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News AMD reports $197 million loss for Q3 2015

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 16 Oct 2015.

  1. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    You don't necessarily need multithreaded software to take advantage of having multiple cores, though. I bought my AMD quad-core desktop 'cos it was around the same price as an Intel dual-core, and while the Intel beats the AMD in single-core performance there are plenty of ways I can take advantage of having twice the number of cores. Compressing files, for example: running lbzip2 instead of bzip2 takes between a third and a quarter of the time. Compiling software: I don't do it often, but when I do that -j4 makes things just nip along. Even when running things like ImageMagick to fiddle with files, which is single-threaded, all I do is run GNU Parallel in front of it and the batch job is done in a quarter of the time - and the same with batch converting audio or video files.

    For Windows users, sure, there's more of an argument - but even normals could potentially benefit from multiple cores. Being able to run four JPEG decoders simultaneously may not sound like much when each image appears in a fraction of a second, until you get a website with a few hundred images on it...

    Basically, yes: most individual apps might not benefit from having multiple cores available, but when was the last time you were running a single application? According to a quick "ps axufw | wc -l", I'm currently running 337 individual processes - and I'm not even doing much other than replying in this 'ere thread...
     
  2. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    My operating systems are all multithreaded. Each process it runs is going to be on a different thread.
     
  3. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    Its not tech people AMD need to prove there worth too. No matter how many Cores or how good there products might be.

    The casual consumer sees Intel as the better CPU and Nvidia as the better GPU. These are harsh facts to get away from. They do not care if its called Zen Skylake Ivybridge or whatever they ask very basic questions.

    Along with been super mislead by most pc stores. Ive saw Pcs advertised as having 1tb of ram in them. When in reality it was a 1tb Hard drive. Or a nvidia 950 gpu classed as high end gpu.

    Theres a reason Apple sells alot of Macs they are pretty simple to understand.

    AMD need to get better at marketing there products and have needed to do this for 3-5 years now. Theres nothing really wrong with the FX series chips for a general usage or Gaming pc. But how many people actually know that.

    How many people actually know the Nvidia 770 is a last gen product same with AMDs series of gpus.

    Tech forums like this are where AMD still makes the cash it makes. The lack of the brand in Dell / Lenova / HP. The big 3 volume buyers who are basically where Intel makes the money in the consumer sector of computing. ( its not us thats for sure theres not enough Tech geeks who upgrade every cpu cycle to make the cash they bring in)
     
  4. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    Yea sorry I perhaps over simplified the single/multi core thing and was mainly referring to the Windows ecosystem (not the OS), who IMO have been terribly slow in taking advantage of multi core CPUs.

    But not all threads are run on different processors/cores, unless I'm having a brain burp most software running on Windows (IDK enough about Linux) runs on a single core all be it with multiple threads.
     
    Last edited: 18 Oct 2015
  5. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I don't know what casual consumers you've been canvassing, but the ones I've spoken to have absolutely no idea what's inside their Dell. They've probably *heard* of Intel, thanks to the Intel Inside programme, but they have absolutely no comparative between Intel and any other manufacturer. The chances are good, in fact, that they haven't heard of AMD - even if their current system has AMD hardware in it.
    You're having a brain burp, I'm afraid. Each process consists of one or more threads; the processes themselves have no control over which processor core they're running on. That's up to the operating system, which will shuffle threads onto various cores as required. Remember when AMD's Bulldozer came out, with its shared bits, and multithreaded performance was pants until Microsoft released an updated scheduler (the OS portion that deals with this stuff) which knew to keep related threads on the same cluster?

    If you're running four processes on a four-core processor, the OS scheduler should ensure that each process, in other words each thread, is running on a separate core simultaneously. Same goes for one process running four threads.
     
    Last edited: 18 Oct 2015
  6. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    My emphasis because for some reason i have the impression of Windows doing a god awful job when it comes to what you describe, it seems most threads end up either working on the same core or the software responsible for those threads not using all cores equally.

    Is that going back to my assumption that most software doesn't take full advantage of a multi-core system, or that the majority of software is single threaded so all gets dumped on a single core (with Windows that normally seems like the 1st)
     
    Last edited: 18 Oct 2015
  7. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    You seem a little confused still. A thread will only ever run on a single core: it's one indivisible thing. Let's try some metaphor:

    Bob is working on a task you have set. There are four cubicles in the office, but only one Bob. It doesn't really matter where you, the boss, puts Bob; there's only one of him, and the remaining three cubicles will go unused.

    Jane joins the business. She's working on a different task. You put her in one of the other cubicles: both she and Bob can work on their tasks simultaneously, which wouldn't be possible if you only had one cubicle. The other two cubicles are still empty and unused , though.

    Next, you hire Tammy and Tommy. They're twins, and they're both working on the same project. You put them in opposing cubicles, so they can both work independently yet still communicate with each other. At this point, you have four workers in four cubicles working 100% on three tasks and are using your office at maximum efficiency.

    Bob and Jane are single-threaded programs; Tammy and Tommy represent a single, multithreaded program. You, meanwhile, are the scheduler.

    If there are four threads trying to run and four processor cores, no scheduler worth its salt would queue them up on a single core - no more than you would have Tammy, Tommy, and Jane sitting outside Bob's cubicle waiting for their turn at the desk when there are three cubicles spare.

    To clarify any confusion my metaphor may have caused: a given program has one or more threads; a given program may spawn more sub-programs, each of which has one or more threads; each core can run a single thread at a time; the scheduler ensures that threads are fairly shared between cores, unless there is a reason not to - you can force processor affinity, for instance, or in the Bulldozer architecture you would want two threads of a multithreaded application to be on the same two-core cluster and not split across one core each of two clusters.

    Windows will not, by default, queue threads up to run on a single core of a multi-core system. It can't do much if you're running a single, single-threaded processor-intensive app, though - aside from making sure that the hundreds of background tasks a modern operating system has are running on other cores, leaving the one core absolutely dedicated to the task at hand and preventing it from having to keep switching out to other tasks.
     
    Last edited: 18 Oct 2015
  8. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    Linux won't save AMD. Nor will the hope that software finally uses more threads. People have said it for years.

    AMD need a buyout but even that has its issues. The x86 licence will be very tricky.

    Posts in the financial section have suggested AMD have till end of 2016 to turn a profit or face bankruptcy. Good luck to them we can all hope for it but honestly can't see it.

    Hope I am wrong.
     
  9. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Did somebody say it would?
     
  10. burningsky25

    burningsky25 New Member

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    Finally someone asking the real questions
     
  11. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    Maybe more a misunderstanding than confusion, i understand how programs spawn threads and everything you describe, what I'm saying is that either Windows or the programs themselves do a P poor job at distributing those threads, and/or the workload evenly between all cores.

    That's not to say it doesn't schedule threads to work on other cores, just that from my experience when using your average Windows system i tend to find one core hitting 70-80% while the others hover around 10-30%

    Maybe I'm just not taxing the system enough to warrant higher usage on the other cores but that goes back to what i originally said, that he majority of software doesn't use (need) more than a single core and that probably is never going to change as it's just not worth the investment (time, money).

    But getting back on topic a little more: Higher core counts won't save AMD as rollo rightly pointed out Intel would just match AMD by launching it's own 6-8 core CPU, releasing a CPU that's matches or even worse is slower than Intel won't save AMD either, they need to be able to say buy our more expensive CPU because it's faster, draws less power, has better graphics, they need to release a CPU that commands a premium price with premium profit margins. (IMHO)
     
    Last edited: 19 Oct 2015
  12. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Sounds like it: try running Prime95 (either in multi-threaded mode, if it has one, or run one instance per CPU core) and see what happens to your load.
    But that argument cuts two ways: the majority of software also can't benefit from processors faster than about 1GHz, or more RAM than about a gigabyte. It won't make Facebook any faster. That's a problem for the entire industry, not just AMD: casuals haven't needed to buy a new PC for the best part of a decade. Hell, I'm hardly a casual and my desktop is over three years old now - and I have no intention of upgrading any time soon, unless something breaks.
    They'd be better off getting a mainstream product into the hands of a major OEM or ODM: the enthusiast market is vocal but absolutely tiny. It would do AMD much more good to become the new standard CPU vendor for Dell at a 20% margin than to release the must-have gaming CPU at a 60% margin.

    Sadly, of course, that'll never happen, 'cos Intel has the OEMs/ODMs sewn shut, bar a few token products to keep the monopoly commission happy.
     
  13. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    Yea i know i can max out all cores if i wanted to, what I've been referring to are the majorities, averages, normal usage scenarios, in those cases i still think people would be better served by a higher IPC than more cores.

    Yes the majority of software also can't benefit from processors faster than about 1GHz, or more RAM than about a gigabyte, but i would suggest the edge cases where more RAM and a faster CPU would be noticeable are more frequent than more cores. I.E average users see, feel, notice higher IPC than having more cores.

    Re getting back OT: Yes AMD would be better served by getting their product in to the mainstream (OEM or ODM) but wouldn't coming to market with a CPU that has higher performance and/or lower power draw, better graphics, create demand in those markets?

    Would Dell et al really turn their nose up at a CPU that was better (higher performance, lower power draw, better graphics) than the Intel equivalent?
     
  14. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    They have no assets left. Recently got $300+M for sell off of packaging tech investment and more staff cull iirc.

    They have 4 quarters to survive before Zen, and even that will require a ramp into 2017.
     
  15. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I bet they don't. Remember the PC slump, and how everyone started buying tablets instead - even though their performance sucked compared to a PC? Average users will be absolutely incapable of telling the difference between an AMD A6 APU and an Intel Core-i7: they use Facebook, Microsoft Office, Skype. Gamers can tell the difference (and multi-core support has been poor here, but is improving as devs look to squeeze performance out of the eight-core consoles), anyone working on video editing, 3D rendering, audio processing - you know, professionals - but average users? Not a chance. Give 'em a three-gen-old Celeron with a gig of RAM on the end of a fast internet connection, and they'll readily believe it's a prototype for Intel's latest and greatest chip.

    Yup. I can say that, because that's exactly what they did - and Intel was fined nearly £1 billion for forcing Dell and others into that position.

    Plus, let's face it: if your company relied on ready supply of millions of processors, would you pick the supplier that might not be around in a year's time or the supplier that has enough cash to basically bankroll its future for the foreseeable even if it started giving away processors for free?
     
  16. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    Obviously neither of us knows the future but i want to remain positive. :)

    I'm hoping that we wouldn't see a repeat of past illegal anticompetitive practices, i hope that if AMD does come to market with a better product that they'll sees their losses turn in to gains, maybe I'm being naive or stupid but I want to believe. :)

    EDIT Re average user not noticing: That's why i defined better as higher performance, lower power draw, better graphics, if AMD comes to market with a CPU that draws less power for the same IPC then yes i think tablet users would see the benefit, if that same CPU could be scaled up to something that beats Intel's high end offering, if that same CPU can be used in a device where previously you would need a discrete GPU but now you can do away with adding a GPU.

    That's what AMD needs Zen to do IMHO.
     
    Last edited: 19 Oct 2015
  17. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    I know the future. Zen will be generationally behind intel at higher power consumption and a cheaper price.
     
  18. Hakuren

    Hakuren New Member

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    Well at some stage even creative accountancy can't fight/defeat the truth. AMD as a company is pretty much in the wilderness right now. And what even more depressing is that this trend will accelerate in the next few years. Unless they finally decide to off-load ATI and focus on CPUs there is no hope in hell that AMD will be with us in 10 years time.

    Problem of AMD is that they often create great things and present spectacular ideas to the world of broadly understood IT. Unfortunately they can't: 1. match financial muscles of Intel or nVidia and 2. they rarely do realistic things. APU is perfect example. While technically its great, realistically nobody cares about APU in desktop PC market. Here performance is absolutely paramount and who cares about internal GPU (except troubleshooting motherboard).

    Mobile market won't save AMD either. Power efficiency&performance of competitors is light years ahead.
     
  19. Harlequin

    Harlequin Well-Known Member

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    intel have nearly 50% of the market share for GPU......
     
  20. Stanley Tweedle

    Stanley Tweedle NO VR NO PLAY

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    Not all about speed though hence occupying Nvidia 85% of the GPU market.
     

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