Subject: Motherboards | June 8, 2018 - 04:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, x470, amd, ryzen, crosshair vii hero, AM4
Even after years of suggestions and beratement, CMOS battery placement remains a sore spot for a variety of reveiwers. The Crosshair VII Hero is no exception, where the battery will be buried under you GPU; what is exceptional is that this is the sole shortcoming to this AM4 board. [H]ard|OCP were duly impressed by the features and performance of this board, as well as the price tag, which is nicely under $300. Whether you plan on taking advantage of Precision Boost 2 or manually overclocking, this is a board worth checking out.
"Along with the second generation AMD Ryzen CPUs, we are getting the new and somewhat improved X470 chipset motherboards. We have been beating on the Crosshair VII Hero for about a month now and have figured out what we like about, outside of it being an excellent overclocker for the Ryzen 7 CPUs."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASRock X470 Taichi @ Guru of 3D
- Gigabyte's X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wifi @ The Tech Report
- ASRock X399M Taichi @ TechPowerUp
- MSI B360 Gaming Pro Carbon @ Kitguru
- MSI GS65 Stealth 8RE @ Kitguru
- Gigabyte AORUS AX370-Gaming K5 @ Modders-Inc
Subject: Motherboards | June 8, 2018 - 09:14 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ryzen 2000, ryzen, msi, computex 2018, computex, b450, APU, amd, AM4
One of the motherboards on display at the MSI booth was an updated AM4 socket Tomahawk series board that uses the new AMD B450 chipset. The MSI B450 Tomahawk is a refreshed motherboard for AMD Ryzen processors. The motherboard pairs the AM4 socket with four DDR4 DIMM slots, six SATA 6 Gbps ports, two PCI-E x16 slots, three PCI-E x1 slots, and a single M.2 slot.
The B450 Tomahawk is powered by an 8-pin and 24-pin power connector and appears to have a 4+2 power phase design which matches that of the current B350 Tomahawk. One thing that MSI has changed in that department is the heatsink over the VRMs which has been beefed with an "extended heatsink design" that up an extends to partially cover the rear I/O ports now. Other updates versus the B350 Tomahawk include the removal of two legacy PCI slots in favor of adding a third PCI-E x1 slot and the addition of two additional SATA ports in the lower left corner.
It is not clear what the board specifically has as far as rear I/O, but from the photos and press release it appears as though the VGA port may have been removed versus the previous generation board and it does have USB 3.1 Gen 2 along with Gigabit Ethernet and analog audio outputs (looking at the photos the audio hardware has slightly changed as well though it's hard to say to what extent).
MSI is not yet talking pricing or availability, but more information should be available soon. TechPowerUp has a hands on photo of the board here as well as a cheaper and cut down B450-A Pro motherboard.
Subject: Processors | June 5, 2018 - 11:03 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Threadripper, ryzen, amd, 32-core, 12nm
During the keynote address at Computex in Taipei, AMD SVP Jim Anderson was on stage to showcase a preview of the upcoming 2000-series of Threadripper processors for high-end consumer PCs. The Threadripper brand already made waves last year by bringing 16-core and 32-thread designs to the market for the very first time, improving performance for extreme productivity tasks, rendering, development, video, and more.
We knew that the 2000-series was coming this year, based on the 12nm process from GlobalFoundries, just as the Ryzen 2000-series uses, but we have narrowed the availability time frame to Q3 of 2018.
But the big story at the show was that this generation would see a doubling of the maximum core count on Threadripper. Yes, you will be able to buy 32-core and 64-thread AMD Threadripper CPUs later this year!!
Hot on the heels of the impressive, but dubiously cooled, Intel 28-core demo yesterday, AMD is clearly intent on continuing momentum that is has built throughout 2017. AMD didn’t show us any Cinebench numbers, but my understanding is that the demo provided was completely air cooled. Intel’s…not so much. While impressive to see 28-cores at 5 GHz yesterday, more impressive is a 32-core machine with a system design I would be willing to implement.
No more details on pricing, performance, or platform were made available during the keynote, but we’ll be asking those questions as the week progresses.
Get ready for 32-cores!!
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | May 18, 2018 - 04:33 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Vega, ryzen, raven ridge, Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition, r5 2400g, r3 2200g, amd
The new Q2 2018 drivers are based on AMD's current Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition release and bring features such as ReLive and the Radeon overlay to the Vega-powered desktop platform.
We haven't had a lot of time to look for potential performance enhancements this driver brings yet, but we did do a quick 3DMark run on our Ryzen 5 2400G with memory running at DDR4-3200.
Here, we see healthy gains of around 5% in 3DMark Firestrike for the new driver. While I wouldn't expect big gains for older titles, newer titles that have come out since the initial Raven Ridge drive release in February will see the biggest gains.
We are still eager to see the mobile iterations of AMD's Raven Ridge processors get updated drivers, as notebooks such as the HP Envy X360 have not been updated since they launched in November of last year.
It's good to see progress from AMD on this front, but they must work harder to unify the graphics drivers of their APU products into the mainstream graphics driver releases if they want those products to be taken seriously as gaming options.
Subject: Processors | May 11, 2018 - 02:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, ryzen, xfr2, precision boost 2, Precision Boost Overdrive
Whether you have had a chance to play around with a new Ryzen processor or not, you might benefit from more information on what XFR2 and Precision Boost 2 are and what they are not. [H]ard|OCP spent some time to write an article that dispels the rumours which have been spread, especially the fact that these are both unreleased at the moment. Together they will provide support for Precision Boost Overdrive, which could be supported by Ryzen Zen+ CPUs on an X470 motherboard, at least in theory. When enabled it will utilize the ability of the new Ryzen Master software to monitor your motherboards VRM usage and if it sees it is below it capacity it will relax the vCore limiter on your CPU allowing more juice to flow in which can be used to increase the frequency of your Zen + chip. It will be interesting to see how effective this is, but for now all we can do is read about it.
"We wanted to put together a quick overview about what Precision Boost 2 and XFR2 are NOT about. It seems that slides leaked, and faked, earlier in the 2nd generation Ryzen's development have clouded some people's understanding on what features are included, but more important which features are not."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- AMD Ryzen 5 2600 3.4 GHz @ TechPowerUp
- AMD Ryzen 7 2700 @ Guru3D
- AMD Ryzen 7 2700 3.2 GHz @ TechPowerUp
- The Best CPUs: This is what you should get @ TechSpot
- Intel Core i5-8500 3.0 GHz @ TechPowerUp
Subject: Motherboards | May 9, 2018 - 02:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: x470, amd, ryzen, Pinnacle Ridge
Techspot have revealed what their favourite X470 motherboards are and a brief overview of why they chose it over other available models, except for Micro-ATX seeing as how they are as rare as hen's teeth. The prices range fom $130 to $300 and do include Mini-ITX as there are several models available. Take a look at their reasoning and follow up by reading fll reviews to see if the board is really for you.
"There's already loads of great AMD X470 motherboards to choose from starting as low as $130. Asus, Asrock, MSI and Gigabyte have all done a great job with their boards and to be completely honest, for the most part you can't go wrong."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- MSI B350m Gaming Pro @ Modders-Inc
- Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi @
- ASUS ROG Strix X470-I Gaming @ Kitguru
- ASRock H370M-ITX/ac @ TechPowerUp
- MSI X370 Gaming Pro Carbon Review @ OCC
- MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC Review @ Neoseeker
2018: A banner year
Intel has a long history of generating tremendous amounts of revenue and income. This latest quarter is no exception. Intel has announced record Q1 revenues for this year and they look to continue that trend throughout 2018. AMD released their very positive results yesterday, but their finances are dwarfed by what Intel has brought to market. The company had revenue of $16.1 billion with a net income of $4.5 billion. Compare this to AMD’s $1.625B revenue and $81M net income we see that the massive gulf between these two companies will not be bridged anytime soon with either Intel falling or AMD gaining.
Intel has put its money to good use with a wide variety of products that stretch between the PC market and datacenters. While their low power and ultra-mobile strategies have been scaled back and cancelled in some cases, their core markets are unaffected and they continue to make money hand over fist. The company has always been fundamentally sound in terms of finances and they do not typically spend money recklessly. They continue to feature market leading IPC with their product lines and can address multiple markets with the x86 products they have.
Subject: General Tech | April 26, 2018 - 11:35 AM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: Samsung, ryzen, rtx, podcast, philips, nvidia, logitech, K95, Intel, Hydro PTM, fsp, craft, corsair, Cannon Lake-U, battletech, amd, 970 PRO, 970 EVO, 8086K
PC Perspective Podcast #497 - 04/26/18
Join us this week for discussion on Ryzen X470 NVMe performance, Samsung 970 performance, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts:Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Ken Addison,
Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg
Program length: 1:39:00
Podcast topics of discussion:
Week in Review:
0:26:35 AMD Announces Q1 2018 Results
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News items of interest:
Picks of the Week:
1:27:00 Allyn: Cool USB external enclosure
1:29:15 Jeremy: Acer XZ350CU Black 35" 21:9 Curved Monitor, FreeSync 144 Hz
1:30:30 Josh: I love this case.
1:32:15 Ken: CloudHQ
Subject: Processors | April 25, 2018 - 09:45 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: Zen+, Vega, TSMC, ryzen, Results, Q1 2018, Polaris, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, financials, amd, 7nm, 12nm
Today AMD announced their latest financial results for Q1 2018. We expected it to be a good quarter with their guidance earlier this year, but I doubt many thought it would be as strong as it turned out to be. AMD posted revenue of $1.65 billion with a net income of $81 million. This is up from the expected $1.57 billion that analysts expected from what is typically a slow quarter. This is up 40% from Q1 2017 and its $1.18 billion and up 23% from Q4 2017.
There are multiple reasons behind this revenue growth. The compute and graphics segment lead the way with $1.12B of revenue. The entire year of 2017 AMD had released parts seemingly nonstop since March and the introduction of Ryzen. Q1 continued this trend with the release of the first Ryzen APUs with Vega Graphics introducing the 2000 series. AMD also ramped up production of the newly released Zen+ Ryzen chips and started shipping those out to retailers and partners alike. Initial mobile Ryzen parts were also introduced and shipped with SKUs being also shipped to partners who have yet to announce and release products based on these chips. Finally the strength of the Radeon graphics chips in both gaming and blockchain applications allowed them a tremendous amount of sellthrough throughout 2017 and into 2018. AMD estimates that 10% of the quarter was due to blockchain demand.
Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom had a revenue of $532 million, which is lower than most analysts expected. Semi-Custom in particular has seen a decline over the past few quarters with the release and saturation of the market of the latest console platforms utilizing AMD designed chips. It appears as though much of the contract is front loaded in terms of revenue with royalties tapering off over time as sales decrease. AMD did have some significant wins, namely providing Intel with Vega based GPUs to be integrated with Intel’s Kaby Lake-G based units. These declines were offset by the shipment of EPYC based processors that are slowly ramping and being shipped to partners to be integrated into server platforms later this year. We have seen a handful of wins from companies like Dell EMC, but AMD is still slowly re-entering the market that they were forced to abandon with their previous, outdated Opteron products. AMD expects to reach mid-single digit marketshare during 2019, but for now they are just getting off the ground with this platform.
The company is not standing still or resting on their laurels after the successful and heralded launch of the latest Ryzen 2000 series chips based on the Zen+ architecture. It is aggressively ramping their mobile chips featuring the Zen/Vega combination and have some 25 product wins being released throughout late spring and summer. Overall partners have some 60 products either shipping or will ship later this year featuring Ryzen based CPUs.
There is some fear that AMD will see its GPU sales throughput be impacted by the recent drop of cryptocurrency value. Several years back with the Bitcoin crash we saw a tremendous amount of secondhand product being sold and GPU revenues for the company tanked. AMD is a bit more optimistic about the upcoming quarter as they expect the current cryptocurrency/blockchain market is much more robust and people will be holding onto these cards to mine other products/workloads rather than drop them on eBay. My thought here is that we will see a rise in cards available on the secondary/used market, but quite a bit might be offset by latent gaming demand that has been held back due the outrageous prices of GPUs over the past year. People that have been waiting for prices to get back to MSRP or below will then buy. This could be further enhanced if memory prices start to drop, providing more affordable DDR4 and flash for SSDs.
The company is also forging ahead with advanced process technology. They have recently received silicon back from TSMC’s 7nm process and it looks to be a Vega based product. The rumor surrounding this is that it will be more of a compute platform initially rather than gaming oriented. Later this year AMD expects to receive new EPYC silicon, but it looks as though this will be from GLOBALFOUNDRIES 7nm process. AMD wants to be flexible in terms of manufacturing, but they have a long history with GLOBALFOUNDRIES when it comes to CPU production. The two companies work closely together to make sure the process and CPU design match up as cleanly as possible to allow products such as Zen to reach market successfully. The GPU arm is obviously more flexible here as they have a history with multiple foundry partners throughout the past two decades.
AMD has set an aggressive, but achievable, timetable of product releases that is initially focusing on the CPU side but would logically be transitioning to the GPU side. Zen+ is out on time and has met with acclaim from consumers and reviewers alike. The latest GPU products are comparable in performance to what NVIDIA has to offer, though they are less power efficient for that level of performance. The “pipecleaner” Vega on 7nm will pave the way towards Navi based products that look to be introduced next year. AMD could possibly refresh Vega on 12nm, but so far there has been no concrete information that such a product exists. They may very well continue to rely on current Polaris and Vega products throughout the rest of this year while focusing on Navi efforts to have a more competitive part come 2019.
Q2 2018 looks to be another successful quarter for AMD. The company’s outlook calls for revenue in the $1.725 billion range, plus or minus $50 million. AMD expects continued growth in all Ryzen product lines and greater throughput of EPYC based products as companies test and release products based on that platform. The GPU market could remain flat, but will most likely decline. That decline will be more than covered by the sell-through of the Ryzen line from top to bottom.
AMD improved their margin by an impressive 4%. Going from 32% to 36% showed the strength and higher ASPs of both CPU and GPU products. AMD expects another 1% increase over the next quarter. While these are good numbers for AMD, they do not match the 58%+ for NVIDIA and Intel when it comes to their margins. AMD certainly has a lot of room for improvement, and a richer product stack will allow them to achieve greater ASPs and see a rise in their overall margins. If EPYC becomes more successful, then we could see another significant improvement in margins for the company.
AMD is getting back to where they belong in terms of product placement, competitiveness, and financial performance. The company has seen a huge improvement year on year and hopes to continue that with a rich product stack that addresses multiple areas of computing. AI and machine learning is ramping up in the company in terms of software support as they feel their CPUs and GPUs are already good enough to handle the workloads. As more money comes in, they can afford to diversify and create a wider product base to compete in more markets. So far Lisa Su has been very, very successful in helping pull AMD from the ashes to the competitive situation that they currently find themselves in.
Subject: Processors | April 25, 2018 - 02:42 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: ryzen 7, ryzen 5, ryzen, Pinnacle Ridge, amd
For those of you that missed it, there was a bit of controversy this week, when a Reddit user found a support page on AMD's website which stated that use of any other "heatsink/fan" than the included one with AMD "Processor-in-Box" products would invalidate their warranty.
As you might imagine, this caused some confusion and concern from owners and potential purchasers of Ryzen CPUs. How would AMD be able to tell if you were using a third-party cooler? What about the Ryzen 1000 series SKUs that didn't come with coolers?
As it turns out, this was an older support page that does not accurately reflect the warranty of modern AMD processors. AMD has since updated the warranty page to provide clarification.
Now, the page reads that the warranty shall be null and void if the processor "is used with any heatsink/fan (HSF) that does not support operation of the AMD processor in conformance with AMD’s publicly available specifications."
Kudos to the community who put the spotlight on this potentially misleading support page, and AMD for providing quick and decisive clarification on their actual warranty policies.