Tuesday, August 23rd 2016

AMD ZEN Quad-Core Subunit Named CPU-Complex (CCX)

We've been chasing AMD Zen for a long time now. Our older report from April 2015 uncovered an important detail about component organization on Zen processors - the clumping of four CPU cores into a highly-specialized, possibly indivisible subunit referred to then, as the "Zen Quad-core Unit." Some of the latest presentations about the architecture, following AMD's "performance reveal" event from earlier this month, shed more light on this quad-core unit.

AMD is referring to the Zen quad-core unit as the CPU-Complex (CCX). Each CCX is a combination of four independent CPU cores. Unlike on "Bulldozer," a "Zen" core does not share any of its number-crunching machinery with neighboring cores. Each "Zen" core has a dedicated L2 cache of 512 KB, and four Zen cores share an 8 MB L3 cache. AMD will control core-counts by controlling CCX units. A "Summit Ridge" socket AM4 processor features two CCX units (making up eight cores in all), sharing a dual-channel DDR4 memory controller, and the platform core-logic (chipset), complete with an integrated PCI-Express root complex. Socket AM4 APUs will feature one CCX unit, and an integrated GPU in place of the second CCX. With this, AMD is able to bring the two diverse desktop platforms under one socket.

Source: Heise.de
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44 Comments on AMD ZEN Quad-Core Subunit Named CPU-Complex (CCX)

#1
RejZoR
I really hope ZEN will work out great for AMD. We need more choice and this will certainly bring one.
Posted on Reply
#2
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
So no dual core Zen?
Posted on Reply
#3
chaosmassive
Correct me if my understanding is wrong,
so CCX basically same as '4 cores per module' thingy?

OR

its like GPC Block-Nvidia style?
Posted on Reply
#4
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
chaosmassive said:
Correct me if my understanding is wrong,
so CCX basically same as '4 cores per module' thingy?

OR

its like GPC Block-Nvidia style?
One CCX is four full cores with shared L3 cache.
Posted on Reply
#5
ShurikN
Frick said:
So no dual core Zen?
Why, in this day and age, would anyone want a dual core CPU...
Posted on Reply
#6
chaosmassive
ShurikN said:
Why, in this day and age, would anyone want a dual core CPU...
to fight off Pentium and Celeron armies?
beside for most office PC, dual cores is sufficient
Posted on Reply
#7
Alexander Kaiser
If AMD doesn't have a hot and power hungry architecture on their hands, Zen APUs are going to make for some sick SFF and mobile setups.
Posted on Reply
#8
buggalugs
Sounds good. Hopefully it is. Its a good time for AMD to catch up to Intel
Posted on Reply
#9
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
ShurikN said:
Why, in this day and age, would anyone want a dual core CPU...
That was kinda the point. Quad core as the base would be nice, but I assume the lower end stuff will be APU's anyway, and they will likely have dual cores. Decently clocked dual core + decent IGP = goodness.
Posted on Reply
#10
64K
ShurikN said:
Why, in this day and age, would anyone want a dual core CPU...
For a basic business PC it's all you need to run MS Office. Business is the biggest market for PCs.
Posted on Reply
#11
RejZoR
Alexander Kaiser said:
If AMD doesn't have a hot and power hungry architecture on their hands, Zen APUs are going to make for some sick SFF and mobile setups.
I'd actually believe that if I didn't have such horrible experience with their E-450 APU. It's still a decently capable chip actually, but the fact they just entirely dropped GPU driver support for Windows 10, it is something I can't forgive AMD. Sure, it's not GCN powered, but they couldn't be bothered to at least give it Legacy support. Because, nope, no driver works with this thing even though they list HD5000 series. How can one be sure you don't spend nice amount of money on their APU and then you're left on your own with broken or no drivers at all. Not cool. I'd buy their APU anytime if they've done this properly, but now, I start questioning their products every time they drop into my consideration list...

Don't make and brag about bloody APU's if you don't plan on supporting it like all of your products AMD...
Posted on Reply
#12
shhnedo
Honestly, if AMD can make a decent quad at the price of the fastest current Pentium or Celeron, then why not? If not, heck, they can simply lock down a quad core to a dual core and with good IPC that would suffice any business needs.
Posted on Reply
#13
$ReaPeR$
chaosmassive said:
Correct me if my understanding is wrong,
so CCX basically same as '4 cores per module' thingy?

OR

its like GPC Block-Nvidia style?
"A "Summit Ridge" socket AM4 processor features two CCX units (making up eight cores in all), sharing a dual-channel DDR4 memory controller, and the platform core-logic (chipset), complete with an integrated PCI-Express root complex. Socket AM4 APUs will feature one CCX unit, and an integrated GPU in place of the second CCX. With this, AMD is able to bring the two diverse desktop platforms under one socket.
"
1 CCX= 2cores
edit 1 CCX= 4 cores

Frick said:
One CCX is four full cores with shared L3 cache.
see above^
Posted on Reply
#14
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Frick said:
So no dual core Zen?
I've heard conflicting messages on the indivisibility of CCX, but there could be dual-core CCXes for the simple reason that two cores don't share anything other than L3 cache (just like Intel). A Bulldozer module was indivisible because they shared pipelines between two "cores."

Also Zen has SMT (a la HyperThreading). So dual-core chips with SMT are possible. I doubt AMD will make dual-core parts based on "Summit Ridge" silicon, though. Maybe the APU silicon which has just one CCX.

$ReaPeR$ said:
"A "Summit Ridge" socket AM4 processor features two CCX units (making up eight cores in all), sharing a dual-channel DDR4 memory controller, and the platform core-logic (chipset), complete with an integrated PCI-Express root complex. Socket AM4 APUs will feature one CCX unit, and an integrated GPU in place of the second CCX. With this, AMD is able to bring the two diverse desktop platforms under one socket.
"
1 CCX= 2 cores
1 CCX = 4 cores. Summit Ridge has 2 CCX or 8 cores.
Posted on Reply
#15
Sihastru
"Every core can access every cache with same average latency."

Isn't that like saying that the GTX 970 can access every memory with same average bandwidth? But leaving jokes aside, do they say if a CCX can access the L3 cache of another CCX? If not, I don't see how they can build a true 8 core CPU, but instead a 2P 4 core system with horrible cache latency issues.
Posted on Reply
#16
Prima.Vera
chaosmassive said:
to fight off Pentium and Celeron armies?
beside for most office PC, dual cores is sufficient
Sorry but is not. I'm an office worker too, and I multitask like crazy. I have a laptop with an i7-dual Core Mobile (yeah, I know, f**ng Intel and its deceiving practices), and if I have Outlook open, several Word, Excel, PDF sessions, IE and Firefox windows and some apps open, the laptop becomes so sluggish, I can barely work. And if you also have some (shitty) Java apps or webpages, you're caput. CPU will go over 90% and the laptop it turns into a jet engine, both noise and heat wise.
Posted on Reply
#17
Joss
$ReaPeR$ said:
1 CCX= 2 cores
That can make it very modular to them, They can sell CPUs wit 2,4,6,8 cores (and more?) and the same with APUs. Considering it is done on the same socket it should be a winning formula... but this is AMD.
Posted on Reply
#18
$ReaPeR$
Joss said:
That can make it very modular to them, They can sell CPUs wit 2,4,6,8 cores (and more?) and the same with APUs. Considering it is done on the same socket it should be a winning formula... but this is AMD.
indeed! the main benefit with AMD will be the socket, this should have been the standard from the beginning. I'm so tired of the intel 3000 different socket market model, its just bs to make you buy more and more every time you want to upgrade.
Posted on Reply
#19
TheinsanegamerN
RejZoR said:
I'd actually believe that if I didn't have such horrible experience with their E-450 APU. It's still a decently capable chip actually, but the fact they just entirely dropped GPU driver support for Windows 10, it is something I can't forgive AMD. Sure, it's not GCN powered, but they couldn't be bothered to at least give it Legacy support. Because, nope, no driver works with this thing even though they list HD5000 series. How can one be sure you don't spend nice amount of money on their APU and then you're left on your own with broken or no drivers at all. Not cool. I'd buy their APU anytime if they've done this properly, but now, I start questioning their products every time they drop into my consideration list...

Don't make and brag about bloody APU's if you don't plan on supporting it like all of your products AMD...
but but but but the interwebz said AMD is great for drivers and nvidia is gimping !!!1!!! /s

I dont understand why there wasnt more outcry over that. AMD completely dropped drivers for actively sold GPUS for an entire new OS. They couldnt have made one more driver to at least let these old devices work right
Prima.Vera said:
Sorry but is not. I'm an office worker too, and I multitask like crazy. I have a laptop with an i7-dual Core Mobile (yeah, I know, f**ng Intel and its deceiving practices), and if I have Outlook open, several Word, Excel, PDF sessions, IE and Firefox windows and some apps open, the laptop becomes so sluggish, I can barely work. And if you also have some (shitty) Java apps or webpages, you're caput. CPU will go over 90% and the laptop it turns into a jet engine, both noise and heat wise.
So, your laptop cant handle the heat from a 15 watt dual core part, and you are blaming the dual core on your poor performance? Thats ridiculous.

Our work machines are optiplex 780s, with core 2 duos, and such slowdowns are not observed. Even with multiple programs+office+chrome+IE, these systems run fine (the magic of 8GB of RAM and a SSD). Skylake desktop i3s offer more power then any office user needs. Mobile dual core chips from intel run rings around our core 2s.

Perhaps you should invest in a laptop cooling pad, or a less junky laptop.
Posted on Reply
#20
Alduin
Frick said:
So no dual core Zen?
On laptops i think....
Posted on Reply
#21
ShurikN
64K said:
For a basic business PC it's all you need to run MS Office. Business is the biggest market for PCs.
Maybe 10 years ago. Today its not enough. A 4 core, as Frick said, should be a basis for everything. Even office work. Besides, MS Office is becoming more and more demanding, nothing extreme, but enough for a 2 core cpu to become a bottleneck. And you never use only word and notepad, there are usually 4+ programs open, couple of tabs in a browser, mail apps, PDFs are getting ridiculously huge and scrolling is choppy on high quality pics... and so on.
Posted on Reply
#22
Assimilator
Prima.Vera said:
Sorry but is not. I'm an office worker too, and I multitask like crazy. I have a laptop with an i7-dual Core Mobile (yeah, I know, f**ng Intel and its deceiving practices), and if I have Outlook open, several Word, Excel, PDF sessions, IE and Firefox windows and some apps open, the laptop becomes so sluggish, I can barely work. And if you also have some (shitty) Java apps or webpages, you're caput. CPU will go over 90% and the laptop it turns into a jet engine, both noise and heat wise.
"Deceiving" practices like using different part number and suffix for the chips with 2c/4t @ 15W vs the 4c/8t chips @ 45W? WHEN WILL INTEL'S EVIL END?!!!

I'm gonna use my psychic powers to predict that your laptop's issue is too little RAM or a spinning hard disk, not the CPU.
Posted on Reply
#23
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
btarunr said:
Unlike on "Bulldozer," a "Zen" core does not share any of its number-crunching machinery with neighboring cores.
Good, I hope they never go back to it. This approach set them back years.
Posted on Reply
#24
Ferrum Master
ShurikN said:
scrolling is choppy on high quality pics... and so on.
:pimp: hmmm

You forgot the demanding browsers too...
Posted on Reply
#25
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
qubit said:
Good, I hope they never go back to it. This approach set them back years.
In the future it might come back in some form, when multithreaded loads are more common.
Posted on Reply
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