AMD’s Phenom TLB errata benchmarked

AMD’s Phenom TLB errata benchmarked

Phenom is in dire need of some love. The TLB issue will be fixed in hardware with the next stepping - this is due in Q1 2008.

The guys over at The Tech Report have managed to benchmark the Phenom Level 3 cache Translation Lookup Buffer (TLB) errata which we first talked about in our report on AMD’s event in Warsaw, Poland.

At that time, AMD told us that we could expect to see around a 10 percent performance drop as a result of enabling the TLB errata fix, but because it problem only rears its head in some scenarios, not everyone will want to leave it enabled. According to The Tech Report though, the TLB fix kills performance by between 13.8 to nearly 20 percent on average when the BIOS “patch” to rectify the problem is applied.

Specific results get even worse with synthetic memory specific benchmarks suffering in the range of 30 to 50 percent, while other more real world applications, like Office 2003 SP1, Windows Media Encoder 9.0, Winzip 10 and Valve map builder suffer by around five to ten percent.

Another test that, at face value, looks quite worrying is Firefox as performance in the popular open source web browser dropped by 57 percent in the simulated test used. However, the site reported that using the browser in the real-world didn’t feel noticeably sluggish so it's nothing to really worry about.

So, unless you live by e-peen numbers outside of the real world, it’s not going to make a massive difference, but it’s about equivalent to a 200MHz clock speed deficit. For those wondering where our own Phenom review is, we’re working on it – it took some time for us to get a processor out of AMD to test on our own terms and the chip we've acquired is currently being put through our slew of tests, so stay tuned for that next week.

Poor old AMD, it just can’t get a break can it? Do you care or not? Throw your flames about, in the forums.


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cjoyce1980 7th December 2007, 09:08 Quote
I would love to see them on top again, i loved it when the K7 was king and my Barton 2500+ could operate at 3200+ without any temp increase.

AMD, please bring back the glory days.......
Arkanrais 7th December 2007, 10:05 Quote
what exactly is the benefit of this L3 cache?
Bindibadgi 7th December 2007, 10:06 Quote
A common area to throw common data between cores - it's far lower latency than main memory.
DrFreeze 7th December 2007, 12:31 Quote
bah, thos performance drops look quite bad

and sorry, but saying that unless you want a cpu for its e-peen rating, this doesnt matter is just stupid. If i were to buy this cpu for some 3d rendering or content transcoding, all of a sudden my huge 3d render would take 11 hours instead of 10, lowering the value for money on the cpu. This doesnt just lower your bogomips rating, it can also cost you a good bit of productivity.

bah, i was a huge fan of AMD untill about a year ago, all this barcelona business has been a huge cock-up
HourBeforeDawn 7th December 2007, 20:23 Quote
ehh Im building a Spider platform system but for cpu I will just use the 6000+ Black edition until some better quads come out and they work out some of the issues.
leexgx 7th December 2007, 20:32 Quote
when doing tests/review can you find what programs/games will crash the pc with out the TLB errata fix (i asume you can turn it on and off via bios)

as far as i know is VMware does the crash

from the reviews that have been going around the Single threaded performace of an K8 chip is faster then an K10, so most of my games would take an performace hit (i have an 8800GTX so i am most CPU limited most of the time)
Jebus.exe 11th December 2007, 07:35 Quote
give it a few months, the phenom will have all the kinks ironed-out, and there will be the re-release of the 9700 and some more higher end versions.

I'm also planning on biulding a spider, cause i can still see alot of potential in the new chip ;)
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