Need a CPU and only have $180USD?

Subject: Processors | April 17, 2019 - 03:52 PM |
Tagged: amd, Ryzen 5 2600X, i5-9400f, ryzen 2, coffee lake, Intel

To compete against the Ryzen 5 2600X which is currently selling for $180, Intel released the slightly refreshed i5-9400F which also retails at $180.  As far as the specifications on paper go, the Ryzen offers 6 cores and 12 threads at a top of 4.2GHz while Intel's offering has 6 cores and 6 threads with a top frequency of 4.1GHz; the AMD chip also comes with the Wraith Spire cooler while Intel's supports Optane. 

The real question is how they perform when you use them and to discover the answer you should check out TechSpot's latest CPU review.

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"Intel's been having some trouble competing with the wave of Ryzen processors, forcing the chip maker to be a little more creative. Today we have the Intel Core i5-9400F on hand, which is basically a refreshed i5-8400 with a 100 MHz clock speed boost, no integrated graphics and a lower price point."

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Source: TechSpot

Attar o' Ryzen, AMD's new embedded R1000 series coming to a revived console near you

Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2019 - 02:11 PM |
Tagged: ryzen embedded, ryzen, R1606G, R1505G, r1000, playstation 5, atari, amd, 7nm

You might not be immediately excited by a new embedded processor, after all you can't upgrade something soldered permanently onto the motherboard, but if the AtariVCS interests you in the least you should pay attention. 

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One of those chips will be powering that system, and as they are capable of powering three 4K displays at up to 60 FPS, you should expect some impressive visuals from that console when it finally arrrives. For general media, these chips support H.265 Encode/Decode(10b) and VP9 decode3 capabilities so streaming should be impressive as well. 

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In other usage scenarios, the ability to use a 10Gb Ethernet connection and integral security features to protect the boot environment and memory will be attractive to those looking to upgrade their products which would use these embedded processors.  Your next flight to Vegas might feature the new chips on the plane as well as in the one armed bandits.  The R1000 series will also support 64-bit DDR4, 8 PCIe lanes, NVMe support and up to four USB 3.1 Gen 2 interconnects (pdf).

You can also find out more about the PlayStation 5 in Sebastian's post as well as at DigiTimes.

"The new SoC will be available this quarter to ODMs and OEMs worldwide and is already supported by numerous hardware and software companies including Advantech, ASRock, DFI, iBase, Netronome, Stratacache and many others. The Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC will also power the upcoming Atari VCS game system."

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Source: AMD

Sony Shares Next-Gen PlayStation Details: AMD Zen2 and Navi, Ultra-Fast SSD

Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2019 - 12:25 PM |
Tagged: Zen2, sony, PS5, playstation 5, navi, gaming, console, amd

Sony's lead system architect Mark Cerny has shared some high-level details of the next PlayStation (only referred to as "the next-gen console" in the interview) with Wired.com, confirming that it will indeed make use of the upcoming 7nm Zen2 CPU architecture from AMD, as well as Radeon Navi GPU cores in its custom chip.

Quoting from the Wired article:

"The CPU is based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line and contains eight cores of the company’s new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. The GPU, a custom variant of Radeon’s Navi family, will support ray tracing, a technique that models the travel of light to simulate complex interactions in 3D environments."

As if to alleviate any doubt as to the AMD architecture involved, company CEO Lisa Su took to Twitter to promote AMD's partnership with Sony, and the Wired article:

And this upcoming PlayStation won't be just offer a faster SoC with the latest generation of AMD CPU and GPU architecture, as SSD storage will be standard - and not just any SSD, apparently (quoting the Wired article again):

"At the moment, Sony won’t cop to exact details about the SSD—who makes it, whether it utilizes the new PCIe 4.0 standard—but Cerny claims that it has a raw bandwidth higher than any SSD available for PCs. That’s not all. “The raw read speed is important,“ Cerny says, “but so are the details of the I/O [input-output] mechanisms and the software stack that we put on top of them. I got a PlayStation 4 Pro and then I put in a SSD that cost as much as the PlayStation 4 Pro—it might be one-third faster." As opposed to 19 times faster for the next-gen console, judging from the fast-travel demo."

Check out the full article at Wired.com for more of the interview with Cerny on the next Sony console.

Source: Wired

ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha X399 includes everything, even the kitchen sink

Subject: Motherboards | April 10, 2019 - 03:00 PM |
Tagged: X399, Threadripper, ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha, asus, amd

If you push your Threadripper to the limit of its capabilities you are going to need a serious X399 motherboard.  MSI's MEG Creation has been the go to board for quite a while now, but ASUS is looking to change that with the ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha, which offers you a lot of features if you slap down $620.  As you can see below, everything has a heatsink and there is also integrated watercooling, which is great news for Bjorn3D who had a bit of trouble when they paired a 2990WX with a Gigabyte Gaming 7 board. 

It makes the most sense to pair this with that top end ThreadRipper as other models won't require such extreme measures, if you can afford the bill you will end up with one of the best X399 boards on the market today.

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"Well long story, kinda short, the VRM when under render loads would escalate to over 110C in a matter of a minute or less and was simply not feasible for running this new chip. Enter ASUS as I reached out to them to see if they had a solution. Enter the Zenith Extreme [Alpha]."

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Source: Bjorn3D

BIOSTAR Announces Windows 7 Support for AMD and Intel Motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | April 9, 2019 - 11:27 AM |
Tagged: Windows 7, SHA-2 Security Update, motherboard, Intel, biostar, amd

There are still those of us who prefer to avoid Microsoft's latest OS, and for them today's annoucement from BIOSTAR may be of interest. The motherboard maker has announced Windows 7 support for its latest motherboards for both Intel and AMD platforms, an interesting move in a market where Windows 10 is a requirement for many new products. The company is aware of the end of support for Windows 7, and they encourage users to take advantage of the SHA-2 Security Update, which enables Windows Update beyond July 16, 2019.

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"Whilst Microsoft may be ending support for the older Window 7 operating system, users can still secure their machine with the upcoming SHA-2 Security Update. It is vital for legacy OS users to install the security update, machines without the security patch will be vulnerable. For advanced data security, the BIOSTAR H310MHG motherboard also comes with a TPM header for TPM modules making it perfect for government organizations that require the highest level of data security. TPM modules are used in conjunction with other security technologies such as biometric verification, antivirus software, firewalls, smart cards, and others."

A full list of motherboards with Windows 7 support from BIOSTAR (with links to the download page for each) after the break.

Source: BIOSTAR

AMD Announces 2nd Gen Ryzen PRO and Athlon PRO Mobile Processors

Subject: Processors | April 8, 2019 - 10:28 AM |
Tagged: Vega, ryzen, processors, mobile, laptop, integrated graphics, iGPU, cpu, amd

AMD has announced new 2nd-gen Ryzen PRO 3000-series mobile processors and a new Athlon PRO model, all of which feature RX Vega graphics and range up to a 4 core/8-thread offering with the Ryzen 7 PRO 3700U. These new mobile parts are based on the existing 12nm Zen+ architecture, not the upcoming 7nm Zen 2, and each part carries a 15W TDP.

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Product Model Cores/Threads TDP Base/Boost Frequency Radeon Graphics GPU Cores Max GPU Frequency L2+L3 Cache
AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 3700U 4C/8T 15W 2.3/4.0 GHz Vega 10 1400 MHz 6MB
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U 4C/8T 15W 2.1/3.7 GHz Vega 8 1200 MHz 6MB
AMD Ryzen 3 PRO 3300U 4C/4T 15W 2.1/3.5 GHz Vega 6 1200 MHz 6MB
AMD Athlon PRO 300U 2C/4T 15W 2.4/3.3 GHz Vega 3 1000 MHz 5MB

"Built on 12nm manufacturing technology, the new AMD Ryzen PRO 3000 Series mobile processors deliver best-in-class performance and increase productivity by offering up to 16% more multi-threading processor performance than competition.

Specifically, the new AMD Ryzen PRO mobile processors deliver:

  • up to 12 hours of general office use or up to 10 hours of video playback,
  • up to 14% faster content creation and accelerated everyday office applications with integrated Radeon Vega graphics, from 3D modeling to video editing,
  • powerful security features on all Ryzen PRO processors with AMD’s security co-processor built into the silicon,
  • and 18-month of image stability, 24-month of processor availability, commercial grade quality, enterprise-class manageability, and 36-month limited warranty to system manufacturers.

AMD is also offering “Zen”-based Athlon PRO mobile processors, bringing a greater choice of mobile computing experiences across the full budget spectrum."

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Performance - particularly when GPU acceleration from the integrated Vega graphics is factored in - can be very impressive compared to Intel mobile offerings, with AMD providing these slides to show also the gains over their previous mobile parts:

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AMD also lets us know that "premium designs" are coming soon from HP and Lenovo featuring these new CPUs, and considering the dominance of Intel in the high-end notebook market that will be welcome news to AMD fans. No specifics on the upcoming premium laptop models beyond the tease of "coming soon" were provided.

Source: AMD

The year is 2019A(M)D and great changes are afoot

Subject: General Tech | April 3, 2019 - 01:31 PM |
Tagged: amd, Zen 2, x570, rome, navi, 7nm

This promises to be an interesting year for Intel and AMD, perhaps more so for the latter according to the information DigiTimes have put together.  We still expect Zen 2 and the X570 chipset to be shown off at Computex 2019, for Rome to rise a few months later and Navi to pop up some time in Q3; all on a process Intel has yet to hit. 

Intel's chip shortages have led to HP and Lenovo placing large orders of mobile CPUs from AMD for the first time in quite a while and ASUS is now using them in some lines of gaming laptops. You will also find AMD powered Chromebooks from Acer and HP available for purchase.  In the server room, EPYC has taken AMD's market share from 1% Q4 2017 to 3.2% in Q4 2018, with more gains expected in the Q1 2019, which just wrapped up. 

The inclusion of PCIe 4.0 on the X570 chipset has attracted motherboard manufacturers and they have increased their orders from AMD, who developed the chipset in house.  DigiTimes expects ASMedia to start producing some of the lower cost PCIe 4.0 versions by the end of the year with a chance they will immediately release mainstream X570s with the current generation of PCIe. 

Dr. Lisa Su's pre-Computex press conference on May 27 is bound to be very interesting.

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"A ramp-up in CPU and GPU shipments for notebooks, motherboards and servers will buoy significantly AMD's sales performance in the second half of 2019, according to sources at PC makers."

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Source: DigiTimes

A back room brawl, AMD is starting something in the server room

Subject: General Tech | March 28, 2019 - 01:43 PM |
Tagged: amd, Intel, server

The Inquirer linked to a paper AMD just posted, which details what they call the "Intel Tax".  It highlights a variety reasons not to chose an Intel based server, including the dozens of SKUs to chose from, spanning four different metal codes, and five different series. They also point out that if you want more that 28 cores you will need to buy additional processors, as well as needing to spend a large amount on upgrades to Gold or Platinum branded CPUs if you want to use the latest memory technology. 

No wonder DigiTimes is predicting Intel's market share in the server room may fall below 90% in the coming years.

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"As such, AMD's attack on Intel comes across as a bit petty. But then we don't feel too sorry for Intel as one of its top execs launched a big attack on Nvidia a day or so earlier; goodness knows what's in the water over in the US."

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Source: The Inquirer

AMD Ryzen 2000-Series Processors See Big Price Drops

Subject: Processors | March 25, 2019 - 09:46 AM |
Tagged: shopping, sale, ryzen 7, ryzen 5, ryzen, processor, price drop, cpu, APU, amd, amazon, 2700x, 2700, 2600x, 2400G

If you haven't looked at AMD Ryzen processor listings over the weekend you might be surprised to see prices reduces across the board on Amazon specifically, with some pretty significant discounts including a Ryzen 7 2700 for only $219.99 (list price is $299). While we could debate whether these price changes signal the coming of 3000-series Ryzen CPUs sooner rather than later, the price drops are great for consumers regardless.

Here's a current list of the best deals on Ryzen 2000-series processors from Amazon, which seems to have the best prices (with Newegg's discounts far less dramatic).

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AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Processor with Wraith Prism LED Cooler

AMD Ryzen 7 2700 Processor with Wraith Spire LED Cooler

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X Processor with Wraith Spire Cooler

AMD Ryzen 5 2600 Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler

AMD Ryzen 5 2400G Processor with Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics

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It's always tough to consider a build or upgrade when a new CPU launch is imminent, but the flipside is that previous-gen parts get cheaper (well, at least with these Ryzen parts they do). Here's to more price drops throughout the year.

Source: Amazon.com

Ripping threads with Coreprio and DLM

Subject: Processors | March 20, 2019 - 04:34 PM |
Tagged: amd, coreprio, threadripper 2, 2990wx, dynamic local mode

Owning a Threadripper is not boring, the new architecture offers a variety of interesting challenges to keep your attention.  One of these features is the lack of direct memory access for two of the dies, which can cause some performance issues and was at least partially addressed by introducing Dynamic Local Mode into Ryzen Master.  On Windows boxes, enabling that feature ensures your hardest working cores have direct memory access, on Linux systems the problem simply doesn't exist.  Another choice is Coreprio, developed by Bitsum, which accomplishes the same task but without the extras included in Ryzen Master. 

Techgage ran a series of benchmarks comparing the differences in performance between the default setting, DLM and Coreprio.

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"Performance regression issues in Windows on AMD’s top-end Ryzen Threadripper CPUs haven’t gone unnoticed by those who own them, and six months after launch, the issues remain. Fortunately, there’s a new tool making the rounds that can help smooth out those regressions. We’re taking an initial look."

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Source: Techgage