*re-spin* IHV choice in consoles

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by function, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. function

    function None functional
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    AMD only look bad in comparison to Intel; their CPUs are light years beyond Xenon and Cell. No-one would use Intel because the cost would be prohibitive and their usage would be highly restrictive. AMD CPUs are probably the best choice for a high performance part in a console.

    If Steamroller is half as good as the rumours suggest then AMD could deliver a part with very good performance per watt, performance per mm^2 and absolute performance.
     
  2. almighty

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    No chance, performance per watt is still an area where Intel are dominating AMD and will do for some time.

    When you have a 3Ghz Sand Bridge core i3 providing higher frame rates then an FX8150 you know that AMD are far behind.

    Even a Core 2 Quad is a better gaming CPU then an FX series from AMD.
     
  3. function

    function None functional
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    You may have missed the bit where I said AMD only look bad compared to Intel!

    Intel aren't an option; compared to any realistic option AMD are looking quite good. Any game where an i3 could beat the top FX processors would be pretty horrible at multithreaded CPU utilisation and would be a bad use case for any console vendor to design a system around.

    Steamroller isn't out yet, and hasn't even been previewed yet, so it's a bit early to write it off.
     
  4. almighty

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    Steamroller isn't out yet but considering that every CPU they have released has not been as much as an improvement as they said it's not looking good.
     
  5. function

    function None functional
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    Trinity was pretty much exactly as good as AMD claimed (and a very worthy product), so hopefully the kind of false expectations that AMD were trying to set in the run up to the Bulldozer launch are a thing of the past.

    Piledriver is supposed to be a incremental improvement over of Bulldozer but Steamroller is the one where they say they'll have had time to really dig in and fix stuff.

    More OT, even Bobcat may be faster than what ends up in the WiiU.
     
  6. almighty

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    Desktop Trinity is only really faster due to the increased clock speeds, it's still lower then Phenom 2 clock for clock

    Speaking of which a Phenom 2 x6 would be awesome in a console.... 6 meaty cores
     
  7. Rangers

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    Trinity 5800 would have been a nice part for Wii U, I guess. Nice 384 SP's, I'm sure it's beefier than whatever actually ends up in the thing.

    Except the main problem, 100 watts TDP. Just highlights how restrictive 45 watts is I suppose.

    That and if you're going to allocate a 200mm+ die, might be better pairing a 123mm Cape Verde with something else for CPU.
     
  8. kalelovil

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    Even the A10-4655m is likely to be faster than what the Wii U ends up with, and that's a 25W APU. It might even be fast enough for software emulation of most Wii/Gamecube games.

    The thermal envelope didn't force Nintendo to go with an RV730 based GPU and triple-core Gecko-based CPU (if the rumours are true).
     
  9. Rangers

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    think mobile parts are verboten in consoles cause they're binned. as best i understand anyway.
     
  10. Blazkowicz

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    You don't necessarily need a strong binning. An APU reaches (up to) 100W on the desktop because performance is the only concern but you may lower clocks, lower voltage, disable part of the GPU etc. and you certainly get into a lower power budget with the very same chip.

    In fact take Intel's bottom of the barrel, the celeron G530 (there's something even below it but it's marginal), drop it unmodified in a Wii U (as a thought experiment) and we're there regarding TDP. Strong CPU performance (I'm sure it spanks the Wii U), GPU not great at all but not entirely terrible, 4GB ddr3 on 128bit.
     
  11. kalelovil

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    Considering laptops sales are by far the largest section of the PC market, I doubt they're binned particularly aggressively. This is especially true for Trinity, which AMD has targeted quite specifically at the laptop market.

    If Intel weren't so focused on preserving their margins and avoiding the console market, a low clocked and cut down for yield Ivy Bridge dual core with GT3 graphics would have been another alternative.
     
  12. Rangers

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    Seems like *any* binning might be a problem in the cutthroat low margin console biz. Especially if rejected parts cant be sold anywhere else (which after a year or so is likely true)
     
  13. liolio

    liolio Aquoiboniste
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    Putting aside all the benefits coming with X86 which are not hardware related (software environment) I would dare to say that IBM does better CPU than AMD, close to Intel.
    Streamroller should indeed make things betters if the 30% boost is there in multithreaded workload.
    They may land closer to nowadays core i5.
    AMD CPU power consumption is pretty bad, Trinity consumes a hell lot of power, the high model burns 150 Watts running prime95 and furmarks, 130 running Prime95 alone.
    F1 2011 bruns 133Watts. That's a lot of power vs even Intel 32nm parts. A nice thing is that the GPU runs almost for "free" wrt to power.
    I can't see MSFT going for 8 piledriver/Strem rollers parts. Too much power. IF MSFT goes indeed with AMD and uses 8 or more cores those cores have to be Jaguar.

    The nice with AMD is that they have parts "ready" or than should be ready by 2013. That's a bit of the issue with IBM now they don't have completely satisfying existing parts on those two brackets: low power CPUs and high power CPUs. The power7 is a really amazing part, power consumption for a comparable part as an AMD dual module part should consume the same power and offers significantly better performances. But on the low power side, the PPC47x are weak on the SIMD side. Power A2 could do the trick but single thread performance even though slightly higher than say Xenon make it not completely optimal.

    Looking at Nintendo I feel like it's too bad the Jaguar were not an option at design time. Sticking with IBM I really wonder if they better have use a powerA2 module (/quad-core). Nothing enforces the use of 4 threads per cores, they may have use 2 ala Xenon.

    The issue with IBM I would say is that one has to fond the development of a new CPU, something like an reasonably wide, OoO, CPU supporting 2 way multi-threading and with potent SIMD, designed with power efficiency in mind. That is a hell of an R&D effort without hope (vs something like the Cell) to find any use to the CPUs outside of the console. I guess that why they got discarded. Better go with AMD existing parts and lesser R&D costs as well as design and production hazards.
     
    #13 liolio, Oct 3, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2012
  14. Blazkowicz

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    I find it weird that AMD would sell CPU that exceed their TDP by 30 to 50%, is that a 0.1s spike recorded as the max, or the whole mobo's power use?

    Anyway with a Bulldozer variant, you get to use the FMA instructions that noone uses on PC, they seem pretty cool if you're after SIMD.
     
  15. liolio

    liolio Aquoiboniste
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    It's all comes down to what one company calls TDP. It is not the same for Intel and AMD.
     
  16. McHuj

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    It's the whole system load at the wall.

    The worst I've seen is (CPU+GPU fully loaded):
    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2012/10/03/amd-a10-review/8

    149W at the wall for the APU+8GB+MB+SSD+750W PS
     
  17. liolio

    liolio Aquoiboniste
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    Indeed got the (same +/-) data from hardware.fr, usually they do that for GPU and the figure is or the GPU alone. This time they measured the consumption at the plug too.

    EDIT
    Well my post was a bit empty.

    As the topic was about Trinity and how it could fit (or more not fit) into a WiiU like set-up, I believe that it might still be doable to have a custom trinity that may perform close to Ninendo requirements.
    Something like one module 4 SIMD units /8 ROPs, clocked below 3GHz may have done the trick. There are trinity salvage part clocked way higher with a TDP of 65 Watts.
    Actually even the part with 4 SIMD (256 stream processors) actually out do the 5 SIMD / 400 stream processors in an A8-3870 (Llano) which in turn is already more powerful than nowadays consoles.

    In fact it's quiet possible that a single module, 3 SIMD, 8 ROPs, APU clocked conservatively fed on fast DDR3 would outperform our old consoles all that within a reasonable TDP.
     
    #17 liolio, Oct 3, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2012
  18. function

    function None functional
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    If you look at the CPU performance of a 65W Trinity, and remember that it includes a very respectable GPU (which will be reflected in the CPU base clock), then it isn't hard to image an 8 core, four module Piledriver based CPU (with no GPU) providing a lot of CPU grunt for a very manageable amount of heat.

    And that's just Piledriver (Steamroller based modules should hopefully be ready for inclusion in APUs before the end of next year), at 32nm and not 28nm, and just looking at CPU base clocks (which could be higher with no GPU allowance).

    Trinity is pretty rocking. Pity one of its 25W variants couldn't have made it into the WiiU, but I guess the long term costs wouldn't have worked out so well for Nintendo.
     
  19. liolio

    liolio Aquoiboniste
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    Well I can't say rocking as for me looking at all the efforts AMD put into it, I can't help but think that they should have passed on CMT altogether. They may have bigger cores, right. But they could also sell single core, dual core, triple core and quad cores (like they were doing).

    But from a gamer on a really tigh budget (I've seen a lot of vid on Youtube of gamers in South America and eatern part of Europe / western part of Asia that play with really conservative set-up) it's indeed a pretty awesome part, and it with micro atx board it should fit into pretty convenient form factor.

    Thing is the more I think about it, the more I can think of cheap systems that would exceed our old system performances.

    For example, sticking to IBM. I believe that a Single power 7 core with say 2MB of L3 could be all you need to match overall our old ladies.
    It would have been quiet devs friendly, you have both high single thread performances, high multi-threaded performances and quiet a respectable FP throughput all that in one core. Overall a really tiny piece of silicon even on 45nm.

    It's quiet funny to think of the cheapest system possible that would still have the ps360 kind of performances or more. We should open a thread about it :lol:
    Something like that could be quiet cheap:
    1 SOC: 1 power7 & 2MB of L3, GPU 2 SIMD no ROPs, some DSP and a couple of low power cores (arm, ppc 476/ whatever) running the OS dealing with networking and security as well as the sound, BC, etc, a single channel memory controller (64 bit), 2 GB of DDR3.

    1 Smart edram chip, 16 MB with ROPs, produce by either NEC or IBM.
    EDIT
    Now that I think of it a single core Haswell with a matching GT2 IGP may destroy our old console for way better power consumption :lol:
     
    #19 liolio, Oct 3, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2012
  20. almighty

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    Energy efficient Athlon 2 x4's and Phenom 2's are still much better peforming chips and will use very little power.
     
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