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Intel Details Upcoming Gulftown Six-Core Processor

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the give-me-the-numbers dept.

Intel 219

MojoKid writes "With the International Solid-State Circuits Conference less than a week away, Intel has released additional details on its upcoming hexa-core desktop CPU, next gen mobile, and dual-core Westmere processors. Much of the dual-core data was revealed last month when Intel unveiled their Clarkdale architecture. However, when Intel set its internal goals for what its calling Westmere 6C, the company aimed to boost both core and cache count by 50 percent without increasing the processor's thermal envelope. Westmere 6C (codename Gulftown) is a native six-core chip. Intel has crammed 1.17 billion transistors into a die that's approximately 240mm sq. The new chip carries 12MB up L3 (up from Nehalem's 8MB) and a TDP of 130W at 3.33GHz. In addition, Intel has built in AES encryption instruction decode support as well as a number of improvements to Gulftown's power consumption, especially in idle sleep states."

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Are most programmes multi-processor? (1, Interesting)

SmilingBoy (686281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021158)

Can most programmes really be written to take advantage of so many cores? I am not sure I want to have a 6-core processor, of which 5 spend most of the time idling as I am only running a single-core-aware programme. OK, one more core can be used by the OS to make everything snappy, but the question stands.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021178)

MultiTasking

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021306)

Be realistic. Multitasking for the vast majority of your regular user's needs were handled just fine by a single cpu and a pre-emptive multitasking system.

Having a second core was handy for people who like to play world of warcraft in one window and surf web pages in the other (considering how much CPU modern web pages eat for some reason. yay flash?).

Having two more cores beyond that is fairly useless for the vast majority of even power users except for very specific apps that even they are running a very small percentage of the overall time they are using their computers.

If you are routinely running apps that take advantage of all 4 cores in current cpus, such as video encoding or the like, chances are what you really need isn't another 2 cores in your cpu, but a version of your encoder compiled to use CODA or the like on your 192-core GPU.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021722)

If we get up to 24 cores for consumer hardware I'd wager we can ditch the GPU altogether, which would make cross-platform stuff a lot simpler.

Custom-built GPU decoders/encoders make things really flaky and hard to run in a variety of environments.

6 doesn't sound like quite enough, but from my experience with 4 I don't think the mythical average user would notice the difference between 10 full-powered cores and 1 plus a GPU. Now this may not be cost effective, but if they can eventually offer 10-core CPUs for the price of our current CPUs, it would probably be well worth getting rid of the platform incompatibilities foisted upon us by Microsoft, Nvidia, and ATI.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (2, Informative)

kjart (941720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021820)

Having a second core was handy for people who like to play world of warcraft in one window and surf web pages in the other (considering how much CPU modern web pages eat for some reason. yay flash?).

Having two more cores beyond that is fairly useless for the vast majority of even power users except for very specific apps that even they are running a very small percentage of the overall time they are using their computers.

Not that I particularly disagree with your conclusions overall, but wow can actually be set to run on multiple cores and does get a performance benefit for doing so.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (3, Insightful)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021850)

Maybe GTA 4 is a very specific app for you.To me, GTA 4 is an important application :)
And that game, my friend, requires a quad-core CPU. Which I don't have at the moment, and even with my Intel E6550 overclocked from 2.66 to 3.6 GHz the game runs at 25-35 FPS at 1680x1050, with both cores at 100%.
I used to have the same approach (multicore is dumb) but now it's a thing of the past.
There are more and more apps and games out there who take advantage of multicore, not to mention that operating systems (such as Windows 7) are better at allocationg sepaarte cores for single-core applications to balance the load.
Therefore, while I don't dismiss the need of having a multicore CPU, in the end it's all about balancing your investment against the benefits. If you need a 6-core CPU and it doesn't cost a kidney and a lung, then get it. Regardless of your decision as a customer, there's always a good thing in this sort of advancements: new stuff pushes down prices for older stuff :)

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022498)

that game, my friend, requires a quad-core CPU.

Seriously? Is this an official requirement?

If so that would explain why it runs like a bag of shit on my (otherwise fairly good) PC.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022808)

VMware. /debate

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021336)

Multitasking is usually disk-bound, not CPU-bound. Disks don't handle separate but concurrent loads gracefully. This might change with SSDs. Until then, if you don't have enough CPU load with one application, you're unlikely to saturate the CPU with several applications.

Chicken or Egg (1)

wwwillem (253720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022492)

In the server space we've gone through the same thing. Sun introduced the T1 with 8 cores and 32 threads (now 64 on T2). Lots of software wasn't suitable for this type of horizontal scaling. But over a period of five years, that changed dramatically.

On the desktop, you can expect the same. For now, not many desktop apps will take advantage of the additional cores. But if Intel would have stuck with 1-2 cores, no software will be written to take advantage of multiple cores.

Chicken or egg ....

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021180)

Cores are like girls in 'hot sluts gone wild' scenes - after a certain point you might hardly notice if there's even more of them, but you'd never say "no" to an increase.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (4, Funny)

goldaryn (834427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021244)

Cores are like girls in 'hot sluts gone wild' scenes - after a certain point you might hardly notice if there's even more of them, but you'd never say "no" to an increase.

But my "operating system" can only deal with one hand- I mean core- at once!

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021296)

I think I'd prefer two strong oxen. Wait, what were we talking about?

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021466)

It's more like the difference between a threesome with two hot babes and an orgy of milfs.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31022320)

I'll take the milfs :)

those ladies have experience

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022826)

I'll take the milfs :) those ladies have experience

And syphilis! enjoy...

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1, Offtopic)

TheTyrannyOfForcedRe (1186313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022868)

I'll take the milfs :) those ladies have experience

They also have skin with massive sun damage, stretch marks, cellulite, and tits that are a mess after two or three births, and that's the ones who've chosen to stay natural. Surgically enhanced MILFs are even worse. Overinflated lips, over-tight facelifts, implants, and botox face...Ugh! None of it ends up looking or feeling anywhere near natural. Were talking Uncanny Valley territory here.

I'll take the 19 year olds, thanks! : ) They can quickly learn to do all the MILF tricks and teaching is fun.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021196)

1. Programs I write for A.I. research can take advantage of any number of cores/cpus/machines, so the more cores I have the faster my research goes.
2. Even if programs can't take advantage of multiple cores, you can run multiple programs which take advantage of a single core at the same time.
3. Not everyone is a complete idiot like you, the Scientists today can take advantage of thousands of cores, the availability of 6+ core cpus to the individual Scientists is an important piece of progress.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021206)

When was the last time your computer was only running a single thread/process? (apart from the BIOS initialisation I guess)

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (5, Interesting)

SmilingBoy (686281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021268)

Wrong question. When was the last time my computer was running a single thread that could use 100% CPU for more than a few milliseconds. Answer: All the time. For example whenever I open Slashdot with Firefox. I rather have less cores at higher speed than more cores.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021448)

I rather have a core i7 that could scale clocks by workload. also, every game that use some sort of pathfinding can use multicores. every program that has some sort of ai can do that.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022022)

The Core i5 and i7 can both do this—if you're using fewer cores, it will shut off some and increase the speed on the others (within the same power/thermal envelope). The LGA1156 models are better at it than the LGA1366 ones, though.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022096)

But with two cores if one of your programs freezes, you still have a responsive system. (I mean the gui and the task manager.)

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

siride (974284) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022400)

This isn't Windows 3.1. If a program freezes, it uses NO CPU, unless it is spinning, in which case its CPU usage is still limited by what the OS is willing to give it. It really has nothing to do with responsiveness, which is a function of the OS scheduler.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31022108)

Wrong question. When was the last time my computer was running a single thread that could use 100% CPU for more than a few milliseconds. Answer: All the time. For example whenever I open Slashdot with Firefox. I rather have less cores at higher speed than more cores.

Really? So one thread wasn't reading the network traffic, one wasn't parsing the markup, and a third putting things up on the screen? At the same time the page wasn't being saved to your browser cache, while your e-mail program was querying the server for new mail, and cron was checking to see if there were jobs to run this minute? If you're on Windows, all of these activities were probably scanned by anti-virus.

There's a lot going on in a modern system:
$ ps -ef | wc -l
146

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

wwwillem (253720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022586)

Or on a simple Windows XP desktop: open Task Manager and add the "Threads" column. IExplorer 17 threads, System 56, some svchost.exe ranging from 15 to 70 threads. OK, many will be dormant, but I prefer them to sleep on another core. :)

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

spiffworks (1695020) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022120)

For example whenever I open Slashdot with Firefox.

Seriously, why the hell does Firefox struggle so much with slashdot? Chrome seems to do it fine.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

spinkham (56603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022340)

This is why I bought a 2 core CPU. For the power draw and upfront cost it made the most sense for my workloads.

Occasionally I encode videos for youtube and vimeo, and compile large software packages, but otherwise a 4 core CPU would be drawing power needlessly and unnecessarily expensive for me 99.9% of the time..

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31022664)

There's your problem, you're using Firefox.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31022878)

I rather have less cores at higher speed than more cores.

Any chance you are the engineer responsible for netburst? That is the same exact logic Intel was using, and look where it got them.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (3, Informative)

pointbeing (701902) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021272)

Can most programmes really be written to take advantage of so many cores?

Yup.

Got a Core i7-920 running at 3.2GHz at home - OS is 64-bit Kubuntu 9.10.

Yesterday I had five two-hour videos I wanted to render to DVD5 format - four were .avi and one was .mp4.

Launched five instances of DeVeDe to render the video and create the DVD file structure and did all five at the same time - then left for work. Took an hour and twelve minutes and the machine didn't melt, explode or let any of the magic smoke out of the box.

Even if an application isn't multithreaded the OS is - so even running a single task a multicore processor will give you a performance boost.

A Core i7 has four cores that'll run two threads each - presents as eight processor cores to the OS. I have no problem using them all ;-)

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021326)

So...you had to wait quite long anyway. Long enough that you decided to do something else in the meantime, because there's no way you would simply wait for the result. Long enough that the speedup offered by Core i7 in comparison to the cheapest Celeron didn't mean much, since in either case the task would be done after you returned.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

pointbeing (701902) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021564)

So...you had to wait quite long anyway. Long enough that you decided to do something else in the meantime, because there's no way you would simply wait for the result. Long enough that the speedup offered by Core i7 in comparison to the cheapest Celeron didn't mean much, since in either case the task would be done after you returned.

Most likely the Celeron *wouldn't* have been done when I got home from work - running the same job on my old hyperthreading 2.8GHz machine would have taken about ten hours, just going by past experience. The old P4 took about as long to render video as it did to watch it.

If I *had* been home I'd have reniced the encoding processes so that I could do day-to-day stuff while rendering the video. It'd have taken twice as long but I wouldn't have seen much of a performance hit.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (2, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021978)

Ah, so you don't realize that the cheapest Celeron nowadays is a dualcore 2.5 GHz, essentially a Core 2 Duo with 1 MiB of L2 (irrelevant, encoder will fit and the video is a stream of data) and 800 MHz FSB (irrelevant, mostly limited by the speed of computation, not by sustained transfer of the video stream). It would be done probably in around half of the time you were at work.

If you were at home with a Celeron you could also do day-to-day stuff (yes, it would take even longer - but is that really that important in the case of a rare batch job which in every scenario is too long to be a "smooth" workflow?)

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021358)

If you left for work, would it have really made any difference to you if it took five times as long?

Thought it probably wouldn't, as you could have been hard-disk bound quite easily reading five large files while writing five other large files. The seeking alone would be nasty.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (4, Funny)

pointbeing (701902) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021578)

If you left for work, would it have really made any difference to you if it took five times as long?

Well, yeah. I wouldn't have been able to brag about it ;-)

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31022904)

He could have just downloaded the videos in the format of his choice, and did no processing. I don't have a bluray drive or fast cpu, but I have all the 1080p content I want. All my money goes to hard disks and not cpu upgrades. Desktop processing has been effectively dead for 3 years now.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022212)

Even if an application isn't multithreaded the OS is - so even running a single task a multicore processor will give you a performance boost.

Not quite. A single single-threaded process will not run faster on a multi-core processor (in fact it might run a little slower if the OS doesn't keep it running on the same core for the whole run, as jumping the task between cores uses L1 and L2 cache less efficiently) because the OS will not know how to try and split it up, but running multiple single-threaded tasks (i.e. your five instances of DeVeDe) will most likely benefit significantly (unless other bottlenecks such as I/O bandwidth/latency kick in).

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021300)

Most programs can't be written to take full advantage of even one core. Most of the things that you do on a computer will run happily on a 1GHz CPU and still not bring usage over 50% more than occasionally. Most of the things that will tax a modern CPU can be made parallel, so will scale quite well to a number of cores. Even if your processor intensive task isn't using multiple cores, you still benefit a bit from being able to move everything else onto another core. With the recent Intel chips you also have 'Turbo Boost' (horrible name) which underclocks some cores while overclocking others, giving one core a speed boost for that CPU-eating single-threaded app while keeping the power usage and heat generation output. To prevent hotspots on the die, you can move the process around between the cores, giving each a boost for a little while.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (2, Interesting)

Big Smirk (692056) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022174)

Around here, the programmers never met a thread they didn't like. Add a requirement like - "display dialog box to confirm shutdown" and suddenly the thread count in the application jumps by 4...

Could things be done more efficiently? No, because that would require thinking and thermodynamically it is cheaper just to spawn another thread.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (2, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022428)

Around here, the programmers never met a thread they didn't like. Add a requirement like - "display dialog box to confirm shutdown" and suddenly the thread count in the application jumps by 4...
Lemme guess these programs are also buggy crash prone peices of shit?

having more than one thread doing UI stuff has always struck me as more trouble than it's worth (you need loads of extra locks and a lot of thinking about what does and doesn't constitute a consistent state). Indeed some common gui libraries (swing for example) aren't built to support multiple threads accessing thier components for just this reason.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021380)

Yes&No, it requires a higher level of skill and understanding to program in parallel. It is even harder to use them efficiently, IO conflicts for instance will make any multi-threaded program run much slower. The most glaring example, Microsoft has yet to solve, simply try to copy two large files separately on a multi-core and then copy the same files together the files copied in series will take much less time because the seeks have been reduced. Some programs will see no benefit Hello World for example.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021388)

Only use concurrency when it makes sense. On my system, all audio runs through PulseAudio, which runs in its own process. Input (among other things) is handled by X.org, also running its own process. The scheduler can decide which process runs on which CPU and tries to use all available CPUs (or cores) in the most efficient way. So the operating system is already using concurrent processes itself.

Mobile processors benefit from a low load by entering various idle states which use less power then the active state, which in turn benefits the battery such that it lasts longer on the same charge.

Thus the point is not to try to use all available cores and every available CPU cycle, but rather to use the /least/ cycles possible for any given task. Otherwise there would be no point in adding more cores, because the programs would simply burn more cycles. Although operating systems generally do seem to grow to require more processing power, computers typically run only one operating system at a time. Having multiple cores to work with is meant to benefit the end user by allowing more processes to run simultaneously, such as encoding/decoding an audio and video stream at the same time. Or multiple A/V streams with different camera angles, the possibilities are for the users to explore and there will be plenty.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

stilldead (233429) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021432)

As soon as virtualization is on your mind and not a laptop this makes beautiful sense.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (2, Insightful)

stilldead (233429) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021500)

Let me rephrase this. As soon as you think virtualization and not just one OS this makes beautiful sense. There, I fixed that myself.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021446)

With most browsers becoming multithreaded or multi process, even casual users will potentially gain from this.

Not to mention your machine may have a truckload of background processes going on.

Games etc will definitely benefit from any extra cores you throw at them. Since a fine grained threading library like OpenMP will grab all available threads when sharing out work. Also the Xbox 360 has 3 cores so a lot of games will use at least 3 threads as a minimum (since most games are multiplatform now).

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021756)

Why should it matter if browsers are multi-threaded? Is your browser maxing out the one cpu it's on at the moment? I don't know about the rest of you, but if my browser is holding at 99%+ cpu usage, historically that's told me that something is -wrong-, not that I need more cpu power.

As for the xbox 360 and ps3, I would be interested to know what percentage of games are truly utilizing all 3 CPU cores to a major extent, considering that the GPU is doing the heavy lifting for the majority of what is going on, and that AI in today's games doesn't seem remarkably better than what I saw in half-life 10 years ago.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022234)

Why should it matter if browsers are multi-threaded? Is your browser maxing out the one cpu it's on at the moment? I don't know about the rest of you, but if my browser is holding at 99%+ cpu usage, historically that's told me that something is -wrong-, not that I need more cpu power.

Hiding comments in a slashdot story that has more than 400 comments?

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (2, Informative)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021596)

Most programs are very much not written to take advantage of multi-cores. Even advanced 3D games which might find the extra compute power useful, often can't deal with extra cores. E.g. I had to set the affinity of Borderlands to 1 CPU only to stop it crashing. Multithreaded programming is slowly getting easier as libraries to help it, become available. Java is particularly easy for this, have a look at java.util.concurrent, with i've just started using on the serverside. But most programs are miles behind in the move to being able to work with multiprocessors. Right now 6 cores will have very little to offer the desktop, on the server side however, i'm sure the extra core will have use, but only if the server is particularly loaded with transactions, something with rarely happens.

---

Multithreaded Programming [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

Most programs are MULTITHREADED, thus ready (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31022046)

"Most programs are very much not written to take advantage of multi-cores." - by physburn (1095481) on Thursday February 04, @08:56AM (#31021596) Homepage

They don't have to be, man. Why?

Well - That's because as long as the program is multithread design, the OS kernel mode process schedulers in today's modern OS' take care of sending parent or child threads of processes to the least saturated CPU cores available, & especially if the other ones are 100% used up, available cpu-cycles-wise, and no "# of processors or cores available" checking code required!

(Code in API calls like "SetThreadAffinity" or "SetProcessAffinity" for explicitly directed "cpu core directed code" are not really required either actually, because of today's process schedulers in modern OS' like Windows 7 & others (though it's not a bad idea for "extra levels of control", albeit @ the application level, rather than depending on the OS process scheduler subsystems)).

In fact, since you stated that, & I stated what I have now??

Well... take a peek @ your Taskmgr.exe (with the processes tab open & the threads column selected + viewable)...

You'll probably see pretty much as I do here, and, as I have for YEARS now no less: That most of the processes running on your system now have 2-N threads running PER PROCESS already (making them inherently mult-CPU/multi-CORE ready, because of the design of today's modern OS' process scheduler subsystems + multithreaded code design).

APK

P.S.=> As an E.G.-> Here, I have a total of 34 processes running. Every one of them has AT LEAST 2 threads no less!

Again - Thus, every one of them is "multicore/multicpu" ready in essence, & they do take advantage of them due to modern OS process scheduler kernel mode subsystems design (& MS putting in completion ports to get over "spinlocks" usage allows Windows 7 to scale very well above & beyond even 16++ cpu cores, & iirc, up to 256 or more)... apk

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (2, Informative)

Big Smirk (692056) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022246)

Real time games are a bad example because in general the trouble with threads is you have to sync them up. The entire program becomes give feedback, gather input, calculate stuff, give feedback. You generally need to make sure the calculate stuff parts starts and stops with some predictability.

Some games seem to run their AI in separate threads. These seems to be a reasonable compromise. So when the game does 'gather input' it asks the AI subsection where it wants to go at that instant.

However, its judging by the stability of games like Fallout3, its unclear if either the programmers know how to deal with threads or the underyling OS is ready for intense real time updates.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021924)

In enterprise computing (the target market for this tech), these processors will be used for one of two things:

Virtualization: You stuff a machine full of these processors, then run 50 guest machines on it. Three machines like that contain more processing power than my entire infrastructure did 3 years ago.

Niche: Stuff a machine full of these processors, then crunch numbers. I've got a pair of 12 core machines with 32GB of RAM apiece that do nothing but monte carlo simulations...and that's not even particularly big for a lot of people.

These multicore processors won't be running web browsers, unless it's because they're hosting a dozens of virtualized desktops that users are working on over the network.

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022692)

No, but the benchmarks are, in other words this new CPU will be ideal for running benchmarks ;-)

Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022714)

You're question is missing something: the Enterprise virtualization market. It's huge. It's inherently parallel. It's basically the main thing that has driven the entire multicore market for the last 3-4 years.

C//

first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021162)

first

Re:first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021192)

not

Re:first (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021438)

first

looks like you need more cores

Grand Central Dispatch (2, Interesting)

TheStonepedo (885845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021210)

Perhaps a jump in number of cores will convince people outside the Apple and FreeBSD camps to port Grand Central Dispatch.
Letting the kernel team handle the hairier parts of multi-threaded design should make it easy for barely-optimized software to use powerful hardware.
Could its Apache license work with the #1 OS family?

Re:Grand Central Dispatch (1)

Make (95577) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021320)

GCD is a nice library with an elegant API. Unfortunately it is not portable, because it requires a compiler which supports a non-standard extension to the C language.

Re:Grand Central Dispatch (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021366)

Porting libdispatch requires a generic event delivery framework, where the userspace process can wait for a variety of different types of event (signals, I/O, timers). On Darwin, Apple used the kqueue() mechanism that was ported from FreeBSD, so it's quite easy to port the code to FreeBSD (just #ifdef the bits that deal with Mach messages appearing on the queue). Kqueue is also ported to NetBSD and OpenBSD, so porting it to these systems will be easy too.

Solaris and Windows both have completion ports, which provide the same functionality but with different interfaces. Porting to Solaris would require replacing the kqueue stuff with completion port stuff. Porting to Windows would ideally also require replacing the pthread stuff with win32 thread calls. Even Symbian has a nice event delivery framework that could be used, although I'm not sure what the pthread implementation is like in the Symbian POSIX layer.

Linux is the odd system out. All different types of kernel events are delivered to userspace via different mechanisms, so it's really hairy trying to block waiting until the next kernel event. This also makes it harder to write low-power Linux apps, because your app can't spend so long sleeping and so the kernel can't spend so much time with the CPU in standby mode.

If you don't need the event input stuff (which, to be honest, you do; it's really nice), you can use toydispatch, which is a reimplementation that I wrote of the core workqueue model using just portable pthread stuff.

It also adds some pthread extensions for determining the optimal number of threads per workqueue (or workqueues per thread, depending on the number of cores and the load), but these are not required. The FreeBSD 8.0 port doesn't have them; they were added with FreeBSD 8.1.

Re:Grand Central Dispatch (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021984)

Love how mac zealots couldn't even spell 'thread' six months ago, but a little Apple marketing magic and all of a sudden this library is the ultimate solution to a problem which has vexed computer scientists for decades.

240mm square? (1)

pointbeing (701902) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021224)

1.17 billion transistors into a die that's approximately 240mm sq

That's a big chip.

Re:240mm square? (3, Insightful)

goldaryn (834427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021270)

1.17 billion transistors into a die that's approximately 240mm sq

That's a big chip.

240 mm sq, that's 15.49mm x 15.49mm

Re:240mm square? (1)

pointbeing (701902) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021314)

240 mm sq, that's 15.49mm x 15.49mm

But not nearly as amusing. ;-)

Re:240mm square? (2, Informative)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021344)

Isn't it 240mm sq = 240mm x 240mm (as in (240mm) squared) and 240 sq mm is 240 x 1mm x 1mm (as in 240 x (square mms))? It's always an awkward one to represent and be clear on.

Re:240mm square? (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021716)

that'd be how I read it, and I'm pretty sure how the GGP read it, too... 240 mm sq = 240mm squared, which is different from 240 square millimeters.

Re:240mm square? (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021732)

No.

1sq mm is a square with 1mm sides
240sq mm is 240 of them.

The side is sqrt 240 for a square shape.

Re:240mm square? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021842)

The key difference that you seem to have missed is that nobody was discussing sq mm, but rather mm sq.

Re:240mm square? (1)

mario_grgic (515333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022350)

That's because the actual unit is mm^2, which people pronounce millimeter squared, instead of square millimeter.

So, 240 mm^2 is 15.49 mm * 15.49 mm

Re:240mm square? (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022656)

But the original was "mm sqr" (millimetres square) rather than "mm sqrd" (millimetres squared).

I still thought that "mm^2" was "square millimetres", though, as in "tin of paint covers nine square metres" = "covers nine x 1m x 1m" = "covers 9m^2".

All so confusing, and so very liable to getting things completely wrong by huge orders of magnitude!

Re:240mm square? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31022008)

No, sq mm means nothing. The proper way to write it is mm.

Re:240mm square? (1)

jc79 (1683494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022890)

No, sq mm means nothing. The proper way to write it is mm.

Shirley the proper way to write sq mm is mm<sup>2</sup>

Well, it would be if /. supported that particular tag

Re:240mm square? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021492)

You fail it.

Re:240mm square? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31022742)

That's still a big chip

Re:240mm square? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021338)

At more than 9 inches square it's bigger than a medium pizza. Or hothardware is edited by 'tards. You choose.

They are supposed to ship in March (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021304)

Talked to our HP rep a few weeks ago about them. As soon as HP ships proliant servers with the new CPU's, we're going to buy 4 of them. Just haven't decided if we're going with 36GB RAM or 72GB RAM. 72GB RAM is only $2000 more than 36GB RAM these days.

Re:They are supposed to ship in March (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022208)

I'm guessing that 36GB and 72GB refer to three dimms per channel times 6 channels (three per processor) and 2GB or 4GB modules. IIRC with DDR3 if you put three dimms on a channel you are limited to DDR3-800 speeds.

the best fucking CPU that ever existed (2, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021356)

Just so you know, I made this joke almost two years ago:
http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=465898&cid=22548916 [slashdot.org]

They could have gone to 3 cores, like the competition. That seems like the logical thing to do, but they said "Fuck it, we're going to six". What part of this don't you understand? If two cores is good, and four cores is better, obviously six cores would make them the best fucking CPU that ever existed.

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/33930 [theonion.com] [theonion.com]
/I'm just waiting for the day Intel says "this one goes to 11"

It's the CPU joke that will never die.

Re:the best fucking CPU that ever existed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021768)

Aww dude, you beat me to it! I still find that Onion article the funniest damn thing i ever read.

DRM Support (0, Troll)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021408)

In addition, Intel has built in AES encryption instruction decode support

You can bet the sole reason for including this was to support DRM-protected content.

Re:DRM Support (2, Insightful)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021806)

This is a server processor. They did it for advanced encryption. The only way this would make more powerful DRM is if there were some sort of key embedded in the CPU (and this is not that.)

This is for encryption, which unlike DRM is actually more than security theatre (when used properly.)

Re:DRM Support (4, Informative)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021852)

What?

AES acceleration will be useful for VPNs, serving SSL websites, VoIP, full disk encryption ... and so on.

Re:DRM Support (1)

RawsonDR (1029682) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022660)

VPNs, serving SSL websites, VoIP, full disk encryption ... and so on

Well, yeah, but I think the GP's point is that while some of those things have been in mainstream use for years, the use case for DRM is what made it important enough to be implemented.

Re:DRM Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31022786)

No. It was not.

Re:DRM Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31022250)

Might it be possible to utilize the new instructions for Twofish or Serpent too?

Re:DRM Support (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022494)

Which is obviously the reason AMD's and VIA's CPUs had the same thing over half a decade ago, right? DRM sure was prolific back then.

Intel announces 6 cores, 6 months after AMD.. yawn (2, Interesting)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021536)

So I skimmed TFA (gasp!) and it appears that Intel is finally following AMDs lead by keeping thermal envelopes constant.

I note that this is still a effectively 2 CPUs with 3 cores each, but that's better than legacy Intel approaches, which would have been 3 sets of dual cores.

It will be interesting to see how independent performance benchmarks play out between the new processors that are coming out.

Re:Intel announces 6 cores, 6 months after AMD.. y (0, Troll)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022302)

Wow... looks like the AMD fanboys are modding up anything anti-Intel today!
So for the past 5 years it's been a big deal to improve power consumption and everyone in the industry has known this... so all of the sudden Intel is "copying" AMD by making a CPU that fits into existing power envelopes on existing platforms???? The only "copying" going on here is marketing BS. Oh since AMD's own 6-core server CPU's came out after Intel's (Dunnington was out first) and AMD's 6 core desktop parts will come out after Gulftown will you say "yawn, AMD is just copying Intel's idea"? Somehow I think not.

    Face it, AMD on the CPU side only beats the Core 2 by clocking higher and selling at a loss right now. Bulldozer had better beat the ever loving crap out of Westmere because by the time it finally arrives late next year it's going to have to contend with Sandy Bridge.
The only bright spot at AMD is the graphics division... which AMD just bought for way too much money and likely will require massive profits for the next 10 years to recoup the takeover prices.

Re:Intel announces 6 cores, 6 months after AMD.. y (1)

TheTyrannyOfForcedRe (1186313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022578)

I note that this is still a effectively 2 CPUs with 3 cores each

You need to skim a little slower. It is a single die, native six core chip. From the article:

Westmere 6C (codename Gulftown) is a native six-core chip

Yes, some functional blocks are "split in two" and assigned to three cores. Those blocks are split up because it makes engineering sense to do so, not because the designers were lazy or "slapped together" two non-six core designs.

If you look at a GPU with 10's or 100's of cores you will see that some functions are "split up" with each piece being assigned to (and located close close by!) some subset of cores. That does not make them "effectively X number of CPU's."

Obligatory (2, Insightful)

Mattskimo (1452429) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021550)

blah blah Beowulf blah blah

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31022470)

Yeah but does it run Linux in its mother's pitch black basement to blend a Beowulf cluster while being likely to be eaten by a Grue?

Yo dawg, we herd u liek cliches, so we put a tired joke inside a bunch of others so you can sarcastically pretend it's funny while you fake laugh!

P.S. The year of our lord two thousand and ten is not the year of Linux on the desktop.

Anon because this will undoubtedly get modded troll by someone who A) thinks these jokes still have mileage, B) has Linux on their desktop

Transistor count (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021754)

1.17 Billion transistors. Anyone remember the 6502, the 6800, and then the 68000? 68K transistors was a LOT in 1980 and made for a fantastic 32bit architecture. Now we're at 17000 times that count. Sometime you just have to stop for a moment and think just about the numbers.

Re:Transistor count (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022150)

... 68K transistors was a LOT in 1980 and made for a fantastic 32bit architecture....

I'm guessing you're still caffeine deprived, and meant 8 bit architecture.

Anyway, what I want to know is where are the 3.2GHz 6502 and Z80's? You'd think making an existing architecture run like a bat out of hell would be far easier than a new Pentium chip. With less than 1.17 billion transistors, you could put an entire C64 or Apple II on one chip and run all the old software.

To much cores, to little use... (2, Interesting)

null8 (1395293) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021870)

Instead of churning out cores they schould tweak the x86 isa to use multiple cores efficently. 1/2-word Atomic compare and swap is not enough, you cannot make atomic lockless doubly linked lists with that. No wonder something as interesting as http://valerieaurora.org/synthesis/SynthesisOS/ [valerieaurora.org] is not possible on x86 without major hacks.

Re:To much cores, to little use... (2, Informative)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022902)

1/2-word?
I'm pretty sure that there are instructions for atomic compare and swap of pointer-sized values, at least.

on-board AES? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022126)

Why put AES on-board? I thought AES was relatively fast as encryption algorithms go. Plus, it is inevitable that AES will be replaced at some point, so why include something so specific in a chip now? It will suck to have to implement that in the processor in 20 years when nobody uses AES any longer. This is the whole point of a processor - include generic instructions that are useful for implementing any algorithm.

Re:on-board AES? (4, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022394)

Why put AES on-board?

They're not: they're putting extra instructions on-board which help implement AES more efficiently. They may also allow you to implement other algorithms more efficiently, though I haven't looked at them in enough detail to be sure.

I thought AES was relatively fast as encryption algorithms go.

That still doesn't make it fast at an absolute level. Particularly when you're doing full-disk encryption with user account encryption on top and IPSEC on all your network connections.

Re:on-board AES? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022872)

They're not: they're putting extra instructions on-board which help implement AES more efficiently. They may also allow you to implement other algorithms more efficiently...

Oh good. That makes more sense.

Re:on-board AES? (1)

Galactic Dominator (944134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022796)

Yeah AES is relatively fast with the keyword being relatively. Those of us who like to use disk encryption applaud this move since it would great reduce the need for seperate and expensive crypto hardware.

Codenamed codename? (2, Insightful)

CoffeeDregs (539143) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022220)

>Westmere 6C (codename Gulftown)

    Really? I fricking hate codenamed codenames...

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