Friday, February 16th 2018

AMD Ryzen 2000-series "Pinnacle Ridge" CPUs Get Soldered IHS

AMD's second-generation Ryzen 2000-series "Pinnacle Ridge" processors, which succeed the company's first Ryzen "Summit Ridge," reportedly feature soldered integrated heatspreaders (IHS), according AMD spokesperson "AMD_Robert" on Reddit. This would make the chips different from the Ryzen 2000G-series "Raven Ridge" APUs launched earlier this week, which come with a thermal paste between the IHS and the die. Soldered heatspreaders are generally known to have better heat transfer between the IHS and die, when compared to packages with thermal pastes between the two; and are more expensive to manufacture. They remove the need to "de-lid" the processor (remove the IHS). Ryzen 2000-series processors are expected to debut in April 2018.
Source: Reddit
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31 Comments on AMD Ryzen 2000-series "Pinnacle Ridge" CPUs Get Soldered IHS

I believe you are conflating TDP and power draw. TDP is thermal design power, which is an imprecise rating for system integrators and manufacturers of cooling solutions and the like to tell them how hot they can expect the component to be. If soldering the IHS leads to reduced temperatures then it also should allow Intel to reduce the TDP rating.
Somewhat, but not entirely. If, say, the 8700K was lowered to a ... oh, say 75W TDP, that would make it "compatible" with coolers able to dissipate a 20W lower thermal output. Given that the power limits of the chip usually roughly match the TDP over time (spike higher, but average out), either Intel would have to lower boost clocks or keep the power limit at 95W still.

Of course, modern boost clock schemes also play into this, where pretty much every CPU on the market boosts significantly higher than its "base" clock with a sufficient cooler, leaving the base clock as a fallback for barely good enough coolers. This tells us that most CPUs today are regulated by power limits, and not thermal limits - they clock as high as they can within the power budget, with base clocks using less power as a fallback.

In desktop usage and normal bursty workloads, lowering the TDP wouldn't be an issue, but for any situation where heat soak happens, it would happen far more quickly with a 75W-rated cooler (although solder would alleviate this again due to its more efficient heat transfer), and ultimately CPU temperatures would end up at the same point - with thermal throttling again happening, only this time to an even lower level as the lower-specced cooler now struggles to dissipate 95W of heat output. The thing is that pretty much nobody uses coolers specced this low in scenarios like this - heck, even a 212 Evo can handle 125+W - and sustained 100% CPU loads are rare outside of workstations. As such, for this scenario, the difference is this: with TIM, the die would reach heat soak at Tjunction and start thermal throttling before the IHS and cooler were at the same thermal levels, while with solder, they'd be much closer together, giving you more time before heat soak and thus longer unthrottled operation. Using an overspecced cooler - which everyone does - skews this massively, and you end up with the "get lower temps while OCing" discussion we're having today, where power draw and thermal output aren't really a part of the discussion as they're ultimately rather irrelevant.

Of course, this kinda-sorta connection between TDP, power limits and cooler specs is very much on purpose - just think of the variability of scenarios that a "95W" cooler has to cool a "95W" CPU sufficiently. Here in Norway, with our cool temperatures, that would be relatively easy even with a bad cooler. In ... say, Quatar, where you can easily reach 35-40C ambient temps (not to mention factories or other industrial plants which might have even higher temperatures) - according to the specs, the cooler still has to work. As such, they overbuild the coolers, or spec them for something like "deltaT < 60C at full fan speed and 95W thermal load" - which results in wildly different end results depending on ambient temperatures, boost clocks, and so on. In Quatar, this cooler might be hitting TjMax and throttling, or at least coming close to it, while here in Norway it would either slow down the fan, or sit at a significantly lower temperature.

Tl;dr: The relation between power draw, cooler specs and TDP is complex, but ultimately you need a cooler capable of dissipating the amount of heat energy being produced (i.e. CPU power draw) over time.
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which helps you achieve higher frequencies... lol
Only if you increase power as well. You don't magically achieve higher freq with lower temp, this only happens with lucky chips that require less volts.

Let's be honest with ourselves here... the only reason this is a hot (lol) topic is because a specific group of people is hung up on delidding and 'toothpaste' under the IHS.

It is overblown, and AMD is playing into this with a bit of PR. Smart move. But it matters not for the overall performance metric of these CPUs - neither the soldered ones, or the toothpaste ones. There are so many other variables in play, the relevance of it all is extremely low.

In the end, CPU clocks are limited by far more important aspects than the connection under the IHS, and either solution will net similar results up to the point where you can put it on the same level as 'the silicon lottery' - good chips will clock higher, bad ones will clock lower. Toothpaste or not.

For some insight into efficiency loss with any OC: I'm running my 8700k @ 4.8 Ghz and a stress test pulls a constant 130-140w through the chip. Versus (sub - because IGP accounts for a significant part here as well) 75-95W at a 6-core 4.2 Ghz boost... That's 1,5 ~ 1,8x (!) the power draw for a 600mhz bump. Solder or paste? Irrelevant... you still need that power and a mere 100mhz bump to 4.9 already adds 15-20w on top, getting worse as you go higher and very quickly running out of spec/safe voltages anyway.

Now, this is non-delid on air, and well within safe ranges temp/voltage wise... going higher means I would simultaneously run into temperature AND voltage limitations in almost equal pace, which is a testament to the pretty good balance of the 'toothpaste' with max. achievable performance. For AMD this is no different really, but AMD has always required its chips to run at much lower temperatures than Intel, a result of different nodes.

This fact alone should tell you enough: Ryzen+ won't be much different with regards to clocks and these chips are far less flexible in terms of voltage BECAUSE they are less flexible in terms of operating temperature range. Solder is not a choice here, its a necessity.

4.5 Ghz Ryzen is what I would have jumped on instead of my current CPU, but at launch it was crystal clear to me that this product is on the FAR horizon still. Ryzen is a many-core efficiency oriented architecture, same as the ones before it. Going from 4.0-4.1 with XFR/boosts only on the more expensive versions speaks volumes of what the Ryzen line up is capable of. It needs more than a few years of refinement before it's ready to really get substantial clock increases. Let's face it, it took Intel long enough as well to put 4.7 1-core boost on the box.
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Can you tell me how you stress test your OC to make sure it is stable? Just curious I plan to do a 8700k... mainly because min fps rates are much better than Ryzen
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If soldering the IHS leads to reduced temperatures then it also shouldallow Intel to reduce the TDP rating.

It's cooler because it dissipates heat better, not because it makes less of it.
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Can you tell me how you stress test your OC to make sure it is stable? Just curious I plan to do a 8700k... mainly because min fps rates are much better than Ryzen
Some people do a variety of tests including a several hour Prime95 test in Blend mode (it tests both CPU and memory stability) along with a several hour test with IntelBurnTest. If it passes both tests with no hangups, crashes, or BSODs then there's a good chance your overclock is stable.
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People being all dramatic about soldered IHS or not ...

The proces node of AMD processors is limiting any high OC's compared to Vishera. Most of them boot out at 4.2 / 4.4Ghz and it's not due to a soldered or not soldered chip. It's due to proces limitations (Glofo), they are'nt designed to get too great clocks compared to 5GHz Vishera for example (which did 8GHz on LN2).

The only reason there's a heatspreader at the first place is to not just protect the sensitive "core" but also "spread out" the heat to a larger surface for a heatsink or waterblock to take away from.

At small TDP based chips you dont need solder, lol, as there is proberly no need at all or no OC capable that you would need solder in the first place. Solder is a tricky part on chips as well, as it would damage cores if done improperly. But they know what they are doing at AMD.

A lower CPU temperature means a better efficiency as well. It requires less 'higher' voltages if you run a chip cooler. But this you will only find when you cool it enough and start playing with undervolting and all.

I really wonder what type of workload can stress the CPU enough (apart from syntetics) that TIM woud'nt be sufficient anymore.
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