Overview of Bulldozer Lineup

AMD’s new Bulldozer-based CPUs are just around the corner. AMD has said the release of Zambezi CPUs will happen in Q3, which means any time from now. The latest word on the street suggests October release though. We know quite a lot about these CPUs already but there is at least one thing we didn't know until now and it may end up being a big thing in server market. AMD’s John Fruehe has published an interesting blog post where he reveals that AMD’s upcoming server CPUs, Operons, will feature a user-configurable TDP. 

AMD Bulldozer lineup
Codename Zambezi Valencia Interlagos
Market High-end consumers Low-end servers High-end servers
Core count 8, 6 or 4 8 or 6 16, 12 or 8
Socket AM3+ C32 G34
Supported CPU configurations Single CPU Up to dual CPU Up to quad CPU

Lets start with a brief on Bulldozer. It’s AMD’s first new micro-architecture since K10 (if we ignore Bobcat), which was released in late 2007, and frankly it’s long overdue. It will be manufactured using GlobalFoundries’ 32nm SOI, just like Llano. Some of the architectural changes are covered here, so lets not get into that.

The regular desktop CPUs are codenamed Zambezi and will feature up to eight cores. They will use the AM3+ socket and some AM3 boards will also support the new Zambezi CPUs after a BIOS update. These CPUs will not feature an integrated GPU (unlike Llano and Ontario/Zacate) and will support up to 1866MHz DDR3 in dual-channel configuration. 

Bulldozer actually gets more interesting when talking about the server parts, Opterons. For low-end and power efficient servers, AMD will offer CPUs codenamed Valencia. Specification wise these CPUs are pretty similar to Zambezi, with 8-core and 6-core variants. The memory support is also dual-channel just like in Zambezi but will be limited to 1600MHz. Valencia will be released under the Opteron 4200 Series brand and will support single- and dual-CPU configurations. It will aslo be compatible with AMD's current San Marino and Adelaide platforms (Opteron 4000 Series) for socket C32.

For high-end servers, AMD’s answer is Interlagos. It will feature up to 16 cores which is achieved by combining two 8-core dies into one package, similar to AMD’s current 12-core Magny Cours. There will also be 12-core and 8-core variants. Interlagos has up to four Hyper-Transport 3.0 links, meaning that quad-CPU configurations are supported. Apparently, there will also be CPUs with only two links, aimed at dual-CPU configurations. Memory support will be quad-channel 1600MHz DDR3, just like Intel’s Sandy Bridge-E (although we don’t know the speed of DDR3 that SB-E supports). Interlagos will be branded as the Opteron 6200 Series and will retain support for Maranello platform (Opteron 6000 Series) which utilizes socket G34.

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  • duploxxx - Friday, July 15, 2011 - link

    according to many, anything which is branded "PENTIUM" is the uber CPU doesn't matter what is behind....
  • Broheim - Friday, July 15, 2011 - link

    >according to many


    don't have one? then gtfo.
  • formulav8 - Friday, July 15, 2011 - link

    Grow up. He was just messing around
  • Broheim - Friday, July 15, 2011 - link

    no, he's a raging AMD fanboy. I have yet to see a single post from him that doesn't bash intel or praise AMD in some form or another.
  • AnandThenMan - Friday, July 15, 2011 - link

    So he's the exact opposite of you.
  • Broheim - Saturday, July 16, 2011 - link

    erm, I have nothing against AMD, this rig has an unlocked HD6950...

    are you just butthurt because I called you out on your bitching about Anand's benchmarking?
  • just4U - Saturday, July 16, 2011 - link

    Currently I am on a Sandy Bridge 2500k and in the last year I've been on a i7 920 a 1055T, and a few $60 amd cheapies. As far as I am concerned they are all good. I didn't notice night and day improvements like I did when I moved to the A64 and Core2. So I think we are sort of at a ceiling limit right now (excepting specific tasks) where just about any new cpu is good enough.
  • JohanAnandtech - Friday, July 15, 2011 - link

    it is possible that your tests are using the x87 FPU. The Phenom can process up to 3 instructions per cycle out of order, while the P4 can hardly sustain one FP per cycle.

    Parallel, multithreaded software is of course much faster on a 6-core than a single P4 core :-).

    And it would be very hard to find a benchmark where P4 at 4 GHz is faster than a Phenom II 2.8 GHz. I can not imagine that anyone has published one. The P4 has a much slower memory interface (very high latency vs Phenom IMC), much smaller caches (16 KB vs 64 KB L1) and is outmatched in every aspect of FP processing power (64 vs 128 SIMD, Tripple fast x87 FPU vs single slow one) ...
  • SanX - Friday, July 15, 2011 - link

    Amazing was that performance increase by factor of two was per CPU of course. The whole 6-core not overclocked AMD CPU was 2.42/0.50 or almost 5 times faster then 2-core overclocked to 3.8GHz Intel E8400!

    Here are the numbers for the parallel algebra (you can download the test code from equation dot com or i have it too for different compilers) for Intel and AMD in seconds when i switch ON different amount of cores

    1 4.64 seconds
    2 2.42

    1 2.46
    2 1.22
    3 0.83
    4 0.67
    5 0.58
    6 0.50

    I invite anyone to do the test on their CPUs.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, July 15, 2011 - link

    Using 64-bit "bench1_gfortran_64.exe":

    Core 2 QX6700 @ 3.2GHz:
    1 CPU = 4.55s
    2 CPU = 2.33s
    3 CPU = 1.62s
    4 CPU = 1.34s

    Core i7-965 @ 3.6GHz:
    1 CPU = 3.93s
    2 CPU = 1.97s
    3 CPU = 1.33s
    4 CPU = 1.01s
    5 CPU = 0.87s
    6 CPU = 0.80s
    7 CPU = 0.72s
    8 CPU = 0.69s

    Of course, none of that really tells us much, because we don't know how the application was compiled or what optimizations are in place. There's only one 64-bit compiled version but there are four 32-bit compiled versions. Let's just see what happens with the 32-bit versions on the QX6700 for a second:

    Core 2 QX6700 @ 3.2GHz Absoft:
    1 CPU = 7.01s
    2 CPU = 3.54s
    3 CPU = 2.40s
    4 CPU = 1.90s

    Core 2 QX6700 @ 3.2GHz gfortran:
    1 CPU = 10.73s
    2 CPU = 5.40s
    3 CPU = 3.67s
    4 CPU = 2.87s

    Core 2 QX6700 @ 3.2GHz Intel Fortran:
    1 CPU = 4.70s
    2 CPU = 2.40s
    3 CPU = 1.76s
    4 CPU = 1.47s

    Core 2 QX6700 @ 3.2GHz Lahey/Fujitsu:
    1 CPU = 5.38s
    2 CPU = 2.73s
    3 CPU = 1.95s
    4 CPU = 1.56s

    What does that tell us? As expected, the Intel compiler version is the fastest in 32-bit mode. What's more, the gfortran 32-bit version is the slowest on Intel. Since the only 64-bit version is from gfortran, it would appear that a 64-bit Intel version would come in around twice as fast. That's only speculation based on the 32-bit compiled executables, but given your above numbers it looks like you're probably using the 64-bit version. (If not, why does my 3.2GHz quad-core outperform your 3.8GHz dual-core when looking at the 32-bit Intel speeds?)

    Anyway, there are certain types of code that AMD does quite well at running, but overall I'd say it's clear that Intel's Nehalem/Lynnfield/Sandy Bridge CPUs are significantly faster than the Phenom II X6 offerings.

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