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AMD K8 E4 Stepping: SSE3 Performance
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Old 17th February 2005, 10:31   #1
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AMD K8 E4 Stepping: SSE3 Performance

With this week's introduction of the x52 line of Opteron processors, AMD is giving us a little look into the future of their Athlon 64 line. As mentioned in our article on Monday, the new 2.6GHz speed grade is also introducing the new E4 stepping, which adds SSE3 support. The new Opteron also received a face lift in that it is fabbed on a 90nm process, runs coherent HT links at 1GHz, and comes in a shiny new organic package rather than the older ceramic.

The goal of this article is to bring out a quick look at what SSE3 brings to the table for Opteron and the future revision E Athlon 64 cores. As desktop parts do not enable coherent HT links at all, the 1GHz support won't matter. Also, the newer A64 parts are already 90nm on organic packages. Other than the usual small tweaks we see between steppings, the only thing that will be new across the board for K8 processors is SSE3.
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Old 17th February 2005, 20:32   #2
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As far as physics and graphics go, the added instructions show potential in our synthetic test. For DCC, CAD, scientific, and other workstation software, the E4 stepping could offer a bit of a performance boost.

In the consumer space, Athlon 64 may not see as much benefit from SSE3, especially since our encoding tests turned up so little performance impact. SSE3 can be used in games, but the impact of this will likely be minimal. As most games will likely remain graphics limited, improvements will have a hard time shining through.
Reason behind most CAD workstations use Intel. No question "enthusiasts" refer AMD, however some of us tend to use the term "enthusiasts" rather loosely.

Opteron 165 (2) @2.85 1.42 vcore AMD Stock HSF + Chill Vent II
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Old 17th February 2005, 23:57   #3
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well if SSE3 doesn't bring any extra performance, let's hope the better strained silicon will
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