Originally Posted by NaroonGTX
AMD has "big cores" inside their APU's. I'm also well aware that Intel's enthusiast stuff makes up a tiny fraction of their revenue, yet the same is true for AMD as well.
Also, lol @ BF4 beta benchmark. Remember how terribly unoptimized the Alpha benchmarks looked? Let's wait until the final game releases before we talk about benchmarks, and Mantle will further remove any CPU bottlenecks anyway. Anyway, Frostbite 3 can scale up to 8 cores, just like BF3 could do. It was shown via player-testing that the game would use all eight threads, but the main load would be on two threads or so. So the extra threads do help in those 40+ player servers, but it's not necessary to have a great experience. BF3/4 only start to eat up the CPU in multiplayer matches that have 40+ players in them. Even then it's not as horrifically CPU-bound as a game like Planetside 2, that is hardly multi-threaded.
Anyway, my "silly" comment was at them releasing a SR FX chip while more-or-less simultaneously releasing a new uarch (Excavator) around the same time. There are currently no indicators that there will be a CPU-only variant of a server chip, and thus no indication of a SR FX chip. Even so, I'm getting rather tired of repeating this, but we won't know for sure until AMD themselves talk about it and release the newer roadmaps soon, so all this speculation is just a waste of time, really.
Yeah, I know history has a tenancy to repeat itself, however, this time, we have consoles which have lots of weak cores. Frostbite 3 engine scaling with one main thread is not going to cut it on PS4 and XBone. EA plans on using this engine for lots of their games, hence lots of consoles. 360 was a three core chip and PS3 was basically one core with a bunch of specialized compute units.
Xbone and PS4 are 8 weak jaguar cores.
If anything, I'd expect things to grow more optimized for AMD and more better balanced towards multiple weak cores in order to optimize for consoles. Remember: last generation of PC gaming was Intel dominant in PC and the rest all on their own.
Now AMD has the consoles and a minority in PC. However, AMD's wins actually put Intel single-thread oriented performance into the minority of gaming systems now. So using an engine like which was used in Skyrim would be disastrous for a game company now. It would blow on all the consoles, AMD CPUs, and only really be best on Intel CPUs and the more single-thread oriented consoles of the last generation.
Also, you're implying that BF3 was the pinnacle of 8 core gaming. BF3 was just for EA and DICE to prepare for next generation of consoles having 8 cores and testing the waters, if you will. In fact, I made this argument repeatedly when we didn't know what was in the PS4 and Xbone and there were only rumors of them being AMD products. The argument that EA and DICE were testing Frostbite scaling on lots of cores to prepare for an 8 core AMD solution in the next gen consoles. Them doing that in BF3 for any other reason than that seems completely illogical. They were either optimizing for 8 core AMD FX or they were preparing for the next generation of consoles. But my point is that BF3 was a multi-core beta, if you will, and BF4 will be an application of the lessons learned.
Funny you speak of multi-thread in Planetside 2. That's one of the major problems Sony is addressing with the game right now.
Also, Mantle will make CPU bottlenecks more apparent as you're reducing the GPU bottleneck, and the next bottleneck in gaming performance is generally the CPU. I think you have it backwards. Making the GPU get the same results with less resources means that it's going to become less of a bottleneck. It's much more like running highly optimized code on your CPU and having that reduce that bottleneck, as opposed to say, having Skyrim use x87 instructions everywhere and having that poor code bottleneck the CPU.
I don't think this is a waste of time to speculate on these things. The software will adapt to the hardware, like it did with BF3 and AMD APUs in consoles, usually before the hardware is announced. This happens because AMD is working with game developers to get the most out of the AMD chips in the next generation of hardware.
I look to the software we will see in the future and I estimate the future hardware based on the future software.
My big, glaring red flag for you to look at right now is that: PS4 and Xbone both have 8 cores, but several of those are still reserved for the OS (which may not have been expected when DICE was toying with BF3). So now, they are still optimizing for 8 cores and not 5 or 6? If the future was to remain quad core for PC gaming and 4 or 5 jaguar cores for console, DICE and EA would not be so concerned with 8 core scaling in Frostbite 3.
I would think it is safe to assume that AMD has plans on partnering with EA/DICE to push new technologies based around an AMD-centric gaming platform. It also explains why Nvidia is (more than likely) paying to get so close to Valve and being so vocal about it. AMD is more than likely going to announce high end BF4 rigs with AMD CPU + GPU and Nvidia is preparing for that message by making lots of noise about how they have wins with Steam Machines so they don't look completely pathetic when AMD comes out and starts bragging about console wins and BF4 working great on AMD gaming platform.
I also lean towards this because I think it is possible AMD has learned from their mistakes of releasing hardware before the software is there. This happened with 7990 and the entire release I was shaking my head asking why they wouldn't wait to release the frame pacing drivers.
However, look at this from an AMD marketing perspective. If AMD released SR FX now, it would be benched on Starcraft 2 and a whole bunch of last gen games that the module architecture sucks at.
Now imagine AMD releases SR FX 4m/8c part in spring of 2014. The gaming benchmark suite now consists of games like BF4 and other console ports which were designed to run on 8 weak cores. Suddenly AMD has the best gaming platform because they have software for their system on it.
It is not that hard to comprehend. SR FX benched on single-thread dominated games would look horrible even if AMD managed a 20% IPC increase. Even 30% IPC increase in single thread would make things look difficult for AMD.
But you see that BF4 benchmark? If AMD could get SIMILAR scaling compared to Intel like in that, they'd be in extremely good shape against Intel for gaming.