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AMD Posts Substantial Q1 2020 Gains Based on Ryzen, Epyc CPU Sales

AMD announced its quarterly results yesterday, with significant improvements in year-on-year sales. Total revenue grew by 1.4x year-on-year, driven by growth in Ryzen and Epyc demand, while Compute and Graphics segment revenue grew by 1.73x year-on-year.

AMD claims to have held more than 50 percent of the premium CPU market at various e-tailer firms this year, which is at least somewhat verified by the regular reports we’ve seen coming out of companies like Bestselling lists at Amazon and Newegg have also regularly listed AMD holding 50 percent or more of the top-selling processors.

According to CEO Lisa Su, revenue from the console side of the business was quite low, as Microsoft and Sony are now drawing down the inventory of PS4 and Xbox One hardware that they’d previously produced, rather than focusing on ramping production in Q3 for a new sales cycle.

AMD expects to start ramping production of the new console components next quarter, which means this is the closest look we’ve ever gotten at AMD’s total server revenue without console sales hitting the segment. Note, however, that this business still contains an unknown number of GPU sales to support Google Stadia and other cloud gaming/datacenter GPU use-cases. Comments made by AMD suggest that Epyc is a larger percentage of total data center revenue than Instinct is, but exact figures have not been disclosed.

According to AMD, revenue for the quarter was $348M in this segment, down 21 percent year-on-year due to the decrease in console sales (partially compensated for by increased Epyc sales). This segment reported an operating loss of $26M in Q1 2020, though AMD notes that Q1 2019 included a $60M licensing gain and that Q4 2019 had “higher revenue and lower operating expenses.” Despite the revenue hit, AMD grew its server business by double-digit percentages from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020.

A year ago about this time, I argued that AMD would improve its gross margins after the launch of 7nm rather than gutting its prices and devaluing its brand-new 7nm products. This is exactly what happened:

Overall, AMD has continued to improve its balance sheet and overall position in the market, quarter after quarter. Three years ago, we’d only recently seen evidence that the original Zen architecture would have some legs, and enthusiasts were debating whether Intel’s lead at 1080p was evidence of some critical gaming flaw yet to be discovered. Today, you can buy a $99 AMD CPU with expected-equivalent or better performance to 2017’s $350 Core i7-7700K.

If you bought a high-end X370 motherboard in 2017, you can step from a maximum of eight to 16 cores without upgrading your platform. It’s not unheard of for an older board to support higher-core-count CPUs, but core count doubling with frequency and IPC improvements is a rare upgrade path. Intel still has noted strengths in the server market and maintains a smaller leadership position in gaming than it did in 2017, but AMD has done an excellent job of executing these past three years. Ryzen’s continued success and AMD’s various financial improvements are a testament to the excellent execution of its engineering team. We don’t know how AMD has structured its royalty license with Sony and Microsoft this time out, but the launch of the Xbox Series X and PS5 will only be beneficial to AMD’s bottom line.

For full-year 2020, AMD projects revenue growth of 1.2x – 1.3x, with a gross margin of 45 percent and operating expenses at 29 percent of revenue. Relatively few companies are giving full-year projections given coronavirus uncertainties, so AMD is clearly feeling confident on that basis alone.

AMD Posts Substantial Q1 2020 Gains Based on Ryzen, Epyc CPU Sales - ExtremeTech 

4 Replies

Re: AMD Posts Substantial Q1 2020 Gains Based on Ryzen, Epyc CPU Sales

Glad things are going well. Maybe they can throw more engineers at the GPU driver issues with the increased revenue. 

Re: AMD Posts Substantial Q1 2020 Gains Based on Ryzen, Epyc CPU Sales

I'm about at the point where I think AMD treats their GPU division as if they are a subsidiary instead of an integral part of the business.

On the CPU side you have engineers who are able to come up with designs which give (relatively) massive performance improvements each generation for 3 years with all evidence showing a repeat next year. You have chips with a massive price to performance ratio which is seeing them being ordered in massive quantities for multi million dollar supercomputer builds, multi hundred thousand dollar server builds, and tray after tray being shifted to all the OEMs for use in notebooks, something which has never happened since Intel started giving away mobile chips for free.

On the GPU side they've been basically flogging a dead horse for EIGHT YEARS since the HD 7000 series came out. Since then it's been basically rebrand, overclock and rebrand, new architecture which under-performs, new architecture which has no future, and new architecture which lags behind nVidia's year+ old architecture. Couple that with drivers which are bloated, buggy, and are headed up by a man who admits none of the negative feedback makes it to him. The only thing which has kept Radeon an actual brand has been their low prices, which they abandoned with Navi.

It's insanity to think Rick Bergman hasn't stepped up to take control of the GPU division and make it as innovative and profitable as the CPU division. He's the EVP of computing and graphics. In the hierarchy, he's the boss of it, he needs to show it.

Re: AMD Posts Substantial Q1 2020 Gains Based on Ryzen, Epyc CPU Sales

Oh, and not to mention that the Navi GPU is so terrible that OEMs are doing everything they can to put nVidia chips in their brand new Ryzen 4000 series notebooks despite AMD's Speed Shift technology.


Re: AMD Posts Substantial Q1 2020 Gains Based on Ryzen, Epyc CPU Sales

I think Ryzen 3000 series CPU are great.

Please do something to improve AMD Radeon GPU drivers further - I do think much has been done on the Drivers and 20.4.2 seems the most stable for me in a long time - provided I use those drivers with the Adrenalin 2019 19.12.1 GUI UI.

Please make the Adrenalin 2020 GUI/UI an optional install.

I have not purchased any RX5000 series GPUs yet for new PC builds but based on the number of problems reported on here and on Reddit there are still many problems with them, possibly due to poor AIB GPU build quality.

AMD need a GUI/UI for Ubuntu Linux at the very least so people migrating from Windows to Ubuntu Linux as a starting point can use and easily control their GPUs. I also need to be sure I can run RX5700XT on Ubuntu and ROCm.

I think Pricing for RX5700XT is far too high.

Compute performance versus RX590 which it replaces is an improvement.
Remembering that the RX5700XT numbers are based on the new momentary "Boost Clock" definition, rather than Game Clock. I throw in a factor of 0.92 to account for that.   


FP16 (half) performance
19.51 TFLOPS (2:1)       *0.92 = 17.94 TFlops.
FP32 (float) performance
9.754 TFLOPS               *0.92 = 8.97 TFlops.
FP64 (double) performance
609.6 GFLOPS (1:16)    *0.92 = 560.8 GFlops.


FP16 (half) performance
7.119 TFLOPS (1:1)
FP32 (float) performance
7.119 TFLOPS
FP64 (double) performance
445.0 GFLOPS (1:16).

So taking RX590 as the comparison point it is ~ 2x cost for only 26% performance improvement in FP32 compute performance.

FP32 Compute performance was one reason to go for AMD GPUs other than just for gaming.

Prices for RX5700XT need to drop and drivers and AIB card quality need to improve please.

It would be good to see some high performance Navi GPU on new Ryzen 4000 series mobile, discrete mobile Navi,  and Thunderbolt support for new AMD Laptops. 

I think AMD lost the plot with Radeon Chill.
A few changes would make it usable without killing gaming performance completely and save lots of GPU power and keep VRM temps down.
No one listens for years, despite repeated requests.

You could add Global FRTC control back into the GUI no problem for use with Radeon Chill. it is still in the driver. 
You could also create a high performance mode by adding a single button on the GUI and applying a few changes to Chill variables.
People would use it.