AMD CEO and President, Dr. Lisa Su, took centre stage at this year's primary Computex keynote to offer a much-anticipated product update for server, PC gaming, and PC CPU markets, all hewn from a leading-edge 7nm process.
2nd Generation Epyc processor - Rome
Building on the foundations of the first-generation Epyc 'Naples' server and workstation processors released last year, Dr. Su reaffirmed some high-level details on the upcoming Zen-2-based 'Rome' processors scheduled for release in Q3 2019.
A single second-generation Epyc processor will offer improved instructions-per-clock-cycle throughput via its enhanced architecture - more details on this will be shared in upcoming tech events, though some extra info was offered last November - up to 64 cores and 128 threads - double that of the first generation - and huge I/O and memory potential.
Providing a glimpse of potential performance on an early-silicon CPU, AMD showed off a 2P Rome-based Epyc system running twice as fast as a 2P Intel Xeon Scalable 8280 (chips at ten grand a pop) machine in an intensive protein-folding benchmark. That's what 256 threads in a single system will do, we guess. Highlighting the growing strength of Epyc, AMD says that twice the number of platforms are in development compared to first-generation Epyc which, if you remember, has the same SP3 socket as the newcomer.
Radeon RX 5000 Series - Mainstream Navi Incoming In July
Of greater interest to gamers is what AMD is doing to compete against Nvidia's latest-generation Turing GPUs. The answer, initially, is a number of mainstream cards based on the all-new Navi architecture. Also using silicon on a 7nm node, Navi will offer 25 per cent more performance than Vega on a clock-for-clock basis - again, the fundamental architecture improvements, memory subsystems, etc., will be discussed later, but we do know that Navi will use a brand-new compute unit design, smarter caching, and cleaner graphics pipeline to achieve the performance uptick. Thanks to a smaller, more-efficient process and architecture, PCIe Gen 4-compatible Navi offers 50 per cent more performance per watt, Dr. Su said. It's this solid hike in PPW that gets us most excited.
Putting these claims into performance context, Dr. Su announced that the first slew of Navi-based cards are to be known as the Radeon RX 5000 family, headlined by the RX 5700. Its performance is said to rival that of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 - AMD showed it running 10 per cent faster in Strange Brigade, a title where it usually wins in - albeit without specific hardware ray-tracing support, so we're interested for a couple of reasons: to see if it lives up to the performance billing from both framerate and efficiency and, secondly, just how aggressive AMD gets with the price.
For what it's worth, having seen an RX 5700 die up close, we reckon it's about 300mm². Readers wanting some Navi goodness won't have to wait long; AMD says that cards will be on shelves in July 2019.
Conjecturing somewhat, we reckon that Radeon RX 5700 will be productised as the XT and Pro, priced at $499 and $399, respectively.
Ryzen Enters The Third Generation
Keeping most of the meaty disclosure until last, Dr. Su expanded upon upcoming third-generation Ryzen CPUs that's also built on the same 7nm Zen 2 blueprint as the latest Epyc CPUs. Compared to first-generation Zen, the modified architecture in Zen 2 chases IPC improvement first and foremost. AMD reckons that a bunch of improvements culminate in an average 15 per cent IPC improvement over what we have seen before. Helping matters along is twice the cache and twice the floating-point performance, too.
It's easier to put third-generation Ryzen's performance into context because AMD provided details on model numbers, speeds and feeds, and performance expectations.
First off the bat is Ryzen 7 3700X - an 8C16T part running at 3.6GHz base and 4.4GHz boost. Notable specs include a massive 36MB of total cache and restrained 65W TDP, made possible by that move to 7nm production. Those numbers are a fair bit higher than the specs of the also-65W Ryzen 7 2700, and AMD says you'll get an extra 18 per cent performance boost over the previous-gen model.
More pertinently for AMD, the single-threaded performance, in Cinebench at least, is on a par with the Intel Core i7-9700K, though thanks to more cores and threads, overall multi-threaded performance is 28 per cent higher. On stage, AMD showed it scoring 4,806 marks in Cinebench R20. Keeping pricing aggressive, Ryzen 7 3700X will cost $329.
Ramping it up a notch, Ryzen 7 3800X cranks the clocks up to 3.9GHz base and 4.5GHz boost, but TDP rises from 65W to 105W. AMD reckons there's a 15-25 per cent uptick in 1080p gaming performance compared to the Ryzen 7 2700X, mostly due to single-threaded improvements, putting framerate at Intel's levels. Further, AMD expects the Ryzen 7 3800X to offer the same kind of multi-threaded performance as Intel's Core i9-9900K, albeit at $399. Again, on stage, the 3800X was shown running at the same 1080p framerate as the 9900K in a custom PUBG benchmark.
Navi Radeon RX 5700 on the left, Matisse 12C24T Ryzen 9 on the right
In an ideal world, AMD would want you to pair the Ryzen 7 3xxx processor with an X570 motherboard - plenty of those at Computex - and Radeon RX 5700 graphics, all of which support PCIe Gen 4.0. Sounds like the PlayStation 5, if you ask us.
Upping Mainstream Ryzen To 12 Cores And 24 Threads
8C16T Ryzens are expected. What's truly new for the third generation is the Ryzen 9 3900X - a 12C/24T chip available on the same X570/X470 AM4 platform. Running at 3.8GHz base and 4.6GHz boost, and offering a whopping 70MB of total cache, this 105W TDP chip brings Rzyen's performance to a fundamentally new level, Dr. Su said. AMD showed off the Ryzen 9 3900X beating out an Intel Core i9-9920X - with Intel based on a more expensive platform - in both single- and multi-threaded tests while consuming a fair bit less power.
This new mainstream champ ought to be 40 per cent faster than Ryzen 7 3800X in the best-case multi-threaded scenarios, making it an attractive choice for true multitaskers. The kicker, as far as the enthusiast is concerned, is a $499 price point, which is the same as the original Ryzen 7 1800X debuted at. To that end, AMD believes it has upped single-threaded perf by 32 per cent and multi-threaded oomph by up to 100 per cent compared to 1800X. Not bad for a chip on the same socket and costing the same in dollar terms, right?
Third-generation Ryzen chips will be available on July 7, 2019.
So, there you have it. Ryzen 3000-series CPUs at the beginning of July, Radeon RX 5000 GPUs by the end of July - busy time for us reviewers! - and second-generation Epyc later on this year. The AMD wagon keeps on rollin'.