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AMD Motherboards & CPUs Questions or comments on AMD products?


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Old 24th January, 2008, 06:40 AM
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IBM to buy AMD?

The Inquirer is reporting on a rumor that IBM might be considering buying AMD.

The result of this rumor was that AMD's stock price surged. While I'm sure that this is welcome news for AMD, I really can't see it happening.
  1. If IBM purchase AMD, they go head-to-head with Intel. They've been down this road before and it didn't turn out well for them.
  2. Anybody remember the mountain of debt that AMD is carrying?
  3. AMD need AT LEAST a year to get back into the market in a serious way. That means that anybody buying AMD has to be making a long-term play.
  4. What does buying AMD actually get IBM? Nothing they don't already have, so far as I can see.

Now, I'm no guru, and I've been known to be way wrong before, so why don't you tell me what you think?
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Old 24th January, 2008, 12:52 PM
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I really think that IBM stand to gain alot from this.

IBM is deeply invested in the high end of the market, mainframes, blade servers, HPC and supercomputers. Virtualization technology as it becomes more common is going to be very beneficial for IBM in that the trend towards consolidating low end servers will play to their strengths.

Currently IBM is pushing Power6 chips, with Power7 on the horizon, now Power6/7 chips don't directly compete with x86 chips due to the fact that they have very different strengths and weaknesses, however its recently been shown that the optimum configuration for high end computing platforms isn't PowerPC, or x86, but rather a mixture of the two.

IBM's Roadrunner supercomputer is exactly this, it uses 16,000 Opteron cores, and 16,000 Cell processors. The two chips excel in very different areas, but comliment eachother when combined.

Here's where it gets interesting:

IBM Power 7 to be Opteron socket compatible - The INQUIRER

IBM's Power7 chip going into Opteron motherboards | The Register

For a long time now, there have been hints of a common socket and platform for Power7 and Opteron chips in the future.

If IBM bought AMD, they would be buying that platform, and as a bonus, they would get a chipset maker (ATI) as a freebie. If they could get a common platform for AMD x86 and IBM Power7 chips, you could potentially have a mixed platform, and while this doesn't help someone running Vista, the fact is IBM couldn't give a rat's ass about Microsoft. I can see alot of value in certain markets for a mixed architecture workstation as well.
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Old 24th January, 2008, 02:33 PM
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Interesting, but, looking at POWER6.

POWER6 has two memory controllers, which fits with Opteron sockets. POWER6 has an onboard 32MB L3 cache controller, but the cache itself is off chip. POWER7 would either have to integrate it or dispose of it.

Opteron has four hypertransport links. POWER6 uses three links to provide interconnectivity within a node (a node consists of four processors), and two links to connect to the second level system structure. That gives a node eight connections to other nodes. Currently these links are designed so that they run at 8bytes for every other cycle of the processor frequency. As they're combined links, they provide 67% data transport and 33% coherence information. That means they can move 67% of 40B of data per every other cycle. How well that fits into Hypertransport, I don't know.
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Old 24th January, 2008, 02:56 PM
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AMD's looking at some rather dramatic architectural changes soon with Fusion, and intel has been talking about similar changes, to better integrate graphics and physics into their platforms. I think it would be that generation where they would merge the two given that it would be a more significant departure from previous platforms.

They're going for a modular approach, which would tend to fit well for IBM. Aside from Power chips, there's also Cell, which hasn't been mentioned at all. Having an x86 workstation with a Cell effectively acting as a co-processor could have some significant uses, and given both Intel and AMD's talks of physics integration in their platforms I'm curious.
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Old 24th January, 2008, 03:46 PM
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I'm not exactly sure where the "dramatic" architectural changes come with AMD's Fusion. As far as I can see, it's little more than a multicore package that happens to have GPU and CPU in the same package. Yes, I'm aware they're planning on extending the ISA, but I'm not convinced that we'll just end up with a bunch of competing ISAs from Intel, AMD and Via.

As far as an x86 workstation with a Cell accelerator, you can already buy a suitable PCI-express card. The only downside is the huge cost.
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Old 24th January, 2008, 09:06 PM
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Most interesting developments. Wildly flailing about for a moment, it would be better for IBM to buy AMD than a Sovereign Fund from the UAE. Nationalistically speaking. Worse case: Intel snaps them up. With today's business climate in the US of anything goes with a vengeance, Intel would probably see no resistance to this move. Gak!
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Old 25th January, 2008, 01:46 AM
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Antitrust laws would likely prevent Intel from doing that, as it is they've already been attacked by AMD under those laws.
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Old 25th January, 2008, 04:42 AM
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Law--what law? They only exist for the benefit of the little people. Benefit as in jaywalk=life.
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Old 25th January, 2008, 11:09 PM
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Well we did nail Leona Helmsley and Martha Stewart ... that was fun! ":O}
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Old 25th January, 2008, 11:55 PM
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And everyone likes the chicken dance

YouTube - Elmo Chicken Dance

Either way bought out or not for my gaming exp. Its intel and nvidia , has been since my first gaming machine and shall be until a new company comes out. :P
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Old 27th January, 2008, 02:02 AM
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You seem quite clear on this point!
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Old 27th January, 2008, 05:33 AM
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Apparently, the buyout is a 'rumor run amok': Source: No Truth To IBM-AMD Acquisition Rumors - Hardware - IT Channel News by CRN and VARBusiness
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Old 29th January, 2008, 04:05 AM
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Too bad that AMD's share price didn't stay higher after the rumor wore off.
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