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Rich Brighton

AMD Bulldozer: Good for gaming?

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I have read a few articles on Bulldozer but none have given an opinion on whether it will be well suited to gaming. The distinctive feature of the Bulldozer is the Module with its two integer cores and one floating point unit. Do games or certain types of games which are physics and graphics focused, rely heavily on floating point calculations? Will the extra Integers cores be sitting around idle? Is it possible to programme games and keep the number of floating point operations down, which are highly expensive in any case of system resources and processor time?

Any thoughts appreciated!

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The first thing to remember is integer ops include things like setting up memory locations and performing memory transfers, not just int + int style code.

Secondly, the FP unit has 2 128 FMAC units which effectively grants one to each core in standard SSE processing, although the schedular is single one for both streams of instructions.

There is nothing about BD's design which would make it 'bad for games', at least no more so than a Sandy Bridge design which splits int pipes between threads rather than granting each thread its own set of int pipes, and like BD shares the FP unit between threads too.

So, from a FP point of view, at the block level, BD and SB are basically the same; one fetch-decode unit feeding one FP schedular unit. At which point it comes down to how good the silicon is and how good the hardware is at feeding the unit.

Now, as to the whole CPU stacks up vs SB or Ivy Bridge; well that comes down to lower level features, but at the block level it's a good design and I like it... I just wish AMD were doing a 'performance' APU with it :|

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