Wednesday, February 21



Getting away from politics to happier subjects for a moment, AMD have released their desktop Ryzen APUs - that is, processors with embedded graphics.  The first batch of Ryzen chips (like the R7 1700 I'm using now) had up to 8 cores but no graphics; these have only 4 cores but use the other half of the space to provide the best integrated graphics of any PC CPU ever.*

There are two models, the $99 R3 2200G, and the $169 R5 2400G.  The R5 is up to 30% faster on multi-threaded workloads and up to 50% faster on graphics, but there's a big factor of "it depends".  If you only have 4 active threads the R3 will perform within about 5% of the R5, and depending on the game you want to play, memory speed might be a more significant factor in frame rates than the APU itself.

The question really is, though, can I play games on this thing without having to buy a discrete graphics card which currently thanks to goddamn Blipcoin miners range upwards of eleventy billion dollars?

And the answer seems to be, hell yes.

You're not going to be playing at 4k 60Hz, but GTA5 is quite playable even on the $99 model, with stock cooler, slow memory, at 1080p and with quality settings mostly on high.  Some other games need you to turn the quality or resolution settings down a little to retain good frame rates, but it's still running at an integer multiple of Intel's integrated graphics.

* The best integrated graphics ever belong to the Xbox One X, the chip for which is also made by AMD.  Second place goes to Sony's Playstation 4 Pro, which uses a chip made by...  AMD.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 04:53 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 I understand why they only look at games from a AAA/enthusiast viewpoint, because that's the audience, but I wish they'd deign to look at less-graphically-intensive games.
Minecraft, ever since they redid the graphical engine in 1.8, will do 80FPS on an i7-6770HQ (thet's the one with 128MB of what is effectively "L4" CPU cache/video memory) with a moderate load of mods.  IOW "very playable".  I would expect the Ryzen don't-call-them-APUs to blow Intel's iGPU out of the water.

Posted by: Rick C at Thursday, February 22 2018 06:51 AM (h8yX6)

2 Its around 50% faster than the 6770HQ generally, and much cheaper.  About 200% faster than Intel's mainstream iGPUs.  Haven't seen a specific Minecraft benchmark though.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thursday, February 22 2018 09:31 AM (PiXy!)

3 I've been seeing some interesting followup articles, discussing overclocking the CPU cores and the GPU cores, which has a noticeable-if-not-huge increase in FPS.  What's more interesting is RAM speed and single vs dual-channel operation.  RAM speed can give a pretty decent boost, but for gaming, making sure to use two DIMMs instead of one will provide pretty hefty boosts.,5489.html

on the 2400G, Civ VI @720p DX12 medium settings goes from 1866 to 3200 memory @ CL14 boosts FPS from 22.6 to 33.9.  But the same test with dual-channel RAM sees a boost from 42.9 to 57.6 FPS!
And these numbers are, as far as I can tell, without overclocking.
The nice thing was seeing the 2400g stable at 3200 with dual-channel single-rank memory, considering how much trouble the first-gen processors had with higher-speed memory.
Aside:  My motherboard came out with a BIOS update to support Raven Ridge, and after applying it, I can run my memory at rated speeds again!  I got a 16GB kit of ddr4-3000 that ran fine at 2933 on a Gigabyte motherboard, but would not be stable over 2133 on the Asrock mini-itx I replaced it with.  With the newest bios, it runs at 2933 fine, and I can ALSO overclock the CPU to 3.95GHz on water, with temps that barely reach 70C with a Prime95 small FFT, and only around 1.37V.  It might go faster but I'm not sure how much I want to push Vcore.
(Hilariously, the latest version of HWInfo64 seems to overreport my FSB speed as 108-110MHz, leading to reports of all-core speeds of 4300MHz.)

Posted by: Rick C at Wednesday, February 28 2018 03:22 AM (h8yX6)

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Apple pies are delicious. But never mind apple pies. What colour is a green orange?

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