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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."

AMD B550 Chipset Detailed, It's Ready for Zen 3, Older AM4 Motherboards not Compatible

In their briefing leading up to today's Ryzen 3 3100 and 3300X review embargo, AMD disclosed that its upcoming "Zen 3" 4th generation Ryzen desktop processors will only support AMD 500-series (or later) chipsets. The next-gen processors will not work with older 400-series or 300-series chipsets. This comes as a blow to those who bought premium X470 motherboards hoping for latest CPU compatibility running into 2020. At this time only B550 is available, but we expect more news on enthusiast chipsets as the Zen 3 launch date comes closer. AMD B550 is a fascinating new mid-range chipset by AMD. Launching today as a successor to the popular B450 chipset, B550 is a low-power silicon with roughly the same 5-7 W TDP as the older 400-series chipset. Although AMD won't confirm it, it's likely that the chipset is sourced from ASMedia. It brings a lot to the table that could draw buyers away from B450, but it also takes some away.

The AMD B550 currently only supports 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse" processors. Ryzen 3000 "Picasso" APU are not supported. What's more, older Ryzen 2000 "Pinnacle Ridge," "Raven Ridge," and first gen Ryzen 1000 "Summit Ridge" aren't supported, either. The Athlon 200 and 3000 "Zen" based chips miss out, too. AMD argues that it ran into ROM size limitations when trying to cram AGESA microcode for all the older processors. We find that hard to believe because B450 motherboards with the latest ComboAM4 AGESA support 2nd gen and 3rd gen processors, including APUs and Athlon SKUs based on the two. On the bright side, AMD assured us (within its marketing slides for the B550), that the chipset will support upcoming processors based on the "Zen 3" microarchitecture. The company also came up with a new motherboard packaging label that clarifies that the processors won't work with the 3400G and 3200G.
AMD B550 chipset highlights AMD B550 processor support AMD B550 vs B450

AMD Releases Athlon 3000G Low-cost Desktop Processor

AMD today released its Athlon 3000G low-cost desktop processor to cap off its entry-level. Based on the 14 nm "Raven Ridge" silicon, the chip combines a 2-core/4-thread CPU based on the original "Zen" microarchitecture, with Radeon Vega 3 integrated graphics based on the "Vega" architecture, and featuring 3 NGCUs (192 stream processors). AMD dialed up the CPU clock speeds to 3.50 GHz, a 300 MHz increase over that of the "previous gen" 200GE, and iGPU engine clock speed by 100 MHz to 1.10 GHz. A unique feature this time around is unlocked base-clock multiplier, enabling CPU overclocking. AMD is pricing the Athlon 3000GE at just $49 (MSRP), it competes with Intel's Pentium Gold G5000 series processors.

Read the TechPowerUp review of the AMD Athlon 3000G here.

Curiously Named "Athlon Gold" Surfaces on Geekbench Database

A Geekbench database submission from an HP "17-ca2xxx" laptop (likely a prototype), spilled the beans on an upcoming AMD Athlon Gold 3150U processor, with nomenclature that looks inspired from the Pentium Gold. Intel uses the "Gold" and "Silver" brand extensions to distinguish processors based on its performance microarchitectures from those based on its low-power microarchitectures (eg: a "Skylake" based Pentium Gold, and a "Goldmont" based Pentium Silver). The addition of "Gold" to the Athlon brand could denote performance rivaling mobile versions of Pentium Gold found in entry-level full-size notebooks.

Moving on to the test itself, and we see the Athlon Gold 3150U being listed as a "Raven Ridge" derivative featuring a 2-core/4-thread CPU and Radeon graphics (likely "Vega 3" as with its desktop counterpart). The CPU is shown having a 2.40 GHz base frequency, and 3.30 GHz boost, 512 KB L2 cache per core, and 4 MB shared L3 cache. The chip scores 3,559 single-core points, and 7,336 points multi-core, comparable to entry-level dual-core processors from this generation. This makes us wonder what the Athlon "Silver" could be, and whether AMD is working on a new low-power microarchitecture in the near future.

AMD Announces Ryzen 9 3950X, Details 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper, unlocked Athlon 3000G

AMD today announced four new desktop processors across three very diverse markets. To begin with, the company crowned its socket AM4 mainstream desktop platform with the mighty new Ryzen 9 3950X processor. Next up, it released its new baseline entry-level APU, the Athlon 3000G. Lastly, it detailed the 3rd generation Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processor family with two initial models, the Ryzen Threadripper 3960X and the flagship Ryzen Threadripper 3970X. The company also formally released its AGESA Combo PI 1.0.0.4B microcode, and with it, introduced a killer new feature for all "Zen 2" based Ryzen processors, called ECO Mode.

The Ryzen 9 3950X is a 16-core/32-thread processor in the AM4 package, compatible with all socket AM4 motherboards, provided they have the latest BIOS update with AGESA Combo PI 1.0.0.4B microcode. The processor comes with clock-speeds of 3.50 GHz base, with 4.70 GHz maximum boost frequency, and the same 105 W TDP as the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X. With 512 KB of dedicated L2 cache per core, and 64 MB of shared L3 cache, the chip has a mammoth 72 MB of "total cache."

Lenovo Launches New ThinkPad Laptops Based on New AMD Ryzen PRO processors

Lenovo has released a trio of new Windows 10 laptops based on new, 2nd generation AMD Ryzen PRO processors, in their famous ThinkPad form factor. There are two models that are part of the T series of ThinkPads, while one is part of X series. For reminding, the T series is the flagship line that offers the best balance between ruggedness, features, processing power, and portability in a 14 or 15-inch unit, while the X series focuses on portability.

The new ThinkPads use the second generation of AMD Ryzen PRO processors, which are 12nm improvements of the previous 14nm Ryzen Family. They carry the 3000 name branding but are similar to the 2000 series of desktop CPUs.

AMD Reports First Quarter 2019 Financial Results- Gross margin expands to 41%, up 5 percentage points year-over-year

AMD today announced revenue for the first quarter of 2019 of $1.27 billion, operating income of $38 million, net income of $16 million and diluted
earnings per share of $0.01. On a non-GAAP(*) basis, operating income was $84 million, net income was $62 million and diluted earnings per share was $0.06.

"We delivered solid first quarter results with significant gross margin expansion as Ryzen and EPYC processor and datacenter GPU revenue more than doubled year-over-year," said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "We look forward to the upcoming launches of our next-generation 7nm PC, gaming
and datacenter products which we expect to drive further market share gains and financial growth."

BIOSTAR Unveils A68MHE Motherboard

BIOSTAR, a leading manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards, and storage devices, presents the A68MHE motherboard for mainstream users. The BIOSTAR A68MHE features the AMD A68H chipset that supports AMD's Socket FM2+ Athlon /A- Series processors and DDR3 memory. The A68MHE packs two DIMM slots supporting up to DDR3-2600(OC) memory and a maximum capacity of 32GB, more than enough to provide excellent performance for home and office platform.

The BIOSTAR A68MHE is a balanced motherboard that has the power to handle any office tasks and accomplish everyday home and entertainment use. For office and workstation builds, the A68MHE delivers high-speed data transfer and able to connect multiple devices with Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) LAN, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 connectivity and a total of 8 USB ports. Home users can enjoy high-resolution and visually immersive multimedia content for videos and streaming services like YouTube and Netflix with support of UHD resolution displays via HDMI.

MSI X470 and B450 Motherboards Receive BIOS Support for Upcoming Athlon "Raven Ridge" Processors

MSI, the world leading motherboard brand, is proudly to release BIOS updates to support the upcoming AMD Raven Ridge processors, including AMD Athlon 200GE, 220GE, and 240GE APUs. The updated BIOS version is prepared to support the future AMD Athlon 200GE, 220GE, and 240GE APUs and also the current Athlon APUs which have launched last year. MSI strongly recommends its users to update their systems by downloading and applying the latest BIOS.

AMD's Athlon Rises: Athlon 220GE, 240GE Released

AMD's Athlon branding is probably the company's longest running one when it comes to its commercial CPU solutions. These join AMD's already-released Athlon 200GE, but offering higher clockspeeds for better overall performance, whilst keeping within the same 35W TDP of their slower, lower-tier sibling.

Both the Athlon 220GE and 240GE keep the 2-core, 4-thread design of the Athlon 200GE, but their clockspeeds have been increased to 3.4 GHz and and 3.5 GHz respectively (the 200GE runs at 3.2 GHz. Pricing, of course, increases as the clockspeed does, and while the Athlon 200GE is a steal at just $55 (with its integrated, 3 compute-units graphics accelerator), the 220GE goes for $65, and the 240GE will be available for $75.

MSI Goofup Unlocks Overclocking on AMD Athlon 200GE

MSI late November released BIOS updates for its entire range of socket AM4 motherboards, mainly to include AGESA 1.0.0.6, which improves memory compatibility. The updates also pack various motherboard model-specific fixes. Apparently there has been a goof-up with this update (not in a bad way, though). The latest BIOS updates "accidentally" unlock the otherwise locked Athlon 200GE dual-core processor with integrated graphics.

No, you won't get more cores or iGPU stream processors, but the base-clock multiplier letting you easily overclock the processor is now unlocked. This adds value to the $55 processor, given that competing Celeron and Pentium Gold SKUs are overpriced in the market these days. In their overclocking adventures with the 200GE paired with a MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC motherboard, TechSpot observed that the chip (which is clocked at 3.2 GHz by default) wouldn't POST beyond 3.90 GHz, and that you need vCore at 1.4 V to sustain even 3.90 GHz. They found 3.80 GHz at 1.35 V to be 100% stable (an 18.75% overclock). The memory clocks are still restricted to DDR4-2666, although you can still play with timings.
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