Today's bonus AMD rumour: Starship, Naples, Zeppelin and a flock of Owls

Subject: General Tech | May 11, 2017 - 05:07 PM |
Tagged: amd, Starship, Naples, Zeppelin, Great Horned Owl, Banded Kestrel, Grey Hawk, River Hawk, Snowy Owl, rumour

We have another leak today from wccftech, via VideoCardz, of AMD's upcoming enterprise level processors.  Starship will use the successor to the current Zen architecture; Zen 2 is in some ways measurable as being fabricated with a 7nm FinFet process.  The chips are a testament to AMD's dedication to multi-core designs, Starship will feature up to 48 cores with 96 threads.  That does create a bit of heat, but not more than the chip it is replacing, the TDPs range from 35W up to 180W.  These chips will be sold under the Opteron name and will likely not have a model with the number 1701.

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Starship will replace Naples, which we already know quite a lot about, they will use the upcoming Zeppelin architecture.  The thermals match Starship but the core count is lower and tops out at 32 cores, 64 threads.  That count tells us there will be four interconnected Zeppelin dies, each having 8 cores in two CCX units. 

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Next up is the Snowy Owl family of BGA chips which also uses Zeppelin cores.  They will have models with core counts of 8, 12 and 16.  Snowy Owl will support DDR4 in quad channel, 64 PCIe 3.0 lanes, and up to 16 SATA or NVMe storage devices and should take flight before the end of the year,.

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Lastly we have their new embedded R-Series APUs, Great Horned Owl, Banded Kestrel, Grey Hawk and River Hawk.  These low power chips will be based off of the current Zen architecture with support for single and dual DIMM DDR4 channels.  The CPU portion will have 2 or 4 cores and TDPs between 15-65W, Owl models will be paired with an graphics core possessing 11 CUs, Kestral with 3 CUs.  According to the slides posted at wccftech the APUs will support 4K60 and up to four 4K monitors which is impressive for such a small chip.  There will also rumoured to be models without an APU, for usage in device which do not need graphical capabilities. 

The slides also hint at a mysterious a new MCM package product which will arrive this year.  It is reputed to have 4 GB VRAM, 10 CUs and five dual-mode Display Port support arriving in 2017.  There are a lot more slides you can see by clicking here.

Source: wccftech

Rumour time; Ryzen Whitehaven specs

Subject: General Tech | May 11, 2017 - 12:27 PM |
Tagged: whitehaven, s3, ryzen, rumour, amd

wccftech is reporting on two engineering samples of new AMD processors which feature 16 cores and 32 threads with a boost clock speed of 3.6GHz and a base clock of 3.0GHz.  They have pictures of the architecture you can look over contained in this post.  This chip will also use a new socket, called S3, marking a nice change in a company that stuck with the AM3(+) chipset for the better part of a decade.  The chips will support quad channel DDR4 as well as expanded PCIe lanes to offer better storage options as well as PCIe slots.  AMD is aiming at offering some competition to Intel's upcoming release of Skylake-X, we should know more at Computex at the end of this month as AMD is expected to officially announce the product at that show.

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"AMD’s upcoming 16 core enthusiast Ryzen “Whitehaven” CPUs have been spotted. The new processors will come in variations of up to 16 cores and 32 threads and will support quad-channel DDR4 memory."

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Source: wccftech

5 by 5, AMD versus Intel in the $200 price range

Subject: Processors | May 9, 2017 - 03:26 PM |
Tagged: ryzen, amd, 1500X, 1600X, ryzen 5

The pricing of AMD's Ryzen 5 line spans from $170 to $250, similar to Intel's Core i5 line and may wwll tempt those a generation or two out of date to consider an upgrade.  In order to demonstrate differences in CPU performance Ars Technica tested both Intel and AMD processors paired with a GTX 1080 Ti.  By doing so at lower resolutions which the card can more than handle they expose differences in the performance of the two architectures, which seem to follow AMD's offerings into higher resolutions albeit with a smaller performance delta.  Check out the wide gamut of tests that were performed to see which architecture makes more sense for your usage, especially if you do more than just gaming and surfing.

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"The Ryzen 5 range is made up of four chips. At the top is the £240/$250 Ryzen 5 1600X, a 95W six-core chip that boasts simultaneous multithreading (SMT, the equivalent of hyper-threading), 16MB of L3 cache, and a 3.6GHz base clock."

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Source: Ars Technica

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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Source: HEXUS