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Should AMD make a "console killer" APU?

Should AMD make a "console killer" APU?

  • Yes

    Votes: 19 51.4%
  • No

    Votes: 15 40.5%
  • Unsure

    Votes: 3 8.1%

  • Total voters
    37

Valantar

Golden Member
Aug 26, 2014
1,792
508
136
This has probably been up for discussion before, but if not, what do you think? With Zen (hopefully) returning AMD to respectable levels of perf/W for CPUs, should they make a high-end gaming oriented APU? What would its specs need to be? What TDP would you deem acceptable?

I'm leaning towards yes, simply because the possibilities this would give in terms of small form factor gaming. Memory bandwith is definitely a bummer, though, and HBM is still too expensive to be realistic.

What I would want:

  • 125W TDP
  • 4c8t CPU
  • 1024+ SPs (1280 would be nice, ~1536 would be lovely - the more the merrier)
  • Some sort of on-chip memory for the GPU (1-2GB, along with shared system memory)
  • Unlocked/Overclockable
  • ~$250, no more
A 240mm AIO or a beefy air cooler would be able to cool this easily (the Wraith cooler is also rated for 125W), and it would make for some killer compact gaming systems. I'd love one of these in my HTPC.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,110
3,155
126
Given the nature of PCs, I don't think a Console Killing APU is really possible. They could produce one that's competitive, but given the advantage Consoles have with being very focused on specific Hardware an APU will always have a disadvantage. Game exclusives also make a "Console Killer" rather dubious. On top of that, Consoles are an important Market for AMD and trying to "kill" them is not in their interest.
 

Yakk

Golden Member
May 28, 2016
1,574
272
81
Huh? AMD is the console market, why kill it? Use a HBM powered APU in next generation consoles.
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
4,978
340
126
they would need something like onboard 16GB GDDR5 for it to work well, not cheap.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,419
6,025
126
I've mentioned the idea of a "Super APU", where AMD goes all-in on a huge, high-TDP, multi-core CPU and high-end iGPU combo.

Only, I imagined something along the lines of a modern video card, in terms of size, necessary for the higher TDP for performance, and therefore cooling.

I was imagining a TDP north of 200+W for the combo super-APU.
 

ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
23,381
1,364
126
Someone should build the console killing "super apu", but AMD won't be the guys to do it.

As the APU supplier to Microsoft and Sony, they would only be shooting themselves in the foot.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,419
6,025
126
Someone should build the console killing "super apu", but AMD won't be the guys to do it.
Qualcomm?

Maybe cross-subsidized development between their many-core ARM 64-bit SoCs, and a gaming-related SoC. Possibly they could get Nintendo interested?
 
Aug 11, 2008
10,457
641
126
I could see a place fing out the or it in mobile, but not really in desktop. In addition to the bandwidth and tdp limitations, you have the problem of not being able upgrade the gpu without throwing out the cup as well
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,419
6,025
126
There is no business rationale for building such a part.
Just like there's no business rationale for a high-end video card, right? I mean, iGPUs should be good enough for everyone...

Seriously, just think of them as the evolution of dGPUs, only, they throw a few real x86/x64 CPU cores onboard too.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,613
315
126
There is no business rationale for building such a part.
Eh, depends on how "high end" it is.

Current solutions can't even play modern games at 60fps on low at 720p. An APU with the CPU power of six year old Intel chips plus the GPU power of a 960 would be nice.
 

AtenRa

Lifer
Feb 2, 2009
13,553
2,533
126
This has probably been up for discussion before, but if not, what do you think? With Zen (hopefully) returning AMD to respectable levels of perf/W for CPUs, should they make a high-end gaming oriented APU? What would its specs need to be? What TDP would you deem acceptable?

I'm leaning towards yes, simply because the possibilities this would give in terms of small form factor gaming. Memory bandwith is definitely a bummer, though, and HBM is still too expensive to be realistic.

What I would want:

  • 125W TDP
  • 4c8t CPU
  • 1024+ SPs (1280 would be nice, ~1536 would be lovely - the more the merrier)
  • Some sort of on-chip memory for the GPU (1-2GB, along with shared system memory)
  • Unlocked/Overclockable
  • ~$250, no more
A 240mm AIO or a beefy air cooler would be able to cool this easily (the Wraith cooler is also rated for 125W), and it would make for some killer compact gaming systems. I'd love one of these in my HTPC.
Even if they will release an APU with the above specs (16 CUs), it will not even compete against PS4 Neo (36 CUs). And MS Scorpio has an even bigger GPU.
 
Mar 10, 2006
11,719
2,003
126
Just like there's no business rationale for a high-end video card, right? I mean, iGPUs should be good enough for everyone...

Seriously, just think of them as the evolution of dGPUs, only, they throw a few real x86/x64 CPU cores onboard too.
So, uh, you want a game console?
 
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TheELF

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 2012
3,194
365
126
Someone should build the console killing "super apu", but AMD won't be the guys to do it.

As the APU supplier to Microsoft and Sony, they would only be shooting themselves in the foot.
AMD will provide the CPU/GPU for the next gen consoles anyway,if they go for a more traditional solution this time and actually provide a complete APU for the consoles and only add the ram to the custom part of the custom soc,they could should and probably would sell the same APU to the desktop but with less constrain from TDP making it (much ? ) faster,other then the ram subset that would only be ddr4 but still it would be performing better and people would have no fear of bad porting you would have the same hardware the consoles have.
PC sales do not affect console sales so no shooting in no foots happening here.
 

luhai

Junior Member
May 12, 2006
10
0
66
Well, since the consoles themselves are also using APUs, any improvement will be reflected in the consoles anyways (and probably in the consoles first). But it does mean more console refresh cycles.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

cytg111

Lifer
Mar 17, 2008
15,125
5,246
136
Huh? They allready do? Killed off ps3 and xbox360?
If anything you move away from the soc/apu idea, seperate cpu and graphics to get a better cooling solution and up the tdp. There is a cost benefit with having gfx and cpu close, shared address space, latencies etc that has to be outweighed of course.
 

TheELF

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 2012
3,194
365
126
If anything you move away from the soc/apu idea, seperate cpu and graphics to get a better cooling solution and up the tdp.
But you'd need two cooling solutions and the TDP would be exactly the same, just spread between two connections (cpu socket and pci,or whatever it would be)
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,878
5,841
136
I would like to see a powerful APU for the DiY market, though I still don't think the software paradigm necessary to make such a purchase a compelling choice over 8c/16t Summit Ridge + Vega exists on the market.

AMD needs to sell developers on the idea that having 1500+ shaders on-die is superior to another four cores/eight threads. Then you can have desktop APU + Vega and totally rock out with your DX12/Vulkan titles that offload major compute functions to the speedy iGPU. Bonus points if AMD cooks up something like NVLink to incorporate dGPUs into the SVM space.
 

cytg111

Lifer
Mar 17, 2008
15,125
5,246
136
But you'd need two cooling solutions and the TDP would be exactly the same, just spread between two connections (cpu socket and pci,or whatever it would be)
Idea is to spread out the heat surface mm^2, larger the surface the better cooling can be applied, better cooling, higher clocks, higher tdp.
 

cytg111

Lifer
Mar 17, 2008
15,125
5,246
136
I would like to see a powerful APU for the DiY market, though I still don't think the software paradigm necessary to make such a purchase a compelling choice over 8c/16t Summit Ridge + Vega exists on the market.

AMD needs to sell developers on the idea that having 1500+ shaders on-die is superior to another four cores/eight threads. Then you can have desktop APU + Vega and totally rock out with your DX12/Vulkan titles that offload major compute functions to the speedy iGPU. Bonus points if AMD cooks up something like NVLink to incorporate dGPUs into the SVM space.
Yea, some semi standard configuration, APU or not and something like steamos on top.
A homebuilt console with some wiggle-room.
 

The Stilt

Golden Member
Dec 5, 2015
1,709
3,057
106
The poll is missing an option: "not cost effective".

There is no other way to justify the cost, other than a specific purpose which requires having a high power GPU in the same memory space with the CPU (HSA). In every other case a dGPU will be much more cost effective.

This not going to change until it is possible to have around three times the bandwidth available from dual channel DDR operating at 2400MHz, at the same (todays) cost.
 
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TheELF

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 2012
3,194
365
126
Idea is to spread out the heat surface mm^2, larger the surface the better cooling can be applied, better cooling, higher clocks, higher tdp.
Yes,technically.
But inside a console not so much,they start with a TDP in mind and figure everything else out later,main concern is the power supply that often is an external unit because it won't fit or would produce too much heat inside the console.
 

Valantar

Golden Member
Aug 26, 2014
1,792
508
136
I would like to see a powerful APU for the DiY market, though I still don't think the software paradigm necessary to make such a purchase a compelling choice over 8c/16t Summit Ridge + Vega exists on the market.
Okay, you're clearly not thinking of what I intended with this thread. 8c16t Zen + Vega = at least 200W TDP, and at the very least $6-700. An APU to compete with this would be DOA, no matter how compelling its performance - less upgradeability, no sensible way of cooling it ... No thanks.

What I'm asking for is something (significantly) better than the current high-end iGPUs. The CU stagnation in AMDs APUs in recent years is getting to look pretty bad, and the move to 14nm should prompt SKUs with a significant increase in CUs. The current state of iGPUs is a rather sad state of affairs, and leaves a rather large performance gap between $100 GPUs and iGPUs.

Also, I'm obviously not imagining this as a high-end gaming SKU - hence the term "console killer." I also don't imagine anything Windows (or other desktop OS) based will ever come close to supplanting consoles, as they're too easy to use in comparison (plus that the fixed hardware platform makes things way less confusing for the average user). I'm simply asking for what should be very, very possible to make: an APU that can match/exceed the performance of a console. This would allow for cheap, compact gaming PCs with creative form factors and good-enough performance - without having to fit a GPU AIC in the case, without needing more PCIe power connectors, and so on. Simplicity, and good enough performance.
 

laamanaator

Member
Jul 15, 2015
66
10
41
What I'm asking for is something (significantly) better than the current high-end iGPUs. The CU stagnation in AMDs APUs in recent years is getting to look pretty bad, and the move to 14nm should prompt SKUs with a significant increase in CUs. The current state of iGPUs is a rather sad state of affairs, and leaves a rather large performance gap between $100 GPUs and iGPUs.
There won't be more CUs because even in todays APUs the CUs are bandwith starved. Adding more CUs would bring zero benefit. Unless they slap a quad channel DDR4 MC in to an APU (not going to happen), We're not going to get more CUs in APU GPUs.
 
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Valantar

Golden Member
Aug 26, 2014
1,792
508
136
There won't be more CUs because even in todays APUs the CUs are bandwith starved. Adding more CUs would bring zero benefit. Unless they slap a quad channel DDR4 MC in to an APU (not going to happen), We're not going to get more CUs in APU GPUs.
Intel's solution to this is eDRAM, which seems to work decently (although it's expensive, and Intel's GPU drivers are awful). There are other options for on-package memory too, including HBM. Adding a single stack of, say, 2GB HBM would more than make up for this. It would increase the price noticeably, though, with the interposer and all that. Even 1GB of some sort of high-bandwith memory would significantly improve this situation.
 

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