ExtremeTech took a good look at AMD's latest processors and wonders whether the company should take a page from Intel's book and dump Steamroller. Roughly a decade ago Intel was struggling to keep up with AMD as the Pentium 4's NetBurst architecture didn't live up to expectations, but now the roles are reversed and AMD's Steamroller architecture is fundamentally incapable of matching Intel clock-for-clock. The site argues that the huge Steamroller is a poor fit for modern foundries and postulates that Kabini would be a better fit for AMD's long-term goals.
It took Intel multiple iterations of the Pentium M to close the gap between it and the P4, but the end result was a far better processor. AMD made significant IPC gains with Steamroller, but most of those improvements were choked off by frequency cuts and the problem isn’t getting any better. The chances that AMD will be able to move IPC substantially forward while simultaneously dramatically improving performance per watt is exceedingly small. I’d congratulate the Steamroller designers for their achievements, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is the wrong architecture to drive AMD’s future products.