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  • Linux, Open-Source Affected In AMD Cutbacks?

    Phoronix: Linux, Open-Source Affected In AMD Cutbacks?

    By now many of you have likely heard that AMD is laying off around 10% of its workforce by next year in a restructuring attempt to lower its operating costs, but will their open-source and Linux efforts be hampered by this move?..

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTAxMjA

  • #2
    Most of layoffs are in the Marketing and PR departments. I will miss their slides...

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    • #3
      The way I understand it, Bulldozer is taking a beating not because it's that bad, but because Vista7 isn't really optimized for it and the Tom's Hardware like sites are giving it a beating because Windows is crap.

      The Linux kernel already has patches that improve the performance quite a lot and they will be part of the kernel within the next three months.

      Maybe AMD should quit recommending Vista7 since it seems it's not treating their new architecture that well.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by DaemonFC View Post
        The way I understand it, Bulldozer is taking a beating not because it's that bad, but because Vista7 isn't really optimized for it and the Tom's Hardware like sites are giving it a beating because Windows is crap.
        Not quite, while it does slightly improve even in Windows 8 BD still gets hammered by the intels with the proper scheduler. Don't expect any miracles.

        http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=2622

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        • #5
          Originally posted by deanjo View Post
          Not quite, while it does slightly improve even in Windows 8 BD still gets hammered by the intels with the proper scheduler. Don't expect any miracles.

          http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=2622
          You know, by benefits, they could just mean vaporware that may or may not show up later in the Vista8 development process.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DaemonFC View Post
            The way I understand it, Bulldozer is taking a beating not because it's that bad, but because Vista7 isn't really optimized for it and the Tom's Hardware like sites are giving it a beating because Windows is crap.

            The Linux kernel already has patches that improve the performance quite a lot and they will be part of the kernel within the next three months.

            Maybe AMD should quit recommending Vista7 since it seems it's not treating their new architecture that well.
            Totally agree. Only in a world dominated by PR firms and "trusted journalists" does Intel have a worthwhile advantage over AMD. You'd think that AMD was on par with VIA if you only read Anandtech and never actually used AMD CPUs yourself.

            If anything, Bulldozer is the right product for servers and workstations, Llano and Trinity are perfect for almost everyone else, and AMD can be forgiven for not spending billions trying to appeal to less than one percent of people building high end gaming PCs to play games that aren't well threaded and can't use more CPU than Bulldozer has anyways. The criticisms were that Bulldozer "only" gets 60fps in your favorite games, where Sandy gets 80. Who cares?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by leeenux View Post
              Totally agree. Only in a world dominated by PR firms and "trusted journalists" does Intel have a worthwhile advantage over AMD. You'd think that AMD was on par with VIA if you only read Anandtech and never actually used AMD CPUs yourself.

              If anything, Bulldozer is the right product for servers and workstations, Llano and Trinity are perfect for almost everyone else, and AMD can be forgiven for not spending billions trying to appeal to less than one percent of people building high end gaming PCs to play games that aren't well threaded and can't use more CPU than Bulldozer has anyways. The criticisms were that Bulldozer "only" gets 60fps in your favorite games, where Sandy gets 80. Who cares?
              It's not only "gaming" where BD takes a beating. It gets pretty much dominated across the board.

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              • #8
                Might be tin-foil hat mode, though I remember AMD speaking about how game developers should move away from APIs in order to get more out of PC hardware. This kind of argument prolly doesn't sit well with MS, plus the redmond gang is parting ways with the reliance on the x86 architecture. Kinda wonder if the "no patch for win7" shenanigans have anything to do with that. Then again AFAIK the next gen xbox will use Fusion. Feed with one hand, slap with the other, so they learn their place?

                Anyway, the summary on Slashdot did mention a kernel contributor getting the axe.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                  Don't expect any miracles.
                  Not on current software, no. I'm however looking forward to what software developers can come up with once they've become familiar enough with the architecture.

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                  • #10
                    Apparently the current Linux patches floating around already cause a 10-20% gain in most places.

                    Vista7 vs. the Vista8 preview looks more like a stalemate to me. Few if any optimizations so far on that side.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DaemonFC View Post
                      Apparently the current Linux patches floating around already cause a 10-20% gain in most places.

                      Vista7 vs. the Vista8 preview looks more like a stalemate to me. Few if any optimizations so far on that side.
                      Links? Most of what I am seeing is a 2-5% increase.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PsynoKhi0 View Post
                        Might be tin-foil hat mode, though I remember AMD speaking about how game developers should move away from APIs in order to get more out of PC hardware.
                        That guy was a fucking moron. Simple as that. His entire argument was based on the console development practice, which only works because your application targets a very specific unchanging carved-in-stone hardware ABI. For example, even when Microsoft upgraded the Xenon CPU/GPU bundle for the revamped XBox360's, they still hamstrung a lot of the easy performance gains from the shrunken and simplified SoC just to 100% ensure that the new hardware behaved identically in every way to the original hardware.

                        You really, really, REALLY don't want developers making those kinds of hacks that work around APIs. In an ideal world, we're rely even less on hardware than we do now and target nothing _but_ APIs, such as by shipping all "binaries" as LLVM bitcode files that are JIT compiled to the native machine code just before execution (just like our graphics APIs do now). Or just shipping C#/Java, except some mythical version of those that doesn't suck donkey-nuts for systems/games programming.

                        Then again AFAIK the next gen xbox will use Fusion.
                        No, no it absolutely is not. Microsoft did register a trademark for the name "Fusion." By definition that cannot be the same thing as AMD's Fusion, or Microsoft would not have been able to register a trademark for the name. The odds of any console ever using any x86-based CPU ever again is slim to none. You can bet that AMD GPUs will be in the next wave of consoles, and you can bet that IBM's CPUs will be in them (though I'd also be willing to bet that an ARM CPU may be in at least one of them).

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                          It's not only "gaming" where BD takes a beating. It gets pretty much dominated across the board.
                          Not according to the review on this very site. It actually does quite well, which should translate even better into the 16 core server variants that I've been waiting to get my hands on.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by leeenux View Post
                            Not according to the review on this very site. It actually does quite well, which should translate even better into the 16 core server variants that I've been waiting to get my hands on.
                            For a measly $25 more you can get into the Sandy Bridge i7's that lay a licking on it or a i5-2500k that is $60 cheaper, and the intels are far more power efficient. OC an i5 up to BD's power consumption and it even lays a lickin on AMD's flagship.
                            Last edited by deanjo; 11-05-2011, 11:00 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I'm not going to say AMD is going out of business. But what if they did? Major cutbacks aren't the sign of a healthy company.

                              This just means that having open source drivers for Radeon cards is that much more important. Remember 3dfx? Their cards work on Linux and the company has been out of business since they went bankrupt in 2000 and Nvidia bought them.

                              This is before Windows XP shipped, so there was never even any official support for those cards on Windows XP. The only Windows NT support that existed at all was a beta driver for Windows 2000 that leaked out just before the company tanked and "sort of" worked with Windows XP (it crashed a lot).

                              Fast forward 11 years, and these cards still have Mesa support. they were only dropped recently in the 7.12 git series, and it will be possible for distributions to add this support back for the foreseeable future. If Ubuntu 12.04 opts to do this, those cards will be supported in a popular Linux distribution until 2017, 17 years after the last Voodoo cards went out of production. In the life span of the Voodoo series Linux support, a child could be born and age into adulthood. In the computer world, 17-19 years is an eternity. (*Even without Mesa support, these cards have Kernel Mode Setting, and XAA 2d acceleration)

                              On the Linux side, if AMD disappeared tomorrow, their cards would still work on Linux for many years. If AMD disappeared tomorrow, they probably wouldn't work in Windows 8. Food for thought. Windows users are always in the most danger of drivers no longer being available either because the company no longer exists to make them, or they have long since had new products out and they use the lack of available drivers for the new version of Windows as a way of forcing working hardware into a landfill. Viva la Vista!

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