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posted by martyb on Thursday August 03 2017, @09:14PM   Printer-friendly
from the Finally-Mega-FPS-Pong dept.

AMD's TR 1950X (16 cores) and TR 1920X (12 cores) CPUs will be released on August 10th:

The news at the top of the hour is the date at which AMD is making Threadripper and associated TR4 based motherboards available at retail: August 10th. This is expected to be a full worldwide retail launch, so don't be surprised if your favorite retailer starts posting teaser images about how much stock they have. August 10th will see both the 1950X and 1920X with their retail packaging, along with motherboards from the main four motherboard vendors.

AMD has also announced an 8-core version of Threadripper, the TR 1900X, for $549. Why buy it instead of spending $300 on the Ryzen 7 1700 or $420 on the Ryzen 7 1800X, both of which have eight cores?

There are some questions around why AMD would release an 8-core Threadripper, given that the Ryzen 7 1800X is also eight core and currently retails around $399 when distributor sales are factored in. The main thing here is going to be IO, specifically that the user is going to get access to quad channel memory and all the PCIe lanes required for multi-GPU or multi-add-in cards, along with a super high-end motherboard that likely contains multiple CPU-based PCIe x4 storage and/or 10G Ethernet and additional features.

Previously: CPU Rumor Mill: Intel Core i9, AMD Ryzen 9, and AMD "Starship"
AMD 16/12-Core Threadripper Details Confirmed

Original Submission

Related Stories

CPU Rumor Mill: Intel Core i9, AMD Ryzen 9, and AMD "Starship" 9 comments

AMD is rumored to be releasing a line of Ryzen 9 "Threadripper" enthusiast CPUs that include 10, 12, 14, or 16 cores. This is in contrast to the Ryzen lines of AMD CPUs that topped out at the 8-core Ryzen 7 1800X with a base clock of 3.6 GHz.

Meanwhile, Intel is supposedly planning to release 6, 8, 10, and 12 core Skylake-X processors under an "Intel Core i9" designation. Two Kaby Lake-X, a quad-core and another quad-core with hyper-threading disabled, are also mentioned.

Finally, AMD's 32-core "Naples" server chips could be succeeded in late 2018 or 2019 by a 48-core 7nm part nicknamed "Starship". GlobalFoundries plans to skip the 10nm node, and where GF goes, AMD follows. Of course, according to Intel, what really matters are transistors per square millimeter.

All of the processors mentioned could be officially announced at Computex 2017, running from May 30 to June 3. Expect the high end desktop (HEDT) CPUs to be in excess of $500 and as high as $1,500. Intel may also announce Coffee Lake CPUs later this year including a "mainstream" priced 6-core chip.

Original Submission

AMD 16/12-Core Threadripper Details Confirmed 12 comments

AMD's Threadripper 1950X (TR 1950X?) will have 16 cores for $1,000, and the Threadripper 1920X will have 12 cores for $800. They will be available in early August:

Last night out of the blue, we received an email from AMD, sharing some of the specifications for the forthcoming Ryzen Threadripper CPUs to be announced today. Up until this point, we knew a few things – Threadripper would consist of two Zeppelin dies featuring AMD's latest Zen core and microarchitecture, and would essentially double up on the HEDT Ryzen launch. Double dies means double pretty much everything: Threadripper would support up to 16 cores, up to 32 MB of L3 cache, quad-channel memory support, and would require a new socket/motherboard platform called X399, sporting a massive socket with 4094-pins (and also marking an LGA socket for AMD). By virtue of being sixteen cores, AMD is seemingly carving a new consumer category above HEDT/High-End Desktop, which we've coined the 'Super High-End Desktop', or SHED for short.

[...] From what we do know, 16 Zen cores at $999 is about the ballpark price we were expecting. With the clock speeds of 3.4 GHz base and 4 GHz Turbo, this is essentially two Ryzen 7 1800X dies at $499 each stuck together, creating the $999 price (obviously it's more complicated than this). Given the frequencies and the performance of these dies, the TDP is likely in the 180W range; seeing as how the Ryzen 7 1800X was a 95W CPU with slightly higher frequencies. The 1950X runs at 4.0 GHz turbo and also has access to AMD's XFR – which will boost the processor when temperature and power allows – in jumps of +25 MHz: AMD would not comment on the maximum frequency boost of XFR, though given our experiences of the Ryzen silicon and previous Ryzen processor specifications, this is likely to be +100 MHz. We were not told if the CPUs would come with a bundled CPU cooler, although if our 180W prediction is in the right area, then substantial cooling would be needed. We expect AMD to use the same Indium-Tin solder as the Ryzen CPUs, although we were unable to get confirmation at this at this time.

[...] Comparing the two, and what we know, AMD is going to battle on many fronts. Coming in at $999 is going to be aggressive, along with an all-core turbo at 3.4 GHz or above: Intel's chip at $1999 will likely turbo below this. Both chips will have quad-channel DRAM, supporting DDR4-2666 in 1 DIMM per channel mode (and DDR4-2400 in 2 DPC), but there are some tradeoffs. Intel Core parts do not support ECC, and AMD Threadripper parts are expected to (awaiting confirmation). Intel has the better microarchitecture in terms of pure IPC, though it will be interesting to see the real-world difference if AMD is clocked higher. AMD Threadripper processors will have access to 60 lanes of PCIe for accelerators, such as GPUs, RAID cards and other functions, with another 4 reserved by the chipset: Intel will likely be limited to 44 for accelerators but have a much better chipset in the X299 for IO support and capabilities. We suspect AMD to run a 180W TDP, and Intel at 165W, giving a slight advantage to Intel perhaps (depending on workload), and Intel will also offer AVX512 support for its CPU whereas AMD has smaller FMA and AVX engines by comparison. The die-to-die latency of AMD's MCM will also be an interesting element to the story, depending exactly where AMD is aiming this product.

There's also some details for Ryzen 3 quad-cores, but no confirmed pricing yet.

Meanwhile, Intel's marketing department has badmouthed AMD, calling 32-core Naples server chips "4 glued-together desktop die". That could have something to do with AMD's chips matching Intel's performance on certain workloads at around half the price.

Also at CNET, The Verge, and Ars Technica.

Previously: CPU Rumor Mill: Intel Core i9, AMD Ryzen 9, and AMD "Starship"
Intel Announces 4 to 18-Core Skylake-X CPUs
Intel Core i9-7900X Reviewed: Hotter and More Expensive than AMD Ryzen 1800X for Small Gains
AMD Epyc 7000-Series Launched With Up to 32 Cores

Original Submission

AMD Profits in Q3 2017 9 comments

AMD turned a profit last quarter:

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.

When AMD turns a profit, it is news. Stocks still plunged on concerns over future growth. Citi Research has predicted big losses for AMD as Intel ships its Coffee Lake CPUs.

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

Original Submission

AMD Threadripper 2 Available Starting on August 13 24 comments

AMD's Threadripper 2 TR 2990WX will be available for retail on August 13. The CPU has 32 cores and the suggested retail price is $1,799, compared to $1,999 for Intel's 18-core i9-7980XE. A 24-core TR 2970WX will be available in October for $1,299.

The 16-core TR 2950X ($899, August 31) and 12-core TR 2920X ($649, October) replace their counterparts from the last generation of Threadripper CPUs, but have slightly improved "12nm" Zen+ cores like the other Threadripper 2 CPUs. The 16 and 12-core chips use 2 dies while the 24 and 32-core versions use 4 dies.

A benchmark leak shows the 32-core TR 2990WX outperforming Intel's 18-core i9-7980XE by 53% in the multithreaded Cinebench R15 (this is an early result, may not represent the final performance, and may be overly favorable to AMD).

Also at Tom's Hardware and Engadget.

Related: First Two AMD Threadripper Chips Out on Aug. 10, New 8-Core Version on Aug. 31
Intel Teases 28 Core Chip, AMD Announces Threadripper 2 With Up to 32 Cores
AMD Ratcheting Up the Pressure on Intel

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mhajicek on Thursday August 03 2017, @09:39PM (12 children)

    by mhajicek (51) on Thursday August 03 2017, @09:39PM (#548493)

    What I need for my CADCAM workload is a quad-core with really high single-thread performance. If I had 32 cores at least 28 of them would be idle. I can't be alone here, can I?

    The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @11:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @11:38PM (#548522)

      my dwarf fortress needs that, too.

      I guess we have to keep overclocking. the rest of the cores can just be epeen on the folding team?

    • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Friday August 04 2017, @02:17AM (9 children)

      by Immerman (3985) on Friday August 04 2017, @02:17AM (#548555)

      As more cores become more common, there's greater incentive for CADCAM, etc. software designers to begin parallelizing their code more effectively. It can be a royal pain in the ass for some applications, but with processor speeds basically stagnating at the limits of current (affordable) technology building out is pretty much the only option to increase processing power.

      I'm actually struggling to think of what CADCAM does that would benefit from more power while being particularly difficult to parallelize. Perhaps the programmers are just too lazy to rewrite relatively mature core code to take advantage of new realities? Hard to blame them as long as people keep buying their software, but it would seem like the first product to embrace a 10-to-20-fold performance improvement would jeopardize a lot of brand loyalty...

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday August 04 2017, @02:40AM (8 children)

        by kaszz (4211) on Friday August 04 2017, @02:40AM (#548563) Journal

        It's the heat that kills faster processors asfaik, not the cost as such. But if there's fewer transistors to produce that heat. Maybe it can work? Ie something like a souped up 6502 + MMU in 64-bit version that clocks 100 GHz.

        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Friday August 04 2017, @03:13AM (7 children)

          by Immerman (3985) on Friday August 04 2017, @03:13AM (#548580)

          The problem is that reliability falls as speed increases. You can overcome that to a certain extent by making things smaller, so that electrons cross the transistor faster/in response to a lower signal, or by increasing the voltage so that you get a better "signal to noise ratio". Unfortunately we're about as small as silicon-based circuits can get without running afoul of quantum mechanical interference, and increasing the voltage dramatically increases heat (power increases with the square of voltage) while offering diminishing returns on signal quality.

          A sufficiently simple chip could potentially be pushed a lot faster than a modern CPU, but even immersing the thing in a tank of oil coolant and letting it boil it off, ala the famous "Little Bubbles" Cray chip is unlikely to get you to 100GHz. Maybe with high-powered liquid nitrogen cooling, or liquid helium - but that's going to get very finicky and expensive. Plus, it won't run nearly as fast as you'd expect - consider that a modern high-end CPU runs at about the same speed as one from a decade ago, while even most single-threaded software will run considerably faster on a newer chip - all those extra transistors are buying you a lot of predictive optimizations as well.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Friday August 04 2017, @03:59AM (6 children)

            by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {}> on Friday August 04 2017, @03:59AM (#548608) Journal

            Transistors in the 0.5 THz to 1.0 THz range are possible:


            The Georgia Tech team used liquid helium to achieve the extremely low cryogenic temperatures of 4.3 Kelvins in achieving the observed 798 GHz speeds. "When we tested the IHP 800 GHz transistor at room temperature during our evaluation, it operated at 417 GHz," Cressler said. "At that speed, it's already faster than 98 percent of all the transistors available right now."

            If I'm not mistaken, a 1000 GHz chip would have to have lots of tiny [] cores. Which means that GPUs would benefit more than CPUs at such high clock speeds, because your CPU would have have to be Xeon Phi style with hundreds of cores.

            Good news for next-next-next-gen VR: if Silicon-Germanium, carbon nanotubes, or some other technology enables 100 GHz and above clock speeds, then we can easily see 1 petaflops [] to 1 exaflops GPUs.

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            • (Score: 2) by fyngyrz on Friday August 04 2017, @07:35AM (2 children)

              by fyngyrz (6567) on Friday August 04 2017, @07:35AM (#548640) Journal

              Memory remains a severe bottleneck - until/unless it's on-cpu-chip in significant amounts, the distance between the CPU and the memory will eat that speed like a pothead with a fresh bag of Fritos.

            • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Friday August 04 2017, @01:11PM (2 children)

              by Immerman (3985) on Friday August 04 2017, @01:11PM (#548709)

              Quite, but that's basically an entirely new technology - lots of improvements available if we're willing to pay through the nose for it. Nothing that can be mass-produced in he short term though.

              • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday August 04 2017, @01:58PM (1 child)

                by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {}> on Friday August 04 2017, @01:58PM (#548718) Journal

                IBM used silicon-germanium in its 7nm [] and 5nm demo chips [].

                3nm seems possible: TSMC Plans New Fab for 3nm []

                ASML is talking about 1-3nm [].

                TSMC could put out 3nm chips around 2022. So we have at least 5 years, possibly up to 10, before we need to explore raising clock rates, stacking cores in layers, or other crazy approaches to boosting performance.

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                • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Friday August 04 2017, @02:26PM

                  by Immerman (3985) on Friday August 04 2017, @02:26PM (#548725)

                  Yep - they're looking great in the lab, and I'm looking forward to them hitting the streets. For now though they're basically irrelevant. Maybe in 5-10 years we'll be able to buy them, and maybe they'll reopen the traditional clock-increasing method of boosting performance (really hope you didn't intentionally include that in the "other crazy approaches"), but I've seen far too many promising technologies get neglected and abandoned over the years to give a whole lot of credence to demo units.

                  Heck, silicon-germanium processors were supposed to be right around the corner 17 years ago when CPU clock rates started seriously plateauing. 17 years later and rather than a thousandfold increase in keeping with the prior trend, clock speeds have barely more than doubled, and all the tricks we've thrown at them haven't yielded performance improvements all that much more impressive. And we're still waiting on germanium.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday August 04 2017, @03:11AM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {}> on Friday August 04 2017, @03:11AM (#548578) Journal

      Ryzen quad cores should be significantly cheaper than the Intel ones. They have not caught up in single-threaded IPC, but they have cleared much of the gap that had been left by the Bulldozer failure.

      With Threadripper, you really need to have a use for those cores and the I/O to justify the purchase. Previously, Threadripper was a range of 10 to 16 core chips. Now they've added this 8-core Threadripper to the lineup with 60 PCIe lanes instead of 16 for Ryzen and 44 for the Skylake Intel Core i9 chips, and I believe 16 for regular Core i7.

      Hopefully, what AMD has done here with Ryzen 7 and Threadripper, and Intel with Skylake-X, will encourage software makers to parallelize workloads much more where possible. There is a chicken and egg problem, but the egg has now been laid. Octo-core is reaching into the mainstream (although still $300 minimum). 10, 12, 14, and 16 cores are cheaper than ever before, with Intel's 10-core seeing a massive $700 price cut.

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