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AMD Ryzen AMA

Ryzen 2, Wraith Coolers, and Infinity Fabric

redgarl: Goldman Sachs recently depreciated the value of AMD in a report. Do you think the public and the industry is still missing what AMD is trying to accomplish with their new lineup of products?

DON WOLIGROSKI: Goldman Sachs depreciation: This is my personal and not AMD-related opinion: AMD is really well positioned for the long haul, so frankly I'm not worried one iota about it. We've only just begun with Ryzen, Naples isn't released yet, and the public has no idea of our detailed plans. Take from that what you will.

Aspiring techie: What are the low hanging fruits that AMD can easily improve from Ryzen to Ryzen 2 and do you think the gains will be significant? Can we expect improvements in clock rates, SMT, CCX scheduling, overclocking, or other microarchitecture features?

DON WOLIGROSKI: Ryzen represents a double introduction here: an all-new architecture, and an all-new 14nm FinFET process. There are many levers to pull in pretty much every aspect of the CPU. The ones you mentioned are all part of that. And that's a really awesome place to be, when Ryzen is only 6% slower than Intel's newest Kaby Lake architecture clock-for-clock in Cinebench single-thread right out of the gate.

scout_03: Which cooler will come with the 1500x and the 1600x OEM CPU sale in box kit?

DON WOLIGROSKI: The Ryzen 5 1500X comes with the Wraith Spire cooler. This is the same cooler on the Ryzen 7 1700, but without the illuminated LED ring on the Ryzen 5. The Ryzen 5 1600X is sold without a fan, like the Core i5-7600K, which is its main competition in the price segment.

jaymc: Can we expect further performance improvements from Infinity Fabric [AMD’s latest interconnect technology and the successor to HyperTransport]? How future proof is it? Will Infinity Fabric keep up with DDR4 4000MHz? What about speeds in excess of 4500MHz DDR4 memory?

DON WOLIGROSKI: Well, I haven't heard of any engineering concerns about the Infinity Fabric interconnect. On the contrary, if you speed up Infinity Fabric you should drop some latency, so it's all good.

As I've answered already, we're very focused on improving memory speeds and latency, but I haven't heard any concerns about how far we can go before we're capped yet.

Presentato: As someone interested in doing virtualization and PCI pass-through of a GPU early reports of IOMMU groupings don't look promising for the consumer motherboards. Is that something AMD can address or are any improvements reliant on motherboard manufacturers?

DON WOLIGROSKI: This is something I've personally started to look at recently as a pet project. I'm playing with VM-Ware on my Ryzen system at home because, really, Ryzen's highly-threaded CPUs bring a lot of virtualization potential to the table in price segments where it hasn't been before. The sub-$300 segment has been limited to 4-thread processors on the Intel side, while Ryzen 5 ratchets that up to 12 threads. Boom.

Having said that, we're in launch mode right now, and virtualization isn't a top priority at the moment. We're laser focused on making the platform as fast as we can in the near future. I anticipate we'll look harder at virtualization as time goes on.


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  • BugariaM
    Many people ask clear and technically interesting questions, hoping to get the same answers ..

    And they are answered by a person who is far from the technical plane and the engineering questions.
    He is a manager, he is a salesman.
    His task is more blah-blah, only for the sake of an even greater blah-blah.

    Thanks, of course, but alas, I found nothing interesting for myself here.
    Reply
  • genz
    I intensely disagree Bugariam. All the info he could provide is provided and he asked people actually close to the metal when he did not know. You will not get tech secrets or future insights from ANY AMD or Intel rep on tomshardware; Its far too public and every drop of information here is also given to Intel, Nvidia, and any other competitors hoping to steal AMDs charge. What we did get is a positive outlook on AMD's products.... when you compare that to what we already had from Toms and other publishers who have spent years watching Intel lead and thus don't have faith (or simply got their jobs for their love of Intel) was major.

    I personally think he did not remind us that the current crop of 8 core consoles will inevitably force AMD's core advantage to eat all the competition Intel currently has. In 5 years every single Ryzen 1 processor will terrorize the Intel processors they competed with.... Ryzen 5s will have 50% performance gains over Kaby i7 etc etc.

    Intel knew this was the future, that is why all Intel consumer processors have stuck to 4 cores to try and keep the programming focus on their IPC lead. Now that that lead is only 6% and the competition has more cores, we will see the shift toward 6+ cores that we saw when Core 2 Duo came and made dual FX and Dual Pentiums viable mainstream gaming chips, and when Core Quad and Nehalem made quad cores viable gaming chips.

    As the owner of a 3930k, you can read my past posts and see I have always said this is going to happen. Now, a month after you are seeing the updates come out already. Wait till there are 12 threaded games on the market (this year I expect) and you will see just how much the limitation of the CPU industry's progress was actually created by Intel's refusal to go over 4 cores in the mainstream.

    For all the talk of expense creating 6 and 12 core processors, Intel could have had consumer 8 core low clock chips in mainstream for prosumers and home rendering types years ago and they didn't. My theory is that they are scared of heavily threaded applications in the mainstream creating opportunity for competition to outmanouvre their new chips based on slower, more numerous cores. It's not like a 2ghz 6 or 8 core in the mainstream was never an option.
    Reply
  • Calculatron
    I remember being really excited for the AMD AMA, but could not think of anything different from what everyone else was already asking.

    In retrospect, because hindsight is always 20/20, I wish I would have asked some questions about Excavator, since they still have some Bristol Ridge products coming out for the AM4 platform. Even though Zen is a new architecture, there were still some positive things that carried over from the Bulldozer family that had been learned through-out its process of evolution.
    Reply
  • Ernst01
    As a long time AMD Fan it is so cool AMD has more in the future for us.
    Reply
  • TJ Hooker
    "TDP is not electrical watts (power draw), it's thermal watts."Argh, this kind of annoys me. "Electrical watts" and "thermal watts" are the same thing here, power draw = heat generated for a CPU. There are reasons why TDP is not necessarily an accurate measure of power draw, but this isn't one of them.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    Thank you Don!
    Reply
  • Tech_TTT
    19562297 said:
    Many people ask clear and technically interesting questions, hoping to get the same answers ..

    And they are answered by a person who is far from the technical plane and the engineering questions.
    He is a manager, he is a salesman.
    His task is more blah-blah, only for the sake of an even greater blah-blah.

    Thanks, of course, but alas, I found nothing interesting for myself here.

    I agree with you 100% ... Ask me anything should include people from the R&D department and not only sales person. or maybe a team of 2 people , Sales and Research. or even better? the CEO him/herself included.

    Reply
  • Tech_TTT
    @Tomshardware : WE DEMAND APPLE AMA !!!
    Reply
  • genz
    19566458 said:
    "TDP is not electrical watts (power draw), it's thermal watts."Argh, this kind of annoys me. "Electrical watts" and "thermal watts" are the same thing here, power draw = heat generated for a CPU. There are reasons why TDP is not necessarily an accurate measure of power draw, but this isn't one of them.

    That is simply not true.

    Here's an example. 22nm and 18nm TDP is usually far higher than actual draw because the chip is so small any cooling solution has a much smaller surface area to work with. Another example: When Intel brought over onboard memory controllers from the bridge to the CPU socket, the TDP of their chips went unchanged because (thermally speaking) the controller was far away enough from the chip to never contribute to thermal limitations... despite the temperature of the chip rising much faster under OC because of the additional bits, and the chips themselves drawing more power due to more components. A final example: I have a 130W TDP chip that without overvolting simply cannot reach a watt over 90 even when running a power virus (which draws the max power the chip can draw - more than burn-in or SuperPi). The TDP rating is directly connected to the specific parts of the chip that run hot and how big they are, not their true power draw. This is why so many chips of the same binning have the same TDP despite running at lower clocks and voltages than each other.

    Further to that, TDP is rounded up to fixed numbers to make it easy to pick a fan. True power draw is naturally dependent on how well a chip is binned, and super badly binned chips may still run with enough volts so they usually add 10 to 20 watts for the thermal headroom to make that possible.
    Reply
  • TJ Hooker
    @genz I never said TDP is equal to power draw, in fact I explicitly said there are reasons why it isn't. I simply said that "thermal watts" (heat being generated by the CPU) are equivalent to "electrical watts" (power being consumed by the CPU). At any given moment, the power being drawn by the CPU is equal to the heat being generated.

    I'll admit, I'm sort of nitpicking a small part of the answer given in the AMA regarding TDP, I just felt the need to point it out because this is a misconception I see on a semi regular basis.
    Reply