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Thread: Exposing the Phantom x86 Bottleneck

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    Default Exposing the Phantom x86 Bottleneck

    These are exciting times for AMD as we are seeing a very positive reception by consumers of our C- and E-Series APUs. Soon these APUs will be joined by their big brother, the A-Series APU (codenamed “Llano”). “Llano” is aimed squarely at mainstream notebooks and desktop PCs.

    There is rampant speculation on how “Llano” will perform versus Intel’s “Sandy Bridge” processors. To address this issue, I will begin by calling out the divergence in silicon investment strategies between AMD and our blue competitor as well as how AMD’s strategy matches with how people use their computers today.

    Four years ago, our engineers began determining the capabilities AMD Fusion APUs should offer. They took a good look at how people have been using their computers over the past decade compared to the first 25 years of personal computing.

    The first 25 years of personal computing revolved around x86 performance. If you had a fast x86 CPU, you generally had the best experience. It wasn’t until the invention of the modern GPU in the mid-2000’s that another piece of silicon could effectively offload tasks from the x86 CPU.

    Classic workloads like spreadsheet manipulation, word processing, database searches and general use all benefited from faster x86 CPUs. You were really a “baller” back in 1987 if you had an Intel i387 co-processor to augment the Intel i386. However time and technology have marched on.

    Today, modern CPUs are hundreds or thousands of times faster than the CPUs from the late 1980s; however, classic x86 workloads haven’t changed that much. They might be fancier and Windows-based but they are basically the same as they were in the 1980s.

    I would classify these classic x86 workloads as short and “bursty” in nature. The CPU sits and waits until you hit that “Enter” key and then it scrambles to execute your commands. Does it surprise you that the vast majority of time a modern computer sits around and idles while awaiting your command? Even after you hit “Enter” or click the mouse to start an action, the work is done basically before you can blink. Since this is how quick most modern x86 based CPUs workloads are executed, the difference in performance for different brands of x86 processors is virtually indistinguishable for an average user.

    Software applications have changed how consumers use their personal computers. People are using more modern workloads like 3D graphics, HD video and Internet surfing in a much more prevalent manner. Sure, we all dabble with spreadsheets and word processing once in awhile, but any modern x86 CPU-based PC can handle these workloads with ease. But with these modern applications, the capacity to multitask, improve image quality and enhance power efficiency are much more important than raw x86 performance in determining how good a consumer’s experience is with a particular PC.

    With these changes in consumer behavior and workloads, the question for AMD was really, “where should we invest?” AMD, like any semiconductor company, had a series of choices to make and these choices would determine how good AMD Fusion APUs would be for their intended use.

    AMD’s “Llano” and Intel’s “Sandy Bridge” are roughly equal in size and transistor count. But that’s where the similarities end. An analysis of the two components’ die area shows that AMD has invested much more heavily in graphics, parallel compute and video whereas Intel has invested much more of its silicon area in improving classic x86 performance.

    It is great to see our competitor acknowledge the importance of graphics and video, but AMD has made much more tangible investments in these modern graphical and video centric workloads. Our CPUs are not x86 slouches, but our goal is not to achieve x86 benchmark supremacy because it just doesn’t matter. x86 performance no longer determines a consumer’s overall experience with their computer. The ability to handle graphics and video are much more critical.

    We are no longer chasing the Phantom x86 Bottleneck. Our goal is to provide good headroom for video and graphics workloads, and to this effect “Llano” is designed to be successful. To be clear, AMD continues to invest in x86 performance. With our “Bulldozer” core and in future Bulldozer-based products, we are designing for faster and more efficient x86 performance; however, AMD is seeking to deliver a balance of graphics, video, compute and x86 capabilities and we are confident our APUs provide the best recipe for the great majority of consumers.

    Want to see how a “Llano” does against a shipping Intel Core i7-2630QM? See this YouTube video here
    :


    Source:http://blogs.amd.com/fusion/2011/03/...86-bottleneck/



    Bulldozer will be intresting. Demonstration coming very soon

    Giddy can be traced back to the same Germanic root *gud– that has given us the word God

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    Default Re: Exposing the Phantom x86 Bottleneck

    Awesome news......the stuff said here are really true....

    So Bulldozer will not be faster than SB in normal x86 benches...but will be faster on other type of workloads...

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    Default Re: Exposing the Phantom x86 Bottleneck

    i hope bulldozer turns out to be good.......without AMD there would be no competition, and Intel, without any competition, can be very ruthless in terms of pricing

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    Default Re: Exposing the Phantom x86 Bottleneck

    Differences are huge! :O

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    Default Re: Exposing the Phantom x86 Bottleneck

    ya...i mean in that vid they do 4 things without any problem...thats amazing....and about the intel x86 is right...the power draw proves it...

    bulldozer ashte dao...my next Proc...

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    Default Re: Exposing the Phantom x86 Bottleneck

    Quote Originally Posted by avas911 View Post
    Awesome news......the stuff said here are really true....

    So Bulldozer will not be faster than SB in normal x86 benches...but will be faster on other type of workloads...
    Llano is just APU with k10.5 based Core and radeon Core.

    The Radeon is as powerfull as a 6570-6670 and will probably have the ability to hybrid crossfire with a discrete GPU.

    But with bulldozer they did improve x86 but never intended to beat intel there. They probably cant

    Right now I use A Duel Core intel cpu and in invested 4x more on the GPU.
    A GPU makes more diffrence in performance than a CPU in most cases.

    Giddy can be traced back to the same Germanic root *gud– that has given us the word God

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    Default Re: Exposing the Phantom x86 Bottleneck

    Who ever said they probably cant ?
    Ill post a link later about the bulldozer arch, in some areas it does improve on previous gen tech, the only problem with bulldozer would be the 128BIT FPU, and that might make it a bit weaker in terms of gaming, but bear in mind its still unrevealed, so lets wait and see what happens.

    CPU bottlenecks can be very annoying, I got a massive jump in fps after changing from a Q6600 3ghz to an AMD phenom now running at 4.01 GHZ (the .01 to make it sound cooler yeah !) .

    Anyhow lets leave the assumptions on how bulldozer will perform, I do however doubt that it will be able to beat Sandy bridge cus it was designed to go on head with bloomfield, well maybe the 2nd gen bulldozer will kick some Ivy bridge ¤¤¤ ! 22nm anybody ?
    FTW!!!!!!!!!!

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    Default Re: Exposing the Phantom x86 Bottleneck

    Intel is more than 10 times bigger than AMD. Even If AMD makes a product, faster than intel. Intel wont sit idle and release a better product in a year.. AMD cant keep top Spot in x86 for long cuz Intel has the resources fight back very quickly.
    Instead they are Creating something that will make the most efficient use of die space. Aka Bulldozer.

    Giddy can be traced back to the same Germanic root *gud– that has given us the word God

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    Default Re: Exposing the Phantom x86 Bottleneck

    Quote Originally Posted by THE_ZULK View Post
    the only problem with bulldozer would be the 128BIT FPU,
    nope, the two symmetrical 128bit fpu pipelines per module can be united to work as 256bit fpu....
    Another bright thing is that, the extra interger added per module add up only 5%area per chip wise.but give the performance about 80% of a true core..
    Lets hope for the bright side
    Last edited by Mohiuddin; March 5th, 2011 at 18:05.

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