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AMD Says Upcoming Zen CPU Will Outperform Intel Broadwell-E ( 188

Reader MojoKid writes: AMD has been talking about the claimed 40% IPC (Instructions Per Clock) improvement of its forthcoming Zen processor versus the company's existing Excavator core for ages. Zen's initial availability is slated for late this year, with lager-scale roll-out planned for early 2017. However, last night, at a private press event in San Francisco, AMD unveiled a lot more details on their Zen processor architecture. AMD claims to have achieved that 40 percent IPC uplift with a newly-designed, higher-performance branch prediction and a micro-op cache for more efficient issuing of operations. The instruction schedule windows have been increased by 75% and issue-width and execution resources have been increased by 50%. The end result of these changes is higher single-threaded performance, through better instruction level parallelism. Zen's pre-fetcher is also vastly improved. There is 8MB of shared L3 cache on board now, a unified L2 cache for both instruction and data, and separate, low-latency L1 instruction and data caches. The new archicture offers up to 5x the cache bandwidth to the cores versus previous-gen offerings. However, after all the specsmanship was out of the way, AMD actually showcased a benchmark run of an 8-core Zen Summit Ridge procesor versus Intel's Broadwell-E 8-core chip, both running at 3GHz and processing a Blender rending workload. In the demo, the 8-core Zen CPU actually outpaced Intel's chip by a hair. Blender may have been chosen for a reason but this early benchmark demo looks impressive for AMD and its forthcoming Zen architecture.
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AMD Says Upcoming Zen CPU Will Outperform Intel Broadwell-E

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  • by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Thursday August 18, 2016 @10:48AM (#52725217) Homepage Journal

    Zen's initial availability is slated for late this year, with lager-scale roll-out planned for early 2017.

    You know, although a tank lager looks big from the outside, there are usually no more than a hundred or so tanks in one. So this doesn't seem like a very large rollout.

    On the other hand, if one of the tanks rolled over the editor(s), that would be a service to humanity.

  • Good to hear. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Thursday August 18, 2016 @10:51AM (#52725245)

    AMD has been behind Intel for about a decade now ever since Intel released their "Core" processors. Because back in the early to mid 00's AMD CPU finally were considered serious chips in the desktop environment, outpacing intel. Then it just fell further behind.

    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

      How about performance-per-dollar?

    • They have had plenty of time to catch up... for Intel at best there is a 50% improvement over their own offerings from 7 or 8 years ago.
    • I had a k6-2+ with maxed out ram on a super socket 7 it would never run win7 but the OSs it ran amazing with 95, 98, win2k, and later slack I haven't seen anything like it since.

    • Re:Good to hear. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by GuB-42 ( 2483988 ) on Thursday August 18, 2016 @11:55AM (#52725749)

      In fact it was more like they took advantage of the P4 fiasco.
      The NetBurst architecture was a failure, it could barely compete with Intel's own previous generation. They made a few bad design decisions. Perhaps they were blinded by the MHz race, perhaps they really thought long pipelines were the future, I don't know. However, they learned from their mistakes and their next generation (Core) was a success.
      At the same time, AMD took a more sensible approach and the K7/Athlon was a worthy "next-gen" CPU. But maybe the lack or craziness also caused them to stand still when Intel advanced. Intel's commercial practices probably didn't help either...

      • Re:Good to hear. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by avandesande ( 143899 ) on Thursday August 18, 2016 @11:59AM (#52725791) Journal
        Incorporating the memory controller in the CPU and adding the 64 bit instruction set were AMD innovation and had nothing to do with Intel making mistakes.
        • by jcdr ( 178250 )

          For the 64 bit instruction set, AMD have take advantage of the Intel Itanium mistake and it was there smarter move ever as this enabled AMD to negociate the instruction set symetric cross licencing agreement with Intel.

          AMD did make a lot of technical innovations on CPU before, like copper metal interconnect, silicon on insular, integrated memory controller, hypertransport, multiple cores, exclusive caches, etc..., and lately integrated graphic. At some point Intel haved nothing to compete but there extremly

        • Maybe, but Intel does bear some responsibility for letting themselves fall behind during that time frame. I can remember back in the K7/Athlon days, there were some Athlon chips that outperformed the P4 chips that ran at the same clockspeeds (Some of the PIII chips even outperformed it). Intel eventually tried to compensate for this by upping the clock speeds and adding cache to the already flawed NetBurst architecture (like the P4 Extreme Editions). I can also remember Intel stating early on that they e

      • The Athlon was very competitive with the P3, which was an exceedingly solid processor. So it wasn't just that Intel screwed up, but AMD had a well performing product to start with.

        But then ya, they really slowed down and stopped improving. They kept rehashing the same architecture over and over. They introduced new features, like 64-bit, but the computational architecture was fundamentally the same. Meanwhile Intel was hard at work making the Core series and just continually improving.

        Also AMD had a real pr

        • The AMD chipsets that they themselves designed and manufactured were pretty solid if kind of poorly featured. It was the VIA chipsets which were crap. Especially the southbridges.

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )

          But then ya, they really slowed down and stopped improving

          They sacked a lot of people to cut down on "cost centers" such as the development people designing stuff that would make them profitable in the future.

    • AMD clobbers Intel in graphics, so if they get their cpus even close to competitive performance wise with good value, I'm in. Still running a Phenom X4 desktop, it's been a reliable workhorse and great value.

    • AMD has been behind Intel for about a decade now ever since Intel released their "Core" processors. Because back in the early to mid 00's AMD CPU finally were considered serious chips in the desktop environment, outpacing intel. Then it just fell further behind.

      Given the fact that Intel has the world's greatest state of the art fabs, while AMD is now fabless, I just don't see how that's gonna change

    • by Trogre ( 513942 )

      Well to be fair their Opteron line until about four years ago was competing well with Xeons on performance and absolutely blew them away in terms of price and sheer number of cores.

      Unfortunately that all changed with the Bulldozer architecture which, instead of cores, had "dual core" modules with one FPU shared between two ALUs.

  • So, like, beer and hookers at the launch?

  • by ilsaloving ( 1534307 ) on Thursday August 18, 2016 @11:06AM (#52725373)

    Why does the article's logo show Intel?

    Has AMD falling so far that Slashdot can't even be bothered to show their logo anymore?

    • I thought the same thing. The logo should reflect the focus of the article, not their rival.

    • Why does the article's logo show Intel?

      It actually shows both the Intel and AMD logos (with links to filter based on the companies) at the top of this story page, but it only shows one of the logos on the front page. They stupidly put Intel's logo first.

  • Well, if they actually got a CPU that can actually at least don't get shamefully annihilated by the intel offerings, they will do quite well on SoC solutions with their superior GPUs, which means nice laptop deals.

  • If Zen is in the ballpark of Intel then people are going to buy it. Intel chips and especially chipsets have become too expensive and frankly, we need some competition. If the Athlon64 hadn't come along goodness knows where we'd be.
  • So they artificially downclocked an Intel processor, and are able to *barely* beat it clock-for-clock. But that Intel processor should be running at a higher clock speed, and if they have it fixed at 3GHz then they also turned off Turbo Boost - which would have pushed the Broadwell-E chip up to 3.5GHz when all 8 cores are active. At those speeds, presumably, the Intel chip beats the AMD; if not, they wouldn't have bothered to downclock the Intel processor.

    To sum up then: AMD's next-gen, unreleased processor

    • AMD's next-gen, unreleased processor still cannot outperform Intel's existing model.

      It only needs to get close and offer good value, then I'm in because of the superior GPU.

    • So they artificially downclocked an Intel processor, and are able to *barely* beat it clock-for-clock.

      In other news, AMD who has been languishing behind severely in the clock-for-clock performance actually beats an Intel CPU clock for clock for the first time since the Core 2 processor.

      Matching it clock for clock is a HUGE step forwards. They're beating it, just, but then 3.2 is not much more than 3, so it'd be neck and neck with that taken in to account. And I expect that AMD will do some bin sorting when

      • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

        Matching it clock for clock is a HUGE step forwards.

        And here I thought we had finally dispelled the notion that clock speed was all-important.

        What matters is throughput per unit of time. It doesn't matter if they get throughput by using higher clock speeds or by more work per tick.

        AMD is still being beaten badly at throughput.

        • AMD is still being beaten badly at throughput.

          How on earth did you work that out? It's marginally faster clock for clock and 7% slower on clock speed. Sounds like a dead heat on throughput to me.

    • You DO get the point of an IPC comparison, no?

    • by wbr1 ( 2538558 )
      The high end WS market is a small part of the market. If AMD pulls off 75-85% of the performance in a reasonable power envelope for 45-50% of the price, it is a win-win for a huge segment of the market.
    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      That is complete nonsense. You are _really_ clueless. First, you do comparisons at the same clock, anything else is unprofessional. The actual clock-rate does not matter. And second, for this type of architecture-benchmark, you always go for a "round" clock figure. Fortunately, the target for these benchmarks is people with an actual clue.

  • AMD can beat an Intel processor from Last year with their processor that is due out next year. By that time Intel will have jumped 2 generations (almost) and where will AMD be?
    • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      This is what, the 10th season of this show?

      Every year AMD boasts next year's chips are going to beat out Intel.

      Every year AMD fanbois get frothy at the mouth because Intel will finally get what they have coming.

      And every year, two things happen:

      - AMD overestimated the speed of next year's chip by a wide margin
      - AMD underestimated Intel's performance by a wide margin

      I'm rooting for AMD, but they talk a much bigger game than they play.

      • No if you actually read AMD's own press releases they have been claiming at least since Piledriver that they are competitive in price/performance (which is true) and that were going to only do minor IPC improvements until their new architecture (i.e. Zen) came out.

        Of course AMD is limited by available manufacturing technology regardless of how good their chip design is. They don't own fabs anymore...

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Well, if Intel produces "speed ups" as they did for the last few years, they will be at most 10% faster with those 2 "generations".

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if it will have AMD's equivalent to Intel AMT, the Platform Security Processor []. If so, it may be a no-go for some people.

  • Intel doesn't know how to design GPUs .. thats where they need to compete. I need 8K VR gaming at 120 fps.

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