• What
    is this?
    You've landed on the AMD Portal on AnandTech. This section is sponsored by AMD. It features a collection of all of our independent AMD content, as well as Tweets & News from AMD directly. AMD will also be running a couple of huge giveaways here so check back for those.
    PRESENTED BY

Projected Performance: Can AMD Catch up with Intel?

I keep going back to this slide because it's incredibly relevant. It's the only indication we have from AMD of what its future roadmap will look like in terms of performance increases:

Each year AMD promised to increase performance of its high-end cores by roughly 10 - 15%. Astute observers will note that, at this rate, AMD will almost never catch up to Intel. AMD at the time was careful to point out that it's talking about 10 - 15% gains in core performance, and it could potentially see even larger increases in total chip performance by pulling other levers. Vishera is an example of AMD doing just that. The Piledriver cores by themselves don't increase performance tremendously, but they do give AMD a little more thermal headroom to work with thanks to some more efficient design decisions and better transistor choice. With Vishera, AMD took the additional power headroom and turned into a frequency advantage. The result is AMD's FX-8350 can operate in the same power envelope as the outgoing FX-8150, yet runs at an 11% higher base clock (turbo frequency remains the same). Through frequency and core level improvements, AMD was able to deliver a bit more than the 10 - 15% performance increased in promised.

If AMD is able to repeat these improvements again next year, I wondered whether or not it would get any closer to closing the gap with Intel - particularly when it came to single threaded performance. We already know from our Haswell investigations that Intel is expecting around a 5 - 15% increase in CPU performance from Haswell over Ivy Bridge. If we assume that Haswell delivers towards the 15% end of that spectrum, and if we assume that Steamroller delivers the same level of improvements that we saw from Piledriver/Vishera, we end up with some pretty interesting predictions for where things end up next year. I modeled the 2013 performance of high-end AMD and Intel platforms based on those two factors and plotted the curves in a few different benchmarks. For each generation I used the parts that AMD stacked up against one another (they are also fairly similarly priced). For 2011 I used the FX-8150 vs. Intel's Core i5 2500 and for 2012 I used the FX-8350 vs. Intel's Core i5 3570. The 2013 data is of course projected based on a 15% increase in performance from Haswell, and a repeat of the Vishera vs. Zambezi increase for AMD. This is mostly an interesting experiment so don't get too invested in the data.

We'll start with Cinebench, by far the most painful of the tests for AMD from a single-threaded performance perspective:

The Vishera gains here were decent but not enough to dramatically shrink the performance gap. Furthermore, Intel put a good amount of distance in place with Ivy Bridge and if it can continue that with Haswell I don't see much hope here.

The multithreaded Cinebench results begin in AMD's favor and remain so even with our projected performance data.

Mozilla's Kraken benchmark is another example of single threaded performance gone awry for AMD.

Thankfully, Vishera does close the gap by a decent amount and if AMD extends those gains it is on an intercept course with Intel. The bad news is, that intercept wouldn't be in 2013.

POV-Ray provides another point of view on single threaded performance, here the situation looks far less dire than under Cinebench:

Unfortunately the curves remain fairly distinct.

Once again, when we increase thread count we see AMD pull ahead.

SYSMark is a particularly telling benchmark as it is lightly threaded and does a good job of simulating all types of workloads:

The result here is AMD closing in, albeit slowly, on Intel's performance advantage. I suspect this is quite possibly the best case scenario for AMD, it doesn't necessarily want to surpass Intel in performance but it wants to get close enough where pricing and other factors (e.g. GPU performance in its APU parts) can make a bigger difference.

Our Visual Studio 2012 test is a good combination of single threaded and multithreaded workloads in one:

With Vishera, AMD did a lot to close the gap betwen itself and Intel. Another increase like this and we won't see AMD surpass Intel, but the two should remain fairly close.

These last two tests show us the other side of the coin. If both AMD and Intel continue on their present tracks, what will happen in a test where AMD already does well today?

In areas where AMD holds a significant advantage, Haswell would need to deliver more than a 15% gain in performance at the same price point to catch up.

None of the results here are all that surprising. AMD remaining on its current course isn't enough to dramatically change its standings vs. Intel in another year. Vishera definitely cut into the performance delta, but the 2013 follow-up will have to do even more to really have an impact. Steamroller is far more focused on increasing IPC, however without a new process node it'll be difficult to demonstrate another gain in frequency like we see today with Vishera. I suspect the real chance for AMD to approach parity in many of these workloads will be with its 20nm architecture, perhaps based on Excavator in 2014.

Power Consumption Overclocking
POST A COMMENT

238 Comments

View All Comments

  • g101 - Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - link

    Oh look, it's the highly ignorant fool CeriseCogburn...

    You make demonstrably false statements on every single AMD article and merely provide further proof of your ignorance. Honestly, if you're unable to find anything better to do than post idiotic comments on every anadtech article, I have a suggestion: EDUCATE YOURSELF, LITTLE DIPSHIT.
    Reply
  • Desolator2B - Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - link

    Dude, seriously? Did you know the current world record for overclocking is held on an AMD processor? AMD is incredible when overclocking, especially super cooling, yes it may be a bit slower than Intel, but damn you can't beat AMDs price.

    You're a bit of an idiot mate.
    Reply
  • JrPgFaN83 - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    i couldn't have said it better myself mate. This response made the read worth it. Reply
  • vench - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    think about this..
    which one is better an eight unlock cores as AMD called it.
    or 4 cores with hyperthreading technology?

    4 cores with hyperthreading it will act like an eight cores because single core will act like two cores as claimed by intel but bear in mind there would be a mathematical complex going on behind intels hyperthreading. but WHAT if you unlock this thing so it would go freely to eight cores as claim by AMD?

    THAT IS THE REASON WHY AMD HOLDS THE WORLD RECORD FOR OVERCLOCKING BECAUSE THEY MANAGED TO UNLOCK THIS THING.
    IF INTEL WILL PRODUCE 8 CORES CPU..THEN AMD WILL MAKE 16 CORES..AND THEN AMD STILL WIL BE THE WINNER FOR WORLD RECORD..

    ON THIS POINT OF VIEW JUST BE OPEN MINDED.
    DO NOT ACT LIKE YOU REALLY SICK WHEN ITS NOT BECAUSE YOU WOULD MAKE YOURSELF LIKE TWICE MORON AND TWICE IDIOT.
    JUST TAKE AN ADVICE FROM G101. EDUCATE YOURSELF.

    I USED TO BE AN INTEL USER.. BUT WHEN I'M BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND THIS TREND..I WOULD LOVE AMD AS THEY LOVE CONSUMER'S POCKET (AGAIN- BE OPEN MIND. ITS MY OPINION)
    Reply
  • sleekz - Thursday, May 02, 2013 - link

    CAPS. The world overclocking record is meaningless. You can't compare clock speed across brands and AMD cores are half-cores. They still can't compete with intel and the circuit size is several years behind, which is why they consume so much power. AMD has given up in the enthusiast CPU market, and is losing money. Reply
  • JrPgFaN83 - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    AMEN! Reply
  • Mombasa69 - Thursday, March 14, 2013 - link

    My AMD Vishera 8350 blows my ghay i7 3770k out the water and was HALF THE PRICE, says it all really. Reply
  • Etnos - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    I hardly think you own intel shares so the fact you care so much is pretty sad.

    very sad.
    Reply
  • Idiot10 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Here comes the 2500K-loving Intel mercenary know-it-all-about-processors again, and yet he cannot sleep to know that there are chips out there who can outperform his 2500K. SOB!!!! Reply
  • Idiot10 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Here comes Mr. ChariseHogburn again. the all-knowing Intel mercenary processor expert, who thinks nothing can beat his beloved 2500K. SOB!!!! Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now