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Offline kstrike155  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, November 8, 2005 10:36:03 AM(UTC)

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I know the topic has been beat to death, but I need some (technical) information. I am taking a class called Comp 220: Computer Organization and Design. It deals with the hardware and software interface of the computer. We are all required to do some sort of independent study. I chose to research the AMD vs. Intel argument from a hardware perspective. I don't care about gaming, frame-rate, none of that: just pure CPU power.

Here are a couple of questions, and I would really only like qualified responses.

1) What sort of pipelining interface does the AMD Athlon 64 have compared to an Intel Pentium 4 w/ HT Technology?

2) How does an AMD processor with a lower clock rate compare with an Intel processor of a much higher rate, and why?

3) How does the hardware of an AMD processor differ from that of an Intel (memory interface, etc.)?

4) How does the AMD processor's cache methods differ from Intel's?

If anybody has any other input or questions they can add, I would appreciate it. The presentation is only going to be 10-15 minutes, but needs to be packed with information.

I have been doing research on Intel's and AMD's websites and looking at the technical documents, also. If anybody has any other reputable resources, I would appreciate that too.


Offline FragUPlenty  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, November 8, 2005 10:40:50 AM(UTC)

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AMD really good, Pentium 4 sucks. Let me explain Intel relies on pure clock speed to make their proccesors fast where as AMD relies on optimizations to their core resulting in a cooler running faster processor.
Offline Marco C  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, November 8, 2005 11:32:13 AM(UTC)
Marco C

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Hi. Welcome to the site. I hope you stick around after your project is done. To give some specific insight to your questions...

1) I'm not sure what you're referring to by "pipelining interface", but I'm assuming you mean the CPU's interface to memory and peripherals. The Athlon 64 uses "HyperTransport" technology, which is a serial-point-to-point link between the CPU and chipset. The Pentium 4 still uses a parrallel bus with external memory controller.

2) Lower clocked AMD processors compare favorably to higher clocked Intel processors because they have a higher IPC (Instructions per Clock). Per clock tick an AMD processor can execute more instructions, so they are able to outperform Intel processors in many instanced even though the Intel processor has a higher clock speed.

3) AMD and Intel processors are similiar in that they can execute the same types of code. AMD's processors, however, have a shorter pipeline (which somewhat explaines the higher IPC), and have integrated memory controllers. Pentium 4 processors have a longer pipeline and rely on an external memory controller (for now). This means AMD has to change the CPU to handle different types of memory (DDR1, DDR2, etc), while Intel can support newer memory technologies through an upgraded core logic chipset, but AMD's solution offers much lower latecy, because CPU-to-Memory data transfers don't have to leave the processor's die.

4) Cache methods are similar in that they both have associative caches, they differ in the amount of L1 and L2 cache, and in the algorithms that govern what data is stored in the caches.

Hope that helps.
Offline jfrjimenez  
#4 Posted : Friday, November 18, 2005 7:22:07 AM(UTC)

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One thing about the caches, the AMD caches are exclusive, and the Intels are inclusive. This means that anything in the Intel's L1 cache is also copied into the L2 cache. So if there's a cache miss on the L1 on an Intel cache, it more quickly accesses the data from the L2 cache (usually a clock cycle or two faster). AMD on the other hand has a bigger L1 cache so it doesn't need to access the L2 as much, but when it does it's a little slower. In the end they're pretty much equal but it's something to keep in mind.
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