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AMD Ryzen Threadripper: What you need to know about AMD’s new monster CPU and X399 chipset

By Koh Wanzi - 14 Aug 2017

RyzenMaster updates

Creator and Game Modes

On the software front, RyzenMaster got a couple of updates as well. There are now tools to allow users to tweak performance for gaming or productivity applications in the form of separate Creator and Game modes.

The main difference is the memory access mode, and you’ll have a choice between Distributed or Local. Distributed mode is the default setting and the one that Creator mode uses. It places the system in a Uniform Memory Access (UMA) configuration, which prioritizes the even distribution of memory transactions across all available memory channels to maximize memory bandwidth.

RyzenMaster offers two different modes for Threadripper. (Image Source: AMD)

Distributed mode actually enforces a mix of local and remote memory access, so there will always be some benefit from remote memory channels. AMD says this helps ensure more consistent memory performance in applications with unknown or unpredictable threading behavior, and it’s also best suited to applications requiring high thread counts.

On the other hand, Local mode puts the system in Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) configuration, which divides the processor into two "nodes" containing one die and two memory channels each. This time, access is prioritized according to the physical distance of the memory DIMM from the CPU core accessing it, so the OS attempts to localize a process and its memory transactions within one node before engaging the other.

The aim is to reduce latency, even at the possible expense of memory throughput, but AMD says modestly threaded applications like games can benefit from this, which is why Gaming mode puts the system in NUMA configuration. 

In fact, the company is claiming a 5 per cent improvement on average, with peaks of up to 10 per cent in certain titles.

RyzenMaster lets you put the CPU in Legacy Compatibility Mode to run older games. (Image Source: AMD)

Game mode also turns on something called Legacy Compatibility Mode, which turns the 1950X into an 8-core/16-thread part and the 1920X into a 6-core/12-thread chip. Some games, such as DiRT Rally and Far Cry Primal, can’t run with more than 20 logical cores, so this helps ensure compatibility.

Furthermore, AMD claims that some older titles show performance improvements when given less cores to work with, including games like Dota 2, Heroes of the Storm, and Civilization VI.

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