AMD Bulldozer vs AMD Piledriver – One AMD APU to rule them all! (for now)

May 2nd, 2012 | By | Category: Technology

So in case you haven’t noticed May is AMD Month because this month this is the month that the public gets their hands on AMD’s new Piledriver chip’s.  So your going to hear a lot of the words Piledriver floating around and Bulldozer and Trinity and a slew of other words but what does it mean?  What’s the big deal about the AMD Piledriver chip ?

Well Piledriver is the new Bulldozer, don’t ya know?  Piledriver represents the next generation CPUs from AMD and we managed to scrounge up a very interested AMD APU optimization guide here: http://support.amd.com/us/Processor_TechDocs/47414_15h_sw_opt_guide.pdf if anyone is interested in some of the truly geeky aspects of this.  But I’m going to assume you aren’t an developer and that you are looking more for the skinny of what this means and why Piledriver is important for you :)

With the help of a 95% helpful and 5% snide commenter they can be summed up as follows:

Piledriver is AMDs new desktop CPU only chip and will fit into the AM3+ motherboards. Trinity is the Piledriver based APU that will fit into the FM2 based motherboards. Both are looking to add about 15-20% in performance over the previous generation.

As discussed in a previous article AMD’s gently stepping out of teh power hungry high end chip market and doing the green thing by focusing on much more power efficient tech and the Piledriver chip or Trinity APU represents a big step in that direction as it is the fire high volume processor core to use something called RCM IP, developed by a company called Cyclos.

According to Cyclos, its resonant clock mesh (RCM) technology is similar to the technique some hybrid cars use via KERS, short for kinetic energy recovery system. Inductive-capacitive oscillators are leveraged in mesh-based high-performance clock distribution networks to deliver “high-precision timing while dissipating almost no power.”  Basically you are getting a lot more bang for you buck in terms of power per watt, in the realm of 15-30% but in the case of the AMD Trinity (aka AMD Piledriver) core probably more like 5-10%.  What we are talking about here is that the AMD Piledriver chips or Trinity APU’s are literally going to be recycling power as they work, how amazing is that?  As EE Times explains, the technology uses on-chip inductors coupled with capacitors that store energy in electric fields to create something known as ‘tank circuits’. These tank circuits swing energy back and forth between the electric and the magnetic fields, allowing for energy to be harvested and re-used. This means the technology recycles clock power instead of dissipating as heat every clock cycle as traditional designs do.

At the end of the day if you are looking at your A8 and wondering if it worth it to go forth and upgrade to an A10 it’s important to look at what you are using your computer for.  It’s been reported from AMD piledriver benchmarks that there will be a 50% or more increase in the graphical power in the new AMD Trinity Laptops or AMD ultrabooks however if you aren’t heavily into games that take advantage of a lot of GPU power(keep in mind that while you may think you are not all engines are created equal and say games powered by unreal 3 games are notoriously CPU dependent versus a much technically superior engine like CryEngine which takes advantage of the GPU and CPU much more efficiently) then you are only going to be seeing an increase of 20% or so up from the AMD Bulldozer A8.

So as with all things in life what it boils down to is how you plan on using your tech and how much you are willing to spend for the performance increase that you will gain.  The upside is that the pricing on the AMD Trinity laptops powered by the Piledriver chip is probably going to be around 500.00 so they aren’t going to break the bank.

To summarize though what we are looking at with AMD’s Bulldozer vs AMD’s Piledriver cores is:

  • 50% or more increase in graphical power
  • 15-25% increase in CPU power
  • Power consumption savings of roughly 10%

APU Architecture is a thing of beauty!

 

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5 Comments to “AMD Bulldozer vs AMD Piledriver – One AMD APU to rule them all! (for now)”

  1. mayford5 says:

    “Well Piledriver is the new Bulldozer, don’t ya know? Piledriver represents the next generation APUs”
    First of all, Bulldozer and Piledriver are not APUs. Both of these codenames are CPU only. LLano and Trinity are the APUs you speak of. LLano did not have Bulldozer nor Piledriver architecture in them but, the Trinity APU is base off of the Piledriver style core.

    “As discussed in a previous article AMD’s gently stepping out of teh power hungry high end chip market and doing the green thing by focusing on much more power efficient tech and the Piledriver APU represents a big step in that direction as it is the fire high volume processor core to use something called RCM IP, developed by a company called Cyclos.”

    This is partially wrong as well. AMD is not stepping out of trying to attain a high performance chip. It is just doing better in the APU market than it is doing in the CPU market because Bulldozer did a belly flop on performance/watt. They are still decent chips they just didn’t improve from the previous generation on single threaded apps or IPC.

    So to sum things up:
    Piledriver is AMDs new desktop CPU only chip and will fit into the AM3+ motherboards. Trinity is the Piledriver based APU that will fit into the FM2 based motherboards. Both are looking to add about 15-20% in performance over the previous generation.

    Not trying to be snide or rude but get your facts straight before you post on your blog.
    Andy

  2. admin says:

    Ha.. thanks for 95% of your comment, didn’t take it as rude or snide at all. The last 5% though your intention was clearly to be a dick, one which you succeeded admirably in and if I you wanted to fire me off your address I would gladly send you a cookie for attaining such an achievement
    Great thing about it being my blog(as you were kind enough to point out) is I’m free to post whenever or whatever I want, regardless of the thoughts or comments of those dicks that choose to correct me on it but I’m also free to make corrections thanks to those who know more about it than I do. Muchos gracias senior

    there we go, updated! You just helped to make this world a smarter place

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Trinity is using the resonant clock to wave 20% power and this is good. I hope the HD 7670M which is paired with Trinity uses the resonant clock.

  4. mayford5 says:

    Again No offense really meant but I understand it is your blog but you can’t just spread false information and expect your blog to be read. It doesn’t bode well for your readers and doesn’t speak for your intelligence. I can see that you are a very intellectual individual (being serious) as you take time for editing and other such processes that are the stable for a good blog or newspaper article. I just wanted to point out that I have read your blog before and you usually are on mark with what you say but the information contained before wasn’t accurate and for those of us who follow very closely to you and tech news it was a disservice. I am sorry if I came off in such a way as I did in the last paragraph or sentence. It wasn’t meant as such and I do apologize for it. I am a rather literal person and such social taboos usually escape me as my social skills lack a lot more than other areas in my life.(Again being 100% serious)

    To anonymous: Yes, I do believe the entire chip from CPU to GPU will use the resonant weave. This will keep the power requirements down as it will recycle (as I understand it) portions of wasted and power to the cores that inevitably happens when you have leakage and other things that are not preventable by the processes that the companies use today

    Andy

  5. spenson says:

    Andy, while I agree facts in informative articles should be accurate… There is absolutely no mandate that forces then to be. Heck, look at the news, news papers back in the day were notorious for misinformation that supported the aspirations of the paper owners and their friends. News outlets today are no different. So if the bloggers get a few things a bit wrong, they are human, going offinfo they believe is correct, and they are still far fore accurate than most news programs.

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