The TR Podcast 16: AMD roadmappery, and GPUs suss out Sasquatch


Date: Sept 6th, 2008

Time: 1:28:28

File size: 64.9MB (AAC) – 81.2MB (MP3)

Hosted by Jordan Drake

Co-Hosts: Scott Wasson, Cyril Kowaliski, Perry Longinotti

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Show notes

Right off the top, I have to tell you, this episode is laden with podcast-exclusive discussions and news!

When a listener question dives deep into the workings and scheming of AMD, Scott gives us the complete scoop on what exactly Advanced Micro Devices has planned for the years to come. During the “station break,” we chat with TR newcomer Perry Longinotti about the Acer Aspire One, its pros and cons, and the netbook category on the whole. In the final stretch of the show, Scott and Cyril discuss the some neglected news from Nvision 08, including how SoftKinetic plans to make the Wiimote obsolete and how MotionDSP’s CUDA-based software could reveal the truth about Bigfoot.

Can AMD take the inside track in the coming months with its 45nm Phenoms? Does the Acer Aspire One meet our standards? And can Cyril finish Stalker before the weekend is over? Find out in this episode of the TR Podcast.

Send in listener mail, and we’ll answer on the podcast. – jdrake@techreport.com

We’re still looking for a sponsor! Hook us up! – adam@techreport.com

We know some folks are experiencing intermittent problems with podcast files not playing through the whole way. Please make sure you’ve downloaded the entire file (use the file size listing at the top of the page), and let us know when you do have problems by posting in the comments. Thanks.

Listener mail:

AMD CPU questions (0:04:24) – from Masaki:

Since a month, or so, ago, people and the web has all been talking about IDF, Larrabee, Nahelum, even NVision. I have heard that, also on the web, AMD has an Anti-IDF camp like a couple of years ago. It seems no one is interested with the camp as I can hear nothing at all about the camp. My first question is: Was there the camp? Or just a rumor like all the other rumors? If there was, what was the content?

My second question is: Even with a few samples tested, pictured on the web, what do you guys think about the 45nm Phenoms and also the upcoming products now? I originally think the announcement of ACC will come with the announcement of 45nm chips together to heat the market, but this is not the case. Surely people (like me) around the world are waiting for the chip to come out, but it has completely missed the Core 2’s shrink (not to mention the excellent E7200, E8400/8600 and Q9300) and now the new Corei7 is really around the corner, a corner seems to be even closer than AMD’s. Please give your views on this.

I have been following AMD for years and it seems to me that they have a fate just of chasing Intel. AMD won only a few times during the pass 10 years though. . . . will AMD be chasing Intel always? . . . Do you think it is really possible for AMD to produce 32nm working samples of any processor in their name within months? And how does this affect their 45nm development work?

Tech discussion:

That’s all, folks! Check back on September 13th for the next TR podcast.

Comments closed
    • Samlind
    • 12 years ago

    LOL Jordan, your are a very ebullient guy. Wow.

    And don’t touch TWIT? Guys, you are awesome, and deeply technical and a treat to hear, I listen to every podcast. But you aren’t ready to go up against the like of Leo Laporte and friends, he is after all a podcast pioneer and has won the Podcast of the year and Person of the Year in Podcasting. How significant is he? Dvorak, with nearly 40 years of tech journalism behind him, his own pod/video cast weekly and the resources of CNET and PC magazine, makes sure he makes the show every week. Leo is that good.

    However I like the thought, if you’re aiming for someone, aim for the best. And I still would rather listen to Scott on CPU’s than anyone else.

      • jdrake
      • 12 years ago

      Lol – I had to look up ebullient…. thanks! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly about Leo – he is one of my heroes in the industry – I listen to him religiously:-) Without his influence… none of my podcasts or radio exploits would be anything of what they are.

      Thanks for the encouragement!

    • wingless
    • 12 years ago

    Excellent podcast guys! I can’t wait for them to use that MotionDSP software to review all those old UFO videos. GPUs may prove or disprove the UFO footage.

    • Hance
    • 12 years ago

    Sounds like there is lots of cool stuff coming up with week.

    Hey Jordan I listened to all of the TR podcast before I switched over to TWIT lol

    • Prototyped
    • 12 years ago

    Re AMD’s Shanghai: I hope for all our sakes that AMD manages to squeeze more performance out of their K10 architecture. I know they plan to get the initial desktop processors up to 3.0 GHz (as per Chile Hardware’s leaked slide), but given Nehalem’s focus on multithreaded performance with Nehalem (merely 7-10% faster clock-for-clock [1] than Penryn on single-threaded workloads) I was hoping for some more general improvements from Shanghai. Having a 3x bigger L3 cache helps with that. As Damage mentions, a faster L3 and memory controller clock rate will help as well.

    I hope they manage to fix whatever it was that caused K10 to stay slower than Conroe and Penryn on a clock-for-clock basis, because Intel sure isn’t raising performance (through clock speeds /[http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=15015%26page=6<]ยง (the original seems to have been pulled) [2] ยง[<http://en.expreview.com/2008/09/04/lynnfield-has-powered-on-and-booted-linux-windows-prepare-for-holiday-refresh-2009/<]ยง Re Fiorano: Intel has VT for Directed I/O (VT-d) which is /[http://www.xen.org/files/xensummit_4/VT_roadmap_d_Nakajima.pdf<]ยง [4] ยง[<http://xen.org/files/xensummit_fall07/11_TomWoller.pdf<]ยง [5] ยง[<http://www.nabble.com/-PATCH–Enable-K8-GART-as-an-IOMMU-td8929114.html<]ยง [6] ยง[<http://www.nabble.com/vPro-(VT-d)-support–td12400047.html<]ยง Re Magny-Cours: pronounced "many cores", it's a pun. Re Penryn speed bumps: oh /[http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-9938372-37.html?tag=nefd.lede<]ยง Re Aspire One: Good to hear Perry Longinotti on the podcast. I think the Aspire One is the one notebook with the best constellation of price, processor performance, battery performance and keyboard arrangement among all the netbooks: * the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 and Lenovo IdeaPad S10 have the right price but a messed-up keyboard. * the HP Mininote 2133 has the right keyboard and battery performance, but a price that's way too high and processor performance that's easily the lowest. * the Asus Eee PC 900, 901, 904, 1000, 1000H, 1000D and 1000HD have good processor and battery performance (not least because many of these models come with SSDs and they all have 6-cell batteries, standard) but the 8.9" models' keyboards are painful to use and they're also overpriced. * and the MSI Wind U100 has a good keyboard and good processor performance, but comes with the 3-cell battery as standard and the $100 price hike made it a rather unattractive option. That essentially leaves the Aspire One as the best of all worlds, as long as you pick up a model that comes with a 6-cell battery. It's cheap, it comes with an Atom N270 rather than, say, a VIA C7, it is offered with a 6-cell battery on some models [8], and it has one of the larger keyboards among the 8.9" netbooks. (And, hey, it has a LED-backlit screen.) I'm actually thinking that a Vostro 1310 off Dell Outlet [9] is an excellent choice if the tiny form factor and weight of an ultraportable isn't a high priority. It's priced above the cheap-netbook range, but for as much money as an Eee PC 1000 or an HP Mininote 2133, you get a whole lot more laptop. And it's built like a business-grade notebook, complete with magnesium alloy frame, unlike the cheap Inspirons, and it isn't exactly huge, at 13.3". Perry's absolutely right in that the more expensive netbooks are pretty pointless. Fujitsu-Siemens for instance is renowned for their mainstream ultraportables in the LifeBook P range, and would be preferable over netbooks that approach that level of price. So are the Lenovo X series notebooks, the Dell Latitude D4xx and E4xxx, the Toshiba Portege series and the HP 2xxxp series notebooks. The Classmate PC is actually fairly successful out here in the "third world". For instance, here in India, HCL makes MiLeap X Classmate PCs [10]. I'm not sure it's actually being used in schools, though; I think people have bought them primarily as cheap computers, not necessarily specifically for kids. I think they have a pretty decent-sized market among college undergraduates, though. [8] ยง[<http://search.ncix.com/displayproductdetail.php?sku=31428&vpn=LU.S050B.002&manufacture=ACER<]ยง [9] United States: ยง[<http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineSales/topics/global.aspx/arb/online/en/InventorySearch?c=us&cs=28&l=en&s=dfb<]ยง or United Kingdom: ยง[<http://outlet.dell.com/Emea_Dfo/EuDispatcher?target=InventoryPage&action=filter&lob=VOSNB<]ยง [10] ยง[<http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/141445/intels_classmate_pc_goes_on_sale_in_india.html<]ยง Re SoftKinetic: Speaking of camera tracking, a Carnegie Mellon researcher has written software that allows head tracking, finger tracking (for a virtual whiteboard), and so on using a stationary Wii remote and visualizes it. (Complete with cool videos.) [11] It's not as sophisticated as what SoftKinetic seems to do, but it's pretty neat for something as inexpensive as the Wii remote. [11] ยง[<http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/projects/wii/<]ยง Re MotionDSP: Maybe we'll have the CSI-style ENHANCE! ENHANCE! ENHANCE! become reality. :p Re Badaboom Media Converter: It's too bad it's so picky. I hope that x264 or similar project will end up creating an OpenGL GLsl shader based encoder (or failing this, CUDA-based). I get the feeling it'll end up being at least as good as the Badaboom Media Converter, and hopefully better. Re Google Chrome: I doubt I'll end up opting for it. I use Opera as a feed reader, and its image management is essential for me (specifically being able to run it with image loading turned off and being able to load images rapidly with a single keystroke), as is its native gesture support. Also, the fact that it /[http://exo-blog.blogspot.com/2008/09/google-chrome-fattest-of-them-all.html<]ยง and its follow-up post ยง[<http://exo-blog.blogspot.com/2008/09/ie-8chrome-follow-up.html<]ยง -- at least it's slimmer than IE8 beta 2. [13] ยง[<http://www.myscienceisbetter.info/2008/09/install-google-chrome-on-linux-using-wine.html<]ยง [14] ยง[<http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080822-firefox-to-get-massive-javascript-performance-boost.html<]ยง [15] ยง[<http://arstechnica.com/journals/linux.ars/2008/09/03/new-firefox-javascript-engine-is-faster-than-chrom<]ยง

    • masaki
    • 12 years ago

    Great episode TR guys!! Really enjoyed.

    Jordan you are the real driver, you delivered my questions precisely the way I wanted, and thanks Scott for your views and data directly from AMD.

    Another very special part I like is the MotionDSP. Very well done.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 12 years ago

    I liked the section about AMD’s roadmap.

    @53min: Whoa. Perry needs to actually gee-oh-emm *read* about the OS of the OLPC. “basic” ?? It’s the sexiest most exotic operating system mankind has ever devised. I know I sound a bit grandiose, but /[

      • Prototyped
      • 12 years ago

      I think extremely few to no kids are going to be interested in modifying the source of Sugar or view the runtime, etc.

      I’m even questioning if it’s /[

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 12 years ago

        Fair enough, I see your point.

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