Cooler Brackets, Gaming, and Console Lessons
Awzey: I’m love the new Ryzen architecture, but I still don't understand why AMD introduced a new CPU cooler mounting system for the AM4 socket. Why didn’t AMD continue using the AM3+ bracket design, proven to work just fine on the Asus Crosshair VI Hero Motherboard?
DON WOLIGROSKI: Dude! We gave you the best of both worlds.
We include the AM3+ cooler-compatible retention frame on AM4 motherboards (to the best of my knowledge, all of them come with those retention frames), not just the ASUS Crosshair. Just check the Newegg board pics for socket AM4. They're all over the place. If you want to use the new Wraith Stealth and Wraith Spire coolers just take that retention frame off.
And frankly, spring screws on the AM4 Wraith Coolers are awesome.
paulgrr63: Which Ryzen processor would you recommend for gaming? I use my PC for schoolwork and gaming, but nothing too demanding. The games I play include For Honor, Battlefield 1, World of Warcraft, and Gears of War. Thank you for your time!
DON WOLIGROSKI: In general, the Ryzen 5 1600X is the best Ryzen processor for gaming. It gives nothing up to the Ryzen 7s, since it has the same clocks as the top-of-the-line Ryzen 7 1800X, and it can really beat the Core i5-7600K in certain titles. Having said that, I'd wait for April 11th launch day and look at the reviews before buying. The lower-priced Ryzen 5 1500X might do the job for you. Gaming performance depends on your graphics card, too.
Ditt44: During the mid-2000s most PC game development devolved into a 'console-first' policy, resulting in dumbed-down interfaces, specs, etc. It seems like we’re finally witnessing a reversal to that. With AMD's diversification and integration into console markets, is your company’s development process for CPU and GPU technology based on one market or the other, or is there a more parallel sharing of engineering assets, product features, and architectural designs?
DON WOLIGROSKI: I think products follow what people want.
There was a time when gamers were a bit intimidated by PCs and the knowledge that was required to run them properly. I think the new generation of gamers aren't intimidated and really see the benefits of the open PC platform. Combine that with the tremendous success of eSports, and the PC is leading the millennium's current gaming renaissance.
As far as base-lines, it's a loop. CPUs and GPUs get better, developers start to take advantage of that power, and then we plateau for a while.
This is why Ryzen is so fricking awesome for gamers. We basically disrupted the PC's landscape by making highly-threaded, high performance CPUs accessible at previously unheard of price points. Now that AMD has brought multi-core processors to mainstream, developers can make use for that hardware as it reshapes the market. It won't be instantaneous, but it's inevitable.
Personally, from a crystal ball standpoint, I think the PC will completely displace consoles someday. Really, consoles are just PCs with simplified user interfaces and better compatibility. We've been moving in that direction since day one, it just takes time.
redgarl: Do you think having console game developers and manufactures reliance on AMD architecture gives your company a serious advantage in performance for the same game on PC running on Nvidia or Intel components?
DON WOLIGROSKI: Being the de-facto console developer does have some advantages, giving developers a lot of incentive to optimize for your architecture. From a CPU development perspective, we are focused on both Radeon and GeForce compatibility first and foremost. We want our customers to be confident that both will work flawlessly on their rigs.
Aspiring techie: What do you think is holding Ryzen's clock speeds back? Compared to Kaby Lake, Ryzen's clock speeds are somewhat sluggish. Do you think that it's something in the architecture or Global Foundry's 14nm process?
DON WOLIGROSKI: If you think about it, Ryzen is an absolute worst-case scenario for clock rates: a brand-new architecture, and a brand-new process. And still we hit 4 GHz without too much trouble.
I believe we have tremendous clock speed headroom to take advantage of as we move forward because of this. Lots of improvements to be made.
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