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AMD IT Hardware Technology

AMD to Adopt DDR2 Next Year 243

Hack Jandy writes "According to Anandtech, AMD has already developed a new processor lineup for Athlon 64 processors with DDR2. The article states that internal AMD roadmaps indicate the processors should debut early next year and will require a new 1207 pin socket."
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AMD to Adopt DDR2 Next Year

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  • DDR2 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 22, 2005 @04:17AM (#13133193)
    So we have to dance to get the damn thing to work?
    • Re:DDR2 (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The Intel marketing people in colourful bunny suits has been doing their song & dances for years. It is time for AMD to catch up.
    • At least you don't have to purchase any bongos.
  • Socket 1207 (Score:5, Funny)

    by fr0dicus ( 641320 ) on Friday July 22, 2005 @04:21AM (#13133207) Journal
    Will pincounts be the new megahurtz?
    • Re:Socket 1207 (Score:5, Informative)

      by Basje ( 26968 ) <> on Friday July 22, 2005 @04:43AM (#13133277) Homepage
      They need the extra number for the integrated PCI Express controller, integrated on the chip. Chips without that controller will have less pins.

      I think they will try to keep the number of pins down: more pins is more expensive to manufacture and transport.
      • Re:Socket 1207 (Score:3, Informative)

        by StarWreck ( 695075 )
        An integrated PCI Express controller would solve the only down-side of AMD's current use of an onboard memory controller. That downside is added latency when using system memory for the graphics subset.

        In AthlonXP and Pentium 4 architecture, data from the graphics card would only have to pass through the North Bridge to get to the memory. However, in current Athlon64 architecture it has to pass through both the North Bridge and the memory controller built into the CPU. This slows it down a bit.

    • Aren't large numbers of pins in the socket dedicated to supplying power to the chip?
    • Re:Socket 1207 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Petersson ( 636253 ) on Friday July 22, 2005 @05:36AM (#13133452)
      Will pincounts be the new megahurtz?

      My wallet hurtz... But I've discovered I don't need it, since after almost twenty years of gaming I've quitted and I use my Athlon XP system mostly as DVB PVR, video player, some video editing and dvd burning. What I ask for is better OS, not hardware.

      BTW since all most of the controllers are on CPU, I expect motherboard prices will decrease since there is not much to remain on them. In extreme, why spend money on the processor pins and the socket itself? Why not solder the CPU to motherboard, like in the old times of some 386 boards? With adequate hole in mobo, we can cool the CPU from both sides.

      • Every time I want an upgrade I seem to end up shelling out for a new motherboard anyway - bundle them together and I get to save a few pence.
      • "BTW since all most of the controllers are on CPU, I expect motherboard prices will decrease since there is not much to remain on them."

        There's a lot of stuff on the boards and there's a lot of engineering that goes into making them. Just because the memory controller and PCI express controller are on the CPU doesn't really make the mainboard any less complex.

        Don't expect prices to drop at all. And about the solder to the board thing - hell no. There's very rarely ever a defect with a CPU, but mainbo
      • Motherboards are already one of the cheapest components, this move COULD reduce the price more, but it's probably not going to save anybody a whole lot. Unless you go into the server side of things, high end motherboards usually cost less than $200, and most pretty good motherboards cost right about $100. Where as chip prices range anywhere from ~$100 - $1000+. I just built a new computer with a motherboard that I won at an event. I'm happy with my new computer, but I quickly found out that a free motherboa
      • Why not solder the CPU to motherboard, like in the old times of some 386 boards?

        Good question. The kneejerk answer would be something about modularity and allowing people to upgrade their CPU while keeping their mobo, or vice versa, but is that really worth all the costs of socket design and engineering?

        I mean, we have $100 motherboards and $300 CPU's these days. It's not a financial hardship to upgrade both at the same time. And the point of interchangeable CPU's is negated anyway when each new model
      • I honestly don't see why the rest of the industry isn't crying foul; with AMD integrating all of the components, they're essentially taking jobs away from chipset manufacturers. Of course, chipsets can still be used for things like USB and such, but how long until AMD realizes the industry dream of Computer-on-chip?

        But, this is a distant thing, and as long as Intel still exists, I'm not worried about AMD becoming a monopoly and completely locking us into our system's components. But I'm sure if Intel mad
    • Yep - it's about time for a new CPU logo: Hedgehog [] inside :) .
  • Aarrrrgh.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Solder Fumes ( 797270 ) on Friday July 22, 2005 @04:23AM (#13133211)
    And here I was, thinking Socket 939 was going to be good for a LONG time, and bought a new motherboard....

    Oh well, it's not like motherboards are the most expensive part of a computer.
    • Re:Aarrrrgh.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NerveGas ( 168686 ) on Friday July 22, 2005 @04:27AM (#13133227)

      Personally, I never buy a motherboard with future CPU upgrades in mind. It's just not worth it, upgrading your CPU within the same general architecture rarely gives you much real-world performance.

      The real performance boosts come from radical architectural changes - new memory subsystems, new processer types, new interconnect, etc. - and for any of those, you're going to need a new motherboard, period.

      • Well buying a dual processor motherboard and sticking a Ghz proc in it, then 2 years later tossing in 2 2800 bartons - sure made a huge difference.

        Still, you're absolutely right about the subsystem and bus speeds, those are where you can squeeze some overall system performance.
    • Always good to upgrade every year or so. Keeps things running smoothly. Either that or clean your hardware periodically in PCB cleaner :)
  • Socket A (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tor528 ( 896250 ) on Friday July 22, 2005 @04:25AM (#13133216) Homepage
    What happened to the good old days, when pin counts lasted years and years?
    • It's probably because of the law suits, and counter suits between Intel, Amd and Via. No pin compatibility between anything. If AMD wins the anti trust suit, you might see pin compatible architechture, but I wouldn't count on it.
    • Re:Socket A (Score:4, Interesting)

      by orz ( 88387 ) on Friday July 22, 2005 @04:42AM (#13133272)
      They integrated the memory controller on to the CPU. Now, every time they switch memory technology (DDR -> DDR2 in this case), they have to switch CPU sockets also.
      • Actually, as others have pointed out, current speculation is that the extra pins are driving an on die PCIe controller, not particularly because of the memory switch.

        Also, wasn't the DDR3 spec design by JEDEC to be pin compatible with DDR2? Meaning that AMD probably wouldn't need to change anything outside the CPU itself when DDR3 rolls around in a few years.
    • Re:Socket A (Score:4, Informative)

      by zakezuke ( 229119 ) on Friday July 22, 2005 @05:36AM (#13133451)
      What happened to the good old days, when pin counts lasted years and years?

      Ummm... we have socket 754 which is pretty much supports the older athlons as well as the Sempron and Athlon 64s. This is common on those sub $400 pcs that you find on the retail circuit.

      It's sort of like the old super socket 7 of old. Nice the fact that AMD offered CPUS as fast as 450 and 550 IIRC, even a tad higher than 450mhz in the amd k6-3 mobile if you were lucky enough to find them. While not nessicarly the best upgrade choice they are not only an option for the budget minded but most importantly those last generation high end chips either hold their value or increase in value. The socket-7 run would have been limited to 233/266mhz had it not been for AMD.

      But this is all accidemic as well... Socket-a has been around for a very long time... offering speeds as low as the 600mhz... as high as 3.2ghz AFAIA. More over they are still in production.

      So what happened to the good old days when pin counts lasted for years and years? They are still here, and in fact improved thanks to AMD so long as you ignore Slot-A. While I would strongly reccomend going 939 if you can, 754/slot-a is still an option even for those who gotta have 64bit CPUs. Just like the end of the 21st century when you "could" go slot-1 or stay with (super) socket 7 a while longer, or hell even 72pin simms if you really wanted to.
    • Remember that before socket A there was slut A, a CPU package that lasted about as long as 754. I was hoping that 754 was the new slot A and that 939 would last a long time too though :(. Maybe 12xx whatever will last a long time, then the next *3* sockets after that will be short lived follow by a long lived 4th, then the next 4 sockets will be short got the idea 3 lines back didn't you?
      • Remember that before socket A there was slut A, a CPU package that lasted about as long as 754.

        I thought slut A would only do things for you for a little while and then move on to the next guy?
        • Re:Socket A (Score:5, Funny)

          by Shanep ( 68243 ) on Friday July 22, 2005 @08:28AM (#13134045) Homepage
          I forgot to mention that at least slut A always comes with at least 3 ports. The others come with a maximum of 2, but usually only come with 1 unreliable port which is hard to get working. These common units tend to be expensive to run and also come with an output only port which is very noisy.
  • by StarHeart ( 27290 ) * on Friday July 22, 2005 @04:26AM (#13133219)
    The blurb mentions 1207, but the article only talks about M2(940). I have read mention of 1207 in relation to chips with the PCIe controller onboard. But not signs of tha in this roadmap.

    This roadmap seems to suggest at least that virtualization will only come in chips with the M2 socket. I will be disappointed if that is true. I had planned to upgrade to dual core chip with virtualization, but keep my 939 board. Maybe by then I will be looking to upgrade to PCIe and won't care. I have an AGP board now.
    • The article does mention a 1207-pin "Socket F" in a footnote at the end. But yeah, the submitter got that detail wrong.
    • I'm looking at going to AMD64 with socket939, and was looking for a board with both AGP and PCIe, but can't find one.

      I have a Radeon 9800 Pro which cost me a fortune at the time and I'm not ready to ditch it for a lesser PCIe card (since I can't afford a comparable PCIe that I can afford).

      Any ideas why nobody supports AGP, PCI, and PCIe on the same board? I'm tired of having to buy all new everything basically to upgrade... what's the point now... I'm probably going to have to replace my RAM as well.

      • Well, look no further: []

        It's a full AGP x8 implementation, not a pokey AGP-thru-PCI or something like that. In fact, at present AGP is faster than PCIe on it... But read the review for yourself.
    • I miss the good old days of Socket A. That thing lasted forever. Now both AMD and Intel seem to come out with a new socket every other year.
  • PCIe too (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Max Romantschuk ( 132276 ) <> on Friday July 22, 2005 @04:26AM (#13133221) Homepage
    According to the Inquirer AMD plans to integrate PCI Express [] as well. This would be very nice indeed, but I guess it's not exactly press release grade information at this point.
  • Not yet. (Score:5, Funny)

    by aaron_ds ( 711489 ) on Friday July 22, 2005 @04:28AM (#13133228)
    1207 pins, pffft!

    I'll hold out for the 1337 pin AMDs.

    I for one welcome our elite cpu overlords.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I really am a geek now.

    I read that as AMD would be adopting Dance Dance Revolution 2. XD
  • by OlivierB ( 709839 ) on Friday July 22, 2005 @04:29AM (#13133235)
    They make a living out of this!

    I am an Apple kind of guy.
    When I switched a couple of years ago, the thing I was most upset about was the inability to upgrade my system myself.
    I was afraid that with Macs I would be locked in the hardware and would have to upgrade the whole machine when I needed an upgrade. Well that's true: if you want to upgrade the CPU on your Mac you have to change your machine (Ok you could maybe buy some "overdrive" for your Mac).
    Well on x86 it's the same thing!
    Theoritically you could swap out your processor for a faster one, but the average production life of a CPU socket is LESS than the average time you use a CPU before thinking about upgrading it.

    So on x86 when you think about upgrading that 2 year old CPU to something new, well the pin layout has changed and you need to buy a new motherboard, with new type of Ram, and now new components (SATA, PCI-X etc...)
    Although you could change all these components idividually, you must admit just changing the whole machine is often a better deal.

    I highly suspect intel has a built-in incentive to do so as they produce chipsets for the motherboards, and most of the chips in the new parts involved when "upgrading".

    Upgrading no longer exists, it should be called "changing-my-machine".
    • I usually try to buy cheap second hand stuff to do the upgrades with. Cheaper (duh) and I don't have to worry about production still going on (unless I'm looking for ancient parts).
      • While you are probably getting a good deal out of this it cannot be done by everybody:

        -- as we've seen a few days ago, people will often give, store or throw away computers. So you won't be getting a Cpu from them.

        -- Also, the person who sells you his CPU, if his machine was still functional before the sale, how will he make his machine work now? Get another CPU :-)? It's a catch 22. In days where people are trying to extend the life of machines that isn't very practical.

        -- Say you bought your machine ri
    • by eddy ( 18759 ) on Friday July 22, 2005 @04:43AM (#13133275) Homepage Journal

      So on x86 when you think about upgrading that 2 year old CPU to something new

      Stop blathering. On Socket-A I went "Duron 800", "Athlon 1333" and then "AthlonXP 2400+". That's three processor upgrades on one platform and the VERY SAME MOTHERBOARD.

      Just recently I bought a new Socket-A MB (they're dirt cheap) and 2GB of DDR (which is similarly dirt cheap), so the last CPU has seen a MB upgrade too.

      And do you know what? I play modern games on that sucker.

      (I'll go S939 soon with a nice Venice and get a real use for all that memory)

      • Dominoe effect (Score:2, Interesting)

        by eddy ( 18759 )

        I forgot the best part; my old Socket A MB (KT7A-RAID) ran on SDRAM of course, so when I upgraded that MB, I moved 512MB of SDRAM to my old linux server (K6-2 based FIC-503+), which up till that point was running on 80MB of EDO.

        Now that's what I call an [cheap ass] upgrade.

      • You started with a Duron, which means you started low. If everyone did that, sure we could upgrade several times. And most motherboards that supported old Athlons (like the 1333) did not support the faster XP procs even with a BIOS upgrade.

        So basically all you're saying is that -your- purchasing style involves upgrades. The rest of us, who tend to buy at the sweet spot or upper end, not the low end, have to upgrade the motherboard and usually the memory when we upgrade the CPU.

      • Can I ask what board that is? My circa-early-01 1200 MHz Thunderbird system came with a board that claimed not to support higher than 1.4 GHz
    • this is happening through whole industry (and all other industries as well) - artificially reduced life span for everything.

      it is possible to design compatible, long lasting technologies - but that would reduce profits. there is no long term thinking for consumer goods - of course, that's bad for environment, but who cares if only short term profit is ok ?

      i've been thinking about a new computer - but when i try to select some fundamental parts to build around, i start to doubt. what disks shoulod i choose
      • I build myself a new machine every two or three years. When I'm ordering the parts, I get what was top of the line one year before that date. If you go newer than that then prices spike upward dramatically for very little increase in performance. I find that such a machine lasts three years if I'm keeping up with the latest and greatest in software. I consistently spend between $500 and $600 doing this. That isn't bad spread out over two or three years.

        I also don't count on using much from my previous
    • > So on x86 when you think about upgrading that 2 year old CPU to something new, well the pin layout has changed and you need to buy a new motherboard, with new type of Ram, and now new components (SATA, PCI-X etc...)

      You have to realize that paying for a new box out of the shop is not always in the means of a student out there. I started out my computer adventures with a P 3 450 Mhz on a VIA board with 32 MB Ram and an 8 Gb HDD. The very same machine currently has the same CPU , 320 Mb of RAM, an As

    • Ummm... Ok... I guess it does depend on how often you upgrade, but I went from my AGP TNT2 Ultra in 99 through my FX5600 to my current 6600GT all with the same basic motherboard slot. Sure I'll have to change slots the next upgrade in two years, but I'll have had 3 revisions on the same slot.

      My DDR RAM has worked from 2003-present, and likely into late 2006 when the DDR2 starts to reach real world consumer price levels. That's 3 different motherboards for me and 2 different CPU Archetectures.

      The only thin
    • Some kind of filmsy rationalization for Apple's impending switch to x86? Give it a rest. As others have noted, you do not have to upgrade entire systems. I currently have an Intel 478 motherboard, at the time I bought it, top of the line. You do the research on that, you find it was over a year ago. The processor is 2.4ghz. Now I can increase that by 50% on the same socket, which I'll do when the time comes I feel my processor is the limitation in my system. I imagine that'll be at least 6 more months, prob
      • Whooooohhh
        Cool it buddy!. I 'm not rationalizing Apple's move to x86. I'm not saying it's cheaper and I'm not suggesting people should move to Apple. It's all about different needs for different people. Please don't put me in the same basket as apple fanboys

        My point is that I am very sorry to see that commodity hardware is becoming less "commoditized" because of all the different standards: SATA, PATA, x86, x86-64, DDR2, Rambus etc...
        So switching to a Mac I was giving up less than what I had imagined.
        I had
    • I learned early on never to take advice from an Apple user, they just make arguments for Apples current product line adjusting them as Apple changes directions. I'm going to present some of the most mindbaffling arguments from the Apple community that you may check with other sources and find out they are pretty much right on.

      Apple products and Apple users arguments:
      • The Newton, try to convince the Apple user this never was a very good PDA and by todays standard is totaly "out there", 8" x 5" x 1" inc
      • Just add a bit...

        The PPC [G3] is about as efficient for bignum math as the AMD Athlon-XP and the P4 ALU. See this chart [] for instance.

        I think the G4 maybe be slightly better [the instruction set remains the same w.r.t. bignum math] but still same ballpark.

        The problem with that design really is that while it has a good RISC ISA and lots of registers it's simply not meant for math. You have to execute two 4-6 cycle multiplies to get one 32x32=>64 product whereas other cpus can get the full product in 6
      • You know, I don't mind people arguing for or against certain things. I do mind when I need to reread almost every sentence to figure out what was said. If you're going to write something long and involved like this, please use a spelling and grammar check. I routinely write long email messages, blog entries, and Slashdot posts, but always go through them with at least a spell checker before I click 'send' or 'submit'.

        I'd like to point out some minor points that you may do well to revise in your thinking, t

      • Wow, is this a new troll?

        Regardless. Troll you need to learn to spell, realise that zealots and reasonable people are in all camps and that you should replace "Apple user" with "Apple zealot" and then realise that you could replace "Apple" with any other name like Linux, Wintel, etc.

        The Newton had the best handwriting recognition I have ever seen, even for cursive. Practically speaking it was too bulky and heavy. Every Mac user I know avoided OSX until it was thrust upon them when they bought a new Mac. S
      • The early stages of OS X (which really where an open beta), slow kernel, slow UI and not even easy to use. To the Apple users was of course the best thing.

        Well, that's because we were sick and tired of our systems locking up and crashing all the time. Pre-emptive multi and memory protection were way waaaaaay overdue. (Before the Mac I had an Amiga in 1987 so I was already used to a decade and a half of pre-emptiveness.)

        Certainly though, I agree, 10.0 and 10.1 were no hell compared to where we're at tod
      • If you could buy a similar spec PC (which you can't because there are no that slow)

        Please provide a link to a computer the same size (or even a little bigger) as a Mac mini that's as powerful.

        Last I checked, there was a 700Mhz Pentium I, and that was about it. Just in case somebody feels like mentioning shuttle, most shuttle cases are a about 5-6x the size of a Mini.

        No doubt in the next year you'll see a lot more small integrated boxes in x86 space. In the meantime, I'll be sitting in this couch, wit
      • You're mostly bang-on. I will point out that OS X can be quite happy in 256MB ram IF you won't be running Classic. I'll grant that OS X really likes ram and gets quite the increase in responsiveness if you go 1GB ram or more. It's just that an OS X box not running Classic is quite usable with 256MB.
      • Apple products and Apple users arguments [snip]

        Did Steve Jobs give you a wedgie or something? I don't understand where this outburst of anti-Apple invective came from, especially since this thread is about AMD processors.
      • 1) The Newton was the first PDA, and the first ones were the size of a current Palm/PocketPC. You are thinking of the later Newton 2K series. And for the markets that were actually buying these devices at the time (Doctors and Industry) they were the right product. Those markets were just not big enough.

        2) For the computers it was designed for Cooperative Multitasking was the correct choice. Preemptive takes too much processor power for those older computers. Remember, Apple started doing this when there w
    • So on x86 when you think about upgrading that 2 year old CPU to something new, well the pin layout has changed and you need to buy a new motherboard, with new type of Ram, and now new components (SATA, PCI-X etc...)

      I've had the same basic type of RAM in my machine for at least 4 years, and the same basic type of hard drive and optical drive for 7. I've had the same basic type of graphics card for at least 5 years. In that time I'm on at least my fourth new motherboard and processor.

      Yes, new technologies
    • Although you could change all these components idividually, you must admit just changing the whole machine is often a better deal.

      However, keep in mind that a computer is only as fast as its weakest link. If the CPU can go up to 4GHz, but the memory bus is so slow that the CPU sits around all day waiting for data, then you might as well save money on that CPU.

      Hence, motherboard technology and CPU technology tend to improve hand-in-hand. Ditto for memory speed.

      Even if you could double your CPU performa
  • by 2*2*3*75011 ( 900132 ) on Friday July 22, 2005 @04:43AM (#13133280)
    1207 = 17*71. I wonder why this beautiful factorization isn't mentioned in the article.
  • by Ihlosi ( 895663 ) on Friday July 22, 2005 @04:46AM (#13133293)
    Really, it doesn't. Since the memory controller is integrated in the CPU, there is no way to make one of these things run in todays DDR1 mainboards, regardless of the pin count. And since DDR2 has a different pin count than DDR1, of course the pin count of the memory contoller has to change, hence the pin count of the CPU changes.

    Anyone complaining about "yet another socket" apparently hasn't understood this.
  • great (Score:2, Funny)

    by axonal ( 732578 )
    Great, more fat kids falling off the dance floors.
  • DDR2 ? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Arthur B. ( 806360 ) on Friday July 22, 2005 @05:06AM (#13133365)
    That is great news for Reiser4

    (SELECT /.ers WHERE CLUE > 0)
  • I currently have an old 2.4GHz P4 (the B revision, iirc), and am thinking of upgrading. I'd been drooling over the Athlon X2, mainly for the cool factor I admit (as I mostly do gaming on this box, with a little C# and Java development now and again). By "gaming" I mean Half Life 2, Doom 3, UT2k4, that sort of thing.

    I have an AGP GeForce 6800GT, and would like to pair it with a suitable processor and RAM. So, the question is, is it worth holding out for DDR2, or should I just upgrade now? What are the real-
  • by Trogre ( 513942 )
    For a second I'd read that as "AMD to Adopt DRM2 Next Year".

    Here I was preparing this elaborate rant on how DRM (and this new DRM2) is taking away our freedoms and how I'll never buy AMD again.

    Oh well, go AMD!

  • by valhallaprime ( 749304 ) on Friday July 22, 2005 @11:39AM (#13135754)
    Well, I am freshly back from the AMD tech tour event in East Brunswick last night, and this specific question came during the Q and A with "TEH EXPERT5" - The question of DDR2 support.

    The actual engineer on staff at the event answered it, and stated flat out that there was no performance gain until at least DDR2-667, and that alone "was only about 5% or so faster than DDR400 running in dual channel mode". He even went so far as to say that "DDR2-533, with it's increased latency over DDR400, has a negative impact of OVER 5%", and makes no sense to jump to. This was because of the efficiency already inherent in the HyperTransport bus, according to him.

    He talked for about 5 minutes on the issue, and the gist of it was that until DDR2-667 specifically started to become more affordable, the incremental speed boost didn't make any sense for anyone, including and users and AMD Proc Support.

    Incidentally, he also mentioned that DDR2 would (of course) require significant redesign in the built-in memory controller of the 939 chips, unless registered memory was used. This sorta implies in a friday morning-drove-all-night-from-NJ way that the current 939's would not support DDR2 if there were to be 939 mobo's with DDR2 support.

Reactor error - core dumped!