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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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