Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 26th Oct 2017 16:32 UTC
AMD

AMD's Ryzen and Threadripper processors re-established AMD's chips as competitive with Intel's. While the AMD parts gave up a bit of performance to their Intel rivals, especially in single-threaded tasks - a result of the combination of slightly lower clock speeds and slightly inferior instructions-per-cycle (IPC) - they shine in multithreaded tasks, with AMD often offering many more cores and threads than Intel for the same or less money.

In the mainstream desktop space, Intel's Coffee Lake chips have reasserted that company's dominance; Skylake-X does the same in the high-end desktop space, too, albeit at a high price.

But things are looking like they're going to be different in the mobile space. That's because the two new chips, the Ryzen 7 2700U and Ryzen 5 2500U, show signs of being faster in both processor and graphics tasks than Intel's latest comparable chips.

These chips also bode well for supposed upcoming AMD APUs, which I'm looking forward to as a way to build a relatively cheap but still powerful secondary machine.

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Nice!
by darknexus on Thu 26th Oct 2017 19:19 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Competition is a wonderful thing. Do we know, with absolute certainty, whether AMD built an equivalent to Intel's IME into their chips or not? If they did not, I would guess that security-conscious users and organizations will be eyeing these chips for their next machines.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nice!
by zima on Thu 26th Oct 2017 19:50 UTC in reply to "Nice!"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

From the post of Andre elsewhere on OSNews ( http://www.osnews.com/permalink?650330 )
https://libreboot.org/faq.html#amd ...so, AMD also has it.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Nice!
by Carewolf on Sun 29th Oct 2017 22:38 UTC in reply to "Nice!"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

It is a requirement for certain types of management features. So AMD needs to have something similar to be suited for many corporate sales, where computers need to rooted remotely for collected management.

Reply Score: 2

So pleased...
by PJBonoVox on Thu 26th Oct 2017 19:20 UTC
PJBonoVox
Member since:
2006-08-14

... That AMD are really back in the game. It reminds me of buying my first Athlon CPU back in the late 90s (ish!?) and the price wars that followed. Really felt like the barrier to entry had been smashed down.

Also reminds me of the Cyrix 6x86 CPUs came out. They were a teeny bit flakey but that price tag... wow!

Reply Score: 5

avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23

Intel has hardly improved performance the last 5 years on mobile chips. So it would make sense that this would be easy for AMD to catch up and surpass Intel in 1 swoop.
It also seems logical that the GPU part from AMD would be superior to what Intel has to offer. (Radeon vs Iris backgrounds)
What Intel has done well the last few years is reducing power usage. This has historically been a weak point for AMD. Has AMD caught up here as well? Because honestly my laptop CPU and GPU have been fast enough for almost all my daily work for many years now but I would like me some longer unplugged usage

Reply Score: 3

tecepeipe Member since:
2005-07-07

"AMD claims that 15W Ryzen 7 2700U APU outperforms 91W Intel Core i5-7600K Kaby Lake desktop CPU"
Nowadays temperature and power are not an issue for AMD anymore. I mean... it's the same TDP as their counterpart, not a weakness anymore.

Reply Score: 3

avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

We will have to wait and see the test results. I am looking forward to having more choice and improvements again.

Compared to its previous mobile processors, AMD says that these new chips pack up to three time the CPU performance, 2.3 times the GPU performance, and consume up to 58 percent less power.
Source: https://www.windowscentral.com/amds-new-ryzen-notebook-chips-pack-ra...

Reply Score: 3

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

with Ryzen, AMD caught up significantly in terms of power/performance with intel, at least in the desktop arena. The intel parts were the ones running hotter, using more power in a funny twist of fate.

Their GPUs still have horrible power consumption profiles on the desktop, compared to NVIDIA. Which is a shame.

Intel is having a very hard time this generation, their fab leadership is not longer there, so competitors are starting to have access to competitive processes. They may not be as dominant player in the near future since they have a 2 front war with competitive adversaries, fab and architecture, for the first time in a looooong time.

Reply Score: 3

Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

Kaby Lake is Crappy Lake, it is oddly inefficient and hot. Intel really dropped the ball on this generation, so there is a tiny gap of opportunity before Intel takes back the efficiency crown

Reply Score: 2

Comment by sbike
by sbike on Fri 27th Oct 2017 07:41 UTC
sbike
Member since:
2007-08-17

Here's hoping someone makes a NUC (tiny silent x86 with intel mobile parts) with the new AMD mobile chip. The better GPU would be quite useful.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by sbike
by Kochise on Fri 27th Oct 2017 13:34 UTC in reply to "Comment by sbike"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Owning one with a E-350, it's a shame I have currently no money/use with such Ryzen based NUC :/

Reply Score: 2

Thunderbolt 3!
by Lobotomik on Fri 27th Oct 2017 08:05 UTC
Lobotomik
Member since:
2006-01-03

A laptop based on this chip sounds extremely enticing.
When will they have Thunderbolt 3?

I want all the checkboxes checked when I throw my old laptop away -- high resolution, decent graphics acceleration, good touch screen, Thunderbolt3, USB-C charging, good performance, AFFORDABLE. Ultrathin constorsionist is secondary. Any suggestions?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Thunderbolt 3!
by Brendan on Fri 27th Oct 2017 10:11 UTC in reply to "Thunderbolt 3!"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

A laptop based on this chip sounds extremely enticing.
When will they have Thunderbolt 3?

I want all the checkboxes checked when I throw my old laptop away -- high resolution, decent graphics acceleration, good touch screen, Thunderbolt3, USB-C charging, good performance, AFFORDABLE. Ultrathin constorsionist is secondary. Any suggestions?


Given that Thunderbolt 3 has security that can only be described as "overwhelming incompetence", is proprietary and undocumented by Intel to prevent fair competition, and serves no useful purpose that isn't better covered by standard and secure alternatives (USB 3.0, DisplayPort, 40 Gigabit ethernet); hopefully AMD will never support Thunderbolt 3.

- Brendan

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Thunderbolt 3!
by Flatland_Spider on Fri 27th Oct 2017 16:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Thunderbolt 3!"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Yeah, that's what happens when you have an external PCIe port, but I believe the security problems can be mitigated by "sandboxing" the port via IOMMU/VT-d without losing functionality[1].

Thunderbolt serves an incredibly useful purpose given the march towards integration and smaller form factors. It answers the question, "How do we connect external peripherals which would traditionally be discrete cards to devices which aren't able to house discrete cards?" First there was PCMCIA, then ExpressCard, and now Thunderbolt.

USB is also a really lousy alternative since it doesn't allow direct access to the hardware. For instance, troubleshooting drives over USB is crap since it filters out low level commands, VirtualBox can't bridge Ethernet NICS, and external displays over USB are wonky.

Intel is releasing Thunderbolt to the wider industry[2], and USB is merging with Thunderbolt[3]. In the future, USB, plus every other port listed, will be a subset of a Thunderbolt port, and AMD will most certainly support Thunderbolt, especially in their mobile chips.

I agree Ethernet should still be it's own port, but most consumer stuff will start getting 40Gbps Ethernet in 20 years, if they get it at all. Most consumers are well served by 1Gbps Ethernet, and most use wireless networks more then wired networks. Some people will be trilled to get 2.5/5 Gbps Ethernet (me!), but most couldn't care less how many bits they can move over a wire in a second, especially since they're constrained by slow ISP speeds anyway.

[1] http://blog.erratasec.com/2011/02/thunderbolt-introducing-new-way-t...

[2]http://www.techradar.com/news/intel-has-a-grand-plan-to-bring-thund...

[3] https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/06/thunderbolt-3-embraces-usb-t...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Thunderbolt 3!
by Brendan on Fri 27th Oct 2017 20:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Thunderbolt 3!"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

Yeah, that's what happens when you have an external PCIe port, but I believe the security problems can be mitigated by "sandboxing" the port via IOMMU/VT-d without losing functionality[1].


Well, no.

During boot a malicious device can disable/hack/modify the OS's IOMMU code after the OS's code passes any security checks(TPM, secure boot) and before the OS has had a chance to execute it. To avoid this, firmware would have to setup IOMMUs before booting the OS, and (to prevent firmware from being modified before its code is executed) everything up to and including firmware's IOMMU setup code would need to be run from ROM; and this would prevent Thunderbolt devices from behaving like normal (e.g no ability to boot from any of them, no way to have a video card that works during boot or supports VBE/GOP/UGA, etc).

Then there's the "trojan device" problem - there's no way for an OS to tell the difference between a normal device and a malicious device; so (e.g.) a disgruntled employee walks up to your secure server and plugs "something" in and the OS assumes that's all fine, and starts a suitable driver and unlocks the IOMMU for it.

But this is just scratching the surface. Over the years I've seen lots of stuff that seems secure but ends up being a compromised by some incredibly clever hackery (SMM, Intel's management engine, RAM itself, etc); and Thunderbolt is definitely not something that seems secure. You can mostly guarantee that for every obvious problem there's 20 non-obvious problems that someone will exploit sooner or later.

Thunderbolt serves an incredibly useful purpose given the march towards integration and smaller form factors. It answers the question, "How do we connect external peripherals which would traditionally be discrete cards to devices which aren't able to house discrete cards?" First there was PCMCIA, then ExpressCard, and now Thunderbolt.


Except that most discrete PCI cards are some sort of controller - a SATA controller (with one or more storage devices hanging off of it), a USB controller (with one or more USB devices plugged into it), etc. The end result is like an octopus - a central "no longer very mobile" mobile computer with tentacles spreading out all over the place (at a time when we're shifting to things like wifi and wireless chargers because nobody wants an octopus).

USB is also a really lousy alternative since it doesn't allow direct access to the hardware. For instance, troubleshooting drives over USB is crap since it filters out low level commands, VirtualBox can't bridge Ethernet NICS, and external displays over USB are wonky.


USB is "extremely excellent" because it doesn't allow a device to have direct access to the computer's bus. Everything you've mentioned is a problem with a specific device or a specific piece of software; and not a problem with USB itself. For example, it'd be "equally possible" to have a discrete PCI SATA controller that also filtered out low level commands, or a USB mass storage device that provided additional commands for troubleshooting.

Intel is releasing Thunderbolt to the wider industry[2], and USB is merging with Thunderbolt[3]. In the future, USB, plus every other port listed, will be a subset of a Thunderbolt port, and AMD will most certainly support Thunderbolt, especially in their mobile chips.


This is mostly just the standard marketing hype. It's meaningless, the same as it was for Firewire and the previous generations of Thunderbolt. The fact is that desktop/server people don't give a crap (because they can use discrete cards), and mobile users don't give a crap (because they rarely use anything more than USB flash and the occasional printer/scanner).

- Brendan

Reply Score: 3

RE: Thunderbolt 3!
by Flatland_Spider on Fri 27th Oct 2017 16:09 UTC in reply to "Thunderbolt 3!"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Apple and Dell Precison Mobile Workstations. They get 9 of 10 features.

Reply Score: 2

NUC like devices
by bolomkxxviii on Fri 27th Oct 2017 14:39 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

I really hope AMD can produce these in large volume. Small form factor PCs based on AMDs new mobile chips should be extremely popular. Intel NUCs have always been too expensive for what you get and too limited in choices.

Reply Score: 1