Test Bed Setup

As per our testing policy, we take a premium category motherboard suitable for the socket, and equip the system with a suitable amount of memory. With this test setup, we are using the BIOS to set the frequency using the provided straps on the GIGABYTE Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard.

Test Setup
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 1700, 65W, $300 MSRP,
8 Cores, 16 Threads
3.0 GHz Base, 3.7 GHz Turbo
Motherboard GIGABYTE AX370-GAMING 5
Cooling Thermaltake Floe Riing RGB 360
Power Supply Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200 W Gold PSU
Memory Team Group Night Hawk RGB
DDR4-3000 16-18-18
2x8 GB
1.35 V
Video Card ASUS GTX 980 STRIX
1178 MHz Base, 1279 MHz Boost)
Hard Drive Crucial MX300 1 TB
Case Open Test Bed
Operating System Windows 10 Pro

Many thanks to...

We must thank the following companies for kindly providing hardware for our multiple test beds.

Thank you to ASUS for providing us with GTX 980 Strix GPUs. At the time of release, the STRIX brand from ASUS was aimed at silent running, or to use the marketing term: '0dB Silent Gaming'. This enables the card to disable the fans when the GPU is dealing with low loads well within temperature specifications. These cards equip the GTX 980 silicon with ASUS' Direct CU II cooler and 10-phase digital VRMs, aimed at high-efficiency conversion. Along with the card, ASUS bundles GPU Tweak software for overclocking and streaming assistance.

The GTX 980 uses NVIDIA's GM204 silicon die, built upon their Maxwell architecture. This die is 5.2 billion transistors for a die size of 298 mm2, built on TMSC's 28nm process. A GTX 980 uses the full GM204 core, with 2048 CUDA Cores and 64 ROPs with a 256-bit memory bus to GDDR5. The official power rating for the GTX 980 is 165W.

The ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB (or the full name of STRIX-GTX980-DC2OC-4GD5) runs a reasonable overclock over a reference GTX 980 card, with frequencies in the range of 1178-1279 MHz. The memory runs at stock, in this case, 7010 MHz. Video outputs include three DisplayPort connectors, one HDMI 2.0 connector, and a DVI-I.

Further Reading: AnandTech's NVIDIA GTX 980 Review

 

Thank you to Crucial for providing us with MX300 SSDs. Crucial stepped up to the plate as our benchmark list grows larger with newer benchmarks and titles, and the 1TB MX300 units are strong performers. Based on Marvell's 88SS1074 controller and using Micron's 384Gbit 32-layer 3D TLC NAND, these are 7mm high, 2.5-inch drives rated for 92K random read IOPS and 530/510 MB/s sequential read and write speeds.

The 1TB models we are using here support TCG Opal 2.0 and IEEE-1667 (eDrive) encryption and have a 360TB rated endurance with a three-year warranty.

Further Reading: AnandTech's Crucial MX300 (750 GB) Review

Memory Straps and Explaining Frequency vs. Data Rate CPU Performance
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  • Drumsticks - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    Interesting findings. I've seen Ryzen hailed on other simple forums like Reddit as having great scaling. There's definitely some at play, but not as much as I'd have thought.

    How does this compare to Intel? Are there any plans to do an Intel version of this article?
    Reply
  • ScottSoapbox - Thursday, September 28, 2017 - link

    2nd!

    I'd like to see how much quad channel helps the (low end) X299 vs the dual channel Z370. With overlapping CPUs in that space it could be really interesting.
    Reply
  • blzd - Thursday, September 28, 2017 - link

    Yes please compare to Intel memory gains, would be very interested to see if it sees less/more boost from higher speed memory.

    Great article BTW.
    Reply
  • jospoortvliet - Saturday, September 30, 2017 - link

    While I wouldn't mind another test there have been plenty over the last year's as the authors also pointed out in the opening of the article and the results were simple - it makes barely any difference, far less even than for Ryzen. Reply
  • .vodka - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    Default subtimings in Ryzen are horribly loose, and there's lots of performance left on the table apart from IF scaling through memory frequency and more bandwidth. You've got B-die here, you could try these, thanks to The Stilt:

    http://www.overclock.net/t/1624603/rog-crosshair-v...

    This has also been explored by AMD in one of their community updates, at least in games:

    https://community.amd.com/community/gaming/blog/20...
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    The sub-timings are determined by the memory kit at hand, and how aggressive the DRAM module manufacturer wants to make their ICs. So when you say 'default subtimings on Ryzen are horribly loose', that doesn't make sense: it's determined by the DRAM here. Sure there are adjustments that could be made to the kit. We'll be tackling sub-timings in a later piece, as I wanted Gavin's first analysis piece for us to a reasonable task but not totally off the deep end (as our Haswell scaling piece showed, 26 different DRAM/CL combinations can take upwards of a month of testing). I'll be working with Gavin next week, when I'm back in the office from an industry event the other side of the world and I'm not chasing my own deadlines, to pull percentile data from his numbers and bringing parity with some of our other testing. Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    .vodka is right. Please investigate! Reply
  • looncraz - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    AMD sets its own subtimings as memory kits were designed for Intel's IMC and the subtimings are set accordingly.

    The default subtimings are VERY loose... sometimes so loose as to even be unstable.
    Reply
  • .vodka - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    Sadly, that's the situation right now. We'll see if the upcoming AGESA 1.0.0.7 does anything to get things running better at default settings.

    This article as is, isn't showing the entire picture.
    Reply
  • notashill - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    There's a new AGESA 1.0.0.6b but AMD has said very little about what changed in it. Reply

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