When AMD intro'ed the Athlon T-bird, a number of us were disappointed with the processor's performance versus the Pentium III, which, frankly, I'd expected it to crush. A lot of speculation around the web went into why AMD only had a 64-bit data path to the chip's L2 cache. If the thing were 256 bits wide like the PIII, the argument went, the T-bird would be even faster. I was convinced, until I read this PDF document at AMD, which claims,
[T]he AMD Athlon processor features an L1 cache large enough to enable a high hit rate while significantly reducing and minimizing bandwidth demands on the processor's L2 cache. For this reason, expanding the width of the L2 buscurrently 64 bitsoffers little or no benefit to overall performance.Hadn't considered it that way. 'tis good to know there's another side to the argument. Thanks to JC's House o' Hooch for the link.
Speaking of arguments, I am taking on all comers Andre the Giant-style in this comments thread on the ATI Radeon's performance. Some foo's seem to think 16-bit color still matters. Pile on if you dare.
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