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Mobile Processor Showdown

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the to-the-pain dept.

Portables 192

AnInkle writes "The Tech Report has a head-to-head comparison between the Pentium M760 and the Turion ML-44. From the article: 'AMD has done well with Opteron in servers and the Athlon 64 in desktops, but surely AMD's K8-derived mobile competitor doesn't match up with the Pentium M. Does it?' Conventional wisdom (or marketing genius) says Pentium M's power-saving features and performance-per-watt leave AMD's Turion 64 gasping for batteries. Even though the next-gens are just around the corner, countless mobile systems will sell with these chips over the next year; find out which to choose, whether for performance, battery life or a combination of both."

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What about heat saving? (4, Insightful)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712895)

Am I the only one running into relatively new laptops that overheat? I shouldn't have to keep the bottom elevated on a hard surface to keep from crashes.

Re:What about heat saving? (3, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712937)

Power saving == Heat saving

Re:What about heat saving? (2, Interesting)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713203)

Power saving == Heat saving

So true. All of the power consumed by the CPU is converted into heat. Overheating, though, depends on how well the cooling system works. But even then, higher power requires more cooling, which usually means more noise and bigger size.

This is why the the Turion's higher power under maximum load concerns me; I often leave my laptop doing something CPU intensive for hours. The system should of course cope with maximum CPU load for extended periods, but I don't want a huge cooling system in my laptop. I'd prefer something small and quiet, even if it means a little slower CPU.

Re:What about heat saving? (2, Interesting)

Belseth (835595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713032)

My first notebook, a 386 with a B&W passive matrix, got so hot it warped the case. My current one isn't particularly powerful, I mostly run word processing software and some photoshop, but there's no overheating trouble. I have to blow out the fan area every couple of days but that's about it. I think cutting edge is always going to have heat issues. I'm more concerned these days with video support and hard drive speed than processor power. Those 5400 rpm hard drives are looking pretty whimpy and the on board video cards suck.

Re:What about heat saving? (2, Informative)

caston (711568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713059)

I just bought a new Durabook 14k myself. The Turion MT-32 inside worries me.

It starts about 51-55 degrees on light load with a voltage of 0.900
Under heavy load, like encoding a dvd, the CPU voltage reaches 1.200 (or maxed
out at 1.300 according to AMD dashboard) and the temperate starts climbing
reaching as high as 74 degrees. After stopping the CPU intensive process the
temp drops to about 64 degrees and then moves down to around 56-59 degrees at a
slower pace.

If I run Prime95 then the temp maxes out a 80 degrees!
I'm still waiting to hear back from Twinhead about this. I'm seriously considering unclocking / undervolting this laptop.

Re:What about heat saving? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713138)

80 degrees isn't so bad. :P

Re:What about heat saving? (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713396)

Is that Fahrenheit or Celsius? 80 degrees Fahrenheit would be good, but 80 degrees Celsius would be scalding.

Re:What about heat saving? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713700)

My Thinkpad T41 with a 1700 MHz Pentium M will shoot up to 90 C in a few minutes under load (watching the temperatures via ACPI on Linux). When it hits 90 C, a low-level throttling behavior drops the CPU to minimum frequency for a long time (much longer than it takes to cool).

So, I had to write a custom frequency managing script that reduces the frequency incrementally as the temperature enters the danger zone of 70-80 degrees, e.g. drop the speed further the closer we are to a maximum limit. With this, it will run at full load indefinitely, with the speed shifting up and down to keep the heat far enough below the 90C limit to avoid hard throttling.

I've noticed that it seems to have very low specific heat, i.e. when the load goes from 100% to 0%, or the clock is reduced to minimum frequency, the temperature plummets most of the way within 5 seconds. During normal mostly-idle operation, the GPU is hotter than the CPU, even though I also have it underclocked.

Re:What about heat saving? (1)

Plaid Phantom (818438) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713717)

Is that what normal laptop temps are supposed to look like!? I have a two- or three-year-old Pavilion with an AMD Athlon XP-M 2500+ that, when clocked down (500 MHz or so) idles at ~50 degrees. The minute it ramps the CPU to full speed, whether it's doing anything or not, the temp hits 70+. Try anything like running any 3D game or encoding a video and it'll hit 85 and lock up within about 20 minutes. Unless you're lucky. Is that 'normal' for this processor? Or is it too old for anyone to remember? ;) Do I just chunk it and fork up the two grand?

In other news... (0)

CmdrTaco on (468152) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713103)

Dick Cheney going door to door shooting people in the face. Boy toy sex slave, George W Bush, waits in car. Story at 11.

Hard surface, of course (1)

bradleyland (798918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713111)

It has never been advisable to run a bottom vented laptop on a plush/cloth surface that could restrict the flow of air to the vents. What happens if you cover all the holes in your PC case? Eventually it will overheat.

My Pentium M laptop rarely has heat issues, but I do have several customers with Pentium 4 based laptops that will char your thighs. Ouch.

Re:Hard surface, of course (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713124)

Vents are irrelevant. Even side-vented laptops (like my iBook) can overheat if you put them on a cloth surface.

Re:Hard surface, of course (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713346)

Well, then you should immediately turn around and sue the vendor for selling a laptop that is hot enough to cause serious burns. Granted, their defense will bring up the warning label saying "caution: laptop is hot" in court, but if you hire a good legal team you should be able to get around that. There's already a good precedent for this kind of thing you know.

Do they sell laptops? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713669)

Seems like they are all labeled a mobile workstation or a notebook, precisely from this reason.

Re:What about heat saving? (2, Funny)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713263)

After looking at your site for a minute, my laptop is on a hard, elevated surface.

Re:What about heat saving? (2, Funny)

Andy Gardner (850877) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713615)

Unfortunately the server which hosts his site isn't elevated on a hard surface.

Re:What about heat saving? (1)

showardkid (823639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713399)

No worries... it saves on heating costs.

Re:What about heat saving? (1)

nite_warrior (151737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713644)

From the article and experience...

It depends what you do. On my turion ML37 with low load it doesn't go up so much.. probably it gets up to 50, but everytime I compile or actually use the cpu, it blows up to maybe 70... Still, no complains, eventhough I still think I should have got the 8 cell battery at least...

Boycott TR (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14712908)

No I am not a troll, just anonymous.

TR is pretty staunch on censorship and liberal bashing, including us "DRM tinfoil hat" types. I hate to see them get the advertising money.

I'm waiting it out (5, Funny)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712918)

I'm waiting for vast improvements in battery life before I decide. I've waited 10 years. I can wait 10 more.

Re:I'm waiting it out (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713020)

Better batteries aren't enough. If you don't reduce the power consumption of the chips, then you wind up with a small laptop that burns your hands and/or lap every time you use it...

Waiting for something worse? (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713710)

Better batteries aren't enough. If you don't reduce the power consumption of the chips, then you wind up with a small laptop that burns your hands and/or lap every time you use it...


On the other hand, reducing the power consumption can be done in good ways and bad ways. One of the laptops here is nice, although it can't be used on a lap because it gets so hot. The battery life is decent on paper, but in reality you can't use it much on battery because the system slows down to a crawl to conserve battery life. I'm sorry, but if I wanted a 1999 class laptop, I would have bought one, and not this $1500 behemoth that pretends to be a desktop when it's plugged in, and otherwise is slower than a PIII.
Why do I need that power? Because software up until now has depended on Moore's law, and require twice the processing power every six months to do the equivalent job at equivalent speeds. Sure, you can keep on running six years old software too, but then you could just as well buy an old laptop on eBay too.

The first few Pentium Ms were good. That's an extended P3 that doesn't draw much power when running at full speed. The problem with the newer M's and Turions are that they doesn't require much power when running like molasses. Sorry, I don't buy that as efficiency.
Dhrystones per watt, now that would be a more useful benchmark.

--
*Art

Re:I'm waiting it out (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713248)

I'm waiting for AMD to finally take prominance on the desktop stage. Yes, I'm a closet Intel fanboi of some decades. These power to performance advantages between Intel and AMD go back and forth, back and forth. However, I'm thiiiiis close to making my next linux system an AMD, for current obvious reasons. I too wish linux would make such great market strides with Windows, as AMD has to Intel. My only worthless synopsis is that both cases show how serious an obstacle it is while breaking into time proven Wintel monopol, err, standards, no, um, markets. I welcome any such competition. Please mod me redundant, and not very insightful.

mTurion MTs (4, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14712993)

They mention in the beginning that MTs are lower power than MLs (they are 25W vs. 35W T.D.P. in fact), yet they didn't throw one into the comparison.

That's lower power, and faster, than even the infamous Core Solo (T1300 1.66GHz 27W TDP).

There is a 1.666GHz Core Duo LV which is lower power. But, if you don't have much use for dual-core, AMD seems the way to go.

With all the talk about AMD not yet on 65nm it would seem AMD is still, not just competitive, but ahead of Intel in low-power CPUs, and performance. (It seems like nobody is talking about the benefits of SOI, for some reason)

Re:mTurion MTs (2, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713006)

Sorry guys, I left out the AMD CPU in question (to compare to the Solo): mTurion MT-34 (1.8GHz 25W TDP)

Re:mTurion MTs (2, Insightful)

MojoStan (776183) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713390)

Sorry guys, I left out the AMD CPU in question (to compare to the Solo): mTurion MT-34 (1.8GHz 25W TDP)
I think it's also important to note that Core Solo (and Duo) has some architectural improvements [anandtech.com] over the Pentium M such as 667MHz FSB (up from 533MHz), DDR2-667, enhanced floating point performance, and enhanced SIMD.

Since TFA showed a 2.0GHz Pentium M outperforming a 2.4GHz Turion in most of the important benchmarks, I think the 1.66GHz Core Solo (with its architectural improvements over the Pentium M) might outperform a 1.8GHz Turion by even more.

I think TFA is pretty weak, though. They emphasize the importance of performance per watt, but they don't include the widely available Turion MT. They also used freakin' desktop chipsets [techreport.com] with these mobile processors. Doesn't this make the "system power consumption" numbers [techreport.com] useless for most readers? I thought the mobile chipsets were supposed to have important power-saving technologies [anandtech.com] in their FSB, memory contollers, wirless modules, etc.

Should have wrote "competitive," not outperfomed (2, Informative)

MojoStan (776183) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713521)

Dammit. I shouldn't have pushed the "Submit" button so soon.
Since TFA showed a 2.0GHz Pentium M outperforming a 2.4GHz Turion in most of the important benchmarks, I think the 1.66GHz Core Solo (with its architectural improvements over the Pentium M) might outperform a 1.8GHz Turion by even more.
A closer look at all of TFA's benchmarks show the Pentium M and Turion being pretty evenly matched, overall. However, that doesn't say anything about which current low-power single core CPU (Turion MT or Core Solo) would perform better.

Re:mTurion MTs (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713075)

But, if you don't have much use for dual-core, AMD seems the way to go.

I'm sorry, but from this post I gather that you've never had an SMP workstation before. Trust me, once you go dual, you will NEVER want to go back. I had a DEC dual P-100, then a BP6 dual Celeron 550. Smooth as butta. My current Barton setup is fast, obviously faster than the old dual Celeron 550, but still gets bogged down firing up Java, or when IE craps out, etc. With a dual machine, you always have some extra room under the pedal, so to speak.

Re:mTurion MTs (1)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713500)

You realize he wasn't talking about an SMP machine right? He was talking about a dual core? Its a pretty big difference in performance.

no there's not (3, Interesting)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713681)

There's a big difference between a dual-stream processor (like SUN's new multi-stream offering) and a true dual-core processor. But a dual-core processor works almost exactly like two separate chips, just in a single package. In fact, for AMD, they are exactly the same, for Intel, the dual-core is a bit better off than the two separate chips since they share cache better than two separate Intel chips (but less well than any AMD offering).

As to the "more under the pedal" stuff of the GP, I can see why you say that, but it's really because the dual-core machine cannot hand all its horsepower to a single process even if it wants to. A single core chip can do so, and will in the case of a single CPU consumptive task. An OS could be designed to never hand over all the CPU to a single task and then a single core would have "more under the pedal" too. But it turns out to generally reduce performance overall.

I have had several single processor machines and several dual processor ones. I have never felt like I would never want to go back to single processor. Dual processor is nice (my current machine is dual core) but until recently, dual processor (core) just didn't make financial sense. A single core has almost always been much more cost effective than two slower processors because the two processor setup not only requires two chips, but also requires specialized motherboards (and recently big power supplies too).

But with affordable dual-core single-chip solutions that fit on run-of-the-mill motherboards it seems pretty likely that I'll have more dual-core machines in the future.

Re:mTurion MTs (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713750)

And I take it, from your post, you've never used anything other than Windows. Other operating systems don't NEED a second processor to prevent lock-ups.

My main reasoning, though, is that people have a primary task, which they want to get done as quickly as possible. If you're doing extensive video encoding or playback, encryption, etc., you'll get a speed PENALTY with those dual core system (or a quality reduction if you do eg. multi-threaded video encoding).

Re:mTurion MTs (1)

binkzz (779594) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713592)

There is a 1.666GHz Core Duo LV which is lower power.

If it overheats, will it burn forever?

Re:mTurion MTs (1)

Rickler (894262) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713707)

Intel is winning in the mobile market and AMD winning in desktop. The PMobile beats the mTurion in battery life and heat, the mTorion matches in performance however costs less then the PMobile. Then when the mTurion is compared to the Core Duo it's just obvious who wins, Apple knows that.

What i really want! (5, Insightful)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713005)

personally, i would settle for a 700MHz PC (running linux of coarse) that lasted until the cow came home (it's a small farm :P ). it would probably be best to use the ARM archatecture though. im not interested in running Quake 4 when all im doing is writing a college paper, browsing and chatting... isn't that what a desktop computer is for? well, that and adding fancy lights, a see-through panel, oh... and not to mention the harddrive with a window. :)

Re:What i really want! (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713280)

I also want one! It's a laptop... not a desktop. I just want the damn thing to work without me having to worry about running out of power.

I hope manufacturers realize this and start releasing cool, energy efficient (and cheap?), possibly slow laptops that run some flavor of Linux---for basic word processing/software development jobs.

Then again, maybe that $100 laptop will be that. I can't wait.

Re:What i really want! (2, Informative)

slaker (53818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713412)

An IBM T20 would probably fit the bill very nicely. Around 800MHz but with modern comforts like DVD+CD-R and support for that all important full GB of RAM; they support dual batteries and I believe there's an appropriate UltraBase station + battery. I'm not sure how long a loaded-with-batteries T20 lasts on a one charge. It's longer than an 8 hour workday, at least.

Plus they're probably dirt cheap by now.

Re:What i really want! (2, Informative)

JanneM (7445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713444)

For what it's worth, I use a Panasonic CF-R3 with a 1.1Ghz Pentium M. Battery life in practical use (writing and surfing using the wireless card) is about 6 hours. If I don't use a network connection I can easily reach 7 hours of actual use on a charge - great for conferences where I can leave the power adapter at the hotel. And the machine is good enough that I use it as my main computer.

It sure doesn't hurt that it's small and light and has no active cooling at all - the only sound is the very low murmur of the drive, and once it spins down the machine all but totally quiet (you can just hear the backlight if you put your ear right next to it).

So if you want something quiet and portable with excellent battery life, that is available today.

From the article (1)

rd4tech (711615) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713033)

"Turion 64 test system consumed a third again more power than the Pentium M system at 100% CPU load".

I guess there is always a price to be paid for more performance.

Re:From the article (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713063)

What would you say about the argument given by the author, that depending on your usage pattern, a processor may spend more time idle than active?

But it didn't... (4, Insightful)

bradleyland (798918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713129)

But it didn't really come out ahead in overall performance. Plus it costs almost $70 more than the Pentium M it was compared to.

There's a lot of AMD pole smoking going on in the comments and it's starting to make me nauseous. I love AMD's desktop processors, but I'm in no way a brand loyalist. I can't stand the thought of buying an inferior product based on brand. The Pentium M still comes away with a lead in this test when you factor in the cost difference and power consumption.

Re:But it didn't... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713420)

ah, but the comparison is unfair from the get go, as they didnt use the 64bit os for the turion64. i can personnally testify that xp pro 64 on my turion 64 runs consideribly better than it did with the basic xp pro. the thing doesnt actually use its full potential on 32 bit oses

yeah, it's pretty bad on here right now... (4, Insightful)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713560)

I thought it was great when the smarter part of the PC community refused to play along when Intel offered a poor solution for the customer by trying to make everyone use RDRAM. AMD took the lead on price/performance, and Athlon was the big thing.

When Intel finally freed themselves from the RDRAM shackles, they debuted their 800MHZ HT chips and showed everyone that there it was possible to get higher performance with only moderately higher power levels.

But then when Intel went to their 22-stage pipeline power-hog disasters, the community did the right thing and moved to Athlon 64 and X2. AMD was providing higher performance at much better costs and using less power.

The community's move to AMD's superior solution spurred Intel to make a huge change in their strategy, abandoning NetBurst (P4) and moving to a much better solution.

When the community follows the best solution, the industry has responded.

Which is why I find it baffling that people let the wool be pulled over their eyes on AMD's mobile offerings. They back AMD unconditionally against Intel and make excuses about it too.

Ever since the Pentium M LVs and ULVs, AMD has not been able to keep up on performance/Watt. And if you compare the most recent offerings from both companies it is abundantly clear.

So I say please, make the wise move. Continue to back the company that is making the right moves. And that seems to mean Intel for low-power solutions and AMD for high-performance solutions. It could change at any time, so keeping informed is essential.

Re:But it didn't... (1)

norton_I (64015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713602)

The news here is that AMD has a laptop processor that is competitive with Intel's offering, which I think is great. Inte's Pentium M chips are very good, and for AMD to have something that is even close is promising for the future.

Re:But it didn't... (1)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713721)

Right on. At least AMD is playing the game now. Just a couple of years ago the best AMD had was their mobile Barton, and even that was far ahead of previous AMD based laptop solutions (ever see a mobile K6?).

Re:But it didn't... (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713666)

The Pentium M still comes away with a lead in this test when you factor in the cost difference and power consumption.

As for power consumption, that would depend entirely on how you use your laptop. At idle, which is what most laptops are at most of the time when you are just writing a document or doing email/web, the AMD has lower power consumption than the Pentium M. That one is a toss up depending on your usage patterns.

But you are entirely right about cost.

Re:But it didn't... (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713703)

Yeah... I found the benchmarks pretty impressive given that the 2.0GHz Intel part was compared to a 2.4GHz AMD part (as per the test systems specs [techreport.com] . And it wasn't even the latest version of the Intel parts (it wasn't a Yonah based part). Yonah has a few architectural improvements over the Dothan even, both in power management and in performance. I'm not a brand-loyal customer either, I buy what I think is best at the time I buy (which is why I have two Athlon64, one Athlon64 X2, and three Athlon XP machines). From the looks of things, my next machine may very well be an Intel based one if I decide to upgrade one at the end of 2006.

Re:But it didn't... (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713729)

Oops... forgot my other Linux box that I took to work... I have three Athlon64s, one Athlon64 X2, and three Athlon XPs.

AMD's impressive improvements (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713039)

I have to say that I'm impressed with AMD's offering here. For a while I've been under the impression that they were being trounced by Intel in the mobile market (which I'm sure they are in term of sales). However, this review shows that they have improved to a point where they are pretty much on a par with Intel.

They still have a bit of work to do with the maximum power consumption, but they've managed to get the idle consumption down to where the Pentium M is with similar overall performance. Good work AMD.

no centrino duo? (4, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713047)

it's somewhat pointless as they don't compare the best of each company's current offerings.

Re:no centrino duo? (1)

Down8 (223459) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713148)

B/c absolutely everyone immediately has the best hardware on the market, right?

-bZj

Be careful, your ignorance is showing (2, Interesting)

vonsneerderhooten (254776) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713318)

Centrino is not a processor, but a group of Intel technologies [intel.com] bundled under one brandname.

Not only that, but isn't comparing the Intel Core Duo to the single core Turion like apples to oranges? Single core vs. single core makes for an even comparison.

Re:Be careful, your ignorance is showing (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713472)

For some laptops, the price of the Core Duo is the same as the Turion. And more importantly, what's wrong with comparing two of the latest products on the market? If the Core Duo is dual-core, then that's one of the features of that chip that the competitor doesn't have.

Re:no centrino duo? (3, Informative)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713400)

I was actually pleased that they compared like price points, rather than just taking the fastest part.

The problem with comparing the high-end is that these two companies leapfrog over each other every 6 months. And you seldom compare apples-to-apples that way. You might end up with a dual core power-hungry part against a single-core low-power part. For this test, they compared matching price points within the same series. That makes sense to me.

Conclusion? Perhaps not fair (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713068)

This test pits a Pentium M against a Turion 64. Granted, this was the comparison for 6 months ago. But Intel now has the Duo Core (Yonah) processor which has a slightly different architecture than Pentium M.

Not to mention that while Conroe and Merom will be based on the same design principles it is a fresh design.

I believe the key to Intel's new design will not be its close approximation to the Athlon in performance. The secret is in performance per watt, as they say. High performance computing with as little engergy consumption and heat dissipation as possible. The Athlon 64 architecture looked cool compared to the toaster oven called Netburst, but even against the old Pentium III it is quite hot and hungry. Lifestyle PCs, laptops, and blade servers will all favor the much cooler design from Intel.

While Athlon 64 will continue to compete on performance and price, without a major architectural change they will be stuck in the hot seat for the next couple of years. And it will only get worse before it gets better because Intel's chip design is truly superior, only held back by a dated bus architecture slated for replacement in 2007.

While Intel will "win" technologically, they will burn a lot of capital to remain competitive until they do. Lots of Pentium M chips have been stockpiled. By the time Yonah reaches mass production it will be replaced by Merom. Lots of stockpiled Pentium D chips that will be replaced by Conroe. Intel will need to slash prices for processors nobody wants anymore only to flood the market with brand new PC's that don't need to be replaced by the superior technology they so desperately need to release.

Maybe Intel will sooner push the P4's into a landfill than cut their own throats? Or maybe 2006 will be a good year to start up your own server farm in the basement.

It's all about price (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713205)

The reason they chose these two chips was that they wanted to test the AMD chip against an Intel chip which cost about the same.

It seems to me that AMD will price their chips so they will sell. If they have to price their chips at a tenth of what Intel charges for its best chips, they will. If they can't quite match Intel's performance, they will compete on price alone. Mind you, they won't give away the chips just for the joy of it. They will price them where they produce the best profit.

In any event, most people have all the computer performance they need. These days, most people won't pay double for a faster machine (gamers excepted). The bottom line is that there will still be a market for AMD chips.

Re:It's all about price (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713493)

But people will buy a PC that better suits their lifestyle. Quiter, sleeker, cooler more individually styled will be the selling points of PCs now that speed has capped out. Which is the whole point of Intel's move: they can fit into a smaller, cooler (quieter) form factor than AMD can.

Apple Refuses To Talk About Battery Life (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713071)

There has got to be something wrong with the new Intel chips Apple is using. No one from Apple wants to talk about battery life. After all the talk about 'performance per watt' something has to be seriously wrong with power consumption.

It is too bad Jobs refused to pay for a mobile 970 chip to go along with the killer quad-970 workstations they are shipping right now, Apple would be rocking right now instead of plummeting in the stock market.

Re:Apple Refuses To Talk About Battery Life (2, Informative)

nxtw (866177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713146)

No, there is nothing wrong with the Intel chips. I am using an Intel Core Duo based laptop (Acer Aspire 5672) right now, and battery life is what you'd expect for my usage (about 2:50 for high brightness, high cpu speed, wifi via 3945abg, bluetooth/bluetooth mouse, and active internet/itunes use).

Re:Apple Refuses To Talk About Battery Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713328)

2:50? thats all? my AMD64 3200+ gets that.

No to mention I WILL NOT BUY A DUO unless Intel fixes the problesm in the chips.

Intel disapoints me, today i swaped out my p4 1.6GHz 512mb dell for a P3 930MHz 512 gateway..the gateway does EVERYTHING faster, boot, load apps, compile...thats pathetic.

After i bought an AMD 2500+(1.8GHz) laptop that made my 1.6GHz desktop look like a retard....i just stoped buying Intel.

Re:Apple Refuses To Talk About Battery Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713218)

Apple would be rocking right now instead of plummeting in the stock market

Well, that's what you get for overhyped stock. AAPL is down to $65 from about $85 in early January. Past Dell's market value? check, now let's go back to business as usual.

Re:Apple Refuses To Talk About Battery Life (1)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713227)

Part of why Apple doesn't talk about battery life is because the MacBooks are likely still being tweaked. The laptops don't even ship for a few weeks at the earliest. We'll hear soon enough.

Re:Apple Refuses To Talk About Battery Life (1)

punkass (70637) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713550)

Actually, my co-worker's ship date is this week, and his credit card was just charged...

Re:Apple Refuses To Talk About Battery Life (1)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713277)

It is too bad Jobs refused to pay for a mobile 970 chip to go along with the killer quad-970 workstations they are shipping right now...

You can't pay for something someone refuses to make. IBM had "more important things to do" (Xenon for Xbox, Cell for PS3) than produce a laptop-ready version of the 970 for Apple.

Re:Apple Refuses To Talk About Battery Life (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713483)

Several Apple representatives as well as Steve Jobs himself have said the battery life should be equivalent to the Powerbook G4. They haven't released an official number because they haven't officially rated it yet, given that it's a new battery technology.

PentiumM is dead... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713090)

The chip to compare to the Turion is the Intel Core Duo. It has superior floating point performance to the PentiumM, SSE3 support, and two cores instead of one.

In other words, it crushes the Turion.

Re:PentiumM is dead... (3, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713143)

Much of the point in the pair up though was battery life.

The Duo would not have faired well. So probably they picked those two based not only on relative price, but relative power usage.

Dual core turion (2, Informative)

jasonhamilton (673330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713253)

There is a dual core turion coming out soon.

I'm not looking forward to it mostly because the socket has changed, so i can't upgrade my turion based laptop :(

Re:PentiumM is dead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713675)

Gee, are we all noticing that these Intel ass-sucking fanbois are anon cows (yes, I know, me too... I'm trying to fit in)? Face the facts, son... Intel used to own the CPU crown. They rested on their laurels, counted on MS to keep them on top, and AMD ate their technological lunch. All the astroturfing in the world won't change that fact.

Re:PentiumM is dead... (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713719)

Your post is accurately written in the past tense. That review was a 2.4GHz Turion compared to a 2.0GHz Dothan and the Intel part was pretty impressive given a 20% lower clockrate. Core Duo is even faster (and has two cores and is shipping *now*). The CPU world will get a new injection of life and excitement this year as the new Intel parts ship and AMD seems to be resting on their laurels. I'm not a fanboi of either company. I buy what I think is best at the time I buy, which is why I have three Athlon64s, one Athlon64 X2, and three AthlonXPs and the only two Intel boxes I have are two Pentium-M based laptops. That may change by the end of the year if the predictions being made are accurate.

reversal (5, Funny)

80 85 83 83 89 33 (819873) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713102)

hmmm, an intel performing more work per clock cycle than an equivilant amd chip, while using only 3/4 the watts under load! what a reversal from the norm. AND the intel chip is faster in gaming!?

Re:reversal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713435)

Biting humor and wit, PUSSYS. Although I think the plural is PUSSIES, if I'm not mistaken. So I can read ascii codes... 0x4675636b you!

Re:reversal (1)

80 85 83 83 89 33 (819873) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713488)

i was using decimal ascii, and 33 is "!" not really calling anybody any names, i'ts just what i like to eat.

Re:reversal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713447)

Its 'equivalent'. Get it right.

Idiot.

you must compare both proc and chipset (4, Insightful)

LOTHAR, of the Hill (14645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713160)

The AMD processors embed the DDR controller into the processor. There is no FSB to speak of. The AMD Northbridge takes the hypertransport from the processor and splits it to PCIe, SATA, and your other peripherals. The DDR core that is embedded with the AMD processor is a heat hog, but at least there is no FSB, which is worse. The dual core Opteron has two memory channels on the processor.

The Intel processor does not embed the DDR controller. The DDR controller is part of the northbridge for both single and dual core designs. There is an 500-800MHz front side bus connecting the proc to the NB in Intel arch.

To properly compare to AMD power consumption with Intel, you have to compare the both processor and the chipset. These fundamental differences make direct processor power comparisons meaningless.

Re:you must compare both proc and chipset (4, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713285)

RTFA They did that.

Power consumption was measured at the wall.

Re:you must compare both proc and chipset (3, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713638)

To properly compare to AMD power consumption with Intel, you have to compare the both processor and the chipset. These fundamental differences make direct processor power comparisons meaningless.

For power, yes, you need to consider the whole package, which they do, they aren't just measuring the CPU power consumption. They said: "We measured the power consumption of our entire test systems, except for the monitor, at the wall outlet". It appears they pretty much did what you suggested.

For performance, it's pretty much built into the tests.

What about the VIA C7's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713240)

I haven't heard much about the VIA C7 Chips, which were supposed to perform a bit below the Pentium M's, but were also supposed to have extremly low power consumtion and heat output. They are supposed to have come out by now, but I have yet to hear anything other than the general specs articles.

If you've never heard of the C7 this article give a pretty good outline of it:
http://www.pcstats.com/artvnl.cfm?articleID=1833 [pcstats.com]

Re:What about the VIA C7's? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713305)

yea, not much out on it.

My GF pointed out a Billboard on I-35 in Austin though that says 100,000 C-7's have been sold.

So its out, its um selling......somewhere.........

Re:What about the VIA C7's? (1)

woolio (927141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713385)

LOL. I wonder if that Billboard is in north Austin toward Round Rock....

Since Centaur is based in Austin, it makes sense. Unfortunately, the general public would probably think the C7 is some newfangled airplane.

Re:What about the VIA C7's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713448)

I'm guessing that most of these are probably in embedded devices, where the manufacturer wouldn't even list that a processor was installed.

Personally, I just like that the option to choose something different is there. I'm actually kind of surprised the C7 doesn't appear to have received any coverage on Slashdot.

I have periodically scoured the web, and have never seen anyplace where the C7 or C7-M was being sold. If anyone out does know of someplace, please share.

How About What Is VIA C7's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713450)

Suriously i have never heard of these before

Re:How About What Is VIA C7's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14713752)

Yeah, well the parent article has a 0 score, due to my being an anonymous coward. This link may help: http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/processors/c7/ [via.com.tw]

Basically the C7 or C7-M is a processor from Via that seems to be a lower power chip that more or less competes with the Intel Celeron (I'm taking about the P4 class of Celerons.)

Most of the articles I have seen on it seem to be based off the VIA announcements, and I have yet to see ANY reviews where someone has actually gotten their hands on one (Say someplace like Tom's hardware guide).

Personally I'd buy a C7 desktop or a laptop if one were available, just because it is different.
 

Re:What about the VIA C7's? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713687)

Naw, was near downtown, visible northbound, but a little lower than most billboards. Also looked like one big plastic banner over a billboard rather than the more traditional paper one, so perhaps abit temporary?

Tests are a bit frustrating... (3, Insightful)

Malor (3658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713254)

It's pretty annoying that they put the NVidia card in for some benchmarks, and then didn't just LEAVE IT IN. They explicitly mention in one test that they think ATI graphics are having trouble with OpenGL (no shock, ATI drivers have sucked rat fur in this area for many years). Instead of twigging to 'hey, let's set this to be as fair as we can', they just accept the screwed up results! That's really dumb... they're not thinking it through. They claim to be testing the CHIPS, not the LAPTOPS.

I get so frustrated with benchmarks in general... they so often miss really obvious stuff like this. If you're trying to test a CPU, then you do your best to remove as many other variables as possible. Use the same damn video card. Test what you SAY you are testing. Sheesh.

I think it would have been interesting to see power consumption scores both with and without the NVidia card, too. It'd be nice to try to separate the video power requirements from the CPU/chipset requirements.

Re:Tests are a bit frustrating... (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713657)

While I agree with you, there's also something to be said for testing common configurations, the ones you would be likely to actually buy. Just because they could remove a discrepancy when testing, doesn't mean you'll be able to when buying the laptop.

Why not duo-core and (1)

denisbergeron (197036) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713278)

Amd can have a nice offering, the laptop with AMD cpu are a little less easy to find and don't have the others things that made them shine !

On battery life (1)

siefkencp (921228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713286)

I must say that these recent advances in chip performance vs battery life have definitely made laptops more viable. There's still plenty to be desired of course certainly we are ages away from seeing a laptop that can seriously handle a video card and chip set worth playing up to date games on. Over all for business users I believe the laptop is truly coming of age. 7+ hour charge times on normal use is nothing to sneeze at and it's what I typically see on mine.

I'm a laptop guy (1)

XMilkProject (935232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713295)

I have ALOT of experience with Laptops, I have 3 personal laptops and 1 provided by my company. I thought it might be helpful to some if I posted brief notes about two of them.

HP ZD8110 - 3Ghz P4 HT, Radeon X600 PCI-E 128MB, 2GB Ram, 17inch Widescreen, Ubuntu Breezy - This is a workhorse. It does overheat periodically if it does not get full venting from the three bottom mounted fans. It has even overheating during an overnight compile session once or twice. During heavy use acpi -V shows me CPU temps upwards of 67C. Battery life is rarely more than 30 minutes. 200watt power supply can't even run off of most dc-ac car power inverters. I do love this laptop, It is my main computer. But these powerful laptops are what they are.

IBM Thinkpad t42p - ~1.83ghz Pentium M, ATI FireGL, 2GB Ram, Windows Server 2k3 - I do all my Windows development on this laptop. During a normal days use I typically have 3 or 4 copies of Visual Studio running, a few instances of Visio, SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2000, mySQL, IIS, and Apache2. This laptop stands up to a massive workload and never gives up, it always runs perfectly cool, and in power saving mode I can get as much as 7 hours of battery life using all the extra-size battery options available from IBM. I think the huge cache on the Pentium M helps this machine deal with so much multitasking, and I often feel it is more responsive than my P4 laptop, although obviously slower for floating point intensive work. This thing is light and easy to carry around. It is great for travel.

I guess the point I am trying to make here is that there are pro's and con's to power intensive and power saving styles, hopefully the few details I mentioned help others make a decision.

Power consumption isn't the problem... (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713304)

Any self-respecting geek that's flying to Japan has an extra battery or an inline APC battery, etc. The power consumption life only counts in SoCal and Houston where they pay $1/kw. Heat dispersion is another thing. Got a nice fan? Good. You need to blow that stack with some cool breeze.

Where does it matter: bang for the buck. Both seem to do that. AMD has better math, but this is no surprise as their FPU has eaten Intel's for years now. Bad memory moves? Ah yes, that damn FS bus. Sigh.

The bucks? The same, roughly. And now that dual cores are here, as mentioned above, it's all irrelevant for those of us that must fly with nitro-injected rendering machines or compilers from hell. Multi-core or die. Mobetta cores, please. I got juice, and I got code to burn. Get out of my way, slow stuff.

Interesting match (2, Informative)

tetromino (807969) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713306)

The two processors represent two quite different approaches to getting the most performance. The Pentium M has an enormous cache and good memory bandwidth. The Turion, on the other hand, has much better memory latency as well as AMD's traditionally strong scalar arithmetic.

The benchmarks come down to:
If the code and data fits in Pentium M's cache, Pentium M wins hands down.
For tasks like media encoding, where the problem doesn't fit into PM's cache, Turion wins hands down.
If you are spending much time at 100% CPU usage, Pentium M will give you better battery life.

Oh, and games? Both suck about equally well. If you want to play games, get a desktop.

Bah! Powersaving Laptops (0, Troll)

Proudrooster (580120) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713353)

Sure the new laptops are thinner, lighter, and use less power but there is a drawback. PERFORMANCE SUCKETH! The powersavers are especially slow and underperforming. The only decent laptops are the battery draining monsters with the full size heatsinks, real video cards, and faster harddrives.

I am not entirely sure why people even keep buying laptops with hotels now offering Internet kiosks. Why lug a laptop, have to show it to homeland security at the airport, then worry about it getting broken, damaged or destroyed just so you can run e-mail, excel, and word?

Incidentally, I think a laptop is one of the few purchases in which the value of the item depreciates faster than of a new car. That's impressive.

Re:Bah! Powersaving Laptops (1)

jschottm (317343) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713508)

I am not entirely sure why people even keep buying laptops with hotels now offering Internet kiosks.

The internet kiosk is most likely "administered" by someone making $8-10/hour who doesn't know what a keylogger is.

1. Security - see above. The kiosk doesn't have $VPN software on it. Your applications may drop files in temporary directories that you can't easily shred to make sure the next person who comes along doesn't scoop it up. Assuming you and your IT staff are up to snuff, you're reasonably certain of being virus and spyware free on your laptop.
2. It's not in your room. That means it's not convenient to check e-mail, watch movies, listen to music, etc.
3. VOIP, both to have your work phone number ring to your hotel and to talk to home on the cheap.
4. Games.
5. No lines to use your laptop.
6. In flight entertainment, not to mention the ability to work when your flight gets canceled and you have an unexpected eight hour layover in Chicago.
7. Your in-house applications or specialized software (Dev Studio, Eclipse, CVS, etc.) are on your laptop. Chances are not so much on the hotel kiosk.
8. Did I emphasize security enough?

That enough reasons?

Re:Bah! Powersaving Laptops (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713565)

Apparently you've made the all-too-common mistake of believing that only your usage pattern counts. There is a wide world out here, and you are but a small part of it. Nigh insignificant, in the grand scheme of things, and your opinions on hardware aren't really suitable for anyone but you.

Re:Bah! Powersaving Laptops (1)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713594)

I am not entirely sure why people even keep buying laptops with hotels now offering Internet kiosks. Why lug a laptop, have to show it to homeland security at the airport, then worry about it getting broken, damaged or destroyed just so you can run e-mail, excel, and word?

Because, on the road, email, web, text editor, ssh, and Word are all I usually need to run? And I really don't want to spend hours working in some kiosk in someone else's computing environment?

I don't see why you want massive computing power in every situation, unless all you do is stare at the frame rates in $WHATEVER_FPS. No, my PowerBook can't run Logic Pro (usefully) or chomp through enormous images in Photoshop like my dual G5. But I don't need it to. I can wait for that until I get home (where, after all, my RAID array, huge monitors, and music equipment are).

And I really don't want to lug 10 pounds instead of 4.6 or have a battery that lasts half an hour. You want those things, fine, go buy your Alienware. But it's kind of weird you assume everyone has your exact priorities.

Incidentally, I think a laptop is one of the few purchases in which the value of the item depreciates faster than of a new car. That's impressive.

How long have you been using computers if you think this is surprising? How is it different from any other piece of computer equipment?

Re:Bah! Powersaving Laptops (2, Insightful)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713629)

Some people run Apache (for web development), gcc, LaTeX, etc. Do these hotel kiosks support them?

Better performce doesn't mean more success. (1, Troll)

Mkaram (954231) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713373)

I suppose it's simply an inherent fact of capitalism that even if (and I have no doubts WHEN) AMD produces a more efficient cpu for laptops it won't help them nearly as much as it should. Intel simply has all the hardware contracts with OEM manufacturers and the enthusiast base for do-it-yourself laptops isn't remotely comparable to that of desktops. Besides brownie points among those in the know (of which there are few) what does AMD have to gain from putting so much effort into mobility processors? They're still trapped in their much smaller market. The average user has no clue what Centrino means. They see Ghz and pass judgement. The average consumer (and thus, the almighty dollar) tends not to understand that not all Hertz in the CPU world are created equally.

How about CPU Idle instead of mobile processors (2, Interesting)

msbsod (574856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713437)

The author assumed that a notebook CPU runs with 100% load. I have two applications for a notebook: office stuff like writing a message or reading a document, or playing games. Even the latter hardly requires 100% CPU load all the time. For these applications I find a cheap notebook with a software solution like CPU Idle [cpuidle.de] quite adequate. Why spend more money on "mobile" processors? CPU Idle also works fine for desktop PCs.

Re:How about CPU Idle instead of mobile processors (2, Informative)

Jeng (926980) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713704)

If you had RTFA, or just ya know RTA'd you would see that they did measure both the idle and the at load power usage.

AMD won on the idle performance, but lost on the 100% usage lvl as far as power consumption goes. And mention was made that notebooks are very very rarely at 100% CPU usage.

Intel is the clear winner (3, Insightful)

estoll (443779) | more than 8 years ago | (#14713621)

Intel beat out the AMD in nearly every performance test. They try and make an argument for the AMD on power consumption. I'll paraphrase: The AMD chip uses less energy in an idle state and since most usage is idle, the AMD chip uses less energy.

AMD is clearly the overall winner if you don't use your computer.
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