from the the-hype-is-real dept.
AMD Ryzen 7 Launches
Reviews and benchmarks for AMD's Ryzen 7 8-core desktop CPUs flooded out at 9 AM EST/6 AM PST:
Along with the new microarchitecture, Zen is the first CPU from AMD to be launched on GlobalFoundries' 14nm process, which is semi-licenced from Samsung. At a base overview, the process should offer 30% better efficiency over the 28nm HKMG (high-k metal gate) process used at TSMC for previous products. One of the issues facing AMD these past few years has been Intel's prowess in manufacturing, first at 22nm and then at 14nm - both using iterative FinFET generations. This gave an efficiency and die-size deficit to AMD through no real fault of their own: redesigning older Bulldozer-derived products for a smaller process is both difficult and gives a lot of waste, depending on how the microarchitecture as designed. Moving to GloFo' 14nm on FinFET, along with a new microarchitecture designed for this specific node, is one stepping stone to playing the game of high-end CPU performance.
Ryzen 5 chips will be released sometime in "Q2", and are presumed to have 4 to 6 cores with hyperthreading enabled. One of these has been revealed: the Ryzen 5 1600X. It has 6 cores, and equivalent clock (3.6 GHz) and turbo (4.0 GHz) speeds to the $500 8-core flagship Ryzen 7 1800X. Ryzen 3 chips will be released in the second half of the year, and include quad-cores with no hyperthreading.
The Intel Core i7-7700K maintains a lead in single-threaded performance, but the Ryzen 7 chips lead in many multi-threaded benchmarks (sometimes beating the $1089 Intel Core i7-6900K).
AMD Ryzen 7 Great, but Underwhelming for Gamers
PC Gamer has just published a lengthy and in-depth review of the new AMD Ryzen 7 CPU, (unfortunately broken down into seven separate pages). Their verdict? The AMD Ryzen 7 has plenty of power, but underwhelming video game performance.
The good news is that in heavily-threaded workloads, Ryzen looks every bit as potent as AMD has suggested. Processors with eight cores and sixteen threads have been relegated to the extreme performance community by Intel going back to the i7-5960X, with a starting price of $1000. AMD takes that ludicrous price tag and kicks it to the curb with a $500 halo part, and then ups the ante with $400 and $330 offerings. And just for good measure, every single Ryzen processor is multiplier unlocked, so enthusiasts can coax even more performance out of the parts.
If you've been longing to try out a beastly 16-threaded monster, the price barrier to entry just got slashed from around $2000 for a complete high-end build to around $1250. Ryzen also easily beats the old FX-series in every test I ran, with even the entry-level Ryzen 7 1700 at times more than doubling the performance of the FX-8370. Yeah.
The bad news is that Ryzen's single-threaded performance, and perhaps more importantly its clock speeds, aren't quite as impressive. In some workloads, Ryzen does a great job at keeping up with Intel's Haswell/Broadwell architectures, but it's about 5-10 percent slower per clock compared to Skylake/Kaby Lake. Toss in the higher clocks of Kaby Lake and 10 percent can quickly turn into a 40 percent deficit in some tests. Among the use cases where Intel maintains a decent lead over Ryzen is gaming performance, though this varies by game.
The result is some great wins for Ryzen, and some painful losses. But the losses are actually a bit odd. To be frank, Ryzen and the AM4 platform feel a bit undercooked right now.
It appears that Intel will remain the choice of CPU for video gamers, at least until the Zen+.
AnandTech's Interview with AMD CEO Lisa Su
Q5: How vital was it to support Simultaneous Multi Threading?
LS: I think it was very important. I think it was very complicated! Our goal was to have a very balanced architecture. We wanted high single threaded performance, and SMT was important given where the competition is. We didn't want to apologize for anything with Zen – we wanted high single thread, we wanted many cores, but sorry we don't have SMT? We didn't want to say that, we wanted to be ambitious and give ourselves the time to get it done.
[...] Q8: Do you find that OEMs that haven't worked with AMD are suddenly coming on board?
LS: I will say that we have engagements with every OEM now on the high-performance space. Twelve months ago, a number of them would have said that they don't have the resources to do multiple platforms. So yes, I think momentum helps in this space.
Q9: At Intel's recent Investor Day we learned that future chips will incorporate multiple dies on the same package. This allows a semiconductor firm to focus on smaller chips and potentially better yields at the expense of some latency. Given what we predict will happen, what is your opinion on having large 600mm2 silicon? Is there a future?
LS: There has been a lot of debate on this topic. I find it a very interesting debate. Certainly on the graphics side we view High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) and the ability to get that interconnect between the GPU and memory to be extremely differentiating. So certainly we will use that throughout our graphics roadmap. If you look at our CPU roadmap, I do think there's a case to be made for multi-chip modules. It depends on the trade-offs you have to do, the bandwidth requirements you have, but yes as the process technology becomes more complicated, breaking up the tasks does make sense.
The day of reckoning.
Also at Tom's Hardware (which includes gaming benchmarks, unlike the AnandTech review), Ars Technica ("AMD Ryzen is an excellent workstation CPU—shame its gaming performance is weak"), PCWorld, HEXUS.
AMD has released more details about its upcoming desktop CPUs:
For starters, it's no longer referred to by the architectural code-name "Zen," or by the desktop-specific implementation "Summit Ridge." Instead, you'll see those first CPUs show up on store shelves under the "Ryzen" brand. (As in, the company's CPU portfolio is reborn, or risen. Think of that what you will. [However, it is pronounced "Rye-zen".]) For now, it's distinct from the FX moniker, which just doesn't have the enthusiast cachet it did 13 years ago.
- "Pure Power", which monitors temperature, speed, voltage, and power consumption in real time
- Clock speeds that can be adjusted by 25 MHz steps, rather than the typical 100 MHz increments of previous chips
- "Extended Frequency Range", an automated system for overclocking when cooling is sufficient
- A "true artificial network" for preloading instructions and prefetching data
AMD Ryzen Improves IPC by 52%, not 40%
AMD Ryzen 7 desktop chips are now available for pre-order, and will be released generally on March 2nd. The cheapest "Ryzen 7" 8-core chip will be $329, but has 16 threads just like the $399 and $499 versions (there had been some concern that it might not have multi-threading). Ryzen 3 and 5 series quad-core and hex-core chips will be released later.
AMD held a "Tech Day" to share details about its new chips. Over the past year or two, AMD has said that their goal was to improve instructions per clock (IPC) by 40% with Zen/Ryzen. Now they are saying that they have achieved that... by improving IPC by 52%. It's an impressive number that would not have been possible had Ryzen's predecessor, the Bulldozer architecture, been competitive with Intel's CPUs (on single-threaded performance). However, keep in mind that comparisons between Ryzen and Bulldozer or certain Intel Core i7 CPUs are still based on information provided by AMD.
The 8-core design features 4.8 billion transistors and "200 meters of wiring".
YouTuber removes footage of Ryzen Overclock World Record
YouTube tech pundit Austin Evans uploaded a video earlier today containing footage of AMD's Ryzen launch event. Shortly afterwards, the video was made private, then replaced with a re-edited version of the piece with a couple of changes. A section in which Austin outed the Vega video card by name was edited and overdubbed with the description "a really cool graphics card".
Another section of the video showed an overclocking competition held at the event with a number of well-known LN2 overclocking experts seeing just how far they could push the new Ryzen chips. This whole section was removed, including footage of "a Ryzen chip" running at just over 5.1GHz, followed by the OCers celebrating as a run on Cinebench's R15 multi-threaded performance test set a new world record.
Comments on the video asking why the video was replaced and uploaded confirm that the Vega mention and OC section were removed. Austin Evans did not explain exactly why these changes were made, merely saying "YOU SAW NOTHING" in the comments section.
The 5.1GHz figure is from my memory. I think it might have been 5.16GHz more exactly, but I'm not completely sure about that and obviously can't verify it from the original video.
Some Soylentils were disappointed by the gaming performance of AMD's Ryzen CPUs when they were launched last month. By now, updates have eliminated some of the advantage that Intel CPUs had, but the potential gains differ depending on the game:
The first big Ryzen patch was for Ashes of the Singularity. Ryzen's performance in Ashes was arguably one of the more surprising findings in the initial benchmarking. The game has been widely used as a kind of showcase for the advantages of DirectX 12 and the multithreaded scaling that it shows. We spoke to the game's developers, and they told us that its engine splits up the work it has to do between multiple cores automatically.
In general, the Ryzen 1800X performed at about the same level as Intel's Broadwell-E 6900K. Both parts are 8-core, 16-thread chips, and while Broadwell-E has a modest instructions-per-cycle advantage in most workloads, Ryzen's higher clock speed is enough to make up for that deficit. But in Ashes of the Singularity under DirectX 12, the 6900K had average frame rates about 25 percent better than the AMD chip.
In late March, Oxide/Stardock released a Ryzen performance update for Ashes, and it has gone a long way toward closing that gap. PC Perspective tested the update, and depending on graphics settings and memory clock speeds, Ryzen's average frame rate went up by between 17 and 31 percent. The 1800X still trails the 6900K, but now the gap is about 9 percent, or even less with overclocked memory (but we'll talk more about memory later on).
AMD's high Ryzen sales may have convinced the company to release a new version on a slightly improved process in Spring 2018:
AMD has informed its partners that it plans to launch in February 2018 an upgrade version of its Ryzen series processors built using a 12nm low-power (12LP) process at Globalfoundries, according to sources at motherboard makers.
The company will initially release the CPUs codenamed Pinnacle 7, followed by mid-range Pinnacle 5 and entry-level Pinnacle 3 processors in March 2018, the sources disclosed. AMD is also expected to see its share of the desktop CPU market return to 30% in the first half of 2018.
AMD will launch the low-power version of Pinnacle processors in April 2018 and the enterprise version Pinnacle Pro in May 2018.
The new "Pinnacle Ridge" chips appear to be part of a Zen 1 refresh rather than "Zen 2", which is expected to ship in 2019 on a 7nm process. The 12nm Leading-Performance (12LP) process was described by GlobalFoundries as providing 15% greater circuit density and a 10% performance increase compared to its 14nm FinFET process.
AMD has yet to release 14nm "Raven Ridge" CPUs for laptops.
2017 has been a great year for the tech enthusiast, with the return of meaningful competition in the PC space. Today, AMD announced their third quarter earnings, which beat expectations, and put the company's ledgers back in the black in their GAAP earnings. For the quarter, AMD had revenues of $1.64 billion, compared to $1.31 billion a year ago, which is a gain of just over 25%. Operating income was $126 million, compared to a $293 million loss a year ago, and net income was $71 million, compared to a net loss of $406 million a year ago. This resulted in earnings per share of $0.07, compared to a loss per share of $0.50 in Q3 2016.
[...] The Computing and Graphics segment has been a key to these numbers, with some impressive launches this year, especially on the CPU side. Revenue for this segment was up 74% to $819 million, and AMD attributes this to strong sales of both Radeon GPUs and Ryzen desktop processors. Average Selling Price (ASP) was also up significantly thanks to Ryzen sales. AMD is still undercutting Intel on price, but they don't have to almost give things away like they did the last couple of years. ASP of GPUs was also up significantly, and the proliferation of cryptocurrency likely played a large part in that. Operating income for the segment was an impressive $70 million, compared to an operating loss of $66 million last year.
Previously: AMD Ryzen Launch News
AMD GPU Supply Exhausted By Cryptocurrency Mining, AIBs Now Directly Advertising To Miners
AMD Epyc 7000-Series Launched With Up to 32 Cores
Cryptocoin GPU Bubble?
Ethereum Mining Craze Leads to GPU Shortages
Used GPUs Flood the Market as Ethereum's Price Crashes Below $150
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 and 56 Announced
First Two AMD Threadripper Chips Out on Aug. 10, New 8-Core Version on Aug. 31
Cryptocurrency Mining Wipes Out Vega 64 Stock
AMD Expected to Release Ryzen CPUs on a 12nm Process in Q1 2018