Author Topic: AMD's Zen Architecture  (Read 1704 times)

Reyort

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AMD's Zen Architecture
« on: December 16, 2016, 08:10:16 AM »
What do you know about it?  What do you think about it?

Ari Altman

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Re: AMD's Zen Architecture
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2016, 09:19:03 AM »
I know just what's been reported. The official announcement will take place at CES the first week of January, and I'll be there looking to get more details from AMD. Based on the demoed performance, though, this is what I'm guessing: this will be a $300-$400 chip with excellent efficiency in multi-threaded tasks, including modern games like Battlefield 1, but limited overclocking headroom, meaning it will lose badly to the Core i7-7700K in lightly-threaded tasks. The 7700K will have the advantage of 10% higher instructions per clock cycle and 1000MHz higher clock speeds.

I've  benched the 6700K and 6900K enough to know how and why AMD has selectively chosen each chip for very specific tests so far.  Ryzen will match Broadwell-E at the same clocks, but will have less OC headroom, and will only beat Kaby Lake where eight cores matter. In other words, it will be a bargain for users who need lots of cores.

Reyort

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Re: AMD's Zen Architecture
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2016, 09:40:21 AM »
Thanks for the reply.  I was just curious at what the buzz was around it.  It  has been a long time since AMD has produced a competitive chip.  Personally am not a fan boy of Intel or AMD, but hopefully this will get AMD back into the game so they pretty much keep competition alive.

Do you think any of their chips will make it into your builds?

Ari Altman

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Re: AMD's Zen Architecture
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2016, 10:12:47 AM »
Thanks for the reply.  I was just curious at what the buzz was around it.  It  has been a long time since AMD has produced a competitive chip.  Personally am not a fan boy of Intel or AMD, but hopefully this will get AMD back into the game so they pretty much keep competition alive.

Do you think any of their chips will make it into your builds?

I'll likely pick up a Ryzen system to do some benching so as to better advise TBG readers. Just as I found in the recent Gaming CPU Shootout that the $1,000 6900K loses to the $340 6700K more often than not, I'm sure Ryzen will lose to the 6700K and 7700K more often than not in games (BF1 is an obvious exception, based on TBG's results).

Whether the AMD chips make it into TBG builds will come down to price and market segment. I actually think it will be the perfect chip for the $3,000 Elite Gaming PC Build, which currently uses a six-core i7-6800K. That's where the top-end Ryzen CPU will really have a big advantage. AMD hasn't chosen to demo benches against that chip, likely because it wants to keep Intel guessing regarding price, but honestly I think the 6800K is the obvious competitor, not the quad-core 6700K/7700K or the $1,000 6900K.

I do not think it will show up in lower-end builds, just due to price, and the fact that more casual PC users are unlikely to tap all of its cores as much as they will the 6700K/7700K's clockspeed advantage.

P.S. While you're here, don't forget to enter TBG's holiday prize drawing!
« Last Edit: December 16, 2016, 10:14:27 AM by Ari Altman »

Reyort

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Re: AMD's Zen Architecture
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2017, 05:59:22 PM »
Looking at the benchmarks, that 1700x processor competes extremely well with the 7700k

Ari Altman

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Re: AMD's Zen Architecture
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2017, 09:51:10 PM »
Looking at the benchmarks, that 1700x processor competes extremely well with the 7700k

Yes, indeed, at least in multi-threaded tasks. We'll see in a few days how well it does in a broad cross-section of apps. I know it will match the Core i7-6900K in certain disciplines, but that doesn't mean it will beat the 7700K on average.

Reyort

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Re: AMD's Zen Architecture
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2017, 04:41:49 PM »
I am curious how well that Ryzen 3 will perform if you can overclock it it 7700k levels. It will be interesting to see if it is the same league as the 7700k at a fraction of the cost.

Ari Altman

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Re: AMD's Zen Architecture
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2017, 08:26:21 PM »
I am curious how well that Ryzen 3 will perform if you can overclock it it 7700k levels. It will be interesting to see if it is the same league as the 7700k at a fraction of the cost.

AMD is positioning the Ryzen 3 to compete with (and beat) the Core i3. It probably won't challenge a 7700K, due to much lower IPC, and probably lower maximum clocks as well, but it will be a bargain of a quad-core chip.

Reyort

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Re: AMD's Zen Architecture
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2017, 02:55:48 PM »
Looks like the gaming side was lackluster, but for a heart of a trading computer or server, this thing would be a heck of a value.

Ari Altman

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Re: AMD's Zen Architecture
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2017, 03:04:37 PM »
Looks like the gaming side was lackluster, but for a heart of a trading computer or server, this thing would be a heck of a value.

I think that's exactly right. I had high hopes that Ryzen could replace Broadwell-E at the high end for gaming, but alas, it can't. I'm looking at incorporating the Ryzen 7 1700 into some mid-range systems targeted at gamers also interested in productivity. It comes with a great cooler, and while it's not the equal of the Core i7-7700K at the same pricepoint when it comes to games, it's really far superior for productivity.

What I'm most disappointed by in Ryzen is the terrible overclocking. AMD promised me personally at CES that with the right coolers, these had huge headroom. That was just not correct. The 1700X and in particular the 1800X are clocked shockingly-close to their limits, and temperature has nothing to do with it. While I applaud AMD for designing such fine-grained controls into Ryzen to allow this to actually work, it's a letdown for enthusiasts who have come to expect headroom of 15-20%.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 04:34:00 PM by Ari Altman »

Reyort

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Re: AMD's Zen Architecture
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2017, 03:35:34 PM »
Now that I am older, overclocking is not much of thing for me. I would just want something that just runs well out of the box with no headache and performs very well.  Me from 15 years ago would not of been thrilled by the lack of overclocking. But then again, overclocking does not yield the performance gains like it did 15 years ago. A Ryzen chip, solid video card, and ssd and you probably would be set very well for gaming.

8 freaking cores for under $500 is pretty amazing.  I can imagine how well that thing could chew through the various trading platforms and software I use. Plus the money you would save vs. the Intel equivalent you could buy another monitor!

Now if i could only squeeze it into an itx form factor...😉

Ari Altman

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Re: AMD's Zen Architecture
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2017, 04:38:29 PM »
Now that I am older, overclocking is not much of thing for me. I would just want something that just runs well out of the box with no headache and performs very well.  Me from 15 years ago would not of been thrilled by the lack of overclocking. But then again, overclocking does not yield the performance gains like it did 15 years ago. A Ryzen chip, solid video card, and ssd and you probably would be set very well for gaming.

8 freaking cores for under $500 is pretty amazing.  I can imagine how well that thing could chew through the various trading platforms and software I use. Plus the money you would save vs. the Intel equivalent you could buy another monitor!

Now if i could only squeeze it into an itx form factor...😉

ITX is coming, have no fear. In fact, that may be one area where AMD is really going to leapfrog Intel, because you can't really jam Broadwell-E into an ITX form factor without losing a lot of its capabilities.

And yes, 8 cores for under $500 (practically $300, really), is quite amazing. I think the 1700 or 1700X in a Small Form Factor PC would be fantastic. The 1800X is just too power-hungry, in my opinion. Too close to its limit, and too much for ITX.

Reyort

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Re: AMD's Zen Architecture
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2017, 06:20:29 PM »
I was looking at some more benchmarks today.  When they put 1080 cards in both AMD and Intel systems, performance was essentially the same. I realize more benchmarks need to be run, but if they hold true, you could have a serious productivity/gaming rig.  I kinda figured the gaming performance might be moot once a video card was put into the equation.  It will only affect those without dedicated video cards most likely. 

Another point made is AMD has been the redheaded step child for so long, software companies have optimized their products for Intel chips. I do not know if is true or not, but if I was a company, I would definitely see the value of optimizing my product for the dominant chip. Hopefully AMD's chip will entice developers to use their architecture. Having partnerships with Bethesda and Oxide games doesn't hurt on the gaming front.  There are also reports that the makers of the Total War series are also on board. AMD also claims that they have 300 other developers on board. I don't know if there is any truth to it, but if that is case, they are moving in the right direction.

Finally I hope the work through the growing pains and can find a fix for their "gaming" issues.  It will be good to have some competition again.  Reminds me of the old Athlon days.

Needless to say I am looking forward to your reviews, if any.


Ari Altman

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Re: AMD's Zen Architecture
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2017, 06:45:35 PM »
I was looking at some more benchmarks today.  When they put 1080 cards in both AMD and Intel systems, performance was essentially the same. I realize more benchmarks need to be run, but if they hold true, you could have a serious productivity/gaming rig.  I kinda figured the gaming performance might be moot once a video card was put into the equation.  It will only affect those without dedicated video cards most likely. 

Another point made is AMD has been the redheaded step child for so long, software companies have optimized their products for Intel chips. I do not know if is true or not, but if I was a company, I would definitely see the value of optimizing my product for the dominant chip. Hopefully AMD's chip will entice developers to use their architecture. Having partnerships with Bethesda and Oxide games doesn't hurt on the gaming front.  There are also reports that the makers of the Total War series are also on board. AMD also claims that they have 300 other developers on board. I don't know if there is any truth to it, but if that is case, they are moving in the right direction.

Finally I hope the work through the growing pains and can find a fix for their "gaming" issues.  It will be good to have some competition again.  Reminds me of the old Athlon days.

Needless to say I am looking forward to your reviews, if any.

This is indeed a return to competition, although I think it will be a while before we see a true uplift in gaming performance. Existing games are unlikely to be recoded for Ryzen, but future games certainly could be.

The good news for AMD is that it has a great product for the OEM market, where more "cores" sell machines, and unlike in past years, those cores are actually really, really good for productivity. I'd like to see how the Ryzen 6-core processors perform, and I'm a bit disappointed that AMD didn't follow through on its promise to release the entire product stack at once. I think you'll see gaming performance equivalent to the Ryzen 8-core processors, productivity that still beats the Core i7-7700K, and a lower pricepoint. Right now, AMD may have a little trouble convincing the average consumer they need a $400 or $500 processor. That's not really a big market.

If I do a Ryzen review, it will probably be of the Ryzen 7 1700. It offers the best overall value, and it's the one that would end up in TBG's PC Buyer's Guides. I'll report back here if I decide to go through with that review.

skline00

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Re: AMD's Zen Architecture
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2017, 10:46:35 AM »
Well Ari, My RyZen build is up and running even if it is NOT the final parts I wanted.

First, I like most other enthusiasts pre-ordered an Asus ROG Crosshair VI only to see it not ship. I had originally ordered it back on 2-23 at Newegg but the same day changing to Amazon hoping it would ship sooner. I canceled the order.
I was going to use a custom water cooled build but the EK Supremacy EVO cpu block and AM4 backplate would not "play nice" with the motherboard I am presently using.

I ordered a RyZen 7-1800x and it came on Friday March3. I already had ram (2 sticks of Gskill TridentZ DDR4-3200 CL16) - thank Goodness I bought when I did! I ordered a new Windows 10 32/64 USB OS, which allows re-installs! I ordered a Corsair 480g NVMe M2. 2280 ssd (boy is that sucker fast!). I already had 2 Sapphire RX480s reference 8g to run in CF.

I was able to use my Fractal Define S case and Corsair H110i GT AIO cooler. Just needed a mb. I drove down to the Philly area to the St David's Microcenter on Saturday March 4 to see what if any AM4 mbs were in stock. Unfortunately no x370 chipset boards were in stock. In addition I talked to one of their senior tech who had had the ryzen for a week before launch and said there were some serious bricking issues with BIOS in the high end boards.

I told him I just wanted to get the chip running and he pointed me to the low end Asus Prime B350 Plus mb. It did support CF, not SLI, though the speed was knocked down to 4x instaed of 8x on the second card. It had a Realtec NIC instead of the better Intel NIC and at $100 it was the base board. I had a $50 gift card and decided to take the leap. OH BTW it supported M.2 ssds

My out $$ including a 2 year $20 replacement warranty and tax was @$70.

The motherboard did not play nice with my custom watercooling setup (2-360mm slim rads, the EH EVO block and an EK D%140 pump res.  So I left that setup housed in a Thermaltake V51 case sit and tried the setup with the Corsair H110i GT

Guess what/ I booted like a champ. I up dated the BIOS for that board to the latest and installed Win 10 via the USB. That is the FASTEST OS install in my life! My Aida64 disk tests show reads and writes in the 2500 area vs 550 for the 850 Samsung EVO in sata.

I have left the cpu stock. I was able to boot at 4.0 but I prefer to have a beefier mb. I am able to run my 3200 ram at 2666 speed without failure (1/2 hour of Asus RealBench test passing)

More info later.
5960x-4.4|AsusRE5|16g DDR4-2133|Gigby Aorus Ext GTX1080TI plus WB2|850 EVO 500gb Raid0|2Tb WD Blk|Win10-64|PC P&C 1200W|Thrmtk X9|Custom WC |Acer ET0 430k
Ryzen7-1800x-4.05|Asus CSR VI H|16g DDR4-3200|Zotac Gtx1080+EK blk|CrucM2-2282 400g|Win10-64|EVGA 850W|Thrmtk V51|Dell Dell U3451