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AMD Ryzen "Picasso" APU Clock Speeds Revealed

AMD is giving finishing touches to its Ryzen 3000 "Picasso" family of APUs, and Thai PC enthusiast TUM_APISAK has details on their CPU clock speeds. The Ryzen 3 3200G comes with 3.60 GHz nominal clock-speed and 4.00 GHz maximum Precision Boost frequency; while the Ryzen 5(?) 3400G ships with 3.70 GHz clock speeds along with 4.20 GHz max Precision Boost. The "Picasso" silicon is an optical shrink of the 14 nm "Raven Ridge" silicon to the 12 nm FinFET process at GlobalFoundries, the same one on which AMD builds "Pinnacle Ridge" and "Polaris 30."

Besides the shrink to 12 nm, "Picasso" features upgraded "Zen+" CPU cores that have improved Precision Boost algorithm and faster on-die caches, which contribute to a roughly 3% increase in IPC on "Pinnacle Ridge," but significantly improved multi-threaded performance compared to 1st generation Ryzen. Clock speeds of both the CPU cores and the integrated "Vega" iGPU are expected to increase. Both the 3200G and 3400G see a 100 MHz increase in nominal clock-speed, and 300 MHz increase in boost clocks, over the chips they succeed, the 2200G and 2400G, respectively. The iGPU is rumored to receive a similar 100-200 MHz increase in engine clock.

AMD Brings Back the "XT" Moniker with China-specific Radeon RX 560 XT

Back in the glory days of ATI Radeon, the XT brand extension denoted the better-endowed variant among two or more graphics card models based on the same silicon, such as the Radeon HD 2900 XT. After AMD's takeover, the XT, Pro, XL, and other lesser used extensions such as XTX and All-in-Wonder were retired in favor of numerical variant numbers, beginning with the HD 3870. The company continued to use "XT" and "Pro" internally to differentiate ASIC variants, although those monikers were seldom if not never used in marketing materials. That's about to change. AMD launched its first overtly XT brand-extended product in close to 15 years, with the China-specific Radeon RX 560 XT, but alas, it's a lousy re-brand.

The RX 560 XT is positioned between the RX 560 4 GB and RX 570 4 GB, and is based on the "Polaris 20" or "Polaris 30" silicon (we don't know which). AMD enabled 28 out of 36 NGCUs on this silicon, resulting in 1,792 stream processors, 112 TMUs, and 32 ROPs. The memory is 4 GB across a 256-bit wide memory interface, although the memory clock-speed is dialed down to 6.6 Gbps (211.2 GB/s). What makes the RX 560 XT a re-brand is that AMD launched an SKU with the same exact specifications, called Radeon Pro 570, and there are several odd-ball RX 570-branded cards in the wild with this core-config. There's no reference-design board of the RX 560 XT, and the SKU is entirely in the hands of board partners to come up with custom-designs of their own.

Update: AMD has informed us that the RX 560 XT is based on the 14 nm "Polaris 10" silicon, and not "Polaris 20" or "Polaris 30." Polaris 10 is the first implementation of the "Polaris" architecture.

GIGABYTE Rolls Out its Radeon RX 590 Gaming Graphics Card

That took a little while, but GIGABYTE has finally updated their lineup with an AMD RX 590 graphics card. Based on the 12 nm-revised Polaris 30 silicon with higher clocks than those that could be achieved by its 14 nm predecessors (already the RX 480 and RX 580 graphics cards), the GIGABYTE RX 590 Gaming rbings the already well-known 2304 Stream processors, and gets them to tick at 1560 MHz (against AMD's 1545 MHz reference). It's a usual GIGABYTE graphics card by all standards, with a dual-fan WindForce 2X cooling solution with fan-stop functionality.

It seems GIGABYTE finally went through some of that unsold RX inventory, and is now looking to keep the channel supplied until the next best thing from the red team makes its appearance (hopefully sooner rather than later.)

MSI Announces, Releases Its RX 590 Armor Graphics Card

This should be old news by now, but it actually isn't: MSI is just now releasing their iteration of the AMD Radeon RX 590 SKU. Perhaps the company decided that the product wasn't too differentiated from the previous RX 480 and RX 580 graphics cards so as to justify all the resources they'd have to pour through to its development; or they wanted to first sell through their RX 580 inventory, and have now struck a good balance with stocks of the old and the new.

Whatever the reason, the fact is that MSI's first RX 590, launched in the Armor series - it isn't even in the gaming X department - has been released, three months later, in two variants: Armor and Armor OC (the latter is running a paltry 20 MHz higher than the non-OC version, so). The 12 nm, Polaris 30 XT graphics card draws power from an 8-pin connector, and video outputs include 2x DisplayPort, 2x HDMI, and 1x DVI. It's a dual-slot affair, like almost all MSI graphics cards, and all Armor ones. No word as of yet on availability nor pricing.

Samsung AMD's Second Foundry Partner for "Polaris 30"

AMD's "Polaris 30" silicon at the heart of Radeon RX 590 graphics card is the company's first 12 nm GPU. Unlike NVIDIA, which is exclusively sourcing its "Turing" family of GPUs from TSMC, the "Polaris 30" is coming from not one, but two sources. This, according to AMD in response to a question by TechPowerUp. The two foundries manufacturing "Polaris 30" are GlobalFoundries and Samsung. AMD did not provide us with visual cues on how to tell chips made from either foundries apart (such as serial numbering schemes). Packaging of dies sourced from both foundries is done in China, and the national-origin marking for the chip is on the package, rather than printed on the die.

GlobalFoundries' 12 nanometer FinFET node, called GloFo 12LP, shares a lot of similarities with Samsung's 11LPP, because both are "nodelets" that are derived from an original 14 nm FinFET process blueprint Samsung licensed to GloFo, deployed in its facility in upstate New York, where AMD's "Zen" processors are made. GloFo's 12 nanometer process is a refinement of its 14 nm node, in which 12 nm transistors are etched onto silicon using the same lithography meant for 14 nm. It doesn't improve transistor densities, but provides dividends in power, which explains why "Polaris 30" and "Pinnacle Ridge" have the same die sizes as "Polaris 20" and "Summit Ridge," respectively. This WikiChip article provides a good explanation of how GloFo 12LP is a nodelet.

AMD Radeon RX 590 Launch Price, Other Details Revealed

AMD is very close to launching its new Radeon RX 590 graphics card, targeting a middle-of-market segment that sells in high volumes, particularly with Holiday around the corner. The card is based on the new 12 nm "Polaris 30" silicon, which has the same exact specifications as the "Polaris 20" silicon, and the original "Polaris 10," but comes with significantly higher clock-speed headroom thanks to the new silicon fabrication process, which AMD and its partners will use to dial up engine clock speed by 10-15% over those of the RX 580. While the memory is still 8 Gbps 256-bit GDDR5, some partners will ship overclocked memory.

According to a slide deck seen by VideoCardz, AMD is setting the baseline price of the Radeon RX 590 at USD $279.99, which is about $50 higher than RX 580 8 GB, and $40 higher than the price the RX 480 launched at. AMD will add value to that price by bundling three AAA games, including "Tom Clancy's The Division 2," "Devil May Cry 5," and "Resident Evil 2." The latter two titles are unreleased, and the three games together pose a $120-150 value. AMD will also work with monitor manufacturers to come up with graphics card + AMD FreeSync monitor bundles.

HIS Radeon RX 590 IceQ X² Detailed

With a little Javascript trickery, Redditor "BadReIigion" succeeded in making the company website of AMD partner HIS to spit out details of its upcoming Radeon RX 590 IceQ X² graphics card (model number: HIS-590R8LCBR). Pictured below is the RX 580 IceQ X², but we expect the RX 590-based product to be mostly similar, with cosmetic changes such as a different cooler shroud or back-plate design. The website confirms some details like the ASIC being "Polaris 30 XT," a rendition of the 2,304-SP "Polaris 20" die on the 12 nm FinFET node, and that the card features 8 GB of GDDR5 memory. Some of the other details, such as the engine clock being mentioned as "2000 MHz" is unlikely.

The consensus emerging on engine clock boost frequencies from RX 590 leaks so far, put RX 590 custom-design, factory-overclocked cards to tick around 1500-1550 MHz, a 100-200 MHz improvement over the RX 580. Some board vendors such as Sapphire are even overclocking the memory by about 5%. "Polaris 30" is likely pin-compatible with "Polaris 20," because most board vendors are reusing their RX 580 PCBs, some of which are even carried over from the RX 480. For the HIS RX 590 IceQ X² this means drawing power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector.

ASRock Radeon RX 590 Phantom Gaming Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of ASRock Radeon RX 590 Phantom Gaming graphics card, based on AMD's upcoming "Polaris 30" silicon, which is an optical shrink of the "Polaris 20" silicon to 12 nm FinFET process, letting AMD and its partners increase GPU clock speeds. The RX 590 Phantom Gaming features a similar board design to the RX 580 Phantom Gaming X, with subtle design changes to its cooler shroud. The card still draws power from only a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. The VideoCardz article with these pictures doesn't mention clock-speeds, although going by trends, the RX 590 could be clocked well above 1500 MHz out of the box, compared to 1445 MHz of the RX 580 Phantom Gaming X in "OC mode."

Sapphire Radeon RX 590 NITRO+ Special Edition Spotted

As the expected November 15th release date for AMD's Radeon RX 590 inches closer, more leaks of AIB cards have started trickling in. Sapphire's Radeon RX 590 NITRO+ is just the latest to appear. Much like the ASUS ROG STRIX version leaked earlier, Sapphire design is using a hefty cooler for what amounts to a mid-range graphics card. The design looks to be the exact same as their RX 580 NITRO+ with just a fresh coat of paint to spruce things up. They are using the same shroud, dual fans, large aluminum heatsink, and full cover backplate on both graphics cards. That said, the change to a bright blue shroud gives the RX 590 NITRO+ a unique appearance that should at the very least help it stand out against its more mundane black and white designs of the competition.

In regards to actual specifications, the RX 590 features the same 2304 Stream processors, 144 TMUs (texture mapping units), and 32 ROPS (render output units) as the RX 580. This is because the Polaris 30 design used in the RX 590 is just a die shrink of Polaris 20 used in the RX 580. Obviously with a die shrink typically comes improved performance, usually via higher clock speeds. Currently, the final clock speeds for Sapphire's Radeon RX 590 NITRO+ are not known. However, if the rumored reference boost clock of 1545 MHz is correct, an overclock pushing that a step further is likely. Meaning performance should be improved compared to what we have seen in various leaks thus far.

NVIDIA's Weakness is AMD's Strength: It's Time to Regain Mid-Range Users

It won't be easy to see an AMD counterpart to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti in the short time. Heck, it will be difficult to see any real competitors to the RTX 2000 Series anytime soon. But maybe AMD doesn't need to compete on that front. Not yet. The reason is sound and clear: RTX prices are NVIDIA's weakness, and that weakness, my fellow readers, could become AMD's biggest strength.

The prices NVIDIA and its partners are asking for RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti have been a clear discussion topic since we learnt about them. Most users have criticized those price points, even after NVIDIA explained the reasoning behind them. Those chips are bigger, more complex and more powerful than ever, so yes, costs have increased and that has to be taken into account.

Clues Gather Regarding Possible New AMD Polaris (Re)Revision Launch

Clues have been popping here and there regarding a possible new Polaris revision being launched by AMD in the (relatively) near future. Speculation first reared its head regarding a revised "Polaris 30" silicon, allegedly being built for TSMC's 12 nm process - not unlike AMD's 2000-series Ryzen CPUs. The company has been enamored with trying out and adapting new foundry processes for its products as soon as possible, now that they've found themselves fabless and not having to directly support the R&D costs necessary for process node development themselves.

Some publications are pointing towards a 15% performance improvement being achieved on the back of this process change for Polaris - which, if achieved only via a new process implementation, would require clock speed increases that are higher than that. AMD has already launched their revised Polaris 20 RX 500 series, which built upon their RX 400 series (and Polaris 10) by upping the clocks as well. A smaller node would likely be associated with higher yields and decreased costs per finished chip, which would allow AMD to further reduce pricing/stabilize pricing while introducing a new product generation to tide users over until Navi is finally ready.
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