Author:
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: Various

Application Profiling Tells the Story

It should come as no surprise to anyone that has been paying attention the last two months that the latest AMD Ryzen processors and architecture are getting a lot of attention. Ryzen 7 launched with a $499 part that bested the Intel $1000 CPU at heavily threaded applications and Ryzen 5 launched with great value as well, positioning a 6-core/12-thread CPU against quad-core parts from the competition. But part of the story that permeated through both the Ryzen 7 and the Ryzen 5 processor launches was the situation surrounding gaming performance, in particular 1080p gaming, and the surprising delta  that we see in some games.

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.

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As a part of that dissection of the Windows 10 scheduler story, we also discovered interesting data about the CCX construction and how the two modules on the 1800X communicated. The result was significantly longer thread to thread latencies than we had seen in any platform before and it was because of the fabric implementation that AMD integrated with the Zen architecture.

This has led me down another hole recently, wondering if we could further compartmentalize the gaming performance of the Ryzen processors using memory latency. As I showed in my Ryzen 5 review, memory frequency and throughput directly correlates to gaming performance improvements, in the order of 14% in some cases. But what about looking solely at memory latency alone?

Continue reading our analysis of memory latency, 1080p gaming, and how it impacts Ryzen!!

5 by 5, AMD versus Intel in the $200 price range

Subject: Processors | May 9, 2017 - 03:26 PM |
Tagged: ryzen, amd, 1500X, 1600X, ryzen 5

The pricing of AMD's Ryzen 5 line spans from $170 to $250, similar to Intel's Core i5 line and may wwll tempt those a generation or two out of date to consider an upgrade.  In order to demonstrate differences in CPU performance Ars Technica tested both Intel and AMD processors paired with a GTX 1080 Ti.  By doing so at lower resolutions which the card can more than handle they expose differences in the performance of the two architectures, which seem to follow AMD's offerings into higher resolutions albeit with a smaller performance delta.  Check out the wide gamut of tests that were performed to see which architecture makes more sense for your usage, especially if you do more than just gaming and surfing.

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"The Ryzen 5 range is made up of four chips. At the top is the £240/$250 Ryzen 5 1600X, a 95W six-core chip that boasts simultaneous multithreading (SMT, the equivalent of hyper-threading), 16MB of L3 cache, and a 3.6GHz base clock."

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Source: Ars Technica

AMD Ryzen 7 1700X Selling for $333

Subject: Processors | May 9, 2017 - 03:13 PM |
Tagged: ryzen, amd, 1700X

A little birdie sent me a note this afternoon that the AMD Ryzen 7 1700X processor was selling on Amazon.com for just $333! Considering the launch price of that CPU was $399 just two months ago, a $60-70 discount makes this platform all the more compelling for consumers looking to build a new PC. Coupling that with the overclocking performance we saw from our Ryzen 1700 sample, you should be able to meet or exceed expectations with the 1700X model.

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This link led me down a bit of a rabbit hole as I wanted to see where a solid build would stand using that processor and a focus on budget. Now, keep in mind that this was put together rather hastily this afternoon, but here's what I came up with.

  Ryzen 7 1700X Build
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 1700X - $333
Cooler Thermaltake Contac Silent - $24
Motherboard ASUS Prime B350-Plus - $99
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB DDR4-3000 - $118
Graphics Card EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB - $149
Storage Samsung 850 EVO 250GB - $107
Case Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case - $56
Power Supply Corsair CX 500 watt - $59
Total Price $945 - Amazon.com Full Cart

For the base of the system, you can pick up the Ryzen 7 1700X processor for $333, a great B350-based motherboard from ASUS for $99 and 16GB of DDR4 memory running at 3000 MHz for just $118. Getting that memory at higher clock speeds is important for optimal Ryzen performance - hunt around to find the best deal! That's just $550 for the heart of a system that could power anything from the GTX 1050 Ti I included above to the GTX 1080 Ti if you are pushing the limits of graphics performance. 

If you try to stay within a reasonable budget, as I did above, you can build a from-scratch machine for under $1000 with some impressive specifications and capabilities. The GTX 1050 Ti will get you peak 1080p gaming capability while the 8-cores and 16-threads of the Ryzen 7 1700X will improve any workstation-class or multimedia workloads. 

Separately, but interestingly, the gang at 3DCenter.org posted the results of a survey taken about the Ryzen 5 processor launch, measuring the readers reactions to the release. In it, 83.9% of the audience looked upon the Ryzen 5 favorably, 9.4% as average and 6.7% negatively. If you compare that to the Ryzen 7 launch (74.6% favorable, 17.5% average, 7.9% negative) it seems that Ryzen 5 was better received than its big brother. But if you look back to October 2011 when the same survey was run about AMD Bulldozer, only 6.8% saw the CPU launch as favorable (!!). The last CPU launch that received nearly as positive a reaction as Ryzen 5/7 was the Sandy Bridge CPU back in January of 2011.

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Obviously this survey isn't a predictor of success or failure exactly, but it does point to an audience that is incredibly receptive to the new AMD processors. My own experience tells me that these numbers are fairly accurate to the mood about Ryzen, even after the 1080p gaming fiasco that circulates to this day. Interest and reaction are great for a company that needs to make in-roads in the market, but converting that consumer interest into purchases is the key for AMD going forward.

Qualcomm Launches Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms

Subject: Processors, Mobile | May 9, 2017 - 01:55 PM |
Tagged: spectra, snapdragon mobile platform, snapdragon, qualcomm, Kryo, isp, hexagon, dsp, adreno, 660, 630

Today Qualcomm took the covers off of an update to the Snapdragon 600 family of processors, now known as mobile platforms. The Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms are important products in the company’s portfolio as they address a larger segment of the consumer market than the premium-tier Snapdragon 800 while still offering performance and feature sets above the budget segments of the 400s. The Snapdragon 820 and 835 traditionally get all of the attention from media, the 600-series is at the heart of popular devices like the Sony Xperia X, Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra, HTC 10 Lifestyle and over 1000 more designs.

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The biggest changes to both new platforms come in the form of LTE connectivity and GPU performance. In a bid to bring previously unseen capabilities to the 600-series of solutions, Qualcomm has taken the Snapdragon X12 LTE modem that shipped with the Snapdragon 820/821 SoC and integrated it on both the 660 and 630. This creates mainstream mobile platforms that can run Cat 12/13 modems and speeds as high as 600 Mbps downstream (3x carrier aggregation) and 150 Mbps upstream (2x carrier aggregation).

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That is a significant move and should result in a massive amount of high speed devices saturating the market (and carriers’ networks) starting later this year. Along with that higher performance comes the same X12 feature set that we saw with Snapdragon 820/821 including adaptive antenna tuning capability (TruSignal) and dynamic signal quality adjustments for power efficiency optimizations.

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The GPU performance of both the Snapdragon 660 and 630 get a boost over the previous competitors (653 and 626 respectively) though they do so with different Adreno implementations. The SD 660 uses the Adreno 512 GPU that offers up to 30% better performance compared to the Adreno 510 used on the SD 650 series. While we don’t have details yet on where that advantage comes from (clocks or core improvements), I have a feeling that much of it comes from improved frequencies. The Snapdragon 630 uses the Adreno 508 GPU, compared to the 506 from the SD 626 processor, and also claims to have a 30% performance advantage over the previous generation.

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Continue reading about the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platform!

Source: Qualcomm

Aqua Computer and Rockit don't want you to keep your hat on

Subject: Processors | April 27, 2017 - 06:24 PM |
Tagged: rockit, risky business, overclocking, kaby lake, delidding, core i7 7700k, aqua computer

Delidding a Kaby Lake processor such as the i7-7700k does not offer the same overclocking advantages as with previous generations when replacing the TIM gave you more headroom.  Instead of being able to push your CPU past 5GHz, popping the lid off of a Kaby Lake reduces operating temperatures and likely extends the life of the processor ... or immediately ends it.  If you don't have a 3D printer handy to make your own delidder, then take a peek at this review from TechPowerUp.  They try out two delidding tools, one from Aqua Computer and one from Rockit which Morry has used; do be aware that any CPUs killed as a result of reading their review is the responsibility of the one who delidded.

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"Intel mainstream CPUs have had a bottleneck in cooling due to poor heat transfer from the CPU die to the integrated heat spreader. Thanks to new de-lidding friendly tools released recently, it is now easier than ever before to handle this yourself and get a cooler running CPU. We examine two such solutions from Rockit Cool and Aqua Computer today, both of which promise fool-proof de-lidding and re-lidding"

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Source: TechPowerUp
Manufacturer: EKWB

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of EKWB

EK's Supremacy line of CPU waterblocks are well known for their performance and style. Their latest version in this block line, the Supremacy MX, advances their design in the hopes of getting more optimized performance out of a less costly version of their award winning block series. The base Supremacy MX CPU waterblock is a copper and plexi construction using the same jet-impingement and micro-channel design as that used in their previous block versions. The block comes fully assembled from the factory with a single CPU mounting bracket type (in this case, the Intel version). Note that additional CPU mounting kits are available for purchase. With an MSRP of $54.99, the Supremacy MX waterblock offers a compelling purchase in light of its performance potential.

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Courtesy of EKWB

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Courtesy of EKWB

The block is assembled with hex-head screws going through the copper base plate with rubber grommets ensuring the integrity of the block internals. The top aluminum cover plate is held to the plexi top using short hex-head screws that thread directly into the plexi top plate. The center inlet feeds the micro-channels embedded in the copper base plate through the jet-impingement assembly. The mounting bracket sits in between the top plexi plate and the copper base plate, making any an interesting upgrade if you want to switch out the CPU mount plate to use the block on a different CPU family (like going from Intel to AMD Ryzen for example). The aluminum top plate gives the block a sleek appearance and acts to redirect illumination from the side mounted LEDs (if you choose to use LEDs with the block that is).

Continue reading our review of the EK Supremacy MX CPU waterblock!

Rumor: Intel Expects Coffee Lake and Basin Falls Early

Subject: Processors | April 19, 2017 - 08:00 PM |
Tagged: skylake-x, ryzen, kaby lake x, Intel, Core, coffee lake, amd

According to DigiTimes, Intel is expecting to release several new processors earlier than they had originally planned. That said, there are two issues with this report. The first point, which should be expected, is that it compares internal dates that were never meant to be public. It is not like Intel has changed their advertised roadmap.

The second problem is that it’s somewhat contradicted by Intel’s earlier, public statements.

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Their rumor claims that Intel will push up the launch of Basin Falls, which is Skylake-X, Kaby Lake-X, and X299, by about two months (around June). It also claims that Coffee Lake, which was originally scheduled for January 2018, will be released in August 2017. Both of these moves are being attributed to AMD’s new products.

The potential, somewhat, sort-of contradiction comes from a tweet that Intel made back in February. In it, they said that the 8th generation of Core processors are expected for 2H’17. This time frame doesn’t include January, although it only barely includes August, too. If Intel was always planning on launching Coffee Lake for the “back to school” season, then at least that half of DigiTimes’ story would be completely incorrect. On the other hand, if Intel’s tweet was talking about a sampling / paper launch in December, with volume shipment soon to follow, then DigiTimes would be fairly accurate.

We don’t know unless someone at Intel confirms either-or.

As for Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X, it would be interesting to see them launch at Computex / E3. Previous rumors (also from DigiTimes) that place it in the Gamescom, which is a huge gaming conference in Cologne. Interestingly, this rumor claims that only the four-, six-, eight-, and ten-core models will arrive at the time, with a twelve-core model waiting until the whole line was supposed to launch.

This omission makes me wonder if, in fact, Intel are rushing the launch, but they realize that they cannot get enough good chips to fill out the top-end SKU. In that case, it would make sense to push the smaller and partially-disabled chips out the door, while banking the big chips that can run all twelve cores at a reasonable voltage for some clock rate.

If so, that would, in fact, speak volumes about AMD’s roadmap (and Intel’s opinion of it).

Source: DigiTimes

Take 5 to read through the Ryzen roundup

Subject: Processors | April 11, 2017 - 02:46 PM |
Tagged: z270, ryzen 5, ryzen, amd, 1600X, 1400

As you have already read through Ryan's review of the Ryzen 1600X and 1500X running on MSI's B350 Tomahawk you know about how the chips measure up to Intel's offerings at the same price point.  Life being what it is, there is always a trade between testing everything and publishing results in a timely manner so it is possible that we missed your favourite game, benchmark or test setting which is why roundups such as this exist.  For instance over at [H]ard|OCP the tests were performed on an MSI Krait Z270 Gaming motherboard and they also had a chance to review the $169 Ryzen 5 1400. 

Drop by to take a look and don't forget there are a whole lot more just below.

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"AMD has been on a tear with its new Ryzen 7 CPUs over the past few weeks and now it is time for the Ryzen 5 processor family performance to be explored. We are giving away the AMD Reviewer's Kit with a 1600X and 1500X, instead we bought 1600 and 1400 processors to review here today. All data is retail CPUs, and all overclocked to 4GHz."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP
Author:
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: AMD

The real battle begins

When AMD launched the Ryzen 7 processors last month to a substantial amount of fanfare and pent up excitement, we already knew that the Ryzen 5 launch would be following close behind. While the Ryzen 7 lineup was meant to compete with the Intel Core i7 Kaby Lake and Broadwell-E products, with varying levels of success, the Ryzen 5 parts are priced to go head to head with Intel's Core i5 product line. 

AMD already told us the details of the new product line including clock speeds, core counts and pricing, so there is little more to talk about other than the performance and capabilities we found from our testing of the new Ryzen 5 parts. Starting with the Ryzen 5 1600X, with 6 cores, 12 threads and a $249 price point, and going down to the Ryzen 5 1400 with 4 cores, 8 threads and a $169 price point, this is easily AMD's most aggressive move to date. The Ryzen 7 1800X at $499 was meant to choke off purchases of Intel's $1000+ parts; Ryzen 5 is attempting to offer significant value and advantage for users on a budget.

Today we have the Ryzen 5 1600X and Ryzen 5 1500X in our hands. The 1600X is a 6C/12T processor that will have a 50% core count advantage over the Core i5-7600K it is priced against but a 3x advantage in thread count because of Intel's disabling of HyperThreading on Core i5 desktop processors. The Ryzen 5 1500X has the same number of cores as the Core i5-7500 it will be pitted against, but 2x the thread count. 

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How does this fare for AMD? Will budget consumers finally find a solution from the company that has no caveats?

Continue reading our review of the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X and 1500X processors!!

Ryzen 5 surfaces on eBay

Subject: Processors | April 10, 2017 - 05:50 PM |
Tagged: amd, ryzen 5, ryzen 5 1600, ryzen 5 1400

Perhaps it is best not to ask how this came about, but you can order the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 from eBay.  The seller has an impressive reputation and as Kyle over at [H]ard|OCP has already ordered and received some, this should be a fairly safe opportunity to take advantage of.   The full review has not yet been published but that did not stop them from putting together a quick overclocking video.  If you have 20 minutes to spare and an interest in AMD's new processors you should take a look.

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"Much to our surprise, AMD Ryzen 5 CPUs started showing up online for sale last week in North America, so we did what any PC hardware review site would do. We went out and bought four of those and started working on seeing just how much overclocking headroom each of these new CPUs have."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP