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AMD promises to improve IPC performance in future CPUs, talks about optimization in PC games

At this year’s PAX West, Joker got a chance to talk with AMD’s Don Woligroski who shared some interesting new information about the future CPUs of AMD, as well as the ongoing optimizations that AMD is trying to bring to PC games.

According to Woligroski, AMD’s recent Ryzen CPUs were ‘the worst case scenario’ and the red team will improve IPC performance as well as clock frequencies.

“I’ve said this before and I think it holds true. Zen, Ryzen, was the worst case scenario. It was a brand new architecture on a brand new node. So the worst case scenario we could’ve possibly had, and it’s pretty good. You can get to over 4.GHz.

We’re definitely working on improving, our engineers [are] really smart guys and things are looking better as we go along. I can’t talk to specifics on IPC but that’s an area of focus. We’ve got clock speed headroom to take advantage of and we’ve got tweaks to make sure performance for each clock is better.”

But what about games? We’ve known for quite a while that AMD is working with some publishers/developers in order to further optimize their games for Ryzen CPUs. Thankfully, Woligroski shed some light on what is currently going on.

“For games that are already released, our focus is making sure if they have a problem on Ryzen processors, which some do you’ll see a big performance delta, you’re like why? Ryzen is pretty fast and we’ll go and engage with the developer. We did it for Dota 2, Rise Of The Tomb raider and we just find out what was wrong.

For future looking stuff, it’s that chicken or egg scenario. When you have more threads and cores available the guys will start developing for it. We certainly have engineers that we hand out to guys who are developing games and our partners like Bethesda have been really great. They’re like how do we take advantage of this hardware? and we send guys in to say here’s how you do it. Here’s some ideas and it’s just a feedback loop. It just gets better and better. We finally have the APIs, now they’re going to learn how to use them. It’s not an instant ON. But then it’s inevitable. Next couple of years you’ll start seeing people doing it, great advances. And then it becomes the norm and everybody starts doing that. And then maybe in five years it’s 64 threads, who knows. It’s that beautiful upgrade path that’s for so long has been a plateau that no one has been pushing harder. I think it’s going to benefit us all.”

It’s worth noting that AMD’s future plans will also benefit Intel’s CPUs as their additional CPU cores will be also used (which is great for all PC gamers). As such, it remains to be seen whether AMD’s Ryzen 2 or Ryzen 3 CPUs will be able to compete with Intel’s future offerings.

Woligroski concluded that AMD is not a one it wonder and that it has some really good stuff coming.

“We threw down in 2017. We’ve seen our competitor starting to wake up and respond and we’re not just going to roll over. We have more stuff to come, we’ve got really good stuff coming. We’re not a one hit wonder, we’re keeping the pressure on for sometime. It’ll be a great 2018,. It was a great 2017 and we’ll see how things turn out.”

Ryzen 2, Raven Ridge & Optimization | AMD Q&A Pt I