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Four GIGABYTE Socket AM4 Motherboards Pictured

GIGABYTE showed off four socket AM4 motherboards, designed for the upcoming AMD Ryzen processors and 7th gen. A-series APUs, at its 2017 CES booth. The lineup begins with the AB350M-D3H, an entry-level micro-ATX board based on the mid-tier B350 chipset; the mid-range AB350-Gaming 3, the mid-high segment AX370-Gaming K5, and the AX370-Gaming 5. The AB350-D3H covers the basics, with a 7-phase VRM, one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot wired to the AM4 socket, a second x16 slot that's electrical x4 and wired to the B350 chipset, one legacy PCI slot; one 32 Gb/s M.2 slot and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports (from which two are directly wired to the AM4 socket); and connectivity that includes 6-channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.1 (10 Gb/s) ports, DVI, HDMI 2.0, and DisplayPort.

Moving up the ladder, the AB350-Gaming 3 is a gaming-grade board in the ATX form-factor, featuring a red+black color scheme. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors; conditioning it for the CPU with a 7-phase VRM. The APU is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, and one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. Other expansion slots include two x16 slots that are electrical x4, and two x1 slots. Storage connectivity includes one 32 Gb/s M.2 and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports (from which two are low-latency ports). Display outputs include DVI, DisplayPort, and HDMI. USB connectivity includes two USB 3.1 (10 Gb/s) ports, and six USB 3.0 ports. GIGABYTE deployed its gaming-grade AMPUp! onboard audio solution with a 115 dBA SNR CODEC, ground-layer isolation, audio-grade capacitors, a headphones amp, and gold-plated audio jacks. Network is care of an Intel-made gigabit Ethernet controller.

AMD Ryzen 8 Core/16 Thread CPU ES Now Run at 3.6 GHz base, 3.9 GHz Boost

The folks at hardwareluxx managed to get some quality alone time with AMD's Ryzen demonstration boot at CES 2017, and it has to be said they used their time well. They managed to bring up Windows' System page, as well as its Device Manager, which seemingly confirmed that the Ryzen sample at use, though an engineering sample it was, was set at 3.6 GHz base clock with the capability to boost up to 3.9 GHz on a whim - up 200 MHz from the base clock speed of the sample used at AMD's New Horizon Event, where even at those speeds, the chip was shown beating an 8 core, 16 thread i7 6900K. You can see those clocks at the below screenshot, where "1D3601A2M88F3_39/36_N" (the code for the engineering sample Ryzen chip) makes it clear this is an F3 stepping processor, with the 39 referring to the boost clock, and the 36 referring to its base clock.

This goes right into AMD's claims of 3.4 GHz being the lowest frequency a Ryzen consumer processor would carry. It seems AMD is quickly galloping towards the finish line here, and as Lisa Su said at the New Horizon presentation, Ryzen chips can only improve until their promised launch, with an already rumored F4 stepping of the processor carrying a rounded-up, 4 GHz boost clock.

AMD Showcases its Ryzen CPUs Powering Their Upcoming Vega Architecture

At CES 2017, AMD set-up a demo room in which it showcased a PC powered by a Ryzen CPU and a Vega GPU playing Star Wars Battlefront at 60 FPS, reportedly at Ultra HD, with confirmed Ultra quality settings. Some sources do report that the frame rate at 4K Ultra settings occasionally dropped to 57 or 58 fps, but it still remains a strong showing from the company's upcoming Vega graphics architecture, as well as the prowess of its Ryzen CPUs.

AMD Announces X370 Motherboards: Ryzen Approaches

At CES 2017, AMD made a statement on their new AM4's platform readiness to market, revealing some of the upcoming AM4 motherboard designs coming to end users for their Ryzen CPUs and Bristol Ridge. All in all, there were sixteen boards being displayed from the major manufacturers, including overclocking and gaming-oriented models. These boards will be the base for system integrator PC designs to come, with at least seventeen SIs coming on board for today's announcement.

MSI Also Shows Off Flagship X370 XPower Gaming Titanium AM4 Motherboard

A sight for sore eyes at the MSI CES booth was its top-grade socket AM4 motherboard, the X370 XPower Gaming Titanium. This board is positioned in the company's Gaming Enthusiast series, and comes with all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a high-end desktop platform. It is based on AMD's top-dog X370 chipset, and supports AMD Ryzen processors out of the box. Designed for both high-end gaming builds and CPU overclockers, the board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and 4-pin ATX connectors, and uses a 10-phase VRM to condition it for the AM4 socket. The board also takes in power from an optional 6-pin PCIe power connector, which can be plugged in to stabilize multi-GPU VGA overclocks.

The star-attraction, however, is the silvery-white PCB, with matching connectors. The AM4 socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, and two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x8/x8 when both are populated). The board supports NVIDIA SLI-HB and CrossFireX. The third x16 slot is electrical x4, and wired to the X370 chipset. Storage connectivity includes two 32 Gb/s M.2 slots, one 32 Gb/s U.2 port, and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports (from which two are directly wired to the processor). The board also serves up four USB 3.1 ports (including a type-C port), eight USB 3.0 ports, MSI's highest-tier onboard audio solution, and gigabit Ethernet that's sourced from either Intel or Qualcomm Killer.

MSI B350 Tomahawk Socket AM4 Motherboard Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of MSI B350 Tomahawk, an upcoming socket AM4 motherboard that comes with support for AMD Ryzen CPUs. Positioned in the company's "Arsenal Gaming" series, this board is based on AMD's mid-tier B350 chipset. It covers the entire feature-set of the B350 chipset. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors. It conditions it for the AM4 processor/APU with a 4+2 phase VRM. The AM4 socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, and one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot.

The second PCIe 3.0 x16 slot is electrical x4, and wired to the B350 chipset. Two each of legacy PCI and PCIe 3.0 x1 make for the rest of the expansion slots. Storage connectivity includes one 32 Gb/s M.2 slot, and four SATA 6 Gb/s ports. From these, two come directly from the APU/CPU. The board also offers up to eight USB 3.0 ports, gaming grade 8-channel HD audio (with ground-layer isolation and audio-grade capacitors); gigabit Ethernet, and display outputs that include HDMI, DVI, and D-Sub (which will be disabled when using Ryzen).

AMD's Upcoming Ryzen Chips to Reportedly Overclock @ 5 GHz On Air

French hardware magazine "CANARD PC HARDWARE" has apparently confirmed that AMD's upcoming Ryzen chips will be able to achieve overclocks of at least 5 GHz on air, if an easter egg hidden on the magazine's Ryzen feature. On page 10 of the digital magazine (which you can look at on the provided link) as well as the physical version, a cryptic string of binary code can be found on top of the page (for reference, the string is as follows: 010110100110010101101110010011110100001101000000010000010110100101110010001111010011010101000111). When you paste this string of binary code on any online binary to plain text converter, you get a revelation that's sure to put a little more coal on the hype train's furnace: ZenOC@Air=5G.

GIGABYTE AX370-Gaming K3 Socket AM4 Motherboard PCB Pictured

The picture of a bare PCB of an upcoming GIGABYTE AX370-Gaming series socket AM4 motherboard is doing rounds on the web. The picture reveals the bare PCB of the motherboard with all its traces and printed markings, but at a stage before surface-mount components can be soldered onto it. One can still make out quite a bit about the board. AMD X370 is the company's upcoming high-end desktop chipset, which will be launched alongside the company's Ryzen 8-core processor, some time in February, 2017.

To begin with, the AX370-Gaming K3 is built in the ATX form-factor. Its AM4 socket supports both Ryzen "Summit Ridge" CPUs and 7th generation A-series "Bristol Ridge" APUs. The board draws power from 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and conditions it for the CPU with a 7-phase VRM. The AM4 socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots. Expansion slots include one PCI-Express 3.0 x16, a second gen 3.0 x16 slot that's electrical x4, and three other gen 3.0 x1 slots. Storage connectivity appears to include at least eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and one 32 Gb/s M.2 slot. 8-channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.1 (including type-C) ports, appear to make for the rest of the connectivity. GIGABYTE's signature Dual-UEFI is featured.
Many Thanks to TheLostSwede and Tomas H. for the tips!

Motherboard Vendors Optimistic about High Price-Performance Ratio of AMD Ryzen

AMD Ryzen, the high performance processor based on the company's "Zen" micro-architecture, will increase the company's market-share of the desktop CPU market in Q2-2017, according to sources from motherboard manufacturers, in a report by Taiwan-based industry observer DigiTimes. The report states that motherboard manufacturers are "optimistic about [Ryzen's] high price/performance ratio," prompting them to ramp up orders of motherboards for the new platform, from their suppliers.

According to the report, the new platform built around the AMD Ryzen processor will be officially released by the end of February 2017, and will enter global mass-shipments in March. It will help increase AMD's desktop processor market share in the following quarter. The sources point out that motherboard vendors are sourcing high-end X370, mid-range B350, and entry-level A320 chipsets from AMD, and their new product designs are now in the final stage of related testing. The B350 and A320 chipsets are already launched, to support the 7th generation A-Series "Bristol Ridge" APUs.

AMD Ryzen Performance Review Leaked: Promising

French tech print magazine "Canard PC" is ready with early benchmarks of an AMD Ryzen 8-core processor. The scan of a page from its Ryzen performance review article got leaked to the web, revealing three key performance takeaways. In the first selection of tests, Canard PC put Ryzen through synthetic CPU-intensive tests that take advantage of as many CPU cores/threads as you can throw at them. These include the likes of H.264 and H.265 video encoding, WPrime, Blender, 3DSMax 2015, and Corona. Ryzen was found to be faster than the quad-core Core i7-6700K, and the six-core i7-6800K, but somewhere between the i7-6800K and the eight-core i7-6900K.

The next selection of tests focused on PC gaming, with a list of contemporary AAA titles, including "Far Cry 4," "Battlefield 4," "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt," "Anno 2070," "GRID: Autosport," and "ARMA III." Here, the Ryzen sample was found to be underwhelming - it was slower than the Core i5-6600 quad-core chip clocked at 3.30-3.90 GHz; but faster than the i5-6500, clocked at 3.20-3.60 GHz. The fastest chip in the table is the i7-6700K (4.00-4.20 GHz). The reviewer still notes that Ryzen has a decent IPC gain unseen from the AMD stable in a while.

AMD's Stock Edges Upwards of $10; NVIDIA's Soars Past the $100 Mark

AMD has definitely been on the upswing in recent times, with CEO Lisa Su having seemingly conducted a frail, collapsing company through the muddiest waters in its history. The general sentiment towards the company seems to now be leaning towards the "bullish" side of the equation, which translated into a cool $10.66 per stock at Friday's closing time (having increased, after hours, towards the $10.80 mark. This is great news for a company which has essentially increased their stock value by a factor of four in the last year alone.

Shares of AMD's rival Nvidia, however, have risen 60% in the past three months and nearly 200% in the past year. NVIDIA's share value closed last Friday at a historic $100.41 (having since declined towards $99.55), over a strong bullish sentiment towards the company, which has recently signed a Warrant Termination Agreement with Goldman Sachs for a $63 million value. This basically shows investors that the company has sufficient cash so as not to allow them to see their share value diluted by the sudden entry in circulation of $63 million of shares, should Goldman Sachs exercise their (now terminated) warrant.

AMD RYZEN Demo Event - Beats $1,100 8-Core i7-6900K, With Lower TDP

At their Austin, Texas "New Horizon" Event, AMD introduced us to live "ZEN" chips working full-tilt, showing us what AMD's passion and ingenuity managed to achieve. The "New Horizon" event was a celebration to what AMD sees as another one of those special, breakthrough moments for a company: after starting work on "ZEN" 4 years ago in 2012 as a complete new design. The focus: building a great machine, whilst increasing IPC by 40% over their previous architecture, at the same power constraints; and to create a smart machine, which could sense and adapt to environment and applications so it improves over time. The company's verdicts: "ZEN" met or exceeded their goals, with the desktop PC market being home to the very first "ZEN" product.

According to AMD's CEO Dr. Lisa Su, AMD's event was named "New Horizon" as a reference to AMD's vision in the computing space: that they're on a journey to bring a new generation of processor technology, and customers towards a new horizon of computing. Their intention? To directly connect with fans who love PC gaming, whilst doing what AMD does best - pushing the envelope on performance, power, frame-rates and technology. AMD also flaunted their renewed faith in gaming, with it being on the company's DNA and passion, whilst revisiting the old memory lane, reminiscing on the Athlon Thunderbird, the world's first chip to break the 1 GHz barrier; the launch of their first 64-bit processor; and breaking the 1 TFLOP barrier in computing power with their HD 4850 and 4870 gaming GPUs.

AMD RYZEN Brand Name of First Enthusiast "ZEN" CPUs

AMD has apparently chosen RYZEN (pronounced "risen") as the marketing name for the first consumer enthusiast processors based on the "ZEN" micro-architecture. Slated for market availability in Q1-2017, the first RYZEN part will feature 8 cores, 16 threads, 20 MB of total cache (8x 512 KB L2 + 2x 8 MB L3), and a clock speed of over 3.40 GHz. The chips will be built in the socket AM4 package, and will be launched alongside a new wave of motherboards with AMD X370 chipset.

Given the relatively modest clock speeds by AMD's standards, it's safe to say that AMD has made big IPC gains, and is now tapping into those gains. Intel, on the other hand, is clocking its upcoming Core i7-7700K at 4.00-4.40 GHz. AMD is also introducing enthusiast-segment features with RYZEN, including XFR (eXtended frequency range), Smart Prefetch, a tightly tuned power-management system built from the ground up, called AMD Pure Power, and its related feature, AMD Precision Boost.
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