Author:
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: AMD

A quick refresher and Dynamic Local Mode

In general, the rollout of AMD's second-generation Ryzen Threadripper processors has been a bit unconventional. While the full lineup was announced back in August, there has been a staggered release period.

Later in August, we first got our hands on the Threadripper 2950X and 2990WX, the 16 and 32-core variants. Even though both of these parts were reviewed at the same time, the 2990WX was available first, with the 2950X coming a few weeks later.

Now more than two months later, we are taking a look at the 12-core Threadripper 2920X and the 24-core Threadripper 2970WX which were announced alongside the Threadipper parts that have already been shipping for quite a while now.

Will these new Threadripper processors be worth the wait?

DSC05252.JPG

  Threadripper 2990WX Threadripper 2970WX Threadripper 2950X Threadripper 2920X Core i9-7980XE Core i9-9900K
Architecture Zen+ Zen+ Zen+ Zen+ Skylake-X Coffee Lake Refresh
Process Tech 12nm 12nm 12nm 12nm 14nm+ 14nm++
Cores/Threads 32/64 24/48 16/32 12/24 18/36 8/16
Base Clock 3.0 GHz 3.0 GHz 3.5 GHz 3.5 GHz 2.6 GHz 3.6 GHz
Boost Clock 4.2 GHz 4.2 GHz 4.4 GHz 4.3 GHz 4.2 GHz 5.0 GHz
L3 Cache 64MB 64MB 32MB 32 MB 24.75MB 16MB
Memory Support DDR4-2933 (Quad-Channel) DDR4-2933 (Quad-Channel) DDR4-2933 (Quad-Channel) DDR4-2933 (Quad-Channel) DDR4-2666 (Quad-Channel) DDR4-2666 (Dual-Channel)
PCIe Lanes 64 64 64 64 44 16
TDP 250 Watts 250 Watts 180 Watts 180 Watts 165 Watts 95 Watts
Socket TR4 TR4 TR4 TR4 LGA-2066 LGA1151
Price (MSRP) $1799 $1299 $899 $649 $1999 $499 MSRP ($580 street)

Click here to continue reading our review of the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2920X and 2970WX.

Shopping for new CPU before the end of the year?

Subject: Processors | October 26, 2018 - 05:48 PM |
Tagged: Intel, and, ryzen, Threadripper, HEDT, coffee lake

The Tech Report took a look at the current market and are now offering their opinion on which ones you should consider.  The question is more complicated than simply buying the most expensive AMD or Intel processor you can afford; not many of your games are CPU limited and even those that are will see more benefit if you switch the API being used.  Read on for a variety of suggestions at various price points as well as why picking up a top end processor might actually give you less performance.

2ndgen-duo.jpg

"Choosing a CPU for a gaming PC can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. We walk you through the types of gaming experiences where CPUs matter and where they don't, and we pick chips for every budget that make the most of today's powerful graphics cards."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

 

AMD Releases Q3 2018 Financial Results

Subject: Editorial | October 24, 2018 - 09:13 PM |
Tagged: amd, quarterly results, Q3 2018, ryzen, EPYC, Polaris, Vega, 7nm, 12nm, Intel, nvidia

This evening AMD announced their Q3 2018 results. Things were at the lower end of the guidance scale from last quarter, but the company still had some solid results. Q3 revenue was $1.65B as compared to Q3 2017’s $1.58B. It is down from the previous quarter’s high of $1.76B. At first glance this seems troubling, but the results are not as negative as one would assume. GAAP net income was a healthy $102M. Q3 2017 was at $61M while Q2 2018 was up at $116M. Profits did not fall nearly as much as one would expect with a decrease of $110M revenue quarter over quarter.

amd_logo_2.png

Probably the largest factor of the decrease was the negligible sales of GPUs to the crypto market. AMD had expected such a dropoff and warned about it in their Q2 guidance. That particular drop off was sudden and dramatic. AMD looks to continue to lose marketshare in add-in graphics due to their less competitive offerings across the spectrum. GeForce RTX sales of course did not impact AMD this previous quarter, but with no new AMD offerings on the horizon users look to have been waiting to see exactly what NVIDIA would release.

Ryzen sales have been steady and strong, making up some of the shortfall from the graphics market. Desktop chips are moving briskly for the company and continues to be a strong seller historically for the company. AMD is also starting to move more mobile processors, but it seems that the majority of parts are still desktop based. AMD looks to continue moving older inventory with aggressive pricing on those and manufacturing of the new 2000 series parts has been relatively smooth sailing for the company.

Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom had a strong quarter, but with less growth as some analysts had been hoping for. Semi-Custom was weaker this quarter, but IP revenue is up. Console chips are weaker at the moment due to the platforms being relatively mature and not exhibiting the sales of the previous two holiday seasons. To further offset the decrease in Semi-Custom, AMD is reporting that the enterprise products (GPU and EPYC) have seen good growth. Overall this division was down 5% from Q3 2017, but up 7% from the previous quarter.

gaap_results.PNG

Perhaps the most interesting figure of this is Gross Margins. AMD was able to improve margins from 36% to 40%. This 4% increase quarter on quarter is a significant jump for the company. This means that AMD continues to keep costs under control for the company and is able to deliver product more efficiently than in the year before. It is still a far cry from Intel and NVIDIA, which typically have magins between 55% to 65%. AMD has a long ways to go before reaching that kind of level. Part of the margin offset was again due to IP licensing. If IP licensing was removed then we would see 38% margins rather than 40%.

So what are the overall lessons of the past quarter? EPYC sales are not as brisk as analysts had hoped for, but they are also not non-existent. It has shown solid growth for the company and has offset shortfalls in other areas of the company. Their IP and Semi-Custom areas are still very solid, even though AMD does suffer from console lifecycles and downturns. GPUs continue to sell, but not nearly at the rate they were due to the crypto market. Their Polaris based options are well suited to compete in the sub-$300 US market. The Vega based products were finally down to MSRP, but they had a harder time going against the mature and well liked GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080 products. This will be further compounded with the introduction of the RTX products in those price ranges.

Ryzen continues to be a very good seller across the board. I had hoped that AMD would break down numbers between Ryzen CPUs and APUs, but I have not seen numbers that hint at what ratio they sell at. In retail the Ryzen 2000 series CPUs look to be some of the most popular products based on price/performance. However, retail is only a small portion of processor sales and Intel still holds the vast majority of marketshare here. AMD is competing, but they have not taken significant chunks from their competition over the past year. They have done enough to achieve several positive quarters in a row, but this is not the slam dunk that the original Athlon 64 was back in 2003/2004.

AMD expects further weakness in their results next quarter. Guidance is for revenue around $1.45B, plus or minus $50M. This is still higher than Q4 2017 results, but it is a significant drop from Q3 results. AMD expects strong Ryzen, EPYC, and datacenter GPU growth during this time. It is expected that consumer GPU and Semi-Custom will continue to drop. There does look to be a 7nm GPU introduction this next quarter, but it is probably the long rumored Vega refresh that will be aimed directly at datacenter rather than consumer.

non_gaap_results.PNG

2018 has so far been a year of solid growth and execution for AMD on the CPU side. Their GPU side has suffered a bit of a slide, but this is to be expected by how much belt-tightening AMD has done in the past several years to get their CPU architecture back on track. The lion’s share of development resources was shunted off to the CPU side while the GPU side had to fight for scraps. I believe this is no longer the case, but when development takes years for new GPUs the injection of new resources will not become apparent for a while.

2019 continues to look better for AMD as they are expecting an early release of 7nm EPYC parts which should compete very well with Intel’s 14nm based Xeon products. AMD is expecting a significant uptick in sales due to the thermals, pricing, and performance of these new Zen 2 based parts. The company also continues to point to the end of 1H for introduction of 7nm Ryzen parts based on Zen 2. These will be showing up quite a few months before Intel’s 10nm offerings will be available. Rumors have it that the new Zen 2 based parts exhibit a significant IPC increase that should make them far more competitive to the best that Intel has on the desktop and mobile markets. Combine these IPC improvements with the 7nm boost in power and clocks for the parts, and AMD could have a very good product on their hands. AMD also is expecting a 1H release of 7nm Navi GPUs which should prove to be more competitive with current NVIDIA products that rely on 16nm and 12nm process nodes from TSMC.

While Q3 was a drop in revenue for the company, their current cost structure has still allowed them to make a tidy profit. The company continues to move forward with new products and new developments.

 
Source: AMD

Intel announces 9th Generation Core processors with up to 8-cores, 16-threads

Subject: Processors | October 8, 2018 - 11:14 AM |
Tagged: Z390, STIM, ryzen, Intel, i9-9900K, i7-9700K, i5-9600K, 9th generation, 2700x

At their event in New York City today, Intel took the wraps off of their much-rumored 9th generation series of desktop processors.

Built upon the same "14 nm++" process technology as Coffee Lake, this new 9th generation is launching with 3 new processor models.

IMG_9130.png

At the lower end, we have the i5-9600K, replacing the current i5-8600K. Staying with the same 6C/6T configuration, the 9600K improves the base frequency by 100 MHz, while adding 300 MHz to the rated single-core Turbo Boost 2.0 clock speed.

IMG_8939.png

Moving onto the 8-core processors, we have the i7-9700K and the i9-9900K. Coming with Intel's first consumer i9 processor also comes the first i7 desktop processor not to feature Hyper-threading. While both processors have eight physical cores, only the i9-9900K will feature Hyper-threading allowing for a 16-thread configuration. Both processors maintain the same 95W TDP as the i7-8700K.

The lack of Hyper-Threading on the i7-9700K will provide quite the interesting performance comparison with the current flagship 6C/12T i7-8700K.

The flagship Intel Core i9-9900K has a base clock 100 MHz lower than the i7-8700K but features the same 5.0 GHz single-core Turbo Boost clock as the i7-8086K. Intel has also said that the all-core frequency for the i9-9900K is 400 MHz faster than the i7-8700K. Additionally, the i9-9900K features 16MB of cache, compared to the 12MB found on the i7-8700K.

Price-wise, both the i5-9600K and i7-9700K are similar to the 8th generation processors they are replacing, while the i9-9900K will come in at $500. 

IMG_5456.png

Addressing one of the most common complaints from enthusiasts about recent Intel processors, the 9th generation series of processors will come with what Intel is referring to as "Solder Thermal Interface Material" (STIM). 

Switching back to solder as the TIM for these CPUs should provide significantly improved thermal conductivity, resulting in additional overclocking headroom as well as cooler and quieter operation at stock frequencies without the need of delidding.

Alongside these new processors comes the launch of a new chipset from Intel, Z390. In addition to native USB 3.1 Gen 1 (10 Gbit/s) support, Intel claims the Z390 chipset will sport improved power management for the 8-core processor variants, as well as integrated 802.11 AC connectivity. 

IMG_3191.png

The Z390 platform will continue to feature the same "up to 40" PCI Express lanes that we've seen for several generations, with 16 lanes being directly connected to the CPU, and the rest coming from the chipset which is still connected via a DMI 3.0 link.

Despite the launch of a new chipset in the form of Z390, these new 9th generation chipsets will maintain compatibility with all previous 300-series Intel chipsets, such as Z370 through updates that will be made available by motherboard manufacturers. 

These new 9th generation processors will also feature a combination of hardware and software fixes for the following side-channel attack security vulnerabilities like Spectre and Meltdown:

  • Speculative side channel variant SpectreV2 (Branch Target Injection) = Microcode + Software
  • Speculative side channel variant Meltdown V3 (Rogue Data Cache Load) = Hardware
  • Speculative side channel variant Meltdown V3a (Rogue System Register Read) = Microcode
  • Speculative side channel variant V4 (Speculative Store Bypass) = Microcode + Software
  • Speculative side channel variant L1 Terminal Fault = Hardware

While the almost $500 price tag is substantially higher than AMD's $330 8-core Ryzen 7 2700X, Intel's advantage in single-threaded performance combined with matched core counts should provide for quite the interesting comparison.

01.jpg

The i9-9900K is available for pre-order today, and will launch on October 19th. No word on the rest of the 9th generation lineup, but we expect them to launch at the same time as the i9 processor.

Source: Intel

AMD Announces Threadripper 2970WX, 2920X Availability, New Dynamic Local Mode Feature

Subject: Processors | October 5, 2018 - 04:42 PM |
Tagged: ryzen, Threadripper, 2990wx, 2970wx, 2950x, 2920x, dynamical local mode, NUMA, UMA

AMD has provided an update to their continued rollout of 2nd generation Threadripper CPUs, including the 12 and 24-core variants.

table.png

Both of these new Threadripper SKUs will be available starting on October 29th, for a price of $649 for the 12-core 2920X and $1299 for the 24-core 2970WX.

The more surprising announcement comes in the form of a new software feature for the Threadripper WX-series processors called "Dynamic Local Mode" which aims to address some of the performance issues caused by the non-traditional memory structure of these processors, where not all CPU cores have direct access to a memory controller.

WX-structure.png

A diagram of the memory structure utilized in the Threadripper WX-series processors

According to the blog post on AMD's website, Dynamic Local Mode will run as a Windows 10 service and measure how much CPU time each thread is utilizing.

This service will then begin to reallocate these demanding threads to the CPU cores which have direct memory access until it runs out of available cores. In that case, the service will start to assign threads to the remaining cores.

This dynamic operation ensures for applications that aren't consuming all 48/64 threads on the WX-series processors, that direct memory access will be available when needed. In particular, this should provide an advantage to gaming, which typically takes up less than eight cores, but is dependant on fast memory access.

ryzenmaster.png

Users will be able to enable and disable this feature on the fly through the Ryzen Master, and it will not require a reboot unlike the existing Dynamic/Local mode toggle for the Threadripper X-seres processors. 

performance.png

AMD is claiming that they've measured up to a 47% increase in performance with Dynamic Local Mode enabled while gaming in certain titles.

Dynamic Local Mode is set to be enabled with a new version of AMD's Ryzen Master software, available alongside these new Threadripper SKUs on October 29th. We hope to have hands-on this software beforehand to test how this fixes some of the issues we saw in our initial review of the Threadripper 2990WX. Stay tuned for more info!

Source: AMD

Podcast #513 - Gaming on Threadripper 2990WX, Huawei Cheating in Benchmarks, and more!

Subject: General Tech | September 13, 2018 - 10:45 AM |
Tagged: podcast, ryzen, Threadripper, 2990wx, 2950x, be quiet, Silent Base 601, toshiba, XG6

PC Perspective Podcast #513 - 09/13/18

Join us this week for discussion on gaming on Threadripper 2990WX, Huawei Cheating in Benchmarks, 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: Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Ken Addison

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:22:09

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Review:
  2. Thanks to Casper for supporting our podcast! Save $50 on select mattresses at http://www.casper.com/pcper code pcper
  3. News items of interest:
  4. Picks of the Week:
    1. 1:14:25 Ken: ASUS PG27UQ for less money
  5. Closing/outro

Podcast #512 - Synology DS1618+, BitFenix 750W PSU, and more!

Subject: General Tech | September 6, 2018 - 04:06 PM |
Tagged: video, Threadripper, synology, skype, ryzen, podcast, P65, msi, logitech, Kirin 980, Huawei, g502, g305, falcon northwest, DS1618+, bitfenix, battlefield, amd, 2950x

PC Perspective Podcast #512 - 09/06/18

Join us this week for discussion on Synology DS1618+, BitFenix 750W PSU, 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

Program length: 1:11:50

Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Picks of the Week:
    1. 1:02:45 Jeremy: Can’t afford RTX?
    2. 1:04:05 Josh: We love new SSDs!
    3. 1:06:50 Allyn: DarkSky.net (especially the app)
  4. Closing/outro
 
Source:

Athlon rides again!

Subject: General Tech, Processors | September 6, 2018 - 01:22 PM |
Tagged: amd, athlon, Zen, Vega, 200GE, PRO 200GE, ryzen, Ryzen 7 PRO 2700X, Ryzen 7 PRO 2700, Ryzen 5 PRO 2600

AMD is returning the Athlon name to active service with the arrival of the Athlon 200GE, combining their current Zen core with three Radeon Vega 3 GCUs and a GPU core of 1GHz.  The dual core, multithreaded processor will run at 3.2GHz with a TDP of 35W, which should give you an idea of where you will find this new chip. 

138914-athlon-pib-left-facing-1260x709_2.png

Along with the new Athlon comes four new Pro chips, the AMD Athlon PRO 200GE, Ryzen 7 PRO 2700X, Ryzen 7 PRO 2700 and Ryzen 5 PRO 2600.  These will be more traditional desktop processors with enterprise level features to ensure the security of your systems as well as offering flexibility; with a cost somewhat lower than the competitions.

pro.PNG

 

Source: AMD

AMD's Ryzen Threadripper 2950X now available for purchase for $899

Subject: Processors | August 31, 2018 - 10:36 AM |
Tagged: Threadripper, ryzen, 2nd generation threadripper, 2990wx, 2950x

Today, AMD's 2nd generation Ryzen Threadripper 2950X has finally reached retail availability. As you might remember from the launch a few weeks ago, the 32-core Threadripper 2990WX has already been on store shelves, but the 2950X was set to arrive on August 31st.

DSC05137.JPG

For those that need a bit of a refresher on 2nd generation Threadripper, you check out our full review of both the 2950X and 2990WX. Ultimately, we found the Threadripper 2950X is a great CPU for people looking to bridge the gap between content creation and gaming, with near top-level performance in both areas.

So far, we've spotted the 2950X on Newegg and at Microcenter, and Amazon.

specs-table.png

The 12-core and 24-core variants of 2nd generation Threadripper processors are still set to be coming later in the year.

Source: AMD

MSI's B350I PRO AC, gone but not forgotten

Subject: Motherboards | August 24, 2018 - 04:15 PM |
Tagged: mini-itx, msi, b350, B350I PRO AC, amd, ryzen

The MSI B350I Pro AC is not a new motherboard but it is worth remembering for anyone looking to build a small system.  However [H]ard|OCP is teasing you a bit; the board was in stock when they started the review but has been discontinued very recently with the B450I Gaming Plus AC replacing it.  Why is it worth looking at, you may ask?  The board is a solid base to build a SFF system off of and will be selling at a discount if you can find it; so keep your eyes open and you might get it for a song.

15344704084nedbk1kmk_1_7_l.jpg

"While we might be late to the party with a B350 review, we were running tests with it and were so impressed we thought we would put it through the full review process. MSI’s B350I PRO AC might just have been worth the wait. How does this inexpensive powerhouse fair against more expensive offerings?"

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Source: [H]ard|OCP