Wednesday, December 9th 2015

AMD Socket AM4 to Transition "Excavator" and "Zen" Architecture

A lot is riding on AMD's upcoming desktop CPU socket, codenamed AM4. Some of the first motherboards based on this socket are expected to launch in March 2016. What makes the socket particularly interesting (and important) is that it's a transition point for AMD's two major CPU architecture generations - "Excavator" and "Zen." Excavator is an incremental upgrade of AMD's less than successful "Bulldozer" architecture, while "Zen" is its next major one. AM4 is also going to be a common socket for AMD's desktop APU and many-core CPUs.

Some of the first socket AM4 APUs could be "Bristol Ridge." Succeeding the company's "Carrizo" APUs, it will be available in both socket AM4, supporting DDR4 memory, and FP4, supporting both DDR3 and DDR4. This chip will implement "Excavator" CPU cores. In its AM4 avatar, "Bristol Ridge" will offer up to four CPU cores, with TDP ranging between 45W-65W, and with support for DDR4-2400 memory. Later in 2016, AMD could debut its first "Zen" multi-core CPUs, which feature the company's next-gen, performance-focused CPU cores.
Sources: Benchlife.info, Planet 3DNow
Add your own comment

44 Comments on AMD Socket AM4 to Transition "Excavator" and "Zen" Architecture

#1
GhostRyder
While I am hoping to get off Bulldozer soon enough, I am kinda looking forward to these new APU's with DDR4 support. If they have a better GPU inside than the ones currently it could be pretty decent performance (mixed with high speeds DDR4 of course). I hope they get a move on this for the mobile platform more than anything!
Posted on Reply
#2
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
Carrizo works rather well, hopefully these do well even for the minor update. No listing on quad channel support?
Posted on Reply
#3
Chaitanya
Looks like 2016 will be exciting time for PC upgraders with new GPUs(from both Red and Green camp) and new CPUs expected to launch as well.
Posted on Reply
#4
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
"Core Pairs" Does that sound like "module" to anyone else?


This represents both my attitude and hopes towards Zen having read that:



Edit: Oh! Bristol Ridge AM4 is Excavator derived, not Zen. I can reinflate the whoopee cushion?

Edit: Yes, I think I might! :D
Posted on Reply
#5
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
I am honestly hoping Zen is everything AMD is talking it up to be. It would be nice to have a heated competition between Intel and AMD again, or at least closer than it is right now.
Posted on Reply
#6
Moofachuka
I was wondering if AMD will come up with dual CPU's like crossfire but CPU version :p
Posted on Reply
#7
SonicZap
Interesting how AM4 Bristol Ridge's TDP ranges from 45W to 65W. Current high-end APUs are 95W, so it's looking like Bristol Ridge will be more efficient than Kaveri. Either that or it's tuned for lower power use at the expense of lower performance.

I hope Zen will be good, I'm planning to upgrade in a year or so and it'd be nice to have another option next to the Skylake-refresh i5.
Posted on Reply
#8
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
SonicZap, post: 3383655, member: 157033"
Interesting how AM4 Bristol Ridge's TDP ranges from 45W to 65W. Current high-end APUs are 95W, so it's looking like Bristol Ridge will be more efficient than Kaveri. Either that or it's tuned for lower power use at the expense of lower performance.
carrizo was 40% more efficient.
Posted on Reply
#9
TheinsanegamerN
cdawall, post: 3383656, member: 28601"
carrizo was 40% more efficient.
at 15 watt. we never got a desktop part that could be compared clock for clock with kaveri. It's 35 watt numbers, what few existed, were less impressive.
Posted on Reply
#10
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
TheinsanegamerN, post: 3383664, member: 127292"
at 15 watt. we never got a desktop part that could be compared clock for clock with kaveri. It's 35 watt numbers, what few existed, were less impressive.
I have yet to see a 35w number. Every single review I have read was in the lower 15-18 watt range.
Posted on Reply
#11
acperience7
So much stuff happening in 2016. Upgrade itch is gonna get really bad...
Posted on Reply
#12
xvi
Hmm. Clock speeds ranging up to 4.0GHz with only 65w TDP? That would certainly be an improvement over the current FX offerings, assuming that this isn't a 200w processor that's reined in via low base clocks and rated for something lower than it should have been, like the FX e-series. Even if it is, it's an improvement.



Posted on Reply
#13
Steevo
I want to see a review or two or three where they are worth the upgrade, cause my 1100T is getting old.....
Posted on Reply
#14
FrustratedGarrett
Well... Zen based CPUs should deliver competitive performance with Intel. The previous approach to split big cores into smaller ones and have these share FPs, caches and scheduling resources didn't work out well for AMD. Now that they have access to smaller finfet silicon, and with Samsung and IBM catching up to Intel with their fabrication technologies, it's looking good for AMD.
Posted on Reply
#15
Casecutter
My thinking for AMD is hoping to make inroads for OEM machines. A common socket mobo could motivate the Lenovo, HP, Dell to start considering looking at AM4 with a descent APU to start, and then take that same mobo/chassis/lines in late 2016/2017 and make Zen machines with OEM 14nmFinFet graphics cards.
Posted on Reply
#16
HossHuge
Change a few words and dates in those paragraphs and this could be the same article used for Bulldozer.
Posted on Reply
#17
Solaris17
Dainty Moderator
Im with @FordGT90Concept all i see is Modules and I can't wait for the AMD fanboys to claim REAL cores when there cores are tied to shared FPUs. I really hope Zen isn't like this or I unfortunately see a very bad performing year for AMD; at least in the sense of competing with Intel in the performance segment.
Posted on Reply
#18
Batou1986
This seems like the same ploy they used with AM3+, get people invested in a platform then never deliver a competitive product on that platform.
Posted on Reply
#19
GoldenX
All we need is a cheap unlocked quad/hexa core that doesn't compete with a Pentium D in power consumption, or IPC.
Posted on Reply
#20
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
Solaris17, post: 3383779, member: 14803"
Im with @FordGT90Concept all i see is Modules and I can't wait for the AMD fanboys to claim REAL cores when there cores are tied to shared FPUs. I really hope Zen isn't like this or I unfortunately see a very bad performing year for AMD; at least in the sense of competing with Intel in the performance segment.
Zen uses jaguar as a loose base. Last I read it doubles the fpus
Posted on Reply
#21
NC37
MxPhenom 216, post: 3383637, member: 87790"
I am honestly hoping Zen is everything AMD is talking it up to be. It would be nice to have a heated competition between Intel and AMD again, or at least closer than it is right now.
The concern is more for Zen+. Will AMD deliver or will Zen be a two gen wonder that is quickly outclassed after that? When AMD announced Bulldozer they had all 4 gens of it with codenames. Zen only has 2. Unless they believe they can just keep improving Zen beyond 2 gens. Maybe they can.
Posted on Reply
#22
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Solaris17, post: 3383779, member: 14803"
Im with @FordGT90Concept all i see is Modules and I can't wait for the AMD fanboys to claim REAL cores when there cores are tied to shared FPUs. I really hope Zen isn't like this or I unfortunately see a very bad performing year for AMD; at least in the sense of competing with Intel in the performance segment.
Unless something changed, Zen does away with modules and "core pairs." It's a more traditional CPU architecture. That's why I was concerned for a bit because it almost looked like Zen was continuing the same but no, this is just another rehash of Bulldozer. It has nothing to do with Zen other than being a product for AMD to sell before Zen is out.
Posted on Reply
#23
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Solaris17, post: 3383779, member: 14803"
Im with @FordGT90Concept all i see is Modules and I can't wait for the AMD fanboys to claim REAL cores when there cores are tied to shared FPUs. I really hope Zen isn't like this or I unfortunately see a very bad performing year for AMD; at least in the sense of competing with Intel in the performance segment.
Unless something changed, Zen does away with modules and "core pairs." It's a more traditional CPU architecture. That's why I was concerned for a bit because it almost looked like Zen was continuing the same but no, this is just another rehash of Bulldozer. It has nothing to do with Zen other than being a product for AMD to sell before Zen is out.


Edit:
Posted on Reply
#24
medi01
cdawall, post: 3383666, member: 28601"
I have yet to see a 35w number. Every single review I have read was in the lower 15-18 watt range.
I have yet to see a laptop with good screen and Carrizo (in EU)... =/

MxPhenom 216, post: 3383637, member: 87790"
I am honestly hoping Zen is everything AMD is talking it up to be. It would be nice to have a heated competition between Intel and AMD again, or at least closer than it is right now.
That's hardly possible in the near future.

I just hope is that promised 40% IPC increase is real and TSMC/Samsung/GloFo/Whatever 14/16nm process doesn't suck.

It would allow AMD to bring nice mid-range CPUs and, given Intel's insane margins, nice flow of so needed cash, effectively surviving "stuck at 28nm/Buldozer" crisis.

With silicon shrinking process slowed down, gap would hopefully never be as big as it is now.
Posted on Reply
#25
[Ion]
WCG Team Assistant
GoldenX, post: 3383785, member: 160319"
All we need is a cheap unlocked quad/hexa core that doesn't compete with a Pentium D in power consumption, or IPC.
Don't care about the performance per core when I can stick 64 of them in a box for a solid price. Piledriver is an excellent core when used right.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment