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bit-tech Editorial:A Phenomenon in Warsaw
Posted by newsbot on November 21st 2007

At the eleventh hour of the Phenom production, AMD found anissue inthe L3 cache transition lookup buffer at very heavy loads whichprevented the company from launching it at 2.4GHz. When AMD announcedthis to the members of press present at the event, there was thathorrible silence where opinion in the room just sank.The company did state that there is a BIOS fix available which userswould be able to turn on or off in AMD Overdrive – the company’s newtweaking utility, which actually looks pretty swanky – as thesituations when end users are likely to encounter this problem are verysmall in number. The penalty for enabling the L3 cache TLB fix all thetime is around a 10 percent performance decrease, which I guess is whyAMD is leaving users with the option to enable or disable the fix asthey see fit. The company’s representatives said that the issue wouldbe fixed soon with a new stepping, which will probably be what thehigher-clocked chips will use when they’re launched early next year.However, I think there’s more to it than this one problem in and ofitself. I got this inkling after asking one question during the eventabout how mature the 65nm process was. See, we’ve still not seen Athlon64 X2 chips based on the new process that are shipping in volume atspeeds higher than 2.6GHz. The answer we got was that the process wastaking longer than expected to mature – part of the reason for this wasthat the company had focused so hard on getting Phenom out of the doorin a respectable amount of time.

View article at bit-tech.net

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