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AMD Upgrades Hardware

AMD Designing All-New CPU Cores For ARMv8, X86 181

crookedvulture (1866146) writes "AMD just revealed that it has two all-new CPU cores in the works. One will be compatible with the 64-bit ARMv8 instruction set, while the other is meant as an x86 replacement for the Bulldozer architecture and its descendants. Both cores have been designed from the ground up by a team led by Jim Keller, the lead architect behind AMD's K8 architecture. Keller worked at Apple on the A4 and A4 before returning to AMD in 2012. The first chips based on the new AMD cores are due in 2016."
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AMD Designing All-New CPU Cores For ARMv8, X86

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  • by werepants ( 1912634 ) on Monday May 05, 2014 @03:55PM (#46921789)

    The last time I truly got excited about AMD was when the K6-2 came out.

    What? During the P4 days AMD was ahead in almost every category in the benchmarks... did you miss that whole era? No denying the picture today is far less exciting, though.

  • by Junta ( 36770 ) on Monday May 05, 2014 @05:05PM (#46922579)

    Well, something of an oversimplification/exaggeration.

    64 'cores' is 32 piledriver modules. That was a gamble that by and large did not pan out as hoped. For a lot of applications, you must consider those 32 cores. Intel is currently at 12 cores per package versus AMD's 8 per package. Intel is less frequently found with their EP line in a 4 socket configuration because the performance of dual socket can be much higher with Intel's QPI than 4 socket. AMD can't do that topology, so you might as well do 4 socket. Additionally, the memory architecture of Intel tends to cause more dimm slots to be put on a board. AMD's thermals are actually a bit worse than Intel's, so it's not that AMD can be reasonably crammed in but Intel cannot. The pricing disparity is something that Intel chooses at their discretion (their margin is obscene), so if Intel ever gets pressure, they could halve their margin and still be healthy margin-wise.

    I'm hoping this lives up to the legacy of the K7 architecture. K7 architecture left Intel horribly embarrassed and took years to finally catch up with when they launched Nehalem. Bulldozer was a decent experiment and software tooling has improved utilization, but it's still rough. With Intel ahead in both microarchitecture and manufacturing process, AMD is currently left with 'budget' pricing out of desperation as their strategy. This is by no means something to dismiss, but it's certainly less exciting and perhaps not sustainable since their costs are in fact higher than Intel's cost (though Intel's R&D budget is gigantic to fuel that low-cost per-unit advantage, so the difference between gross margin between Intel and AMD is huge, but net margin isn't as drastic). If the bulldozer scheme had worked out well, it could have meant another era of AMD dominance, but it sadly didn't work as well in practice.

  • by Bryan Ischo ( 893 ) * on Monday May 05, 2014 @05:23PM (#46922811) Homepage

    I don't get it. Do you, and just about everyone else who has posted in this discussion, only by chips that cost > $200? Because AMD is, and always has been, competitive with Intel in the sub $200 price range.

    Sub $200 chips have, for a very long time, been very fine processors for the vast majority of desktop computer tasks. So for years now, if you're anything close to a mainstream computer user, there has been an AMD part competitive with an Intel part for your needs.

    Of course, once you get to the high end, AMD cannot compete with Intel; but that's only a segment of the market, and it is, in fact, a much smaller segment than the sub $200 segment.

    I personally have a Phenom II x6 that I got for $199 when they first came out (sometime in 2011 I believe) that was, at the time, better on price/performance than any Intel chip for my needs (mostly, parallel compiles of large software products) and absolutely sufficient for any nonintensive task, which is 99% of everything else I do besides compiling.

    Anyway, if you only think of the > $200 segment, why stop there? I'm pretty sure that for > $10,000 there are CPUs made by IBM that Intel cannot possibly compete with.

  • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Monday May 05, 2014 @06:43PM (#46923569)

    > And do we really need to care about single-threaded performance that much these days?

    Not every task is parallelizable.

    Second, are you going to pay for an engineer to make their code multi-threaded that shows X% run-time performance?

  • by DuckDodgers ( 541817 ) <keeper_of_the_wolf&yahoo,com> on Monday May 05, 2014 @09:42PM (#46924811)
    On the bright side, you would no longer need a heater for that room in winter. Just run Folding@Home.

    I still think Intel's business agreements in the mid 2000s that put AMD in its current position were immoral if not illegal, so I buy AMD anyway. But I don't buy because the product is better, I buy because the competition were assholes even though they're currently assholes with better products.

I've got a bad feeling about this.