AMD Bulldozer vs AMD Piledriver – One AMD APU to rule them all! (for now)May 2nd, 2012 | By admin | 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%