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AMD unveils Ryzen, the official name for their next-gen CPU

By Scorpus · 48 replies
Dec 13, 2016
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  1. It's official: AMD's next-generation CPU is called Ryzen. Formally known as Zen, AMD's exciting new processors are set to launch in Q1 2017, complete with some features and capabilities freshly announced at the company's Tech Summit 2016 last week in California. We were in attendance.

    Let's discuss the big details first.

    AMD's desktop Ryzen platform also known as 'Summit Ridge', will include a CPU with 8 cores and 16 threads with a base clock of at least 3.4 GHz. This was the first time AMD revealed the clock speed Ryzen will achieve, and the company stated that while engineering samples are currently running at the 3.4 GHz frequency, production units will be clocked higher than that.

    Summit Ridge will also include frequency boost technology, with exact boost frequencies still to be determined. Summit Ridge is set to include 16 MB of L3 cache and 4 MB of L2 cache at the high end.

    Supporting the new Summit Ridge CPUs will be the AM4 platform, of course, with DDR4 memory, PCIe gen 3, USB 3.1 gen 2, and NVMe storage.

    During the summit AMD showed us a Summit Ridge engineering sample running at 3.4 GHz (without boost) in a head-to-head battle with a stock Intel Core i7-6900K. The i7-6900K is a $1,100 Broadwell-E enthusiast CPU from Intel with 8 cores and 16 threads, clocked from 3.2 to 3.7 GHz, so it's a great processor to compare to AMD's similar Summit Ridge hardware.

    AMD showed Summit Ridge narrowly outperforming the i7-6900K in a Handbrake video rendering task, completing the render a second or so faster. We weren't told the exact Handbrake configuration used, but Summit Ridge matching the performance of Broadwell-E is very promising, especially considering AMD is set to introduce frequency boost and a higher base clock speed closer to release.

    It's also looking good for high-end Summit Ridge in terms of power consumption. In the Blender CPU rendering test that AMD first used to demo Ryzen a few months ago, Summit Ridge consumed around 3-5 watts less total system power than the Core i7-6900K. AMD didn't reveal exactly what was in each system, so the difference in system power could be explained by other components, however the company did suggest it was an apples-to-apples comparison.

    Summit Ridge was also shown consuming less total system power at idle, sitting at around 93 watts compared to 107 watts for the Intel system. At peak both systems jumped to around 190 watts, for interest's sake.

    AMD CEO Lisa Su reiterated that the company is on track to deliver a 40% improvement in IPC over their last-gen products at the same level of power consumption. "No games, no gimmicks, it's all about delivering the real product."

    And if the demos are a true reflection of Ryzen and Summit Ridge, AMD will be delivering a modern CPU that can truly compete with Intel's best.

    AMD also touched on a number of Ryzen's features, particularly surrounding a group of technologies they're calling SenseMI. The name "SenseMI" is essentially a brand for AMD's network of sensors and monitoring hardware built in to Ryzen, which itself isn't anything we haven't seen before in competing products (and last-gen AMD hardware).

    SenseMI technology is used in five key areas of Ryzen that will help deliver optimal performance and power efficiency.

    • Pure Power: a closed-loop control system that optimizes clock speeds and frequencies to deliver the best performance at the least power consumption. AMD states that Pure Power is used to enable "lower power for same performance"
    • Precision Boost: works in tandem with Pure Power, but instead offers higher performance at the same power consumption level through clock speed boosts in 25 MHz increments.

    • Extended Frequency Range (XFR): Perhaps the most interesting SenseMI feature, XFR allows the CPU to increase its clock speed beyond rated boost clock frequencies depending on the temperature levels. This sounds similar to Nvidia's GPU Boost 3.0 technology, which often boosts Pascal GPUs well above their rated frequencies. AMD says XFR will reward enthusiast coolers by allowing Ryzen clock speeds to scale with cooling solutions.
    • Neural Net Prediction: The use of the term "neural net" is a bit loose here, however this technology will pre-load instructions by anticipating the actions a user will perform ahead of time.
    • Smart Prefetch: This technology learns data access patterns to prefetch necessary data into the CPU cache so it can be immediately accessed where necessary.

    AMD will have more to share about Ryzen Summit Ridge closer to its Q1 2017 launch. Ryzen CPUs for servers, codenamed 'Naples', are scheduled for launch in Q2 2017, while the second half of 2017 will see Ryzen-based 'Raven Ridge' APUs for low-power devices.

    Permalink to story.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2016
  2. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,298   +519

    I REALLY hope they deliver on this - the fact that the 6900 is an $1100 part is just obscene... Maybe some honest competition can start lowering the prices...

    Of course, we've seen these promises before, but this looks more "promising" :)
     
    psycros, Cryio, mbrowne5061 and 3 others like this.
  3. Scorpus

    Scorpus TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 1,960   +230

    The fact we've seen direct comparisons between Summit Ridge and the i7-6900K shows AMD is confident in their product. I think they will end up delivering.
     
    Redbeard74, Cryio, Versutus and 2 others like this.
  4. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 526   +157

    I don't remember them live benching bulldozer against sandy bridge back in 2010-11. If the benchmark was selected right(heavily multithreaded) they could have come close, but would have still lost in other areas.

    This is looking interesting, even if the 6900k out performs the ryzen 8 core, if the ryzen showed up at the $500-600 rumoured price that would still put the heat on Intel to compete. I am interested in what the $200-300 ryzen do compared to the i5, i7 mainstream family.
     
    Redbeard74 and Peter Farkas like this.
  5. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Guru Posts: 609   +331

    AMD is not dead.

    Just ask Intel ...
     
  6. USAvenger

    USAvenger TS Booster Posts: 67   +69

    Who else saw the name and immediately started playing "Bad Moon Rising" by CCR in their heads? Anyone?!?!?! Bad Moon Ryzen... No? Okay then...

    There are few (if any) of us that would argue that competition is a bad thing. I am well aware of the limits of silicon, but I still feel like Intel has grown lazy and complacent. I have fond memories of the AMD Athlon 64 days; my 3200+ was my first build for myself. AMD really socked it to Intel with the Athlon 64, but have done little in the days since. Here's to hoping that AMD won't disappoint with "Ryzen" and we can all reap the rewards of true competition once again!
     
  7. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Addict Posts: 242   +77

    Folks, this just looks to be the day we have been waiting for so long.
    I am excited! After these demos, they will deliver. Otherwise they wouldn't have done it.

    I can hardly wait to build my next gaming rig with a Ryzen chip beating at its heart!

    Go AMD!

    p.s. Dr. Lisa Su, if you are reading this, please show Intel that the days of monopoly are over! ;-)
     
    Redbeard74 and SantistaUSA like this.
  8. qking

    qking TS Member Posts: 23   +8


    I was actually thinking Ryzen (from the ashes like a Phoenix,) myself.!

    My son is still rocking my old Athlon 64 X2 6400+ in his hand-me-down PC. That's years and years after I finished using it, it's still going well for (most of) his needs. We banged a newer 'low-end but still ok' graphics card in there and we managed to get StarWars Battlefront to be playable, not an easy task with limited gear !
     
    Redbeard74 likes this.
  9. amghwk

    amghwk TS Booster Posts: 143   +49

    Until we see practical benchmarks across multiple applications and gsmes when they are released, I'll keep my judgement in reserve.

    Nowadays, it's all about pre-release marketing. Gaming or otherwise.
     
    Redbeard74 and ScubaRhys like this.
  10. SantistaUSA

    SantistaUSA TS Booster Posts: 83   +22

    Competition is definitely good for us consumers. Man my first build was a AMD 2500+, good ol memories! I had AMD for years but now I get huge discount on intel cpus since I work retail. Got an i7 3770k for $100 when it came out and still going strong.
     
    Redbeard74 likes this.
  11. namesrejected

    namesrejected TS Maniac Posts: 222   +132

    Very exciting! I want to see motherboards now! I'm so glad AMD is going the " support the extremist overclockers " rout.
     
    Redbeard74 and SantistaUSA like this.
  12. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,203   +396

    Meh don't like that name.

    I will continue to call it Zen.

    Just like I still call AMD Ati!
     
    Redbeard74 likes this.
  13. penn919

    penn919 TS Booster Posts: 193   +25

    I'm okay with RYZEN. I like the logo too. Rumor has it that the SR3 RYZEN will compare to a 6700k. That's what I'll shoot for. I'm currently rocking an FX-8300 at stock.
     
  14. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,131   +3,243

    Reminds me of my cursor when I'm waiting on a process to complete. I do hope that thought is misleading, which would seem to be a bit of irony.
     
  15. Endarial

    Endarial TS Member Posts: 20   +23

    I hadn't thought about that song when I first read it, but now I don't think I'll be able to read that name without hearing that song in my head every time. Thanks a lot! ;D
     
  16. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,717   +956

    I'm sure that would be become the meme if it does fail.
     
    Redbeard74 likes this.
  17. qking

    qking TS Member Posts: 23   +8

    How about....Ryzen up, back on the streeeeeeet. Did my time, took my chaaaannceeeees
     
  18. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,203   +396

    I'm still on x58 chipset and i7-970 chip, its time for a updated platform.

    Depending on pricing probably going straight to the 8 core model for Zen.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
    Cryio and Seraphim401 like this.
  19. Jamlad

    Jamlad TS Booster Posts: 73   +67

    I want this to be good. I really so want this to be good to inject some competition into the market, but I've been disappointed before. Actually, I've been disappointed by AMD consistently.

    I've never had an AMD GPU that didn't underwhelm, or have dodgy drivers, or have HW issues, or just flat out suck.
     
  20. Jibberish18

    Jibberish18 TS Evangelist Posts: 581   +50

    If everything is as they say it is, then this sounds like it will be very good. I'm excited.
     
    Redbeard74 likes this.
  21. aMerkuri

    aMerkuri TS Enthusiast Posts: 49   +19

    My i7 920 needs a refresh. Zen and VEGA come to me.
     
  22. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Posts: 389   +14

    "8 cores, 16 threads".

    Am I mistaken, or is this AMD's first multi-threaded CPU?

    I built my very first Intel machine (I'm using it now) a few years ago when even the fastest AMD CPU rated about the same as an i3 or low i5 in speed, but with FAR worse power consumption & heat.

    I'd really like a reason to go back to AMD, but not if their only desktop version is an "APU". :(
     
    Redbeard74 likes this.
  23. Ben Myers

    Ben Myers TS Enthusiast Posts: 35   +10

    In short, AMD is lagging many months behind Intel in the world of top end desktop/workstation CPUs. Ryzen narrowly outperforms the i7-6900K. Price of a Ryzen CPU? Tell me again why I am supposed to be excited, absent any definite pricing info for Ryzen. A puff piece for an AMD chip.
     
  24. Cryio

    Cryio TS Booster Posts: 198   +58

    The SR7 8 core AMD CPU is supposed to be priced as a 6700K probably.
     
  25. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,638   +1,032

    Mister Mojo Riisiiiin'!
     
    qking likes this.

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