Originally Posted by chadrew
I also wonder why AMD didn't go with tried and true architecture and just release a "Phenom III" with minor improvements to the design. Did they get everything they could out of the old chip and decided to create a completely new CPU?
As far as I recall the original Phenom was a flop, but Phenom II is definitely a good processor. (Or rather, it was definitely a good processor when it was released years ago. Well, it still matches i3-2100 performance and price). I hope AMD can repeat history and "fix" Bulldozer just as they "fixed" Phenom.
They had taken the Phenom II design as far as they could. To give you an idea, just look at the Athlon II 631 that AMD marketed last year, made up of APU's with defects in the CPU section. Those were actually on 32 nm, but they didn't clock any better than ordinary Athlon II's. There's only so far that a CPU design can be refined for added performance. Intel is running into the same problem. Ivy Bridge doesn't clock any faster than Sandy, even with the die-shrink. That's fine, since that wasn't Intel's purpose in creating it, but AMD would have been shooting for higher clocks and more performance in a hypothetical "Phenom III," and those things weren't attainable.
They'll fix Bulldozer, just as they fixed Phenom, and just like Intel fixed the Pentium 4. But they wouldn't have the resources to fix Bulldozer if they were trying to make a better Phenom II at the same time; it was one or the other. Bulldozer has room for improvement, and Phenom II no longer does.