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AMD Motherboards & CPUs Questions or comments on AMD products?


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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 26th August, 2004, 06:40 PM
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N-Force4 to come in 4's?

Word is....

There will be four different versions of the N-Force4 chipset....

look for a standard chipset for baseline boards, simply bringing in PCI-E compatibility to the N-Force3 250, without the gigabit lan.

Second will feature the gigabit lan as well as ?SATA-II? (3gb/s possibly), and new version of soundstorm audio.

Third version is aimed at gamers, offering 32-lane PCI-E connectivity, offering SLi for graphics cards (1 PCI-E 16x slot, 1 PCI-E 8x slot), 1 3x PCI-E for LAN connectivity or extra HDD controllers, and 5 1x PCI-E for most other add-on cards.

The fourth should offer Opteron/multi-cpu connectivity with up to 8 cpu's, and HYPERTRANSPORT for PCI-E.



It seems as though Nvidia is going to stomp on VIA once again, even though I only got to see some samples. VIA's PCI-E boards have been available for a while, but it seems Nvidia will meet thier end of september deadline for the release. I first got to see the PCI-E with SLi @ Fragapolooza, and was amazed at the framerates, as well as just how tricky it is to pull this SLi off .

You all might want to wait a few weeks before you buy any new AMD64 equipment....

AS WELL...

Socket 940 not dead?

AMD64 2mb & 4mb cache versions? Or just new Opterons?
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Old 26th August, 2004, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadaveca
Second will feature the gigabit lan as well as ?SATA-II? (3gb/s possibly), and new version of soundstorm audio.
Argh, why don't they shove SAS in there instead of SATA? The return of Soundstorm should please a good number of people, as long as it's sensibly priced!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadaveca
Socket 940 not dead?
Socket 940's never been dead though surely? What would you plug an Opteron into if it wasn't socket 940?
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Old 26th August, 2004, 08:39 PM
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there have been rumors of AMD discontinuing the 940 line....as that extra pin is not need with the new core revision. Now, however, there are "plans" for extra cache there that would make use of the pin. Opterons were planned to move back over to the 939. After last night, however, i found those rumors to not nessecarily to be true. Current versions of the 940 are dead, for sure. Fx-51 is gone...FX-55 and FX57 should be out by 1st quarter.
the soundstorm audio should offer 7.1 sound ,as most other codecs are going that route, but i'm noy sure that the quality is the same.
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Old 26th August, 2004, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadaveca
the soundstorm audio should offer 7.1 sound ,as most other codecs are going that route, but i'm noy sure that the quality is the same.
I'm not sure how the cache comes into this, as it's totally integrated on the die, and needs no external connections. Moving the Opteron from 940 to 939 would pretty much kill AMD's server line off, given that it's only just building up at this point in time. With people like Sun and IBM selling Opteron systems, that wouldn't make much sense!

The FX line could happily sit on socket 939, which would segment the server and desktop chips quite nicely. That /would/ make some sense however, especially as the use of registered RAM in desktop systems is a drawback in terms of performance.

In terms of Soundstorm, I'm not quite sure what you mean by the quality? nVidia's APU has no CODEC itself and uses AC97. Hence, even Soundstorm certified products can vary in their quality, due to the CODEC implementation differences. I would hope that nVidia keep their DICE implementation in the APU, otherwise there's not a lot of difference between a straight AC97 system and an nVidia APU implemented system
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Old 26th August, 2004, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
I'm not sure how the cache comes into this, as it's totally integrated on the die, and needs no external connections. Moving the Opteron from 940 to 939 would pretty much kill AMD's server line off, given that it's only just building up at this point in time. With people like Sun and IBM selling Opteron systems, that wouldn't make much sense!
I was talking about the standard desktop line, not opterons. the extra pin for for communication between the on-die mem and the DDRII on the mobo...just how it was explained to me. You've got to understand I am not the engineer, I'm just passing along info that i got.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
The FX line could happily sit on socket 939, which would segment the server and desktop chips quite nicely. That /would/ make some sense however, especially as the use of registered RAM in desktop systems is a drawback in terms of performance.
And this is what i think was the reason, but i did not have this explained to me.
i was told there will be no more 940 desktops...only opterons, and in my last post, this is what i had meant to say, but my words got jumbled i guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
In terms of Soundstorm, I'm not quite sure what you mean by the quality? nVidia's APU has no CODEC itself and uses AC97. Hence, even Soundstorm certified products can vary in their quality, due to the CODEC implementation differences. I would hope that nVidia keep their DICE implementation in the APU, otherwise there's not a lot of difference between a straight AC97 system and an nVidia APU implemented system
I have gotten 2 different versions of info on this one....
it seems as though no server needs 7.1 audio. At least not in the majority of situations. this is what may have led to the fall of soundstorm in the first place. i beleive, and i could be wrong, that it is because of the lack of a southbridge in the n-Force3 that led to there being no soundstorm, but i am not up to speed on n-force3. it never appealed to me without pci-e. As the n-force4 will have a southbridge, it should be contained there, as in the mcp-t.
however, there is still at least one chipset i have seen that DOES NOT have a southbridge....so where do they have the audio? on a seperate chip.
eventhough in soundstorm there is no PHYSICAL codec, is there not a software one?
the only great thing about soundstorm was that it was/is THE BEST onboard solution, sometimes rivaling the SB audigy2...would be nice to not have to install another card again....
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Old 26th August, 2004, 10:08 PM
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Sorry, I didn't mean for you to take offence at something I posted!

Dropping Socket 940 for desktops makes sense, we're definately in agreement there! The impression I had for the APU was that it was not a significant amount of silicon, so I'm not sure the reason it was not included on nForce3. Certainly when nForce3 was launched, it wasn't really a server product! With only a single 32bit PCI bus, it really was stuck in the desktop/low end server market.

The benefit of the AMD64 platform is that the chipset no longer needs 100+ lines running across to the main memory, and no memory controller. That's a significant saving in terms of pins and silicon. That should have meant there were enough pins to implement an AC97 link, but nVidia chose not to for some reason.

Remember that CODEC stands for COder/DECoder. The APU itself is not a CODEC, but an audio controller. There is a driver for the APU, but no software CODEC for it. It's simply not needed!

In terms of the quality of the APU, remember the output was via standard AC97. The APU itself took care of the AC97 link, so there was no software necessary to manage the AC97 link. On the other hand the CODEC converting from digital to audio was typically the same as a standard AC97 onboard. I suspect that nVidia applied pressure to motherboard manufacturers to ensure that they didn't scrimp quite as much as they might have otherwise.

Intel have also raised the bar a bit with their HD audio solution. It will be interesting to see what nVidia respond with!
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Old 26th August, 2004, 10:26 PM
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no offense taken...really!
just trying to stress my point.
so what you're saying then is that one of the reasons that the soundstorm was so good was because it interfaced directly with the ac 97...
From what i understand,the N-Force4 is to N-Force3 what an ATI R360 is to a R350....mainly a revison of the same chip. Maybe they've taken advantage of those extra pins, i dunno...
PCI-E has been around for quite some time, so i'm sure that Nvidia had plans to add the PCI-E interface at some point. It really does not make any sense to plan a chip without it, when you know that the technology is coming, and have known for over a year...

I'm quite excited about all of this. I've been waiting to get a dual gpu for quite sometime, and we got teased a while back with a card with dual R420's, and a card with 2 NV42's too....and the only way that it could really happen was thorugh pci-e!
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Old 26th August, 2004, 10:32 PM
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I consider myself quite fortunate. Because Bioware is based here in Edmonton (Bioware makes the StarWars games...)there is quite a bit of hardware in this city floating around with no brand names, or model #'s...like the 6800 i'm waiting for. kinda chesses me off tho, 'cause all I can do is look at 'em and not play with 'em!
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