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Topic Title: Current memory technologies holding AMD64 product
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Created On: 10/06/2003 06:46 PM
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 10/06/2003 06:46 PM
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slicemaster101
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Well,
My opinion has evolved about the AMD64 line of products over the past few weeks and for the better if you ask me. I have always been a fan of AMD because the offer the same or better performance for less cash. Anyway, this is kind of a break off of a threat that I started at the AMDMB.com forums that was originally more or less complaining about the new processors, but as I became more educated I and others realized that AMD has done a stellar job with what technologies they had available. The discussion went on and basically touched on every aspect of the processors architecture but eventually settled on one weak point. This weak point however is not AMD’s fault but it can be fixed. This is the use of DDR400 memory. The discussion continued on till a product codename came up. This code name was YELLOWSTONE. For those of you who don’t know what YELLOWSTONE is I will try to summarize it for you. It is a serial bus and memory technology developed by the California based company RAMBUS. This next-generation technology is officially called “XDR”, I think, and is the fastest memory technology available. Many of use over at the AMDMB forum think that the “OLD” DDR technology is what is holding back AMD’s new processors from completely blowing away the competition. With the on-die memory controller matched with YELLOWSTONE the system bandwidth would practically be limitless; plus a serial based memory technology fixes the many problems that parallel memory technologies suffer from. It is hard to transfer all the information here so I recommend reading the whole thread HERE' ">http://www.amdforums.com/showthread.php?threadid=258945.

Signed,
Slice

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 10/06/2003 06:54 PM
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Torniojaws
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QBM is coming, but I'm not sure if it will be used widely .. time will tell.

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 10/06/2003 07:48 PM
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xUNREALNEOx
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QUOTE (youri @ Oct 6 2003, 03:43 PM)I doubt Hammer can take advantage of that much bandwidth yet, at the current clockspeeds. Going from single to dual-channel DDR-I already has little impact, so I don't think a doubling (or quadrupling) of bandwidth would do much of anything, right now.
dual doesn't make much diff to a AMD 64?

I dont think u've seen the bandwidth figures of the A64-FX51 then.

It's the latency that kills the FX.

And what about that 8-way opteron system with 10GB/s memory bandwidth?

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:: MadOnion
 10/06/2003 10:51 PM
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slicemaster101
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QUOTE (youri @ Oct 6 2003, 03:43 PM) I doubt Hammer can take advantage of that much bandwidth yet, at the current clockspeeds. Going from single to dual-channel DDR-I already has little impact, so I don't think a doubling (or quadrupling) of bandwidth would do much of anything, right now.
I disagree,
xUNREALNEOx is on the right page; Hammer can eat all the bandwidth you can feed it and then some. The fact that it has an on-die memory controller allows for a 1:1 information highway between memory and the computing part of the CPU die. With this comes the ability to just eat up bandwidth. This is why you see the results you do in multi Opteron systems. You and anyone else who thinks DDR400 or even Dual Channel DDR400 is enough to feed this beast is incorrect. A AMD64 processor (Opteron or Athlon 64 take you pick) equipped with a new on-die memory controller compatible with RAMBUS’ YELLOWSTONE is probably the only cost effective technology available that can feed this thing. Not only will YELLOWSTONE allow for greater bandwidth today but it will also ensure flexibility tomorrow allowing for larger and larger memory configurations at greater speeds. I am not saying that AMD should début an AMD64 processor featuring YELLOWSTONE tomorrow or even in Q1 of 2004. All I am saying is that DDR, and from what I have read DDRII, does not provide sufficient bandwidth or flexibility to really make these processors shine. I would however expect ether a processor featuring an on-die YELLOWSTONE memory controller or at least an announcement of support for YELLOWSTONE by AMD when YELLOWSTONE memory enters mass production in Q2 of 2004. I would understand if AMD did not release a processor featuring a YELLOWSTONE memory controller until Q3 or Q4 of 2004 but an announcement at the beginning of Q2 would be nice so that manufactures of the memory can get a surplus ready for the lunch of a AMD64 processor(s) supporting YELLOWSTONE.

Signed,
Slice

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 10/06/2003 10:58 PM
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xUNREALNEOx
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QUOTE (slicemaster101 @ Oct 6 2003, 06:51 PM) QUOTE (youri @ Oct 6 2003, 03:43 PM) I doubt Hammer can take advantage of that much bandwidth yet, at the current clockspeeds. Going from single to dual-channel DDR-I already has little impact, so I don't think a doubling (or quadrupling) of bandwidth would do much of anything, right now.
I disagree,
xUNREALNEOx is on the right page; Hammer can eat all the bandwidth you can feed it and then some. The fact that it has an on-die memory controller allows for a 1:1 information highway between memory and the computing part of the CPU die. With this comes the ability to just eat up bandwidth. This is why you see the results you do in multi Opteron systems. You and anyone else who thinks DDR400 or even Dual Channel DDR400 is enough to feed this beast is incorrect. A AMD64 processor (Opteron or Athlon 64 take you pick) equipped with a new on-die memory controller compatible with RAMBUS’ YELLOWSTONE is probably the only cost effective technology available that can feed this thing. Not only will YELLOWSTONE allow for greater bandwidth today but it will also ensure flexibility tomorrow allowing for larger and larger memory configurations at greater speeds. I am not saying that AMD should début an AMD64 processor featuring YELLOWSTONE tomorrow or even in Q1 of 2004. All I am saying is that DDR, and from what I have read DDRII, does not provide sufficient bandwidth or flexibility to really make these processors shine. I would however expect ether a processor featuring an on-die YELLOWSTONE memory controller or at least an announcement of support for YELLOWSTONE by AMD when YELLOWSTONE memory enters mass production in Q2 of 2004. I would understand if AMD did not release a processor featuring a YELLOWSTONE memory controller until Q3 or Q4 of 2004 but an announcement at the beginning of Q2 would be nice so that manufactures of the memory can get a surplus ready for the lunch of a AMD64 processor supporting YELLOWSTONE.

Signed,
Slice
jesus! how many times did you meantion YELLOWSTONE?

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:: MadOnion
 10/07/2003 12:16 AM
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Moocowsia
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Also why is it always capitalized. Do you work for Rambus or something?

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 10/07/2003 12:22 AM
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Peritus
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Wasn't cost a huge factor why Rambus didn't take off? Also, throw in the fact that they got more performance from DDR technology than they thought they could.

I'm sure the industry will shift to a new memory architecture whenever the cost/peformance dictates it.

Did someone mention YELLOWSTONE?
 10/07/2003 01:03 AM
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StormPC
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QUOTE (youri @ Oct 6 2003, 03:51 PM) Of course, bandwidth figures would go up (duh =P) but it's not like you get a doubling in overall performance or anything, i.e. Hammer is not strapped for bandwidth as it is.
Yeah, the doubling of performance comes with 64 bit apps and Win XP64.
 10/07/2003 03:00 AM
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slicemaster101
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QUOTE (Peritus @ Oct 6 2003, 08:22 PM)Wasn't cost a huge factor why Rambus didn't take off? Also, throw in the fact that they got more performance from DDR technology than they thought they could.

I'm sure the industry will shift to a new memory architecture whenever the cost/peformance dictates it.

Did someone mention YELLOWSTONE?
QUOTE (StormPC @ Oct 6 2003, 09:03 PM)Yeah, the doubling of performance comes with 64 bit apps and Win XP64.

Sorry if the Capitalized YELLOWSTONE bothers you; it is just the way I have always seen it written just like HAMMER. If it bothers you I will just capitalize the first letter (Yes/No)? Anyways, yes StormPC, you are correct a performance increase will come with the 64-bit OS, Drivers, and Apps but memory bandwidth will not increase due to that change. And Yes Peritus, cost was one of the main factors for the first-generation “RAMBUS” (AKA its real name is RDRAM) not taking off, but it didn’t have industry support like Yellowstone does. Last I checked all the major memory manufactures have already agreed to back Yellowstone (AKA XDR is its official name). You are also correct Peritus, that at the time DDR could match the performance of RDRAM but now DDR has hit its peak and DDRII doesn’t look as promising as I had hoped, but Peritus you have to realize that we are not comparing DDR and DDRII to RDRAM. We are comparing DDR and DDRII to Yellowstone (AKA XDR), which is not the same technology as RDRAM.

Signed,
Slice

P.S. I do not work for RAMBUS, although I do live in California

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 10/07/2003 09:32 PM
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slicemaster101
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::BuMp BuMp::

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 10/08/2003 06:40 AM
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Dave Graham
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why are you bumping? We know that Yellowstone is a Rambus memory technology. I'm sure that if it became feasible for AMD to use said technology, they would. However, with more than enough memory bandwidth available to the A64 designs in their current incarnation with DDR-I, it would be rather inane to replace what works with a new core supporting a niche technology.

there, I said my piece.

cheers,

dave

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 10/08/2003 11:28 AM
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Brian
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yeah, and i don't think AMD has the cash to design a core with yellowstone support

and if you can't compare DDR-2 with yellowstone, there's always DDR-3

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 10/09/2003 12:48 AM
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slicemaster101
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QUOTE (Dave Graham @ Oct 8 2003, 02:40 AM) why are you bumping? We know that Yellowstone is a Rambus memory technology. I'm sure that if it became feasible for AMD to use said technology, they would. However, with more than enough memory bandwidth available to the A64 designs in their current incarnation with DDR-I, it would be rather inane to replace what works with a new core supporting a niche technology.

there, I said my piece.

cheers,

dave
Well Dave Graham,

I didn’t mean to bother you, but I am sure that there are a lot of people that don’t know what XDR (AKA Yellowstone) is and I was hoping for some good discussion. Other then that the real reason I ::BuMped:: the thread was because of the influx of traffic (thread got kicked over to second page) on the forum and I just thought that maybe other people might be interested in the topic. Anyways, at least this is an on-topic discussion that is supposed to be in this part of the forums. It is talking general hardware in direct connection with AMD. From what I have been seeing there are several off-topic threads in this part of the forum that really shouldn’t be here.

Sincerely,
Slice


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 10/09/2003 12:55 AM
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duke
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what is YELLOWSTONE ?


 10/09/2003 01:15 AM
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jonspd
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QUOTE (duke @ Oct 8 2003, 08:55 PM) what is YELLOWSTONE ?
A national park?

I will be glad to see ddr 2 and the new 64bit cpu's running together with some really good average bandwidth system's. I would like to see 6gb mem band more often on amd board instead of just on intel's high fsb board's for a low afforable price. Not everyone can afford 1200$ just for ram, cpu, and mobo.

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 10/09/2003 01:23 AM
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slicemaster101
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QUOTE (duke @ Oct 8 2003, 08:55 PM) what is YELLOWSTONE ?
Hay Duke,

Do you really not know what Yellowstone (AKA XDR) is?
I am not saying you are dumb or anything, it is just I am not sure on how to read your question as some people in these on-line communities phrase questions like you just did when they are joking or something. If you really do not know what Yellowstone is I will be glad to explain it but if you asked the question as a joke tell me now so I don’t waste my time explaining something to someone who doesn’t really care or already knows.

Sorry for having to ask but I am just having problems reading the intent of your post (joke or for real). I think you are asking with real intent so I am just making sure…

Slice


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 10/09/2003 01:30 AM
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Ardrid
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I'm going to have to agree with Youri on this. The Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 FX simply do not need that much bandwidth right now. Just because the processors have an onboard memory controller doesn't mean that you have to feed them with as much bandwidth as possible. The K8 architecture is still fundamentally the same as the K7 architecture, meaning it's not starving for bandwidth like the P4 is, despite the fact that the "FSB" now runs at the speed of the processor. This is simply because the chip is only running at 2-2.2GHz and is being fed plenty of information, if not more than is needed. Even the XP doesn't really need dual-channel memory, as 3.2GB/s of bandwidth is plenty in most cases.

A prime example of what I'm talking about is a comparison between a 2.2GHz Athlon 64 and a 2.2GHz Athlon 64 FX. As you know, one is single-channel and one is dual-channel, meaning that one has double the bandwidth of the other. The latencies are also essentially identical. In all of the benchmarks, save one, which I believe was data compression, the additional bandwidth made no difference whatsoever. This tells me one thing, that the Athlon 64, at it's current speed, has plenty of bandwidth using DDR400.

That being said, I see no need for Rambus' Yellowstone technology, or any RDRAM technology for that matter, being coupled with the Athlon 64. DDR provides all of the bandwidth this processor will ever need and DDR-II will take over from there. You have to remember, theoretical bandwidth measurements are synthetic and do not always equate to real world performance. Just because the Athlon 64 FX has more bandwidth than the Athlon 64 doesn't mean that it's going to perform better at the same clock speed. And as the benches show, this holds true more often than not.

This thread does bring up an interesting point for discussion though. If the benches show that there is no real discernible difference between having single-channel versus dual-channel, than how does AMD plan on qualifying the excessive price difference between the A64 and the FX once the A64 hits the same clock speed? The only way the price difference can continue to exist is if the FX is always 200MHz higher than the A64. In that sense, you would be buying the latest and greatest before it exists in the form of the A64. Otherwise, there's no real point in buying the FX. Some food for thought...

Athlon 64 & Athlon 64 FX Comparison #1' ">http://www.anandtech.com/cpu/showdoc.html?i=1884&p=10

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 10/09/2003 01:34 AM
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Ardrid
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Support 1, I have a question. If this is a General Technology Chat forum, how can any of what's being said in here be considered off topic? If I'm reading what you're saying correctly, it seems as if we're supposed to talk about nothing but AMD. While I love AMD, I think that's just a little too extreme for a forum devoted to General Technology.

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 10/09/2003 01:37 AM
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slicemaster101
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QUOTE (jonspd @ Oct 8 2003, 09:15 PM) A national park?

I will be glad to see ddr 2 and the new 64bit cpu's running together with some really good average bandwidth system's. I would like to see 6gb mem band more often on amd board instead of just on intel's high fsb board's for a low afforable price. Not everyone can afford 1200$ just for ram, cpu, and mobo.
You are absolutely right Jonspd,
Not everyone has $1200 to spend on CPU, mobo, and memory. But from what I have been reading once XDR goes into mass-production it is going to be much cheaper then current RDRAM and probably about the same price as DDR is now according to RAMBUS and the memory companies.

Signed,
Slice

P.S. AMD64 chips and mobos will come down in price as availability goes up , and also you have to remember that this is a new platform (only 2 chips out for consumer so far ) and even Intel’s newest chips (P4EE 3.4 or 3.2), mobo (I875P based), and good memory will cost about that so it is not out of the ordinary for the newest to cost a mint.

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 10/09/2003 01:43 AM
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Ardrid
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Gotcha. I was getting a little worried there. Thanks for clearing that up

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