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Bulldozer

AMD already gave us a good amount of detail on Bulldozer earlier this year. We’ll start with a quick refresher.

With Nehalem, Intel moved to a more modular design process that would allow it the ability to quickly configure different versions of the chip to hit various markets. With Bulldozer, AMD is doing the same.

The basic building block is the Bulldozer module. AMD calls this a dual-core module because it has two independent integer cores and a single shared floating point core that can service instructions from two independent threads. The two thread machine is larger than a single core but smaller than two cores with straight duplication of resources.

All else being the same, it should give you more threaded performance than a single SMT (Hyper Threaded) core but less than two dedicated cores. The savings are obviously on the die side. AMD tells us that the second integer core increases the Bulldozer module die by around 12%, despite significantly increasing performance in threaded integer applications.

Processors may implement anywhere from one to four Bulldozer modules and will be referred to as 2 to 8 core CPUs. Each core appears to the OS as a logical processor similar to what you get with Hyper Threading. A CPU with four Bulldozer modules would appear as an 8-threaded processor under Task Manager in Windows.

AMD argues that the Bulldozer module is ideal provisioning of hardware. With SMT (Hyper Threading) you force too much into a single core, while with traditional multicore you often waste hardware as any idle resources are duplicated across the chip.

Bulldozer CPUs will be AMD’s first 32nm processors manufactured at GlobalFoundries.

The new details today are about everything inside of the Bulldozer module.

Bobcat Performance & Power A Real Redesign
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  • mino - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    From the HW design POW, those pipes are "MMX/3Dnow" class stuff.
    They run SSE3, but they are still MMX-class.

    There is a reason Bulldozer has "FMAC" written there ...
    Reply
  • Kiijibari - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    ... it is stupid to name a circuit after a deprecated ISA extension and not after its function.
    If its doing stuff like 3dnow and mmx then call it Shuffel / permutation pipeline but not MMX ...

    The FMAC is the best example .. why is it written FMAC in that case and not SSE5/AVX/XOP ?
    Reply
  • KonradK - Thursday, August 26, 2010 - link

    Depracated does not mean prohibited. Also there are existing MMX programs and other than Windows 64bit operating systems and compilers other than MSVSC.

    MMX and x87 is prohibited in 64bit kernel code.

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff545910%2...
    Reply
  • iwod - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    From the design of Bulldozer's FPU it is cleared that AMD want Multi Threaded FPU to run on OpenCL. While the dual Integer looks interesting now. It is up against the SandyBridge, the architecture that is suppose to leap again like Pentium 4 to C2D. And if Bulldozer comes any later, it will be up against the die shrink of SandyBridge, Ivy Bridge. Things dont look so good in here.

    It is mainstream / low end that looks very interesting. I am currently using a Pentium M 1.8Ghz Dothan with 2GB DDR Ram. With a Radeon 1600 Graphics. I dont get hardware acceleration from GPU, 720P is just barely playable with some very fast software decoder. It is fast enough to watch some 460p youtube and most of my day web serving.

    Now if Bobcat have similar or higher IPC then Dothan. A Quad Core Bobcat with Radeon 5000 64 SP will still be within reasonable die size on 40nm, It will be cheap when it drops to 32nm or lower. Most of us dont need SUPER FAST computer. And Bobcat with Radeon 5 Series or Higher Plus a Fast SSD are all we need.
    Reply
  • aegisofrime - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    I don't recall Sandy Bridge being a revolutionary leap. Everyone has been saying that it's more of evolutionary, the main difference being the addition of AVX.

    I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope that AMD announces later today what socket Bulldozer will be on... I desperately need more video encoding performance. I have a AM2+ motherboard and that bloody 1055T is singing it's siren song to me every night. If Bulldozer is on AM3 I can get an AM3 board and the 1055T and do a quick upgrade to Bulldozer.

    Come on AMD. Your customers need more information to make an informed decision!
    Reply
  • mino - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    Buldozer gen1 == primarily servers
    => 16/12-core (MCM) Socket G34 (current platfrom)
    => 8/6/4-core Socket G32 (current platfrom)

    Bulldozer Desktop (hopefully before X-mas 2011)
    => 8?/6/4-core Socket AM3R2(or AM3+, whatever they call it)
    Reply
  • Pirks - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    Huh? You want more video encoding perfomance and you think about upgrading CPU? What kind of idiocy is that? Use 480GTX with Badaboom and your video encoding speed won't be matched by CPUs of year 2020 or maybe even 2030 :P Reply
  • aegisofrime - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    Don't talk if you don't know what you are talking about. No GPU encoder out there is able to match x264 quality or SPEED wise. And the huge flaw in your statement is that Badaboom doesn't even support Fermi GPUs right now.

    Have you done any serious video encoding before, or are you just trolling as usual?
    Reply
  • ChronoReverse - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    Indeed. I would try out CUDA encoders every once in a while in hopes that I could at least get the quality of x264 at MINIMUM quality but they can't even match that.

    Since x264 at minimum quality encodes slightly quicker (on my quad core) a CUDA encoder does (on my GTX260) and still yields better quality, I really appreciate faster CPU's.
    Reply
  • mapesdhs - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link


    Hate to say it but unless GPU acceleration is available, the i7 is a far better
    choice for video encoding. I still use a 6000+ for most tasks, but numerous
    article reviews made it quite clear that AMD was not the best choice for
    video encoding, so I went with an i7 860 4GHz. Pricing was surprisingly good,
    speed is excellent.

    Ian.
    Reply

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