-march=xxx

Jason Gurtz jason at tommyk.com
Wed Jan 24 09:28:02 PST 2001



> > I
> > dunno, IMO P4
> > and Atlon families are more like the 6 and half generation.
> >
>
>
> Athlon and Duron are 7th Generation CPU's in the Intel style.  It was a
> major marketting point during the introduction of the Athlon.

    Yeah, it's a pretty hotly contested topic over exactly what defines a
processor 'generation'  In general I've seen it to mean a combination of
significant change in the arch features of the processor above and beyond
cache size/speed/bandwidth and a jump in the relative performance.  Also,
historicly, there has been a large increase in main memory bandwidth with
each suceeding generation.  Granted, this is more to do with the platform
then the processor, but i kind of tie them together.  For example the
Serverworks chipsets double and quadruple the main memory bandwidth by
interleaving accross multiple DIMMS in paralell.  Still, it is considered a
6th gen platform.

    When the Athlon was introduced the performance increase was impressive
over the fastest available Intel offering at the time.  The platform it runs
on is making it suffer.  It is based off good technology, but the execution
is flawed.  Slow memory performance is just sapping Athlon of it's power.
The performance gap has narrowed recently.  If you go through various
benchmarks it is interesting to note that the Athlon is real good at certain
types of tasks but only a little better at others.  I will be real
interested to see AMD's answer to the P4.

    Another thing is the ammount of performance increase through-out the 6th
generation is just incredable.  Remember, it started with the lowly PPro
166Mhz and now at 1.13Ghz with the P3.  AFAIK, Intel is still planing a die
shrink to .13 micron with the P3 core.  Maybe it'll make it up to 2Ghz,
still a member of the 6th Gen.

    So, Athlon has some significant Arch. changes, increases performance in
some, but not all, areas, and no significant change in memory bandwidth (OK,
DDR will help, but P3's gonna have that to)  IMO the true 7th Gen will be
64-bit with Sledghammer and the final release of whatever itanium/McKinnly
whatever gets released.

~jay

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