Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 18th Aug 2017 10:51 UTC
AMD

In this mini-test, we compared AMD's Game Mode as originally envisioned by AMD. Game Mode sits as an extra option in the AMD Ryzen Master software, compared to Creator Mode which is enabled by default. Game Mode does two things: firstly, it adjusts the memory configuration. Rather than seeing the DRAM as one uniform block of memory with an ‘average’ latency, the system splits the memory into near memory closest to the active CPU, and far memory for DRAM connected via the other silicon die. The second thing that Game Mode does is disable the cores on one of the silicon dies, but retains the PCIe lanes, IO, and DRAM support. This disables cross-die thread migration, offers faster memory for applications that need it, and aims to lower the latency of the cores used for gaming by simplifying the layout. The downside of Game Mode is raw performance when peak CPU is needed: by disabling half the cores, any throughput limited task is going to be cut by losing half of the throughput resources. The argument here is that Game mode is designed for games, which rarely use above 8 cores, while optimizing the memory latency and PCIe connectivity.

I like how AnandTech calls this a "mini" test.

In any event - even though Threadripper is probably way out of the league of us regular people, I'm really loving how AMD's recent products have lit a fire under the processor market specifically and the self-built desktop market in general. Ever since Ryzen hit the market, now joined by Vega and Threadripper, we're back to comparing numbers and arguing over which numbers are better. We're back to the early 2000s, and it feels comforting and innocent - because everyone is right and everyone is wrong, all at the same time, because everything 100% depends on your personal budget and your personal use cases and no amount of benchmarks or number crunching is going to change your budget or personal use case.

I'm loving every second of this.

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RE[3]: Interesting
by dpJudas on Mon 21st Aug 2017 09:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interesting"
dpJudas
Member since:
2009-12-10

dpJudas,
If you were paying more attention to the reviews instead of getting annoyed you'd know that you can mix and match the options as you please.(idem for others who comment on the same lines)

I know I can do that. My primary point is that the default mode has NUMA disabled (as seen by the OS/applications), which means the apps have no chance of arranging their threads and memory accesses for maximum performance.

As this is a rather advanced subject, no enthusiast user is able to tell when to turn that on or off. You'd have to constant benchmark and reboot based on which application you are going to run. The only reasonable solution is therefore to pick one setting and stick to it.

There are basically three choices there:

1) Keep it at creator mode. This provides suboptimal performance for time critical things, as it is effectively rolling a dice where memory and threads will run.

2) Gimp it with the game mode. Probably the worst choice to pick.

3) Create a custom setup. Problem with this is that you will be the only user then with your particular setup - developers cannot target the setup directly as a result. If my threadripper is likely going to be the only one around with that particular setup, then I can no longer justify the development costs.

I like to treat my CPUs as fire-and-forget. That means this CPU must be evaluated as if I had it in creator mode. I get that not everyone will reach this conclusion, but that's how I look at it.

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