Everything Zen: AMD Presents New Microarchitecture At HotChips

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ssdpro

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Why would AMD already be using a Mantra that there is a Zen+ to follow right behind Zen? AMD needs to focus on Zen. We all know something will follow but specifically spelling out Zen+ will be the optimization of Zen means Zen itself has issues that can be optimized - that or the editor's concern of defraying disappointment is real (and that sucks). The worrisome point is that AMD is still holding back clock speeds, PCIe lanes, and memory support. Hope they aren't pumping the stock with cherry picked details so the management can unload at the next trading window.
 

Sojiro1

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Amd compared themselves against a downlocked 6900k lol I mean I like them, their amd hype they live on by "challenging" high tech. Lol. In the end I still, and most, buy amd for its budget price. Does anyone else notice how ridiculous these 6 cores 12 thread AMD processors are being promoted to budget gamers..? People who buy amd don't really care about i7 extreme...... more hype less case. Intel cpu, amd gpu.
 

Orumus

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I hope AMD realizes that, considering their standing both financially and with the public, if they burn us again with a complete let down of a CPU there will be no coming back for them. I hope to heck AMD can be competitive, even if only in the high mid-range and lower, not because I love AMD but because I love choice. A healthy AMD is good for us all.
 
There seems to be an assumption that Intel is capable of pumping out significant improvements but just doesn't due to financial reasons (i.e. why bother spending money when it is ahead?).

I think the reality is likely that there may not be a lot that can be done to improve the architecture without breaking backwards compatibility.
 

Brian_R170

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Yeah, talk of Zen+ is scary when you look at it like that. I am a PC enthusiast and I have hopes that Zen will help fuel a resurgence in the ever-shrinking client PC market. For that to happen, Zen needs to deliver something compelling. Not just the performance/$ game AMD has been playing. It needs to have features that allow PCs to do things they can't do today (form factor, battery life, whatever). If it just matches the features of current Intel CPUs, then the best we can hope for is for PC prices to drop a little, and we already know pricing isn't the reason the PC market is shrinking.
 

clonazepam

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With all of the news about Zen, I think the benchmarks I'm most interested in seeing is the performance at different RAM speeds (and to a lesser extent, quantity, and # of sticks). It's all really exciting, but that point sticks out the most for me.
 

Kewlx25

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The Bulldozer was a complete miss. Felt like they lied. The Polaris is better than their last gen, but compared to Nvidia, it's a pretty big let down. I already have the feeling they're twisting the truth. Nvidia may be a greedy corp, but at least they mostly tell the truth.
 

emayekayee

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I waited on Zen for a long time. I finally pulled the trigger on Skylake when I got an i5 6600k for $209 back in June. I've been an AMD user since the first Athlons. I had to ask myself, "do I believe AMD is going to release a processor that matches the i5 6600k in gaming performance at a sub $200 price point?" I wish team red all the best, but I think I made the right choice.
 

ElGruff

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@KEWLX25

Really? xD

Maxwell async drivers? Bumpgate? Fermi Dx12 drivers? Woodscrews? Overstating efficiency of cards? 970 specs?

What about their reviewers "guide"? Paying off system builders to drop / slate AMD (Tier 0 programme)? Gameworks (failworks, even destroys performance for their own cards)

There's also an ongoing case regarding Nvidia poaching staff from AMD and those staff "stealing" internal documents before they left for team green.

The list goes on. AMD doesn't always deliver on promises (they do however build tech that's well ahead of it's time and don't milk their customer base by removing instructions or completely hampering performance) but at least it is an honest company that doesn't employ underhand tactics like it's two biggest competitors.
 

InvalidError

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I think the problem is much worse than that: CPU architectures in general are simply reaching the point where any further major IPC improvements are no longer practical due to disproportionate complexity cost: if you make the instruction scheduler more complex to detect more fringe IPC extraction opportunities, it eats die space, it eats power, it makes the critical path longer (more logic involved in the instruction selection) and will reduce achievable clocks on a given process.

IBM's Power architecture, Intel's x86 and Itanium, PA-RISC, Alpha, AMD's x86 and other CPU architectures have taken different paths in their CPU core designs but they all achieved comparable per-core performance. ARM is slowly catching up but will hit the same performance scaling bottlenecks as everyone else once it gets done maturing simply due to typical software instruction mixes and patterns.

Regardless of what instruction set or architecture you use, there is only so much that hardware with infinite resources can do to improve IPC when every 12th or so instruction is a conditional branch in typical software.
 

bloodroses

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Don't forget the 1060 3GB being a crippled form of their 6GB variant with reduced cuda cores, but still called a 1060.

Also, there was the whole lawsuit about the 8600m series of laptop gpu's having faulty parts:
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/nvidia-geforce-faulty-defect-gpu,7795.html

* edit: After googling nvidia bumpgate, I just noticed the 8600m lawsuit was a part of it; my bad... lol *
 

Discorama

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AMD chose density over performance for their CP and GPUs. They will not be able to match Intel and, as we already know, NVIDIA on clock rates. Their foundry partner is suspect in being able to compete in the 14nm space as well which might be another reason they can't reach parity. I'm guessing that OCing will be pretty much a pointless topic for Zen.
Sounds negative but AMD will have the best bang for the buck. NVIDIA trounces AMD in the GPU space for performance per watt but I'll be getting a 480. It is a much better deal and more future proof especially when you add in the cost benefit of Free Sync.
I'll wait for Zen before my next build but frankly, I'm surrounded by older generation i5s. I doubt I'll see a reason to buy Zen (or Cabby). I think the only thing that might sway me on a newer platform is support (that the older platforms don't offer) for the new crossbar memory solutions
I might be interested in AMD's new APUs for family non-gaming builds though. I think that depends if their GFX performance will be up to snuff and that will only happen if the integrate HBM as rumored.
 

Eblislyge

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I believe Amd is on track. They released polaris to dominate the low and mid range market and from the look of things I believe they are on track to accomplish this task.

As far as Zen goes it does not have to beat Intel in performance it simply needs to be in the ball park and then priced attractively. This will in turn force Intel to lower prices which is what all consumers want. Great tech at affordable prices. so Intel may have the faster chips but if its only 10% faster but 20% more expensive there are multitudes of people who will opt for the cheaper chips.
 

InvalidError

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If AMD's CPU have the same performance-per-watt deficit as their GPUs have, the other 10% in up-front cost difference may get more than made up by the $10-20/year increased power cost.
 

ElGruff

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@InvalidError

Efficiency is more of a concern for the server market and Nvidia cards aren't really that much more efficient anyway - their drivers are generally aware of power virus's, reviewers have to abide by strict review "guides", and, Maxwell / Pascal are gaming orientated cards (accounts for a lot of the efficiency).

Another way at looking at it is that you are going to have to spend another £/$600 in a year or so when Nv finally release DX12/Vulkan cards.

WRT to their CPU's I get the feeling that they will compete on efficiency (partially) at the cost of frequency (use of high density cell libraries).
 

ammaross

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We know Intel has an "optimized" Kaby Lake coming out after their microarchitecture Skylake. AMD said they have Zen+ optimized CPU coming out after Zen. It's the same thing. They can only do so much in a product time window and have to defer some optimizations for the next product. It's what happens. They're not "focusing on Zen+," merely letting you know they have a future roadmap, just like Intel lets us know.
 

drchainsaw

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"AMD executives repeated the "Zen is not a destination; it's a starting point" mantra during both of the Zen presentations in an obvious ploy to tease the forthcoming Zen+."

Yes, yes, keep waiting. AMD will be good someday, but not this time!
At this point the most impressive thing about AMD is how they aren't bankrupt yet.
 

Crystalizer

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They did sneaky with the 970 4gb memory thingy and they lost the lawsuit case if I remember right. AMD is under a lot of pressure. Lots of miscommunication might be happening under the hood. Who knows.
 

RomeoReject

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I kinda hope that wattage doesn't become the focal point, personally. I have a pretty damn nice cooling setup already, so I can shed the heat, I hope the performance isn't affected by aiming for power efficiency. Or at least if it's an option like what the did with the last generation (Where they had the ridiculous 220W units available, but not as the standard).
 

Eblislyge

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With Amd's new Polaris graphics cards the power difference is marginal. And I'm pretty sure someone who would nitpick such a narrow gap already had their mind made up to buy Nvidia or bust.



 

TJ Hooker

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It's not though. The RX 480 performs similarly to the 970 in games, and uses about the same power, despite having a 2 process node advantage over it. The 1060 outperforms the 480, while using 120 W compared to the 480's 150+ W. Whether or not you care about that is one thing, but there's no denying that AMD is still behind on efficiency with their GPUs.
 
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