What Did They Know, And When Did They Know It? . . .

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If you haven’t already, please read Tech Report’s two pieces about Barcelona here and by $20

To summarize and emphasize:

10. Barcelonas have not been available to the mainstream markets.

 9. This is because AMD has stopped selling them to the mainstream markets, though they have sold some to some mystery buyers.

 8. They stopped selling them because all the Barcelonas have the TLB bug.

 7. No, the TLB bug doesn’t just affect processors running above 2.3GHz, so previous statements saying so were not so.

 6. That also means there must have been another reason why AMD pulled the 2.4GHz models, probably because they couldn’t make them.

 5. Back to TLB, AMD said they told the mobo makers prior to launch about the problem and that it was up to the mobo makers to fix the problem.

 4. Tech Reports says that they couldn’t find anyone who had, so this might not be so, either.

 3. It appears that initial testing, was done with B3 stepping 2.6GHz chips which did not have the errata.

 2. Those 2.6GHz chips also ran using a HT speed higher than real 2.2/2.3 Phenom, which inflated the benchmark scores.

And, last but not least.

 1. When asked why they had not updated their technical documentation to include an erratum which has caused AMD to pull product from the marketplace and stop sales of products already in the marketplace, the AMD response was “the guy who does that is on vacation, he’ll do it in a few weeks.”

Oh.

To paraphrase a famous statement from a certain U.S. scandal called Watergate, “What did AMD know, and when did they know it?”

At the moment, this is unclear. The TR article says that AMD knew about the TLB erratum before the Phenom product launch, but not exactly when. We also don’t know when AMD restricted/ended mainstream Barcelona sales, or even if they initiated them.

We do not know if, or how many Barcelonas were sold before AMD became aware of this problem. Much more critically, we do not know how many Barcelonas were sold after AMD became aware of this problem, but before they stopped selling, at least to the unaware.

It’s bad enough if Barcelona sales have been halted, but it will be much worse if they hadn’t been after this problem emerged.

Ed


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