Subject: Editorial | July 25, 2017 - 10:48 PM | Josh Walrath
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.
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.
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.
Subject: Processors | July 24, 2017 - 12:19 PM | Ryan Shrout
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.
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.
Just a little taste
In a surprise move with no real indication as to why, AMD has decided to reveal some of the most exciting and interesting information surrounding Threadripper and Ryzen 3, both due out in just a few short weeks. AMD CEO Lisa Su and CVP of Marketing John Taylor (along with guest star Robert Hallock) appear in a video being launched on the AMD YouTube website today to divulge the naming, clock speeds and pricing for the new flagship HEDT product line under the Ryzen brand.
We already know a lot of about Threadripper, AMD’s answer to the X299/X99 high-end desktop platforms from Intel, including that they would be coming this summer, have up to 16-cores and 32-threads of compute, and that they would all include 64 lanes of PCI Express 3.0 for a massive amount of connectivity for the prosumer.
Now we know that there will be two models launching and available in early August: the Ryzen Threadripper 1920X and the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X.
|Core i9-7980XE||Core i9-7960X||Core i9-7940X||Core i9-7920X||Core i9-7900X||Core i7-7820X||Core i7-7800X||Threadripper 1950X||Threadripper 1920X|
|Base Clock||?||?||?||?||3.3 GHz||3.6 GHz||3.5 GHz||3.4 GHz||3.5 GHz|
|Turbo Boost 2.0||?||?||?||?||4.3 GHz||4.3 GHz||4.0 GHz||4.0 GHz||4.0 GHz|
|Turbo Boost Max 3.0||?||?||?||?||4.5 GHz||4.5 GHz||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Cache||16.5MB (?)||16.5MB (?)||16.5MB (?)||16.5MB (?)||13.75MB||11MB||8.25MB||40MB||?|
|DDR4-2666 Quad Channel|
|TDP||165 watts (?)||165 watts (?)||165 watts (?)||165 watts (?)||140 watts||140 watts||140 watts||180 watts||180 watts|
|Threadripper 1950X||Threadripper 1920X||Ryzen 7 1800X||Ryzen 7 1700X||Ryzen 7 1700||Ryzen 5 1600X||Ryzen 5 1600||Ryzen 5 1500X||Ryzen 5 1400|
|Base Clock||3.4 GHz||3.5 GHz||3.6 GHz||3.4 GHz||3.0 GHz||3.6 GHz||3.2 GHz||3.5 GHz||3.2 GHz|
|Turbo/Boost Clock||4.0 GHz||4.0 GHz||4.0 GHz||3.8 GHz||3.7 GHz||4.0 GHz||3.6 GHz||3.7 GHz||3.4 GHz|
|DDR4-2666 Quad Channel||DDR4-2400
|TDP||180 watts||180 watts||95 watts||95 watts||65 watts||95 watts||65 watts||65 watts||65 watts|
Performance not two-die four.
When designing an integrated circuit, you are attempting to fit as much complexity as possible within your budget of space, power, and so forth. One harsh limitation for GPUs is that, while your workloads could theoretically benefit from more and more processing units, the number of usable chips from a batch shrinks as designs grow, and the reticle limit of a fab’s manufacturing node is basically a brick wall.
What’s one way around it? Split your design across multiple dies!
NVIDIA published a research paper discussing just that. In their diagram, they show two examples. In the first diagram, the GPU is a single, typical die that’s surrounded by four stacks of HBM, like GP100; the second configuration breaks the GPU into five dies, four GPU modules and an I/O controller, with each GPU module attached to a pair of HBM stacks.
NVIDIA ran simulations to determine how this chip would perform, and, in various workloads, they found that it out-performed the largest possible single-chip GPU by about 45.5%. They scaled up the single-chip design until it had the same amount of compute units as the multi-die design, even though this wouldn’t work in the real world because no fab could actual lithograph it. Regardless, that hypothetical, impossible design was only ~10% faster than the actually-possible multi-chip one, showing that the overhead of splitting the design is only around that much, according to their simulation. It was also faster than the multi-card equivalent by 26.8%.
While NVIDIA’s simulations, run on 48 different benchmarks, have accounted for this, I still can’t visualize how this would work in an automated way. I don’t know how the design would automatically account for fetching data that’s associated with other GPU modules, as this would probably be a huge stall. That said, they spent quite a bit of time discussing how much bandwidth is required within the package, and figures of 768 GB/s to 3TB/s were mentioned, so it’s possible that it’s just the same tricks as fetching from global memory. The paper touches on the topic several times, but I didn’t really see anything explicit about what they were doing.
If you’ve been following the site over the last couple of months, you’ll note that this is basically the same as AMD is doing with Threadripper and EPYC. The main difference is that CPU cores are isolated, so sharing data between them is explicit. In fact, when that product was announced, I thought, “Huh, that would be cool for GPUs. I wonder if it’s possible, or if it would just end up being Crossfire / SLI.”
Apparently not? It should be possible?
I should note that I doubt this will be relevant for consumers. The GPU is the most expensive part of a graphics card. While the thought of four GP102-level chips working together sounds great for 4K (which is 4x1080p in resolution) gaming, quadrupling the expensive part sounds like a giant price-tag. That said, the market of GP100 (and the upcoming GV100) would pay five-plus digits for the absolute fastest compute device for deep-learning, scientific research, and so forth.
The only way I could see this working for gamers is if NVIDIA finds the sweet-spot for performance-to-yield (for a given node and time) and they scale their product stack with multiples of that. In that case, it might be cost-advantageous to hit some level of performance, versus trying to do it with a single, giant chip.
This is just my speculation, however. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes, whenever it does.
Subject: Systems | June 12, 2017 - 07:00 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Threadripper, sli, ryzen, RX 580, PC, gtx 1080 ti, gaming, desktop, dell, crossfire, amd, alienware
Dell has revealed their new Alienware Area-51 gaming desktops featuring the latest high-performance AMD and Intel processors. We will begin with a look at the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition, and Dell has an exclusive on pre-built systems using the new Ryzen Threadripper CPUs.
"Through 2017, Dell will be the exclusive OEM partner to deliver AMD Ryzen Threadripper pre-built systems to the market and the high-end 16-core will be factory-overclocked across all 16-cores and 32 logical threads. The Area-51 Threadripper Edition is ideal for customers who explore the world of mega-tasking, doing many system demanding tasks at the same time, and are looking for a complete, reliable solution from a trusted brand."
The systems are based on the X399 chipset and can be configured with either a 12-core/24-thread or 16-core/32-thread AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors, which are liquid-cooled in all configurations. Standard memory configurations begin with quad-channel 2667 MHz DDR4 up to 64GB, with 2933MHz HyperX memory up to the same quad-channel 64GB available. Graphics options begin with a choice between an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti or AMD Radeon RX 570, and max out at either dual GTX 1080 Ti or triple Radeon RX 580 cards.
Storage options include up to a 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD and 2TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s HDD, and networking is handled by dual Killer E2500 Gigabit NICs and a choice of either Dell 1820 802.11ac 2x2 or Killer 1535 802.11ac 2x2 Wi-Fi. (A look at the other Area-51 desktop annoucement provides a more complete look at the rest of the general specifications - with a few chipset-related differences.)
Features from Dell/Alienware:
- Designed for Megatasking, game streaming and more, the new Area 51 Threadripper Edition is ready for today’s most demanding PC gaming enthusiast and supports high performance configurations with a chipset that enables up to 64 PCIe Gen 3 lanes.
- All configuration come standard with unlocked, factory-overclocked across all cores and liquid cooled AMD Ryzen Threadripper CPUs with Alienware's most powerful liquid cooling unit to date.
- Iconic triad high quality, uniquely engineered chassis built to deliver exceptional airflow, thermal management, and user ergonomics for daily use and future upgrades.
- Supports NVIDIA SLI and AMD Crossfire graphics technology, with dual and triple GPU options
- Introduces M.2 storage options to Area-51.
- Built for gaming enthusiast wanting the absolute best gaming performance played with a VR, 4k or 8k display
- Alienware Command Center includes AlienFX, AlienAdrenaline, AlienFusion, Thermal and Overclocking Controls
The Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition will be available beginning
June July 27, and pricing information is not yet announced.
Subject: Motherboards | June 5, 2017 - 05:08 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tr4, Threadripper, computex, asrock, amd
In case you need just a bit more Computex news, ASRock is jumping into the high-end AMD desktop platform with two new X399 motherboards using the massive TR4 socket for AMD Threadripper. The new premium motherboards are part of the company’s Professional Gaming and Taichi series and are packed with workstation friendly features.
HardwareCanucks spotted the new boards on the show floor.
Both motherboards arare clad in black and silver colors with the professional gaming having some red accents and the Taichi having a stylized gear shaped chipset heatsink. The ASRock X399 Professional Gaming and X399 Taichi both feature eight DDR4 DIMM slots supporting quad channel memory, four PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots, one PCI-E x1 slot, three Ultra M.2 (x4 PCI-E or SATA drives), one U.2 port, and eight SATA 6Gbps ports. The boards are powered by a 24-pin ATX, 8-pin and 4-pin EPS12V and a 6-pin PCI-E power connector to provide stable slot power to PCI-E devices like graphics cards. The Professional Gaming reportedly has a 10+2 power phase feeing the CPU and memory, and while there is no confirmation that the Taichi also has this it should be close if not the same power phase design.
In addition to aesthetic design choices, the boards differ in networking and audio with the ASRock X399 Professional Gaming sporting Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 3 and the X399 Taichi have Purity Sound 4. The Threadripper motherboards both support Wi-Fi and two Intel Gigabit Ethernet ports. The X399 Professional Gaming adds a 10 Gigabit Ethernet interface that is not present on the Taichi, however.
Rear I/O on the TR4 X399 motherboards include eight USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, three USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports (including one Type-C), dual (Intel) Gigabit Ethernet, six audio connections (5 analog, one digital), two Wi-Fi antenna connectors, and a single PS/2 port. The X399 Professional Gaming also has 10GbE port.
Unfortunately, no word on pricing or availability.
We will have to wait for reviews to know for sure, but it appears that while ASRock did not go quite as crazy with the power input as Asus and it’s ROG Zenith Extreme, the company has some nice-looking motherboards. Hopefully they perform as well as they look and enable enthusiasts to push the envelope in terms of hardware and clockspeeds when overclocking. If you are interested in these motherboards, Computerbase.de has several more photos of them on their site.
If you are looking for something a "bit" smaller, ASRock also unveiled the Mini ITX X370 Gaming-ITX/ac that uses the X370 chipset on the AM4 (Ryzen) platform.
Subject: Motherboards | June 3, 2017 - 08:09 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: X399, tr4, Threadripper, computex, ASUS ROG, asus, amd
Asus is showing off its flagship motherboard for the AMD X399 Threadripper platform at Computex this week, and it is quite the RGB laden beast. The Asus Republic of Gamers Zenith Extreme measures 12” x 10.9” and is powered by a 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS12V, and a molex connector for extra PCI-E power. The power is conditioned by an 8+2 power phase for the CPU and both banks of DDR4 memory. Overclocking should not be an issue, and even appears to be encouraged with the inclusion of usual array of various ROG overclocking features (LN2 and overclocking buttons, an OLED readout, on board start and reset buttons, ect)
The top half of the board is dominated by the massive TR4 socket and the eight DIMM slots that surround it (128GB maximum). Above the CPU sits the power phases under a small aluminum heat spreader that has a heat pipe to connect it to the heasink above the rear IO connectors. The bottom half of the board holds four PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots (x16/x8/x16/x8), one PCI-E 3.0 x1 slot, one PCI-E 3.0 x4 slot, one M.2 slot under the X399 chipset heatsink, one U.2 connector, and six SATA 6Gbps ports. There is also a riser board by the rightmost DIMM slot that reportedly holds two M.2 22110 connectors.
Networking support includes Intel I211-AT Gigabit Ethernet, ROG 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and 802.11AD Wi-Fi. Further, the Zenith Extreme features SupremeFX audio (S1220 codec and ESS901BQ2C DAQ). Fans of RGB will be happy to see Asus is using RGB LEDs on the I/O and chipset heatsinks as well as a configurable OLED display on the I/O heatsink.
Rear I/O includes two USB 2.0, 12 USB 3.1 Gen 1, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps, one Type-A and one Type-C), and six audio ports. There are also external antenna connectors for the built-in Wi-Fi.
This is one monster of a motherboard, and it should allow users to take full advantage of AMD’s Threadripper processor. Unfortunately, there is no word on exact pricing or availability beyond that it is expected sometime in August following the estimated launch date of Threadripper.
Subject: Memory | June 1, 2017 - 08:30 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: x299, Trident Z RGB, Threadripper, ryzen, LGA 2066, G.Skill, ddr4, computex 2017, computex
G.Skill was in full force at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan this week with not just one but three systems based on Intel’s new X299 platform each featuring flashy G.Skill Trident Z RGB memory clocked above 4GHz!
Hexus.net got hands-on at Computex 2017.
During the event, G.Skill had three systems set up showing off its newest Trident Z RGB kits running on X299 motherboards. The kits included a 16GB (2 x 8GB) kit running at 4,400 MHz with 19-19-19-39 timings on a Gigabyte X299-SOC Champion motherboard. Moving up to 32GB (2 x 16GB DIMMs), G.Skill showed off a kit running on an ASRock X299 OC Formula board at 4,000 MHz with 17-18-18-38 timings. Finally, G.Skill showed an eight module 64GB kit (8 x 8GB) running at 4,200 MHz with 19-21-21-41 timings on an Asus PRIME X299-Deluxe.
At the event a G.Skill representative made the point to Hexus.net (they have a video of the G.Skill booth) that adding LEDs to memory modules does not have to mean sacrificing performance.
Interestingly, Hexus also saw a demonstration of a prototype Trident Z memory kit (the red/silver non RGB type) running at an extremely impressive 4,800 MHz on an ASRock X299 OC Formula!
It has been a long time since I’ve been excited this about memory, but with all the major players pushing speeds as far as they can and the impending launch of new high-end desktop platforms from AMD and Intel things are about to get interesting!
- Intel Core i9 Announced: 18-core Skylake-X, Kaby Lake-X and X299
- Computex 2017: AMD Threadripper will include 64 lanes of PCI Express 3.0, Demos with Quad Vega FE
- AMD AGESA Update 18.104.22.168 Will Support Configurable Memory Sub Timings And Clockspeeds Up To 4,000 MHz
- Need memory for that dream X299 build? Perhaps Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-3466 would do you
- HyperX Introduces Higher Speed DDR4 Memory Kits Up to 4,000 MHz
- Computex 2017: ASUS Announces Prime and TUF Intel X299 Motherboards
Subject: General Tech | June 1, 2017 - 12:33 PM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: x299, WD, VROC, video, Vega, toshiba, Threadripper, snapdragon 835, ryzen mobile, qnap, podcast, nvidia, msi, max-q, Killer xTend, Intel, evga, Core i9, asus, asrock, arm, amd, agesa, a75, A55
PC Perspective Podcast #452 - 01/01/17
Join us for talk about Computex 2017 and more!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano
Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg, Ken Addison
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
0:55:00 RX Vega pushed to end of July (SIGGRAPH), FE on June 27th
Subject: Processors | May 30, 2017 - 10:49 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Threadripper, ryzen, PCI Express, amd
During AMD’s Computex keynote, the company confirmed that the every one of the upcoming Threadripper HEDT platform first announced earlier in May, will include 64 lanes of PCI Express 3.0. There will not be a differentiation in the product line with PCIe lanes or in memory channels (all quad-channel DDR4). This potentially gives AMD the advantage for system connectivity, as the Intel Skylake-X processor just announced yesterday will only sport of 44 lanes of PCIe 3.0 on chip.
Having 64 lanes of PCI Express on Threadripper could be an important differentiation point for the platform, offering the ability to run quad GPUs at full x16 speeds, without the need of any PLX-style bridge chips. You could also combine a pair of x16 graphics cards, and still have 32 lanes left for NVMe storage, 10 GigE networking devices, multi-channel SAS controllers, etc. And that doesn’t include any additional lanes that the X399 chipset may end up providing. We still can’t wait to see what motherboard vendors like ASUS, MSI and Gigabyte create with all that flexibility.
On-stage, we saw a couple of demonstrations of what this connectivity capability can provide. First, a Threadripper system was shown powering Radeon RX Vega graphics cards running the new Prey PC title at 4K.
On-stage, we saw a couple of demonstrations of what this connectivity capability can provide. First, a Threadripper system was shown running the same Blender rendering demo used in the build up to the initial Ryzen CPU launch.
Next, CEO Lisa Su came back on stage to demo AMD Threadripper running with a set of four Radeon Vega Frontier Edition cards running together for ray tracing.
And finally, a gaming demo! AMD Ryzen Threadripper was demoed with dual Radeon RX Vega (the gaming versions) graphics cards running at 4K/Ultra settings on the new Prey PC title. No frame rates were mentioned, no FRAPS in the corner, etc.
(Side note: Radeon Vega FE was confirmed for June 27th launch. Radeon RX Vega will launch at SIGGRAPH at the end of July!)
We still have a ways to go before we can make any definitive comments on Threadripper, and with Intel announcing processors with core counts as high as 18 just yesterday, it’s fair to say that some of the excitement has been dwindling. However, with aggressive pricing and the right messaging from AMD, they still have an amazing opportunity to break away a large segment of the growing, and profitable, HEDT market from Intel.