Home / Component / CPU / Luke and Leo Get Technical (Ep 12) – AMD Must Respond to Intel 12th Gen

Luke and Leo Get Technical (Ep 12) – AMD Must Respond to Intel 12th Gen

Intel’s performance offering from the 12th Gen processors is impressive. The gaming crown looks to be back Intel’s hand, and AMD also needs to respond to their overall performance crown being infringed upon. How will AMD respond? And what are the timescales? There’s also the elephant in the room of Apple, with the M1 silicon continuing to make impressive performance strides.


00:00 Start
00:15 AMD ‘need’ to respond? – Luke and Leo discuss
05:11 Desktop – what is Luke expecting AMD to do …
06:38 Packaging Discussion
08:23 Intel and AMD clocks/cores
11:26 Fork in the technologies / Apple processors / TSMC
15:24 3D Cache desktop parts Zen 3 AM4
16:15 Intel forcing AMD’s hand

Is AMD doomed after Intel 12th Gen?

  • No, of course not!
    • But there does need to be a response in our opinion
  • Intel’s newfound competitiveness is perhaps unexpected
  • Zen 3 with 3D V-Cache will need to be a promising retaliation

Zen 3 with V-Cache Processors:

  • This will be existing Zen 3 architecture on AM4 with DDR4
    • 3D stacking to allow for greater amounts of L3 cache is the key change
  • Using technology from TSMC for stacking – TSV
  • We saw with Zen 3/Zen 2 vs earlier Zen revisions that extra L3 cache can help gaming performance significantly
    • Latency dependent, of course

AMD Accelerated Data Premiere:

  • More focused on data centre and compute technologies
    • But we did gain an insight into some of the upcoming AMD products and technologies
  • MI200 accelerator GPUs, Zen 3 with 3D V-Cache EPYC, Zen 4 EPYC, Zen 4C EPYC
  • EPYC Milan-X with 3D V-Cache will have 768MB of L3 cache on a single CPU(!)
    • That’s a huge amount!
    • Significant performance uplifts highlighted – particularly in workloads such as code compile
  • We would expect (and hope) that 3D V-Cache is a win without losses
    • Hopefully there will not be penalties to like-for-like workloads simply by the addition of the 3D V-Cache when that stacked memory is not be accessed
  • Zen 4/4c EPYC Genoa and Bergamo
    • Up to 128 cores on a single CPU!

What are we expecting AMD to do?

  • Zen 3 with 3D V-Cache will surely be next
    • Probably around early 2022 for actual availability to consumers, we would anticipate
  • Perhaps AMD vs Intel will not battle it out on cores and clocks
    • Now, Intel has its hybrid architecture and AMD is going for a stacked cache approach

Packaging, packaging, packaging:

  • 3D V-Cache for AMD is using TSMC packaging technology
  • Intel has also spoken lots about its packaging technology – Foveros
  • Intel doesn’t seem to have majored on packaging for 12th Gen desktop
    • Sapphire Rapids and Ponte Vecchio on the other hand…
  • AMD, in a sense, will be the first to major on packaging on the desktop with 3D V-Cache
  • The differing approaches for Intel and AMD in the near future are intriguing

Intel versus AMD – cores and clocks:

  • Intel has been higher clock speed in recent history
    • But Zen 3 and 12th Gen realistically change that
    • Now, the clock speed uplift for Intel is realistically quite small on a core-for-core comparison
  • Though is still quicker by something like 10-15%
    • The gap has just narrowed significantly
  • Of course, Intel now has two clock speeds though
    • For the Performance cores and for the Efficient cores
  • How would things change if Intel goes down the route of fewer P cores and more E cores?
    • That would be quite similar to AMD’s Zen 4c approach of a greater number of lower performing cores
  • Greater numbers of lesser performing cores could be increasingly justifiable for parallelisation on desktop applications

Apple has entered the chat:

  • Apple will certainly throw a spanner into the mix with its own chip designs – particularly the current M1 offerings
  • We cannot underestimate Apple’s own designs at this point!
  • How the performance of the M1 chip has been scaled up from the Macbook Air to the higher-end Macbook Pro is impressive
    • When do we see the higher-performance desktop iMac or Mac Pro getting scaled up M1 hardware?
  • Apple has certainly moved very quickly to establish the silicon
    • Intel and AMD cannot mess around!

TSMC is still the great enabler!

  • What Apple has done with the M1 is incredibly impressive
    • But would is have been possible without TSMC?
    • It certainly wouldn’t have been as quickly doable
  • And the same can be said for AMD and Nvidia with their fabless designs that are enabled by TSMC’s manufacturing capabilities
  • Does Apple shift the volumes that could allow it to run its own fabs in the future?
    • Would that even be an Apple thing to do?

When will we see Zen 3 with 3D V-Cache desktop parts?

  • We are still expecting them to run alongside current Zen 3 processors
    • Perhaps this will be a release like the XT part were saw for the Ryzen 3000 series
  • Does CES 2022 still seem like a potential launch point?
    • CES and Computex do still hold significant value to even the industry giants like AMD, Intel, and Nvidia

Zen 3 Threadripper 5000?

  • Is this a dead duck for those expecting or wanting Threadripper 5000?
    • A complete lack of HEDT competition from Intel may not necessitate AMD to launch Zen 3 Threadripper
  • Perhaps Zen 3 Threadripper will be Threadripper Pro only
    • To compete in the enterprise market where Intel does offer plenty of Xeon competition
  • Luke really wants to see Zen 3 Threadripper 5000 for prosumers, not just enterprise workstation via Threadripper Pro
  • A lack of competition on the CPU market can be very, very dangerous after all
    • We all remember Intel’s moves and complacency just before 2017

Intel is forcing AMD to fight back:

  • The 12th Gen processors are just that competitive
  • AMD has to fight back
    • Especially when the more affordable Intel LGA 1700 motherboards hit the market to fight against AMD AM4 B550

Discuss on our Facebook page HERE.

KitGuru says: Intel 12th Gen has certainly been a shot across the bow towards AMD. There has to be a response, so will Zen 3 with 3D V-Cache be just that? Time will tell.

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