The below shown Zambezi CPU is the first generation of a new processor family (15h) from AMD. Some of the specs :
- Die size 315mm² ,Transistor count 1.2 billion transistors
- 128Kb of Level 1 Cache, 16Kb/Core , 64-byte cacheline, 4-way associative, write-through
- Total of 8MB of Level 2 cache, in fact 2MB per Bulldozer module, 64-byte cacheline, 16-way associative
- Integrated Northbridge which controls 8MB of Level 3 cache, 64-byte cacheline, 16 way associative
- Two 72-bit wide DDR3 memory channels
- Four 16-bit receive/16-bit transmit Hypertransport links
The AMD engineers looked for a way to optimise the core power and area. Having analysed todays programs, they want to achieve maximum bandwith accross the different cores. The idea to tackle it all was to design a CPU with dual core building blocks (our Bulldozer modules) to effectively optimise the use of resources within the processor. Yet keeping the die size of each block well within limits.
The Floating point unit also has undergone a complete re-design. New instructions have been added and the redesign was required to allow sharing between the cores. There are two 128-bit FMACs shared per module, allowing two 128-bit instruction per core or one 256-bit instruction per dual core module.
With Thuban we already saw the implementation of the Turbo mode. Depending on the TDP (Thermal Design Power ) it gave a nice boost in calculating power. AMD has gone one step beyond and went for either a max core or max frequency Turbo setting. Doesn't sound complicated does it.
- Max core : turbos all the cores, staying below the TDP : max plus 300mhz, 3900Mhz for the reviewed CPU.
- Max frequency : increases frequency on half the cores. Usually activated on light threaded apps, max plus 600Mhz for our FX-8150, so 4.2Ghz.
I hope you are still with me and are ready to see how this puppy performs in our usual test suite. As always manufacturers want the reviewer to use favourable tests/hardware. As stubborn as always we use what we have and are comon to work with. Here are some shots of the in the press kit included Asus Crosshair V motherboard.