AMD annoyed...

Schilling, Richard RSchilling at
Mon Mar 19 09:34:15 PST 2001


It's up to you, but I think the key is that you mention you have no existing
agreement with AMD.  Without a non-disclosure on your work, then AMD has
effectively given you permission to publish whatever you want.  You have to
believe that they are aware of the implications of non-disclosure - they do
this all the time with companies.  If you're concerned, call them to verify
how they feel about it - they should be very open with you.  But, don't make
a decision based on speculation (get an official ruling from the company).

You also have to realize that as a Beowulf pioneer, your work speaks as loud
as AMD's on the subject matter.  Many people might not believe the AMD
marketing machine, but Mr. Brown working in the trenches is believable.

So I don't think your profile will do any harm, IMHO.  If AMD processors are
weak in some areas, but strong in others . . . so be it.  You're work is
vitally important for just that reason - to verify the limits of a given

Richard Schilling
Web Integration Programmer/Webmaster
phone: 360.856.7129
fax: 360.856.7166

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Robert G. Brown [mailto:rgb at]
> Sent: Saturday, March 17, 2001 3:12 PM
> To: lowther at
> Cc: Beowulf Mailing List
> Subject: Re: AMD annoyed...
> On Sat, 17 Mar 2001 lowther at wrote:
> > "Robert G. Brown" wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > > Bemusedly yours,
> > >
> >
> > I saw the page briefly before it came down.  Would it be 
> 'out of bounds'
> > to give a hint for those waiting whether or not AT THIS MOMENT it is
> > wise for them to wait longer or would they be just as well off going
> > ahead with their projects based on currently available technologies?
> > I'm sure if  you had a glowing report, they wouldn't be 
> upset at all if
> > you were to say something positive based on what you know.  
> After all,
> > those waiting know the performance of a single processor 
> board and just
> > need to know in a price/performance framework whether or 
> not they can
> > get at least, say 190% performance gain before they should consider
> > single board solutions?  Not that anyone should take your silence as
> > anything other than a gentlemanly agreement with AMD.
> I'm less optimistic than you are about what they would or wouldn't be
> annoyed by, but let's try it.  After all, I have no agreement with AMD
> at all -- they haven't even talked to me in person.  I only have heard
> through "channels" that they object to my publishing free 
> advertising in
> a venue rich in large scale and technologically knowledgeable 
> purchasers
> (turnkey companies and end users both) that they couldn't pay 
> an agency
> any money to penetrate and which, if they did, nobody would take
> seriously.
> My summary report would be that folks interested in running CPU bound
> code are (as one might expect) perfectly safe waiting for the dual
> Athlon if its release time and expected price point match their needs.
> I saw nothing at all that would make me hesitate to get it 
> for CPU bound
> code.  For code that is mixed CPU and memory bound code the picture is
> less clear.  Very subjectively it had no major "problems" but OTOH its
> performance curve was, not unreasonably, quite different from Intel
> duals.  I experienced no system instabilities (the test system didn't
> crash even under 100% loads over 20 hour periods), although 
> in three or
> four days that may or may not be significant and there were subsystems
> I didn't test at all.
> If your code is expected to be heavily memory I/O IPC bound -- two
> processors doing a lot of talking to each other on the same system --
> then you might do better with Intel.  Or you might not -- one 
> reason AMD
> is probably worried about the pre-release numbers is that they are
> pre-release, and they may be working on specific subsystems that would
> significantly alter these numbers.  Also, we're talking about a
> performance >>profile<<, which is a very nonlinear function.  Intel
> might be optimal in one region and AMD in another.
> For folks in that situation, I'd say that the preliminary 
> numbers I had
> posted might well convince a lot of people near a neck in the (beta)
> profile to wait, and would definitely convince people who are 
> already in
> productive territory to wait, but since AMD won't let me post the
> figures and numbers, we'll never know who is who...
>    rgb
> -- 
> Robert G. Brown	              
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at

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