AMD Opteron chip new numbers scheme

By Phantasm66 ยท 6 replies
Mar 13, 2003
  1. And in news related to my previous offering, here, which talked about this article here, a news article on CNET.COM news, here, discusses today's announcement by AMD that there will be a new matrix of model numbers for its forthcoming 64-bit chips for workstations and servers.

    *Models will have such names as "the AMD Opteron 140 Series."
    *Opteron, AMD's next generation of high-end chips, is set to debut on April 22.
    *The chip is expected to start at speeds of about 2GHz. But the new model numbers don't reflect clock speed. Instead, they show whether a given chip is designed for single- or multiple-processor servers and then point to its performance relative to other chips in the same family.
    *The new Opteron lines will include the 100 Series, for single-processor machines; the 200 Series, for dual-processor systems; and the 800 Series, for computers using up to eight processors.
    *The individual chips will start their numbering at 40, so under the new nomenclature there would be a model 140, a model 240 and a model 840. As chip speed increases, so would the model number--a model 142, for instance, would be faster than a model 140, and a model 144 would be faster still.

    So, we have a performance rating scale with the Athlon XP that's different from the MHz rating used by Intel, and now we have something entirely new and different as well. More confusion for the general public. But I will admit though that the prospect of getting my hands on one of these babies is pretty exciting.

    More here.
  2. merv

    merv TS Rookie

    "...More confusion for the general public...."

    what could be less confusing than using 3 numbers instead of 4?

    change is good...specially if it simplifies things. would we rather have it that in 10 years time we have AthlonXP 960000+ just so we could stay with the current rating scheme and "not confuse" Joe Public? remember when 486DX went to P66? ( a letter and a number less)

    IMO, AMD is simplifying the rating system rather than confusing the public. They're actually 'numbing' the ratings for the public!...the '+' is gone and a number less to boot. If Joe Public can't get a handle on that....he should be re-named Joe Hopeless.
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Well its shorter numbers, but they don't seem to have any relation to clock speed now, that is what makes it more confusing.
  4. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    OK, this is probably NOT the way it will work, but here's a close approximation.

    Which number is higher?





    Naturally, 230 is higher. But is that the faster chip? Perhaps not. The 2 could mean that the processor is for a dual CPU system. So, in fact the 170 could be a faster processor, but its merely for a single CPU system. You see where I am going? That in fact the 170 is faster because 70 is greater than 30. The first digit is a means of identifying whether the CPU should be used in an SMP setup or not. But unless you know that, you might make a mistake and buy the 230 thinking that its faster, when in fact it may not even be suitable for the board you have.

    I think that there is still a case for a unified, single means of rating CPU power. MHz is perhaps not the most accurate reflection of performance, true, but when we have Intel making up one scale, and AMD making up another, the potential for confusion and chaos comes about. Now we have yet another scale to think about. I'm merely suggesting that this adds to the already muddy situation for consumers.
  5. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    The general public ARE morons when it comes to computing, that's the problem.

    I work in system support and every day I see horrifying examples of stupidity, even from people who have PhDs, etc.

    I've had a network engineer well versed in the operations of routers, firewalls, switches, etc stop and ask what the hell Athlon XP 2100+ meant in comparison to a MHz rated Intel chip, so you can bet your bottom dollar that "Joe Public" as you call him/her is confused as well.


    I think it already has the potential to be confusing. Also, since motherboards only still seem to understand a bus speed times a multipler to make a CPU speed, I think its important that at least retail boxed chips are marked correctly with a MHz rating as well as AMD's made up one.

    I have yet to research this more fully, however I would at least be wanting to see a strong scientific basis from this new scale.
  6. merv

    merv TS Rookie

    I always thought that Joe Public was more concerned simply with the degree of numbers rather than the relation of the numbers to a more 'relative' concept or process (i.e. clockspeed: he equates 7 to be greater than 3, regardless of it be 7000-3000 or 700-300)

    Again...I would be surprised if you asked JP and any of his family members what clockspeed was and they were able to give you a logical answer and its relation/corellation to the power of the CPU.

    I don't see how JP can get confused over clockspeed when he knows nothing about clockspeed to begin with. Just go to any COMPUSA and listen to the salesman pitch.....most of the customers are too busy pretending not to look clueless/lost that they won't even get to the point of asking about clockspeed, much less secondary cache or spindle speed of the HD....why? because they don't know too much about it and don't really care. All they have to hear is "Sir, this is the fastest processor out today and you can make home movies with WindowsXP."

    AMD's rating system has no middle ground...and its an illogical marketing move if it did have one. You either know about the rating system, like the people who frequent boards such as this...or you really don't care too much about it.

    The new Opteron model numbers continue AMD's efforts to change people's thinking away from using clock speed as the only measure of a chip's performance. The company calls the computer industry's obsession with clock speed the "megahertz myth."

    The above is from CNET. If that's AMD's marketing move, why would they pursue the mhz rating scheme? Also, "efforts to change people's thinking..." is just a politically correct way of saying 're-educating Joe Public.'

    Sorry for the rant. But respected hardware sites such as these should be encouraging change specially when they have merit, and this new rating scheme does make sense. No more MP or XP or B or A or +, just 3 digits to deal with!...and NO, you will not be THAT confused to buy an 800 Opteron. If that doesn't make simple sense I don't know what does.

    We're always clamorring for new devices and better/faster hardware but why do we have to get nitpicky and keep pointing out such minor nuances (if they even are)? I've yet to read a site say, "This new PR rating actually makes more sense than the previous one, because its a much more rational/logical scheme!"

    It doesn't necessarily make for a better review/commentary to point out something that may not even be wrong to begin with. Its like this one review I read before and some guy was saying how the 19" Iiyama he had reviewed was the best CRT monitor he had ever seen, hands-down....and he closes to say, "the only thing I didn't like was the size of the gigantic box it came in." WHAT?!!?

    :EDITTED AGP -> PCI Express example. New to the board and don't want to be flamed or mistaken for wise-*** remark ;)
  7. merv

    merv TS Rookie


    I was writing while you posted.

    I see your point now with the 230-170 example. That's a good point. The scenario you put forth is very probable. the 800 line I think will be a no-brainer though and if anyone buys one by mistake...they deserve not to get a refund/exchange. :D

    Chalk one up for Intel with giving the server line a completely different name = Xeon.

    OT: I wanted to do tech support until I worked in my brother's office as a tech assistant for the summer. :D

    Vice Pres.: "My computer is broke. Aren't you guys supposed to make sure these are running all the time?! Do you know how much this is costing me and how much time I'll be wasting waiting for you to fix this!? Fix it now!"

    Me:" may want to turn the monitor on before you start screaming at me."

    ...that was my last day on the job. I never showed up again. Spent the rest of the summer cutting grass.
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