty on such damage.
2) The CPU ran so hot that if the CPU fan failed (as such fans can), it would smoke in under a minute. AMD would not honor a warranty on such damage.

I honestly lay the current state of the market ("don't trust AMD") solely at the feet of those two design flaws/poor warranty decisions. It doesn't matter if your next generation of chip runs so cold you could cool drinks on it and it's tough enough to crack walnuts - like bad credit, the only thing that assuages a bad reputation is time.


Thursday, December 18, 2003

I was sure from the thread title that this had soemthing to do with running around blasting each other with 64 bit guns.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

I'll admit it: AMD still rings bad with me because of some incompatibility problem a few centuries ago.
These days I am not worried about AMD compatibility issues (if it is on the HCL it is fine with me). The heat problems are something else. Does AMD still require significantly more cooling than comparable Intels stuff? I'm mainly worried about the noise of cooling, not about the capacity wich I believe can be taken care off quite easily.

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, December 18, 2003

>He admits the reason that he hates AMD is because of
>a bad experience he had with like, a K5.
>I wish I was joking.

As an aside, I don't see what's wrong with this sentiment.  I think it's perfectly natural and I'm sure it's something we're all guilty of, whether it pertains to IT (Intel vs. AMD), cars (Ford vs. Chevy) or whatever.  If you get food poisoning from a restaurant it's doubtful that you'll ever go back.

As a hobby I build PCs for friends.  I buy LOTS of motherboards, always with Intel chipsets.  One time I decided to try a Via-based mobo - HUGE mistake.  What a buggy, unstable piece of crap.  Long story short I ended up buying an Intel-based board out of my own pocket and swapping it into my friend's PC.  The problems disappeared immediately.

This all happened a few years ago and VIA-based boards may have improved 100-fold since then, but it'll have to be a freakin' cold day in hell before I buy another one.  Burn me once, shame on you, burn me twice shame on me.

Matt Foley
Thursday, December 18, 2003

"it's perfectly natural and I'm sure it's something we're all guilty of, whether it pertains to IT (Intel vs. AMD), cars (Ford vs. Chevy) or whatever"

Windows vs Linux?

Thursday, December 18, 2003

I am a long time AMD user. I have built and worked with several K6, K6-II, Duron and Athlon XP computers.

I have never found overheating to be a problem.

Of course, I use quality parts.

Spend $2 - $5 more on a cooler, and you won't have any problem with heat.

If you want high performance but noiseless coolers, get a low rpm copper model - they are expensive, but worth it. Zalman ( makes excellent low rpm copper coolers.

Also, as a site, I would recommend AnandTech, , and also StorageReview,

Thursday, December 18, 2003

+1 for never using Via ever again.

I've used AMD against AMD chipsets, SiS chipsets (which are generally not well regarded), and Via chipsets (which are). Personally, you couldn't pay me enough money to use a Via chipset motherboard. AMD was rock solid stable, as was the SiS. However, virtually any Via based motherboard was a stability disaster.

When buying Intel chips, I always stick with Intel chipsets, too.

Brad Wilson (
Thursday, December 18, 2003

I'm also sensitive to noise (using my home-built Athlon XP 1700 desktop in my home office.)  I don't think there's any difference between Pentium and Athlon noise levels, though -- many CPU fans are intended for both Athlons and Pentiums.

Originally my desktop was a bit too noisy for my taste, but I solved that by swapping in a quieter Enermax power supply [1] and quieter CoolerMaster CPU cooler [2].



Robert Jacobson
Thursday, December 18, 2003

I suspect that Intel had a little something to do with the whole "AMDs are blazingly hot fiasco" -- The reality is that the early Athlons were quite hot, but only marginally hotter than comparable Intels (maybe 5% hotter. The peak power of the comparable intel was actually higher, though the average of the AMD was higher). The whole shennangian of Tom's Hardware popping the heatsink off the AMD processor and it burning up is cute and all, and it is nice that Intel built some cost into every processor with a heat sensor that throttled back the clockspeed under such a condition, but realistically how big of a problem is this? Have the people who hold this up as an important lesson ever latched a heatsink on? (hint -- I'm usually sure the motherboard is going to pop in half they click on with such force, and getting them off is usually a nightmare). This is not a reasonable situation anymore than being really proud that your car can still run if all of the oil is drained out.

I've used AMDs for years, along with Intel, and I've had no problem of consequence, and have been very satisfied with both. _Both_ have had serious issues with singular products (remember the 1Ghz P3?). I don't work for Intel, and I don't work for AMD, so my only technology allegiance is to myself -- I'll buy what's best at the time. Some of the best motherboards right now are VIAs, for instance, so it'd be pretty self destructive to carry forward some petty vindication.

Dennis Forbes
Thursday, December 18, 2003

I have a Duron 1G at home, and the comment that the chip in my box might be "running cool as an autumn breeze" makes me laugh real hard.

Okay, in truth the heat generated by rams, dvd players, and hard drives ain't exactly helping, but back in the days AMDs do run a little hotter (and then on the other side of the coin there are times when AMD would run a little cooler at the same performance provided the chipset didn't suck).

Most small format PCs now can't achieve fan-less operation unless they just plain give up high performance processors like AMD and Intel and go Transmeta and friends. On the fly spin-up fans don't count.

They all run pretty hot.

I was reading up on the Opteron last night, if you have an application that breaks the 32bit point in a wealth of ways? Buy one. Slightly cheaper than a Itanium after you pop in 240s series into a dual Asus mobo.

Itanium is cool too and probably what you will run to get Oracle on Windows.

Neither architecture (oops, sorry to leave out the G5 here) are likely to be in a google server farm until maybe 3rd quarter of 2005.
-- DAvid

Li-fan Chen
Thursday, December 18, 2003

>>Our IT guy read this article and says he'd rather have a >>Pentium II than a 64-bit AMD chip.

>>I think I should be worried.

I think you should be too.

wow that's kinda disturbing, what company is this that you work at? I think I need to throw my name in there.

and I've got quite a few P2's that i'll gladly trade for the same amount of 64 bit AMD's ;)

Sunday, December 21, 2003

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