Thursday, March 10, 2005

Gimme! a break

Along with the new Turion processors announced today, AMD also revealed their newest scheme to completely confuse and infuriate you when you try to comparison shop at the local electronics store. The new chips will be designated as the ML-30, -32, -34 and -37, or the MT-30, -32 and -34. M for mobile, so far, so good. L or T for what? Why, for how 'mobile', meaning having a low power budget, the line is. From A to Z, no less, with Z being the most mobile of all! In practice this means that the L line has a 35 watt power budget and the T line has a 25 watt budget. Intel's Pentium M stuff is 27ish, as a reference. Well, at least the numbers should be logical, right? Well, kinda. Higher is faster, but the ML-32 and -34 both run at 1.8GHz. The difference? The -32 only has 512KB of L2 cache (all of the others have 1MB). Why? Is it a different core? A -34 who couldn't pass QA as and got demoted? Who knows? My advice is to skip the ML-32 until more information comes out. You'll want the 1MB cache to help offset the performance penalty of the single-channel memory interface, in any case.

Oh, and lest I forget, Turion64 isn't a processor, it's a 'technology'. You know, like Centrino. In other words, Madison Avenue tech. AMD isn't even trying to hide this fact like Intel does, by forcing you to use their chipsets and wireless stuff in order to use the branding. Mostly because they don't have a chipset or wireless stuff, though they don't explain it that way in the press release!


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