Tuesday, December 13th 2016

AMD RYZEN Demo Event - Beats $1,100 8-Core i7-6900K, With Lower TDP

At their Austin, Texas "New Horizon" Event, AMD introduced us to live "ZEN" chips working full-tilt, showing us what AMD's passion and ingenuity managed to achieve. The "New Horizon" event was a celebration to what AMD sees as another one of those special, breakthrough moments for a company: after starting work on "ZEN" 4 years ago in 2012 as a complete new design. The focus: building a great machine, whilst increasing IPC by 40% over their previous architecture, at the same power constraints; and to create a smart machine, which could sense and adapt to environment and applications so it improves over time. The company's verdicts: "ZEN" met or exceeded their goals, with the desktop PC market being home to the very first "ZEN" product.

According to AMD's CEO Dr. Lisa Su, AMD's event was named "New Horizon" as a reference to AMD's vision in the computing space: that they're on a journey to bring a new generation of processor technology, and customers towards a new horizon of computing. Their intention? To directly connect with fans who love PC gaming, whilst doing what AMD does best - pushing the envelope on performance, power, frame-rates and technology. AMD also flaunted their renewed faith in gaming, with it being on the company's DNA and passion, whilst revisiting the old memory lane, reminiscing on the Athlon Thunderbird, the world's first chip to break the 1 GHz barrier; the launch of their first 64-bit processor; and breaking the 1 TFLOP barrier in computing power with their HD 4850 and 4870 gaming GPUs.
AMD confirmed that CPUs based on their "ZEN" micro-architecture will carry the brand "Ryzen" - a play on the "ZEN" architecture's focus on balance, high performance and low power, while introducing new features. Ryzen is AMD's take of a processor that is both powerful in purpose, and efficient in design, and it symbolizes the power of "ZEN" reaching the next horizon in computing. They will do so by starting with an 8-core, 16-thread, SMT-enabled, 3.4 GHz+ base clock and 20MB combined cache new high-performance CPU, leveraging all the improvements baked into AMD's new AM4 platform (with 3.4 GHz apparently being the lowest frequency a Ryzen, consumer-level desktop solution will carry).
To prove their words and commitment to Ryzen's performance, AMD showcased the chip's prowess in a Blender test, pitting a Ryzen CPU at 3.4 GHz base clock (without Boost), with the consumer market's only other 8-core, 16-thread CPU in the Intel i7 6900K, at its stock 3.2 GHz base clock, with Boost enabled and no adjustments, "straight out of the box". The verdict: Ryzen matched the 6900K's performance. Dr. Lisa Su was quick to point out the 6900K's pricing at $1100, though she left an intentional silence at the point where she could have made a bombastic pricing announcement for Ryzen - perhaps keeping her cards close to her chest so as to not allow Intel to figure out any pricing changes in their products (if any), should Ryzen prove deserving of such a response. But the bottom line, and the home-run hit by Lisa Su, was the announcement that Ryzen was able to match Intel's performance with 45 W less TDP - 95 W TDP on Ryzen against the 140 W TDP on Intel's 6900K. In another test, this time a Handbrake transcoding demo, Ryzen transcoded a video in 54 seconds, against 59 seconds on Intel's 6900K processor.
Again at 3.4 GHz, Ryzen was shown "beating the game frame-rates of a Core i7 6900K playing Battlefield 1 at 4K resolution, with each CPU paired with an Nvidia Titan X GPU". Not drawing any more attention than needs to be drawn towards the usage of an NVIDIA solution at their own event (which was puzzling, since AMD did show a Ryzen CPU and a VEGA-based graphics cards running Star Wars Battlefront's as-of-yet unreleased Rogue One DLC at over 60fps in 4K), we didn't actually see any reported frame-rated on the Battlefield 1 demo - only that the Ryzen-based system offered considerably less frame-skipping than the Intel solution, with the expected effects that has on the gaming experience.
AMD also announced what constitutes part of Ryzen's beating heart: their SenseMI technology, which includes "Neural Net Prediction" - an artificial intelligence neural network that learns to predict what future pathway an application will take based on past runs; "Smart Prefetch", which drinks from the "Neural Net Prediction", anticipating the data an app needs and having it ready when needed (with these two features alone being responsible for 1/4 of Ryzen's performance uplift, according to Lisa Su). Additionally, AMD announced Ryzen's "Pure Power" and "Precision Boost" features: more than "100 embedded sensors with accuracy to the millivolt, milliwatt, and single degree level of temperature enable optimal voltage, clock frequency, and operating mode with minimal energy consumption", controlling each part of the chip, independently, in milliseconds, leveraging "smart logic that monitors integrated sensors and optimizes clock speeds, in increments as small as 25MHz, at up to a thousand times a second". Finishing the pentad of new features was the "Extended Frequency Range" (XFR), a temperature-based boost function where the processor knows what temperature it's operating at, enabling higher clock speeds as the system gets cooler (and vice-versa, we'd expect, towards the 3.4 GHz base clock).
At the event, AMD showed Ryzen running a VR demo, as well as delivering performance in raytracing, with physically based shaders and materials, HDR, and a grand total of 53 million polygons in a single model. Interestingly, AMD also showed their Ryzen CPU against an Intel 6700K processor overlocked towards an unspecified frequency, comparing the chip's performance in streaming DOTA 2: where the 6700K showed severe frame-skipping on the streaming screen, but Ryzen handled it beautifully.
As a sendoff, AMD's CEO Lisa SU mentioned that Ryzen will be on desktop and notebook solutions (leaving out the server market, which could mean a brand distinction between both solutions", whilst reaffirming that Ryzen's Q1 launch is completely on track, from the only company that has both high-performance CPUs and GPUs. And as an appetizer, the good doctor did say that Ryzen's performance will only improve until their promised launch.
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205 Comments on AMD RYZEN Demo Event - Beats $1,100 8-Core i7-6900K, With Lower TDP

#1
the54thvoid
If this thing isn't out in January, I'll be sorely pissed.

In fact, I really wonder if it's ready for then at all. Q1 can be all the way to March.
Posted on Reply
#2
thesmokingman
I dunno if I would say beat, more like match in one specific scenario.
Posted on Reply
#3
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
It's looking promising. Still, I'll reserve my excitement for the official reviews. If they say it's epic then I'll jump for joy.
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#4
Blueberries
Things I would have liked to see:

1. Lower TDP (50-65W?) specs
2. XFR / Precision Boost benchmarked / demoed

I've trained myself not to believe the AMD hypetrain so I'm not entirely convinced just yet, but it was still nice to see something. Not that this isn't a giant leap forward for AMD and should cement them back in the CPU market for a while.

Is Ryzen going to throttle at 65-70C like antiquated AMD architectures? What about single thread performance? Is there an actual IPC advantage over SL/KL or is it just threadmagic? Time will tell?

Zen sounds much better than Ryzen. Not a fan of the new name.
Posted on Reply
#5
Raevenlord
News Editor
thesmokingman said:
I dunno if I would say beat, more like match in one specific scenario.
It did Beat it in the handbrake test though.
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#6
Darksword
I'll believe it when I see it from independent testing. AMD is the king of "hype leading to disappointment".
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#7
xkm1948
And VEGA showcased as well. Freaking awesome.
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#8
Rivage
Intel has better designers, at least... all those AMD slides looks... meh
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#9
xkm1948
Darksword said:
I'll believe it when I see it from independent testing. AMD is the king of "hype leading to disappointment".
Well under Lisa Su it has improved a lot. The 480 hype was mostly generated by the good old internet hype train.
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#10
Fluffmeister
xkm1948 said:
And VEGA showcased as well. Freaking awesome.
So was Titan X!

Still Zen sounds very promising.
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#11
xkm1948
I am happy. Even though I am not going to build a new AMD system any time soon, the introduction of more competitive product will force the price of intel's HEDT down. If in one year I can upgrade to 6950X with $500 I will be thrilled!
Posted on Reply
#12
xkm1948
Fluffmeister said:
So was Titan X!

Still Zen sounds very promising.
VEGA will be a faster clocked slightly efficiency bumped Fiji. Not gonna magically do way better in old DX11/OpenGL games, but will be great in DX12/Vulkan/VR applications.
Posted on Reply
#13
renz496
so when independent review going to be available?
Posted on Reply
#14
Xzibit
the54thvoid said:
If this thing isn't out in January, I'll be sorely pissed.

In fact, I really wonder if it's ready for then at all. Q1 can be all the way to March.
It wont. You have CES coming up. I expect some motherboard vendors to start showcasing then. Earliest I see it coming to market is Mid-February but late March is more likely.


Fluffmeister said:
So was Titan X!

Still Zen sounds very promising.
I think that was smart. They took away the "AMD GPU optimization" concern i'm sure that would of come up if it was running an all AMD system with an undefined GPU. They wanted to highlight the CPU and smartly enough they took the GPU out of the equation by using a competitor.
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#15
Steevo
6700K was at 4.5Ghz in the demo.
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#16
mcraygsx
Well it performs way better then my previous expectations which were 6700K. But performance equivalent of 6900K is a very bold move since it cost like $1050.
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#17
the54thvoid
Xzibit said:
It wont. You have CES coming up. I expect some motherboard vendors to start showcasing then. Earliest I see it coming to market is Mid-February but late March is more likely.




I think that was smart. They took away the "AMD GPU optimization" concern i'm sure that would of come up if it was running an all AMD system with an undefined GPU. They wanted to highlight the CPU and smartly enough they took the GPU out of the equation by using a competitor.
Damn.
Posted on Reply
#18
TheLaughingMan
xkm1948 said:
I am happy. Even though I am not going to build a new AMD system any time soon, the introduction of more competitive product will force the price of intel's HEDT down. If in one year I can upgrade to 6950X with $500 I will be thrilled!
But what if in 1 year, what AMD is offering is faster than a 6950X for the same price, or the same performance for like $400?
Posted on Reply
#19
renz496
TheLaughingMan said:
But what if in 1 year, what AMD is offering is faster than a 6950X for the same price, or the same performance for like $400?
if they have better solution they will charge for it. heck even when they not they still charge 1k for 9590.....initially.
Posted on Reply
#20
TheLaughingMan
renz496 said:
if they have better solution they will charge for it. heck even when they not they still charge 1k for 9590.....initially.
Yeah, no. The FX-9590 has never been anywhere near $1k. I think it maxed out at $250.
Posted on Reply
#21
Fluffmeister
Xzibit said:
I think that was smart. They took away the "AMD GPU optimization" concern i'm sure that would of come up if it was running an all AMD system with an undefined GPU. They wanted to highlight the CPU and smartly enough they took the GPU out of the equation by using a competitor.
I don't disagree, besides nVidia's multi-threaded support is excellent so it's no wonder it's a great bed fellow for Zen.
Posted on Reply
#22
thesmokingman
Xzibit said:
I think that was smart. They took away the "AMD GPU optimization" concern i'm sure that would of come up if it was running an all AMD system with an undefined GPU. They wanted to highlight the CPU and smartly enough they took the GPU out of the equation by using a competitor.
Ironically on another forum they were complaining that if Zen and Vega were all that why didn't they use it Vega. They can't win either way lol.
Posted on Reply
#23
ShurikN
Looks like they got a glimpse at the tdp over at guru3d, and it seems the cpu is around 95w
Posted on Reply
#24
efikkan
Raevenlord said:
They will do so by starting with an 8-core, 16-thread, SMT-enabled, 3.4 GHz+ base clock and 20MB combined cache new high-performance CPU, leveraging all the improvements baked into AMD's new AM4 platform (with 3.4 GHz apparently being the lowest frequency a Ryzen, consumer-level desktop solution will carry).
I wonder how the cache hierarchy will work. Zen will have more L2 cache, but less L3 cache per core. It will be interesting to see details about associativity etc.

Raevenlord said:

To prove their words and commitment to Ryzen's performance, AMD showcased the chip's prowess in a Blender test, pitting a Ryzen CPU at 3.4 GHz base clock (without Boost), with the consumer market's only other 8-core, 16-thread CPU in the Intel i7 6900K, at its stock 3.2 GHz base clock…

In another test, this time a Handbrake transcoding demo, Ryzen transcoded a video in 54 seconds, against 59 seconds on Intel's 6900K processor.
Both of which are workloads with is expected to run well on Zen, considering it's more of a superscalar than Intel's architecture. How good will the general performance be? We will see in time.

Raevenlord said:

Again at 3.4 GHz, Ryzen was shown "beating the game frame-rates of a Core i7 6900K playing Battlefield 1 at 4K resolution, with each CPU paired with an Nvidia Titan X GPU". Not drawing any more attention than needs to be drawn towards the usage of an NVIDIA solution at their own event (which was puzzling, since AMD did show a Ryzen CPU and a VEGA-based graphics cards running Star Wars Battlefront's as-of-yet unreleased Rogue One DLC at over 60fps in 4K)
So, they don't (yet) have confidence in their own graphics hardware.

Raevenlord said:

AMD also announced what constitutes part of Ryzen's beating heart: their SenseMI technology, which includes "Neural Net Prediction" - an artificial intelligence neural network that learns to predict what future pathway an application will take based on past runs; "Smart Prefetch", which drinks from the "Neural Net Prediction", anticipating the data an app needs and having it ready when needed (with these two features alone being responsible for 1/4 of Ryzen's performance uplift, according to Lisa Su).
All of which is just fancy new buzzwords for technology existing for many years.
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