Skip navigation
1 2 3 4 5 Previous Next


118 posts

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

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 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.



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.



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.



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." -


“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.”


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


“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.” 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.”  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!” 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.” 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, Windows 10 x64 RS1. Dropped frame count: 0/23000 (AMD), 4177/23000 (Intel). GD-111


Twitch Unique Monthly Broadcaster Source(s): Twitch yearly retrospective ({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.




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 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, 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, 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 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.

Radeon Software Crimson ReLive AMD_com blog title image v2.pngBy Sasa Marinkovic


This time last year marked a groundbreaking event in AMD’s history: the launch of Radeon Software Crimson Edition, revolutionary new graphics software enabling supercharged performance for Radeon GPUs and AMD APUs, while redefining and enriching the overall user experience with exciting new features and innovative functionality.


Since the Radeon Software Crimson Edition launch last year, we delivered 29 driver releases, including eight WHQL-certified drivers, earning a user-satisfaction rating of 4.5/5 — the highest-ever rating achieved by any AMD software release.


Radeon Software Crimson Edition was a blockbuster success, earning accolades from users, reviewers, gamers, and developers, along with coveted industry recognition and awards. With all this industry praise, did we rest on our laurels? Absolutely not.


Introducing Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition, our biggest software release — ever.


Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition is AMD’s next-generation graphics software for enabling high-performance gaming, engaging VR experiences on VR-capable hardware, and innovative new features offering professional-grade reliability and stability. With more than 400 million gamers playing on Radeon™ graphics worldwide, it should come as no surprise that the new release focuses on features demanded by gamers. In fact, we decided to name the new release for the feature requested most by gamers: Radeon ReLive.


With Radeon ReLive, gamers can “relive” their gameplay by capturing, streaming, and sharing recorded gaming sessions. Highly efficient with minimal impact to gameplay, Radeon ReLive enables seamless playback of ReLive recordings via an easily accessible in-game toolbar, and offers quick and convenient customizable settings, custom scene layouts, and more. With Radeon ReLive, gamers now have a way to capture gaming highlights, and share their gaming exploits and conquests with online friends and competitors.


Radeon Software Crimson ReLive AMD_com blog Chill v2.pngAnother amazing feature tailored for gamers is Radeon Chill, a power-efficient framerate controller for Radeon graphics that dynamically regulates framerate based on the speed of your mouse movements. Radeon Chill was designed to reduce system power consumption while maintaining an excellent end-user gaming experience, enabling gameplay without noticeable impact to performance while helping maintain a cooler and quieter system.


Radeon Chill adapts the in-game frame rate to the action that is occurring onscreen. If the game action is mostly static or the game character is not moving, Radeon Chill quickly scales-down frame rates to save power. As soon as the game character resumes moving, Radeon Chill responds by increasing frame rates to preserve fluid gaming motion.


Enhanced AMD FreeSync™ technology enables seamless communication between the display and the graphics card for naturally smooth gameplay, with a borderless full-screen mode that enables effortless switching between applications. FreeSync’s gradual refresh-ramp enables a smooth increase or decrease in display frames per second, providing an even smoother end-user experience.


And there’s more. Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition is packed with innovative features including Automatic Bad HDMI™ Cable and Signal Detection and Fallback, VP9 Decode Acceleration, DisplayPort HBR3 Support, Radeon Software Installer, and more.


Another first for this year is our Radeon Pro Software Crimson Relive Edition launching simultaneously as part of our Radeon Software annual launch. Radeon Pro ReLive software enables capturing and recording professional workflows within CAD/engineering applications, visualization and prototyping software, content-creation tools for collaboration, presentation, training and customer support, and more. Free and seamlessly integrated within Radeon Pro Settings, Radeon ReLive enables full control of its video capture parameters, including customizable recording quality at up to 4K resolution.


Radeon Software Crimson ReLive AMD_com blog ProRender.pngRadeon ProRender is a powerful physically-based rendering engine that helps creative professionals produce stunningly photorealistic images, with planned upgrades in 2017 to include native application integration for Blender and Maxon’s Cinema 4D.


Radeon Pro Software Crimson ReLive Edition also introduces innovative features for empowering developers and dreamers with open-source tools that redefine visual and audio quality. Radeon Loom software overcomes formidable technology challenges with the processing-intensive video stitching process that is vital to creating cinematic 360-degree video experiences in VR. Built upon the Khronos OpenVX™ computer vision framework as implemented by AMD, the professional-grade Radeon Loom software stitches output from up to 24 cameras live in real-time and up to 31 cameras offline.


Supporting the acclaimed AMD LiquidVR™ technology and Radeon VR Ready Creator1 graphics cards, Radeon Pro Software Crimson ReLive Edition works with professional applications supporting CAD and 3D model visualization in VR, virtual prototyping, and VR content-creation tools on VR-capable hardware.


Professional users demand professional-grade softwareand Radeon Pro Software Crimson ReLive Edition delivers. The new Radeon Software Pro Crimson ReLive Edition release reaffirms AMD’s continuing commitment to providing content creators and designers with high-performance and stable certified professional software. There’s also good news for Linux® users: AMD’s ongoing commitment and support for open-source technologies and tools means Radeon Pro Software Crimson ReLive Edition now supports the AMD GPU-PRO hybrid Linux driver. This new Linux driver combines two great worlds — an open-source core and AMD Radeon Pro graphics’ technologies and performance.


TressFX 4.0, a state-of-the-art hair-rendering tool enables developers to create high-fidelity hair interactions in DirectX®12, and features new streamlined code that makes seamless integration of high-quality hair designs incredibly easy. Depth of Field is an advanced blurring tool that assists creators in developing high-quality focus and blur effects with low overhead processing by leveraging the power of asynchronous compute. Advanced Media Framework 1.4 (AMF 1.4) unifies video data and provides the GPU-accelerated foundation for many industry leading video and streaming applications.


RadeoRadeon Software Crimson ReLive AMD_com blog Mulitres.pngn Pro Software Crimson ReLive Edition leverages AMD LiquidVR™ technology for incredibly realistic VR experiences on VR capable hardware. Asynchronous Space Warp for Oculus Rift improves on the Asynchronous Time Warp (ATW) feature, enabling VR to render at lower frame rates by extrapolating intermediate frames. TrueAudio Next enables lifelike acoustics and enhances sound perception, helping create realistic echoes and reverberations within a setting, and boosting overall audio quality to match stunning game visuals. MultiRes rendering enables improved performance by reducing API overhead and reduced pixel-processing cost by matching the rendered image resolution to select VR HMD’s optical system, and MultiView intelligent rendering algorithms enable single-pass rendering that can further reduce pixel-processing cost.


Much more than the sum of graphics power and innovative features, Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition and Radeon Pro Software Crimson ReLive Edition strive to fulfill the essential promise of graphics software: to entertain, enable and inspire the next generation of gamers, professionals, developers, and content creators — and to harness the power of advanced graphics technology to enhance our digital lives.


Download Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition or Radeon Pro Software Crimson ReLive Edition today — and discover the true power of Radeon graphics.


Sasa Marinkovic is Head of Software Marketing at AMD. 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. Radeon VR Ready Creator Products are select Radeon Pro and AMD FirePro GPUs that meet or exceed the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive recommended specifications for video cards/GPUs. Other hardware (including CPU) and system requirements recommended by Oculus Rift or HTC Vive should also be met in order to operate the applicable HMDs as intended. As VR technology, HMDs and other VR hardware and software evolve and/or become available, these criteria may change without notice.

Last month we showed you how AMD FX® customers are getting supercharged Battlefield® 1 performance with DirectX® 12. This month, the good news keeps rolling straight into virtual reality: the AMD FX® 4350, 6350, 8350, 8370, 9370 and 9590 are now approved processors for the Oculus Rift™. With the power of these AMD FX® processors and a GPU like the Radeon™ RX 470, an Oculus-approved experience is now incredibly accessible for millions of gamers.


A peek behind the curtains


Today’s certification is the exciting conclusion to the unveiling of Asynchronous Space Warp (ASW) in October. In a nut shell, ASW allows a PC to compare the differences between two rendered frames to quickly create a third frame with all of its scenery in the proper place. Vitally, the ASW frame is inferred from a comparison, rather than rendered in full, so it’s quick to make.


ASW is an important tool to address the often challenging issue of rapid head movement in virtual reality. Fast or erratic movement in a VR environment can be tough for any gaming PC to handle, and that can be compounded as the visual fidelity of the game increases—the margin for error just gets smaller and smaller. If the user is looking around while the PC is between complete frames, the inferred frames from asynchronous space warp are an excellent way to smooth over that margin to sustain a fluent VR environment.


It seems uncomplicated from the 10,000-foot view, but asynchronous space warp is compute-intensive—it’s truly predicting the future based on past frames! Accurate ASW requires agility from the underlying PC, and a robust flow of information from the processor to a GPU’s compute pipelines. To be clear, the stakes are pretty high: there is the viscerally unpleasant possibility that players could become sick if the system is not up to the task of enforcing smooth gameplay.


We take that responsibility very seriously, and so does our hardware. The Oculus “seal of approval” for these AMD FX processors confirms that our powerful multi-core chips are more than up to the task of delivering the smooth experience you deserve on a budget you’ll love.

Battlefield™ 1 has now been on the scene for a spell, and we hope y’all are having a blast storming the trenches with powerful Great War weapons like the mighty Kolibri. Between rounds, we’ve been crunching the numbers on the new DirectX® 12 renderer in Battlefield 1’s Frostbite Engine, and AMD FX users are in for a real treat: 30-46% higher framerates!1


Here it is, plain as day:


But… how?

The secret lies in a DirectX® 12 feature “multi-threaded command buffer recording,” which we covered in detail last year. The short version is pretty straightforward: MTCBR allows a game’s “to-do list”—its geometry, texture, physics, and other requests—to be interpreted and passed to the GPU by multiple CPU cores, rather than just one or two cores as in DirectX® 11.


Because the processor can tackle the to-do list more quickly with DirectX® 12, the flow of information into the graphics card can be accelerated, which helps rendering tasks spend less time waiting around for important bits to appear.


In software as in real life: having more hands for a complex job just gets things done a little (or a lot) more quickly. See you on the Battlefield!


Robert Hallock is an evangelist for CPU/APU technologies and IP at 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.



1. Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs as of 19 October, 2016 on the AMD FX 8370, FX 8350, FX 8300, FX 6350 and FX 6300. Test system: Radeon™ RX 480 GPU, 8GB DDR3-1866, 512GB SanDisk X300 SSD, Windows 10 Pro x64, Radeon™ Software 16.9.2, 1920x1080 resolution, Ultra in-game preset. Average framerates DirectX® 11 vs. 12: AMD FX-8370 (66.9 vs. 86.9), FX-8350 (61.58 vs. 84.89), FX-8300 (58.76 vs. 80.6), FX-6350 (60.03 vs. 80.48), FX-6300 (52.38 vs. 76.24).  PC manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results. Results may vary with future drivers. DTV-84

Adding to Radeon Software Crimson Edition’s enhancements for DirectX® 9, DirectX® 10, and DirectX® 11, Radeon Software 16.9.1 enables multi-GPU frame pacing support to DirectX®12 on all GCN-enabled GPUs and AMD A8 APUs or higher with GCN.


Frame pacing delivers consistency by increasing smoothness in gameplay. In multi-GPU (mGPU) configurations, GPUs render alternating frames and push each frame to your screen. Each render can be created at various speeds causing differences in frame time. With frame pacing enabled, frames are distributed evenly, i.e. with less variance between frames, creating liquid smooth gameplay. For more details, please watch the following video: Radeon Tech Talk: DirectX® 12 Multi-GPU Frame Pacing


A number of games currently take advantage of frame pacing in DirectX®12. Total War™ – Warhammer®, Rise of the Tomb Raider™ and the 3DMark® Time Spy benchmark also show smoother run-throughs.  


Let’s look at the some real-life scenarios:






With Radeon’s DirectX® 12 frame pacing enabled, the Radeon™ RX 480 delivers up to 35% lower 99th-percentile frame times in Rise of the Tomb Raider™ at 2560x1440 with Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.9.1 pre-release driver.1











With Radeon’s DirectX® 12 frame pacing enabled, the Radeon™ RX 480 delivers up to 37% lower 99th-percentile frame times in Total War™ - Warhammer® at 3840x2160 with Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.9.1 pre-release driver.2











With Radeon’s DirectX® 12 frame pacing enabled, the Radeon™ RX 480 delivers up to 44% lower 99th-percentile frame times in 3DMark® Time Spy at the 1440p Default preset with Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.9.1 pre-release driver.3










If you were looking for smoother gameplay and to better your mGPU setup, try upgradimng to Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.9.1.


Gurman Singh is a member of Software Marketing at AMD.


1. Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs as of August 19th, 2016 on two Radeon™ RX 480s, on a test system comprising Intel i7 5960X CPU, 16GB DDR4-2666 Mhz system memory, Radeon Software Crimson Edition pre-release driver 16.9.1 and Windows 10 x64 using the game Rise of the Tomb Raider version 1.0 build 647.2_64 at 2560x1440 and very high preset with Direct X® 12 frame pacing enabled. PC manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results. Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.9.1 pre-release driver running Rise of the Tomb Raider DirectX®12 on two Radeon™ RX 480 with frame pacing enabled delivers 99th percentile display change frame times of 15.9 ms vs.99th percentile display change  frame time of 24.5 ms with frame pacing disabled, which is 35% lower 99th-percentile frame times. Performance may vary based on use of latest drivers. Test results are not average and may vary. RS-62

2. Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs as of August 19th, 2016 on two Radeon™ RX 480s, on a test system comprising Intel i7 5960X CPU, 16GB DDR4-2666 Mhz system memory, Radeon Software Crimson Edition pre-release driver 16.9.1 and Windows 10 x64 using the game Total War - Warhammer version 9483.873 at 3840x2160 and ultra preset with DirectX®12 frame pacing enabled. PC manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results. Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.9.1 pre-release driver running Total War - Warhammer DirectX®12 on two Radeon™ RX 480s with frame pacing enabled delivers 99th percentile display change frame times of 24.2 ms vs. 99th percentile display change frame times of 38.4 ms, with frame pacing disabled which is 37% less variance. Performance may vary based on use of latest drivers. Test results are not average and may vary. RS-63

3. Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs as of August 19th, 2016 on two Radeon™ RX 480s, on a test system comprising Intel i7 5960X CPU, 16GB DDR4-2666 Mhz system memory, Radeon Software Crimson Edition pre-release driver 16.9.1 and Windows 10 x64 using the game 3DMark Time Spy – GT1 version 2.1.2748 at Default 2560x1440 and the default preset with DirectX®12 frame pacing enabled. PC manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results. Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.9.1 pre-release driver running 3DMark Time Spy – GT1 DirectX®12 on two AMD Radeon™ RX 480s with frame pacing enabled delivers 99th percentile display change frame times of 17.2 ms vs. 99th percentile display change frame times of 30.9 ms with frame pacing disabled, which is 44% less variance. Performance may vary based on use of latest drivers. Test results are not average and may vary. RS-64

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided™ released globally to public praise on August 23rd with DirectX® 11 support. Today, developers Eidos and Square Enix announced that DirectX® 12 support is live.


The renowned world of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided™ is taken to a whole new level with Microsoft’s DirectX 12 API, AMD’s Graphics Core Next (GCN) and Polaris architectures.


DirectX® 12 takes advantage of asynchronous compute – GPU multitasking that virtually eliminates frame render scheduling issues, allowing developers to create a richer mix of compute and graphics workloads simultaneously on your GPU. The end result is more efficient use of your GPU to enable a more immersive gaming experience due to increased graphics clarity, high frame rates, and enhanced AI.


“As the fastest adopted API in the last decade – hardware, software and game support for DirectX12’s asynchronous compute features are vital to ensure gamers experience maximum performance optimization for their hardware,” said Julien Bouvrais, CTO of Eidos-Montreal. “A standout feature of AMD Radeon graphics are asynchronous shaders, which allow game developers like us to make more efficient use of the hardware with DirectX12, extracting more performance, faster frame rates and improved responsiveness.”


  • Up to 46% faster performance at 1920x1080 high preset on Deus Ex: Mankind Divided DirectX® 12 edition using RSCE 16.9.1 and Radeon™ Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480 8GB than with GTX 1060 FE and GeForce Experience 372.70 WHQL.1


AMD Radeon graphics users are ready to game in the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's DirectX12 patch, with our latest version of Radeon Software 16.9.1.


1 Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs as of September 7th, 2016 on the Radeon™ Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480 8GB and Nvidia GTX 1060 FE, on a test system comprising Intel i7 5960X CPU (3.0 GHz), 16GB DDR4-2666 Mhz system memory, Radeon Software Crimson Edition driver 16.9.1, GeForce Experience 372.70 WHQL and Windows 10 x64 using the game Deus Ex: Mankind Divided DirectX®12 on the high preset. PC manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results. At 1920x1080, GeForce Experience 372.70 WHQL and Nvidia GTX 1060 FE running Deus Ex: Mankind Divided DirectX®12 scored 55 and Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.9.1 running Deus Ex: Mankind Divided DirectX®12 scored 69.5 on Radeon™ Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480 8GB, which is 46% faster performance. Performance may vary based on use of latest drivers. RS-60

Ah, Virtual Reality, VR, the closest we’ll ever get to a holodeck[i]. But if you’re like me, your hobbies tend to outweigh your checkbook, especially when it comes to technology. The good news is, you can build a PC that is capable of running VR, offers tons of features, looks great, and only costs around $650[ii],[iii], thus enabling you to dive into VR without breaking the bank. (Well, at least
not too much).


If you’re already bored and tired of reading then check out this video. If you have a general dislike for product videos that tend to take too long to get the point, (thank goodness for YouTube speed settings[iv]) read on below!




Testing VR performance is in its infancy, and utilities like FRAPS only measure the refresh rate of the mirrored window on your desktop, not the smoothness of the experience in the head-mounted display. Because of this, we tested the system the way you would: we turned it on and played a wide variety of game titles on it. We enjoyed excellent, playable VR experiences and
we were never disappointed when playing games like Elite Dangerous, Google Tiltbrush, Vanishing Realms, Hordez, Surgeon Simulator, and Space Pirate Trainer.


The ingredients:

  • We started with an AMD FX™ 6350 CPU ($126.50). The processor does an excellent job on nearly all VR titles, and in addition, DX12 enabled games can take advantage of the six cores. It comes with our new stock cooler, the Wraith, to help keep the system cool and quiet. You may see a compatibility warning pop up when using an Oculus Rift headset, but this is nothing to worry about – know that our CPU validation efforts with Oculus are underway!
  • For graphics, we’re using the 4GB version of the Radeon™ RX 480 graphics card ($199.99). It’s an ideal match of price to performance providing VR capability starting at SEP $199 USD, the
    most affordable solution for premium VR on the market today.
  • Our motherboard is the Gigabyte GA-970-Gaming-SLI ($98.99). This board is great for this system as it offers tons of features including USB 3.1 & 3.0 ports, which are crucial for supporting all the devices you need for VR. In addition, this board includes reinforced PCIe® slots, integrated lighting and is ready for M.2 storage.
  • Our case is the Corsair Spec Alpha ($64.99) which looks fantastic, is super easy to build with, comes with three case fans and is available in a few different color options. Note, pricing may vary based on color.
  • We’re using 8GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR3 memory ($38.99).
  • A Corsair CXM 550W Bronze Power Supply ($59.99).
  • And a Corsair Force LE 240GB solid state drive ($58.99).


In total that’s $649.34! Not too shabby for a PC that played VR for us just fine, as well as games, movies, just about anything you need. So what do you think? Are you jumping on the VR bandwagon? Would you use different parts? Let me know in the comments.



[i] At least in the next 12-18 months

[ii] Prices change and sales happen so this price may be higher or lower right now. These prices were current as of July 12th, 2016 from and

[iii] Price does not include keyboard, mouse, monitor, VR hardware (like a headset) or any software



System configuration as tested: FX 6350, 4GB Radeon™ RX 480 GPU, 2x4GB DDR3-1866, 240GB SSD, Driver 16.7.2, Windows 10




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


©2016 Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.  All rights reserved. AMD, the AMD Arrow logo, Radeon, and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Other product names used in this publication are for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective companies.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided™ launched globally today, by developers Eidos Montreal and Square Enix.


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided™, the sequel to the critically acclaimed Deus Ex: Human Revolution®, builds on the franchise’s trademark choice and consequence, plus action-RPG based gameplay, to create both a memorable and highly immersive experience.


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided™ delivers enhanced visual fidelity through PureHair™ technology, Eidos Montreal’s and Square Enix’s hair simulation solution created in collaboration with AMD’s Radeon Technologies Group.


PureHair™ is an amazing example of what happens when you provide a talented developer with complete and open access to a 3D graphics effect like AMD’s TressFX Hair: they can reference it, modify it, and improve it to reflect their artistic vision.




Building on the massively-parallel processing capabilities of AMD TressFX Hair, Graphics Core Next (GCN) and Polaris architectures, PureHair™ integrates a life-like realism to Deus Ex: Mankind Divided’s™ characters’ hair without compromising on performance.


Performance Chart


Pick up a 6- or 8-core AMD FX™ processor and receive a free Deus Ex: Mankind DividedTM game code (Check out the terms and conditions here)!


deus ex - cpu bundle


1 Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs as of August 19th, 2016 on the AMD Radeon™ 8GB Radeon RX 480 and Nvidia 6GB GTX 1060 FE, on a test system comprising Intel i7 5960X CPU, 16GB DDR4-2666 Mhz system memory, Radeon Software Crimson Edition driver 16.8.3, GeForce Experience 372.54 WHQL and Windows 10 x64 using the game Deus Ex: Mankind Divided on the high preset. PC manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results. At 1920x1080, GeForce Experience 372.54 WHQL and Nvidia 6GB GTX 1060 FE running Deus Ex: Mankind Divided scored 54.3 and Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.8.3 running Deus Ex: Mankind Divided scored 61.7 on AMD Radeon™ 8GB RX 480, which is 12% faster performance. Performance may vary based on use of latest drivers. Test results are not average and may vary. RS-57

2 AMD’s product warranty does not cover damages caused by overclocking, even when overclocking is enabled via AMD hardware.

Back in March, my colleague Carl Wakeland wrote an excellent blog describing all the reasons why audio is so important in VR. It’s a long read but well worth the time. As he puts it so articulately, what we hear is vital to our perception of reality. And achieving lifelike presence in virtual reality demands audio that sounds as real as the graphics need to look. Suspension of disbelief.


Audio that Feels Real

Creating audio that feels real when you’re in VR – when you can turn your head in any direction with continuous visuals - requires both physical acoustics-based sound modeling, and concurrent real-time audio physics calculations and processing. Conventional pre-baked approximations can offer acceptable experiences, but will fail to create the true presence necessary for full immersion.


The way to achieve immersive VR audio is by enabling a significant number of audio sources and processing them with real-time dynamic physics at low latency. This process allows humanly-unnoticeable delays between an input being processed and the corresponding output. However, it requires achieving a level of real-time performance in gaming scenarios that is not possible on the CPU alone. Because of performance limitations, physics-based audio engines have been forced to rely on statistically-derived physics – until now.


Physics-Based Audio Acoustics Rendering

Enter AMD TrueAudio Next. As part of AMD’s LiquidVR™ technology initiative aimed at enabling a fully immersive and comfortable virtual reality experience, TrueAudio Next is a scalable AMD technology that enables real-time dynamic physics-based audio acoustics rendering. It uses Radeon Rays (formerly AMD FireRays) to enable the entire soundscape to be modeled physically, with more than 32 stereo 2-second convolution sources.


We are thrilled today to announce that the TrueAudio Next open-source library is now available on GPUOpen.


TrueAudio Next stands out from the crowd thanks to the Asynchronous Compute Engines enabled by Radeon™ GCN and Polaris graphics architecture. It is a conventionally-held belief that using a GPU to render audio can cause too much latency, while also interfering with graphics performance. However, TrueAudio Next has the ability to leverage the powerful resources of GPU Compute, safely allowing the GPU to accelerate audio rendering. This is mainly thanks to a core element of this technology: Compute Unit (CU) Reservation.


AMD’s CU Reservation feature allows a limited set of CUs* to be partitioned off and reserved for as long as is required, offering a flexible and predictable reliable audio acceleration solution – isolating audio usage from graphics usage. [Note: AMD delivers the CU Reservation feature to AMD approved partners via the driver. The TrueAudio Next library can be used with or without CU Reservation.]


We are excited about the potential of TrueAudio Next, as it truly has the capacity to deliver spatially- and positionally-accurate audio to millions of consumers. It enables developers to integrate realistic audio into their VR content in order to achieve their artistic vision, without compromise. Combining this with AMD’s commitment to work with the development community to create rich, immersive content, the next wave of VR content can deliver truly immersive audio – that will sound and feel real.


Watch the video on AMD True Audio Next GPUOpen: TrueAudio Next - YouTube

Find out more at


Sasa Marinkovic is Head of VR and Software Marketing for AMD. 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.


*Discrete AMD Radeon™ and FirePro™ GPUs based on the Graphics Core Next architecture consist of multiple discrete execution engines known as a Compute Unit (“CU”). Each CU contains 64 shaders (“Stream Processors”) working together.

A major step toward enabling high-quality video streaming and recording, Advanced Media Framework (AMF) 1.3 is now open sourced, providing the structure for high quality video recording and live streaming. AMF 1.3 SDK will enable developers of Radeon™ graphics cards to create GPU-based game capture programs for high-quality multimedia streams on their favorite sites.


What is AMF?

Part of our GPUOpen initiative, the Advanced Media Framework (AMF) is an OS- and framework-agnostic multimedia API that enables developers to leverage the power of AMD hardware for real-time processing of multimedia, and building and accelerating complete multimedia applications.

AMF enables developers to take advantage of AMD Video Engines (VCE and UVD), including comprehensive APIs for video encoding, decoding, pre-processing, and post-processing. Accelerated encoding and decoding through CPU offloading optimizes access to AMD devices by using the CPU, GPU, and hardware accelerators for multimedia processing.



With the AMF 1.3 SDK, developers can create high-performance video editing, transcoding, and playback applications, enable enhanced user experience on highly efficient wireless displays and remote desktops. Succeeding Media SDK 1.1, AMF 1.3 has been updated with many new features, including a H.265 codec that enables higher quality video playback up to 4k UHD — at the same bitrate as H.264.


Open source, the new AMF 1.3 SDK is freely downloadable through GPUOpen, and available for any developer to use. The new no-cost AMF enables developers to easily integrate the SDK into their multimedia applications.


The new AMF 1.3 SDK also includes the runtime in the driver package, reducing maintenance for developers on application updates. Applications which leverage open source AMF 1.3 will create a significantly improved GPU-based game capture program that enables high quality encoding of streaming and recording on Radeon™ GPUs.


At AMD, our GPUOpen initiative is vital to creating and providing powerful tools for developers. AMD constantly strives to support collaborations with companies that share our vision. Please subscribe to our newsletter to learn more about our commitment to open source software — and discover how GPUOpen is helping developers create a superior customer experience for all gamers.


Find out more at


Gurman Singh is a member of Software Marketing at AMD.