Performance Claims of Zen 2

At Computex, AMD announced that it had designed Zen 2 to offer a direct +15% raw performance gain over its Zen+ platform when comparing two processors at the same frequency. At the same time, AMD also claims that at the same power, Zen 2 will offer greater than a >1.25x performance gain at the same power, or up to half power at the same performance. Combining this together, for select benchmarks, AMD is claiming a +75% performance per watt gain over its previous generation product, and a +45% performance per watt gain over its competition.

These are numbers we can’t verify at this point, as we do not have the products in hand, and when we do the embargo for benchmarking results will lift on July 7th. AMD did spend a good amount of time going through the new changes in the microarchitecture for Zen 2, as well as platform level changes, in order to show how the product has improved over the previous generation.

It should also be noted that at multiple times during AMD’s recent Tech Day, the company stated that they are not interested in going back-and-forth with its primary competition on incremental updates to try and beat one another, which might result in holding technology back. AMD is committed, according to its executives, to pushing the envelope of performance as much as it can every generation, regardless of the competition. Both CEO Dr. Lisa Su, and CTO Mark Papermaster, have said that they expected the timeline of the launch of their Zen 2 portfolio to intersect with a very competitive Intel 10nm product line. Despite this not being the case, the AMD executives stated they are still pushing ahead with their roadmap as planned.

AMD 'Matisse' Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs
AnandTech Cores
DDR4 TDP Price
Ryzen 9 3950X 16C 32T 3.5 4.7 8 MB 64 MB 16+4+4 3200 105W $749
Ryzen 9 3900X 12C 24T 3.8 4.6 6 MB 64 MB 16+4+4 3200 105W $499
Ryzen 7 3800X 8C 16T 3.9 4.5 4 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 3200 105W $399
Ryzen 7 3700X 8C 16T 3.6 4.4 4 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 3200 65W $329
Ryzen 5 3600X 6C 12T 3.8 4.4 3 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 3200 95W $249
Ryzen 5 3600 6C 12T 3.6 4.2 3 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 3200 65W $199

AMD’s benchmark of choice, when showcasing the performance of its upcoming Matisse processors is Cinebench. Cinebench a floating point benchmark which the company has historically done very well on, and tends to probe the CPU FP performance as well as cache performance, although it ends up often not involving much of the memory subsystem.

Back at CES 2019 in January, AMD showed an un-named 8-core Zen 2 processor against Intel’s high-end 8-core processor, the i9-9900K, on Cinebench R15, where the systems scored about the same result, but with the AMD full system consuming around 1/3 or more less power. For Computex in May, AMD disclosed a lot of the eight and twelve-core details, along with how these chips compare in single and multi-threaded Cinebench R20 results.

AMD is stating that its new processors, when comparing across core counts, offer better single thread performance, better multi-thread performance, at a lower power and a much lower price point when it comes to CPU benchmarks.

When it comes to gaming, AMD is rather bullish on this front. At 1080p, comparing the Ryzen 7 2700X to the Ryzen 7 3800X, AMD is expecting anywhere from a +11% to a +34% increase in frame rates generation to generation.

When it comes to comparing gaming between AMD and Intel processors, AMD stuck to 1080p testing of popular titles, again comparing similar processors for core counts and pricing. In pretty much every comparison, it was a back and forth between the AMD product and the Intel product – AMD would win some, loses some, or draws in others. Here’s the $250 comparison as an example:

Performance in gaming in this case was designed to showcase the frequency and IPC improvements, rather than any benefits from PCIe 4.0. On the frequency side, AMD stated that despite the 7nm die shrink and higher resistivity of the pathways, they were able to extract a higher frequency out of the 7nm TSMC process compared to 14nm and 12nm from Global Foundries.

AMD also made commentary about the new L3 cache design, as it moves from 2 MB/core to 4 MB/core. Doubling the L3 cache, according to AMD, affords an additional +11% to +21% increase in performance at 1080p for gaming with a discrete GPU.

There are some new instructions on Zen 2 that would be able to assist in verifying these numbers.

Ryzen 3000 and EPYC Rome Windows Optimizations and Security
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  • scineram - Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - link

  • Xyler94 - Thursday, June 13, 2019 - link

  • Xyler94 - Thursday, June 13, 2019 - link

    If he meant 2700x, of course. Darn misreading :P
  • nevcairiel - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    A quick note. AVX2 is actually primarily Integer. AVX1 (or just AVX) is 256-bit floating point. The article often refers to "full AVX2 support", which isn't necessarily wrong, but Zen2 also adds full AVX support equally.
  • NikosD - Saturday, June 15, 2019 - link

    AVX256 is both integer and floating point because it includes AVX2 FMA which doubles floating point capability compared to AVX1
  • NikosD - Saturday, June 15, 2019 - link

    AVX256 was a typo, I meant AVX2 obviously.
  • eastcoast_pete - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    Thanks Ian? Two questions: what is the official memory bandwidth for the consumer chips? (Sounds like they remain dual channel) and: Any words on relative performance of AMD's AVX 2 implementation vs. Intel's AVX 512 with software that can use either?
  • emn13 - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    AVX-512 is a really misleading name; the interesting... bits... aren't the 512-bit width, but the dramatically increased flexibility. All kinds of operations are now maskable and better reshufflable, and where specific sub-segements of the vector were used, they're now sometimes usable at 1bit granularity (whereas previously that was greater).

    Assuming x86 sticks around for high-perf computing long enough for compilers to be able to automatically leverage it and then for most software to use it, AVX-512 is likely to be quite the game changer - but given intel's super-slow rollout so far, and AFAIK no AMD support... that's going to take a while.

    Which is all a long-winded way to say that you might well expect AMDs AVX2 implementation to be not all that much slower than intel's 512 when executing code that's essentially AVX2-esque (because intel drops the frequency, so won't get the full factor 2 speedup), but AVX-512 has the potential to be *much* faster than that, because the win isn't actually in vector-width.
  • GreenReaper - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Intel's own product segmentation has caused it to lose its first-mover advantage here. System software aside, there's little point in most developers seeking to use instructions that most of their users will not have (and which they themselves may not have). By the time software does support it, AMD is likely to have it. And of course an increasing number of developers will be pouncing on Zen 2 thanks to fast, cheap cores that they can use to compile on...
  • HStewart - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Intel only had AVX 512 versions in Xeon and Xeon derive chips, but the with Ice Lake ( don't really count Canon Lake test run ) AVX 512 will hit main stream starting with in a month and 2020 should be fully roll out.

    As for AMD AVX 2 is true 256 bit, the last I heard is that it actually like dual 128 bit unless they change it in Zen 2. I serious doubt AMD AVX 2 implement is going to any much different that Intel AVX 2 and AVX 512 is a total different beast.

    It funny years ago we heard the same thing about 64 bit in x86 instructions, and now we here in 512 bit AVX.

    As for as AMD support for AVX 512, that does not matter much since Intel is coming out with AVX 512 in full line over next year or so.

    But keep in mind unlike normal x86 instruction, AVX is kind of specialize with vectorize processing, I know with Video processing like Power Director this was a deciding factor earlier for it.,

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