The best processor for under $150? Ryzen 3 shines on the testbed

Subject: Processors | July 27, 2017 - 05:58 PM |
Tagged: 1200, 1300x, amd, ryzen, ryzen 3, Zen

Two Ryzen CPUs have been revealed and tested today, opening a new battle at the lower end of the market.  These CPUs will not take any performance crowns, instead they are battling for domination in a market extremely sensitive total cost and to performance per dollar.  The Ryzen 3 1300X at $129 and 1200 at $109 need are competing against the lower end of Intel's SKUS, like the ~$80 Pentium G4560, the $165 Core i3-7350K and the i3-6100 or i3-7100 at ~$115.

The Tech Report found similar results to Ryan's testing, with performance right in line with pricing; not faster but not lagging behind by much.  In many cases the decision as to which chip to get could lie in the future of the system being built.  If you are not worried about highly parallel software which requires more cores nor planning to get a discrete GPU then Intel's offerings make sense.  On the other hand if you see multi-threaded applications as vital and plan to purchase a GPU as opposed to relying on a CPU with an iGPU then a Ryzen 3 chip could last you quite a while.  TR's full review is here and there are plenty more below the fold.

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"AMD's Ryzen 3 CPUs bring the Zen architecture to its most affordable price point ever. Join us as we dive into gaming and productivity workloads with these new chips to see whether they can unseat Intel's evergreen Core i3s."

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Processors

AMD Releases Radeon GPU Profiler

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 27, 2017 - 05:45 PM |
Tagged: amd

Alongside the big Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.7.2 release, AMD pushed out a new developer tool to profile performance on AMD GPUs. First and foremost, it’s only designed to work with the newer graphics APIs, DirectX 12 and Vulkan, although it supports many operating systems: Windows 7, Windows 10, and Linux (Ubuntu 16.04). It doesn’t (yet) support Vega, so you will need to have a 400-, 500-, or Fury series GPU. I expect that will change in the near future, though.

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So what does it do? These new graphics APIs are low-level, and there’s a lot going on within a single frame. Other tools exist to debug thing like “which draw call is painting a white blotch over part of my frame”, with AMD recommending RenderDoc. Radeon GPU Profiler is more for things like “did I feed my GPU enough tasks to mask global memory access latency?” or “what draw call took the longest to process?” Now that a lot of this is in the hands of game developers, AMD wants them to have the tools to efficiently load their GPUs.

While the software is freely available, it’s not open source. (You will see a “Source code” link in the release section of GitHub, but it’s just a Readme.)

Source: AMD

Podcast #460 - ASUS Max-Q, Surface vs. iPad, AMD Q2 Results, and more!

Subject: General Tech | July 27, 2017 - 01:34 PM |
Tagged: ZM-K900M, Zephyrus, zalman, XG5, x370, video, usb 3.2, toshiba, Threadripper, Surface Pro, ryzen, ROG, RGB, podcast, max-q, ipad pro, GX501, EKWB, Crosshair VI, crimson relive, asus, AMD4, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #460 - 07/27/17

Join us for ASUS Max-Q, Surface vs. iPad, AMD Q2 Results, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano

Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg, Jim Tanous

Program length: 1:37:41

 
Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
    1. 1:27:00 Allyn: Damn cheap 8TB drives (8TB Helium filled Reds!) ($160)
    2. 1:32:46 Alex: Bullet Bouquets - now with engraving!
  4. Closing/outro
 

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Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: AMD
Tagged: 1200, 1300x, amd, ryzen, ryzen 3, Zen

Battle for the Mainstream

With today's release of the Ryzen 3 processors, AMD completes the circle of the mainstream Ryzen processor family. Starting with the 8-core Ryzen 7 that disrupted the high end of the market, followed by the Ryzen 5 that shook up the Core i5 segment, Ryzen 3 goes after the world of the Core i3 targeting budget PC builders, gamers, and even enterprising business consumers willing to build their own machines or looking for information here on what to select.

We already learned about the Ryzen 3 products launching today, the 1300X and the 1200, from a video that AMD CEO Lisa Su posted a couple of weeks ago. But pricing and performance were still an unknown, both of which we are going to show you in great detail today. What can a $129 and $109 processor get you with four true cores?

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As you'll soon see, the Ryzen 3 product family competes against the Intel Core i3 line in terms of pricing but is definitely a concern for the Core i5 family when it comes to multi-threaded workloads. Let's dive into the specifications and see what AMD has put together for us.

Specifications

The devil is in the details and as we will see the core counts and clock speeds of Ryzen 3 make it very compelling for a wide range of consumers.

  Ryzen 3 1300X Ryzen 3 1200 Pentium G4560 Core i3-7100 Core i3-7350K Ryzen 5 1600X Ryzen 5 1500X Core i5-7600K Core i5-7500
Architecture Zen Zen Kaby Lake Kaby Lake Kaby Lake Zen Zen Kaby Lake Kaby Lake
Process Tech 14nm 14nm 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm 14nm 14nm+ 14nm+
Cores/Threads 4/4 4/4 2/4 2/4 2/4 6/12 4/8 4/4 4/4
Base Clock 3.4 GHz 3.1 GHz 3.5 GHz 3.9 GHz 4.2 GHz 3.6 GHz 3.5 GHz 3.8 GHz 3.4 GHz
Turbo/Boost Clock 3.7 GHz 3.4 GHz - - - 4.0 GHz 3.7 GHz 4.2 GHz 3.8 GHz
Cache 8MB 8MB 3MB 3MB 4MB 16MB 16MB 6MB 6MB
Memory Support DDR4-2400
Dual Channel
DDR4-2400
Dual Channel
DDR4-2400
Dual Channel
DDR4-2400
Dual Channel
DDR4-2400
Dual Channel
DDR4-2400
Dual Channel
DDR4-2400
Dual Channel
DDR4-2400
Dual Channel
DDR4-2400
Dual Channel
TDP 65 watts 65 watts 54 watts 51 watts 60 watts 95 watts 65 watts 91 watts 65 watts
Price $129 $109 $80 $119 $149 $229 $189 $239 $204

Continue reading our review of the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X and 1200 processors!

Author:
Manufacturer: AMD

Software Iteration

The software team at AMD and the Radeon Technologies Group is releasing Radeon Crimson ReLive Edition 17.7.2 this evening and it includes a host of new features, improved performance capabilities, and stability improvements to boot. This isn’t the major reboot of the software that we have come to expect on an annual basis, but rather an attempt to get the software team’s work out in front of media and gamers before the onslaught of RX Vega and Threadripper steal the attention.

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AMD’s software team is big on its user satisfaction ratings, which it should be after the many years of falling behind NVIDIA in this department. With 16 individual driver releases in 2017 (so far) and 20 new games optimized and supported with day one releases, the 90% rating seems to be about right. Much of the work that could be done to improve multi-GPU and other critical problems are more than a calendar year behind us, so it seems reasonable the Radeon gamers would be in a good place in terms of software support.

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One big change for Crimson ReLive today is that all of those lingering settings that remained in the old Catalyst Control Panel will now reside in the proper Radeon Settings. This means matching UI and streamlined interface.

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The ReLive capture and streaming capability sees a handful of upgrades today including a bump from 50mbps to 100mbps maximum bit rate, transparency support for webcams, improved optimization to lower the memory usage (and thus the overhead of running ReLive), notifications of replays and record timers, and audio controls for microphone volume and push-to-talk.

Continue reading about the latest Crimson ReLive driver updates!

AMD Reports Q2 2017 Results

Subject: Editorial | July 25, 2017 - 10:48 PM |
Tagged: Vega, Threadripper, ryzen, RX, Results, quarterly earnings, Q2 2017, EPYC, amd

The big question that has been going through the minds of many is how much marketshare did AMD take back and how would that affect the bottom line?  We know the second half of that question, but it is still up in the air how much AMD has taken from Intel.  We know that they have, primarily due to the amount of money that AMD has made.  Now we just need to find out how much.

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Q2 revenue surpassed the expectations of both the Street and what AMD had predicted.  It was not a mind-blowing quarter, but it was a solid one for what has been a slowly sinking AMD.  The Q2 quarter is of course very important for AMD as it is the first full quarter of revenue from Ryzen parts as well as the introduction of the refreshed RX 500 series of GPUs.

The Ryzen R7 and R5 parts have been well received by press and consumers alike.  While it is not a completely overwhelming product in every aspect as compared to Intel’s product stack, it does introduce an incredibly strong dollar/thread value proposition.  Consumers can purchase an 8 core/16 thread part with competitive clock speeds and performance for around $300 US.  That same price point from Intel will give a user better single threaded and gaming performance, but comes short at 4 cores/8 threads.

The latest RX series of GPUs are slightly faster refreshes of the previous RX 400 series of cards and exist in the same price range of those previous cards.  These have been popular with AMD enthusiasts as they deliver solid performance for the price.  They are also quite popular with the coin miners due to the outstanding hash rate that they offer at their respective price points as compared to NVIDIA GPUs.

AMD ended up reporting GAAP revenue of $1.22B with a net income of -$16M.  Non-GAAP net income came in at a positive $19M.  This is a significant boost from Q1 figures which included a revenue of $984M and a net income of -$73M.  The tail end of Q1 did include some Ryzen sales, but not nearly enough to offset the losses that they accumulated.  These beat out the Street numbers by quite a bit, hence the uptick in AMD’s share price after hours.

The server/semi-custom group did well, but is still down some 5% as compared to last year.  This is primarily due to seasonal weaknesses with the consoles.  Microsoft will be ramping up production of their Xbox One X and AMD will start to receive royalties from that production later this year.  AMD has seen its marketshare in the data and server market tumble from years past to where it is at 1% and below.  AMD expects to change this trend with EPYC and has recorded the initial revenue from EPYC datacenter processor shipments.

We cannot emphasize enough how much the CPU/GPU group has grown over the past year.  Revenue from that group has increased by 51% since last year.  We do need to temper that with the reality that at that time AMD had not released the new RX series of GPUs nor did they have Ryzen.  Instead, it was all R5/R7 3x0 and Fury products as well as the FX CPUs based on Piledriver and Excavator cores.  It would honestly be hard for things to get worse than that point of time  Still, a 51% improvement with Ryzen and the RX 5x0 series of chips is greater than anyone really expected.  We must also consider that Q2 is still one of the slowest quarters in a year.

AMD expects next quarter to grow well beyond expectations.  The company is estimating that revenue will grow by 23%, plus or minus 3%.  If this holds true, AMD will be looking at a $1.5B quarter.  Something that has not been seen for some time (especially post foundry split).  The product stack that they will continue to introduce is quite impressive.  AMD will continue with the Ryzen R7 and R5 parts, but will also introduce the first R3 parts for the budget market.  RX Vega will be introduced next week at Siggraph.  Threadripper will be released to the wild as well as the x399 chipset.  EPYC is already shipping and they expect that product to grow steadily.  Ryzen Pro and then the mobile APUs will follow up later in the 2nd half of the year.  Semi-custom will get a boost when Microsoft starts shipping Xbox One X consoles.

threadripper.jpg

What a change a year makes.  Lisa Su and the gang have seemingly turned the boat around with a lot of smart moves, a lot of smart people, and a lot of effort.  They are not exactly at Easy Street yet, but they are moving in the right direction.  Ryzen has been a success with press and consumers and sets them on a level plane with Intel in overall performance and power.  The RX series continues to be popular and selling well (especially with miners).  AMD still has not caught up with demand for those parts, but I get the impression that they are being fairly conservative there by not flooding the market with RX chips in case coin mining bottoms out again.  The demand there is at least making miners and retailers happy, though could be causing some hard feelings among AMD enthusiasts who just want a gaming card at a reasonable price.

AMD continues to move forward and has recorded an impressive quarter.  Next quarter, if it falls in line with expectations, should help return AMD to profitability with some real momentum moving forward in selling product to multiple markets where it has not been a power for quite some time.  The company has been able to tread water for the past few years, but has planned far enough ahead to actually release competitive products at good prices to regain marketshare and achieve profitability again.  2017 has been a good year for AMD, and it looks to continue to Q3 and Q4.

Source: AMD

Mark Papermaster on AMD's tiny things

Subject: General Tech | July 24, 2017 - 12:49 PM |
Tagged: amd, 7nm

Over at The Inquirer you can read a condensed version of AMD's Mark Papermaster discussion about the challenges of moving to a 7nm process node.  The size of AMD's design team have prompted them to take a modular approach to design so that circuits can be reused across CPU, GPU and semi-custom designs.  That allows the the same teams to work on multiple projects and for design successes to improve products across multiple lines, a must for a small team with such diverse products.

He also talks about "2.5-D chip stacks", using silicon interposers to connect processors and memory stacks side-by-side as a way to work on reducing to the 7nm node while waiting for foundries like GLOFO to retool to EUV lithography. He ends with a familiar request; that developers switch their focus to taking advantage of high core counts and parallel threads and away from single cores running at high frequencies.

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"Speaking to the EE Times, Papermaster said that, while AMD planned to run its second and third generation Zen architecture x86 microprocessors on 7nm, it would likely be a 'long node', like the 28nm process, "and when you have a long node it lets the design team focus on micro-architecture and systems solutions", rather than simply redesigning standard ‘blocks'."

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Source: The Inquirer

AMD Teases Ryzen Threadripper Packaging, Lisa Su for Scale

Subject: Processors | July 24, 2017 - 12:19 PM |
Tagged: amd, ryzen, Threadripper, lisa su

The AMD social teams have been had at work this morning, teasing out images of the packaging for its upcoming Ryzen Threadripper retail processor.

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The first image shows a window into the packaging with the Threadripper processor clearly visible behind it. The Ryzen logo dominates the plastic cover though there is a scene of "space" or maybe the Eye of Sauron in the background. The black construction looks to be foam that opens by splitting in half, across the Ryzen logo.

The second image shows the relative size of it all, with AMD CEO Lisa Su for scale. It looks kind of like an old-time portable TV and the depth of the packaging is definitely more substantial from the first image. 

We are getting closer and closer to the official unveiling of this product family and AMD is doing a fantastic job of pulling the community along for the ride.

Source: AMD

Podcast #459 - Threadripper Pricing, Liquid Cooled VEGA, Intel Rumors, and more!

Subject: General Tech | July 20, 2017 - 11:53 AM |
Tagged: zenbook, z270, wireless charging, water cooling, VR, video, Vega, TSMC, thermaltake, SILVIA, podcast, Pacific, Oculus, Kabby Lake-R, corsair, Contac, asus, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #459 - 07/20/17

Join us for Threadripper Pricing, Liquid Cooled VEGA, Intel Rumors, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano

Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg, Jim Tanous

Program length: 1:46:03

 
Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
    1. 1:36:30 Jeremy: Deal on a Ryzen 7 1700
    2. 1:41:04 Allyn: Still using WMC? You need EPG123!
  4. Closing/outro

Subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube Channel for more videos, reviews and podcasts!!

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A new BioStar has Ryzen, the Racing X370GT7

Subject: Motherboards | July 19, 2017 - 04:23 PM |
Tagged: x370, ryzen, Racing X370GT7, biostar, amd, AM4

BioStar have greeted the release of AMD's Ryzen with enthusiasm, releasing numerous AM4 boards, some of which are garnering better reviews than the main brands.  [H]ard|OCP tested out their Racing X370GT7, an ATX model with a ~$160 price tag.  The silkscreen on the board is rather unique and the layout is extremely clean.  You get a lot of nice high end features such as a heatsink for the M.2 slot located just below the CPU socket, Realtec ALC1220 8 channel audio and even an LN2 switch for extreme overclockers.  As with many other X370 boards there were some quirks with memory compatibility as well as some questionable UEFI choices specific to this board.  It will offer a solid base for someone building a Ryzen platform and it will likely improve as the AMD Generic Encapsulated Software Architecture for AM4's matures.

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"BIOSTAR isn’t exactly a juggernaut of a manufacturer here in the U.S. Despite stiff competition, the big boys are blowing it bad enough at the X370 Ryzen motherboard game that BIOSTAR’s X370GT7 just might be one of the best AM4 motherboard options around. While we think it might actually be good, it still doesn’t make for a smooth ride."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP