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Bulldozer thoughts and questions

post #1 of 14
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I just want to share with you my thoughts and ideas about Bulldozer. I am not sure I fully grasp the idea behind it all but i wanna share some info the way I see it. I would like to get some information in return to kinda give me a better view on it. Maybe this may help others as well. Please correct me if i am wrong about any of this information as well.

All of the reviews of BD seem to kinda overcast the protential behind the CPU. But once the current bugs are worked out, could it be a different story? Window 7 not scheduling the cores correctly, seems to be an issue.

Current core scheduling is like this
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
It should be
1,3,5,7,2,4,6,8 due to the second core in each module not running at 100%, instead it runs at 80%.

So Module 1 holds cores 1 and 2. Module 2 hold cores 3 and 4, etc

In addition, the information for the CPU (8150 for example) is 3.6ghz normal, 3.9ghz at full load (running all 8 cores) and 4.2ghz at half load (running the first core in each module)

I have heard that Windows 8 will increase the speed of BD by 10-15%. This only made since to me at 10% max. If you average a module based on overall performance, core 1 is at 100% and core 2 is a 80%. This will give you the 90% average per Module. Is the 10% based on the first 4 cores for lightly threaded processes (first core in each module)? Does the extra 5% come based on Full vs Half load turbo boosts? ie 7% math based difference between 3.9 ghz and 4.2ghz deriving from the 8150? Obvioiusly the 7% clock rate doesn't equal 7% actual performance boost.

I have also read that there is not a huge difference in how the BD scales with the high speed memory. Keeping in mind that there is more to come with the 2nd and atleast 3rd versions of BD (aka Piledriver etc), would it make sense to use 1866mhz RAM even though it only has a 3-4% performance increase?

It is rumored that Windows 7 has a new patch to help with the assignment issues, i have not found this out yet, but there have been some posts about people getting the new patch. Is there anyone who can validate this? Also i have read how there are some upcoming BIOS updates as well, to iron out some of the latency issues somehow (not sure of exact details).

So if all of this information is correct, some tested and some not, would that mean that when all is said and done BD may be decently better than first thought? A ~10-15% increase from scheduling in the lower threaded processing and an extra 3% increase overall, in all core variations based on using the 1866mhz native supported RAM.

Bottle-necking....I have read lot with bottle-necking involving the BD. I have read that the BD bottlenecks a lot of upper tier GPUs and especially in SLI or Crossfire. At the same time I have read examples of the 1333mhz RAM bottle-necking BD when overclocking or even with turbo in Half Load form (4.2ghz on 8150). Could bottle-necking from the RAM cause a CPU bottleneck in the GPU? Chain reaction so to speak?

So many thoughts and questions.

Thanks for all who took the time to read and think this over.
post #2 of 14
I have no idea what I'm talking about, but it might be because with your idea, it would have to switch between modules twice as much and the latency/etc from this might outweigh the gain in efficiency.
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post #3 of 14
Well the patches were already released for Windows 7, then revoked, and now they are up again. Performance boosts do occur and vary between programs, I haven't looked into it much but I think it is around the 10% mark as you mentioned. This is about as good as performance is going to get, and high speed RAM on any platform helps out so I don't think that's really relevant. Getting into specifics, I don't really know. Processor architecture is pretty complicated, especially with Bulldozer.

In my opinion, Bulldozer is clearly a server architecture because of high core count and lower IPC. It could be used in some scenarios like HPC, video editing, rendering, etc... For more typical desktop usage and especially games (which many at the moment only use 2 - 4 threads MAX, and faster RAM isn't really going to provide much of a difference, if any) it really isn't as good as Sandy Bridge. In certain games a severe bottleneck is going to be present, two of the top of my head would be Starcraft II and F1 2011. In some games there won't be too much of a noticeable difference also if they aren't very CPU intensive, or can take advantage of all available threads. Compared to Phenom II, it actually has lower IPC per core and much higher power draw when you are factoring in maximum 24/7 overclocking potential. It is clearly a step back if you are a gamer or "typical user" (not much encoding, just browsing the web, doing office applications, playing games and that sort of thing). It's not a horrible architecture, but it's incredibly disheartening because AMD managed to decrease IPC from the previous architecture and on top of that you had JF-AMD saying on all the forums IPC would increase. He even went on to say something along the lines of "is someone paying Intel to post these statements?"
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post #4 of 14
Actually current core scheduling for Bulldozer

was
Core 7, Core 1, Core 2, Core 5, Core 6, Core 0 , Core 3, etc with any cores not used being parked

Whatever core was least used got a thread scheduled to it and if a thread moves between modules it has to evict? the L2 to the L3 and back to the other L2 leading to a large performance issue

it is now
Core 0, Core 2, Core 4, Core 6, then Core 1, Core 3, Core 5, Core 7 with no cores being parked
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post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopamin3 View Post

It's not a horrible architecture, but it's incredibly disheartening because AMD managed to decrease IPC from the previous architecture and on top of that you had JF-AMD saying on all the forums IPC would increase.

I made the original statement before we had silicon in hand, and it was the original design goal. I generally stayed away from making IPC statements because in my world (server), it is not as important. I probably restated that a few times, but I think characterizing me as saying that "on all the forums" is not really accurate.
post #6 of 14
JF i Just wanted to say thank you for posting and nice to see you around here and hope to see more of you. I also wanted to apologize for the actions of some people in our community that reflected on our community as a whole.
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post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by JF-AMD View Post

I made the original statement before we had silicon in hand, and it was the original design goal. I generally stayed away from making IPC statements because in my world (server), it is not as important. I probably restated that a few times, but I think characterizing me as saying that "on all the forums" is not really accurate.

I like that they were wanting to increase IPC in their original designs cause that hopefully means theyll be making that a priority with Piledriver. After much thought and deliberation, I bought a Sabertooth 990FX board last night on Newegg so Im throwing my money on AMD getting things together and coming back with something pretty solid just like they did coming from Phenom 1 to Phenom 2. I BELIEVE! wink.gif
post #8 of 14
Quote:
I bought a Sabertooth 990FX board last night on Newegg so Im throwing my money on AMD getting things together and coming back with something pretty solid just like they did coming from Phenom 1 to Phenom 2. I BELIEVE! wink.gif

That's exactly what I hope, I'd hate to have to drop 1k on a Intel rig. I believe AMD knew they messed up as long as they come back with something pretty solid I'll buy in. I believe also.
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post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TKFlight View Post

Quote:
I bought a Sabertooth 990FX board last night on Newegg so Im throwing my money on AMD getting things together and coming back with something pretty solid just like they did coming from Phenom 1 to Phenom 2. I BELIEVE! wink.gif

That's exactly what I hope, I'd hate to have to drop 1k on a Intel rig. I believe AMD knew they messed up as long as they come back with something pretty solid I'll buy in. I believe also.

I have had an am3+ 990fx mobo with a phenom II in it for 5 months now. I have been following FX cpu's very closely since October 12th release and I have seen a lot of kinks worked out from its newness. I have a phenom II x4 840 (no L3) and it really is a budget chip so 2 days ago I ordered an FX-8120. It should be here this week and I am very stoked. I will most likely get Piledriver when it comes out with a 1090fx board in a new separate system. I run a lot of VM's and like to dual boot with Ubuntu and I am NOT a gamer but do like nice shiny graphics cards and plan on picking up a 7950 on release. I am looking forward to receiving my cpu and overclocking it to the max. In spite of what people say, it is NOT a horrible cpu just not the greatest.
    
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post #10 of 14
I was thinking Id ride out Bulldozer with my X6 but if the price on the 8120 comes down any further, I may bite on it. I dont really need it but with Microsoft's hotfix supposedly bumping performance an average of 8%, it might be worth dropping one in just to have some fun with overclocking. I cant take my X6 any further due to heat issues so I may just invest in a H80 and go with that for a while instead.

This Sabertooth is a MONSTER motherboard! Easily the best Ive ever had. I dont regret my purchase to get this and hang on to the X6 instead of getting a lesser board and a 2500K.
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