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ASRock Outs AM4 Motherboard Raven Ridge BIOS Updates, AMD Standardizes New Label

ASRock today announced that it has posted motherboard BIOS updates for its socket AM4 motherboard product lineup, which enables support for AMD Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G APUs based on the "Raven Ridge" silicon. The company posted BIOS updates for all 18 of its AM4 motherboard models, based on AMD X370, B350, and A320 chipsets. To get your BIOS update, visit the downloads section of the product page of your motherboard model on ASRock company website.

In related news, it looks like AMD has standardized a new label for use by motherboard manufacturers on their product boxes to denote out of the box support for AMD Ryzen 2000 series processors, on newer batches of their AMD 300-series chipset motherboards. Motherboards without this label likely won't support chips such as the 2200G or 2400G out of the box, and will require a BIOS update using a supported Ryzen "Summit Ridge" processor first. Motherboards based on the upcoming AMD 400-series chipsets, which should launch in Q2-2018, will support "Raven Ridge" and upcoming "Pinnacle Ridge" processors out of the box, including backwards-compatibility for existing "Summit Ridge" processors.

Various AMD Ryzen "Raven Ridge" Models Put Through 3DMark

Ahead of its February 12 launch, various models of AMD Ryzen "Raven Ridge" APUs, in both their notebook and desktop iterations, were put through 3DMark, which is perhaps the best way to put AMD's combination of its latest CPU and GPU architectures, to the test. Pictures also surfaced on Reddit, of the PIB boxes of the Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G, highlighting their "silver band" demarcation from the rest of the Ryzen processor lineup. This silver band features prominent Radeon Vega graphics branding, indicating that the model is a "Raven Ridge" APU.

Armed with 704 "Vega" stream processors spread across 11 NGCUs, the Radeon Vega 11 integrated graphics core of the Ryzen 5 2400G is AMD's fastest integrated graphics solution by far. It's also the fastest integrated graphics solution fully integrated with the CPU silicon (unlike, for example, the Core i7-8705G being a multi-chip module). The entire Ryzen "Raven Ridge" APU lineup was put through 3DMark 11 "Performance" preset, by someone with access to all of them. The 2400G leads the pack with 5,162 points, and a graphics score of 5,042 points. The 2200G, which features 512 stream processors, and lacks SMT, manages 4,151 points, with 3,950 points graphics score. The 2400G scores somewhere between the desktop RX 550 and the RX 560, which makes it possible for you to run "Player Unknown's Battlegrounds" at 900p or even 1080p with some details dialed down.

AMD Ryzen 5 2400G Smokes Core i5-8400 at iGPU Performance

AMD is pinning a lot of hopes on its upcoming Ryzen 2000G "Raven Ridge" desktop APU family, which combine a quad-core "Zen" CPU with a larger-than-expected integrated GPU based on the latest "Vega" architecture. While Intel's iGPU design focus for its "Coffee Lake-S" processors continues to be hardware-accelerated 4K video playback, and non-gaming tasks; AMD promises a more wholesome solution. The integrated Radeon Vega 11 graphics of the Ryzen 5 2400G features 11 "Vega" NGCUs (next-generation compute units), which translates to 704 stream processors, 44 TMUs (@ 4 TMUs per NGCU), 8 or 16 ROPs, and a bandwidth-rich pathway to the APU's dual-channel DDR4-2933 capable IMC, thanks to AMD's new Infinity Fabric interconnect.

In its pre-launch press-deck for the Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G, AMD did the obvious - comparing a similarly priced Intel Core i5-8400 six-core processor (MSRP: $189) with its faster Ryzen 5 2400G (MSRP: $169.99) at gaming, highlighting its products key promise - enabling 1080p gaming with many of the newer AAA titles. In AMD's testing, the Radeon Vega 11 iGPU keeps frame-rates well above 30 fps at 1080p. In key popular titles such as "Battlefield 1," the frame-rates cross 50 fps, titles like "Overwatch" and "Rocket League" are almost that fast. "Skyrim" approaches 96 fps, while "The Witcher 3" stays barely above 30 fps. The i5-8400 with its UHD 620 graphics barely touches the 30 fps mark in any of the games, at 1080p. Even taking into account AMD's marketing hyperbole, the Radeon Vega 11 seems capable of running most eSports titles at resolutions above 1600 x 900, which should particularly interest iCafes and gamers on a shoestring budget.

AMD Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 "Raven Ridge" PIB Packages Pictured

Here are the first pictures of AMD Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G "Raven Ridge" desktop APU retail PIB (processor in box) packages. The PIB package includes the APU itself, an AMD Wraith Stealth cooling solution, a case-badge, and some documentation. These packages are visually distinguishable from Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 "Summit Ridge" CPU PIB packages, with a chrome silver band heading the front face, which has prominent AMD Radeon Vega Graphics branding. It keeps up with the APUs' full retail names: "AMD Ryzen 3 2200G with Radeon Vega 8 graphics" and "AMD Ryzen 5 2400G with Radeon Vega 11 graphics." The Ryzen 3 2200G is expected to be priced (MSRP) at USD $99.99, and the Ryzen 5 2400G at $169.99; both parts launch in the retail channel on the 12th of February. The two have been extensively detailed in our older article.

AMD Reveals Specs of Ryzen 2000G "Raven Ridge" APUs

AMD today revealed specifications of its first desktop socket AM4 APUs based on the "Zen" CPU micro-architecture, the Ryzen 2000G "Raven Ridge" series. The chips combine a quad-core "Zen" CPU with an integrated graphics core based on the "Vega" graphics architecture, with up to 11 NGCUs, amounting to 704 stream processors. The company is initially launching two SKUs, the Ryzen 3 2200G, and the Ryzen 5 2400G. Besides clock speeds, the two are differentiated with the Ryzen 5 featuring CPU SMT, and more iGPU stream processsors. The Ryzen 5 2400G is priced at USD $169, while the Ryzen 3 2200G goes for $99. Both parts will be available on the 12th of February, 2018.

The Ryzen 5 2400 features an 4-core/8-thread CPU clocked at 3.60 GHz, with a boost frequency of 3.90 GHz; 2 MB of L2 cache (512 KB per core), and 4 MB of shared L3 cache; and Radeon Vega 11 graphics (with the 11 denoting NGCU count), featuring 704 stream processors. The iGPU engine clock is set at 1250 MHz. The dual-channel DDR4 integrated memory controller supports up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4-2933 MHz memory. The Ryzen 3 2200G is a slightly cut down part. Lacking SMT, its 4-core/4-thread CPU ticks at 3.50 GHz, with 3.70 GHz boost. Its CPU cache hierarchy is unchanged; the iGPU features only 8 out of 11 NGCUs, which translate to 512 stream processors. The iGPU engine clock is set at 1100 MHz. Both parts feature unlocked CPU base-clock multipliers; and have their TDP rated at 65W, and include AMD Wraith Stealth cooling solutions.

AMD Announces Official Price-Cuts for Ryzen Processors

Following its Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G socket AM4 APU announcement, AMD announced price cuts for its Ryzen family of processors, across the board. These are official price cuts, and not seasonal retailer discounts. The price cuts have been made in a bid to make its existing socket AM4 Ryzen processors more competitive against 8th generation Intel Core "Coffee Lake" processors.

Among the notable changes, are bringing the entire Ryzen 7-series lineup under the $350-mark, with the 1800X being priced at $349, the 1700X at $309, and the 1700 non-X at $299. These changes make the three competitive against the Core i7-8700K (which is scraping the $400-mark in many places), and the i7-8700 non-K (around $330). The Ryzen 5-series six-core parts also receive much-needed price-cuts to make them competitive against the Core i5 six-core SKUs, such as the i5-8600K and i5-8400. There are marginal changes in the Ryzen 3 series and Ryzen Threadripper series. All price cuts are tabled below.

BIOSTAR AM4 RACING, PRO Series Offer Selection of Motherboards for AMD Ryzen 3

BIOSTAR RACING and PRO series motherboards offer one of the widest selection of AM4 motherboards for Ryzen 3, 5, 7, Bristol Ridge and 7th Generation A-series. Gamers looking to take full advantage of the affordable AMD quad-core CPUs can select from BIOSTAR's RACING X370 series: RACING X370GTN, RACING X370GT7, RACING X370GT5 or RACING X370GT3. While anyone aiming to build a value and performance system can select from BIOSTAR's RACING B350 series: RACING B350GTN, RACING B350GT5, RACING B350GT3 and RACING B350ET2 and PRO B350 and A320 series: TB350-BTC, TA320-BTC, A320MH PRO and A320MD PRO.

MSI AM4 Motherboards Are Ryzen 3 Ready

MSI B350/A320 GAMING AND PRO SERIES MOTHERBOARDS FULLY SUPPORT THE NEW AMD RYZEN 3 PROCESSORS
MSI, world leading in gaming motherboards design, is pleased to announce that all its X370, B350 and A320 based GAMING & PRO Series motherboards support the all-new Ryzen 3 line of processors, out of the box.

Furthermore, by choosing MSI B350/A320 motherboards, one can get better performance and higher efficiency from AMD's newest Dual Core and Quad-core RYZEN offerings. MSI enabled world's first 1-second DDR4 performance and stability feature for AM4 based motherboards, A-XMP. By using A-XMP MSI AM4 motherboard owners can simply set their memory timings and speed to its optimal settings in a single click for the best performance and stability. A-XMP also enables support for higher rated DDR4 memory kits to work without any hassle. A-XMP is available in the BIOS, on all MSI AM4 motherboards.

AMD's Bristol Ridge APUs Released for the AM4 Platform in Retail Channels

AMD's AM4 socket really is shaping up to be one of the company's most versatile to date. From true quad-core CPUS (just now available through Ryzen 3's launch through to veritable svelte behemoths 8-core, 16-thread CPUs, AM4 has something for every consumer. AMD is now taking that show further with the release of the Bristol Ridge family of APUs, which includes eight APUs and three CPUs. While pricing wasn't announced at time of writing, the top-priced part should fall below the $110 mark and bottom out at $50, so as not to collide with AMD's Ryzen 3 1200 (although these products aren't specifically overlapping anyway.)

AMD's new entry-level processors will hit a maximum of 65 W TDP, with the top spot being taken by the 2-module, 4-threads A12-9800, running at 3.8 GHz base and 4.2 GHz Turbo. This part holds a Radeon R7 GPU with 512 Stream Processors (GCN 1.3, the same as in the Fury GPUs) running at 800 MHz Base and 1108 MHz Turbo. There are three 35 W parts (denoted by a capital E after the model name.) One thing users should take into account is that the Bristol Ridge APUs deliver a maximum of 8x PCIe 3.0 lanes - thus rendering a multi-GPU solution unfeasible.

AMD CEO Talks Ryzen Threadripper and Ryzen 3 Series in Latest Company Video

In a video presentation posted on the company's official YouTube channel, AMD CEO Lisa Su talked at length about the two new lines of Ryzen desktop processors the company plans to launch later this month. This includes the Ryzen Threadripper HEDT socket TR4 processor at the higher-end of the lineup, and the new Ryzen 3 series socket AM4 processors at the lower-end. AMD is announcing market-availability of two SKUs for each of the two brands. To begin with, AMD will launch two quad-core SKUs in the Ryzen 3 series, beginning with the Ryzen 3 1200 and the Ryzen 3 1300X. Both of these are quad-core parts which lack SMT, leaving them with just four threads. AMD is expected to price them on par with Intel's dual-core "Kaby Lake" Core i3 SKUs.

The Ryzen 3 1200 is clocked at 3.10 GHz, with 3.40 GHz boost, the 1300X is clocked higher, at 3.50 GHz, with 3.70 GHz boost, and XFR (extended frequency range) enabling higher clocks depending on the efficacy of your cooling. Both parts will be available worldwide on July 27. The Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processor lineup is designed to take Intel's Core X series head-on, and will launch with two SKUs, initially. This includes the 12-core Ryzen Threadripper 1920X, and the 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X. Both parts further feature SMT and XFR. The 12-core/24-thread 1920X features clock speeds of 3.50 GHz, with 4.00 GHz boost; while the 16-core/32-thread 1950X ticks at 3.40 GHz, with 4.00 GHz boost. AMD also ran live demos of the Threadripper chips, in which the 12-core 1920X was shown to beat 10-core Intel Core i9-7900X at Cinebench R15 multi-threaded benchmark. The 16-core 1950X was shown to be close to 50% faster than the i9-7900X. The company also confirmed pricing.

AMD Talks Improved Ryzen Memory Support, Ryzen 3, and Game Optimization

AMD, in an interview with Forbes, confirmed that it is working to improve DDR4 memory support of its Ryzen series processors, to enable higher memory clocks. AMD Ryzen users find it difficult to get DDR4 memory clocks to run above 3000 MHz reliably. With memory clock being linked with the chip's Infinity Fabric clock (the interconnect between two CCX units on the "Summit Ridge" silicon), the performance incentives for higher memory clocks are just that much more.

AMD confirmed that its AGESA update for May improves DDR4 memory compatibility, although it also stressed on the need for motherboard manufacturers to improve their board designs in the future, with more PCB layers and better copper traces between the DIMM slots and the SoC socket. The company assures that more updates to AGESA are in the pipeline, and would improve performance of Ryzen processors at various levels. The AGESA updates are dispensed through motherboard vendors as BIOS updates.

ASUS Leaks Specifications on AMD's Upcoming Ryzen 3 CPUs

We expect to know a little more about AMD's Ryzen 3 processors soon, which are expected to compete against Intel's Core i3 processors while offering a full-blown, true quad-core design against Intel's dual-core + HyperThreading solutions. However, it would seem that ASUS itself has given up a little of the game away, through a processor compatibility list for its upcoming Crosshair VI Hero WIFI AC motherboard.

The processor specifically detailed is AMD's Ryzen 3 1200 CPU. We already know this to be a quad-core part (and ASUS notes it as a 4C processor, so, four cores), but ASUS' misstep tells us this one will carry a base clock speed of 3.1GHz, with 8 MB of L3 cache and a 65 W TDP.

AMD Ryzen 3 1200 Specifications Surface

Following its launch of the Ryzen 5 series performance-segment six-core and quad-core processors later this month, AMD could launch entry-level quad-core chips based on the 14 nm "Summit Ridge" silicon in the second half of 2017. This lineup will be called the Ryzen 3 series, and will occupy several sub-$150 price points.

The Ryzen 3 series parts will compete with Intel's Core i3 dual-core "Kaby Lake" processors, and will offer four cores, even if lacking SMT (that's 4 cores, 4 threads), and up to 8 MB of L3 cache, making for a compelling deal against Core i3 "Kaby Lake" dual-core parts that have 2 cores and 4 threads enabled through HyperThreading, and just 3-4 MB of L3 cache. What's more, the Ryzen 3 series chips will come with unlocked base-clock multipliers. One of the prominent Ryzen 3 series SKUs revealed by leaky taps among the motherboard industry is the Ryzen 3 1200.
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