Category Archives: Amd

Ask Engadget: What laptop specs should I look for if I use a monitor?

The support shared among readers in the comments section is one of the things we love most about the Engadget community. Over the years, we've known you to offer sage advice on everything from Chromecasts and cameras to drones and smartphones. In fac…

AMD unveils Threadripper 2: Up to 32 cores, 64 threads, for an enthusiast chip

Enlarge (credit: AMD)

AMD’s Threadripper platform gave a hefty boost to the high-end desktop (HEDT) market: 16 cores and 32 threads using AMD’s Zen architecture. Today, AMD announced the second generation of Threadripper: it’s twice as big again, with up to 32 cores and 64 threads, and it uses the revised Zen+ core of the second-generation Ryzen chips.

The basic building blocks of Threadripper 2 are the same as the first-generation parts. Threadripper processors are multi-chip modules (MCMs) containing multiple dies and Infinity Fabric interconnects. AMD calls the basic building block of each chip a Core Complex (CCX), which has four cores, eight threads, and 8MB of level 3 cache. Each chip contains two CCXes. The first round of Threadrippers had four chips, with two of them active and two inactive, for a total of 16 cores and 32 threads. The new second-generation parts announced today make all four chips active, bringing the counts up to 32 cores and 64 threads.

This is the same basic layout as the company’s Epyc server processors, but there are some differences. Each chip has two memory controllers. In Epyc, all four pairs of memory controllers are enabled, for a total of eight memory channels. In Threadripper 2, only two of the chips have their controllers enabled, for four memory channels total.

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AMD’s second-generation Threadripper CPU has up to 32 cores

AMD is once again pushing its processor technology to new heights. During its Computex keynote today, the company revealed that its second-generation Threadripper CPU will feature up to 32 cores and 64 threads. We've known the chip would arrive later…

Samsung adds FreeSync to its latest TVs for smoother gaming

If you have a 2018 Samsung QLED TV or the NU8000 LED TV, your gaming endeavors should look cleaner after a recent firmware update. Samsung confirmed to Engadget that the update applies to the Q6FN, Q7FN, Q8FN and Q9FN QLED models, as well as the NU80…

Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 review: Meet the child of Intel and AMD’s unholy union

Samuel Axon

This new Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 is the first convertible in the XPS 15 line, but that’s not the most interesting thing about it.

Since 2010, Dell’s XPS 15 has been a reliable, 15-inch performance workhorse and a light gaming option for users who aren’t impressed by the over-the-top designs of dedicated gaming laptops. Last year’s model, for example, impressed with strong performance from the discrete GeForce GTX 1050 GPU. But discrete GPUs have many downsides. They take up space, use lots of energy, and generate a lot of heat, which impacts both portability and battery life.

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GPU-equipped Ryzen Pros give AMD what it needs to conquer the corporate desktop

Enlarge / The dark block on the left is the four-core Zen CCX. On the right is the GPU. (credit: AMD)

AMD has launched a new range of Ryzen Pro processors that gives the company an important new weapon in its competition with Intel.

Last year, AMD introduced Ryzen Pro, a range of processors aimed at corporate desktops rather than consumer systems. Though broadly identical to their consumer counterparts, the Pro chips offer additional guarantees around supply and availability so that corporate fleets can standardize on particular chips without risking a part being discontinued mid-way through their replacement cycle. The Pro chips also carry longer warranties and emphasize certain security and management features that may not be present or enabled in consumer systems.

The first Ryzen Pros had a major omission, however: they didn’t include integrated GPUs. Corporate desktops and laptops, typically used for Office, Web browsing, and other low-intensity tasks, overwhelmingly use integrated GPUs rather than discrete ones; they simply don’t need anything more powerful. The need for separate GPUs meant that the first-generation Ryzen Pros had only very limited appeal in their target corporate market.

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Cryptocurrency has been great for GPU makers—that might change soon

Enlarge / Mostly bare shelves in the graphics card case at a Washington, DC, Best Buy in January. (credit: Timothy B. Lee)

Nvidia announced its financial results on Thursday, and they were spectacular. For the company’s first fiscal quarter—which runs from late January through late April—the company had revenues of $3.2 billion. That’s up 10 percent from the previous quarter and up 66 percent over the last year. Profits were even more impressive, rising 11 percent from the previous quarter and 145 percent from a year earlier.

A big reason for this: the soaring value of ether and other cryptocurrencies in recent months created a ton of demand for graphics cards to mine them. That surging demand caused the street price of some high-end graphics cards to more than double between mid-2017 and February 2018.

It’s a sensitive subject for major graphics-card makers because their most important market in the long run is gamers, not miners. Gamers don’t like the idea of graphics-card makers raking in big profits from inflated prices driven by mining demand.

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Google releases open source framework for building “enclaved” apps for cloud

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Today, Google is releasing an open source framework for the development of “confidential computing” cloud applications—a software development kit that will allow developers to build secure applications that run across multiple cloud architectures even in shared (and not necessarily trusted) environments. The framework, called Asylo, is currently experimental but could eventually make it possible for developers to address some of the most basic concerns about running applications in any multi-tenant environment.

Container systems like Docker and Kubernetes are designed largely to allow untrusted applications to run without exposing the underlying operating system to badness. Asylo (Greek for “safe place”) aims to solve the opposite problem—allowing absolutely trusted applications to run “Trusted Execution Environments” (TEEs), which are specialized execution environments that act as enclaves and protect applications from attacks on the underlying platform they run on.

“The threats people are concerned about are things like rootkits or bootkits, things that hit the lower rings of the operating system stack,” said Rob Sadowski, Google’s Trust and Security marketing lead, in an interview with Ars. “And also, when you get into cloud or any shared infrastructure—virtualization on premises or in the cloud—you could have administrators or third parties who have access at these layers. So there’s always this tension where you have people asking, ‘How do I make sure I’m the only person who has access to any of this stuff?’”

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AMD is gearing up for 7-nanometer CPUs and graphics cards

Intel recently told investors that its 10-nanometer "Cannon Lake" chips won't be ready until 2019, but by then, it might get leapfrogged by its PC arch-rival. AMD told investors that it's sampling next-gen Zen 2 processors with 7-nanometer tech in pr…

AMD’s ‘Combat Crate Bundles’ help gamers quickly build PCs

Thanks to the stupidity that is Bitcoin mining, graphics cards for gaming have become wildly over-expensive. AMD has come to the rescue with the Combat Crate Bundle, giving you the main components you need to build a decent PC. For $550 (at Amazon, N…