Tag Archives: intel

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.

 

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Muh new high end PC :)

Hey, something more positive happened in between all the SJW and censorship bullshit going on currently. I’ve bought a new system like 2 or is it 3 weeks ago already? Damn how fast time goes. Recycled some old components because they were high end enough to be transplanted into the new rig, but the rest is new. And I’m proud of it on the most geekiest level possible hehe 🙂

I used to have a miniATX case from Lian Li and it was nice. Tiny and powerful, but still silent. But then I bought ASUS Strix GTX 980 and realized I have a problem. This graphic card is s wide I had to modify Lian Li case because PSU was getting in the way. And this just made me unhappy, because it just wasn’t the way I wanted it anymore.

So, I’ve bought Corsair Carbide 330R Titanium case to address that issue plus with even more silent operation. And it solved it beautifully. But then there was all this empty space in the case with tiny microATX board in it. And since I had the upgrade bug going on, I just bought whole new platform. And not just any mainstream high end platform like Z170 with Skylake processor. I had it in my sight, but then decided to go bigger. A lot bigger. So, here it is…

DarkSilencePCThe base is Corsair Carbide 330R Titanium case. It’s not full aluminium anymore (it’s actually full steel apart from front decorative panel) like my old Lian Li, but it’s designed quite smart with extra noise dampening on all sides, covered front fans to dampen intake air noise and intake removable dust filters on front and bottom for PSU to keep system dust free for longer. It’s a lot more silent just because of this and I haven’t even touched the fans in it.

And here comes the “bigger” part 🙂

Processor: Intel Core i7 5820K (6 cores, 12 threads) @ 4.5 GHz
Cooling: Antec H2O 920 with dual Enermax Twister Pressure fans (Silent PWM mode)
Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth X99
Memory: 32 GB DDR4 Kingston HyperX Fury 2400 MHz @ 2666 MHz
Graphics card: ASUS Strix GTX 980 OC 4 GB
Data storage: WD Caviar Black 2TB + 32GB Intel Smart Response Technology (HDD+SSD Hybrid)
Sound: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z + Altec Lansing MX5021 2.1
Power supply: Corsair HX750 with new silent BlackSilentPro PL-2 fan
Monitor: ASUS VG248QE 144Hz 1ms
Mouse & keyboard: Logitech Proteus Core G502 + Cherry Stream XT Black

Why Intel X99 instead of Z170?

The reason I’ve decided for older but currently more “extreme” Intel X99 platform is the long term usability. I used to have Intel X58 platform with Core i7 920 which was also very high end back then and actually still is despite its age. Going with Intel Z170 and 6700K CPU would be an upgrade but not big enough. I’d have the same core count, same threads count, just higher clock and lower power consumption. Besides, 6700K CPU’s are already clocked so high you can’t really get much more from them. They run at 4.2 GHz. If you’re really lucky you can get 4.8 GHz out of it. And that’s it. A pathetic 600 MHz overclock. Where with 5820K, you get 6 cores, 12 threads and ability to overclock them from stock 3.3 GHz up to 4.5 GHz without even trying hard. I’m sure with tiny bit more volts I could push it to 4.8 GHz easily. Maybe even 5 GHz if I upgrade my cooling. And in the end I still have more cores and threads which will come in handy with DirectX 12 which scales better with more cores.

I mean, when you have sight like this in Windows…

12threads_madness…it’s impossible not to brag about it online. 😀

Going durable…

And then there is ASUS Sabertooth X99 motherboard. Wanted to go super rugged with overclocking capability so I can use it for as long as possible and this is the board to do just that. It’s designed for long term durability with high end components and clever cooling design. Everything about it just screams toughness. From construction, dust protection, surge protection, cooling etc. I love it. And one of the best parts of it are the ridiculous amount of fan headers on the motherboard that are individually controlled by the fan curves in UEFI BIOS and which are then operated through numerous integrated temperature sensors. On desktop it’s so quiet, when monitor goes blank, I often have to check the lights on the case if it’s even running. It’s ridiculous 😀 And when I stress the system, slight airflow hiss can be heard. Meaning if I have music set to low volume or playing games, I’ll never be able to hear any of the fans. It’s magnificent and while I don’t know how other vendors have this solved, I have to compliment ASUS for it. It’s a fantastic design. It’s an amazing board. Expensive but well worth it.

Going a bit mad…

You may also wonder why the hell I have 32GB of RAM in it. To be honest, 16GB would be more than enough these days (on X58 I used to have 18GB). I’ve gone with 32GB just because I could lol. Yeah, I bought that much RAM for the lolz. Literally. Though I’ll be totally future proof with it and I won’t have to ever fiddle with this part of the system even in the distant future. I follow my rule about RAM that goes like this: “Capacity over speed”. With RAM, this holds very true. Having more slower RAM will benefit you more than having less of super high speed RAM. It has been proven in many tests that for example 3000+ MHz RAM hardly gives any performance gain over basic RAM speed required by the platform (2133MHz in X99 case). In fact 2400 to 2666MHz seems to be the sweet spot. There is some small gain which then just disappears beyond this point. If you’re loaded with cash you’re of course go with fastest RAM possible but if you want to spend your money well, go with highest capacity and middle of the road speeds.

Going a bit reasonable…

I’ve transplanted bunch of old components like the graphic card, PSU, HDD, monitor, soundcard, speakers, mouse and keyboard. No real need in replacing those because they were high end when I bought them and they still are even several years later (well, some at least, most are rather new anyway).

If all goes well, this platform should sustain me for at least 5 years if not more. I expect graphic card upgrades in year or two depending on situation with DirectX 12 and the need for Async graphic computation since GTX 980 seems to have some problems with that, but other than that, platform is as future proof as you can get it currently without spending ridiculous amounts of money on CPU’s like the 5960X which alone costs as much as I’ve spent for my entire new platform lol.

So yeah, this is my new system. My inner child just had to brag about it online. PC Master Race for life! Deal with it 🙂

Intel Corporation infected with feminists nonsense

Accelerating Diversity in Technology
Krzanich, who acknowledged a recent confluence of events related to women and under-represented minorities, announced the Diversity in Technology initiative.

To support this initiative, Intel has set a bold new hiring and retention goal to achieve full representation of women and under-represented minorities at Intel by 2020. Full representation means Intel’s U.S. workforce will be more representative of the talent available in America, including more balanced representation in senior leadership positions.

Intel also plans to invest $300 million to help build a pipeline of female and under-represented engineers and computer scientists; to actively support hiring and retaining more women and under-represented minorities; and to fund programs to support more positive representation within the technology and gaming industries.

“We’re calling on our industry to again make the seemingly impossible possible by making a commitment to real change and clarity in our goals,” said Krzanich. “Without a workforce that more closely mirrors the population, we are missing opportunities, including not understanding and designing for our own customers.”

Intel plans to engage with several partners in the industry to support, enhance or create new programs for this initiative, including the International Game Developers Association, the E-Sports League, the National Center for Women in Technology, the CyberSmile Foundation, the Feminist Frequency, and Rainbow PUSH. The company also plans to deepen its engagement with primary education programs focused on undeserved areas and expanding its collaborations with computer science and engineering programs at higher education institutions, including minority-serving institutions.

Oh god, fuck me sideways, Intel. You too? And what’s the worst part of it, they picked Feminist Frequency (or shall I say, they were bullied by them into complying). Yup, our lovely Anita Sarkeesian. The worst feminist of them all. Did Intel somehow miss Christina Hoff Sommers when they were picking an equality representative? You know, the Factual Feminist, the woman of wisdom, someone I admire a lot because of her intelligent comments and reliance on academic statistical data when it comes to gender issues (unlike Anita Sarkeesian who pretty much just pulls facts out of her own rear). I wouldn’t even label Christina Hoff Sommers as feminist on any level. She is as egalitarian as anyone can get…

Hiring more women and retaining them even if they simply aren’t as good, just to meet the feminist imposed gender quotas is just plain moronic. This basically means women will now have higher chance of being hired even if a male engineer will be better suited for the given job. Just because they need to fill in the gender quota. And what’s very unfair is to all the women who worked their asses off to get into Intel Corporation as engineers, without any special treatment. And now, the new female employees will have privileged access to the same jobs. It’s just not cool when you think of it that way. And I’m absolutely certain that Intel has female engineers who are equality good and competent as any other male engineer there.

Why being biased towards women just because majority of them simply isn’t interested in engineering jobs? Why not promote yourself as company not affected by gender decisions with ads like:

Join physics, chemistry and maths classes, because one day, you may become a high tech engineer at Intel Corporation.

Sounds about right doesn’t it? It’s not discriminatory against any gender and promotes the most crucial point where male and female workforce usually splits up. In schools. That’s where you have to start fixing gender workforce issues, not later on by providing privileges to one gender or one group of people.

Once workforce market will have higher percentage of women with science degrees and specializations, they will also represent higher number of workforce in tech companies, because there will be more of them available for hiring. Simple logic. You don’t need to create some stupid special treatments, whole thing would fix itself if you do it right at beginnings where kids start to think about their future and jobs. Do you hear me Intel? Show women that it’s OK to be seen in physics, chemistry and maths classes. Because women joining those classes will be more likely to reach for jobs like aeronautic engineer, semiconductor engineer, researcher in pharmaceutical company, petroleum engineer, engineer in automotive industry, astronaut or simply a researcher working in a national chemist or physics lab. You know, the sort of jobs that also come with very good pay? But if you want to be cool in school and cry later for having a shitty job, well, it was YOUR decision. Why are you then blaming others for it now?

I’m all for equality and equal job opportunities, but Intel siding with the worst feminists like Anita Sarkeesian, maybe it’s time for me to start filling in AMD quota to even things out, because after all, having Intel in nearly all systems is somewhat discriminatory towards AMD…

Intel Wireless won’t connect to router

I was fixing a very old Windows XP laptop from HP with Intel Wireless Pro 2200BG yesterday and despite all the efforts, I couldn’t get the darn thing to connect to my Linksys E4200 router with latest TomatoRAF firmware. Network was visible, I could try connecting to it, but it was either just connecting to it for very long time and then nothing happened. Connecting window just disappeared and that was it. I just felt it has something to do with the router configuration and the age of Intel’s wireless module inside laptop. And after I changed the WMM, laptop connected to my wireless network without any problems. After checking the internets later, it turns out older Intel wireless chipsets have problems with newer routers that use WMM function to prioritize multimedia content over the Wi-Fi connection.

So, if you have to connect an older Intel wireless device to a newer router and it refuses to connect even though all seems fine, try disabling WMM on a router first. That should do the trick 🙂