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ASUS Teases Collage of Upcoming AMD X570 Motherboards

With AMD expected to launch its 3rd generation Ryzen processor family at the 2019 Computex, the show is expected to have unveilings of several compatible motherboards based on the new AMD X570 chipset. ASUS posted a collage picture that teases its upcoming X570 lineup. This appears to include boards from pretty much all of ASUS's brands, including the high-end ROG Crosshair, the upper mainstream ROG Strix, the mainstream TUF Gaming, and the sober Prime series. From this, the ROG Strix board appears to be the first one we've come across that doesn't use a fan-heatsink to cool the 15W TDP X570 chipset. The Ryzen 3000 "Matisse" processor and X570 chipset make up AMD's "Valhalla" desktop platform.

FinalWire Releases AIDA64 v6.00

FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme 6.00 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; the immediate availability of AIDA64 Engineer 6.00 software, a professional diagnostic and benchmarking solution for corporate IT technicians and engineers; the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business 6.00 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Network Audit 6.00 software, a dedicated network audit toolset to collect and manage corporate network inventories.

The latest AIDA64 update introduces SHA3-512 cryptographic hash benchmark and AVX2 optimized benchmarks for the upcoming AMD Zen 2 "Matisse" processors, adds monitoring of sensor values on BeadaPanel LCD displays, and supports the latest AMD and Intel CPU platforms as well as the new graphics and GPGPU computing technologies by both AMD and NVIDIA.
DOWNLOAD: FinalWire AIDA64 v6.00

AMD X570 Unofficial Platform Diagram Revealed, Chipset Puts out PCIe Gen 4

AMD X570 is the company's first in-house design socket AM4 motherboard chipset, with the X370 and X470 chipsets being originally designed by ASMedia. With the X570, AMD hopes to leverage new PCI-Express gen 4.0 connectivity of its Ryzen 3000 Zen2 "Matisse" processors. The desktop platform that combines a Ryzen 3000 series processor with X570 chipset is codenamed "Valhalla." A rough platform diagram like what you'd find in motherboard manuals surfaced on ChipHell, confirming several features. To maintain pin-compatibility with older generations of Ryzen processors, Ryzen 3000 has the same exact connectivity from the SoC except two key differences.

On the AM4 "Valhalla" platform, the SoC puts out a total of 28 PCI-Express gen 4.0 lanes. 16 of these are allocated to PEG (PCI-Express graphics), configurable through external switches and redrivers either as single x16, or two x8 slots. Besides 16 PEG lanes, 4 lanes are allocated to one M.2 NVMe slot. The remaining 4 lanes serve as the chipset bus. With X570 being rumored to support gen 4.0 at least upstream, the chipset bus bandwidth is expected to double to 64 Gbps. Since it's an SoC, the socket is also wired to LPCIO (SuperIO controller). The processor's integrated southbridge puts out two SATA 6 Gbps ports, one of which is switchable to the first M.2 slot; and four 5 Gbps USB 3.x ports. It also has an "Azalia" HD audio bus, so the motherboard's audio solution is directly wired to the SoC. Things get very interesting with the connectivity put out by the X570 chipset.
Update May 21st: There is also information on the X570 chipset's TDP.
Update May 23rd: HKEPC posted what looks like an official AMD slide with a nicer-looking platform map. It confirms that AMD is going full-tilt with PCIe gen 4, both as chipset bus, and as downstream PCIe connectivity.

AMD Ryzen 9 3000 is a 16-core Socket AM4 Beast

AMD is giving finishing touches to its 3rd generation Ryzen socket AM4 processor family which is slated for a Computex 2019 unveiling, followed by a possible E3 market availability. Based on the "Matisse" multi-chip module that combines up to two 8-core "Zen 2" chiplets with a 14 nm I/O controller die, these processors see a 50-100 percent increase in core-counts over the current generation. The Ryzen 5 series now includes 8-core/16-thread parts, the Ryzen 7 series chips are 12-core/24-thread, while the newly created Ryzen 9 series (designed to rival Intel Core i9 LGA115x), will include 16-core/32-thread chips.

Thai PC enthusiast TUM_APISAK confirmed the existence of the Ryzen 9 series having landed himself with an engineering sample of the 16-core/32-thread chip that ticks at 3.30 GHz with 4.30 GHz Precision Boost frequency. The infamous Adored TV leaks that drew the skeleton of AMD's 3rd generation Ryzen roadmap, referenced two desktop Ryzen 9 parts, the Ryzen 9 3800X and Ryzen 9 3850X. The 3800X is supposed to be clocked at 3.90 GHz with 4.70 GHz boost, with a TDP rating of 125W, while the 3850X tops the charts at 4.30 GHz base and a staggering 5.10 GHz boost. The rated TDP has shot up to 135W. We can now imagine why some motherboard vendors are selective with BIOS updates on some of their lower-end boards. AMD is probably maximizing the clock-speed headroom of these chips out of the box, to preempt Intel's "Comet Lake" 10-core/20-thread processor.

Intel 10nm Ice Lake to Quantitatively Debut Within 2019

Intel put out interesting details about its upcoming 10 nanometer "Ice Lake" CPU microarchitecture rollout in its recent quarterly financial results call. The company has started qualification of its 10 nm "Ice Lake" processors. This involves sending engineering samples to OEMs, system integrators and other relevant industry partners, and getting the chips approved for their future product designs. The first implementation of "Ice Lake" will not be a desktop processor, but rather a low-power mobile SoC designed for ultraportables, codenamed "Ice Lake-U." This SoC packs a 4-core/8-thread CPU based on the "Sunny Cove" core design, and Gen11 GT2 integrated graphics with 64 execution units and nearly 1 TFLOP/s compute power. This SoC will also support WiFi 6 and LPDDR4X memory.

Intel CEO Bob Swan also remarked that the company has doubled its 10 nm yield expectations. "On the [10 nm] process technology front, our teams executed well in Q1 and our velocity is increasing," he said, adding "We remain on track to have volume client systems on shelves for the holiday selling season. And over the past four months, the organization drove a nearly 2X improvement in the rate at which 10nm products move through our factories." Intel is prioritizing enterprise over desktop, as "Ice Lake-U" will be followed by "Ice Lake-SP" Xeon rollout in 2020. There was no mention of desktop implementations such as "Ice Lake-S." Intel is rumored to be preparing a stopgap microarchitecture for the desktop platform to compete with AMD "Matisse" Zen 2 AM4 processors, codenamed "Comet Lake." This is essentially a Skylake 10-core die fabbed on existing 14 nm++ node. AMD in its CES keynote announced an achievement of per-core performance parity with Intel, so it could be interesting to see how Intel hopes 10 "Skylake" cores match up to 12-16 "Zen 2" cores.

AMD Ryzen 3 3200G Pictured and De-lidded

AMD Ryzen 3 3200G is an upcoming processor featuring integrated graphics, forming the tail-end of the company's 3rd generation Ryzen desktop processor family. A Chinese PC enthusiast with access to an early sample pictured and de-lidded the processor. We know from older posts that while the "Matisse" MCM will form the bulk of AMD's 3rd gen Ryzen lineup, with core counts ranging all the way from 6 to 12, and possibly 16 later, the APU lineup is rumored to be based on older "Zen+" architecture.

The Ryzen 3 3200G and possibly the Ryzen 5 3400G, will be based on a derivative of the "Raven Ridge" silicon built on the 12 nm process at GlobalFoundries, and comes with a handful innovations AMD introduced with "Pinnacle Ridge," such as an improved Precision Boost algorithm and faster on-die caches. The 12 nm shrink also allows AMD to dial up CPU and iGPU engine clock speeds, and improve DDR4 memory support to work with higher DRAM clock speeds. AMD has used thermal paste as the sub-IHS interface material instead of solder for its "Raven Ridge" chips, and the story repeats with the 3200G.

MSI Betrays AMD's Socket AM4 Longevity Promise: No Zen2 for 300-series?

Greedy motherboard vendors such as MSI want you to buy a new motherboard every two generations of processor for no sound reason at all. MSI is reportedly blocking support for 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse" processors on its AMD 300-series chipset motherboards, including those based on high-end AMD X370 and OC-capable B350 chipsets. This would also put those who own $300 motherboards such as the X370 XPower out of luck. To recap, AMD announced on numerous occasions that it doesn't want to be a greedy clique like its competitor, by forcing motherboard upgrades and promised that socket AM4 motherboards will be backwards and forwards compatible with at least four generations of Ryzen processors, running all the way up to 2020.

This normally should mean that any 300-series motherboard must support 4th generation Ryzen processors with a simple BIOS update. Most 300-series motherboards, including from MSI, even ship with USB BIOS Flashback feature to help with forwards compatibility. Unfortunately, motherboard companies such as MSI care more about their bottom-lines than the consumer. In a support e-mail to an X370 XPower Titanium owner, MSI confirmed that it will not extend Zen 2 support to AMD 300-series. Other motherboard vendors could follow MSI's suit as a representative of another motherboard vendor, on condition of anonymity, told TechPowerUp that "Zen 2" processors have steeper electrical requirements that 300-series motherboards don't meet. This is an excuse similar to the one Intel gave for the planned obsolescence of its 100-series and 200-series chipsets, even as it was repeatedly proven that those motherboards can run and overclock 9th generation processors with custom firmware just fine. Would MSI care to explain whether a B450M PRO-M2 has a stronger VRM than an X370 XPower Titanium to warrant "Zen 2" support? Will all "Zen 2" processor SKUs have steep electrical requirements? Will there not be any SKUs with double-digit-Watt TDP ratings?

Update (16/04): MSI posted a clarification on this issue.

AMD "Castle Peak," "Rome," and "Matisse" Referenced in Latest AIDA64 Changelog

FinalWire over the past week posted the latest public beta of AIDA64, which adds support for the three key processor product lines based on AMD's "Zen 2" microarchitecture. The "Matisse" multi-chip module, which received extensive coverage over the past few weeks, will be AMD's main derivative of "Zen 2," designed for the client-segment socket AM4 platform, with up to 16 CPU cores, and the initial flagship product featuring 12 cores. "Rome" is AMD's all-important enterprise-segment MCM for the SP3 platform, with up to 64 CPU cores spread across eight 8-core chiplets interfacing a centralized I/O controller die with a monolithic 8-channel memory controller. It so happens that AMD also wants to update its Ryzen Threadripper line of high-end desktop processors, with "Castle Peak."

"Castle Peak" is codename for 3rd generation Ryzen Threadripper and a client-segment derivative of the "Rome" MCM with a reconfigured I/O controller die that has a monolithic 4-channel DDR4 memory interface, and an unspecified number of CPU cores north of 24. This is for backwards compatibility with the existing AMD X399 motherboards. AMD configures core-count by physically changing the number of 8-core chiplets on the MCM, in addition to disabling cores in groups of 2 within the chiplet. The company could scale core counts looking at its competitive environment. The monolithic quad-channel memory interface could significantly improve the chip's memory performance compared to current-generation Threadrippers, particularly the Threadripper WX series chips in which half the CPU cores are memory bandwidth-starved. The AIDA64 update also improves detection of existing Ryzen/EPYC processors with the K17.3 and K17.5 integrated northbridges.

DOWNLOAD: FinalWire AIDA64 Extreme 5.99.4983 beta

AMD to Simultaneously Launch 3rd Gen Ryzen and Unveil Radeon "Navi" This June

TAITRA, the governing body behind the annual Computex trade-show held in Taipei each June, announced that AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su will host a keynote address which promises to be as exciting as her CES keynote. It is revealed that Dr. Su will simultaneously launch or unveil at least four product lines. High up the agenda is AMD's highly anticipated 3rd generation Ryzen desktop processors in the socket AM4 package, based on "Zen 2" microarchitecture, and a multi-chip module (MCM) codenamed "Matisse." This launch could be followed up by a major announcement related to the company's 2nd generation EPYC enterprise processors based on the "Rome" MCM.

PC enthusiasts are in for a second major announcement, this time from RTG, with a technical reveal or unveiling of Radeon "Navi," the company's first GPU designed from the ground up for the 7 nm silicon fabrication process. It remains to be seen which market-segment AMD targets with the first "Navi" products, and the question on everyone's minds, whether AMD added DXR acceleration, could be answered. Lastly, the company could announce more variants of its Radeon Instinct DNN accelerators.

ASUS and ASRock AMD X570 Chipset Motherboards Listed

AMD X570 is the companion premium chipset option for the company's 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse" processor family, and is expected to debut alongside the first of these processors some time in June, 2019. Unlike the X470 and X370, the new X570 will be based on an in-house chipset design by AMD, and probably manufactured at GlobalFoundries on its 14 nm node. The mid-range "B550" and lower chipset models could continue to be sourced from ASMedia. Motherboard majors ASUS and ASRock put out their first partial lists of motherboard models based on the AMD X570.

ASUS will launch as many as seven motherboard models in its Republic of Gamers (ROG) family, led by the Crosshair VIII Formula. This indicates that ASUS is placing high enough sales expectations from the "Valhalla" platform across the competitive landscape to come out with an ROG Formula product. You can expect goodies such as 8-layer PCBs, liquid-cooling preparation for the VRM heatsinks, Thunderbolt, or 10 GbE, and the most number of overclocker-friendly features. Next up, are the ROG Crosshair VIII Hero and Crosshair VIII Hero WiFi, which could be the company's second-best product offerings. For the first time on the AMD platform, ASUS will launch an ROG Impact mini-ITX product, with the ROG Crosshair VIII Impact. There will be three ROG Strix family products based on the X570, the Strix-E (premium ATX), Strix-F (mid-range ATX), and Strix-I (premium mini-ITX).

AMD Ryzen 3000 "Zen 2" BIOS Analysis Reveals New Options for Overclocking & Tweaking

AMD will launch its 3rd generation Ryzen 3000 Socket AM4 desktop processors in 2019, with a product unveiling expected mid-year, likely on the sidelines of Computex 2019. AMD is keeping its promise of making these chips backwards compatible with existing Socket AM4 motherboards. To that effect, motherboard vendors such as ASUS and MSI began rolling out BIOS updates with AGESA-Combo 0.0.7.x microcode, which adds initial support for the platform to run and validate engineering samples of the upcoming "Zen 2" chips.

At CES 2019, AMD unveiled more technical details and a prototype of a 3rd generation Ryzen socket AM4 processor. The company confirmed that it will implement a multi-chip module (MCM) design even for their mainstream-desktop processor, in which it will use one or two 7 nm "Zen 2" CPU core chiplets, which talk to a 14 nm I/O controller die over Infinity Fabric. The two biggest components of the IO die are the PCI-Express root complex, and the all-important dual-channel DDR4 memory controller. We bring you never before reported details of this memory controller.

MSI Rolls Out AMD 400-series BIOS Updates with "Zen 2" Microcode

MSI mid-March began quietly rolling out BIOS updates for its socket AM4 motherboards based on AMD 400-series chipset, with a very ominous BIOS change-log entry: "Support new upcoming AMD CPU." At first, we dismissed this for being the company's follow-up to its 6th March announcement of support for some of the newer Athlon processor models, namely the 220GE and 240GE. After updating our MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC with one of these BIOSes, however, we discovered a very interesting microcode string - AGESA COMBO-AM4 0.0.7.2.

Such a major change in AGESA shouldn't be warranted to add support for two new chips based on existing "Raven Ridge" architecture that both AGESA "Summit Ridge" and AGESA PiR (Pinnacle Ridge) series microcodes should be able to comfortably run. We spoke with sources familiar with AMD microcode, who revealed that this AGESA COMBO-AM4 0.0.7.2 is designed for the upcoming "Zen 2" microarchitecture, and its first socket AM4 implementation, codenamed "Matisse." AMD internal versions of AGESA with Matisse support begin with the version sequence 0.0.7.x., and as we head closer to formal launch of these chips, AMD could release a 1.0.0.0 version of "AGESA COMBO-AM4." For our B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC, the BIOS version packing this new AGESA is v1.60, and we wager this board should now be able to run Ryzen "Matisse" engineering samples. Now, if we can only get our hands on one.

AMD Zen 2 12-Core, 24-Thread Matisse CPU Spotted in UserBenchmark

A new development could shake up our expectations on AMD's new Ryzen 2 CPUs, which if true, could mean that previous rumors of much increased core-counts at the top of AMD's offerings were true. User TUM Apisak, who has been involved in multiple information leaks and scouting for the hardware world, has digged enough to find a submitted UserBenchmark that screams of a 12-core, 24-thread AMD Matisse part (an engineering sample at that, so keep your hats on for the presented clock speeds).

The benchmark list the used CPU via product code 2D3212BGMCWH2_37 / 34_N (H2 is indicative of a Matisse CPU The benchmark is listing a base clock speed of 3.4 GHz and an average boost clock speed of 3.6 GHz. The rest of the system specs are very, very basic, with 4 GB of 1333 MHz DDR4 memory being used on a new AMD platform, based on the Myrtle-MTS based chipset. The processor is listed having a 105 watts TDP and 32 MB of L3 cache.

AMD Readies Ryzen Threadripper SKUs based on "Pinnacle Ridge" Dies

Hot on the heels of this morning's big AMD Ryzen 2000-series slide dump, comes a new roadmap slide that gives a larger overview of how AMD is addressing various client processor market segments. It begins with the mention of a 2nd generation Ryzen Threadripper series launch within 2018. These chips presumably, are multi-chip modules of the company's new 12 nm "Pinnacle Ridge" silicon, and will be compatible with existing AMD X399 chipset motherboards through BIOS updates. The "Pinnacle Ridge" silicon supports higher clock-speeds, has several microarchitecture refinements, and a few new overclocker-centric features.

The better news is that company seems to be updating its HEDT processor lineup every year; and that the current Threadripper series isn't a one-off halo product like its Athlon64 FX "QuadFX" 2P platform. With "Pinnacle Ridge" based Threadripper 2000-series MCMs slated for 2018; 2019 will see the launch of the new "Castle Peak" HEDT processor. It's not known if this is an MCM. The spiritual successor to "Pinnacle Ridge" is "Matisse." This is Zen 2 based, and will have significant changes to the core design, presenting AMD with an opportunity to review the way it arranges cores. "Picasso" succeeds "Raven Ridge" as the company's Zen 2-based APUs. "Picasso," along with "Matisse" and "Castle Peak" could see AMD implement GlobalFoundries' new 7 nm silicon fabrication process, given its 2019 timeline. 2020 will see their refined avatars - an unnamed "Next-Gen HEDT" chip, "Vermeer," and "Renoir," respectively.

HWiNFO Adds Support For Upcoming AMD CPUs, GPUs, Others

PC diagnostics tool HW Info has added support for future, as-of-yet unreleased AMD CPUs and GPUs, which seemingly confirm some earlier news on AMD's plans for their next-generation offerings. HWiNFO's v5.72 update adds support for upcoming AMD Navi GPUs, Pinnacle Ridge, 400-series motherboards (which should make their market debut alongside AMD's Zen+ CPUs), and enhanced support for AMD's Starship, Matisse and Radeon RX Vega M. We already touched upon AMD's Matisse codename in the past: it's expected to refer to the company's Zen 2 microarchitecture, which will bring architecture overhauls of the base Zen design - alongside a 7 nm process - in order to bring enhanced performance and better power consumption.

Starship, on the other hand, is a previously leaked evolution of AMD's current Naples offering that powers their EPYC server CPUs. Starship has been rumored to have been canceled, and then put back on the product schedule again; if anything, its inclusion in HWiNFO's latest version does point towards it having made the final cut, after all. Starship will bring to businesses an increased number of cores and threads (48/96) compared to Naples' current top-tier offering (32/64), alongside a 7 nm manufacturing process.

AMD Zen 2 Architecture: Socket AM4, 2019, Code-named "Matisse"

AMD's Zen-based Ryzen and Threadripper have been said by the company as representing the "worst case scenario" of performance for their architecture. This is based on the fact that there are clear areas for improvement that AMD's engineers were keenly aware of even at the moment of Zen's tapping-out; inadvertently, some features or improvements were left on the chopping block due to time and budget constraints. As unfortunate as this is - who wouldn't love to have even more performance on their AMD processors - this also means AMD has a clear starting point in terms of improving performance of their Zen micro-architecture.

Spanish website Informatica Cero have gotten their hands on what they say is an exclusive, real piece of information from inside AMD, which shows the company's CPU roadmap until 2019, bringing some new details with it. On the desktop side, there's mention of AMD's "Pinacle Ridge" as succeeding the current Zen-based "Summit Ridge" Ryzen CPUs in 2018. These leverage the same Summit Ridge architecture, but with a performance uplift; this plays well into those reports of 12 nm being used to manufacture the second-generation Ryzen: it's an AMD tick, so to say. As such, the performance uplift likely comes from increased frequencies at the same power envelope, due to 12 nm's denser manufacturing design.
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