Monday, January 24th 2011

Bulldozer Shines in 3D Gaming and Rendering: AMD

Close to two weeks ago, reports surfaced about AMD claiming that its upcoming "Zambezi" 8-core desktop processor based on the company's new Bulldozer architecture is expected to perform 50% faster than Intel's Core i7 and its own Phenom II X6 processors. The slide forming the basis for the older report surfaced, and it's a little more than a cumulative performance estimate.

Slide #14 from AMD's Desktop Client Solutions presentation to its industry partners reveals that the company went ahead and provided a breakdown on which kinds of applications exactly does its new 8-core chip perform better compared to present-generation processors. The breakdown provides an interesting insight on the architecture itself. To begin with, AMD's 8-core Bulldozer "Zambezi" processor is 1.5X (50%) faster overall compared to Intel Core i7 "Bloomfield" 950, and AMD Phenom II X6 1100T. Breaking down that graph, the processor performs similar to the other chips in media applications, but features huge gains in gaming and 3D rendering, which is where most of its gains are coming from.

To put this into perspective, games and 3D graphics applications, which still favour processors with higher clock speeds with lesser number of cores/threads to processors with lesser clock speeds and higher number of cores/threads, performing well on Bulldozer indicates that AMD is concentrating on higher performance per core, in other words, higher instructions per clock (IPC). The modular design of Bulldozer, perhaps, is contributing to high inter-core bandwidth, which helps 3D games that can do with lesser number of cores.

AMD described the Zambezi-powered "Scorpius" enthusiast desktop platform to have "the best graphics features and performance". A comparative table also reminds us that apart from the radical design, Bulldozer might benefit from a vastly upgraded SIMD instruction set compared to the previous generation. Bulldozer packs SSE 4.1, SSE 4.2, and AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions). With socket AM3+ motherboards already seeing the light of the day in pre-release photo shoots, AMD's new processor doesn't seem too far.Source: DonanimHaber
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122 Comments on Bulldozer Shines in 3D Gaming and Rendering: AMD

#1
blibba
Except that that graph also shows the Phenom x6 to be better in games than the i7 950.

So presumably AMD is looking at games optimised for 6+ cores here.

The one area in which AMD admit that the i7 950 is faster than the Phenom x6 is "media", so presumably that's the single threaded task, as I don't think anybody would claim that a Phenom is faster than an i7 in single threaded tasks at similar clock speeds.

Therefore, contrary to the above article, Bulldozer will be a slight improvement in per core performance and a massive improvement in parallel performance.
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#2
HXL492
So is that 3d with or without glasses? :rolleyes::p
Anyway its nice to know to these chips can excel at gaming.. especially in the future
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#3
ivicagmc
Can't wait to see some benchmarks... Great thing for me is that I don't have to bye a new processor right away. First I bye a AM3+ mob and put my current AM3 processor on it, and latter, when I had money to spare, get some nice Bulldozer...
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#4
Red_Machine
The title said "3D gaming" and I was expecting it to be referring to the intergrated GPU!
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#5
DanTheMan
Can't seem to wait for this baby - I hope it hold true to the hype. Take this CPU and add dual 6990 cards and you have a nice machine that should do well for at least 3 years. But may need a 850 or higher power supply to keep that setup going. Maybe the AMD guy can give us a better estimate on release of this - I'm hoping by April-June timeframe (or sooner)!

AMD :rockout:
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#6
toyo
They compared their future octo core with last year quad core from Intel and they're proud of winning?
AMD, wake the hell up, guys!!!
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#7
Mega-Japan
I totally like the sound of this. Waiting to upgrade my desktop as soon as Windows 8 is released, possibly next year, and this is the CPU it'll carry.
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#8
blibba
by: DanTheMan
Take this CPU and add dual 6990 cards and you have a nice machine that should do well for at least 3 years.
This setup and dual 6990s would last a lot longer than 3 years. My Pentium dual core has lated 3 years and it's probably be fine for at least a couple more, lol. A high end system like that should last for 5-8 years imo, unless you really NEED cutting edge performance.
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#9
TheMailMan78
Banstick Dummy
I want to see two things....

1. Benches.
2. Price.

by: blibba
Except that that graph also shows the Phenom x6 to be better in games than the i7 950.

So presumably AMD is looking at games optimised for 6+ cores here.

The one area in which AMD admit that the i7 950 is faster than the Phenom x6 is "media", so presumably that's the single threaded task, as I don't think anybody would claim that a Phenom is faster than an i7 in single threaded tasks at similar clock speeds.

Therefore, contrary to the above article, Bulldozer will be a slight improvement in per core performance and a massive improvement in parallel performance.
This is about gaming and media crunching which the 1090T is very much on par with the i7 950. Nevermind the 1100T.
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#10
claylomax
An 8 core cpu is 50% faster than a 4 core cpu :twitch:
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#11
TheMailMan78
Banstick Dummy
by: claylomax
An 8 core cpu is 50% faster than a 4 core cpu :twitch:
Multi-threading is a bitch ain't it!
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#12
claylomax
by: TheMailMan78
Multi-threading is a bitch ain't it!
What do you mean?
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#13
caleb
He means that adding a core(thead) doesn't mean you get +100% of performance.
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#14
meran
do i see bottle neck here>>>> dual channel
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#15
blibba
by: blibba
Except that that graph also shows the Phenom x6 to be better in games than the i7 950.

So presumably AMD is looking at games optimised for 6+ cores here.

The one area in which AMD admit that the i7 950 is faster than the Phenom x6 is "media", so presumably that's the single threaded task, as I don't think anybody would claim that a Phenom is faster than an i7 in single threaded tasks at similar clock speeds.

Therefore, contrary to the above article, Bulldozer will be a slight improvement in per core performance and a massive improvement in parallel performance.
by: TheMailMan78

This is about gaming and media crunching which the 1090T is very much on par with the i7 950. Nevermind the 1100T.
Like I said, nobody would claim that the Phenom is faster per clock in tasks using between 1 and 4 threads (right?). So yes, the 1090t is very much on par with the 950, and even better, in games that use more than 4 logical cores well (the only one I can think of right now is 3d mark, which isn't really a game. I'm probably forgetting something though). As I also explained above, this would appear to be what AMD is suggesting, too.

by: meran
do i see bottle neck here>>>> dual channel
I think that the superiority of the 1155 CPUs over the old 1366 CPUs has shown that memory bandwith isn't as important as it's sometimes made out to be, even on high end platforms.
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#16
Over_Lord
News Editor
by: TheMailMan78
Multi-threading is a bitch ain't it!
4 module, 8 core

effective die area to be comparable to a 4 core 8 threaded INTEL (hopefully)
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#17
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
by: claylomax
An 8 core cpu is 50% faster than a 4 core cpu :twitch:
That's what I was going to point out. All these Bulldozer charts AMD is releasing are misleading because they are comparing a two year old SMT enabled architecture quad-core to a new architecture octo-core. The performance gap between them should be at least 2, not 1.5. From that information, I can almost guarentee you that existing Gulftown coares are about equal to octo-core Bulldozer in performance and an octo-core Sandy Bridge will bitch slap an octo-core Bulldozer.

All the signs AMD is sending don't look very positive to me. Yes, it has higher IPC than Phenom II but it still behind Intel. :(
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#18
meirb111
if thats what 8 cores do than quad core will not be much better than a phenom
the only thing amd has to give is low price and high overclocking else it will
be a flop ,intel sandy bridge isn't much better also, compare i5 760 to i5 2300
and you get only 20% .both amd and intel are feeding us bread crumbs.
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#19
kaneda
People sometimes forget something when it comes to custom machine building.

I mean, for gaming people focus too much on the cpu and very little on the gpu( the major decider on graphics capabilities.)

Proving the cpu is powerful enough to feed the gpu being used, gaming benchmarks seem somewhat unimportant. If it were me, despite using my machine as more of a workstation, i'd focus more on multi-tasking performance, i mean the chances are you're going to spend more time with multiple applications open over long periods of time( atypical enthusiast machine).

So really, on a forum like techpowerup, wouldn't the major desire for all enthusiasts be multi-tasking performance?

maybe it's just me, but i figure most people here will use photoshop at some point, or run some distributed computing client in the background, or something similar.



Seems like AMD's bulldozer has promise, with some (even if its just a bit) of evidence to say it's gonna tank in multi-tasking :) if these are priced right it would be desired by people looking for home office workstations (freelancers and the such).
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#20
MarcusTaz
by: toyo
They compared their future octo core with last year quad core from Intel and they're proud of winning?
AMD, wake the hell up, guys!!!
ditto!!!!
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#21
Fourstaff
*puts on stupid thinking cap*
Lets say AMD ranks bulldozer according to the Phenom II. We all know that the Phenom II is maybe 80%(?) the strength of a i7 9xx processor (sans the 6 core monsters), and if they claim that bulldozer is 1.5x the power of Phenom II, then it should be 120% compared to the i7 9xx, and since that the new i2xxx are 10-20%(?) better than the old 9xx, so we have Bulldozer = Sandy Bridge.

All the numbers are obviously not accurate, they are off by at least 10%, but I think its quite a good estimate of the strength of Bulldozer after you strip all the number inflation by AMD to their own bosses.
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#22
kaneda
by: Red_Machine
The title said "3D gaming" and I was expecting it to be referring to the intergrated GPU!
What integrated gpu... i was under the impression only AMD's apu's had cpu/gpu capabilities.
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#23
kaneda
by: Fourstaff
*puts on stupid thinking cap*
Lets say AMD ranks bulldozer according to the Phenom II. We all know that the Phenom II is maybe 80%(?) the strength of a i7 9xx processor (sans the 6 core monsters), and if they claim that bulldozer is 1.5x the power of Phenom II, then it should be 120% compared to the i7 9xx, and since that the new i2xxx are 10-20%(?) better than the old 9xx, so we have Bulldozer = Sandy Bridge.

All the numbers are obviously not accurate, they are off by at least 10%, but I think its quite a good estimate of the strength of Bulldozer after you strip all the number inflation by AMD to their own bosses.
If what you say is true, wouldn't that mean they're equal in a large number of tasks, except multi-tasking performance where AMD's octo-core will shine?
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#24
ROad86
by: FordGT90Concept
That's what I was going to point out. All these Bulldozer charts AMD is releasing are misleading because they are comparing a two year old SMT enabled architecture quad-core to a new architecture octo-core. The performance gap between them should be at least 2, not 1.5. From that information, I can almost guarentee you that existing Gulftown coares are about equal to octo-core Bulldozer in performance and an octo-core Sandy Bridge will bitch slap an octo-core Bulldozer.

All the signs AMD is sending don't look very positive to me. Yes, it has higher IPC than Phenom II but it still behind Intel.
We have all seen reviews about Sandybridge. How much faster is the new cpu's? Because your are all talking like the 950 is something very slow. 950 is faster than i5 2500k in most tasks and lacks only from i7 2600K.
And something else everyone are comparing 4 cores(intel) vs 6/8 cores(amd). What matter's is the price. If a processor with 4 cores cost more than one with 6 or 8 why I should buy the 4 core? So the important thing is the price of the cpu's.
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#25
Fourstaff
by: kaneda
If what you say is true, wouldn't that mean they're equal in a large number of tasks, except multi-tasking performance where AMD's octo-core will shine?
yes, but those statistics by me is made up of 50% daydream 50% rubbish (like most other stats).
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