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AMD Addresses 9900k Controversy and Outlines Benchmarking Practices

In response to the recent controversy surrounding the 9900k benchmarks by Principled Technologies, AMD passed out some slides outlining problems with those benchmarks, as well as general "best benchmarking practices". Aside from the numerous issues with the first round of testing, AMD also noted issues with Principled Technologies 2nd, updated round of testing. According to AMD, the Multicore Enhancement auto-overclocking setting was still unclear, the memory timings were still "suspect," and testing methodology specifics and other relevant system configuration settings still weren't addressed. In addition to the criticism, AMD outlined good, general benchmarking practices. AMD says that reviewers should make sure to sanitize the OS before running benchmarks, make sure the CPUs are running at their stock, warrantied specifications, and run repeatable, consistent benchmarks at least five times, among other things. Check out the full slides by clicking the images below:

Never stop asking: "does this config, test, and result make sense to me as a consumer?"

Posted by alphaatlas October 19, 2018 9:27 AM (CDT)

AMD Launches RX 580 2048SP for Chinese Market

AMD launched a cut down version of the RX 580 with only 2048 stream processors instead of 2304. Curiously, it has the exact same core configuration, base clock, and memory bandwidth as the RX 570. The only thing separating the RX 580 2048SP from the 570 a 40Mhz boost clock bump. According to Extremetech, its only bound for the Chinese market now.

It's not unheard of for manufacturers to make subdivisions like this, as mentioned above. Back when Nvidia launched its Tesla line of GPUs (GT200, not its line of HPC accelerators and add-in boards), it quickly realized it had miscalculated. The GTX 280 and GTX 260 both got substantial price cuts just weeks after launch once AMD's HD 4870 and HD 4850 proved to be faster and far better priced. In addition, Nvidia introduced a "GeForce 260 Core 216" edition of the GeForce GTX 260 (the original flavor had just 192 cores). And AMD has been down this road before with Polaris. Last year, it permitted OEMs to sell RX 560 cards with just 892 cores, as opposed to the 1,024 standard. AMD's justification for this has been that offering more flexible solutions helps OEMs sell more graphics cards to their customers at specific price points. Sure. That's the reason companies subdivide markets in the first place. If the only GPUs you sold were priced at $100 and $1,000, you'd wind up missing an awful lot of buyers.

Posted by alphaatlas October 18, 2018 10:45 AM (CDT)

A Sneak Peek at SEGA's Cancelled Shenmue HD Remaster

The crew at Digital Foundry was sent a work-in-progress video of an early HD remake of the cult classic game Shenmue. It seems that SEGA had commissioned UK developer d3t initially to create a complete remaster of the game with better environment maps, crisper textures, and HD graphics; but due to unknown reasons it was cancelled. The Shenmue I & II game that we got on Steam uses the old AM2 assets. Here is a look at what could have been. Maybe one day we will get this version?

Well, the details are murky but as we understand it, this more in-depth remaster/remake was in development for quite some time before the plug was pulled due to budget constraints and development delays - and perhaps owing to concerns with the nature of some of the changes being made. We only have a rough idea of what happened and we can't presume to understand all of the business reasons behind Sega's change in direction, but the bottom line is that in common with other unfinished and cancelled projects, the work-in-progress video we received adds a further dimension to the history of one of gaming's most celebrated franchises.

Posted by cageymaru October 16, 2018 9:40 AM (CDT)

Intel's i9-9900K Is Only 12% Faster than AMD's 2700X at Gaming, but 66% Pricier

Principled Technologies has published a revised report comparing the performance of the Core i9-9900K processor with various competitors, and according to TechPowerUp, Intel’s latest and greatest only offers a marginal improvement compared to the Ryzen 2700X despite being priced much higher. "The bottom-line of PT's new data is this: the Core i9-9900K is roughly 12 percent faster than the Ryzen 7 2700X at gaming, while being a whopping 66% pricier ($319 vs. $530 average online prices)."

While Principled Technologies corrected half its rookie mistakes by running the 2700X in the default "Creator Mode" that enables all 8 cores, it didn't correct the sub-optimal memory. Despite this, the data shows gaming-performance percentage differences between the i9-9900K and the 2700X narrow down to single digit or around 12.39 percent on average, seldom crossing 20 percent. This is a significant departure from the earlier testing, which skewed the average on the basis of >40% differences in some games, due to half the cores being effectively disabled on the 2700X.

Posted by Megalith October 13, 2018 1:40 PM (CDT)

AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.10.1 Drivers Have Been Released

AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.10.1 drivers have been released and they offer support for the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. The drivers are optimized for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. They have fixed issues such as the HDMI Audio Drivers not upgrading during Radeon Software installation, Fortnite experiencing lighting corruption on high or epic, 16 core systems randomly restarting during driver installation and the flickering textures in Sea of Thieves under mGPU configurations. New Vulkan extension support was also added.

Known Issues: When using Radeon Overlay on system configurations with the latest Windows10 October 2018 Update some users may experience intermittent instability or game crashes. Microsoft Office applications may experience lag or stutter when dragging applications. Radeon RX Vega Series graphics products may experience elevated memory clocks during system idle.

Posted by cageymaru October 11, 2018 6:35 PM (CDT)

Walmart Partners with PayPal to Bring Deposits and Withdrawals to Physical Stores

Walmart is partnering with PayPal to allow PayPal customers to deposit and withdraw funds from their PayPal account in-store for a $3 fee. This is the first time PayPal mobile app users will be able to take cash out of their PayPal account in a brick-and-mortar environment, in addition to being able to load cash into their PayPal balance at Walmart stores. PayPal Cash Mastercard users will be able to access their cash at Walmart ATMs, service desks, and cash registers for the same fee.

"Today's news is the first time our two companies are working together to build products for our shared customers," said Dan Schulman, President and CEO, PayPal. "We consider this a key collaboration for both PayPal and Walmart. We are committed to working together to make it simple and easy for people to use PayPal cash in and cash out money services at every Walmart location in the U.S. We look forward to working hand-and-hand to help people and families with their financial services needs."

Posted by cageymaru October 11, 2018 1:52 PM (CDT)

Linux Application Scaling Featuring 128 Threads from Dual AMD EPYC 7601 Processors

Michael Larabel of Phoronix has conducted a test of Linux application scaling on up to 128 threads. He chose a Dell PowerEdge R7425 server featuring two AMD EPYC 7601 processors for a total of 64 cores and 128 threads, 512GB of RAM (16 x 32GB DDR4), and 20 x 500GB Samsung 860 EVO SSDs. He ran the server through a battery of testing to see how Linux applications and benchmarks scaled from 2 threads to 128 threads. He has even more results here. If you are curious about how much AMD EPYC processors cost in relation to Intel Xeon processors, the AMD EPYC Processor Selector Tool is found here.

This Dell PowerEdge server packing two AMD EPYC 7601 processors can build the Linux kernel in just 25 seconds!

Posted by cageymaru October 11, 2018 9:57 AM (CDT)

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X on Sale...Again

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X with with Wraith Prism LED Cooler for $295. If you don't want the cooler, it fetches $35 to $50 on the resale market, because you know...Frag Harder Disco Lights.

Posted by Kyle October 10, 2018 11:12 PM (CDT)

Principled Technologies Deny Bias in Recent Intel vs. AMD Testing Controversy

Principled Technologies has issued a statement about the testing methodology that they employed for the commissioned Intel report. First they address the accusations of bias by stating that they have worked for AMD, Intel, HP, Dell, etc in the past. Then they addressed issues such as not matching CPU coolers during testing, using Game Mode on AMD Ryzen, memory speeds and why they used 4 sticks, XMP usage, resolution, quality settings, motherboards used, etc. Interesting read for those interested in how they arrived at their conclusions.

For almost 16 years, we have tested products for our clients because they trust our integrity. We have worked not just for any one company but for dozens of the leading technology firms, including rivals such as Intel and AMD, Microsoft and Google, Dell and HP, and many others. Those clients trust PT in part because our integrity and our technical knowledge are beyond reproach. We work hard to be the best in both of those areas. We chose our company name to emphasize our commitments to both technology and our principles. Before going further, we thus must categorically deny any dishonesty in our work on this project for Intel or in any of our other projects.

Posted by cageymaru October 10, 2018 1:50 PM (CDT)

Disney Details "Star Wars" Live-Action TV Series "The Mandalorian"

Disney has released new details on the upcoming live-action "Star Wars" TV series, which will play exclusively on its as-of-yet-untitled streaming service: written and produced by Jon Favreau ("Iron Man"), "The Mandalorian" will tell the tales of, well, a Mandalorian, following "the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order." Both Jango Fett and Boba Fett wore the armor of these legendary warriors, who fought against the Jedi.

"After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe," read his post, in the style of a "Star Wars" opening crawl. "The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic."

Posted by Megalith October 07, 2018 4:10 PM (CDT)

AMD to Regain 30% Desktop Market Share in 4Q18? That's Unlikely

Industry sources have predicted that AMD’s global desktop processor market share could rebound to 30% in the fourth quarter, but numbers from Mercury Research suggest otherwise: AMD’s desktop share grew to 12.3% in 2Q18, and while that’s a steady increase from previous quarters, it’s a far cry from September’s prediction. "AMD's volumes would need to either be 250 percent higher in the quarter than they were last year, or Intel's shipments would need to decline 65 percent."

McCarron's statements are telling. In order to reach 30 percent share, either AMD would have to more than triple its year-on-year volume, or Intel shipments would have to decline 65 percent in a very short amount of time. But the market is fluid. According to Intel, its shortage of 14nm processors comes courtesy of record demand, but the general consensus is that the 10nm delay has wreaked havoc on Intel's production scheduling.

Posted by Megalith October 06, 2018 1:40 PM (CDT)

Dynamic Local Mode for the AMD Ryzen Threadripper WX Series Processors

In a new blog post, AMD's Robert Hallock has announced Dynamic Local mode for the 2nd Gen Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX and 2970WX processors. Dynamic Local Mode is a new piece of software that automatically migrates the system's most demanding application threads onto the Threadripper 2990WX and 2970WX CPU cores with local memory access. In other words: the apps that prefer local DRAM access will automatically receive it, and apps that scale to many cores will be free to do so. Dynamic Local Mode operates on-the-fly without a reboot to toggle between modes. It ensures that demanding threads are executed on dies with local memory. And it does not fundamentally change how the operating system sees the processor's resources. Dynamic Local Mode is implemented as a Windows 10 background service that measures how much CPU time each thread on the system is consuming. These threads are then ranked from most to least demanding, and the top threads are automatically pushed to the CPU cores that contain direct memory access. Once these cores are consumed by work, additional threads are scheduled and executed on the next available CPU core. This process is continuous while the service is running, ensuring the most demanding threads always get preferential time on cores with local memory. (As a corollary, insignificant threads are pushed to other dies.)
What is the benefit of Dynamic Local Mode? In the applications we have tested to date, AMD has observed performance improvements of up to 47% with Dynamic Local Mode enabled. The diagram shows a variety of games and applications aided by the new feature, and AMD expects other applications that we have not yet analyzed may also benefit. But we also want to be clear about the fact that not every application will see a benefit, as not every application demonstrates the threading behaviors that Dynamic Local Mode is designed to assist.

Dynamic Local Mode available starting October 29th Beginning October 29th, Dynamic Local Mode will be a new package included with the latest version of AMD Ryzen Master. Downloading AMD Ryzen Master on or after the afternoon of 10/29 will automatically configure Dynamic Local Mode on your system if it contains an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX or 2970WX processor (also available starting 10/29). Looking further ahead, AMD also plans to open the feature up to even more users by including Dynamic Local Mode as a default package in the AMD Chipset Drivers.

Posted by cageymaru October 05, 2018 8:07 PM (CDT)