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As expected, Advanced Micro Devices has announced its initiative to supply desktop processors with significantly lowered power consumption. Thanks to 65W and 35W power envelopes, AMD believes system makers will be able to create smaller computers while preserving high performance.

AMD64 Energy Efficient Chips Target Intel Core 2

“Customers are demanding a renewed focus on energy efficiency and AMD is responding by delivering energy-efficient desktop processors that can help OEMs innovate and deliver small, sleek PC designs that enable businesses and consumers to save energy,” said Bob Brewer, corporate vice president, desktop business, AMD.

The announcement comes weeks before Intel starts commercial shipments of its new Intel Core 2 chips for desktops, which have exactly the same power consumption figures as the Energy Efficient processors from AMD. The new chips AMD prepares will feature the company’s new AM2 form-factor and will support DDR2 memory, which consumes less power than previous-generation DDR SDRAM.

There will be two versions of chips for socket AM2 designed for small form-factor systems: with 35W (called Energy Efficient Small Form-Factor) and 65W (dubbed Energy Efficient) thermal design power (TDP). AMD said the new lineup of desktop chips with trimmed power consumption will be available this May, however, the company did not specify, whether it would be available for its resellers, or end-users. Usually AMD announces the start of its own revenue shipments.

“Based on advances in technology, as well as the changing business and consumer usage models, we believe that smaller machines with more innovative designs will outsell the ‘mini-tower’ designs traditionally favored by businesses and power-hungry consumers,” said Jim McGregor, principal analyst with In-Stat.

AMD Details Energy Efficient Lineup Details

Energy Efficient SFF processors will include 64 X2 3800+ with 35W TDP (with $364 price-tag), which will remain single dual-core offering with such a low power consumption till Q2 2007. Additionally, there will be AMD Athlon 64 processors 3500+ ($231), and AMD Sempron processors 3400+ ($145), 3200+ ($119) and 3000+ ($101).

All Sempron processors today have 62W TDP, whereas the Athlon 64 3500+ may have thermal guideline of either 67W or 89W, depending on the stepping. Typical single-core chips for future socket AM2 platforms will have 62W thermal envelope.

The lineup of Energy Efficient chips will include dual-core AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ ($323), 4000+ ($353), 4200+ ($417), 4400+ ($514) and 4600+ ($601) with thermal guideline of 65W. In Q3 2006 AMD is expected to introduce the model 4800+ ($671), which is expected to remain the top energy efficient offering till the Q2 2007, with similar thermal specs.

Depending on the speed bin, the dual-core desktop chips from AMD now have 110W or 89W TDP. Typical dual-core chips for socket AM2 will have TDP of 89W.

While this is the first time when a company announced energy efficient chips for desktops, there nothing new in the initiative from a technical point of view: AMD has been supplying AMD Opteron processors with power consumption of as low as 30W for single-core chips and 55W for dual-core chips for years now.


Comments currently: 42
Discussion started: 05/16/06 10:54:08 AM
Latest comment: 08/25/06 09:50:19 AM
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Still at .90nm and much lower power consuming...

What’s the trick?
Redesign?, new materials?, redefined manufacturing?, ...
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/16/06 10:54:08 AM]
- collapse thread


It could easily be better manufacturing and lower leakage, which is what Intel is doing soon with their next 65nm iteration. But, also, look at the clock speeds of the processors. The clock speeds are a bit lower, and that not only uses less power in and of itself, but also generally uses less voltage. As you get to higher clock speeds, it takes a lot of voltage to get even a little extra clock speed, so detuning it even slightly with regards to clock speed could help substantially.

I don't know why anyone would want these anyway, with the Conroe coming out. It's not that I don't like the idea of lower power processors, because they would be very attractive were it not for the fact Intel is releasing something much better, but AMD is looking very pathetic copying everything Intel does. Clearly, Intel is innovating, AMD is languishing and copying again. I guess that makes sense considering the sizes of the companies, but it is in sharp contrast with the past few years where AMD was showing more leadership and particularly a much better understanding of the market.

0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/16/06 06:12:35 PM]
I feel this is a bit innaccurate on your part. AMD has been the energy efficient guy since the Athlon 64 was introduced. Intel just realized their 150W chips were pulling consumers away so they decided to copy AMD and release lower clocked chips with higher IPCs in order to reduce power consumption. All AMD is doing now is releasing consumer level lower power chips (previously, they have only been doing it for servers ... mainly because of thermal restrictions in the server environment, but also because multiple servers running + 50% power reduction = savings in power costs). Then again, I can't say Intel did a bad thing by copying AMD... we are getting quite nice processors because of it. I just think you are not giving AMD the credit they deserve.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/16/06 07:34:16 PM]

I don't really call what Intel has done copying AMD.

Intel due to their inability to increase performance competitively, with their clockspeed mantra due to heat issues, has deicded to take a page out of thier mobile sector/P3 days and focus on performance due to a good balance of architecture and clockspeed rather then clockspeed alone.

What AMD is doing here though is trying to prepare to compete with the TDP of Conroe which will also be 65W. Performance wise Conroe will have the advanatge easily as Conroe will have not only a IPC advanatge over K8 but a clockspeed one as well dispite Intel dempasis on clockspeed.

You can actually thank Intel for this, if wasn't for them AMD, would'nt have a reason to try to release lower power Athlon 64's. Competition drives innovation for both sides of the fence. They won't offer the same performance per watt Conroe offers but they are a step in the right direction nonetheless.

Intel is also doing this too with the C1 Stepping Preslers which reduced TDP from 130W to 95W for some higher end models of Pentium D and as well, moving Cedar Mill to C1 Stepping cores to move the TDP to 65W.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/16/06 08:49:18 PM]
I tell you the same i did to TA152H

Then why did they come first at it?

Like everyone is expecting AM2 to response to conroe, when AM2 is a socket (and memory) change. And I never saw a company responding first to a product that another company didn’t have released yet...

And about the Cedar Mill going 65W, why didnt intel come with it sooner too? Just AMD have to be the first?
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/17/06 02:36:27 AM]

One architectures don't fall out of the sky, they take time to develop, hence Intel needed to stick with NetBurst for quite some time even though they knew it wouldn't scale much further.

NetBurst was doing fine until they hit the 90nm leakage issue, and on 65nm NetBurst while not the fastest, still offers reasonable performance.

Regarding moving Cedar Mill to 65W, this wasn't doable at all on the 90nm process, and Intel wanted to reap the cost benefits of the 65nm first before tweaking it, for better power consumption hence the C1 Stepping arrives later in the life of the 65nm process. No to mention Intel itself now has incentive to support their performance/watt program.

AMD has already done pre-emptive strikes like this, remember the Opteron 2xx massive price cut of a few months ago where Opterons 2xx Series dropped 2 or 3 tiers of pricing in one swoop.

I never said anything about AM2 Windsor being a response to Conroe but it is what AMD will have at the time to compete with Conroe, so it is the comparable processor to Conroe. We know it won't win nonetheless, but it will be the best AMD has at that particular time and needs to be compared.

0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/17/06 09:05:55 AM]
The problem with the 90nm Pentium 4s was not the leakage issue, it was the size and complexity of the processor. The Prescott took twice as many transistors and offered no better performance. If Intel had shrunk the Northwood they would have been fine, but by doubling it, they ended up with a power using pig that performed either on-par, or worse, than its much smaller predecessor. AMD did essentially a straight shrink and consequently did not exhibit the terrible power characteristics of the Prescott.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/17/06 09:21:14 PM]

I guess it is all relative. I don't consider the Athlon 64 energy efficient at all, I think of it is a power pig. It is efficient compared to the Pentium 4 for sure, so that is why it is relative. I have been using the Pentium III line instead, and 30-35 watts is how they come in and these 90 watt Athlon 64s don't impress me too much. The reality is, the P6 design is better than the K7 and K8, and the P7 is the worst of all. That's why the Pentium M dominates the K7/K8 in performance/watt, and the Conroe is better at everything. From my perspective, I am a little irritated at AMD for taking so long with these processors, because I would have used them instead of having to keep buying Tualatins and Coppermines.

So, you don't think AMD is copying Intel by pushing a 35 watt envelope? How come they didn't have one before? I think a lot has to do with the P8.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/16/06 10:35:52 PM]
Then why did they come first at it?

Like everyone is expecting AM2 to response to conroe, when AM2 is a socket (and memory) change. And I never saw a company responding first to a product that another company didn’t have released yet...
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/17/06 02:33:21 AM]

The AM2 was not a response to the Conroe, it was a response to the market realities of memory.

AMD announced this new power envelope after Intel, and used the same numbers. What a coincidence, huh? Actually, if you look you'll see the Sossamans are already out in the server market and Apple is using Yonahs because of their very low power envelope. So, Inte was first to announce, Intel was first to introduce. The P7 couldn't do it, but the P6+ already has, and the P8 will as well. AMD is copying, you know it, I know it, and the American people know it (with a wink to Bob Dole).
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/17/06 03:11:20 PM]

Regarding the Serverside Sossamans which target the 31W envelope, AMD did have Opteron 140/240/840 EE, a bit while back that target the 30W envelope, don't know why they abandoned it though, as well as the Opteron 250/850 HE series as well as the Dual Core 275/875 HE which targets the 55W envelope of which Intel actually has a competitor for the Single Cores but not the Dual Cores.

And even still, while Intel was the first to announce the 65W TDP for desktop with Conroe, AMD beats them to market with their 65W TDP Windsor cores, so AMD is the first to introduce for desktop on this front. But the reasoning behind this is a pre-emptive strike against Intel.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/17/06 04:59:11 PM]
You seem to be ignoring that you can use Yonahs in desktops now, before AMD even made this announcement. Look at Apple. So, no, AMD did not beat Intel to the punch. There are now more desktop motherboards that can use these parts as well, all before AMD even made an announcement.

Intel has gotten even lower with the Sossaman than 30 watts. They have a 16 watt processor out.

The Sossamans are dual core, I have no idea what you mean by saying they aren't competing in dual core. That's where they are at.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/17/06 09:18:59 PM]

Yonah wasn't really targeted with much enthusiasm, to the desktop space, more like for HTPC. I didn't ignore Yonah in a desktop configuration, not to mention how expensive a Yonah mobo typically is over what's available for LGA775. As well we are talking about the 65W envelope here not Yonah 31W envelope, keep that in mind.

AMD is really making an effort with their Energy Efficient line as thier pluggable into all Socket AM2 mobos. If Yonah plugged into LGA775 I would agree but it doesn't so it remains a kinda niche product, where motherboard choice is slim.

Sossaman wasn't out when AMD started up the HE line, AMD had already targeted a low power intiative long before Intel release Sossaman. The Opteron HE has been existing for much longer then Sossaman has.

At the 55W level AMD offers better products then Intel, while for the low level 30W AMD made a better product with Sossaman, partially because AMD doesn't offer anything at all there.

For aboluste lower power server product Intel, (15W/31W) has AMD beat no denying that.

I am talking about Intels available products on the 55W envelope, nothing but Low power NetBurst there which isn't competitive against what AMD has available at that particular envelope.

Not to mention Sossaman lacks 64Bit Extensions which is a larger concern on the Server side arena.

0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/17/06 10:35:04 PM]
So now you're deciding how a product was received and using that as an argument? The Yonah is available for the desktop and is being used for it, particularly by a huge company named Apple. It is selling is large quantities as a desktop chip for that purpose alone.

They were first with it, and the Core 2 line is just an extension of this.

You seem to forget that even the non-64 bit processors can address 36-bits, not 32-bits. It's more memory than anyone needs, particularly in that segment. But again, it's not about that. These are excellent processors for the low-end.

Intel didn't have a product until recently, and as soon as they did, they went after the market. AMD responded. It's not about how well they were accepted, that's subjective, it's about Intel starting the metric and AMD following it. It's not a bad thing, taken by itself. But, it is becoming a trend.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/17/06 10:59:43 PM]
Why didn’t Intel do the 65W P4 sooner too?

No one is the first, and no one is copying anyone.

Who as the first having the idea?
Who was the first to implement?
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/17/06 02:46:37 AM]
Kaz, Both coldpower and ta152h are intel trolls on anand etc.

Don't bother trying to explain them anything that shows intel in a negative light.

I've seen them months already, and don't even bother reading their comments.

0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/17/06 11:40:06 AM]

You have to remember the Pentium D Series gave them no reason to offer lower power processors as alternatives when they already had the lead in performance per watt anyway.
AMD typically rests and holds back a bit, and lets Intel catch back up before releasing something new, why show all your cards when you don't require it to, you just make less money in the process.

Now with Conroe which will surpass AMD's Windsor, AMD has reason to make an effort on making their processors more energy efficient. With what AMD has to work with right now, no they won't be desirable in comparison to Intel's offerings. They are however a step in the right direction, as the C1 Stepping Presler and soon to be Cedar Mill's are on the NetBurst side.

If one way is a good way to do things, then why not copy it, I mean you don't have to reinvent the wheel everytime, and do it differently when the method in place is already efficient, it would take more resources to do so.

AMD is filling a gap in their lineup to compete, which makes them better positioned to take Intel on, we get better products in the process, everybody wins.

0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/16/06 08:57:17 PM]
I think you misunderstood my point, I think it is very good AMD is doing this, but as a pattern it is a little bit disconcerting. Heck, I'd like to see them release a 5 watt processor that didn't need a fan, 35w is still not that great.

I am just pointing out a pattern where AMD is now following Intel. It's kind of sad, but I guess it doesn't point to AMD doing anything wrong, but Intel doing things right, finally.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/16/06 10:26:22 PM]

35W? Not that good? You must have some pretty extreme thermal requirements. 35W represents what the top level Merom processor will be running at. Even Intel has limits to what they can produce for sub 20W processors.

Even Intel can't produce alot of performance working with a 5W envelope.

Regarding AMD following Intel, when you have two competitors there will occur a time when one is leading and one is following, it just happens to be AMD's turn to do some catching up now.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/17/06 04:42:45 PM]

Intel could produce far more processing power than most people need with a 5 watt envelope. My main machine, in fact the one I am on, is a 600 MHz Katmai. You don't think Intel could make something 50% faster than this with 5 watts? I disagree completely. Considering the Tualatin is 3x faster at the same wattage, they can clearly make very useful processors with very low wattage.

I am in no way saying they don't need 35 watt processors at all, I am just saying that most people don't need even those machines. Certainly a lot of people do not. I have multiple machines of course, and I wouldn't run compiles on this machine since they kill even an Athlon, but for day to day stuff, it is more than enough. A 5 watt processor machine would be perfect for music, playing movies, playing online games like cards, surfing etc ... Meaning what 95% of what people do.

A Sossaman at 1.6 GHz or so is only 16 watts, that's with a dual core. One core and slightly lower clock speed would be 5 watts, and extremely useful.

VIA/Centaur of course focuses on this market, but their products are not of the same caliber as those of Intel and can not even approach the speed of the Pentium M at the very low power settings.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/17/06 09:31:56 PM]
I did a little research, and my estimates were very conservative to the performance Intel could make even before the Merom is out.

In fact, Intel sells a Core Solo U1400 at 5.5 Watts that runs at 1.2 GHz. This is with a 2 MB cache. It would be roughly 150% faster than the Katmai (with dreadfully slow 512K cache) running at 600 MHz. Could I live with that? Oh yes. Could 95% of the people buying computers live with it? You bet. The 5 watt power envelope is not nearly as constraining as it might sound, and extremely useful processors can be made at it.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/17/06 09:58:19 PM]

Again basically irrelevant, I am not dicussing if useful performance can be extracted, I am aware of the majority of Intel's processors in existance so I am aware of the ULV Yonah cores.
I want the higher performance levels that a higher TDP envelope can provide.

0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/17/06 10:38:24 PM]

It's not irrelevant at all, it's entirely relevant to a lot of people.

Did you miss my point? I didn't say they shouldn't make 35 watt processors, just that they should make 5 watt processors for the desktop too. People can make their choices. I'd have some of each. Most people would be fine with the 5 watt processor for the desktop, that was my point. Think how much power big businesses would save with the thousands of units they would have.

Not everyone holds a grudge against the evil Zargons and needs 3 GHz processors to shoot at them. They need to release 5 watt processors for people that only need that level of processor. Maybe AMD will since they have such lousy technology that any niche available is better than nothing.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/17/06 10:53:58 PM]


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