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 Fri 18th Aug 2017 14:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interesting"
dpJudas
Member since:
2009-12-10

Not that this makes the options any less disappointing, however it would explain AMD's motivation for disabling NUMA at the system level rather than at the process level.

I think their motivation is mainly to win benchmarks at any cost. By offering two modes they can always show the highest numbers that they can get.

I can certainly understand their motivation, but, as one that actually wanted to buy this chip, this really sucks because not even the default mode does the Right Thing(tm). Future applications do not have the ability to detect the NUMA layout and optimize for it, because even though I might be able to configure that in its control panel, the average end user does not know what all this stuff is. He will either keep it on default or select "Game Mode" because it sounds cool.

Bottom line I get from all this is that it makes no sense to write applications that take full advantage of threadripper. Ugh. And that's where my interest in this chip died. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Interesting
by _txf_ on Fri 18th Aug 2017 14:39 in reply to "RE[3]: Interesting"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17


I can certainly understand their motivation, but, as one that actually wanted to buy this chip, this really sucks because not even the default mode does the Right Thing(tm). Future applications do not have the ability to detect the NUMA layout and optimize for it, because even though I might be able to configure that in its control panel, the average end user does not know what all this stuff is. He will either keep it on default or select "Game Mode" because it sounds cool.


The average user isn't buying threadripper.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Interesting
by dpJudas on Fri 18th Aug 2017 17:20 in reply to "RE[4]: Interesting"
dpJudas Member since:
2009-12-10

The average user isn't buying threadripper.

It is a high end consumer product. Such people are not expected to know what NUMA even is.

Just because poor people can't afford it doesn't mean it is a device for professionals only.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Interesting
by shotsman on Fri 18th Aug 2017 19:51 in reply to "RE[4]: Interesting"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

And not every power user plays games.
And not every power user runs Windows.
Just saying...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Interesting
by tylerdurden on Fri 18th Aug 2017 22:50 in reply to "RE[3]: Interesting"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Honestly, it seems you're looking for drama. This is just a toggle to get a couple extra FPS on game benchmarks, it basically adds single percentage performance boost. Unless you're some kind of hardcore FPS-obsessed gamer, which does not sound like you are, it's basically of no consequence.

It's mostly an issue with the Windows Scheduler, that will be fixed eventually. NUMA is mainly about the HW/OS, the apps that can take advantage of NUMA usually are not optimized manually... Most coarse-threaded apps will do just fine. The thing is that most games, as it stand, are programmed by overworked monkeys who do not quite understand multithreading (those monkeys cost extra, and the industry is about shipping ASAP, and let brute force HW take care of it all).

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Interesting
by _txf_ on Sat 19th Aug 2017 01:23 in reply to "RE[4]: Interesting"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Honestly, it seems you're looking for drama. This is just a toggle to get a couple extra FPS on game benchmarks, it basically adds single percentage performance boost. Unless you're some kind of hardcore FPS-obsessed gamer, which does not sound like you are, it's basically of no consequence.


It does help with the minimum framerates (which is what should matter the most in terms of smoothness and consistency). But even there it isn't that much of a changer.

A person is perfectly fine leaving it in Creator mode for most games.

Reply Parent Score: 2