Thursday, May 7th 2015

AMD to Emphasize on "Generation" with Future CPU Branding

AMD is planning to play a neat branding game with Intel. Branding of the company's 2016 lineup of CPUs and APUs will emphasize on "generation," much in the same way Intel does with its Core processor family. AMD will mention in its PIB product packaging, OEM specs sheets, and even its product logo (down to the case-badge), that its 2016 products (FX-series CPUs and A-series APUs) are the company's "6th generation." 2016 marks prevalence of Intel's Core "Skylake" processor family, which is its 6th generation Core family (succeeding Nehalem/Westmere, Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell, and Broadwell). AMD is arriving at its "6th generation" moniker counting "Stars," "Bulldozer," "Piledriver," "Steamroller," and "Excavator," driving its past 5 generations of APUs, and the occasional FX CPU.

It turns out that the emphasis on "generation" is big with DIY and SI retail channels. Retailers we spoke with, say that they find it easier to break through Intel's often-confusing CPU socket change cycle, which ticks roughly every 18-24 months. Customers, they say, find it easier to simply mention the "generation" of Core processor they want, to get all relevant components to go with them (such as motherboard and memory bundles). While AMD's FX brand clearly didn't see generations beyond "Piledriver," the company's decision to unify the socket for its FX and A-Series product lines next year, with AM4, makes "6th generation FX processor" valid.
AMD's playing the generation game with Intel could also communicate to consumers that its processors are somehow of the same "generation" as its competitor's (same features). The fact that AMD could be selling 14 nm chips in 2016, could work in its favor. AMD is planning to give its client processor lineup a complete overhaul in 2016, with the introduction of the company's new "Zen" CPU micro-architecture, which is a return to the monolithic core design. AMD claims that "Zen" offers 40% higher IPC than its current "Excavator" CPU architecture.
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28 Comments on AMD to Emphasize on "Generation" with Future CPU Branding

#1
GhostRyder
Well this is necessary to help out and distinguish the processors from each other and the generational gaps. Though I do like the color scheme as it is a bit interesting for the labels compared to the previous ones.
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#2
JMccovery
Didn't they pretty much do that with the APUs? Of course, eating up most of the available numbers didn't make sense.
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#3
KomanderKain
First of all, not sure if I like the rainbow colored case badges, most people won't realize its an image of the die, they'll just see the pretty rainbow color. I personally prefer the red/black theme they've got going on now. To each his own I guess.

Second of all, this is a good marketing tactic. Same thing Microsoft did with the Xbox 360. They didn't want the Xbox 2 up against the Playstation 3, cuz, you know, 3 is better than 2.
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#4
Uplink10
I never understood the difference betwen A6, A8, A10 and even now I thought it was going to be only A10 and FX but then i see A8 and I am again confused, can't everyone just make a category (i3, i5, i7, A8, A10) based on number of cores that are in the processor and if they have iGPU and every processor should offer the same feature like vPro, HT, VT-d...
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#5
Steevo
Have we even seen a Excavator core that wasn't gimped yet? I only ask as if its slightly better than Bulldozer in IPC the 40% improvement should just put them slightly behind Intel offerings, plus of minus optimizations for each instruction set. But I feel like we are jumping the gun here, silicon that is probably in testing now, working on matching chip-sets, and compatibility, debugging, and tuning..... so a few chips that actually work out of many. Or they actually have a decent yield on test chips and they have been through testing and are on the final spin and ramping up production. I don't see the second option as real, so I am thinking. In preliminary testing, at unspecified clock speeds, with or without full features, with bugs, and some disabled cores IPC hit target. But 2016 is still a year away, and these figures look softer than vanilla pudding, and more like something to keep investors in the game.

But thank god for getting away from the "6 year old" names for these cores, ohhh, excavator exciting...... steamroller, I always wanted one.... when I was 6.
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#6
ZeppMan217
Uplink10 said:
I never understood the difference betwen A6, A8, A10 and even now I thought it was going to be only A10 and FX but then i see A8 and I am again confused, can't everyone just make a category (i3, i5, i7, A8, A10) based on number of cores that are in the processor and if they have iGPU and every processor should offer the same feature like vPro, HT, VT-d...
One word - marketing.
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#7
Hood
Steevo said:
Have we even seen a Excavator core that wasn't gimped yet? I only ask as if its slightly better than Bulldozer in IPC the 40% improvement should just put them slightly behind Intel offerings, plus of minus optimizations for each instruction set. But I feel like we are jumping the gun here, silicon that is probably in testing now, working on matching chip-sets, and compatibility, debugging, and tuning..... so a few chips that actually work out of many. Or they actually have a decent yield on test chips and they have been through testing and are on the final spin and ramping up production. I don't see the second option as real, so I am thinking. In preliminary testing, at unspecified clock speeds, with or without full features, with bugs, and some disabled cores IPC hit target. But 2016 is still a year away, and these figures look softer than vanilla pudding, and more like something to keep investors in the game.

But thank god for getting away from the "6 year old" names for these cores, ohhh, excavator exciting...... steamroller, I always wanted one.... when I was 6.
I like this - "6 year old" names - well said. I've always considered these names childish; it's as if they're marketing a new line of Tonka toy trucks. Does not inspire confidence in their products...
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#8
john_
Marketing.

- What CPU does it have?
- "6th generation"
- Ah, yes! A friend of mine said that "6th generation" are the new ones (Intel Skylake)

Anyway a little extreme example, but AMD plays the generation marketing in the same way many OEMs use generations to characterize the Intel processors in their products. For someone who knows nothing, AMD APUs are two generations newer than Haswell, one generation newer than Broadwell, and the same generation with Skylake. So what would you do? Give your money for a first generation 3D TV from Samsung, or pay even less for a second generation 3D TV from Hitachi? Hitachi does look newer based on the generation. And I know really very little about TVs, that's why I throw this example.
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#9
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
john_ said:
Marketing.

- What CPU does it have?
- "6th generation"
- Ah, yes! A friend of mine said that "6th generation" are the new ones (Intel Skylake)

Anyway a little extreme example, but AMD plays the generation marketing in the same way many OEMs use generations to characterize the Intel processors in their products. For someone who knows nothing, AMD APUs are two generations newer than Haswell, one generation newer than Broadwell, and the same generation with Skylake. So what would you do? Give your money for a first generation 3D TV from Samsung, or pay even less for a second generation 3D TV from Hitachi? Hitachi does look newer based on the generation. And I know really very little about TVs, that's why I throw this example.
If AMD launches a product that's a "generation" ahead of Intel, then buyers could start to believe that AMD's "generations" are slower, and it's an unreliable way of identifying a product. Maintaining the same "generation" number as Intel at a given time, creates nice ambiguity. Right now it's at "4th generation" (Kaveri), with "5th generation" (Carrizo desktop) on the way; and it's not emphasizing on generation numbering. Maybe Zen gives them the chops needed to play the generations game.
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#10
RejZoR
Marketing push is very important and if their hardware will be good, it's nice to see they are already working on the future image of their products.
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#11
NC37
As long as they don't go Firefox and roll out version numbers like candy. Every model is a new version! FX version 50.2!! Oh but wait, version 51 is just around the corner with 100 more Mhz!!
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#12
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Sod the "generations" marketing BS and just give us a compelling product, AMD. If it's good it will sell, whatever you call it. Simple as that.
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#13
Athlonite
Can't wait for an Zen based FX they could have done a refresh of FX with the excavator cores that would have been nice for us non APU users
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#14
Athlonite
qubit said:
Sod the "generations" marketing BS and just give us a compelling product, AMD. If it's good it will sell, whatever you call it. Simple as that.
er there are some things they could say that would definitely not sell it well " New AMD Zen based CPU's as useful as a meditating monk" but don't worry when it dies it'll come back as an Cyrex 5x86
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#15
ensabrenoir
....so if an Amd product 3 generations newer than an Intel's is on par performance wise with something Intel released two generations ago.......multiply by two.......carry the one......subdue the free radicals......factor in the leap year...... (thud)....brain failure
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#16
Hood
No surprise here, AMD has always been about manipulating numbers to try to hide the fact that their CPUs are weak (like calling a quad core an eight core even though it can barely out-perform an Intel dual core...). Remember the Athlon XP, with it's "PR clock speeds", where subsequent generations advertised "PR speeds" up to "3200+", but the actual clock speeds were never above 2250... I don't like liars and braggarts, but apparently those qualities are admired in Asia. This is an insult to potential customers, implying that they're so stupid, pasting an arbitrary high number on the box makes them believe this slow crap performs as well as a real CPU that has honest specs. My parents did not raise any stupid children... If not for their low prices, would anyone even bother with AMD CPUs? A while back I got curious and built a system around an A8-6600K, and the 100 watt "quad core" performed much worse than a later build with a 53 watt dual core Pentium G3258 (the Intel part is $30 cheaper!) So I guess AMDs "budget-friendly" crap is really no bargain...
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#17
Dent1
Hood said:
No surprise here, AMD has always been about manipulating numbers to try to hide the fact that their CPUs are weak (like calling a quad core an eight core
AMD never called a quad core an eight core. The FX 4xxx series has 4 genuine physical cores. The FX 8xxx have 8 genuine physical cores.

Hood said:
even though it can barely out-perform an Intel dual core...)
Really? Explain how the FX 8300 can perform on par and sometimes outperform some of the highest end i7 Extreme Editions at the time. Or do you only skip to the gaming slide?


Hood said:
the Athlon XP, with it's "PR clock speeds", where subsequent generations advertised "PR speeds" up to "3200+", but the actual clock speeds were never above 2250... I don't like liars and braggarts, but apparently those qualities are admired in Asia. This is an insult to potential customers, implying that they're so stupid, pasting an arbitrary high number on the box makes them believe this slow crap performs as well as a real CPU that has honest specs.
The Athlon XP 3200+ was significantly faster than the Intel Pentium 4 equivalent - There goes your weak performance argument.

Hood said:

A while back I got curious and built a system around an A8-6600K, and the 100 watt "quad core" performed much worse than a later build with a 53 watt dual core Pentium G3258 (the Intel part is $30 cheaper!) So I guess AMDs "budget-friendly" crap is really no bargain
Both with integrated graphics?
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#18
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
ZeppMan217 said:
One word - marketing.
At least one person has been paying attention.
qubit said:
Sod the "generations" marketing BS and just give us a compelling product, AMD. If it's good it will sell, whatever you call it. Simple as that.
That's two.
Dent1 said:
AMD never called a quad core an eight core. The FX 4xxx series has 4 genuine physical cores. The FX 8xxx have 8 genuine physical cores.
Genuine integer cores, with a shared floating point unit. People get all huffy and puffy about the FPU not being dedicated units when in reality, the bulk of math done on a CPU involves integers, not floats. People who say the FX CPU's aren't "real" cores simply are looking for an argument. Also if you're crunching floating point numbers and an 8 core FX isn't satisfactory, you should be considering using the GPU or some form of stream processor considering that's what it's good at.

Not to try to throw the thread off topic at all, but...
You know the movie "Office Space"? That's why when you're dealing with money or numbers that "must add up", you don't use floating point numbers because you don't get that round-off that simply disappears into "nothing" unlike fixed point numbers (which are just a kind integer). Also, the simple fact is that integer math on any CPU is faster than floating point math. It also requires a lot less circuit to build an integer ALU.
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#19
Steevo
Hood said:
No surprise here, AMD has always been about manipulating numbers to try to hide the fact that their CPUs are weak (like calling a quad core an eight core even though it can barely out-perform an Intel dual core...). Remember the Athlon XP, with it's "PR clock speeds", where subsequent generations advertised "PR speeds" up to "3200+", but the actual clock speeds were never above 2250... I don't like liars and braggarts, but apparently those qualities are admired in Asia. This is an insult to potential customers, implying that they're so stupid, pasting an arbitrary high number on the box makes them believe this slow crap performs as well as a real CPU that has honest specs. My parents did not raise any stupid children... If not for their low prices, would anyone even bother with AMD CPUs? A while back I got curious and built a system around an A8-6600K, and the 100 watt "quad core" performed much worse than a later build with a 53 watt dual core Pentium G3258 (the Intel part is $30 cheaper!) So I guess AMDs "budget-friendly" crap is really no bargain...
That was done at a time when their IPC was higher than Intel, and the idea was to give consumers a fair comparision between the chips, but then it carried on too far, much like Phenom, and FX has been drug through the mud now.
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#20
Lionheart
Hood said:
No surprise here, AMD has always been about manipulating numbers to try to hide the fact that their CPUs are weak (like calling a quad core an eight core even though it can barely out-perform an Intel dual core...). Remember the Athlon XP, with it's "PR clock speeds", where subsequent generations advertised "PR speeds" up to "3200+", but the actual clock speeds were never above 2250... I don't like liars and braggarts, but apparently those qualities are admired in Asia. This is an insult to potential customers, implying that they're so stupid, pasting an arbitrary high number on the box makes them believe this slow crap performs as well as a real CPU that has honest specs. My parents did not raise any stupid children... If not for their low prices, would anyone even bother with AMD CPUs? A while back I got curious and built a system around an A8-6600K, and the 100 watt "quad core" performed much worse than a later build with a 53 watt dual core Pentium G3258 (the Intel part is $30 cheaper!) So I guess AMDs "budget-friendly" crap is really no bargain...
"AMD has always been about manipulating numbers" Uuuh what company hasn't done that, you make it sound like AMD is the only one! o_O

The so called core debate with AMD cpu's has been done to death, plz don't beat a dead horse

The naming scheme for AMD's athlon XP series was to compare to Intel's P4's clock speeds, not their own for eg. An Athlon XP 3200+ @ 2.2ghz could match a Pentium 4 3.2ghz :rolleyes:
This is an insult to potential customers
The only insult here is your negative fanboyish comment & your uncalled for remark about ppl in Asia which was random as f..k! :wtf:
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#21
RejZoR
Dent1 said:
AMD never called a quad core an eight core. The FX 4xxx series has 4 genuine physical cores. The FX 8xxx have 8 genuine physical cores.



Really? Explain how the FX 8300 can perform on par and sometimes outperform some of the highest end i7 Extreme Editions at the time. Or do you only skip to the gaming slide?




The Athlon XP 3200+ was significantly faster than the Intel Pentium 4 equivalent - There goes your weak performance argument.



Both with integrated graphics?
Lol, AMD Athlon XP "invented" PR values because it was so much better per MHz compared to Intel Pentium 4's. In fact that was already going on back in the days of Athlon4. The Thunderbird 1GHz that I had was equal to Pentium 3 1,2GHz in pretty much all aspects. With AthlonXP, they've made the gape even wider. I had the 2400+ Tbred and when overclocked to 3200+, it truly performed the same as Pentium 4 at 3,2GHz despite running at much lower actual frequency. Can't remember what it was exactly, i think it was 2,4GHz if I rememeber correctly. Anyway, I'm hoping AMD will pull it off again with the Zen...
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#22
laszlo
marketing is good but can't increase clock performance with some fancy naming and color scheme unfortunately
they should improve asap the architecture to catch up with intel
i still trust them and believe they can do it so my future gpu is still from them even i had doubts and almost chose an gtx770 ... but i reconsidered and decide to buy a r9-280x...
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#23
Hood
I hope they pull it off, and perhaps they will; they did it before... Back in the Pentium 4 era they all were pretty slow, so maybe it was easier to jump ahead a little. But it's difficult now, when your rival has billions more $ to pour into R&D. The problems that need to be solved now involve efficiency, as electricity costs rise, and more people value principles of "quiet computing". This is where AMD always fell short, their CPUs, GPUs, and APUs generally consume almost twice the power of similar performing Intel or nVidia chips. Zen will hopefully address this issue, at least on the CPU side. Not an AMD hater, just disappointed so far.
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#24
suraswami
Hood said:
I hope they pull it off, and perhaps they will; they did it before... Back in the Pentium 4 era they all were pretty slow, so maybe it was easier to jump ahead a little. But it's difficult now, when your rival has billions more $ to pour into R&D. The problems that need to be solved now involve efficiency, as electricity costs rise, and more people value principles of "quiet computing". This is where AMD always fell short, their CPUs, GPUs, and APUs generally consume almost twice the power of similar performing Intel or nVidia chips. Zen will hopefully address this issue, at least on the CPU side. Not an AMD hater, just disappointed so far.
Do you use S3 sleep state?
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#25
$ReaPeR$
lets see the products. the waiting is killing me!
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