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Why the Bulldozers L3 cache is so slow ?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Why the Bulldozers L3 cache is so slow ? i saw a very minimal difference from FX4300 and APU 5800K in performance.
What is the cause ?
post #2 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by senna89 View Post

Why the Bulldozers L3 cache is so slow ? i saw a very minimal difference from FX4300 and APU 5800K in performance.
What is the cause ?

The cause is you're not using the L3 cache.
   
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post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
Can you explain better please ?
post #4 of 31
The L3 cache is only used under very certain occasions, basically when the lower level caches do not contain the data needed by the processor.

Tom's provides a superficial but explanatory nonetheless about caches, and L3 more specifically.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-l3-cache,2416.html
   
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post #5 of 31
L3 is useless.
AMD knew it from the Athlon/Barton times.Intel had it but not AMD.
They added it for the multicore CPU-s but the benefits are small.
Also it seems to add more power consumption and more latency.
Most probable it s used in server environment.

A faster IMC with faster RAM can take the place of the L3 caches with not problems and the APU is showing it.
Maybe leaving more room for L1 and L2 caches is better..
   
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post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dromihetes View Post

L3 is useless.

That's a pretty bold statement. For L3 to be useless, the L2 would have to be so brutally efficient that it could predict with almost perfection what data does it need to fetch.

And we know that doesn't happen. So, this things spring.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POWER7 -> 32MB L3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Xeon_microprocessors#.22Westmere-EX.22_.2832_nm.29_Expandable -> up to 30MB L3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opteron#Opteron_.2832_nm_SOI.29-_Second_Generation_Piledriver_Microarchitecture -> up to 16MB L3

Also, a reason why L1 and L2 caches are so ridiculously fast is precisely their small size. The larger the cache, the higher the latency (at identical manufacturing characteristics). And they are also ridiculously expensive.

There is a reason they are kept small.
   
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post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 
ok but why Intel from with to without L3 have and enough evident decreasing of performance ?
Then why the actual high end CPUs use L3 ?
post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by senna89 View Post

ok but why Intel from with to without L3 have and enough evident decreasing of performance ?
Then why the actual high end CPUs use L3 ?
Dude, not all applications require L3 cache to perform it's best.
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post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artikbot View Post

That's a pretty bold statement. For L3 to be useless, the L2 would have to be so brutally efficient that it could predict with almost perfection what data does it need to fetch.

And we know that doesn't happen. So, this things spring.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POWER7 -> 32MB L3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Xeon_microprocessors#.22Westmere-EX.22_.2832_nm.29_Expandable -> up to 30MB L3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opteron#Opteron_.2832_nm_SOI.29-_Second_Generation_Piledriver_Microarchitecture -> up to 16MB L3

Also, a reason why L1 and L2 caches are so ridiculously fast is precisely their small size. The larger the cache, the higher the latency (at identical manufacturing characteristics). And they are also ridiculously expensive.

There is a reason they are kept small.

If you can use the RAM as L3 cache why would you put it on the CPU die to take space.

The L2 increases on the Bartons for example showed performance increases so i think adding more L2 cache is a good thing and the latency add-ed is low.

On the other hand you have the live proof of how good the L3 cache is on the AMD CPU-s .
Compare the Athlons with Phenoms and the Vishera cores in the APU-s with the ones in AM3+ chips.
The gap is small performance wise and adds more costs in my opinion overall.

Intel CPU-s though seem to be more affected when L3 is not present .
Maybe the architecture has it s importance also.
   
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post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dromihetes View Post

If you can use the RAM as L3 cache why would you put it on the CPU die to take space.

Because the RAM is horribly slower both in throughput and latency than the L3. For instance, in Nehalem the L3 has a 39 cycle latency, while the DRAM has a 109 cycle latency.
   
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