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AMD Ryzen 5 3500 to Lack SMT, Takes on Core i5-9400

As AMD's Ryzen 5 3500 processor is inching closer to launch, we learn more possible specifications of the chip AMD is designing to take on Intel's popular Core i5-9400/9400F processor. Late July, we learned that the chip will be a 6-core model, breaking away from convention set by past generations, of the x500 Ryzen SKU being 4-core/8-thread. Thai PC enthusiast TUM_APISAK, who has a fairly high hit-rate on unreleased products, predicts that the 3500 will be six-core, but lack SMT (it will be 6-core/6-thread).

The Ryzen 5 3500 will be clocked at 3.60 GHz nominal, with a boost frequency of 4.10 GHz. There's no word on other specs, such as L3 cache amount. A single "Zen 2" chiplet normally has 32 MB of it (16 MB per CCX). The main competitor from the Intel stable is the Core i5-9400 / i5-9400F, which ticks at 2.90 GHz with 4.10 GHz boost. The i5-9400F in particular has had a big impact in the sub-$200 segment, as it's been aggressively priced under promotions by various DIY retailers. The chip lacks an iGPU, but has the specs to pull a fairly powerful gaming PC. With the Ryzen 5 3600 at $199, AMD could price the new chip around $169-179.

AMD Readies Ryzen 9 3950X 16-core Processor to Awestrike Crowds at E3

When AMD launched its Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core/24-thread processor at its Computex 2019 keynote, our readers commented on the notable absence of a 16-core SKU, given that a "Matisse" multi-chip module with two 8-core "Zen 2" chiplets adds up to that core-count. Some readers noted this could be a case of AMD holding back its top performing part in the absence of competition in the segment from Intel. It turns out, the company was saving this part up for an E3 2019 unveiling.

The Ryzen 9 3950X maxes out "Matisse" MCM with 16 cores, 32 threads via SMT, a staggering 64 MB of L3 cache (72 MB including the 8 MB of total L2 cache), and a stunning 105-Watt TDP figure that's unchanged from the company's TDP for the 3900X. The Ryzen 9 3950X is clocked at 3.50 GHz, with a maximum boost frequency of 4.70 GHz. The company is yet to reveal its price, but given that the $499 price-tag has already been taken by the 3900X, one could expect an even higher price. It remains to be seen if the 3950X will launch alongside the rest of the series on 7/7.

Intel Puts Out Benchmarks Showing Minimal Performance Impact of MDS Mitigation

Intel Tuesday once again shook the IT world by disclosing severe microarchitecture-level security vulnerabilities affecting its processors. The Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS) class of vulnerabilities affect Intel CPU architectures older than "Coffee Lake" to a greater extent. Among other forms of mitigation software patches, Intel is recommending that users disable HyperThreading technology (HTT), Intel's simultaneous multithreading (SMT) implementation. This would significantly deplete multi-threaded performance on older processors with lower core-counts, particularly Core i3 2-core/4-thread chips.

On "safer" microarchitectures such as "Coffee Lake," though, Intel is expecting a minimal impact of software patches, and doesn't see any negative impact of disabling HTT. This may have something to do with the 50-100 percent increased core-counts with the 8th and 9th generations. The company put out a selection of benchmarks relevant to client and enterprise (data-center) use-cases. On the client use-case that's we're more interested in, a Core i9-9900K machine with software mitigation and HTT disabled is negligibly slower (within 2 percent) of a machine without mitigation and HTT enabled. Intel's selection of benchmarks include SYSMark 2014 SE, WebXprt 3, SPECInt rate base (1 copy and n copies), and 3DMark "Skydiver" with the chip's integrated UHD 630 graphics. Comparing machines with mitigations applied but toggling HTT presents a slightly different story.

Bulldozer Core-Count Debate Comes Back to Haunt AMD

AMD in 2012 launched the FX-8150, the "world's first 8-core desktop processor," or so it says on the literal tin. AMD achieved its core-count of 8 with an unconventional CPU core design. Its 8 cores are arranged in four sets of two cores each, called "modules." Each core has its own independent integer unit and L1 data cache, while the two cores share a majority of their components - the core's front-end, a branch-predictor, a 64 KB L1 code cache, a 2 MB L2 cache, but most importantly, an FPU. There was much debate across tech forums on what constitutes a CPU core.

Multiprocessor-aware operating systems had to be tweaked on how to properly address a "Bulldozer" processor. Their schedulers would initially treat "Bulldozer" cores as fully independent (as conventional logic would dictate), until AMD noticed multi-threaded application performance bottlenecks. Eventually, Windows and various *nix kernels received updates to their schedulers to treat each module as a core, and each core as an SMT unit (a logical processor). The FX-8350 is a 4-core/8-thread processor in the eyes of Windows 10, for example. These updates improved the processors' performance but not before consumers started noticing that their operating systems weren't reporting the correct core-count. In 2015, a class-action lawsuit was filed against AMD for false marketing of FX-series processors. The wheels of that lawsuit are finally moving, after a 12-member Jury is set up to examine what constitutes a CPU core, and whether an AMD FX-8000 or FX-9000 series processor can qualify as an 8-core chip.

Rumor: AMD's Zen 2, 7 nm Chips to Feature 10-15% IPC Uplift, Revised 8-core per CCX Design

A post via Chiphell makes some substantial claims on AMD's upcoming Zen 2 microarchitecture, built on the 7 nm process. AMD has definitely won the core-count war once again (albeit with a much more decisive blow to Intel's dominance than with Bulldozer), but the IPC battle has been an uphill one against Intel's slow, but sure, improvement in that area over the years. AMD did say, at the time they introduced the Zen architecture, that they had a solid understanding on Zen's choke points and its improveable bits and pieces - and took it to heart to deliver just that.

Intel Says AMD EPYC Processors "Glued-together" in Official Slide Deck

So, yes, Intel, I think the AMD engineers who have developed the Zen architecture from the ground-up would take issue with that. Especially when AMD's "Glued-together" dies actually wipe the proverbial floor with the blue company's chips in power-performance ratios, and deliver much better multi-threaded performance than Intel's offerings. Not bad for a "Glued-together" solution, I'd say.

Our resident W1zzard had this to say regarding AMD's latest CPUs: "The SenseMi power-management system seems to be working well in idle, with the 8-core machine drawing the same amount of power as Intel's quad-core "Kaby Lake" machine." And "At stock speeds, the energy-efficiency of Ryzen is truly phenomenal. Prime95 loads all cores and threads on the chip, and the Ryzen ends up with as much power draw as the quad-core Intel i7-7700K. The high power draw result of the overclocked chip is due to the increased voltage needed to achieve stable operation." And let's not forget this: This is epic. We're assuming you've sifted through our game-test results before seeing this page, and so you'll find that the gaming power draw of the 8-core Ryzen makes Intel's quad-core i7-7700K look bad. Power draw is as much as 30W lesser! Ryzen is hands down the most energy-efficient performance CPU AMD ever made, and easily outclasses Intel's 14 nm "leadership." Good show."

Flagship AMD Ryzen Threadripper 16-core Chip Appears on GeekBench

Apparently, AMD's nomenclature of its flagship Ryzen Threadripper won't look like years-of-birth of today's gamers after all. The flagship 16-core part will bear the model name Ryzen Threadripper 1950X (and not the previously-reported 1998X). This chip was put through GeekBench 4.1.0, on an ASRock X399 Professional Gaming, paired with 16 GB of DDR4-2133 MHz memory. Whether it's dual-channel or quad-channel, is not known at this point. What is known, however, is that 2133 MHz isn't the best memory frequency for Ryzen; and paired with quad-channel DDR4-3200, one could expect the best possible performance. The 1950X was clocked at 3.40 GHz for this test, which probably is its final nominal clock speed, after all.

The Ryzen Threadripper 1950X sample scored 4,167 single-thread performance, and 24,539 points in multi-threaded performance. To put these numbers into perspective, an Intel Xeon E5-2697A v4 16-core/32-thread processor based on the "Broadwell" architecture scores 30,450 points in multi-threaded performance, even if single-thread performance is as low as 3,651 points. Perhaps the memory setup or SMT isn't optimally set for the Threadripper chip. Among the other Threadripper SKUs AMD plans to launch on July 27 are the 12-core/24-thread Ryzen Threadripper 1920X and 1920 (non-X).

AMD Talks Improved Ryzen Memory Support, Ryzen 3, and Game Optimization

AMD, in an interview with Forbes, confirmed that it is working to improve DDR4 memory support of its Ryzen series processors, to enable higher memory clocks. AMD Ryzen users find it difficult to get DDR4 memory clocks to run above 3000 MHz reliably. With memory clock being linked with the chip's Infinity Fabric clock (the interconnect between two CCX units on the "Summit Ridge" silicon), the performance incentives for higher memory clocks are just that much more.

AMD confirmed that its AGESA update for May improves DDR4 memory compatibility, although it also stressed on the need for motherboard manufacturers to improve their board designs in the future, with more PCB layers and better copper traces between the DIMM slots and the SoC socket. The company assures that more updates to AGESA are in the pipeline, and would improve performance of Ryzen processors at various levels. The AGESA updates are dispensed through motherboard vendors as BIOS updates.

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Gets a Small Price Cut

AMD has given its flagship Ryzen processor, the Ryzen 7 1800X, a small price cut. The chip is now priced at USD $469 on leading online retailers in the US, down from its launch price of $499. This $30 cut, however, isn't spread over to AMD's other Ryzen 7 series parts. The Ryzen 7 1700X continues to go for $399, and the Ryzen 7 1700 (non-X) around $329. Prices of the Ryzen 5 series six-core and quad-core parts seem unaffected, too.

AMD's flagship processor, the Ryzen 7 1800X features eight cores, SMT enabling 16 logical CPUs for the software to deal with, 512 KB of L2 cache per core, and 16 MB of shared L3 cache. It is clocked at 3.60 GHz, with 4.00 GHz TurboCore frequency, and XFR (extended frequency range) unlocking higher automated overclocks depending on the effectiveness of your cooler. The socket AM4 chip is built on the 14 nm process, and has a 95W TDP rating.

AMD Starts Selling the Ryzen 5 Processor Family

AMD Ryzen 5 series desktop processors are officially available from today. The lineup is designed to compete with Intel's Core i5 quad-core "Kaby Lake" processor family, and consists of 6-core and 4-core parts carved out of the 14 nm "Summit Ridge" silicon. The lineup begins with the $169 Ryzen 5 1400 and $189 Ryzen 5 1500X quad-core parts, featuring SMT that enable 8 logical CPUs, 8 MB of L3 cache, unlocked multipliers, and XFR on the 1500X. The 1400 is clocked at 3.20 GHz with 3.40 GHz boost, while the 1500X ticks at 3.50 GHz with 3.70 GHz boost, and XFR enabling higher automatic overclocks.

While the Ryzen 5 1400 and 1500X compete with Core i3 and Core i5 "Kaby Lake" models under $200; the $219 Ryzen 5 1600 and $249 1600X six-core parts target the Core i5-7600K, with their 6 cores, 12 threads, 16 MB of L3 caches, and unlocked multipliers. The 1600 is clocked at 3.20 GHz with 3.60 GHz boost, while the 1600X ticks at 3.60 GHz core and 4.00 GHz boost. All four chips are available immediately.

AMD Ryzen 5 Series Lineup Leaked

Over 12 hours ahead of its unveiling, Guru3D accidentally (timezone confusion) posted some juicy details about AMD's exciting Ryzen 5 desktop processor lineup. What makes these chips particularly exciting is that they occupy several sub-$250 price points, and offer the kind of gaming performance you'd expect from the larger 8-core Ryzen 7 series chips, since not a lot of games need 8 cores and 16 threads. The Ryzen 5 series will launch with two 6-core, and two 4-core SKUs, all four of which feature SMT (simultaneous multi-threading), and unlocked base-clock multipliers.

The Ryzen 5 series is topped by the Ryzen 5-1600X, priced at USD $249. This 6-core/12-thread chip features the full 16 MB of L3 cache available on the 14 nm "Summit Ridge" silicon, and backs it with clock speeds of 3.60 GHz core and 4.00 GHz TurboCore, with the XFR (extended frequency range) feature enabling higher clocks depending on the effectiveness of your CPU cooling. This chip could be AMD's power move against the Intel Core i5-7600K. Next up, is the Ryzen 5-1600 (non-X), priced at $219. This chip lacks the XFR feature, and comes with slightly lower clocks out of the box, with 3.20 GHz core, and 3.60 GHz TurboCore. You still get an unlocked base-clock multiplier, which Intel's $220-ish competitor to this chip, the Core i5-7500, sorely lacks.

AMD's Ryzen CPU Series will Need Modern Linux Kernel for Proper Support

So, it's not just Windows that will be pulling the "you need the latest version" card when it comes to Ryzen CPU support. Apparently, Linux will need kernel version 4.9.10 or better to enable a lot of features, SMT included. If you really want good support, the "newer the better" is generally the way to go.

Operating below that version won't necessarily stop Ryzen from functioning as a CPU, but several notable features, most notably SMT, will be completely "broken" according to the article at Phronix.

Phronix notes that the fix landed in early February. It notes in the commit message:
After: a33d331761bc ("x86/CPU/AMD: Fix Bulldozer topology") our SMT scheduling topology for Fam17h systems is broken, because the ThreadId is included in the ApicId when SMT is enabled. So, without further decoding cpu_core_id is unique for each thread rather than the same for threads on the same core. This didn't affect systems with SMT disabled. Make cpu_core_id be what it is defined to be.
So there it is, for you techno-wizards. Apparently, microcode actually is relevant to support features, and Microsoft's claims have some degree of merit.

The Power of Marketing - AMD's Ryzen Hype Train Hyperloops On

AMD did it again: building-up such a tremendous speed on its new products' hype train that the Ryzen 7 1700X, Ryzen 7 1800X, and Ryzen 7 1700 managed to jump straight to first, second, and fourth spots of Amazon's list of best-selling CPUs, respectively, dethroning even Intel's mighty i7 7700K. Granted, it isn't hard for the processors from one or the other manufacturer to quickly jump and wrangle about the spots on retailer's best seller lists - there Are only two manufacturers of consumer-grade, high-performance x86 CPUs. But keep in mind: this is a pre-order we're talking about, with nothing but leaks and marketing maneuvering for consumers to base their purchase on.

Pricing of Entire AMD Ryzen Lineup Revealed

AMD Wednesday launched its much awaited Ryzen performance desktop processor lineup with three top 8-core models, the Ryzen 7-1800X priced at USD $499, followed by the Ryzen 7-1700X at $399, and the Ryzen 7-1700 at $329. You're probably curious as to the rest of the lineup, especially the cheaper six-core SMT-enabled parts. Here they are. The Ryzen 5-1600X is designed to lure buyers away from the Core i5-7600K, and probably even the i7-7700K. This six-core chip with SMT, which enables 12 logical CPUs for your software to deal with, is endowed with the full 16 MB of L3 cache, and is not only unlocked, but also features the XFR (extended frequency range) technology. It's clocked at 3.60 GHz, with 4.00 GHz TurboCore. The Ryzen 5-1600X is priced at $259, and is sure to draw some attention.

Next up, is the Ryzen 5-1500. This 6-core/12-thread chip lacks XFR, but is still unlocked, ticks at 3.20 GHz with 3.50 GHz TurboCore, and features the full 16 MB of L3 cache. At $229, and with a TDP of 65W, this chip is sure to disrupt Intel's "Kaby Lake" Core i5 lineup. The quad-core Ryzen lineup is built by disabling one of the two 4-core CCX complexes on the 14 nm "Summit Ridge" silicon, and feature 8 MB of L3 cache. The lineup is led by the $199 Ryzen 5-1400X. This quad-core chip ticks at 3.50 GHz, with 3.90 GHz TurboCore, and features XFR and SMT, which enables 8 threads. Next up, is the quad-core Ryzen 5-1300, priced at $175, with the Core i3-7350K in its crosshairs, clocked at 3.20 GHz and 3.50 GHz Turbo. At the bottom of the pile is the Ryzen 3 quad-core lineup, which lack SMT. The Ryzen 3-1200X is priced at just $149, but you get 3.40 GHz clocks with 3.80 GHz Turbo, and XFR, and 8 MB of L3 cache. The cheapest Ryzen chip is just $129. The Ryzen 3-1200 lacks XFR, but gives you 3.20 GHz clocks with 3.50 GHz Turbo.

AMD Ryzen Stock Cooling Solutions Detailed

AMD is expected to package its upcoming Ryzen desktop processors in five ways - OEM trays (for system integrators and big pre-built PC manufacturers), PIB (processor in a box) with its basic fan-heatsink cooling solution, PIB with the new Wraith Spire cooling solution; PIB with the new Wraith Max cooling solution, and WOF (without fan-heatsink consumer). You can find the various models of Ryzen processors listed in our older article.

AMD's first wave of Ryzen processors consist of 65W and 95W TDP chips. Some of the more cost-effective models, such as the quad-core Ryzen R3 and SMT-equipped quad-core Ryzen R5, and certain variants of the six-core Ryzen R5, which have their TDP rated at 65W, could include AMD's basic cooling solution. According to XFastest, this cooler will look identical to the ones AMD used to bundle with its FX-series processors, before it innovated its Wraith cooling solution (representative image below). These coolers were being bundled with 125W TDP FX-series chips, and will now be re-tuned for low noise for the 65W TDP Ryzen chips, and will feature AM4 compatibility. Given this, we expect them to do a good job.

AMD Ryzen Die Shot and New Architecture Details Revealed at ISSCC

At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference held earlier this month, some solid information has come to surface on a subject near and dear to many enthusiast hearts right now: AMD's upcoming Ryzen CPU line.

As far as credibility, the information comes in fairly convincing form. AMD's claims are backed with die shots of actual AMD Ryzen cores and further supported by more shots of their CCX (core complex) modules. From these shots, we can guess at several things, and further more see evidence for several of their claims.

AMD Ryzen Processor Models Revealed

Unlike Intel, which has had a predictable processor model number scheme over the past decade, those of AMD's new Ryzen processor family have been shrouded in mystery. Come March 2nd, and the company will launch some of 17, that's right, seventeen processor models. These include 5 eight-core SKUs, 4 six-core SKUs, and a whopping 8 quad-core SKUs. The lineup is led by the AMD Ryzen R7 1800X, followed by the R7 1800 Pro, the R7 1700X, the R7 1700 Pro, and the R7 1700. At this point we don't know the clock speeds of these SKUs, or what "Pro" designates. We know from AMD's application of the "Pro" moniker to some of its A-series APUs that it could designate certain business-desktop centric features.

The six-core lineup is led by the Ryzen R5 1600X, followed by the R5 1600 Pro, the R5 1500, and the R5 1500 Pro. The clock speeds of these SKUs range between 3.20-3.60 GHz, all SKUs feature SMT, enabling 12 logical CPUs for the OS to deal with. Lastly, AMD has an exhaustive range of quad-core chips, the ones with SMT are slotted in the Ryzen R5 extension, and the ones without SMT are Ryzen R3. The SMT-enabled quad-core lineup includes the R5 1400X, R5 1400 Pro, R5 1300, and R5 1300 Pro. The entry-level R3 lineup includes the R3 1200X, R3 1200 Pro, R3 1100, and R3 1100 Pro. A number of these SKUs will launch on the 2nd of March, 2017.

AMD Ryzen Ashes of The Singularity Benchmarks Surface: Impressive 4K Scores

Ashes of the Singularity seems to be the benchmark tool of choice for upcoming AMD products, for some reason; and it was once again used to benchmark an upcoming AMD Ryzen processor. The benchmark results were quickly deleted after they were posted, but the hardware enthusiast should never be underestimated, and timely screenshot skills always help keep alive these little slips of the trade.

Unlike some previous benchmark leaks of Ryzen processors, which carried the prefix ES (Engineering Sample), this one carried the ZD Prefix, and the last characters on its string name are the most interesting to us: F4 stands for the silicon revision, while the 40_36 stands for the processor's Turbo and stock speeds respectively (4.0 GHz and 3.6 GHz). This is the 8-core, 16-thread SMT-enabled monster of a processor that AMD will be bringing to the table in its uphill battle against Intel, with the Ryzen chip having achieved CPU Framerate scores of 81.4 (normal batch, 73.4 (medium batch) and 60.2 (heavy batch), paired with a Pascal-based NVIDIA Titan X (which would likely point towards the test having been done by an independent, off-AMD labs part).

AMD's Upcoming Ryzen Line-up Could Feature 6-Core Chips After All

It's always a dance between rumours, expectations and "theorycrafting" when it comes to the launch of any particularly exciting product. And with AMD's Ryzen chips currently being the most hotly anticipated development (and product launch) in the hardware world, well, let's just say that anticipation is really building up to enormous levels, with any possible details surrounding AMD's line-up being the cause, in some cases, of heated debate.

Case in point: with AMD's CCX (CPU Complex) being indivisible, this would mean a blow not only to budget-conscious consumers, but also to AMD's ability to engender its product line. Flexibility has always been the name of the game with AMD (discounting their CMT-based Bulldozer and derived architectures), with the company offering triple-core processors in the past (and weren't those the good old days of processor unlocking). However, now reports have come in that Ryzen's CCX are actually divisible, which could open up possibilities for some theoretically value-breaking hexa-core Ryzen chips.

AMD Begins Sampling Entry-Level Ryzen Chips - 4 Cores With SMT Disabled

With AMD's Ryzen chips launch being ever closer to us, details about its product line - which still remain mysterious enough - eventually begin to slip. Reportedly, AMD's entry-level Ryzen chips - the SR3 line of processors, if previous leaks ring true, will be made up of 4-core processors with AMD's SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading), the equivalent to Intel's HT (Hyper-Threading) disabled. These will be, apparently, true 4-core processors, without any additional logical processors exposed by SMT.
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