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AMD details Threadripper 1920X and 1950X CPUs
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-07-13 20:57:58

Last night out of the blue, we received an email from AMD, sharing some of the specifications for the forthcoming Ryzen Threadripper CPUs to be announced today. Up until this point, we knew a few things - Threadripper would consist of two Zeppelin dies featuring AMD's latest Zen core and microarchitecture, and would essentially double up on the HEDT Ryzen launch. Double dies means double pretty much everything: Threadripper would support up to 16 cores, up to 32 MB of L3 cache, quad-channel memory support, and would require a new socket/motherboard platform called X399, sporting a massive socket with 4094-pins (and also marking an LGA socket for AMD). By virtue of being sixteen cores, AMD is seemingly carving a new consumer category above HEDT/High-End Desktop, which we’ve coined the 'Super High-End Desktop', or SHED for short.

AMD is listing the top of the line Threadripper 1950X for 999 dollars, which gives you 16 cores and 32 threads, with a base frequency of 3.4Ghz (and a turbo frequency of 4.0Ghz) at a TDP of 180W (nothing to sneeze at). These are two quite amazing processors, and later next year, the pricing should definitely come down a bit so it's a bit more affordable for regular computer use as well.

Well done, AMD. Sure, we need to await the benchmarks for more information, but this is looking real good. I'm hoping this will finally start forcing developers - specifically of games - to start making more and better use of multicore.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-17
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RE[4]: Games
By Alfman on 2017-07-14 21:54:15
feamatar,

> Scripting in AI programming does not mean that you script the scene(think about Call of Duty, or the daily patterns in open world RPGs), instead you script your AI system(this is easy to understand for strategy games, but the same happens with FPS AI). That is: you define behaviors and priorities, that a particular type of AI should follow. Like this AI is reckless or that other prefers close combat or that other teams up with others. This is all scripting.

I would avoid using a term like "scripting" to refer to AI that is simulated rather than scripted. It feels like overloading the same word to have conflicting meaning. Never the less I'll try to keep your definition in mind for our dialog :)


> But what counts as a good AI system and a good scripting environment is hard to define. For example a strong AI does not necessarily a good AI, because AI should be able to fail and fail in a human way, and that is hard to prepare for.

If the AI is too efficient, too good, the player will say it is cheating.
If the AI does not lose enough time, the player will say the game is too hard.
If the AI fails, it should in a way like a human does, but humans often fail in ridiculous ways, but the AI will blamed that it is too dumb.
Or imagine that the AI in the game decides that you are the least efficient in the team and the game plays itself without you.


That's an interesting paradox. It's trivial for a dumb game AI to dominate a human player, just give it super human abilities (like reflexes, strength, precision, field of view, omnipotence, etc). Game designers tweak these variables to make the game fair (or, let's be honest, to be challenging but always favor the protagonist). However we (or at least I) have yet to see games where characters exhibit intelligent traits, like being able to plan strategies and use improvisation to achieve their objectives. They run fixed algorithms that don't learn.

We could have an interesting debate about whether having in game characters that are too intelligent would make the game less fun to play. You bring up a good point, if they are too intelligent, you the player could become less relevant in the game. But perhaps a game designer could incorporate this in the game. The official mission is fighting a common enemy, but an unstated objective might be for you as the player to become relevant and rise through the ranks by outperforming your own team's AI. You could finish the game as a low foot soldier or as a commander depending on your actions. Competing against your own AI in this way could be a novel game mechanic.

> So you want something game-like, not something realistic(like almost all of our games are, imagine a racing game where you go on the racing line for 60 laps without any overtake, or a shooting game where you guard a warehouse for 16 hours then killed by a single taliban fighter from 400 meters)

If it's too realistic, it's more of a simulation than a game, but there's still a wide gradient between them and I'd personally like to see creative use of advanced intelligence in games, but you could be right too, there might not be that much demand for this sort of thing among gamers. In any case we're not likely to see studios invest in this until massive core counts become much more common place.
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RE[3]: Games
By Kochise on 2017-07-14 21:58:22
Well, sorry, but there was AI based open world in the 90s that just did well with CPU of the time. Thinking about Half-Life (scripted), Black And White or Outcast to name a few. When you compare the CPU power of current chips with those of the 90s or the 00s, stating today chips are underpowered is a bold statement.

Read back how Crash Bandicot for the Playstation was coded, using a variant of the LISP language.
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RE[4]: Games
By Alfman on 2017-07-14 22:55:49
Kochise,

> Well, sorry, but there was AI based open world in the 90s that just did well with CPU of the time. Thinking about Half-Life (scripted), Black And White or Outcast to name a few.

Well, the thing is those are still beneath the level of character intelligence I'm thinking of though. Those game characters depended on pre-choreographed actions to make their motions through the environment. They could not learn, they had to be programmed to take those actions. I'm thinking specifically of HL characters jumping down ledges and whatnot, it was an evolutionary step, but they were still relatively dumb from an intelligence and problem solving point of view.

There's nothing necessarily wrong with making games this way, it doesn't require much processing power, but more advanced AI will be another evolutionary step.


> Read back how Crash Bandicot for the Playstation was coded, using a variant of the LISP language.

I'm not familiar with it. I looked up videos but it isn't immediately evident where sophisticated AI comes into play? Do you have a link?
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Congrats AMD for the new chip BUT..
By bassbeast on 2017-07-16 20:15:27
The problem is while its obvious that Ryzen is the way to go (75% of the performance for less than half the price almost the entire way down the line? Isn't competition grand?) the problem or both Intel and AMD which PC hardware sales have been showing for awhile now is software hasn't kept up with hardware and even ancient PCs are "good enough" for the majority.

Lets use myself for an example, during the MHz wars I had a new gaming PC every other year and a major upgrade to the hardware during the offyear, now? I am truly happy with my FX-8320e, I have 8 cores (that sit idle for a good portion of the day) with 16Gb of RAM and 5Tb of storage...why would I need a new PC? Even the games I play are running 85-95 FPS on my R9 280 and the board can run triple CF if I wanted more so what would be the point? Heck the box I use at work is ancient, a Q6600 with 8gb of RAM and a Tb drive but all I'm doing at work is looking up parts for customers, ordering parts, downloading drivers and occasionally watching vids...what would a new PC give me that the Q6600 doesn't already do?

If my FX-8320e system dies sure I'll buy a Ryzen but thanks to solid caps my late father's Phenom I system is sitting in the shop as a backup for the Q6600, today's PCs last a VERY long time and the core wars means everything I own is quad or better, so until software actually starts using all this hardware power we are sitting on there really just isn't a point for many of us in upgrading ATM.
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RE: Congrats AMD for the new chip BUT..
By Alfman on 2017-07-16 22:43:43
bassbeast,

> Lets use myself for an example, during the MHz wars I had a new gaming PC every other year and a major upgrade to the hardware during the offyear, now? I am truly happy with my FX-8320e, I have 8 cores (that sit idle for a good portion of the day) with 16Gb of RAM and 5Tb of storage...why would I need a new PC? Even the games I play are running 85-95 FPS on my R9 280 and the board can run triple CF if I wanted more so what would be the point? Heck the box I use at work is ancient, a Q6600 with 8gb of RAM and a Tb drive but all I'm doing at work is looking up parts for customers, ordering parts, downloading drivers and occasionally watching vids...what would a new PC give me that the Q6600 doesn't already do?

Pretty much. My personal computer is an ancient thing from 2008. I did buy a i7-3770 for a development box. but even that was second hand.

Consumers who want computers already have one that's good enough. Sadly, the lower production scales of economy will likely result in higher prices for the future, I sense this is happening with laptops already. From a business perspective, I definitely see why "planned obsolescence" is appealing, even though it's bad for the planet :(
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RE[3]: Now only...
By avgalen on 2017-07-17 07:30:41
> If a future Apple CEO made the leap again to sell MacOS to all comers / PC builders - what is the (future equivalent) most they could sell it for..

Would Hakintosh builders fork out say $999 for an unrestricted MacOS ? (with e.g. built-in AMD plus Intel optimisations; but support for only a subset of GPU's and soundcards/chips ) ??

Less than $700 unit price and I don't think the board would let it happen.

I don't know what an unrestricted macOS would be, but you have got to be kidding that you think a mass market consumer/enthousiast OS is worth $700. 100-200 at most!
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RE[4]: Now only...
By The123king on 2017-07-17 08:43:38
$250 is a reasonable price i think. As long as it's licensed per Apple ID, and not per installation, as well as non-expiring.

I'd dream for it to transfer to newer versions of MacOS, but i imagine they'd charge a $20/$50 upgrade fee on top of that.

If they did that... http://walkingdead.wikia.com/wik...
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