AMD Zacate - the next great HTPC chip? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by rogo View Post

These sound totally amazing (per the preview articles). I look forward not only to Zacate's arrival, but to Intel's equivalent in the 20w range.

Intel doesnt make its CULV available for oem desktop top use. Dual core sandybridge should have a lower idle usage then current core i3's which are allready pretty good. This will probably be our best bet from intel, but shouldn't be as power friendly as zacate.
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Intel doesnt make its CULV available for oem desktop top use. Dual core sandybridge should have a lower idle usage then current core i3's which are allready pretty good. This will probably be our best bet from intel, but shouldn't be as power friendly as zacate.

I reckon Intel doesn't care how their CULV chips get used. It's just few manufacturers use them for desktops. Viewsonic has a nettop based on Intel CULV+Intel GS45 and Zotac has some motherboards with Intel CULV+Nvidia ION 2.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:53 AM
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:35 AM
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Thanks. How about HDMI 1.4a? I guess it supports it too.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Thanks. How about HDMI 1.4a? I guess it supports it too.

No, I think it is limited to HDMI 1.3.

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Old 11-10-2010, 11:12 AM
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These charts (attached) are very perplexing. Zacate is AMD Vision vanilla, hence it does not support "Smooth Blu-Ray with ATI Avivo HD Technology"? If this is true, it is not suitable for a HD HTPC.
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

These charts are very perplexing. Zacate is AMD Vision vanilla, hence it does not support "Smooth Blu-Ray with ATI Avivo HD Technology"? If this is true, it is not suitable for a HD HTPC.


Don't let the vision branding slide fool you. Zacate should not have any problem with Blu ray playback. It has a UVD 3 block for h/w acceleration.

It is a very solid performer and should be a great part for HTPC. Keep in mind, the graphics core on the APU is equivalent to a discrete level card. I have seen this thing in action and it is pretty impressive when you think about it and it is only 18W.

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Old 11-10-2010, 12:37 PM
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the single channel 64 bit memory controller worries me. That's not a lot of bandwidth for 2 cores and a gpu.
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Java Jack View Post

Don't let the vision branding slide fool you. Zacate should not have any problem with Blu ray playback. It has a UVD 3 block for h/w acceleration.

It is a very solid performer and should be a great part for HTPC. Keep in mind, the graphics core on the APU is equivalent to a discrete level card. I have seen this thing in action and it is pretty impressive when you think about it and it is only 18W.

Hi Java,

This all sounds very promising. Have you seen how the platform performs with interlaced content? 1080i stuff and SD material?

Also interested in how well it does 2:2 pulldown for PAL DVD's.

Thanks,

Wo0zy

Edit Whoa. More posts while I was posting. Will start reading. Sorry if my questions have already been answered.
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:57 PM
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So street date is January? I'm looking to build an HTPC just for 1080i Mpeg2 and bluray and this frankly looks perfect if it does 23hz properly and requires (hopefully) only a big passive heatsink...
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:00 PM
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You mean both decoding and bitstreaming?

May I ask will Zacate have a standardized socket for heatsink?

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Ontario and Zacate will support up to 7.1 DTS Master and Dolby True HD audio up to 24Mbps


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Old 11-10-2010, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post
Surely Zacate GPU is equivalent to or worse than HD 5450 in post-processing (but I don't know which is true).
Aparently it has 160 Stream units (2x80) compared to 5450's 80 Stream units. And with UVD 3.0 atleast the numbers looks promissing.
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

These charts (attached) are very perplexing. Zacate is AMD Vision vanilla, hence it does not support "Smooth Blu-Ray with ATI Avivo HD Technology"? If this is true, it is not suitable for a HD HTPC.

It seems like they are underselling it.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by lymzy View Post

May I ask will Zacate have a standardized socket for heatsink?

The socket (FT1) is BGA, CPU is soldered to the mb. Perhaps there is no standardized way to attach a heatsink (i.e. each manufacturer decides what cooling solution to use).
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by zicoz View Post

Aparently it has 160 Stream units (2x80) compared to 5450's 80 Stream units.

Based on what reasoning?

- AnandTech (and every other preview published on November 9th) says:

Quote:


The GPU is based on AMD’s 5000 series architecture (Evergreen) and features 80 shader cores and AMD’s new UVD3 decode engine.

- Cedar (HD 5450) and Zacate (E350) are manufactured in TSMC 40 nm process. Die size and transistor count:

- Cedar: 59 mm^2, 292M
- Zacate: 75 mm^2, 380M

so Zacate die can't have 2 x Cedar.

- Gaming performance of Zacate is no better than Cedar.

Aren't they enough?
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:32 AM
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Someone said so, not sure if they were allowed to leak that info so I don't think I want to take the chance on getting them into trouble, and I might have heard wrong, but I think that is what he said.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:41 AM
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Who said so (if you remember)? Just for curiosity.

Googling with key words "Zacate" and "160sp" or "Zacate" and "160 stream", I see many results, all of which are merely guesses, not even leaked information. For example, PC Perspective:

Quote:


Initially I thought that the overall size of the Ontario/Zacate chip was in the 100 mm squared to 120 mm squared range (around the same size as a current Athlon II X2 “Regor” core. This would have allowed enough room to have a 2 to 3 SIMD based graphics portion (160 stream units to 240 stream units). But it appears as though my initial ideas were wrong. Hans de Vries of Chip-Architect was able to get a lot more information on Ontario/Zacate. It seems that the chip will actually be around 74 mm squared, which is really tiny.

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Old 11-11-2010, 03:05 AM
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OK, I found interesting sentences in the PC Perspective preview (also published on November 9th):

Update: The author corrected the mistake.

Quote:


That graphics portion is made up of 2 x 80 unit SIMDs (incorrect; 1 SIMD in Cedar core = 40 stream units), so it has a grand total of 160 stream processors (incorrect; 2 x 40 = 80 stream processors).

Quote:


Some other previews on the internet incorrectly listed the number of stream units in their articles (yes, they are correct). It is in fact 160 (80) stream units for the integrated graphics, which is amazing considering that only a few short years ago the high end HD 2900 XT featured only double that number (320).

Words in red letters are my comments. The trick is
1 SIMD in HD 5900/5800/5700/5600/5500 Series GPU = 16 Thread Processors = 80 Stream Cores
1 SIMD in HD 5450 GPU = 8 Thread Processors = 40 Stream Cores (the number of Thread Processors in the SIMD engine is reduced in half) Perhaps the author confused them. Here are figures of SIMD (the black rectangle) and Thread Processor (the white rectangle; each consisting of 5 Stream Cores, called VLIW5 [Very Long Instruction Word 5]) in HD 5570 and HD 5450.

HD 5570 (5 x SIMD, 80 Thread Processors, 400 Stream Processors):

HD 5450 (2 x SIMD, 16 Thread Processors, 80 Stream Processors):

BTW it is a bit surprising that some hardware review sites (like PC Perspective; the author is Ryan Shrout) said HD 5450 has *one* SIMD unit with 80 stream processors. This is wrong. HD 5450 has *two* SIMD units, each with 40 stream processors, 80 stream processors in total.


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Old 11-11-2010, 05:14 AM
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Ok, since he it's in their article aswell I guess it's no harm to say that PC Perspectives podcast is where I heard 2x80 aswell, but I guess they were wrong then.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Based on what reasoning?

- AnandTech (and every other preview published on November 9th) says:



- Cedar (HD 5450) and Zacate (E350) are manufactured in TSMC 40 nm process. Die size and transistor count:

- Cedar: 59 mm^2, 292M
- Zacate: 75 mm^2, 380M

- Gaming performance of Zacate is no better than Cedar.

Aren't they enough?

This is not really designed for full fledged gaming. Its more directed at us HTPC guys for desktop versions, and for the ultra thin/light netbook/laptop market. Gamers are still going to want some serious hardware, but zacate would probably also work well for people that just surf the internet and do documents for work and what not. High end PC power seems to be moving past what the casual user will need, especially since netbooks have forced MS to make windows less of a resource hog.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:35 AM
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Is there any news on whether it will be available on micro atx boards? I like having the extra pci slots. I really don't need the compactness of an itx board, I just want low power.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

I reckon Intel doesn't care how their CULV chips get used. It's just few manufacturers use them for desktops. Viewsonic has a nettop based on Intel CULV+Intel GS45 and Zotac has some motherboards with Intel CULV+Nvidia ION 2.

I didn't know you could buy mobo's for that. I think the atom/ion 2 boards idle at about the same watts as a core i3, so it doesn't seem that appealing to me. CULV sandybridge, now that will be something.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Is there any news on whether it will be available on micro atx boards? I like having the extra pci slots. I really don't need the compactness of an itx board, I just want low power.

Perhaps zero possibility. Zacate in microATX is like Atom in microATX (no such a mb). The southbridge "Hudson"-M1 FCH has only 4 PCIe lanes (one of them will be used for Gb LAN and one likely used for USB3) and zero PCI. It can't supply as many as 4 slots (with one exception: 1 x PCIe x4 [from Zacate], and 3 x PCIe x1). Moreover it is unlikely that a mb manufacturer adds a PCIe-to-PCI bridge in such a low-cost platform.
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:30 AM
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The author of the PC Perspective article got the definitive answer from AMD: Zacate has 2 x 40 sp = 80 sp, just like HD 5450. The article was corrected.
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:54 AM
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And something else is added aswell. It does support bitstreaming. So even though the first ones might be a bit too weak for the best post processing, I'm guessing the next revision will to great. And who knows, maybe the UVD 3.0 and the new drivers that were rumored a couple of weeks back makes the first generation powerfull enough aswell.
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiznit93 View Post

the single channel 64 bit memory controller worries me. That's not a lot of bandwidth for 2 cores and a gpu.

Memory bandwidth is the last thing modern architectures need to worry about when you're talking about the types of tasks Zacate is designed for. Hell, it's not like dual channel even makes that much difference for the average desktop system.
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:34 PM
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AMD's VP tells Llano comes in H1 2011, unlike the previous rumor, Llano in H2 2011.

Of course Liano (based on K10) is just a temporary solution. Triniy Fusion APU based on Bulldozer is the one we (or I) want.


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Old 11-11-2010, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

AMD's VP tells Llano comes in H1 2011, unlike the previous rumor, Llano in H2 2011.

Of course Liano (based on K10) is just a temporary solution. Triniy Fusion APU based on Bulldozer is the one we (or I) want.


Would Liano still base on AM3 socket? How about bulldozer?
I heard that sandy bridge still has the 24p bug...

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Old 11-11-2010, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lymzy View Post

Would Liano still base on AM3 socket? How about bulldozer?

Llano = K10 CPU + HD 5xxx GPU will have a new socket, called Socket FM1 for desktop, Socket FS1 for the high-end mobile and Socket FP1 for the mainstream mobile (according to a rumor). Zambezi (Bulldozer) has Socket AM3+, more details.

Quote:
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I heard that sandy bridge still has the 24p bug...

Interesting. Where did you hear it?
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Java Jack View Post

No, I think it is limited to HDMI 1.3.

Is there a specific reason for this or is it because it's based on "old" technology? Kinda dissapointing if it only supports 1.3 when the Radeon HD supports 1.4a
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