What's your take on the new direction of AMD's processors?

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bratac
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I've been an AMD user since its first Athlon CPU, so for me the current (nonexisting) developments on CPU side are quite worring.

I've had my current Phenom II six-core for quite some time, and as it seems, unless I submit to the dark side (read: buy Intel), there will be no better performing processors in the horizon.

So what's your take, as a gamer, on the AMD's new direction essentially leaving the high performance CPU market, focusing on low-power and low performance APU's instead? No competition for Intel will mean high prices, yes?

Razear
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Intel is pretty much dominating the high-end CPU market, but I'd say it's more niche compared to the demand for low voltage processors like APUs.

eire1274
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Are we overlooking the FX processors here? Generation 2, which will step the Bulldozer core up to single-core processing superior to the Phenom II, will be launched this year. Despite current "net belief," the FX-8150 in true multi-threaded operation (such as video rendering) actually beats the 2600k Core i7, because the operations are too complex for hyperthreading to simulate. Core to core, i7 may still win in the new Ivybridge factor, but Intel is intending to move onto the staggered pair operation just like AMD did with the Bulldozer in a few generations.

The APU line from AMD is an alternative to Intel's rehashed Pentium-M, and the ULV Core i3, and in fact is kicking *** thanks to the great graphics architecture embedded, and allowing even notebook users to pack quad-core processors that overclock to 2.5Ghz while still seeing very low draw.

Nick McDermott

bratac
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So you believe that AMD does still have CPU's in the pipeline that will perform better than Phenom II in single-threaded apps?

eire1274
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bratac wrote: So you believe that AMD does still have CPU's in the pipeline that will perform better than Phenom II in single-threaded apps?

That's one of the intended progressions of the Bulldozer architecture. Versions B0 and B1 (pre-release) have the same single-core structure as B2 (released FX-8120 and FX-8150) with only the cache pipeline change, which put the FX series on a competitive basis for high-end CPUs (competing well with i5 and i7 Sandybridge), but codename B3 or Bulldozer-II (which will include modified versions of the released chips as well as the FX-8170 and FX-8190) will have a modified core structure that will dramatically improve single-threaded apps.

However, we need to realize that the days of single thread processes is coming to an end. Even our web-browsers are becoming multi-core realized, which again is where Intel is following AMD. Most of the crap that AMD has been given over the "failure of the Bulldozer" is from a narrow perspective, not realizing that AMD was in fact ahead of the market. Getting into Linux builds, the x8 FX CPUs are showing that hyperthreading is not the same thing as real cores, and are swinging the tables. Windows 7 isn't properly organized for the new CPU structure, so we likely won't see Microsoft catching up to Linux until AT LEAST Windows 8 SP1.

As far as AMD focusing on evolution and not being "big dog in the park," remember the first x64 Athlon chips, with no 64-bit software? And Intel's stumbling first steps that led them to actually license AMD's instruction set because the initial i64 was a crash-fest? AMD and Intel still have a tight relationship, as AMD changes the CPUs structure, Intel shows how to shrink it, and they pass these techniques back and forth.

Without any competition, we would be dealing with the Intel of the 80's, where a 4.77Mhz CPU takes almost 8 years to not even double in speed. They were satisfied with being the ONLY CHOICE and the reason why Apple and Tandy signed on with Motorola. It wasn't until the Am386 released in 1991 that Intel started to take note and push things.

Nick McDermott

GraysonPeddie
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Well, have a look at the roadmap for the desktop.

Oh, and I'm having my eyes set in for this. Yep, it's the Kaveri and I'll want them in a desktop along with Silverstone FT-02 case.

It will be next year, so I can wait. :)

For those who wish to keep up in news about the Kaveri in Google News, you can add "AMD Kaveri" (no quotes) to your Google News section.

HTPC: AMD Athlon X2 4050e CPU with 780G ATX motherboard running Windows 8 DP (4GB) and Ubuntu; Server: AMD AII X2 240e CPU with 880G-based ATX motherboard running Ubuntu Server 10.04 LTS (8GB)

2 pairs of Insignia NS-B2111s (front/rear), Pioneer SP-C21 Center Speaker, and 12" Velodyne Sub

Just ordered HP Pavilion dv7-6165us from QVC. Will have it by next Friday.

Allen86
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I think they're doing the right thing as a business. Everything is becoming more graphic intensive anyways, not so much CPU intensive and there's plenty of power out there for anything an every day user would need anyways. It's all coming down to GPU's really, and that's what their continuous focus will be on I would imagine, especially compacting their fusion down for amazing performance on tablets and what not. There's already big players in the mobile field, lets hope AMD can stir things up a bit and make some nice products

Q6600 @ 2.4Ghz 4GB DDR2 800Mhz 500GB ATI HD 4850 512mb 22" LCD

bratac
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Maybe so, but what I read from this, as a desktop power user, is that AMD has largely given up on trying to offer performance desktop competition to Intel, which means that the already ridiculously expensive Intel high-end CPU's will remain expensive.

Also the discontinuation of the Phenom II line will spell danger in case my current 1090T dies one day, since then my choices would be either less capable AMD or much more expensive Intel CPU.

eire1274
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bratac wrote: Maybe so, but what I read from this, as a desktop power user, is that AMD has largely given up on trying to offer performance desktop competition to Intel...

Again, this sounds like news coming from Intel fanboy sites. It has been proven that in terms of multi-core processing, the FX-8150 is more powerful than even the i7-3770K, simply because of the crutch of hyperthreading. Intel does have faster cores, overall, but not in the same price bracket. It's hard to say that AMD has given up when they are actually in a superior position than they have been since the original Athlon K7 release, as again they are ahead of the market and Intel is playing catch-up on the "affordable" grade of processing.

The Bulldozer and the upcoming Piledriver (and Steamroller in 2013) command sets see tremendous performance increases in Windows 8 RC and Linux kernel 3.5 as these operating systems no longer schedule tasks to "what ever core has the most idle time" but now works on scheduling multiprocessing tasks or shared memory tasks intelligently to the paired cores (the Bulldozer architecture is essentially 4 X2 chips joined together), and this takes better advantage of the cache arrangement. It is, really, LIGHTYEARS more advanced than the Phenom II or even the Ivy Bridge in terms of multiprocessing, and as I said, Intel is still a year away from their debut of similar architecture (but it is coming, read the roadmaps).

I know you're mad that your chip is going out, but so has mine. It's the nature of the beast with computers. And it never really goes away... heck, I just had to order a 2.6Ghz P4 with a 400Mhz bus, and I can still get those, and they've been off the assembly line for 5 years!

Nick McDermott

bratac
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There are still areas, where single threaded performance matters, such as code compilation of large projects and video encoding (xvid), which are still largely single- or dual-threaded. Many games also do not use more than two or three cores at most.

When I switched from my first T-Bird to Palomino it felt much faster, as did the following Barton, San-Diego and Windsor.
However, I struggled to feel the difference when I switched to my current Thuban, which has the same 3.2GHz clock as the Windsor. Sure I can now process six videos parallel in full speed, but many mundane things still take the same time.

Per-core speed still matters and in this respect the FX must be clocked way higher to even reach parity.

eire1274
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True, but we are talking about code that is becoming less popular over time. The latest XviD, Handbrake, and AVISynth engines (to run on the GPL side of things) are all now multi-threaded. Again, both Intel and AMD have reached the "clock barrier" years ago, and performance is now largely increased using core efficiencies (led by Intel) and core multiplication (led by AMD). Intel's course is most felt now (as it doesn't rely on the OS or code to change for the difference to be felt), and as I said before AMD is just ahead of the market, just as they were launching a 64-bit desktop processor before there was even a 64-bit desktop operating system available from Microsoft. It hasn't killed AMD to be a forerunner; they run with people scratching their heads for a bit, but the industry adapts in a short period of time.

Nick McDermott