AMD Comments on Errata Issue

Rob Williams

Staff member
From our front-page news:
We reported yesterday regarding Tech Report's look into the errata issue that is plaguing all current Barcelona-based processors, including the desktop-aimed Phenom. The issue resides within the TLB logic for the L3 cache which can, on a rare occasion, crash the computer. That in itself isn't a major issue given the fact it can be patched, but it's the erratas fix that makes this a big problem. As discovered in Scott's testing, the performance degradation can be significant.

According to DigiTimes, AMD knew of the problem before Phenom's launch and provided the channel and board partners with an appropriate fix. Whether or not this was kept mum on purpose, no one knows. However when taking a look at the facts, it's no surprise that AMD would want to keep the patch and errata issues quiet. Even without the patch, Phenom proves slower overall than Intel's equivalents. If the patch was applied before all reviewers performed their testing, the Phenom launch would have gone horribly wrong.

Hope is far from lost, however. Tech Report also reported that Phenom revisions in the form of 9550 and 9650 will be launched in January, fixing the errata problem without the need of a patch. So for those planning to upgrade to a new AMD Quad-Core, it would be wise to wait until these new models hit the street.

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In response to recent reports of the existence of an erratum involving the L3 cache of AMD's new Opteron (Barcelona) and Phenom processors and that shipments of the parts have been delayed, AMD clarified that the company sent notice to clients about the erratum and offered a BIOS fix prior to November 19 and that the company is shipping Phenom parts to channel, system builders and OEM customers.

Source: DigiTimes

AMD has been having an unbelievable amount of bad luck this past year. It could always be worse, but hopefully they can pull themselves out of this slump soon.