AMD Ryzen support improving?

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nojohnny101

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I have been following the development/reviews of AMD's new platform, specifically its Ryzen chips and it seems quite promising. I found some threads on here from earlier in 2017 but haven't seen much discussion since then on when/if FreeNAS will work towards giving official support to Ryzen chips. Or maybe I'm mistaken and they currently will work but just are not recommended?

The lure of cores and the general consensus that these new chips from AMD provide the best value for one's money so long as you don't need the absolute best chips, is making me consider AMD.

Anyone have insight or know of this is being discussed internally at iXsystems? Will they wait until a major company such as Supermicro starts producing boards what support the new AMD chips?

I appreciate your response and thoughts!
 
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Supermicro is producing boards for AMD's server CPU which I would imagine IXsystems have discussed more than once in house. I'm not so sure about the Ryzen series though even the threadripper (which is a very capable processor) is aimed at desktops and workstation not servers. What i remember from the thread about the brave soul who ran FreeNAS on the ryzen is it worked for all the basic stuff but more advanced things did not like VM's
 

Chris Moore

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Anyone have insight or know of this is being discussed internally at XiSystems? Will they wait until a major company such as supermicro starts producing boards what support the new AMD chips?
Let me say that I don't have any inside information as I am in no way connected to iXsystems.
I do know that iXsystems is already advertising servers based on the AMD EPYC processor, so I would expect the Ryzen support to be fairly well developed, but some features may not be fully implemented yet.
My guess would be that support will be held up by two main factors.
First, as you mentioned, the new server boards that use the new chip have to be produced by vendors such as Supermicro.
Second, the software developers need time to write the code to support the new hardware, once it is available in a server variant.

All this is speculation on my part. No charge, no guarantee.
 

Chris Moore

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What i remember from the thread about the brave soul who ran FreeNAS on the ryzen is it worked for all the basic stuff but more advanced things did not like VM's
@nojohnny101 - Virtualization on FreeNAS always lags a little behind because it is depending on the development efforts of the FreeBSD community. It is my understanding that iXsystems doesn't market virtualization as a capability of the TrueNAS product that they sell.
 
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I do know that iXsystems is already advertising servers based on the AMD EPYC processor,

well I total missed that last time I lurked their main site but you're right they do have some listed
 

gpsguy

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According to the FreeNAS 11.1 docs, there will be support for Ryzen in 11.1.

As I recall, there were no details - just a comment in the What's New section.
 
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Honestly my feeling on Ryzen support is that to know how well it will be handled is to watch the FreeBSD forums. Very little of the support work will be done by iXsystems unless it is something that they need to roll in for their part of FreeNAS to work. The base OS and drivers are still handled by the FreeBSD community, if the support is good there then it will be good with FreeNAS. If they have problems and don't work them out FreeNAS will have the same problems and I doubt they will be fixed, hence the reason why AMD CPUs have not been recommended so far.
 
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nojohnny101

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Good point @nightshade00013. I'm optimistic that support will come sometime in first half of 2018. I just hope AMD's resurgence isn't short-lived, maybe the industry is seeing if they can support these chips (flesh out features that weren't there at launch) and launch subsequent models that continue the pace of innovation and providing high value.
 

LTCM

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It's not just the fact that they don't have any server boards. My understanding is that Ryzens are pure CPUs with no on-board graphics. So if someone wanted to build a setup based on a cheap AM4 board, say an ASRock AB350M Pro4, you'd have to add a cheap video card. The lack of either IPMI or on-board graphics seems like a major drawback.

I know the forum pushes server boards with IPMI pretty hard, and for good reason, but I personally could see a niche for cheap Ryzen builds with ECC ram. But having to add a graphics card sucks.

Edit: I'm referring to graphics on the Ryzen chip. Maybe there are some more expensive motherboards with integrated video on the board itself, I don't know the entire AM4 lineup.
 
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nojohnny101

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I know the forum pushes server boards with IPMI pretty hard, and for good reason, but I personally could see a niche for cheap Ryzen builds with ECC ram. But having to add graphics card sucks.
I agree. I don't know why, but I overlooked the graphics card part. They do support ECC ram as you mentioned that so is at least appropriate.

Do you think AMD has any plans to release future versions with onboard graphics? It seems they are mostly targeting gamers and maybe researchers who an utilize many cores and would likely already have beefy graphics cards installed. Maybe it is just a result of that.
 
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if AMD has teamed up with Intel to install a graphics core in one of the Core laptop chips then i'm sure they are working on it for their own chips.
 

LTCM

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if AMD has teamed up with Intel to install a graphics core in one of the Core laptop chips then i'm sure they are working on it for their own chips.

The Ryzen laptop APUs are very near, if not already in production. They look promising for the mobile market, but I'm not sure what will be added to the desktop side. In the end, most Ryzen owners are going to want a dedicated video card anyways so it doesn't seem like a priority.
 

Chris Moore

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The Ryzen chip would be great in a server board where there was graphics built into the board for IPMI because of all the PCIe lanes the Ryzen brings, it would be... Well, I hope they do it, because, if they do it right I would want one. You have to buy an awfully expensive Xeon to come close to that many PCIe lanes.
 

LTCM

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The Ryzen chip would be great in a server board where there was graphics built into the board for IPMI because of all the PCIe lanes the Ryzen brings, it would be... Well, I hope they do it, because, if they do it right I would want one. You have to buy an awfully expensive Xeon to come close to that many PCIe lanes.

I watched a video a while ago which spoke about the threat Ryzen posed to Intel and it wasn't about the desktop chips...for all I love about the new AMD offerings, they don't really blow Intel's consumer chips out of the water. Better in some workflows, worse in others.

But the Xeons seem to be on thin ice in many ways. I don't have access to Intel's data to know their margins on these chips, but based on prices they have got to be printing money on each unit sold. I'm not saying Ryzens will take over the workstation/entry level server market, but dang, with a solid board it will absolutely put pressure on Xeon margin's.

Unlocked across the entire lineup, ECC compatible, and long term socket support? Please AMD, take my money!
 

Chris Moore

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I'm not saying Ryzens will take over the workstation/entry level server market, but dang, with a solid board it will absolutely put pressure on Xeon margin's.

Unlocked across the entire lineup, ECC compatible, and long term socket support? Please AMD, take my money!
That is what I am saying. We (at work) have high end multi socket workstations from Intel now and with these Ryzen chips, Intel has a real competitor, even in the server market. There are a lot of applications in a server where you don't really need a dual socket board for the processing and speed, you get a dual socket board to have enough PCIe lanes to run all the controller cards. These new AMD chips are rocking a lot of capability. I can't wait for the next generation of boards. The big companies like Dell or HP will probably be a whole year developing a good board. I expect to see something usable this time next year.
 
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@nojohnny101 Ryzen APU reviews are already out there. https://techreport.com/review/32743/amd-ryzen-7-2700u-and-ryzen-5-2500u-apus-revealed They will still be geared to entry to mid level systems and laptops but from what I have looked over they will perform better than the comparable intel solution especially in the graphics department.

The major reason why I have used AMD for most of my systems has been the ability to upgrade over multiple generations. It does suck a little that they have diverged from the one socket for all desktop solutions but I can understand that electrically they needed more space for the threadripper's to function well. I am have my fingers crossed that they will keep the same socket so I can buy a really good board when I get the chance to build out a new system and then get a cheap threadripper and then upgrade to a much faster version later on. Just the number of PCIe lanes available is massive so running a couple graphics cards in SLI with X16 connections along with a tv tuner and a couple NVMe drives will be no problem.
 

LukeT32

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On the note of Ryzen requiring a video card, has there been any luck with the hardware acceleration portion of Plex? That way if you have to buy a video card you could at least get a little benefit out of it on the Plex front.
 

Chris Moore

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On the note of Ryzen requiring a video card, has there been any luck with the hardware acceleration portion of Plex? That way if you have to buy a video card you could at least get a little benefit out of it on the Plex front.
I don't think there is any plan for that the version of Plex that runs in a plugin/jail. It might come much later in docker or some other virtualization where the GPU can be passed into the VM or somehow shared. That will not be soon.

I don't think it is needed because the 4K TV I have will direct play almost any video I send to it using the Plex app in the TV connected to my server. Some of the old videos that are stored as AVI or something need to be transcoded on the fly but that hardly taxes the CPU. Then the units I have that are only able to do 720p need to transcode a little but that isn't very demanding either. The worst I ever had, playing one 1080 and two 720p streams, all being transcoded, I got the CPU up to about 50%. It just isn't that big a thing to need GPU acceleration in Plex.
It might help when initially copying the DVD but that isn't done with Plex.
 
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