AMD unveils Ryzen CPUs. Claims Intel beating performance.

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AMD has officially announced the retail branding for its upcoming Zen architecture processors.

AMD claims the Zen architecture behind Ryzen will offer a 40 percent increase in instructions per clock (IPC).

The Zen core at the heart of our Ryzen processors is the result of focused execution and thousands of engineering hours designing and delivering a next-level experience for high-end PC and workstation users,‘ claimed AMD's president and chief executive Lisa Su at the event. ‘Ryzen processors with SenseMI technology represent the bold and determined spirit of innovation that drives everything we do at AMD.

SenseMI, something AMD has been keeping firmly under its hat until last night's unveiling, is the name given to a suite of five technologies: Pure Power, Precision Boost, Extended Frequency Range (XFR), Neural Net Prediction, and Smart Prefetch. Pure Power, the company has explained, takes the form of more than 100 embedded sensors tracking voltage, power draw, and temperature of individual components for finer-grained control of the chip's various operating specifications. Precision Boost, meanwhile, takes those data and uses it to tweak the processor's clock speed in 25MHz increments at up to a 1,000Hz polling rate.

Extended Frequency Range (XFR) is where SenseMI gets interesting for the enthusiast: XFR, AMD claims, amounts to an effective on-by-default overclock which triggers when the chip is sufficiently cooled. While stock heatsinks and fans will be expected to get the Ryzen chips to no more than their default advertised clocks, those adding beefier coolers – including liquid-cooling systems – can expect to see the processor running faster without the need to manually overclock the part.

Neural Net Prediction and Smart Prefetch round off the SenseMI offering, and offer similar performance-boosting claims: Neural Net Prediction uses an on-chip artificially intelligent self-learning neural network to predict the instructions and processor capabilities a particular application will need next based on previous runs; Smart Prefetch does the same for the data required by the application. While prefetch algorithms and cache prediction systems are nothing new to modern processors, AMD is confident it has something special in SenseMI that will help further boost the parts' performance.

The event also showed Ryzen chips in action, using a 3.4GHz eight-core 16-thread top-end part to run through Blender rendering and Handbrake transcoding benchmarks which demonstrated narrow wins against Intel's rival Core i7-6900K.

What’s more impressing is the 95W thermal design profile (TDP) vs 140W that the Intel uses.

AMD has confirmed a Q1 2017 launch for desktop Ryzen parts, with lower-power notebook Ryzen chips pushed back to the second half of the year.

If these claims are true we are looking at an exciting year for computer. The past few years in the CPU market have been extremely poor with Intel not really pushing the boundaries of technology due to no real competition.

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