AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen 'Matisse' Coming Mid 2019: Eight Core Zen 2 with PCIe 4.0 on Desktopby Ian Cutress on January 9, 2019 1:01 PM EST
Blink and you miss it: AMD's keynote address this year was a whirlwind of primetime announcements for the company. The message is clear: AMD is committing itself to 7nm as the future process node that will drive the company's innovations starting in 2019. The first consumer products on 7nm will be the Ryzen 3rd Generation Desktop processors, using Zen 2 cores, offering more than competitive performance against Intel's best hardware. Also on the docket is a return to high-end graphics performance, with AMD set to release a 7nm graphics card that can spar blow-for-blow with the competition at the $700 price barrier.
AMD at CES 2019
One of the odd things about AMD’s announcements this show has been the tale of two halves. Normally a company will push out single major press release with everything in it. This year AMD discussed its news around Ryzen-3000 series mobile parts and AMD Chromebooks just as the show started, and we were all confused if this was going to constitute what was in the keynote or not – it would seem odd, after all, for the company to pre-announce its keynote announcements. Luckily, AMD has plenty to announce, and it’s all pretty juicy.
First up, CPUs. AMD presented its next generation 7nm desktop CPU, which is the 3rd Generation Ryzen.
Attacking the Mainstream CPU Market: Toe to Toe with Core i9-9900K
Ignore everything you might have heard about what AMD’s future desktop CPU is going to be. Here are most of the details you need to know.
The new parts, codenamed Matisse, will be coming to market in mid-2019 (sometime in Q2 or Q3). The processor the company had on display was made from two pieces of silicon on the package: one eight-core 7nm chiplet made at TSMC, and a 14nm input/output chiplet with the dual memory controllers and the PCIe lanes, made at GlobalFoundries.
The company did state that it is the world’s first 7nm gaming CPU, and will also be the world’s first mainstream CPU to support PCIe 4.0 x16. At this time the company is not commenting on if the 3rd Gen is going to have a maximum of eight cores, or if this represents the best processor of the whole family.
Because the processor is still far away from launch, frequencies are not being finalized yet. However, the processor is for the AM4 socket, given that AMD has previously said that it intends to keep backwards compatibility for several generations. That will mean that this CPU will work in current 300 and 400-series AMD motherboards.
What this means for PCIe 4.0 is actually fairly simple. We expect there to be a new line of motherboards presumably something like X570 that will be PCIe 4.0 compatible, for any new PCIe 4.0 graphics cards that will be coming to market. One of the differences with PCIe 4.0 is that it can only handle PCB traces up to 7 inches before needing a redriver/retimer, so these extra ICs are needed for ports lower down the board. But, the first PCIe slot on most motherboards is in that limit, so it would appear that a lot of current 300 and 400 series motherboards, assuming the traces adhere to signal integrity specifications, could have their first PCIe slot rated at PCIe 4.0 with new firmware.
Going For Die Size
As we can see on the die shot above, the 8-core chiplet is smaller than the IO-die, similar to the 8+1 chiplet design on EPYC. The IO-die is not exactly one quarter of the EPYC IO-die, as I predicted might be the case back the Rome server processor announcement launch, but it is actually somewhere between one quarter and one half.
Doing some measurements on our imagery of the processor, and knowing that an AM4 processor is 40mm square, we measure the chiplet to be 10.53 x 7.67 mm = 80.80 mm2, whereas the IO die is 13.16mm x 9.32 mm = 122.63 mm2.
+15% Performance Generation on Generation, Minimum.
During the keynote, AMD showed some performance numbers using the new Ryzen 3rd Generation (Matisse) processor. The test in question was Cinebench R15.
Our internal numbers show the 2nd Generation Ryzen 7 2700X scores 1754.
This new 3rd Generation Ryzen processor scored 2023.
This would mean that at current non-final clocks, the new parts give a 15.3% increase in performance generation on generation. Cinebench is an idealized situation for AMD, but this is not at final clocks either. It will depend on the workload, but this is an interesting data point to have.
Identical Performance to the Core i9-9900K, Minimum.
Our internal benchmarks show the 9900K with a score of 2032.
The 8-core AMD processor scored 2023, and the Intel Core i9-9900K scored 2042.
Both systems were running on strong air cooling, and we were told that the Core i9-9900K was allowed to run at its standard frequencies on an ASUS motherboard. The AMD chip, by contrast, was not running at final clocks. AMD said that both systems had identical power supplies, DRAM, SSDs, operating systems, patches, and both with a Vega 64 graphics card.
At Just Over Half The Power…?!
Also, in that same test, it showed the system level power. This includes the motherboard, DRAM, SSD, and so on. As the systems were supposedly identical, this makes the comparison CPU only. The Intel system, during Cinebench, ran at 180W. This result is in line with what we’ve seen on our systems, and sounds correct. The AMD system on the other hand was running at 130-132W.
If we take a look at our average system idle power in our own reviews which is around 55W, this would make the Intel CPU around 125W, whereas the AMD CPU would be around 75W.
|AMD Benchmarks at CES 2019|
|AnandTech||System Power||Idle Power*||Chip Power||CB 15 MT Score
|CB 15 MT Score
|AMD Zen 2||130W||55W||75W||2023||2057||?|
|Intel i9-9900K||180W||55W||125W||2042||2040||4.7 GHz|
|*A rough estimate given our previous review testing|
This suggests that AMD’s new processors with the same amount of cores are offering performance parity in select benchmarks to Intel’s highest performing mainstream processor, while consuming a lot less power. Almost half as much power.
That is a powerful statement. (ed: pun not intended)
How has AMD done this? IPC or Frequency?
We know a few things about the new Zen 2 microarchitecture. We know it has an improved branch predictor unit, and improved prefetcher, better micro-op cache management, a larger micro-op cache, increased dispatch bandwidth, increased retire bandwidth, native support for 256-bit floating point math, double size FMA units, and double size load-store units. These last three parts are key elements to an FP-heavy benchmark like Cinebench, and work a lot in AMD’s favor.
As the Intel CPU was allowed to run as standard, even on the ASUS board, it should reach around 4.7 GHz on an all-core turbo. AMD’s frequencies on the processor were unknown; but also they are not final and we ‘should expect more’. Well, if the processor was only running at 75W, and they can push it another 20-30W, then there’s going to be more frequency and more performance to be had.
The one thing we don’t know is how well TSMC’s 7nm performs with respect to voltage and frequency. The only chips that currently exist on the process are smartphone chips that are under 3 GHz. There is no comparable metric – one would assume that in order to be competitive with the Core i9-9900K, the processor would have to match the all-core frequency (4.7 GHz) if it was at the same IPC.
If the CPU can't match IPC or frequency, then three things are possible:
- If the TSMC process can’t go that high on frequency, then AMD is ahead of Intel on IPC, which is a massive change in the ranks of modern x86 hardware.
- If the TSMC process can clock above 5.0 GHz, AND there is room to spare in the power budget to go even higher, then it’s going to be really funny seeing these processors complete.
- AMD's Hyperthreading for software such as CineBench is out of this world.
TL;DR = AMD’s 3rd Gen Ryzen Processors Are Another Step Up
When speaking with AMD, their representative said that there will be more information to follow as we get closer to launch. They’re happy for users to discuss whether it is IPC or frequency that is making AMD the winner here, and they’ll disclose more closer to the time.
Ian, I Thought You Predicted Two Chiplets?
Naturally, I assumed that AMD would be presenting a Ryzen-3000 series desktop processor with sixteen cores. For me, and a lot of others, felt like a natural progression, but here we are today with AMD only mentioning an eight core chip.
My money on two chiplets and a quarter IO die— Ian Cutress (@IanCutress) November 7, 2018
I predicted wrong, and I've lost my money (ed: in Las Vegas no less). But if we look at the processor, there’s still room for a surprise.
There’s room for a little something extra in there. There’s not much room for a little something extra, but I’m sure if AMD wanted to, there’s just enough space for another CPU chiplet (or a GPU chiplet) on this package. The question would then be around frequency and power, which are both valid.
There's also the question of lower core count processors and the cheaper end of the market. This processor uses silicon from TSMC, made in Taiwan, and GlobalFoundries, made in New York, then packaged together. We have heard some discussion from others not in the industry that this makes cheaper processors (sub $100) less feasible. It is entirely possible that AMD might address that market with future GPU.
What AMD has plans for in the future, I don’t know. I don’t have a crystal ball. But it does look like AMD has some room to grow in the future if they need to.
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evernessince - Thursday, January 10, 2019 - linkOf course and if everyone followed this mentality application developers would still be working around a 256 KB memory space limit.
The fact of the matter is anything over 8 cores is nice to have and will push developers to use that additional power. As has happened many times in the past, it will be put to use. If AMD come out with a $400 16 core who in their right mind wouldn't want that? That's a hell of a lot better then 2 years ago when in order to play game you had to close everything just to get max FPS because Intel has been cucking the PC gaming community for a decade.
No, I think I'll always prefer progress over stagnation.
RSAUser - Friday, January 11, 2019 - linkRead a paper a while ago, had to do with threads that a developer can actually use.
Think it ended up that at about 500-600 threads, we get to the point where we can't feasibly optimize it anymore, outside of certain scientific workloads. Mostly has to do with a concurrency problem, current design is to use one main thread to manage all the other threads/work as a handover, e.g. login can be highly parallel, but still needs an entry point, that thread has to still pass on the request, and logins are an easy task to parallelize, there are a lot of things where that's not possible.
That said, more than 8 cores is fine, for most game devs, if you can get past 4 cores, making it split among 16 is just as easy as 8, well actually from 16 -> 32 due to SMT.
RSAUser - Friday, January 11, 2019 - linkThat said, for my personal use, I often render stuff, do a lot of code compiling that would save me substantial amounts of time. Went from a 4790 to a 2700X was about a 60% reduction in time due to the higher amount of threads.
plsbugmenot - Friday, January 11, 2019 - linkIt sounds like everybody assumes that nobody else needs it. I'm really looking for a combo of single threaded speed and many cores.
For audio recording tasks, you're fight against audio dropouts on the single threaded speed. It sucks re-recording a six minute segment five times in a row. For playback with multiple VSTs you're fighting a combo of single and multiple core usage.
tyaty1 - Sunday, January 13, 2019 - linkBy the time 8 cores wont be enough, this CPU is going ti be obsolete anyways.
The Architect - Monday, February 4, 2019 - linkNo it's Not... I am an Architect and a CG artist... World is a big place and PC's are meant for more than just gaming... In the Arch Viz/ Film Industry/ Render farms/, more the number of cores, Better it is... So I say let them keep innovating, more is always better, There is a huge market for such things and huge render farms that can take advantage of this amazing core count and a well positioned price to performance ratio...
twtech - Friday, February 8, 2019 - linkAnd if more cores don't start finding their way onto people's desktops, it will be enough forever - because the time investment required by software developers to make use of lots of cores won't happen if the users won't actually benefit from it.
rocky12345 - Thursday, January 10, 2019 - linkI think what he/she meant was 8 cores should be more than enough for most people and most work loads they would be doing. For power users and those that run VM's yes they would like to see as many cores as possible because they probably can put more cores to use. For my own needs 8-12 cores is about right for what I do on a computer. Now if I can pick up a 16/32 CPU at a decent price of coarse I am gonna go for that even though the CPU probably will never get used to it's max.
If things go as I think they will I am sure AMD will be releasing a 16/32 CPU on the main stream desktop in 2019 more so if Intel's next CPU's have higher than 8 core counts for the main stream desktop. I personally think the CPU Lisa Su was holding up was a Ryzen 5 CPU and we will most likely have 12/24 Ryzen 7 CPU's in the spring of 2019 & maybe 16/32 Ryzen 9's as well. You can clearly see from the picture of the CPU there are traces where the next CPU die will go so I am sure they have plans of releasing something much better than what they have shown at CES.
Owhan - Monday, January 14, 2019 - link8 cores is perfect today. It is the sweet spot. It is better than having 16 cores performing worse per core, which is the inevitable result of such a design. In a couple of years, 16 cores will be the sweet spot, but not before.
For around 90% of the market, that is.
damianrobertjones - Saturday, January 19, 2019 - link""640kb should be enough for anybody" ..."
This is often taken out of context. Go search for the 'entire' conversation (if bored).