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
LAN_deRf_HA
FordGT90Concept said:
And Core i7 2600K is still behind the Core i7 950 in many regards (namely QPI and memory channels). X68 based Core i7s should be even faster (at least where lots of graphics and memory bandwidth are concerned).

LGA 1156 -> LGA 1155 = no QPI
LGA 1366 -> LGA 2011 = QPI
I wouldn't call that many, I'd call that two. Two that only make for extremely rare instances of performance advantage over the 2600k. Hell the bandwidth discrepancy isn't even always there, as 1155 can support higher speeds than 1366, and is clock for clock better in the timings and copy department. So when you press your memory on 1155 to match 1366 bandwidth you're further increasing the advantages you already had.
Posted on Reply
#2
TheLaughingMan
newtekie1 said:
Yeah, and it will perform worse than Intels 12 core.

Intel's prices are high because they have no competition in those high price segments. So to answer your question in certain price ranges Intel will perform better because Intel is the only one in those price and performance ranges.

If you go lower, AMD competes nicesly, but enthusiasts want high end, and will pay Intel's prices for it until AMD can offer something competitive. And 50% faster with 100% more cores than a 2 year old product doesn't point to AMD being competitive at the current high end to me.

You can say, oh AMD wins price/performance at the lower end, but I don't see that all that often either. You can look at the $125 segment and see an i3-540 beating the x2 565BE or the i3-540 beating an x4 920 if you prefer the idea that "real men use real cores"-and still get their asses handed to them by a dual core...:laugh:
Wait. You are comparing a i3 540 to a AM2+ 920? That processor wasn't even the flagship of its generation and no one is thinking about it now. Try comparing your i3 540 to say the Phenom II X2 565 or Athlon II X4 645. Both of those are $10 cheaper and you will see your comparison gets real grey real fast.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/204?vs=143

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/188?vs=143

Price/performance is AMD stomping ground because they price their processors according to their audience and Intel inflation. Who gave regular folks quad cores for less than $100? AMD Who gave gamers the first "sweet spot" of our current gen or offerings? AMD 720 comes to mind. Title now held by i5 750.

For me it has always been 3 groups:
* People who want to computer on a budge, AMD is your best friend.
* People who want to swing their e-penis in public and brag about how fast their processor is in applications they don't own or use, Intel to the rescue.
* People who try to mix budget with performance, I feel sorry for your because this middle ground's competition is ugly and confusing. This is my buying area and I am always torn for weeks before I make a final decision. And to be honest, I don't really think me picking one or the other ever really matters.

I think AMD should go after that middle ground more aggressively which is what they seem to be doing. I don't think the initial flagship will truly compete with Sandy's top end, but I expect it to go blow for blow with Sandy's mid-range processors in the same price range. I am just hoping this time AMD will take the mid-ranged crown so they can say, "We beat Intel overall in every price segment, unless you are spending $800+." And they can say, "And we offer better overall server processors in every price segment, unless your budget is unlimited. Then I think we can help you with our GPU based servers."
Posted on Reply
#3
Imsochobo
TheLaughingMan said:
Wait. You are comparing a i3 540 to a AM2+ 920? That processor wasn't even the flagship of its generation and no one is thinking about it now. Try comparing your i3 540 to say the Phenom II X2 565 or Athlon II X4 645. Both of those are $10 cheaper and you will see your comparison gets real grey real fast.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/204?vs=143

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/188?vs=143

Price/performance is AMD stomping ground because they price their processors according to their audience and Intel inflation. Who gave regular folks quad cores for less than $100? AMD Who gave gamers the first "sweet spot" of our current gen or offerings? AMD 720 comes to mind. Title now held by i5 750.

For me it has always been 3 groups:
* People who want to computer on a budge, AMD is your best friend.
* People who want to swing their e-penis in public and brag about how fast their processor is in applications they don't own or use, Intel to the rescue.
* People who try to mix budget with performance, I feel sorry for your because this middle ground's competition is ugly and confusing. This is my buying area and I am always torn for weeks before I make a final decision. And to be honest, I don't really think me picking one or the other ever really matters.

I think AMD should go after that middle ground more aggressively which is what they seem to be doing. I don't think the initial flagship will truly compete with Sandy's top end, but I expect it to go blow for blow with Sandy's mid-range processors in the same price range. I am just hoping this time AMD will take the mid-ranged crown so they can say, "We beat Intel overall in every price segment, unless you are spending $800+." And they can say, "And we offer better overall server processors in every price segment, unless your budget is unlimited. Then I think we can help you with our GPU based servers."
Until recently you cudnt find a better budget system that could last than X6 1050T.
was some serious performance for your $$$
Especially for current am2/am2+ user, and even for new users it was the better choice.
It is however not that now, its more balanced in that area now...
But if bulldozer stomps intel this time and with 28/22nm or whatever it is next time amd will be the e-peen company.
Intel have never been the budget maker though, too great market position, and the lawsuits just tells the story of miss use of that position..
However the outcome could be diffrent.

Amd bringing in AMD FX name suggest it will perform, on par atleast. time will tell how it performs, if its just 3% below or 10% above or w/e.
Posted on Reply
#4
cadaveca
My name is Dave
Imsochobo said:
Amd bringing in AMD FX name suggest it will perform, on par atleast. time will tell how it performs, if its just 3% below or 10% above or w/e.
Of course, with this bit of info, like all others recently, we must question the source of such info that the FX line is to return.

I failed to find a quotable AMD source for the "FX to return" info, merely the same source as this info(DonanimHaber). Many sites suggest that this same info is just rumour as well, so I can only suggest you take that info with just as much salt as this info, as JF-AMD suggests.

It's quite interesting to me for an AMD rep to continually say "we did not make any such statement", time and time again. The more I see it, the more I suspect that someone is taking advantage of the "quiet period before launch" to get hits, a period that JF-AMD says is currently in effect.

So who ya gonna listen to...AMD themselves, or someone without a source they can quote? Personally, I choose AMD, and as such, ahve chosen to ignore any and all info relating to BullDozer, until the product hits the shelves, or AMD makes official announcements.
Posted on Reply
#5
swaaye
Read this page:
http://www.realworldtech.com/page.cfm?ArticleID=RWT082610181333&p=2

I think that sums up what AMD is going for with Bulldozer. A lot is depending on the clock speed they can pull off but I expect a CPU that beats Phenom II in every way but is behind i7s on per-core performance. It's supposed to be a multithreading monster but we'll see how that goes.
Posted on Reply
#6
Wile E
Power User
TheLaughingMan said:
Wait. You are comparing a i3 540 to a AM2+ 920? That processor wasn't even the flagship of its generation and no one is thinking about it now. Try comparing your i3 540 to say the Phenom II X2 565 or Athlon II X4 645. Both of those are $10 cheaper and you will see your comparison gets real grey real fast.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/204?vs=143

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/188?vs=143

Price/performance is AMD stomping ground because they price their processors according to their audience and Intel inflation. Who gave regular folks quad cores for less than $100? AMD Who gave gamers the first "sweet spot" of our current gen or offerings? AMD 720 comes to mind. Title now held by i5 750.

For me it has always been 3 groups:
* People who want to computer on a budge, AMD is your best friend.
* People who want to swing their e-penis in public and brag about how fast their processor is in applications they don't own or use, Intel to the rescue.
* People who try to mix budget with performance, I feel sorry for your because this middle ground's competition is ugly and confusing. This is my buying area and I am always torn for weeks before I make a final decision. And to be honest, I don't really think me picking one or the other ever really matters.

I think AMD should go after that middle ground more aggressively which is what they seem to be doing. I don't think the initial flagship will truly compete with Sandy's top end, but I expect it to go blow for blow with Sandy's mid-range processors in the same price range. I am just hoping this time AMD will take the mid-ranged crown so they can say, "We beat Intel overall in every price segment, unless you are spending $800+." And they can say, "And we offer better overall server processors in every price segment, unless your budget is unlimited. Then I think we can help you with our GPU based servers."
They'll never be able to say that. Intel can just lower prices to compete. Intel can afford to have slimmer margins on their cpus more so than AMD can. The only way AMD can truly compete, is if they can counter Intel on every level, including top end.

That said, I am dying to see some real numbers here.
Posted on Reply
#7
1Kurgan1
The Knife in your Back
newtekie1 said:
Yeah, and it will perform worse than Intels 12 core.

Intel's prices are high because they have no competition in those high price segments. So to answer your question in certain price ranges Intel will perform better because Intel is the only one in those price and performance ranges.

If you go lower, AMD competes nicesly, but enthusiasts want high end, and will pay Intel's prices for it until AMD can offer something competitive. And 50% faster with 100% more cores than a 2 year old product doesn't point to AMD being competitive at the current high end to me.

You can say, oh AMD wins price/performance at the lower end, but I don't see that all that often either. You can look at the $125 segment and see an i3-540 beating the x2 565BE or the i3-540 beating an x4 920 if you prefer the idea that "real men use real cores"-and still get their asses handed to them by a dual core...:laugh:
I disagree completely with your opinion on enthusiast. Look at my setup, I know a lot of people that play computer games, and only one of them has a setup around my specs and it's Marineborn (talking about people I know in person). I have built gaming machines for other people, and those are usually quad cores with a good single GPU.

An enthusiast is not someone who spends 1k on a processor, if you need to do that to define enthusiast, then 99.9% of this forum are not enthusiasts. If you got crossfire, SLI, Water cooling, even extreme air cooling, you done case mods, you tinker with flashing and in the bios. Thats enthusiast, spending 1k on a processor doesn't make oyu that, it means you got deep pockets and can afford it. My setup is a crusher, it costed a lot, no it's not the best stuff on the market.

What your saying is like saying, "your not a car enthusiast till you own a Veyron, go out and spend that 2.5 mil". Not true at all.
Posted on Reply
#8
Wile E
Power User
I have to agree with that sentiment, Kurgan. And I do own a top end cpu.
Posted on Reply
#9
JF-AMD
AMD Rep (Server)
cadaveca said:
Of course, with this bit of info, like all others recently, we must question the source of such info that the FX line is to return.

I failed to find a quotable AMD source for the "FX to return" info, merely the same source as this info(DonanimHaber). Many sites suggest that this same info is just rumour as well, so I can only suggest you take that info with just as much salt as this info, as JF-AMD suggests.

It's quite interesting to me for an AMD rep to continually say "we did not make any such statement", time and time again. The more I see it, the more I suspect that someone is taking advantage of the "quiet period before launch" to get hits, a period that JF-AMD says is currently in effect.

So who ya gonna listen to...AMD themselves, or someone without a source they can quote? Personally, I choose AMD, and as such, ahve chosen to ignore any and all info relating to BullDozer, until the product hits the shelves, or AMD makes official announcements.
Quiet period is over, earnings were announced. The reason I have been saying that we did not say this is that some people believe that it is some type of manufactured leak. That is not how I do business. If I have info to share, it is in my blog.


Wile E said:
They'll never be able to say that. Intel can just lower prices to compete. Intel can afford to have slimmer margins on their cpus more so than AMD can. The only way AMD can truly compete, is if they can counter Intel on every level, including top end.

That said, I am dying to see some real numbers here.
Then why don't they just do that all the time? The reason is that when you grab the price lever, it is hard to recover. And there are financial expectations that companies set with wall street. When you don't make those there is hell to pay.

It seems easy to say just drop the price, but once the $300 price point becomes $275, it is really hard to get back there.

Sometimes it is easier to take the short term sales hit then drop price and lose those dollars on the revenue stream for the next several years.
Posted on Reply
#10
Wile E
Power User
JF-AMD said:
Quiet period is over, earnings were announced. The reason I have been saying that we did not say this is that some people believe that it is some type of manufactured leak. That is not how I do business. If I have info to share, it is in my blog.




Then why don't they just do that all the time? The reason is that when you grab the price lever, it is hard to recover. And there are financial expectations that companies set with wall street. When you don't make those there is hell to pay.

It seems easy to say just drop the price, but once the $300 price point becomes $275, it is really hard to get back there.

Sometimes it is easier to take the short term sales hit then drop price and lose those dollars on the revenue stream for the next several years.
Speaking of the client side (for which I am much more familiar than the server side), they do.
Posted on Reply
#11
cadaveca
My name is Dave
JF-AMD said:
Quiet period is over, earnings were announced. The reason I have been saying that we did not say this is that some people believe that it is some type of manufactured leak. That is not how I do business. If I have info to share, it is in my blog.
Thanks for the clarification. But on that note, is that confirming the info? Or a hint to keep an eye on your blog? ;)
Posted on Reply
#12
TheMailMan78
Big Member
Wile E said:
Speaking of the client side (for which I am much more familiar than the server side), they do.
Server or client the principle is the same. What he is saying is once your drop a price on anything its hard to convince your customers of a cost increase. Holders have expectations. Price drops are not one of them.
Posted on Reply
#13
happita
Everyone should just keep quiet on how BD is going to perform because honestly NOONE knows except AMD themselves...and maybe wizzy :o Speculation gets us nowhere and is useless. All it does is set expectations and everyone either hypes up the product or downtalks the hell out of it.
Until I hear something official, or until it is released to review sites to review before being put on the market to be sold, then I won't believe anything about Bulldozer that even has a 1% chance of not being true.
With that being said, I'm fairly certain that everyone wants the new processors from AMD to be competitive, otherwise we as consumers will suffer the consequences of price hikes.
Posted on Reply
#14
cadaveca
My name is Dave
I want AMD to be more than competitive...I want them to spank Intel back into the dark ages.


Alas, that may be unrealistic, but stranger things have happened. I am more than willing to wait for launch though.

Could use a cpu to do motherboard reviews with though. :laugh:

you know, what would be more scary is that if Bulldozer does deliver, and then Intel raises it's prices on the up and coming socket...that would not be in comsumer wallet's interests
Posted on Reply
#15
1Kurgan1
The Knife in your Back
It would be nice to see that, but Intels position didn't come from spanking, it came from showing up decades ahead of AMD. Thats why I take AMD's position with a grain of salt, hopefully someday they can make up that difference. But even when they did have the top dog processors on the market, I don't think they made a dent in the gap.
Posted on Reply
#16
LAN_deRf_HA
When they were on top for a few years it took every bit of that time for it to become widely accepted they were better, then the next day core 2 duo comes out and the party is over. They'd need to take the lead and never give it up to really put pressure on intel.
Posted on Reply
#17
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
LAN_deRf_HA said:
I wouldn't call that many, I'd call that two. Two that only make for extremely rare instances of performance advantage over the 2600k. Hell the bandwidth discrepancy isn't even always there, as 1155 can support higher speeds than 1366, and is clock for clock better in the timings and copy department. So when you press your memory on 1155 to match 1366 bandwidth you're further increasing the advantages you already had.
Intel made a mistake by having Clackdale about as fast as Bloomfield because then it's hard for consumers to justify purchasing the more expensive LGA 1366 platform. I'm sure LGA 2011 is coming second this time around to make sure that doesn't happen.

Core i7 950 is 45nm, Core i7 2600K is 32nm. That's the reason why the 2600K can "support higher speeds." The LGA 2011 processors will be 32nm too (maybe 22nm if it takes too long).

LGA 2011 = 4 x DDR3-1600 = 51.2 GiB/s
LGA 1155 = 2 x DDR3-1333 = 21.2 GiB/s

Huge memory performance gap there. There's no memory in existance that can make up that gap with only 2 channels. LGA 2011 also doesn't have an integrated GPU which could substantially improve overclocking capability (less heat).
Posted on Reply
#18
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
of course it does AMD :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#19
N3M3515
cadaveca said:
I want AMD to be more than competitive...I want them to spank Intel back into the dark ages.


Alas, that may be unrealistic, but stranger things have happened. I am more than willing to wait for launch though.

Could use a cpu to do motherboard reviews with though. :laugh:

you know, what would be more scary is that if Bulldozer does deliver, and then Intel raises it's prices on the up and coming socket...that would not be in comsumer wallet's interests
Man, when amd was nothing to be feared, they released the mighty athlon that spanked P3, then also athlon 64 spanked P4, it is more possible now than ever before.
Posted on Reply
#20
wiak
meran said:
do i see bottle neck here>>>> dual channel
sandy bridge that is faster than nehalem uses dual channel, so memory bandwith dont have that much to do with performance benefits, heck amd could have used DDR2 on their current sixcore phenoms IIs,
Posted on Reply
#21
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
wiak said:
sandy bridge that is faster than nehalem uses dual channel, so memory bandwith dont have that much to do with performance benefits, heck amd could have used DDR2 on their current sixcore phenoms IIs,
Sandy Bridge is neck and neck with nehalem. a 950 can easily take down a 2500k. the only thing that stands in the way of the i7 950 is the 2600k even then they really are close to the same
Posted on Reply
#22
JF-AMD
AMD Rep (Server)
cadaveca said:
Thanks for the clarification. But on that note, is that confirming the info? Or a hint to keep an eye on your blog? ;)
Not confirming the info because I can only confirm the things I have control over. If that was a server slide I could tell you with 99% accuracy because I make 99% of them.


TheMailMan78 said:
Server or client the principle is the same. What he is saying is once your drop a price on anything its hard to convince your customers of a cost increase. Holders have expectations. Price drops are not one of them.
That is very true, but look at the bigger picture. Let's say you are going to sell a million processors in Q1. But then there is a price war. You lower the price $10. Doesn't sound like a lot.

$10M

And that is only Q1. Most products live ~6 quarters. So that little price move cost you $60M in pure profit.

And worse yet, if you look at the typical processor market, new products come in at the price of the old products, so your $10 price cut carries on to the next generation.

Companies tend to not cut prices, but instead push new technology in at those established price points. Taking a price cut also disrupts the stack, so while you think you just need to change one price, the new price is too close to the one below. So you have to drop that.

It becomes a snowball that eats up profits. And the guy with the bigger share has more to lose in a price war, not the other way around.
Posted on Reply
#23
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
wiak said:
sandy bridge that is faster than nehalem uses dual channel, so memory bandwith dont have that much to do with performance benefits, heck amd could have used DDR2 on their current sixcore phenoms IIs,
Better to have too much than not enough. ;)


Triple channel does appear to have a pretty significant impact so long as you aren't gaming:
http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1665/intel_core_i7_memory_analysis_can_dual_channel_cut_it/index.html
Posted on Reply
#24
Hayder_Master
so the graph mean bulldozer didn't better than core i7 950 by 50% in everything, so in as the graph say it's 20% better and that's it's 10$ better only in real test as the point in the graph the i7 950 same as 1100T and that is bull shit.
Posted on Reply
#25
largon
As long as it's not Intel-made-CPU I'm a buyin' it.
Posted on Reply
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