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Chinese Manufacturer ProArtist Solves AM4 CPU Mounting Problem with New IFE2 Bracket

The AMD consumer platform has long used PGA design chips, and this is no different with the AM4 platform. While this design reduces motherboard costs it comes with an unfortunate downside, PGA processors have a habit of sticking to the heatsink when attempting to remove or replace your heatsink. This problem is so commonplace that AMD has published guides online outlining the correct heatsink removal process which involves "twisting the CPU cooler clockwise and counterclockwise to loosen the seal between the heatsink and the lid of the CPU".

Chinese manufacturer ProArtist has created an ingenious solution, the IEF2 AM4 CPU mounting bracket. The bracket replaces the included mounting hardware on motherboards replacing it with spacers secured to a metal mounting place which heatsinks can then be attached to. This bracket ensures that the CPU won't be damaged when removing heatsinks. The bracket is non-standard so only compatibility with ProArtist coolers such as the DESSERTS3 is guaranteed. The IEF2 AM4 CPU mounting bracket is available only in China from Taobao for less than 5 USD.

Louqe and Noctua Present NH-L12 Special Edition CPU Cooler for the Ghost S1 Case

Louqe and Noctua today presented the new NH-L12 Ghost S1 edition CPU cooler. Coming with a single 92 mm fan and Noctua's second-generation NT-H2 thermal compound, as well as the latest SecuFirm2 multi-socket mounting system, the NH-L12 Ghost S1 edition has been customised to be an ideal companion for quiet high-end builds in Louqe's award-winning Ghost S1 enclosure.

"We've tested pretty much every low-profile cooler on the market in the Ghost S1 and even tried to create a complete custom solution in collaboration with Noctua, but nothing worked as well as our long-term favourite, the NH-L12," explains Patrik Michalski (Louqe CEO). "That's why we've ended up creating a customised special edition of this cooler that will be the ideal choice for all Ghost S1 users who are looking for the best possible air cooling solution."

AMD Ryzen 7 4700GE Memory Benchmarked: Extremely Low Latency Explains Tiny L3 Caches

AMD's 7 nm "Renoir" APU silicon, which features eight "Zen 2" CPU cores, has only a quarter of the L3 cache of the 8-core "Zen 2" CCD used in "Matisse," "Rome," and "Castle Peak" processors, with each of its two quad-core compute complexes (CCXs) featuring just 4 MB of it (compared to 16 MB per CCX on the 8-core "Zen 2" CCD). Chinese-language tech publication TecLab pubished a quick review of an alleged Ryzen 7 4700GE socket AM4 processor based on the "Renoir" silicon, and discovered that the chip offers significantly lower memory latencies than "Matisse," posting just 47.6 ns latency when paired with DDR4-4233 dual-channel memory.

In comparison, a Ryzen 9 3900X with these kinds of memory clocks typically posts 60-70 ns latencies, owing to the MCM design of "Matisse," where the CPU cores and memory controllers sit on separate dies, which is one of the key reasons AMD is believed to have doubled the L3 cache amount per CCX compared to previous-generation "Zeppelin" dies. TecLab tested the alleged 4700GE engineering sample on a ROG Crosshair VIII Impact X570 motherboard that has 1 DIMM per channel (the best possible memory topology).

AMD "Renoir" Die Annotation Raises Hopes of Desktop Chips Featuring x16 PEG

VLSI engineer Fritzchens Fritz, famous for high-detail EM photography of silicon dies and annotations of them, recently published his work on AMD's 7 nm "Renoir" APU silicon. His die-shots were annotated by Nemez aka GPUsAreMagic. The floor-plan of the silicon shows that the CPU component finally dwarfs the iGPU component, thanks to double the CPU cores over the previous-gen "Picasso" silicon, spread over two CCXs (compute complexes). The CCX on "Renoir" is visibly smaller than the one on the "Zen 2" CCDs found in "Matisse" and "Rome" MCMs, as the L3 cache is smaller, at 4 MB compared to 16 MB. Being MCMs with disintegrated memory controllers, it makes more sense for CCDs to have more last-level cache per CCX.

We also see that the iGPU features no more than 8 "Vega" NGCUs, so there's no scope for "Renoir" based desktop APUs to feature >512 stream processors. AMD attempted to compensate for the NGCU deficit by dialing up engine clocks of the iGPU by over 40% compared to those on "Picasso." What caught our eye in the annotation is the PCI-Express physical layer. Apparently the die indeed has 20 PCI-Express lanes besides an additional 4 lanes that can be configured as two SATA 6 Gbps ports thanks to SerDes flexibility.

MSI Releases Latest AGESA BIOS Updates Enabling Ryzen 3000XT Processor Support

MSI, the world leading gaming motherboard brand, releases optimized BIOS updates for the new Ryzen 9 3900XT, Ryzen 7 3800XT and Ryzen 5 3600XT Processors. Combo PI V1 1.0.0.6 BIOS and Combo PI V2 1.0.0.2 BIOS are released and able to download successively in coming days. More detail information about the Combo PI V2 1.0.0.2, Combo PI V1 1.0.0.6 or newer BIOS update, please check this blog.

Since AMD releases their new Ryzen 9 3900XT, Ryzen 7 3800XT and Ryzen 5 3600XT Processors today, MSI also made great efforts to offer optimized BIOS updates for 300-, 400-, and 500-series motherboards. The latest AMD Combo PI V1 version 1.0.0.6 BIOS for 300- and 400-series motherboards will be ready for users to download and update in the end of June. Regarding 500-series motherboards, Combo PI V2 version 1.0.0.2 BIOS will be released in the beginning of July. The updated BIOS updates are mainly optimized for the new Ryzen CPUs. Besides, there are several key points for the BIOS improvements.

AMD B550 Chipset Motherboards Listed, Available from June 16

Socket AM4 motherboards based on AMD B550 chipset are listed on popular e-tailers such as Newegg. The boards will be available to order from tomorrow (June 16). Some of these models are open for pre-order on Newegg. Despite AMD's best efforts to have its manufacturers list a token few models under the $100-mark, the boards on Newegg only start at $115 for what were supposed to be $99 models, going all the way up to $300 for some of the flagship models. In essence, B550 succeeds both the B450 and X470 in pricing spread of motherboards. Highly anticipated models, such as the MSI MAG Tomahawk are priced at $180, and the ASUS Strix-F at $190. Top tier boards like the ASUS Strix-E and Aorus Master are listed for $280, while the ASRock Taichi scorches your wallet at $300.

AMD Ryzen 5 4400G Desktop "Renoir" 6-core APU Put Through 3DMark11

It looks like AMD's Ryzen 4000G line of socket AM4 desktop APUs based on the 8-core 7 nm "Renoir" silicon will be a lot wider than just a couple of SKUs. We've seen plenty of material on the top Ryzen 7 4700G part that maxes out everything on the silicon, along with increased power limits and clock speeds. It looks like the Ryzen 5 4000G series will consist of 6-core/12-thread parts. One such chip, the Ryzen 5 4400G surfaced on the 3DMark database, as dug up by TUM_APISAK. They earlier brought you a 3DMark score comparison between the 4400G, the top 4700G, and the entry-level 4200G.

The Ryzen 5 4400G (possible OPN: 100-000000143) appears to be a 6-core/12-thread part based on "Renoir," with the CPU clocked at 3.70 GHz base and possibly 4.30 GHz boost. The "Vega" NGCU count of the iGPU is unknown, but its engine clock is set at 1.90 GHz (max). With the "P" (performance) preset, the 4400G allegedly scores 4395 points in the 3DMark 11 graphics test suite (graphics score); with 10241 points physics score.

EK Water Blocks EK Classic Liquid Cooling Kits Transition to D-RGB

EK Water Blocks, the premium liquid cooling gear manufacturer, is updating the EK-Classic Kits by transitioning them all to the more customizable 5V D-RGB lighting and adding more tools in the package to help loop builders. That's not where the magic stops, as these new Classic kits are more affordable. This was done with various production optimizations that yielded a more affordable and better product for end-users.

EK-Classic CPU Water Block 115x/20xx/AM4 D-RGB - a high-end, nickel-plated copper CPU water block for modern Intel and AMD processors. It uses addressable RGB LEDs to light up your CPU area. It features a classic, market-proven design that will perfectly fit the needs of core enthusiasts and demanding users as well. The tool-less mounting system makes the installation process a breeze even for beginners. This block comes with a pre-installed Intel mounting system while the AMD AM4 mounting system is in the packaging and needs to be installed if needed.

GIGABYTE Intros B550 VISION D Motherboard for Creators

GIGABYTE today introduced the B550 VISION D socket AM4 motherboard targeted at creators. Built in the ATX form-factor, the board supports socket AM4 Ryzen 3000 "Matisse" processors, and is based on the new AMD B550 chipset. Within GIGABYTE's product stack, the B550 VISION D is positioned above its B550 AORUS Master flagship board based on this chipset. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors (concealed under a plastic bit near the VRM heatsinks). A 14-phase VRM conditions power for the CPU. The socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots supporting up to 128 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory; and two PCI-Express 4.0 x16 slots (x8/x8 with both populated). This is something the AORUS Master lacks, on the other hand, the VISION D lacks SLI certification.

The third PCIe x16 slot is gen 3.0 x4, and wired to the B550 chipset. The board offers two M.2 NVMe slots, one of the two has PCIe 4.0 x4 wiring from the AM4 SoC, the other has PCIe 3.0 x4 wiring from the chipset. There are only four SATA 6 Gbps on offer with this board, as GIGABYTE is freeing up PCIe lanes on the chipset. Unless we're mistaken, GIGABYTE is offering "unofficial" Thunderbolt 3 support. The board features an Intel "Titan Ridge" Thunderbolt 3 controller that puts out two "USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 40 Gbps" ports with DisplayPort passthrough. GIGABYTE is careful not to call these Thunderbolt 3 ports. Networking connectivity includes 802.11ax + Bluetooth 5 WLAN, and two 1 GbE interfaces driven by Intel controllers. The onboard audio solution uses premium ALC1220-VB codec, WIMA capacitors, and AMPs on the front channels. The company didn't reveal pricing.

AGESA ComboAM4 1.0.0.6 Surfaces in Beta BIOS Updates for ASUS Motherboards

ASUS released a beta BIOS updates for its top AMD 400-series chipset motherboard that includes the AGESA ComboAM4 1.0.0.6 microcode. A HardwareLuxx.de community member tracking AGESA updates posted screenshot of a Crosshair VII Hero (X470) motherboard with a AGESA ComboAM4 1.0.0.6 version (not to be confused with AGESA PinnaclePI 1.0.0.6). The beta BIOS version for the motherboard bears version number 3101. The BIOS file was originally released to web by Shamino on the OCN forums, earlier today.

While not much is known about ComboAM4 1.0.0.6, the Beta BIOS 3101 for Crosshair VII Hero enables per-CCX overclocking, meaning that you can set different manual OC multiplier values per CCX on your processor. We're not sure if both "Pinnacle Ridge" and "Matisse" support it, or just the latter. We also don't know at this point if per-CCX overclocking is an ASUS innovation or a feature of ComboAM4 1.0.0.6. Find the BIOS ROM file here.

ASRock DeskMini SFF PC with AMD "Renoir" Desktop APU Surfaces

ASRock is working on a variant of its DeskMini SFF desktop PC powered by an AMD Ryzen 4000G series "Renoir" desktop APU. We know this is a desktop "Renoir" since ASRock uses socket AM4 SFF boards based on the A300 or X300 platform, that the clock speeds are higher than mobile "Renoir" chips launched so far, and since the performance numbers for both the CPU- and graphics put out by HardwareLeaks (_rogame) are higher than those of the mobile Ryzen 7 4800HS. The X300 is a barebones platform, as all the connectivity on the platform is handled by the AM4 SoC. AMD is expected to debut desktop Ryzen 4000G "Renoir" APUs within 2020.

ID-COOLING Releases IS-47K 47mm Low Profile CPU Cooler

ID-COOLING today announced IS-47K low profile CPU air cooler, featuring only 47 mm total height, 6 copper heatpipes, copper base and a 92x92x15mm PWM fan. IS-47K is specially designed for high performance small form factor builds with a TDP up to 130 W. It is compatible with the mainstream CPU sockets on ITX systems, including Intel LGA1200/1150/1151/1155/1156 and AMD AM4.

The thermal solution is achieved by utilizing a few key structural designs: pure copper base and pure copper heatpipes, high quality aluminium fins which soldered to the heatpipes, PWM 92x922x15mm fans and on top of that, a tube of high cooling performance thermal grease ID-TG25 which has a 10.5 W/m-K thermal conductivity.

ECS Releases Budget microATX AMD B450 Motherboard

Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) has recently unveiled the budget B450AM4-M motherboard. The B450AM4-M is a microATX board using the AMD B450 chipset with a low end 4+2 phase power system fed with a single 4 pin power connector. This limited power system will constrict the board to CPUs with a TDP of 95 W or lower and according to the board specifications, the 2600X is the highest-end chip supported. The motherboard comes with 4 DDR4 2666 MHz DIMM slots which support a maximum of 64 GB of memory, x1 PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, x1 PCIe 2.0 x16 slot wired at x4, x1 PCIe 2.0 x1 slot, and x1 PCI slot.

The motherboard includes a Realtek RTL8111GN controller for gigabit Ethernet, along with a Realtek ALC662 for audio. Storage options include four SATA connectors which support software RAID and an M.2 connector. I/O on the board is extensive given its market positioning including x2 USB 3.2 Gen 2, x4 USB 3.2 Gen1, x2 USB 2.0, HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI-D, D-Sub, and audio. ECS hasn't announced the pricing or availability for the B450AM4-M motherboard.

AMD B550 Motherboards to Restart AGESA with v2

Apparently, AMD will be taking a slightly confusing step with its new AGESA codes - at least for the B550 platform. A report via Hardwareluxx has AMD rebooting AGESA (the most basic firmware for your motherboard and chipset support that's a requirement for correct CPU and feature support) versions back to version 1.0.0.0, but with a catch. The new AGESA version that's supposed to allow for support for AMD's Zen 3 CPUs will be coded as ComboAM4 v2 1.0.0.0 - instead of the next version in the current AGESA nomenclature, 1.0.0.6. It is still unclear if this change only refers to AMD's B550 or if it will also move on to X570's next AGESA releases.

It's expected that new motherboards based on AMD's B550 chipset will start landing in June. For now, there's confirmation on at least two motherboards running with this V2 of AGESA: MSI's MAG B550 Tomahawk (ComboAM4 v2 1.0.0.0), and the Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master (ComboAM4v2 1.0.0.1). So if you're looking to use AMD's B550 motherboard (or even X570) with AMD's upcoming Zen 3 CPUs, make sure to read your motherboard manufacturers' release notes for each AGESA version, so that you install the correct one and avoid yourself a potential load of pain with a non-functioning AGESA for your shiny new Zen 3 CPU.

Distant Blips on the AMD Roadmap Surface: Rembrandt and Raphael

Several future AMD processor codenames across various computing segments surfaced courtesy of an Expreview leak that's largely aligned with information from Komachi Ensaka. It does not account for "Matisse Refresh" that's allegedly coming out in June-July as three gaming-focused Ryzen socket AM4 desktop processors; but roadmap from 2H-2020 going up to 2022 sees many codenames surface. To begin with, the second half of 2020 promises to be as action packed as last year's 7/7 mega launch. Over in the graphics business, the company is expected to debut its DirectX 12 Ultimate-compliant RDNA2 client graphics, and its first CDNA architecture-based compute accelerators. Much of the processor launch cycle is based around the new "Zen 3" microarchitecture.

The server platform debuting in the second half of 2020 is codenamed "Genesis SP3." This will be the final processor architecture for the SP3-class enterprise sockets, as it has DDR4 and PCI-Express gen 4.0 I/O. The EPYC server processor is codenamed "Milan," and combines "Zen 3" chiplets along with an sIOD. EPYC Embedded (FP6 package) processors are codenamed "Grey Hawk."

EK Releases Limited Edition Memorial Day Star-Spangled Velocity Water Block

EK, the premium water cooling gear manufacturer, has decided to do something special for its American fans this Memorial Day Weekend. Apart from being the unofficial beginning of summer, the last Monday of May has a lot of meaning for many Americans. Memorial Day is the reason why EK has created a special red, white, and blue limited edition Velocity CPU water block with a genuinely noble cause.

The brand new limited version of the water block carries the name EK-Quantum Velocity Honor. It is "decorated" with the US flag and will be sold at the price of $249.99. For each water block sold, EK will donate $100 to a charitable organization. "Being a globally successful company also means that we have the ability and responsibility to make a difference and give something back to the community. We have decided to jump on a project that will make our most loyal fans happy, and at the same time, help those who are in need," said Edvard König, founder of EK.

AMD Readies 3rd Gen Ryzen "Matisse Refresh" Ryzen 7 3850X and 3750X Processors

AMD is planning to immediately update its product stack to counter the Intel 10th gen Core "Comet Lake-S" desktop processor family. Codenamed "Matisse Refresh," the processor will use existing IP, based on the 7 nm "Zen 2" microarchitecture, but could improve in areas such as clock-speeds. As it now stands, the Ryzen 9 3900X appears unfazed by the i9-10900K and i7-10700K at its new $410 price, however, competitiveness of the 3800X and 3700X could buckle under pressure from the i7-10700 series (K, KF, non-K, and F), as well as the Core i5-10600 series. To this effect, we're hearing rumors of a "Ryzen 7 3750X" and "Ryzen 7 3850X" seeing the light of the day soon, with an early-June announcement, and early-July market availability. References to the 3750X date back to October 2019.

Rumors of "Matisse Refresh" gained traction when WCCFTech editor Hassan Mujtaba tweeted a slide from a GIGABYTE AMD B550 motherboard series pre-launch presentation, which references GIGABYTE's own interpretation of AMD's roadmap. It lists out every CPU microarchitecture for the AM4 platform, and right next to "Matisse" is "& Refresh," confirming that "Matisse Refresh" is real. A microarchitecture "refresh" needn't even involve any physical changes to the processor design, core-counts, or architecture, and can sometimes even indicate something as simple as a second major wave of SKUs that replace existing SKUs in the market, leading to their phase-out (eg: Intel "Haswell Refresh" retaining the 4th gen Core model numbering). The slide also adds weight to the theory that desktop "Renoir," like its mobile counterpart, lacks PCIe gen 4.0. The slide also talks about AMD introducing the entry-level A520 desktop chipset in August, which will support PCIe gen 4 when paired with a capable processor.

MSI Announces its B550 Motherboard Family

MSI, the world-leading motherboard brand, continues to be dedicated to the AMD AM4 platform with the launch of the new B550 motherboards. Since AMD launched Ryzen Desktop Processors with AM4 platform, MSI has been occupied the market with our AM4 motherboards. For the B450 platform, MSI undoubtedly is in the market leadership with our iconic TOMAHAWK and MORTAR motherboards. This year, together with the 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen processors and readiness of PCIe Gen 4 technology, MSI offers a complete B550 motherboard lineup from MPG, MAG to PRO series with advanced technology and MSI exclusive features to satisfy all types of gamers and users' need.

"We are seeing increasing user demands for flexible systems that perform well in a multitude of tasks from gaming to content creation more than ever before," said Chris Kilburn, corporate vice president and general manager, client component business unit, AMD. "AMD is excited to bring the power of 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen desktop processors and cutting edge PCIe 4.0 support to the mainstream users with our latest AMD B550 chipset. With an extensive platform lineup from our partners at MSI, AMD is confident these new B550 platforms will provide flexibility and power never seen before on a mainstream platform."

ASUS Announces its B550 Motherboard Series: ROG, TUF Gaming, and Prime

ASUS today announced new motherboards featuring the latest AMD B550 chipset that bring the potential of PCI Express 4.0 to mainstream builds everywhere. AMD B550 motherboards enable 20 general-purpose PCIe 4.0 lanes from 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen desktop processors. The primary PCIe slot on all new ASUS B550 boards offers 16 lanes of PCIe 4.0 connectivity, and 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen parts feature as many as four USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports running at up to 10 Gbps direct from the CPU itself.

ASUS also has exciting features to enhance its B550 motherboards like WiFi 6, 2.5 Gbps Ethernet, robust power delivery, increased DRAM speed and BIOS Flashback. The B550 chip itself gets an upgrade to PCIe 3.0 for its built-in lanes. These upgrades make B550 a tantalizing platform for mainstream builders throughout the world.

GIGABYTE Launches its B550 Motherboard Lineup

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, announced the launch of the newest B550 AORUS motherboards primed to unleash the potential of 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen desktop processors. The all new B550 AORUS motherboards kick off the PCIe 4.0 era with extensive feature sets, and equip up to Direct 16 phases of digital power design with advanced thermal solutions that provide the processors and chipset more stable power supplement. Select GIGABYTE B550 AORUS motherboards feature a native USB 3.2 Gen2 interface, feature-rich I/O with a pre-installed I/O shield, the latest wireless connection, and Ultra Durable technology, set to deliver an unmatched user experience. "

We are seeing increasing user demands for flexible systems that perform well in a multitude of tasks from gaming to content creation more than ever before," said Chris Kilburn, corporate vice president and general manager, client component business unit, AMD. "AMD is excited to bring the power of 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen desktop processors and cutting edge PCIe 4.0 support to the mainstream users with our latest AMD B550 chipsets. With overwhelming platform support from our partners at Gigabyte, AMD is confident these new B550 platforms will provide flexibility and power never seen before on a mainstream platform."

ASRock Launches AMD B550 Motherboard Range

Leading global motherboard manufacturer, ASRock, proudly announces its latest range of motherboards featuring the new AMD B550 chipset, supporting AMD Ryzen desktop processors. "ASRock AMD B550 motherboard series brings exciting and innovating features such as PCIe 4.0 to the mainstream, ASRock offers a comprehensive range of motherboards from entry to premium, including the Taichi, PG Velocita, Extreme, Steel Legend and Pro4 series, leading features and excitement into the market." says Chris Lee, general manager of ASRock motherboard business unit.

"We are seeing increasing user demands for flexible systems that perform well in a multitude of tasks from gaming to content creation more than ever before," said Chris Kilburn, corporate vice president and general manager, client component business unit, AMD. "AMD is excited to bring the power of 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen desktop processors and cutting edge PCIe 4.0 support to the mainstream users with our latest AMD B550 chipset. With a wide range of form factors, power delivery options, and designs from our partners at ASRock, AMD is confident these new B550 platforms will provide flexibility and power never seen before on a mainstream platform."

ASUS Prime B550M-A and TUF Gaming B550 Micro-ATX Boards Pictured

Slightly ahead of its launch, ASUS flashed a banner of its AMD B550 chipset motherboard lineup, revealing two other boards than the premium ROG Strix B550-E Gaming AMD unveiled in its platform unveil. These include an unnamed micro-ATX board slotted in the TUF Gaming series, and a entry-level Prime B550M-A micro-ATX board. The Prime board has our attention as its spartan layout could indicate that there will indeed be socket AM4 boards based on the B550 starting at $100, as AMD promised. The B550 has a distinct advantage over the B450 in the form of PCI-Express gen 4.0 for the main PEG and at least one M.2 NVMe slots; and an easier upgrade path toward 4th gen Ryzen "Vermeer" and "Renoir," than AMD's 400-series chipsets have.

AMD "Renoir" Desktop APU Could Lack PCIe gen 4.0, Hints BIOSTAR B550 Motherboard Product Page

AMD's 4th generation Ryzen "Renoir" desktop APUs, based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture, could lack PCI-Express gen 4.0, hints the product page of an upcoming AMD B550 chipset motherboard by BIOSTAR. AMD already declared that the B550 lacks support for "Picasso," which means the "Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics" processors referenced in the BIOSTAR product page have to be "Renoir." On the mobile platform, Ryzen 4000H and 4000U series processors do lack PCIe gen 4.0, but it was expected that AMD will enable gen 4.0 for the desktop socket AM4 platform.

The lack of gen 4.0 support has implications for "Renoir." For starters, the APU, like its predecessors, spares only 8 PCIe lanes toward PEG (PCI-Express discrete graphics, or the main x16 slot you typically use for graphics cards). If these lanes are gen 3.0, then even the newer graphics cards, such as AMD's "Navi" RX 5700 XT, or next-gen GeForce "Ampere," would have to make do with a PCI-Express 3.0 x8 interface, despite being gen 4.0 x16-capable. We will test just how much of a bottleneck this poses, when the next-gen graphics cards come out.

Possible AMD "Vermeer" Clock Speeds Hint at IPC Gain

The bulk of AMD's 4th generation Ryzen desktop processors will comprise of "Vermeer," a high core-count socket AM4 processor and successor to the current-generation "Matisse." These chips combine up to two "Zen 3" CCDs with a cIOD (client I/O controller die). While the maximum core count of each chiplet isn't known, they will implement the "Zen 3" microarchitecture, which reportedly does away with CCX to get all cores on the CCD to share a single large L3 cache, this is expected to bring about improved inter-core latencies. AMD's generational IPC uplifting efforts could also include improving bandwidth between the various on-die components (something we saw signs of in the "Zen 2" based "Renoir"). The company is also expected to leverage a newer 7 nm-class silicon fabrication node at TSMC (either N7P or N7+), to increase clock speeds - or so we thought.

An Igor's Lab report points to the possibility of AMD gunning for efficiency, by letting the IPC gains handle the bulk of Vermeer's competitiveness against Intel's offerings, not clock-speeds. The report decodes OPNs (ordering part numbers) of two upcoming Vermeer parts, one 8-core and the other 16-core. While the 8-core part has some generational clock speed increases (by around 200 MHz on the base clock), the 16-core part has lower max boost clock speeds than the 3950X. Then again, the OPNs reference A0 revision, which could mean that these are engineering samples that will help AMD's ecosystem partners to build their products around these processors (think motherboard- or memory vendors), and that the retail product could come with higher clock speeds after all. We'll find out in September, when AMD is expected to debut its 4th generation Ryzen desktop processor family, around the same time NVIDIA launches GeForce "Ampere."

AMD Backpedals, Zen 3 Support Coming to B450 and X470

AMD backpedaled on dropping support for its future "Zen 3" processors on AMD 400-series chipset motherboards. The company will work with its motherboard partners in integrating "Zen 3" processor support on certain beta versions of motherboard BIOSes. AMD also detailed how it plans to go about it. The said BIOS will be a one-way ticket to using "Zen 3" processors while losing support for all older microarchitectures.

The way it works is the motherboard manufacturer will integrate the Zen 3-only AGESA with a firmware that can squeeze into a 16 MB ROM. They may also choose to conserve ROM space in areas such as the UEFI setup program, which may not correspond with the motherboard's original feature-set. This is essentially similar to how MSI integrated "Zen 2" support on some of its older motherboards with 16 MB ROMs, by slimming down its UEFI setup program.
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