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March 30, 2017 Previous day Next day

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