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Wild rumor of the day: AMD Zen engineering sample specifications

Posted on Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 14:21:18 CEST by

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Here's a new AMD Zen rumor to make this slow news day a bit more exciting. An anonymous poster at the AnandTech forums published a lengthy post detailing the specifications of the AMD Zen engineering samples. The leaker mentions AMD Zen ES is in revision A0 at the moment and offers details about the core count, TDP, clockspeeds, and L2/L3 configurations. AMD leaker Dresdenboy commented on the leak that it looks plausible, but as usual we recommend taking this news with a pinch of salt.

Here's the post in full:
Hi all, I've got some info about Zen ES stage. I thought you would like to see it after the many off-topic Polaris posts.

Zen ES is at the moment in revision A0 - it might not be a suprise.

L2/L3 variations: 2/8 MB, 4/16 MB, 8/32 MB, 12/64 MB, 16/64 MB
(512kb L2/core, 8MB/4 cores)

Core counts are: 4c/8t, 8c/16t, 16c/32t, 32c/64t. As it seems now there won't be a 6c/12t at the launch, there will be only complete core complexes. Later AMD might release a 6/12 version, will see.

AMD's working on 2 kind of packages: AM4 and SP3. Later there might be a SP4 package of course.

4 variants of ES Zen are available at the moment:
AM4 8 cores with 95W TDP
AM4 4 cores with 65W TDP
SP3 24 cores with 150W TDP
SP3 32 cores with 180W TDP

The most exciting part is core clock. The 8c/95W variant's base clock is 2.8GHz, all core boost is 3.05GHz and maximum boost is 3.2GHz. The 4c/65W part's clock is the same. (I would expect 3.5GHz base clock for a retail 4c/95W variant.)

Idle clock is exciting as well. AM4 versions can lower the clock to 550 MHz in idle which is a very nice level from an AMD CPU. Idle wattage is 5W for 8c version and 2.5W for 4c version. The SP3 versions have even lower idle clock: it's only 400MHz. Regarding the boost clocks the 32c/180W version has a 2.9GHz boost clock and the 24c/150W version has a 2.75GHz boost clock.

AFAIK Intel has no answer for the 32c/64t Zen variant, so it could be a great win for AMD on the server market.

What AMD is doing different in case of Zen is the purpose of the CPU. AMD doesn't build it for the future but for the present. Maybe it won't be strong in AVX and FMA but an average user won't realize it because the average user won't use the AVX and FMA capabilities. Average Joe will see that Zen is as fast as Haswell on Intel's side (if AMD won't screw it up) and it's enough for everything what Average Joe does on his PC.

On server side Haswell IPC and high core count with a reasonable price will convince the customers to give AMD a try. And I hope AMD can grab the chance after all the years of failures.



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