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  1. AMD is striking well over the past month with their Linux hardware bring-up. In the past month we've seen the Navi 10/12/14 support get in order for Linux as well as support for the future Vega-based Arcturus GPU and now we see the initial enablement patches for their next-generation APUs, Renoir. Sent out today was the initial 27 patches amount to around two thousand lines of code (roughly half of which is just header files) for bringing up this next-gen AMD APU. Renoir is the successor to current AMD Picasso APUs and are said to be based on the new Zen 2 architecture while incorporating a Navi GPU... Well, at least originally what rumors/leaks reported. These code patches indicate Renoir to be based on Raven/Vega as opposed to Navi. Not a whole lot is known about Renoir publicly and are not expected to hit the shelves until 2020. Renoir is based on Navi (or actually Vega?) so it isn't a whole lot of new code from the AMDGPU kernel driver side, but still, we aren't accustomed to seeing this Linux driver support so early in advance of launch (potentially ~6+ months). It could be a sign that there could be some interesting design wins or Chromebooks warranting good Linux support at launch or it could just be that they've hit a good punctual stride on new platform enablement, but whatever the case is it's certainly welcomed, especially after the very bumpy Raven Ridge experience on Linux. These patches do confirm VCN 2.0 support on Renoir while most of he code changes come down to slight differences around power management / clock gating, golden register settings, and firmware bits. The AMDGPU code though does seem to indicate this as Vega-based rather than Navi as was rumored. So unless they end up marketing it weirdly (just like Kabylake-G with VegaM really being Polaris), that is what's happening. For now at least Renoir's graphics is just represented by a single PCI ID, 0x1636. This currently experimental (hidden behind feature flag) AMD Renoir support should be on its way to DRM-Next soon for premiering in Linux 5.4 while over the coming kernel cycles should stabilize and be flipped on by default, hopefully well ahead still of the hardware's expected launch. Source
  2. For those wondering how the performance compares of AMD's new Zen 2 processors between Windows 10 and Linux, here are our initial benchmarks across dozens of benchmarks for the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X on Windows 10 Pro 1903 against Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS. This is the first of surely several Windows vs. Linux performance comparisons to come of these new AMD Zen 2 processors. In this article is just Windows 10 against Ubuntu 18.04 LTS since the ASUS has yet to ship the new BIOS for the ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO WiFi to allow newer (non-patched) Linux distributions to boot without problems due to the systemd/RdRand issue. Once that BIOS update is available for this system to address that Linux boot issue, other Linux distributions will be added to the comparison. The test system for this first cross-OS comparison was the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X at stock speeds, ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO WiFi, 2 x 8GB DDR4-3600 memory, 2TB Corsair Force MP600 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, and Radeon RX 560 graphics (this round of testing isn't focused on gaming performance but strictly CPU related workloads). Both Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS had all available system updates at the time of testing. Via the Phoronix Test Suite some 66 benchmarks were run on both Windows and Linux for this round of benchmarking. First up was the BLAKE2 crypto test where Windows 10 had a very slight lead over the performance offered by Ubuntu 18.04. When it came to the Go programming language performance, Windows 10 was very competitive with Ubuntu Linux except for the build performance where Linux did much better. When both Windows and Linux were running OpenJDK 11, the performance tended to be comparable between the operating systems on the Ryzen 9 3900X. However, in different workloads would swing between favoring Ubuntu 18.04 or Windows 10. For chess performance with Crafty, both operating systems yielded similar performance. Intel's SVT-AV1 video encoder was faster on Linux over Windows. Though in the case of H.264 video encoding with x264, the performance was similar between operating systems. The GraphicsMagick OpenMP-threaded image editing continues to favor Linux for the best performance. With the Ryzen 9 3900X, the 7-Zip performance is close between Windows and Linux unlike Ubuntu's much more significant wins with Zen/Zen+ processors. In the Stockfish and asmFish chess benchmarks, the results were close. Compiling LLVM on Ubuntu was much quicker than on Windows 10. Under a wide array of CPU workloads, Windows 10 1903 was holding its ground well against Ubuntu 18.04 LTS -- much better than in past comparisons. For those that missed it, with Windows 10 1903 when paired with AMD's new chipset driver, there are scheduler fixes/optimizations in place with these new Ryzen 3000 series processors. FFmpeg was quicker on Windows 10. V-RAY CPU-based rendering was 6% faster on Ubuntu. IndigoBench on the Ryzen 9 3900X was also much faster on Linux. While the Ryzen 9 3900X is performing better on Windows 10 than we've seen in past AMD Windows vs. Linux comparisons, the CPU-based rendering performance continues being much faster on Linux. With the Blender modeling software, Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS won across the board of all the different scenes benchmarked. Appleseed is another renderer that was recently added to the Phoronix Test Suite / OpenBenchmarking.org. With the exception of one of the three scenes, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS continued offering lower rendering times. Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS remains much faster for PHP and Python workloads than Windows 10. Even with the proprietary Geekbench synthetic benchmark, Ubuntu had a small but measurable advantage over Windows 10. Novabench also reported slightly better memory performance on Linux with this proprietary synthetic test. A wide variety of web browser benchmarks were carried out with both Chrome and Firefox. Windows picked up a number of wins here but at least the browser performance wasn't so dominative like we have seen in some of our past browser comparisons. When looking at the geometric mean of all the benchmarks carried out on Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS and Windows 10 1903 with this AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, Ubuntu Linux led by approximately 8%. While the test set is slightly different, overall these results show Windows 10 being slightly more competitive than we have seen out of past Windows vs. Linux AMD benchmark comparisons, likely due to the improvements made in 1903 and AMD's new Zen 2 drivers such as the scheduler fixes/optimizations. But overall it's nice to see Linux is still faster and winning a majority of the tests. Those wanting to dig through more numbers can find them on OpenBenchmarking.org. Source
  3. Vulnerability in AMD’s Secure Encrypted Virtualization for EPYC: Update Now to Build 22 One of the key elements of building a processor is that designing a secure product involves reducing the ‘attack surface’ as much as possible: the fewer ways an attack can get in, the safer your product is. For the white knights of the security world, when a vulnerability is found, the process usually goes through a period of reasonable disclosure, i.e. the issue is presented to the company, and they are often given a certain time to fix the issue (to help customers) before the full disclosure is made public (in case it might be swept under the rug). Using this method, a researcher at Google found a vulnerability in the way AMD’s EPYC processors provide Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) which would allow an attacker to recover a secure key that would provide access between previously isolated VMs on a system. AMD has since released an update to the firmware which patches this issue. AMD’s Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) feature on its EPYC processors allows a system that runs multiple virtual machines through a hypervisor to have those virtual machines purely isolated from one another. By producing encryption keys at the hardware level, the hypervisor can maintain the equivalent of separate secure enclaves between VMs with individual keys. The SEV code runs deep within the EPYC processor, specifically on a Platform Security Processor (PSP), which is a hardened ARM Cortex core. The SEV feature relies on elliptic-curve cryptography for its secure key generation, which runs when a VM is launched. The VM initiates the elliptic-curve algorithm by providing points along its NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) curve and relaying the data based on the private key of the machine. Due to the algorithm involved, if the points provided to the algorithm at the VM launch are both non-standard and small, parts of the algorithm are reduced to zero, leaving behind a path by which over repeated VM launches, an attacker could gather enough data to reassemble the private key of the system. More details are provided in the full disclosure documentation, which indicates that SEV firmware version 0.17 build 11 and earlier are vulnerable. AMD has identified the code responsible, and has adjusted the algorithm to only accept standard NIST curve points. Any user submitting non-standard points will be met with an error. This fix is applied in SEV firmware version 0.17 build 22, which AMD rolled out to its OEM partners for firmware updates on June 4th. Users that implement SEV within their critical systems are suggested to reach out to their platform vendors for corresponding updates. AMD does state that certificates already generated on vulnerable VMs will still be valid even after VM migration, and as a result VMs should be restarted where possible. This vulnerability was found by Cfir Cohen as part of the Google Cloud security team, and carries the CVE-2019-9836 designation. AMD’s response to this issue can be found on its security website. For those interested, the full disclosure document gives the following timeline for this issue: Feb 19th: Vulnerability disclosed to AMD PSIRT Feb 23rd: AMD confirms the bug Feb 25th: Google shares Proof of Concept with AMD May 13th: AMD requests a 30 day extension before full disclosure June 4th: AMD releases fixed firmware to 0.17 Build 22 (AMD) June 7th: AMD requests a 2 week extension June 25th: Public disclosure Update: It's worth noting that the Elliptic Curve Cryptography was one of the units that the Hygon joint venture changed on its EPYC-like Dhyana processors. Source
  4. One of the legends in the gaming hardware community is leaving his current post and is taking up a new position at AMD. That person is none other than Frank Azor, who was one of the co-founders of Alienware and most recently served as Vice President and General Manager for Dell's XPS, G Series and Alienware gaming brands. Given that gaming is in his blood, it should come as no surprise that Azor will take on the title of Chief Gaming Officer at AMD. In his new position, he will be reporting to Sandeep Chennakeshu, who serves as AMD's Executive Vice President of Computing and Graphics. While Azor has only been with Dell for the past 13 years, the company he helped form has been around for 25 years. After joining Dell in 2006, the Alienware family now encompasses three distinct gaming PC families: Alienware, the G-Series and XPS. Together, all three lines generate over $3 billion in yearly revenue for Dell. Needless to say, he brings a wealth of knowledge concerning the gaming industry, along with having read on the enthusiast community, which makes him a perfect fit for AMD. Azor posted a message on the Alienware website announcing his departure and talked about the long and fruitful road that has gotten him up to this point. "A little over 21 years ago, I met a couple of lunatics who had an idea they called Alienware. When I met them and learned about the company they were trying to build, I thought to myself, 'This would be the coolest job ever.' "I was right, but none of us ever dreamed the brand would come this far – which is a result of all of you, your hard work and passion." July 3rd will be Azor's last day at Dell, after which he will be reporting for duty at AMD. Although we don't know what all of his responsibilities will be with the title Chief Gaming Officer, it's likely that he will be involved in a number of projects. AMD's Ryzen family of processors are already a known quantity and highly respected force in the enthusiast community, and the soon-to-launch Ryzen 3000 desktop family capped off by the 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X will only strengthen its position. In addition, AMD will simultaneously launch the Radeon RX 5700 family which will be doing battle with NVIDIA's mainstream Turing-based GeForce RTX cards. Finally, AMD is the dominant force in providing CPU/GPU platforms for the top gaming consoles on the market, and will power both the PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's Xbox Project Scarlett. We’ve reached out to Frank for some added clarity and confirmation on the news, but he is not offering up any additional details other than his post on the Alienware site. Source <
  5. AMD says its Ryzen 3000 isn’t just cheaper—it’s better AMD's Travis Kirsch says there's no reason to buy an Intel CPU anymore. Enlarge / AMD provided infrared photos showing its new Ryzen 3700x running cooler than an Intel i7-9700k. AMD Computex slide deck AMD's new line of Ryzen 3000 desktop CPUs will benefit from the same 7nm manufacturing process as the company's new Navi-powered GPUs. Much of the tech community's hype is for the biggest and baddest of the bunch: the 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen 9 3950x. But there's an entire new line ranging from the $749 3950x down to a relatively-modest $199 3600X—and AMD is gunning for Intel every step of the way. What's really interesting is, this time around, AMD is not just pitching cheaper parts and "good-enough" performance—the company is claiming top-dog stats, along with thermal and power efficiency wins. The Ryzen 7 3700x is listed at $329, while Intel's i7-9700k is currently available for about $410. But according to AMD's slides, the Ryzen part also outperforms the i7-9700k across the board, and it draws less power and produces less heat while doing so. Even when comparing absolute flagship CPUs, the monstrous 16-core/32-thread Ryzen 3950x boasts 105W TDP, while Intel's 32-threaded i7-7960x runs 165W TDP. If the data here is reasonably accurate, the savings in power and cooling costs over the lifespan of a system will probably outweigh its already lower purchase price. One thing does remain constant in the Intel-vs-AMD wars: it appears that Intel will still enjoy a small single-thread performance advantage, while Ryzen runs away laughing with massively-multithreaded benchmark wins due to its greater number of threads at the same price points. (For example, the Ryzen 3700x boasts 16 threads to the i7-9700k's 8.) This generally is little or no help with gaming benchmarks, which tend to block on single-threaded performance and benefit very little from more than four CPU threads—but AMD figured out a way to make all those extra threads shine in a gaming benchmark anyway. Enlarge / Sure, you don't need a ton of threads to game effectively... but what if you want to game and stream at high res simultaneously? AMD e3 Next Horizon Gaming slide deck Either Intel's 8-thread i7-9700k or AMD's 16-thread Ryzen 7 3700x will play Tom Clancy's The Division 2 in 1440P at an effortless 90fps... but according to AMD's data, effectively streaming the experience live is a different story entirely. Twice as many threads are at the Ryzen's disposal for simultaneous video compression. Granted, AMD is stacking the deck here with extremely high-bitrate, high-quality compression that may or may not be strictly necessary for a game stream—but it's certainly desirable, and what's possible tends to set the standard for what's expected going forward. More importantly—for those of us who want to play the games even if we don't stream them—this also hints at a tremendously improved experience gaming on an "everything box." Such a set-up may have email clients, Web browsers, anti-virus, and more running in the background. For those of you who are already AMD fans, the news gets even better: the new product line still uses the AM4 socket, and the company says you can expect Ryzen 3000 CPUs to be drop-in replacements for existing Ryzen 2000 CPUs—no motherboard swap needed. Source: AMD says its Ryzen 3000 isn’t just cheaper—it’s better (Ars Technica) (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  6. Windows 10 May 2019 Update brings AMD performance boost AMD-powered PCs get an upgrade Image credit: Shutterstock The Windows 10 May 2019 Update has brought some great new features to Windows 10, but perhaps the best change is one that didn’t get much fanfare – as AMD-powered PCs will now perform better with the update installed. This is because Windows 10 version 1903 – also known as the May 2019 Update – changes how the Windows scheduler tool works with AMD hardware. Previously, the Windows scheduler was causing issues that impacted the performance of AMD Ryzen processors. The improvements come from Microsoft and AMD working together to improve Windows 10 performance on AMD hardware – and an acknowledgement from Microsoft that Intel no longer dominates when it comes to PC hardware. Performance gains AMD also showed off slides that show the PCMark 10 app launches 6% faster with the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, thanks to Ryzen optimizations. There's also an impressive 15% improvement in Rocket League when played at 1080p. AMD shows off performance gains with the May 2019 Update (Image credit: AMD) (Image: © AMD) As another AMD slide shows, these changes can cut latency thanks to how process threads are handled by a single core – while also allowing Windows 10 to use a noticeable clock speed boost to bring improvements to a PC’s performance. The update should also bring faster clock speed ramping, and AMD’s Ryzen CPUs will be more responsive when clock speeds are changed – before the update, speed changes took 30ms, but that’s now been cut to just 1-2ms. Source
  7. AMD launches Navi as the $449 Radeon RX 5700 XT AMD claims performance-per-dollar leadership over Nvidia, but for how long? AMD took the stage at E3 to announce its "Navi" family of GPUs. The company's new graphics cards are officially the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and Radeon RX 5700. The 5700 series is launching July 7, making the GPUs a one-two punch alongside AMD's Ryzen 3000 series CPUs. AMD isn't tackling the flagship GPU market with the 5700 series. Instead, the company is aiming for more mainstream pricing with mainstream performance: the 5700XT is $449, while the 5700 is $379. AMD is positioning the cards against Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2070 ($499) and 2060 ($349), respectively, and claims performance wins in each comparison. The cards introduce AMD's new "RDNA" architecture, which AMD says has 1.25x performance-per-clock and 1.5x performance-per-watt over the previous generation. The chips are built on TSMC's 7nm manufacturing process, a significant shrink from the 12nm process used on the Radeon RX 590, and on Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2080. The Navi die is significantly smaller than the previous-generation Vega design, with a die area of only 251mm2 compared to the 495 mm2 die area for Vega. The smaller die should make the Navi significantly cheaper to produce than Vega. For specs, the top-end Radeon RX 5700 XT has 40 compute units with 2560 stream processors total. AMD gives three numbers for the clock rate on the XT: a 1605MHz "Base" clock, a 1755MHz "Game" clock, and a 1905MHz "Boost" clock. As usual, the cheaper 5700 disables compute units and lowers the clock rate, so you have 36 compute units for 2304 stream processor total, a base clock of 1465MHz, game clock of 1625MHz, and a boost clock of 1725MHz. If any of these clock rates are too conservative for you, AMD is promising the 5700 XT is "overclocking ready" thanks to a power solution with room to grown. Both of AMD's reference designs come with 8GB of GDDR6 memory. Enlarge / An exploded view of the XT. AMD For cooling, AMD's reference design is a blower-style card with an aluminum shroud and back plate. A vapor chamber draws heat into the heatsink, and everything gets blown out the back of the card. Blower cooling designs have the downside of producing a lot of noise, but AMD is promising a "quiet" card thanks to an "acoustically tuned" design. If you're unhappy with the cooler design, partner-produced cards with alternative cooling solutions should be out eventually. The cards both take a 8-pin + 6-pin power-supply connection, with AMD providing Board Power figures of 225W for the XT and 180W for the cheaper card. If you get the whole AMD package in July (meaning a Ryzen 3000 CPU, an X570 motherboard, and a Radeon 5700 card), you'll be all up and running with the new PCI Express 4.0 bus standard. This faster interconnect will be great for next-gen SSDs and 200Gbps (!) Ethernet controllers. But for video cards, we haven't seen a compelling use case yet. Still, it provides room for upgrades! All these specs are nice to know, but they don't really tell us anything about actual performance. As always, it's best to wait for independent benchmarks, and if you're in the market for a GPU, it's probably also best to see if Nvidia does anything in response. And speaking of Nvidia's response, the company has been teasing a "Super" GeForce product for a few weeks now. The rumors point to "Super" cards being up-clocked editions of Nvidia's existing cards and price drops for some non-super cards, making the company more competitive with AMD's freshly announced lineup. Again though, benchmarks will tell the real story. AMD also doesn't have an answer this generation for the real-time raytracing technology that Nvidia introduced with the RTX 2080 Ti. But given the huge hit in performance that ray tracing causes for even Nvidia's fastest cards (and the limited game support for raytracing), it's not a huge loss for AMD. Regardless of what happens between AMD and Nvidia in the PC graphics card wars, AMD GPUs promise to be almost everywhere else in the future. At the beginning of the presentation, AMD talked about the company's design wins, pointing out that AMD is supplying graphics chips to both the next-gen Xbox and Playstation consoles, Apple's Mac Pro, and Google's Stadia game-streaming platform. AMD also recently inked an RDNA licensing deal with Samsung, which will build the graphics technology into its Exynos SoCs for smartphones and tablets. Source: AMD launches Navi as the $449 Radeon RX 5700 XT (Ars Technica) (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  8. (Reuters) - Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices announced a multi-year partnership with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd for the development of mobile graphics techology based on its AMD Radeon graphics chips. AMD will license its custom graphics intellectual property (IP) to Samsung for use in mobile devices, including smartphones, and other products while Samsung will pay AMD technology license fees and royalties. Shares of AMD rose 4% in premarket trading. Source
  9. AMD previews Radeon RX5000 series GPU based on new Navi architecture AMD rocked Computex 2019 with the first official details on its next-generation graphics cards, the Radeon 5000 series. What you need to know AMD previewed its next-generation graphics chips, based on its "Navi" architecture at Computex 2019. Called the Radeon RX5000 series, the graphics card lineup is named for AMD's 50th anniversary. The Radeon RX5000 series includes a ton of performance improvements over the previous Vega generation, and even beats out NVIDIA's RTX 2070 in a head-to-head benchmark shown on stage. The Radeon RX5000 series is set to launch in July, but pricing remains a mystery for now. Hitting the stage at Computex 2019, AMD let out some of the first official details about its next-generation graphics cards, based on its new Navi architecture. The new graphics cards will fall under the Radeon RX5000 series, which is named for AMD's fiftieth anniversary. And along with the new architecture comes plenty of enhancements when compared to the last-generation Vega architecture. The Radeon RX5000 series will be based on a 7nm chip powered by a gaming engine dubbed Radeon DNA (RDNA). The engine is tweaked specifically for graphics performance and efficiency – something which AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su touched on on stage. When compared to Vega, the Navi architecture with RDNA features, on average, a 1.25 time the performance per clock and 1.5 times higher performance per watt. Radeon RX5000 series GPUs will also be the first gaming graphics cards to ship with PCIe Gen 4 enabled. In a head-to-head benchmark against NVIDIA's RTX 2070 using the game Strange Brigade, AMD showed a Radeon RX5000 series card hitting around 10 percent better performance than NVIDIA's card. It's still early days for Navi, and real-world performance will tell the full story of how AMD stacks up to NVIDIA, but that's a solid increase if AMD can hit the right price point. The Radeon RX5000 series is expected to launch in July, but pricing remains a mystery for now. Source
  10. Is AMD getting ready to make a big mistake? AMD has been enjoying one success after another lately, across its entire range of silicon. But this could be about to change. AMD is a company that has turned itself around over the past few years. It's gone from being a total underdog in the processor space to having huge wins on the desktop, mobile, and server spaces. It's also made huge strides into high-performance silicon, satisfying gamers and those with a thirst for ultimate performance. But things might be changing. AMD's recently released processor roadmap has an interesting omission – it doesn't mention the company's high-end, high-performance, high-priced (though still cheaper than Intel's high-end offerings) Threadripper line or chips. The current highest-end Threadripper is the 32-core, 64-thread 2nd-gen Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX. You can pick up this beast of a chip for around $1,700, which might seem steep but remember that Intel's 14-core, 28-thread Core i9-9980XE retails for a shade under $2,000. High-end silicon isn't cheap. And that may be the reason that AMD wants to drop Threadripper from its roadmap. Not only does Threadripper command a reassuringly hefty price tag, chips like that aren't cheap to design and make. And since it's likely that AMD doesn't sell many of them (comparatively), it may have come to the conclusion that its efforts are best spent elsewhere. Would it be a mistake for AMD to drop Threadripper? I think this depends on how you look at things. If you bought into Threadripper, and are happy to pay that sort of money for all those cores and processing power, then it must be a blow for that to come to an end. If you are an average customer, with average sized pockets and computing needs, you're not going to care either way. For AMD this could be both a win and a loss. It's a win in that the Threadripper project, all the way from R&D to manufacturing, must have been huge and expensive, and it's hard to see it as having been at all profitable. But it was also an amazing bit of marketing. After all, coming from so far behind – which is where AMD was only a few years ago – to have a processor that could beat everything in Intel's processor line up. But it was also expensive, and resource-intensive, marketing. And now that it has worked to make people take AMD seriously, it's no longer needed anymore. Threadripper did its job. Source
  11. Intel will reportedly ease up its entry-level processor stock squeeze in June, industry sources say. Intel has been focusing its efforts on high-performance and server-grade CPUs since late 2018 due to manufacturing constraints hitting its 14nm process node. But that policy looks to be coming to an end. Notebook clients were reportedly informed that the entry-level processor shortfall with drastically decrease from June onward, significantly reducing the CPU deficit and easing up the pressure on OEMs and system builders. This should increase notebook shipments in the second half of 2019, which had previously been stifled by Intel’s processor manufacturing crunch. AMD was reportedly set to gain due to the CPU constraints, however, during the red team’s Q1 2019 earnings call, Lisa Su claimed that the company did not see Intel’s shortfall as having any sizeable impact to its business. “As it relates to CPU shortages in the market,” AMD CEO, Lisa Su, says (via Seeking Alpha). “Look, we see a little bit of that, I would say there are pockets of footage, mostly at the low-end of the market, frankly. So, from our standpoint, I don’t believe it’s a huge contributor to our business.” So either AMD’s playing off Intel’s impact or the reported wave of OEMs fleeing to AMD’s processors may have never arrived. Nevertheless, according to sources speaking with DigiTimes, major OEMs – such as Dell, HP, and Lenovo – are all back to placing orders with Intel rather than side with the red team. Intel’s small-fry entry-level clients have been hit worst of all by the 14nm manufacturing crunch, as the company has preferred to instead turn its attention toward products with high margins and deliveries to its most sizeable partners. Intel Japan’s president had previously suggested that it would take until December before the company would be able to entirely rectify the processor shortages. And Bob Swan, Intel’s CEO, indicated the shortage would continue through Q3, while also promising to “never again to be a constraint” on its customers’ growth. Intel’s CPU shortage had been expected to ease with the gradual influx of 10nm mobile processors starting to ship at the end of 2019. Desktop parts, however, are not expected to make the change towards the denser process node until late 2020. Rather us gamers will have another 14nm generation with Intel Comet Lake, reportedly featuring up to 10 cores. View: Original Article.
  12. System will mix Epyc CPUs and Radeon Instinct GPUs. Enlarge / AMD CEO Lisa Su, holding a Rome processor. The large chip in the middle is the 14nm I/O chip; around it are pairs of 7nm chiplets containing the CPU cores. AMD AMD and Cray have announced that they're building "Frontier," a new supercomputer for the Department of Energy at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The goal is to deliver a system that can perform 1.5 exaflops: 1.5×1018 floating point operations per second. By way of comparison, a single Nvidia RTX 2080 GPU manages about 14 teraflops of compute performance with 32-bit numbers. Frontier will achieve 100,000 times more. The fastest supercomputer in the Top 500 list weighs in at 200 petaflops, or 0.2 exaflops. As things stand, it'd take the top 160 machines on the list to match Frontier's performance. Frontier will use custom versions of AMD's Epyc processors (likely Zen 3 or Zen 4), matched with 4 GPUs, all connected using AMD's Infinity Fabric. Between nodes, Cray's Slingshot interconnect will be used, which has transfer rates of up to 200Gb/s per port. The GPUs will have their own stacked HBM (High Bandwidth Memory). It'll be housed in 100 cabinets, taking about 7,300 square feet of floor space. Power consumption will be 30-40MW. The plan is for Frontier to be delivered in 2021, at a cost of about $500 million for the hardware and $100 million for research and development. It should be the fastest supercomputer in the world when it's delivered, and it will be the US government's second exaflops-capable system; the first will be the 1 exaflop Aurora, built using Intel Xeon SP processors and Intel Xe GPUs. The supercomputer will be made available to academics to run a wide range of simulations and experiments. The Radeon Instinct GPUs include hardware dedicated to machine-learning workloads, and it's likely that Frontier will be used for this kind of task in addition to the more conventional weather and nuclear weapon simulations. Source: Cray, AMD to build 1.5 exaflops supercomputer for US government (Ars Technica - Peter Bright)
  13. Ever since AMD released the Zen-based Ryzen CPUs, their fortunes have overturned. The company sent rival Intel into a panic, resulting in price cuts and unplanned product launches that made a mess of their product lineup. But before Ryzen, things weren’t so “green” for AMD. The infamous Bulldozer architecture and its reiterations in the form of Steamroller, and Excavator were far from successful. On the other hand, Intel’s Core architecture and its successors kept on building a formidable lead over team red’s processors. This finally resulted in the pre-Ryzen scene where octa-core AMD CPUs were equal to quad-core Intel chips and even dual core at times. Now, things have gotten much better for Dr. Lisa Su and Co, but let’s go down memory lane and see how CPU architectures have improved over the past decades. AMD CPU Architectures from 2003 to 2018: Single Threaded Performance or IPC AMD was much better off back in the early 2000s when the 64-bit version of the x86 instruction set came out. The Sledgehammer and Opteron server chips were quite competitive if not groundbreaking (well, definitely not the latter). After the K8 architecture, things started going south, when Intel released its Core microarchitecture, popularly marketed as the Next-Generation Micro-Architecture. Bulldozer only made things worse, with the IPC taking a dive to pre-K10 times. This wasn’t because Bulldozer wasn’t a new design, it’s just that it was a moronic new design. They decided to go with higher core counts, but with shared logic. These “cores” weren’t cores, but in-fact just ALU clusters. Traditional CPU cores have their own frontend, cache, and floating point units, but AMD’s Bulldozer had two cores/Integer Clusters sharing the frontend, cache, and floating-point logic. This made the CPUs easier to build, but also severely handicapped their single-threaded performance due to the limited resources available to each thread or “core”. This was known as Clustered Multi-Threading (CMT). And then came Zen, otherwise known as the Ryzen series which drastically improved the CPU IPC (by almost 70% while Intel’s Core architecture was reaching its limits). The rest happened in the last few years and is history. Intel CPU Architectures from 2003 to 2018: Single Threaded Performance or IPC Intel’s story is the exact opposite. Before the Core microarchitecture came up, team blue was rather deep in **** with the Prescott processors being a major failure, both in terms of performance as well as efficiency. However, thanks to the new Core architecture, and at the same time AMD’s Bulldozer being a massive flop, things just kept getting better and better for Intel. That is until Skylake, since then Intel has abandoned its Tick-Tock design model and has been stuck on the 14nm node. AMD, on the other hand, has regained much of its lost ground and is ready to transition to the 7nm node with Zen2. There’s really not much to say about the present situation of the CPU market. Intel is struggling to migrate to the 10nm node, and if the recently leaked roadmaps are legit, then that’ll continue for the time being. AMD, on the other hand, has regained its lost market share thanks to the efficiency of the Zen micro-architectures and is looking to take the fight to Intel in the server territory as well. Zen2 might just make up for the blunder that was the Bulldozer design and in the process give its competitor a thorough pummelling. I suppose we’ll know soon enough. View: Original Article.
  14. No mention yet of when the Zen 2 Ryzen 3000s will arrive. Enlarge / AMD CEO Lisa Su, holding a Rome processor. The large chip in the middle is the 14nm I/O chip; around it are pairs of 7nm chiplets containing the CPU cores. AMD In its earnings call, AMD offered a little more detail about the launch of its next-generation processors, built using the Zen 2 architecture and TSMC's 7nm manufacturing process, and new GPU architecture, Navi, again built on 7nm. Server-oriented EPYC-branded chips (codenamed Rome) should be shipping to customers in the third quarter of this year, and so too will Navi-based video cards. In November last year, AMD outlined the details of the Zen 2 design. It makes a number of architectural improvements to shore up some of Zen's weaker areas (for example, it now has native 256-bit floating point units to handle AVX2 instructions; the original Zen only had 128-bit units, so it had to split AVX2 workloads up into pieces). But perhaps more significant is the new approach to building the processors. Zen used modules of four cores (handling eight threads), with two such modules per chip. Mainstream Ryzen processors used one chip; the enthusiast Threadripper range used two chips (first generation) or four chips (second generation), and the server-oriented Epyc range used four chips. Each die is a full processor, containing the cores, cache, memory controllers, PCIe and Infinity Fabric connections for I/O, integrated SATA and USB controllers, and so on and so forth. Zen 2 will continue to use multiple chips, but this time the chips will be more specialized. There will be 7nm chiplets, each containing CPU cores, cache, and Infinity Fabric links, and a 14nm I/O die, containing memory controllers, Infinity Fabric connections, and SATA and USB controllers. The 7nm parts should be able to achieve higher clock speeds and lower power consumption than their 14nm predecessors. The parts on the I/O die, however, generally don't benefit from higher clock speeds. In fact, they can't—PCIe, USB, SATA, and even memory, all need to run at predetermined speeds, because their performance is governed by the bus specification. The extra performance headroom that 7nm would offer is wasted. By keeping these parts on 14nm, AMD is likely able to cut costs (because well-established 14nm manufacturing should be cheaper than the newer, more advanced 7nm). The Rome processor will have up to eight core chiplets, for a total of 64 cores and 128 threads, and it will support up to two sockets. These parts are already sampling and will be ready for a third-quarter launch. AMD didn't, however, make any mention of the mainstream 3000-series Ryzen chips. There is speculation that these will be announced at Computex later this month, but for now it seems that AMD's focus is on the more lucrative server market. Also using 7nm is AMD's new Navi GPU architecture. AMD is already building 7nm GPUs, such as its Radeon VII using the Vega architecture. Unusually, the company said that the first Navi parts will be priced below the $699 Radeon VII. This suggests that rather than launching with a top-end GPU, AMD will instead start with a mid-range, mainstream part. AMD has disclosed very little about Navi, refusing to answer whether the chip will offer any kind of ray tracing acceleration comparable to that found in Nvidia's RTX parts. But with a launch next quarter, the company is going to have to spill the beans sooner rather than later. Source: AMD to launch new 7nm Navi GPU, Rome CPU in 3rd quarter (Ars Technica)
  15. Intel Japan’s President has suggested that it will take until December this year for Intel’s 14nm CPU shortage problems to be fixed, with a healthy supply of processors coming back to the market for the holidays. Which means things are going to remain pretty tight throughout most of this year. But Intel’s 14nm CPU shortage has been great news for the competition. On the back of it AMD has really started to eat into Intel’s market share, gathering momentum not just in the consumer desktop space, but also in laptops and, more importantly, in the datacentre. Recent speculation is that AMD could have a 10% share in the server market in a couple of years, which might not sound that impressive, but considering it held a 0.8% share in 2017 that’s a hell of a growth spurt. And server infrastructure upgrades move slow, meaning that momentum could easily start to snowball with further solid EPYC releases. Which is all cold comfort for Intel. With the upcoming Comet Lake desktop chips releasing later this year, as a borderline desperate bid to compete with AMD’s Ryzen 3000 processors, there’s going to be even more pressure on Intel’s 14nm production capabilities. And that makes Intel Japan’s assessment understandable. The comments made by Kunimasa Suzuki, President of Intel K.K. (Intel Japan) were picked up by Expreview from a local event at the end of March. At the event he is supposed to have said that “the supply of Intel CPU will return to health in December this year.” There were hopes from within the industry that the 14nm shortages would be dealt with in the first few months of 2019, but every time we hear something new those timings get pushed further back. Though Suzuki has at least remained constant. His recent statement echoes one he made in an interview with PCWatch (via Elinfor) at the end of last year, where again he suggested that the CPU shortage would only be solved for the end of year shopping season of 2019. That’s also when we expect to have the first Ice Lake processors hitting the shelves, as 10nm volume production is also going to be taking up a significant amount of Intel’s manufacturing capacity too. Though those first Ice Lake CPUs will be of the mobile variety, with actual 10nm desktop processors not likely to arrive until well into 2020. We’ve heard rumours that a new chipset, and therefore new 10nm CPUs, aren’t likely to arrive any time before Computex next year. So yes, that means another year of mild 14nm Skylake upgrades. Though again we are looking at Intel at least jamming another two cores into its LGA 1151 socket. That will mean it has a 10-core chip to go up against the beefy 12-core AMD Zen 2 parts about to come this year. View: Original Article.
  16. Shortages of Intel's CPUs are expected to worsen in the second quarter compared to the first as demand for Chromebooks, which are mostly equipped with Intel's entry-level processors, enters its best period. Bean counters at Digitimes Research have been adding up some numbers and dividing them by their shoe size and have reached the conclusion that Intel CPUs will see their supply gap shrink by three percent The shortage will be greater for the Core i3. Previously it has been far Core i5 as the series hit hardest by shortages. It all went tits up for Intel in August with major brands such as HP, Dell and Lenovo all experiencing supply gaps of over five percent at their worst. It had been widely believed that the shortages would get better. But the supply gap in the fourth quarter of 2018 still stayed at the same level as that in the third as HP launched a second wave of CPU inventory buildup during the last quarter of the year, prompting other vendors to follow suit. The shortage was particularly hard on Taiwan-based vendors which saw their supply gaps expand from a single digit percentage previously to over 10 per cent in the fourth quarter. With all the impacts, the notebook market continued suffering a four to fiveper cent supply gap in the fourth quarter of 2018. The Core i5 series for mainstream models, and the Atom, Celeron and Pentium series for entry level ones saw the most serious shortages in the second half of 2018. Within the Core i5 family, those based on Kaby Lake R architecture featuring a quad-core design instead of the traditional dual-core one had the worst shortfall as they were key products in Intel's promotional campaign in 2018 and increased the consumption of the company's already limited wafer capacity. Apollo Lake- and Gemini Lake-based processors for the entry-level segment were second worst in terms of shortages as Intel had shifted most of its capacity to make high-end processors that offered better profit. Lenovo, which primarily focuses on mid-range and entry-level models, had a supply gap of hundreds of thousands CPUs in the second half of the year. White-box players in China have even been denied any supply of Intel's entry-level processors since September 2018. One of the main beneficiaries of Intel’s cock up has been AMD which has seen its share in worldwide notebook shipments have also been picking up gradually from only 9.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2018 to 15.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2019. As more Chromebooks are expected to come with AMD processors in the second quarter and many vendors will begin mass shipping AMD-based entry-level notebooks, AMD's share is expected to rise to 18 per cent in the second quarter of 2018. Some analysts are saying that AMD will not be able to capitalise on the mess in the long term. Intel's newly established 14nm capacity to begin contributing shipments, the second quarter is expected to be the peak for AMD's share in worldwide notebook shipments in 2019. Intel is expected to have new 14nm capacity join production in the second half of 2019. Intel's existing 14nm fabs are mainly located in the US and Ireland and the newly expanded capacity in Arizona, the US is expected to begin volume production in July or August, to boost Intel's overall 14nm capacity by 25 per cent and completely resolve the shortage problem. View: Original Article.
  17. Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.1.1 Highlights Support For Fortnite™ Up to 4% faster performance in Fortnite (Season 7) using Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.1.1 on the Radeon™ RX 580 graphics card than with Radeon™ Software Adrenalin Edition 18.12.3 at 1920x1080 (1080p). RS-282 Up to 3% faster performance in Fortnite (Season 7) using Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.1.1 on the Radeon™ RX Vega 64 graphics card than with Radeon™ Software Adrenalin Edition 18.12.3 at 1920x1080 (1080p). RS-283 Fixed Issues Virtual Super Resolution may not show up as available on some 1440p Ultra-Wide Displays. Some Radeon RX Series graphics products may experience system lag when Alt+Tab is used during gameplay. Radeon Settings Advisor may incorrectly suggest older versions of Radeon Software as an update. Radeon Settings software update notifications may appear more often than expected. Application profile settings for Radeon WattMan may not reset to default correctly when using the reset button. Radeon Settings may experience a crash when clicking the restart button after a driver installation or while switching between some Radeon WattMan tabs when changing fan settings. Zero RPM control may fail to enable correctly when toggled on/off in Radeon Settings. Radeon ReLive gallery upload queue may sometimes fail to upload videos. Radeon Settings may sometimes incorrectly display the previously installed Radeon Software version after upgrade. Custom color profile options may fail to retain in game on clone or Eyefinity display setups. Performance metrics overlay feature may scale incorrectly when changing resolution in game. Screen tearing may be observed with Enhanced Sync enabled on Vulkan API games. Some systems running multiple displays may experience mouse lag when at least one display is enabled but powered off. Upgrade Advisor may intermittently fail to detect games and provide compatibility recommendations. Known Issues Battlefield™ V players may experience character outlines stuck on screen after being revived. Uninstalling Radeon Software may fail to remove Radeon Settings. Pixel Format settings may not retain after system restart. HDMI Underscan settings may not retain after system restart. Radeon Overlay’s new in overlay video player may experience smoothness issues while adjusting the playback slider. Scene Editor may have issues with scrolling when many elements are added to a scene. Custom settings in Radeon WattMan may sometimes fail to apply on Radeon RX Vega series graphics products. Footnotes Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs as of January 7th, 2019 on the 8GB Radeon™ RX 580, on a test system comprising of Intel i7 7700k CPU (4.2 GHz), 16GB DDR4-3000 Mhz system memory, and Windows 10 x64. PC manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results. With epic preset settings on Fortnite (Season 7) at 1920x1080, Radeon™ RX 580 scored 74.0 FPS with Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.12.3, whereas the Radeon™ RX 580 scored 76.7 FPS with Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.1.1. Comparing software versions, Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.1.1 has 4% faster performance in Fortnite. Performance may vary based on use of latest drivers. RS-282 Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs as of January 7th, 2018 on the 8GB Radeon™ RX Vega 64, on a test system comprising of Intel i7 7700k CPU (4.2 GHz), 16GB DDR4-3000 Mhz system memory, and Windows 10 x64. PC manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results. With epic preset settings on Fornite at 1920x1080, Radeon™ RX Vega 64 scored 115.1 FPS with Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.12.3, whereas the Radeon™ RX Vega 64 scored 118.5 FPS with Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.1.1. Comparing software versions, Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.1.1 has 3% faster performance in Fortnite. Performance may vary based on use of latest drivers. RS-283 Package Contents The Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.1.1 installation package contains the following: Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.1.1 Driver Version 18.50.11.01 (Windows Driver Store Version 25.20.15011.1004) The Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.1.1 installation package can be downloaded from the following links: Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 19.1.1 Driver for Windows® 10 64-bit Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 19.1.1 Driver for Windows® 7 64-bit
  18. Yesterday I spent two hours listening to the CEOs of rival companies talk trash about each other. It reminded me of my parents right after their divorce. Nvidia was shit talking AMD, and AMD politely responded with just enough bite for you to take notice. Jensen Huang at Nvidia’s 2019 CES press conference. Yesterday, AMD announced a new graphics card, the $700 Radeon VII, based on its second-generation Vega architecture. The GPU is the first one available to consumers based on the 7nm process. Smaller processes tend to be faster and more energy efficient, which means it could theoretically be faster than GPUs with larger processes, like the first generation Vega GPU (14nm) or Nvidia’s RTX 20-series (12nm). I say “could,” because so far Nvidia’s RTX 20-series has been speedy in our benchmarks. Nvidia cards from the $1,000+ 2080 Ti down to the $350 2060 announced Sunday support ray tracing. This complex technology allows you to trace a point of light from a source to a surface in a digital environment. What it means in practice is video games with hyperrealistic reflections and shadows. It’s impressive technology, and Nvidia has touted it as the primary reason to upgrade from previous generation GPUs. AMD’s GPUs, notably, do not support it. And at a round table Gizmodo attended with Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang he jokingly dismissed AMD’s Tuesday announcement, claiming the announcement itself was “underwhelming” and that his company’s 2080 would “crush” the Radeon VII in benchmarks. “The performance is lousy,” he said of the rival product. When asked to comment about these slights, AMD CEO Lisa Su told a collection of reporters, “I would probably suggest he hasn’t seen it.” When pressed about his comments, especially his touting of ray tracing she said, “I’m not gonna get into it tit for tat that’s just not my style.” But boy was it Huang’s. Over the hour-long conversation, Huang repeatedly joked about his GPU competitor. When someone brought up Intel’s new focus on graphics he joked about how Intel’s graphics team was just AMD’s, and he wasn’t sure what AMD even had (he did go on to express his sincere respect for Intel). Then when asked about Nvidia’s decision to adopt support for Adaptive Sync monitors, a kind of variable refresh technology that quickly updates the image on a monitor to allow for smoother gameplay, “We invented the whole area.” There are currently far more Adaptive Sync monitors in the market than those using Nvidia’s rival G-Sync, and most of those Adaptive Sync monitors are supported by AMD which brands that support FreeSync. “The truth is most of the FreeSync monitors do not work,” Huang said. “They don’t even work within AMD’s graphics cards because nobody tested it. And we think that is a terrible idea to let a customer buy something believing the promise of that product and have it not work.” AMD’s CEO, Lisa Su, denied this allegation and noted the more stringent guidelines of FreeSync 2. She also admitted she was totally fine with Nvidia adopting support. “We believe in open standards,” she said. “We believe in an open ecosystem. That’s been a mantra. So we have no issue with our competitors adopting FreeSync.” With regards to ray tracing, Su said the technology was too young to be recognizable. “[F]or us it’s, you know, what is the consumer going to see? The consumer doesn’t see a lot of benefit today because the other parts of the ecosystem are not ready. I think by the time we talk more about ray tracing the consumer’s gonna see the benefit.” That wasn’t the only thing she teased. Stay tuned to Gizmodo for a breakdown of our conversation, which included everything from laptop discussions to what the next gen of gaming consoles could look like. Source
  19. The AchieVer

    AMD Radeon Vega II = VII = 7 (nm)

    Some say that Radeon VII took everyone by surprise, others think it was imminent. The reality is that AMD is not abandoning high-performance graphics just yet, as the company is still planning to compete with NVIDIA Turing. AMD Radeon VII featuring 7nm Vega architecture comes with 3840 Stream Processors, which means that the GPU does not have all cores enabled. To justify the cost, the full chip is likely reserved for Radeon Pro/Instinct series. Unless AMD is still planning to introduce the full GPU for gaming, we simply don’t know yet. What we have learned from AMD presentation is that 7nm 331 mm2 GPU will compete against 12nm 545 mm2 processor from NVIDIA. But can both silicons even be compared, if the latter comes with additional cores for deep learning and ray tracing? Probably not, they are not even on the same node. AMD Radeon VII will not compete with TITAN RTX, it will not compete with RTX 2080 Ti either. Instead, AMD is focusing on GeForce RTX 2080, the 8GB GDDR6 replacement for GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. AMD solution features twice as much memory (16 vs 8GB), which is also twice as fast (1 TB/s vs 0.45 TB/s). It does not have Tensor Cores or RT Cores equivalent but is this really that important considering how few games support DXR? We have no way of knowing how power efficient 7nm Vega really is, this will be verified by independent reviews as they drop around February 7th. AMD Radeon VII Specifications VideoCardz.com Radeon VII Radeon RX Vega 64 Radeon RX Vega 56 GeForce RTX 2080 GPU 7nm Vega 14nm Vega 14nm Vega 12nm TU104 Die Size 331 mm2 495 mm2 495 mm2 545 mm2 Unified Cores 3840 4096 3584 2944 Base Clock 1450 MHz 1247 MHz 1156 MHz 1515 MHz Boost Clock 1800 MHz 1546 MHz 1471 MHz 1710 MHz Memory 16 GB HBM2 8 GB HBM2 8 GB HBM2 8 GB GDDR6 Bandwith 1 TB/s 494 GB/s 494 GB/s 448 GB/s Launch Price 699 USD 599 USD 399 USD 699 USD Launch Date February 7th, 2019 August 14th, 2017 August 14th, 2017 Sept. 20th, 2018 Update: AMD also released more gaming performance benchmarks (source: Overclock3D) Source
  20. Intel looking to tackle Ryzen 3 with cheaper, GPU-less chips? With the launch of AMD's hotly-anticipated Ryzen 3rd Generation processors just around the corner – the new CPUs are expected to be officially unveiled this Wednesday, January 9 at AMD's CES 2019 conference – Intel has today used its CES event to finally announce it's adding six more 9th-gen Core processors, ranging from Core i3 to Core i9, set to release soon. The new processors join the company's three existing 'flagship' 9th-generation desktop chips, which launched in October last year – the Core i5-9600K, i7-9700K and i9-9900K – as well as the 9th-generation X-series for HEDT systems. Intel didn't officially announce full details of the new processors, but we've been able to dig up information on all six of them via some URL experimentation in Intel's ARK product database: Intel Core i3-9350KF: 4-cores, 4-threads, no integrated graphics, clocked at 4.0GHz to 4.6GHz Intel Core i5-9400: 6-cores, 6-threads, Intel UHD Graphics 630, clocked at 2.9GHz to 4.1GHz Intel Core i5-9400F: 6-cores, 6-threads, no integrated graphics, clocked at 2.9GHz to 4.1GHz Intel Core i5-9600KF: 6-cores, 6-threads, no integrated graphics, clocked at 3.7GHz to 4.1GHz Intel Core i7-9700KF: 8-cores, 8-threads, no integrated graphics, clocked at 3.6GHz to 4.9GHz Intel Core i9-9900KF: 8-cores, 16-threads, no integrated graphics, clocked at 3.6GHz to 5.0GHz What's perhaps most intriguing about them is that five of the six new chips appear to be part of a brand new F-series of processors, which have removed (or most likely disabled) the integrated graphics chip that almost every mainstream Intel processor now includes. That may be an attempt to reduce costs (as it will allow the chip-maker to sell CPUs with non-functional GPUs) but it will likely also mean these processors run cooler and use less power – and they could be better for overclocking as a result. Somewhat surprisingly, Intel didn't expressly mention the new F-series at its press conference. If these new GPU-less processors do come at a reduced price, they may also be aimed at tackling AMD's Ryzen family of processors, which largely offer better bang for buck than their Intel equivalents. With many mid-range and higher-end PCs still coming equipped with a dedicated graphics card, Intel's integrated chips often go to waste, so offering a range of cheaper, GPU-less processors may help Intel win back some of the value-oriented market segment that it's recently been losing to AMD. Source
  21. This last year has been a bizarre one in the world of PC components. AMD, Intel and Nvidia have all launched major product lines that ruled their prospective portions of the market – at least for a little while. AMD launched its Ryzen and Threadripper 2nd Generation lineups, which brought about fantastic performance at a bargain price, while Nvidia launched Turing and the best graphics cards we’ve ever seen. And, Intel? Well, Intel released four different microarchitectures to varying degrees of success. But, what will 2019 look like? As all of these manufacturers mobilize to launch more efficient silicon than ever before, will we finally start seeing 7-nanometer (nm) processors in the mainstream? Or, will AMD launch a line of graphics cards that gives the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti a run for their money? What will the mid- and low-end Nvidia Turing cards look like? AMD in 2019 For years, AMD has been playing the underdog both in graphics cards and the best processors. However, now that AMD is selling twice as many processors as Intel, it’s heading into the new year as a dominant force in the market – even if it still needs to catch up to Nvidia. Ryzen 3rd Generation. The AMD Ryzen 3000 series processors are a sure thing in 2019, and while leaks have pointed to them being 16-core monstrosities with core speeds up to 4.7GHz, we think that’s a little bit pie-in-the-sky. Still, AMD is shrinking its manufacturing process to 7nm in 2019, according to leaked road maps from Informatica Cero, so we’ll likely see better efficiency and performance across the board – hopefully while keeping its stellar price-to-performance balance. Threadripper 3rd Generation. As is the norm over the last couple years, we’ll likely see a new line of Threadripper HEDT processors show up in Summer 2019. The leaked roadmap we mentioned earlier points to a “Castle Peak” architecture following AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation, likely based on the same Zen 2 process as Ryzen 3rd Generation. Similar to its mainstream Ryzen platform, we expect AMD’s next HEDT line to bring improved efficiency and performance. AMD Vega 7nm. AMD has a press conference at CES 2019, and we’re pretty sure that it’s going to announce 7nm Vega graphics cards for creatives and professionals. We’ve already seen AMD tease 7nm graphics cards for CES, and the AMD Vega II logo has been revealed in a trademark application. It’s a pretty safe bet that AMD Vega II will be revealed very soon. AMD Navi. But, what about consumer graphics cards? Ever since Nvidia launched Turing with, frankly, insane prices, we’ve been hoping AMD Navi would come out and give Team Green some much-needed competition. We’ve seen a leak that suggests that AMD will release an RX 3080, which would compete with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 for half the price. If this is true, 2019 is going to be an exciting year for graphics cards Intel in 2019 We know significantly less about what Intel is going to do in 2019. It’s known that the silicon giant is going to do something, but the specifics are a bit arcane at the moment. Between Cannon Lake, Sunny Cove and some HEDT chips, we’re sure following Intel is going to be a rollercoaster this year – like it is every year. Sunny Cove? Cannon Lake? Coffee Lake Refresh just came out a couple months ago, bringing extremely high core counts and clock speeds together for the first time – the Intel Core i9-9900K blows everything out of the water. It’s still a stopgap, though. We’ve been waiting for 10nm Cannon Lake processors for years now, so hopefully we’ll see some more efficient silicon in 2019 – even if it’s called Sunny Cove instead. More laptop processors. Even though Intel’s 9th generation of processors kicked off in October 2018 with Coffee Lake Refresh, we’re still seeing a ton of laptops with the 8th-generation Kaby Lake Refresh processors that launched all the way back in 2018. We expect Intel to refresh mainstream laptops next year, though we’d be happy if we saw more laptops with Whisky Lake chips. Intel graphics cards. Intel has been hinting at launching its own line of graphics cards for a while now, and we have to say: we’re intrigued. While Intel has come out and said that it’s on track to release graphics cards in 2020, not 2019, Intel will likely show off some of its new graphics architecture. Will they be consumer cards? Or – what we think is more likely – GPUs aimed at taking on Nvidia Voltaand AMD Vega in the professional space? We’ll just have to wait and see. Nvidia in 2019 Nvidia had a pretty action-packed 2018, so we’re not expecting anything groundbreaking from the graphics giant. It already launched Turing for consumers and Volta for data scientists and professionals, so we’ll likely see those lineups expand throughout the year. More Turing desktop graphics. We’ve started to see some leaks and speculation crop up about the Nvidia RTX 2060 start to surface. The Nvidia Turing lineup, as it exists today, is extremely expensive, so we’re hoping that whatever the RTX 2060 is capable of, it’ll be more affordable for mainstream consumers. Not everyone wants to drop a thousand bills on a graphics card. RTX Mobility. Sure, the best gaming PCs have had access to Nvidia Turing for a few months now, but what about gaming laptops? Well, word on the street is that Nvidia will announce RTX Mobility graphics for laptops at CES 2019. We’ll likely see the RTX 2070 Max-Q as the premiere mobile GPU, but we could see the RTX 2080 make its way to a laptop near you as well. source
  22. Mark Coppock/Digital Trends “Intel Inside” is a badge of honor few laptops go without. If you’ve been searching for a new notebook, and in particular one that can let you game on the go, then chances are you haven’t even considered buying a machine with AMD inside. Intel dominates mobile processors, as does Nvidia for discrete mobile GPUs. You’ll need to search long and hard to even find an alternative. But what if you want to support the underdog? Well, it is possible to find a laptop using AMD’s latest Ryzen CPUs and Radeon GPUs. We found one that looked quite promising, the Acer’s Nitro 5 gaming laptop. Is buying an AMD-powered laptop in 2018 more than just a charity purchase? GOOD ENOUGH PRODUCTIVITY PERFORMANCE Our Nitro 5 review unit was equipped with a . That’s AMD’s midrange mobile chip that offers four cores, eight threads, a base clock speed of 2GHz, and a max boost clock of 3.6GHz. It’s a 15-watt processor that includes integrated Radeon Vega 8 graphics for the budget conscious. The Ryzen 5 2500U competes directly with Intel’s 8th-gen (1.6GHz base and 3.4GHz max turbo) and (1.6GHz base and 3.9GHz max turbo). Those are also four-core CPUs with eight threads and they also run at 15 watts to provide an attractive mix of performance and efficiency. How do these CPUs, so closely matched on paper, perform relative to each other? When subjected to our usual benchmarks, their relative performance is mixed. In Geekbench 4, which tests the CPUs using several common processor-oriented tasks, the Ryzen 5-based Nitro 5 fell well behind Intel-based notebooks. For example, the Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN running the Core i5-8250U was over 18 percent faster in the single-core test and almost 58 percent faster in the multi-core test. We haven’t yet tested a Whiskey Lake Core i5, but we expect its performance to be better. The Ryzen 5 2500U provides decent enough productivity compared with Intel’s Core i5. The bottom line is that the Ryzen 5 2500U is likely to provide decent enough productivity performance that’s competitive with the Core i5. Whether you’re working with multiple web browser tabs, editing Microsoft Office documents, and even doing light video encoding and the like, you’ll be happy with the Ryzen 5’s performance. Of course, that CPU won’t keep up with the faster notebooks based on Intel’s Core CPUs, especially when you jump up to the Core i7, but the same can be said for Intel’s Core i5. Another factor here is price. There aren’t that many systems that come in both Intel and AMD options, but looking just at the Nitro 5 shows that the AMD Ryzen 5 configuration is less expense. Our Nitro 5 review unit comes in at $700 with the Ryzen 5 2500U, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD), and the Radeon RX560X. That’s $150 less than the same notebook with a Core i5-8300H, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 that costs $850. Left: Acer’s Nitro 5, Right: Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN Mark Coppock/Digital Trends Keep in mind that in terms of productivity performance, the Core i5-8300H will provide much better performance for things like encoding large videos and working with huge images and complex Photoshop filters. If you won’t be doing that kind of work, then the $150 savings from AMD might be well worth it. SOLID ENTRY-LEVEL GAMING PERFORMANCE — AT A DISCOUNT If you’re looking for a gaming notebook, things get even murkier. That’s true not only regarding the CPU, where Intel’s more common 45-watt CPUs are going to be much faster, but also when comparing against Nvidia’s discrete GPUs. Once again, we ran the Nitro 5 against a variety of notebooks, in this case focusing on the Nvidia GPUs that are closest to the Radeon RX560X with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM that was running inside our Acer review unit. That meant comparing against the GeForce GTX 1050, 1050 Ti, and 1060 Max-Q. Simply put, the Radeon RX560X most closely resembles the GTX 1050 across all our benchmarks. First up, the Nitro 5 scored a tie with the Asus VivoBook Pro N580 (not a gaming notebook, mind you) in the 3DMark Fire Strike test at 5,461. That’s well behind the scores achieved by the G3 Gaming Laptop, the Lenovo Legion Y730 (GTX 1050 Ti), and the Razer Blade 15 Base (GTX 1060 Max-Q). Looking at a less demanding esports title first, Rocket League, we see the Radeon RX560X competing favorably against the GTX 1050. It hit 134 frames per second (FPS) at 1080p and performance settings and 87 FPS when bumped up to high quality. That compares to the Nitro 5 Spin with its GTX 1050 at 119 FPS and 73 FPS, respectively. The Radeon RX560X provides slightly less performance than Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050. Next up is Civilization VI, which taxes both the CPU and GPU in working its magic. The Nitro 5 was essentially equal to the VivoBook Pro and its GTX 1050, at 56 FPS at 1080p and medium settings versus 51 FPS, and it again fell well behind the G3 Gaming Laptop and Legion Y730, both equipped with the GTX 1050 Ti. The Razer Blade 15 Base and its GTX 1060 Max-Q blew away the entire field. Stepping up to a more GPU-intensive game, specifically Battlefield 1, the Nitro 5’s Radeon RX560X started to fall slightly behind the GTX 1050 and the rest of its field. It couldn’t quite hit the optimal 60 frames per second (FPS) at 1080p and medium graphics, and it dropped down to 44 FPS. The VivoBook Pro’s GTX 1050 managed 63 FPS and 48 FPS respectively, and the rest of the field went up from there. Finally, we ran our most demanding test, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and the Nitro 5’s Radeon RX560X struggled. It couldn’t keep up with any of our comparison systems, including those equipped with the GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti, and the Nitro 5 was essentially unplayable at less than 30 FPS at 1080p and high settings. Every other comparison notebook stayed above 30 FPS at the same level of detail. The Asus VivoBook Pro Mark Coppock/Digital Trends Essentially, if you opt for the Nitro 5 with the Radeon RX560X, it’ll provide slightly less performance than you’ll get with a GTX 1050. That’s considered the entry-level Nvidia GPU for a serious gamer, and so you’ll need to step up to something faster if you want to give AMD a try. As we noted above, the AMD version of the Nitro 5 is $150 less expensive than the Core i5 version with a GTX 1050. And if gaming is your main objective, then the price savings are more meaningful than with pure productivity workloads. The Radeon RX560X will provide very close to GTX 1050 performance, particularly in older gaming titles and when running with lower graphical details. BATTERY LIFE REMAINS MOSTLY A MYSTERY It’s a challenge to evaluate the Nitro 5’s battery life, because we don’t have an equivalent Intel-based configuration to test compare. We’ll say this, though: The notebook does the Ryzen 5 2500U processor no favors. In a nutshell, the notebook’s battery life was rather poor – even by gaming notebook standards. In our web browsing test, the Nitro 5 and its 49 watt-hours of battery capacity lasted just over three and a half hours, much less than its gaming competition. And then in our most demanding Basemark web benchmark test, which is the most CPU-intensive (note that part), it couldn’t make it to an hour. The G3 Gaming Laptop lasted more than three times as long. The Nitro 5 did better against our comparison gaming notebook group when looping our local 1080p video file, at just under five and a half hours. The Dell G3 Gaming Laptop lasted for twenty minutes longer, but the two gaming systems with Core i7-8750H CPUs fell short. Mark Coppock/Digital Trends Many factors determine battery life, including display technology, battery sizes, RAM, and a host of other variables. And so again, it’s difficult to compare the Ryzen 5’s battery life without an equivalent Intel machine to reference. However, we can draw a loose inference from these tests. The fact that the Nitro 5’s relative battery performance was worse as the CPU was more involved provides at least a hint. The Ryzen 5 2500U may not be as efficient as its Intel competition. COMPETITIVE PERFORMANCE AT A DISCOUNT The Nitro 5 demonstrates that you really can get more for your money by going with AMD, at least in this product line. And therein lies the rub. There just aren’t that many AMD-based systems to provide for a solid analysis. With more presence in the market, perhaps we would see a more viable price-performance ratio come into play. As it stands, the Nitro 5 with its Ryzen 5 2500U and Radeon RX560X provides competitive performance for less money. If you’re on a tight budget, then you might very well find that $150 or so savings a good enough reason to go AMD. But if you’re all-in on performance and price isn’t as much of an issue, then stick with Intel and Nvidia. AMD isn’t standing still, though. It’s introducing a new generation CPUs, the Ryzen 3000 series, that promises better performance. And we’ll surely see better mobile GPUs coming from Nvidia’s main competitor. Six months from now, AMD might be better-positioned as a compelling mobile solution in laptops. source
  23. AMD recently overhauled its Radeon Software driver series with the initial Adrenalin 2019 Edition update, which offered Radeon graphics card owners a host of upgrades and improvements. That was last week. This week, AMD rolled out a minor update that builds upon the initial release with a bunch of bug fixes. The new Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 18.12.3 driver package is listed as an "optional" download, which essentially means it doesn't offer any game-specific performance improvements. However, it does address a memory clock issue that some Radeon RX Vega owners have been experiencing—in some cases, the memory can become locked at 800MHz, AMD says. That's one of nine bug fixes in all. Here's the full list of resolved issues: Fan speed gauge in Radeon WattMan may sometimes overfill. Memory clocks on Radeon RX Vega series graphics products may become locked at 800MHz. Game profiles with custom fan settings may sometimes remain even after closing a game. The game streaming tab may be missing in Radeon Settings when Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition is installed twice on a system. Radeon ReLive for VR may experience minor corruption for a few seconds immediately after connecting a headset. Auto tuning controls are not displaying their warning message in Radeon Overlay. Custom values for the sampling interval slider in the performance metrics feature may fail to enable. Radeon Settings may sometimes list a previously installed driver version even after driver successfully upgrading. Apply and Done buttons may sometimes overlap in Radeon Settings or Radeon Overlay. There's not much else to see here. However, if you're still running a pre-2019 Adrenalin Edition driver package, updating to the newest release purportedly delivers some performance gains in a few games—four percent in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, three percent in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, five percent in Doom and Wolfenstein II, and seven percent in Strange Brigade. source
  24. Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.9.3 Release Date 11/5/2018 https://www.amd.com/en/support/kb/release-notes/rn-rad-win-18-9-3 Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.11.2 Optional Release Date 11/19/2018 https://www.amd.com/en/support/kb/release-notes/rn-rad-win-18-11-2
  25. Six or nine months from now, AMD and Intel might be posting results and/or guidance that look very different from the numbers that the companies recently delivered. However, that's cold comfort for AMD investors who have seen the company's shares drop 22% over the two days following the release of its Q3 report. Or for that matter, anyone who was short Intel as its stock -- aided by the release of an upbeat Q3 report on Thursday afternoon -- rose nearly 8% during the same time. To recap, AMD posted mixed Q3 results on Wednesday afternoon -- revenue slightly missed, while EPS slightly beat -- and more importantly guided for Q4 revenue of $1.45 billion (plus or minus $50 million), below a pre-earnings consensus of $1.6 billion. A day later, Intel soundly beat Q3 estimates and guided for Q4 revenue of $19 billion and non-GAAP EPS of $1.22, above a consensus of $18.4 billion and $1.09. What's Behind AMD's Guidance On its earnings call, AMD partly attributed its sales guidance to softness in its PC GPU business following a plunge in demand from cryptocurrency miners. The company asserts this plunge has led channel partners (retailers, distributors, etc.) to hold elevated inventories of AMD GPUs that will take a while longer to fully burn off. The company also forecast that its game console processor sales -- AMD system-on-chips (SoCs) power both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One -- will see a larger-than-usual seasonal decline in Q4, due to the fact that the current console cycle is now long in the tooth. On the flip side, AMD expects its PC CPU sales will rise in what's normally a seasonally weaker quarter, and that its server CPU and GPU sales will also grow. Though both AMD and Nvidia have been hit this year by weaker crypto-related demand, AMD's exposure -- both as a percentage of its GPU revenue, and as a percentage of its total revenue -- appears to have been meaningfully higher. Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon, who expressed concern back in June about AMD's crypto exposure, estimates the company's GPU revenue was around $700 million in Q1. That figure is equal to over 40% of total Q1 revenue of $1.65 billion. In Q3, following an estimated $300 million sequential drop, Rasgon thinks GPU sales may have been roughly half of Q1 levels, due to both lower units and a drop in average selling prices (ASPs) caused by the fact that crypto miners were more likely to buy AMD's high-end Vega GPUs. AMD does forecast its GPU sales will rise sequentially in Q4, but attributes this "primarily" to an expected increase in server GPU sales. A somewhat tougher competitive environment could also be impacting AMD's revenue outlook a bit. Nvidia recently launched gaming GPUs based on its next-gen Turing architecture, and Intel just rolled out new high-end desktop and workstation CPUs that take aim at AMD's second-gen Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper CPUs. What's Behind Intel's Results and Guidance Intel's Q3 beat was fueled by stronger-than-expected sales for both its Client Computing Group , which supplies PC and to a lesser extent mobile chips, and its Data Center Group (DCG), which supplies chips for servers and to a lesser extent other data center hardware. Intel benefited from 50% and 30% increases, respectively, in DCG's sales to cloud and telecom service providers, and a major increase in iPhone modem shipments (Intel is the sole modem supplier for Apple's latest iPhones). It also didn't hurt that the PC market looks a little stronger right now than it did at the start of 2018, particularly on the high-end. Though AMD's Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper families have helped it gain some share in the PC and workstation markets, Intel's PC CPU volumes rose 6% in Q3, with notebook and desktop ASPs respectively rising 4% and 10%. And though the chip giant cautions that manufacturing constraints will limit potential upside to its Q4 outlook, it expects the good times to continue this quarter. Intel is trying to curtail the damage done by these constraints by slightly upping its 2018 capital spending and prioritizing sales of server and high-end PC CPUs relative to sales of low-end PC CPUs and IoT chips. How Things Could Change in 2019 As plenty of industry observers have noted, AMD's 2019 product roadmap, together with Intel's manufacturing process struggles, could allow AMD to take meaningful PC and server CPU share next year. And perhaps, in the process, change perceptions of the company among consumers and businesses who have historically viewed the company as the CPU world's red-headed stepchild. In 2019 (possibly in the first half of the year), AMD plans to launch PC and server CPUs that rely on a 7-nanometer (7nm) process that has performance, density and power efficiency advantages relative to the 14nm processes currently used to make Intel's most powerful chips. AMD's 7nm parts will also rely on a new CPU core architecture (known as Zen 2) that delivers performance improvements relative to the company's existing Zen architecture. Following numerous delays, Intel aims to start volume production next year for a 10nm process that's seen as competitive with the 7nm process used by AMD. However, the company is only forecasting PCs featuring 10nm CPUs will be available for the 2019 holiday season, and that 10nm server CPUs will ship at some point in 2020. That clearly spells an opening for AMD, which also has plans to launch 7nm GPUs. In addition to tougher competition from AMD, Intel's DCG unit might have to contend with softer cloud-related demand next year. As Intel was trumpeting its Q3 performance on Thursday, Western Digital was warning that it's seeing a "temporary slowdown" in demand for high-capacity hard drives from "large cloud service providers," and only forecast demand for such products would improve in the second half of 2019. Rasgon thinks the possibility of a cloud spending slowdown shouldn't be taken lightly, particularly since the chip industry at-large is entering a downturn and DCG will be seeing tougher annual comparisons next year. "[Cloud providers] tend to build and digest and build and digest," he noted. "And over the last four, five quarters, they've built a tremendous amount." Softer cloud capex would technically be a negative for AMD as well. However, since the company's server CPU share is currently a small fraction of Intel's -- it's aiming for a mid-single digit share for its Epyc server CPU family by the end of 2018 -- it could still grow its cloud-related sales strongly in such an environment. The Big Picture If one was bullish on AMD going into its Q3 report on a belief that its 7nm products can drive large share gains in 2019 and beyond, the company's Q4 guidance and commentary shouldn't do much to make one question that thesis. Likewise, if one was bearish on Intel ahead of its Q3 report due to worries about its 10nm issues and/or out of a belief that DCG's end-markets will slow, its results and guidance don't really put a dent into either thesis. Nonetheless, AMD plunged on news that near-term demand for some of its existing products will be weaker than expected. And Intel rallied on news that businesses that had already seen demand improve in 2018 had seen it improve some more. Perhaps the key lesson here for tech investors is to stay mindful of near-term business swings -- and how markets could react to them -- even if one is convinced that new products and technologies will have a big impact on a company's fortunes farther down the line. That might doubly hold in a risk-sensitive market environment like this one. Source
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