AMD - 4x4 motherboard and patent infringements

AMD - 4x4 motherboard and patent infringements

Summary: A couple of AMD related stories that didn't seem to get much coverage last week.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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Here are a couple of AMD related stories that didn't seem to get much coverage last week.

ASUS L1N64-SLI WS Motherboard

The first is that details are starting to emerge about the ASUS L1N64-SLI WS.  This will be the first 4x4-enabled motherboard to hit the stores.

Here's the spec:

  • 2 x CPU sockets
  • 4 x memory slots (2 per CPU)
  • 2 x nForce 680a MCPs
  • 12 x SATA (+ 1 eSATA)
  • 4 x PCI Express x16
  • 1 x PCI Express x1
  • 1 x PCI
  • Dual Gigabit Ethernet
  • eATX form factor (so it's not going to fit into small cases)
  • MSRP of $480

ASUS L1N64-SLI WS

ASUS L1N64-SLI WS

Hi-res images available here.

[poll id=37]

That's certainly a sweet sounding motherboard.  I have to admit that despite the high prices, I really like ASUS boards and have used their boards in a number of my PCs and been very pleased with them (especially when it comes to overclocking stability and ease of recovery should something go wrong). However, liking the board doesn't make me like the whole 4x4 concept.

MicroUnity Sues AMD

The second AMD-related story is news that it has been threatened by MicroUnity Systems Engineering.  The lawsuit filed with the US District Court for Eastern Texas MicroUnity is claiming that AMD CPUs which support 3DNow! and provide compatibility with Intel's SSE technology infringe on some dozen patents that it holds.  This follows on from MicroUnity suing Intel back in March 2004 for much the same reason.  Intel settled the case for $300m in 2005.  AMD will probably have to follow suit.

Topic: Hardware

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8 comments
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  • You should have listed Core 2 Quad in the vote

    You should have listed Core 2 Quad in the vote. That's a far cheaper, faster, and more elegant solution that uses far less power.
    georgeou
    • Agreed but this is an AMD advertisement

      It would be funny if Core 2 Duo actually wins 1/2 the benchmarks (it probably will). However, I agree Core 2 Quad is the closest competitor. But, hey, this is about throwing the AMD fans a bone.

      This 4x4 is the equivalent of an AMD Hummer. It's not elegant, consumes 1.5 Kwatts but when you want to play Quake, watch a movie and encode video at the same time - this puppy is at least 10% faster than Core 2 Quad !
      Prognosticator
      • Nonsense numbers

        AMD reps didn't try to tell me it's 10% faster. They were so embarrassed about the 4x4 in our briefing they decided stop talking about it and change the subject to the poor performance of Intel embedded graphics.

        No doubt AMD will close the gap but I doubt it will beat the Core 2 Quad on price, performance (on vast majority of benchmarks), and energy. We still need to see what they benchmarks will be to know for sure. Based on the specs, it might do better under a few intense memory bandwidth benchmarks. Throw overclocking in to the equation and Intel leaves them a mile behind.
        georgeou
    • Don't you mean Core 2 Duo Duo?

      It's not a quad-core chip.
      Robert Crocker
    • Agreed

      Core 2 Quad is Intel's competitor to the AMD 4x4 or what is also known as the Quadfather.
      nucrash
    • Way Too Simplistic a Response

      Don't forget that the Quadfather is also:
      - the only system upgradable to 8 cores
      - only system like this with 4 PCI-X so 4 graphics cards or 2 grahics cards and 2 physics cards
      - 12 internal SATA for unreal storage

      Many people, like me are looking for pure, hulking capability. This offers it and nothing Intel offers today can provide it.
      graphicsgod
      • Absolute nonsense

        Any dual socket system can potentially do 8 cores. Intel has them on the market NOW, it's called Woodcrest platform. AMD won't have these till middle of next year.

        Dual graphics cards is independent of the CPU platform not to mention they're just plain dumb.

        SATA is a function of the motherboard, not the CPU.
        georgeou
  • RE: AMD - 4x4 motherboard and patent infringements

    Please define what "4?4-enabled motherboard" means.

    Logically it would denote a 4-CPU socket motherboard, accomodating quad-core CPUs. This board however has only 2 CPU sockets. And I see no indication of support for 8-core Opterons.

    When I hear "4-way server" from IBM, HP, or Dell folks, I know it's a server with motherboard with 4 CPU sockets, regardless of number of cores. The motherboard described above would be called 2x4 (2-way quad-core motherboard).
    the_fiddler_on_the_roof