bit-tech.net

AMD Bulldozer to ship ‘within the next week or so’

AMD Bulldozer to ship ‘within the next week or so’

AMD's Bulldozer CPU design can process two threads quickly and concurrently in a single core.

The wait is almost over for AMD fans, and owners of Socket AM3+ motherboards with 990FX chipsets: Bulldozer CPUs will ship ‘within the next week or so’. ZDNet says the claim was made at the Hot Chips conference a couple of weeks ago, and has some new details and specs to tease us with.

Let’s just get the multi-layered codenames and brand names out of the way first though, to avoid confusion. The new CPU will indeed be a CPU – it uses the Socket AM3+ packaging and therefore has no on-board GPU. The overarching design of the CPU is codenamed Bulldozer, the first flavour of which will be codenamed Zambezi. The brand name of a Bulldozer-architecture CPU is FX.

A Zambezi CPU is comprised of four ‘modules’, each of which – AMD claims – contains two ‘cores’. However, as each core does share some resources with its partner, we’re unconvinced by this terminology: a core should be an independent execution unit that can accept, process and output work.

After all, the two Bulldozer ‘cores’ have to share ‘several components including a front-end (fetch and decode), floating-point unit, data prefetch unit.’ For the record, we also refuse to refer to GPUs as having ‘cores’ rather than stream processors (much to Nvidia’s annoyance).

It’s easier to think of a module as a CPU core which has the ability to process two threads concurrently, so we’ll insist on referring to Bulldozer modules as cores. There is way more duplication of resources in a Bulldozer core than in any other CPU core we’ve seen, so the boost in multi-threaded performance is likely to be very high. Intel’s rival and seemingly inferior Hyper-Therading technology typically gives a performance boost of up to 30 per cent, depending on the workload.

ZDNet is saying that each Bulldozer core will have 2MB of Level 2 cache each, while the design itself has some new instruction sets, both common to Intel (‘SSE [version not given], encryption, and AVX for floating-point operations’), and AMD-specific. The latter are said to ‘fill in some holes including FMA4 for HPC applications and XOP for numeric, multimedia, and audio/radio applications.’ Bulldozer will support DDR3 memory at (official) speeds of up to 1,866MHz. There’s also new power management features and auto-overclocking tech Turbo Core.

Zambezi will use Globalfoundries’ 32nm SoI (silicon on Insulator) manufacturing process, which is no surprise, and each die is said to measure a hefty 315mm2. Server and workstation versions of Bulldozer CPUs should ship in September.

With Sandy Bridge-E setups looking rather pricey, and not due on sale for a little while, AMD has an opportunity to become the enthusiast’s choice in the run-up to Christmas. Do you think it’ll take that chance? Let us know in the forum.

54 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Paradigm Shifter 26th August 2011, 16:33 Quote
If they benchmark well (ie: are a real improvement over the system I have) then I might well think about switching to Bulldozer. Since The 990 chipset supports SLI, it's not like I'll lose Surround, either... :)
play_boy_2000 26th August 2011, 17:07 Quote
I'm not convinced it's going to come close to SB, so too much hype can actually be a bad thing for AMD. At this point, I'm all for a early paper launch, just so we can see some hard numbers and put an end to the speculation.
pizzanbeer 26th August 2011, 17:23 Quote
I hope it will be super fast.Time will tell.
Unknownsock 26th August 2011, 18:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by play_boy_2000
I'm not convinced it's going to come close to SB, so too much hype can actually be a bad thing for AMD. At this point, I'm all for a early paper launch, just so we can see some hard numbers and put an end to the speculation.

I'd say the Hype has all but gone now tbh...More desperation than anything.

Although that does depend on performance.
saneblane 26th August 2011, 18:28 Quote
Good, release southern islands too, and kill two birds with one stone
law99 26th August 2011, 19:29 Quote
well if it's as good as the benchmarks we've seen already and a bit better it might be in a purchase list for me. As I can get a board to stick in my phenom and then later chuck in a FX. Otherwise it's going to be a 2500k for my next purchase cpu wise.
Tyinsar 26th August 2011, 19:52 Quote
faster cores > more cores

I keep hoping AMD will pull it off as I'd like to go back to them for a bit.
thelaw 26th August 2011, 20:04 Quote
So how long after they ship will we see a review or are you releasing the review on the shipping date?
Chicken76 26th August 2011, 21:04 Quote
Well, if that were true, Bit-tech would let us know that they received samples for testing, like they did with Sandy Bridge. Since that didn't happen, I'm thinking September 19th remains the most probable launch date.
buttercup 27th August 2011, 00:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bit-tech
[...] so we’ll insist on referring to Bulldozer modules as cores.
What's wrong with just calling them modules?
Lazy_Amp 27th August 2011, 04:27 Quote
Unlike Llano which was primarily a embedded part which customers have to make packages for, Zambezi will be getting in end users hands a bit sooner
l3v1ck 27th August 2011, 09:42 Quote
Will there be a full review and benchmarks in the next mag, or will it be the one after?
javaman 27th August 2011, 11:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by buttercup
What's wrong with just calling them modules?

Cause people don't like marketing BS. A spade's a spade
Aracos 27th August 2011, 12:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by javaman
Quote:
Originally Posted by buttercup
What's wrong with just calling them modules?

Cause people don't like marketing BS. A spade's a spade

The difference is in this case it's more like a spade is 1.5 spades...so yeah they aren't really the same as cores.
MrTeal 27th August 2011, 13:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by buttercup
Quote:
Originally Posted by bit-tech
[...] so we’ll insist on referring to Bulldozer modules as cores.
What's wrong with just calling them modules?
I agree, it would avoid some confusion. For instance when I read "ZDNet is saying that each Bulldozer core will have..." I'm wondering if this 'core' refers what AMD is calling a 'core' or what bit-tech is calling a 'core'.
GrahamC 27th August 2011, 14:39 Quote
Not going to wait for SB-E more money and longer. As I need to invest in new platform for the longer (3years plus) term going Bulldozer. Would like to see info on AMDs new GPUs as well.
The_Countess 28th August 2011, 03:14 Quote
"a core should be an independent execution unit that can accept, process and output work."

it has its own scheduler, 4 pipeline's with ALU's AGU's and instruction L1 and half the L1 data cache is reserved for it (its shared yes, but each core has 1 of the way's of the 2-way cache all to itself.)
so by your own definition its core.

and i dont see how you can say its one core when its clearly 2 cores that share the a front end. a front-end which in a normal CPU is idle half the time anyway.

but whether you accept that or not, PLEASE dont call a module a core. just call them a module if you must. otherwise, combined with AMD slides and/or other tech site information we'll end up with people thinking a 8core/4mobule bulldozer has anywhere from 4 to 16 cores on it.
please dont add extra confusion.
Senilex 28th August 2011, 13:33 Quote
Why do BT continue to try and defy stuff just to be different or controversial. "We are not going to call them modules blah blah blah". I'm sure AMD know more about this architecture and has reason why they are referring them as modules which contains cores than you ill proven knowledge of hardware. I remember when you refused to call the Radeons, AMD Radeons (instead ATI Radeons) just to be idiots - look how that one turned out.
Valinor 28th August 2011, 13:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senilex
I remember when you refused to call the Radeons, AMD Radeons (instead ATI Radeons) just to be idiots - look how that one turned out.

What I remember is that they said they'd start calling them AMD Radeons when the first Fusion APUs came out (they call them APUs, not CPUs), and also that AMD said that they were fine with this.. So why put this point on? It's.. well.. pointless (see what I did there?)
timevans999 29th August 2011, 10:06 Quote
rts gaming performance is what this chip will provide. Supreme commander will love this chip but the single thread nature of crysis software will also benifit, AMD please remember bang for buck!
PQuiff 29th August 2011, 11:18 Quote
Only thing that is worrying me is the lack of benchmarks this close to release. Im up for a new Pc and ive been putting of buying an I7 cause of this.

I hope there not pants.
GuilleAcoustic 29th August 2011, 11:38 Quote
I'm waiting for the first review to decide wether I go for sandy or bulldozer. Curtains will soon fall
Whirly 29th August 2011, 12:11 Quote
I have to agree with PQuiff about the lack of benchmarks. I have to say that if you had world class hardware to release surely you would get benchmark samples out there early to get all the free publicity the high scores would give you. Even if you had limited initial quantities to sell the benefit would be massive.

But no benchmarks.

Whenever I see a game that doesn't get reviewed before release I think the publishers must be trying to recoup as much money as they can from early sales before the public realise how much of a stinker the game is.

For all our sakes I hope the same isn't true of Bulldozer. The market needs strong competition among the best cpus to keep Intel honest and keep innovation a priority. But I fear we are going to see Bulldozer unable to compete with Sandybridge, never mind Intel's upcoming roadmap.
GrahamC 29th August 2011, 15:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whirly
I have to agree with PQuiff about the lack of benchmarks. I have to say that if you had world class hardware to release surely you would get benchmark samples out there early to get all the free publicity the high scores would give you. Even if you had limited initial quantities to sell the benefit would be massive.

But no benchmarks.

Whenever I see a game that doesn't get reviewed before release I think the publishers must be trying to recoup as much money as they can from early sales before the public realise how much of a stinker the game is.

For all our sakes I hope the same isn't true of Bulldozer. The market needs strong competition among the best cpus to keep Intel honest and keep innovation a priority. But I fear we are going to see Bulldozer unable to compete with Sandybridge, never mind Intel's upcoming roadmap.

This is my fear as well, released in the next two weeks and not a real snif at info on the chip. Makes me think it's just a catch up CPU. If it is AMD are going to have to make the platform price very good indeed. No point in jumping now though, mays as well wait and see if there is a smell about it.
azazel1024 29th August 2011, 15:21 Quote
I think in a lot of ways AMDs marketing is going to backfire. Even if the quad module "octocore" parts are faster than 2600k, which I suspect might not be the case (we'll see soon though), it looks pretty bad if it takes 8 "cores" to match 4 intel cores with hyperthreading. Let alone when higher clocked and/or more core parts for SB-E come out which sound like they will, with almost no doubt, stomp all over Bulldozer.
amppatel 29th August 2011, 15:26 Quote
Not going to be as good as SB - intel rocks!
Action_Parsnip 29th August 2011, 16:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicken76
Well, if that were true, Bit-tech would let us know that they received samples for testing, like they did with Sandy Bridge.

There is no reason to believe AMD would allow bit-tech to mention that they have samples.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PQuiff
Only thing that is worrying me is the lack of benchmarks this close to release. Im up for a new Pc and ive been putting of buying an I7 cause of this.

I hope there not pants.

Only Intel does previews of new hardware. Nvidia do not, AMD graphics does not (except for the 4870x2, 5970 and 6990) and AMD processors does not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whirly
I have to agree with PQuiff about the lack of benchmarks. I have to say that if you had world class hardware to release surely you would get benchmark samples out there early to get all the free publicity the high scores would give you. Even if you had limited initial quantities to sell the benefit would be massive.

But no benchmarks.

Whenever I see a game that doesn't get reviewed before release I think the publishers must be trying to recoup as much money as they can from early sales before the public realise how much of a stinker the game is.

Like I said anything except Intel CPUs are very rarely previewed. You compared game releases to hardware releases so the rarity of graphics card previews is a valid comparison. They obviously want the launch to go with one big bang. Dribbling any substantial info out beforehand is gonna torpedo that strategy. Launch day reviews and enthusiast buzz is plenty of publicity. The internet is clamouring for information now and has been since the Bulldozer technical explanation late last year. They've been steering a good course for hype-without-spending-a-dime up to now. I mean each new bit of official info from AMD directly stirs up quite the frenzy all for free.
Quote:
Originally Posted by azazel1024
I think in a lot of ways AMDs marketing is going to backfire. Even if the quad module "octocore" parts are faster than 2600k, which I suspect might not be the case (we'll see soon though), it looks pretty bad if it takes 8 "cores" to match 4 intel cores with hyperthreading. Let alone when higher clocked and/or more core parts for SB-E come out which sound like they will, with almost no doubt, stomp all over Bulldozer.

I do agree with this, it isn't 8 cores and they should not call it as such. ....but then again it's not 4 cores either, or 4 with HT, so what do you call it? Appealing to the plebs and calling it 8 cores for the sake of being somewhat understood is the lesser of 2 evils instead of throwing a wall of text at everyone to explain things.
GrahamC 29th August 2011, 18:39 Quote
TBH I'm not bothered how a CPU is etched out or what the hell it's called, I just want the faster chip at a given price point or (as I'm buying a full system) the platform overall cost with that faster chip.
David164v8 29th August 2011, 18:46 Quote
"‘within the next week or so’. ZDNet says the claim was made at the Hot Chips conference a couple of weeks ago"

If this conference was a few weeks ago, and they said at it it would be launched in a week or so. Shouldn't it be out by now?
bulldogjeff 29th August 2011, 18:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrahamC
TBH I'm not bothered how a CPU is etched out or what the hell it's called, I just want the faster chip at a given price point or (as I'm buying a full system) the platform overall cost with that faster chip.

I tend to agree with this, sounds like a lot of splitting hairs going on over names etc. If AMD can do better than intel regardless of how many modules or cores or what you want to call them, then they can safely say that at that given moment they have the best cpus on the market.
thehippoz 29th August 2011, 18:55 Quote
yeah really if it's priced good and beats the 2600k.. we'll see
l3v1ck 29th August 2011, 20:20 Quote
Due to an unfortunate poping sound coming from my motherboard earlier today, I'm suddenly very keen to know when we can expect a bulldozer based APU?
Aracos 29th August 2011, 21:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
Due to an unfortunate poping sound coming from my motherboard earlier today, I'm suddenly very keen to know when we can expect a bulldozer based APU?

Q4 2010 or more likely Q1 2011 IIRC.
l3v1ck 29th August 2011, 23:01 Quote
It'll take me that long to save up anyway ;)
I wonder if the APU graphics can our perform my existing 7800GTX.
slothy89 29th August 2011, 23:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
Due to an unfortunate poping sound coming from my motherboard earlier today, I'm suddenly very keen to know when we can expect a bulldozer based APU?
Bulldozer isn't an APU... If you want APU Llano is your answer. The article specifically stated that 'dozer is CPU only.

Regarding the core/module debate, ultimately it's how Windows, OS X or Linux sees the chip. If it sees 4 cores/threads then it's fair enough to say the modules are indeed cores with parallel processing ability. If they see 8, then I'd call it octocore.

Many a gamer is waiting for this release, so if it performs well in low threaded applications as well as highly threaded, then it might out do SandyBridge. Remember, single core performance is just as important here. No point having 20 cores when your program uses no more than 2-3
Action_Parsnip 30th August 2011, 00:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by slothy89
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
Due to an unfortunate poping sound coming from my motherboard earlier today, I'm suddenly very keen to know when we can expect a bulldozer based APU?
Bulldozer isn't an APU... If you want APU Llano is your answer. The article specifically stated that 'dozer is CPU only.

LOL - He asked when a 'Bulldozer based APU' would be out, which means the successor to Llano and which will be Bulldozer based.
Korvus 30th August 2011, 17:14 Quote
Ivy or Bulldozer..Ivy or Bulldozer :? :(
roosauce 30th August 2011, 18:22 Quote
I am pretty disappointed that the '8-core' chip is actually just 4 modules, but I guess we will see how it stacks up. I had been thinking of a platform upgrade for bulldozer or ivy bridge, but I have been monitoring my i7-920 in games and it doesn't seem to be even close to being a bottleneck yet.

I had to go ahead and buy one of the cheap crucial refurb drives to deal with the upgrade bug for another couple of months ...

I do hope that AMD comes back into form on the enthusiast end of the market. I would quite like an AMD system again at some point.
Action_Parsnip 30th August 2011, 20:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by roosauce
I am pretty disappointed that the '8-core' chip is actually just 4 modules, but I guess we will see how it stacks up. I had been thinking of a platform upgrade for bulldozer or ivy bridge, but I have been monitoring my i7-920 in games and it doesn't seem to be even close to being a bottleneck yet.

I had to go ahead and buy one of the cheap crucial refurb drives to deal with the upgrade bug for another couple of months ...

I do hope that AMD comes back into form on the enthusiast end of the market. I would quite like an AMD system again at some point.

Enable background monitoring and log to file in GPU-Z and go through some games. Look at the GPU usage statistics. Arma 2 and GTA 4 die on their arses on my rig, even with a measley 4890 and a 1080p screen. Depends what you play though, really.
Culinia 31st August 2011, 13:41 Quote
Excellent. More stuff to consider before the release of Battlefield 3. I will be watching closely at benchmarks - if need-by, wait until benchmarks for Battlefield 3 come in before upgrading my PC, if necessary.
MorpheusUK 2nd September 2011, 11:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Culinia
Excellent. More stuff to consider before the release of Battlefield 3. I will be watching closely at benchmarks - if need-by, wait until benchmarks for Battlefield 3 come in before upgrading my PC, if necessary.
I
That at least makes 2, I want to see stack loads of bench marks pitting SB and Bulldoser against each other with "same" hardware specs before parting with my hard earned cash, I do want to go back to AMD but right now Intel can't be touched.
Skeese 2nd September 2011, 20:09 Quote
I hope AMD outperforms Intel...
One_Box 3rd September 2011, 11:31 Quote
Just looked on the AMD site, they have removed all reference to the Bulldozer. If the chip is to be released in a couple of weeks you would expect them to be trumpeting the fact. I won't be holding by breath, but will be pleasantly suprised if they deliver as scheduled.
GravitySmacked 3rd September 2011, 12:15 Quote
I'm looking forward to seeing some benchies; I hope they can come up with the goods.
David164v8 3rd September 2011, 12:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Box
Just looked on the AMD site, they have removed all reference to the Bulldozer. If the chip is to be released in a couple of weeks you would expect them to be trumpeting the fact. I won't be holding by breath, but will be pleasantly suprised if they deliver as scheduled.

Ummm.

http://sites.amd.com/us/promo/processors/Pages/fx-processor.aspx
Journeyer 6th September 2011, 10:20 Quote
Gah!
Just ship them already! My new Sabretooth 990FX arrives today, and I'm itching for an 8150 to stuff deep into that socket. Hm, must order some new 1866Mhz RAM as well...
Bede 6th September 2011, 12:09 Quote
Is it just me, or has bit-tech been notably quiet on the hardware front recently? Quietly testing review samples of Bulldozer is what I hope they're doing (rather than devoting themselves to reviewing xbox games :s).
GuilleAcoustic 6th September 2011, 12:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bede
Is it just me, or has bit-tech been notably quiet on the hardware front recently? Quietly testing review samples of Bulldozer is what I hope they're doing (rather than devoting themselves to reviewing xbox games :s).

I can sacrifice myself to game testing if they need free time for bulldozer :p
Journeyer 6th September 2011, 13:46 Quote
Or, better yet, I can sacrifice myself to testing Bulldozer in case they need free time for games. :D
confusis 6th September 2011, 22:29 Quote
I'm just waiting for BD so I can snare a cheap hexcore phenom when everyone upgrades :) best i can hope for with my budget
Journeyer 7th September 2011, 14:23 Quote
Urgh!
I find myself sticking to the "hardware" page hitting F5 ever so often just waiting for the inevitable message that "Bulldozer has shipped" or "Bulldozer now on newegg".
Stickeh 7th September 2011, 17:42 Quote
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/369751/amd-rolls-out-first-bulldozer-processors

Almost there...hoping for a decent review and benchmarks - putting off an upgrade to find out the news!
Telltale Boy 7th September 2011, 18:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PC Pro
AMD has confirmed that its lower-end eight-core desktop products – codenamed Zambezi – will be shipped in Q4.

Doesn't sound like Bit-tech will be reviewing them any time soon. :(
Journeyer 7th September 2011, 18:30 Quote
FFS!
My WC setup is not easily disassembled, and I had hoped Bulldozer would soon be available, but still; guess I'll have to run the Sabretooth with my X4 955 for the time being then.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums