*Note: Opinionated rant follows.
Desktop PC use is currently defined by two categories: workstations and gaming. The ubiquitous household browsing PC of the Nineties and Oughts has been replaced by phones and tablets. While this trend has been gloomed over ad nauseam by tech media, it affects AMD the least as they were never able to make inroads with the then-mainstream market anyways. AMD's current product categories, GPUs and CPUs, are still as relevant to the gamer (and at least in GPU, the workstation) today as they ever were.
Zen will never compete with i7. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing as gaming doesn't need an i7. Therefore, all Zen has to meet in performance is the point where the GPU is no longer bound by the CPU. If AMD can meet this goal with Zen with a price that is compelling, then this is all the PC builder needs in order to begin using an recommending AMD CPUs again.
Further, AMD needs to rush Zen's efficiency gains to product spaces where top performance isn't a bounding requirement, such as HTPCs and home servers. AMD seems reluctant to refresh their Athlon revival early in the Zen product cycle but I would argue that this is exactly where Zen should go immediately as this space is underserved by Intel's offerings. In short, instead of doling out Zen's process gain in miserly dollops as Intel would, instead press it into duty along the front lines in CPUs and APUs as soon as possible.
AMD has long since passed the point where they can bet the house on one good product and then eke every cent of profit from it. Their greatest challenge now lies in winning any product comparison at all with their competitors, as at almost every level Intel and nVidia's offerings are the better value. This has created a hostile atmosphere in the builder space where AMD is expected to fail and thus far, they have not disappointed in that regard. If AMD hoards Zen as a premier flagship offering, it will fail.
I'm interested why you would think this is true.
From my point of view, if I were a fanboy, I wouldn't bother thinking of Zen at all other than to expect something else this year to ridicule AMD for. I certainly wouldn't bother thinking of ways where AMD might use Zen to salvage themselves, no matter how insufferably put.
>posted from a Phenom X2 720
>displayed by a Radeon 5770
Zen is going to have 40% better IPC over excavator and reports are coming in that it could be higher.
Zen doesn't even have to exceed haswell i7 single-thread performance, it just needs to provide about i5 single thread performance on the cheap to BTFO intel. An 8-core Zen chip will also be able to match haswell-e i7 in multi-core performance.
But the real sauce is in the APUs. If AMD can make cheap APUs capable of letting normies play most recent vydia on medium 1080 settings and get ~60 FPS then they will gain HUGE popularity amongst OEMs (where da real cash money at).
As OP, you're restating my positions and I wholly agree.
>[Zen] just needs to provide about i5 single thread performance on the cheap . . .
>If AMD can make cheap APUs capable . . .
and in >>52635997
>Zen is going to have 40% better IPC over excavator
40% is what I have read as well. What are these other reports of even higher IPC though? I haven't seen those yet.
Sure enough, pic related.
>On schedule to sample in 2016.
Still ambiguous language on when, though. The article says:
>AMD CEO Lisa Su confirmed this week that the first Zen-based chips, code-named Summit Ridge, will debut on high-end desktops at the end of this year.
>Later, the chips will make their way to servers in early 2017.
>There are no details about when Zen will be available for laptops and low-end PCs.
Hmm. 2016 does not seem like we'll see much other than some samples of the highest bins. Perhaps reviews are the best we can hope for before 2017.
So far, I see two modes of thought in the responses here:
>>52636036 and >>52636619 join me in hoping that AMD brings Zen into products other than the highest-binned CPUs as soon as possible.
>>52635112 and >>52635785, despite being rude, seem to represent a segment that is hoping or wishing that Zen will provide a true match for Intel, clock for clock and watt for watt.
I think the former group has a better chance for success with regards to sales for AMD. However if AMD does what I think it's going to do--wait until the reviews on the late-2016 samples roll in, proving that Zen isn't an i7--then the second group will buy an i5/nVidia product and those of us who are waiting with less ambitious expectations will then be open to a shrewd move by Intel.
Before AMD released the Fury line of GPUs, nVidia cleverly anticipated the performance threshold of Fury and released the 980ti which matched or exceeded Fury in performance while providing a better value. Intel may well do the same to AMD's midrange and lowrange market expectations with Zen by cutting the prices of equivalent products early, before Zen releases in these market segments, leaving Zen (like Fury) with no market to sell to.
In short, I think AMD should release to all segments of Zen's anticipated market as soon as physically possible rather than wait and let Intel pick and choose where and when to cut their legs off at the knee.
>it just needs to provide about i5 single thread performance on the cheap to BTFO intel.
Dude I'm getting the blue balls waiting for just this event. I'm an Intel fan but I am damn excited to see high performance for low cost from AMD. I've been moving away from building top performance machines to cheap, practical builds for family and friends and it would be awesome to get that kind of performance for the kind of cash that I would piss away at the grocery store every month.
My dream build is a thin mITX APU build with DDR4 RAM and an M.2 SSD stuffed into a tiny case that I can gift to my little cousin, with performance that rivals the i5+GTX 750ti that I just built.
I really hope they get on with it by this holiday season. If they wait till '17 like I heard they would, they would be losing the surprise advantage with Intel. Intel could have an IRIS Pro graphics solution that would whip them by then.
Like I've said many times, price can be adjusted really easily, and especially so for Intel with their massive reserve.
Price/performance was never a problem for Intel because Intel can always adjust the variable "price" to beat AMD. On the other hand, performance can only adjusted with R&D and money and time, which AMD doesn't have.
In the price/performance equation, whoever wins the performance variable has the upper hand.