Wednesday, May 8th 2013

AMD's Answer to GeForce GTX 700 Series: Volcanic Islands

GPU buyers can breathe a huge sigh of relief that AMD isn't fixated with next-generation game consoles, and that its late-2013 launch of its next GPU generation is with good reason. The company is building a new GPU micro-architecture from the ground up. Codenamed "Volcanic Islands," with members codenamed after famous islands along the Pacific Ring of Fire, the new GPU family sees AMD rearranging component-hierarchy within the GPU, in a big way.

Over the past three GPU generations that used VLIW5, VLIW4, and Graphics CoreNext SIMD architectures, the component hierarchy was essentially untouched. According to an early block-diagram of one of the GPUs in the series, codenamed "Hawaii," AMD will designate parallel and serial computing units. Serial cores based on either of the two architectures AMD is licensed to use (x86 and ARM), could handle part of the graphics processing load. The stream processors of today make up the GPU's parallel processing machinery.

We can't make out text in the rather blurry block-diagram, but are rather convinced that if it's authentic, then AMD is making some big changes. Another reason for AMD's delay could be silicon fab process. "Tahiti" as implemented on Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition, already poses high thermal envelope. AMD doesn't want the 28 nm process to restrict its next-generation architecture development, and is holding out till the 20 nm process is in place at TSMC. The fab set Q4 as its tentative bulk manufacturing date for the process.

The source that leaked the block-diagram also posted specifications of the chip that's codenamed "Hawaii," which appears to be the flagship part.
  • 20 nm silicon fab process
  • 4096 stream processors
  • 16 serial processor cores
  • 4 geometry engines
  • 256 TMUs
  • 64 ROPs
  • 512-bit GDDR5 memory interface
Source: ChipHell. Many Thanks to SIGSEGV for the tip!
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145 Comments on AMD's Answer to GeForce GTX 700 Series: Volcanic Islands

#1
Recus
by: sergionography
kinda like gk110 you mean(titan) with one unit disable after a year of making
and then the 780 comming out with 2 units disabled lol
nvidia is just horrible with new process nodes, they never seem to get the hang of that, they are the ones always complaining about yield and what not simply because their engineers fail to work according to tsmc's fabs which nvidia has been using for over 10 years
amd on that front is miles ahead, always bringing excellent chips right when the fab spins, gotta appreciate amd from amd, and if this volcanic islands thing is coming out this years then it only further proves my point(though i still believe that image has nothing to do with volcanic island or the rumor itself)
Except AMD regularly feeding their fans with fake marketing slides, and lies such as HD 2000 (DDR4), HD 7000 (XRD2), HD 9000 (20 nm).

Sincerely, AlMostDead
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#2
W1zzard
by: Casecutter
Highest single reading during the test
that's for the "peak" graph. "average" represents the average you are looking for. all other sites that i know use a single reading for their power consumption measurements and dont disclose details, some even list full system power

even today, crysis 2 is still a great choice for power consumption testing
Posted on Reply
#3
15th Warlock
by: W1zzard
that's for the "peak" graph. "average" represents the average you are looking for. all other sites that i know use a single reading for their power consumption measurements and dont disclose details, some even list full system power

even today, crysis 2 is still a great choice for power consumption testing
Precisely, no other reviewer so thoroughly tests hardware under most conceivable scenarios like you do, and clearly disclose all environmental factors influencing the results.

And I agree, Crysis 2 maxed out can still stress most hardware configurations out there, and make even the fastest system break a sweat, it's as good a test tool as any other game out there.
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#4
d1nky
by: Recus
Except AMD regularly feeding their fans with fake marketing slides, and lies such as HD 2000 (DDR4), HD 7000 (XRD2), HD 9000 (20 nm).

Sincerely, AlMostDead
really? what is it about a bledy graphics/cpu brand that creates conflicts?! in my life its girls that create conflicts! :slap:
Posted on Reply
#5
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
by: Recus
Except AMD regularly feeding their fans with fake marketing slides, and lies such as HD 2000 (DDR4), HD 7000 (XRD2), HD 9000 (20 nm).

Sincerely, AlMostDead
:laugh: :laugh: :shadedshu :banghead:
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#6
RejZoR
by: W1zzard
that's for the "peak" graph. "average" represents the average you are looking for. all other sites that i know use a single reading for their power consumption measurements and dont disclose details, some even list full system power

even today, crysis 2 is still a great choice for power consumption testing
Also CS:GO and Trackmania Unlimited (even in track editor). The only two games that make my otherwise silent graphic card spin its fans like crazy. So crazy high that i had to create my own fan curve and sacrifice some thermals in order to keep it quiet along with the rest of the system.
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#7
xorbe
by: RejZoR
Also CS:GO and Trackmania Unlimited (even in track editor). The only two games that make my otherwise silent graphic card spin its fans like crazy. So crazy high that i had to create my own fan curve and sacrifice some thermals in order to keep it quiet along with the rest of the system.
Are your fps readings in the stratosphere? You might try a frame rate limiter.
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#8
theoneandonlymrk
by: Recus
Except AMD regularly feeding their fans with fake marketing slides, and lies such as HD 2000 (DDR4), HD 7000 (XRD2), HD 9000 (20 nm).

Sincerely, AlMostDead
Useless post there dude and largely balls too, Xdr2 for 7### was a rumour and 8### isn't fully out yet so suggesting the nine series isn't going on 20nm is jumping the gun in the extreme ,as it probably will be 20nm as could be the v2 sea islands , lame amd bashing try harder.
I think its quite clear to most that the pics of an Apu, so if this were Vi then amd will just be making scaleable Apus for everything and most situations, and its too soon for that imho but id welcome a mythical gpu like that pic x2, because damn them things would fold well even intels phi would look a bit weak on double precision compared to that spec of chip.
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#9
Casecutter
by: W1zzard
that's for the "peak" graph. "average" represents the average you are looking for
Stand corrected Thank you.

So with Crysis 2 the Ghz furnishes 9.8% more performance, while requiring 28% more watts than a GTX 680. If several other titles had that same trend(s) it could be appreciated it as a veritable results, but one data point is not definitive proof.

While Titan has 35% performance increase while basically using the same power of GHz, (even with the one data point) Titan appears to have some determinate efficiency. Now, can the Titan LE (fusing off 2 SMX) provide something approaching that performance/watts?
Posted on Reply
#10
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
by: Recus
Except AMD regularly feeding their fans with fake marketing slides, and lies such as HD 2000 (DDR4), HD 7000 (XRD2), HD 9000 (20 nm).

Sincerely, AlMostDead
You might want to tell their stock holder because they believe something is going well. Sitting at almost $4 a share now which is almost double from the start of the month.
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#11
HumanSmoke
by: Casecutter
Yeah, if you read what you posted [H] say they're using "real gaming and recorded the highest value in each"... Not an average of what it took to complete that section! Sure a 7970 might peak for a millisecond, is that what they mean as the "highest" value?
Nice hypothesis :rolleyes:
A couple of observations:
1. How do you know that the maximum measurement is the peak of a millisecond?, and
2. Isn't it conceivable that the other cards are being measured the exact same way...so in fact the GTX 680's full load power measurement could also be a transient peak of a millisecond duration ?
by: Casecutter
While now [H] doen't tell us the games used, but hopefully figure the 5 [H] used in that new review....
I was told by another guy who holds AMD to be the one true god, that they have it on good authority that the 7970GE was tested with Crysis 2, Metro 2033, BF3 multiplayer, Furmark, and 3DMark while the GTX 680 was tested with Solitaire, Minesweeper, Tetris, Farmville and The Lost Titans. If true- and I'm assured it is, that could account for the discrepancy. If so, then the world-wide conspiracy against AMD does indeed cover the entire planet!
Xbit ( difference of 78W in Metro 2033)
HT4U (difference of 76W - gaming benchmarks)
PCGH ( difference of 73W in Battlefield Bad Company 2)
Hardware.info (difference of 65W in Metro 2033)
Hexus (difference of 61W in Far Cry 3)
PC Perspective ( difference of 61W in BF3)
SweClockers (difference of 50W - application not specified)
Lab501 (difference of 47W in Crysis 2)
Hardware Canucks (difference of45W in Ungine Valley bench)
TechPowerUp (difference of 43W in Crysis 2)
HotHardware ( difference of 40W -application not specified)
TechSpot (difference of 38W in Crysis 3)
Hardware France (difference of 42W in Anno 2070 and 36W in BF3)
Bit-tech (difference of 35W in Unigine Heaven bench)
ComputerBase (difference of 35W in AC3)
Anandtech (difference of 24W in BF3)
HardwareLUXX (difference of 13W - application not specified)
Tech Report ( difference of 8W - application not specified)

By my count, that takes in Northern, Central, Western, and Eastern Europe, North America, and Australia.
Posted on Reply
#12
d1nky
by: HumanSmoke
I was told by another guy who holds AMD to be the one true god, that they have it on good authority that the 7970GE was tested with Crysis 2, Metro 2033, BF3 multiplayer, Furmark, and 3DMark while the GTX 680 was tested with Solitaire, Minesweeper, Tetris, Farmville and The Lost Titans
its late....... was that sarcasm?!
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#13
Super XP
This new series should be called AMD MONSTER HD 8970. Can't wait to see these baby's in action. The HD 8900 Series is my next upgrade.
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#14
pjl321
I will be upgrading from a very old system but want to wait for either Volcanic Islands or Maxwell for a graphics card.

So the question is, what is faster my AMD Radeon HD 4870 512mb or the Intel HD 4600 on the 4770k?

Next question, as i am pretty sure Intel will not have managed to compress an entire high-end (ish) video card from 2008 into a few transistors on a CPU, can i still use the OpenCL power of the Haswell chip if i have my old discrete card plugged in? I remember on early Sandy Bridge reviews you could only use QuickSync if you had a monitor plugged into Intel's video outputs.
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#15
Super XP
Personally I think the HD 4870 is the faster card, though I believe it supports upto DX10.1 where as the Intel supports Direct X 11.1.
Discrete graphics won't choke in games like integrated. The Intel one does 4K video well but for games the AMD takes it. Can somebody else advise :D
Posted on Reply
#16
HTC
by: Super XP
This new series should be called AMD MONSTER HD 8970. Can't wait to see these baby's in action. The HD 8900 Series is my next upgrade.
That's some blind faith you have, dude!

Wouldn't it be more sensible to see some reviews BEFORE making that decision?
Posted on Reply
#18
theoneandonlymrk
by: Super XP
Personally I think the HD 4870 is the faster card, though I believe it supports upto DX10.1 where as the Intel supports Direct X 11.1.
Discrete graphics won't choke in games like integrated. The Intel one does 4K video well but for games the AMD takes it. Can somebody else advise :D
You have it right there mate.
I use a hybrid physx card that needs to have a monitor attached btw I just use the second input on a single monitor, I can't see them both but dont use thr second input and it enables the features I want, the pjl136 dude could use this same tactic on his intel gfx output surely.

One day this phone will pay for all these messups.

Odd dp I edited sorry.
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#19
W1zzard
by: HumanSmoke
How do you know that the maximum measurement is the peak of a millisecond
nobody tests graphics card power consumption with millisecond resolution.

most editors use cheap killawatts that take a reading every 1-2 seconds. some even slower/people just look and memorize the highest number.

a handful of sites use proper measuring devices. i'm running at 12 samples per second, which in my opinion is a good compromise between accuracy and speed.

it could be interesting to look at power consumption with sub-microsecond resolution to observe the effects of power limiting systems, but spending a few k just for that doesn't seem to be worth it.
Posted on Reply
#20
xorbe
by: W1zzard
nobody tests graphics card power consumption with millisecond resolution.

most editors use cheap killawatts that take a reading every 1-2 seconds.
Right, but that number that's updated every 1-2 seconds ... was it just an "instantaneous" (perhaps "1 ms" effectively) reading, or a true average of the last 1-2 seconds?
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