Ryzen APU Overclocking: A Focus on Memory Support

Also part of the demonstration about the new APUs was overclocking. For a number of years, AMD has hired Sami Makkinen, a well-known former world-record holder in various overclocking categories, to help tune the overclocking on some of its processors. So despite this being an integrated graphics platform, Sami was on hand to show the day-to-day overclocking potential. I was told that liquid nitrogen overclocking might be held at a later date…

Nonetheless, we were shown the system that would be distributed to reviewers for launch day: a mini-ITX motherboard, a Ryzen 5 2400G processor, 2x8 GB of DDR4 memory, and an AMD Wraith cooler. Using the popular benchmarking tool 3DMark Fire Strike, Sami showed a 39% increase over stock performance by overclocking only the memory and the integrated graphics:

  • DDR4-2400 + 1250 MHz GPU: 2911 Points - 'stock'
  • DDR4-3200 + 1250 MHz GPU: 3322 Points (+14%)
  • DDR4-3200 + 1550 MHz GPU: 3596 Points (+24%)
  • DDR4-3600 + 1675 MHz GPU: 4048 Points (+39%)

This shows a couple of interesting data points. First, that the DRAM speed directly influences the results a lot: the 14% gain moving to DDR4-3200 and a similar gain again up to DDR-3600 means that we are still dealing with a graphics system that is memory bandwidth limited, even with only 11 compute units. The Infinity Fabric communication pathways are tied to the DRAM speed, so these would also get a speed up – when asked if it would be possible to discern how much of the speedup is due to a pure DRAM improvement and how much from the Infinity Fabric boost, I was told that AMD could do it in house, but it would be impossible for consumers to do.

However, the DRAM speed gains match up with what we have seen with previous generations of AMD APUs, but also it means that Intel’s decision to combine a Vega GPU with high-bandwidth memory is going to be the way forward in this market.

The second point that this data brings is about memory support. One of the major criticisms of AMD’s initial launch of Ryzen was the lack of high-performance memory support, due to a young firmware. AMD has stated that the Ryzen with Vega graphics line of processors have better memory support with newer firmware revisions, capable of driving higher memory speeds. This is, of course, important to APUs. Additional updates will be coming with the new X470 motherboards in Q2.

Zen Cores and Vega: Ryzen APUs for AM4 AMD Ryzen Price Drops, New Wraith Prism
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  • Ian Cutress - Sunday, January 07, 2018 - link

    Hey everyone, thanks for coming to read about AMD's roadmaps. I want to go into a lot more detail on what came out of AMD's Tech Day, particularly about APUs, 12nm, 7nm, Vega, new APU pricing, the X470 chipset and so on, but a pretty bad strain of CES flu is doing the rounds and this year I'm an unlucky recipient. It's not completely debilitating, but bad enough for me to lose concentration that I might have to cancel a few meetings at the show tomorrow as a result if I can't string a coherent thought together.

    Rather than post a garbled mess, I want to get around to detailing the news for you all properly, as there's a lot of nuances to go into. We also had an interview with Dr. Lisa Su about AMD in 2018. Stay tuned for updates over the next couple of weeks, as I stay hydrated and call room service for chicken soup!
    Reply
  • Eris_Floralia - Monday, January 08, 2018 - link

    Ian, isn't Ryzen 3 2200U utilizing a new dual core die?

    They did have a dual core die with 3 CUs on their former roadmap.
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Monday, January 08, 2018 - link

    AMD has one die design covering the whole of Ryzen Desktop + Threadripper + EPYC, and one die design covering Ryzen Mobile + Ryzen APUs. They're not going to spend a third amount of money on masks for a single low-end dual-core die with a few CUs unless it was going to expand into a new segment of products. Given that AMD has been quite open about its 2018 roadmap today, I doubt that would happen. Reply
  • Eris_Floralia - Monday, January 08, 2018 - link

    Thanks Ian.
    I'm also quite surprised they didn't announce the new die on CES if it will be coming. So it's just harvested dies....
    Reply
  • mczak - Monday, January 08, 2018 - link

    Well there is a 2 core / 3 CUs design on the roadmap - Banded Kestrel. This is however intended for embedded. Although it is rather similar to the Bristol Ridge / Stoney Ridge split, and the latter also showed up in non-embedded markets.
    However, just like Stoney Ridge, Banded Kestrel will be limited to single-channel memory. I always assumed it's going to show up in cheap notebooks/PCs, basically as a Pentium Silver competitor, but of course I could be wrong (in any case, it's not ready yet).
    Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Monday, January 08, 2018 - link

    Error on the second page in the table...
    "Vega 3
    3 CPUs
    192 SPs"

    Should be:
    "Vega 3
    3 CUs
    192 SPs"
    Reply
  • Krysto - Monday, January 08, 2018 - link

    Next time, supplement 10,000 IU Vitamin D3 a day, months before CES. You can thank me later. Reply
  • Dave Null - Monday, January 08, 2018 - link

    This is actually very good advice.

    Most of us who sit in front of computers all day aren't getting enough vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a major regulatory role in our immune systems. Since realizing I was deficient in vitamin D a few years ago (your doctor can easily test for this), I've been supplementing it, and getting sick far less often as a result.
    Reply
  • npz - Monday, January 08, 2018 - link

    Yep, I used to get sick often, like 3-4 times a year. But since I started supplementing with Vitamin D3 plus sunlight whenever I can, and large doses of probiotics (yogurt ain't enough) and some others like vit C, zinc, copper, elderberry, etc everyday, I never got sick even when everyone around me was. As in literally, not one day with the flu or cold, and without cold/flu vaccines either.

    The last time I was sick, and before my current supplementation, my D3 level was 16 ng/mL and that was despite a multivitamin which had some vit D in it. I made sure to bring it up to 45 ng/mL.

    Scientific info, with full technical research and citations about everything for Vit D:
    https://examine.com/supplements/vitamin-d/
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Tuesday, January 09, 2018 - link

    Yeah I also have to supplement vitamin D. I get enough of the other stuff from my multi most of the time, although when I feel something coming on, extra vitamin C and zinc helps. Elderberry is also good, as is Echinacea (I prefer it in tea form myself). Garlic too... I toss some in my chicken soup. Reply

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