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1.5GHz Athlon using only passive cooling?

By Signal 11 in MLP
Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 12:53:23 AM EST
Tags: Hardware (all tags)

AMD is developing a chip using a type of heatsink and silicon capable of dissipating heat several orders of magnitude better than today's chips. Infact, it appears it won't even require a fan.


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1.5GHz Athlon using only passive cooling? | 15 comments (15 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Wow (3.00 / 5) (#1)
by Elendale on Mon Dec 04, 2000 at 09:31:09 PM EST

While i'll believe it when i see it, a 1.5 athlon would beat the stuffings out of the current p4s. If the prices are comparable AMD will, once again, have one-upped Intel- assuming of course these 1.5 Ghz athlons similar to the 800-1000 Mhz athlons in other respects. Lets also not forget dual proc systems on their way and several DDR motherboards for athlon systems. Of course, Intel's favorite hobby (that is, jacking Mhz through the roof) could still make the p4 a faster and/or superior chip.

-Elendale (where can i get one of these?)

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.

This is nice and all, but... (2.00 / 14) (#2)
by spectatorion on Mon Dec 04, 2000 at 10:14:54 PM EST

A) No home user needs this kind of power. Even M$ has not yet created software so bloated that it needs that kinda power. At least as far as I know. New windoze versions are probably up there, but even for these monsters 1.5 is stretching it. Especially at the price they will probably come at. Same with P4's. What a waste. I know...there is technical computing, enterprise applications, workstations, blah blah blah, but most of these are limited by software that is too big and clumsy, not underperforming hardware. If people ran low overhead software (beautiful examples are a BSD some GNU/Linux distros) then this kind of pricey hardware would mostly be a joke.

B) if you really want powerful hardware, look into Alpha. Awesome systems can be found pretty cheap with sufficient determination. Some other RISC hardware comes close, but pretty much all is junkware compared to Alpha, the reigning king of computing power. I believe it was always lower power-consumption than anything the ix86 camp could offer (defintely better than what Intel could offer). Sun boxes are pretty sweet, too. A good rule of thumb: MHz isn't everything.

Home users? (3.20 / 5) (#3)
by DeadBaby on Mon Dec 04, 2000 at 10:18:24 PM EST

Who said anything about home users? AMD is going for the graphics market right now. Their FPU performence has helped them a lot here.
"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
[ Parent ]
Sounds familiar... (2.66 / 6) (#4)
by MmmmJoel on Mon Dec 04, 2000 at 10:24:54 PM EST

A) No home user needs this kind of power. Even M$ has not yet created software so bloated that it needs that kinda power. At least as far as I know.
Just as my friend Bill once said:
"640K ought to be enough for anybody." -1981
Besides, as long it can give a few more FPS in Quake, it will sell. If we only used what we needed, I would have never upgraded my 486.

[ Parent ]
[OT] bill gates quote (4.00 / 4) (#6)
by mikpos on Mon Dec 04, 2000 at 11:18:49 PM EST

So far as I can figure, Bill Gates never said that. Do you (or anyone else) know where this came from? It's kind of odd nonetheless.

[ Parent ]
Dont Need the Power vs. Let's Us the Power (2.50 / 2) (#5)
by quam on Mon Dec 04, 2000 at 10:50:53 PM EST

I think developments such as this provoke: "hey, what can we do with this?" from developers/designers rather than "hey, users don't need that."

More technological developments == More fun stuff.

-- U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.
[ Parent ]
What I see has happened (4.25 / 4) (#7)
by spectatorion on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 02:56:09 AM EST

As I see it, hardware development has greatly outpaced hardware development. Many hardware generations later, we still have pretty much the same UNIX (+ a few nicities) and the same Windows (after win95 anyway...but P100MHz was fast back then, so I don't think there is any argument about hardware outpacing software). What has essentially happened is that apps, especially on the WIntel platform have become exceedingly bloated. Developers don't say "hey, what can we do with this," (as you suggested--and I fully agree--developers/designers should ask) instead, their method of thinking seems to be "Well, every user has 128MB of RAM and a GHz processor, so I don't have to worry about clean coding and efficient algorigthms, nor do I have to worry about proper memory management and proper allocation of resources."

When I boot up my 3 month old 733 P3 w/128 MB of RAM into win98 and run the system monitor right after booting it says I have about 20 MB of physical memory available. 20! That means Windows + Norton Antivirus plus a few sound drivers and a CD-R utility take up about 110 Megs of RAM! When I am running trivial tasks, processor usage is usually over 50% and it often reaches 100%. This is not "what can I do with this?" it is "now I can be lazy." The potential of today's hardware is amazing. The kind of power sitting on/under most people's desks today is equivalent to what was once used for intense scientific computation, running entire telecommunications systems, and controlling space missions. Now you're telling me that all I can do is run Windows and Netscape before I start writing to "virtual memory"? That is absurd. I was simply implying that hardware innovation has come far enough for now. The software side has a lot of catching up to do. If coders today wrote programs like people did when they only had a few K of RAM and other limited resources, the type of hardware available would allow us to wield unimaginable amounts of power.

It is good that AMD has made such powerful processors, but I would like to see some software that efficiently and effectively uses this hardware--and not just as an excuse for lazy coding.

Note: Please don't flame me for using Windows. I run it through an OpenBSD router/firewall and use the OpenBSD box itself as often as I can. Plus, when my 2.8 CDs come (soon I hope :-)), I will try to get dual boot working and if all goes well, unplug from Windows altogether. Also note that this the first bit of M$ software I have actually purchased, and it came loaded on the system...I had very little choice.

[ Parent ]
Flame for using Windows? (2.75 / 4) (#8)
by Potsy on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 04:15:31 AM EST

Note: Please don't flame me for using Windows.

I doubt anyone would do that. It's just plain stupid to flame people for using Windows. It's not evil, it's not useless, and it doesn't crash as much as some folks would have you believe.

Hell, even on Slashdot, CmdrTaco gets flamed if he takes the Linux bigotry too far.

It's amazing that an operating system, of all things, could be so vilified that people feel it necessary to apologize just for using it

[ Parent ]

well... (3.00 / 4) (#11)
by spectatorion on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 10:06:20 AM EST

Sometimes even I flame myself for using windows :-)

[ Parent ]
Windows bloat (2.33 / 3) (#12)
by valleyview on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 01:31:37 PM EST

Just so you know, Windows isn't always that bad. I run Win2000 (educational license, $5 at my university store) on a PII 300 ThinkPad with 160MB ram. At startup, I have ZoneAlarm and a DNet client running. I've disabled some of 2000's unnecessary services, and I am using ~33MB of physical memory, and 55MB total. IE 5.01 starts with about 8 megs, Outlook about 6. So, you can trim it down. No worries, dude. 98 isn't so bad if you work on it.

[ Parent ]
price performance (none / 0) (#13)
by rob latham on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 06:26:46 PM EST

I'm not sure where you see these 'awesome systems' 'pretty cheap'. Sure, you can find a multia cheap, but that's anything but awesome.

on what ground have you crowned the alpha line 'king'? the intel chips kick the alpha's ass in price/performance, and only a small class of problems can take advantage of the alpha's larger memory bandwidth.

If alpha chips were not outrageously priced (compared to x86 chips), they'd fly off the shelves. expecially in the high performance computing market. price/performance is the bottom line when building beowulfs.


[ Parent ]

bill joy says (4.00 / 2) (#9)
by kei on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 04:21:17 AM EST

At a panel discussion I attended over the summer regarding the possibility of artifical intelligence, Bill Joy was asked whether software had enjoyed the same kind of exponential increase that hardware had. His response (paraphrased): "software size has increased exponentially while function has remained constant." :^)
"[An] infinite number of monkeys typing into GNU emacs would never make a good program."
- /usr/src/linux/Documentation/CodingStyle
oops (none / 0) (#10)
by kei on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 04:23:05 AM EST

That was supposed to be in response to this comment.
"[An] infinite number of monkeys typing into GNU emacs would never make a good program."
- /usr/src/linux/Documentation/CodingStyle
[ Parent ]
Doesn't mean the chip is any good (2.00 / 1) (#14)
by jreilly on Wed Dec 06, 2000 at 11:05:59 PM EST

When you buy an Athlon instead of a PIII, you pay for it with twice the power consumption and an equivalent increase in heat. I really doubt that AMD can simulateously jack up the speed and lower the heat output/power consumption. Probably instead of a fan they are using a Peltier cooling system, or some such, simply so the marketing droids can say "Look, we don't need a fan." There'll still be plenty of heat, it just gets off the processor in a different way.

Oooh, shiny...
Try reading the article before you post (none / 0) (#15)
by Anonymous 7324 on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 07:26:19 AM EST

the article kinda tells you exactly what's going on. And it has nothing to do with a Peltier. Jeez...

[ Parent ]
1.5GHz Athlon using only passive cooling? | 15 comments (15 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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