Tag Archives: AMD A-Series

The 7th Generation AMD A-Series Desktop APUs Revealed

The 7th Generation AMD A-Series Desktop APUs Revealed

Today, AMD officially revealed the first 7th Generation AMD A-Series desktop APUs running on the new Socket AM4. Previously codenamed Bristol Ridge, the new 7th Generation AMD A-Series desktop APUs will start shipping soon in HP and Lenovo devices.

Be sure to check out our companion articleThe New AMD Socket AM4 Chipsets Revealed.

 

The 7th Gen AMD A-Series Desktop APU Revealed

With up to four “Excavator” cores, the 7th Generation AMD A-Series desktop APUs consist of 65-watt and 35-watt versions, with greatly improved graphics capabilities and power efficiency. Check out this presentation by Peter Amos, APU Product Marketing Manager, AMD Client Business Unit, AMD. You may recall his earlier presentation here.

 

The First 7th Generation AMD A-Series Desktop APUs

Here is the first slew of 7th Generation AMD A-Series desktop APUs released by AMD :

APU Models Cores Base Frequency Max Frequency Processor Graphics Graphics CUs Graphics Frequency
AMD A12-9800 4 3.8 GHz 4.2 GHz Radeon R7 8 CUs 1108 MHz
AMD A12-9800E 4 3.1 GHz 3.8 GHz Radeon R7 8 CUs 900 MHz
AMD A10-9700 4 3.5 GHz 3.8 GHz Radeon R7 6 CUs 1029 MHz
AMD A10-9700E 4 3.0 GHz 3.5 GHz Radeon R7 6 CUs 847 MHz
AMD A8-9600 4 3.1 GHz 3.4 GHz Radeon R7 6 CUs 900 MHz
AMD Athlon X4 950 4 3.5 GHz 3.7 GHz None
AMD A6-9500 2 3.5 GHz 3.8 GHz Radeon R5 6 CUs 1029 MHz
AMD A6-9500E 2 3.0 GHz 3.4 GHz Radeon R5 4 CUs 800 MHz
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The 7th Generation AMD A-Series Desktop APU Slides

For those who prefer to go through the presentation slides in detail, here they are for your perusal :

Be sure to check out our companion article – The New AMD Socket AM4 Chipsets Revealed.

 

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Odd Radeon RX 480 AOTS Benchmark Results Explained

When we posted about the revelation of the AMD Radeon RX 480, RX 470 and RX 460 graphics cards, we pointed out the odd Radeon RX 480 AOTS benchmark results that were presented by Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, Radeon Technologies Group.

The good news is we now understand how AMD derived those results. The bad news is it casts AMD in a rather bad light, and detracts from the great value proposition that the Radeon RX 480 brings to the table. But first, a quick recap of the Radeon RX 480 AOTS benchmark controversy…

 

Odd Radeon RX 480 AOTS Benchmark Results

In the final minutes of his presentation, Raja Koduri showed how two Radeon RX 480 graphics cards can beat the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 [Amazon] graphics card for far less money. Based on the sub-$500 price, the results are based on the 8 GB variant of the Radeon RX 480. Check it out in this short video clip :

What’s really odd is that Raja Koduri explicitly pointed out that the two Radeon RX 480 graphics cards were only utilised to 51% to slightly best the GeForce GTX 1080. Those are frankly, really odd numbers.

If it’s true that the two Radeon RX 480 graphics cards have a 49% headroom after beating the GeForce GTX 1080, then a single Radeon RX 480 would actually beat the GeForce GTX 1080 [Amazon]!

In fact, if we extrapolate the results so that both cards have the same 98.7% GPU utilisation, the Radeon RX 480 would deliver a frame rate of 60.5 fps. That would make the Radeon RX 480 about 3% faster than the GeForce GTX 1080 [Amazon], which we know is just not possible…

 

How The AOTS Benchmark Was Conducted

Robert Hallock, Head of Global Technical Marketing, AMD, helped to clarify the controversial Radeon RX 480 AOTS results. First, let’s start with the technical details of the benchmark setup :

Testbed System Specifications

CPU : Intel Core i7-5930K
Motherboard : ASRock X99M Killer
RAM : 32 GB DDR4-2400
Operating System : Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

AMD GPU Configuration : 2 x Radeon RX 480 @ PCIe 3.0 x 16 for each GPU
AMD Driver : 16.30-160525n-230356E

NVIDIA GPU Configuration : GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
NVIDIA Driver : 368.19

Ashes of the Singularity Version v1.12.19928
Ashes of the Singularity Game Settings : Crazy Settings | 1080P | 8x MSAA | VSYNC OFF

Robert then revealed the actual AOTS benchmark results and his take on them, which we will post verbatim :

Benchmark results:

2 x Radeon RX 480 – 62.5 fps | Single Batch GPU Util: 51% | Med Batch GPU Util: 71.9 | Heavy Batch GPU Util: 92.3%

GTX 1080 – 58.7 fps | Single Batch GPU Util: 98.7%| Med Batch GPU Util: 97.9% | Heavy Batch GPU Util: 98.7%

The elephant in the room:

Ashes uses procedural generation based on a randomized seed at launch. The benchmark does look slightly different every time it is run. But that, many have noted, does not fully explain the quality difference people noticed.

At present the GTX 1080 is incorrectly executing the terrain shaders responsible for populating the environment with the appropriate amount of snow. The GTX 1080 is doing less work to render AOTS than it otherwise would if the shader were being run properly. Snow is somewhat flat and boring in color compared to shiny rocks, which gives the illusion that less is being rendered, but this is an incorrect interpretation of how the terrain shaders are functioning in this title.

The content being rendered by the RX 480 — the one with greater snow coverage in the side-by-side (the left in these images) — is the correct execution of the terrain shaders.

So, even with fudgy image quality on the GTX 1080 that could improve their performance a few percent, dual RX 480 still came out ahead.

As a parting note, I will mention we ran this test 10x prior to going on-stage to confirm the performance delta was accurate. Moving up to 1440p at the same settings maintains the same performance delta within +/-1%.

* Credit for this find goes to Acid 에이스. Thanks, mate!

Next Page > The Odd Results Explained, Summary Of Key Points, What Does This Mean?

 

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The Odd Radeon RX 480 AOTS Results Explained…

Robert Hallock was then asked about the odd 51% GPU utilisation result. He clarified that it was based on the single-batch (normal batch) data set, which was CPU-limited.

The single-batch or normal batch data set is about 60 seconds of scenes with lower (typically under 10,000) draw call counts. The medium batch data set consists of another 60 seconds of scenes with typical draw call counts between 10,000 and 20,000. The final heavy batch data set tests scenes with draw call counts in excess of 20,000.

To clarify this, the scaling from 1->2 GPUs in the dual RX 480 test we assembled is 1.83x. The OP was looking only at the lowest draw call rates when asking about the 51%. The single batch GPU utilization is 51% (CPU-bound), medium is 71.9% utilization (less CPU-bound) and heavy batch utilization is 92.3% (not CPU-bound). All together for the entire test, there is 1.83X the performance of a single GPU in what users saw on YouTube. The mGPU subsystem of AOTS is very robust.

 

Let Us Summarise The Points…

Based on his explanation, we can derive the following conclusions :

  • AMD claims that the GeForce GTX 1080 is performing a few percent better than it really should because it was improperly rendering the terrain in AOTS.
  • Two Radeon RX 480 graphics cards will deliver 83% better performance than a single Radeon RX 480 graphics card.
  • The benchmark scores are the average for the entire AOTS benchmark, which consists of the Normal Batch, Medium Batch and Heavy Batch data sets.
  • The 51% GPU utilisation was cherry-picked from the Normal Batch / Single Batch results.
  • The frame rate for Normal Batch / Single Batch data set was not revealed, but it would have been much, much lower than the 62.5 fps average frame rate.
  • The average GPU utilisation for the two AMD Radeon RX 480 cards was 71.7%, while the average GPU utilisation for the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 [Amazon] was 98.4%.

In short, the controversy was created by AMD cherry-picking the GPU utilisation of the most CPU-limited portion of the AOTS benchmark, while comparing the average frame rate achieved in the entire AOTS benchmark.

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What Does This Mean?

Despite what Raja Koduri said in the video clip, there isn’t “much, much more headroom” for developers to squeeze out of the Radeon RX 480. That 49% headroom was only seen because the test was CPU-limited.

The two Radeon RX 480 cards were literally “chilling” 49% of the time, because they were waiting for the CPU to finish processing the AI and physics, before rendering a new frame. In fact, they most likely delivered a much lower frame rate as a result of being CPU-limited.

AMD inaccurately compared the average frame rate of the entire Ashes of the Singularity benchmark with the GPU utilisation of the Single Batch / Normal Batch portion of the benchmark (which is CPU-limited). Here is our rough correction of their comparison, based on the average GPU utilisation for the entire benchmark :

The adjusted results are still impressive, because it shows that there is still some headroom. Just not as much as was presented. We have no idea why they needed to cherry-pick that result, since the Radeon RX 480 will still impress gamers from the performance/cost point of view.

Based on our extrapolation of their comments, we can guesstimate that a single AMD Radeon RX 480 graphics card will deliver an average frame rate of 34 fps in the Ashes of the Singularity benchmark. That means the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition [Amazon] is about 72.6% faster than the Radeon RX 480.

That sounds about right, and is hardly surprising since the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition [Amazon] costs US$699 while the Radeon RX 480 (8 GB) will only cost US$229. There is nothing for AMD to be ashamed of achieving “only 58%” of the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition’s performance. After all, it costs less than 1/3 of the price!

 

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HP ProBook 645 & 655 To Feature AMD PRO A-Series CPU

February 11, 2016 AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) today announced increasing momentum for the 6th Generation AMD PRO A-Series mobile processors, based on the introduction of two new HP (NYSE: HPQ) notebook design wins, new large-scale enterprise deployments, and the expansion of HP adoption of AMD FreeSync technology in its notebooks and displays.

The 6th Generation AMD PRO A-Series processors, which efficiently integrate extensive AMD CPU, graphics, security, and video processing IP into a single SoC design, will now power two new HP 600 series ProBooks.

The HP ProBook 645 14-inch and HP ProBook 655 15.6-inch notebooks allow businesses to equip their workforces with widely configurable and extremely cost-effective HP notebook PCs, enabling executive-class collaboration and professional-grade capabilities. Containing AMD PRO A-Series processors with brilliant AMD Radeon graphics, Windows 10, robust DDR3 memory, and professional-grade peripheral devices, these HP ProBooks create a top-of-the-line user experience.

 

6th Generation AMD A-Series processors powering the workplace

[adrotate banner=”4″]Market momentum for joint AMD and HP solutions is seen in the continued adoption of HP laptops powered by AMD processors by companies around the world. For example, ISS, a global facilities services provider with 511,000 employees in 77 countries, recently equipped employees with HP EliteBooks powered by AMD PRO A-Series processors in an effort to standardize global operations, increase sustainability and innovate business-efficient office environments.

Brink’s, a global leader in security-related services with customers in more than 100 countries, wanted an IT solution that offered outstanding stability and mobility, and found it in the HP EliteBook 700 series, also powered by AMD. Stability is critical to supporting Brink’s all-day, every-day workforce with mobile-ready features, and industry leading manageability that drives nonstop productivity. The innovative AMD PRO A-Series processor architecture offers all-day battery life[i], power and efficiency optimized for employees all around the world.

 

AMD FreeSync adoption

Additionally, HP plans to enable AMD FreeSync technology support for its consumer-focused HP Envy 15z laptops powered by 6th Generation AMD A-Series processors. AMD FreeSync technology resolves the communication issues between processor and monitor to eliminate stutter and tearing, providing a smoother image[ii]. HP anticipates having AMD FreeSync-enabled HP Envy 15z laptops available in the first half of 2016, and plans to enable AMD FreeSync support across its entire consumer laptop line-up powered by 6th Generation AMD A-Series processors in the second half of the year.

Personal and commercial HP notebooks powered by 6th Generation AMD A-Series processors are available now through major retailers.

[i] AMD defines All-Day Battery Life as 8+ hours of continuous use when measured with the Windows Idle test.

[ii] FreeSync is an AMD technology designed to eliminate stuttering and/or tearing in games and videos by locking a display’s refresh rate to the framerate of the graphics card. Monitor, AMD Radeon Graphics and/or AMD A-Series APU compliant with DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync required. AMD Catalyst 15.2 Beta (or newer) required. Adaptive refresh rates vary by display; check with your monitor manufacturer for specific capabilities.

 

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