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Hi, everyone! About two weeks ago we started the first of many planned “Community Update” blogs about the AMD Ryzen™ ecosystem. In the initial update, we promised all sorts of goodies for our customers. Today we’re back to make good on that promise with some important updates on topics you proposed: performance tuning and BIOS updates.

 

Unleashing Ryzen in Ashes of the Singularity™

 

Enthusiasts aren’t strangers to the advanced game engine inside Ashes of the Singularity. Ashes distinguished itself early on as a visionary new breed of PC game that plainly proved the potential of low-overhead APIs, and it continues today as an often-updated game that can be punishing even at 1080p. As a bonus, the benchmark capabilities built into Ashes of the Singularity produce a refreshingly candid level of detail. It’s no surprise why the community has rallied around Ashes as a great game and a great test for new hardware.

 

Behind the scenes, AMD has enjoyed a great relationship with the teams at Stardock and Oxide Games. They were early supporters of the Mantle API project and have often collaborated with us on precision-tuned rendering paths for Radeon™ GPUs. This month, they were once again eager to help when we began our promised effort to work with game devs to extract the full performance of the AMD Ryzen™ processor.

 

After just a week or two of work, we’re pleased to report that a new build (v2.11.x) of Ashes of the Singularity is hitting Steam™ today with performance optimizations for the AMD Ryzen™ processor. Compared to version 2.10.25624 featured in the initial reviews for the AMD Ryzen 7 processors, this optimized build averaged a whopping 30% faster when we put it through our labs on the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X CPU.1

 

ahses1.png

System configuration: AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X Processor, 2x8GB DDR4-2933 (15-17-17-35), GeForce GTX 1080 (378.92 driver), Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming5, Windows® 10 x64 build 1607, 1920x1080 resolution, high in-game quality preset.

 

As an additional layer of validation, we also tabulated some results for the CPU-Focused test (below). The CPU-focused test attempts to deemphasize the GPU and focus specifically on how well the processor is driving up game performance. A better result in this test positively correlates with the performance bottleneck being moved to the GPU where it belongs. Results for our optimizations were again notable, with the average performance of the AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X jumping by 14.29%.

 

System configuration: AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X Processor, 2x8GB DDR4-2933 (15-17-17-35), GeForce GTX 1080 (378.92 driver), Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming5, Windows® 10 x64 build 1607, 1920x1080 resolution, high in-game quality preset.

 

As a parting note on Ashes of the Singularity goodness, a major new update (v2.20.x) will soon be releasing with some great new features: game replays, mod support, three new maps, and a huge number of balance tweaks. The work AMD, Oxide, and Stardock have done for the AMD Ryzen™ processor will be carried forward, and you can learn more about the 2.20.x changes at the official Stardock forums.

 

Boosting minimum framerates in DOTA™ 2

 

Many gamers know that an intense battle in DOTA 2 can be surprisingly demanding, even on powerful hardware. But DOTA has an interesting twist: competitive gamers often tell us that the minimum framerate is what matters more than anything in life or death situations. Keeping that minimum framerate high and steady keeps the game smooth, minimizes input latency, and allows players to better stay abreast of every little change in the battle.

 

As part of our ongoing 1080p optimization efforts for the AMD Ryzen™ processor, we identified some fast changes that could be made within the code of DOTA to increase minimum framerates. In fact, those changes are already live on Steam as of the March 20 update!

 

We still wanted to show you the results, so we did a little A:B test with a high-intensity scene developed with the assistance of our friends in the Evil Geniuses eSports team. The results? +15% greater minimum framerates on the AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X processor2, which lowers input latency by around 1.7ms.

 

Not bad for some quick wrenching under the hood, and we’re continuing to explore additional optimization opportunities in this title.

 

System configuration: AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X Processor, 2x8GB DDR4-2933 (15-17-17-35), GeForce GTX 1080 (378.92 driver), Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming5, Windows® 10 x64 build 1607, 1920x1080 resolution, tournament-optimized quality settings.

 

Let’s talk BIOS updates

 

Finally, we wanted to share with you our most recent work on the AMD Generic Encapsulated Software Architecture for AMD Ryzen™ processors. We call it the AGESA™ for short.

 

As a brief primer, the AGESA is responsible for initializing AMD x86-64 processors during boot time, acting as something of a “nucleus” for the BIOS updates you receive for your motherboard. Motherboard vendors take the baseline capabilities of our AGESA releases and build on that infrastructure to create the files you download and flash.

 

We will soon be distributing AGESA point release 1.0.0.4 to our motherboard partners. We expect BIOSes based on this AGESA to start hitting the public in early April, though specific dates will depend on the schedules and QA practices of your motherboard vendor.

 

BIOSes based on this new code will have four important improvements for you

  1. We have reduced DRAM latency by approximately 6ns. This can result in higher performance for latency-sensitive applications.
  2. We resolved a condition where an unusual FMA3 code sequence could cause a system hang.
  3. We resolved the “overclock sleep bug” where an incorrect CPU frequency could be reported after resuming from S3 sleep.
  4. AMD Ryzen™ Master no longer requires the High-Precision Event Timer (HPET).

 

We will continue to update you on future AGESA releases when they’re complete, and we’re already working hard to bring you a May release that focuses on overclocked DDR4 memory.

 

Until next time

 

What are you interested in hearing more about in our next AMD Ryzen Community Update? Let us know on Twitter @AMDRyzen.

 


Robert Hallock is a technical marketing guy for AMD's CPU division. His/her postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

Footnotes:

  1. Testing conducted by AMD performance labs as of 3/27/2015. Baseline Ashes of the Singularity version (2.10.25624): 63.85 average FPS of all batches (avg FPS for normal, medium and large batches 68.62, 63.65 and 59.8 respectively). New version (2.11.x): 83.7 average FPS of all batches (avg FPS for normal, medium and large batches 92.25, 84.65 and 75.6 respectively). Total % increase in avg FPS for all batches: 31.1%. System configuration:  AMD Ryzen 7 1800X, 2x8GB DDR4-2933 (15-17-17-35), GeForce GTX 1080 (378.92 driver), Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming5, Windows 10 x64 1607, 1920x1080 Resolution, HIGH image quality preset. RZN-27
  2. Testing conducted by AMD performance labs as of 3/27/2015. Pre-March 20 update: 79 average minimum FPS. Post-March 20 update: 91 average minimum FPS. Uplift: 15%. System configuration:  AMD Ryzen 7 1800X, 2x8GB DDR4-2933 (15-17-17-35), GeForce GTX 1080 (378.92 driver), Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming5, Windows 10 x64 1607, 1920x1080 Resolution, HIGH image quality preset. RZN-28

The AMD Ryzen™ processor is a completely new and different platform from what gamers may be accustomed to, and established practices for configuring a system may prove incorrect or unreliable. We’ve assembled the following configuration steps to ensure users are extracting the best possible performance and reliability from their new PC.

 

Update Your Firmware

Ensure that you are using the latest UEFI ROM for your motherboard.

  1. The latest ROMs will support the Windows 10 tickless kernel for best application performance.
  2. Newer ROMs can improve the functionality/stability of your motherboard and its UEFI menu options.

 

Memory Matters

AMD Ryzen™ processors have an appetite for faster system RAM, but it’s important to ensure that you have a solid setup before proceeding.

 

  1. The AMD Ryzen™ processor does not offer memory dividers for DDR4-3000 or DDR4-3400. Users shooting for higher memory clocks should aim for 3200 or 3500 MT/s.
  2. Memory vendors have also begun to validate 32GB (4x8GB) kits at 3200 MT/s rates for select motherboards.
  3. Ensure that you are programming your BIOS with the recommended timings (CAS/tRCD/tRP/tRAS/tRC/CMD) and voltages specified on the DRAM packaging.
  4. To ensure reliable POST, the AMD Ryzen™ processor may fall back to a DIMM’s JEDEC SPD “safe” timings in the event an overclock proves unreliable. Most DIMMs are programmed to boot at DDR4-2133 unless otherwise instructed by the BIOS, so be sure your desired overclock is in place before performance testing. Use CPU-Z in Windows to confirm.
  5. For speed grades greater than DDR4-2667, please refer to a motherboard vendor’s memory QVL list. Each motherboard vendor tests specific speeds, modules, and capacities for their motherboards, and can help you find a memory pairing that works well. It is important you stick to this list for the best and most reliable results.1
  6. We have internally observed good results from 2933, 3200, and 3500 MT/s rates with 16GB kits based on Samsung “B-die” memory chips. Potential kits include:
    • Geil EVO X - GEX416GB3200C16DC [16-16-16-36 @ 1.35v]
    • G.Skill Trident Z - F4-3200C16D-16GTZR [16-18-18-36 @ 1.35v]
    • Corsair CMK16GX4M2B3200C16 VERSION 5.39 [16-18-18-36 @ 1.35v]
  7. Finally, as part of AMDs ongoing development of the new AM4 platform, AMD will increase support for overclocked memory configurations with higher memory multipliers. We intend to issue updates to motherboard partners in May that will enable them, on whatever products they choose, to support speeds higher than the current DDR4-3200 limit without refclk adjustments. AMD Ryzen™ processors already deliver great performance in prosumer, workstation, and gaming workloads, and this update will permit even more value and performance for enthusiasts who chose to run overclocked memory.
  8. AMD’s officially-supported DRAM configurations are below for your reference:

    DDR4 Speed (MT/s)
    Memory RanksDIMM Quantities
    2667Single2
    2400Dual2
    2133Single4
    1866Dual4


Mind Your Power Plan

Make sure the Windows® 10 High Performance power plan is being used (picture). The High Performance plan offers two key benefits:

 

  1. Core Parking OFF: Idle CPU cores are instantaneously available for thread scheduling. In contrast, the Balanced plan aggressively places idle CPU cores into low power states. This can cause additional latency when un-parking cores to accommodate varying loads.
  2. Fast frequency change: The AMD Ryzen™ processor can alter its voltage and frequency states in the 1ms intervals natively supported by the “Zen” architecture. In contrast, the Balanced plan may take longer for voltage and frequency changes due to software participation in power state changes.

 

In the near term, we recommend that games and other high-performance applications are complemented by the High Performance plan. By the first week of April, AMD intends to provide an update for AMD Ryzen™ processors that optimizes the power policy parameters of the Balanced plan to favor performance more consistent with the typical usage models of a desktop PC.

 

The Observer Effect

Ensure there are no background CPU temperature or frequency monitoring tools when performance is essential. Real-time performance measurement tools can have an observer effect that impacts performance, especially if the monitoring resolution (>1 sample/sec) is increased.

 

Overclocking!

Overclocking is a time-tested and beloved way to squeeze even more “free” performance out of a system. That’s why every AMD Ryzen™ processor is unlocked for overclocking.2

 

Consider the example of the AMD Ryzen™ 7 1700 processor. It has a base clock of 3.0GHz, a two-core boost clock of 3.7GHz, an all-cores boost clock of 3.1GHz, and a 2-core XFR clock of 3.75GHz. Many have reported all-core overclocks of around 3.9GHz, which is a full 25% higher than the default behavior of the CPU.

 

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

To test the performance impact of all of these various changes, we threw together a brand new Windows 10-based system with the following specifications:

 

  • AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X (8C16T/3.6-4.0GHz)
  • 16GB G.Skill (2x8) DDR4-3200
    • Clocked to 2133MT/s: 15-15-15-35-1t
    • Clocked to 2933MT/s: 14-14-14-30-1t
  • ASUS Crosshair VI Hero (5704 BIOS)
  • 1x AMD Radeon™ RX 480 GPU (Radeon Software 17.2.1)
  • Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Build 14393.10)

 

Throughout this process we also discovered that F1™ 2016 generates a CPU topology map (hardware_settings_config.xml) when the game is installed. This file tells the game how many cores and threads the system’s processor supports. This settings file is stored in the Steam™ Cloud and appears to get resynced on any PC that installs F1™ 2016 from the same Steam account. Therefore: if a user had a 4-core processor without SMT, then reused that same game install on a new AMD Ryzen™ PC, the game would re-sync with the cloud and believe the new system is also the same old quad core CPU.

 

Only a fresh install of the game allowed for a new topology map that better interpreted the architecture of our AMD Ryzen™ processor. Score one for clean computing! But it wasn’t a complete victory. We also discovered that the new and better topology map still viewed Ryzen™ as a 16-core processor, rather than an 8-core processor with 16 threads. Even so, performance was noticeably improved with the updated topology map, and performance went up from there as we threw additional changes into the system.

 

As an ultimate maneuver, we asked the question: “Can we edit this file?” The answer is yes! As a final step, we configured F1™ 2016 to use 8 physical CPU cores, rather than the 16 it was detecting by default. Performance went up again! After all was said and done, we gained a whopping 35.53% from our baseline configuration showing how a series of little changes can add up to something big.

 

The picture tells the story clear as day: configuration matters.

 

 


Robert Hallock is a technical marketing guy for AMD's CPU division. His/her postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

 

Footnotes:

1. Overclocking memory will void any applicable AMD product warranty, even if such overclocking is enabled via AMD hardware and/or software.  This may also void warranties offered by the system manufacturer or retailer or motherboard vendor.  Users assume all risks and liabilities that may arise out of overclocking memory, including, without limitation, failure of or damage to RAM/hardware, reduced system performance and/or data loss, corruption or vulnerability.  GD-112
2. AMD processors, including chipsets, CPUs, APUs and GPUs (collectively and individually "AMD processor"), are intended to be operated only within their associated specifications and factory settings. Operating your AMD processor outside of official AMD specifications or outside of factory settings, including but not limited to the conducting of overclocking using the Ryzen Master overclocking software, may damage your processor, affect the operation of your processor or the security features therein and/or lead to other problems, including but not limited to damage to your system components (including your motherboard and components thereon (e.g., memory)), system instabilities (e.g., data loss and corrupted images), reduction in system performance, shortened processor, system component and/or system life, and in extreme cases, total system failure. It is recommended that you save any important data before using the tool.  AMD does not provide support or service for issues or damages related to use of an AMD processor outside of official AMD specifications or outside of factory settings. You may also not receive support or service from your board or system manufacturer. Please make sure you have saved all important data before using this overclocking software.

It’s been about two weeks since we launched the new AMD Ryzen™ processor, and I’m just thrilled to see all the excitement and chatter surrounding our new chip. Seems like not a day goes by when I’m not being tweeted by someone doing a new build, often for the first time in many years. Reports from media and users have also been good:

 

  • “This CPU gives you something that we needed for a long time, which is a CPU that gives you a well-rounded experience.” –JayzTwoCents
  • Competitive performance at 1080p, with Tech Spot saying the “affordable Ryzen 7 1700” is an “awesome option” and a “safer bet long term.”
  • ExtremeTech showed strong performance for high-end GPUs like the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, especially for gamers that understand how much value AMD Ryzen™ brings to the table
  • Many users are noting that the 8-core design of AMD Ryzen™ 7 processors enables “noticeably SMOOTHER” performance compared to their old platforms.

 

While these findings have been great to read, we are just getting started! The AMD Ryzen™ processor and AM4 Platform both have room to grow, and we wanted to take a few minutes to address some of the questions and comments being discussed across the web.

 

Thread Scheduling

We have investigated reports alleging incorrect thread scheduling on the AMD Ryzen™ processor. Based on our findings, AMD believes that the Windows® 10 thread scheduler is operating properly for “Zen,” and we do not presently believe there is an issue with the scheduler adversely utilizing the logical and physical configurations of the architecture.

 

As an extension of this investigation, we have also reviewed topology logs generated by the Sysinternals Coreinfo utility. We have determined that an outdated version of the application was responsible for originating the incorrect topology data that has been widely reported in the media. Coreinfo v3.31 (or later) will produce the correct results.

 

Finally, we have reviewed the limited available evidence concerning performance deltas between Windows® 7 and Windows® 10 on the AMD Ryzen™ CPU. We do not believe there is an issue with scheduling differences between the two versions of Windows.  Any differences in performance can be more likely attributed to software architecture differences between these OSes.

 

Going forward, our analysis highlights that there are many applications that already make good use of the cores and threads in Ryzen, and there are other applications that can better utilize the topology and capabilities of our new CPU with some targeted optimizations. These opportunities are already being actively worked via the AMD Ryzen™ dev kit program that has sampled 300+ systems worldwide.

 

Above all, we would like to thank the community for their efforts to understand the Ryzen processor and reporting their findings. The software/hardware relationship is a complex one, with additional layers of nuance when preexisting software is exposed to an all-new architecture. We are already finding many small changes that can improve the Ryzen performance in certain applications, and we are optimistic that these will result in beneficial optimizations for current and future applications.

 

Temperature Reporting

The primary temperature reporting sensor of the AMD Ryzen™ processor is a sensor called “T Control,” or tCTL for short. The tCTL sensor is derived from the junction (Tj) temperature—the interface point between the die and heatspreader—but it may be offset on certain CPU models so that all models on the AM4 Platform have the same maximum tCTL value. This approach ensures that all AMD Ryzen™ processors have a consistent fan policy.

 

Specifically, the AMD Ryzen™ 7 1700X and 1800X carry a +20°C offset between the tCTL° (reported) temperature and the actual Tj° temperature. In the short term, users of the AMD Ryzen™ 1700X and 1800X can simply subtract 20°C to determine the true junction temperature of their processor. No arithmetic is required for the Ryzen 7 1700. Long term, we expect temperature monitoring software to better understand our tCTL offsets to report the junction temperature automatically.

 

The table below serves as an example of how the tCTL sensor can be interpreted in a hypothetical scenario where a Ryzen processor is operating at 38°C.

 

Product NameTrue Junction Temp (Example)tCTL Offset for Fan Policy
Temp Reported by tCTL
AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X38°C20°C58°C
AMD Ryzen™ 7 1700X38°C20°C58°C
AMD Ryzen™ 7 170038°C0°C38°C

 

Power Plans

Users may have heard that AMD recommends the High Performance power plan within Windows® 10 for the best performance on Ryzen, and indeed we do. We recommend this plan for two key reasons:

  1. Core Parking OFF: Idle CPU cores are instantaneously available for thread scheduling. In contrast, the Balanced plan aggressively places idle CPU cores into low power states. This can cause additional latency when un-parking cores to accommodate varying loads.
  2. Fast frequency change: The AMD Ryzen™ processor can alter its voltage and frequency states in the 1ms intervals natively supported by the “Zen” architecture. In contrast, the Balanced plan may take longer for voltage and frequency (V/f) changes due to software participation in power state changes.

In the near term, we recommend that games and other high-performance applications are complemented by the High Performance plan. By the first week of April, AMD intends to provide an update for AMD Ryzen™ processors that optimizes the power policy parameters of the Balanced plan to favor performance more consistent with the typical usage models of a desktop PC.

 

Simultaneous Multi-threading (SMT)

Finally, we have investigated reports of instances where SMT is producing reduced performance in a handful of games. Based on our characterization of game workloads, it is our expectation that gaming applications should generally see a neutral/positive benefit from SMT. We see this neutral/positive behavior in a wide range of titles, including: Arma® 3, Battlefield™ 1, Mafia™ III, Watch Dogs™ 2, Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI, For Honor™, Hitman™, Mirror’s Edge™ Catalyst and The Division™. Independent 3rd-party analyses have corroborated these findings.

 

For the remaining outliers, AMD again sees multiple opportunities within the codebases of specific applications to improve how this software addresses the “Zen” architecture. We have already identified some simple changes that can improve a game’s understanding of the "Zen" core/cache topology, and we intend to provide a status update to the community when they are ready.

 

Wrap-up

Overall, we are thrilled with the outpouring of support we’ve seen from AMD fans new and old. We love seeing your new builds, your benchmarks, your excitement, and your deep dives into the nuts and bolts of Ryzen. You are helping us make Ryzen™ even better by the day.  You should expect to hear from us regularly through this blog to answer new questions and give you updates on new improvements in the Ryzen ecosystem.

— Highlights from More Than 300 Reviewers Worldwide Who Received Ryzen 7 Processors —

 

Yesterday, March 2nd, hardware reviewers worldwide began posting their first reviews of Ryzen 7 1800X. Ryzen 7 CPUs were taken through virtually every conceivable CPU synthetic and real world productivity test or benchmarks, as well as a wide range of games at various resolutions and settings.

 

Let’s take a look at what independent reviewers had to say from different countries around the world (quote emphasis added by me):

 

“Based on my analysis of AMD Ryzen, I can confidently say that Ryzen desktop is the real thing and AMD is back in desktops, back with a vengeance.” Forbes - AMD Ryzen Desktop: AMD Said It Would Be Awesome And It Is – Pat Moorhead

 

“Ryzen is going to rock for some time to come. AMD's new Ryzen CPU family is off to a great start.” Hothardware: Marco Chiapetta

 

“AMD’s Ryzen 7 1800X is a good chip at a great price and its putting Intel on notice. AMD is back and the 1800X is the first step in the perennial underdog’s plan regain market share from Intel and build confidence in its products.”  SemiAccurate: Thomas Ryan

 

AMD fans have something to rejoice about, and CPU buyers have some tough decisions to make. Regardless if you are a fan of either camp or an impartial observer, competition is always a good thing for the consumer, so I guess we all win!” Tweaktown

 

“Consider where AMD was coming from and look at what they have achieved with Ryzen, it’s nothing short of amazing. I’m excited to see AMD delivering competitive high-end CPUs and it’ll be interesting to watch how well they can refine the Zen architecture over the coming years.” Techspot

 

“The overall performance of the 1800X is breathtakingly impressive, and it’s a feeling that we’ve not seen with an AMD CPU in a very long time.”HardwareZone Malaysia

 

“To sum it up – Ryzen is Amazing!”Goldfries

 

“All in, Ryzen 7 solidly puts AMD back into the mindshare of enthusiast PCs. The Zen architecture is definitely much more exciting than Intel's incremental Kaby Lake and proof that AMD is able fight Intel head to head in terms of innovation.”HardwareZone Singapore

 

“Ryzen is certainly shaping up to be the disruptive force we're all hoping it can bePC Authority

 

“Holy balls, what have AMD done!”GGFLAN

 

"One thing is for sure after my first three days with AMD Ryzen 7 1800X: AMD has delivered a beast of a processor. I can't remember a single review in the last few years that has gotten me as excited as this one; this is a serious, fraught, crucial release in the hardware community and this processor is only the beginning." - Tech Testers

 

“For the first time in AMD’s history, Ryzen will launch with support from all the major PC OEMs (although some units won’t ship until Q2) and 19 of the top extreme PC system builders. In addition there is a myriad of motherboards available in the channel at launch. This should result in high-end desktop PCs in the $2,000 price range or less, something that may entice more consumers to upgrade or future proof with new PC purchases… So, in a very short timeframe, AMD will have a completely reinvented and competitive product portfolio. My colleague Kevin Krewell indicated that things were looking up for AMD, but it appears that there are few limitations to AMD for the first time in a decade.”Forbes - ‘AMD is Reborn With Ryzen’ – Jim McGregor

 

“It’s easy to recommend an AMD processor, and should you go for an eight-core, there is no doubt  where you should spend your money, especially when you get this performance for half the cash compared to Intel." - Tek.no

 

“Given that Intel has never released an 8-core processor under 1000 Euros, AMD just democratized this market segment by launching not one, not two but three such processors, with prices between 1600 and 2500 RON... Ryzen has huge importance and is definitely more than just numbers on a table. We now have a real alternative to Intel platforms and multi-core processing with prices starting from 1600 RON.” - Lab501

 

“Ryzen 7 as a whole is nothing short of phenomenal, with the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (AMD’s flagship CPU) absolutely decimating the competition when it comes to price versus performance.”Techradar

 

AMD has kicked through the front door of Intel’s HEDT processor party and shown no mercy on the 6C12T and 8C16T chips. Retailing for £500 less than an 8C16T Intel chip which performs similarly makes AMD’s Ryzen 7 1800X a relative bargain…”KitGuru

 

“Price-wise, if the Ryzen 7 1800X is anything to go by, Intel has its work cut out. In many tests, it performed similarly or better than the Core i7-6900K, which is twice the price, even factoring in recent price cuts which seem to be spreading.”Bit-tech

 

“The processor certainly is fast enough compared to the Intel 59xx / 69xx counterparts. We will keep an eye on this and when we have to report anything about it we'll update this content. And also in closing on this topic, if you are a little GPU bound or use 2560x1440, this really is a non-issue as perf there is top notch.(...) Fact is that AMD might have struck gold with Ryzen, yet they’re charging you a silver price. These processors are pure value.” Guru3D

 

“This isn't an AMD processor that you have to find the good points of. This isn't an incrementally better one which requires some give and take. This isn't even a processor when you end up saying "it's good but...". There isn't a but. It's just great (...) The Ryzen burns through the fog that has clouded AMD and brought forth a warm glow of blistering performance at competitive prices. The Ryzen 7 1800X is a match for anything Intel has. AMD, it's great to have you back.” Overclock3D.net

 

“AMD, welcome back (...) AMD Ryzen 7 1800X is an excellent processor with breathtaking multi-core performance at a great price.” Sweclockers.com

 

“AMD has accomplished everything they sought out to do with Ryzen and even broke their own expectations. Intel has already responded to this wave of team-red positivity by lowering the prices on their CPUs and offering multiple coupons to keep people in their court. I don’t see this hurdle stopping Ryzen’s hype train though because this CPU has added something the market has been seeking out for almost six years: innovation. What’s more, this innovation is affordable. $500 isn’t chump change, but comparing these results to a CPU costing double the price makes that difference so much more substantial.” CGMAGOnline.com: Rated 10/10 – Cole Watson

 

“Overall we are pretty impressed by what AMD has been able to deliver with Ryzen. Performance per watt, Ryzen is a monster, no doubt about it. The single thread and gaming performance is really the only thing that will give people reservations about it and AMD thinks that it will get better.” Legitreviews.com:  Nate Kirsch

 

“This platform is impressive already when you look at the overall numbers and it is only going to get better. AMD has officially made it back to the high-end processor market!” Legitreviews.com: Nate Kirsch

 

“For an immature platform still in its infancy, Summit Ridge and by extension Ryzen is a remarkably well rounded solution and like any fine wine, it will only get better with age. While the 16-thread parts are just now blazing a trail that will ultimately shake the CPU industry’s pricing foundations, they won’t be right for everyone. However, after seeing what the 1800X can accomplish excitement for those six and four core derivatives. But what is clear right now is that Ryzen is indeed the real deal and Intel has been put on notice that AMD is back in the game.” Hardwarecanucks.com: Mike Hoenig

 

“It’s been a long time coming, but AMD Ryzen is here and it looks impressive. Though we only have the Ryzen 7 1800X in our results today I am eager to get back home and get to testing the 1700X and 1700 models and see if they offer as compelling of an alternative to Intel’s dominance as the 1800X does. For $499 I foresee quite a few enthusiasts plopping down the dough to get an 8-core/16-thread beast of a processor in their rig. It’s hard to argue with what we see today though and I’ll be awarding the Ryzen 7 1800X with our Gold Award, offering the performance of a Core i7-6900K for half the price.” PCPerspective: Ryan Shrout

 

“Our review of AMD's RYZEN 7 1800X CPU contains a lot of surprises.. And most of them are pretty exciting.. unless your name is Intel..  AMD fans rejoice! AMD is back in a big way Linustechtips: Linus Sebastian

 

Latin America

 

In Latin America, key publications in the region gave AMD Ryzen 7 numerous awards, including the ‘Diamond’ seal for 1700X and ‘Gold’ to 1800X from Brazilian Adrenaline and ‘Editor’s Choice’ and ‘Price – Performance’ awards from MadBoxPC in Chile.

 

Supporting Resources

 

 

John Taylor is CVP, Worldwide Marketing for AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

In the last five years, eSports has grown from a little-known niche corner of the gaming market to a global phenomenon on-track to reach $1 billion in revenue by 2019.

 

At the heart of this trend lies Twitch, which has helped feed the growth of eSports by serving as a cultural nexus for gamers (like me!) enjoying a community of like-minded people.

The simplicity and reach of Twitch’s platform has cultivated a new field of tools (like Radeon™ ReLive) that make it possible to broadcast game footage, audio, webcams, overlays, and other multimedia to legions of fans. In fact, gamers watched 4 billion man-hours of gameplay in 2015 alone!

 

But the simplicity of broadcasting to Twitch can come with some steep hardware requires. According to Twitch customer support: "many broadcasters will find that they get a lot of ‘input lag’ when playing video games.”

 

“Some games are very CPU-intensive and require a strong computer to run. These games are tough on your processor, especially if you are running the game on the highest settings,” Twitch Support reads. “To make matters worse, streaming is an extremely CPU-intensive process. Combine these two together, and it is trouble. If, on top of that, you open a browser to read chat, another program to play music, and a third program to keep track of donations, you might find that your game lags more than you would like.”

 

The proposed solution is expensive: “Use two computers to split up the workload.” One system plays the game, and a second system with a capture card receives output from the GPU and serves as a dedicated broadcasting system to alleviate performance bottlenecks. Many streamers will be familiar with this.

 

Many broadcasters also say the rise of hardware-based video encoding has not done much to address the needs of streamers that expect the best quality for their viewers. Many streamers also agree that the tight 3500Kbps bitrate limits of Twitch, and the short render-to-broadcast window for a timely stream, put the GPU at a disadvantage. Users often report that fixed-function encoders in CPUs and GPUS need more bitrate to achieve the same quality as the CPU-based x264 encoder preconfigured on streaming packages like Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) and XSplit. Though fixed-function encoders are getting better all the time, and work wonders for recording gameplay to disk, streamers often still rely on processors to give the best result for their fans.

 

 

Ultimately, these perspectives highlight that the typical 4C4T or 4C8T processors simply doesn’t offer enough performance to keep up with the demands of simultaneous gaming and video encoding. For such enthusiastic gamers, the AMD Ryzen™ 7 1700 can be a welcome relief.

 

With eight physical cores and 16 threads, one system with this one consumer processor now has enough hardware to simultaneously dedicate a full 4C8T to both the encoding and gaming workloads. Paired with a sufficient quantity of RAM and a powerful graphics card, it is possible for just one system to broadcast a top-flight 1080p/60 FPS/3500Kbps stream for viewers with little compromise to the performance or input latency of the game.

 

Since no streamer would willingly give their viewers a stream that fails 18% of the time, the balanced design of the AMD Ryzen™ 7 1700 processor sets the standard for effortless single-system streaming.

 


 

Robert Hallock is a technical marketing guy for AMD's CPU division. His/her postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied. 

 

OBS to Twitch Results: Tested using DOTA™ 2 as of 2/14/2017. OBS Target Settings: 1920x1080 source resolution, 1920x1080 broadcast resolution, 60 FPS broadcast frame rate, 3500Kbps VBR target bitrate, x264 encoder. “Encode Failure Rate” defined as percentage of video frames dropped by x264 encoder due to “CPU too slow” errors. System configs: AMD Reference Motherboard (AMD) and AMD Ryzen™ 7 1700, ASUS X99 STRIX motherboard and Core i7-6900K, 16GB DDR4-2400, GeForce Titan X, NVIDIA driver 21.21.13.7633, Windows 10 x64 RS1. Dropped frame count: 0/23000 (AMD), 4177/23000 (Intel). GD-111

 

Twitch Unique Monthly Broadcaster Source(s): Twitch yearly retrospective (twitch.tv/year/{2012-2015} for 2012-2015; 2016 data source DMR Stats)


Use of third party marks / products is for informational purposes only and no endorsement of or by AMD is intended or implied.

You know that processors can have more cores. You know that processors can have faster cores. But what about smarter cores? That’s a new horizon we’re exploring with AMD SenseMI technology in the all-new AMD Ryzen™ processor!

 

AMD SenseMI wraps up five features that work in concert to enhance the performance of the AMD Ryzen CPU1.  Some of the features optimize power and clockspeeds, while others bring important data into the processor or optimize processor pathways for new work. Altogether they make a rational intelligent machine that’s constantly obsessing over how to optimize performance and power efficiency for you and your applications. Let’s take a look!

 

It All Starts With the Infinity Fabric

 

Today’s processors can often be called systems-on-chip (“SoC”), which means support for USB, PCI Express® and SATA are integrated directly into the CPU core. Getting these technologies to communicate with the CPU cores has historically been a time-consuming, expensive, or inefficient task. But the Ryzen SoC is a different beast thanks to the Infinity Fabric.

 

 


The Infinity Fabric is a common interface that allows us to quickly mesh these pieces together and get them “speaking the same language,” almost like snapping toy building blocks together. We also use the Infinity Fabric to establish fast communication between groups of CPU cores, as we do in the 8-core Ryzen processors that contain two groups of four cores.

 

Most importantly for AMD SenseMI, the Infinity Fabric gives us command and control powers to nearly all areas of the CPU. That’s crucial because the Ryzen processor has a networked “smart grid” of several hundred sensors, each accurate to 1 milliwatt, 1 milliamp, 1 millivolt and 1°C. These sophisticated sensors are what allow the Ryzen processor to dial in voltages, clockspeeds, and optimal datastreams. Having extensive insight into the readings of these sensors via the Infinity Fabric allows the processor to orchestrate them for best results.

 

Extended Frequency Range

 

Temperature is king when it comes to determining a processor’s maximum clockspeed, as cooler temps improve the efficiency and reliability of the tiny transistors that make up a processor. Other factors in the clockspeed include power draw from the CPU socket, what percentage of the CPU’s circuits are in use, and the distance to maximum thermal output (TDP). But temperature is the one factor that you can easily control with better CPU or chassis cooling.

 

Thanks to AMD SenseMI technology, the Extended Frequency Range (XFR) feature, available on select Ryzen processors, can measure the difference between the current CPU temperature and the operating temperatures we’ve designed the Ryzen processor to handle. If the current temp is sufficiently low, that extra thermal headroom can be converted into extra top-end frequency.

 

For example, the AMD Ryzen™ 7 1700X processor has a maximum clockspeed of 3.8GHz at 60°C, but XFR can automatically get the maximum frequency to 3.9GHz if the current temperature is lower than that. As you can see, select Ryzen processors are capable of giving a little more to users that build premium systems with robust system and CPU cooling. Pretty neat!

 

Precision Boost

 

AMD SenseMI also comes in handy for boosting the CPU clockspeed with a feature we call “Precision Boost.” The same temperature/current/TDP analysis that governs XFR is once again in play to establish the boundaries of safe operation for a Ryzen processor. Like any other processor, we want to make sure that the Ryzen processor consumes only so much power, operates within an expected temperature range, and emits only so much heat (TDP). Overclocking can naturally expand or override these boundaries, but we’re talking out-of-the-box functionality in this case.

 

As long as a Ryzen processor isn’t bumping up against any of those boundaries, Precision Boost can raise the clockspeed in exacting 25MHz increments. Relative to past processors, these small

 

increments allow the Ryzen CPU to get that much closer to a optimal frequency taking all thermal and electrical boundaries into account. The 25MHz increments can also enable higher sustained frequencies by minimizing clockspeed reductions that occur when a reliability threshold is encountered.

 

Example A: A Ryzen processor is running a lightly-threaded workload using just a few CPU cores. Because the other CPU cores are dormant, or working on background tasks, there is significant thermal or electrical headroom for the processor to just go faster. The Ryzen processor can use Precision Boost to convert that headroom into additional clockspeed (e.g. 3.0GHz → 3.7GHz on the AMD Ryzen™ 7 1700X processor).

 

Example B: A Ryzen processor running at 3.8GHz could encounter a heavy workload that’s on a trajectory to use more power than the CPU socket is designed to provide. This is an ordinary and manageable event for processors, and perhaps a short dip to 3.775GHz would be sufficient to correct the trajectory back into expected levels. Precision Boost can make that possible, and the clockspeed could quickly be pushed back to 3.8GHz when the workload lightens. Other processors might have to drop to 3.7GHz, taking off another 75MHz of frequency that a Ryzen processor might not.

 

Pure Power

 

The exemplary power efficiency of the Ryzen processor comes from two key areas: 14nm FinFET manufacturing and low-power design methodologies. Pure Power orchestrates those methodologies, imbuing every Ryzen processor with the power to inspect and adjust its own electrical characteristics.

 

Pure Power is especially vital during manufacturing. When a Ryzen processor rolls off the assembly line, each chip is capable of looking into itself and analyzing the quality of its own silicon. The results of that analysis allows the processor to zero in on an idealized voltage vs. frequency curve for itself. That fine tuning allows the processor to get pretty close to the perfect voltage for a given frequency. A magic wand wouldn’t do much better!

 

During the design phase, this self-tuning opens the door for AMD to reduce or eliminate guardbands, which is “slack” built into the voltage or frequency targets that can compensate for moments when the processor’s automated routines can’t quite nail a specific value. This can happen for any number of reasons, including transient fluctuations in a power supply’s output, or sudden large jumps in CPU utilization. But Ryzen processors came off the line with precise knowledge of themselves, so reducing or eliminating these guardbands allows for higher overall clockspeeds and lower operating voltages for you.

 

And in day-to-day use, Pure Power is aggressively managing dynamic or “operational” power. Idle pieces of the Ryzen processor are downclocked or shut down to trim power, or to reallocate that power to areas of the processor that can productively use it. This technology is called “clock gating.”

 

As an example: We put the AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X processor against the Core i7-6900K in the demanding POV-Ray test. This test measures the performance of a processor with raytracing, the most realistic form of 3D rendering. As you can see from our data below, the Ryzen 7 1800X enabled a better score and higher performance per watt.2

 

ProcessorPOV-Ray Score
Average System Wall Power
Performance per Watt (Higher is better)
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X3266157.45W20.74
Core i7-6900K2964153.5919.29

 

Neural Net Prediction

 

Where Pure Power, XFR, and Precision Boost cooperate to control power/frequency characteristics of the Ryzen processor, Neural Net Prediction is responsible for anticipating optimal pathways in the processor for the programs you’re running.

 

Neural Net Prediction starts with a true artificial intelligence (AI), which uses a simplified approximation of the human brain (neural net), to learn how your programs behave. Applications, and the languages  used to write those applications, are human-created and have predictable patterns. Humans love patterns, and those patterns hidden in the applications can be learned!

 

The learned patterns form a behavioral history of an application, and that history lets the processor predict what a program is likely to do in the future. The Ryzen processor uses those predictions to pre-load certain capabilities—like storing to RAM, adding numbers, or comparing values together—so they’re ready to go before your application even makes a request. This saves processing time, and contributes to higher processor performance.

 

It’s important to know that the behavioral learning of Neural Net Prediction is temporary. The history is emptied when you launch a new application, or when the PC is reset or powered down. The applications you run re-train the neural net each time, and you might find that the second time you run a benchmark is a little faster than the first. That’s Neural Net Prediction at work!

 

Smart Prefetch

 

Before the Ryzen processor can start to run your applications, relevant data must be brought into the processor and stored in local cache. Cache is ultra-fast memory located right on the processor, and processors like Ryzen achieve peak performance when important data fits into that cache.

 

It’s worth highlighting that “data” typically means “code,” where entire sub-routines of a running program are stored in cache. This can reduce or eliminate the odds that the processor has to reach across the motherboard to retrieve data from your RAM. Although the RAM is only a few inches away from the processor to your eyes, that’s a very long way from the perspective of a processor, so cache is paramount for top performance.

 

But feeding the cache with data is only half the battle. Getting the right data is the other half of the equation, and that’s where Smart Prefetch shines. Smart Prefetch consists of sophisticated learning algorithms that intuit what data is most used and most relevant in your applications. Smart Prefetch can then prioritize the important data, or even predict the important data, so it’s ready to go before the application needs it.

 

Having the next important dataset queued for execution behind the current work helps ensure that the Ryzen processor always has a consistent flow of high-quality data. And with an atypically large 20MB combined cache, Ryzen 7 1800X, 1800 and 1700 processors are uniquely equipped to handle large datasets common in scientific or creative workloads.

 

Wrap-up

 

More cores and faster cores is well-tread ground in the PC industry (though we dare say the Ryzen™ processor is the best blend yet!), but AMD is exploring a new horizon with smarter cores. Armed with sophisticated learning algorithms, neural networks, and uncanny powers of prediction, the Ryzen processor is an incredibly intelligent and rational agent that’s ready and waiting to zero in on the exact level of performance and power efficiency you and your applications deserve.

 

Robert Hallock is a technical marketing guy for AMD. His postings are his/her own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

 

 


1. Not all AMD Ryzen™ processors offer every feature of AMD SenseMI technology. For specific capabilities of different processor models, please visit www.amd.com. If your system is pre-built, contact your manufacturer for additional information.

 

 

2. Default POVRay rendering preset. AMD system configuration: Ryzen 7 1800X (8C16T/3.6-4.0GHz), 2x8GB DDR4-2400, AMD Customer Reference Motherboard, NVIDIA Titan X (Pascal), NVIDA Driver 21.21.13.7633, Windows 10 x64. Intel system configuration: Core i7-6900K Extreme (8C16T/3.2-3.7GHz), 2x8GB DDR4-2400, ASUS STRIX X99 Gaming motherboard, NVIDIA Titan X (Pascal), NVIDA Driver 21.21.13.7633, Windows 10 x64. Average wall power draw: 157.45W (AMD) vs. 153.59W (Intel). POVRay scores: 3266 (AMD) vs. 2964.12 (Intel). Performance/Watt (higher is better): 3266/157.45W=20.74 score/W (AMD) vs. 2964.12/153.59W=19.29 score/W

Processors have one of the most important jobs in a gaming PC: getting requests from the game to the graphics card. Everything you see and do in your favorite game must first go through the CPU, and a CPU that keeps a hungry GPU fed with a constant stream of data is a delicious recipe for great performance. That relationship was a guiding light in the design of the AMD Ryzen™ processor. We built a high-throughput machine that’s great for hungry GPUs, and today I wanted to share some gaming data with you.

 

Figure A: System configuration AMD: Ryzen 7 1800X (8C16T, 3.6-4.0GHz), 16GB DDR4-2400, AMD reference motherboard, AMD Wraith Max cooler. System configuration Intel: Core i7-6900K (8C16, 3.2-3.7GHz), 16GB DDR4-2400, Asus STRIX X99 Gaming, Intel BXTS13A cooler. Shared configuration: NVIDIA Titan X, 3840x2160 resolution, Samsung 960 PRO 512GB NVMe, graphics driver 21.21.13.7633. Game settings: Ashes of the Singularity (Crazy preset), Battlefield 4 (Ultra preset), DOOM (Ultra preset), GTAV (Default preset), Civilization VI (Ultra preset), Alien: Isolation (Ultra preset, standard SSAO).

 

At first blush, you can already see that performance of the flagship Ryzen 7 1800X processor makes it a great chip for gamers with high-end needs. Average framerates are >60 FPS for the titles we looked at today, and you can see that level of performance across a diverse set of graphics APIs: Vulkan®, DirectX® 12 and DirectX® 11. It’s clear that the 1800X is a processor that’s ready for APIs of today and tomorrow.

 

99th Percentile Frame Rates

You may not be familiar with 99th percentile frame rates (“99th%”), represented above with the dataset on the left half of the cart. This is a groundbreaking approach that objectively measures the smoothness of a game. It was pioneered by my friend and colleague Scott Wasson during his time as Editor-in-Chief and Owner of The Tech Report. His seminal work, “Inside the Second,” sought to explain why games with high framerates could still often feel choppy to users. He did so by asking the following question: how fast are frames being rendered 99% of the time, and how slow is that last 1%?

 

His research showed that a great many games reporting high average framerates were also frequently throwing many slow frames into the mix. That last 1% of all frames took much longer to render than average, and they happened often enough that the naked eye would perceive the game’s motion as choppy. The average FPS value was hiding problematic rendering! He also found that games with higher 99th% framerates just generally felt smoother to play. But you can cut the percentages any way you like, so he also found games that would look good 50% of the time—generating great average framerates—but run very slowly the other 50% of the time. These games felt awful to play, but nobody had objectively demonstrated why before Mr. Wasson’s work.

 

This is why 99th% frame rates are an essential piece of data in our gaming analysis. Higher 99th% values are simply a better measurement of a game’s true experience, because it looks past outliers that can contaminate—for good or bad—the average framerate. So, what about Ryzen? Looking great! The Ryzen™ 7 1800X is definitely a stellar chip in 99th% frame rates, especially in Battlefield™ 4 and DOOM™.

 

Incredible performance for your money

The sensitivity of 99th% frame rate also makes it a great ingredient to help measure the true value of a processor. We know value is important to PC gamers at any price; nobody wants to feel like they paid more than they had to.

 

To objectively measure “value,” we take the average of the 99th% FPS in the six games we just looked at, then plot that level of performance over the suggested retail price. This visualizes how much average performance you’re getting 99% of the time for your hard-earned cash. Dots towards the upper left of the chart represent a better value for you (more performance, less money). The value of the 1800X is simply extraordinary: it offers a super smooth 99th% experience at half the price.

 

Figure B: 99th Percentile Per Dollar is the mean of the 99th percentile frame rates of all tested titles in Figure A, on the same system(s) as Figure A. Core i7-6900K pricing ($1099 USD) obtained from Intel ARK as of 2/1/2017. AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X pricing ($499 USD) is AMD SEP as of 2/1/2017.

 

Are you ready for Ryzen™?

The AMD Ryzen™ 1800X Processor and nearly 80+ motherboards are available in the market—right now! Gamers should consider a motherboard based on the AMD B350 chipset for single-GPU systems, or the AMD X370 chipset for dual-GPU systems. Pair that with a speedy NVMe SSD, plus 8-16GB of dual channel DDR4-2667, and you’re off to the races with a seriously powerful gaming rig.

 

And if you’ve already pressed the “order” button, let us know on Twitter @AMDRyzen! We’d love to see pictures of your new build when the parts arrive.

 

Robert Hallock is a technical marketing guy for AMD. His postings are his/her own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

 

Correction notice: The original version of this blog incorrectly indicated that Battlefield™ 4 was running in DirectX® 12 mode. This has been corrected to DirectX™ 11.