AMD Ryzen 7 1700X Selling for $333

Subject: Processors | May 9, 2017 - 03:13 PM |
Tagged: ryzen, amd, 1700X

A little birdie sent me a note this afternoon that the AMD Ryzen 7 1700X processor was selling on Amazon.com for just $333! Considering the launch price of that CPU was $399 just two months ago, a $60-70 discount makes this platform all the more compelling for consumers looking to build a new PC. Coupling that with the overclocking performance we saw from our Ryzen 1700 sample, you should be able to meet or exceed expectations with the 1700X model.

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This link led me down a bit of a rabbit hole as I wanted to see where a solid build would stand using that processor and a focus on budget. Now, keep in mind that this was put together rather hastily this afternoon, but here's what I came up with.

  Ryzen 7 1700X Build
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 1700X - $333
Cooler Thermaltake Contac Silent - $24
Motherboard ASUS Prime B350-Plus - $99
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB DDR4-3000 - $118
Graphics Card EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB - $149
Storage Samsung 850 EVO 250GB - $107
Case Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case - $56
Power Supply Corsair CX 500 watt - $59
Total Price $945 - Amazon.com Full Cart

For the base of the system, you can pick up the Ryzen 7 1700X processor for $333, a great B350-based motherboard from ASUS for $99 and 16GB of DDR4 memory running at 3000 MHz for just $118. Getting that memory at higher clock speeds is important for optimal Ryzen performance - hunt around to find the best deal! That's just $550 for the heart of a system that could power anything from the GTX 1050 Ti I included above to the GTX 1080 Ti if you are pushing the limits of graphics performance. 

If you try to stay within a reasonable budget, as I did above, you can build a from-scratch machine for under $1000 with some impressive specifications and capabilities. The GTX 1050 Ti will get you peak 1080p gaming capability while the 8-cores and 16-threads of the Ryzen 7 1700X will improve any workstation-class or multimedia workloads. 

Separately, but interestingly, the gang at 3DCenter.org posted the results of a survey taken about the Ryzen 5 processor launch, measuring the readers reactions to the release. In it, 83.9% of the audience looked upon the Ryzen 5 favorably, 9.4% as average and 6.7% negatively. If you compare that to the Ryzen 7 launch (74.6% favorable, 17.5% average, 7.9% negative) it seems that Ryzen 5 was better received than its big brother. But if you look back to October 2011 when the same survey was run about AMD Bulldozer, only 6.8% saw the CPU launch as favorable (!!). The last CPU launch that received nearly as positive a reaction as Ryzen 5/7 was the Sandy Bridge CPU back in January of 2011.

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Obviously this survey isn't a predictor of success or failure exactly, but it does point to an audience that is incredibly receptive to the new AMD processors. My own experience tells me that these numbers are fairly accurate to the mood about Ryzen, even after the 1080p gaming fiasco that circulates to this day. Interest and reaction are great for a company that needs to make in-roads in the market, but converting that consumer interest into purchases is the key for AMD going forward.

Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5, a $200 base for a solid Ryzen system

Subject: Motherboards | May 5, 2017 - 02:05 PM |
Tagged: amd, ax370-gaming 5, gigabyte, x370, ryzen, aorus, RGB

Gigabyte's AX-370 Gaming 5 has a nice mix of high end features, though not as extensive as on some of the higher priced X370 models we have seen.  While you do get your lighting effects which can be controlled via the RGB Fusion app and a U.2 port in addition to the standard M.2 the VRM components are not as impressive as on some other flagship boards.  Hardware Canucks tested out the features as well as the performance in this review, it was easy to overclock and the Amp-Up onboard audio received a special commendation.

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"Our search to find the best Ryzen motherboard has landed on Gigabyte's AX370-Gaming 5. Not only does this board offer a ton of features but its price of under $199 is pretty appealing too."

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AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.5.1

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 5, 2017 - 12:21 AM |
Tagged: amd, graphics drivers

Aligning with the release of Prey, AMD released the first Radeon Crimson ReLive graphics driver of the month: 17.5.1. This version optimizes the aforementioned title with up to a 4.7% boost in performance, versus 17.4.4 as measured on an RX 580, according to AMD. It also adds multi-GPU support to the title, for those who have multiple AMD graphics cards.

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A bunch of bugs were also fixed in this release, as is almost always the case. Probably the most important one, though, is the patch to their auto-updater that prevents it from failing. They also fixed a couple issues with hybrid graphics, including a crash in Civilization VI with those types of systems.

You can pick up 17.5.1 from AMD’s website.

Source: AMD

Vega's specs grow less vague

Subject: General Tech | May 3, 2017 - 01:00 PM |
Tagged: rumour, amd, VGA, DRM

DRM finally did something good for us; revealing detailed information on AMD's new GPU.  In this case the DRM is a portion of the Linux kernel which interfaces with the GPU and some inquisitive minds dug through the code to find details on Vega, which will be supported by this new version of DRM.

This is still in the realms of rumour, but the source is very good as AMD would not likely enter the wrong specifications into this update.  According to the specs which wccftech compiled from the code, Vega features 64 compute units, each containing 64 GCN stream processors, the 4096 SPs will be split into four Shader Engines.  A little math, based on the stated performance figures of 12.5 TFLOLPS for FP32 and 25 TFLOPS for FP16 operations, the GPU should clock above 1.5GHz.  There were no details on the memory frequency though as it uses HBM2 we know it will have a 2048-bit interface which could lead to some interesting performance numbers.

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"Thanks to the latest Linux graphics driver update submitted by AMD we now have detailed specifications of the upcoming Radeon RX Vega GPU. The DRM, Direct Rendering Manager, update to Linux was issued yesterday and it’s the first update to date that adds comprehensive Vega feature support to Linux. No doubt in preparation for Vega’s launch which is expected to take place at the end of the month."

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Source: wccftech

Benchmarking finessed Polaris, the XFX RX 580 8GB GTS Black Edition

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 1, 2017 - 02:47 PM |
Tagged: amd, RX 580, RX 580 8GB GTS Black Edition, factory overclocked, xfx

Overclockers Club takes a look at XFX's new RX 580, inside and out as they completely removed the cooler to let you see all the parts.  The card does come overclocked right out of the box, however OCC pushed the card further, hitting 1440MHz on the GPU and 2116MHz for the memory.  That result fell short of the Powercolor Golden Sample card they tested but is still not bad, as XFX is not charging much of a premium over the reference model.  Pop by to see the full results.

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"XFX's RX 580 8GB GTS Black Edition card is a factory overclocked card that uses a TrueClock OC of 1405MHz on the core right out of the gate with an OC+ core clock of 1425MHz possible. A total of 8GB of high speed GDDR5 memory is used to handle the textures to make 2560 x 1440 the new resolution target."

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AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.4.4

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 28, 2017 - 03:32 PM |
Tagged: amd, graphics drivers

The latest graphics driver from AMD, Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.4.4, aligns with yesterday’s release of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III. They claim that, when the update is applied to an 8GB Radeon RX 580, users could see a performance gain of up-to 7% under certain conditions (when compared to 17.4.3).

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The driver was re-released on April 27th, with the new installer no-longer adding a desktop shortcut to join the Quake Champions beta. I haven’t seen it personally, but OC3D claims that the shortcut pointed to a bit.ly link. I can see why users would be upset; AMD should have added an option in the installer that says something like, “Would you like to check out the Quake Champions beta? Yes, No, Create a Desktop Shortcut for Later” rather than just add stuff to the system. That said, a desktop shortcut is as benign as you can get, and I can also see why AMD wouldn’t think much of it.

That issue aside, the driver also fixes several bugs. One notable entry is, for users with an HDR-compatible display, Mass Effect: Andromeda will now display the correct colors under Windows 10 Creators Update. The most severe fix seems to be for RX 550 users, where the GPU would hard-lock a system after “long periods of time” since the last reboot. It sounds like those users should update to 17.4.4 as soon as convenient.

Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.4.4 is available at AMD’s website.

Source: AMD

The next generation of id tech might make Ryzen shine

Subject: General Tech | April 26, 2017 - 05:47 PM |
Tagged: id software, amd, ryzen, robert duffy

Over at HEXUS you can sit back and watch a video of Robert Duffy from id Software discuss the potential of AMD's Ryzen processors in the next generation of game engines, with some hints about Vega.  He is confident that the team at id will be able to utilize the large core counts of Ryzen processors to enable great performance in 4K and even 8K with the new engine.  He specifically mentioned "framerate improvements, improved realism, and improved AI in games - all from the extra cores and threads available.

They were not able to tease any secret information from him, but the video is worth watching for both those interested in Ryzen or looking for information on what is next from id Software.

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"AMD has published a video interview with id Software's CTO (Chief Technical Officer), Robert Duffy. Unsurprisingly the interview talks up the capabilities and potential of AMD Ryzen tech in gaming engines, and in particular in the next generation id tech currently in development."

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Gaming

Source: HEXUS

Could Vega be just around the corner?

Subject: General Tech | April 26, 2017 - 02:32 PM |
Tagged: amd, Vega, rumours

A Facebook post from AMD Poland has started rumours flying around the interwebs as the implication is we will see it arrive this quarter; though perhaps taking a Facebook post as a verified source may lead to disappointment.  However, there is a bit more evidence than just the post which Digital Trends has displayed, we have seen CompuBench results of a mysterious AMD GPU which is very likely to be Vega.  It will have 64 compute units which translates into 4096 stream processors unless something very strange is going on.  The benchmarks also list two frequencies 1GHz and 1.2GHz which indicates computing performance of 8.2 TFLOPS and 9.8 TFLOPS respectively which puts it in the neighbourhood of the GTX 1080's 8.9 TFLOPS.  That will not necessarily directly translate into gaming performance but does indicate that AMD has a nice surprise in store for us. 

Don't forget to add a bit of salt to your rumour consumption and keep your eyes peeled for more information.

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"Of course, it’s entirely possible that someone at AMD Poland spoke out of turn, and so this information should be considered unverified at this point. But there’s other information that seems to confirm an imminent release, such as a Vega GPU showing in CompuBench benchmark results — something that usually happens shortly before a new component is released."

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Tech Talk

BIOSTAR Launches First Mini-ITX AM4 Motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | April 24, 2017 - 07:31 PM |
Tagged: X370GTN, small form factor, SFF, ryzen, racing, motherboard, mITX, mini-itx, biostar, B350GTN, amd, AM4

We covered news of BIOSTAR's upcoming mini-ITX motherboards for AMD Ryzen processors at the beginning of March, and now the company has made them official. The RACING X370GTN and B350GTN are "the world’s first mini-ITX motherboards for AMD AM4 platform", and both support up to 95W AM4 processors and DDR4 speeds up to 3200 MHz - though officially only up to 2667 MHz for Ryzen CPUs.

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"BIOSTAR is thrilled to announce the latest addition to the growing mini-ITX family of BIOSTAR motherboards with the introduction of the world’s first mini-ITX motherboards for AMD AM4 platform and the first mini-ITX RGB LED-capable motherboards with AMD X370 and AMD B350 chipsets. BIOSTAR is pleased to welcome the new BIOSTAR RACING X370GTN and RACING B350GTN mini-ITX motherboards into the RACING Series family.

Both motherboards aim to deliver the best balance of form and function, delivering the full potential that the AMD AM4 platform offers especially with AMD RYZEN CPUs, all in a small package.  The BIOSTAR RACING X370GTN and RACING B350GTN comes equipped with BIOSTAR 2nd-gen RACING features like 5050 LED Fun Zone with dual 5050 LED header for DIY customization, the BIOSTAR exclusive VIVID LED DJ with full RGB LED control that lets enthusiasts design their own system lighting with precise control. Together with that, BIOSTAR also adds performance and quality features for maximum system performance and stability."

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Both motherboard models are identical (other than the chipset, of course)

The full specs from BIOSTAR for both motherboards are reproduced below:

BIOSTAR Mini-ITX AM4 Motherboard Specifications
Model X370GTN B350GTN
Form Factor Mini-ITX (170 mm x 170 mm)
Chipset AMD X370 AMD B350
CPU Support AMD A-series APU / Ryzen CPU / NPU for Socket AM4
Maximum CPU TDP (Thermal Design Power) : 95Watt
Memory Support Dual Channel DDR4 3200(OC)/ 2933(OC)/ 2667/ 2400/ 2133/ 1866 MHz
Support Non-ECC & ECC Un-buffered DIMM Memory modules
2 x DDR4 DIMM Memory Slot
Max. Supports up to 32GB Memory
* DDR4 2667 for AMD Ryzen CPU
Storage 4 x SATA3 Connector
Support SATA RAID: 0,1,10
1 x M.2 Key M 32Gb/s Connector, support M.2 type 2260/ 2280 SATA 6Gb/s & PCI-E Storage(on the back of the motherboard)
* M.2 (32Gb/s) : The bandwidth is depended on CPU, Ryzen is 32Gb/s ; APU & NPU is 16Gb/s
LAN Realtek RTL8118AS - 10/100/1000 Controller
Support Super LAN Surge Protection
Audio Realtek ALC892 8-Channel Blu-ray Audio
Support BIOSTAR Hi-Fi
USB 1x USB 3.1 Gen2 (10Gb/s) Type-C port (1 on rear I/Os)
1x USB 3.1 Gen2 (10Gb/s) Type-A port (1 on rear I/Os)
6x USB 3.1 Gen1 (5Gb/s) port (4 on rear I/Os and 2 via internal header)
2x USB 2.0 port (2 via internal header)
Expansion Slots 1 x PCI-E x16 3.0 Slot (x16 for Ryzen CPU only, NPU/APU run at x8 speed)
Rear I/O 1 x PS/2
1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C Port
1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Port
4 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Port
1 x HDMI Connector, resolution up to 4096 x 2160 @24Hz or 3840 x 2160 @30Hz
1 x DVI-D Connector, resolution up to 1920 x 1200 @60Hz
1 x RJ-45 Port
5 x Audio Connector
1 x S/PDIF Out Port
Internal I/O 1 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Header
1 x USB 2.0 Header
4 x SATA3 6Gb/s Connector
1 x M.2 Key M 32Gb/s Connector, support M.2 type 2260/ 2280 SATA 6Gb/s & PCI-E Storage(on the back of the motherboard)
1 x Front Audio Header
1 x Front Panel Header
1 x CPU Fan Header
1 x System Fan Header
2 x 5050 LED Header
OS Support Windows 7 (x64), Windows 10 (x64)

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The rear I/O for both the X370 and B350 versions

As to pricing, BIOSTAR has set the MSRP for the RACING X370GTN at $129, with the RACING B350GTN at $109. A search of Amazon and Newegg does not show results for either board at time of press, but we should expect these in the retail pipeline soon.

Source: BIOSTAR

The RX 580 on Linux, locked stock and overclock

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 24, 2017 - 06:08 PM |
Tagged: linux, RX 580, amd, overclocking, Polaris

Phoronix have had a chance to test out the refreshed Polaris RX 580 on the Linux 4.11 kernel and Mesa 17.1-devel, initially the AMDGPU-PRO 17.10 driver update was not included thanks to interesting timing.  The performance deltas are as you would expect, a slight increase in performance that is relative to the increased clock speeds, just as when run on Windows.  They also had a chance to try overclocking the new card, AMD added support for overclocking GCN 1.2 and newer cards on their proprietary Linux driver in 2016.  They managed to increase the core by 6% without running into stability issues however when they overclocked the memory, they saw serious performance decreases.  Check out the steps they tried along with the results from the overlocked GPU here.

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"Yesterday I posted the initial Radeon RX 580 Linux benchmarks while now with having more time with this "Polaris Evolved" card I've been able to try out a bit more, like the AMDGPU Linux overclocking support. Here are the ups and downs of overclocking the Radeon graphics card under Linux."

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Source: Phoronix