Zen is a hot topic, being the first new architecture from AMD in some time. And one that’ll help the company be more competitive in the CPU market once again. In what might just be a kind of nerdy tradition, they showed off the new DOOM playing on an engineering sample of Zen in a new trailer.
AMD’s Zen is getting close, but is still oh so far away
At the PC Gaming Event at 2016’s E3, AMD’s Lisa Su took the stage to introduce a new video that shows that they’re hard at work getting Zen ready for prime time. And of course, it’s working well enough now that they’re running DOOM rather smoothly. It’s almost a tradition to get DOOM in one of its many iterations running on new and strange hardware. Being only a limited engineering sample, this definitely qualifies.
Of course there’s no word on what specification of Zen processor was used, what GPU is being used nor what settings are used. Looking at the monitor, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that it may be running at 1440P or even 4K. One would also imagine that they’d use an RX 480 in their Zen test-bed.
The new Zen architecture is scheduled for a release sometime by the end of the year with the top-end CPU product having 8-cores and 16-threads. The way in which they’ve organized the core is completely different, using Simultaneous Multi-Threading and moving away from the Clustered Multi-Threaded design that they’ve used in in the past for Bulldozer-based CPU’s. This should allow for much higher floating point performance per individual thread as cores no longer have to fight over shared resources in the same constricted way. The 14nm FinFET CPU should, at the very least, be just as fast as Intel’s Skylake-K processors, if not even faster. Having a 95W TDP, who knows!
Being an OpenGL game, it’s possible to make better use of the various CPU resources, so it could potentially benefit from more than 4-cores. In an article coming soon I’ll show what 44-threads can do for gaming with both DX11, OpenGL and DX12 games. You may already know the obvious, but it’s nice to be able to visualize it. There may be some surprises as well.