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AMD unveils Ryzen processors, boasts of Intel-beating performance

AMD unveils Ryzen processors, boasts of Intel-beating performance

AMD's Zen processors are now to be known as Ryzen, and for the first time have been demonstrated beating stock-clocked Intel parts at a considerably reduced TDP.

AMD has officially announced the retail branding for its upcoming Zen architecture processors, and it's clearly hoping to rise like the phoenix: The chips will be known as Ryzen when they launch early next year.

According to figures unveiled by AMD at its New Horizon event last night, Ryzen will put an end to six years of sub-par performance suffered by users of the company's Bulldozer architecture and its follow-up releases. Based on similar paradigms to AMD's far more successful K7 and K8 architectures, thanks to the re-hiring of Jim Keller who left the company once again back in 2015, AMD claims the Zen architecture behind Ryzen will offer a 40 percent increase in instructions per clock (IPC) - an impressive feat if borne out by independent testing.

'The Zen core at the heart of our Ryzen processors is the result of focused execution and thousands of engineering hours designing and delivering a next-level experience for high-end PC and workstation users,' claimed AMD's president and chief executive Lisa Su at the event. 'Ryzen processors with SenseMI technology represent the bold and determined spirit of innovation that drives everything we do at AMD.'

SenseMI, something AMD has been keeping firmly under its hat until last night's unveiling, is the name given to a suite of five technologies: Pure Power, Precision Boost, Extended Frequency Range (XFR), Neural Net Prediction, and Smart Prefetch. Pure Power, the company has explained, takes the form of more than 100 embedded sensors tracking voltage, power draw, and temperature of individual components for finer-grained control of the chip's various operating specifications. Precision Boost, meanwhile, takes those data and uses it to tweak the processor's clock speed in 25MHz increments at up to a 1,000Hz polling rate.

Extended Frequency Range (XFR) is where SenseMI gets interesting for the enthusiast: XFR, AMD claims, amounts to an effective on-by-default overclock which triggers when the chip is sufficiently cooled. While stock heatsinks and fans will be expected to get the Ryzen chips to no more than their default advertised clocks, those adding beefier coolers - including liquid-cooling systems - can expect to see the processor running faster without the need to manually overclock the part.

Neural Net Prediction and Smart Prefetch round off the SenseMI offering, and offer similar performance-boosting claims: Neural Net Prediction uses an on-chip artificially intelligent self-learning neural network to predict the instructions and processor capabilities a particular application will need next based on previous runs; Smart Prefetch does the same for the data required by the application. While prefetch algorithms and cache prediction systems are nothing new to modern processors, AMD is confident it has something special in SenseMI that will help further boost the parts' performance.

The event also showed Ryzen chips in action, using a 3.4GHz eight-core 16-thread top-end part to run through Blender rendering and Handbrake transcoding benchmarks which demonstrated narrow wins against Intel's rival Core i7-6900K - impressive, given that the Ryzen part on test had a 95W thermal design profile (TDP) to the Core i7's 140W TDP. Gaming, too, saw a boost: AMD's chip equalled or improved upon the frame rates of Battlefield 1 played at a 4K resolution against Intel's processor, though to achieve said frame rates AMD was embarrassingly reliant on pairing both processors with a pair of Titan X GPUs from graphics rival Nvidia.

'The desktop market is hungry for change as new and demanding use cases like VR, 3D modelling, and eSports require intense amounts of processing and graphics power,' claimed AMD's general manager for the Computing and Graphics Group Jim Anderson. 'We designed Ryzen processors to excel in these areas and to bring much-needed innovation and competition back to desktop PCs.'

AMD has confirmed a Q1 2017 launch for desktop Ryzen parts, with lower-power notebook Ryzen chips pushed back to the second half of the year. The New Horizon webcast can be replayed from the official website, while AMD's Ryzen microsite has yet to be sent live.

40 Comments

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Corky42 14th December 2016, 11:13 Quote
Ryzen sounds like a character from Street Fighter. ;)

Looking forward to when us Jo public get to find out if the hype is borne out with real world testing.
Broadwater06 14th December 2016, 11:36 Quote
Is it a play on word - Ryzen to rising. A hopeful comeback like Phoenix arising from the ashes.
loftie 14th December 2016, 12:00 Quote
Nope! Most people thought it would be because that would make sense, but instead it's pronounced rye-zen, though it sounded more like ricin at times on the stream.
meandmymouth 14th December 2016, 13:42 Quote
Bit of a shame that it's the name that seems to be grabbing peoples attention rather than the performance that was shown. It's in everyone's interest for AMD to do well again and properly compete with Intel.

If performance really has improved that much then my next rig will be AMD-based, even if it's still lagging behind Intel a bit.
Corky42 14th December 2016, 13:56 Quote
Probably because until that performance can be independently verified it's all but meaningless, it's even more meaningless seeing as AMD are still fine tuning SenseMI so we've no idea about boost clocks.
Anfield 14th December 2016, 14:30 Quote
A "broken" cpu trashing a £1000 Intel cpu in handbrake isn't bad, but we have no confirmation still if AMD will be any less greedy than Intel, plus the fact that AMD can't even get a finished cpu for itself paints a very bleak picture regarding launch date.
meandmymouth 14th December 2016, 16:29 Quote
I'd be surprised if they decided to be greedy. I imagine it's better for them to try and sell more for less and get market share. AMD CPU's are considered the budget option and I doubt that will change unless they are actually able to outperform Intel, and do it for a couple CPU generations.

Of course, I could be wrong.
rollo 14th December 2016, 17:25 Quote
AMD won't get market share even if it blows away Intel. These will be high prices cpus. To gain market share you need Dell or Lenovo to buy Millions of units. ( doubt AMD could produce millions of units)

The enthusiast sector alone is not big enough to get AMD it's market share gains. Look at Gpus the mid range 480 is more than good enough. Yet Nvidia still has its market share lead.

This cpu will be a high end tech demo with a price to match is a worrying feeling I have. We are meant to be a month from launch but have very little in finalised details.

Even the benchmark AMD used is fixed matched clocks. Neither cpu can boost we don't even know if it's Intels base clock.

Would rather see a AMD revival in gpu high end than cpus. It's much more realistic too.
Corky42 14th December 2016, 19:33 Quote
Personally i think Zen, and by extension Ryzen, will be a very scalable architecture.

We already know it uses less power for around the same performance as Intel so AMD probably has room to maneuver on power and clock speeds, hopefully that will allow them to sell the same silicon across a wide range of markets.

It's also a newer basic design than what Intel's been using for what seems like an age, the Core series.
sandys 14th December 2016, 20:54 Quote
Having fried my PC I am in the market, I always liked the platform stability of AMD, always seemed to be able to drop in a new chip, lets hope they continue down that path rather than the path of obsolescence with every chip release Intel has, I can barely find parts to test out what has broken on my PC after a spillage.
somidiot 14th December 2016, 20:58 Quote
Finally, something that might get me off my old i5-2400
Pete J 14th December 2016, 21:24 Quote
I'm hoping AMD become competitive again. I'm not anticipating having to replace my CPUs for another 5 years and by that time I'd like to go AMD to save a few hundred £.
rollo 15th December 2016, 12:07 Quote
If you have a modern skylake chip or Haswell chip your not really looking to upgrade either way. Unless something major changes for gaming I am still gpu limited even with a nvidia 1080 ( how crazy is that lol)

Spending whatever this costs will likely give 0 gains. Most people are in similar situations. On sandy or Ivy chips at high ghz and looking at upgrades that will do little.

Well aware not everyone plays games but the software itemisation for more than 4 cores + hyper threading is really poor. Most photo and video apps do nothing with the extra threads.

Intels 10 core chip is basically a waste of space in the home sector, unless you have a business designed program.

For me at least what the 4/8 does is likely more realistic to 90% of people's future needs.
Anfield 15th December 2016, 22:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
If you have a modern skylake chip or Haswell chip your not really looking to upgrade either way.

I wouldn't buy a £1k cpu for the sake of upgrading, but if they released that 6900k beater for lets say £500? I'd be jumping on that bandwagon on launch day, need or not.
Gareth Halfacree 16th December 2016, 08:16 Quote
If the 8C/16T model comes out at £500, I reckon my five-year-old desktop A10-5800K is due an impressive upgrade. Concerned that we might see it closer to £800, though: sure, AMD will be eager to grab market share back from Intel, but it can't afford too big a loss-leader. Then you've got price perception to deal with: if Intel's chip is £1000 but AMD's is £500, that immediately puts you in the frame of mind that there must be something wrong with AMD's chip. Finally, there's the fabrication deal: Intel builds its own chips at a bargain-basement price; AMD has to pay GlobalFoundries to build 'em, or pay TSMC or someone else to build 'em and still pay GlobalFoundries 'cos whoever negotiated the deal with GloFo did a godawful job.
Anfield 16th December 2016, 12:37 Quote
£500 may well be nothing more than wishful thinking on my part, but look at it the other way round, Intel 6C/12T for £360... so it would still be a £140 premium for two more cores.
Vault-Tec 16th December 2016, 13:26 Quote
Intel have been far too precious of their cores for far too long tbh. I really don't know why.

Yesterday I bought an 8c 16t Ivy Bridge EP Xeon that clocks to 2.8ghz and boosts to around 3.4 IIRC. So I have managed to buy about 80% of a stock 5960x or possibly even more than that for £100. That's pretty nuts really !

There are 10 and 12 core variants of these chips too and they were released ages ago so I don't understand why Intel don't release more CPUs with more cores (well I do, greed).

I'm hoping AMD stick a boot up their jacksie and start a core war.
SexyHyde 17th December 2016, 01:55 Quote
I've just gone AMD from Nvidia because I thought they were pricing their cards too high. I'm getting Ryzen, as long as they don't go silly on the price, for my new year setup, just because I've had enough of Intel mugging us off the last few years. Just keeping my fingers crossed everything we have been told about Zen/Ryzen isn't all misleading sales hype.
Paradigm Shifter 17th December 2016, 12:37 Quote
If Ryzen can do in the programs I use what it's demonstrated with Handbrake and Blender, I'll be seriously interested.

It'll depend partially on total platform cost as well. Even the 'good value' HEDT Intel chips come with a much larger price tag because X99 is so expensive. :(
impar 17th December 2016, 12:55 Quote
Greetings!

HardOCP replicated AMD results with the Intel CPU:
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2016/12/15/amds_new_ryzen_cpu_smt_ipc
Vault-Tec 17th December 2016, 13:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!

HardOCP replicated AMD results with the Intel CPU:
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2016/12/15/amds_new_ryzen_cpu_smt_ipc

That's good to know :)
Anfield 17th December 2016, 14:01 Quote
If you change just one of the settings in blender the results change massively, AMD has not released a detailed list of the exact settings used, so the idea of reproducing the results is laughable until AMD coughs up the detailed settings.

Take a look at the variation in results from changing just one setting...

https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/first-summit-ridge-zen-benchmarks.2482739/page-119#post-38630297
Vault-Tec 17th December 2016, 14:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anfield
If you change just one of the settings in blender the results change massively, AMD has not released a detailed list of the exact settings used, so the idea of reproducing the results is laughable until AMD coughs up the detailed settings.

Take a look at the variation in results from changing just one setting...

https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/first-summit-ridge-zen-benchmarks.2482739/page-119#post-38630297

They did give up the settings. Read that link.
Anfield 17th December 2016, 15:14 Quote
My bad. Not used to having to go by timestamps to figure out which was before and which was after ftw.
Quote:
AMD did however finally come forward to confirm that it did not share the Blender file with the correct rendering variables.

"AMD_james281 - Set render samples to 150. A new file with the sample level set correctly will be uploaded shortly. Apologies for the confusion.

Blender 2.78a x64 is what we used, binary download from blender.org."

So this morning when we got time, we loaded everything up again with the new file from AMD's New Horizon page which seems to load the correct Blender rendering variables.

:(:(:(
Anfield 25th December 2016, 14:30 Quote
First? Ryzen benches done by someone outside of AMD that have been made public:

http://www.guru3d.com/news-story/french-magazing-posts-engineering-sample-amd-ryzen-processor-benchmarks.html
rollo 25th December 2016, 14:38 Quote
I saw this the other day early engineering samples. The gaming results ( the bit I care for these days) where not impressive. AMD will need at least a chip capable of 4ghz to compete with Intel under gaming. ( which is a large part of the enthusiast market)

The latest chip easily does 4.8ghz with no effort even a downvolt looking at reviews. And boosts to 4.5 ghz to begin with.

AMD could win the core race but lose the ghz race.
Vault-Tec 25th December 2016, 14:43 Quote
If they lose the MHZ race it will be the biggest slice of irony in history. Even their 8 core heaters got to 5ghz easily on an AIO.
Harlequin 25th December 2016, 15:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
I saw this the other day early engineering samples. The gaming results ( the bit I care for these days) where not impressive. AMD will need at least a chip capable of 4ghz to compete with Intel under gaming. ( which is a large part of the enthusiast market)

The latest chip easily does 4.8ghz with no effort even a downvolt looking at reviews. And boosts to 4.5 ghz to begin with.

AMD could win the core race but lose the ghz race.

96 degrees under water when overclocked (latest intel chip that is)

edit: also , the clocks are 10% lower than retail, so you want to improve the scores , and turbo isn't working properly
RedFlames 25th December 2016, 15:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
turbo isn't working properly

Wonder if that'll be this gen's 'excuse'... [Ry]Zen's version of 'the CMT Module support isn't quite there yet... but when it is...' that accompanied Bulldozer...

Intel's current excuse seems to be the TIM between the die and heatspreader, if all else fails blame any problems on that.
rollo 25th December 2016, 15:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
96 degrees under water when overclocked (latest intel chip that is)

edit: also , the clocks are 10% lower than retail, so you want to improve the scores , and turbo isn't working properly

At 5.1ghz with a huge voltage. At 4.8 it's clocked below stock volts and under 70c.

Which still seems crazy in truth, my 6700k is 20c idle and the highest recorded temp on prime is around 55c all cores. Not even on anything special corsair all in one job.
Anfield 25th December 2016, 16:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
AMD will need at least a chip capable of 4ghz to compete with Intel under gaming. ( which is a large part of the enthusiast market)

4 cores 4ghz base for no more than £199 seems to be the minimum requirements to have a credible competitor for the 6600k (and its kaby lake equivalent).

For the eight core versions it will matter a bit less since intel heavily cuts back clock speeds on their chips and the full turbo isn't available to all cores and so on, not even to mention that they turn into a furnace when oc'd and cost several organs.
rollo 25th December 2016, 17:17 Quote
The only thing I don't get from AMD fans is why they expect a 6900k beating cpu to be half the price. 4 core 8 threads for £200 seems realistic, with maybe the 6 core 12 core priced around Intels area. To expect there top end chip to be half the cost of Intels seems a bit insane to me.

Same thing happens in gpus everyone expects AMD to massively undercut nvidia just cause, no reason is ever given for this logic. In reality the 480 and 1060 are very similar in price, as were the fury x and 980ti.

Also with the weak pound we will likely see a near 1-1 price conversion then VAT added on top.
Vault-Tec 25th December 2016, 17:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
The only thing I don't get from AMD fans is why they expect a 6900k beating cpu to be half the price. 4 core 8 threads for £200 seems realistic, with maybe the 6 core 12 core priced around Intels area. To expect there top end chip to be half the cost of Intels seems a bit insane to me.

Same thing happens in gpus everyone expects AMD to massively undercut nvidia just cause, no reason is ever given for this logic. In reality the 480 and 1060 are very similar in price, as were the fury x and 980ti.

Also with the weak pound we will likely see a near 1-1 price conversion then VAT added on top.

That is all any one has ever expected from AMD and why, even when it was ATI, they lost money on the 5000 series GPUs. Even though they were a country mile in front of Nvidia's best offering (the GTX 285) and so on they still made hardly any money.

It's Mindshare that Intel and Nvidia have. And AMD will never get that no matter how hard they try. Enthusiasts will always go for an AMD product if they are better or offer the best performance for the money, brainless people who don't read into it will buy Nvidia no matter what the cost. That is why the GTX 260 was more popular than the Radeon 5850.

Lisa Su can say what she likes really. About it not being cheap. They literally need to offer the same performance at half the price if they think it will sell. And because of that the profit margin will shrink to ****.

If they are even within a whiff of Intel pricing people will just go "Ah well" and then buy Intel.

Nvidia and Intel got where they are by talking smack, kicking ass and taking numbers. AMD do that too, apart from the kicking ass part. I think they forgot somewhere that it's only ever a good idea to talk smack if you have the faster product. Maybe then people will listen to you.

When you get so good at bullsh****g that you can make more money from Fermi than AMD made on a much better tech? then you have mastered it.
rollo 25th December 2016, 17:35 Quote
Can AMD truly survive long term like this, as most android manufactures have now realised making basically nothing per phone sold is not a long term route to sustained success. Apple has what 15% market share and dominates profits.

Getting the brand out of the gutter must be a long term goal and look towards a more sustainable future for AMD.

If Samsung released amds cpu and gpu under there name they would sell for more money and more off them is the crazy thing.
Anfield 25th December 2016, 18:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
To expect there top end chip to be half the cost of Intels seems a bit insane to me.

Don't forget just how absurd the price scaling is with Intel,

Sub £400 Broadwell-E Six core

Add two extra cores and the price more than doubles...
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Can AMD truly survive long term like this, as most android manufactures have now realised making basically nothing per phone sold is not a long term route to sustained success. Apple has what 15% market share and dominates profits.

Nah, they can't and desperately need something they can charge actual money for.

Bit of an apples to oranges situation, Samsung, ZTE and so on only get money from the initial sale of the phone while the profit from the app store gets siphoned off by Google, but Apple gets money for both.
Harlequin 25th December 2016, 18:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFlames
Wonder if that'll be this gen's 'excuse'... [Ry]Zen's version of 'the CMT Module support isn't quite there yet... but when it is...' that accompanied Bulldozer...

Intel's current excuse seems to be the TIM between the die and heatspreader, if all else fails blame any problems on that.

Turbo not working properly on a lower clocked engineering sample....

wait till retail
Vault-Tec 25th December 2016, 19:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Can AMD truly survive long term like this, as most android manufactures have now realised making basically nothing per phone sold is not a long term route to sustained success. Apple has what 15% market share and dominates profits.

Getting the brand out of the gutter must be a long term goal and look towards a more sustainable future for AMD.

If Samsung released amds cpu and gpu under there name they would sell for more money and more off them is the crazy thing.

They will never win against Nvidia. Ever.

If it weren't for the consoles then they would have gone ages ago. At least with those they can make some money.
Harlequin 15th January 2017, 13:41 Quote
Vault-Tec 15th January 2017, 13:42 Quote
Looks like the high end one. Bet it won't come cheap.
bawjaws 15th January 2017, 14:55 Quote
Indeed. The Z270 XPower Gaming Titanium is £325, so I'd imagine this will be much of a muchness in terms of price.
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