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Is AMD's 16-core 'Zen' processor real? Leaked slide provides details on stout chip

By Shawn Knight ยท 36 replies
Apr 13, 2015
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  1. amd zen monolithic core design intel leaked ddr4 cpu apu amd zen leaked slide greenland graphics

    AMD is poised to make quite a comeback if a leaked slide proves accurate. The slide in question details AMD’s Zen core APU and Greenland HBM memory-powered graphics and arrives courtesy of Fudzilla.

    Specifically, the slide is for a chip that’d contain up to 16 Zen x86 cores with support for 32 threads (two threads per core), a structure that Intel has been using to great effect for years now. Each core will have access to 512KB of L2 cache while each cluster (a group of four cores) will share 8MB of L3 cache.

    In this specific instance of a 16-core chip, we’re looking at a total of 8MB of L2 cache and a hefty 32MB of L3 cache.

    We also learn that the platform will employ secure boot and crypto coprocessor, both of which are valuable to corporate clients. Elsewhere, users can expect Greenland Graphics and up to 16GB of HBM (high bandwidth memory) at 512GB/sec that comes with ½ rate double precision compute, enhanced ECC and RAS as well as HSA support.

    In terms of RAM, the slide promises quad-channel DDR4 support with ECC up to 3,200MHz. There’s also support for up to 256GB of memory per channel which is a ton of memory.

    We’ll keep our fingers crossed that this is indeed a legitimate slide. After all, competition is good for the entire industry… well, for everyone except Intel. Given the specs, however, not everyone is convinced this is the real deal. Your thoughts?

    Permalink to story.

  2. Nima304

    Nima304 TS Evangelist Posts: 383   +138

    This chip looks amazing, and is certainly enough for AMD to make a huge comeback. I really hope this is true.
    SirChocula likes this.
  3. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,448   +864

    I read about this rumor three days ago. AMD has a history of keeping quiet right up until the products release (Phenom, Bulldozer, some APU's) and turned out to be disappointments, and that should make anyone and everyone skeptical. I'll be watching this, but I'm not getting my hopes up.
    EEatGDL and madboyv1 like this.
  4. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,819   +2,173

    Having been extraordinarily disappointed with Bulldozer to the point where I went with an i7-3820 (which was my first Intel build in years, none since then), I'll take a wait and see attitude on this. In addition, I'll wait to see benchmarks if it proves to be real. If so, then I just might go with this for my next build if the price is not astronomical. 1/2 rate dp is especially attractive to me.
  5. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    AMD just build the Chip to be the fastest on the planet. That's all you really need to do today.
  6. Shawn King

    Shawn King TS Rookie

    I know you can do it AMD, we need you as a legit competitor. Intel prices are killing us!!!
  7. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 674   +352

    Let's see. I'm still not convinced with their APUs, but never underestimate.
  8. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 2,175   +1,354

    I smell a Warlock.
  9. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Evangelist Posts: 342   +156

    Is this going to target the non-business PC market too?
    I bet on a 100 bucks that the i3 will beat it in gaming.... LOL

    Based on what can you say that?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2015
  10. You're probably right but I suspect this is going to be attractive to corporations and to people like me who just want a good bang for the buck pc. It's going to have quite decent multi-core power as its based on its predecessor which did well in a multi-core scenario but terrible in single core. Combine that with the fact that this time they really stressed power savings and all the other perks they'll give it and it maybe worth everyones while. Maybe I'm wrong.

    Intel screwed AMD in so many ways. Even until this day they can't compete and when they do come out with a decent chipset you'll only ever find it in a 15" budget laptop with a terrible 768p screen for example.
  11. Cryio

    Cryio TS Addict Posts: 214   +75

    Since AMD got 15 to 20% increase in compute power going from Bulldozer to Vishera, I would've been happy even with an 8 core, 4-4.4 GHz CPU based on Kaveri.

    A 2 module/4 core Athlon 860K is faster than a 2 module/4 core Vishera chip that's clocked 400 MHz higher than the Athlon. (source: http://cdn.overclock.net/a/a5/a54063fa_AproximateRelativeExecutionThroughput.gif )

    Carizzo is even faster than Kaveri. And Zen ... Oh man. I can't wait to upgrade from my trusty FX6300 that runs beautifully at 4.5 GHz.
  12. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,840   +1,267

    Well, that's news. Most considered opinion puts the difference at 4-10% on a clock-for-clock basis.

    Bear in mind the source of the information ( they aren't called FUDzilla without good reason), and the fact that this is obviously a server orientated part ( a consumer part wouldn't need DDR4 in addition to HBM, nor the I/O overkill), it looks more like a somewhat plausible requirement that AMD would require to provide competition to Intel's KNL and Skylake/Cannonlake, rather than a concrete product.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  13. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 853   +296

    I can only hope such an awesome chip comes out.
  14. I have faith in amd. they honestly do very well when it comes to gaming / media. I dont regret my i5 4690k purchase but I am disappointed in the lack of hyperthreading on a 260 dollar chip :/ and I do kind of wish I went with an 8 core vishera instead because I know my desktop performance would be the same yet id have 8 cores to play with instead of 4 for 100 bones less. amd video cards are my favorite vs nvidia though. I bought a gtx 960 last month and I hate it lol. it does the job but the 128 bit bus is laughable......at least amd can give me a 256bit bus in their 200 dollar cards.....cmon nvidia.
  15. Cryio

    Cryio TS Addict Posts: 214   +75

    AMD improved the IPC from Bulldozer to Vishera by 10%, but they also managed to increase the CPU freq by another 10% while maintaining the same power draw. So yeah, 15-20% overall increase in performance.
  16. And what exactly is the clock rate of these Zen cores? With the tendency for more cores and individual lower clock rates - mostly due to heating - having sixteen cores is all nice and dandy until you get all choked up because of whatever-you're-running's thread optimization... Or lack thereof.
  17. slaven

    slaven TS Rookie

    Good point
  18. Come on are people really this stupid and AMD sheep? I'm all for a competitive AMD CPU, currently one of my PCs is all AMD (CPU/GPU) and I've built with more AMD CPUs then intel but if history has taught us anything is to not judge AMD CPUs based on a slide. The AMD FX series is a huge disappointment and the APUs only make sense for HTPC unless you want to build a PC that neither games as well as PC without a dedicated GPU card or handles desktop duties as an intel CPU. AMD needs cores that can process information faster not sticking a bunch of slow cores on a chip. The MO of more cores for your money (but slow as hell) is nothing more then marketing FUD for modern CPUs.
    dirtyferret likes this.
  19. Actually i3 is a very poor game performer especially now with Mantle and DX12. AMD APU's will solidly crush all Intel graphics IGP with the new DirectX 12 API. They already do using Mantle. DX12 is a clone of Mantle.
  20. CaptainTom

    CaptainTom TS Maniac Posts: 404   +213

    1) This isn't at all impossible considering that AMD already has fit 16-cores on 32nm.

    2) This is CLEARLY the top-end server variant that is likely clocked below 3.0GHz. Expect the consumer/gamer version to only have 8 cores clocked 4.0 GHz+
  21. SeiveD

    SeiveD TS Enthusiast Posts: 37

    And yet you are willing to speculate on the performance of this chip in the future? Why don't we just wait and see.
    Peter Farkas likes this.
  22. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,263   +4,931

    DX12 is more than a mere clone.
  23. 15-20% maybe if you are reading AMD press material...

    ...Besides WinRAR and Fritz Chess, the FX-8350 was at most 6% faster than the FX-8150 in all of our tests, despite being clocked 11% faster (though we should keep in mind that both chips have a max turbo frequency of 4.2GHz). Similar results were seen when comparing the FX-6300 and FX-6100, though the margins were even slimmer here as the Piledriver chip is only clocked 6% higher.

  24. hrowder

    hrowder TS Enthusiast Posts: 63   +11

    I dunno... My current build uses an Intel 5930 because I was tired of getting poor gaming performance numbers when using AMD processors which I had been using since the late '80s. I did like the rock solid stability of the AMD chips though. Hopefully this new iteration will offer some competition to Intel again. I like AMD (though I think selling their foundry was a mistake... if you make things you can control them and innovate) and certainly prefer their video cards to Nvidia. If they could integrate the zippiness of their GPUs into their CPUs then they could be back in the ballgame for desktop gaming rigs. There needs to be some progress in both CPUs and GPUs because of the advent of 4K monitors and the software loads put on them by modern computing. We shall see... I hope for the best.
  25. What is the point? My old AMD 415e triple core still handles anything I throw at it (including Battlefield 4) and it's only 45 watts ... Picked it up for 30 big ones ... Honest

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