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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."

Possible 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen "Matisse Refresh" XT SKU Clock Speeds Surface

Last week, we brought you reports of AMD inching closer to launch its 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse Refresh" processor lineup to ward off the 10th gen Intel Core "Comet Lake" threat, by giving the "Zen 2" chips possible clock speed-bumps to shore up performance. The lineup included the Ryzen 9 3900XT, the Ryzen 7 3800XT, and the Ryzen 5 3600XT. We now have a first-look at their alleged clock speeds courtesy of an anonymous tipster on ChipHell forums, seconded by HXL @9550pro.

The XT SKUs indeed revolve around 200-300 MHz increments in base- and boost clock speeds as many of our readers predicted in the "Matisse Refresh" article's comments section. The 3900XT comes with 4.10 GHz base clock, and 4.80 GHz max boost clocks, compared to 3.80 GHz base and 4.60 GHz boost clocks of the 3900X. Likewise, the 3800XT notches up to 4.20 GHz base clock (highest in the lineup), and 4.70 GHz max boost, compared to 3.90-4.50 GHz of the 3800X. The 3600XT offers the same 4.70 GHz max boost, a step up from the 4.40 GHz of the 3600X, but has its base clock set at 4.00 GHz, compared to 3.80 GHz on the 3600X. It appears like AMD's design focus is to reduce, if not beat, Intel's gaming performance lead. The 10th generation Core "Comet Lake" tops gaming performance by a mid-high single-digit percentages over AMD's offerings, and AMD could bring them down to low single-digit percentages with the XT family.

AMD "Matisse Refresh" Processor SKUs Include 3900XT, 3800XT, and 3600XT

Rumors of AMD refreshing its 3rd generation Ryzen desktop processor family are growing louder. On Friday (22/05), reports of the "Matisse Refresh" processor family surfaced, with talk of "Ryzen 7 3850X" and "Ryzen 7 3750X" processors headed for a June 2020 announcement followed by July availability. Turns out AMD has a different naming scheme in mind, targeted at wooing gamers. The company is reportedly bringing its "XT" brand extension over from its Radeon graphics card family over to the Ryzen line.

There are three SKUs AMD is developing, the Ryzen 9 3900XT, the Ryzen 7 3800XT, and the Ryzen 5 3600 XT. All three are likely to retain core counts of the SKUs they are displacing from current price points - with the 3900XT likely being a 12-core/24-thread part; the 3800XT an 8-core/16-thread part, and the 3600XT a 6-core/12-thread part. AMD is likely to give the three a major clock speed increase to shore up gaming performance. It won't surprise us if AMD tinkers with boost algorithms, either. GIGABYTE has already referenced "Matisse Refresh" in its motherboard product roadmaps, which adds plenty of credibilty to this rumor. With "Zen 3" based 4th gen Ryzen processors unlikely to relieve the embattled 3900X, 3800X, and 3600X in the wake of Intel's 10th gen Core "Comet Lake" launch until Q4-2020, it makes sense for AMD to plan a product stack refresh to bolster its competitiveness. AMD is reportedly planning a June 16 product announcement, followed by July 7 availability.

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.

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

Core i3-10100 vs. Ryzen 3 3100 Featherweight 3DMark Showdown Surfaces

AMD's timely announcement of the Ryzen 3 "Matisse" processor series could stir things up in the entry-level as Intel kitted its 10th generation Core i3 processors as 4-core/8-thread. Last week, a head-to-head Cinebench comparison between the i3-10300 and 3300X ensued, and today we have a 3DMark Firestrike and Time Spy comparison between their smaller siblings, the i3-10100 and the 3100, courtesy of Thai PC enthusiast TUM_APISAK. The two were benchmarked on Time Spy and Fire Strike on otherwise constant hardware: an RTX 2060 graphics card, 16 GB of memory, and a 1 TB Samsung 970 EVO SSD.

With Fire Strike, the 3100-powered machine leads in overall 3DMark score (by 0.31%), CPU-dependent Physics score (by 13.7%), and the Physics test. The i3-10100 is ahead by 1.4% in the Graphics score thanks to a 1.6% lead in graphics test 1, and 1.4% lead in graphics test 2. Over to the more advanced Time Spy test, which uses the DirectX 12 API that better leverages multi-core CPUs, we see the Ryzen 3 3100 post a 0.63% higher overall score, 1.5% higher CPU score; while the i3-10100 powered machines post within 1% higher graphics score. These numbers may suggest that the i3-10100 and the 3100 are within striking distance of each other and that either is a good pick for gamers, until you look at pricing. Intel's official pricing for the i3-10100 is $122 (per chip in 1,000-unit tray), whereas AMD lists the SEP price of the Ryzen 3 3100 at $99 (the Intel chip is at least 22% pricier), giving AMD a vast price-performance advantage that's hard to ignore, more so when you take into account value additions such as an unlocked multiplier and PCIe gen 4.0.

Intel Core i3-10300 and i3-10100 Cinebench Scores Surface, Compared with Ryzen 3 3300X and 3100

Intel is giving finishing touches to its 10th generation Core i3 desktop processors based on the "Comet Lake" microarchitecture. These upcoming socket LGA1200 processors are 4-core/8-thread, and see the debut of HyperThreading and Turbo Boost technologies to the Core i3 desktop processor brand extension. The i3-10100 is an entry-level part clocked at 3.60 GHz with 4.30 GHz boost; while the i3-10300 is clocked higher with 3.70 GHz nominal and 4.40 GHz boost frequency. The TDP of both parts is rated at 65 W. Besides clock speeds, the two parts are differentiated with L3 cache amount, with the i3-10100 featuring 6 MB, and the i3-10300 featuring 8 MB. Cinebench R20 scores of the two chips were leaked to the web by CPU-Monkey.

The i3-10100 reportedly scores 448 points in the single-thread, and 2284 points in the multi-threaded test. The i3-10300, on the other hand, scores 457 points in the single-threaded test, and 2330 points in the multi-threaded test. The same source also claims to have tested the upcoming 3rd generation AMD Ryzen 3 "Matisse" 4-core/8-thread processor series, with the Ryzen 3 3100 scoring 444 points single-thread and 2154 points multi-threaded; and the Ryzen 3 3300X scoring 491 points single-thread, and 2341 points multi-threaded. If these scores hold true, it's game on between the two companies' entry-level chips.

AMD Ryzen 3 3300X Isn't Just a Speed-Bump of the 3100: CCX Gymnastics at Play

AMD has announced its Ryzen 3 "Matisse" quad-core desktop processors, with two SKUs in the pipe, the $99 Ryzen 3 3100 and the $120 Ryzen 3 3300X. Both are 4-core/8-thread parts spaced apart by clock-speeds, or so we thought. According to an alleged AMD presentation slide leaked to the web, the differentiation between the two runs deeper than that. Both chips are based on the "Matisse" multi-chip module, with a single 8-core "Zen 2" chiplet that has four disabled cores. How AMD goes about disabling these cores appears to be the secret sauce behind the "X" on the 3300X.

Inside each "Zen 2" chiplet, the 8 cores are spread between two 4-core CCX (compute complexes). On the 3100, AMD disabled two cores per CCX, and halved the 16 MB L3 cache per CCX. So it ends up with a 2+2 core CCX configuration, 8+8 MB of L3 cache adding up to 16 MB. The 3300X takes the more scenic route. An entire CCX is disabled, all four cores are part of the same CCX. This design lowers inter-core latency among the cores, and more importantly. gives each of the four cores access to 16 MB of shared L3 cache. And then there's the speed-bump. This goes a long way in explaining how the 3300X is shown within striking distance of the Core i7-7700K in leaked Cinebench scores, and could provide a formidable gaming processor in the lower end.
AMD Ryzen 3 3100 3300X CCD Configuration

AMD Ryzen 3 3300X Single Core Cinebench Score Suggests Performance Close to i7-7700K

Intel's Core i7-7700K "Kaby Lake" quad-core processor may fall significantly behind its 9th generation successor and today's Ryzen 7 chips, but it remains a formidable piece of silicon for strictly-gaming builds. Can it be bested by a $120 AMD Ryzen 3 3300X? A leaked, alleged Cinebench R15 score suggests that something very fascinating is brewing at AMD. The score points to the i7-7700K having a single-thread score just 0.5 percent higher than the 3300X, which means the multi-threaded score of the 4-core/8-thread AMD chip could end up within striking distance of the i7-7700K.

If this holds up, then AMD has a shot at bringing i7-7700K levels of gaming performance down to $120 (SEP). That would have the potential to seriously disrupt the sub-$200 processor market for gamers, enabling them to build fairly powerful 1440p (or higher) gaming builds. The low price will also let builders allocate more money to the graphics card. Adding to its gaming credentials could be the fact that the "Matisse" MCM features PCI-Express gen 4.0 x16 when paired with an X570 or upcoming B550 chipset motherboard, as detailed in AMD's announcement of the processor. The Ryzen 3 3300 is a 4-core/8-thread processor based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture, clocked at 3.80 GHz, with 4.30 GHz boost frequency, and featuring 18 MB of total cache. It is expected to be available from May 2020.

AMD Announces 3rd Gen Ryzen 3 Quad-Core Desktop Processors and AMD B550 PCIe 4.0 Chipset

Today, AMD announced the newest additions to the 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen desktop processor family, the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 and AMD Ryzen 3 3300X processors and AMD B550 Chipset for Socket AM4 designed for 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen desktop processors with over 60 designs in development. Taking advantage of the AMD world-class portfolio of technologies, these new Ryzen 3 desktop processors bring the groundbreaking "Zen 2" core architecture to business users, gamers, and creators worldwide, leveraging Simultaneous Multi-Threading (SMT) technology for increased productivity. With double the threads, twice the bandwidth, and a wide selection of motherboards in development the AMD B550 chipset and Ryzen 3 desktop processors deliver the ideal processing solution from top to bottom.

"Games and applications are becoming more and more demanding, and with this, users are demanding more from their PCs," said Saeid Moshkelani, senior vice president and general manager, client business unit. "AMD is committed to providing solutions that meet and exceed those demands for all levels of computing. With the addition of these new Ryzen 3 desktop processors we are continuing this commitment with our mainstream gaming customers. We've taken performance up a level, doubling the processing threads of our Ryzen 3 processors to propel gaming and multitasking experiences to new heights."

AMD Ryzen 3 "Matisse" Possible Pricing Surfaces, Could Surprise

AMD could spring a major suprise with pricing of its 3rd generation Ryzen 3 "Matisse" quad-core desktop processors we detailed recently. According to pricing put out by Komachi Ensaka, the Ryzen 3 3300X could start at a price of USD $120, and the Ryzen 3 3100 at $104. Even if these are 1,000-unit tray prices, or pre-tax cost prices to retailers, which you mark up by 20 percent, you're still looking at no more than $144 for the 3300X, and no more than $125 for the 3100. This would allow AMD to engage in a price-war against Intel's 10th generation Core i3 line of 4-core/8-thread processors. AMD also appears to be careful not to cannibalize the 3200G and 3400G APUs, which command sub-$150 price points. There's still no word on when AMD plans to launch these chips.

AMD Readies "Zen 2" Based Ryzen 3 Quad-core AM4 Processors

AMD is readying a new line of Ryzen 3 socket AM4 desktop processors to bolster its competitiveness against the upcoming 10th generation Core i3 processor family, according to OPN details unearthed by @momomo_us. The new line of processors are expected to be based on the "Matisse" MCM, configured with one "Zen 2" chiplet that has a quad-core CPU configuration. Within the chiplet, AMD appears to be achieving 4 cores by disabling one of the two CCXs completely, instead of taking the 2+2 core CCX configuration route. A single CCX with its 16 MB L3 cache, and 2 MB of L2 cache (4x 512 KB) add up to the processor's 18 MB "total cache."

Among the two SKUs existing are the Ryzen 3 3100 (OPN: 100-000000284) and the Ryzen 3 3300X (OPN: 100-000000159). Both are 4-core/8-thread parts with 18 MB total cache, and 65 W TDP. The 3100 is clocked up to 3.90 GHz, and the 3300X up to 4.30 GHz. It remains to be seen if AMD enables features like PCI-Express gen 4.0, and whether the 3100 has an unlocked multiplier. AMD's move to introduce Ryzen 3 "Matisse" parts appears to be necessitated by Intel's 10th gen Core i3. Intel is configuring its next value-segment chips to be 4-core/8-thread at price-points under $160. AMD has older generation Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 series parts at these prices, but is lacking on any current-gen product. One area where the 10th gen Core i3 one-ups Ryzen 3 "Matisse" is integrated graphics. Then again, Intel is likely to have "F" SKUs of Core i3 parts with disabled iGPUs, meant for gaming PCs. That's what AMD appears to be going after, to establish the next low-cost gaming PC king.

GIGABYTE Rolls Out Designare DDR4-3200 High-Capacity 64GB (2x 32GB) Memory for Creators

The Designare brand of motherboards by GIGABYTE target content creators, and the company is extending the brand to memory, with the new Designare Memory series. It debuts with a high-capacity 64 GB dual-channel memory kit using two 32 GB modules. The rationale behind these densities is that creators may need them to deal with large data-sets. These are not off-spec "double height" modules, but are common dual-rank modules that stick to JEDEC compatibility spec, and pack XMP profiles that can run them at DDR4-3200 with 16-18-18-38 timings at 1.35 V.

GIGABYTE has tested these modules to work on all of its AMD X570, AMD B450, AMD TRX40, Intel X299, and Intel Z390 motherboards. For X570 and B450, however, the company states that only 3rd generation "Matisse" processors can handle this memory density. In its compatibility testing, GIGABYTE used 18-19-19-39 timings. Physically, the Designare modules have regular 32 mm height, a black PCB, and aluminium heatspreaders. GIGABYTE is backing the modules with lifetime warranty. The company didn't reveal pricing.

DRAM Calculator for Ryzen by 1usmus v1.7.0 Released

DRAM Calculator for Ryzen by 1usmus is the definitive utility to demystify memory overclocking and optimization on AMD Ryzen-powered PCs. It lets you feed in settings you know, and calculates the most optimal related settings (such as latencies), so you get the most from your memory overclock. Version 1.7.0 adds certain memory benchmarks to the utility, including a benchmark for memory bandwidth (reads and writes), and AMD processor inter-core latency tests. The new version also spares you of having to manually input certain current values, by adding the ability to read current memory timings for machines powered by Ryzen 3000-series "Matisse" processors. The new version also adds support for Ryzen Threadripper 3000 "Castle Peak" processor series. Support is also added for SK hynix DJR memory modules. Grab DRAM Calculator for Ryzen from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: DRAM Calculator for Ryzen by 1usmus v1.7.0

AMD CEO To Unveil "Zen 3" Microarchitecture at CES 2020

A prominent Taiwanese newspaper reported that AMD will formally unveil its next-generation "Zen 3" CPU microarchitecture at the 2020 International CES. Company CEO Dr Lisa Su will head an address revealing three key client-segment products under the new 4th generation Ryzen processor family, and the company's 3rd generation EPYC enterprise processor family based on the "Milan" MCM that succeeds "Rome." AMD is keen on developing an HEDT version of "Milan" for the 4th generation Ryzen Threadripper family, codenamed "Genesis Peak."

The bulk of the client-segment will be addressed by two distinct developments, "Vermeer" and "Renoir." The "Vermeer" processor is a client-desktop MCM that succeeds "Matisse," and will implement "Zen 3" chiplets. "Renoir," on the other hand, is expected to be a monolithic APU that combines "Zen 2" CPU cores with an iGPU based on the "Vega" graphics architecture, with updated display- and multimedia-engines from "Navi." The common thread between "Milan," "Genesis Peak," and "Vermeer" is the "Zen 3" chiplet, which AMD will build on the new 7 nm EUV silicon fabrication process at TSMC. AMD stated that "Zen 3" will have IPC increases in line with a new microarchitecture.

New DRAM Calculator for Ryzen v1.6.0.1 Adds Full Ryzen 3000 and X570 Support

Our resident AMD Ryzen memory tuning guru Yuri "1usmus" Bubliy released DRAM Calculator for Ryzen version 1.6.0.1, which comes loaded with support for 3rd generation Ryzen processors based on the "Zen 2" architecture, motherboards based on AMD X570 chipset, and an exhaustive list of new features, and bug-fixes. AMD made major changes to the memory controllers of its Ryzen "Matisse" processors over past generations, including changing the various clock-domains and their interdependence, broader support for overclock across various memory vendors, and more, with the intention of improving memory overclocking. These also mean additional settings to be made in the UEFI BIOS setup programs. DRAM Calculator for Ryzen v1.6.0.1 greatly simplifies that, to help you simply key in the values it calculates based the system configuration it detects or you specify.

DRAM Calculator for Ryzen v1.6.0 also introduces presets for AMD X399 platform and Threadripper processors, helping out the HEDT crowd. Among the key changes are VDDG and FCLK for Zen 2, Vref (CHA / CHB) recommendations; PMU training recommendations that greatly stabilize the overclock; updated presets for Samsung b-die, Hynix CJR and Micron e-die memory modules; support for "Zen 2" processors on older-generations of motherboards (AMD 300-series and 400-series chipsets); improved tWRRD prediction for Dual Rank memory setups; an in-app shortcut to Internet overclocking statistics generation Zen 2; two new settings for MEMBench, the internal stability benchmark; and the overall stability of the program. Grab it from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: DRAM Calculator for Ryzen v1.6.0.1

The change-log follows.

AMD Ryzen 5 3500 a 6-core Processor

AMD is giving final touches to a second wave of 3rd generation Ryzen processor family, which includes the new Ryzen 5 3500 processor, and "Pro" variants of various already-launched SKUs, such as the 3600X, 3700X, and 3900X. These chips were spotted in an import registry of the Eurasian Economic Union. The most interesting bit from this disclosure is the fact that the Ryzen 5 3500 is a 6-core processor with 65 W TDP. For the previous two generations of Ryzen processors, AMD configured its x500 series SKUs, such as the 2500X and 1500X, as 4-core/8-thread processors. It's likely that the 3500 will be a slightly lower-clocked sibling of the Ryzen 5 3600, priced lower, to compete with Intel chips such as the Core i5-9400 or i5-9500. This also raises the possibility of Ryzen 3 "Matisse" processors being 4-core/8-thread chips.

BIOSTAR Formally Enables PCIe Gen 4 on its AMD 400-series Motherboards

BIOSTAR formally (officially) enabled PCI-Express gen 4.0 support for four of its socket AM4 motherboard models based on the AMD X470 and B450 chipsets, through BIOS updates. The updated BIOS lets you use PCI-Express gen 4.0 graphics cards on the topmost PCI-Express x16 slot, and the M.2 NVMe slot that's directly wired to the AM4 SoC. The expansion slots that are wired to the chipset are still restricted to PCIe gen 2.0. You will need a 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse" processor for PCI-Express gen 4.0. Among the motherboards that receive PCIe gen 4.0 support through BIOS updates are the AB45C-M4S (B450MH), the AB35G-M4S (B45M2), the AX47A-A4T (X470GT8), and the AX47A-I4S (X470GTN). The links lead to the BIOS image files on BIOSTAR website, which you use at your own risk.

Reports of Ryzen 3000 High Idle Voltage Exaggerated, a Case of the "Observer Effect"

With AMD's 3rd generation Ryzen processors finally falling into the hands of PC enthusiasts, many early-adopters are taking to tech communities such as ours, to share their experiences with others. A trend appears to be emerging of users reporting higher-than-usual voltages for these processors when idling. AMD investigated this phenomenon, and declared this to be a non-issue. Apparently, most modern CPU monitoring utilities cause what is known as "the observer effect:" the process of measuring the processor's load itself causes load on the processor.

In case of the Ryzen "Matisse" processors, monitoring software appear to be polling each processor core for load by sending it instruction at a high rate of speed - sending them a workload of 20 ms every 200 ms. This causes the processor's embedded firmware to think that the cores are being subjected to workload, and it responds by increasing the clock-speeds, and proportionately voltages of all CPU cores. Monitoring software poll each CPU core, and so core voltages are raised across the chip.

Bitspower Unveils the Touchaqua CPU Block Summit MS For AM4 Processors

Bitspower today unveiled the Touchaqua series Summit MS for AMD socket AM4. The block is designed for full coverage of the AMD socket AM4 processor IHS, and can uniformly cool even the latest "Matisse" MCMs since its micro-fin lattice is spread across a wider area than most other socket AM4 blocks. The primary material is copper, with a central portion that has a mirror-finish; while the top is made of acrylic with an embedded addressable-RGB strip that takes in 3-pin aRGB input. The block measures 111 mm x 73 mm x 20.3 mm (LxWxH), and takes in standard G 1/4" fittings. The block is now available for pre-order from Bitspower website.

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X Cinebench R15 Performance Spied

Market availability of the 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X may be far away, given its September 2019 launch, but engineering samples (ESes) of the chip seem to be already in circulation. "uzzi38" on Twitter posted this spy-shot of a 3950X ES making short work of Cinebench R15. CPU-Z recognizes the chip by its codename "Matisse," and puts out the correct CPU core and thread count, but doesn't give a name-string. It also recognizes the MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE motherboard this test is run on.

The purported Ryzen 9 3950X ES, overclocked to 5.42 GHz, scores a gargantuan 5,501 points in the multi-threaded benchmark. To put this number into perspective, at stock frequencies, a Ryzen Threadripper 2950X (same core-count, double the memory bus width), scores 3,645 points. The 3950X benefits from not just its massive overclock that's over 1 GHz higher than the stock TR-2950X, but also higher IPC, and a more consolidated memory interface. This feat goes to show that AMD's upcoming Ryzen chips love to overclock, and deliver a significantly higher single-thread performance over the previous generation.

Intel "Ice Lake" IPC Best-Case a Massive 40% Uplift Over "Skylake," 18% on Average

Intel late-May made its first major disclosure of the per-core CPU performance gains achieved with its "Ice Lake" processor that packs "Sunny Cove" CPU cores. Averaged across a spectrum of benchmarks, Intel claims a best-case scenario IPC (instructions per clock) uplift of a massive 40 percent over "Skylake," and a mean uplift of 18 percent. The worst-case scenario sees its performance negligibly below that of "Skylake." Intel's IPC figures are derived entirely across synthetic benchmarks, which include SPEC 2016, SPEC 2017, SYSMark 2014 SE, WebXprt, and CineBench R15. The comparison to "Skylake" is relevant because Intel has been using essentially the same CPU core in the succeeding three generations that include "Kaby Lake" and "Coffee Lake."

A Chinese tech-forum member with access to an "Ice Lake" 6-core/12-thread sample put the chip through the CPU-Z internal benchmark (test module version 17.01). At a clock-speed of 3.60 GHz, the "Ice Lake" chip allegedly achieved a single-core score of 635 points. To put this number into perspective, a Ryzen 7 3800X "Matisse" supposedly needs to run at 4.70 GHz to match this score, and a Core i7-7700K "Kaby Lake" needs to run at 5.20 GHz. Desktop "Ice Lake" processors are unlikely to launch in 2019. The first "Ice Lake" processors are 4-core/8-thread chips designed for ultraportable notebook platforms, which come out in Q4-2019, and desktop "Ice Lake" parts are expected only in 2020.

AMD Ryzen 3000 "Matisse" I/O Controller Die 12nm, Not 14nm

AMD Ryzen 3000 "Matisse" processors are multi-chip modules of two kinds of dies - one or two 7 nm 8-core "Zen 2" CPU chiplets, and an I/O controller die that packs the processor's dual-channel DDR4 memory controller, PCI-Express gen 4.0 root-complex, and an integrated southbridge that puts out some SoC I/O, such as two SATA 6 Gbps ports, four USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, LPCIO (ISA), and SPI (for the UEFI BIOS ROM chip). It was earlier reported that while the Zen 2 CPU core chiplets are built on 7 nm process, the I/O controller is 14 nm. We have confirmation now that the I/O controller die is built on the more advanced 12 nm process, likely GlobalFoundries 12LP. This is the same process on which AMD builds its "Pinnacle Ridge" and "Polaris 30" chips. The 7 nm "Zen 2" CPU chiplets are made at TSMC.

AMD also provided a fascinating technical insight to the making of the "Matisse" MCM, particularly getting three highly complex dies under the IHS of a mainstream-desktop processor package, and perfectly aligning the three for pin-compatibility with older generations of Ryzen AM4 processors that use monolithic dies, such as "Pinnacle Ridge" and "Raven Ridge." AMD innovated new copper-pillar 50µ bumps for the 8-core CPU chiplets, while leaving the I/O controller die with normal 75µ solder bumps. Unlike with its GPUs that need high-density wiring between the GPU die and HBM stacks, AMD could make do without a silicon interposer or TSVs (through-silicon-vias) to connect the three dies on "Matisse." The fiberglass substrate is now "fattened" up to 12 layers, to facilitate the inter-die wiring, as well as making sure every connection reaches the correct pin on the µPGA.

AMD X570 Puts Out Up To Twelve SATA 6G Ports and Sixteen PCIe Gen 4 Lanes

AMD X570 is the company's first in-house design desktop motherboard chipset for the AM4 platform. The company sourced earlier generations of chipset from ASMedia. A chipset in context of the AM4 platform only serves to expand I/O connectivity, since an AM4 processor is a full-fledged SoC, with an integrated southbridge that puts out SATA and USB ports directly from the CPU socket, in addition to LPCIO (ISA), HD audio bus, and SPI to interface with the firmware ROM chip. The X470 "Promontory Low Power" chipset runs really cool, with a maximum TDP of 5 Watts, and the ability to lower power to get its TDP down to 3W. The X570, on the other hand, has a TDP of "at least 15 Watts." A majority of the X570 motherboards we've seen at Computex 2019 had active fan-heatsinks over the chipset. We may now have a possible explanation for this - there are just too many things on the chipset.

According to AMD, the X570 chipset by itself can be made to put out a staggering twelve SATA 6 Gbps ports (not counting the two ports put out by the AM4 SoC). A possible rationale behind this may have been to enable motherboard designers to equip every M.2 slot on the motherboard with SATA wiring in addition to PCIe, without needing switches that reroute SATA connection from one of the physical ports. It's also possible that AMD encouraged motherboard designers to not wire out SATA ports from the AM4 SoC as physical ports to save costs on switches, and dedicate one of them to the M.2 slot wired to the SoC. With the two SATA ports from the SoC out of the equation, and every other M.2 slot getting a direct SATA connection from the chipset, motherboard designers can wire out the remaining SATA ports as physical ports, without spending money on switches, or worrying about customer complaints on one of their drives not working due to automatic switching. This is an extreme solution to a rather simple problem.

AMD Readies Ryzen 9 3950X 16-core Processor to Awestrike Crowds at E3

When AMD launched its Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core/24-thread processor at its Computex 2019 keynote, our readers commented on the notable absence of a 16-core SKU, given that a "Matisse" multi-chip module with two 8-core "Zen 2" chiplets adds up to that core-count. Some readers noted this could be a case of AMD holding back its top performing part in the absence of competition in the segment from Intel. It turns out, the company was saving this part up for an E3 2019 unveiling.

The Ryzen 9 3950X maxes out "Matisse" MCM with 16 cores, 32 threads via SMT, a staggering 64 MB of L3 cache (72 MB including the 8 MB of total L2 cache), and a stunning 105-Watt TDP figure that's unchanged from the company's TDP for the 3900X. The Ryzen 9 3950X is clocked at 3.50 GHz, with a maximum boost frequency of 4.70 GHz. The company is yet to reveal its price, but given that the $499 price-tag has already been taken by the 3900X, one could expect an even higher price. It remains to be seen if the 3950X will launch alongside the rest of the series on 7/7.
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