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Doctor Venture
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Dumb idea/thought experiment

Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:14 pm

I don't suppose anyone here knows what the bulk prices are for HBM2 vs the DDR4 typically used in laptops?

I was bored the other day, and was got to thinking "Well, Samsung is ramping up HBM2 production. I wonder if AMD might include 16GB HBM2 in a possible Zen2 or Zen3 based APU, and completely eliminate the need for RAM on the motherboard?". Not being an engineer, I have no idea if that would help simplify or reduce the sizes of laptop motherboards, or would the cost of HBM2, the interposer, and the necessary cooling system end up increasing the costs to the point where it just wouldn't be worth it?

Just curious.
 
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:19 pm

That's a really good idea for a APU that would have unified memory anyways, but the main variable is the cost. I don't know the bulk pricing but DDR4 can only be cheaper, possibly a lot cheaper.

EDIT: The PS4 and the Xbone kind of answered this question already, HBM bandwidth would help a lot in some cases but always cost more.
Last edited by Vhalidictes on Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:21 pm

For moment I'll say the second one. It would be too expensive and a lot of folks won't like the idea of being limited to 16GB of memory anyway.
 
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:28 pm

whm1974 wrote:
For moment I'll say the second one. It would be too expensive and a lot of folks won't like the idea of being limited to 16GB of memory anyway.

I would hazard a guess that the vast majority of APU users wouldn't feel constrained by 16GB.
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:33 pm

just brew it! wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
For moment I'll say the second one. It would be too expensive and a lot of folks won't like the idea of being limited to 16GB of memory anyway.

I would hazard a guess that the vast majority of APU users wouldn't feel constrained by 16GB.

I think you are right, but still, not being to upgrade the memory later does suck.
 
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:36 pm

Vhalidictes wrote:
That's a really good idea for a APU that would have unified memory anyways, but the main variable is the cost. I don't know the bulk pricing but DDR4 can only be cheaper, possibly a lot cheaper.

EDIT: The PS4 and the Xbone kind of answered this question already, HBM bandwidth would help a lot in some cases but always cost more.



The unified memory, and the high bandwidth that HBM2 might be pretty sweet, but I dunno if that would help simplify laptop motherboard designs. The current cost is definitely a huge factor right now, but I'm curious to see what the prices will be, once more foundries ramp up production.

I thought the PS4 and Xbone used GDDR5? I wonder how much it would cost to replace the existing DIMMs in a laptop with GDDR5 on a laptop motherboard? Especially with the artificially inflated costs of DDR4 (over $1000 on a DDR4-2400 128GB kit? WTF?).
 
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:38 pm

Nope. The Xbone uses DDR3, I never found out why but I always thought it came down to cost in the end. Different technology, but similar in the bandwidth differences - the PS4 et al has way more.

Speaking about motherboard design, if anything it should be a lot simpler because the HBM would be on the APU package. A lot less traces on the board for sure.
 
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:42 pm

whm1974 wrote:
For moment I'll say the second one. It would be too expensive and a lot of folks won't like the idea of being limited to 16GB of memory anyway.


Cost is definitely an issue right now. That's why I was thinking further down the road, for some APU based on Zen2 or Zen3. Then again, with the extra costs for the interposer. or that semi-organic thing I've heard about would increase the costs. I'm just wondering that if the price of HBM2 gets reasonable, and AMD (or even Intel) could come up with ways to decrease costs of the interposer (or whatever), if it could result in engineers being able to simplify the motherboard design for laptops, or even reduce the size, so they could have extra room for larger batteries, more storage, etc...

This is all just a guess/wishful thinking, though.
 
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:43 pm

Vhalidictes wrote:
Nope. The Xbone uses DDR3, I never found out why but I always thought it came down to cost in the end. Different technology, but similar in the bandwidth differences - the PS4 et al has way more.

Speaking about motherboard design, if anything it should be a lot simpler because the HBM would be on the APU package. A lot less traces on the board for sure.


OH! My mistake! I guess it was the PS4 that used graphics memory chips, and then the Pro also added that 1GB DDR3 for background tasks.
 
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:55 pm

Some purported (marginally better than WCCFTech-grade, in my estimation) numbers came up in Beyond3D's Vega mega-thread, probably in the page 110~130 ballpark IIRC. That wasn't the source, but that's where I recall seeing such numbers. HBM2 wasn't looking particularly pricey.

HBM's performance isn't ideal for CPU-side use. If the workload is all about sequential bandwidth, it's great, but if you've got more random access patterns, it's garbage.

The XB1/S mostly get away with DDR3 against the PS4's GDDR5 because the XBoxes also have 32MB ESRAM. Scorpio is ditching that two-tier setup in favor of wider GDDR5 than Sony.
Last edited by synthtel2 on Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:35 pm

synthtel2 wrote:
Some purported (marginally better than WCCFTech-grade, in my estimation) numbers came up in Beyond3D's Vega mega-thread, probably in the page 110~130 ballpark IIRC. That wasn't the source, but that's where I recall seeing such numbers. HBM2 wasn't looking particularly pricey.

HBM's performance isn't ideal for CPU-side use. If the workload is all about sequential bandwidth, it's great, but if you've got more random access patterns, it's garbage.

The XB1/S mostly get away with DDR3 against the PS4's GDDR5 because the XBoxes also have 32MB ESRAM. Scorpio is ditching that two-tier setup in favor of wider GDDR5 than Sony.


Yeah, that 32MB ESRAM had me scratching my head, when they announced it. I'm glad they did away with it.

Normally, the lineup on Xbox One doesn't really do it for me, but the recent announcement that you can play original Xbox games on it has me really regretting getting rid of those discs. I'd *love* to play Jet Set Radio Future, Otogi 1 and 2, Panzer Dragoon Orta, GunValkyrie, Ninja Gaiden, Breakdown, and even the chance to play Metal Wolf Chaos.
 
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:57 am

synthtel2 wrote:
HBM's performance isn't ideal for CPU-side use. If the workload is all about sequential bandwidth, it's great, but if you've got more random access patterns, it's garbage.

I disagree with this statement. A very slight increase in memory latency (on the order of 15% or so, worst case) isn't enough to matter for 99.99999% of workloads. The increased bandwidth by 4x+ makes a larger difference.

Any evidence to back up the assertion?
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:30 pm

Waco wrote:
synthtel2 wrote:
HBM's performance isn't ideal for CPU-side use. If the workload is all about sequential bandwidth, it's great, but if you've got more random access patterns, it's garbage.

I disagree with this statement. A very slight increase in memory latency (on the order of 15% or so, worst case) isn't enough to matter for 99.99999% of workloads. The increased bandwidth by 4x+ makes a larger difference.

Any evidence to back up the assertion?

I thought HBM memory latency was far worse then 15%.
 
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:59 pm

Never mind. I thought DDR4 had some features useful for random access patterns that HBM was lacking, and it turns out to be the other way around.
 
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:36 am

The idea of AMD adding HMB on package has been floating around for awhile. Probably won't happen until cost/yields are ready for mainstream production runs.

However, HBM is a bit of a power hog for mobile due to it being consistently active. The similar technology for the mobile market is known as WideIO which permits the bus to actually sleep or partially wake up to save power.
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:04 am

Given that there are plenty of laptops on the market that come with only 4 or 8GB of soldered RAM and no extra DIMM slots, I don't think the limitations of a 16GB APU would be a problem.

IIRC, one of the big advantages of HBM is the lower power draw than GDDR5, but I'm not sure if it's lower power than DDR4. I know some budget laptops use DDR3 instead of GDDR5 simply because of power consumption, and that within the power budget, using DDR3 frees up some watts and allows higher core clocks on those DDR3 parts than their GDDR5 equivalents.

Either way, I think a Zen/Vega-based APU with HMB2 would actually be a very high performance part for mobile. Probably not cost-effective on the desktop though....
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:23 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
Given that there are plenty of laptops on the market that come with only 4 or 8GB of soldered RAM and no extra DIMM slots, I don't think the limitations of a 16GB APU would be a problem.

IIRC, one of the big advantages of HBM is the lower power draw than GDDR5, but I'm not sure if it's lower power than DDR4. I know some budget laptops use DDR3 instead of GDDR5 simply because of power consumption, and that within the power budget, using DDR3 frees up some watts and allows higher core clocks on those DDR3 parts than their GDDR5 equivalents.

Either way, I think a Zen/Vega-based APU with HMB2 would actually be a very high performance part for mobile. Probably not cost-effective on the desktop though....



Yeah, I was thinking of this being a strictly laptop part. My mom has an older APU, and she's got 32GB of the fastest DDR3 RAM it can handle, since her PC runs Windows 10. Sure, she complains that it's "slow", but it's largely because A) She opens up new browser windows for everything, not new tabs, along with Outlook, Word, etc... B) She expects everything to open instantaneously, not the 2-3 seconds it takes to load up Word or Outlook.

It's funny. She complains about her Win10 box, even though when I close the 80 bazillion things she has open, it's lightning fast, but she doesn't complain about her circa 2011 iMac, which takes a lot longer to load her programs. *shrug*
 
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:11 am

Doctor Venture wrote:
It's funny. She complains about her Win10 box, even though when I close the 80 bazillion things she has open, it's lightning fast, but she doesn't complain about her circa 2011 iMac, which takes a lot longer to load her programs. *shrug*


I know. RDF in full effect, or Stockholm Syndrome.

You have to wonder why there's there's so much anti-Apple attitude among power users and knowledgable folk, and I think part of it is hatred of the fact that their marketing genuinely brainwashes people into thinking Mac is better than PC, when it's so obviously not true a lot of the time.

I tolerate my MBP. It's a nice piece of hardware and arguably one of the best ways to use Unix of any flavour but it's not perfect; They keyboard layout sucks for anything other than OSX and it's pretty heavy and underpowered for its size/weight class. I'd much rather take a light plastic Clevo if I was actually requiring something mobile - and it seems that finally the other manufacturers have caught up and you no longer have to buy an Apple just to get a decent IPS screen.

I just wish the RDF Zealots weren't so vocal and boastful. People should be more secure about their high-cost purchase and admit to themselves that they paid over the odds for the brand. Making up silly excuses for Apple or defending their big cash outlay seems to be the norm for many Apply zealots and the distortion of the actual products this creates is mind-boggling. People don't buy $400K Ferraris and then brag about how they're better than a $100K Nissan GTR, even when the GTR has better acceleration/braking/cornering, has two extra seats, a useful trunk, and can traverse a speed hump.

So why do Apple customers feel compelled to say that their expensive, locked-down iDevice is better at stuff when it's (at best) equal?
True RDF - and there's no explanation for why this happens other than RDF-brainwashed peers propagating the RDF like a virus.
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:45 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
I tolerate my MBP. It's a nice piece of hardware and arguably one of the best ways to use Unix of any flavour.

"Tolerate" sounds about right.

They are the standard issue computing device at my workplace. The display and battery life are amazing, and they are decently thin. I hate the keyboard, and wish the RAM could be upgraded (I run VMs, 16GB gets a little tight sometimes). The corners of the machined aluminum casing are wearing holes in my backpack; I wish the edges were rounded/beveled.

Overall I'd call it a mixed bag. I would never buy one for myself, given the price.
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:27 am

Doctor Venture wrote:
I wonder if AMD might include 16GB HBM2 in a possible Zen2 or Zen3 based APU, and completely eliminate the need for RAM on the motherboard?



I actually think this is a good possibility. Though I wouldn't eliminate RAM entirely from the picture; maybe some models would eliminate it but don't remove it from all systems so that people can expand beyond the HBM capacity.

So maybe a workstation build might look like
L1 32K > L2 1MB > L3 32MB > HBM 16GB > RAM 128GB > SSD Pagefile.
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:44 am

MileageMayVary wrote:
Doctor Venture wrote:
I wonder if AMD might include 16GB HBM2 in a possible Zen2 or Zen3 based APU, and completely eliminate the need for RAM on the motherboard?

I actually think this is a good possibility. Though I wouldn't eliminate RAM entirely from the picture; maybe some models would eliminate it but don't remove it from all systems so that people can expand beyond the HBM capacity.

So maybe a workstation build might look like
L1 32K > L2 1MB > L3 32MB > HBM 16GB > RAM 128GB > SSD Pagefile.

AMD even has a history of doing stuff like this. Back in the Super 7 days, most CPUs only had L1 cache on-die, with the L2 being on the motherboard. K6-III had on-die L2, and treated the motherboard cache as L3.
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Doctor Venture
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:05 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:

I know. RDF in full effect, or Stockholm Syndrome.

You have to wonder why there's there's so much anti-Apple attitude among power users and knowledgable folk, and I think part of it is hatred of the fact that their marketing genuinely brainwashes people into thinking Mac is better than PC, when it's so obviously not true a lot of the time.


I think some of it is just a hold over, from when the running joke was "Apples are the idiot proof computers that only and idiot would buy". I used to be guilty of that, until I took some graphic design classes in college (I sucked at it), but the only machines in the classroom were PowerMacs, and they totally kicked ass for using Adobe products. We could even calibrate the monitors for the Pantone color gamut, which the Windows PCs at the time couldn't do.

I tolerate my MBP. It's a nice piece of hardware and arguably one of the best ways to use Unix of any flavour but it's not perfect; They keyboard layout sucks for anything other than OSX and it's pretty heavy and underpowered for its size/weight class. I'd much rather take a light plastic Clevo if I was actually requiring something mobile - and it seems that finally the other manufacturers have caught up and you no longer have to buy an Apple just to get a decent IPS screen.


I don't have a Macbook Pro yet (I'm considering one of the refreshed iMac models, assuming the price isn't astronomic). I actually like how you can use *nix (that BSD hybrid, I think?). That Mac workstation deal seems like a rip-off, though. And I also don't like the magic keyboard, magic touchpad, or that mouse.

I just wish the RDF Zealots weren't so vocal and boastful. People should be more secure about their high-cost purchase and admit to themselves that they paid over the odds for the brand. Making up silly excuses for Apple or defending their big cash outlay seems to be the norm for many Apply zealots and the distortion of the actual products this creates is mind-boggling. People don't buy $400K Ferraris and then brag about how they're better than a $100K Nissan GTR, even when the GTR has better acceleration/braking/cornering, has two extra seats, a useful trunk, and can traverse a speed hump.

So why do Apple customers feel compelled to say that their expensive, locked-down iDevice is better at stuff when it's (at best) equal?
True RDF - and there's no explanation for why this happens other than RDF-brainwashed peers propagating the RDF like a virus.


You're right about the Apple Zealots. It seems like they're just trying waaay too hard to justify their purchase, and act like they have a personal stake in Apple, not just "Oh, I used their products, and I like them."
 
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:08 pm

MileageMayVary wrote:
Doctor Venture wrote:
I wonder if AMD might include 16GB HBM2 in a possible Zen2 or Zen3 based APU, and completely eliminate the need for RAM on the motherboard?



I actually think this is a good possibility. Though I wouldn't eliminate RAM entirely from the picture; maybe some models would eliminate it but don't remove it from all systems so that people can expand beyond the HBM capacity.

So maybe a workstation build might look like
L1 32K > L2 1MB > L3 32MB > HBM 16GB > RAM 128GB > SSD Pagefile.


That's not a bad idea, except for the price of 128GB DDR4 RAM. I was looking at a quad-channel kit for the workstation build, and it'll cost a bit over $1000, even for just DDR4-2400. A 64GB dual-channel kit is a tiny bit more reasonable, at a little over $500. Still, that's too damned much, in my opinion.
 
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:09 pm

Doctor Venture wrote:
You're right about the Apple Zealots. It seems like they're just trying waaay too hard to justify their purchase, and act like they have a personal stake in Apple, not just "Oh, I used their products, and I like them."

True Apple zealots do in fact tend to own stock in the company. If you're a True Believer, you put your money where your mouth is. I used to work for someone like that; he was constantly checking Apple's stock price (on his shiny new iPhone, of course).
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:33 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Doctor Venture wrote:
You're right about the Apple Zealots. It seems like they're just trying waaay too hard to justify their purchase, and act like they have a personal stake in Apple, not just "Oh, I used their products, and I like them."

True Apple zealots do in fact tend to own stock in the company. If you're a True Believer, you put your money where your mouth is. I used to work for someone like that; he was constantly checking Apple's stock price (on his shiny new iPhone, of course).



WOW! Seriously? That's some devotion right there. I enjoy a lot of products, but I've never thought of buying stocks in them. Then again, I'd likely lose a ton of money, since I tend to root for the underdog. That's one of my many flaws.
 
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:32 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
IIRC, one of the big advantages of HBM is the lower power draw than GDDR5, but I'm not sure if it's lower power than DDR4. I know some budget laptops use DDR3 instead of GDDR5 simply because of power consumption, and that within the power budget, using DDR3 frees up some watts and allows higher core clocks on those DDR3 parts than their GDDR5 equivalents.

Premium laptops which aren't mainly for gaming often use LPDDR3 which maxes out at 16GB with current Intel chips, hence why Macbook Pros are stuck at 16GB as if they'd gone for DDR4 it would have impacted battery life.
LPDDR4 will change that but Intel don't seem to support that yet! Finally MBPs will get some 32GB lovin'. :)
 
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:43 pm

Doctor Venture wrote:
WOW! Seriously? That's some devotion right there. I enjoy a lot of products, but I've never thought of buying stocks in them. Then again, I'd likely lose a ton of money, since I tend to root for the underdog. That's one of my many flaws.

If you'd bought AMD stock 2 years ago and sold right before the Ryzen launch, you would've made back your investment 7 times over! :lol:
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:48 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Doctor Venture wrote:
WOW! Seriously? That's some devotion right there. I enjoy a lot of products, but I've never thought of buying stocks in them. Then again, I'd likely lose a ton of money, since I tend to root for the underdog. That's one of my many flaws.

If you'd bought AMD stock 2 years ago and sold right before the Ryzen launch, you would've made back your investment 7 times over! :lol:


I'm not that bright, when it comes to stock market stuff, plus I have the family curse. If I knew latin, I'd make the family motto something along the lines of "If it wasn't for all the bad luck, we wouldn't have any at all". At least it would sound fancy, instead of just sad...
 
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:53 pm

Doctor Venture wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Doctor Venture wrote:
WOW! Seriously? That's some devotion right there. I enjoy a lot of products, but I've never thought of buying stocks in them. Then again, I'd likely lose a ton of money, since I tend to root for the underdog. That's one of my many flaws.

If you'd bought AMD stock 2 years ago and sold right before the Ryzen launch, you would've made back your investment 7 times over! :lol:


I'm not that bright, when it comes to stock market stuff, plus I have the family curse. If I knew latin, I'd make the family motto something along the lines of "If it wasn't for all the bad luck, we wouldn't have any at all". At least it would sound fancy, instead of just sad...

Same here. I know little about the stock market, other then those who hold the longest tend to do the best. However you still have to know when to hold and when to sell, and I don't have the nerves for that.
 
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Re: Dumb idea/thought experiment

Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:54 pm

Doctor Venture wrote:
If I knew latin, I'd make the family motto something along the lines of "If it wasn't for all the bad luck, we wouldn't have any at all".


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