Thursday, 17 March 2016


Well it has been awhile since I typed anything out about the up and coming CPUs and GPUs.

But then I really do not like to use every excuse to publish something, like many like to do, and then harp on for the first couple of paragraphs explaining how I had previously stated this with a series of dates that go back a year or two, YAWN!

I always check though and have a read around once or twice a week, though sometimes I leave it a couple of weeks so that news and rumours can build up.

So at the moment it is looking like AMD's Polaris is going to be with us in a couple of months time and thankfully their Zen processor in October, see? I ... SNIP!

This is great news and better still seems to be the buzz about them. The lower power draws for Polaris 10, as they are naming it, sound absolutely great as does that being predicted for Zen.

The latest seems to be projecting an 8 core Zen releasing in October of this year, 2016, but I am still expecting something with a larger core count than 8 and purely because of the 14nm Finfet lithography they are using. This is not merely just a shrink but, as I understand it to be, a stacking too.

So if you can make an 8 core processor on 28nm you can make a 16 on 14nm, theoretically though the size may have to alter slightly.

Now start to stack them?

I would imagine that in the first versions the stacking may only be usable if done once, but later on with some refinement may stack three layers high, with luck. So HBM memory could go on the third layer, which I would wager is what the Zen+ turns out to be? We will see.

The only thing I worry about is that the consoles will hold back many game developers from utilising this extra power ... unless ... the Nintendo NX, fingers crossed, uses these new Polaris GPUs or that the XBOne can be upgraded, via a plug in graphics card. Microsoft have alluded to as much and lets be honest, Sony had that Vaio Carbon laptop several years ago that had that separate GPU in a box ... umm, thingey! Lol.

As they are meant to be so similar it stands to reason that the Playstation 4 can probably be upgraded graphics chip wise too? Umm, it is Sony!

Of course I am simply going to have to build one!

My only worry is that I build an 8 core Zen PC build only to have them release a 12 or 16 core Zen chip two or three months later?! Grr! Maybe when Zen is finally released we would have found out whether or not a higher core count Zen will release in early 2017?

I also note that in the wake of Polaris things were at first quiet on the nVidia front but then a flurry of information started to surface.

It is times like this that puts credence in both the new info, nVidia, to that previously released, AMD, as one is seen as a knee-jerk reaction to the other releasing details. At least that's one of the techniques I have used to separate the wheat from the chaff, and I do so hate chaff.

It will be such an interesting time to see what Zen, Polaris and Pascal can do and of course added to this will be Intel's own knee-jerk reaction to AMD's releases. So if you think that the second half of 2016 is going to be both mad and exciting, well just wait until the first half of 2017!

For me the Intel chips have done bugger all in the way of progression and added to that they have remained artificially high, some VERY high, with the higher core count chips of 6 and 8 cores. This is so bloody typical of Intel of old and it seemed like forever back in the day to go from a 386 to a 486 CPU, the two chips that preceded the Pentium, which was in essence the 586.

Though I use an AMD A10-7850K right now I will be building with a solely Zen CPU core next time around. The highest core count they release or at least intend to release between October 2016 and probably March 2017, if my nerves can hold out that long.

Saying that I am still interested in what APUs they will be releasing using the Zen cores along with what they will do with the GPU side of the APU. I mean to think of something as could be as powerful as a R9-380 or a Maxwell in an APU? Maybe if it turned out to be better still these could have a dramatic effect on the Virtual Reality headsets also releasing over similar time frames to all these other chips.

I like the idea now, finally, of having a really small form factor PC that can do everything I ask of it and store everything I ask of it and do tasks in a fraction of the time they do now? Oooh.

Also about that time 4K might be becoming commonplace and in so doing mobile telecoms companies and other IP providers will have to up their speeds and stop screwing the public for simply looking at a few webpages and downloading a few small files.

Tech simply has to keep up with tech. But they are such lamentable human beings and completely greedy that I think it will take an uproar from customers and government then forcing them before they do this.

A 4GB download limit was utterly laughable when I first saw them set the figure several years ago, now beyond ridiculous and soon to be 'way out there' ridiculous.