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Is Bulldozer a Public Beta for Piledriver & Vishera?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm interested to see what the enthusiast community feedback is on this topic in the context of a few observations.

Considering that for all intents and purposes, AMD has committed to the Bulldozer design as the x86 backbone for its CPU, APU, and server lines of chips going forward. It seems they must have some serious faith in it.

AMD has been making very good microprocessors for a very long time. These are REALLY smart folks. BD's enormous cache, 2B transistors, 800M of which are devoted to I/O (800M! - SB is 995M total, GPU incl) didn't just slip by the design engineers. These things must be by design.

Instead of thinking about BD as a stand-alone CPU, but rather as the CPU side of an APU or HPC server cluster, the huge cache and massive I/O seems to make sense. This chip seems designed to keep powerful GPGPU compute caches loaded with raw data and package the returning processed data. GPUs process data very, very fast, but have terrible fetch latencies, so their smaller, but more numerous caches have to stay filled to maximize performance. Doing that on a big scale 'on chip' would produce dramatically improved performance. This seems to be the future of the APU and HPC and AMD knows it best. OpenCL much?

So, here's the main point and question: If AMD's real objective is actually getting Trinity and the APU business dialed in and they're capacity restrained on exhaustively testing a brand new uarch 2B transistor chip and support systems, wouldn't it make sense to run a limited public beta using the stand-alone BD to act as a bug sponge to make sure the real money launch (Trinity) is spot on? This is a tried and true technique of some of their main partners, the game developers.

I may be way off base, but this does seem to put a lot of issues in context: The initially limited supply, the huge cache and I/O, bringing TSMC in on top of GloFo, etc...

OK, enough of my rambling...what do you folks think? Is Bulldozer really a public beta chip?
post #2 of 9
Interesting way of looking at it. Could very well be in which case I'm even happier to be a part of this "beta" period. So far I'm quite impressed with Bulldozer as a while.

I've been running some User/Real World Benchmarks with AlienPrime173 and creating a nice spreadsheet comparing first gen i7's, C2Q, PII, AII, BD for a really general look at the performance. So far I've been quite impressed with BD as an upgrade path from Phenom II's. Sure it may not be competing with SB as people seem to expect, but I don't remember AMD ever saying that they were trying to compete with SB directly.

They marketed this as a ground-up new design multi-core chip and placed it at a really good pricepoint compared to Intel's offerings.

The only real downside was the new socket meant that motherboard prices were a little higher then most AMD buyer's were used to.



Back to your original post though, I agree with you on the whole "2M transitors mut be a design choice." Being in the Electrical Engineering field as well, my designs are often critized when they don't offer full potential up front, but instead prove to be a viable option in the long run.

I guess all we can really do is sit back and watch it all unroll. If Bulldozer was such a "flop" as people seem to be making it out to be, why are they wasting time complaining about it when they could be just buying an Intel.
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Yup, looking more like beta to me...here is the public issues intake being turned on: http://www.overclock.net/amd-cpus/11...bulldozer.html
Edited by GatorLord - 10/21/11 at 12:57pm
post #4 of 9
Who knows that could be the case.
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post #5 of 9
There was a recent venting of an ex-employee of AMD on the topic of transistor count. The count being so astronomically high relative to performance as AMD has stopped having humans design the details of their CPUs...and instead automates it by computer. Catch being is that given the same task, the computer-designed part will have 20% more transistors and perform 20% slower.

So NO. Not really by intentioned, design. Simply reliance on automated design tools that don't [produce the best solution that a human brain can.

http://www.guru3d.com/news/former-am...ldozer-fiasco/
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post #6 of 9
Bulldozer is more like NVIDIA's Fermi or ATI's R600.

New architecture experiencing teething problems resulting in being late, hot, and slower.
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post #7 of 9
Bulldozer is the product meant for 2009 but was ultimately delayed as they couldn't reach target clocks with GloFo 45nm they then had to wait for GloFo to make 32nm stable enough to approach the 4.0-4.4GHz stock clock radius

Piledriver/Vishera is the product meant for 2011 should have majority of things fixed like higher IPC and overall higher performance(IPCxClock should be better with Piledriver)((Trinity will tell us IPC))

and
Steamroller 2013/Excavator 2014

In no way is it meant to be a BETA it was just ultimately delayed out of the generation it was meant to go for
Edited by Seronx - 10/21/11 at 2:25pm
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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
I gather then that is just a chip with training wheels. It's hard to watch...just like the real thing. Let's just hope they don't clip playing cards to the spokes once they learn to ride it.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by GatorLord View Post
AMD has been making very good microprocessors for a very long time.
Correction:
Quote:
The team that designed the K6-2 was the CMD team, which was formed by the acquisition of a company called Nexgen. That team also designed Athlon 64 and Opteron (Athlon was designed by the TMD team). By 2007, all the key CMD folks were gone. The team that was left sucks, and has accomplished little since then other than shrinks to smaller technology and bolting more of the same cores on.
I completely agree with that statement. Bulldozer isn't a "beta", it's a shipping product that just happens to not be so good. Piledriver is only supposed to have 10% higher IPC which still isn't looking good.
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