Details on AMD Bulldozer: Opterons to Feature Configurable TDPby Johan De Gelas & Kristian Vättö on July 15, 2011 12:00 AM EST
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Overview of Bulldozer Lineup
AMD’s new Bulldozer-based CPUs are just around the corner. AMD has said the release of Zambezi CPUs will happen in Q3, which means any time from now. The latest word on the street suggests October release though. We know quite a lot about these CPUs already but there is at least one thing we didn't know until now and it may end up being a big thing in server market. AMD’s John Fruehe has published an interesting blog post where he reveals that AMD’s upcoming server CPUs, Operons, will feature a user-configurable TDP.
|AMD Bulldozer lineup|
|Market||High-end consumers||Low-end servers||High-end servers|
|Core count||8, 6 or 4||8 or 6||16, 12 or 8|
|Supported CPU configurations||Single CPU||Up to dual CPU||Up to quad CPU|
Lets start with a brief on Bulldozer. It’s AMD’s first new micro-architecture since K10 (if we ignore Bobcat), which was released in late 2007, and frankly it’s long overdue. It will be manufactured using GlobalFoundries’ 32nm SOI, just like Llano. Some of the architectural changes are covered here, so lets not get into that.
The regular desktop CPUs are codenamed Zambezi and will feature up to eight cores. They will use the AM3+ socket and some AM3 boards will also support the new Zambezi CPUs after a BIOS update. These CPUs will not feature an integrated GPU (unlike Llano and Ontario/Zacate) and will support up to 1866MHz DDR3 in dual-channel configuration.
Bulldozer actually gets more interesting when talking about the server parts, Opterons. For low-end and power efficient servers, AMD will offer CPUs codenamed Valencia. Specification wise these CPUs are pretty similar to Zambezi, with 8-core and 6-core variants. The memory support is also dual-channel just like in Zambezi but will be limited to 1600MHz. Valencia will be released under the Opteron 4200 Series brand and will support single- and dual-CPU configurations. It will aslo be compatible with AMD's current San Marino and Adelaide platforms (Opteron 4000 Series) for socket C32.
For high-end servers, AMD’s answer is Interlagos. It will feature up to 16 cores which is achieved by combining two 8-core dies into one package, similar to AMD’s current 12-core Magny Cours. There will also be 12-core and 8-core variants. Interlagos has up to four Hyper-Transport 3.0 links, meaning that quad-CPU configurations are supported. Apparently, there will also be CPUs with only two links, aimed at dual-CPU configurations. Memory support will be quad-channel 1600MHz DDR3, just like Intel’s Sandy Bridge-E (although we don’t know the speed of DDR3 that SB-E supports). Interlagos will be branded as the Opteron 6200 Series and will retain support for Maranello platform (Opteron 6000 Series) which utilizes socket G34.
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mino - Friday, July 15, 2011 - link"single-threaded performance is still a sore spot for Bobcat compared to other architectures"
What "other architectures" ??? To my knowledge the is exactly ZERO other architectures with faster single-threaded performance at the power level Bobcat plays at.
The faster "competitors" are either running at their lowes-feasible power levels (SB, C2D) or are vastly slower (Atom, A15 etc.).
JarredWalton - Saturday, July 16, 2011 - linkWe never said "at the same power level". Bobcat is much faster than Atom, but Core 2 beats Bobcat silly, and Core 2010/2011 are even faster. Bobcat is fine for low power, low performance, decent multimedia; that's not the same as being good for general use.
GaMEChld - Saturday, July 16, 2011 - linkWhy even go to Intel for the comparison? Bobcat loses to the old STARS cores too doesn't it? Athlon II, Phenom II, Llano? Generally it's assumed that comparisons are done between competing products for a given market or price point.
What sense would there be in reviewing an Intel Atom chip, and then taking the time to say, well, sadly the Intel Atom does not have as good single-threaded performance as the Core i7 990X Super Jeebus Edition. Or that the Radeon 5450 does not offer superior graphics performance to the GTX 590? Well, duh!
529th - Friday, July 15, 2011 - linkAMD seems to be highlighted alot around the word "server"
.. just not my market.. what a let down for the pursuit in competitive CPUs for Intel desktop
fee nom - whutever
shmmy - Friday, July 15, 2011 - linkWow really? Do you people really need to nitpick the details on stuff thats not even out yet? 8 cores 10 cores who the heck cares get back to work slackers! :)
JarredWalton - Sunday, July 17, 2011 - linkCore 2 ULV (all the CULV stuff from early 2010) already offered us power levels similar to Bobcat, with better per-core performance. What it didn't offer was the GPU side of things, which is why Optimus was useful. As the article here states, "single-threaded performance is still a sore spot for Bobcat compared to other architectures", it seemed fairly obvious that we're discussing Bobcat in the greater market, not just Bobcat in low-power uses. And yet, Mino went and complained regardless.
For those interested in a few comparisons:
Core 2 SU7200 @ 1.3GHz w/GMA4500
(ASUS UL80Vt: http://www.anandtech.com/show/2886)
PCMark Vantage: 2993
CB10 1CPU: 1643
CB10 SMP: 3138
x264 1st Pass: 18.12 FPS
x264 2nd Pass: 4.5 FPS
Idle Power: ~5.94W
Internet Power: ~8.59W
H.264 Power: ~13.96W
Core i3-330UM @ 1.2GHz w/HD Graphics
(ASUS UL80Jt: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4009)
PCMark Vantage: 3558
CB10 1CPU: 1724
CB10 SMP: 3859
x264 1st Pass: 21.45 FPS
x264 2nd Pass: 5.67 FPS
Idle Power: ~7.91W
Internet Power: ~10.5W
H.264 Power: ~17.68W
AMD E-350 @ 1.6GHz w/6310M
(MSI X370: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4218/)
PCMark Vantage: 2511
CB10 1CPU: 1158
CB10 SMP: 2175
x264 1st Pass: 13.96 FPS
x264 2nd Pass: 3.43 FPS
Idle Power: ~7.47W
Internet Power: ~8.81W
H.264 Power: ~13.57W
So when Mino says that "to my knowledge the is exactly ZERO other architectures with faster single-threaded performance at the power level Bobcat plays at", he is either uninformed, ignorant, or totally biased. CULV way back in late 2009 offered 42% higher single-threaded performance than Bobcat in early 2011, with lower power requirements. Core 2010 ULV improved performance further at the cost of power requirements: it's 49% faster but uses 6% to 30% more power than Bobcat. Either way, performance per watt both CULV and i3-ULV do better than Bobcat. They also have much worse IGPs, so it's not a complete loss for AMD.
Even so, architecturally I don't think Bobcat has a lot of legs. Going quad-core does nothing for single-threaded performance, and multi-threaded performance on a low power design is sort of silly to discuss. It's the same problem I have with ARM: sure, they can do low power really well, but what happens when you need more performance? For many tasks, a 2.0GHz dual-core ARM is no worse than a 2.0GHz quad-core ARM, and in raw computer performance even Atom is likely faster than ARM right now.
Windows 8 running on ARM is going to be interesting; can the chip even handle a full OS like Windows? Will it do so while still offering good battery life? I'd say Bobcat is the bare minimum performance we need for a full Windows OS to work well, and Bobcat is at least twice as fast as Atom. Will ARM manage to equal Bobcat next year? I wouldn't bet on it, but maybe I'll be wrong.
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morohmoroh - Friday, July 22, 2011 - linki have two hand
5 finger in my left hand and 5 finger in right hand
i cannot grab a 1 rock with 1 finger , i still can grab it with boths hand with each 2 finger but still hard then decided grab a rock with 3 or 5 finger
now i have 8 hand and 40 finger how s bout that?
if i can grab a rock with invisible hand and finger it look like a magic
my question is core = brain or core = hand with finger?
Cyberius - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - linkI hope bulldozer for desktop has tdp power cap included in the amd overdrive utility like the radeon 6900 catalyst utility. That would be a great option for us.