Tag Archives: AMD

AMD Radeon RX Vega release date hint

AMD announced via Facebook today that RX Vega will in fact be released this quarter (April-June 2017 timeframe). Which falls within the 1st half of 2017 as announced by AMD months ago.

However, today, a guy named “uuuaaaaaa” posted this on TechPowerUp…

The star known as Vega is 25.05 light years away from earth. Wouldn’t it be cool if it was released on the 25th of may? :D

Anyone else thinks this can’t be just a coincidence? 25th May? It also falls in line with Prey 2 which was heavily advertised along with RX Vega as well as Alien:Covenant, also getting released in May…

It never crossed my mind, but now that I know it, it’s kinda interesting. Maybe we’ll see Vega in May already as predicted from this 🙂

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Mozilla, stop fucking up hardware acceleration in Firefox

Ok, now I have enough of this god damn bullshit with Firefox.

If you are one of those people who has a certain laptop and it isn’t particularly fast, but it was fast enough for browsing, watching videos and using Youtube, but then, all of a sudden, videos in Youtube became unplayable at basically any resolution, making your device pretty much useless for entertainment on the Youtube front.

And we can thank Mozilla for that. Yeah, you fuckers at Mozilla intentionally block hardware hardware acceleration in Firefox on certain graphic cards (GPU) for “safety”. Well, I never had any god damn problem with Firefox or Youtube on my AMD E-450 APU until you fucks started interfering. It always worked perfectly smoothly without a single crash, lockup or anything. But then you fuckers decided to just nonchalantly block my GPU acceleration without any god damn fucking way of disabling fucking retarded GPU blocklist, making laptop pretty much useless for Youtube since it’s all lagging like shit.

But behold, if I play any 1080p video in Windows media players or if I open Microsoft Edge, surf to Youtube and play same videos, they run absolutely perfectly smooth on same god damn motherfucking GPU. No crashes or lockups, just absolutely smooth 1080p video. Even at 60fps! Where in Firefox, it’s fucking lagging and stalling like garbage even on 480p videos. Go fuck yourself Mozilla.

I actually wouldn’t even care if there was at least an easy switch to bypass GPU blocklist thing via about:config. Nooooooooooo, Mozilla had to fucking hardcode this shit into the browser so you can’t do ANYTHING about it. There is some spoofing shit via BAT file, but I just can’t be bothered fiddling with that nonsense…

What the fuck would it cost you Mozilla to allow users to easily disable this GPU blocklist shit eh? If I disable it on my own and there are problems, I’ll fucking know it was because of this, I’m not gonna trash Firefox online for crashing (but I am now for fucking up with my HW acceleration). I’ll know it was that what caused the problems. But you don’t even give me the chance to fucking try it. Maybe it would fucking work fine like it did before. But you just blocked it and never gave any fucks about it afterwards because “reasons”.

It’s stupid, it’s retarded and you all know it. Stop fucking around with my browser and give me back my god damn hardware acceleration. I’ll then decide whether it has problems or not, because I am the one who has the GPU in question in front of me, I very much doubt Mozilla actually tests every god damn GPU out there for this retarded blocklist. They just hear “it has problems” from someone and then they run like little fuckers to block it quickly to protect poor users. Well, I don’t need fucking “protection”, I need hardware acceleration that I had and you took it away from me.

You can have the GPU blocklist enabled by default for all the normies who don’t know any better, but for us advanced users, just give us easy setting in about:config advanced settings to disable this GPU blocklist bullshit and I’ll be happy. And trust me, I wouldn’t be the only one…

AMD Ryzen post-release thoughts and explanations

amd_ryzen_logo

Ok, I’ve talked about few things regarding AMD Ryzen processors in my last article, I’m going to expand it a bit further with this one, explaining few things that people are concerned over or are raging about, be it justly or unjustly…

Games performance

I kinda forgot about this since Intel was dominating the market for so long, but Youtuber and hardware geek JayZTwoCents reminded me of this. It’s the processor specific optimization of games and why current games perform worse on AMD Ryzen processors even though it clearly has identical IPC (Instructions Per Clock) capability. Partially it’s clock fault because Intel’s quad cores simply come clocked way higher which is favored in games, but mostly, it’s processor specific optimization. Intel pretty much dominated gaming segment for 5 years. That’s eternity in PC segment. And with that, all game studios kinda focused on optimizing games for Intel processors only. Now that AMD is back in the game, things will change again. I don’t expect AMD to dominate the field, but you can be assured they’ll at least get on the same fair level as Intel with upcoming games. Some studios might even optimize current games to better support Ryzen.

Memory (RAM) issues

People complaining about memory issues a lot and complaining how AMD dares to release new platform with such issues, not realizing it’s not AMD’s fault. At least not entirely. Sure, they need to work with motherboard makers to ensure everything is in check with their memory controller inside CPU, but from there on, it’s up to motherboard makers to add RAM profiles, enhance compatibility and deliver all that in form of BIOS updates. Considering AMD Ryzen is an all new architecture with all new memory controller, expecting such monumental release to be problem free is really silly thing to do. When Intel released triple and quad channel boards after years of having dual channels around, they were problematic as well. And they still are today and I know that from first hand experience as I owned both, triple (X58) and now quad channel (X99) setup. With BIOS updates, AMD and motherboard makers will solve compatibility issues when it comes to memory. Also, be aware that if you want absolute compatibility, you have to strictly follow QVL lists provided by board makers. They can only assure rock solid performance and stability with memory modules listed there.

Limited AMD Ryzen overclock capability

I’ve seen quite a lot of people whining how bad AMD overclocks. But all these people are leaving out one super important difference. They are taking overclocking capability of freaking QUAD cores and applying it to EIGHT core processors. That’s not how things work and they never will.

If we look at Intel Core i7 6900k, same core configuration as AMD Ryzen R7 1800X, it also peaks at around 4GHz. Anything over that and you need huge amounts of extra voltage and you’ll also get huge thermal footprint from it because of that. You have to understand it has 4 more physical cores and 8 more threads. This essentially means it’ll require twice as much power and output twice as much heat. It’s not that simple and linear, but for better understanding, that’s what it is. So, you can’t compare a overclocking capability of a freaking quad core to an actual octa core. It would just make no sense.

We can however judge AMD when they release hexa and quad cores. But there is also one more factor. AMD Ryzen was designed on manufacturing process that is called LPP. And LPP stands for Low Power Process. CPU’s designed in such way are bound to be very power efficient, but very stubborn when it comes to high clocks. And that’s the way AMD designed Ryzen. Things may change in the future as they will refine and adapt the manufacturing processes.

Power consumption

I’ve heard about complaints on Amazon about AMD Ryzen power consumption and how it’s clearly not just 95W…

Well, we have to first establish two things. How is TDP (Thermal Design Power) measured and more importantly, where (or more precisely, at which processor clock).

Intel for example measures TDP at processor base clock (which for 6900k is at 3.2GHz). And they measure it as average value and not maximum value. It is yet uncertain how AMD measures it for new Ryzen processors. At least I wasn’t able to find any info on that where Intel clearly states how they measure it on their ARC page.

AMD_Ryzen_Power_Chart.jpg

Now, lets take a look at this chart. I’ll focus on two processors to make an example, measured wattages are at wall socket, so understand that (this is not just CPU; this is power draw for whole system). One is Intel Core i7 6700k, a quad core processor with 8 threads (4c/8t configuration) and the other one is AMD Ryzen R7 1800X. The power draw is almost the same, but R7 1800X features twice as many cores and threads. And it’s not just games where it might depend based on actual cores utilization where games usually use just 4. It’s the same in AIDA64 and Handbrake, which both use 100% of all cores. AMD Ryzen has basically done twice as much work on twice as many cores and still delivered same power consumption at the wall socket. This means, regardless of TDP numbers, it’s a pretty damn efficient CPU. It even draws significantly less power than very similarly configured Core i7 6900k. For the number of cores and threads, Ryzen are pretty damn power efficient processors.

The AMD Ryzen paradox

AMD_Ryzen_Logo.png

Yesterday, me and my cousin were looking at the new AMD Ryzen offerings to see what were the options for his PC build. And what I realized about Ryzen is a bit “shocking”. Well, not quite. There is no denying AMD did great with AMD Ryzen. They really pushed IPC (Instructions Per Clock) capability on par with Intel offerings. A lot of people were skeptical about it, but AMD has in fact delivered. And at what price point! Giving users the compute power of most expensive Intel CPU, the Core i7 6900k at a half the price is an offer that’s very hard to refuse. But if you’re a gamer, things change quite a bit…

The gamer factor

There is just one issue with it and that’s the “gamer” factor. If you’re building a gaming system that will 95% of the time run games and the rest of 5% will be browsing and watching movies, there is an issue with AMD Ryzen offerings. At least as things stand now with only R7 1700 and R7 1800 models being available. And that issue is the raw core clock.

AMD Ryzen, all of the currently available don’t clock above 4GHz. Getting it to 4.1GHz 100% stable overclock is a very good achievement, meaning these CPU’s will never be as good as any higher clocked Intel CPU’s, regardless of core count (unless we venture into Core i3 with 2 cores and 4 threads territory).

If you look at the tests, in every single one of them, 6700k and 7700k have an edge in gaming. A quite significant one. They only have 4 cores and 8 threads, but they come at 4.2GHz and 4.5GHz out of the box when boosting. And most of them overclock to at least 4.5GHz base clock easily. At a current cost of 380€ for the 7700k. R7 1700X goes at only around 4GHz and a price tag of 460€. 80€ difference is quite significant and you’re not even having the most optimal gaming setup if you buy R7 1700X.

The aging X99 becomes an alternative

If you look it it differently, the old Core i7 5820k goes for 450€ and 6800k at 470€ respectively). But you can almost be assured it’ll clock up to 4.5GHz rather easily. Yes, X99 motherboards are a bit more expensive at around 200€ if you look at a bit better ones, but you’ll get a 6 core, 12 threads CPU that also clocks high, meaning you’ll not only beat R7 1700X in gaming, but you’ll also beat 7700k when it comes to compute power because you’ll just have more cores and threads. Meaning you’ll kinda get the best of both worlds, but for the price of R7 1700X.

Buyer recommendation

  • Workstation/compute intensive workloads

If you’re aiming at a capable workstation or a PC meant for everything but gaming, AMD Ryzen CPU’s are a formidable competition. At 460€, R7 1700X will beat everything Intel can offer at the moment unless it’s a highly clock dependent single threaded workload. And with R7 1800X, it beats Intel even in the highest end territory with basically half the cost and same performance. If workstation or compute “cluster” is your target system, AMD Ryzen will shine.

  • Blend of intense gaming and regular high compute intensive workloads

If you’re one of those people who love to play games, but they also do some serious work regularly in terms of video encoding, file compression, software 3D rendering, it might be worth checking old Intel LGA2011v3 parts, 5820k and slightly newer 6800k in particular. With capability to overclock relatively high and offer 6 physical cores and 12 threads, they offer a nice blend of gaming and compute capability for a price of R7 1700X. You kinda get best of both worlds with few tiny compromises.

  • Gaming

As things stand at the moment without the R5 and R3 offerings, if you’re 100% dedicated gamer, going with Core i7 7700k seems to be the only logical decision at the moment. As much as I absolutely love what AMD achieved with AMD Ryzen compared to how bland Bulldozer CPU’s were, it’s just no match for raw core clock offered by 7700k. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still be very much able to play all games using maximum settings without issues, but you just won’t be getting 100% optimal gaming performance from it. The future of heavily multi-threaded games is still very uncertain so it’s hard to predict how Ryzen R7 CPU’s will fare in the future.

  • Gaming on a budged

If you’re a pure gamer at heart, but you’re wallet doesn’t allow you to go bananas on high performance  PC components, I think waiting for AMD Ryzen R5 and R3 is a good plan. You can read below why I think so.

The future

AMD_Ryzen_Processors_List.png

Now, if we look at the AMD Ryzen list of CPU’s that are still not released, but are planned, the most interesting gamer CPU will in fact not be R7 1700X as initially anticipated, but rather R5 1600X, R5 1400X and to my surprise, even R3 1200X. They are all clocked relatively high, they all come with 4+ physical cores as standard (opposed to Intel Core i3 with only 2 cores) and if there aren’t other limiting factors within the core design, they should be capable of overclocking higher. You’ll be less limited thermally and fewer core CPU’s have always overclocked higher in general. And at those price points, even if I include USD to EUR conversion and VAT, I think they’ll be pretty darn competitive.

In fact, the best looking gaming AMD Ryzen CPU seems to be R5 1400X. Out of all lower end models, it’s clocked the highest, meaning it’ll perform the best in current games and it still comes with 4 cores and 8 threads. It’ll be an affordable pocket rocket.

Verdict

What AMD did with their latest Ryzen CPU is nothing short of amazing. Great CPU for hard to beat price. But there are quite few very significant factors that you have to consider before buying/assembling new system at the moment. At first I also thought we’ll just throw R7 1700X into system for my cousin and call it a day, but in the end, it turned out things aren’t that simple. His configuration will fall into the “Gaming” category above and it’s actually really hard to decide. Should I use R7 1700X and risk high performance decline over time if games don’t go heavy multi-threaded in the near future or should I go with 7700k and risk heavy performance decline if games in fact do go heavy multi-threaded. I actually still don’t have a clear cut answer for this, but think we’re either leaning towards 7700k or waiting for R5 1400X. Which sorts of backs up my findings and explanations above.

 

AMD has Ryzen from the “dead”!

AMD had a release presentation for new generation of AMD Ryzen processors. And they look sweet. AMD actually delivered!

And a report from Linus as he was allowed to play with real AMD Ryzen systems himself 🙂

That’s pretty exciting, isn’t it? I’m actually going to handle one of these since my cousin was waiting for this CPU exactly and he’ll get one for sure and I’ll be building his system 😀

AMD resolved PCIe power draw issue on RX480 with new driver

I’ve posted initial findings about the excessive PCIe power draw issue here. AMD promised a fix for it and today they’ve delivered it in a form of a new driver.

Like I’ve predicted, modern graphic cards have very flexible power delivery system and Polaris is no different. What AMD did here was rearrange the power delivery between PCIe slot and 6pin power connector. Now, Radeon RX480 draws power from PCIe slot within specified limits and draws a bit more from 6pin. Officially 6pin is rated at 75W, but can realistically deliver up to 150W. So, redirecting power like this solves the initial problem while doesn’t impair performance at all.

AMD did provide additional “Compatibility Mode” which restricts power usage even further. I frankly don’t think anyone should ever enable this, but if you feel like saving some extra watts, you can enable it in Radeon Settings.

To verify the fix, TechPowerUp ran a test and everything is in order just like AMD promised.

You can read the TechPowerUp re-test here.

The PCIe power draw fix is included in AMD Radeon Crimson Edition version 16.7.1, so make sure you upgrade the drivers asap. Btw, AMD dropped a small 3% performance boost for popular games in this driver so even if you use Compatibility Mode, you shouldn’t see any performance difference.

I really like the way things turned out here. Firstly, for reviewers to point out the issue and secondly for AMD to professionally fix it. An the ones who benefit from all this the most are us, the customers. Yay 🙂

Everyone losing their shit about RX480 power consumption

I’m gonna drop a quick post about this, because people apparently aren’t capable of thinking rational anymore. Also the double standards when it comes to NVIDIA and AMD…

As you might have heard, AMD released Radeon RX480 recently, a killer cheap graphic card based on new Polaris architecture. It’s priced up to $230 for 8GB version and performs a bit better than GTX 970/R9 390, but slightly worse than GTX 980 or R9 390X. Not bad to be honest.

Things got complicated when reviewers found out some cards draw more than 150W of power. Now, that by itself wouldn’t be a problem if the excess power draw wasn’t pulled from PCIe slot which is rated at 75W. The 6pin PCIe power connector on the graphic card is rated at 75W as well officially, but can draw a lot more power without any problem. Both combined deliver 150W of power. But the card in tests pulled 166W. So, you have to get more power from somewhere and RX480 apparently does it from PCIe slot. Pulling more than 75W from PCIe slot can potentially damage cheap crappy motherboards.

So, up till this point, I have no problems. There apparently is an issue and reviewers are there to point it out so company behind the product is aware of the issue and is going to remedy it. After all, I’m a consumer and such behavior is preferred because it benefits consumers.

However (not unexpected eh?), AMD already officially acknowledged the issue with this statement (provided by W1zzard from TechPowerUp):

“As you know, we continuously tune our GPUs in order to maximize their performance within their given power envelopes and the speed of the memory interface, which in this case is an unprecedented 8 Gbps for GDDR5. Recently, we identified select scenarios where the tuning of some RX 480 boards was not optimal. Fortunately, we can adjust the GPU’s tuning via software in order to resolve this issue. We are already testing a driver that implements a fix, and we will provide an update to the community on our progress on Tuesday (July 5, 2016).”

As you can see, AMD is already preparing a fix for it. Modern GPU’s are very advanced and power delivery can be fully controlled via BIOS or driver. I don’t know exact Polaris electrical design, but knowing Maxwell 2 already has this, been fiddling with it myself on GTX 980 that I have, and I see no reason why brand new GPU like Polaris wouldn’t have it as well. Meaning AMD isn’t just selling hot air and buying time, they have a realistic solution. Tuesday 5th July is the day they will give more info and potentially a driver with the fix. They can either strictly restrict power draw to 150W as whole or restrict PCIe to 75W as specified and let 6pin additional connector draw a bit of excess power. From what I heard, even though 6pin power connector is rated to 75W, it can pull up to 150W just like 8pin. Which won’t “gimp” the performance, it will just bring it to level AMD has specified while leaving PCIe within specs.

Has that calmed people? Nope. Everyone still losing their shit and creating more drama even before anyone can even evaluate the fix. I’m pretty sure using graphic card in such conditions for few days won’t affect anything. So why all this fucking drama?

What’s even more hilarious, NVIDIA had the same shit. On TWO occasions and I’ve only heard about it now. Never before. NVIDIA also fucked up the GTX 1080 fan profiles on Founders Edition cards (reference models)? There were mentions of it, but nowhere on the same level of crazy nonsense people are doing now for AMD.

For fucks sake, stop being such god damn fanboys. I own a GTX 980 and I’m defending AMD here…

Everyone calm the fuck down and wait for the fix. Evaluate it and if performance or anything else will be greatly affected by that, then start losing your shit again. But until then, calm the fuck down. Fucking hell.

UPDATE (2016/07/06)!

AMD issued an update on the given matter like an hour ago on Facebook.

We promised an update today (July 5, 2016) following concerns around the Radeon RX 480 drawing excess current from the PCIe bus. Although we are confident that the levels of reported power draws by the Radeon RX 480 do not pose a risk of damage to motherboards or other PC components based on expected usage, we are serious about addressing this topic and allaying outstanding concerns. Towards that end, we assembled a worldwide team this past weekend to investigate and develop… a driver update to improve the power draw. We’re pleased to report that this driver—Radeon Software 16.7.1—is now undergoing final testing and will be released to the public in the next 48 hours.

In this driver we’ve implemented a change to address power distribution on the Radeon RX 480 – this change will lower current drawn from the PCIe bus.
Separately, we’ve also included an option to reduce total power with minimal performance impact. Users will find this as the “compatibility” UI toggle in the Global Settings menu of Radeon Settings. This toggle is “off” by default.

Finally, we’ve implemented a collection of performance improvements for the Polaris architecture that yield performance uplifts in popular game titles of up to 3%. These optimizations are designed to improve the performance of the Radeon RX 480, and should substantially offset the performance impact for users who choose to activate the “compatibility” toggle.

AMD is committed to delivering high quality and high performance products, and we’ll continue to provide users with more control over their product’s performance and efficiency. We appreciate all the feedback so far, and we’ll continue to bring further performance and performance/W optimizations to the Radeon RX 480.

Interestingly enough, they will provide the fix, but they are confident enough the problem with PCIe power draw isn’t serious enough to enable the fix by default. Which is a bit strange, but I guess they know what they are doing. They also optimized drivers for a 3% boost which offsets the roughly 1% performance penalty when enabling the fix. Meaning even if users decide to enable the fix, they won’t lose any performance. I’m still interested in seeing performance and power draw results in a re-test of the RX480 with new drivers compared to old ones (and with or without the fix). Just to be really sure what’s happening. I’ll keep you posted…

UPDATE (2016/07/08)!

Read the news about resolved PCIe power issues on RX480 here. I’ve decided to post it as a new article while linking it back here for reference.

AMD fixed the issue entirely. That’s what I call a professional response for seemingly unfixable problem…