When AMD announced that its new Zen 3 core was a ground-up redesign and offered complete performance leadership, we had to ask them to confirm if that’s exactly what they said. Despite being less than 10% the size of Intel, and very close to folding as a company in 2015, the bets that AMD made in that timeframe with its next generation Zen microarchitecture and Ryzen designs are now coming to fruition. Zen 3 and the new Ryzen 5000 processors, for the desktop market, are the realization of those goals: not only performance per watt and performance per dollar leaders, but absolute performance leadership in every segment. We’ve gone into the new microarchitecture and tested the new processors. AMD is the new king, and we have the data to show it. AMD didn’t lie – these new processors are insanely good, and insanely good value, to boot. If you’re building a new PC today – AMD is the only logical choice. What a time to be alive.
Preparing to close out a major month of announcements for AMD – and to open the door to the next era of architectures across the company – AMD wrapped up its final keynote presentation of the month by announcing their Radeon RX 6000 series of video cards. Hosted once more by AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su, AMD’s hour-long keynote revealed the first three parts in AMD’s new RDNA2 architecture video card family: the Radeon RX 6800, 6800 XT, and 6900 XT. The core of AMD’s new high-end video card lineup, AMD means to do battle with the best of the best out of arch-rival NVIDIA. And we’ll get to see first-hand if AMD can retake the high-end market on November 18th, when the first two cards hit retail shelves. AMD’s forthcoming video card launch has been a long time coming for the company, and one they’ve been teasing particularly heavily. For AMD, the Radeon RX 6000 series represents the culmination of efforts from across the company as everyone from the GPU architecture team and the semi-custom SoC team to the Zen CPU team has played a role in developing AMD’s latest GPU technology. All the while, these new cards are AMD’s best chance in at least half a decade to finally catch up to NVIDIA at the high-end of the video card market. So understandably, the company is jazzed – and in more than just a marketing manner – about what the RX 6000 means. If AMD’s promises and performance comparisons shown today hold up, these new Radeon cards put AMD right back in the game with NVIDIA, going toe-to-toe with NVIDIA’s latest RTZ 30×0 cards – all the way up to the 3090, at lower prices and lower power consumption. Of course, those are just promises and charts, but AMD has proven itself lately to be fairly accurate and fair when announcing new products. If the promises hold up, Dr. Lisa Su and her team will have not only stomped all over Intel, but will also be ready to stomp all over NVIDIA, especially if they manage to follow a similar trajectory as they did with the Zen line of processors. If you are in the market for a new mid to high-end PC, you haven’t had this many viable options in a long, long time.
Dr. Lisa Su, the CEO of AMD, has today announced the company’s next generation mainstream Ryzen processor. The new family, known as the Ryzen 5000 series, includes four parts and supports up to sixteen cores. The key element of the new product is the core design, with AMD’s latest Zen 3 microarchitecture, promising a 19% raw increase in performance-per-clock, well above recent generational improvements. The new processors are socket-compatible with existing 500-series motherboards, and will be available at retail from November 5th. AMD is putting a clear marker in the sand, calling one of its halo products as ‘The World’s Best Gaming CPU’. We have details. They just keep kicking Intel while they’re down. This is a massive leap forward without a nanometer change.
As we’ve shown in the review, this means that we get some CPUs. The Ryzen 3 3300X and Ryzen 3 3100 are odd elements to the Ryzen family, especially the 3100 with its awkward CCX and core configuration, but both parts offer a lot of performance for their pricing. At $120 and $99 respectively, using AMD’s latest Zen 2 microarchitecture and the power efficient 7nm TSMC process, AMD is defining a new base line in budget performance. AMD now leads in budget, mid-range, high-end, crazy server processors, and game consoles.
You’re probably familiar with modern processors made by Advanced Micro Devices. But AMD’s processors go back to 1975, when AMD introduced the Am2901. This chip was a type of processor called a bit-slice processor: each chip processed just 4 bits, but multiple chips were combined to produce a larger word size. This approach was used in the 1970s and 1980s to create a 16-bit, 36-bit, or 64-bit processor (for example), when the whole processor couldn’t fit on a single fast chip. The Am2901 chip became very popular, used in diverse systems ranging from the Battlezone video game to the VAX-11/730 minicomputer, from the Xerox Star workstation to the F-16 fighter’s Magic 372 computer. The fastest version of this processor, the Am2901C, used a logic family called emitter-coupled logic (ECL) for high performance. In this blog post, I open up an Am2901C chip, examine its die under a microscope, and explain the ECL circuits that made its arithmetic-logic unit work. A very detailed, technical look at this processor.
When AMD introduced its Ryzen 4000 mobile CPUs at CES, the company made bold claims of game-changing performance. Coming off of years of underwhelming laptop chips, AMD promised it had optimized Ryzen 4000 for mobile computing. Now we’ve tested those claims in AMD’s Ryzen 9 4900HS chip, an 8-core, 7nm chip with Radeon Vega cores. We’re stunned at the CPU’s impressive tour de force that defeats just about every Intel 8th- and 9th-gen laptop CPU we’ve ever seen. Just open up your YouTube feed and you’ll see pretty much every PC hardware channel staring at disbelief in just how good AMD’s Ryzen 4000 mobile processors really are. This isn’t just a “kind of good enough” processor – the top of the line model is faster than or equal than Intel’s top of the line processor at both single core and multicore workloads, while using slightly more than half the power. It’s all well and good for AMD to roundly run circles around Intel in the server and desktop/workstation space, but the laptop space is where the real money and mindshare can be found. This new line of AMD mobile processors is simply stunning.
AMD has filed at least two DMCA notices against Github repos that carried “stolen” source code relating to AMD’s Navi and Arden GPUs, the latter being the processor for the upcoming Xbox Series X. The person claiming responsibility for the leak informs TorrentFreak that if they doesn’t get a buyer for the remainder of the code, they will dump the whole lot online. I’d love to hear the backstory behind this hack. For a company like AMD, such a hack must’ve been an inside job, right? While I know I shouldn’t be surprised anymore by just how lacking security can be at even the most prominent technology companies, I just can’t imagine it being very easy to get your hands on this documentation and code without some form of inside help.
AMD’s laptop offerings haven’t been amazing these past few years, but with the unveiling of their 4000 processors, that’s finally going to change. All that seems set to change. Fast forward to 2020, and notebook users are eagerly awaiting the arrival of products based on AMD’s latest Ryzen Mobile 4000 series processors, which combine up to eight Zen 2 cores and upgraded Vega graphics into a small CPU for the notebook market. AMD has already made waves with its Zen 2 cores in the desktop and enterprise space, and the company has already announced it plans to put eight of those cores, along with a significantly upgraded graphics design, into a processor that has a thermal design point of 15 W. These 15 W parts are designed for ultraportable notebooks, and AMD has a number of design wins lined up to show just how good an AMD system can be. The same silicon will also go into 45 W-class style notebooks, with a higher base frequency. These parts are geared more towards discrete graphics options, for gaming notebooks or more powerful business designs. The gaming market (at 45 W), the commercial market (15W to 45W) and the ultraportable market (15 W) are where AMD is hoping to strike hardest with the new hardware. I can’t wait for serious competition to Intel in the laptop space. It’s sorely needed.
While it doesn’t get the same attention as their high-profile mobile, desktop, or server CPU offerings, AMD’s embedded division is an important fourth platform for the chipmaker. To that end, this week the company is revealing its lowest-power Ryzen processors ever, with a new series of embedded chips that are designed for use in ultra-compact commercial and industrial systems. The chips in question are the AMD Ryzen Embedded R1102G and the AMD Ryzen Embedded R1305G SoCs. These parts feature a 6 W or a configurable 8 W – 10 W TDP, respectively. Both SoCs feature two Zen cores with or without simultaneous multithreading, AMD Radeon Vega 3 graphics, 1 MB L2 cache, 4 MB L3 cache, a single channel or a dual-channel memory controller, and two 10 GbE ports. Two quite capable chips. I’ve always liked these low-power chips and have, on numerous occasions, pondered buying the devices these kinds of chips tend to end up in – small industrial machines, thin clients, that sort of stuff – since they’re cheap and abundant on eBay. Sadly, I can never quite find a use for them.
In our tests here (more in our benchmark database), AMD’s 3990X would get the crown over Intel’s dual socket offerings. The only thing really keeping me back from giving it is the same reason there was hesitation on the previous page: it doesn’t do enough to differentiate itself from AMD’s own 32-core CPU. Where AMD does win is in that ‘money is less of an issue scenario’, where using a single socket 64 core CPU can help consolidate systems, save power, and save money. Intel’s CPUs have a TDP of 205W each (more if you decide to use the turbo, which we did here), which totals 410W, while AMD maxed out at 280W in our tests. Technically Intel’s 2P has access to more PCIe lanes, but AMD’s PCIe lanes are PCIe 4.0, not PCIe 3.0, and with the right switch can power many more than Intel (if you’re saving 16k, then a switch is peanuts). We acknowledge that our tests here aren’t in any way a comprehensive test of server level workloads, but for the user base that AMD is aiming for, we’d take the 64 core (or even the 32 core) in most circumstances over two Intel 28 core CPUs, and spend the extra money on memory, storage, or a couple of big fat GPUs. Aside from the artificial maximum memory limitation – which AMD put in place to protect its own Epyc processors – the 3990X is simply a masterpiece. To be able to get 64 cores and 128 threads for a relatively mere $3990 is nothing short of stunning, and while few of us actually need a processor like that, the 3990X shines like the halo product that it is.
At last year’s CES, AMD showcased its then Ryzen 3000 mobile processors as part of the announcements. In what is becoming a trend, at this year’s CES, the company is doing the same in announcing its next generation Ryzen 4000 mobile processors. This year is a little different, with AMD showing off its manufacturing strategy at TSMC 7nm for the first time in the mobile space. There’s a ton of options on the table, both at 15W and 45W, offering some really impressive core counts, frequencies, and most importantly, design wins. Here are all the details. Let’s hope we’re getting choice and competition back in the laptop space.
AnandTech reviews AMD’s latest and greatest. AMD has scored wins across almost all of our benchmark suite. In anything embarrassingly parallel it rules the roost by a large margin (except for our one AVX-512 benchmark). Single threaded performance trails the high-frequency mainstream parts, but it is still very close. Even in memory sensitive workloads, an issue for the previous generation Threadripper parts, the new chiplet design has pushed performance to the next level. These new Threadripper processors win on core count, on high IPC, on high frequency, and on fast memory. If you had told me three years ago that AMD were going to be ruling the roost in the HEDT market with high-performance 32-core processors on a leading-edge manufacturing node, I would have told you to lay off the heavy stuff. But here we are, and AMD isn’t done yet, teasing a 64-core version for next year. This is a crazy time we live in, and I’m glad to be a part of it. I need one of these for translating, posting to OSNews, and playing a few non-demanding games, right?
Deciding between building a mainstream PC and a high-end desktop has historically been very clear cut: if budget is a concern, and you’re interested in gaming, then typically a user looks to the mainstream. Otherwise, if a user is looking to do more professional high-compute work, then they look at the high-end desktop. Over the course of AMD’s recent run of high-core count Ryzen processors that line has blurred. This year, that line has disappeared. Even in 2016, mainstream CPUs used to top out at four cores: today they now top out at sixteen. Does anyone need sixteen cores? Yes. Does everyone need sixteen cores? No. Do I want sixteen cores? Yes.
AMD is set to close out the year on a high note. As promised, the company will be delivering its latest 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X processor, built with two 7nm TSMC chiplets, to the consumer platform for $749. Not only this, but AMD today has lifted the covers on its next generation Threadripper platform, which includes Zen 2-based chiplets, a new socket, and an astounding 4x increase in CPU-to-chipset bandwidth. At this point it’s starting to feel like kicking Intel when they’re down.
So has AMD done the unthinkable? Beaten Intel by such a large margin that there is no contest? For now, based on our preliminary testing, that is the case. The launch of AMD’s second generation EPYC processors is nothing short of historic, beating the competition by a large margin in almost every metric: performance, performance per watt and performance per dollar. Analysts in the industry have stated that AMD expects to double their share in the server market by Q2 2020, and there is every reason to believe that AMD will succeed. The AMD EPYC is an extremely attractive server platform with an unbeatable performance per dollar ratio. This is one stunning processor family.
So how does AMD’s first example of RDNA stack up? For AMD and for consumers it’s much needed progress. To be sure, the Radeon RX 5700 series cards are not going to be Turing killers. But they are competitive in price, performance, and power consumption – the all-important trifecta that AMD has trailed NVIDIA at for too many years now. AMD’s new graphics cards have already managed to do what has been sorely needed for a long time now: they’ve forced NVIDIA to lower prices and release new cards sooner than they otherwise would’ve. This is why competition is so important.
In the majority of controlled tests, AMD has done something they haven’t been able to achieve in almost 15 years, since the tail-end of the Athlon 64’s reign in 2005: that is to have a CPU microarchitecture with higher performance per clock than Intel’s leading architecture. Zen 2 finally achieves this symbolic mark by a hair’s margin, with the new core improving IPC by 10-13% when compared to Zen+. Having said that, Intel still very much holds the single-threaded performance crown by a few percent. Intel’s higher achieved frequencies as well as continued larger lead in memory sensitive workloads are still goals that AMD has to work towards, and future Zen iterations will have to further improve in order to have a shot at the ST performance crown. Beyond this, it’s remarkable that AMD has been able to achieve all of this while consuming significantly less power than Intel’s best desktop chip, all thanks to the new process node. AMD’s brand new Zen 2 processors are nothing short of a slam dunk, and the desktop processor market hasn’t been this exciting and competitive in 15 years. I’m contemplating building a small light-load workstation for my new office, and there’s no way it won’t be team red, since AMD offers the amazing value across the board – low end, mid range, and high end.
We have been teased with AMD’s next generation processor products for over a year. The new chiplet design has been heralded as a significant breakthrough in driving performance and scalability, especially as it becomes increasingly difficult to create large silicon with high frequencies on smaller and smaller process nodes. AMD is expected to deploy its chiplet paradigm across its processor line, through Ryzen and EPYC, with those chiplets each having eight next-generation Zen 2 cores. Today AMD went into more detail about the Zen 2 core, providing justification for the +15% clock-for-clock performance increase over the previous generation that the company presented at Computex last week. The 16c/32t Ryzen 9 3950X looks quite attainable at $750 – a price that is surely to come down after launch.
More AMD news – this time on the graphics front, where the company is still catching up to NVIDIA. While the bulk of this morning’s AMD Computex keynote has been on AMD’s 3rd generation Ryzen CPUs and their underlying Zen 2 architecture, the company also took a moment to briefly touch upon its highly anticipated Navi GPU architecture and associated family of products. AMD didn’t go too deep here, but they have given us just enough to be tantalized ahead of a full reveal in the not too distant future. The first Navi cards will be the Radeon RX 5700 series, which are launching in July and on an architectural level will offer 25% better performance per clock per core and 50% better power efficiency than AMD’s current-generation Vega architecture. The products will also be AMD’s first video cards using faster GDDR6 memory. Meanwhile AMD isn’t offering much in the way of concrete details on performance, but they are showing it off versus NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2070 in the AMD-favorable game Strange Brigade. Not that many details just yet, so it’s safe to assume AMD is not yet ready to truly take on NVIDIA. That being said – like with Zen and Ryzen, give AMD a few generations, and NVIDIA might finally be facing real competition.
Today at Computex, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su is announcing the raft of processors it will be launching on its new Zen 2 chiplet-based microarchitecture. Among other things, AMD is unveiling its new Ryzen 9 product tier, which it is using for its 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X processor, and which runs at 4.6 GHz boost. All of the five processors will be PCIe 4.0 enabled, and while they are being accompanied by the new X570 chipset launch, they still use the same AM4 socket, meaning some AMD 300 and 400-series motherboards can still be used. We have all the details inside. If the first few waves of Zen-based processors put AMD back on the map, this is the wave that will propel the company beyond Intel on all fronts – single-core performance, multicore performance, price, and on all fronts, from workstations to gaming. Intel will probably be trailing AMD on all these fronts until at least 2022. AMD’s turnaround over the past few years is nothing short of stunning, and I’m quite sure my next machine will be rocking team red once again.