Subject: Graphics Cards | January 12, 2019 - 08:17 AM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: vega 64, Vega, RX VEGA 64, radeon vii, gpu, benchmarks, amd, 7nm
After announcing the Radeon VII this week at CES, AMD has quietly released its own internal benchmarks showing how the upcoming card potentially compares to the Radeon RX Vega 64, AMD's current flagship desktop GPU released in August 2017.
The internal benchmarks, compiled by AMD Performance Labs earlier this month, were released as a footnote in AMD's official Radeon VII press release and first noticed by HardOCP. AMD tested 25 games and 4 media creation applications, with the Radeon VII averaging around a 29 percent improvement in games and 36 percent improvement in professional apps.
AMD's test platform for its gaming Radeon VII benchmarks was an Intel Core i7-7700K with 16GB of DDR4 memory clocked at 3000MHz running Windows 10 with AMD Driver version 18.50. CPU frequencies and exact Windows 10 version were not disclosed. AMD states that all games were run at "4K max settings" with reported frame rate results based on the average of three separate runs each.
For games, the Radeon VII benchmarks show a wide performance delta compared to RX Vega 64, from as little as 7.5 percent in Hitman 2 to as much as 68.4 percent for Fallout 76. Below is a chart created by PC Perspective from AMD's data of the frame rate results from all 25 games.
In terms of media creation applications, AMD changed its testing platform to the Ryzen 7 2700X, also paired with 16GB of DDR4 at 3000MHz. Again, exact processor frequencies and other details were not disclosed. The results reveal between a 27% and 62% improvement:
It is important to reiterate that the data presented in the above charts is from AMD's own internal testing, and should therefore be viewed skeptically until third party Radeon VII benchmarks are available. However, these benchmarks do provide an interesting first look at potential Radeon VII performance compared to its predecessor.
Radeon VII is scheduled to launch February 7, 2019 with an MSRP of $699. In addition to the reference design showcased at CES, AMD has confirmed that third party Radeon VII boards will be available from the company's GPU partners.
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 11, 2019 - 04:35 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: video cards, Vega VII, Vega, Refresh, radeon, Mark Papermaster, graphics, gpus, cto, amd, 7nm
AMD CTO Mark Papermaster spoke with The Street in a video interview published yesterday, where he made it clear that we can indeed expect a new Radeon lineup this year. “It’s like what we do every year,” he said, “we’ll round out the whole roadmap”.
Part of this refresh has already been announced, of course, as Papermaster noted, “we’re really excited to start on the high end” (speaking about the Radeon VII) and he concluded with the promise that “you’ll see the announcements over the course of the year as we refresh across our Radeon roadmap”. It was not mentioned if the refreshed lineup will include 7 nm parts derived from the Vega VII shown at CES, but it seems reasonable to assume that we haven’t seen the last of Vega 2 in 2019.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Memory | December 17, 2018 - 04:33 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Vega, radeon, JESD235, jedec, high bandwidth memory, hbm, DRAM, amd
In a press release today JEDEC has announced an update to the HBM standard, with potential implications for graphics cards utilizing the technology (such as an AMD Radeon Vega 64 successor, perhaps?).
"This update extends the per pin bandwidth to 2.4 Gbps, adds a new footprint option to accommodate the 16 Gb-layer and 12-high configurations for higher density components, and updates the MISR polynomial options for these new configurations."
Original HBM graphic via AMD
The revised spec brings the JEDEC standard up to the level we saw with Samsung's "Aquabolt" HBM2 and its 307.2 GB/s per-stack bandwidth, but with 12-high TSV stacks (up from 8) which raises memory capacity from 8GB to a whopping 24GB per stack.
The full press release from JEDEC follows:
ARLINGTON, Va., USA – DECEMBER 17, 2018 – JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, the global leader in the development of standards for the microelectronics industry, today announced the publication of an update to JESD235 High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) DRAM standard. HBM DRAM is used in Graphics, High Performance Computing, Server, Networking and Client applications where peak bandwidth, bandwidth per watt, and capacity per area are valued metrics to a solution’s success in the market. The standard was developed and updated with support from leading GPU and CPU developers to extend the system bandwidth growth curve beyond levels supported by traditional discrete packaged memory. JESD235B is available for download from the JEDEC website.
JEDEC standard JESD235B for HBM leverages Wide I/O and TSV technologies to support densities up to 24 GB per device at speeds up to 307 GB/s. This bandwidth is delivered across a 1024-bit wide device interface that is divided into 8 independent channels on each DRAM stack. The standard can support 2-high, 4-high, 8-high, and 12-high TSV stacks of DRAM at full bandwidth to allow systems flexibility on capacity requirements from 1 GB – 24 GB per stack.
This update extends the per pin bandwidth to 2.4 Gbps, adds a new footprint option to accommodate the 16 Gb-layer and 12-high configurations for higher density components, and updates the MISR polynomial options for these new configurations. Additional clarifications are provided throughout the document to address test features and compatibility across generations of HBM components.
Vega meets Radeon Pro
Professional graphics cards are a segment of the industry that can look strange to gamers and PC enthusiasts. From the outside, it appears that businesses are paying more for almost identical hardware when compared to their gaming counterparts from both NVIDIA and AMD.
However, a lot goes into a professional-level graphics card that makes all the difference to the consumers they are targeting. From the addition of ECC memory to protect against data corruption, all the way to a completely different driver stack with specific optimizations for professional applications, there's a lot of work put into these particular products.
The professional graphics market has gotten particularly interesting in the last few years with the rise of the NVIDIA TITAN-level GPUs and "Frontier Edition" graphics cards from AMD. While lacking ECC memory, these new GPUs have brought over some of the application level optimizations, while providing a lower price for more hobbyist level consumers.
However, if you're a professional that depends on a graphics card for mission-critical work, these options are no replacement for the real thing.
Today we're looking at one of AMD's latest Pro graphics offerings, the AMD Radeon Pro WX 8200.
Subject: Graphics Cards | December 10, 2018 - 03:28 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Vega, trademark, rumor, report, radeon, graphics, gpu, amd, 7nm
The logo, with the familiar "V" joined by a couple of new stripes on the right side, could mean a couple of things; with a possible reference to Vega II (2), or perhaps the VII suggests the Roman numeral 7 for 7nm, instead? VideoCardz.com thinks the latter may be the case:
"AMD has registered a new trademark just 2 weeks ago. Despite many rumors floating around about Navi architecture and its possible early reveal or announcement in January, it seems that AMD is not yet done with Vega. The Radeon Vega logo, which features the distinctive V lettering, has now received 2 stripes, to indicate the 7nm die shrink."
Whatever the case may be it's interesting to consider the possibility of a 7nm Vega GPU before we see Navi. We really don't know, though it does seem a bit presumptuous to consider a new product as early as CES, as Tech Radar speculates:
"We know full well that the next generation of AMD graphics will be built upon a 7nm architecture going by the roadmaps the company released at CES 2018. At the same time, it seems to all sync up with AMD's plans to announce new 7nm GPUs at CES 2019, so it almost seems certain that we’ll see Vega II graphics cards soon."
The prospect of new graphics cards is always tantalizing, but we'll need more than a logo before things really get interesting.
Subject: Mobile | November 19, 2018 - 05:12 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Vega8, Vega, Smach Zero, SMACH Z, handheld, gaming, embedded, crowdfunding, APU, AMD Ryzen
A crowdfunding campaign of lengthy duration (originally known as the SteamBoy in 2014 before the name first changed to the Smach Zero the following year) the handheld gaming device now known as the SMACH Z is finally slated for production early next year as reported by ComputerBase (German language), according to an update for crowdfunding backers posted by the company.
What makes this handheld relevant to PC gamers? The SMACH Z will now be powered by an embedded AMD Ryzen processor with Vega graphics, rather than the previously announced AMD Jaguar solution, with the description on the Indigogo page offering this:
"We have chosen latest generation of AMD Ryzen Embedded processors, the Ryzen Embedded V1605B SoC with AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics. Thanks to their latest technological advances, the dream of playing your PC games on the go is becoming a reality."
What is the V1605B? It combines a 4 core/8 thread CPU clocked at 2.0 - 3.6 GHz with a Vega8 GPU offering 512 shaders and up to a 1.1 GHz core clock. The specifications on the Kickstarter page still list the AMD Merlin Falcon RX-421BD SoC with integrated Radeon R7 GPU, though the Indigogo campaign page has the updated SMACH Z announcement video (from March 2018) which refers to the V1605B instead.
The unfortunately-named SMACH Z is targeting "AAA" game support, but lower resolutions and detail settings will be required for smooth gameplay on this portable, of course (the company's video showcases Witcher 3 apparently averaging 40 FPS at 720p resolution, for example).
Subject: General Tech | November 8, 2018 - 01:54 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Zen 2, xeon, Vega, rome, radeon instinct, podcast, MI60, Intel, EPYC, cxl-ap, chiplet, cascade lake, amd, 7nm
PC Perspective Podcast #521 - 11/08/18
Join us this week for discussion on AMD's new Zen 2 architecture, 7nm Vega GPUs, SSD encryption vulnerabilities, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Jim Tanous, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano, Ken Addison, and Sebastian Peak
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Program length: 1:42:27
Podcast topics of discussion:
Week in Review:
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News items of interest:
Picks of the Week:
Subject: General Tech | October 31, 2018 - 04:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: apple, amd, Vega
Among the various Apple announcements this week was a win for AMD, as Apple has renewed their agreement and will be using Radeon Pro Vega GPUs in it's soon to be released MacBook Pros. We aren't expecting any more big surprises from the release, such as the iPad Pro now sporting USB C, the updated GPU may be the largest change this generation but it will be appreciated by some content creators. You can read more about the various announcements over at The Inquirer.
"AMD GPUs are nothing new in Mac machines, given the MacBook Pros have previously rocked the Radeon Pro 560X, but Cupertino is now bringing AMD's Vega-based GPUs to its expensive laptops."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Helium implicated in weird iPhone malfunctions @ Ars Technica
- 50 ways to leave your lover, but four to sniff browser history @ The Register
- It's been a week since engineers approved a new DNS encryption standard and everyone is still yelling @ The Register
- OCC Reveals Its Best AMD Motherboard Picks 2018OCC Reveals Its Best AMD Motherboard Picks 2018
- Guru3D Rig of the Month - October 2018
Subject: Editorial | October 24, 2018 - 09:13 PM | Josh Walrath
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.
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.
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.
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.
Subject: General Tech, Processors | September 6, 2018 - 01:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
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.
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.