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Fractal Design Announces Free AM4 Upgrade Kits for its Kelvin Series Coolers

Fractal Design has announced the immediate availability of free AM4 upgrade kits to Kelvin series customers ensuring that owners wanting to upgrade to the latest AMD line of processors will be able to continue to use their multi award-winning All in One Water Cooling unit.

Owners of the Kelvin T12, S24 and S36 choosing to update to the new AM4 socket processor from AMD will be able to apply online via our Support Ticket System. Kelvin users requesting an upgrade kit will be required to upload a copy of their AMD Ryzen CPU or AM4 supported motherboard receipt via "attach a file."

AMD Responds to Ryzen's Lower Than Expected 1080p Performance

The folks at PC Perspective have shared a statement from AMD in response to their question as to why AMD's Ryzen processors show lower than expected performance at 1080p resolution (despite posting good high-resolution, high-detail frame rates). Essentially, AMD is reinforcing the need for developers to optimize their games' performance to AMD's CPUs (claiming that these have only been properly tuned to Intel's architecture). AMD also puts weight behind the fact they have sent about 300 developer kits already, so that content creators can get accustomed to AMD's Ryzen, and expect this number to increase to about a thousand developers in the 2017 time-frame. AMD is expecting gaming performance to only increase from its launch-day level. Read AMD's statement after the break.

AMD's Ryzen Launch Processors Sold Out at Major Retailers

AMD's Ryzen launch may have been marred only by some unrealistic expectations on what is really an excellent all-around chip, which apparently prompted some knee-jerk pre-order cancelations and a stock tumble for AMD. However, it would seem AMD built-up enough momentum with its Ryzen launch so as to provoke some shortages in major retailers, despite the company announcing a million-strong launch stock for Ryzen.

All in all, Amazon and Fry's have no more stock of any Ryzen 7 processor and Newegg, which was supposed to carry boxed versions of the processor, is only selling it as part of a number of pre-built rigs. Demand has been higher than supply when it comes to Ryzen ever since AMD opened pre-orders for its prodigal child. Let's hope these are sorted out, and that AMD can feed the consumers' hunger for a long-time coming viable (as in, mesmerizingly great) alternative to Intel.

AMD Talks Zen 3, "Raven Ridge," and More at Reddit AMA

AMD, at its post-Ryzen 7 launch Reddit AMA, disclosed some juicy details about its other upcoming socket AM4 chips, beginning with the rest of the Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 "Summit Ridge" processor roll-out, and a little bit about its 8th generation socket AM4 APU, codenamed "Raven Ridge." To begin with, AMD CEO Lisa Su stated that "Raven Ridge" will also be sold under the Ryzen brand. This would mark a departure from the less-than-stellar A-series branding for its performance APUs. "Raven Ridge" likely combines a "Zen" quad-core CPU complex (CCX) with an integrated GPU based on one of AMD's newer GPU architectures (either "Polaris" or "Vega").

The range-topping Ryzen 7 series will lead the company's lineup throughout Q1, with six-core and quad-core Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 series launches being scheduled for later this year. Our older reports pinned Ryzen 5 series rollout for Q2, and Ryzen 3 series for the second half of 2017. This is likely also when the company rolls out "Raven Ridge" initially as mobile Ryzen products (BGA packages, which will likely also be used in AIOs), and later as desktop socket AM4 parts.

Scythe Confirms AM4 Compatibility and Announces AM4 Mounting Kits

Japanese cooling expert Scythe confirms compatibility to the new socket AM4 and announces availability of AM4 mounting kits for it's CPU cooler product range. There are more than a handful of CPU cooler models, which are already compatible to the new Ryzen CPUs. Other models, such as the Scythe Mugen 5, can be easily upgraded thanks to the new AM4 mounting kit.

NZXT Delivers AM4 Support for its Kraken Range

Coinciding with the new AMD Zen-based Ryzen CPUs, and the new AM4 socket, NZXT will be providing a free retention bracket for all current Kraken users. NZXT believes in providing high-quality components to our customers, in addition to exceptional customer service no matter where they reside and we will continue that support alongside the launch of Ryzen. All current Kraken users can request the free AM4 Kit using this page today. The AM4 Kit will allow current NZXT Kraken users to upgrade their coolers to support AMD's newest released AM4 Socket (Ryzen) Motherboards.

MSI Releases Complete AM4 Motherboard Lineup to Harness Ryzen

Almost three years ago, MSI introduced the world's first AMD-based GAMING motherboard. Today, together with AMD, MSI sets a new standard for AMD-based GAMING motherboards with the launch of Ryzen. Based on the new AM4 platform, MSI unleashes a complete lineup of game-changing motherboards, ready to cater to gamers worldwide. Available in three GAMING segments: Enthusiast GAMING, Performance GAMING and Arsenal GAMING, there's a motherboard for every type of gamer.

Enthusiast gamers are looking for the absolute best in terms of performance, style and pushing the limits. To satisfy even the most demanding enthusiast, the X370 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM is built on MSI's award-winning TITANIUM concept, using only the best components. Introduced in the industry in 2015, TITANIUM models inherit a sleek and unique silver design, beefed up with solid silver heatsinks and enough power to break world records when overclocking. The X370 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM is the first of its kind based on an AMD platform. For gamers looking to top the ranks in the world of eSports and enjoy the most immersive gameplay, this motherboard offers performance-oriented gaming features like: Audio Boost 4, GAMING LAN, Turbo U.2/M.2, M.2 Shield and VR Boost.

AMD's Ryzen Debut: Onwards to the HEDT Market or The Stumbling Hype Train

I should break down the bad news first: we here at TechPowerUp won't be able to provide you with a timely, straight-from-the-oven Ryzen review. Like some other publications, our Ryzen review sample failed to arrive on time. And trust us - we did will it to do so as much as we could, risking a Stranger-Things-esque nosebleed. Alas, to no avail.

The good news is that while we won't be able to offer you our own review of AMD and Jim Kellers' latest high-performance x86 brainchild, we will still strive to bring you meaningful coverage on it. This article aims to make an overall aggregation on review consensus, benchmarks and capabilities of the newest AMD CPU. Trying to add something, we'll also try and evaluate whether AMD learned - or didn't learn - something from its Bulldozer launch fiasco, in a pure marketing perspective. This will justify the editorialized nature of this article, but only after we dive straight to the numbers. Without further ado, follow on to the numbers.

BIOSTAR Announces AMD B350 RACING Series Lineup

BIOSTAR is proud to announce its expanded AMD AM4 motherboard series lineup as it welcomes the new AMD B350 products in the RACING Series family of motherboards. Offering an amazing balance of value, features, quality and performance, the BIOSTAR RACING Series B350 motherboard lineup is designed for gamers who want a jump-off point for their gaming system using the latest AMD RYZEN processors at an affordable price.

Featuring support for the latest AMD RYZEN processors, the BIOSTAR RACING Series B350 motherboard will deliver performance for the next-generation of games while providing a quality platform for unhindered gaming. The BIOSTAR RACING B350 motherboards come with BIOSTAR exclusive VIVID LED DJ and 5050 LED Fun Zone customization feature as well as FLY.NET network optimization software for maximum gaming fun with less lag. The RACING B350GT5 comes bundled with a free BIOSTAR VIVID LED Fan and will have an MSRP of $129. The RACING B350GT3 will have an MSRP of $109.

Antec to Offer Cooler Upgrade Kits For AMD's Ryzen and AM4 Platform

Antec Inc., a leading provider of high-performance computer components and accessories for the gaming, PC upgrade and Do-It-Yourself market, officially announced that they will provide users of their CPU coolers with mounting upgrade kits for the new AM4 socket of AMD's upcoming Ryzen architecture.

The upgrade kits will be available for Antec's CPU cooler models H600 Pro, H1200 Pro, C400, C40 as well as A40 Pro and will be part of the scope of delivery with all new and coming CPU coolers. In order to obtain the kits via Antec's Support Team (Europe.RMA@antec.com), users are required to fill in a form, upload a proof of purchase (electronic version, scan or photo of the invoice) of an AM4 motherboard or AM4 CPU as well as an eligible Antec retail CPU cooler.

CORSAIR is Ready for AMD Ryzen

CORSAIR, a world leader in enthusiast memory, high-performance gaming hardware and PC components, today announced its extensive compatibility for the groundbreaking new range of AMD Ryzen processors and the AM4 platform. With a completely new CPU architecture, chipset and CPU socket, AMD Ryzen demands the latest in performance PC hardware. With a wide range of compatible DDR4 memory, liquid CPU coolers and PSUs, CORSAIR has everything enthusiasts need to make AMD Ryzen CPUs run to the full extent of their abilities.

"CORSAIR is uniquely positioned for the launch of AMD Ryzen, with an outstanding range of not just high-performance DDR4 memory, but liquid CPU cooling and power supplies as well," said Travis Kirsch Director, Product Management, Client at AMD. "CORSAIR offers everything system builders need to get the absolute best performance from AMD Ryzen and the new AM4 platform."

AMD's Ryzen CPU Series will Need Modern Linux Kernel for Proper Support

So, it's not just Windows that will be pulling the "you need the latest version" card when it comes to Ryzen CPU support. Apparently, Linux will need kernel version 4.9.10 or better to enable a lot of features, SMT included. If you really want good support, the "newer the better" is generally the way to go.

Operating below that version won't necessarily stop Ryzen from functioning as a CPU, but several notable features, most notably SMT, will be completely "broken" according to the article at Phronix.

Phronix notes that the fix landed in early February. It notes in the commit message:
After: a33d331761bc ("x86/CPU/AMD: Fix Bulldozer topology") our SMT scheduling topology for Fam17h systems is broken, because the ThreadId is included in the ApicId when SMT is enabled. So, without further decoding cpu_core_id is unique for each thread rather than the same for threads on the same core. This didn't affect systems with SMT disabled. Make cpu_core_id be what it is defined to be.
So there it is, for you techno-wizards. Apparently, microcode actually is relevant to support features, and Microsoft's claims have some degree of merit.

AMD Ryzen 7 Initial Inventory Looks Healthy

On the 2nd of March, AMD Ryzen processors hit the shelves in three high-end models, the $499 Ryzen 7-1800X, the $399 Ryzen 7-1700X, and the $329 Ryzen 7-1700. The question on everyone's minds is whether there will be enough units to reach their friendly neighborhood PC hardware stores. According to Taiwan-based industry observer DigiTimes, AMD is planning a healthy inventory of Ryzen chips.

AMD's initial shipment of Ryzen processors, which go on sale on the 2nd March, will be backed by a worldwide inventory of 1 million units. Think about that for a moment - AMD's bean-counters are confident it can sell 1 million $329-$499 processors. A more or less equal number of socket AM4 motherboards are expected to be in supply, with there being about 80 models of socket AM4 motherboards to choose from.

AMD Ryzen 7-1800X Cracks 5.20 GHz OC with LN2 and All Eight Cores Enabled

AMD's upcoming Ryzen series processors promise to be an overclocker's treat. A PC enthusiast with access to a Ryzen 7-1800X sample managed to achieve an extreme overclock of 5.20 GHz with liquid-nitrogen cooling, and more importantly, not having to disable any cores to stabilize the OC. The 5201.07 MHz overclock, achieved by cranking the base-clock up to 137.78 MHz, and the multiplier up to 37.75X, backed by a core voltage of 1.875V, was even tested to be bench-stable, scoring 2,363 points in Cinebench R15. This also reveals that you should be able to finely crank up the base-clock multiplier in steps of 0.25X, (as opposed to 0.5X). The Ryzen 7-1800X will be available on the 2nd of March, 2017, priced at $499.

GIGABYTE Announces AM4 Ryzen Support

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, is proud to announce the rise of the AORUS Gaming Series Motherboards on the New AM4 Ryzen Platform from AMD. The AM4 Platform will host the X370, B350 and A320 Chipsets which all support the Ryzen CPUs. GIGABYTE will have all three chipsets available, each fully optimized for CPUs with 8-Cores and 16 Threads, for consumers who are interested in any segment of the platform. With user-centric features exclusive to GIGABYTE, consumers will find RGB Fusion, Smart Fan 5 and Dual Audio Chips that provides a solution like no other.

With anticipation building for the new platform, GIGABYTE has made no compromises with its innovative technologies. The fully customizable RGB LEDs from RGB Fusion will allow users to customize their system exactly the way they want. Smart Fan 5, an intuitive user interface, works in tandem with hybrid fan headers for optimum cooling performance and system protection. Moreover, RGB Fusion has made its way onto many accessories and peripherals already in the market. RGB Fusion Ready devices allow enthusiasts to control all of their RGB lit products from a single interface.

Intel Plays Dirty Over Ryzen, Attempts to Manipulate Ryzen Reviews?

Intel is rattled with AMD Ryzen. Its 10-year old Nehalem CPU architecture that has been shrunk and incrementally updated over the years, is finally coming across as dated in the wake of AMD's "Zen" architecture. What to do when a competitor with 1/50th your R&D budget threatens to wreck your next annual appraisal? Play dirty and arm-twist the media of course! And playing dirty Intel is, according to a TweakTown report.

Apparently, Intel has scrambled its PR department to call in favors with the press in return for "guidelines" on how to review AMD Ryzen. Intel's PR emails allegedly ask reviewers to "call us before you write." The guidelines are worded more to make it sound like Intel wants its chips to be reviewed "fairly" against Ryzen, but the underlying objective is clear.

ASRock Announces Motherboards for AMD Ryzen Processors

The leading global motherboard manufacturer, ASRock, is pleased to announce the launch of its series of AMD AM4 socket based X370 and B350 motherboards - celebrating AMD's return to the CPU arena with the all-new, high-performance Ryzen processor. ASRock has created distinctive X370 motherboards to match all your needs, with unique features and a full range of products for gamers, power users, tech geeks and even DIY beginners.

Fatal1ty X370 Professional Gaming: The world's first AMD X370 motherboard with ultra-fast 5 Gb/s LAN support, ASRock's Fatal1ty X370 Professional Gaming motherboard is endorsed by professional gaming legend, Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel. The built-in Aquantia 5Gb/s LAN is no need to upgrade cables - just plug in existing Cat 5e cables with 5 Gb/s switching hub, and you can instantly get 5x more network capacity. The IR digital PWM 16 phase power supply design ensures rock solid stability and consistent performance, even with power-hungry loading scenarios. ASRock's signature PCI-E Steel Slots feature extra enhanced quality that prevent signal interference affecting graphics cards, ensuring glitch-free gaming and heavy graphics cards to be well installed. Key on-board features include 802.11ac WiFi, and the gamer's must-have audio solution, Creative SoundBlaster Cinema 3, to enhance gaming sound with stunning audio realism, intuitive positional accuracy, punch and dynamics.

Following Ryzen's Launch, Intel's CPUs Likely to See Price-Cuts

Let's quietly approach the elephant in the room: Intel's pricing structure will hardly stand the onslaught of AMD's Ryzen, which, if early benchmarks are to be believed, has apparently caught Intel with its pants down. Even purely from the leaks that have been following us non-stop in the last several months, it's obvious that AMD managed to outdo itself in the best way possible, managing to develop an architecture which offers up to 52% more performance than their previous one. Intel, which was enjoying the sun-shaded comfort of carrying a virtual, high-performance x86 monopoly, grew stagnant in innovation, ensuring it would stretch its bottom-line by way of minimal R&D investment - just enough to be able to name their improvements as a "new generation" of processors each year.

This in turn has led to an interesting outlook in the high-performance x86 market: customers aren't blind, and they see when a company is stretching its fingers in their pockets. A stagnant performance increase on Intel's customer processors with almost a decade of single-digit increments and paralyzed core-counts to an (admittedly strong) architecture have taken away a lot of customers' goodwill towards Intel. That Intel still has strong brand cognition is a no-brainer, but it doesn't have as much brand credit these days, on account of the low performance gains, and tick-tock falter, than it did in the days of Athlon 64. AMD has the benefit of being the underdog, of coming up with something new, fresh and performant (with headlines claiming it is the latest revival of a sleeping giant)... and those are all points that put pressure on Intel to reignite interest on its products.

The Power of Marketing - AMD's Ryzen Hype Train Hyperloops On

AMD did it again: building-up such a tremendous speed on its new products' hype train that the Ryzen 7 1700X, Ryzen 7 1800X, and Ryzen 7 1700 managed to jump straight to first, second, and fourth spots of Amazon's list of best-selling CPUs, respectively, dethroning even Intel's mighty i7 7700K. Granted, it isn't hard for the processors from one or the other manufacturer to quickly jump and wrangle about the spots on retailer's best seller lists - there Are only two manufacturers of consumer-grade, high-performance x86 CPUs. But keep in mind: this is a pre-order we're talking about, with nothing but leaks and marketing maneuvering for consumers to base their purchase on.

AMD's X370 Only Chipset to Support NVIDIA's SLI

Only AMD's top-of-the-line X370 chipset will support competing NVIDIA's SLI technology. AMD's next-in-line B350 eschews SLI support but retains CrossFire compatibility, while the low-end A320 chipset will offer no support for any such multi-GPU technologies. While this may seem a move by AMD to purposely gimp NVIDIA products on its platforms, it stands to reason that even enthusiasts tend to stay away from multi-GPU solutions and their associated problems. Besides, AMD will surely avoid any way of giving NVIDIA more funds than the company already has, by way of paying the "SLI Tax" on every chipset it ships. By limiting SLI support to its highest-end chipsets, AMD shaves some expenses from licensing efforts, whilst keeping SLI support to those that are, in truth, more likely to use them: power users, who will certainly spare no expense in springing to a X370-based platform.

As of now, some details remain unclear in the overall feature-set and compatibility differences between AMD's upcoming AM4 chipsets, but it would seem that only AMD's X370 chipset manages to leverage the full 20 PCIe lanes (18x if you run 2x SATA connections) delivered by AMD's Ryzen CPUs. This would look like a way for AMD to impose a "motherboard tax" on users, by limiting the number of PCIe lanes available on lower-end motherboards, and thus urging them to take the next step to their own X370. Apparently, PCIe lanes are not a differentiating factor between AMD chipsets (with X370, B350 and A320 all offering 4 native lanes), only their ability to access (or not) Ryzen's own 20.

Not much time until all of this is adequately cleared up, though.

AMD "Zen" Based APUs Later This Year

An AMD representative, responding to a Reddit question on AMD Ryzen branding, confirmed that the company will launch Mobile SoCs (APUs) based on the "Zen" micro-architecture later this year. The logical next-step for AMD with "Zen" beyond "Summit Ridge" has been to combine one or more quad-core "Zen" CCX (CPU complexes) with an integrated graphics core based on one of its newer GPU architectures ("Polaris" or "Vega").

The AMD representative confirmed that the company will launch mobile SoCs that combine "Zen" CPU cores with an integrated GPU, in the second half of 2017. This could hint at the availability of "Zen" powered notebooks, of all shapes and sizes by Holiday 2017. Over the year, AMD will begin launching "Zen" based products, starting off with 8-core high-end Ryzen 7 processors on March 2nd, six-core and some of the higher-end quad-core Ryzen 5 series processors in Q2-2017, and some of the lower-end quad-core Ryzen 3 parts in the second-half of 2017, now joined by mobile SoCs around the same time.

Of New Horizons and Zen: The Story of the Name "Ryzen" for AMD's New Processors

AMD's Ryzen CPU has been a hot topic as of late, and certainly looks set to shake up the CPU world as we know it; however, it wasn't that long ago that we weren't calling it "Ryzen" at all, but merely referring to it by its codename, "Zen." What happened to that?

The "Zen" name was quite popular, and AMD claims to have made the name choice to emphasize the balance it struck between various design principles. It resonated with many enthusiasts to be sure. It was a far cry more popular than the line of "construction equipment" themed code-names that preceded it (though whether that had to do with actual performance of those products or their naming scheme itself is certainly up for debate).

Regardless, there is no denying the "Zen" name was well entrenched and already had its own level of pride built up around itself, so why dump it?

AMD Radeon Vega Power Connectors Pictured

At its first reveal of the Radeon Vega graphics card on the sidelines of the 2017 International CES show, AMD was careful to conceal the power-connectors of its graphics card prototype (using tissue paper), even though teaser images of the card were splattered all over the web. From this week's reveal of a Radeon Vega graphics card running on an AMD Ryzen 7-1800X powered machine, the veil is off the power connector layout. Apparently, AMD's reference design Radeon Vega 10 graphics card is air-cooled, and it draws power from a combination of 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe power connectors.

NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1080 (reference) makes do with a single 8-pin connector, although most custom-design GTX 1080 cards feature 6-pin + 8-pin layouts. The GP102-powered TITAN X Pascal reference, too, draws power from 6+8 pin connectors. It's interesting to note here, that the power connectors feature a string of LEDs near their contact points on the PCB. The Radeon R9 Fury X, too has something like this, although the LEDs are used to alert users of faulty power input, or power draw. In the image below, we see that LEDs over only one connector are lit up. Could this indicate that AMD is making sure users are aware that the card isn't drawing power from both connectors all the time?

BYKSKI Announces the XPR-A CPU Water Block for AMD Ryzen

BYKSKI, known as one of the biggest water block provider in China, today released XPR-A water block for the latest AMD Ryzen CPU. The Ryzen CPUs are used Socket AM4, and the mounting holes position is different from old AMD Sockets (3mm deviation, hole spacing of Socket AM4 is 90mm*54mm). The BYKSKI XPR-A uses a piece of 83mm*83mm*6mm red copper to CNC, with Nickel plating for the anti-oxidation treatment, it makes the appearance of the water blocks to be not the copper color but satin nickel color. The cover uses lucid PMMA material to make it visible of the coolant working.

BYKSKI says they will provide more Socket AM4 support water blocks in the future because of the Ryzen CPUs are favored by users. The retail price of the BYKSKI XPR-A is set at $69 USD, it will be available both in BYKSKI China official store.

Ryzen 7-1700 Beats Core i7-7700K: AMD

AMD is very confident that it has a lineup of desktop processors that compete with Intel's best. In its recent Ryzen 7 series launch presentation, the company released benchmark numbers to claim that the $499 Ryzen 7-1800X performs on par with the $1,099 Core i7-6900K, despite a narrower memory bus, and at less than half its price.

More interestingly, the company claims that the Ryzen 7-1700, its third fastest Ryzen part, will be a clear winner against the identically-priced Core i7-7700K ($329). The Ryzen 7-1700 posts up to 46% higher performance than the i7-7700K, and even holds up a slim lead over its rival in tests that are not very multi-threaded.
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