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whm1974
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:10 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Krogoth wrote:
It is possible that "6-core" chips aren't feasible due to how the Ryzen silicon is built.

I suppose that is a possibility, but it seems unlikely to me.

I myself don't see the point of taking a working quad core die, crippling half of it, then gluing it another quad core die just to make a six core CPU.
 
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:22 pm

The pair of quad-core modules (AMD calls them "compute complexes") that make up an 8C Zen are not separate dies. They are logical subunits on the same die, similar to the dual-core modules in Bulldozer.

I could see them taking an 8C die with one or two defective cores and selling that as a 6C model. Probably want to limit it to dies where one of the disabled cores resides in each complex, to keep things symmetrical. If 6C models are released, we might even see the return of "core unlocker" type functionality like we did with the triple-core Athlons, with people turning their 6C chips into 7C or 8C units.
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:24 pm

whm1974 wrote:
I myself don't see the point of taking a working quad core die, crippling half of it, then gluing it another quad core die just to make a six core CPU.


That's not how it would work. Sometimes, due to multiple factors, dies don't come out "full." There are likely chips with anywhere from zero to eight working cores flowing out of GF, and AMD just fuses off the bad parts to get what they need. Picking the ones that have two full working cores in the "complex" (and cache, etc), and sticking another quad right next to it isn't a huge deal these days (well it IS, but not for these guys that have been doing it for years).
Last edited by DancinJack on Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:26 pm

whm1974 wrote:
I myself don't see the point of taking a working quad core die, crippling half of it, then gluing it another quad core die just to make a six core CPU.

There isn't one.

But taking a module with two defective cores and selling it (as part of a 6C/12T) is very worthwhile.
 
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:34 pm

It could even make sense (from a business perspective) to intentionally disable a couple of cores and sell the chip at a discount relative to the 8C version, if there's a gap in their product lineup between 4C and 8C where they don't have something that competes with Intel's offerings. This would allow them to compete in that price bracket without the hit to their margins they would take if they just cut the price of the 8C.
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:30 pm

IIRC the Zen modules are a pair.... So you'd just need 3 modules for a 6 core.  But it is much more likely that if a 6 core part were to exist, it would just be a single module disabled.

Off on a tangent here, I'm curious to see if AMD or Intel will start playing around with big.LITTLE type designs... similar to what we saw in the Motorola phones but with x86 parts.  They would come in handy for Windows tablets or ultra portables.  Or hell, getting into more specialized computing... when you've got room for 8/16 core zen chips, to replace 2 modules with something specialized for say VR/Physics.  Maybe this is pointless and you're better off with a fully blown GPU.  Yet, when you are talking about a tablet or laptop, space constraints are a real concern.  Just curious about that since Zen is supposed to be so dang modular.... Not to be confused with "Modular" in the Bulldozer sense ;)
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:41 pm

Welch wrote:
IIRC the Zen modules are a pair.... So you'd just need 3 modules for a 6 core.  But it is much more likely that if a 6 core part were to exist, it would just be a single module disabled.

Off on a tangent here, I'm curious to see if AMD or Intel will start playing around with big.LITTLE type designs... similar to what we saw in the Motorola phones but with x86 parts.  They would come in handy for Windows tablets or ultra portables.  Or hell, getting into more specialized computing... when you've got room for 8/16 core zen chips, to replace 2 modules with something specialized for say VR/Physics.  Maybe this is pointless and you're better off with a fully blown GPU.  Yet, when you are talking about a tablet or laptop, space constraints are a real concern.  Just curious about that since Zen is supposed to be so dang modular.... Not to be confused with "Modular" in the Bulldozer sense ;)

Actually the modules are quad core.
 
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:43 pm

Pretty sure they're in groups of four.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/10591/amd ... allelism/5
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:09 pm

Fricken TLAs, now there's a "CCX" also?

It does seem weird that AMD wouldn't create a 6 core Zen chip.  I imagine each module would work just as well with 3 cores as it would 4, like JBI said earlier.  Designing something that must have all four cores intact in order to function properly seems like an obvious pitfall to avoid as a chip architect.
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:11 pm

whm1974 wrote:
Welch wrote:
IIRC the Zen modules are a pair.... So you'd just need 3 modules for a 6 core.  But it is much more likely that if a 6 core part were to exist, it would just be a single module disabled.

Off on a tangent here, I'm curious to see if AMD or Intel will start playing around with big.LITTLE type designs... similar to what we saw in the Motorola phones but with x86 parts.  They would come in handy for Windows tablets or ultra portables.  Or hell, getting into more specialized computing... when you've got room for 8/16 core zen chips, to replace 2 modules with something specialized for say VR/Physics.  Maybe this is pointless and you're better off with a fully blown GPU.  Yet, when you are talking about a tablet or laptop, space constraints are a real concern.  Just curious about that since Zen is supposed to be so dang modular.... Not to be confused with "Modular" in the Bulldozer sense ;)

Actually the modules are quad core.

I guess I'm recalling Bulldozer then.  My bad.

It would seem like a bad idea from a design stand point, any bad yield would end up being junked as far as a module goes.  But still, if they do 4 and 8 core because it is a quad core module, then why even offer a 6 core unless you have enough units with 1 or 2 cores that can't keep up?  If it costs you the same as a manufacturer and you're attempting to rebuild your brand as AMD is doing... just offer up the 8 core part at a comparable price to Intel's 6 core options.
Last edited by Welch on Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:13 pm

IMO, whether 6C is going to exist or not, AMD has to Conroe Intel in pricing strategy without having a Conroe. More cores just ain't remotely appealing than straight-up ST massive performance increases.
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:21 pm

strangerguy wrote:
IMO, whether 6C is going to exist or not, AMD has to Conroe Intel in pricing strategy without having a Conroe. More cores just ain't remotely appealing than straight-up ST massive performance increases.

The ST performance that we are aware of right now is pretty much a wash between the two.  So if AMD can provide moar corez for near the same price then for enthusiast and system builders the choice is clear.  More and more software is using more than 2 and even 4 threads.  Start throwing in some new games, VR and other tasks going on at the same time... I can see a need for 8 total threads really quickly.  16 threads on the other hand will be something the likes of TR type members are going to WANT but for the most part probably not really need.
AMD tried this with Bulldozer... build it and they will come.  I think they are finally coming, just an architecture too late.  Didn't help that AMDs Bulldozer sucked for so many reasons.
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:22 pm

strangerguy wrote:
IMO, whether 6C is going to exist or not, AMD has to Conroe Intel in pricing strategy without having a Conroe. More cores just ain't remotely appealing than straight-up ST massive performance increases.

I'm hoping that 2rd and 3rd generation Zen CPUs will have much better ST performance and higher clock speeds. By that time I should be ready to build a new system.
 
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:31 pm

Welch wrote:
strangerguy wrote:
IMO, whether 6C is going to exist or not, AMD has to Conroe Intel in pricing strategy without having a Conroe. More cores just ain't remotely appealing than straight-up ST massive performance increases.

The ST performance that we are aware of right now is pretty much a wash between the two.  So if AMD can provide moar corez for near the same price then for enthusiast and system builders the choice is clear.  More and more software is using more than 2 and even 4 threads.  Start throwing in some new games, VR and other tasks going on at the same time... I can see a need for 8 total threads really quickly.  16 threads on the other hand will be something the likes of TR type members are going to WANT but for the most part probably not really need.
AMD tried this with Bulldozer... build it and they will come.  I think they are finally coming, just an architecture too late.  Didn't help that AMDs Bulldozer sucked for so many reasons.


They didn't show anything that would indicate that ST performance is on par with Intel. Everything they showed was heavily multithreaded. I doubt they're all the way up to Skylake level ST IPC. I just don't think they got that far in one go.

Was there some single threaded test you're referring to?
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:19 am

Welch wrote:
But still, if they do 4 and 8 core because it is a quad core module, then why even offer a 6 core unless you have enough units with 1 or 2 cores that can't keep up?  If it costs you the same as a manufacturer and you're attempting to rebuild your brand as AMD is doing... just offer up the 8 core part at a comparable price to Intel's 6 core options.


That'd be difficult for anyone to do with the advantage Intel has in process size, let alone AMD in their current situation. It's not just about "keeping up" either. Chips get binned out due to defects in the silicon as well which would otherwise make the chip unusable.  That's what I was thinking about when I said it'd be weird if AMD didn't make a six core chip.  Since each module is not a separate die I'd expect the module as a whole to have similar behavior in terms of clock speeds, but I could be wrong about that.
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:27 am

Welch wrote:
strangerguy wrote:
IMO, whether 6C is going to exist or not, AMD has to Conroe Intel in pricing strategy without having a Conroe. More cores just ain't remotely appealing than straight-up ST massive performance increases.

The ST performance that we are aware of right now is pretty much a wash between the two.  So if AMD can provide moar corez for near the same price then for enthusiast and system builders the choice is clear.  More and more software is using more than 2 and even 4 threads.  Start throwing in some new games, VR and other tasks going on at the same time... I can see a need for 8 total threads really quickly.  16 threads on the other hand will be something the likes of TR type members are going to WANT but for the most part probably not really need.
AMD tried this with Bulldozer... build it and they will come.  I think they are finally coming, just an architecture too late.  Didn't help that AMDs Bulldozer sucked for so many reasons.

You also forget Intel has saturated the userbase with a gazillion i5/i7 chips since SB. That's the true cost of being 6 years late for not having a competitive uarch.
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:51 am

DancinJack wrote:
They didn't show anything that would indicate that ST performance is on par with Intel.  Everything they showed was heavily multithreaded.  I doubt they're all the way up to Skylake level ST IPC.  I just don't think they got that far in one go.  

Was there some single threaded test you're referring to?

Are there still relevant single threaded tests?
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:41 am

Anything that doesn't use all available hardware threads is effectively the "single-thread" test. It's better to call it "lightly threaded" and if the IPC isn't great then AMD's strategy of throwing more cores at it isn't going to fix it. It doesn't matter that there's not (these days) a test you can throw at a CPU that only ever uses one thread because that doesn't matter. Per-thread efficiency is what matters, and that's the test of Ryzen.
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:13 am

I understand die harvesting to sell a 6 core unit. What I don't understand is the 8 core/8 thread (rumored) part. Why only disable hyperthreading?

I'm personally hoping for a high (4GHz+) clocking 6 core/12 thread part.
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:48 am

The cores are quads. You don't do half quads without wasting a lot die real estate. The 8c/8t makes sense. Because if the binning of the 8c/16t don't all show 16t operable, instead of trashing these "failures," they simply lobotomize the failed thread units in BIOS.

So do I start the rumor now that you can buy the 8c/8t units and try your luck with the 8c/16t BIOS?
 
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:20 am

TheMonkeyKing wrote:
So do I start the rumor now that you can buy the 8c/8t units and try your luck with the 8c/16t BIOS?


JBI already said that earlier. Sorry bud.

The core count differences are almost purely market segmentation. If they only sold an 8C/16T huge die, they wouldn't make enough money. So what do we have now?

8C/16T
8C/8C
4C/8T

Is that everything we know of right now? I can't imagine they won't harvest 4C/4T for lower end sales, but who knows what AMD does honestly.
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:37 am

DancinJack wrote:
but who knows what AMD does honestly.

I don't think AMD even knows what AMD is doing.
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:49 am

TheMonkeyKing wrote:
The cores are quads. You don't do half quads without wasting a lot die real estate.

6 core = two Quads with a failed/disabled core each?
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:15 pm

LostCat wrote:
DancinJack wrote:
They didn't show anything that would indicate that ST performance is on par with Intel.  Everything they showed was heavily multithreaded.  I doubt they're all the way up to Skylake level ST IPC.  I just don't think they got that far in one go.  

Was there some single threaded test you're referring to?

Are there still relevant single threaded tests?

Intel seems dead-set on showing us that ST performance has no where left to go in the near term. That being the case, AMD has to catch up eventually, if not pretty soon.
 
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:42 pm

Welch wrote:
Off on a tangent here, I'm curious to see if AMD or Intel will start playing around with big.LITTLE type designs...

You can continue your tangent here.

Welch wrote:
similar to what we saw in the Motorola phones but with x86 parts.

Not just Motorola phones. It is SoC dependent. Qualcomm's SD808 is big.LITTLE. The recent 8-core Exynos, MediaTeks, and HiSilicon's Kirins are also of similar design.
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:33 pm

MileageMayVary wrote:
TheMonkeyKing wrote:
The cores are quads. You don't do half quads without wasting a lot die real estate.

6 core = two Quads with a failed/disabled core each?

Sure. But it would take extra time to build up enough partially enabled stock to launch a major selling SKU off harvested chips, especially when you need two such chips for a single part. In either scenario AMD wouldn't be launching them until much much later, but I am sure they will get around to it eventually. 

Also depends if they want to keep harvested parts to launch another cheap tri-core budget model.
 
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:41 pm

Kougar wrote:
Sure. But it would take extra time to build up enough partially enabled stock to launch a major selling SKU off harvested chips,

As I pointed out a few posts back, it could make sense for them to intentionally disable good cores, to fill a price point in the middle of their lineup where Intel has a competing part.

Kougar wrote:
especially when you need two such chips for a single part.

As I also pointed out already, 8C RyZen is not a MCM. It is two quad-core functional units on the same die.
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:11 pm

LostCat wrote:
zzz wrote:
I hate to be be that guy but: Cores and threads are meaningless without knowing how they perform individually or grouped and we all know what apps actually use multicore cpu's effectively. Even then, we're not buying the CPU on raw numbers: what added parts like AVX does it support? VT-d? FBRAM? The linked article doesn't even specify how many lanes of PCIE or where they're coming from (chipset or cpu), just that (which is that they're 3.0 but in reality it's going to be a mix of 2 and 3.)

You're not just buying a cpu, you're buying the motherboard it sits in and both of those give you a feature-set and performance, buy accordingly.

People buy what they need.  I couldn't care less about AVX or VT-d or lanes or whatever, if my games and storage perform well I'm good.

Yes, however, AMD doesn't need just you to buy their parts.  Or even just gamers.  They need people from a large number of backgrounds.  Otherwise, the return on their investment isn't going to be enough to keep them afloat.
If Ryzen has poor AVX performance, that'd be a hard sell for me. Same with (though I doubt this is the case) any issues with VT-x or VT-d, as I don't just game; I run virtual machines for several different tasks.  And next, I need to know prior to purchase that the chipset will be rock-solid and stable in a number of areas.  Quality AHCI, and M.2/NVMe implementations.  A decent PCIe 3.0 setup.A quality NIC (something often not seen on AMD boards).  I don't just need a good CPU; I need a good support structure for it.
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:21 pm

LoneWolf15 wrote:
TLDR: you're not the only one out there, the chip and hardware that surrounds it has to appeal to more people than just you.

So you're saying what I just told you with more words.  Woot.

As for VT-d, their IOMMU support in Kaveri and Carrizo will likely carry onward given that Zen will be used for APUs also.  I don't think you need to worry about that.

I also had no chipset concerns at all in my Kaveri build.  It was a solid machine, aside from the processor not being up to par.
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Re: Ryzen - No 6 core parts?

Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:01 pm

LostCat wrote:
People buy what they need.  I couldn't care less about AVX or VT-d or lanes or whatever, if my games and storage perform well I'm good.

Gen3 PCIe lanes is a fascinating subject. Any guesses how many gen-3 lanes a modern video card needs? Go ahead and guess if you don't already know!

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