Subject: General Tech | September 18, 2017 - 04:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, raven ridge, Bristol Ridge, Ryzen 5 2500U, Zen, Vega, 14nm
If the rumours are true, the new 14nm Raven Ridge based AMD Ryzen 5 2500U will offer an impressive jump in performance compared to AMD's current generation of APUs. The Inquirer's source suggests the new APU will offer a 50% jump in single threaded performance and an impressive 90% advantage on multi-threaded performance. The multithreaded performance improvement may be the headline but seeing a huge increase in single threaded applications, AMD's recent Achilles Heel, shows some interesting improvements to Zen. This will also mark the arrival of their first APU with Vega onboard, so you can expect better graphics performance as well. The benchmark numbers and links are here.
"LEAKED BENCHMARKS for AMD's forthcoming Raven Ridge APUs suggest that upcoming devices, expected to be launched in time for Christmas, will outperform current Bristol Ridge APUs by up to 90 per cent on multicore applications."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Unloved Microsoft Edge is much improved – but will anyone use it? @ The Register
- CCleaner hack: 'Supply-chain attack' saw app install malware on users' machines @ The Inquirer
- Superconference Speakers Revealed @ Hack a Day
- Microsoft Confirms Outlook Issues @ Slashdot
- These Twenty Assistive Technologies Projects Won $1000 In The Hackaday Prize @ Hack a Day
- Linux 4.14 'getting very core new functionality' says Linus Torvalds @ The Register
- Top 5 Worst GPUs @ TechSpot
- Reolink Argus Wireless Battery-Powered Security Camera Review @ OCC
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: Processors | August 10, 2017 - 03:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Zen, X399, Threadripper, ryzen, amd, 1950x, 1920x
When you look at the results Ryan posted, it was clear that when it comes to video rendering and other content creation it is AMD's chip which comes out ahead in performance, and at a better price point that Intel's Core i9. Don't just take our word for it, many others reviewed the new chips, including [H]ard|OCP. Their results agree, showing that the only advantage Intel has is in single threaded applications, in which case the frequency of the 4.6GHz Intel part can outpace the 4GHz Threadripper. Those picking up Threadripper have no interest in single threaded applications, they prefer their programs to be spread across multiple cores and not only does Threadripper have the most cores, it allows you to flip between NUMA and UMA depending on your preference. Check out [H]'s review here before continuing below the fold.
"The day is finally upon us that many CPU enthusiasts have been waiting for. We get to see what AMD's new Threadripper CPU is all about in terms of performance, and in attempts to cool the beast. There has been no lack of hype for months now, so let's see if it is all justified."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- AMD Threadripper 1950X review: Better than Intel in almost every way @ Ars Technica
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X @ Kitguru
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X & 1920X @ Techspot
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X & 1950X Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Intel Core i7 7820X Linux Benchmarks @ Phoronix
Subject: Memory | August 10, 2017 - 03:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Zen, Threadripper, ryzen, amd, G.Skill, flare x, quad channel
G.SKILL have launched several new kits specifically designed for Threadripper systems, all under the name of Flare X. There are three 32GB kits and a single massive 128GB kit to choose from, all quad channel and all tested for compatibility with Threadripper.
Taipei, Taiwan (10 Aug 2017) – G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world’s leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, announces all-new DDR4 specifications and expanding the Flare X series, designed for AMD processors and platforms. Compatible with the new Ryzen™ Threadripper™ processors and AMD X399 chipset motherboards, these new DDR4 specifications are designed to achieve high frequency at DDR4-3600MHz 32GB (8GBx4), as well as a massive total capacity at DDR4-2933MHz 128GB (16GBx8). Included in the mix of new quad-channel DDR4 memory kits are DDR4-3200MHz CL14 32GB (8GBx4) and DDR4-3466MHz CL16 32GB (8GBx4).
Ultra-High Frequency Flare X Series Memory Kits at DDR4-3600MHz 32GB (8GBx4)
With improved overclocking performance on the latest AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ processors on the X399 chipset, G.SKILL is announcing the DDR4-3600MHz CL16-18-18-38 with 32GB (8GBx4) total capacity running in quad-channel mode, under the Flare X series. Tested for maximum stability, this kit’s frequency speed marks the fastest memory kit ever released thus far for an AMD platform.
Massive Kit Capacity, No Compromises: DDR4-2933MHz 128GB (16GBx8)
One of the advantages introduced by the AMD X399 platform is the increase to 8 memory slots on AMD platforms, allowing the support for massive 128GB capacity kits running in quad-channel mode. Tested using the highest standards for memory stability on AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ platforms, G.SKILL announces the Flare X series DDR4-2933MHz CL14-14-14-34 128GB (16GBx8) memory kit running at 1.35V, perfect for systems requiring high-capacity, high-bandwidth memory kits.
Who is this for, anyway?
Today is a critically important day for AMD. With the launch of reviews and the on-sale date for its new Ryzen Threadripper processor family, AMD is reentering the world of high-end consumer processors that it has been absent from for a decade, if not longer. Intel has dominated this high priced, but high margin, area of the market since the release of the Core i7-900 series of Nehalem CPUs in 2008, bringing workstation and server class hardware down to the content creator and enthusiast markets. Even at that point AMD had no competitive answer, with only the Phenom X4 in our comparison charts. It didn’t end well.
AMD has made no attempt of stealth with the release of Ryzen Threadripper, instead adopting the “tease and repeat” campaign style that Radeon has utilized in recent years for this release. The result of which is an already-knowledgeable group of pre-order ready consumers; not a coincidence. Today I will summarize the data we already know for those of you just joining us and dive into the importance of the new information we can provide today. That includes interesting technical details on the multi-die implementation and latency, overclocking, thermals, why AMD has a NUMA/UMA issue, gaming performance and of course, general system and workload benchmarks.
A Summary of Threadripper
AMD has been pumping up interest and excitement for Ryzen Threadripper since May, with an announcement of the parts at the company’s financial analyst day. It teased 16 cores and 32 threads of performance for a single consumer socket, something that we had never seen before. At Computex, Jim Anderson got on stage and told us that each Threadripper processor would have access to 64 lanes of PCI Express, exceeding the 40 lanes of Intel’s top HEDT platforms and going well above the 28 lanes that the lower end of its family offers.
In mid-July the official announcement of the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X and 1920X occurred, with CEO Lisa Su and CVP John Taylor having the honors. This announcement broke with most of the important information including core count, clock speeds, pricing, and a single performance benchmark (Cinebench). On July 24th we started to see pictures of the Threadripper packaging show up on AMD social media accounts, getting way more attention than anyone expected a box for a CPU could round up. At the end of July AMD announced a third Threadripper processor (due in late August). Finally, on August 3rd, I was allowed to share an unboxing of the review kit and the CPU itself as well as demonstrate the new installation method for this sled-based processor.
It’s been a busy summer.
Subject: Processors | July 27, 2017 - 05:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: 1200, 1300x, amd, ryzen, ryzen 3, Zen
Two Ryzen CPUs have been revealed and tested today, opening a new battle at the lower end of the market. These CPUs will not take any performance crowns, instead they are battling for domination in a market extremely sensitive total cost and to performance per dollar. The Ryzen 3 1300X at $129 and 1200 at $109 need are competing against the lower end of Intel's SKUS, like the ~$80 Pentium G4560, the $165 Core i3-7350K and the i3-6100 or i3-7100 at ~$115.
The Tech Report found similar results to Ryan's testing, with performance right in line with pricing; not faster but not lagging behind by much. In many cases the decision as to which chip to get could lie in the future of the system being built. If you are not worried about highly parallel software which requires more cores nor planning to get a discrete GPU then Intel's offerings make sense. On the other hand if you see multi-threaded applications as vital and plan to purchase a GPU as opposed to relying on a CPU with an iGPU then a Ryzen 3 chip could last you quite a while. TR's full review is here and there are plenty more below the fold.
"AMD's Ryzen 3 CPUs bring the Zen architecture to its most affordable price point ever. Join us as we dive into gaming and productivity workloads with these new chips to see whether they can unseat Intel's evergreen Core i3s."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- AMD Ryzen 3 arrives to take on Intel's Core i3 from £105 @ The Inquirer
- AMD Ryzen 3 1300X & 1200 @ Kitguru
- The AMD Ryzen 3 Processor Tech Report @ TechARP
- AMD Ryzen 3 @ Techspot
- AMD Ryzen 3 1200 & 1300X CPU Review @ Neoseeker
- AMD Ryzen 3 1300X & 1200 Performance Review @ Hardware Canucks
- AMD Ryzen 3 1300X 3.4 GHz @ techPowerUp
- AMD Ryzen 3 1200 3.1 GHz @ techPowerUp
- Simulating AMD Ryzen 3 1200, 1300 Performance @ Techspot
- AMD Ryzen 5 1600 vs Intel Core i7-7800X: 30 Game Battle! @ Techspot
- Intel Core i9 7900X & Core i7 7740X Review @ OCC
- Overclocking the Intel Core i9-7900X @ [H]ard|OCP
Battle for the Mainstream
With today's release of the Ryzen 3 processors, AMD completes the circle of the mainstream Ryzen processor family. Starting with the 8-core Ryzen 7 that disrupted the high end of the market, followed by the Ryzen 5 that shook up the Core i5 segment, Ryzen 3 goes after the world of the Core i3 targeting budget PC builders, gamers, and even enterprising business consumers willing to build their own machines or looking for information here on what to select.
We already learned about the Ryzen 3 products launching today, the 1300X and the 1200, from a video that AMD CEO Lisa Su posted a couple of weeks ago. But pricing and performance were still an unknown, both of which we are going to show you in great detail today. What can a $129 and $109 processor get you with four true cores?
As you'll soon see, the Ryzen 3 product family competes against the Intel Core i3 line in terms of pricing but is definitely a concern for the Core i5 family when it comes to multi-threaded workloads. Let's dive into the specifications and see what AMD has put together for us.
The devil is in the details and as we will see the core counts and clock speeds of Ryzen 3 make it very compelling for a wide range of consumers.
|Ryzen 3 1300X||Ryzen 3 1200||Pentium G4560||Core i3-7100||Core i3-7350K||Ryzen 5 1600X||Ryzen 5 1500X||Core i5-7600K||Core i5-7500|
|Architecture||Zen||Zen||Kaby Lake||Kaby Lake||Kaby Lake||Zen||Zen||Kaby Lake||Kaby Lake|
|Base Clock||3.4 GHz||3.1 GHz||3.5 GHz||3.9 GHz||4.2 GHz||3.6 GHz||3.5 GHz||3.8 GHz||3.4 GHz|
|Turbo/Boost Clock||3.7 GHz||3.4 GHz||-||-||-||4.0 GHz||3.7 GHz||4.2 GHz||3.8 GHz|
|TDP||65 watts||65 watts||54 watts||51 watts||60 watts||95 watts||65 watts||91 watts||65 watts|
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|
EPYC makes its move into the data center
Because we traditionally focus and feed on the excitement and build up surrounding consumer products, the AMD Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 launches were huge for us and our community. Finally seeing competition to Intel’s hold on the consumer market was welcome and necessary to move the industry forward, and we are already seeing the results of some of that with this week’s Core i9 release and pricing. AMD is, and deserves to be, proud of these accomplishments. But from a business standpoint, the impact of Ryzen on the bottom line will likely pale in comparison to how EPYC could fundamentally change the financial stability of AMD.
AMD EPYC is the server processor that takes aim at the Intel Xeon and its dominant status on the data center market. The enterprise field is a high margin, high profit area and while AMD once had significant share in this space with Opteron, that has essentially dropped to zero over the last 6+ years. AMD hopes to use the same tactic in the data center as they did on the consumer side to shock and awe the industry into taking notice; AMD is providing impressive new performance levels while undercutting the competition on pricing.
Introducing the AMD EPYC 7000 Series
Targeting the single and 2-socket systems that make up ~95% of the market for data centers and enterprise, AMD EPYC is smartly not trying to swing over its weight class. This offers an enormous opportunity for AMD to take market share from Intel with minimal risk.
Many of the specifications here have been slowly shared by AMD over time, including at the recent financial analyst day, but seeing it placed on a single slide like this puts everything in perspective. In a single socket design, servers will be able to integrate 32 cores with 64 threads, 8x DDR4 memory channels with up to 2TB of memory capacity per CPU, 128 PCI Express 3.0 lanes for connectivity, and more.
Worth noting on this slide, and was originally announced at the financial analyst day as well, is AMD’s intent to maintain socket compatibility going forward for the next two generations. Both Rome and Milan, based on 7nm technology, will be drop-in upgrades for customers buying into EPYC platforms today. That kind of commitment from AMD is crucial to regain the trust of a market that needs those reassurances.
Here is the lineup as AMD is providing it for us today. The model numbers in the 7000 series use the second and third characters as a performance indicator (755x will be faster than 750x, for example) and the fourth character to indicate the generation of EPYC (here, the 1 indicates first gen). AMD has created four different core count divisions along with a few TDP options to help provide options for all types of potential customers. It is worth noting that though this table might seem a bit intimidating, it is drastically more efficient when compared to the Intel Xeon product line that exists today, or that will exist in the future. AMD is offering immediate availability of the top five CPUs in this stack, with the bottom four due before the end of July.
We are up to two...
UPDATE (5/31/2017): Crystal Dynamics was able to get back to us with a couple of points on the changes that were made with this patch to affect the performance of AMD Ryzen processors.
- Rise of the Tomb Raider splits rendering tasks to run on different threads. By tuning the size of those tasks – breaking some up, allowing multicore CPUs to contribute in more cases, and combining some others, to reduce overheads in the scheduler – the game can more efficiently exploit extra threads on the host CPU.
- An optimization was identified in texture management that improves the combination of AMD CPU and NVIDIA GPU. Overhead was reduced by packing texture descriptor uploads into larger chunks.
There you have it, a bit more detail on the software changes made to help adapt the game engine to AMD's Ryzen architecture. Not only that, but it does confirm our information that there was slightly MORE to address in the Ryzen+GeForce combinations.
Despite a couple of growing pains out of the gate, the Ryzen processor launch appears to have been a success for AMD. Both the Ryzen 7 and the Ryzen 5 releases proved to be very competitive with Intel’s dominant CPUs in the market and took significant leads in areas of massive multi-threading and performance per dollar. An area that AMD has struggled in though has been 1080p gaming – performance in those instances on both Ryzen 7 and 5 processors fell behind comparable Intel parts by (sometimes) significant margins.
Our team continues to watch the story to see how AMD and game developers work through the issue. Most recently I posted a look at the memory latency differences between Ryzen and Intel Core processors. As it turns out, the memory latency differences are a significant part of the initial problem for AMD:
Because of this, I think it is fair to claim that some, if not most, of the 1080p gaming performance deficits we have seen with AMD Ryzen processors are a result of this particular memory system intricacy. You can combine memory latency with the thread-to-thread communication issue we discussed previously into one overall system level complication: the Zen memory system behaves differently than anything we have seen prior and it currently suffers in a couple of specific areas because of it.
In that story I detailed our coverage of the Ryzen processor and its gaming performance succinctly:
Our team has done quite a bit of research and testing on this topic. This included a detailed look at the first asserted reason for the performance gap, the Windows 10 scheduler. Our summary there was that the scheduler was working as expected and that minimal difference was seen when moving between different power modes. We also talked directly with AMD to find out its then current stance on the results, backing up our claims on the scheduler and presented a better outlook for gaming going forward. When AMD wanted to test a new custom Windows 10 power profile to help improve performance in some cases, we took part in that too. In late March we saw the first gaming performance update occur courtesy of Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation where an engine update to utilize more threads resulted in as much as 31% average frame increase.
Quick on the heels of the Ryzen 7 release, AMD worked with the developer Oxide on the Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation engine. Through tweaks and optimizations, the game was able to showcase as much as a 30% increase in average frame rate on the integrated benchmark. While this was only a single use case, it does prove that through work with the developers, AMD has the ability to improve the 1080p gaming positioning of Ryzen against Intel.
Fast forward to today and I was surprised to find a new patch for Rise of the Tomb Raider, a game that was actually one of the worst case scenarios for AMD with Ryzen. (Patch #12, v1.0.770.1) The patch notes mention the following:
The following changes are included in this patch
- Fix certain DX12 crashes reported by users on the forums.
- Improve DX12 performance across a variety of hardware, in CPU bound situations. Especially performance on AMD Ryzen CPUs can be significantly improved.
While we expect this patch to be an improvement for everyone, if you do have trouble with this patch and prefer to stay on the old version we made a Beta available on Steam, build 767.2, which can be used to switch back to the previous version.
We will keep monitoring for feedback and will release further patches as it seems required. We always welcome your feedback!
Obviously the data point that stood out for me was the improved DX12 performance “in CPU bound situations. Especially on AMD Ryzen CPUs…”
Remember how the situation appeared in April?
The Ryzen 7 1800X was 24% slower than the Intel Core i7-7700K – a dramatic difference for a processor that should only have been ~8-10% slower in single threaded workloads.
How does this new patch to RoTR affect performance? We tested it on the same Ryzen 7 1800X benchmarks platform from previous testing including the ASUS Crosshair VI Hero motherboard, 16GB DDR4-2400 memory and GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition using the 378.78 driver. All testing was done under the DX12 code path.
The Ryzen 7 1800X score jumps from 107 FPS to 126.44 FPS, an increase of 17%! That is a significant boost in performance at 1080p while still running at the Very High image quality preset, indicating that the developer (and likely AMD) were able to find substantial inefficiencies in the engine. For comparison, the 8-core / 16-thread Intel Core i7-6900K only sees a 2.4% increase from this new game revision. This tells us that the changes to the game were specific to Ryzen processors and their design, but that no performance was redacted from the Intel platforms.