• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

News Hardware AMD ready to diversify its portfolio with ARM-based chips

DrAspirino

Member
Nov 19, 2018
764
1,046
550
Chile
So, these last few days have been really interesting, regarding future CPUs and possible "Backwards compatibility" on the next-next gen consoles (namely PlayStation 6 / Xbox series whatever).

To get into bussiness, several hardware news sites (such as Tom's Hardware, TechRadar, Channel Pro, and NotebookCheck, to name a few) have stated that AMD is "ready to diversify its portfolio with ARM-based chips", which would mean that it wouldn't be unlikely to see an AMD ARM APU with a Radeon integrated GPU.

AMD's CFO Devinder Kumar recently commented that AMD stands ready to manufacture Arm chips if needed, noting that the company's customers want to work with AMD on Arm-based solutions. Kumar's remarks came during last week's Deutsche Bank Technology Conference, building on comments from AMD CEO Lisa Su earlier in the year that underscored the company's willingness to create custom silicon solutions for its customers.

So...who could be those customers willing to put powerful AMD graphics alongside an ARM-based CPU? Who would need to reduce the power consumption further to comply with new energy-efficiency laws?

For a moment, let's say it's either Sony and/or Microsoft for their next consoles (which they have in the draft board right now) that have such need. That would immediately mean that on the next consoles, circa 2027, we won't have Backwards compatibility anymore (or at least not at the performance we're used to now) because of the very nature of the ARM architecture.

Now, having that prospect ahead, knowing that Windows-on-ARM is a thing and that it's heavily supported by Microsoft, knowing that other laptop manufacturers (like Samsung) are willing to use ARM chips on their new laptops, that Apple's M1 silicon (and future silicons) are going to be ARM-based and probably optimised AF... does it truly make any sense at all to upgrade an x86 CPU right now?

I mean... for my own part, I won't buy any new CPU until the fog clears up and the CPU ISA transition path from x86 to ARM is clear enough.
 

DrAspirino

Member
Nov 19, 2018
764
1,046
550
Chile
What a waste. Just concentrate on perf not crap.
I think it depends. For example, my current PC is a Skylake from 2016, and my laptop is a MacBook air from 2015. Both have lasted me up to this day with almost no changes, and if it weren't for Windows 11, I wouldn't even think to upgrade my current PC.

Since I "renew" or upgrade my PC every 5-6 years, now should be the time to do so. However, given all the ARM ISA push that comes from software and hardware companies, it is unclear if my next PC build would last this long (I won't talk about my laptop, since I'll upgrade it to an M1 mac).

Also, Perf-per-watt IS important, specially to the people that lives in California, Seattle and other states like those, since they have a very specific law that forbids them to sell products that aren't energy efficient.

Heck, even in my own 3rd world country we have an energy efficiency law that rates every single electronic device from A to E and only the ones rated "C" or above are allowed to be sold to the public in retail stores.
 

winjer

Member
Aug 3, 2021
493
1,121
305
This isn't the first time AMD tries to get into the ARM ecosystem.
The first time, went rather poorly.
Let's hope this new foray, will do better.
 
Jan 7, 2018
2,647
3,252
605
Apple's M1 chip is a performance leader for its class and is ARM based. what are you talkin about
Now compare that crappy M1 to something like 5950x, and desregard PPW as desktop users don't give a squat about power usage, when it's already so low. They potentially shifting some of RND budget from proper powerful x86 to weak arm garbage.
 
Last edited:

LordOfChaos

Member
Mar 31, 2014
12,156
7,764
985
Yeah. Said it for years.

They had plans to make the ISAs equal citizens where they could use the same big architectures around both in Project Skybirdge 7 years ago, but they shelved this to put more effort into competing with Intel. Hope it's not too far back and still on the radar.


Now compare that crappy M1 to something like 5950x, and desregard PPW as desktop users don't give a squat about power usage, when it's already so low. They potentially shifting some of RND budget from proper powerful x86 to weak arm garbage.

The lesson in the last two decades of compute is that performance per watt is directly tied to performance, even on a desktop there's points where it becomes infeasible to just keep adding more power for increasingly marginal gains. M1 simply isn't a product that compares to HEDT, but they are making chips based on it with more cores, and the performance per core is already highly competitive so it should scale very well. You do have to respect a product that in a fanless Macbook Air can beat almost every laptop CPU, and the 8 big core M1X should make that every laptop CPU period and most desktops. Now imagine them actually trying to make a HEDT chip.
 
Last edited:

Leo9

Member
Dec 23, 2020
85
167
210
Now compare that crappy M1 to something like 5950x, and desregard PPW as desktop users don't give a squat about power usage, when it's already so low. They potentially shifting some of RND budget from proper powerful x86 to weak arm garbage.
Hilarious.
Single thread benchmark:






M1 basically has the best IPC in the industry.
 
Last edited:
Jan 7, 2018
2,647
3,252
605
Yeah. Said it for years.

They had plans to make the ISAs equal citizens where they could use the same big architectures around both in Project Skybirdge 7 years ago, but they shelved this to put more effort into competing with Intel. Hope it's not too far back and still on the radar.




The lesson in the last two decades of compute is that performance per watt is directly tied to performance, even on a desktop there's points where it becomes infeasible to just keep adding more power for increasingly marginal gains. M1 simply isn't a product that compares to HEDT, but they are making chips based on it with more cores, and the performance per core is already highly competitive so it should scale very well. You do have to respect a product that in a fanless Macbook Air can beat almost every laptop CPU, and the 8 big core M1X should make that every laptop CPU period and most desktops. Now imagine them actually trying to make a HEDT chip.
Can it beat 5950x right now? If ARM processor will be able to beat big boys in the far future, then that's great - I'll get one.
 

Xyphie

Member
Oct 4, 2007
2,938
659
1,415
Somewhere
Samsung licensed their GPU portfolio for their Exynos SoC line, but other than that don't expect any AMD IP on ARM chips as AMD doesn't play in that segment.

As one of two x86 vendors it's not in their interest to make ARM more established in the PC/Server space because then those markets will turn from a duopoly into a market with many more choices (Qualcomm, MediaTek, pure in-house designs by hyperscalers like Amazon's Graviton chip etc).
 
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: MightySquirrel

DrAspirino

Member
Nov 19, 2018
764
1,046
550
Chile
Now compare that crappy M1 to something like 5950x, and desregard PPW as desktop users don't give a squat about power usage, when it's already so low. They potentially shifting some of RND budget from proper powerful x86 to weak arm garbage.

You were saying?

Performance-per-watt is EVERYTHING nowdays, specially when you consider that California (a state that by itself is the 5th largest economy in the world) has a strict energy efficiency regulation, and that the US is asking console manufacturers (Microsoft and Sony) to eliminate the "instant-on" feature as a default and that they release detailed energy consumption projections.
 
Last edited:
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: MightySquirrel

LordOfChaos

Member
Mar 31, 2014
12,156
7,764
985
Can it beat 5950x right now? If ARM processor will be able to beat big boys in the far future, then that's great - I'll get one.

The SoC that starts in the fanless Macbook Air with 4 big cores does not beat the 16 core 105W desktop CPU at this time, no.

I don't see that as a loss that you have to go so high up to make an example of it, but the 8 big core M1X should reach remarkably high up even the desktop chain, and that's before their own HEDT chips for the Mac Pro/Pro Mini or whatever they're making for that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MightySquirrel
Jan 7, 2018
2,647
3,252
605
The SoC that starts in the fanless Macbook Air with 4 big cores does not beat the 16 core 105W desktop CPU at this time, no.

I don't see that as a loss that you have to go so high up to make an example of it, but the 8 big core M1X should reach remarkably high up even the desktop chain, and that's before their own HEDT chips for the Mac Pro/Pro Mini or whatever they're making for that.
Fanless sound hot. [i mean cold..] Thats a huge plus for a laptop. They're always way too noisy when under stress with limited tiny fans.
 

Dr Bass

Member
Jun 6, 2013
2,380
6,836
955
Feel free to enlighten me.
Well you can start with the benchmarks posted

But if you just do a modicum of research, you'll see that Apple is absolutely trouncing Intel's X86 performance (hey I used to work for Intel as well, I still like the company) and doing so with a fraction of the power draw. It's a complete ass-kicking going on right now and calling the ARM ISA "weak" just shows a lack of understanding of what is happening right now with ISA design, and the fact that X86 is not very well poised for the future. Apple is just getting started with their ARM based CPUs, when they are already way out in front. We are about to get new MacBooks that will be even better than the M1, and my M1 Mini was about 80-90% of the performance of my 2019 Mac Pro tower, at a fraction of the cost and it doesn't heat up my office to 80 degrees in winter.
You realize we're on a gaming site... show me M1 beating 5950x with 6900xt in any game.
Well you're moving the goal posts a bit here.

We aren't talking about GPUs, we are talking about CPUs, and Macs don't have the same support for graphics APIs that Windows does, so it's behind in games regardless. Also bringing up the 5950x compared to what is still, essentially, a mobile chip isn't Apples to Apples.

But the desktop chips will be coming, and seeing what they did with the M1, they will almost certainly be better than the 5950x, at least at a performance-per-watt level. Even having a draw would be a "victory" because the power draw is going to be so much lower.

X86's days are almost surely numbered.
 

M1chl

Currently Gif and Meme Champion
Dec 25, 2019
11,825
22,640
1,025
Prague, Czech Republic
Just out of my experience, I know that intel hasn't been good for a long time.

I had MacBook Air in 2013 and then MacBook Pro Intel 4c/8t in 2019 and man I would swear that performance was almost the same. Not the mention the noise, when you do anything more than a browsing internet. It was piece of shit laptop for the money. Like really, if I would not actually need it, I would be salty as fuck, having such a disaster for so much money.

Now I went with M1, which is like half the power consumption, maybe even less. And by my workload, it's around 4times faster. And that is mainly in x86 environment. Because frankly I don't expect these things to get ARM64 version anytime soon. And not the mention, when I compile something, it needs to run on vast array of devices (I also cross compiling to different systems).

And the translation from ARM64 to x86 is fucking flawless.

So if AMD would give me something like that, I would be very happy. Because M1 could be anything, but it still does not offer desktop experience obviously. But it's a hope for future.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mrMUR_96

Kazekage1981

Member
Apr 7, 2019
1,398
2,269
410
In light of this the chances are good for Windows ARM to be a real contender. I tried it in Parallels Desktop on my M1 MacBook Pro and I was pleasantly surprised.

I think Windows 11 on ARM is going to gain some serious momentum. Windows 10 on ARM kind of sucked because of sucky Snapdragon chips. AMD making Zen and RDNA ARM based CPU/GPU/APU is going to be game changer. I am guessing NVIDIA acquiring ARM will also make ARM based CPU and GPU and that will be game changer too.

I am not sure if Intel is going to make ARM based CPU/GPU which leaves 2 additional contenders:

Qualcomm Snapdragon

Samsung Exynos

ARM is gaining some serious momentum and is not to be taken lightly. I am totally cereal.
 

PaintTinJr

Member
Jan 30, 2020
1,219
2,699
475
Oxfordshire, England
Hilarious.
Single thread benchmark:






M1 basically has the best IPC in the industry.
But as a fair comparison of performance, how well does it handle running open source game emulators to run historical software that is all MIPS, POWER or x86/x64?

I've got no dog in a fight about hardware, as I'm happy to go where the performance is, but from my experiences over the years, no matter how well you get non-brawny chips to perform with benchmarks or specifically chosen modern software, when you throw any random software at them- that any brawny processor handles predictably - you get disappoint results or compromises.

For games, my case in points would be: Super Monkeyball, where ever since it got ported to the Nintendo DS and Smartphones - from its original Power/MIPs/x86 origins of arcade/GC/PS2/Xbox - it has had frame-rate issues, physics and graphics simulation features missing and even the newest version of the game - I presume - has been built around the Switch's ARM Tegra for targeting the biggest Sega consumer demographic in Japan doesn't equal or best the Cube for physics and graphics fx, despite being hardware that is supposed to best two newer generations of Nintendo POWER consoles (Wii and Wii U).

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in split screen multiplayer also provides a fair view IMHO of the comparison between non-brawny ARM and old POWER in the WiiU. Only the other day I was at a friend's having a quick bit of 3 player split screen on the Switch and it was visible chugging at the beginning of the races and elsewhere - because of its CPU IMO - something we never experienced on the WiiU with a full contingent of 4 on any track.

So I'd want to see that M1 chip run Dolphin or PCSX2 with games in splitscreen -at comparative frame-rates to x64 - to be convinced it actually is more than just benchmarks.

AFAIK there have been better options than x86/64 over the years, but ultimately performance with B/C of the full contingent of software PCs run has been x86's overriding advantage to keep its market share, and probably is the reason why since my first Intel CPU (80286) I've bought an Intel CPU in preference to others - at higher cost and probably against some unfavourable synthetic benchmarks.

I hope ARM can be good for everything in the future, but I'm more inclined to get an x64 Steam Deck running Windows to compliment a 2-3year old smartphone from here on.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Kazekage1981

DaleinCalgary

Member
Feb 9, 2014
2,666
3,369
705
I think it would be awesome to see AMD get into ARM to see what it can do but I wouldn't get excited just yet as they would be years behind.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kazekage1981

Fahdis

Member
Nov 30, 2018
919
2,599
510
Well you can start with the benchmarks posted

But if you just do a modicum of research, you'll see that Apple is absolutely trouncing Intel's X86 performance (hey I used to work for Intel as well, I still like the company) and doing so with a fraction of the power draw. It's a complete ass-kicking going on right now and calling the ARM ISA "weak" just shows a lack of understanding of what is happening right now with ISA design, and the fact that X86 is not very well poised for the future. Apple is just getting started with their ARM based CPUs, when they are already way out in front. We are about to get new MacBooks that will be even better than the M1, and my M1 Mini was about 80-90% of the performance of my 2019 Mac Pro tower, at a fraction of the cost and it doesn't heat up my office to 80 degrees in winter.

Well you're moving the goal posts a bit here.

We aren't talking about GPUs, we are talking about CPUs, and Macs don't have the same support for graphics APIs that Windows does, so it's behind in games regardless. Also bringing up the 5950x compared to what is still, essentially, a mobile chip isn't Apples to Apples.

But the desktop chips will be coming, and seeing what they did with the M1, they will almost certainly be better than the 5950x, at least at a performance-per-watt level. Even having a draw would be a "victory" because the power draw is going to be so much lower.

X86's days are almost surely numbered.

Lol, the guy you're replying to doesn't know about Vulkan ARM based emulation. Gaben will tear through everyone's ass in the next 5 years.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Kazekage1981
Sep 19, 2017
1,762
2,128
605
France
As a MacBook Air M1 owner I'm drinking pc gamers' tears! The future is now on Mac and it'll be so fun to watch PC power GAF explose with joy when AMD will come with ARM complete solutions. I'm saving this thread for this moment. I can't wait. 😂🤡

OP, there is no backward compatibility issues with Rosetta 2 on Mac M1. And Valve is, somehow, upgrading its store for ARM. So there will be none for the next gen gaming hardware.

Good job AMD.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Kazekage1981

Razvedka

Member
Oct 20, 2018
733
973
415
So, these last few days have been really interesting, regarding future CPUs and possible "Backwards compatibility" on the next-next gen consoles (namely PlayStation 6 / Xbox series whatever).

To get into bussiness, several hardware news sites (such as Tom's Hardware, TechRadar, Channel Pro, and NotebookCheck, to name a few) have stated that AMD is "ready to diversify its portfolio with ARM-based chips", which would mean that it wouldn't be unlikely to see an AMD ARM APU with a Radeon integrated GPU.



So...who could be those customers willing to put powerful AMD graphics alongside an ARM-based CPU? Who would need to reduce the power consumption further to comply with new energy-efficiency laws?

For a moment, let's say it's either Sony and/or Microsoft for their next consoles (which they have in the draft board right now) that have such need. That would immediately mean that on the next consoles, circa 2027, we won't have Backwards compatibility anymore (or at least not at the performance we're used to now) because of the very nature of the ARM architecture.

Now, having that prospect ahead, knowing that Windows-on-ARM is a thing and that it's heavily supported by Microsoft, knowing that other laptop manufacturers (like Samsung) are willing to use ARM chips on their new laptops, that Apple's M1 silicon (and future silicons) are going to be ARM-based and probably optimised AF... does it truly make any sense at all to upgrade an x86 CPU right now?

I mean... for my own part, I won't buy any new CPU until the fog clears up and the CPU ISA transition path from x86 to ARM is clear enough.
With respect to backwards compatability, don't sleep on what Apple has done with Rosetta2.

Immensely impressive, and proving it is possible to get good x86 program results on ARM hardware.

@I Love Rock'n' Roll

Apple seems to have the hardware solution that the future will use (probably. An ARM dominant future) but beyond that, I don't foresee PC gaming ever blossoming there.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Kazekage1981