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AMD Ryzen CPUs: Better than Intel's CPUs Due to Brilliance or Due to Smaller Nodes?

BluRayHiDef

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I don't plan on buying any CPUs any time soon (unless the Ryzen 4000 Series blows me away), but I was just checking out the Ryzen 9 3950x at Amazon; this processor has a whopping 16 cores and can process 32 threads simultaneously (two threads per core) @ 3.5GHz to 4.7GHz. However, while assessing its Cinebench R15 and R20 results, I observed that its single-core performance is inferior to that of several Intel CPUs that have less cores and that are manufactured via larger nodes, namely models from Intel's Core i7-8000, i9-9000, and i9-10000 Series, which are manufactured via several 14nm processes; to put things into perspective, the Ryzen 9 3950x is manufactured via a 7nm process.





Compounding these results are one of those for the 3950x's multi-core performance. As you can see, an Intel processor that has four less cores and runs at lower frequencies (Intel Xeon Gold 6126) has a higher score for multi-core performance in Cinebench R20.



So, considering that Intel's processors have better single-core performance and can even sometimes have better multi-core performance with less cores, would you say that AMD's success with Ryzen is due to genius engineering or simply the advantage of fitting more cores on a single die as a result of using smaller nodes?
 

DaGwaphics

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I don't plan on buying any CPUs any time soon (unless the Ryzen 4000 Series blows me away), but I was just checking out the Ryzen 9 3950x at Amazon; this processor has a whopping 16 cores and can process 32 threads simultaneously (two threads per core) @ 3.5GHz to 4.7GHz. However, while assessing its Cinebench R15 and R20 results, I observed that its single-core performance is inferior to that of several Intel CPUs that have less cores and that are manufactured via larger nodes, namely models from Intel's Core i7-8000, i9-9000, and i9-10000 Series, which are manufactured via several 14nm processes; to put things into perspective, the Ryzen 9 3950x is manufactured via a 7nm process.





Compounding these results are one of those for the 3950x's multi-core performance. As you can see, an Intel processor that has four less cores and runs at lower frequencies (Intel Xeon Gold 6126) has a higher score for multi-core performance in Cinebench R20.



So, considering that Intel's processors have better single-core performance and can even sometimes have better multi-core performance with less cores, would you say that AMD's success with Ryzen is due to genius engineering or simply the advantage of fitting more cores on a single die as a result of using smaller nodes?

Node size is always a major factor. Being a node ahead was what left intel unchallenged for all those years, until they couldn't keep up with outside foundries.
 
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BluRayHiDef

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Node size is always a major factor. Being a node ahead was what left intel unchallenged for all those years, until they couldn't keep up with outside foundries.

Yea, but AMD doesn't manufacture its own processors; it relies on TSMC. Hence, the node sizes of its Ryzen processors aren't the result of genius engineering among its employees.
 

nochance

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Define better. Their advantage does stem from using a smaller node and squeezing more cores in. Unfortunately this performance does not translate into workloads for the vast majority of PC users.

They remain a novelty and a budget option. Until they break the 5GHz barrier and sort out compatibility issues they will not break into the mainstream. Intel's architecture is much better, and AMD needs to hope for the best, because once Intel goes 7nm it will take away their only advantage.
 

Ascend

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Yea, but AMD doesn't manufacture its own processors; it relies on TSMC. Hence, the node sizes of its Ryzen processors aren't the result of genius engineering among its employees.
They shifted to TSMC because Global Foundries, which was part of AMD in the past, couldn't keep up with the node shrinks.
Intel also can't keep up with the nodes anymore it seems. They botched their 10nm and 7nm, which is why they fell behind.

You can't simply dismiss the AMD engineers like that. You can't really design a processor independent of the node it's being created on.
 

BluRayHiDef

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Define better. Their advantage does stem from using a smaller node and squeezing more cores in. Unfortunately this performance does not translate into workloads for the vast majority of PC users.

They remain a novelty and a budget option. Until they break the 5GHz barrier and sort out compatibility issues they will not break into the mainstream. Intel's architecture is much better, and AMD needs to hope for the best, because once Intel goes 7nm it will take away their only advantage.

Wow, after looking up some stats on market share, I've determined that you're right; they are a novelty.

Yahoo News said:
Mercury Research puts AMD's share of desktop processors in the third quarter of 2019 at 18%, an increase of 5% year-over-year, Tom's Hardware reported.

AMD's CPU market share amounted to 31.3% in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to 68.7% for Intel, the CPUbenchmark.net reported.

Source.

I had always thought that they overtook or at least became equal to Intel in terms of market share. Damn. People are still buying Intel over them despite Intel having worse TDP, from what I've seen in reviews.
 
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BluRayHiDef

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They shifted to TSMC because Global Foundries, which was part of AMD in the past, couldn't keep up with the node shrinks.
Intel also can't keep up with the nodes anymore it seems. They botched their 10nm and 7nm, which is why they fell behind.

You can't simply dismiss the AMD engineers like that. You can't really design a processor independent of the node it's being created on.

So, once a semi-conductor manufacturer screws up a node, it's impossible for them to fix themselves in a timely manner and get back into the game? Do they wind up so far behind that it's impossible to catch up to the competition?
 
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I was under the impression that clock-for-clock they were relatively similar and Intels lead mainly stems from being able to clock past 5Ghz. Given how competitive AMD are considering they have around a 300Mhz - 500Mhz clock speed deficit, I wouldn't necessarily say they are any worse with Intel effectively just optimising Skylake on 14nm for several years now. The module based nature of the Zen architecture is likely how CPU's will go in the future so it must at least be seen as a case of good design over just laying all the good work onto the node used.

I remember AMD being stuck on 32nm the whole time with FX while Intel went from 32nm on Sandybridge to 14nm with Broadwell :messenger_grinning_sweat:
 
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Woo-Fu

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Neither. They're due to repeated stumbles and a shift in focus on the part of Intel.

And hey, I'm not trying to take anything away from AMD.
 

Armorian

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OP you know that Intel ST score is better by 1.5%? AMD has better IPC to it can get better scores with lower clocks than Intel.

For gaming Intel is better for anything else AMD

Intel is better to some extend thanks to higher clocks and lower latency between cores of Ring Bus architecture. Once AMD improves that they will win in everything and Z3 is rumored to do that plus better IPC.
 
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DESTROYA

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OP you know that Intel ST score is better by 1.5%? AMD has better IPC to it can get better scores with lower clocks than Intel.



Intel is better to some extend thanks to higher clocks and lower latency between cores of Ring Bus architecture. Once AMD improves that they will win in everything and Z3 is rumored to do that plus better IPC.
That doesn’t change anything in my post. Intel is working to improve too.
Just bought a AMD based laptop and it’s been great so far but when it comes to gaming Intel still rules.
 

BluRayHiDef

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That doesn’t change anything in my post. Intel is working to improve too.
Just bought a AMD based laptop and it’s been great so far but when it comes to gaming Intel still rules.
How big of a difference does an Intel CPU make in regard to gaming? Does it produce significantly more frames per second?
 

DESTROYA

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How big of a difference does an Intel CPU make in regard to gaming? Does it produce significantly more frames per second?
Significant difference....No, but they consistently get better and more stable frame rates and have higher OC potential.
More cores doesn’t always translate to higher FPS in games.
 
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Xyphie

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Ryzen is competitive almost entirely because of Intel's massive 10nm blunder. Sunny/Willow Cove are significantly better designs than Zen 2, Intel just haven't been able to deliver them outside low power envelopes yet. If Intel had been able to execute on their initial 2015-2016 10nm roadmap first-gen Zen would've competed with 10nm products instead than 14nm and it would've probably been another Bulldozer vs. Sandy Bridge story.
 
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nochance

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One of the important factors for an average consumer is, or at least should be resale value. A lot of people will buy a PC from you simply because it is an i5 or an i7, without even looking into the generations.

4790k (4 cores 2014) is still around £150 on eBay, for comparison you can buy Ryzen 2700X (8 cores 2018) for £135.
 

BluRayHiDef

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Ryzen is competitive almost entirely because of Intel's massive 10nm blunder. Sunny/Willow Cove are significantly better designs than Zen 2, Intel just haven't been able to deliver them outside low power envelopes yet. If Intel had been able to execute on their initial 2015-2016 10nm roadmap first-gen Zen would've competed with 10nm products instead than 14nm and it would've probably been another Bulldozer vs. Sandy Bridge story.

So, when do you think Intel will catch up again?
 

Ascend

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So, once a semi-conductor manufacturer screws up a node, it's impossible for them to fix themselves in a timely manner and get back into the game? Do they wind up so far behind that it's impossible to catch up to the competition?
Well, it depends... Samsung's nodes are not that great, but, they are still selling. As long as someone wants your nodes, you can stay in business.

For Global Foundries, no one wanted their nodes anymore for CPUs or GPUs. They had to license Samsung's 14nm to stay afloat. AMD had a deal that they had to manufacture a certain amount of wafers at GF, and they literally paid a sum to get out of that deal. AMD was their biggest customer, so, their income dried up afterwards, killing the possibility of researching for better nodes. Ultimately, they shifted their business. Not every tech needs the most cutting edge nodes, so, they create other stuff that is relevant for many other applications, but are no longer viable for cutting edge computing technology.

Intel has its own fab, and a bunch of money. They can still catch up if they so wish, since they are their own customers so to speak. They have to decide if it simply wouldn't be better to use TSMC as well. The thing is, TSMC is the best right now and everyone wants their nodes, so not only would it create shortages for Intel since everything is pretty much already booked up. If TSMC ditches them like they did nVidia, they could be possibly stuck with Samsung, which is potentially worse than their own nodes. So... Yeah.
 
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CuNi

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So, when do you think Intel will catch up again?

If their estimates are going to turn out true (which they haven't since that whole 14nm fuckup) they estimate to get into 7nm CPU production 2022 to 2023. I'd say expect mid to late 2023 7nm release.
 

MH3M3D

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Its both. Node alone with crap on it is still crap. The whole Zen architecture is a giant leap for AMD and in combination with TSMC its turning out to be something great.
 

sackings

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So much wrong information in here. Intel is only worth it if you are rocking a 2080ti or greater for gaming, otherwise you are GPU bound anyway. AMD wins doing anything other than gaming, and if you stream AMD wins easily. It takes a LOT of time to build marketshare, that along with the fact that AMD does not have the production capability that Intel does (due to owning their own fabs) means it takes a long time to make significant gains, especially in the server world. If you look at NEW desktop sales of CPUs, AMD is dominating
 

BluRayHiDef

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If their estimates are going to turn out true (which they haven't since that whole 14nm fuckup) they estimate to get into 7nm CPU production 2022 to 2023. I'd say expect mid to late 2023 7nm release.

Wouldn't TSMC be on a smaller node by then, which would mean that AMD would have new processors on that node by then?
 

Xyphie

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So, when do you think Intel will catch up again?

Who knows. It'll all depend on when Intel gets 10nm/7nm products out and when AMD ships TSMC 5nm etc.

Tiger Lake looks like it's going to be the first really good 10nm product and that will start shipping in thin-and-light laptops in the upcoming weeks. On the desktop we don't really know how Zen 3 will compare against Rocket Lake or Alder Lake next year.
 
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kruis

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It's not important how small your node is, it's important how you use it, and since amd is an asian based company i bet this is even more true in their case...

Congrats, GymWolf! It's not even midnight but I already declared you the winner of the "dumbest remark of the day" award.
 

GymWolf

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Congrats, GymWolf! It's not even midnight but I already declared you the winner of the "dumbest remark of the day" award.
Thanks, but i think i already beated that with my next post about it :lollipop_grinning_sweat:
Do you have another award sticked into your ass or you just have space for one? :lollipop_blowing_kiss:
 
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notseqi

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So, once a semi-conductor manufacturer screws up a node, it's impossible for them to fix themselves in a timely manner and get back into the game? Do they wind up so far behind that it's impossible to catch up to the competition?
ASML engineers don't grow on trees.
5 or 4nm incoming, read that somewhere reputable yesterday.

Single core was never a debate, happy that AMD can hold it's own.
What are those processor pickings?
3950x - 690€
xeon w3265 - 3,5k
xeon gold 6126 - 1,6k
10980xe - 1k

Bolt that Ryzen in your AM4 board from two generations back or buy a new Intel board every iteration?

Probably not your benchmarks but they seem a little dishonest.
 

LordOfChaos

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What you're getting at OP is why I'm never counting Intel completely out, even if they're sucking a nut right now and I recommend AMD CPUs in a lot of situations (just finished benchmarking a 64 core Epyc for reasons and purposes)

AMD is, in earnest, largely competing with Skylake rehashes, with a bit of 10nm Ice Lake sprinkled in here and there on a node that limits its clock speeds as much as it gained IPC. That's an architecture from half a decade ago. AMD's wins come from matching its IPC while offering more cores on a denser node.

10nm Superfin with Tiger Lake is when we'll start to see an actual newer architecture from Intel get married to the high clock speeds it should have. It won't win everything as it still seems limited to mobile, but I still think they're starting a turnaround, even if it takes two more years.
 

Amey

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It's simply a better design. Zen cores have higher IPC and Infinity fabric enables better transmission between them.
Node advantage is just a cherry on top, that results in denser yet more power efficient chips.
 
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FireFly

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So, considering that Intel's processors have better single-core performance and can even sometimes have better multi-core performance with less cores, would you say that AMD's success with Ryzen is due to genius engineering or simply the advantage of fitting more cores on a single die as a result of using smaller nodes?
Not sure what is going on with the server CPUs, but these benchmarks indicate that Zen 2 has higher IPC than desktop Skylake in non-gaming applications.


Intel can get higher clocks out of their highly optimised 14 nm process, and AMD can get higher density out of their 7 nm process.

Define better. Their advantage does stem from using a smaller node and squeezing more cores in. Unfortunately this performance does not translate into workloads for the vast majority of PC users.
Care to share the benchmarks showing this?
 

tkscz

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Its both. Node alone with crap on it is still crap. The whole Zen architecture is a giant leap for AMD and in combination with TSMC its turning out to be something great.

This. Had the "shrunk the node" of the FX line, it would still be terrible.
 
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godhandiscen

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Yea, but AMD doesn't manufacture its own processors; it relies on TSMC. Hence, the node sizes of its Ryzen processors aren't the result of genius engineering among its employees.
AMD’s architecture allows them to jump into that node size. Do you think the layout doesn’t dictate the ability to draw it at a specific node size?
 
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The reason to buy AMD now is PCI-e 4 I’ll take that over a few single-core frames any day especially with the new Nvidia cards coming.

Intel is running their high-end enthusiast parts extremely close to the redline. Those thighs are spicy.

AMD is not really ahead and it will be very interesting to see how intel bounces back. I’m due an upgrade but my ole trusty pc is still going strong for what I use it for. I don’t game on her anymore and I’ve recently run into my first game it can’t handle (warzone). But I’m holding out until she blows to try and get as far into the future for the upgrade as possible. I’m hoping she’ll hold out until intel bounces back into the lead in a big way.

Remember folks it’s not really so much about architecture but more about die size and transistor count and still isn’t really about core count but software is becoming more and more hyper-threaded so that will play a part eventually but I feel we’ve been hearing that for almost 10 years now and it’s only really starting to become a reality now. Next-gen will push pc gaming forwards by a lot I imagine.
 
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PhoenixTank

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AMD’s architecture allows them to jump into that node size. Do you think the layout doesn’t dictate the ability to draw it at a specific node size?
Indeed. Not to mention engineering chiplets allowing them better yields earlier on and bringing us more cores/$ - very much an AMD innovation.

OP, their current offerings are the result of solid execution on all fronts. Still impressed at how they leveraged the wafer supply agreement with Global Foundries as an asset for the IO die rather than letting it remain an anchor around their necks.
 

michaelius

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So, considering that Intel's processors have better single-core performance and can even sometimes have better multi-core performance with less cores, would you say that AMD's success with Ryzen is due to genius engineering or simply the advantage of fitting more cores on a single die as a result of using smaller nodes?

Both engineering gives them performance they have and process node gives them energy efficiency and ability to pack so many cores.

Also Intel is losing a lot due to their stupid decision of packing as much iGPU as they can into desktop cpu which are completly wasted on enthusiast market. And AMD can use all that Silicon to give more cores while keeping prices in check.