Subject: General Tech | September 16, 2017 - 03:32 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Zen, Vega, ryzen 5, ryzen, raven ridge, APU, amd
Back in May AMD made Ryzen Mobile official indicating that the APUs previously known as "Raven Ridge" would be launching in the second half of 2017. As that launch window closes, more details are starting to trickle out including benchmarks scores. The latest appearance of Raven Ridge is in a Geekbench benchmark score results page where a "Ryzen 5 2500U" APU achieves a single core score of 3,561 and a multi-core score of 9,421. These are fairly impressive results on their own, but especially considering that Ryzen Mobile chips are reportedly using up to 50% less power versus last generation Bristol Ridge processors while handily beating them in performance offered.
AMD has previously claimed that its Ryzen Mobile (Raven Ridge) APUs will offer up to 50% more CPU performance and 40% more GPU performance compared to its 7th Generation APUs. The leaked Geekbench scores seem to back up those claims (for the most part) with the Ryzen 5 2500U scoring slightly above 36% better single core performance and 48% better multi-core performance compared to the AMD A12-9800 APU with the latter being due primarily to the addition of SMT to the processor design allowing for twice the number of CPU threads (eight total). The performance improvements are also due to the move from Excavator to a Zen-based design on a smaller more power efficient process node. What is most impressive about this mobile part is that it is that much faster than a 65W quad core (4 core / 4 thread) desktop Bristol Ridge APU clocked at 3.8 GHz base and 4.2 GHz boost while using approximately half the power!
The Geekbench benchmark is only one data point, but is still a positive sign. One thing it does not reveal is clockspeed as while it lists 2.0 GHz that number is likely only the base and not the maximum boost frequency. Further, details on the Vega-based GPU are still unknown although the Infinity Fabric should help tremendously in reducing the bottleneck and keeping the on die GPU fed with data while gaming especially when paired with fast dual channel memory or HBM (I just hope that Ryzen Mobile is not held back like previous generation mobile APUs were with laptop manufacturers pairing them with single channel memory setups). We also do not know officially the number of stream processors that will be included in any of the Vega GPUs used in Ryzen Mobile with past rumors going up to 1024 SPs (mobile parts will likely be capped at 512 or 768 at the extreme). AMD claims that Ryzen Mobile will offer up to 40% more GPU performance, which to me suggests that we will possibly see higher GPU core counts but for the most part performance improvements are going to come from architecture improvements.
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 12, 2017 - 03:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Vega, ryzen 7, ryzen 5, ryzen, RX 580, RX 570, RX 560, ruby, repetition, quake champions, amd
Remember Ruby, that animated heroine ATI used in tech demos many years back? She has returned recently and is now playable in Quake Champions for those who claim their free key. In addition to appearing in the game, she is also the centre of attention in this announcement from AMD.
If you purchase a new Ryzen 5 or 7 APU, or a RX 560, 570 or 580 you can now claim the Champions pack for Quake Champions for free. The Champions pack will retail for $40 and add access to all current and future characters to your game, including a custom Ruby skin for Nyx. If you purchased one of these products after August 22nd you are eligible to claim your key over at AMDRewards. The contest will run until October 29th or until the keys run out.
Subject: General Tech | September 11, 2017 - 05:27 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: Vega, TSMC, Samsung, ryzen, Intel, euv, 8nm, 7nm, 14nm, 11nm, 10nm
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 30, 2017 - 09:27 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, Vega, vega 56, vega 64
Because so many different video cards are made from a handful of chip designs, there is a group of people who like to see whether a lower-end SKU can be unlocked to behave like a higher-end one. In this case, kdtree on the ChipHell forums has apparently flashed the new AMD RX Vega 56 with the vBIOS from an AMD RX Vega 64. Personally, I would find that a little sketchy, given the difference in stream processor count, but they’re the one with the graphics card.
Turns out, it did something, but it did not magically create an RX Vega 64. The extra 512 shaders are probably disabled at the hardware level, such as with a laser. Your first reaction is probably “well, of course it is...” but, if you remember Polaris, users have software-modified 4GB cards into 8GB cards... so there is some precedence for “maybe AMD put more on the card than they said on the box”.
Oh right, so what did it do? It apparently gave the card a significant overclock. It’s hard to tell under the watermark, but the modified Vega 56 was just a percent or so away from the Vega 64 on 3DMark. I’m guessing a conventional overclock might do the same, but who knows.
Subject: General Tech | August 21, 2017 - 01:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Vega, amd, raja koduri, HBCC
Techgage has posted a look at what AMD's new HBCC feature in Vega is and how it will help you run games faster. HBCC allows your GPU to treat VRAM as a last-level cache, so that a request for data not currently located in VRAM can be pulled into Vega's HBC for immediate access while simultaneously flushing out data which is no longer needed. In addition to describing how the feature functions they also did quite a bit of testing to determine the real world effect of enabling HBCC in games and benchmarks. Drop by for a look.
"AMD’s Vega GPU architecture brings many notable features to the table, but the one to find its way into Radeon chief Raja Koduri’s heart is HBCC – or “high-bandwidth cache controller”. In this article, we’re going to take a look at what HBCC is, why it offers no benefit right this moment, and talk about what it could offer in the future."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- AMD RX VEGA @ Kitguru
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 & 56 Best Playable Settings At 4K & Ultrawide @ Techgage
- Asus ROG STRIX RX Vega64 O8G Gaming @ Kitguru
- How The Radeon OpenGL Performance Has Evolved From The HD 2900XT To RX Vega @ Phoronix
- AMD Radeon RX Vega56 8GB @ Kitguru
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 1, 2017 - 12:05 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Wolfenstein 2, vulkan, Vega, id Tech 6, id software, half-precision, game engine, FP16, amd
According to a report from Golem.de (German language), with the upcoming Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus game AMD Vega owners will have the advantage of FP16 shader support from a new version of the id Tech 6 engine. The game supports both DX12 and the Vulkan API, but the use of half-precision calculations - the scope of which has not been specified - will potentially offer higher frame-rates for AMD Vega users.
AMD provided some technical details about Wolfenstein 2 during their Threadripper/Vega tech day, and this new game includes “special optimizations” in the id Tech 6 game engine for AMD Vega hardware:
“For what exactly id Software (is using) FP16 instead of FP32, AMD did not say. These could post-processing effects, such as bloom. The performance should increase in the double-digit percentage range, (though) id Software did not want to comment on it.” (Translated from German.)
Subject: Processors | July 31, 2017 - 03:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: vega 64, vega 56, vega 10, Vega, radeon, amd, X399, Threadripper, ryzen, 1950x, 1920x, 1900x
Just in case you wanted to relive this weekends event, or you feel that somehow Ryan missed a detail when he was describing Threadripper or Vega, here is a roundup of other coverage of the event. The Tech Report contrast the Vega 64 and Vega 56 with a few older NVIDIA cards as well as more modern ones, giving you a sense of the recent evolution of the GPU. They also delve a bit into the pricing and marketing strategies which AMD has chosen, which you can check out here.
"AMD's Radeon RX Vega graphics cards are finally here in the form of the RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56. Join us as we see what AMD's new high-end graphics cards have in store for gamers."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- AMD Radeon RX Vega GPU Specs and Pricing Revealed @ [H]ard|OCP
- AMD Radeon RX Vega Preview @ techPowerUp
- AMD Vega Microarchitecture Technical Overview @ techPowerUp
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper Specs and Pricing Revealed @ [H]ard|OCP
- AMD's Ryzen Threadripper 1950X, Threadripper 1920X, and Threadripper 1900X CPUs revealed @ The Tech Report
RX Vega is here
Though we are still a couple of weeks from availability and benchmarks, today we finally have the details on the Radeon RX Vega product line. That includes specifications, details on the clock speed changes, pricing, some interesting bundle programs, and how AMD plans to attack NVIDIA through performance experience metrics.
There is a lot going on today and I continue to have less to tell you about more products, so I’m going to defer a story on the architectural revelations that AMD made to media this week and instead focus on what I think more of our readers will want to know. Let’s jump in.
Radeon RX Vega Specifications
Though the leaks have been frequent and getting closer to reality, as it turns out AMD was in fact holding back quite a bit of information about the positioning of RX Vega for today. Radeon will launch the Vega 64 and Vega 56 today, with three different versions of the Vega 64 on the docket. Vega 64 uses the full Vega 10 chip with 64 CUs and 4096 stream processors. Vega 56 will come with 56 CUs enabled (get it?) and 3584 stream processors.
Pictures of the various product designs have already made it out to the field including the Limited Edition with the brushed anodized aluminum shroud, the liquid cooled card with a similar industrial design, and the more standard black shroud version that looks very similar to the previous reference cards from AMD.
|RX Vega 64 Liquid||RX Vega 64 Air||RX Vega 56||Vega Frontier Edition||GTX 1080 Ti||GTX 1080||TITAN X||GTX 980||R9 Fury X|
|GPU||Vega 10||Vega 10||Vega 10||Vega 10||GP102||GP104||GM200||GM204||Fiji XT|
|Base Clock||1406 MHz||1247 MHz||1156 MHz||1382 MHz||1480 MHz||1607 MHz||1000 MHz||1126 MHz||1050 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1677 MHz||1546 MHz||1471 MHz||1600 MHz||1582 MHz||1733 MHz||1089 MHz||1216 MHz||-|
|Memory Clock||1890 MHz||1890 MHz||1600 MHz||1890 MHz||11000 MHz||10000 MHz||7000 MHz||7000 MHz||1000 MHz|
|Memory Interface||2048-bit HBM2||2048-bit HBM2||2048-bit HBM2||2048-bit HBM2||352-bit G5X||256-bit G5X||384-bit||256-bit||4096-bit (HBM)|
|Memory Bandwidth||484 GB/s||484 GB/s||484 GB/s||484 GB/s||484 GB/s||320 GB/s||336 GB/s||224 GB/s||512 GB/s|
|TDP||345 watts||295 watts||210 watts||300 watts||250 watts||180 watts||250 watts||165 watts||275 watts|
|Peak Compute||13.7 TFLOPS||12.6 TFLOPS||10.5 TFLOPS||13.1 TFLOPS||10.6 TFLOPS||8.2 TFLOPS||6.14 TFLOPS||4.61 TFLOPS||8.60 TFLOPS|
If you are a frequent reader of PC Perspective, you have already seen our reviews of the Vega Frontier Edition air cooled and liquid cards, so some of this is going to look very familiar. Looking at the Vega 64 first, we need to define the biggest change to the performance ratings of RX and FE versions of the Vega architecture. When we listed the “boost clock” of the Vega FE cards, and really any Radeon cards previous to RX Vega, we were referring the maximum clock speed of the card in its out of box state. This was counter to the method that NVIDIA used for its “boost clock” rating that pointed towards a “typical” clock speed that the card would run at in a gaming workload. Essentially, the NVIDIA method was giving consumers a more realistic look at how fast the card would be running while AMD was marketing the theoretical peak with perfect thermals, perfect workloads. This, to be clear, never happened.
With the RX Vega cards and their specifications, the “boost clock” is now a typical clock rate. AMD has told me that this is what they estimate the average clock speed of the card will be during a typical gaming workload with a typical thermal and system design. This is great news! It means that gamers will have a more realistic indication of performance, both theoretical and expected, and the listings on the retailers and partner sites will be accurate. It also means that just looking at the spec table above will give you an impression that the performance gap between Vega FE and RX Vega is smaller than it will be in testing. (This is, of course, if AMD’s claims are true; I haven’t tested it myself yet.)
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 30, 2017 - 10:07 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: Vega, Siggraph, Nano
This doesn't look like it was really meant to happen, but it is in the wild now! Twitter user Drew has posted a picture of Chris Hook holding up a Vega Nano card outside the show. It draws its design from the previous Vega products that we have seen with the shroud and the red cube in the top right corner. No specifications were included with this post, but we can see that the card is significantly shorter than the RX Vega FE that Ryan had reviewed.
TDPs should be in the sub-200 watt range for such a design. The original Nano was a 150 watt TDP part that performed quite well at the time. Pricing is again not included, but we will be able to guess once the rest of the Vega lineup is announced later.
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.