Question Will Tiger Lake be Intel's Core2Duo of 2020?

Hulk

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Oct 9, 1999
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Edit! Big mistake in the 1st sentence! I've never owned an AMD PC, I originally wrote Intel! Sorry about that.

I should state right up front that I have never owned an AMD PC. All the way back to my IBM SX25 it's been Intel for me. But I have to say that Intel seems to have gotten themselves into quite a pickle. It feels like the P4 Netburst fiasco of the early 2000's, but I think is going to be a much tougher mountain to climb for Intel.

As we all know through the 80's and 90's AMD seemed to be more of an annoyance to Intel rather than an actual threat. It was only when Intel got caught with their pants down with Netburst did AMD present a serious challenge with the original Athlon. Luckily for Intel they had the brilliant Merom mobile core designed by the Israeli engineers and a huge process advantage.

In 2005 with the release of Core2Duo it all turned around for Intel. They had AMD handily beat on both frequency and IPC. And then they moved along quite nicely for a number of years with tick tock until the 14nm process. And AMD began to catch up.

From and "Intel guy" perspective AMD was struggling along. But they kept at it. And Intel seemed to stall. While this is anecdotal, I generally upgrade my CPU every 2 or 3 years. But I've been on Haswell for 7 years now. Until Coffee Lake there really hasn't been anything that seemed like a significant upgrade to me in the $400 price range.

Coffee Lake looks really good to me. Until I really started to research the new 3000 series Ryzen parts. I have to admit these parts are impressive. These are actual cores, not half cores, or weak in comparison to Intel.

I was considering a 9900k but you can get a basically equal Ryzen part for $200 less. AND you have an upgrade path to a 12 and then 16 core part. With the 9900k it's the end of the line.

From an architectural point of view I think it's fair to say Intel has been caught (at least). They are offering better value and better performing chips.

So can Intel pull a rabbit out of the hat? Unless Tiger Lake is to Ryzen is what Core2Duo was to the Athlon I think Intel is going to have some rough times ahead. To pull off what they did in 2005 they will have to clearly surpass Ryzen in IPC, and beat them in frequency and efficiency and core count. And on top of all that they need to do it as competitive price points.

The way Intel has been plodding along IPC-wise and struggling with process it seems like they have a big mountain to climb.

Me, I'm going to wait to see what happens with Tiger Lake before I buy a new system. But AMD is really on a roll. Gotta love it. The CPU Wars are on!
 
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tamz_msc

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No.

Assume Coffee Lake as the base.

Willow Cove(Rocket Lake) desktop is in 2021. Ice Lake adds 18% PPC on top of Coffee Lake. Assume Willow Cove adds another 5%. That's 23.9% more PPC than Coffee Lake.

Zen 2 is 6% ahead of Coffee Lake. Assume Zen 3 adds another 15%(which is reasonable based on the publicly available statements). That's 21.9% overall over Coffee Lake.

So Intel will be a miniscule 1-2 percent ahead of Zen 3 in PPC with Willow Cove. According to leaks Rocket Lake will once again be 8 cores and I expect it to clock lower than peak 14nm++(+?) so no 5GHz all core.

So with a negligible PPC advantage, a minor clock advantage and a significant core count disadvantage, Rocket Lake would be no Core 2 Duo in 2021.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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In short no.
This. Intel is failing on execution left and right, especially with process issues, their former strength. AMD is just WAY ahead. (Compare Intel 18-core HEDT, and it gets bested by AMD's 16-core consumer CPU.) At lower cost. How did Intel let that happen?
 

JasonLD

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Aug 22, 2017
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I don't expect Core 2 Duo moment until Intel manages to fix their process issue and actually release 7nm processors in 2022.
 

A///

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Feb 24, 2017
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Short answer: No.

Semi short answer: I'd suggest reading up on the history of Core and Core 2 Duo. I'd also suggest reading up on "from scratch" µarchs Intel has developed, historically.

Best quote I can't remember who to attribute to once spoken decades ago: The world is fraught with more failed, crappy, inefficient microprocessor architectures than successful ones.
 

thetrashcan

Junior Member
Jan 13, 2020
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No. The level of hype around Tiger Lake is bizarre, given that very little in the way of verifiable information is available about it, and the information that is verified (that it's another quad-core ultrabook chip with a bit more L3 cache and better graphics) seems decidedly uninspiring. The absence of anything with more than 4 cores on Intel's 10nm process remains pretty ominous.
 

Nereus77

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Dec 30, 2016
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I should state right up front that I have never owned an Intel PC.
This confused me for the longest time.

I think you meant to say AMD instead of Intel here. You probably started typing "AMD" but backspaced it out of disgust and replaced it with "Intel."

But I've been on Haswell for 7 years now.
Ah yes, the symptom of Intel's troubles was that you could buy a CPU from 7 years ago and compare them to CPUs now and see not much difference at all.

The hare had fallen asleep while the tortoise was planning its come back.

So can Intel pull a rabbit out of the hat?
Not in the immediate future, no.

Unless Tiger Lake is to Ryzen is what Core2 Duo was to the Athlon I think Intel is going to have some rough times ahead.
This is the most accurate statement of the entire piece.

I'm afraid you are going to watch Intel flounder a bit before the "Core2 Duo" moment and Intel is forced to watch AMD surge ahead with a superior product and process for a while. However, we don't actually know what aces AMD can pull out of their sleeve for Zen 4 and beyond, and neither does Intel. (Remember Athlon 64 and how it shook up the market? Someone at Intel does) This makes Intel scared and desperate.

Its hare vs tortoise, but the tortoise found a scooter while the hare took a nap....
 
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exquisitechar

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Apr 18, 2017
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It will be nothing of the sort. It’s a relatively small improvement over ICL, and still on that disaster of a 10nm node. There’s nothing overly exciting about it when it comes to the CPU, I don’t know how the hype train for it started. Intel themselves made it clear it won’t be as big of an improvement as Sunny/Golden Cove. If anything’s going to let Intel get a significant advantage over AMD it will be NGC (Ocean Cove?) on 7nm.

Pulling a Core 2 Duo will be very difficult/close to impossible, AMD is in a much more favorable position than they were back then. Before saying such things we should see if Intel can even deliver on 7nm and return to being competitive at all, not far ahead, because AMD will be extremely aggressive in the next few years. Meanwhile, Intel is still a mess and constantly delaying products. How can they beat AMD when they can’t even properly deliver Cooper/Ice Lake server/Comet Lake-S on time?

By the way, I still don’t think Rocket Lake is a backport of Willow Cove, and even if it is, people are overestimating it.
 

Nereus77

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Dec 30, 2016
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It boils down to this: Expect AMD to increase their lead over Intel in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Intel only has a real chance to bounce back in 2023 and that's only if everything goes according to plan (and Intel has been terrible with that lately).

2019 will be the last time Intel looked competitive for a few years. This is something that hasn't quite hit home for Intel fans yet. You'll understand what I mean when Zen 3 (aka Ryzen 4000 series) launches in Q3.
 
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NTMBK

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Do we know anything about the CPU architecture in Tigerlake? I feel like it's too soon to make confident predictions in either direction. (But the fact that it's still on the broken 10nm doesn't fill me with confidence.)
 

tamz_msc

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Do we know anything about the CPU architecture in Tigerlake? I feel like it's too soon to make confident predictions in either direction. (But the fact that it's still on the broken 10nm doesn't fill me with confidence.)
All we know is that it has 1.25 MB L2 and 3MB L3 per core.
 

scannall

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Jan 1, 2012
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There has certainly been a lot of hype about this. But like any other product or company, enjoy the speculation. Just don't take it seriously. The time to start really paying attention is when the parts are in the wild, on store shelves. And in the hands of reviewers.
 

Atari2600

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Nov 22, 2016
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There is a fundamental difference between now and then.

AMD then had to forge their own (expensive and resource consuming) way with their FABs. Now, AMD can piggyback off the massive mobile and IOT market with TSMC.

Lest we forget - Deneb on 45 nm was a match for Penryn - its just Barcelona had to make do with the relatively anemic 65nm process (which also delayed entry to market) when going up against Conroe.

After that point, AMD were firefighting against Nehalem before Sandy Bridge blew the doors off. Which wasn't helped by the Bulldozer misstep.


So will Intel have a Conroe moment? They could - if TSMC completely screwed up and AMD completely screw up. How likely is that?
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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Tiger Lake-U leaks haven't shown it to be much faster than Ice Lake-U in Geekbench. That's only one benchmark, and they're just leaks, but . . . it's not encouraging. Also, Tiger Lake-U/Y won't have more than 4 cores. You expect it to compete with a 16-core monster like a 3950X? Please. It can't even hang with the 3900X which came out last July.

Conroe wiped out every CPU AMD had ever released up to 2006 for the desktop. Up to, and including, the $1k FX monsters. Tiger Lake has no chance to do the same this year.
 

majord

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Jul 26, 2015
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I should state right up front that I have never owned an Intel PC. All the way back to my IBM SX25 it's been Intel for me. But I have to say that Intel seems to have gotten themselves into quite a pickle. It feels like the P4 Netburst fiasco of the early 2000's, but I think is going to be a much tougher mountain to climb for Intel.

As we all know through the 80's and 90's AMD seemed to be more of an annoyance to Intel rather than an actual threat. It was only when Intel got caught with their pants down with Netburst did AMD present a serious challenge with the original Athlon. Luckily for Intel they had the brilliant Merom mobile core designed by the Israeli engineers and a huge process advantage.

In 2005 with the release of Core2Duo it all turned around for Intel. They had AMD handily beat on both frequency and IPC. And then they moved along quite nicely for a number of years with tick tock until the 14nm process. And AMD began to catch up.

From and "Intel guy" perspective AMD was struggling along. But they kept at it. And Intel seemed to stall. While this is anecdotal, I generally upgrade my CPU every 2 or 3 years. But I've been on Haswell for 7 years now. Until Coffee Lake there really hasn't been anything that seemed like a significant upgrade to me in the $400 price range.

Coffee Lake looks really good to me. Until I really started to research the new 3000 series Ryzen parts. I have to admit these parts are impressive. These are actual cores, not half cores, or weak in comparison to Intel.

I was considering a 9900k but you can get a basically equal Ryzen part for $200 less. AND you have an upgrade path to a 12 and then 16 core part. With the 9900k it's the end of the line.

From an architectural point of view I think it's fair to say Intel has been caught (at least). They are offering better value and better performing chips.

So can Intel pull a rabbit out of the hat? Unless Tiger Lake is to Ryzen is what Core2Duo was to the Athlon I think Intel is going to have some rough times ahead. To pull off what they did in 2005 they will have to clearly surpass Ryzen in IPC, and beat them in frequency and efficiency and core count. And on top of all that they need to do it as competitive price points.

The way Intel has been plodding along IPC-wise and struggling with process it seems like they have a big mountain to climb.

Me, I'm going to wait to see what happens with Tiger Lake before I buy a new system. But AMD is really on a roll. Gotta love it. The CPU Wars are on!
C2D was 2006

As for TGL.. seems very unlikely. Intel insist there will be Desktop products. That's very vague. So can't read much into it. These could end up quad core re-purposed mobile parts.

Everything point's to some decent improvements over the ill fated Icelake. Though it's cache config confuses me somewhat (it's very HEDT/server orientated, yet it's a mobile product) Also, the CES presentation was an awkward train wreck void of any substance, which isn't a great sign either.
 

lobz

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Feb 10, 2017
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I should state right up front that I have never owned an Intel PC. All the way back to my IBM SX25 it's been Intel for me. But I have to say that Intel seems to have gotten themselves into quite a pickle. It feels like the P4 Netburst fiasco of the early 2000's, but I think is going to be a much tougher mountain to climb for Intel.

As we all know through the 80's and 90's AMD seemed to be more of an annoyance to Intel rather than an actual threat. It was only when Intel got caught with their pants down with Netburst did AMD present a serious challenge with the original Athlon. Luckily for Intel they had the brilliant Merom mobile core designed by the Israeli engineers and a huge process advantage.

In 2005 with the release of Core2Duo it all turned around for Intel. They had AMD handily beat on both frequency and IPC. And then they moved along quite nicely for a number of years with tick tock until the 14nm process. And AMD began to catch up.

From and "Intel guy" perspective AMD was struggling along. But they kept at it. And Intel seemed to stall. While this is anecdotal, I generally upgrade my CPU every 2 or 3 years. But I've been on Haswell for 7 years now. Until Coffee Lake there really hasn't been anything that seemed like a significant upgrade to me in the $400 price range.

Coffee Lake looks really good to me. Until I really started to research the new 3000 series Ryzen parts. I have to admit these parts are impressive. These are actual cores, not half cores, or weak in comparison to Intel.

I was considering a 9900k but you can get a basically equal Ryzen part for $200 less. AND you have an upgrade path to a 12 and then 16 core part. With the 9900k it's the end of the line.

From an architectural point of view I think it's fair to say Intel has been caught (at least). They are offering better value and better performing chips.

So can Intel pull a rabbit out of the hat? Unless Tiger Lake is to Ryzen is what Core2Duo was to the Athlon I think Intel is going to have some rough times ahead. To pull off what they did in 2005 they will have to clearly surpass Ryzen in IPC, and beat them in frequency and efficiency and core count. And on top of all that they need to do it as competitive price points.

The way Intel has been plodding along IPC-wise and struggling with process it seems like they have a big mountain to climb.

Me, I'm going to wait to see what happens with Tiger Lake before I buy a new system. But AMD is really on a roll. Gotta love it. The CPU Wars are on!
I should state right up front that Tiger Lake is not coming to the desktop at all. The CPU that will most probably use Willow Cove's architectural advancements is a product called Rocket Lake, which is almost 1,5 years away and is backported to 14nm. Large part of your OP becomes irrelevant by this alone, since AMD will almost certainly be rocking Zen 3 CPUs by then for quite a bit now. 7nm chips will be the first for intel to offer the chance of a Core 2 moment. Let's hope, for all our sakes, that AMD won't get complacent till that happens.

In short: can you rethink your OP? :p
 

Hulk

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Oct 9, 1999
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Sorry for that huge mistype in the first sentence. It's been all Intel for me.
If you were too young to remember, C2D was a big deal, a real game changer for Intel.

Please don't think I have a dog in this fight. I don't. They battle and we win. I'm happy to see the competition and I have to admit to some feelings of schadenfreude when it comes to Intel. They have made some great products but have also nearly had a monopoly and the ability to increase frequency, IPC, GPU at a rate that was comfortable (read extremely profitable) for them. Like they say you haven't really proved yourself until you've done it under pressure. AMD has turned up the heat quite high.

Obviously it must be a madhouse scramble at Intel these days. Good thing they have billions of revenue because it looks like they're gonna need it.

One more thing... let me know when it's time to short INTC;)
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
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The funny thing about you mentioning Haswell is that outside of relatively niche cases, a Haswell quad with 8GB and and SDD is good enough for 99% of typical office PC users. Ditto something like a Ryzen 1200 lol.

I think that will doom Intel perhaps more than previously. Back in the days of Athlon 64, Pentium D, X2, etc, they STILL weren't fast enough for even pretty common business usage without a healthy amount of patience. I remember being blown away going from a socket 939 Opteron dually 180 @ 2.6Ghz to an E6600 @ 3Ghz in one unit. It was an overwhelming upgrade. And my Opteron was one of the fastest pre-C2D kind of rigs, imagine coming from an Athlon XP or Willamette P4. And that was less time than from Haswell to today.

So say Intel did magically get an all-rounder desktop CPU that was equal or superior in performance, packaging, power, heat, and cost. So what? Most people would be wasted going from a 3770 to a 9900KS, assuming equal amount of Ram and SSD. There's not going to be a lot of demand for it.

I do have to put out a slightly similar warning for AMD however. Their CPU production is going to stay second fiddle to Apple/etc for capacity. Intel already can't meet demand of their current lineup, and that's with an enormously higher rate of production. AMD has DIY in a stranglehold for good reason (better products, decent pricing), but the big OEMs still have a ton more Intel, and it feels to me like AMD just can't get enough product out there to disrupt Intel as much as they potentially could. We're still seeing 3900X and 3950X scalping, and Zen2 systems from OEMs seem pretty thin overall.

It's solvable I think, if AMD went big with a new 7nm+ to 6/5NM EUV foundry co-op with TSMC/etc. It would cost billions, but I think it would repay them handsomely, and they wouldn't have to get pushed around like everyone else does at the queue to get some capacity at the existing 7nm lines.

It's a GOOD problem to have in some respects, they can sell easily 150-200% or more of their production volume, it's just a matter of getting them made. If even Intel can't deliver enough mediocre SKUs to satisfy OEMs (meanwhile next to nobody cares about them from a DIY perspective), how well does a clearly superior option sell? Completely, that's how
 

NTMBK

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Nov 14, 2011
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The funny thing about you mentioning Haswell is that outside of relatively niche cases, a Haswell quad with 8GB and and SDD is good enough for 99% of typical office PC users. Ditto something like a Ryzen 1200 lol.

I think that will doom Intel perhaps more than previously. Back in the days of Athlon 64, Pentium D, X2, etc, they STILL weren't fast enough for even pretty common business usage without a healthy amount of patience. I remember being blown away going from a socket 939 Opteron dually 180 @ 2.6Ghz to an E6600 @ 3Ghz in one unit. It was an overwhelming upgrade. And my Opteron was one of the fastest pre-C2D kind of rigs, imagine coming from an Athlon XP or Willamette P4. And that was less time than from Haswell to today.

So say Intel did magically get an all-rounder desktop CPU that was equal or superior in performance, packaging, power, heat, and cost. So what? Most people would be wasted going from a 3770 to a 9900KS, assuming equal amount of Ram and SSD. There's not going to be a lot of demand for it.

I do have to put out a slightly similar warning for AMD however. Their CPU production is going to stay second fiddle to Apple/etc for capacity. Intel already can't meet demand of their current lineup, and that's with an enormously higher rate of production. AMD has DIY in a stranglehold for good reason (better products, decent pricing), but the big OEMs still have a ton more Intel, and it feels to me like AMD just can't get enough product out there to disrupt Intel as much as they potentially could. We're still seeing 3900X and 3950X scalping, and Zen2 systems from OEMs seem pretty thin overall.

It's solvable I think, if AMD went big with a new 7nm+ to 6/5NM EUV foundry co-op with TSMC/etc. It would cost billions, but I think it would repay them handsomely, and they wouldn't have to get pushed around like everyone else does at the queue to get some capacity at the existing 7nm lines.

It's a GOOD problem to have in some respects, they can sell easily 150-200% or more of their production volume, it's just a matter of getting them made. If even Intel can't deliver enough mediocre SKUs to satisfy OEMs (meanwhile next to nobody cares about them from a DIY perspective), how well does a clearly superior option sell? Completely, that's how
There is no point building a 7nm fab now. Put in an enormous order on 5nm, secure wafers now, and give TSMC the support to build their next generation.
 
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Hulk

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Arkaign,

You are spot on about anything 4 core from Ivy on is fine for 99% of computer users. Excel, Word, light photo editing and video editing, really not a big deal. Even though I have some need for more compute, with my current Haswell rig I'm having a hard time justifying a $700+ upgrade for CPU, motherboard, RAM, video card, and probably power supply. I don't game so really any video card will do for me. That being said, as an enthusiast I'm aching for 8 cores or more.

I've always tried to plan my upgrades so that compute is at least doubled. P90 to Celeron 300a/450 to P3 850 to P4 3.06 to C2D E6400 to 2500k to 4770k.

Without AMD pushing Intel we would probably still be using quad core CPU's with maybe some 6 core $1,000 parts available if you really had to have it. Remember the days of the Intel eXtreme parts? Yikes.

Does AMD still have any fabrication capacity of their own? Did they sell them off?
 

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