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posted by martyb on Thursday June 02 2016, @12:19PM   Printer-friendly
from the chipping-away-at-the-market dept.

A lot of CPU news is coming out of Computex 2016.

Intel has launched its new Broadwell-E "Extreme Edition" CPUs for "enthusiasts". The top-of-the-line model, the i7-6950X, now includes 10 cores instead of 8, but the price has increased massively to around $1,723. Compare this to a ~$999 launch price for the 8-core i7-5960X or 6-core i7-4960X flagships from previous generations.

Intel has also launched some new Skylake-based Xeons with "Iris Pro" graphics.

AMD revealed more details about the Radeon RX 480, a 14nm "Polaris" GPU that will be priced at $199 and released on June 29th. AMD intends to compete for the budget/mainstream gamer segment falling far short of the $379 launch price of a GTX 1070, while delivering around 70-75% of the performance. It also claims that the RX 480 will perform well enough to allow more gamers to use premium virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.

While 14nm AMD "Zen" desktop chips should be coming later this year, laptop/2-in-1/tablet users will have to settle for the 7th generation Bristol Ridge and Stoney Ridge APUs. They are still 28nm "Excavator" based chips with "modules" instead of cores.

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday June 03 2016, @06:44AM

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday June 03 2016, @06:44AM (#354389) Journal

    I'm more interested in AMD's mobile APUs than anything, and it is a segment where they have done well even while lagging at 28nm, because their integrated graphics are good. Intel could catch up in APU graphics but their most powerful iGPUs have been in really expensive CPUs, and I'm not sure AMD will let them take the lead. I have no idea how impressive Zen's integrated graphics will be, but it is likely to be a massive improvement because of the double die shrink. I'll just take graphics and power efficiency improvement for granted and hope that single-threaded performance meets expectations.

    Zen is needed to recover from the Bulldozer disaster. It is AMD's chance to put a real 8-core chip into desktops and recover part of that market. No more failed module design, which is why they can make... or claim such an impressive 40% IPC gain when Intel has been doing 3-12% per generation. 8 cores, 16 threads. Intel isn't exactly trying to compete on core count... although I guess the 6-core i7-6800K is somewhat cheaper than previous >4-core -E chips at $434.

    So AMD's 8-core desktop chip will compete against quad-core i7 chips. No matter what kind of IPC gain AMD makes, we know it will still fall short of Intel's single-threaded performance. But they will sell an 8-core chip for around $150 (compare with launch prices for 4 module FX chips []), and it will hopefully have better multithreaded performance than Intel's quad cores. That combination is what could make AMD great again.

    There are no CPU killing games

    The good news is that the PS4 and XBO have AMD 8-core chips. Sure, they are somewhat puny AMD Jaguar chips, and only 6-7 cores are available to the game devs, but it will hasten the parallelization trend, particularly beyond the ubiquitous quad-cores. The "PS4K" will have a similar 8-core chip, but with a clock rate boost. This is being released "mid-cycle", so consolitis is diminished to a degree.

    Zen will be followed by Zen+, which should improve IPC/etc. further. Maybe around that time (2018?), Intel will decide to make a "mainstream" 6-core chip for once.

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