Subject: Processors | August 13, 2018 - 02:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Zen+, Threadripper, second generation threadripper, ryzen, Intel, Core i9, 7980xe, 7960x, 7900x, 2990wx, 2950x
The 2950X and 2990WX are both ThreadRipper 2 chips but are very different beasts under the hood. The 2950X has two active die similar to the original chips while the 2990WX has four active die, two of which utilize an Infinity Fabric link to the other two to communicate to the memory subsystem. The W in the naming convention indicates the 2990WX is designed for workstation tasks and benchmarks support that designation. You will have seen our results here, but there are many other sources to read through. [H]ard|OCP offers up a different set of benchmarks in their review, with a similar result; with ThreadRipper AMD has a winner. The 2990WX is especially important as it opens up the lucrative lower cost workstations market for AMD.
"AMD teased us a bit last week by showing off its new 2nd Generation Threadripper 2990WX and 2950X packaging and specifications. This week AMD lets us share all our Threadripper data we have been collecting. The 2990WX is likely a lot different part than many people were expecting, and it turns out that it might usher AMD into a newly created market."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- AMD's Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX @ The Tech Report
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X and 2990WX @ Guru of 3D
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX & 2950X @ TechSpot
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X @ TechPowerUp
- AMD Threadripper 2950X Offers Great Linux Performance At $900 USD @ Phoronix
- AMD Threadripper 2990WX Linux Benchmarks: The 32-Core / 64-Thread Beast @ Phoronix
- AMD Threadripper 2990WX Cooling Performance - Testing Five Heatsinks & Two Water Coolers @ Phoronix
Widening the Offerings
Today, we are talking about something that would have seen impossible just a few shorts years ago— a 32-core processor for consumers. While I realize that talking about the history of computer hardware can be considered superfluous in a processor review, I think it's important to understand the context here of why this is just a momentous shift for the industry.
May 2016 marked the launch of what was then the highest core count consumer processor ever seen, the Intel Core i7-6950X. At 10 cores and 20 threads, the 6950X was easily the highest performing consumer CPU in multi-threaded tasks but came at a staggering $1700 price tag. In what we will likely be able to look back on as the peak of Intel's sole dominance of the x86 CPU space, it was an impossible product to recommend to almost any consumer.
Just over a year later saw the launch of Skylake-X with the Intel Core i9-7900X. Retaining the same core count as the 6950X, the 7900X would have been relatively unremarkable on its own. However, a $700 price drop and the future of upcoming 12, 14, 16, and 18-core processors on this new X299 platform showed an aggressive new course for Intel's high-end desktop (HEDT) platform.
This aggressiveness was brought on by the success of AMD's Ryzen platform, and the then upcoming Threadripper platform. Promising up to 16 cores/32 threads, and 64 lanes of PCI Express connectivity, it was clear that Intel would for the first time have a competitor on their hands in the HEDT space that they created back with the Core i7-920.
Fast forward another year, and we have the release of the 2nd Generation Threadripper. Promising to bring the same advancements we saw with the Ryzen 7 2700X, AMD is pushing Threadripper to even more competitive states with higher performance and lower cost.
Will Threadripper finally topple Intel from their high-end desktop throne?
Subject: Processors | August 9, 2018 - 04:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Ryzen 7 2700, amd, Zen+
There is a ~$30 difference between the Ryzen 7 2700 and the 2700X, which begs the question as to whom would chose the former over the latter. The Tech Report points out another major difference between the two processors, the 2700 has a 65W TDP while the 2700X is 105W; pointing to one possible reason for choosing the less expensive part. The question remains as to what you will be missing out on and if there is any reason not to go with the even less expensive and highly overclockable Ryzen 7 1700? Find out the results of their tests and get the answer right here.
"AMD's Ryzen 7 2700 takes all the benefits of AMD's Zen+ architecture and wraps eight of those cores up in a 65-W TDP. We tested the Ryzen 7 2700's performance out in stock and overclocked tune to see what it offers over the hugely popular Ryzen 7 1700."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- One year with Threadripper @ TechSpot
- Battle of the Workstations: AMD Ryzen Threadripper vs Intel Core X-Series @ Techgage
- We Test a $1,000 CPU From 2010 vs. Ryzen 3 @ TechSpot
- Intel's Spectre 'Variant 4' Performance Tested: Speculative Store Bypass @ TechSpot
- Qualcomm's Snapdragon 670 packs high-end features into a mid-range chip @ The Inquirer
Subject: Processors | August 6, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Zen+, XFR 2.0, Threadripper, StoreMI, ryzen, r7 2700x, Pinnacle Ridge, Intel, Core i9-780xe, amd, 2nd generation threadripper, 12nm
First teased at Computex earlier this summer, AMD has now released details and availability information for their 2nd Generation Threadripper CPUs.
Based upon the same 12nm Zen+ architecture we saw with the Pinnacle Ridge CPUs like the R7 2700X, Threadripper will now be split into two product families, the X, and the WX series.
The X-series is mostly a refresh of the Threaripper SKUs that we saw last year, with 12 and 16-core variants. The Threadripper 2920X and 2950X will retain the same two die, 4 CCX arrangement that we saw with the previous generation, with the ability to run in either unified or non-unified memory modes.
Notably, the 8-core variant found in the original Threadripper lineup seems to be absent in the 2nd generation.
This new generation of Threadripper comes in less expensive than the last, with a $50 price drop on the 12-core CPU, and a $100 price drop on the 16-core variant.
The newest aspect of the 2nd Generation Threadripper Lineup is the addition of the "WX" series processors. These higher core count processors are being marketed by AMD more towards "Creators and Innovators" rather than gamers.
Available in both 24 and 32-core variants, the Threadripper WX series represents the highest core count consumer CPUs ever launched. Since we know that Zen+ dies contain a maximum of 8 cores, we can assume that these processors are using a 4 die configuration, similar to the EPYC server parts, but likely with the same 64 lanes of PCIe and 4 channel memory controllers
This pricing is extremely aggressive compared to the highest core count competitor from Intel, the $2000 18-core i9-7980XE.
All 2nd Generation Threadripper CPUs will include the 2nd Generation Zen features that we saw in the R7 2600 and 2700 series, including XFR 2.0, StoreMI, and improved memory support and latency.
Additionally, these new Threadripper CPUs will use the existing X399 chipset, with UEFI updates being made available for existing X399 boards, as well as some new variants such as the MSI MEG X399 Creation launching alongside the new CPUs.
Availability of these processors is staggered, with the 32-core WX CPU shipping first on August 13th (and available now for preorder on Newegg and Amazon), followed shortly by the 16-core 2950X. However, we won't see the 12 and 24 variants until October.
Stay tuned for our review of these parts as they reach retail availability!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 8, 2018 - 11:39 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: cooler master, amd, Threadripper, threadripper 2, Zen+, computex, computex 2018, tr4
In an interview with AMD Senior Vice President Jim Anderson, PC World's Gordon Mah Ung got the chance to discuss and get hands on with second generation Threadripper as well as AMD's new Wraith Ripper air cooler. Developed in partnership with Cooler Master, the Wraith Ripper is a massive air cooler capable of keeping even the upcoming 32 core Threadripper processor cool (allegedly a 250W TDP part!) which, as Jim Anderson notes, has all four dies on the package being used (first generation Threadripper used two hot dies and two spacers).
The behemoth features a full cover block for Threadripper that connects to a very dense aluminum fin stack using 14 nickel plated copper heatpipes. There is a single fan in the center of the fin stack hiding under a black fan shroud that covers the top and left and right sides. The black shroud also holds the customizable RGB lighting which lights up the logo and outline around the edges of the shroud. The fan is allegedly rated at 39 dBa which is pretty good considering the amount of heat it needs to dissipate from Threadripper CPUs. Likely due to the HSF's sheer size Cooler Master was able to go with a larger and slower spinning fan.
Other details like weight, cost, and release date are still unknown though it does appear to have some heft to it! It should be available later this year following the Q3 launch of second generation Threadripper though it will work fine with first generation Threadripper processors as well as they use the same TR4 socket.
- Computex 2018: AMD previews 32-core Threadripper CPUs for Q3
- Computex 2018: MSI Unleashes X399 MEG Creation Motherboard for Threadripper 2
Subject: Processors | April 25, 2018 - 09:45 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: Zen+, Vega, TSMC, ryzen, Results, Q1 2018, Polaris, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, financials, amd, 7nm, 12nm
Today AMD announced their latest financial results for Q1 2018. We expected it to be a good quarter with their guidance earlier this year, but I doubt many thought it would be as strong as it turned out to be. AMD posted revenue of $1.65 billion with a net income of $81 million. This is up from the expected $1.57 billion that analysts expected from what is typically a slow quarter. This is up 40% from Q1 2017 and its $1.18 billion and up 23% from Q4 2017.
There are multiple reasons behind this revenue growth. The compute and graphics segment lead the way with $1.12B of revenue. The entire year of 2017 AMD had released parts seemingly nonstop since March and the introduction of Ryzen. Q1 continued this trend with the release of the first Ryzen APUs with Vega Graphics introducing the 2000 series. AMD also ramped up production of the newly released Zen+ Ryzen chips and started shipping those out to retailers and partners alike. Initial mobile Ryzen parts were also introduced and shipped with SKUs being also shipped to partners who have yet to announce and release products based on these chips. Finally the strength of the Radeon graphics chips in both gaming and blockchain applications allowed them a tremendous amount of sellthrough throughout 2017 and into 2018. AMD estimates that 10% of the quarter was due to blockchain demand.
Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom had a revenue of $532 million, which is lower than most analysts expected. Semi-Custom in particular has seen a decline over the past few quarters with the release and saturation of the market of the latest console platforms utilizing AMD designed chips. It appears as though much of the contract is front loaded in terms of revenue with royalties tapering off over time as sales decrease. AMD did have some significant wins, namely providing Intel with Vega based GPUs to be integrated with Intel’s Kaby Lake-G based units. These declines were offset by the shipment of EPYC based processors that are slowly ramping and being shipped to partners to be integrated into server platforms later this year. We have seen a handful of wins from companies like Dell EMC, but AMD is still slowly re-entering the market that they were forced to abandon with their previous, outdated Opteron products. AMD expects to reach mid-single digit marketshare during 2019, but for now they are just getting off the ground with this platform.
The company is not standing still or resting on their laurels after the successful and heralded launch of the latest Ryzen 2000 series chips based on the Zen+ architecture. It is aggressively ramping their mobile chips featuring the Zen/Vega combination and have some 25 product wins being released throughout late spring and summer. Overall partners have some 60 products either shipping or will ship later this year featuring Ryzen based CPUs.
There is some fear that AMD will see its GPU sales throughput be impacted by the recent drop of cryptocurrency value. Several years back with the Bitcoin crash we saw a tremendous amount of secondhand product being sold and GPU revenues for the company tanked. AMD is a bit more optimistic about the upcoming quarter as they expect the current cryptocurrency/blockchain market is much more robust and people will be holding onto these cards to mine other products/workloads rather than drop them on eBay. My thought here is that we will see a rise in cards available on the secondary/used market, but quite a bit might be offset by latent gaming demand that has been held back due the outrageous prices of GPUs over the past year. People that have been waiting for prices to get back to MSRP or below will then buy. This could be further enhanced if memory prices start to drop, providing more affordable DDR4 and flash for SSDs.
The company is also forging ahead with advanced process technology. They have recently received silicon back from TSMC’s 7nm process and it looks to be a Vega based product. The rumor surrounding this is that it will be more of a compute platform initially rather than gaming oriented. Later this year AMD expects to receive new EPYC silicon, but it looks as though this will be from GLOBALFOUNDRIES 7nm process. AMD wants to be flexible in terms of manufacturing, but they have a long history with GLOBALFOUNDRIES when it comes to CPU production. The two companies work closely together to make sure the process and CPU design match up as cleanly as possible to allow products such as Zen to reach market successfully. The GPU arm is obviously more flexible here as they have a history with multiple foundry partners throughout the past two decades.
AMD has set an aggressive, but achievable, timetable of product releases that is initially focusing on the CPU side but would logically be transitioning to the GPU side. Zen+ is out on time and has met with acclaim from consumers and reviewers alike. The latest GPU products are comparable in performance to what NVIDIA has to offer, though they are less power efficient for that level of performance. The “pipecleaner” Vega on 7nm will pave the way towards Navi based products that look to be introduced next year. AMD could possibly refresh Vega on 12nm, but so far there has been no concrete information that such a product exists. They may very well continue to rely on current Polaris and Vega products throughout the rest of this year while focusing on Navi efforts to have a more competitive part come 2019.
Q2 2018 looks to be another successful quarter for AMD. The company’s outlook calls for revenue in the $1.725 billion range, plus or minus $50 million. AMD expects continued growth in all Ryzen product lines and greater throughput of EPYC based products as companies test and release products based on that platform. The GPU market could remain flat, but will most likely decline. That decline will be more than covered by the sell-through of the Ryzen line from top to bottom.
AMD improved their margin by an impressive 4%. Going from 32% to 36% showed the strength and higher ASPs of both CPU and GPU products. AMD expects another 1% increase over the next quarter. While these are good numbers for AMD, they do not match the 58%+ for NVIDIA and Intel when it comes to their margins. AMD certainly has a lot of room for improvement, and a richer product stack will allow them to achieve greater ASPs and see a rise in their overall margins. If EPYC becomes more successful, then we could see another significant improvement in margins for the company.
AMD is getting back to where they belong in terms of product placement, competitiveness, and financial performance. The company has seen a huge improvement year on year and hopes to continue that with a rich product stack that addresses multiple areas of computing. AI and machine learning is ramping up in the company in terms of software support as they feel their CPUs and GPUs are already good enough to handle the workloads. As more money comes in, they can afford to diversify and create a wider product base to compete in more markets. So far Lisa Su has been very, very successful in helping pull AMD from the ashes to the competitive situation that they currently find themselves in.
A Year Later
Despite what might be considered an overall slump in enthusiast PC building due to record low GPU availability and sky-high memory prices, 2017 was one of the most exciting and competitive years in recent history when it comes to CPU innovation. On the desktop side alone, we saw the launch of AMD's new Zen CPU architecture with the Ryzen 1000 series of parts starting last March; we also saw new HEDT platforms from both Intel and AMD, and Intel's first 6-core mainstream CPUs.
Although the timeline doesn't quite work out for Ryzen to have affected the engineering-side of Intel's decision to release a 6-core desktop processor, it's evident AMD's pressure changed Intel's pricing and release schedule.
With little desktop competition, it's likely that the i7-8700K would have been a more expensive part, and released later. It's likely that Coffee Lake would have seen a full stack product launch in early 2018, as opposed to the staggered launch we experienced where only one compatible chipset and a subset of CPUs were available for months.
AMD and Ryzen have put significant pressure on Intel to remain competitive, which is good for the industry as a whole.
We're now at just over a year since AMD's first Ryzen processor releases, and looking at the first appearance of the codename Pinnacle Ridge CPUs. Launching today are the Ryzen 7 2700X and 2700, and the Ryzen 5 2600x and 2600 processors. Can AMD keep moving the needle forward in the CPU space? Let's take a look.
Subject: Processors | April 13, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Zen+, ryzen, pre-order, amd
In a move that should shock nobody, ahead of its April 19th release, AMD is offering pre-orders for the Ryzen 2000 family of processors starting today at Amazon.com and other key retailers.
The previously leaked specifications all turned out to be true: you'll find the Ryzen 7 2700X as the top end part with a base clock speed 3.7 GHz and a max Turbo of 4.3 GHz. The TDP jumps from 95 watt of the previous generation to 105 watts. Cost? $329.
- Ryzen 7 2700X - $329 - Amazon.com
- Ryzen 7 2700 - $299 - Amazon.com
- Ryzen 5 2600X - $229 - Amazon.com
- Ryzen 5 2600 - $199 - Amazon.com
- AMD X470 Motherboards - Amazon.com
Here's the details on the other three parts going up today: the Ryzen 7 2700, Ryzen 5 2600X, and Ryzen 5 2600.
One interesting note - all four of these CPUs will now ship with a cooler in the box, so you won't need to struggle to find a heatsink or water cooler that has AM4 support out of the box.
AMD outlines the already released details about the Ryzen 2000-series, including its production on GlobalFoundries 12nm process tech and the updated "Zen+" architecture. It makes claims that 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen will be the "ultimate desktop processor for gamers, creators, and enthusiasts" which is quite the claim to live up to.
There isn't much else to talk about, though AMD does allow us to mention briefly the accompanying X470 chipset and its improved power delivery system, providing a bit more headroom and capability for these Ryzen 2000-series parts.
You will also find mention of AMD StoreMI, a maturation of the company's partnership with Enmotus, bringing a tiered caching system to the platform. Again, details are minimal until the April 19th launch date, at which point we'll have much more to share with you.
Now that this is all confirmed, I'm very curious to see the community reaction to the 2700X coming in at $329, undercutting the Core i7-8700K by a few bucks. There is going to be another big battle for the DIY space coming this spring, and we can't wait to share the first punches with you next week.
Beating AMD and Analyst Estimates
January 30th has rolled around and AMD released their Q4 2017 results. The results were positive and somewhat unexpected. I have been curious how the company fared and was waiting for these results to compare them to the relatively strong quarter that Intel experienced. At the Q3 earnings AMD was not entirely bullish about how Q4 would go. The knew that it was going to be a down quarter as compared to an unexpectedly strong third quarter, but they were unsure how that was going to pan out. The primary reason that Q4 was not going to be as strong was due to the known royalty income that AMD was expecting from their Semi-Custom Group. Q4 has traditionally been bad for that group as all of their buildup for the holiday season came from Q1 and Q2 rampings of the physical products that would be integrated into consoles.
The results exceeded AMD’s and analysts’ expectations. They were expecting in the $1.39B range, but their actual revenue came in at a relatively strong $1.48B. Not only was the quarter stronger than expected, but AMD was able to pull out another positive net income of $61M. It has been a while since AMD was able to post back to back profitable quarters. This allowed AMD to have a net positive year to the tune of $43M where in 2016 AMD had a loss of $497M. 2017 as a whole was $1.06B more in revenue over 2016. AMD has been historically lean in terms of expenses for the past few years, and a massive boost in revenue has allowed them to invest in R&D as well as more aggressively ramp up their money making products to compete more adequately with Intel, who is having their own set of issues right now with manufacturing and security.
Subject: General Tech | January 18, 2018 - 12:05 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Zen+, Vega, spectre, podcast, meltdown, Kaby Lake G, Intel, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #483 - 01/18/18
Join us this week for a recap of news from CES 2018! We talk about Intel's Kaby Lake G processor featuring Vega graphics, Zen+ CPUs, the performance impact of Meltdown and more!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano
Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison
Program length: 1:52:54
Podcast topics of discussion:
Week in Review:
0:42:20 Thanks to HelloFresh for supporting our podcast. Go to HelloFresh.com and use the code pcper30 to get $30 off your first week of deliveries.
News items of interest:
1:40:20 Picks of the Week:
Ryan: GPU Price suck.
Jeremy: GLaDOS + bridges is amusing