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Old 29th Aug 2012, 10:38   #1
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AMD details Steamroller design changes

Claims improvements that usually require a process shrink.
http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardwar...-steamroller/1
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Old 29th Aug 2012, 11:01   #2
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So it's an incremental improvement... so how far behind Intel will this place AMD when it finally hits the market?

And are we ever going to see AMD being a realistic alternative to a high spec Intel?
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Old 29th Aug 2012, 11:39   #3
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Maybe they'll at least create a value alternative to Intel.
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Old 29th Aug 2012, 13:01   #4
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I love my quad-core FM1 chip. It allowed me to build a cheap, low power, decent HTPC with the capability to play Skyrim at decent settings at 720p. No graphics card required. No Intel chip could have offered me that for the price I got my 3670k for ($80). The thing is perfect fast enough for everything I use it for as well. (though I bet the SSD has something to do with that :P)

Now when Intel really gets rolling with their IGP technology AMD might end up in the back the line again.
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Old 29th Aug 2012, 13:06   #5
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I'm interested in Steamroller, but I do think AMD need to be asking some long hard questions about how their designers are working: why is it that they seem to need two goes at everything to get it 'right' recently?

Then again, they did kick Intel where it hurt with the Athlon64 and that woke the sleeping giant...

...

That said, if Bulldozer wasn't so power-hungry, at the prices they currently are I'd probably buy one just to have a play with. Bit like the FM1 A8 chips; very interested in them...
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Old 29th Aug 2012, 14:24   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
So it's an incremental improvement... so how far behind Intel will this place AMD when it finally hits the market?

And are we ever going to see AMD being a realistic alternative to a high spec Intel?
For your first, no idea, but compared to Ivy, it might actually be pretty comeptive. Compared to what Haswell seems to be promising...not even close. Haswell supposedly is bring transactional instruction sets which might well promise HUGE gains in multithreaded efficiency as well as a bunch of other fun stuff. Combine that with a supposed increase in GPU ability of 2.5x...and AMD might be significantly lagging in both CPU AND GPU ability in their APUs (and CPU onlys) pretty soon.

For your later question...not likely, but it could happen eventually if Intel falls asleep or AMD stumbles upon some radical new innovation.
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Old 29th Aug 2012, 14:25   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
So it's an incremental improvement... so how far behind Intel will this place AMD when it finally hits the market?

And are we ever going to see AMD being a realistic alternative to a high spec Intel?
I'm pretty sure there was an article about a month ago saying they're not focusing on high-end anymore, unless I was mistaken and Piledriver is the last.


I personally wonder if these recent changes were made by the Athlon 64 guy who they recently re-hired. If so, maybe they have further changes planned before the release date and then there can be even more performance improvements. Just high hopes though.
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Old 29th Aug 2012, 15:10   #8
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It seems AMD is also looking at transactional memory too:

http://blogs.amd.com/developer/2009/...earch-project/

That article was nearly 2 years ago.

TBH,until the CPUs which have them hit retail and there is adequate software support,I am going to reserve judgement. It took years for the 64 bit extensions in the Athlon 64 to be properly supported by software.

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Old 30th Aug 2012, 01:03   #9
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I really hope this is a success for AMD, Intel are too dominant atm, not good for us buyers!!
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Old 30th Aug 2012, 02:04   #10
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All I get from this is that it is going to have yet more cores than Piledriver and minor other improvements. Still no decent IPC increases to be seen. Maybe if they can get the power draw down low enough this thing will have a market but I don't know, competition is pretty tough in that area.
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Old 30th Aug 2012, 04:48   #11
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Where AMD falls short is rendering, video-encoding and productivity-stuff like that and the reason why I'm using intel CPUs for the last few years. If you're not using your PC for productivity-stuff like that tho, then AMD has a better value due to it's lower pricetag.
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Old 30th Aug 2012, 12:49   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azazel1024
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
So it's an incremental improvement... so how far behind Intel will this place AMD when it finally hits the market?

And are we ever going to see AMD being a realistic alternative to a high spec Intel?
For your first, no idea, but compared to Ivy, it might actually be pretty comeptive. Compared to what Haswell seems to be promising...not even close. Haswell supposedly is bring transactional instruction sets which might well promise HUGE gains in multithreaded efficiency as well as a bunch of other fun stuff. Combine that with a supposed increase in GPU ability of 2.5x...and AMD might be significantly lagging in both CPU AND GPU ability in their APUs (and CPU onlys) pretty soon.

For your later question...not likely, but it could happen eventually if Intel falls asleep or AMD stumbles upon some radical new innovation.
Transactional memory will need software support. Without it you'll see no benefits. On the desktop this effectively means you won't see any uses for it for years after Haswell is released. Not to mention gaming, that'll take years and years and years to use transactional memory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
So it's an incremental improvement... so how far behind Intel will this place AMD when it finally hits the market?

And are we ever going to see AMD being a realistic alternative to a high spec Intel?
I'm pretty sure there was an article about a month ago saying they're not focusing on high-end anymore, unless I was mistaken and Piledriver is the last.


I personally wonder if these recent changes were made by the Athlon 64 guy who they recently re-hired. If so, maybe they have further changes planned before the release date and then there can be even more performance improvements. Just high hopes though.
There's no way he would have been involved with the changes, these things take 12 months+ to push through and then add on validation and prototyping on top of that, so that's another 12 months. Latest I heard was Piledriver had completed the 'design phase' so working out how to turn a snazzy diagram into a physical product and validating and testing the whole ensemble is what comes between now and the 2013 launch date.
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Old 30th Aug 2012, 17:33   #13
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Good Lord. Please whoever posted this newsnip; actually try and understand the briefing. Power gating secondary cache the biggest change?!! WTF! Everyone, I refer you to Anandtech or Techreport for actual infomation. Dear dear.
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Old 30th Aug 2012, 18:33   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pearl.of.wisdom View Post
Good Lord. Please whoever posted this newsnip; actually try and understand the briefing. Power gating secondary cache the biggest change?!! WTF! Everyone, I refer you to Anandtech or Techreport for actual infomation. Dear dear.
What a useful comment. Care to actually elucidate as to what was missed? Here, let me help:
Some stuff relating to fabric interconnects for servers - irrelevant.
Dedicated decoders - not directly mentioned in the article, but part of the reason for the claimed 30 per cent improvement.
The "floating point rebalance" - nobody appears to understand that, which is why most people (myself included) have left it out. To quote Techreport: "We're unsure what the floating-point 'rebalance' is all about."
Eermm... The fact that the high-density cell library might not actually be used until the next process shrink? As far as I know, AMD hasn't actually made an official decision on that yet.

But hey, thanks for the feedback.
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Old 30th Aug 2012, 23:47   #15
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I read somewhere that the "floating point rebalance" was to re-jig the FPU a bit to let MMX and SSE instructions use the same multipliers rather than sending the data along slightly separate paths for different instructions. I think this mainly saves area rather than performance or power though.
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Old 31st Aug 2012, 17:40   #16
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Dear Mr Halfacree, Are you aware that your newsnip did not mention a 30% improvement in performance?
"reduced branch prediction errors by 20 per cent and cache misses by 30 per cent" no mention of performance. You seem to have difficulty reading your own copy, never mind anyone else's .

But hey!; thanks for selective out-of-context editing! Let's hope no one else reads decent coverage of this topic - they'll never know the difference!
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Old 31st Aug 2012, 17:51   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pearl.of.wisdom;
Let's hope no one else reads decent coverage of this topic - they'll never know the difference!
I look forward to reading your analysis of the topic, Mr. Wisdom. I'm sure it will be most illuminating.
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Old 31st Aug 2012, 18:01   #18
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Ha! nah. You might check vr-zone though, that's quite intreasting. 45%? ipc?
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Old 31st Aug 2012, 18:10   #19
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Ha! nah. You might check vr-zone though, that's quite intreasting. 45%? ipc?
Thought not, somehow. It's always easier to destroy than create, isn't it?

Good news, though: I'm going on holiday for a week, so that's at least ten fewer articles likely to make you sit up and think "I'm going to be a dick to someone I've never met, using the power of anonymity and the internet! Mother, fetch my cape!"
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Old 31st Aug 2012, 20:46   #20
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Hooray. Yet another AMD fanboy eager to show their red cape off.

Still; I'd quite like this, Bulldozer isn't that slow, it's just not that fast in relation to Intel.
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