Subject: General Tech | September 16, 2017 - 03:32 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Zen, Vega, ryzen 5, ryzen, raven ridge, APU, amd
Back in May AMD made Ryzen Mobile official indicating that the APUs previously known as "Raven Ridge" would be launching in the second half of 2017. As that launch window closes, more details are starting to trickle out including benchmarks scores. The latest appearance of Raven Ridge is in a Geekbench benchmark score results page where a "Ryzen 5 2500U" APU achieves a single core score of 3,561 and a multi-core score of 9,421. These are fairly impressive results on their own, but especially considering that Ryzen Mobile chips are reportedly using up to 50% less power versus last generation Bristol Ridge processors while handily beating them in performance offered.
AMD has previously claimed that its Ryzen Mobile (Raven Ridge) APUs will offer up to 50% more CPU performance and 40% more GPU performance compared to its 7th Generation APUs. The leaked Geekbench scores seem to back up those claims (for the most part) with the Ryzen 5 2500U scoring slightly above 36% better single core performance and 48% better multi-core performance compared to the AMD A12-9800 APU with the latter being due primarily to the addition of SMT to the processor design allowing for twice the number of CPU threads (eight total). The performance improvements are also due to the move from Excavator to a Zen-based design on a smaller more power efficient process node. What is most impressive about this mobile part is that it is that much faster than a 65W quad core (4 core / 4 thread) desktop Bristol Ridge APU clocked at 3.8 GHz base and 4.2 GHz boost while using approximately half the power!
The Geekbench benchmark is only one data point, but is still a positive sign. One thing it does not reveal is clockspeed as while it lists 2.0 GHz that number is likely only the base and not the maximum boost frequency. Further, details on the Vega-based GPU are still unknown although the Infinity Fabric should help tremendously in reducing the bottleneck and keeping the on die GPU fed with data while gaming especially when paired with fast dual channel memory or HBM (I just hope that Ryzen Mobile is not held back like previous generation mobile APUs were with laptop manufacturers pairing them with single channel memory setups). We also do not know officially the number of stream processors that will be included in any of the Vega GPUs used in Ryzen Mobile with past rumors going up to 1024 SPs (mobile parts will likely be capped at 512 or 768 at the extreme). AMD claims that Ryzen Mobile will offer up to 40% more GPU performance, which to me suggests that we will possibly see higher GPU core counts but for the most part performance improvements are going to come from architecture improvements.
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 16, 2017 - 01:43 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: WX 7100, Radeon Pro WX 5100, radeon pro, prorender, amd
At IBC 2017 (International Broadcasting Convention) in Amsterdam AMD made several announcements surrounding its Radeon Pro graphics cards for workstations. The graphics cards, which are aimed at professionals and replace the FirePro lineup, are now shipping to AMD customers with the Radeon Pro WX 5100 and WX 7100 available now and the higher end Radeon Pro WX 9100 and Radeon Pro SSG available from distributors and systems partners starting at the end of this quarter. The former two (the WX 5100 and WX 7100) carry a SEP (suggested e-tail price) of $499 and 799 respectively and are now officially support usage in external graphics setups (eGPU) for use with mobile workstations that can connect to an external graphics dock with the Pro series GPUs for things like 4K video editing and rendering on-the-go.
Currently AMD is partnered with Sonnet Technologies for the eGPU support and the Radeon Pro graphics cards fully support docks such as the Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box. Of course, being able to plug into the raw computing horsepower does not mean much if it cannot be effectively utilized, and to that end AMD revealed several software design wins including the integration of its cross-platform OpenCL-based ray tracing renderer Radeon ProRender into MAXON Cinema 4D Release 19. ProRender is supported in the Adobe After Effects integration of Cinema 4D R19, and it is the first major application to implement it. Further, the Foundry Nuke 11 and Avid Media Composer 8.9 are also able to see performance improvements in effects rendering by using OpenCL-based programming techniques to harness GPU horsepower.
Finally, AMD casually reiterated another big design with for its professional series graphics cards with Radeon Pro Vega being used in the iMac Pro coming later this year. Considering the professional market is where the big money is to be made when it comes to graphics cards it is nice to see AMD making inroads with its revamped professional lineup and continuing to push for the cross platform OpenCL-based GPGPU technologies to be supported by the major software developers. Not much major news coming out of IBC from AMD (no new hardware revealed), but good news nonetheless.
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 14, 2017 - 02:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: RX 550, gt 1030, nvidia, amd, esports
If the majority of gaming time your PC spends is on CS:GO, Starcraft 2 or DOTA then it would be cruel to force a GTX 1080 or Vega 64 to do your heavy lifting. In many twitch games there is even a distinct advantage to reducing graphics quality to its lowest settings when trying to improve your K/D ratio. TechSpot decided to examine this segment of the market, testing a ~$70 GT 1030 and a ~$90 RX 550 on a variety of eSports titles. The NVIDIA card outperformed AMD's offering across the board on low settings, however the RX 550 actually performed better on high quality settings though often both cards were below 60fps. Check out their benchmarks as well as their advice for those shopping for budget GPUs right here.
"It's time for another GPU battle, though this one is a bit different with GPUs under $100: from AMD we have the Radeon RX 550 and on Nvidia's side is the GeForce GT 1030. Our focus will be primarily on eSports titles including CS:GO, Overwatch and Dota 2 running on a Ryzen 3 test bench."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Radeon RX Vega 64 vs Radeon R9 Fury X Clock for Clock @ [H]ard|OCP
- RX Vega 56 vs. GTX 1070 FE – 28 Game Showdown @ BabelTechReviews
- Radeon RX Vega 64 vs GeForce GTX 1080 FCAT Analysis @ Guru3D
- ASUS Radeon ROG RX Vega 64 STRIX 8GB @ Guru3D
- RX Vega 64 Liquid “Unleashed” 28-game Overclocking Showdown vs. the GTX 1080 FE @ BabelTechReviews
- Neoseeker GPU Test Rig Upgrade @ Neoseeker
Subject: General Tech | September 13, 2017 - 07:03 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Blender, amd
The latest version of Blender, 2.79, makes a few significant changes, especially for users with AMD GPUs. Their main rendering engine, Cycles, has now reached feature-parity on OpenCL and CUDA. While those with NVIDIA GPUs will keep using the latter compute API, users of recent AMD GPUs can now (on Windows and Linux -- macOS requires a driver update) harness their graphics cards for higher performance.
10 samples is actually very low. I'm usually in the 100-1000 range.
For the rest of us, there are four improvements that I would consider major. First, Cycles now has a denoise filter, which reduces speckles and thus should let you get away with fewer samples. Second, Filmic Color Management is now included by default, which can represent a much wider dynamic range. This was available as a user mod for a while, but you needed to manually install it. Third is a shadow catcher object for Cycles, which lets you render off translucent shadows onto dummy objects and composite them later (in Photoshop, After Effects, or Blender’s video editor).
Fourth, and most interesting to me, is their new PBR shader. I’ve done PBR materials in Cycles before, and it’s a bit of a pain to set up. If I don’t copy/paste from an existing material, it takes about 15-20 minutes of my time to wire together diffuse nodes, glossy nodes, Fresnel nodes, and so forth such that I can attach metal, bump, and so forth to it. Now? Just drag in one node and hook up the correct textures and colors, like the ones that are generated in Substance or Quixxel.
As always, Blender is free, so have fun.
Subject: Motherboards | September 13, 2017 - 03:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, msi, X399, Threadripper, GAMING PRO CARBON AC
MSI have added a GAMING PRO CARBON AC motherboard to their X399 offerings for AMD's ThreadRipper. The exceptional socket makes the ATX board look a little disproportionate compared to previous members of this motherboard family but there is still a lot of space on the board. There are four PCIe Express x16 Gen 3 slots along with two 1x slots, three M.2 ports and an impressive array of USB ports including two USB 3.1 Gen. 2 Type-C ports, a single USB 3.1 Gen. 3 Type-A and nine USB 3.1 Gen.1 Type-A ports. The Guru of 3D provides benchmarks and overclocking results in their full review.
"Let's check out another Ryzen Threadripper motherboard. We review the one from MSI as they have released their X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC. The board is stylish, comes with very subtle LED effects and obviously offers everything you need from quadruple x16 PCI-Express slots, triple M2 SSD slots, quad-channel memory and some really supreme AC WIFI."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASRock X399 Tachi @ Guru3D
- MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic @ Modders-Inc
- ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe @ Kitguru
- Gigabyte X299 AORUS Ultra Gaming @ Modders-Inc
- MSI X299 Gaming M7 ACK @ Kitguru
- ASRock X299 Gaming i9 @ techPowerUp
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 13, 2017 - 01:36 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: rtg, raja koduri, radeon technologies group, radeon, amd
Radeon Technologies Group SVP and Chief Architect Raja Koduri is taking sabbatical from AMD as of today, with a target return date in December. As first reported by our friends at Fudzilla (and also Tweaktown), and that I was able to confirm through AMD this evening, one of our favorite people in the graphics industry will be stepping aside for the time being. AMD CEO Lisa Su will be taking over the Radeon Technologies Group in the interim.
Raja is a great personality and innovator in the graphics market and I was able to interview him during the Polaris roll out last year. He was candid, open to ideas, and clearly cared about the gamers and PC gaming market. It was only in September of 2015 that he returned to AMD as the leader of the newly created Radeon Technologies Group, a division of AMD rededicated to graphics leadership.
AMD Radeon Technologies Group SVP, Raja Koduri
The easy response to this news, and the most common reaction, will be to assume that Raja was pushed out and will not return due to the state of the Radeon division after the launch of Vega. But in truth, despite it having issues with efficiency and performance that we noted in our reviews, AMD has had no issue selling the Vega cards its made. The professional markets are competitive again and AMD's entrance into the enterprise compute space opens up a wide array of new opportunity for AMD architectures.
Nor has it had issues selling Radeon RX 400 or RX 500 products either. Whether you consider that good planning by Raja and his team or just the luck of the cryptocurrency market, it really doesn't matter. The Radeon group has provided value to the company and to shareholders.
The Radeon Vega family of graphics cards
As with most things in life, the truth is likely more complex than we can decipher from a single note or message. I was able to get my hands on the letter sent from Raja to his team, which I have provided below:
You haven’t heard from me collectively in a while – a symptom not only of the whirlwind of launching Vega, but simply of the huge number of demands on my time since the formation of RTG. Looking back over this short period, it is an impressive view. We have delivered 6 straight quarters of double-digit growth in graphics, culminating in the launch of Vega and being back in high-performance. What we have done with Vega is unparalleled. We entered the high-end gaming, professional workstation and machine intelligence markets with Vega in a very short period of time. The demand for Vega (and Polaris!) is fantastic, and overall momentum for our graphics is strong.
Incredibly, we as AMD also managed to spectacularly re-enter the high-performance CPU segments this year. We are all exceptionally proud of Ryzen, Epyc and Threadripper. The computing world is not the same anymore and the whole world is cheering for AMD. Congratulations and thanks to those of you in RTG who helped see these products through. The market for high-performance computing is on an explosive growth trajectory driven by machine intelligence, visual cloud, blockchain and other exciting new workloads. Our vision of immersive and instinctive computing is within grasp. As we enter 2018, I will be shifting my focus more toward architecting and realizing this vision and rebalancing my operational responsibilities.
At the beginning of the year I warned that Vega would be hard. At the time, some folks didn’t believe me. Now many of you understand what I said. Vega was indeed hard on many, and my sincere heartfelt thanks to all of you who endured the Vega journey with me. Vega was personally hard on me as well and I used up a lot of family credits during this journey. I have decided to take a time-off in Q4 to spend time with my family. I have been contemplating this for a while now and there was never a good time to do this. Lisa and I agreed that Q4 is better than 2018, before the next wave of product excitement. Lisa will be acting as the leader of RTG during by absence. My sincere thanks to Lisa and rest of AET for supporting me in this decision and agreeing to take on additional workload during my absence.
I am looking to start my time-off on Sept 25th and return in December.
Thank you, all of you, for your unwavering focus, dedication and support over these past months, and for helping us to build something incredible. We are not done yet, and keep the momentum going!
Straight from the man himself, the intention and reason for the leave appears to be to catch up on family responsibility. As someone who has often traded work-related travel for home-based committments in future months, I understand this completely.
I have no doubt that Raja takes this leave with some reluctance. He built this team himself (for the most part) and my conversations with AMD employees always mention respect and appreciation for what he has been able to do. He loves the industry, he loves the technology, he loves the fans. That doesn't mean he can't or won't leave or be forced out if comes down to it, but it does give me hope that the potential for his return after the sabbatical is better than most other news outlets and pundits might lead us to believe.
For the interim, I have a lot of faith in Lisa Su to handle RTG. She has led AMD out of the CPU doldrums and into competitiveness for the first time in a decade. Any additional knowledge, experience, or input she can can gleam from her time as the lead at the Radeon Technologies Group can only be a benefit to AMD in the long run.
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 12, 2017 - 03:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Vega, ryzen 7, ryzen 5, ryzen, RX 580, RX 570, RX 560, ruby, repetition, quake champions, amd
Remember Ruby, that animated heroine ATI used in tech demos many years back? She has returned recently and is now playable in Quake Champions for those who claim their free key. In addition to appearing in the game, she is also the centre of attention in this announcement from AMD.
If you purchase a new Ryzen 5 or 7 APU, or a RX 560, 570 or 580 you can now claim the Champions pack for Quake Champions for free. The Champions pack will retail for $40 and add access to all current and future characters to your game, including a custom Ruby skin for Nyx. If you purchased one of these products after August 22nd you are eligible to claim your key over at AMDRewards. The contest will run until October 29th or until the keys run out.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 12, 2017 - 02:57 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, Threadripper, ryzen 7, AM4, XSPC RayStorm
The question is if installing the XSPC RayStorm Threadripper waterblock on an AM4 actually improves your systems thermals. [H]ard|OCP tested out the difficulty of the installation process and the performance of the cooler on a Ryzen 7 1700X overclocked to 4GHz. The mounting worked exactly as advertised, mating perfectly with the AM4 processor; the performance on the other hand demonstrates the advantage of using coolers specifically designed for your processor.
"If you could mount your Threadripper custom cooling waterblock on your socket AM4 Ryzen 7 CPU, wouldn't you? Of course the answer is yes. However, the results turned out a bit different than we thought those might."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Game Max Iceberg 240mm Liquid Cooler @ Kitguru
- Swiftech Apogee SKF "Heirloom Series" CPU Water Block @ techPowerUp
- Thermaltake View 27 Snow Gull-Wing @ [H]ard|OCP
- CRYORIG H7 Quad Lumi @ techPowerUp
- Be quiet! Shadow Rock TF 2 CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Gigabyte ATC700 AORUS CPU cooler @ Guru3D
- Corsair Commander Pro: fan, lighting, temperature control w/ Link @ Kitguru
- Rosewill ORBIT-Z1 @ techPowerUp
- Fractal Design Meshify C @ Guru3D
- Mean:IT 5PM LUM RED Case @ Modders-Inc
- Game Max Moonstone (Tempered Glass w/ RGB Fans) Case @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | September 7, 2017 - 09:46 AM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: z270, Yoga 920, Yoga 720, video, Threadripper 1900x, superfish, skylake-x, podcast, Lenovo, IFA 2017, HP S700 Pro, GTX 1080, gigabyte, ECS, Die shot, Core i7-6700K, Core i5-6600k, Clutch Chairz, Aorus X5, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #466 - 09/07/17
Join us for discussion on ECS Z270 motherboards, Clutch Chairz, AMD market share, Lenovo Yoga, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store (audio only)
- Google Play - Subscribe to our audio podcast directly through Google Play!
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader (audio only)
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano
Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg
Program length: 1:15:50
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
Subject: General Tech | August 31, 2017 - 12:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, Threadripper, 1900x, X399
We knew about the Threadripper 1900X back in July, but it did not arrive at the same time that the other two models did; AMD waited until today. The official specifications do not differ from the pre-launch specifications, though we have confirmation the TDP is 180W and the cache is 20MB. [H]ard|OCP describes it as a Ryzen 7 with the benefits of the X399 platform, a good way to quickly understand what this processor is. [H] posted the slideshow as well as positing some usage scenarios in their article, which you can see here.
"Today AMD rolls out what is not a very well kept secret, the Ryzen Threadripper model 1900X CPU. There is no doubt that Threadripper has already been a success for AMD, but how exactly does does an 8-core Threadripper fit into High End Desktop (HEDT) world of processors and platforms? The user profile is fairly skinny."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Why Memory Prices Are Heating Up @ EE Times
- Palm Devices Are Coming In 2018 Without WebOS, Says Report @ Slashdot
- Google is already working on Android P @ The Inquirer
- AMD and Baidu Join Forces to Advance GPU Computing in the Datacenter with Radeon Instinct MI Series @ NASDAQ
- Western Digital continues buying spree by snapping up Tegile @ The Register
- Huge Apple news CONFIRMED. Software deal with Accenture is official @ The Register