AMD Ryzen AMA

X399 Motherboard, Ryzen 5 Launch BIOS, and DDR5

BulkZerker: Can you comment on a rumor I read about a high-end prosumer focused motherboard (the X399)? Is this just idle gossip?

DON WOLIGROSKI: Well you can't believe everything you hear on the internet. But at the same time, if there was an unannounced product, I couldn't talk about it anyway.

Vesperan: If I buy a AM4 motherboard before Ryzen 5 launches, will it post and boot with the current shipped BIOS once I install a Ryzen 5 CPU?

DON WOLIGROSKI: I just asked our motherboard chipset product manager, Steve Basset, to be sure: Any Ryzen 7, 5, or 3 will be fine on the first-revision BIOSes. You're golden!

aeriolwinters: Will the AM4 platform have future revisions to enable DDR5 compatibility?

DON WOLIGROSKI: As far as I can remember, every major memory technology has required a new type of socket. So DDR5 probably won't fit in a DDR4 memory slot when it arrives. Processors are often backwards-compatible with older board revisions; I think that's what you're referring to. AMD has a history of supporting that more than the competition, but it's too early to make any specific promises or even speculation, sorry.

jdwii: In certain titles, such as Watch Dogs 2 the 6900K beats a 7700K but in that same title the 1800X is in parity with the Intel Core i5 in terms of performance. It’s an unexpected result. Can you please explain why as the 1800X beats a 6900X in most multi-threaded tasks, but has Core i5 level gaming performance?

DON WOLIGROSKI: Frankly, Ryzen is a brand-new architecture. Game developers have tightly focused on Intel for years, there will be a ramp-up as game developers learn what they're doing that might not play well with Ryzen, and how to take advantage of its strengths.

We have already improved Ryzen performance for games like DOTA2, Ashes of the Singularity, and Warhammer: Total War with relatively little developer effort. We're working to do what we can and make sure developers have access to Ryzen hardware and our expertise to get rid of these strange game performance anomalies.

Having said that, Ryzen processors provide an excellent gaming experience today, even if it's not the fastest at everything it's still very smooth. And things are only getting better! So, we have good reason to be optimistic.

BuildCrisp2213: Will the 6 Core Ryzen 5 processors be as fully utilized as the Ryzen 7 series for future applications, or do you think Ryzen 7 is a better investment in terms of future performance and longevity? Which processor do you think will most optimized for current applications, and which one will be best for future applications?

DON WOLIGROSKI: Many applications (Rendering/encryption/encoding) will take as many cores and threads as you can throw at them, right now. Those are the easy targets for multi-core optimization.

Aside from that, we expect game developers to make use of DirectX 12 and Vulkan to take better use of CPU resources going forward. This benefit all multi-core processors, but the more cores and threads, the more the benefit. In these situations, Ryzen 7 CPUs should perform better than Ryzen 5.

MORE: Best CPUs

MORE: Intel & AMD Processor Hierarchy

MORE: All CPU Content

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
13 comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • 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.
  • Other Comments
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ernst01
    As a long time AMD Fan it is so cool AMD has more in the future for us.
  • 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.
  • alextheblue
    Thank you Don!
  • Tech_TTT
    2393205 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.
  • Tech_TTT
    @Tomshardware : WE DEMAND APPLE AMA !!!
  • genz
    1636679 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.
  • 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.
  • genz
    Yes, if you wish to make that extrapolation... but then TDP is not thermal watts.
  • kg31445237
    " I just asked our motherboard chipset product manager, Steve Basset, to be sure: Any Ryzen 7, 5, or 3 will be fine on the first-revision BIOSes. You're golden!"

    This isnt true. I bought two asus b350 boards and they didnt post with my ryzen 5 because they didnt ship with the updated bios...
  • chesshooligan
    There is a fundamental property of nature called "conservation of energy." This means the power drawn is equal to the power dissipated. And no, energy cannot be dissipated in the form of calculations.