Friday August 11th, 2017
| If Ryzen was a polite, if firm way of telling the world that AMD is back in the processor game, then Threadripper is a foul-mouthed, middle-finger-waving, kick-in-the-crotch "screw you" aimed squarely at the usurious heart of Intel. It's an olive branch to a part of the PC market stung by years of inflated prices, sluggish performance gains, and the feeling that, if you're not interested in low-power laptops, Intel isn't interested in you.
Where Intel charges $1,000/£1,000 for 10 cores and 20 threads in the form of the Core i9-7900X, AMD offers 16C/32T with Threadripper 1950X. Where Intel limits chipset features and PCIe lanes the further down the product stack you go—the latter being ever more important as storage moves away from the SATA interface—AMD offers quad-channel memory, eight DIMM slots, and 64 PCIe lanes even on the cheapest CPU for the platform.
Threadripper embraces the enthusiasts, the system builders, and the content creators that shout loud and complain often, but evangelise products like no other. It's the new home for extravagant multi-GPU setups, and RAID arrays built on thousands of dollars worth of M.2 SSDs. It's where performance records can be broken, and where content creators can shave precious minutes from laborious production tasks, while still having more than enough remaining horsepower to get their game on.
Sure, dive deep into the technicalities and Intel's Skylake-X is still the absolute fastest when it comes to pure instructions-per-clock performance and high-frame-rate gaming. But the sheer daring of AMD Threadripper and accompanying X399 platform is nothing short of astonishing. Its performance, particularly in content creation tasks and production workloads, wipes the floor with the Intel equivalent. Taken as a whole, there really is no competition—Threadripper is the High End Desktop (HEDT) platform to beat.
When AMD unveiled its Zen architecture, which finally morphed into a product as Ryzen, much was said about Infinity Fabric, the company's new interconnect designed for maximum scalability. The 14nm FinFET Zen core is designed as a four-core-complex (CCX), with Infinity Fabric used to bind two CCX together to create the eight-core CPUs of Ryzen 7. What many didn't quite realise at the time is just how well Infinity Fabric would work (after a few teething troubles were resolved, at least) and just how far AMD could push it.
Threadripper 1950X is effectively two eight-core Ryzen 1800X CPUs placed onto the same package joined together by Infinity Fabric. The result is a CPU measuring a mammoth 72mm by 55mm, which slots into the even larger TR4 motherboard socket. Threadripper is, physically at least, the biggest consumer CPU released since the cartridge slot format of the Pentium 2—and even then the CPU itself was just a small part of the cartridge.
The advantages and disadvantages of AMD's Infinity Fabric design are well documented at this point—and I'd advise taking a look at Peter Bright's excellent deep dive into the Zen architecture to learn more—but many of the quirks that arose from it have since been patched out or tweaked. Do note, however, that Infinity Fabric performance still depends greatly on memory speed. Thankfully, running 3200MHz memory with a Threadripper CPU is as simple as loading an XMP profile—a far cry from the memory issues that plagued Ryzen at launch.
Indeed, with Threadripper being based so heavily on Ryzen, it's a pleasingly stable platform. The only real difference is the memory configuration—which is now quad-channel with ECC support, thanks to the two dual-channel controllers present on each eight-core die—and the PCIe lane configuration, which now features 64 lanes, four of which are reserved for connection to the new X399 chipset.
With Threadripper, you can run two graphics cards at X16 PCIe speeds, two at X8, and still have enough lanes left over for three X4 NVMe SSDs connected directly to the CPU. Intel's i9-series offers a mere 44 PCIe lanes on the CPU by comparison, but does make up the difference with a further 24 lanes on the motherboard (they do, however, share a single X4 PCIe link to the CPU).
Threadripper comes in a ludicrously oversized box.
Along with a complex unboxing experience.
Once twisted, the CPU packaging can be removed.
Then, after removing a metal clip and plastic cover, the CPU package is revealed.
Threadripper stays in this orange frame during installation.
Threadripper is huge.
Here it is next to Intel's 7900X.
Each chip comes with a tool to open the CPU socket, and bracket for liquid coolers.
There are two Threadripper CPUs available at launch: the 16C/32T 1950X, and the 12C/24T 1920X. Both feature the same 512K of L2 cache per core (8MB total), 16MB per die (32MB total) of L3 cache, and 4.0GHz boost clock across four cores. They can both boost as far as 4.2GHz across the same four cores thanks to AMD's XFR (extended frequency range) enhancements, which offer increased clock speeds for those with suitably robust cooling setups. The only difference between them is the slight base clock bump to 3.5GHz on the 1920X, versus the 3.4GHz on the 1950X. Like the rest of the Ryzen line-up, both Threadripper CPUs are fully unlocked for overclocking.
At $1,000/£1,000, the 1950X offers 16C/32 where Intel offers just 10C/20T. While Intel's superior IPC performance and clock speeds do make up some of the difference, to get the same core count with an i9 costs $1,700, while the top-end 18C/36T i9-7980XE costs an eye-watering $2,000. The 1920X fares even better, offering 12C/24T for $800. Intel doesn't have an equivalent chip for the price, only the more expensive i9-7900X, or the $600 i7-7820X, which features a mere 28 PCIe lanes and just eight cores. Simply put, AMD offers a lot more for a lot less.
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Posted By CybrSlydr @ 7:13 AM
Thursday August 3rd, 2017
| AMD has announced final pricing and lineup of its entire new high-end desktop processor range - otherwise known as Ryzen Threadripper. The news comes from the official pre-launch event for Threadripper and its high-end graphics card, Vega, which was held in Los Angeles over the weekend. Three models are planned, with 8, 12 and 16 cores and prices will start at just $549 for the 8-c0re/16-thread model.
The flagship is the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X, which will retail for $999, have 16 cores and 32 threads, plus base and turbo frequencies of 3.4GHz and 4GHz. Then there's the 12-core/24-thread 1920X, which has the same 4GHz turbo frequency but slightly higher 3.5GHz base frequency. It will cost $799 and both the 1950X and 1920X will be available from 10th August.
A surprise, though, came in the form of the 1900X, which is an 8-core/16-thread part that hasn't been listed in any of the leaked information I've seen so far. It will retail for just $549 - barely $100 more than the flagship mainstream desktop processors, the Ryxen 7 1800X.
The 1900X is clearly designed to lower the entry cost to the Threadripper/X399 platform, which will offer a massive 64 PCI-E lanes for multi-GPU, next-gen storage such as PCI-E SSDs and communication configurations, the latter including 10Gbps LAN.
While the performance of Threadripper isn't yet known, AMD does enjoy a significant lead in terms of the number of cores at certain price points. For example, the $999 Threadripper 1950X sports 16 cores, while the Core i9-7900X only has 10. This, AMD claims, allows it to outperform Intel in multithreaded applications such as Cinebench by up to 38%.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 2:41 PM
Wednesday July 26th, 2017
| AMD beat Wall Street’s expectations in Q2 2017, courtesy of strong demand for Ryzen and Epyc (desktop and server) CPUs. This was a significant quarter for AMD, because it marked the first quarter of full availability for the Ryzen CPU family.
Revenue was $1.22 billion, up 19 percent from Q2 2016 and 1.24x from Q1 2017. Gross margin of 33 percent was down 1 percent compared with Q1 2017, but up 2 percent year over year. AMD turned an operating income profit of $25M, compared with a $9M loss last year. While the company still turned in a net loss for the quarter, it slashed the size of that loss dramatically, from $69M in Q2 2016 and $73M in Q1.
In addition, AMD reported a whopping 1.51x increase in Computing & Graphics revenue compared with Q2 2016 and a still-significant 1.11x increase compared with Q1 2017. These increases are being driven by demand for AMD’s Ryzen CPUs and Radeon GPUs. AMD’s ASPs (Average Selling Price) increased “significantly” year-on-year, but fell slightly compared with Q1 thanks to lower prices on mobile products. GPU ASPs, on the other hand, grew both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year.
In the conference call, investors were curious about what future demand AMD expected from cryptocurrency mining, and how it might manage its inventory levels to meet that demand. AMD played fairly coy on this point, both in its presentation and the Q&A that followed. The company reports its forecasts and current models don’t take cryptocurrency mining into account because of the tendency of such markets to have boom and bust cycles.
Apart from the above, however, AMD significantly increased its guidance for the full year of 2017. Previously, the company had suggested an increase in the low teens for year-end revenue. That’s now risen to the mid-to-high teens — call it 15-19 percent. Operating income was $7M in the C&G segment, compared with an $81M loss a year ago and a $15M loss in Q1.
AMD reported double-digit growth in graphics for the sixth quarter in a row, and turned in an operating income profit for the first time in three years. Good times all around.
Consoles and Servers
There were some disparate trends in the enterprise, embedded, and semi-custom segments. CEO Lisa Su acknowledged that AMD would be ramping production to meet console demand in Q3 and Q4 (orders for console hardware typically peak in Q3, for holiday shipments). At the same time, however, AMD’s total console revenue fell 5 percent compared with Q2 2016 while rising 1.44x compared with Q1 2017. AMD stated it had “initial revenue from Epyc datacenter processor shipments in the quarter,” and characterized this recognition as a milestone. The drop-off in operating income is due to the costs of launching Epyc. AMD hopes to capture 10 percent of the server market with Epyc, but acknowledges that this will be a slow ramp and does not expect to hit that point this year.
AMD is still carrying significantly more inventory than it did last year, but confirmed that the GPU shortages that have plagued the market are due to cryptocurrency demand, not any kind of manufacturing shortage. The company expects revenue to increase 23 percent in Q3, plus or minus 3 percent, which would put the midpoint for full-year guidance at 15 percent. Inventory should drop in Q3 as AMD sells off its console inventory to Microsoft and Sony.
Interpreting the Results
This is as strong a quarter as we could’ve asked for. Epyc is doing well, Ryzen 7 continues to sell, and AMD’s midrange graphics refresh appears to have delivered strong performance. Lisa Su confirmed Raven Ridge, the mobile version of Ryzen with integrated graphics, is on-track for launch for the holiday season, which means we’ll get to see a refreshed 8th-generation APU within six months. Our Ryzen 5 benchmarks are shown below, for reference between AMD and Intel’s relative position.
There are still questions about Vega’s launch and launch positioning. But CPUs were always AMD’s primary revenue drivers, followed more recently by semi-custom SoC sales. We don’t have enough information on Vega to speculate about where it’ll fall. But AMD reports that its MI25 Radeon Instinct product family is now shipping to select partners and that the launch of consumer Vega is coming in the very near (think weeks) future.
There have been questions about whether AMD can be profitable with a gross margin of 33-34 percent, which is significantly lower than Intel. I suspect they can be if their ASPs continue to increase — and they should, once Raven Ridge replaces the Excavator-based Bristol Ridge CPU cores in mobile platforms. Toss in some uplift from Vega and slow growth in servers, and AMD’s ASPs should continue to trend higher. Lisa Su didn’t make any commitments about full-year profitability, but if things continue in this vein AMD should be on track through the end of the year.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 8:42 AM
Thursday July 13th, 2017
| AMD has revealed the prices for some of its Threadripper CPUs, using the same effective strategy that it executed for its mainstream Ryzen chips: set eye-popping discounts compared to Intel’s own Core i9 family, and probably earlier release dates, too.
On Thursday, AMD disclosed the model numbers, price, and rough availability of both the 12- and 16-core AMD Threadripper chips, designed for the upper echelons of gaming and content-creation PCs:
The $999 16-core, 32-thread 3.4-GHz Threadripper 1950X
The $799 12-core, 24-thread 3.5-GHz Threadripper 1920X
Given that information, we also know the difference between what Intel and AMD will charge for their respective offerings. You’ll pay $700 less for a 1950X than Intel’s 16-core, 32-thread Core i9-7960X, and a thousand dollars less than Intel’s 18-core, 36-thread Core i9-7980XE. On the lower end, the Threadripper 12-core 1920X costs $400 less than the 12-core Core i9-7920X, and $600 less than the 14-core Core i9-7940X.
AMD says that it will begin shipping Ryzen Threadripper CPUs and motherboards in early August. The company also confirmed that preorders of Alienware’s Area-51 systems will begin on July 27.
Why this matters: AMD’s disclosure is a new thrust in the ongoing slow-motion fencing match between Threadripper and Intel’s Core i9. Though it’s deeply important for AMD to offer a microprocessor to compete with the Core i9, both Threadripper and Core i9 are Ferraris in the chip world—a world in which most users still drive a minivan. The Motley Fool reporter Ashlaf Eassa noted that of the four most popular PC microprocessors sold by Amazon, all cost around $200 to $300, including a pair of AMD Ryzen 7 chips.
AMD's play for chip cachet
Nevertheless, AMD's decision to discount the Threadripper so deeply ensures that consumers will at least consider it if they’re leaning toward an elite processor for gaming and high-performance tasks, analysts say.
“This is an important positioning play for AMD as having a great high-end helps sell the mid-range, but I think they’ll sell every one they make,” said Patrick Moorhead, a former AMD fellow and now an independent analyst with Moor Insights. “Video professionals, developers and consumers who want to say they have the best in technology will gravitate toward Threadripper.”
In fact, AMD seems to have its finger on two key triggers that help drive sales: price, and availability. Intel hasn’t said exactly when it will begin shipping its Core i9 chips, though availability began in mid-June with its low-end Core i7 chips, and will run all the way through a scheduled October launch for the 18-core Core i9-7980XE. It’s very possible that an August Threadripper launch will beat Intel to market by a matter of weeks, if not months.
The announcement of Threadripper’s prices fills in another major hole in our knowledge of AMD’s elite chip. We already know that Threadripper's new TR4 socket will be absolutely enormous. You’ll find sockets like it on motherboards such as the Asus Zenith Extreme, presumably part of the contingent that AMD’s partners will release in August. The X399-based motherboard will feature eight DIMM slots for up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM, four x16 PCI-E gen. 3 slots, a U.2 slot, three M.2 slots, and 12 USB 3.1 ports.
The final question? Performance. Threadripper will be based on the same underlying architecture powering AMD’s Ryzen chips, so our reviews of Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 can give you insights into its potential: the more simultaneous tasks being asked of it, the better.
“[A]s I am seeing Infinity Fabric scale well to 64 threads on EPYC, and Threadripper is 32 threads, I think we will see much of a replay of what we saw on Ryzen 7,” Moorhead said. “That is, extremely well positioned in multi-threaded workloads and competitive in lower threaded workloads.”
In a video showing how the Threadripper chips compare against Intel's most powerful currently available CPU, the $999 10-core Core i9-7900X, AMD tested the multi-threaded Cinebench R15 benchmark on all three. The $799 Threadripper 1920X turned in a score of 2431 compared to the Core i9-7900X's 2167, while the flagship $999 Threadripper 1950X blew past both of those at 3062.
Source: PC World
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 1:17 PM
Friday June 16th, 2017
| On June 8, a 21-second video appeared at ataribox.com, teasing a plastic and wood box cryptically described as "a brand-new Atari product, years in the making." It was unclear whether the console was simply an emulator box for retro Atari games or something actually new. Atari failed to show the teased product at last week's E3 video game expo.
However, Atari CEO Fred Chesnais has now told GamesBeat that a new Atari game console is indeed in the works.
"We're back in the hardware business," Chesnais said.
He gave scant details about what the new console is all about and when it would be officially unveiled but said it's "based on PC technology" and added that "Atari is still working on the design and will reveal it at a later date."
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 11:19 AM
Wednesday May 31st, 2017
| Threadripper stepped out in public for the first time at Computex in Taipei, where AMD ran its 16-core Ryzen-based desktop chip through various benchmarks and games. Even better for AMD fans: The company showed off the highly anticipated monster CPU running two of the company’s Radeon RX Vega in CrossFire mode.
AMD also hit back at Intel after Tuesday's revelation of the Core i9. Sure, Intel's new high-end CPU will max out at 18 cores compared to Threadripper's 16. AMD's surprise: Threadripper would not have 44 PCIe lanes as previously rumored, but rather an insane 64 lanes of PCIe Gen 3.0.
Having access to a full 64 lanes on all Threadripper chips is a big deal. Typical consumer platforms such as the Ryzen 7 and Core i7-7700K top out at 16 lanes of PCIe. Intel’s new Core i9/X299 platform hikes that up to 44 lanes of PCIe, but only in the higher-end chips, creating artificial limitations on more modest versions.
AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper/X399 platform takes I/O to a level never seen before in a consumer desktop machine. Most consumers won’t need that kind of speed, but anyone who piles on the storage options and multiple GPUs will welcome AMD’s 64 PCIe lanes.
AMD officials also showed off the company’s upcoming Ryzen-based mobile chip in what looked like a reference convertible laptop. Officials said it would feature four cores alongside Radeon graphics in a single chip.
What’s amazing is the contrast in scale between the monster Ryzen Threadripper and the mobile chip, code-named Raven Ridge.
Source: PC World
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 3:46 PM
Tuesday May 30th, 2017
| By Devindra Hardawar
Last year at Computex, Intel unveiled its first 10-core consumer CPU, the company's move into the world of a "megatasking." It was a pricey chip, launching at around $1,700, but it satisfied the needs for users who needed to juggle several intensive tasks at once. Now, Intel is upping the ante with a whole new family of processors for enthusiasts, the Core X-series, and it's spearheaded by its first 18-core CPU, the i9-7980XE.
Priced at $1,999, the 7980XE is clearly not a chip you'd see in an average desktop. Instead, it's more of a statement from Intel. It beats out AMD's 16-core Threadripper CPU, which was slated to be that company's most powerful consumer processor for 2017. And it gives Intel yet another way to satisfy the demands of power-hungry users who might want to do things like play games in 4K while broadcasting them in HD over Twitch. And as if its massive core count wasn't enough, the i9-7980XE is also the first Intel consumer chip that packs in over a teraflop worth of computing power.
If 18 cores is a bit too rich for you, Intel also has other Core i9 Extreme Edition chips in 10, 12, 14 and 16-core variants. Perhaps the best news for hardware geeks: the 10 core i9-7900X will retail for $999, a significant discount from last year's version.
All of the i9 chips feature base clock speeds of 3.3GHz, reaching up to 4.3GHz dual-core speeds with Turbo Boost 2.0 and 4.5GHz with Turbo Boost 3.0. And speaking of Turbo Boost 3.0, its performance has also been improved in the new Extreme Edition chips to increase both single and dual-core speeds. Rounding out the X-Series family are the quad-core i5-7640X and i7 models in 4, 6 and 8-core models.
While it might all seem like overkill, Intel says its Core i9 lineup was driven by the surprising demand for last year's 10-core chip. "Broadwell-E was kind of an experiment," an Intel rep said. "It sold... Proving that our enthusiast community will go after the best of the best... Yes we're adding higher core count, but we're also introducing lower core counts. Scalability on both ends are what we went after."
As you can imagine, stuffing more cores into a processor leads to some significant heat issues. For that reason, Intel developed its own liquid cooling solution, which will work across these new chips, as well as some previous generations. All of the new Core i9 processors, along with the 6 and 8-core i7 chips, feature scorching hot 140W thermal design points (TDPs), the maximum amount of power that they'll draw. That's the same as last year's 10-core CPU, but it's still well above the 91W TDP from Intel's more affordable i7-7700K.
Over the past few years, Intel's laptop chips have been far more interesting than its desktop CPUs. Partially, that's because the rise of ultraportables and convertible laptops have shifted its focus away from delivering as much computing power as possible, to offering a reasonable amount of processing power efficiently. The new Core i9 X-series processors might not be feasible for most consumers, but for the hardware geeks who treat their rigs like hot rods, they're a dream come true.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 7:34 AM
Tuesday May 16th, 2017
| Let's be honest, Intel hasn't released anything particularly exciting in a long while now. It's the reason my primary desktop is still rocking an Intel Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon processor released several years ago. Sure, I could scamper over to an X99 configuration, but at this point it makes more sense to see what Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X bring to the table. That remains to be seen, though if the latest rumor is to believed, at minimum we can expect new branding, at least for Skylake-X.
A forum member at AnandTech posted what is purported to be an internal slide outlining a new crop of Core i9 processors. The photo is blurry and low quality, of course, because for whatever reason every leaker in the world seems to own a Fisher Price camera and has an aversion to screenshots. But criticisms over the quality of the leak aside, it looks like Intel is readying a potent lineup.
If information is accurate, Intel's Kaby Lake-X processors will stick with Intel's Core i7 branding. There will be two chips in this tier, including:
Core i7-7740K: 4C/8T, 4.3GHz to 4.5GHz, 8MB cache, 112W, 16 PCIe lanes
Core i7-7640K: 4C/4T, 4GHz to 4.2GHz, 6MB cache, 112W, 16 PCIe lanes
The other four processors shown in the slide are all Skylake-X chips with Intel's new Core i9 branding. It's a sensible change, with Intel moving all new 6-core and higher processors to the new brand. The i9 parts consist of the following:
Core i9-7920X: 12C/24T, unknown clocks, 16.5MB cache, 140W, 44 PCIe lanes
Core i9-7900X: 10C/20T, 3.3GHz to 4.3GHz, 13.75MB cache, 140W, 44 PCIe lanes
Core i9-7820X: 8C/16T, 3.6GHz to 4.3GHz, 11MB cache, 140W, 28 PCIe lanes
Core i9-7800X: 6C/12T, 3.5GHz to 4GHz, 8.25MB cache, 140W, 28 PCIe lanes
The two middle SKUs will also feature Turbo Max support with both the Core i9-7920X and Core i9-7900X being able to hit 4.5GHz in some situations. None of the other processors leaked here list Turbo Max support, though it's possible the Core i9-7920X will, since no clockspeeds were provided.
All the Core i9 Skylake-X and Core i7 Kaby Lake-X CPUs will run on Intel's upcoming X99/LGA2066 platform. That includes support for quad-channel DDR4-2666 memory, according to the slide.
None of this is official, of course, but if the specs do end up being accurate, it is interesting that Intel will again slash the number of PCIe lanes on its lower end enthusiast processors. That could push power users to purchase a higher end part even if the additional physical cores and threads aren't needed. Meanwhile, it looks like AMD may take a different approach with its Ryzen 9 series for enthusiasts, all of which are rumored to offer 44 PCIe lanes.
In related news, Guru3D dug up some supposed benchmarks of the Core i9-7900X and Core i9-7920X. In UserBenchmark, the former scored 107 points in single-core performance and 1,467 points in multi-core performance, whereas the latter scored 130 points and 1,760 points, respectively. As a point of reference, Intel's Core i7-6950X scored 117 points in single-core performance and 1,526 points in multi-core performance.
Source: PC Gamer
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 3:14 PM
Monday May 8th, 2017
| Modern processors can run at temperatures ranging from 25 to 90 degrees, depending on configuration, cooling and workload. That said, when a CPU takes on a heavy load, that increase tends to be gradual, rather than instantaneous. And it certainly shouldn't occur for basic, undemanding tasks. Unfortunately, Intel's Core i7-7700k might have a temperature problem, with spikes of 30;deg&C not uncommon when, say, opening a webpage.
Intel officially took notice of the 7700k's supposed issues after a post by "BC93Key" appeared on the company's forums. However, it seems reports of the processor's unpredictable behaviour had been doing the rounds among users before then.
Here's the gist of BC93Key's complaint:
I have found that the i7-7700k reports a momentary (a second or less) temperature spike +25 > 35 degrees Celsius anytime a program is opened, a webpage is opened, a background app runs etc. The temperature blip cascades through the cores in random order; not the same every time. This causes my heatsink fan to constantly cycle up and down. Temperatures otherwise report as steady, normal increases. Peak temperature under Prime95 blend test is 71 degrees Celsius.
It's important to note that BC93Key is running their system stock — that is, no overclocking or modifications to the hardware.
Now, it's not unusual for an idling processor to ramp up quickly once something starts happening, but a spike of 30°C is insane. It didn't take long for others to come out of the woodwork and report similar experiences.
Aside from basic troubleshooting, it took three weeks before Intel responded with concrete news, though it wasn't what users wanted to hear:
In our internal investigation, we did not observe temperature variation outside of the expected behavior and recommended specifications. For processor specifications, please refer to the Intel® Core™ i7-7700K Processor Product Specifications ... We do not recommend running outside the processor specifications, such as by exceeding processor frequency or voltage specifications, or removing of the integrated heat spreader (sometimes called "de-lidding"). These actions will void the processor warranty.
So as far as Intel is concerned, it's working as intended, which means anyone hoping for a driver update, microcode patch or refund may be out of luck. For those unsatisfied with the company's response, well, Intel's not the only player in town.
You Tony like the solution though, pretty much they're saying that unlocked multi isn't to be used for overclocking.
*“We do not recommend running outside the processor specifications, such as by exceeding processor frequency or voltage specifications, or removing of the integrated heat spreader (sometimes called “de-lidding”). These actions will void the processor warranty.”
So why is it unlocked Intel?
They're actually suggesting you change your fan curve so you don't have to listen to your fans rapidly changing rpms when you open Firefox....
Relid ftw! Void that warranty!
Posted By The Dude @ 6:20 AM
Thursday March 30th, 2017
| The teasing is over: Destiny 2, a video game for which I am already brainstorming silly ledes, will be out September 8 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
And here’s Bungie describing the game:
Humanity’s last safe city has fallen to an overwhelming invasion force, led by Ghaul, the imposing commander of the brutal Red Legion. He has stripped the city’s Guardians of their power, and forced the survivors to flee. You will venture to mysterious, unexplored worlds of our solar system to discover an arsenal of weapons and devastating new combat abilities. To defeat the Red Legion and confront Ghaul, you must reunite humanity’s scattered heroes, stand together, and fight back to reclaim our home.
As we reported last year, this Destiny sequel is aiming to feel like a fresh start for Bungie’s ongoing franchise, which has picked up a great deal of baggage since it first launched in September of 2014. In addition to coming to PC, Destiny 2 will offer a clean break for everyone, leaving behind all of our old weapons and gear.
Because the day wouldn’t be complete without more teasing, Bungie says there’ll be a “gameplay premiere live stream” on May 18.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 12:45 PM
| If you’re skeptical whether “optimizations” can truly improve gaming performance on the disruptive new Ryzen CPU, AMD has a message for you: They really can.
On Thursday the company released benchmark results from a beta version of Ashes of the Singularity that showed a sizable increase in performance from just a few weeks of tuning for the company’s new CPU.
Why this matters: When AMD’s Ryzen launched with bat-out-of-hell application performance but somewhat slower gaming performance than Intel’s rival CPUs, it spawned an Unsolved Mysteries-like search for the cause of such a puzzling disparity. Many theories later (including one that has absolved Microsoft), the only one that seems to be standing are the games themselves.
AMD’s numbers show that patching Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation with Ryzen optimization could increase performance 26 to 34 percent, a significant boost for Ryzen.
Here's your independent verification, too: AMD officials gave PCWorld early access to a beta that features the Ryzen optimizations, which we tested under our control.
How we tested
For our original Ryzen review, we tested using four DDR4/2133 modules, which is the maximum clock speed for RAM when the memory controller is fully loaded. Because AMD says Ryzen performance can be improved using higher-clocked memory, we stripped out two modules, bringing the system to 16GB, and upped the speed to DDR4/2933. We also updated the BIOS on our Asus Crosshair VI Hero motherboard to the latest publicly available. The same GeForce GTX 1080 GPU handled the graphics chores.
The beta game executable was downloaded from Steam directly and not provided by AMD. Our Ryzen review actually used the original Ashes of the Singularity, but for this test, the beta required using the Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation expansion pack version.
The result? AMD’s not fronting. Our own tests found that running Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation gave a 20- to 28-percent boost in our testing conditions.
We also conducted CPU-centric testing, which puts more objects on the screen with more AI and physics to stress more cores. The bump wasn’t quite as significant, but there’s still a healthy increase in performance from just tweaking the game code.
The good news is, you can test it too. A patched version of the game containing the Ryzen optimizations should be immediately available on Steam for you to download and test.
But what about Intel?
Of course, you’re wondering how this optimization helps Ryzen compete with Intel’s chips, such as the Core i7-7700K. The patch helps, but it doesn’t make it as fast. In the first chart, for example, a stock-clocked Core i7-7700K would be pushing 92 frames per second. Some of that clearly comes from the Kaby Lake’s higher clock speed (which generally runs at 500MHz faster or more), but some of it also comes from games optimization.
In fact, that’s why I featured the same Ryzen CPU in our charts above. Developers tell PCWorld Ryzen tuning is still in its infancy, and it’s somewhat unfair to pit the two chips against other right now with the code as it is.
“Every processor is different on how you tune it, and Ryzen gave us some new data points on optimization,” Oxide’s Dan Baker told PCWorld. “We’ve invested thousands of hours tuning Intel CPUs to get every last bit of performance out of them, but comparatively little time so far on Ryzen.”
Baker said Oxide wanted to get the beta out to the world so users could at least see the potential. Oxide’s CEO also said (in a statement released by AMD), “as good as AMD Ryzen is right now—and it’s remarkably fast—we’ve already seen that we can tweak games like Ashes of the Singularity to take even more advantage of its impressive core count and processing power. AMD Ryzen brings resources to the table that will change what people will come to expect from a PC gaming experience.”
Oxide isn’t the only one starting to tune for Ryzen. Bethesda also said it had formed a partnership with AMD to optimize and support the company’s CPUs and GPUs.
What this all means: When AMD CEO Lisa Su addressed the gaming disparity just after Ryzen’s launch by saying “vital optimizations” will only make it better, I have to admit I was in the skeptical column. That’s because promised optimizations are basically the tech industry’s version of “the check is in the mail.” But with Oxide squeezing out so much more performance in just a few short weeks of tuning, there’s probably a lot more to come from Ryzen.
Source: PC World
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 12:20 PM
Tuesday March 28th, 2017
| Late last year Razer resurrected its Blade Pro laptop line, finally stuffing it with hardware worthy of the “Pro” appellation. Our three-word review: We loved it. It’s a great machine, if you can afford it.
And now it’s a bit better, thanks to the standard year-over-year refresh. Razer released details on a new Blade Pro today—it’s keeping Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080, but moving over from an Intel i7-6700HQ at 2.6GHz to an overclockable i7-7820HK processor at 2.9GHz. The Blade Pro’s 32GB of RAM also gets a timing bump up to 2,667MHz (from 2,133MHz).
The really interesting news though: The Blade Pro is now the first-ever laptop to receive THX Mobile Certification, “an accreditation reserved for high-performance mobile phones, tablets, and laptops.” From the press release:
“Through the processes of THX, the Razer Blade Pro screen is calibrated and tested for resolution, color accuracy and video playback performance...Similarly, the audio jack on the new Razer Blade Pro met THX requirements for voltage output, frequency response, distortion, signal-to-noise ratio, and crosstalk that guarantees clear sound through headphones.”
It’s worth noting that only the headphone jack is THX-certified, not the built-in speakers—an important point, I think, given people usually associate THX with surround sound systems. While the Blade Pro’s speakers are certainly better than your average laptop's, they’re still not amazing by any means.
We could also debate all day about the usefulness of THX certification. Is your non-certified Blade Pro from six months ago suddenly a decrepit old hag? Not at all. Razer’s even using the same 4K IGZO display on this new THX-certified laptop as it did on the 2016 model—just calibrated slightly differently, and with (presumably) a big ol’ THX stamp on the box. So yeah, this is a bit of a marketing win more than anything else.
On the other hand it does prove the Blade Pro is one hell of a laptop. A THX representative confirmed to me that competing laptops have undergone testing, but Razer’s is the first to meet the standards of this new Mobile Certification program. That makes it somewhat-objectively the best laptop in the world for the moment, at least by THX’s standards—meaning as far as the display and headphone jack are concerned.
Is that useful? I don’t know. The display is certainly an important aspect with laptops, so THX Mobile Certification isn’t a wholly made-up honorific. Still, it does seem of limited use to tech nerds—no consideration given to internal hardware, benchmarks, or anything we usually use to compare laptops. The Blade Pro is THX-certified to be easy on the eyes, and that’s about it.
I guess you’ll have to keep reading our PCWorld reviews for the full picture.
Source: PC World
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 11:13 AM
Monday March 27th, 2017
| If you’ve ever boiled with inner turmoil at the failure of your Android device to recognize an “OK Google” command, you know AI speech recognition and natural language processing still have a long way to go. In many ways, it’s symptomatic of taking a disembodied, top-down approach to language that treats words as sounds, rather than experiences. However, the folks at the OpenAI group (of Elon Musk fame) have made new strides in creating an AI that uses grounded, compositional language the way we do. This is both inspirational — what could be the dawn of new era in communication — and more than a little alarming.
To better appreciate the departure this research represents, it’s important to understand the relevance of grounded, compositional language, as opposed to the canned responses offered up by Siri or Google Assistant. For decades, a faction of AI researchers have insisted that in order for AI to ever achieve something like common sense and an ability to communicate in a non-rigid fashion, it would need some form of embodiment – that is, some experiential loci from which to view and interpret its surroundings. The concept of grounded language follows from this principle and implies the ability to connect words and their meaning with someone’s individual experiences.
This is an important distinction. Imagine a blind person who has never seen the color blue interpreting the word’s meaning in a sentence. They have no reference beyond the way other people have used the word “blue” before. This could be likened to how Siri or Google Assistant responds to a query – there is no experiential basis behind the response. A grounded use of language stems from an an entities personal experiences. This is precisely the kind of language adopted by the agents in the OpenAI research project.
Compositional language, on the other hand, denotes the ability to string together multiple words to form more complex meanings. Certain monkeys for instance have different warning calls they use to differentiate between a snake and a bird of prey. But their language cannot be termed compositional, because they will never string these together to form more complex meanings, such as “the bird is carrying the snake.” The language developed by the AI agents at OpenAI, though still simple by human standards, represents advancement beyond almost anything seen in the animal kingdom.
Even more amazing, the researchers never explicitly programmed this AI communication. Instead, it “evolved” as a response to a reinforcement learning problem. While the jargon can get a bit technical, the OpenAI blog does a decent job of parsing it. The important thing to grok is the language was never defined, but rather hit upon as a solution to a general problem of learning to communicate. This type of AI method is called reinforcement learning, and involves the use of a reward signal to continually guide the agent towards an optimum outcome. It can be likened to the difference between giving someone a map up a hill, and handing them an altimeter and saying don’t stop hiking until you reach a maximum altitude. One approach lends itself to a single path, the other to a galaxy of alternatives.
It’s not surprising, therefore, that AI agents developed some truly weird methods of communication – for instance, one in which the length of the spaces between communications came to represent different meanings, not unlike Morse code. At the moment, the AI language is completely non-human, with no English equivalent. And while there has been some talk of creating a translation tool to make the language readable in English, I think it’s worth simply marveling at the weirdness of these new communications. They may represent the closest thing to an alien language we have thus far encountered.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 10:21 AM
Thursday March 9th, 2017
| Nvidia’s mighty Titan has fallen, as it always does.
Jaws dropped when the second-gen Titan X stomped onto the scene in August, and for more reasons than one. The monster graphics card was the first to ever flirt with consistently hitting the hallowed 60-frames-per-second mark at 4K resolution with everything cranked to 11—but that privilege cost a cool $1,200. Fast-forward five months: Nvidia’s teasing the GTX 1080 Ti as the “ultimate GeForce” card, with more performance than the Titan X for just—“just”—$700. That’s what the GTX 1080 Founders Edition cost at launch, and Nvidia says the Ti stomps the base GTX 1080.
Graphics-card lust truly is the cruelest obsession.
But does the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti live up to Nvidia’s hype? Is this the 4K-capable graphics card that gamers flush with tax-return money have been waiting for?
Yes. Oh my, yes. Let’s dig in.
Source: PC World
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 1:18 PM
Tuesday March 7th, 2017
| He has a new challenge as AMD's server chief: to bring back the glory days of chipmaker's server business, which is now in tatters. A mega-chip called Naples, which has 32 cores and is based on the Zen architecture, will be the first test of AMD's return to the server market.
Source: PC World
Posted By Almost Tactf @ 11:33 AM