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  #1541  
Old 12-23-2015, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by sdlvx View Post
Zen has the opportunity to make Bulldozer cores look like a dark age for AMD. If AMD comes back and people realize that they're potentially back to K8 days, they'll be much, much better off. People under-estimate the influence corrupt tech media has over people, and how uninformed people can just look at AMD and think that now competitive products beyond $200 range means the whole company's product line is bunk. Even with them buying ARM devices in droves and not caring. Only problem is a lot of HEDT people today are young and probably didn't even have a computer in the K8 days. I think their insistence that "Intel is amazing" comes from the fact they missed out on times when Intel was pretty terrible, like Netburst.

As for adding value, I think AMD is going to do it by adding more cores for the same price as an Intel. I.E. your purchase choice becomes between a 6700k or a six core Zen. AMD will be very cost competitive with Intel in those ranges since their dies are going to be much smaller and lacking an integrated GPU.

I basically image Zen quads to compete price-wise with Intel duals, Zen hex to compete with quad (low bins compete without HT and high bins compet with Intel quad with HT), and hex and octo to compete with cheaper intel hex and more expensive hex core. AMD will lose their price to die size advantage (or a part of it) on s2011 chips since those don't have as much fluff on the chips to add to die size, but if you are the type of person thinking about a hex core Intel, for a few hundred more than the hex and a few hundred less than octo EE Intel, a Zen 8 core sounds really appealing.

I'm assuming Intel has to pay more per wafer for a 14nm chip, specially since they do their own R&D and they don't have significant customers. That and a die on something like Intel dual core is mostly GPU, a lot of waste. AMD can just sell harvested 8 core parts with 4 cores active and really rake Intel over the coals in price.
[pic]
This is alleged 6700k die map. Half of it is GPU. If Zen doesn't have GPU, Intel and AMD pay similar per mm^2 of die, and Zen is close to Intel in single thread, AMD should have no problem massively undercutting Intel.
The basic Zen compute unit has at least 4 physical cores. So Zen based CPU models would scale in steps of this size.

I found this line in a family 17h related patch:
Quote:
+ core_complex_id = (c->apicid & ((1 << bits) - 1)) >> 3;
Source: http://lkml.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/k...1.1/04822.html

The highlighted part suggests a "core complex" size of 8. As it works directly on an APIC ID masked by a core bit mask with no sibling bit correction, this might even mean 8 physical cores per "core complex". The minimum (as seen on leaks) would be 4 physical cores with "SMT-2" per core complex.

Young generations might be influenced not only by the media, but also by active "veterans", who are waiting for an AMD comeback. But I'll just watch that story to unfold itself.
  #1542  
Old 12-24-2015, 06:48 AM
laurent laurent is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dresdenboy View Post
Young generations might be influenced not only by the media, but also by active "veterans", who are waiting for an AMD comeback. But I'll just watch that story to unfold itself.
I still have fond memories of that first 64-bit AMD chip that demonstrated how Intel was wrong and bad back in Itanium / P4 days I don't expect anything similar to happen again with Zen, but I hope it will be competitive.
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  #1543  
Old 12-24-2015, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by sdlvx View Post
...
I basically image Zen quads to compete price-wise with Intel duals, Zen hex to compete with quad (low bins compete without HT and high bins compet with Intel quad with HT), and hex and octo to compete with cheaper intel hex and more expensive hex core. AMD will lose their price to die size advantage (or a part of it) on s2011 chips since those don't have as much fluff on the chips to add to die size, but if you are the type of person thinking about a hex core Intel, for a few hundred more than the hex and a few hundred less than octo EE Intel, a Zen 8 core sounds really appealing.
...
This is alleged 6700k die map. Half of it is GPU. If Zen doesn't have GPU, Intel and AMD pay similar per mm^2 of die, and Zen is close to Intel in single thread, AMD should have no problem massively undercutting Intel.
Best case scenario: Zen matches Intel.
Result: "Look at all the price cuts on Intel! Buy buy buy!"

That response will be from budget retail to HEDT to HPC areas.
  #1544  
Old 12-24-2015, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by laurent View Post
I still have fond memories of that first 64-bit AMD chip that demonstrated how Intel was wrong and bad back in Itanium / P4 days I don't expect anything similar to happen again with Zen, but I hope it will be competitive.
K12 could do that.
  #1545  
Old 12-24-2015, 02:05 PM
muziqaz muziqaz is offline
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I think if AMD matches Intel in performance, they will sell a lot of the chips because market is tired of having just Intel CPUs. Enthusiasts are even more tired of having just Intel. Considering how at the moment AMD is selling one chip a year Zen will bring more sales for AMD either way you look at it. What AMD needs to do is to execute the release perfectly. No driver issues, no motherboraf issues and no availability issues or other shenanigans. We already saw how destructive can bad release be with Fiji.
  #1546  
Old 12-25-2015, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Dresdenboy View Post
The basic Zen compute unit has at least 4 physical cores. So Zen based CPU models would scale in steps of this size.
Hum, I recall someone what predicted that Zen "compute unit" or whatever it is named would be 4 cores

http://semiaccurate.com/forums/showp...&postcount=219

He also predicted that Zen core would be small, about 5mm˛ on Glofo 14FF node.

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  #1547  
Old 12-25-2015, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by muziqaz View Post
I think if AMD matches Intel in performance, they will sell a lot of the chips because market is tired of having just Intel CPUs. Enthusiasts are even more tired of having just Intel. Considering how at the moment AMD is selling one chip a year Zen will bring more sales for AMD either way you look at it. What AMD needs to do is to execute the release perfectly. No driver issues, no motherboraf issues and no availability issues or other shenanigans. We already saw how destructive can bad release be with Fiji.
And Intel will just lower prices or finally allow features to trickle down the the plebes.
  #1548  
Old 12-25-2015, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by sdlvx View Post
Zen has the opportunity to make Bulldozer cores look like a dark age for AMD. If AMD comes back and people realize that they're potentially back to K8 days, they'll be much, much better off.
Zen will not be the new K8, not even close. It is worth mentioning that K8 was not anything revolutionary or special. Its success was more a subproduct of Intel failure when embraced the experimental/revolutionary Itanium for 64 bits compute.

K8 was simply a K7 with 64bit extensions, memory controller integrated, and little more. Most of the performance gain over K7 came from the reduced latency associated to integrating the controller.

And the AMD64 ISA was a simple set of extensions to x86 32bit; thanks to that, now x86-64 is one of the more bloated and inefficient ISAs.

Zen is not a new K8. Those times have gone. Zen is an important improvement compared to Bulldozer family, but it is behind current state-of-art CPUs from other companies. AMD's Papermaster already admitted that Zen will not catch Intel in terms of raw performance, but I guess the Zen-is-the-new-K8 hype will continue...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdlvx View Post
People under-estimate the influence corrupt tech media has over people, and how uninformed people can just look at AMD and think that now competitive products beyond $200 range means the whole company's product line is bunk. Even with them buying ARM devices in droves and not caring. Only problem is a lot of HEDT people today are young and probably didn't even have a computer in the K8 days. I think their insistence that "Intel is amazing" comes from the fact they missed out on times when Intel was pretty terrible, like Netburst.
I heard this media-is-the-problem 'song' lots of times. Of course, AMD huge loses in the server/datacenter/HPC space or the lack of interest from mobile OEMs are due to others reasons: real reasons, not obscure conspiracy musings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdlvx View Post
As for adding value, I think AMD is going to do it by adding more cores for the same price as an Intel. I.E. your purchase choice becomes between a 6700k or a six core Zen. AMD will be very cost competitive with Intel in those ranges since their dies are going to be much smaller and lacking an integrated GPU.

I basically image Zen quads to compete price-wise with Intel duals, Zen hex to compete with quad (low bins compete without HT and high bins compet with Intel quad with HT), and hex and octo to compete with cheaper intel hex and more expensive hex core. AMD will lose their price to die size advantage (or a part of it) on s2011 chips since those don't have as much fluff on the chips to add to die size, but if you are the type of person thinking about a hex core Intel, for a few hundred more than the hex and a few hundred less than octo EE Intel, a Zen 8 core sounds really appealing.
I continue without buying that.

Bulldozer relied on speed-demon approach and CMT to compete with Intel on a thread per thread basis. AMD engineers hoped higher clocks could provide enough single thread performance to compete with one Intel core, whereas CMT approach would provide more throughput than Intel SMT (aka hyperthreading). The targets were

Desktop/mobile:
2M/4T <---> i3 (2C/4T)
3M/6T <---> i5 (4C/4T) ~ (3C/6T)
4M/8T <---> i7 (4C/8T)

Server:
6M/12T <---> Xeon (6C/12T)
8M/16T <---> Xeon (8C/16T)

But this doesn't longer apply for Zen. Zen is a wide SMT2 core and will compete with Intel on a core per core basis. One simply has to check maximum core count for server SoCs to see that AMD will not provide twice the core count of Broadwell/Skylake Xeons. Neither I see AMD competing against APUs using CPUs. AMD Zen plans seem to be

Desktop HEDT AM4 (Zen CPUs):
6C/12T <---> i7 (6C/12T)
8C/16T <---> i7 (8C/16T)
nothing <---> i7 (10C/20T)

Desktop/mobile AM4 2017 (Zen APUs):
2C/4T <---> i3 (2C/4T)
3C/6T? <---> i5 (4C/4T)
4C/8T <---> i7 (4C/8T)

and so on.

I don't consider a 4C/8T Zen CPU possibility, because that would mean 50% of die defects! Yes, I know that FX-4000 are just 8-core dies with half the cores disabled, but Bulldozer/Piledriver was a CMT approach. A 25% of defects would hurt 2 cores. If both are in the same module you have to disable only one module, obtaining a 3M six-core chip, but if the defects are found in cores belonging to two different modules then you have to disable the whole modules, you cannot disable half a module. Thus two defective cores can mean two disabled modules, aka the 2M quad-core chips.

Zen core is narrow than Broadwell or Skylake, but in the other hand Zen has a twice bigger L2 cache (512 vs 256 KB). Intel 14nm has higher density than Samsung 14nm. This means that octo-core Zen die size will be similar albeit smaller than Broadwell/Skylake E die.

Samsung process node is cheaper, yes, but on the other hand AMD needs the money more than Intel (anyone recall AMD debt?). Therefore each element will likely compensate opposite elements and AMD Zen CPUs will be priced similarly to Intel HEDT ones.

I guess Zen octo-core CPU will be priced somewhat between Intel six-core and octo-core and more close to this latter. The only place where I ca see AMD being cheaper in in mobos. AM4 will be cheaper than Intel HEDT sockets.

In any case this Zen CPUs will target the 1% of a small PC market and, thus, will be completely irrelevant to AMD overall finances.
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Last edited by juanrga; 12-25-2015 at 02:18 PM.
  #1549  
Old 12-26-2015, 09:44 AM
muziqaz muziqaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boom View Post
And Intel will just lower prices or finally allow features to trickle down the the plebes.
AMD doesn't need or can take over the sales of whole CPU market. All they need to do to have somewhat competitive and respectful CPU in the market in order to be in black.
At the moment everything AMD has on CPU side is a complete joke.
  #1550  
Old 12-26-2015, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muziqaz View Post
AMD doesn't need or can take over the sales of whole CPU market. All they need to do to have somewhat competitive and respectful CPU in the market in order to be in black.
At the moment everything AMD has on CPU side is a complete joke.
And Intel is going to make sure AMD stays right where they are; alive enough to keep government regulators away but not too much to kill margins with competition.
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