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BIOSTAR Debuts B450MHC and B450MH Motherboards

BIOSTAR debuts two mATX motherboards for the 1st and 2nd generation AMD AM4 Ryzen processors with the BIOSTAR B450MHC and BIOSTAR B450MH. Both BIOSTAR B450 motherboards include features found in higher-end motherboards to take full advantage of the 2nd Gen Ryzen processors. The BIOSTAR B450MHC and BIOSTAR B450MH support DDR4-1866/ 2133/ 2400/ 2667/ 2933/ 3200(OC), 1x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, 2x PCIe 2.0 slots, 4x SATA III connectors, 1 x M.2 (B450MH only), 6x USB 3.1 Gen1 (5Gb/s) ports (4 on rear I/Os and 2 via internal headers) 6x USB 2.0 ports (2 on rear I/Os and 4 via internal headers) and more.

The BIOSTAR B450MHC and BIOSTAR B450MH are built with higher-end features to keep up with gamer demands. The B450 chipset gives gamers the option to overclock the CPU to take full advantage of the full graphic settings (not usually found in mid-range motherboards). The chipset has an efficient idle power to draw less than 2W, saving power and reducing heat when not in use. The B450 also has enhanced VRM and memory routing specifications, a featured originally introduced with the X470 design.

ASRock Announces AMD B450 Motherboards

The leading global motherboard manufacturer, ASRock, proudly introduce the new motherboard lineup for AMD's B450 chipset, the new products improves in almost every way on its already powerful predecessor, the B350. ASRock is bringing all those improvements - and more - to users with this powerful new AMD B450 motherboard range.

ASRock's B450 motherboards are able to provide 4Kx2K (4096x2160) @ 60Hz video output via onboard DisplayPort. This means high-end monitor support will never be a problem. These boards are perfect for high resolution movie playback with movie theater quality. With 4K video, you get more vibrant, vivid detail on even the largest screens, putting you right into the action - it's almost better than being there.

GIGABYTE Announces B450 AORUS Motherboard Series

GIGABYTE, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced the release of the new B450 AORUS Motherboard series. These new models support the full spectrum of AMD Ryzen processors and boast innovative technologies including AMD StoreMI as a way to accelerate traditional HDDs to speed levels only found in SSDs. Excellence in computer experience is achieved through the use premium details such as the integrated I/O shield, next-gen Wi-Fi and USB Type-C connectivity. A new armor design highlights the contours of the AORUS falcon while providing an advanced cooling solution for one of the most critical areas of the motherboard.

With this launch, GIGABYTE is also introducing a new naming scheme for the AORUS models. It better represents model hierarchy using terminology more familiar to gamers with B450 AORUS PRO and B450 AORUS ELITE as the top options based on the B450 chipset from AMD. True optimization for all 2nd Gen Ryzen CPUs requires a robust power design and to meet all power requirements with the utmost quality, the motherboards utilize solid pins inside the power connectors.

MSI Announces New Range of AMD B450 Chipset Motherboards

MSI, the leading motherboard manufacturer, is proud to announce that MSI B450 motherboards are on shelf now. To satisfy all kinds of gamers and users, MSI has prepared motherboards in Performance GAMING, Arsenal GAMING and PRO Series. With more MSI exclusive features and hardware improvements, MSI B450 motherboards allow users to maximize performance and gain better gaming experiences.

According to MSI OC Lab, we are proud to achieve CPU frequency up to 5.7 GHz with three of MSI B450 motherboards. With highly optimized design and premium layout and MSI exclusive feature, Core Boost, the B450 GAMING PLUS, B450 TOMAHAWK, and B450M MORTAR all push AMD Ryzen 2600X CPU frequency rate over 5.7 GHZ by using LN2, with 5781 MHz, 5752 MHz, and 5771 MHz respectively. This is an incredible result to show that MSI B450 motherboards are perfect with higher performance.

AMD Announces the B450 Chipset

AMD today announced the B450 motherboard chipset for socket AM4 processors and APUs. Positioned as the mid-range option from AMD's 400-series chipset family, the B450 will power motherboards priced anywhere between $70 to $160, and packs certain high-end features that could let you save money over choosing pricier X470-powered boards. To begin with, the B450, like the X470, has a lower TDP and power-draw, so it runs cooler, and can make do with lighter heatsinks. It comes with slightly improved reference CPU VRM and memory wiring specifications that AMD introduced with the X470. The B450, like the X470, also supports XFR 2 "Enhanced" and Precision Boost Overdrive (that lets you tinker with boost frequencies without arbitrarily setting a high clock speed).

The B450 is recommended by AMD for both Ryzen 5 series and Ryzen 7 series, provided you don't need multi-GPU, as motherboards based on B450 aren't allowed to have PEG lane bifurcation. You still get multiplier-unlocked CPU overclocking support (something the competing Intel B360 platform lacks), as well as memory overclocking. The B450 packs out of the box support for AMD StoreMI, a storage virtualization feature that stripes a portion of your memory, your fast SSD, and slower HDD, into a single volume, and juggles hot data in and out of the faster media in the background. You can have any brand of drives to use StoreMI. B350 motherboards support StoreMI through BIOS updates.

AMD Threadripper II 2990X Listed for $1850 US, $2399 CAD at CanadaComputers

A storepage for AMD's upcoming 32-core, 64-thread monster of a CPU Threadripper 2990X popped up at Canadian hardware etailer CanadaComputers. The processor, listed for $2399 CAD, converts to some $1850 US dollars and doesn't stray too far from its earlier cameo over at German Cybersport.de.

The chip over at Canada Computers is being sold in a "in-store back order" template, so this pricing is likely close to the final mark - it does make sense that AMD would edge out its profits a little more on this behemoth of a CPU. Packaging seems to be a regurgitated, first-gen Threadripper box - it's unlikely AMD would simply keep the product packaging from first gen, especially since AMD themselves are branding these "Threadripper II". We still don't have confirmation on actual TDP - Cyberport listed some 180 W, CanadaComputers lists 250 W.

Ryzen DRAM Calculator 1.3.1 by 1usmus Released

User 1usmus is the programmer of Ryzen DRAM Calculator, a must-have tool for any PC enthusiast with AMD Ryzen-powered machines. The tool simplifies the process of finding the right memory clock, timing, and voltage combination by adjusting other settings to match the setting you key in. For example, if you're looking for a memory clock of DDR4-3200 and CAS latency of 14T, the tool will put out "safe" and "stable" combinations of other timings and voltages. You can also make the app read Intel XMP and other fast SPD profiles from your modules, and translate them to Ryzen-friendly settings that run stable. In short, this is the app that clears that last bit of hesitation you had to embrace Ryzen. Get it from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: Ryzen DRAM Calculator by 1usmus v1.3.1

The change-log follows.

No 16-core AMD Ryzen AM4 Until After 7nm EPYC Launch (2019)

AMD in its Q2-2018 investors conference call dropped more hints at when it plans to launch its 3rd generation Ryzen processors, based on its "Zen2" architecture. CEO Lisa Su stated in the Q&A session that rollout of 7 nm Ryzen processors will only follow that of 7 nm EPYC (unlike 1st generation Ryzen preceding 1st generation EPYC). What this effectively means is that the fabled 16-core die with 8 cores per CCX won't make it to the desktop platform any time soon (at least not in the next three quarters, certainly not within 2018).

AMD CEO touched upon the development of the company's 7 nm "Rome" silicon, which will be at the heart of the company's 2nd generation EPYC processor family. 2nd generation EPYC, as you'd recall from our older article, is based on 7 nm "Zen2" architecture, and not 12 nm "Zen+." 3rd generation Ryzen is expected to be based on "Zen2." As of now, the company is said to have completed tape-out of "Rome," and is sending samples out to its industry partners for further testing and validation. The first EPYC products based on this will begin rolling out in 2019. The 7 nm process is also being used for a new "Vega" based GPU, which has taped out, and will see its first enterprise-segment product launch within 2018.

AMD Reports Second Quarter 2018 Financial Results

AMD (NASDAQ:AMD) today announced revenue for the second quarter of 2018 of $1.76 billion, operating income of $153 million, net income of $116 million and diluted earnings per share of $0.11. On a non-GAAP basis, operating income was $186 million, net income was $156 million and diluted earnings per share was $0.14.

"We had an outstanding second quarter with strong revenue growth, margin expansion and our highest quarterly net income in seven years," said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "Most importantly, we believe our long-term technology bets position us very well for the future. We are confident that with the continued execution of our product roadmaps, we are on an excellent trajectory to drive market share gains and profitable growth."

Rumor: AMD's Zen 2, 7 nm Chips to Feature 10-15% IPC Uplift, Revised 8-core per CCX Design

A post via Chiphell makes some substantial claims on AMD's upcoming Zen 2 microarchitecture, built on the 7 nm process. AMD has definitely won the core-count war once again (albeit with a much more decisive blow to Intel's dominance than with Bulldozer), but the IPC battle has been an uphill one against Intel's slow, but sure, improvement in that area over the years. AMD did say, at the time they introduced the Zen architecture, that they had a solid understanding on Zen's choke points and its improveable bits and pieces - and took it to heart to deliver just that.

AMD Ryzen 5 2500X Makes First Appearance in an OEM Desktop

Ahead of its launch, AMD's mainstream Ryzen 5 2500X quad-core processor made its first appearance in an OEM pre-built desktop, the Acer Nitro N50-100. The 2500X is a 4-core/8-thread part clocked at 3.60 GHz with 4.00 GHz boost, and XFR 2.0 boosting it further. It's expected to be launched alongside the new entry-level Ryzen 3 2300X and the HEDT Ryzen Threadripper 2000 series processors later this year.

Priced at 943.50€, the Acer Nitro N50-100 combines the AMD Ryzen 5 2500X with a Radeon RX 580 4 GB graphics card, and 8 GB of single-channel DDR4 memory. It also features 256 GB of SSD storage, and a 1 TB secondary HDD. Connectivity includes 802.11 b/g/n WLAN, USB 3.1 gen 2, and DVD-RW ODD. Windows 10 Home comes pre-installed. You can customize this desktop with faster socket AM4 processor options, more RAM, and bigger SSDs.

EK Releases CPU+VRM Monoblock for MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is releasing a new AM4 socket based monoblock tailor-made for the MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard. The EK-FB MSI X470 Pro Carbon RGB Monoblock has an integrated 4-pin RGB LED strip and it offers unparallel aesthetics alongside with superior performance! The RGB LED in the monoblock is compatible with MSI Mystic Light Sync, thus offering a full lighting customization experience.

This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for the MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard that supports the second generation of AMD Ryzen and 7th Generation A-series/Athlon processors.

Performance Penalty from Enabling HDR at 4K Lower on AMD Hardware Versus NVIDIA

The folks over at Computerbase.de have took it into their hands to study exactly how much of an impact >(if any) would activating HDR on a 4K panel affect performance cross different hardware configurations. Supposedly, HDR shouldn't impose any performance penalty on GPUs that were designed to already consider that output on a hardware level; however, as we know, expectations can sometimes be wrong.

AMD EPYC Airport Ads Punch Close to the Belt

Airports are the latest battleground for AMD and Intel as the two vie to catch the attention of IT managers in the midst of an AI and big-data inflection point that promises to trigger a gold rush for enterprise processors. AMD took to San Jose International Airport with its latest AMD EPYC static ads targeted at IT managers stuck with Intel Xeon for its historic market leadership. AMD EPYC processors offer "more performance, more security, and more value" than Intel Xeon processors, the ads claim, but not before landing a mean punch in the general area of Intel's belt.

AMD "Picasso" APU Graphics Surfaces on UserBenchmark Database

AMD appears to have begun testing of its third APU for the socket AM4 platform, codenamed "Picasso." The code-name saw first light some 10 months ago, when it was described as AMD's APU product for 2019. The integrated graphics core of "Picasso" made its way to UserBenchmark database under the device ID "15D8." There are no benchmark results associated with this chip, yet. OIder slides described "Picasso" as being a slightly improved variant of "Raven Ridge," with improvements to out of the box performance and performance/Watt. It's likely that the chip is essentially "Raven Ridge" fabricated on the 12 nm node, with tweaks to the chip's on-die software. 2019 will also see AMD introduce its first chips based on the "Zen 2" architecture.

MSI Drops First Hint of AMD Increasing AM4 CPU Core Counts

With Intel frantically working on an 8-core socket LGA1151 processor to convincingly beat the 8-core AMD Ryzen 2000 series processor, AMD could be working on the next cycle of core-count increases for the mainstream-desktop platform. Motherboard maker MSI may have dropped the first hint that AMD is bringing >8 cores to the socket AM4 mainstream-desktop platform by mentioning that its upcoming motherboards based on the AMD B450 chipset support 8-core "and up" CPU in a marketing video.

AMD will get its next opportunity to tinker with key aspects of its CPU micro-architecture with "Zen 2," being built on the 7 nm silicon fabrication process. If it decides to stick with the CCX approach to multi-core processors, the company could increase per-CCX core counts. A 50 percent core-count increase enables 12-core processors, while a 100 percent increase brings 16-cores to the AM4 platform. MSI video confirms that these >8-core processors will have backwards-compatibility with existing 400-series chipsets, even if they launch alongside newer 500-series chipset.
The video follows.

AMD Shares to Jump 25% in Wake of PC Market Growth: Stifel

Analyst Kevin Cassidy, responsible for AMD shares rating with Stifel, has revised expected AMD growth in the wake of expected (and already verified) PC market growth. Following the news at the end of last week, AMD shares jumped by 5% on Friday, and increased by another 2% on Monday. This marks an increase of 61.3% YTD (year-to-date.) Looking at this trend, the analyst increased his 12-month price target on the stock to $21 from $17, a nearly 27% upside from Monday close.

QA Consultants Determines AMD's Most Stable Graphics Drivers in the Industry

As independent third-party experts in the software quality assurance and testing industry for over 20 years, QA Consultants has conducted over 5,000+ mission-critical projects and has extensive testing experience and depth in various industries. Based in Toronto, Ontario, QA Consultants is the largest on-shore software quality assurance company, with a 30,000 sq. ft., industry-grade facility called The Test Factory.

AMD Deepens Senior Management and Technical Leadership Bench

AMD today announced key promotions that extend senior-level focus on company growth. AMD named "Zen" chief architect Mike Clark an AMD corporate fellow; promoted Darren Grasby to senior vice president of global Computing and Graphics sales and AMD president for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); and promoted Robert Gama to senior vice president and chief human resources officer.

"We believe the opportunities ahead of us are tremendous as we execute on our long-term strategy and exciting product roadmap," said Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "As leaders, Mike, Darren, and Robert have made significant contributions to our success so far, and these promotions elevate their impact at AMD as we accelerate company growth going forward."

AMD Rolls Out Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.7.1

AMD today rolled out the latest version of Radeon Software Adrenalin. Version 18.7.1 drivers come with optimization for "Earthfall," with up to 28 percent more performance measured on Radeon RX Vega 56 and up to 28 percent more performance to be had on the RX 580 8 GB, at 1440; and up to 27 percent higher performance measured at 1080p, on the RX 560 4 GB.

The drivers also address a number of bugs, including random crash noticed in "Fortnite Season 5," when rendering throwing stars. Flickering noticed on "Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice" has been fixed. The drivers also fix a bug of not all compatible display modes appearing in Windows; slower than expected performance in Corel Draw, and black screen noticed during boot on displays connected via DisplayPort. A bug with memory clocks remaining high (i.e. not spooling down at lower power states), when changing resolutions or refresh-rates, has also been fixed.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.7.1

The change-log follows.

GIGABYTE Readies a Pair of Aorus Branded AMD B450 Motherboards

GIGABYTE is ready with two Aorus branded motherboards based on the upcoming AMD B450 mid-range socket AM4 chipset. These include the B450 Aorus Pro in the ATX form-factor, and the micro-ATX B450 Aorus M. The B450 Aorus Pro packs many of the features you'd expect from a more expensive board based on the pricier X470 chipset. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, conditioning it for the AM4 SoC using a 11-phase VRM with high-current chokes. The AM4 SoC is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, and the board's sole reinforced PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. The second x16 slot is physically gen 3.0 x4 and shares its lanes with the top M.2-22110 slot; which is wired directly to the AM4 SoC. With an M.2 SSD installed, auto-switching gates the second x16 AIC slot. The third x16 slot is gen 2.0 x4, and wired to the chipset. The second M.2-2280 slot is gen 2.0 x4, too. A single PCIe x1 slot makes for the rest of the expansion.

Both M.2 slots on the B450 Aorus Pro feature heatsinks. Six SATA 6 Gbps ports, from which two come from the AM4 SoC, make for the rest of the storage connectivity. As part of the "gamer-grade" varnishing, this board gets rather high-end onboard audio, including a Realtek ALC1220 (120 dBA SNR) codec with EMI shielding, audio-grade WIMA and Muse capacitors, and ground layer isolation. USB connectivity includes two USB 3.1 type 2 ports (one each of type-A and type-C); and six USB 3.1 gen 1 (four on the rear panel, two by headers). Display outputs include DVI and HDMI. The sole networking connectivity is a 1 GbE interface. Its controller is unknown. You get RGB LED illumination and headers, and an integrated rear I/O shield.

Sapphire Intros FS-FP5V SFF Motherboard Based on Ryzen Embedded

Sapphire introduced the FS-FP5V, a mini-ITX (147.3 mm x 139.7 mm) SFF motherboard designed for AIO desktops, digital signage boxes, and compact desktops. At the heart of this board is an AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 series FP5 SoC based on the 14 nm "Raven Ridge" silicon. Since this SoC also integrates a southbridge, the board is practically chipset-less. The Ryzen Embedded V1000 chip is configured with a 4-core/8-thread "Zen" CPU clocked at 2.00 GHz with 3.35 GHz boost, and 4 MB L3 cache. The iGPU is a Radeon Vega 11, which may look overkill, but is required to pull the four DisplayPort 1.4 outputs of this board (handy for digital-signage applications).

The Ryzen Embedded V1000 is wired to two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots, supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel DDR4-2933 memory. Storage connectivity includes an M.2-2280 slot with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 wiring, an M.2 E-key slot with x1 wiring for WLAN cards; and a SATA 6 Gbps port. Networking options include two 1 GbE interfaces. USB connectivity includes two USB 3.1 gen 1 ports at the rear-panel, and two USB 3.1 gen 1 ports (direct ports) at the front side of the board, one each of type-A and type-C. Stereo HD audio makes for the rest of it. The board draws power from either 2-pin DC (external) or 4-pin ATX.

BenQ EX3203R Monitor Achieves VESA DisplayHDR 400 and AMD FreeSync 2 Certification

BenQ, leading global innovator of displays, today announced its latest milestone in visual technology, earning VESA DisplayHDR 400 and AMD FreeSync 2 certifications for the EX3203R entertainment monitor. Featuring dazzling HDR performance with stunning gaming capabilities, the curved 32" display delivers immersive viewing and gaming experiences protected by BenQ Brightness Intelligence Plus (B.I. +) eye-care technology.

"EX3203R ingeniously blends HDR image quality together with B.I. +, guaranteeing dark details remain crystal clear even in dim environments while softening bright images," said Conway Lee, President of BenQ Corporation. "With FreeSync 2 for ultimate gameplay, EX3203R provides endless personal entertainment in absolute health and comfort safeguarded by BenQ Eye Care."

AMD and Ubisoft Add FreeSync 2 HDR Support to Far Cry 5

Today, AMD and Ubisoft have raised the bar for fluid, vivid HDR gaming thanks to a new patch from Ubisoft bringing FreeSync 2 HDR support to Far Cry 5. Radeon gamers with supporting FreeSync 2 HDR monitors can select the option for FreeSync 2 while fighting to save Hope Country. FreeSync 2 HDR brings the content displayed on compatible monitors one step closer to the artistic vision of the developer by targeting the display's brightness, contrast and color gamut capabilities directly.

To take advantage of FreeSync 2 HDR technology, gamers must choose a FreeSync 2 HDR-branded monitor, which ensures at least twice the perceivable color gamut and dynamic range than an SDR display.

"We Can do it Too" - AMD Headhunts Intel's Core and Visual Computing Group VP Martin Ashton

It's been interesting to see how the industry's giants try and find ways to rejuvenate themselves with blood from other companies - and there's got to be no better feeling than taking someone from under a competitor's mantle. It's the old two kills with one stone adage, really: one reinforces one's position by hampering a competitors'. But until now, it seemed most high-profile movements between AMD and Intel were a game of squash, with Intel claiming AMD's chief graphics division experts such as Raja Koduri and Chris Hook.

Now, AMD has seemingly turned the game into a sort of tennis encounter, having successfully headhunted Intel's Martin Ashton, formerly "Vice President, Core and Visual Computing Group, Chief Engineer, VTT and Director of Hardware and Co-Director of Architecture, VPG at Intel." Martin Ashton, as the extensive position descriptor somewhat cloudily states, was an important piece of Intel's overall graphics strategy - though arguably not as important as the players Intel snagged from AMD. Still, Martin Ashton has long-standing roots on the graphics landscape, particularly at Imagination Technologies; and AMD's David Wang seems to think he's a great fit for the team - and AMD's vision. He's now part of AMD as Corporate Vice President.
Martin Ashton, left, and David Wang, right
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