PS3 chip = 1 teraflop

Discussion in 'Hardware Rumors' started by chibianh, Aug 6, 2002.

  1. chibianh macrumors 6502a

    chibianh

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    #1
    don't know where to post this... but..

    http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t269-s2120395,00.html

    "Cell's capabilities will allow it to deliver one trillion calculations per second (teraflop) or more of floating-point calculations. It will have the ability to do north of 1 trillion mathematical calculations per second, roughly 100 times more than a single Pentium 4 chip running at 2.5GHz."


    that's kinda cool...
     
  2. Shrek macrumors 65816

    Shrek

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    #2
    Wouldn't something like that be expensive to mass-produce, which would make the chip more expensive for people to buy?
     
  3. peter2002 macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Sounds great!

    Sounds great, but the multi-core technology is very new. It won't come out for 2 years, and will take at least 2 more years before OSs, compilers, and software can take full advantage of the new technology. By then, some new fangled microprocessor design will probably be on the scene.

    Peter :)
     
  4. gopher macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Re: PS3 chip = 1 teraflop

    At last...mathematical proof that the Pentium IV is 50% slower than the G4. The G4 is capable of 15 gigaflops. 100 times slower than a teraflop is 10 gigaflops.
     
  5. mrMahann macrumors newbie

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    #5
    fine and dandy

    lets see it in our macs.

    lets see our macs in the same ballpark of crunching computations as an x86 machine.

    i know its easier to do work on macs (daily, i use windows and KDE3), but its not gaining us much market share.
     
  6. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

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    #6
    Re: Re: PS3 chip = 1 teraflop

    *sigh*:rolleyes: If the P4 is 50% slower than the G4, it would be capable of 7.5gigaflops. 50% of 15 GFLOPS is 7.5GFLOPS. Sheesh.

    BTW, if anything, the P4 would be more able to reach its theoretical limit just on the basis of the fact that it has a much faster fsb and ddr/rdram.
     
  7. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

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    #7
    15GFlops...

    ...is purely theoretical. 1 FLOP is a minimum of 4 bytes. 1 Gigaflop is a minimum of 4 billion bytes (3.814.697 Gigabytes). PC133 ram maxes out at roughly 1.05 Gigabytes per second, so a a G4+ can't possibly do anything at 15GFlops unless it's small enough to store in the level 1 cache (maybe the level 2, but I doubt it). A Pentium 4's theoretical limit for non-cached operations is 4 times as fast as a G4+ (4.2GB/sec vs. 1.05GB/sec). The fact that the G4+ is still in the running shows how important cache is.
     
  8. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #8
    Nice little chip, that's for sure - 16 CPU cores on one chip - but with no indication of clock speed. I'd love to see a multi-core chip for the Mac.....

    Any way, if anyone actually read the article, it seems that they acknowledge that the chip design and fabrication would be difficult, but the real test is getting the software to run on it.

    While Cell's hardware design might be difficult, it's creating software for the chip that will be the trickiest part of establishing it in the market.

    "It's going to take an enormous amount of software development," Doherty said. "We believe the chip architecture is going to be on time and ahead of the software wizardry that is going to really make it get up and dance."


    This is futureTech, as far as I'm concerned. It will be a while before we see this, I'd be very surprised if it showed up in 2004.

    D
     
  9. fragiledreams macrumors member

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    #9
    Re: Re: PS3 chip = 1 teraflop

    You are a classic (giga-tera-super-ultra) marketing victim, which is not a bad thing because thanks to fools like you my MSc in Marketing has (any) value.
     
  10. gopher macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Re: Re: Re: PS3 chip = 1 teraflop

    I'm no fool...anyone with half a brain who knows the gigaflop spec of the G4 can tell that means the G4 is faster. We need a common benchmark. Gigaflop is more reliable than Mhz as the G4 has RISC and Altivec on its side. What good is all that MMX stuff if it can't do simple floating point arithmatic as fast as the G4.

    Mhz isn't even reliable as an indicator of speed between Pentiums, let alone Pentiums and G4s.

    Floating point calculations though is something that computers are great at. The G4 just happens to be better at it than the Pentium. Give the a G4 a nice floating point calculation it will breeze past the Pentium.
     
  11. cc bcc macrumors 6502

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    #11
    IBM, Sony and Toshiba are developing this chip. IBM also said elements of this chip are expected to be in future IBM server chips. Now that's interesting, since IBM chips might end up in future Apple hardware! :D
     
  12. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #12
    Re: Re: Re: PS3 chip = 1 teraflop

    The P4's problems run deeper than the FSB. The chip itself is crippled internally. The fetch/decode/cache architecture can't keep the various execution pipes filled even theoretically, meaning a substantial amount of that fancy silicon is sitting idle at any given moment.

    My understanding is that the original design for the P4 did not have this limitation, but that marketing pressures and management deadlines (which have, in recent years, come to dominate over quality engineering at Intel) forced them to cut corners. The P4 as originally designed is said to have been a seriously badassed chip. Too bad they didn't get to make it.
     
  13. alex_ant macrumors 68020

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    #13
    Re: Re: Re: Re: PS3 chip = 1 teraflop

    It's pretty impressive then that it still manages to piss all over the G4 on most benchmarks, even coming within 70% of the fastest CPUs in the world (Itanium2 and POWER4) in SPEC. :) Efficiency isn't all that important when you've got a chip architecture designed to scale to 10GHz in the next several years.

    Alex
     
  14. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #14
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: PS3 chip = 1 teraflop

    I refuse to give two mouse farts of credability to comparissons of Chips not done in a controlled scientific setting on IDENTICAL motherboards. Comparing a dual G4 running on a 133 bus with SDRAM to a P4 Single processor running on AT LEAST a DDR motherboard is just silly. Particularly when AltiVec is very unlikely to be accessed while accelerated proprietary parts of the Pentium probably will. :rolleyes:

    Where's an UUbergeek wirehead when you need one?
     
  15. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #15
    Re: Re: Re: Re: PS3 chip = 1 teraflop


    We have one... it's called SPEC. There are others as well.

    RISC/CISC distinguisher is irrelevant and meaningless nowadays. "Gigaflop" is a measure of floating point operations / second. It doesn't measure integer ops.

    CFP2000:

    PowerPC G4 1GHz: 178 (peak)
    Pentium 4 2.53GHz: 861 (base)

    Granted, the PowerPC's results are sure to improve once the test is repeated with Jaguar and GCC 3.x. Even if they tripled, though (which they wouldn't even come close to doing), they will still not hold a candle to the P4.

    No but benchmarks are.

    Yes... computers are very good at math.
    What I'm sure you meant to say is that it's better at fp than the Pentium for some simple code that has been vectorized explicitly to take advantage of AltiVec and that doesn't demand double-precision results. For double-precision fp, and for relatively complicated fp algorithms that many other chips handle fine, the G4 sucks.

    Alex
     
  16. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #16
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: PS3 chip = 1 teraflop


    I'm comparing the fastest G4 to the fastest P4. I thought that was what we were on about. If you want to compare using identical motherboards, keep waiting because there will never be identical G4 and P4 motherboards. Shortly after the G4's system bus catches up to the P4's (if ever), the P4's will jump ahead yet again.

    I'm comparing the best of what's available right now. Once the G4 gets a faster system bus I'm sure it will improve. But right here, right now, the P4 destroys the G4, and the P4 isn't standing still either.

    It's not Intel's fault that their compiler is awesome and PPC compilers suck...

    Alex
     
  17. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #17
    Re: Re: PS3 chip = 1 teraflop

    Even if that were not a vast misleading oversimplification, which it is, the number would be 33%, not 50%. 1 - (10 / 15) = 33%.
     
  18. dongmin macrumors 68000

    dongmin

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    #18
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: PS3 chip = 1 teraflop

    Efficiency does matter once you start talking about heat and energy consumption, which may not be an issue with desktops necessarily but definitely is with laptops, sub-laptops, and compact desktops like the new iMac and the Cube.

    The issue gets lost in all the discussion regarding cpu clock speeds, but the G3/G4 architecture has allowed Apple a great deal of design flexibility. With P4s, you can kiss goodbye fanless cooling, 4-5 hour battery life in laptops, and cool-a$$ designs like the Cube.

    I agree, though, that good design can only go so far. We need faster computers, period.
     
  19. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #19
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: PS3 chip = 1 teraflop

    This is true. Software always seems to increase in bloat proportionately with increases in processor performance, but perhaps in the coming years this trend will slow enough to make putting relatively slow, energy-efficient chips in laptops more of a popular thing to do in the x86 world.

    Low power consumption is available in the x86 world, just not from Intel. You can get a VIA C3 which will perform similarly to the iMac's G4, AltiVec aside... you can't get one in such a nice package as the iMac, of course, but that's another discussion. :)

    Alex
     
  20. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

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    #20
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: PS3 chip = 1 teraflop

    Raw processor power performance means about as much as two mouse farts. It won't matter if a G4 is 10x faster than a p4 if it was on a 533Mhz QDR bus with 1066Mhz RDRAM because it isn't available! The main point of these processors is to provide people with a faster way of computing. Thus you have to compare the available platforms to each other. That G4 with kickass ram and fsb will be fast, but it does crap all for me if I can't buy it for any amount of money. I might as well claim that a 4Ghz G5 will be 20x faster than current P4s for the fat lot of good that'll do me
     
  21. jwtillema macrumors newbie

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    #21
    You guys are both wrong. Gopher is the closest to the correct answer, but since you all are arguing technicalities, I'll be anal too.

    Read the words carefully.
    Mathematically written:
    1000 gigaflops < 100 X + X, X = pentium 4 speed
    X > 9.90 gigaflops
    Mathematically written:
    15 gigaflops = 9.90 + 9.90X, X = .515 = 51.5% faster
    Another way to look at that (for those who are puzzled) is:
    15 gigaflops = 9.90X
    X = 1.515 = 1 + .515 = 1 + 51.5% = speed of pentium 4 + magnitude of speed increase
     
  22. DannyZR2 macrumors 6502

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    #22
    You guys are forgetting how important the L3 cache is. Yes, the P4 can have an increddible 533mhz fsb, but it is still dependant entirely upon that bus to get data, whereas the G4's L3 cache is on a separate direct bus to the chip. (each chip has it's own L3 bus in the case of the Dual 1ghz)

    "The L3 cache boosts processor function by providing fast access to data and application code at speeds of up to 4 gigabytes per second (GBps). And the L3 cache is even more effective at speeding up processing because it has a dedicated bus to the G4 chip, making the full 4GBps data throughput always available — unimpeded by bottlenecks caused by other data (unlike Pentium 4-based systems, which don’t have L3 cache — a disadvantage that leads to congestion between various data streams, and slowdowns in the overall rate of data transfer). "

    So you have 4GB/s for each of the 2mb caches (per chip).


    "The high speed L3 cache with its dedicated bus enables the PowerPC G4 processor to receive data up to five times faster than it could from main memory... so it isn’t idling while waiting for the next task to arrive. "

    Everyone is talking about how the G4 is starved for data all the time because of SDR RAM, but you have to remember that the main memory bus isn't the only place data comes from.

    "The L3 cache is large enough to store active application code and data. When you run an application, most of the active code for the program — along with most of the data being used — is in L3 cache. "

    I'm not sure how small each data chunk usually is, but I don't think many are larger than 2mb. Anyone know about this? Aren't larger chunks broken down most of the time?

    I personally will be happy to see DDR memory come to the PowerMac line, if anything, just to satisfy all you morons out there, but I don't think the gains will be as much as many here have been expecting. I'm pretty confident that the G4 isn't as starved for data as so many of you seem to think.

    I feel a flame post coming on...
     
  23. djwoolf macrumors member

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    #23
    Back on topic please!

    This thread was supposed to be about the Cell multi-cored processor. All the processor discusions always turn into P4vsG4 bottom line is that that in not what the discussion is bout.

    That said... Think of the possibilities of a multi-core chip. As an avid gamer this could mean better AI for the games, better video quality and mor realistic looking games. Yes it would be awesome to bring such tech to the mac but think about the next $300 PS. Ahhh makes me foam at the moutth just thinking about it.
     
  24. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

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    #24
    It really depends on the task...

    ...something like video, or 3d rendering, or gaming relies very little on the cache because it is changing the stuff it's working with all the time. Something like MS Word benefits a lot because the set of things it's working with (text) is relatively small, and completely unchanging. Also, the L3 cache in the G4+ has less bandwidth then the P4's main memory :( (4GB/sec vs. 4.2GB/sec), and the P4 has a larger faster L2 cache. The processor part of the P4 is really not worth a lot (aside from clock frequency) but its memory/cache setup really does kick ass (not quite as much as marketing would lead you to believe, but it is quite nice). The AthlonXP has a really beefy execution core hooked to about average memory (256kb on chip L2, DDR266 ram). The G4+ has a medium processor (weak on DP floating point and clock frequency, pretty good otherwise) with 4 really really kick ass vector units, a very good cache setup (a little low on L2, but it has L3), and really crappy (low end budget PC) ram.
     
  25. DannyZR2 macrumors 6502

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    #25
    quote:the L3 cache in the G4+ has less bandwidth then the P4's main memory (4GB/sec vs. 4.2GB/sec), and the P4 has a larger faster L2 cache.

    The P4 L2 cache is what 512kb? that's nothing compared to the 2mb/chip l3 cache for the g4
     

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