Desktop hardware outlook for 2018; A slower year it seems like

This is noting the fact that CES is currently ongoing and AMD along with Nvidia have made their presentations.

According to PC World, AMD has just made a number of announcements pertaining to future products. Ryzen+ is set to be unleashed this March, but it’s not going to come with a huge jump in performance (at least 10 percent which is better than Intel, but it will mean that single-core performance at least will remain behind the new Coffee Lake chips). Threadripper2 is also in the works (a good thing for enthusiasts), but the news also came with the disappointment of no new GPU models (possibly not until Navi hits in 2019). Now it doesn’t mean that AMD does not have sizable upgrades to their CPU line in the works, but we can pretty much count on Zen2 not arriving until 2019.

Nvidia meanwhile is also not planning to unleash any new GPU models this year, as this year it looks to be all about software such as their new Freestyle feature and the new GeForce now

Overall, it looks like AMD is still not going to do great in the desktop GPU market this year (especially with the rumors of a Vega refresh being false), they might make up some ground with new driver code aimed at Vega, but Nvidia will still remain the safest choice if you want a straightforward upgrade in terms of both performance and reduced power draw and heat production. Now it does in fact look like the opposite is true if you are a user with a netbook, but it’s not that applicable to those of us in 3D.

In fact, the safest option right now at least, in my opinion, may be to simply have a machine free of AMD once again. Nvidia still has a major advantage in the combo of performance/power draw/heat production while Coffee Lake, despite the recently found security hole, still offers a superior balance of single/multi-core performance and better plug-n-play with memory (you also have Optane which, for now, only works with an Intel machine). Perhaps AMD will indeed be the goto choice by next year when you can get a Zen2/Navi combo, but for those of us whose machines are already several years old, it would be a hard wait.

Now we still have to see what Intel will bring out, their next CPU for sure is the 8-core Ice Lake, but it’s probably not going to exist until the end of the year.

Comments, how will this affect your upgrade decisions?

New information coming out makes Zen+ sound a little more interesting

Precision Boost 2 is starting to sound like a nice improvement judging from the AMD slide in that article, and their new cooler looks pretty neat. The jury is still out on where they stand on desktop GPU’s (because their custom Vega 56 and 64 cards are due to come out soon), but all I know is that many PC vendors right now do not have an option to get a build with a Vega 56 (so maybe they are waiting for the custom designs).

It’s good to hear some people don’t care about security, are ready to pay a lot to get +5/10% in single core performance and don’t care about multi-threaded performance either. I’ll find some to buy my Intel hardware :slight_smile:

AMD laid out their game plan a while back and Zen+ was always going to come before Zen2. On top of that Zen+ is bringing with it a new chipset (X470), and supposedly more performance and efficiency so it’s no different (in theory) than the current tock (*lake) phase for Intel, but if you are an Intel user on an older chip it’s worth considering.

They are iterating on the Zen platform until Zen 2 which is slated for 2019. On top of that it’s rumored that the new Zen+ will up the core counts once again (to 12) and there are reports that the new mobos can hit ram speeds of 4000. There have been reports of RAM speed already hitting 3800 on the show floor. For an architecture that depends on RAM speeds, that may be a very good sign. I’m heading to CES tomorrow so if I find an AMD mobo I’ll let y’all know. If they can get higher clocks than 4.0Ghz I think that’s a real contender there versus Intel’s upcoming icelake chip. But let’s see.

As for the gpu situation. Mining is basically wrecking the whole market. If you are gamer you are no longer the main customer and the fact is that current GPUs still work well for mining. With crazy price fluctuations on GPUs sometimes raising prices to $2-300 markup, Nvidia and AMD are making bank on their current offerings, to the point where their lower end hardware is actually more coveted (in AMDs case) versus the higher performing chips. AMD and NVidia don’t have to release anything this year. They can just let the money roll in and release something else in a couple of years.

Trying to buy even an RX580 or 1070 for a reasonable price is nigh impossible if you don’t jump on the deal on the spot. In-fact computer components (such as RAM) in general are getting pricey this year.

If Zen+ has 12 core models, then it might actually be worth waiting for (it would be sweet to get another 3.5x performance increase over my i7 Ivy Bridge 3700, just like how it was when I upgraded from a Core 2 Q6600).

The thing is, a lot of people on this forum (myself included) will probably have a need or a want to upgrade for Blender 2.8 (especially with the drawing code getting more GPU-oriented). The hardware tech. is now at the point where you can have an across-the-board upgrade in well, everything (from memory read/write to even the networking).

Zen+ is a die shrink and enhancements, there won’t be new core configurations.

You can expect a slight frequency bump and some enhancements over the existing SKUs, nothing else.

Thanks Ace.

Already pulling the trigger on an Intel/NVidia build. While there’s the slight chance I’m paying a bit more as opposed to an AMD-centric computer that would require a lot more research to ensure I’m getting what I want. I’m comfortable estimating that the effective “cost” of that research is going to exceed any value I would get from it.

Maybe AMD will indeed catch up this year, or the next, but that’s true of any commonly available product out now.

Hypothetical builds from multiple boutique PC builders show the price is actually not going to be that much different (a good machine with good parts is going to cost around 2000 USD and up right now anyway). You can find cheaper builds on the online storefronts for major retailers, but their tendency is to get the price down with cheaper parts.

There is the age-old question of why one wouldn’t just build the PC from scratch, buying a pre-built one ensures that when you get it, it works out of the box after a quick setup time.

AMD computer generally offers more for the money. CPU and GPU for sure. Add up the number and I don’t think you can contest that you can get a better computer build if you go AMD. If you don’t care about the money and only care about top performance, Intel and Nvidia are the top performer at a top price.

The only problem with ryzen now is the fact it cant go much past 4.0 Ghz of my thread ripper could reach 4.5 Ghz Thats like adding an entire i7 3770ks worth of performance on to my computer for free lol

Somehow you are forgetting to mention that GPUs are hard to come by in the beginning of 2018 and RAM prices are just outrageous. So, yeah, 2018 is shaping up to be a shitty year when it comes to getting hardware upgrades on GPU/RAM side (and since Cycles is more of a GPU renderer, you need a good GPU more than you need Threadripper 2).

Well good thing i have a 1080 and a 1070 ti huh… Too bad the thread ripper is faster than either one in most cases. Sorry bud

Comparing mid-tier gpu’s to HPC platform seems odd to me to begin with…

Well those “mid-tier” GPUs cost more than 800 dollars each at the moment which is funny because I got the thread ripper for 799… the fact the price is nearly 1:1 makes the comparison completely justifiable

Its interesting I wasnt expecting cpus to compete with gpus in cycles but my ryzen 1700 is very nearly as fast as my 1060 it cost the same and has access to 32gb of ram,
have cpus advanced that much in the last few years or have gpus not progressed much as far as pathtracing is concerned.

Amd knocked the dust off Intel and Nvidia is holding back like they have always done

In 1 year amd made the entire cpu market at least 2x faster for everyone. Even if you are buying Intel