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Lenovo Announces New ThinkPads With AMD APUs

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  • #31
    Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
    I REALLY hope it's not because they are recycling the same mobos in new chassis, you know the ones with SINGLE CHANNEL ram, the ones with SOLDERED DOWN 4GB "ram bank" so you can only get up to 12GB total.

    Not that I'm complaining for the current models (they are entry level laptops), but you never know, OEMs always had APUs on shitty mobo designs so far.

    Really hope these laptops supposedly for businness stuff actually received some love on the mobo design side.
    I'm in the same boat. I've been wanting a new laptop for a few years now and I want AMD. A few years ago there was a decent offer I was looking at, but just like you said, the build quality just wasn't on par with an equal priced Intel laptop. It's a matter of stupid things like the quality of the bezels or the synaptic pad or a shitty keyboard. As soon as i see an AMD product with specs I like that has a comparable design quality and build quality as an equal priced Intel product, that's probably the one I'm gonna buy.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by karolherbst View Post
      file cache is also an important factor of system performance and my 16 GB ram was always fully used either for cache or program memory.
      Amen to that. Maybe not so much with an SSD, but typical laptop HDD's are slow enough that extra RAM really helps.

      BTW recent APUs actually perform very well when allowed to use full power; it's just seems that too many OEMs power limit them to leave power and thermal budget for a dGPU... even on the versions where a dGPU is not installed.

      The other thing to check for is a BIOS option to adjust the "carve-out", ie the amount of system memory which appears as VRAM to the GPU. Microsoft requires that it be set very low by default, but adjusting it up to at least 1GB makes a big difference in graphics performance.

      EDIT - the press release did not mention optional dGPU, which is promising.
      Last edited by bridgman; 09-08-2017, 08:02 PM.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by bridgman View Post
        The other thing to check for is a BIOS option to adjust the "carve-out", ie the amount of system memory which appears as VRAM to the GPU. Microsoft requires that it be set very low by default, but adjusting it up to at least 1GB makes a big difference in graphics performance.
        These settings disappeared long ago. Most APU laptops I saw are hard-coded to allocate 512MB of RAM to GPU and there is no way we can change this from UEFI settings.

        Would be very good if we could override that with a kernel command line option or something, like we usually do to enable IOMMU (as it's again never listed in the UEFI settings).

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Nille_kungen View Post
          Bristol Ridge on the other hand uses DDR4 and is compatible with Ryzen, you can use both BR and Ryzen on a desktop AM4 motherboard.
          On the laptop BR to RR shouldn't be to hard for Lenovo.
          Hope !
          (Keeping fingers crossed)

          Originally posted by finalzone View Post
          Running a 16GB streamroller APU based laptop with a dedicated South Island card here since 2014 with only open source driver which perform quite well.
          That's also my main reason to hope for a decent AMD based laptop :
          - I must run Linux (both professionally and for my own sanity) and an AMD platform is the best regarding open-source drivers.

          I would definitely like to have a professional/business laptop (Lenovo Thinkpad, Dell Lattitude, etc.) for the simplicity of upgrading/fixing repairing.

          Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
          Originally posted by bridgman View Post
          The other thing to check for is a BIOS option to adjust the "carve-out", ie the amount of system memory which appears as VRAM to the GPU. Microsoft requires that it be set very low by default, but adjusting it up to at least 1GB makes a big difference in graphics performance.
          These settings disappeared long ago. Most APU laptops I saw are hard-coded to allocate 512MB of RAM to GPU and there is no way we can change this from UEFI settings.

          Would be very good if we could override that with a kernel command line option or something, like we usually do to enable IOMMU (as it's again never listed in the UEFI settings).
          That would also be a good argument for an (open source) CoreBoot firmware.
          So we could get what we need as settings inside.

          (But that would go against Lenovo's tendency to use whitelists in the firmware for mini-PCIe cards. So I wouldn't count much on their help.
          Did they help any of the past "OpenBios and CoreBoot on Thinkpads" efforts ?)

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          • #35
            Originally posted by DrYak View Post
            Let me introduce you to this tiny niche branch of science called "Bioinformatics" (and Genomics, and System Biology, and Computationnal Biology, etc.)
            32 GiB is just a tiny bit of toy dataset that you get to play with just to be sure that your algorithm works correctly and produce the expected results.
            That's great, but it sounds like you've picked the wrong tool for the job then. This laptop clearly doesn't meet the requirements for this scientific application, so not sure why you'd even consider it.

            My point remains valid - the vast majority of users today will not come even close to consuming 12 GB RAM on a laptop. Not sure why folks have their panties in a wad over this 12 GB limit. Students, business (MS Office), games, etc. will all run beautifully on this machine. If you've confused this $800 laptop for a $2500 model, that's your mistake.

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            • #36
              I am a ThinkPad geek going back to the original 720c. Lenovo has sliced the ThinkPad market in 2. The sub $1000 market and the one above.

              The AMD PRO ThinkPads fall in the former category. Designed to meet large corporate bulk purchases at low price points. HP has a comparable Elite Pro series with A12's that are popular in the corporate purchasing space. These are targeted directly at those.

              Honestly, Lenovo has been watering down the TP brand for years with these attempts to win large purchase deals by taking consumer hardware, putting it in a black design shell and slapping a TP logo on it.

              In 3 years, the refurb market will be flooded with these AMD TP's as I predict they will not survive well in the business tech cycle.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by torsionbar28 View Post
                That's great, but it sounds like you've picked the wrong tool for the job then. This laptop clearly doesn't meet the requirements for this scientific application, so not sure why you'd even consider it.
                You don't run the scientific application on the laptop. You run it on the cluster (with nodes with RAM in the 256 to 512 GiB range and shared storage space in the TB to PB range). That's the correct tool for the job.

                The laptop is used to develop and test your computation on a small subset of data - this small toy subset can already push the laptop to its limit and 32GiB help a lot.

                My point remains valid - the vast majority of users today will not come even close to consuming 12 GB RAM on a laptop.
                There's a slight difference between "nobody - except VM users" and "vast majority will not".
                I agree only with the later.

                Most users don't (unless they have memory-leaky plugins in their Firefox when surfing Facebook).
                But there are tons of corner cases (VM, Bioinformatics, complex video editing, photo manipulation was also mentioned...) where pushing the memory up to 32 GiB could help.



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                • #38
                  Originally posted by humbug View Post
                  Vega as an architecture is more power efficient than Polaris.
                  Every architecture has a performance vs power consumption curve. There is a max efficiency zone and once you go too much past that you start requiring insanely more power for minuscule performance gains. With desktop Vega; AMD had no choice but to push the architecture outside that comfort zone in order to compete with the GTX 1070 and 1080 on raw performance.

                  Laptops part will be a totally different animal.
                  Thinking again, yes Vega should be more efficient than Polaris.
                  But in laptops, power consumption is important, and Vega needs more power to compete, so were talking about either more power or less performance than an nvidia counterpart, for the same price, unless AMD is willing to sell at a discount...

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