Monthly Archives: July 2018

  • Ryzen for rendering

    5 reasons why Ryzen for rendering

    Updated 30/07/2018

    Since recently introducing AMD’s high-performance range of Ryzen CPUs to our ever-evolving line-up of Rack PCs, we have noticed a growing demand from our customers requiring Ryzen for rendering. Increasingly, we’re seeing a greater uptake of the processors for both 3D rendering and video encoding, now largely favoured over Intel’s own CPUs.

    But why is Ryzen such an attractive option for rendering? What makes it the go-to CPU over and above its long-term rival? Here are 5 reasons why Ryzen is a great choice for rendering:

    1. It’s all about the cores

    When it comes down to it, core and thread count is a highly important factor to take into consideration when rendering. In fact, the more cores, the better. And AMD CPUs simply have more cores than their Intel counterparts. This means far better performance, and greater speed when dealing with more intense workflows like rendering. Their Ryzen 7 2700X CPU has actually even proved to be faster in its stock form than when it’s overclocked, which just emphasises the Ryzen family’s impressive capabilities.

    1. Simultaneous Multi-Threading (SMT)

    Ryzen chips also have the advantage of SMT. This feature enables each of their cores to handle two simultaneous threads. Various rendering tests have demonstrated that Ryzen 7 will generally take the lead in most multi-threaded workloads, however this does mean that it struggles somewhat with single thread tasks, where Intel’s CPUs still rule the roost. Once again, having more cores proves a huge advantage, resulting in vastly improved multi-threading.

    1. Future-proof sockets

    Looking to the future, AMD has confirmed that their AM4 sockets will support any new processors through to 2020. This means that sockets will last a lot longer, so chips can be upgraded without the need for new hardware each time. Whether this will also apply to the TR4 Threadripper sockets is as yet unconfirmed.

    1. The Threadripper 1950X

    This 16 core, 32 thread beast is a particularly great find for rendering. Boasting a base clock of 3.4GHz and boost of 4GHz, it has blown the competition out of the water in tests across 3d Max, LuxRender, and Blender. It gains a clear lead in many rendering programs, and more then holds its own in others. AMD is so confident in this CPU that they recently boldly suggested Intel users trade in their i7-8086k chips for a 1950X instead!

    1. More cores for less

    The overwhelming response from the rendering community is that AMD’s Ryzen chips are far more reasonably priced than Intel’s. AMD’s price-competitive approach is therefore seeing that users are gaining the benefit of more cores at a much lower cost, putting them ahead of their rival.

    There is definitely an argument to be made for Ryzen for rendering. It’s faster, high-performing, and its competitive core count is a significant draw to AV and digital professionals reliant on rendering software. Our own machines are primed for rendering; the 2U Nano is a powerful machine ideal for 3D or real-time rendering, in addition to running complex lighting and video production programs.

    If you would like to learn more about how to best use Ryzen CPUs to optimise rendering, or else if you’re looking to build your own machine for rendering, get in touch with us.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: Products, Technical Articles

  • A welcomed truce between rivals AMD and Intel?

    Updated 18/07/2018

    It’s Intel’s 50th birthday today, so to celebrate this remarkable milestone we thought we’d create a rundown of all the latest Intel news that has surrounded this very important year. We’re big advocates of Intel, and have long used their extensive range of high-performance processors across our line-up of Rack and Mini PCs. In fact, every one of our products now supports Intel’s latest 8th generation of chips, from their i3 CPU all the way to the range-topping i7-8700k. The chipmaker has always been a lead innovator in what is an increasingly competitive market, and is still continuing to pioneer incredible shifts that challenge the conventions of CPU design.

    The thin line between love and hate: Intel and AMD

    Intel and AMD have been rivals longer than we can remember. That’s why it took us completely by surprise when Intel announced that they would be working with their arch nemesis on a new mobile chip embedded with AMD’s Radeon RX Vega M graphics. This unexpected partnership was announced back in November, with the chips officially launched at CES in January. Since then, the hybrid love-child, dubbed Kaby Lake G, has been gradually making an appearance, including inside Intel’s new Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK.

    Using Intel’s Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB) to connect chips, the result is a much slicker, more portable chip that, because it places the CPU and GPU in closer proximity, means a lot more control and greater performance. The idea is that it will be ideally suited to ultra-thin devices, or else create much-needed space in thicker laptops and notebooks. So far, beyond the stir that the partnership itself has created, the Kaby Lake G has already been met with lots of excitement, and is proving itself a worthy representation of two of the world’s chipmaking titans.

    We, like Intel, have recently made the foray towards AMD by implementing their Ryzen CPUs into our PCs, and are beginning to really understand the appeal of these ground-breaking chips.

    All’s fair in chips and war

    In spite of their temporary handshake, not all is at peace between Intel and AMD. To mark its 50th anniversary, Intel gave away 8086 of its new 8th generation i7-8086k processors last month in a one-off sweepstake. AMD recently responded to this act of generosity by encouraging those lucky enough to have bagged one of the i7 chips to exchange them for their Threadripper 1950X processors instead. Intel jovially bit back over Twitter, stating “@AMDRyzen, if you wanted an Intel Core i7-8086K processor too, you could have just asked us.”

    What’s next for Intel?

    Just to shake things up even further, Intel is now working on its very own discrete graphics card, looking to go head-to-head with both AMD and NVIDIA in the high-performance graphics space. At the moment, there are next-to-no details on what we can expect from this GPU, but what we do know is that it will be making an appearance sometime in 2020 – a very exciting prospect indeed.

    If you would like to find out more about the diverse range of processors and graphics cards options we have on offer within our PCs, or else learn more about the future of Intel’s chips, please get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News