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It's Tough Being an AMD Fanboi


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#1 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 10:16 AM

As an example take the newest AMD Raven Ridge APUs...please. (They don't call them APUs anymore but hey...)
At a time when GPUs are expensive and in short supply, at a time when Intel is coping with a PR disaster - a new chip that combines Ryzen technology with Vega graphics at a reasonable price should be a real winner. However, it looks as if AMD has shot itself in the head once again.
  • Many of the AM4 socketed motherboards that would normally support the new chip require a firmware upgrade to even boot. You may need a Ryzen CPU and a GPU to boot and update the UEFI. Or AMD can loan you an older Bristol Ridge APU to get going.
  • You have to be careful to choose the right DDR4 RAM or you will be in trouble. The right RAM is pretty expensive too.
  • Once started in Windows, you often get crashes that are not fully understood. Some reviewers went down during benchmarking.
  • In Linux even with the latest kernel and bleeding edge graphics stack, the performance is buggy and unstable.
The bottom line is I wouldn't be building a system with a Raven Ridge chip in it right now. Like most AMD solutions in the past, it's better to wait a year or so. That's what I did when I built my AMD Trinity desktop in 2013. As usual AMD misses a great sales opportunity.
Did I mention it's tough to be an AMD fanboi?
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#2 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 10:28 AM

Wow, that is rough :thumbsdown:

I think I'll stick to my i7 and Nvidia card.
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#3 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 10:49 AM

Good idea. In fact, it is a bad time to build anything right now. Memory is really expensive and the cryptocurrency craze has made even mid-level GPUs like a GTX 1060 quite unaffordable compared with previous years. I don't know when the situation will get better.
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#4 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 11:10 AM

View Postraymac46, on 25 February 2018 - 10:49 AM, said:

Good idea. In fact, it is a bad time to build anything right now. Memory is really expensive and the cryptocurrency craze has made even mid-level GPUs like a GTX 1060 quite unaffordable compared with previous years. I don't know when the situation will get better.

Well, I have no need to buy anything right now anyway. B)
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#5 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 09:09 AM

Testing with a carefully matched set of APU, motherboard and memory (with Windows 10) worked and gave quite good performance at 1080p resolution and medium game settings. So in the longer term things will work out.
Linux might take a bit of time as the kernel that incorporates all the APU patches won't be out for another month or more. As usual, it doesn't pay to be too bleeding edge with AMD and Linux.

Edited by raymac46, 26 February 2018 - 09:11 AM.

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#6 OFFLINE   sunrat

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 05:42 PM

View Postsecuritybreach, on 25 February 2018 - 11:10 AM, said:

View Postraymac46, on 25 February 2018 - 10:49 AM, said:

Good idea. In fact, it is a bad time to build anything right now. Memory is really expensive and the cryptocurrency craze has made even mid-level GPUs like a GTX 1060 quite unaffordable compared with previous years. I don't know when the situation will get better.

Well, I have no need to buy anything right now anyway. B)
Same. I have a Lamborghini for when I want to go fast but mostly just drive the old Ford. (Read "i5/GTX970" for Lamborghini and "C2D/GTX560Ti" for Ford) :)

Ryzen chips have been a rocky road since release and, although performing quite well in most cases, were still getting new tweaks in 4.14 kernels. It's always been safer to allow some time after a chip's release before buying one for everyday use especially in Linux.
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#7 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 07:27 PM

Quote

It's always been safer to allow some time after a chip's release before buying one for everyday use especially in Linux.

For sure that is the case with AMD. My first AMD Linux machine was built in 2008 with 2006 CPU technology and 2007 integrated GPU technology. Still runs well although I have an Nvidia GTX650 in it now.
My second was built in 2013 using 2012 APU technology. When I upgraded the graphics in 2015 I thought I was OK because the card I chose was just a rebrand of 2014 Bonaire technology. Unfortunately, the card was too "new" as far as the PCI ID was concerned and I ended up with a black screen. This didn't get sorted until Kernel 4.4 or so. Now it runs great and I see no need to upgrade or build new.
Bottom line even older technology can fail if you get a rebranded version of it.
By this time next year, AMD should have all the kinks ironed out with Ryzen and Vega as far as Linux is concerned.
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#8 OFFLINE   goretsky

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 07:49 AM

Hello,

Personally, I'm waiting to see how manufacturers respond with Meltdown- and Spectre-free silicon before I consider any major upgrades.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky
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#9 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 08:39 AM

View Postgoretsky, on 28 February 2018 - 07:49 AM, said:

Hello,

Personally, I'm waiting to see how manufacturers respond with Meltdown- and Spectre-free silicon before I consider any major upgrades.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

That will take a while according to what I have read. Don't they have to re-engineer the hardware to fix things totally? Since AMD just came out with the Zen architecture they won't do that anytime soon.
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#10 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 03:39 PM

View Postgoretsky, on 28 February 2018 - 07:49 AM, said:

Hello,

Personally, I'm waiting to see how manufacturers respond with Meltdown- and Spectre-free silicon before I consider any major upgrades.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

Agreed :thumbsup:
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#11 OFFLINE   sunrat

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 06:02 PM

View Postgoretsky, on 28 February 2018 - 07:49 AM, said:

Personally, I'm waiting to see how manufacturers respond with Meltdown- and Spectre-free silicon before I consider any major upgrades.

At my current rate of system cycling, they have 6 years to fix it before I'm due to buy fresh silicon. :)
Meanwhile, Linux kernel 4.15 has implemented some software mitigation:
$ grep . /sys/devices/system/cpu/vulnerabilities/*
/sys/devices/system/cpu/vulnerabilities/meltdown:Mitigation: PTI
/sys/devices/system/cpu/vulnerabilities/spectre_v1:Mitigation: __user pointer sanitization
/sys/devices/system/cpu/vulnerabilities/spectre_v2:Mitigation: Full generic retpoline

$ inxi -CS
System:	Host: siduction-brain2 Kernel: 4.15.3-towo.2-siduction-amd64 x86_64 bits: 64
		   Desktop: KDE Plasma 5.12.0 Distro: siduction 17.1.0 Patience - kde - (201703051755)
CPU:	   Dual core Intel Core2 Duo E8500 (-MCP-) cache: 6144 KB
		   clock speeds: max: 3166 MHz 1: 3056 MHz 2: 3151 MHz

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#12 OFFLINE   goretsky

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 05:20 AM

Hello,

I am thinking maybe between 1-2 years.  AMD systems only suffer from Spectre vulnerabilities, not Meltdown and Spectre, so I'm expecting AMD to ship a solution sooner than Intel.  But, we'll see how things go.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky


View Postraymac46, on 28 February 2018 - 08:39 AM, said:

That will take a while according to what I have read. Don't they have to re-engineer the hardware to fix things totally? Since AMD just came out with the Zen architecture they won't do that anytime soon.

Dexter is a good dog.

Aryeh Goretsky
Microsoft MVP 2004-2018 [Cloud and Datacenter Management]

(previously Networking, Windows, Windows for Devices and IT)
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