Thursday, January 10


Chiplets! Chiplets! Chiplets!

AMD showed off Ryzen 3000 (the interesting one) at CES today.

Key points:
  • Chiplets!  Confirmed exactly as per the earlier leaks, it has an I/O die built on Global Foundries' 14nm process, a smaller version of the one on the new EPYC processors, and one of the standard 8 core CPU chiplets built on TSMC's 7nm process.

  • Cores!  The chip used in the demo had one CPU chiplet and thus 8 cores, but it very clearly has room reserved for a second chiplet - CPU or GPU.  AnandTech got a good photo of the package showing that it's obviously designed for two chiplets.

  • I/O!  PCIe 4.0 is confirmed.  It might even work on existing motherboards, at least for the primary PCI slot.  (Tom's Hardware)  PCIe 4.0 needs a buffer chip for board traces longer than 7 inches, but the first slot will always be well within that.

    The 500 generation chipsets will be PCIe 4.0 as well, so you could get 8 lanes of PCIe 3.0 off the chipset, all running at full speed.

  • Speed!  On stage and off-stage, it scored within 1% of a power-unrestricted Core i9 9900K on Cinebench R15 multi-core.

  • Efficiency!  It tied for performance with the 9900K while using about 40% less power.  System power was shown as around 130W vs. 180W for the 9900K, on systems matched as closely as possible.

    That means that the chip itself was running at 75W vs. 125W for the Intel chip.  The 9900K is rated at 95W TDP but most motherboards don't enforce that as a limit, and it runs noticeably hotter by default.

AMD didn't confirm clock speeds, just saying that they weren't final, and didn't mention the elephant in the room of the space reserved for that second chiplet.

But what they showed off, when compared against the leaks, looks like a Ryzen 5 mid-range part that exactly matches Intel's fastest 8 core CPU.

The leaked Ryzen 5 3600X is an 8 core 95W part, similar to the 9900K.  But if that's what they showed, it's running at 20W below TDP, where Intel is running at 30W above TDP, for identical performance.  If they showed what is to be the Ryzen 5 3600 (non-X), a 65W part, then it would be running a little above TDP - but that would put a low-mid-range AMD part head-to-head with Intel's best.

It's just one benchmark, but it's not a benchmark AMD can really cheat at.  We know that the Zen 2 floating point hardware matches the 9900K (Zen 1 and Zen+ had half the vector units), so there's no specific magic possible there.

If they got the same performance as Intel at significantly lower power - and it sure looks like it - that means great things for their 2019 product lineup, no matter whether they achieved that through IPC or clock speed or magic smoke.

Disclaimer: They've got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:28 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 Zen and Zen+ engineering samples were, IIRC, several hundred MHz slower than the final retail pieces, so this could be really interesting.
Also, depending on when you read the Anandtech piece, there was a typo.  They reported the Cinebench scores as 1750 or so for the 2700X, (IIRC) 2034 for the 3x00, and 2040 for the 9900K...but the 3x00 score was actually 2057, not 2034, as several people pointed out in the comments.

Posted by: Rick C at Thursday, January 10 2019 12:29 PM (Iwkd4)

2 As you say, an AMD engineering sample running at just 75W competing with a shipping Intel part at 125W is very encouraging.  If they get even another 200MHz out of it, that converts a tie to a win - and then they drop the 16 core parts.

As for the benchmark scores - the difference was because AnandTech had a private session with AMD where they got to run the same benchmark themselves. There was <1% variance between benchmark runs, so not really a problem.  They had the article written in advance, and posted it the moment Lisa Su showed the benchmark on stage.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thursday, January 10 2019 01:26 PM (PiXy!)

3 "AnandTech had a private session"
Ah, I missed that.

Posted by: Rick C at Thursday, January 10 2019 02:55 PM (Iwkd4)

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

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