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Intel CPU archiect does AmA on Reddit

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#16 +Majesticmerc

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 22:59

6 months is putting it mildly. I would say a year or two personally.


I don't think they're that far behind. Bulldozer/Piledriver CPUs aren't up there with the i7's, but on a price/performance scale they're punching their weight. The top end Bulldozer/Piledriver competes with an equivalent price high-end Core i5, and they're very quick in parallel tasks. They just suck at single-threaded tasks. Steamroller was supposed to be their saviour next year, with rumours like a 25% speed bump in single-thread performance, but that's been pushed back to 2014, which could be a fatal mistake.

AMD's problem is that they bet on high parallelism being a hot thing, and they bet wrong. That and the ATI purchase, and the Intel antitrust thing.


#17 yowanvista

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 23:06

That might have been true in days of the original celeron and pentium but I doubt that is true now.

Every single chip will be tested for their capabilities. Those that pass every test at the highest clock speed are branded as a high end processors. Similarly, those that fail to reach the clock speed will be branded at as lower end products. If any of the cores don't work, then they are branded dual core i3/i5 processors or lower end quad core i5 processors. So while they may be "defective" from the standpoint of the perfect silicon chip, to the end user who expects everything as advertised, the resulting chip is perfect. For instance all Sandy Bridge-E processor dies have 8 cores but the number of cores to be 'enabled' will depend on the chips which make it through all the tests, the most robust ones (mainly those which are more thermal resistant) will have 6 cores enabled and will be branded in higher spec'd series (i.e Core i7-39xx) while some will have only 4 cores enabled (Core i7-38xx) but so far there are no i7 SB-E chips with 8 core enabled because of power/thermal issues. It's called product binning.

#18 n_K

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 00:42

I7/I5/I3 are different, they're not just one bunch and they blow fuses to select which model it is.
I3's have those 'upgrade cards' you can buy for example, to produce even just a million CPUs with that in that didn't need it would cost a lot of money.

And in terms of AMD vs Intel; AMD go by clock speed... Clock speed isn't everything, it really isn't. E.g. intel has TXT and an embedded AES function on their newer chips along with a load of other functions that AMD CPUs don't have, so these functions can be used to greatly speed up things. (As the guy said in the questions, intel own the fabs so they can put extra things in that fabless companies can't do)
AMD might have better clock speeds but they certainly are not ahead of intel, and in terms of being 6 months behind, I'd put it more than that unfortunately.

#19 Growled

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 00:49

Very interesting read. Thanks for that.

#20 Andre S.

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 04:14

The top end Bulldozer/Piledriver competes with an equivalent price high-end Core i5, and they're very quick in parallel tasks. They just suck at single-threaded tasks.

Well single-threaded performance is still what matters in most use cases. Perhaps if the only thing I was doing with a PC was video encoding, or such inherently parallel task, I'd consider an AMD, but for a general-purpose machine, forget it.

#21 ~Neowin~

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 05:42

What's AmA?

#22 vetScorpus

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 05:45

What's AmA?


Ask me Anything

#23 +SharpGreen

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 05:50

I7/I5/I3 are different, they're not just one bunch and they blow fuses to select which model it is.
I3's have those 'upgrade cards' you can buy for example, to produce even just a million CPUs with that in that didn't need it would cost a lot of money.

And in terms of AMD vs Intel; AMD go by clock speed... Clock speed isn't everything, it really isn't. E.g. intel has TXT and an embedded AES function on their newer chips along with a load of other functions that AMD CPUs don't have, so these functions can be used to greatly speed up things. (As the guy said in the questions, intel own the fabs so they can put extra things in that fabless companies can't do)
AMD might have better clock speeds but they certainly are not ahead of intel, and in terms of being 6 months behind, I'd put it more than that unfortunately.


Only two models of the i3 are "upgrade card" capable, and one is mobile chip.


Why wouldn't it still be true? It's a fantastic business model to be able to use/sell stuff like that.

I don't disagree. But if you look at any of the dual core chips Intel makes..does that mean they're chopping off 2 cores? I can't imagine they have such poor yields that they have enough wafers to mass produce the i3, the pentium and the celeron just solely on bad i7s.

#24 The_Decryptor

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:14

...
I don't disagree. But if you look at any of the dual core chips Intel makes..does that mean they're chopping off 2 cores? I can't imagine they have such poor yields that they have enough wafers to mass produce the i3, the pentium and the celeron just solely on bad i7s.

Nah, the i3 and so would be separate designs, but they'd all share a common base, so that if a quad core chip has issues in 2 cores, they can just disable them and have a resulting CPU functionally identical to a plain dual core design.

It's similar to the K/non-k issue, they build the CPUs around a common aim, and the ones that don't perform as well fall into a lower bracket (I know my 2500K performs better than other 2500K CPUs I've seen, etc.)

#25 +SharpGreen

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:17

Nah, the i3 and so would be separate designs, but they'd all share a common base, so that if a quad core chip has issues in 2 cores, they can just disable them and have a resulting CPU functionally identical to a plain dual core design.

It's similar to the K/non-k issue, they build the CPUs around a common aim, and the ones that don't perform as well fall into a lower bracket (I know my 2500K performs better than other 2500K CPUs I've seen, etc.)


That's what I'm saying basically. The i3 and i5 are based on the reject quad core chips which to me given how well it (and the other dual cores) sell, they must have a lot of reject i7s.

#26 The_Decryptor

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:24

I doubt that have many reject CPUs, what I meant was that they're all separate lines, but close enough that if one fails in certain ways they can just relegate it to a lower end model line.

#27 +SharpGreen

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:58

I doubt that have many reject CPUs, what I meant was that they're all separate lines, but close enough that if one fails in certain ways they can just relegate it to a lower end model line.

I think we're basically saying the same things here, or rather it sounds that way to me.

#28 uMadRabbit

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:14

6 months is putting it mildly. I would say a year or two personally.


Year easy. Thank GloFo.

+Majesticmerc - What's wrong with the ATI purchase? It's the best decisions they did back then. If they wouldn't have ATI right now you'd only have Intel on the market by now.

#29 MillionVoltss

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 17:16

Highlights ?

#30 +Majesticmerc

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 18:12

+Majesticmerc - What's wrong with the ATI purchase? It's the best decisions they did back then. If they wouldn't have ATI right now you'd only have Intel on the market by now.


There's nothing wrong with the ATI purchase as a strategic move, since it has been fairly central in their SoC developments, but they overpaid by a massive amount (somewhere in the region of $1.5bn too much). So it was a good buy at a bad price.