* Posts by msroadkill

24 posts • joined 13 Jun 2011

Time to Ryzen shine, Intel: AMD has started shipping 7nm desktop CPUs like it's no big deal

msroadkill

A curious twist to Intels problems, is a recent mini boom for them, for the inglorious reason that their server chips are now up to 20% slower due to security patches, which of course means servers need 20% more chips installed to do the same workload.

This has led to some deceptive recent revenue results for intel.

msroadkill

Re: AMD is hot right now

Having followed amd's resurgence closely before and since their seismic Zen CPU processors, I can assure you that Intel's cupboard has already been emptied of potential countermeasures.

They have been in trouble since Zen in early 2017 & at best have mounted some decent rear guards (as you would expect after so many years of almost total domination of a conservative market) during what has clearly to insiders, been a rout.

CPUs have always been a very monopolistic duopoly (both started at the same time in the ~same neighborhood ~50 years ago), so this role reversal is one of the most amazing biz stories of all time.

As can be imagined, Intel has plenty of moats embedded in the market, chiefly control over the predominant pre-built PC suppliers. Savvy who have freedom to switch - the millions who assemble the 6-10 sub components themselves, have long been flocking to Zen - the available (mindfactory.de e.g.) recent numbers indicate an amd intel split of ~60/40 by volume and 50/50 by revenue in this "canary in the coal mine" market.

They have been fortunate to have a diminishing but plausible case among big spending competitive gamers, whose sole metric is what drives their expensive graphics cards fastest at lower resolutions. With new Zen2, neither dominates the other.

The climactic perfect storm is now upon Intel. A spectacularly superior Zen2 has arrived after they have; badly betrayed their pre-built & other partners, gouged and treated customers with contempt, had a huge fail in going from years ahead to years behind in manufacturing process and they have very serious problems arising from security problems due to ill advised hot rodding shortcuts in their past designs.

Incredible as it sounds, Goliath is in deep, deep trouble. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Its all about confidence, and their halo is rapidly tarnishing. Even the ~PC illiterate are getting the message - Japan e.g. has always been a ~all intel, and now seems split equally in the DIY market.

To top it all, they cannot resort to the key advantage overwhelming scale advantage usually grants - predatory pricing.

Perhaps the killer aspect of Zen architecture is scalability. They can take a ~single, relatively simple & high yielding processor chip, and recombine it in a myriad of multiples to address the widely differing power levels of all segments of the market - from ~lap tops to mega servers.

Contrary to other posters here - it is in data center where amd is the biggest threat of all. There are now extremely few user cases where intel have a competitive pitch to make. Intels moats dont work nearly as well with big boys like the big 7 cloud providers.

It is this market where the real money is. Consumer PCs is a relative side show, but a very nice complement for AMD. Servers demand perfect chips. AMDs modular architecture mean lower binned or partly defective chips can be combined into competitive products. An entry level desktop 6 core cpu e.g. is 2x 4 core chips combined, each with one core de-activated. ~Nothing is wasted.

This ingenious aspect of Zen architecture gives AMD an overwhelming cost advantage. Whatever intel offer, amd simply match it with 30% more power and 30% cheaper, and still make 50%+ margin at intel set market prices.

Their failure in manufacturing has deep consequences too. They now have eye wateringly expensive plants unable to produce competitive product. This, at best, underutilised capital, is a huge burden for them.

While they had a technical lead, owning factories gave them huge market power. Now they are years behind specialists like tsmc and samsung, who do subcontract manufacturing for the likes of amd, the factories are a huge liability.

All intel can do is concede market share in an orderly retreat, & keep as much of their high margins as they can for as long as they can - keep that share price propped up til insiders can sell their shares w/o a panic.

HP boss: Intel shortages are steering our suited customers to buy AMD

msroadkill

Re: AMD is cool again

My response to your post and the above series of similar ones on basic office PCs is ~"well yes, but they are a false economy to implement on scale".

as a preamble - AMD have an excellent minimalist solution in their zen/vega APU. Extremely competent, but not over priced over kill.

Many of these basic rigs have also had an obtrusive discrete GPU added at some point.

The list of improvements a sub $100 APU offers is as long as your arm.

Power/heat/noise/cooling?

Intuitive GUIs - graphics are useful.

smooth operation causing fewer distractions from the thought process.

The perception is that support will be a challenge, but the reality is that the pervasiveness of zen/vega in so many tiers of the market (from mobile and embedded, all the way to exa servers), and the unified sibling processors from a single source, makes support much simpler than any intel/nvidia assemblage.

This last point relates strongly to the article - even if clients are only being driven to tentative steps toward a plan B, it will wise them up about a lot of intel myths when they test the water.

Having swallowed its pride and started again with 10nm chips, Intel teases features in these 2019-ish processors

msroadkill

Just doing what intel and others have long done with perceived threats - wax lyrical about fanciful things on the drawing board, as if they are just around the corner, in the hope of spoiling sales.

He i s really talking about where they may be heading now if they had 10nm - BUT THEY DONT.

It is compounded by the need to reconstruct much of what they have done in the past.

Start trek, the next generation: PCie 4 flash controller demo flaunts speedy peripheral vision

msroadkill

Who needs it? Oh wait...

There are apps with an ~insatiable appetite for ram, and many more would code for if it were mainstream.

Dram is expensive & a bit thirsty.

We can page memory overflows to storage to give an illusion of large memory, but historically, there is such a chasm between memory and storage speeds, it is of very limited use.

Yet when the possibility of storage arrays almost as sequentially fast as memory of not so long ago arises (i.e. ~unlimited, cheap ~memory), its a giant yawn apparently.

And here's Intel's Epyc response: Up-to 56-core, 4GHz 14nm second-gen Xeon SP chips, Agilex FPGAs, persistent mem

msroadkill

Re: True story*

Maybe it's just me, but this seems profound - a kinda Rosetta stone of Intel management logic. If reality doesn't suit their model, assume it isn't there and proceed.

Epyc move: Supermicro plunges into Cascade Lake’s Optanical waters

msroadkill

Re: Revolution/Evolution

I agree optane isn't the magic bullet intel make it out to be. It expensively has a read iops/latency advantage over regular nand nvme of 2-3 times it seems, but not much else. It remains a fraction the speed of dram, an advantage non-volatility power savings wont overcome imo.

Regular nand still seems to have plenty of room to grow, with smaller nodes and pcie4, or using memory channels similarly to intels proposal.

Amazon's homegrown 2.3GHz 64-bit Graviton processor was very nearly an AMD Arm CPU

msroadkill

Re: Expensive? We'll never know.

"no one actually says that Annapurna managed to meet the same performance requirements." - yes I posted similarly a bit after you. I don't know when it was said, but they bought Annapurna in ~jan 2015 for ~$350m. They may have realistically realised "so that's what arm yields, & we still wanna play with it, but we will buy our own test kitchen where we have full control". Annapurna may have other revenues/prospects, which would make the price chump change vs their intel cpu spend. If it adds intel leverage, it pays for itself on that alone.

msroadkill

I declare I am an inexpert amd stock holder, but hopefully objectively, I agree with others here that its just a plan B for AWS to use as an "arm twister".

They said amd's arm didn't live up to expectations, but nor does this it seems.

It bears noting annapurna cost ~$350-370m back in 2015

https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjRxY6ThPreAhWO62EKHakvB00QFjAAegQICRAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.extremetech.com%2Fcomputing%2F198140-amazon-buys-secretive-chip-maker-annapurna-labs-for-350-million&usg=AOvVaw0wBbSw4JXNuUrhMOer8xvl

I think they just got a better deal this way than getting much the same arm twister from amd. 350M$ isn't huge considering their presumed cpu spend - they just bought their own designer team & arm licence.

Its just another logical step in the very slow continuum of the arm solution finding a problem to solve in exascale.

Instead of using amd's workshop & team for their experiments, they got a bargain on their own setup, team & arm licence. Their own ~test kitchen, just as arm instances seem to be for their clients to experiment on.

Nobody seems to be saying arm just took a big leap vs x86.

Hmm, there's something fishy about this graph charting AMD's push into Intel's server turf

msroadkill

Re: Lisa Su Comment

To this layman, it seems common sense it is more like a snowball than linear, more so given the nature of the whole server ecosystem.

It was announced in march 2017, but only publicly available recently. Its a slow process while everybody tests the water, but when a few take the plunge, many follow.

Of course it is exponential.

A bit of intel on AMD's embedded Epyc and Ryzen processors

msroadkill

not noted afaik, is that the embedded version of the zen/vega apu, is officially rated for 3200 ram. afaik the desktop apu is only rated for 2933 ram.

This could indicate the situation has improved generally for apuS, and that more ambitious mainstream ram clocks are doable.

Dell goes on Epyc server journey with AMD

msroadkill

As we know, buyers have different priorities, but I think the largest group are focused on IO, and in this respect, intel is lame on single socket rigs. amd's 128 lanes wins hands down.

The most exciting improvement in IT has been nvme, but they are very lane hungry.

AMD scores EPYC gig powering new Azure instances

msroadkill

Cloud providers are in the biz of selling VMs.

The biggest reservation about cloud by far, is security. Even priority over perf/$.

AMD security is inarguabley better.

So providers find epyc vmS are disproportionately popular with existing clients, and new clients now feel secure using cloud.

msroadkill

Yes its a foot in the door - of course, given its freshness.

Its one among many vm offerings by azure.

But what a foot and what a door?

It seems very liberating for system admins, - do a proof of concept on alternative amd processors so painlessly.

Web uni says it will get you a tech job or your money back. So our man Kieren signed up...

msroadkill

Re: "...a good percentage of the population is not suited to programming..."

Then I presume you could devise a test for schoolchildren, which could identify those with the innate gift of which you speak?

Surely; we, the kid and his family are better for knowing early that this path is an option to be nurtured?

Azure fell over for 7 hours in Europe because someone accidentally set off the fire extinguishers

msroadkill

Some failsafe clouds are more failsafe than others - G Orwell

In the Epyc center: More Zen server CPU specs, prices sneak out of AMD

msroadkill

Very helpful, Ta.

re:

"AMD has split its Epyc SKUs into dual and single socket classes – they can be used in either configuration, though, unless they are a P-coded SKU, and a couple appear twice because they straddle both classes. So, for example, AMD recommends using the 7301 in a dual-socket system as an alternative to a pair of $800-plus Intel Xeon E5-2640 v4s, and the 7551P in a single-socket server versus a pair of Xeon E5-2650 v4s."

I cannot find clarity on this. Surprisingly, as its a very common scenario I hear - future proofing with an unused second socket on the chosen mobo.

Part of the reason for 2P popularity is simply adding more cpu grunt later if needed.

The epyc options in this regard are far from clear to me.

NVMe SSDs tormented for months in some kind of sick review game

msroadkill

For a very different nvme milleieu, howzabout local raid0 nvme storage on a gpu?

http://www.anandtech.com/show/10518/amd-announces-radeon-pro-ssg-fiji-with-m2-ssds-onboard

AMD Llano vs Intel Sandy Bridge

msroadkill

Not having read HP specs, it seems the intel is much heavier from the performance per pound bars. If so, can only be explained by bigger batteries methinks.

A choice between ~30% better cpu vs kick ass battery life (no gpu discrete), lighter & 200% better graphics. I know which I & I suspect most would prefer.

Integrated usb 3 is a big plus w/ amd chipsets too.

Assuming 500 vs 630 pounds is right - some say its a pittance over life of the unit, 2 years is not uncommon for these - when you consider the future worth of that money, its a big chunk of your next , way cheaper & better mobile device.

Due to a shortage & huge demand, amd prices are at a premium. expect lower once sorted.

Not sure what ram used but NB - going from ~1333 ram to ~1600 ddr3 pays huge graphics dividends. If you add a similar graphics radeon discrete GPU, expect a 75% graphics boost on amd APUs. There is no dual gpu mode for intel.

intels mantra about grunt cpus is getting as tired as muscle cars. Vast majority could do w/ a 10 yr old cpu for what they do - not so w/ graphics & power consumption tho. We are at a watershed where AMD/ATI can make intel dance to their tune cos no way intel can compete w/ ati graphics for years.

If, as you say, you are smart enough to need cpu grunt on a mobile, u should be smart enough to offload it to a server on the cloud or at the office.

AMD may be a bit slower on cpu, but intel grinds to a halt on some apps on its igp. I know which would annoy me most.

Wasnt there an obscure scandal about intels igp cheating at graphics conversions - they are lossy & crappy?

AMD targets tablets and cloudbooks in Intel showdown

msroadkill

hope its ok to link - v on topic

http://blogs.forbes.com/rogerkay/2011/06/13/amd-fires-off-second-salvo/

msroadkill

good thinking

"supplementing or replacing x86 cores in Fusion with ARM. That would still leave AMD owning most of the silicon on the die. Almost all Intel's value is the x86 core (no one willingly chooses an Intel GPU) so its not as attractive an option. AMD have more choices here -> can adapt faster."

good thinking - x86 drinks power i hear. Dont abandon it, but use it as little as possible.

My posts elsewhere here, fancy similar logic for servers. AMD cloud servers w/ 2 x cpu & 8 x gpu on 1 die, running open cl for the grunt jobs. The x86 cores act as traffic policemen & run legacy code.

Power is a big problem for these farms. A new approach is needed.

msroadkill

brazos is 40nm - ok but not great - same as amd GPUs, about to go 28nm - brazos next?

brazos is 40nm - ok but not great - same as amd GPUs, about to go 28nm - brazos next?

msroadkill

if thats brazos vs current similar intel offerings, thats not what I heard.

GMA? not sure? but if thats brazos vs current similar intel offerings, thats not what I heard. Yes, the x86 benchys are worse, but the overall user experience is way better.

msroadkill

general amd stuff

I just bought AMD shares, minutes before reading this.

intelligent story & comments.

"vital that Intel and AMD make the shift, tapping into their entrenched positions in PCs, while refusing to be dragged down by the legacy."

well put. Odd for me to a bit negative, but amd especially so cos of their discrete gpuS. Fusion will slaughter the low end gpu business.

We all seem agreed on the merits of fusion, now if only AMD could do decent cloud servers. Thats where the money is.

How about a dual cpuS w/ 8 gpuS fused in, running open gl server apps.

As another said, brazos is a good product and selling now. Its 40nm, same as the discrete gpuS, which are due to shift to 28nm (brazos next?).

Hope it wasnt here I read it, but they got ~124 design wins for brazos & 145 for llano. Sounds impressive anyway.

AMD dont care much about the market, the real action is stealing share from intel, or new value conscious markets (india/china etc)

I read 400 smart phones or 120 tablets = 1 new server on the cloud.

Also good money in emerging markets tho, & AMD can kick ass.

Just a guess, but a hybrid lap/desk top llano which can handle a few hours of power outtage may sell well in 3rd world etc.

SB seems foolish to me. Who would want a grunt CPU & crap integrated graphics? Those guys go the discrete route.Hope I dont sound a shill. Just sayin

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