At the end of the AMD Computex 2016 keynote, Lisa Su, President and CEO of the company, announced a few details about their upcoming Zen architecture. This will mark the end of the Bulldozer line of architectures that attempted to save die area by designing cores in pairs, eliminating what AMD projected to be redundancies as the world moved toward multi-core and GPU compute. Zen “starts from scratch” and targets where they now see desktop, server, laptop, and embedded devices heading.
They didn't really show a whole lot at the keynote. They presented an animation that was created and rendered on the new architecture. I mean, okay, but that's kind-of like reviewing a keyboard by saying that you used it to type the review. It's cool that you have sample silicon available to use internally, but we understand that it physically works.
That said, Lisa Su did say some hard numbers, which should be interesting for our readers. AMD claims that Zen has 40% higher IPC from their previous generation (which we assume is Excavator). It will be available for desktop with eight cores, two threads per core, on their new AM4 platform. It also taped out earlier this year, with wide sampling in Q3.
I'm curious how it will end up. The high-end CPU market is a bit… ripe for the picking these days. If AMD gets close to Intel in performance, and offers competitive prices and features alongside it, then it would make sense for enthusiast builds. We'll need to wait for benchmarks, but there seems to be low-hanging fruit.
Considering how infrequently
Considering how infrequently people seem to be upgrading their CPU/motherboards, even if it is performance competitive, it may not make that much of an impact in the shrinking PC market. I think the main market for it will be in APU designs for laptops. With the huge gain in power efficiency, Zen based cores combined with Polaris graphics will make very compelling mobile products. Excavator based designs were competitive in graphics performance, but not CPU performance, or more importantly for laptops, power consumption.
I am up in the air on this
I am up in the air on this one. If Intel actually sells a decent amount of their new CPU to enthusiast, I hope AMD doesn’t stay extremely low priced. I want them to stay in business, after all.
But I won’t be spending 2 grand for a CPU anytime soon, so who knows.
I hope this brings down the price of the Intel part. I think Intel’s latest pricing is all about getting as much benefit as they can while their competition is down, and hoping that Zen flops so they can keep doing it.
If you ever wanted a reason to go AMD, a 70% price increase for 25% more cores is a good incentive for showing what a future without AMD holds.
All amd needs to do, is get
All amd needs to do, is get close to skylake for their 8 core/ 16 thread part, and 300 dollars or less.
That is the cost of an intel skylake i7 part with 4 cores and 8 threads, in fact the 6700k retails for 350 on newegg.
Get close to that per core, but double the core count and thread count and every person in that price bracket with more than two brain cells will buy the amd variant.
Zen and Polaris based
Zen and Polaris based products are going to re-make AMD. AMD’s Market share in CPUs and GPUs are very low. Still X86 is a huge market for the desktop and server CPUs.
AMD has to destroy Intel’s price structure to re-capture the lost market share in CPUs as they are doing against NVidia in GPUs.
It looks like AMD will be in much better shape financially in 2017.
Thats assuming Intel wont do
Thats assuming Intel wont do anything.
Zen, if release today, is mid range.
AMD cant ask more then ~$500 for an 8 core version
This leave the entire Intel server and workstation market intact.
And Intel 6 core canon lake might upset Zen, that AMD need to price their CPU more like consumer 4 core processors. sub $300
Leaving Intel and nvidia ride on the high margin gravy train.
Pretty sure amd is going to
Pretty sure amd is going to sell their 8 core part for the price of intels 4 core part.
(I, for one, appreciate the
(I, for one, appreciate the Daily Show reference.)
Still no proof that Zen
Still no proof that Zen exists out of marketing shows… (disguised Bulldozer chip?)
What is for sure if Zen could be produced, it will comes first on desktop due to cr4ppy Global Foundries yield.
note, AMD still consider
note, AMD still consider bulldozer an 8 core CPU.
So you need to put the 40% IPC into context.
AMD wont be able to get anywhere close to Intel 10+ core CPUs.
And AMD will still suffer a large deficit VS Intel design,
but if they can sell a 3.5ghz+ 4 core Zen for $140 they should re capture a big chunk of the desktop gaming market.
For the server market, Intel will still be able to sell single chips for $5000+ a pop… but AMD might be able to get some market ~$500
.. if, big if, intel let them . because like nvidia, intel got insane margins. nvidia and intel can lower prices without problem.
IPC is measured on a single
IPC is measured on a single core, so core count doesn´t matter for the comparison.
Saying the core count doesn’t
Saying the core count doesn’t matter is like pretending the instruction cache is useless…
No, it really isn’t. His
No, it really isn’t. His statement was accurate in the limited context in which he applied it.
Yes it does. How do you think
Yes it does. How do you think thread scaling works anyway? There is overhead to launching threads and killing them. If your single-core performance is inferior, it will take many extra cores to match the competition in multithreaded applications. Amdahl’s Law, learn it!
Thread scaling and IPC are
Thread scaling and IPC are utterly unrelated. AMD are claiming a 40% IPC increase. That tells us nothing about overall performance, sure, but it means that they are faster /per core/, which means Amdahl’s law as you’re discussing it isn’t relevant.
You are right, cores count is
You are right, cores count is a scam to sell expensive silicon. :o)
You do realize that the
You do realize that the 10-core CPU is a $1700 part right?
First: Yes, AMD considers
First: Yes, AMD considers Bulldozer an 8-core CPU. That is, AMD considers their 8-core Bulldozer CPU an 8-core CPU. They do not consider their 4-core Bulldozer CPU an 8-core CPU. Furthermore, they also consider their Piledriver 8-core CPU an 8-core CPU.
But there was no 8-core Steamroller CPU. There was no 8-core Excavator CPU.
AMD is claiming a 40% IPC increase over Excavator. Not Bulldozer. So even if the core count mattered in their comparison, your context is incorrect.
But the core count doesn’t matter. AMD is claiming a 40% IPC increase from an Excavator core to a Zen core. One core to one core. And it is this increase that is believed to put Zen cores into a competitive position with Haswell and Broadwell and Skylake cores.
NOW. Let’s put that 40% IPC into context, as you requested.
If one Zen core is competitive in IPC with one Haswell core, then it would stand to reason that 4 Zen cores would be competitive with 4 Haswell cores. And it would also stand to reason that 8 Zen cores would be competitive with 8 Haswell cores.
Thus, if AMD’s 8-core 16-thread Zen CPU is compared to a 4-core 8-thread Haswell i7 CPU, in single-threaded tasks they should be trading punches, and in multi-threaded tasks the AMD Zen CPU should walk away with it. Handily.
Assuming that AMD’s claims are true, your statement that “AMD wont be able to get anywhere close to Intel 10+ core CPUs” is false.
Therefore, the rest of your post is based on a false belief – that AMD would be suffering “a large deficit VS Intel design”. Your hypothetical 3.5GHz+ 4-core Zen CPU would be in direct performance competition with an i7-4770k, and at $140 would be priced against Skylake i3’s.
Zen may be a big boost for
Zen may be a big boost for AMD – assuming it’s a big boost for those of us that will buy it, but indications are Polaris will be something of a disappointment. We might have to wait for Vega to see any real gains from AMD/Radeon. I hope I’m dead wrong about the latter, but, well, we’ll see very shortly.
It would really be sweet to see AMD’s Zen 8-core match or beat Broadwell-E performance. Even sweeter if they managed to do it while making a nice profit and selling it at a lower cost, too. 🙂
Please tell me how we are
Please tell me how we are supposed to be disappointed by a 200 to 250 GPU that competes with the 970/980 line?
That’s a special kind of
That’s a special kind of disappointment xD
Ugh even a *hint* of a useful
Ugh even a *hint* of a useful benchmark would have been nice. It’s starting to feel like they’re trying hard not to get our hopes up too high.
Scott, if you ever have the
Scott, if you ever have the chance to speak to any Linux OS based laptop OEMs like System76/others, Please ask them about any future Zen/Polaris based SKUs for any of their future Linux Based Laptop offerings! It Appears that currently there is very little choice for getting new laptops from the Linux OS based OEM with any other choices but Intel/Nvidia.
Also do you think that with Zen on the way, and some possible AM4 based systems with Bristol Ridge coming online sooner that there will be any Steam Machines offered that are bassed on AM4/Bristol Ridge CPU based that could be updated later to a Zen CPU. I’m looking for information on any New AMD/Steam Machine based designs wins, and maybe the Polaris RX 480 will give the AMD based Steam Machine/Steam VR gaming market a big shot in the arm, and get more options other than only Intel/Nvidia for any Steam OS/Vulkan based OEM gaming PC options.
When Dr. Su started talking
When Dr. Su started talking about Zen (yes I watched the livestream) I thought “Finally” some more concrete details and then? UGH. Everything she said short of holding up what was purported to be a ZEN cpu was known.
Polaris for $199 base was a big news event but after that ZEN news feel flat.
Good, we need Zen.
Good, we need Zen.
I’m getting really tired of the same intel quad-cores that have stagnated since Sandy Bridge, and half the die is a worthless iGPU.
I am more than ready to have an AMD-based system, if only AMD is willing to offer something competitive in terms of the CPU market.
Maybe it is time to pay for
Maybe it is time to pay for using efficient softwares?
Power is nothing without control…