Tag Archives: Radeon GPU

Everything On The Intel CPU With Radeon Graphics! Rev. 2.0

Intel just dropped a bombshell with the announcement that they will be introducing the 8th Gen Intel CPU with Radeon graphics! This article will cover everything we can find on the upcoming 8th Gen Intel CPU with Radeon graphics, and will be updated as and when we get new information.

Updated @ 2017-11-09 : Added new information on the Chip Design, Power Saving and Performance aspects of the 8th Gen Intel CPU with Radeon graphics.

Originally posted @ 2017-11-07


The New Intel CPU With Radeon Graphics

The combination of an Intel CPU with Radeon graphics has long been mooted as a great way to tackle NVIDIA’s dominance of the mobile PC gaming market. Now it has finally become a reality. Here is a summary of what we know so far:

Chip Design

  • This is a multi-chip module (MCM) that combines an 8th Generation Intel Core-H mobile processor, with a customised Radeon GPU and HBM2 memory.
  • It is a mobile solution designed to deliver better gaming performance in thin and light laptops, or even smaller mobile devices (tablets?).
  • This will be the first product in the world to feature both HBM2 memory, and the Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB).
  • As the video below shows, Intel is using the EMIB interconnect for high-bandwidth data transfers between the Radeon GPU and the HBM2 memory.
  • The distance between the CPU and the GPU is necessary to improve thermal dissipation.
  • Due to the distance between the CPU and GPU, they cannot possibly use EMIB, which can only be used for chips in close proximity. They are most likely using a regular PCI Express interconnect.

Space Saving

  • The EMIB interconnect is not only fast, it is embedded within the substrate, helping to further reduce the thickness of the package.
  • The use of stacked HBM2 memory, instead of separate GDDR5 memory chips, saves a lot of space and greatly reduces power consumption.
  • By combining the CPU, GPU and HBM2 memory on a multi-chip module, Intel claims it will save 1,900 mm² of board space.

Power Saving

  • This multi-chip module has “a unique power sharing framework” between the Intel CPU and the AMD Radeon GPU.
  • The power sharing framework is a combination of the EMIB interconnect, as well as special drivers and interfaces to the GPU.
  • The ratio of power shared between the CPU and GPU can be dynamically adjusted according to workload and usage models.
  • The power sharing framework will also help to manage temperature, power delivery and performance states in real time.
  • Intel HD Graphics will be used for less strenuous graphics functions, including video acceleration. This allows the Radeon GPU and HBM2 memory to be powered down to save power.


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  • The Intel Core-H CPU used will be the 35W or 45W Kaby Lake Refresh processor, with the HD Graphics core intact.
  • Neither AMD nor Intel mentioned what Radeon GPU will be used, but their press releases emphasised that this solution is targeted at “enthusiasts” who want to play “AAA titles“.
  • This means it is most likely an AMD Vega GPU with more than 10 Compute Units, delivering better performance than the AMD Vega core in the new AMD Ryzen Mobile APUs.


  • Intel will introduce the 8th Gen Intel CPU with Radeon graphics in Q1, 2018.

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AMD Radeon RX 480 Hands-On Preview

Yesterday, we received a surprise delivered by a special courier – the upcoming AMD Radeon RX 480 graphics card! This is one of the first few Radeon RX 480 graphics cards in the country. W00t!

The detailed information on this card is under embargo, as are any benchmark results that we may get. But we were told that it’s okay to post pictures. After all, Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President and Chief Architect of the Radeon Technologies Group, publicly revealed the AMD Radeon RX 480 earlier this month!

So this is our hands-on preview of the actual working card. The real deal. The genuine muffin. Yes, for all of you to drool over until launch day. 😀

ALERT : We will have more on the AMD Radeon RX 480 at 9 PM tonight (June 29, GMT+8).


AMD Radeon RX 480 Hands-On Preview Video

Right after we received permission to post pictures of the Radeon RX 480, we created a hands-on preview video. Basically, a quick look of the card with our narration of its key features.

We didn’t think it would be a problem since a video offers (arguably) lower resolution views of the card than actual pictures, and the details we revealed had already been posted earlier.

Unfortunately, we received a request to take off the video, “because they are not pictures“. So while we technically did not break the NDA, we unlisted the video pending a request to reinstate it. It will be up as and when we get AMD’s go-ahead.

Updated : The video is now available for viewing!

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AMD Radeon RX 480 Up Close

The next best thing we can do right now is take photos of the card to show you. Enjoy!


AMD Radeon RX 480 Size

For those already measuring their cases to see if the AMD Radeon RX 480 will fit, we measured the card and added the measurements for your convenience.

As you can see, the Radeon RX 480 is “technically” a 7″ long card, but its cooler extends 6.7 cm or 2.65″ beyond the card.

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More Radeon RX 480 Information

For more information on the AMD Radeon RX 480, take a look at our previous articles :


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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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