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AMD Details Upcoming Bulldozer Architecture

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the summon-bob-the-builder dept.

AMD 234

Vigile writes "AMD is taking the lid off quite a bit of information on its upcoming CPU architecture known as Bulldozer that is the first complete redesign over current processors. AMD's lineup has been relatively stagnant while Intel continued to innovate with Nehalem and Sandy Bridge (due late this year) and the Bulldozer refresh is badly needed to keep in step. The integrated north bridge, on-die memory controller and large shared L3 cache remain key components from the Athlon/Phenom generation to Bulldozer but AMD is adding features like dual-thread support per core (but with a unique implementation utilizing separate execution units for each thread), support for 256-bit SIMD operations (for upcoming AVX support) all running on GlobalFoundries 32nm SOI process technology."

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Nobody cares. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33357684)

Read the subject.

Re:Nobody cares. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33357774)

fuck you then :-)

Re:Nobody cares. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33357794)

Fuck you!

Re:Nobody cares. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33358800)

Fuck you!

Re:Nobody cares. (0, Offtopic)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359320)

God bless you.

Re:Nobody cares. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33357800)

And why, exactly, should/do we not care? This is akin to the announcement of i7 or Sandy Bridge. Maybe if you don't care you shouldn't be reading this story.

Re:Nobody cares. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33358232)

we need a tag for GAY to classify your comment.

Re:Nobody cares. (4, Funny)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358606)

Well, it's a new computer part. It computes. The computer I already own computes perfectly well so I don't see how a new one is any different. You act as if computers were a field of interest or even an industry.

What's next? People getting excited about new cars?

Re:Nobody cares. (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359462)

Well I personally care because it affects my prices and thus the prices I charge customers. After the Intel douchebaggery came out, along with the Nvidia bumpgate fiasco I switched all new builds to AMD exclusively. The bang for the buck is just incredible, with OEM triples for $60 and quads for $99, and their IGPs frankly kick the dog snot out of Intel, with them even able to run games like Bioshock acceptably.

This new part is gonna be nice because it will allow for really nice SFF HTPCs, and with a Radeon onboard it will accelerate (I personally use Media Player Classic Home Cinema which works great with AMD GPUs) all the major video formats out there, thus taking the load off the CPU and allowing a nicer customer experience. I have found even the bottom of the line Athlon II duals thanks to the Radeon onboard give a really nice experience for the customer, and allows them to have all the Windows 7 Aero features without needing a discrete GPU. This will also be great for netbooks, although I haven't had any customer complaints from the new Amd Neo duals with Radeon onboard, this will lower power and thus lead to longer battery life.

So yeah, there are some of us nerd that actually care about such things. I like the fact that with AM3 being backward compatible I was able to replace my 7550 dual for a 925 quad without having to trash the box and start over, or that pretty much any of the 125w motherboards can have a 6 core dropped right in. This new Bulldozer will allow for PCs which use less power, generate less heat, while still giving a good user experience and great bang for the buck. While TFA says Bobcat is more for the low power I bet I end up using Bulldozer more, as folks like having that extra performance and the AMD "drag and drop" video transcoder makes it easy for customers to convert videos for their portable devices.

If you haven't checked out AMD in awhile you really should. Yes Intel has the absolute speed crown, but for everyday tasks and even heavy lifting like transcoding I've no complaints, and I certainly love having a fully loaded quad with 8Gb of RAM for under $650.

Sweeeeet nectar (0)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33357786)

Can't wait to get home and read details about this. Can anyone tell me if they mentioned prices in TFA?

Re:Sweeeeet nectar (2, Informative)

Cornelius the Great (555189) | more than 4 years ago | (#33357840)

No pricing nor benchmarks. The article is purely a discussion about the architecture.

Re:Sweeeeet nectar (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358090)

Cool, thanks!

Re:Sweeeeet nectar (-1, Flamebait)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358048)

How to calculate AMD pricing:

Take AMD part's advertised performance.

Derate by 10% to estimate actual performance.

Compare to Intel part with same performance as derated AMD part.

Take price of comparable Intel part.

Reduce by 5%.

???

Profit! (About half as much as Intel does for that performance point.)

Re:Sweeeeet nectar (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358566)

Feeding the troll:

So, let's see, I can buy a 3.2 ghz hexacore from AMD for ~$300 or one from Intel for ~$900 on NewEgg right now... 5% price difference my ass. Even if it were 10% slower it would still be a killer deal.

Re:Sweeeeet nectar (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359058)

The Intel one does a lot more in 3.2 GHz than the AMD one does. That's the point of AMD needing a new architecture.

Pricing is not linear with performance, and never has been. If you have a performance advantage at the high end that your competitors can't approach, you get paid for it.

But if you want a ghetto computer, by all means buy one.

Ghetto computer (2, Insightful)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359362)

...which is all that the 99% of people who would be classified as "ghetto users" need anyhow.

Re:Sweeeeet nectar (2, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359538)

paying 1/3 as much for more than 1/3 the computing power is a viable strategy known as "value based judgment".

At any given price point where there exists an AMD processor, there are few if any intel CPU's with equal or better performance.

The i5 750 and i7 920 are among the very, very few intel chips that compete with AMD on value (performance / price).

Re:Sweeeeet nectar (3, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359570)

Benchmarks [tomshardware.com] certainly testify that the AMD 3.2 ghz hexacore is not three times slower than the Intel. At three times the price even twice as fast is a rip off, and Intel isn't even that far ahead.

Not much new information (3, Informative)

kg8484 (1755554) | more than 4 years ago | (#33357852)

Compared to such articles as AnandTech's [anandtech.com] coverage of this in November 2009, I don't see much new information. Perhaps the key bit, and this is glossed over but you can tell from the slides AMD gave them, is the difference between the bulldozer and bobcat cores. The bulldozer cores contain the two integer units that have been revealed before, but the bobcat core only has one but it still implements hyperthreading.

Re:Not much new information (4, Informative)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358846)

Just to be clear, when you say "integer units" you mean "integer schedulers" and not actual integer execution units, of which even the old Athlon's had 3 per core (and that hasnt changed since then.)

Unlike Intel design, with highly asymmetric execution units, AMD's have had 3 symmetric integer execution units per core since the original Athlons. Its actually a pleasant breeze to write hand-optimized integer code on AMD's.

This new design looks (in the diagram) like it actually has 4 symmetric integer execution units per integer scheduler, with the bulldozer having 2 schedulers per core while the bobcat only having 1 per core (I would guess that the logical cores are alternated on rise-and-fall states of the clock on the bobcat, and the diagram certainly makes it look like that is the case.)

Each seem to have two wide floating point execution units, so the floating point performance of both bulldozers and bobcat's are probably equivalent.

What I think AMD has done here is that with the bulldozer, in integer performance it is going to behave like it has 2x the number of real cores. So an 8 core (16 thread) chip will perform much like an 8 core CPU in floatng point work, but much more like a true 16-core CPU in integer work. This should give it a large advantage over Intel in integer work in equal-core comparisons, but the floating point performance will still lag behind Intel.

Re:Not much new information (2, Insightful)

imgod2u (812837) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359618)

I believe Bobcat's 2 FPU paths are 64-bits wide. For a total of 128-bits. It initially will not support the 256-bit AVX instructions that are coming with Sandy Bridge and Bulldozer.

Its ALU's also appear to be significantly different than Bulldozer. With only one of the integer units can support multiplies and only two of them can support arithmetics. Two others (using a different scheduler) are load/store units. Bulldozer doubles the ALU resources (but not the number of schedulers) compared to Bobcat. So each scheduler has access to two AGU's, one ADD/DIV ALU and one ADD/Mult.

I was never a big fan of the 3x symmetric ALU's in the Athlons. When it comes to integer intensive code, having a ton of independent ADDs or MULs that I'd need that kind of parallelism for was rare. And the latency (compared to a sane design like Core at least) were significantly higher due to the units being multi-purpose. In either case, with the introduction of SSE2, one could use SIMD if one had a throughput heavy workload anyway.

Bobcat and Bulldozer appears to have moved in the right direction here. I really do like Bulldozer's approach to multi-core and think that with some extension, this could make into very interesting CPU/GPU hybrids as well. Although you could argue it's just another version of SMT similar to Hyperthreading, only with a wider back-end intended specifically for multi-threaded processes.

Mmm (3, Insightful)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 4 years ago | (#33357874)

Call me whatever you want, but the only reason AMD is still alive and well is because they've been innovating and building good products for a while now. Itanium, anyone?

Re:Mmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33358100)

> Call me whatever you want,

OK, I'll call you late for dinner.

Re:Mmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33358568)

Call me whatever you want, but the only reason AMD is still alive and well is because they've been innovating and building good products for a while now. Itanium, anyone?

I'm not sure what that last comment is supposed to mean...

Itanium is an Intel chip, which was both innovative and a good product.

I think you're trying to say "Intel sucks, lol", but Itanium's great for its niche. It didn't supplant X86. But... what way has AMD innovated and built good products that Intel HASN'T? Intel has dropped way more on R&D than AMD, and they've got much faster chips all across the line as a result...

AMD is still alive and well because they've moved themselves into the 'budget' niche. And they don't WANT to be there... the margins are way smaller. They'd rather be getting the absurd markups that Intel is getting for their top-end chips.

Re:Mmm (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358886)

the only reason AMD is still alive and well is because they've been innovating and building good products for a while now. Itanium, anyone?

A processor that's nearly ten years old is relevant today exactly how?

TFA says: "all good things must come to an end and with the development of the very impressive Nehalem architecture from Intel, and the upcoming Sandy Bridge, AMDs primary CPU architecture is certainly showing its age"

The market is ruthless, no one buys products from a company that used to do great things if that's all in the past. A new and innovative product line from AMD is long overdue now.

Re:Mmm (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359624)

Its relevant because you can learn from history. AMD will be on top in the future at some point. Besides, why would you want people to stop buying AMD? AMD will eventually go bankrupt without supporters like myself. Then Intel will be the only CPU provider and will end up jacking their prices even higher than they are now and then they will release inferior products.

Re:Mmm (5, Interesting)

Amouth (879122) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358892)

the first AMD64 CPU shipped in April 2003

the first Itanium Shipped June 2001

So the AMD was 23 months late - all they did was tack on to existing x86 where as Intel was trying and did develop a whole new architecture.

almost all of the complaints for the Itanium being slow was due to it having to emulate x86 for software that was not written specifically for the IA64 - Code that was and is written for IA64 runs fast as hell and there is a reason why they are still used today - just is specific applications.

Intel's failure was due to them trying to jump to a whole new computing architecture and expecting programmers to go with them - instead programmers resisted and AMD jumped on that by just extending the existing x86.

Development on what became the IA64 started in 1989 by HP and Intel was brought in in 1994 and the first implementation was in 1998 - hell it is the reason we don't see Alpha's anymore.

AMD64 started in 1999.

So in computing terms AMD had many generations to watch Intel actually Innovate - and then take the short cut to market. Please note I'm not putting AMD down for AMD64, I'm just pointing out that you can not compare the success of it VS the Itanium because they are not the same by a long shot.

Also if you want to learn something new - read up on why IA-64 is so different form x86 and you will see why it is worth investing in. Not for the current project but rather for the knowledge gained by doing it. You would be surprised how much of the R&D that went in to the Itanium is currently running in your newer computers and servers.

Re:Mmm (4, Insightful)

MechaStreisand (585905) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359082)

Bullshit. The Itanium is slow as shit because Intel didn't bother to give it out-of-order execution like every other modern processor has. As a result, it is only fast on DSP-like operations and slow at everything else. Out-of-order execution is essential because the compiler can't know at compile time exactly where everything is going to stall: it's provably impossible.

Remember, this is the same company that designed the P4 without a barrel shifter.

Re:Mmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33359300)

It's not that it didn't bother, it used fundamentally different methods. Part of the mistake was assuming that the compiler would pick up more of the slack from the programmer, when we in fact found a movement toward interpreters and JIT compilers that need to have very low overhead, with relatively little advancement in compilers and all that advancement essentially focussed on more established architectures. It might have worked better if Intel themselves came up with a good Itanium compiler quickly.

Re:Mmm (4, Insightful)

imgod2u (812837) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359110)

There are plenty of things to learn from Itanium, specifically, what not to do if you want a good general purpose processor. For one, you don't make processor performance so incredibly reliant on instruction scheduling that the biggest compiler team on Earth (Intel's compiler group) couldn't make it run fast on anything except a small subsection of problems.

Secondly, when attempting to gain ISA adoption, making it an exclusive ISA that only you have control and rights to use is a big no no. Sure, it'd be heaven for Intel to be the sole supplier.

And lastly, process and iterations mean more for performance than any fancy ISA. Itanium is consistently one or two process generations behind its x86 counterparts and consistently one or two micro-architectural iterations slower (it takes 2 revisions of the Core micro-arch before Itanium comes out with one).

You can have as clean and fancy of an ISA (which IA-64 was not, btw) as you'd like but implementation matters far far more.

In the end, it wasn't fast enough (the best it ever did was match its x86 counterparts) and it didn't have any other advantages to warrant the switch.

Now, ARM on the other hand....

Re:Mmm (2, Insightful)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358996)

Itanium, anyone?
Yes some time ago intel was screwing arround with itanium (which hardly anyone wanted because it ran x86 code so badly) and netburst (which was slower per clock than a P3) while AMD was pushing ahead with the hammer architecture.

However since core 2 and especially with nahelm (where intel moved to a point-point architecture from a shared FSB architecture) intel has gradually regained the lead starting with the single sockets and gradually moving up to larger platforms. AMD is resorting to throwing cores at the problem in a desperate effort to make up for thier poor performance per core but the trouble is that typical desktop workloads can't really load up four cores, let alone six.

AMD's stagnant? (5, Insightful)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#33357880)

"AMD's lineup has been relatively stagnant while Intel continued to innovate with Nehalem and Sandy Bridge (due late this year) and the Bulldozer refresh is badly needed to keep in step."

AMD just came out with Six-Core processors for $200 [slashdot.org] , how is that stagnant? Intel's only 6-core processor is still $1000 [google.com]

Re:AMD's stagnant? (4, Insightful)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 4 years ago | (#33357936)

Likely another Intel fanboy trying to spread FUD about the company that he doesn't like and at the same time getting his username posted on the front page.

AMD may not have the resources that Intel does, but it isn't as though Intel is walking AMD around on a leash. This mindset gets annoying after a while.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (5, Informative)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358168)

"AMD's lineup has been relatively stagnant while Intel continued to innovate with Nehalem and Sandy Bridge (due late this year) and the Bulldozer refresh is badly needed to keep in step."

Likely another Intel fanboy trying to spread FUD about the company that he doesn't like and at the same time getting his username posted on the front page.

The facts in that quote were presented clearly. AMD is a generation behind on architecture, trying to get comparable performance by multiplying old cores, while Intel has been advancing architecture and multiplying cores at the same time. For about 4 years now, Intel has had 2-4 chips performing at levels above anything AMD could produce.

It remains to be seen if Bulldozer will put AMD anywhere near at-par on a performance/core basis, but it's not 2002 any more, and AMD has no hope of a performance lead.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33358410)

Actually, AMD's has a great chance of beating Intel in the future. You fail to recognize that AMD has ATI now and they are going to be fusing CPU's and GPU's onto the same die in the future. They benefit from the experience and IP of ATI. Intels graphics capability so far has been a joke.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358790)

Actually, AMD's has a great chance of beating Intel in the future. You fail to recognize that AMD has ATI now and they are going to be fusing CPU's and GPU's onto the same die in the future.

If you want fast graphics then you buy a discrete graphics card. If you're using integrated graphics you don't much care whether it's a crappy ATI chip or a crappy Intel chip because it won't run modern games at any reasonable speed either way.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358944)

If you want fast graphics then you buy a discrete graphics card. If you're using integrated graphics you don't much care whether it's a crappy ATI chip or a crappy Intel chip because it won't run modern games at any reasonable speed either way.

That's conventional wisdom, but conventional wisdom doesn't always hold steady in the computing market. 15 years ago what you said there was true for both audio chips and network cards. Anybody who wanted one that was half-way decent bought a discrete unit because those performed well, and the hokey versions that you might find integrated were pretty much junk.

Today? All but a few holdouts and professional level users just use the integrated network and sound, because for your average user - even your average power user - the integrated stuff is plenty good enough.

I'd wager that in less than 8 years your statement of "If you want fast graphics then you buy a discrete graphics card." will sound just as outdated and clueless as "If you want to crunch numbers faster than you buy a dedicated math co-processor.".

Re:AMD's stagnant? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359118)

I'd wager that in less than 8 years your statement of "If you want fast graphics then you buy a discrete graphics card." will sound just as outdated and clueless as "If you want to crunch numbers faster than you buy a dedicated math co-processor.".

Except there's an infinite capacity to use graphics power, so there's no way that in only eight years we will have reached an effective limit on processing power.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (5, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359616)

There's an infinite capacity to use floating point arithmatic too, but we abandoned the separate chip for it idea long ago. FPU's these days are still getting faster with each chip - no limit on processing power was hit. We simply got to a point where a completely capable FPU could be bundled in with the CPU and it's performance was sufficient for most users.

Imagine this scenario: the integrated solutions don't suck. Instead of being virtually useless for 3D graphics, they have performance about equal to the mid-line $150 to $200-ish cards of today (and let that scale for whatever cards meet that definition of the time). You can get better performance, but it's going to take huge full-length cards running SLI or the like, and it's going to take several hundred dollars to beat your standard integrated solution.

My wager is that 95% of the people who currently buy discrete chips would accept integrated at that point. The chips would still get faster over time, and there still might be a few extreme solutions available, but the average user wouldn't need them anymore. My guess is we'll get there quite soon. And if you're asking why the chip companies would want to sell us 1 chip where they previously sold 2? Simple answer: market competition. If AMD can push out a chip as fast or faster than Intels that also has an integrated GPU that rivals discrete solutions, then they'll take a lot of business from Intel. That's all the motive they need.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359334)

No, it will always be true.

The amount of stuff you can cram on a single chip is smaller than the amount of stuff you can cram on two chips, and chips that are twice as big are twice as likely to have catastrophic production flaws.

At the consumer level, separate CPU and GPU will be the only way to make a buck, at least until someone reformulates both computing and graphics to be indistinguishable (what Intel was trying to do with Larabee).

Oh yes you do, because the future is not desktop. (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358970)

Power consumption. To use the discrete graphics card you need lots of bus drivers on the motherboard and the card. They have to drive the bus inductance and capacitance. The faster they go, the more bits on the bus, the more power they use. Integrate usable graphics and you are driving tiny loads, so the power consumption drops.

People simply don't want to sit in a fixed position governed by a box and a monitor, which is one reason laptops outsell desktops. The future is untethered, which means low power battery operated systems. Your discrete graphics card will never be more than a niche market.

Re:Oh yes you do, because the future is not deskto (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359142)

The future is untethered, which means low power battery operated systems. Your discrete graphics card will never be more than a niche market.

So no-one is going to play PC games anymore? I guess you could be right, but Microsoft better hope you're wrong.

Doesn't follow (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359296)

You have completely missed my point (you _have_ got electronic systems design experience, haven't you?). Given identical graphics capability, if you can put the GPU on the same die, or next door on the motherboard, as the main CPU, you will consume less power, as sure as V = Ldi/dt.

Anyone who has been paying attention for the last 10 years is well aware that the entire consumer electronics industry is largely driven by integration and shrinkage.

Re:Oh yes you do, because the future is not deskto (1)

boxwood (1742976) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359326)

You know laptops can still run PC games, right?

Re:Oh yes you do, because the future is not deskto (1)

imgod2u (812837) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359338)

The next iteration of the XBox 360 will have an SoC that integrates both the GPU and CPU on a single die.

I think we're at a point where only a small niche (well, more so than before) pushes for the $600 behemoth video cards and $900 CPU's.

People are moving towards "just enough" machines that are light on price and power consumption.

Re:Oh yes you do, because the future is not deskto (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359382)

Even laptops are more comfortable to use on a desktop. They're actually annoying to use on a laptop.

Regardless, almost all the laptops you've ever used had separate CPU and GPU chips in them. So "untethered" is not driving integration.

What drives integration is price and the premium that can be charged for a lighter, smaller device. But the integrated chip will not have the same performance as separated chips at the same manufacturing cost. So you will get an integrated CPU/GPU based platform that costs the same as the old one but has less CPU or GPU performance.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359286)

Thinking like that cost AMD $3 billion in goodwill value from when they bought ATI, and led them to have to sell off their production facilities and become a design and marketing company.

"Fusion," the project they had in mind when they made the acquisition, was supposed to be out three years ago.

What they'll release this year or next will be a small, low-performing CPU melded clumsily to a small, low-performing GPU.

And Intel already did it [arstechnica.com] .

Re:AMD's stagnant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33359430)

I'm not sure that he's failing to realize anything. What he is stating is what has actually happened. Conjecture about the future is just that, mere conjecture. Besides which, it's been four years, when exactly are we going to start seeing the fruits of this mergers labors? I realize R&D takes time, but that's my point -- if it takes them this long to add support for multiple threads per core, exactly how long is it going to produce this supposed holy grail of a "fused" cpu/gpu?

Re:AMD's stagnant? (4, Insightful)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358454)

but not per $, which is the whole point. Sure i can build a screaming rig using a $1500 intel CPU, and a $400motherboard, and then toss in the ECC ram that board needs... and all of a sudden i could have bought a honda civic....

Or i could get 80-90% of that same rig, in certain loads 120-150%, for $500 from AMD.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (1)

imgod2u (812837) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359194)

The quote you were fanboy-blasting said nothing about price. Technically minded people are concerned about technical features, such as performance and power consumption. And in that, the quote is exactly right. AMD is a generation behind.

I fail to see what the pricing structure for consumer sales has to do with that.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (2, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359230)

That is how AMD stays in business, by cutting its prices well below the average market price for the performance rating.

But there is a large chunk of performance rating they can't even approach.

Here's last year's numbers [techreport.com] (didn't see this year's in the first page of google results), which should give you an indication of why AMD went looking for more performance from each chip. I'm still not expecting Bulldozer to get AMD up to the top. They might match the second- and third-place chips from Intel, but they haven't come up with anything that can outright beat what Intel has fielded.

And AMD's pricing policy costs it a lot of money, since its production costs are much higher than Intel's. They've never had the kind of production efficiency Intel had, and now they have sold off their fabs and are contracting their parts out to GlobalFoundries, who charge a cash profit on each one and still aren't as efficient as Intel.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33358668)

This means AMD old genration processors are capable of the same performance as brand new Intel ones. I don't think this is called being left behind for AMD.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358844)

This means AMD old genration processors are capable of the same performance as brand new Intel ones. I don't think this is called being left behind for AMD.

Being faster than a brand new Intel Atom isn't really a great selling point for a modern CPU.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (2, Informative)

SQL Error (16383) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358012)

AMD are selling six-core dual-socket CPUs for $200 [acmemicro.com] now. They're not quite as fast as the Xeon 5500/5600, but the price/performance is awesome.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33358246)

Lol. How are AMD's profit margins looking these days?

Re:AMD's stagnant? (4, Insightful)

h00manist (800926) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358476)

Funny how so many people say competition is great, then turn around and start promoting the strategy of eliminating the competition, supporting whoever is "winning", etc.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (1)

adbge (1693228) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358204)

I can't tell if you're trolling or not.

Intel's hexacore offering features hyperthreading technology, which allows each core to execute two threads simultaneously. This means that Intel's hexacore chips actually have twelve logical cores, while the AMD hexacore chips only have six logical cores. Your number of physical cores comparison is meaningless, and actual performance benchmarks show that the Core i7 980X is more than twice as fast as the AMD Phenom II X6 1055T. [1]

[1] http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html [cpubenchmark.net]

Re:AMD's stagnant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33358404)

This means that Intel's hexacore chips actually have twelve logical cores, while the AMD hexacore chips only have six logical cores. Your number of physical cores comparison is meaningless

The only joke here is you. I have a board with an Atom processor that has hyperthreading for one physical core and one logical core. Guess what? One single threaded application can lock up the entire computer. Logical cores are a marketing gimmick. Just like you. See what I did thar?

Re:AMD's stagnant? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359030)

Logical cores are a marketing gimmick. Just like you. See what I did thar?

No they're not. They're particularly important on Atoms, which can't use out-of-order execution to hide pipeline delays and need something to fill up those clock cycles, and the Nehalem architecture has additional execution units to greatly increase the chance that it will be able to execute instructions from two threads in a single clock cycle.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358510)

I used to have a P4 with HT until some piece of the machine became unstable at normal operating temps, and then got an i7 quad-core with HT. In between, I also purchased an AMD Phenom quad-core, which is still running, though it probably doesn't have enough fans.

I wouldn't count hyper-threading as doubling the CPUs. Often times I would run a single CPU-bound app and find that the "hyperthread" CPU to also spike to 50-100% as shown on conky [sf.net] . So while you may sometimes see a doubling of your processing power with a hyperthread, my experience says to count a hyperthreaded CPU as if it were a half-CPU.

There's no doubt that my i7 is faster than my Phenom. Then again, there is about a two-year gap in purchasing times, so that's expected, and doesn't speak to which company is producing better hardware. All I know is that I would rate my i7 as if it had 6 non-hyperthreaded CPUs instead of 8.

(Running Gentoo, so I get lots of CPU-bound compiling in to do rough seat-of-the-pants informal comparisons... though now I use distcc to get the Phenom to help the i7 and vice versa.)

Re:AMD's stagnant? (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359436)

One thing you've got to keep in mind that more cores, logical or otherwise, only help when you're running multiple processes or processes that spawn (and make effective use of) child threads. If you're doing comparisons with software that's not multithreaded, the only difference you'll see is that of clock speeds and processor efficiency. What I'm trying to say is that you can't expect a eight logical cores to be that much faster than four when the software's only running on one and the difference you're seeing is because the i7 is a better-designed processor.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358536)

"Your number of physical cores comparison is meaningless, and actual performance benchmarks show that the Core i7 980X is more than twice as fast as the AMD Phenom II X6 1055T. [1]"

Trolling much? Comparing a $200 CPU with a $1,000 CPU isn't really fair, is it? Someone shopping for a $200 CPU isn't going to even consider a $1,000 CPU and vice versa. Might as well compare a $100,000 Porsche Turbo to a $20,000 Ford Focus.

Might want to follow your own link and look at the far right column with the prices and compare it to where the CPU ranks compared to price:
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html [cpubenchmark.net]

Re:AMD's stagnant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33358622)

I can't tell if you're trolling or not.

Intel's hexacore offering features hyperthreading technology, which allows each core to execute two threads simultaneously. This means that Intel's hexacore chips actually have twelve logical cores, while the AMD hexacore chips only have six logical cores. Your number of physical cores comparison is meaningless, and actual performance benchmarks show that the Core i7 980X is more than twice as fast as the AMD Phenom II X6 1055T. [1]

[1] http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html [cpubenchmark.net]

Yet you can buy two Opterons for a 60% of the 980X and get almost the same level of performance in highly threaded applications I bet. The only truth is that anything beyond the i7 860 is overpriced, whatever way you look at it.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358666)

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3674/amds-sixcore-phenom-ii-x6-1090t-1055t-reviewed/3 [anandtech.com]
some loads the 1090T is better than the 980x....

Intel's hexacore is also ~$900, i can buy a whole computer with a X6 and a 58xx or gtx4xx with 8GB ram for that... and according to your benchmark get ~60% of the performance, but they don't list the test rigs, instruction sets used, etc etc...

Also 2x performance for 4-5x the cost? seems worth it huh?

Re:AMD's stagnant? (3, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358766)

Intel's hexacore offering features hyperthreading technology, which allows each core to execute two threads simultaneously. This means that Intel's hexacore chips actually have twelve logical cores, while the AMD hexacore chips only have six logical cores.

I think you may be misunderstanding what hyperthreading is. A processor (or core) can only execute one instruction at a time, hyperthreading or not. All hyperthreading does is allow for two sets of instructions to be queued up, so if one thread (or queue) gets hung up for whatever reason, like waiting over a cache miss, the other instructional thread can proceed, rather than patiently waiting in line.

Think of it as one of those tumbling thingies you have to pass through to get into Six Flags or the subway. It's like that, but hyperthreading has two lines instead of one. If one moron has to stop to find his ticket at the front of the line, the other line may move until he finds it.

Your number of physical cores comparison is meaningless...

Um... no. I believe your "virtual" core comparison is meaningless. I'll take a quad core anything over a dual core hyperthreaded-anything-else any day, thank you. Virtual cores don't mean shit until a thread stalls.

and actual performance benchmarks show that the Core i7 980X is more than twice as fast as the AMD Phenom II X6 1055T. [1]

From the site you linked:

Intel Core i7 980X @ 3.33GHz: Score of 10,325 at $989.99*
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T: Score of 5,146 at $194.99*

Hmmmm... Twice the performance at over 5x the cost. Strange, I don't know why you chose that AMD chip. It's odd that you would choose the fastest Intel chip and a middle of the road AMD Chip. Why not this one?
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T: Score of 6,057 at $289.99*.

Oh, I know. Thenyou wouldn't be able to use the 2x faster line. I get it now.

Here, take a look at THIS [cpubenchmark.net] chart and pay attention to the price/performace graph. You'll see that your chip performs about 2.5x less than the AMD Phenom II X5 965 when price is a consideration. Oh, and for nearly everyone that is not living off their mommy's credit cards, price is a consideration.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (0)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358980)

A processor (or core) can only execute one instruction at a time, hyperthreading or not.

Uh, no. That hasn't been true for years.

Nehalem, I believe, can execute up to five instructions per clock per core; though you'll rarely be able to reach that limit.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33359218)

What are you talking about? Instructions per clock cycle doesn't mean threads per clock cycle. Even old AMDs had multiple instructions per clock cycle, but so what?

Hyperthreaded core != 2 cores, *ever*. Hyperthreading is a way of trying to mitigate stalls. Nothing else.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (0, Flamebait)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359568)

A processor (or core) can only execute one instruction at a time, hyperthreading or not.

Uh, no. That hasn't been true for years.

Nehalem, I believe, can execute up to five instructions per clock per core; though you'll rarely be able to reach that limit.

Hey, dipshit "at a time" does not mean "per full clock cycle". IPC doesn't come into play - Hyperthreading is shit, and always has been. It was a bandaid approach to fix the shitty P4 architecture (which had no out-of-order execution). It is now a shitty marketing ploy to advertise a higher number of cores.

Anyone who actually uses hungry applications turns hyperthreading OFF because it actually HURTS performance in all scenarios but "I'm a retard and have 80 firefox tabs open" or "I'm a shitty synthetic benchmark app, please game me.".

Re:AMD's stagnant? (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359634)

Outside of the benchmark you have listed, how much time does the average business user really use those 12 logical cores? All other things being equal (including price) wouldn't most folks be better off buying few but faster coares?

Re:AMD's stagnant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33358224)

I'm a fan of AMD's current lineup and more importantly, their price range. However, you're confusing increasing clock count and adding a few extra cores here and there (leading to dropped pricing for 'older' slightly less clocked products) with an entire architectural overhaul. Intel's new higher end series have several things about it's architecture that pulls it ahead of everything else currently on the market.
From the article:

In the mid-90s AMD hired a bunch of ex-DEC/Alpha guys, and quickly got them working on a next generation architecture, which would become the basis for a decade+ of AMD processor designs. The Athlon architecture’s basic structure, while expanded upon over the years, still can be seen in the latest Phenom II processors. Improvements such as large L2 and L3 caches on chip, on-die memory controller, and the inclusion of 64 bit computing have all extended the basic Athlon architecture to where it is still an effective performer in the CPU market.

AMD continued to compete with more cores through the years, with the Phenom II X6 being the top desktop processor, and the Magny Cours 12 core part representing the server market. Throwing more cores at a problem only works so well, and AMD knows this. A lot of structures are replicated in a multi-core design, and when working with lightly threaded applications, a lot of these structures are underutilized to a great degree. This seems to be the basis for the decision that AMD has made with their future products based on the Bulldozer core.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (1)

bsdaemonaut (1482047) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358688)

They're narrowing in more on chip/core design than anything else. Throwing more cores into a package that is otherwise identical is improvement certainly, but not innovation. The differences between say a Pentium Dual Core and a Pentium Core Duo of similar speeds highlights the advantages of improving more than the core count.

Re:AMD's stagnant? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359038)

AMD just came out with Six-Core processors for $200 [slashdot.org], how is that stagnant? Intel's only 6-core processor is still $1000 [google.com]
And WHY are they selling 6-core processors so cheap? it's because their quad core processors can't keep up with intels so they are trying to make up for poor performance per core with higher core count.

Trouble is for desktop applications going from 4-core to 6-core is only of marginal benefit.

Re:Same amount of cores = same performance? (1)

BlueFireIce (1014121) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359172)

Yes, because we all know you can compare CPU's because they both have the same amount of cores right? Wile the AMD Six-Core is allot cheaper than Intel's offering, that's because the AMD chip only competes with the quad core i7 chips (not with Intel's Six-Core chips, top AMD vs top Intel Six-Core chips, you would have to hit 4GHz+ OC on the AMD to even get close to the Intel at stock speeds) and for price reasons is far more accurate to compare with those. That is NOT to say that AMD's chips are not a a good buy, for the performance you get, the prices are quite nice, and depending on the use, might be better suited.

Will it be compatible with AM3? (1)

Liambp (1565081) | more than 4 years ago | (#33357884)

Will existing PCs with an AM3 socket be upgradeable to bulldozer, anyone know? I see a few people asking on forums and stuff but I couldn't find any authoritative answers.

Re:Will it be compatible with AM3? (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#33357976)

No.

Re:Will it be compatible with AM3? (4, Informative)

WiglyWorm (1139035) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358026)

It will be drop in compatable with AMD server boards. At home, it will be AM3+.

Almost certainly not AM3 (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358042)

It's a whole new architecture and will almost certainly require a new socket. ISTR the article saying nothing about memory technologies as well. The good news is that a new architecture on the horizon which almost certainly requires a new socket makes it seem less likely that AMD will bring out another socket before then.

Re:Almost certainly not AM3 (1)

JoeRandomHacker (983775) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359046)

It sounds like the desktop version will be "AM3r2", or AM3 without the legacy DDR2 support.

Re:Will it be compatible with AM3? (1)

ponos (122721) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358354)

Well, it seems it will be AM3r2 (AM+?). In keeping with tradition, bulldozer may be backwards compatible with AM3
as many people suggest in various forums (like AM2/AM2+). There is no evidence that it won't be compatible and
at this stage this is good news...

Bulldozer? (3, Funny)

Megahard (1053072) | more than 4 years ago | (#33357918)

Sounds like a slow-moving behemoth. Not the best choice for a name.

Re:Bulldozer? (2, Interesting)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358040)

Or it pushes everyone/everything else to the wayside. I guess it depends on your interpretation.

Re:Bulldozer? (5, Insightful)

sideslash (1865434) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358068)

I think people's mental impression will vary; yours is typical of an office worker. To someone employed in construction or agriculture, a bulldozer is a symbol of getting huge amounts of work done in a very short time. This reminds me of an ad I saw some years back for an "object oriented database", where they showed a photoshopped race car with a tractor on the back end. Their marketing message was "Why do you have a sluggish RDMS on your web app's back end?" I found it hilarious, because my reflexive response was to ask, "Why is that totally useless racecar pasted on the front of that excellent looking tractor, the kind of vehicle that is used to grow all the crops that feed the world?" :)

Re:Bulldozer? (2, Funny)

RaymondKurzweil (1506023) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358162)

"Why is that totally useless racecar pasted on the front of that excellent looking tractor, the kind of vehicle that is used to grow all the crops that feed the world?" :

Maybe it's because the people that were selling that "object oriented database" were far more honest than you assumed.

Re:Bulldozer? (1)

sideslash (1865434) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358198)

It was thought-provoking, anyway. Nice when advertising can be like that.

Re:Bulldozer? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359438)

My impression of the name "Bulldozer" is something that gets a lot of shit done, but also spends a shitload of space and power. I thought both mobile and server worlds were moving into lighter and more efficient architectures, but I guess we just have to keep on using x86 for our closed software.

(Power-efficient x86 brings to mind names such as Intel Atom and Via Nano, but neither is particularly impressive when you compare them to real mobile/embedded architectures such as ARM and MIPS.)

Re:Bulldozer? (1)

omidaladini (940882) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358126)

I wonder what it aims to bulldoze. Intel? Definitely not a good name.

Re:Bulldozer? (2, Interesting)

Minwee (522556) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358152)

Perhaps the team at AMD had been drinking heavily the night before.

At eight o'clock on Thursday morning Arthur didn't feel very good. He woke up blearily, got up, wandered blearily round his room, opened a window, saw a bulldozer, found his slippers, and stomped off to the bathroom to wash.
Toothpaste on the brush -- so. Scrub.
Shaving mirror -- pointing at the ceiling. He adjusted it. For a moment it reflected a second bulldozer through the bathroom window. Properly adjusted, it reflected Arthur Dent's bristles. He shaved them off, washed, dried, and stomped off to the kitchen to find something pleasant to put in his mouth.
Kettle, plug, fridge, milk, coffee. Yawn.
The word bulldozer wandered through his mind for a moment in search of something to connect with.
The bulldozer outside the kitchen window was quite a big one.
He stared at it.
"Yellow," he thought and stomped off back to his bedroom to get dressed.

If you don't know what that's from, get off the computer and go to a library.

Re:Bulldozer? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358302)

So I get Intel will counter AMD's Bulldozer with their new Vogon architecture?

Re:Bulldozer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33358184)

Sounds like a slow-moving behemoth. Not the best choice for a name.

Painting flames on your car to make it fast much? It's just a codename.

Re:Bulldozer? (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359200)

Sounds like a slow-moving behemoth. Not the best choice for a name.

If you've ever used a good bulldozer, you might be a slow moving behemoth, but the feeling you get is of an unstoppable juggernaut.

To paraphrase a popular parody commercial:

It get's shit done.

Another article (2, Interesting)

StuffMaster (412029) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358160)

There is also this [amd.com] on the AMD site. It has a slightly different take on the core/module semantics.

It hardly will change the processormarket.. (1)

tramp (68773) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358206)

because they can not really compete with Intel anymore. And Intel hardly punished for it's anti-competitive behaviour will laugh about it. Too bad but that will not change in the near future.

Re:It hardly will change the processormarket.. (1)

Aquineas (922102) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358382)

Isn't that what people were saying after K7 and before Opteron?

Hamster Farm Analogy (5, Funny)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358504)

Processor Speed: Very fast hamsters on well-oiled wheels
Multiple Cores: Many well-oiled wheels
On die memory controllers: dangled cheese
Cache: water trough next to the wheel
L3 Cache: Camelback packs for each hamster
Shared L3 Cache: This is where the real innovation comes in and won't be defined as patent is pending.

Re:Hamster Farm Analogy (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#33358530)

This is Slashdot. We need car analogies!

Re:Hamster Farm Analogy (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359344)

This is Slashdot. We need car analogies!

Well a train analogy would be a lot easier, the whole multiple engines sort of make since there, But I'll give the car analogy a go:


Processor Speed: Compression ratio
Multiple Cores: Number of Cylinders
On die memory controllers: 4 Wheel drive differential
Cache: Rim Size
L3 Cache: Tire Thickness
Shared L3 Cache: Flying Cars?

Re:Hamster Farm Analogy (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359366)

Whoops

On die memory controllers: semi Auto-Transmission

Re:Hamster Farm Analogy (1)

_avs_007 (459738) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359220)

Processor Speed: Very fast hamsters on well-oiled wheels Multiple Cores: Many well-oiled wheels On die memory controllers: dangled cheese Cache: water trough next to the wheel L3 Cache: Camelback packs for each hamster Shared L3 Cache: This is where the real innovation comes in and won't be defined as patent is pending.

Car Analogies:

Processor Speed: Max Engine RPM
Multiple Cores: Number of Cylinders in Engine (or number of gears in transmission)
On Die Memory Controller: Direct-Fuel Injection
Cache: Number of exhaust pipes before the CATs.
L3 Cache: Number of exhaust pipes after the mufflers.

Re:Hamster Farm Analogy (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359588)

Shared L3 Cache: Hamsters share the same cage and thus eat each others poop.

Via Nano (1)

naasking (94116) | more than 4 years ago | (#33359248)

Honestly, I wish Via had the resources AMD and Intel have. Their Nano CPU is pretty nice, but it's languishing. They're only just now coming out with a dual core version. The Nano's on-die crypto extensions, low power use, and higher performance per watt would otherwise make it ideal for server applications, particularly SSL front-ends.

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