Who Is On TOPP?

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AMD now has a webpage which shows Opteron MTOPP scores.

Some explanation of this is in order. The MTOPP is not a benchmark. It is a calculation of theoretical performance the U.S. Commerce Department
makes to figure out whether or not certain countries can get certain computers. It was created ten years ago and is meant as a rough-and-ready guide more than anything else.
For instance, it makes no difference to the formula whether you have a PIV Willamette or a hyper-threaded Northwood. As you’ll see, it holds up pretty well given its age, but it’s hardly a precise measurement.

The last time this calculation was (ab)used as a benchmark; it was used to justify Apple’s claim a few years ago that the Mac was a “supercomputer” (which was solely due to an old definition of the term by the Commerce Department which was updated a few months after the claim).

It would hardly be fair to look upon these scores without seeing Intel’s scores, too, which are on this page:


Puts matters in a bit different light, doesn’t it?

Perhaps more to the point, look at how much these processors cost (or will cost):


(PIV prices are based on Newegg’s prices for retail processors; Opteron price is estimated based on current official’
AMD pricing for 1.8GHz and AMD’s declared official price on Opteron 246. Opteron 1XX series CPU are being priced about
$250 less than Opteron 2XX processors at the high end).

I know AMD needs more money, but this hardly looks like a bargain, even by Intel standards.

Predicting The Future…


Again, the formula seems pretty insensitive to internal improvements. Adding another 256K cache to the Willamette didn’t budge the MTOPP calculation one bit.


That looks better than the MTOPP scores. AMD is still trailing, but not by much.

Unfortunately, if you use the expected PR ratings; the results aren’t pretty:


Can anything make this ugly duckling a swan?