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AMD Second-generation Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" Confirmed to Support AM4

AMD, in an interview with Overclockers UK (OCUK), confirmed that its second-generation Ryzen desktop processors will support the existing AM4 socket, so current Ryzen platform users can seamlessly upgrade to the new processors, with a BIOS update. Most current AM4 socket motherboards will require BIOS updates to support Ryzen "Raven Ridge" desktop APUs, and Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" CPUs, as the two require an update to the latest AGESA 1.0.0.7 version. In the interview, AMD representative James Prior confirmed that the company plans to keep AM4 its mainstream-desktop processor socket all the way up to 2020, which means at least another two to three generations of processors for it.

The next generation is "Pinnacle Ridge," which is rumored to be an optical-shrink of the "Summit Ridge" silicon to the 12 nm process, enabling higher clock speeds. The decision to keep AM4 doesn't mean the company's 300-series chipset will be made to stretch over 3 years. The company could release newer chipsets, particularly to address 300-series chipset's main shortcoming, just 6-8 older PCI-Express gen 2.0 general purpose lanes (while Intel chipsets put out up to 24 gen 3.0 lanes).

Source: OCUK (Facebook)

Intel Core "Coffee Lake" Availability Scarce Until 2018: Report

Intel's 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" 6-core processors aim to restore the company's competitiveness in the mainstream-desktop (MSDT) platform, which eroded to AMD's unexpectedly successful Ryzen. The chips will hit the stores a little later this month, at price-points very close to the outgoing 7th generation Core "Kaby Lake" processors; although a report by SweClockers predicts that the chips will be scarcely available until early-2018.

Intel is launching "Coffee Lake" desktop processor family with a rather trimmed down lineup of six SKUs, two each under the Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3 brands, with the former two being 6-core, and the Core i3 being quad-core, marking an increase in core-counts across the board. While these chips will very much be available on launch-date in the retail channel, there could be an inventory shortage running all the way till Q1-2018.

AMD's Pinnacle Ridge Zen+ 12 nm CPUs to Launch on February 2018

A recent AMD roadmap leak showed the company's "tick", process-improved plans for 2018's Zen+, as well as its painter-imbued aspirations with Zen 2 in 2019. Now, there's some new info posted by DigiTimes that's being sourced straight from motherboard makers that points to the company's Pinnacle Ridge launch being set sometime in February 2018.

This information seems to have been delivered to the motherboard makers straight from AMD itself, as a heads-up for when they should be expecting to ramp up production of next-generation chipsets. Sources report that AMD will follow their Summit Ridge, Ryzen launch, with the initial release of Pinnacle 7 in February, followed by the mid-range Pinnacle 5 and entry-level Pinnacle 3 processors in March 2018. DigiTimes also reports that AMD is expecting to see its share of the desktop CPU market return to at least 30% in the first half of 2018 which, coeteris paribus, is more of a simple mathematical progression than clarvoyance.

AMD Zen 2 Architecture: Socket AM4, 2019, Code-named "Matisse"

AMD's Zen-based Ryzen and Threadripper have been said by the company as representing the "worst case scenario" of performance for their architecture. This is based on the fact that there are clear areas for improvement that AMD's engineers were keenly aware of even at the moment of Zen's tapping-out; inadvertently, some features or improvements were left on the chopping block due to time and budget constraints. As unfortunate as this is - who wouldn't love to have even more performance on their AMD processors - this also means AMD has a clear starting point in terms of improving performance of their Zen micro-architecture.

Spanish website Informatica Cero have gotten their hands on what they say is an exclusive, real piece of information from inside AMD, which shows the company's CPU roadmap until 2019, bringing some new details with it. On the desktop side, there's mention of AMD's "Pinacle Ridge" as succeeding the current Zen-based "Summit Ridge" Ryzen CPUs in 2018. These leverage the same Summit Ridge architecture, but with a performance uplift; this plays well into those reports of 12 nm being used to manufacture the second-generation Ryzen: it's an AMD tick, so to say. As such, the performance uplift likely comes from increased frequencies at the same power envelope, due to 12 nm's denser manufacturing design.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1900X Starts Selling in India

AMD's third Ryzen Threadripper series HEDT processor SKU, the Threadripper 1900X, started selling in India, ahead of its 31st August scheduled availability. Listed on the country's leading online PC hardware store PrimeABGB, the Threadripper 1900X is priced at INR 45,699. While this price roughly converts to USD $715, which is way above the $549 MSRP announced by AMD, it's important to note that in India the retailer margins and taxes on PC hardware tend to be very high. The same retailer, considered by PC enthusiasts in India as having some of the lowest prices, lists the Threadripper 1920X at INR 65,488 ($1,024), and the Threadripper 1950X at INR 82,008 ($1,283).

The PrimeABGB listing also indicates that the 8-core/16-thread Threadripper 1900X features 16 MB of L3 cache, as opposed to 32 MB on the 1920X and 1950X. This could mean that AMD is configuring the two "Summit Ridge" dies on the 1900X in a 2+2+2+2 CCX configuration, with 4 MB of L3 cache per CCX, just like on the Ryzen 5 1400. The chip still features a quad-channel DDR4 memory interface, and 64-lane PCIe. It is priced between the $390 6-core/12-thread Core i7-7800X and $590 i7-7820X.

AMD Defends MCM Approach for Building 32-core EPYC: Huge Cost Savings of ~41%

AMD, presenting at a HotChips talk, packed with VLSI gurus, defended its decision to make AMD EPYC enterprise processors in the socket SP3r2 package a multi-chip module (MCM) of four 8-core "Summit Ridge" dies, rather than building a monolithic 32-core die. For starters, it stressed on the benefits of a single kind of silicon, which it can use across its performance-desktop, high-end desktop, and enterprise product-stacks; which translates into higher yields. "Summit Ridge" is the only CPU silicon based on the "Zen" micro-architecture, with the company giving finishing touches to the second silicon, codenamed "Raven Ridge," which will power mobile and desktop APUs. AMD has to pick the best-performing dies out of a common bin. The top 5% dies go into powering the company's Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processors, and a higher percentile go into making EPYC.

The relatively smaller 8-core common die has an inherently higher yield than a larger chip due to the rule of inverse-exponential reduction in yield with increasing die-size. This, coupled with the R&D costs that would have gone into developing the hypothetical monolithic 32-core "Zen" based silicon, works out to a significant cost saving for the company. A 4-die/32-core MCM is 0.59X the cost of a hypothetical monolithic 32-core die, according to the company, which is a cost-saving that enables the company to aggressively price its products. The slide AMD used in its presentation also confirms that each 8-core "Summit Ridge" die features four external Infinity Fabric links, besides the one that connects the two CCX units with each other. On a 4-die EPYC MCM, three out of four of those external IF links wire out to the neighboring dies, and one link per die probably wires out to a neighboring socket on 2P machines.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper "Summit Ridge" Dies are Heavily Binned

AMD revealed that the pair of 8-core "Summit Ridge" dies that make up the Ryzen Threadripper multi-chip module are heavily binned. AMD hand-selects the top-5% highest performing "Summit Ridge" dies for Ryzen Threadripper manufacturing, which makes these chips of a higher grade than even what AMD sets aside for Ryzen 7-series socket AM4 chips.

AMD requires the highest grade "Summit Ridge" dies to use in Threadripper chips, to keep electrical leakage to the minimum, so the chips can run as cool as possible, with the least power-draw. Choosing the best dies could also ensure that Threadripper chips have the highest overclocking-headroom taking into account other electrical and thermal constraints. A 7-series chip such as the 1800X could still achieve higher clocks than a Threadripper chip, in that sense.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Memory and PCIe Detailed: What an MCM Entails

AMD built its Ryzen Threadripper HEDT (high-end desktop) processor as a multi-chip module (MCM) of two 8-core "Summit Ridge" dies, each with its own dual-channel memory controller, and PCI-Express interface. This is unlike the competing Core "Skylake-X" from Intel, which is a monolithic 18-core die with a quad-channel DDR4 interface and 44-lane PCIe on one die. AMD has devised some innovative methods of overcoming the latency issues inherent to an MCM arrangement like the Ryzen Threadripper, by tapping into its nUMA technology innovation.

To the hardware, four 8 GB DDR4 memory modules populating the four memory channels of a Ryzen Threadripper chip is seen as 16 GB controlled by each of the two "Summit Ridge" dies. To the software, it is a seamless block of 32 GB. Blindly interleaving the four 8 GB memory modules for four times the bandwidth of a single module isn't as straightforward as it is on the Core X, and is fraught with latency issues. A thread being processed by a core on die-A, having half of its memory allocation on memory controlled by a different die, is hit with latency. AMD is overcoming this by treating memory on a Ryzen Threadripper machine like a 2-socket machine, in which each socket has its own memory.

AMD Announces the Ryzen 3 Series Desktop Processors

AMD today announced its Ryzen 3 series value desktop processors in the socket AM4 package. The lineup consists of the Ryzen 3 1200 priced at $109, and the faster Ryzen 3 1300X priced at $129; and compete with Intel Core i3 dual-core SKUs, such as the i3-7100 and the i3-7300, respectively. What AMD has going for these chips is that they are quad-core, even if they lack SMT featured on Ryzen 5 series quad-core parts. Both are endowed with 8 MB of shared L3 cache, and unlocked base-clock multipliers.

The Ryzen 3 1200 is clocked at 3.10 GHz, with 3.40 GHz boost, and XFR (extended frequency range) adding another 50 MHz; while the Ryzen 3 1300X is clocked at 3.40 GHz, with 3.70 GHz boost, and XFR adding a further 200 MHz. In most scenarios, the chip should boost up to 3.90 GHz. AMD carved the two Ryzen 3 series parts out of its 14 nm "Summit Ridge" silicon, by disabling two cores and 4 MB L3 cache per CCX, resulting in 4 cores and 8 MB of total L3 cache. Both chips feature TDP ratings of 65W, and include AMD Wraith Stealth cooling solutions.

NVIDIA GeForce 384 Series Driver Removes Need for New CPUs for 4K Netflix

NVIDIA's GeForce 384 series drivers seem to have quite a few secrets, beginning with DirectX 12 API support on 5-plus year old GeForce "Fermi" GPUs, and now 4K Ultra HD support for Netflix UWP app without the need of new-generation CPUs (namely Intel "Kaby Lake," AMD "Summit Ridge," and AMD "Bristol Ridge."). The new-generation CPUs feature a host of hardware-level DRM features which the Netflix app needs to playback 4K Ultra HD content. The new GeForce 384 series drivers let you circumvent that requirement.

Reddit user aethervisor discovered that the Windows Store (UWP platform) app of Netflix could play back content at full 4K Ultra HD resolution on their machine with an older CPU and GeForce GTX 1080 graphics. New-generation CPUs had become a requirement for this to happen, besides the latest Windows 10 version, an HDCP 2.2-compliant 4K display (and no active secondary displays that don't satisfy HDCP 2.2), a powerful enough GPU, and either the UWP app or the Netflix website on Microsoft's Edge web-browser. NVIDIA struck down a big requirement that opens up Netflix 4K to a much wider user-base.

Source: Reddit

GIGABYTE Intros the AB350N-Gaming WiFi Mini-ITX Socket AM4 Motherboard

GIGABYTE introduced the AB350N-Gaming WiFi, its first socket AM4 motherboard in the mini-ITX form-factor, with support for the entire Ryzen "Summit Ridge" processor family, the 7th generation "Bristol Ridge" A-series APUs, and the upcoming Ryzen "Raven Ridge" APUs. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and conditions it for the AM4 SoC with a 6-phase VRM. The motherboard is based on AMD B350 chipset.

The AM4 SoC is wired to two DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel memory, the lone PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot, a 32 Gb/s M.2 slot on the reverse side of the PCB, two out of four of the board's SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and two out of six of the board's USB 3.0 ports. Other USB connectivity includes two USB 3.0 ports from the B350 chipset, and two 10 Gb/s USB 3.1 ports (both type-A). Networking includes a WLAN card with 802.11ac WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.2, and gigabit Ethernet. 8-channel HD audio driven by a 120 dBA SNR CODEC makes for the rest of it. The company didn't reveal pricing.

AMD Broadens Compatibility List of DDR4 Memory for Ryzen

AMD today posted an updated compatibility list of DDR4 memory kits for Ryzen processors. While just about any DDR4 memory kit will run on socket AM4 motherboards, a limited few have been tested by AMD to run reliably at speeds such as DDR4-3200, DDR4-2933, DDR4-2667, and DDR4-2400. AMD's new compatibility list contains a wider selection of DDR4 memory modules that have been tested by AMD to work reliably on Ryzen processors.

To make the most of these modules, however, AMD asks you to look out for and install motherboard BIOS updates which contain the AGESA 1.0.0.6 micro-code update. This should be prominently displayed in the change-logs of BIOS updates from motherboard manufacturers, and the latest batches of motherboards should come with AGESA 1.0.0.6 pre-installed.
The revised DDR4 compatibility list can be accessed here.

AMD Readies B2 Stepping of the Ryzen "Summit Ridge" Silicon

AMD is readying a new stepping of its 14 nm "Summit Ridge" eight-core CPU silicon, which powers its socket AM4 Ryzen processors, according to Canard PC. The new B2 stepping reportedly addresses a lot of hardware-level errata which cannot be fixed merely by AGESA updates. According to Canard PC, the changes seem to be focused on the uncore components of "Summit Ridge." Typically, uncore refers to the integrated northbridge, which includes components such as the memory controllers, PCI-Express root complex, etc.

If the B2 stepping is mostly focused on uncore-level errata, it could mean improved PCI-Express device support, and perhaps even memory support improvements beyond even what AGESA 1.0.0.6 brings to the table. Canard PC reports that it hasn't come across any CPU core-specific errata being addressed with the B2 stepping. The glaring FMA3-related bug has been patched through BIOS updates, and most newer batches of socket AM4 motherboards come with the patch pre-installed.

Source: Canard PC (Twitter)

Underside of AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pictured

AMD Ryzen Threadripper is a really big processor, and here's what its underside looks like. A multi-chip module (MCM) of two eight-core "Summit Ridge" dies, it is also AMD's first client-segment processor to feature a land-grid array (LGA) socket interface, since the decade-old Athlon64 FX 72; with the pins being located on the motherboard, and contact-points on the CPU package. Until now, AMD has limited large LGA sockets to its enterprise processors. The processor is based on the 4,094-pin socket SP3r2, which is increasingly being referred to by motherboard and cooler manufacturers as "TR4."

Given that it is an MCM of two dies, you can see a clear dividing line between two groups of the contact points that make up the total pin count of 4,094 pins. There are also two distinct ancillary cutouts which holds critical electrical components for the dies above. Something like this is lacking on the socket AM4 Ryzen "Summit Ridge" processors, where the cutout is blank, and the ancillaries are located around the CPU die, on the other side of the fiberglass substrate. AMD Ryzen Threadripper could be available from 27 July.

Source: Austin Evans (Twitter)

AMD Trims Prices of the Ryzen 7 1700 and 1700X

AMD recently cut the price of its current flagship desktop processor Ryzen 7 1800X from its USD $499 launch price to $469. At the time, it left prices of the Ryzen 7 1700 and Ryzen 7 1700X untouched. It looks like the two received small price-cuts as well. The Ryzen 7 1700X is now priced at $349 in leading online stores, down from its launch price of $399. The Ryzen 7 1700 (non-X), on the other hand, is now selling for $319, down from its launch price of $329. The two cuts may seem minor, but could help AMD turn up the heat against Intel's Core i7-7700K and its upcoming "Kaby Lake-X" Core i7-7740X and i5-7640X.

Based on the 14 nm "Summit Ridge" silicon, the Ryzen 7 1700 and 1700X are eight-core processors. The 1700 ships with clock speeds of 3.00 GHz, with 3.70 GHz boost, while the 1700X ships with higher 3.40 GHz clocks, with 3.80 GHz boost, and XFR, which adds a further 200 MHz to the boost clock. The Ryzen 7 1700 includes an AMD Wraith Spire RGB cooling solution, while the 1700X lacks a stock cooling solution.

Update 03/06: AMD reached out to us and commented that this is not an official price-change. It could be implemented by local retailers or distributors.

AMD Readies Nine Ryzen Threadripper Models

AMD, which announced its Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processor at its 2017 Computex show, closely followed by certain motherboard manufacturers' unveiling of their compatible AMD X399 chipset motherboards; is readying nine SKUs based on the dual "Summit Ridge" MCM. This includes 10-core (3+2+3+2), 12-core (3+3+3+3), 14-core (4+3+4+3), and 16-core (4+4+4+4) models, all of which have SMT enabled, resulting in 20, 24, 28, and 32 threads, respectively; full 64-lane PCI-Express gen 3.0 root-complexes; and full quad-channel DDR4 memory interfaces. Some of these models with the "X" brand extension feature XFR (extended frequency range), which adds 200 MHz to the boost clock, if the cooling is sufficient.

The lineup is led by the 16-core/32-thread Ryzen Threadripper 1998X, with a healthy clock speed of 3.50 GHz, and 3.90 GHz boost, a TDP of 155W, and XFR. This is closely followed by the 16-core/32-thread 1998, clocked lower, at 3.20 GHz with 3.60 GHz boost, 155W TDP, and lack of XFR. The 16-core chips are followed by 14-core models. The 14-core/28-thread Ryzen Threadripper 1977X ships with 3.50 GHz core clock speed, but 4.00 GHz boost, XFR, and the same 155W TDP as the 16-core parts. This is closely followed by the 14-core/28-thread 1977 (non-X), with lower clocks of 3.20 GHz core, 3.70 GHz boost, and again, the same 155W TDP.

AMD Ryzen 2000 Series Processors Based on Refined 14 nm Process

At its Analyst Day follow-up conference call, AMD confirmed that the company could build a new generation of Ryzen processors on 14 nm (albeit refined 14 nm) process, before transitioning to "Zen2," which will be built on the 7 nm process. As the first "Zen" based products built on the 14 nm process, the Ryzen "Summit Ridge" processors are based on the current-generation 14 nm FinFET process. AMD hopes to tap into a more refined version of this process before moving on to "Zen 2."

This could indicate that AMD's next generation of Ryzen processors, likely the Ryzen # 2xxx series, could be minor incremental updates to the current product stack, likely in the form of higher clock speeds or better energy-efficiency facilitated by the refined 14 nm process, but nothing major in the way of micro-architecture. Assuming the current Ryzen product stack, which will be augmented by Ryzen 3 series, Ryzen Pro series, and Ryzen APUs in the second half of 2017; last till mid-2018, one could expect a follow-up or refreshed Ryzen # 2xxx series run up to another year, before AMD makes a "leapfrog" upgrade to the 7 nm process with "Zen2," in all likelihood, by 2019.

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.

AMD Ryzen 9 Series "Threadripper" CPU Socket Detailed

AMD Ryzen 9 "Threadripper" series 12-core, 14-core, and 16-core client desktop processors, which will form the company's next-generation high-end desktop (HEDT) lineup, which goes against Intel Core i9 "Skylake-X" series, could come in a brand new socket. This shouldn't come as a surprise because the chips have higher electrical requirements, besides double the I/O of socket AM4 Ryzen processors, such as a 44-lane PCIe gen 3.0 root complex, quad-channel DDR4 memory interface, and more. This socket, according to a "HotHardware" report, is an LGA (land-grid array) with 4,094 pins.

The new LGA-4094 socket, so-called SP3r2, will be slightly scaled up from the SP3 socket AMD has been selling enterprise Opteron-brand multi-socket CPUs on (pictured below). The consumer version of this socket could feature a more user-friendly retention mechanism that shouldn't require a screwdriver to fasten. Motherboards based on this distinctively rectangular socket will feature up to eight DDR4 DIMM slots to hold quad-channel DDR4 memory, and over four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, with support for 3-way and 4-way multi-GPU solutions. The motherboards will also feature copious amounts of onboard devices, M.2 slots, and other storage connectivity. Since "Threadripper" is rumored to be a multi-chip module of two 14 nm "Summit Ridge" dies linked together on-package with with an Infinity Fabric interconnect, only one of the two dies links to the motherboard chipset (AMD X399 chipset), while all the PCIe lanes of the second die (including those which would make up the chipset bus) are freed up.
Source: HotHardware

AMD Readies Ryzen AGESA Update to Improve DDR4 Memory Support

AMD is giving final touches to the latest update of AGESA micro-code of its Ryzen processors, which will improve DDR4 memory support, enabling higher memory clocks and tighter timings. The new AGESA 1.0.0.6 micro-code will be deployed through motherboard vendors as motherboard BIOS updates. It will add over 20 new registers for the "Summit Ridge" integrated memory controllers, to improve compatibility with "Intel-friendly" DDR4 memory brands.

Until now, AMD recommended PC builders to opt for only certain brands of DDR4 memory for best performance. These included memory modules with Samsung "B die" DRAM chips, such as the G.Skill Flare X series. The new AGESA update will let AMD Ryzen processor users to manually dial up DRAM clocks and tighten timings of a broader range of DDR4 memory kits, more reliably, and hopefully iron out a lot of stability issues associated with memory overclocking.

Source: Tweaktown

User Patch Unlocks Windows 7 and 8.1 Updates for Core "Kaby Lake" and Ryzen

Microsoft, in a bid to ensure users of 7th generation Intel Core "Kaby Lake," AMD A-series "Bristol Ridge," and AMD Ryzen "Summit Ridge" processors stick to Windows 10, ensured that the three platforms don't receive software updates when running older Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 operating systems. A new user-made patch removes this draconian restriction, letting you install Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on your new-generation CPU powered machine, and receive regular software updates through Windows Update.

The patch is open-source, so you can inspect its code, and available on GitHub. The author of the patch, Zeffy, discovered two new functions to system file wuaueng.dll after the March 2017 update for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, labeled "IsCPUSupported(void)" and "IsDeviceServiceable(void)." This library is patched to toggle those two functions "1," telling Windows Update that the CPU is "supported" and that the platform is "serviceable," making it eligible to receive updates.

DOWNLOAD: New-gen CPU Windows Update Unlocking Patch for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 by ZeffySource: Github

AMD Starts Selling the Ryzen 5 Processor Family

AMD Ryzen 5 series desktop processors are officially available from today. The lineup is designed to compete with Intel's Core i5 quad-core "Kaby Lake" processor family, and consists of 6-core and 4-core parts carved out of the 14 nm "Summit Ridge" silicon. The lineup begins with the $169 Ryzen 5 1400 and $189 Ryzen 5 1500X quad-core parts, featuring SMT that enable 8 logical CPUs, 8 MB of L3 cache, unlocked multipliers, and XFR on the 1500X. The 1400 is clocked at 3.20 GHz with 3.40 GHz boost, while the 1500X ticks at 3.50 GHz with 3.70 GHz boost, and XFR enabling higher automatic overclocks.

While the Ryzen 5 1400 and 1500X compete with Core i3 and Core i5 "Kaby Lake" models under $200; the $219 Ryzen 5 1600 and $249 1600X six-core parts target the Core i5-7600K, with their 6 cores, 12 threads, 16 MB of L3 caches, and unlocked multipliers. The 1600 is clocked at 3.20 GHz with 3.60 GHz boost, while the 1600X ticks at 3.60 GHz core and 4.00 GHz boost. All four chips are available immediately.

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.

AMD 16-core Ryzen a Multi-Chip Module of two "Summit Ridge" Dies

With core performance back to competitiveness, AMD is preparing to take on Intel in the HEDT "high-end desktop" segment with a new line of processors that are larger than its current socket AM4 "Summit Ridge," desktop processors, but smaller in core-count than its 32-core "Naples" enterprise processors. These could include 12-core and 16-core parts, and the picture is getting clearer with an exclusive report by Turkish tech publication DonanimHaber. The biggest revelation here that the 12-core and 16-core Ryzen processors will be multi-chip modules (MCMs) of two "Summit Ridge" dies. The 12-core variant will be carved out by disabling 1 core per CCX (3+3+3+3).

Another revelation is that the 12-core and 16-core Ryzen processors will be built in a new LGA package with pin-counts in excess of 4,000 pins. Since it's an MCM of two "Summit Ridge" dies, the memory bus width and PCIe lanes will be doubled. The chip will feature a quad-channel DDR4 memory interface, and will have a total of 58 PCI-Express gen 3.0 lanes (only one of the two dies will put out the PCI-Express 3.0 x4 A-Link chipset bus). The increase in core count isn't coming with a decrease in clock speeds. The 12-core variant will hence likely have its TDP rated at 140W, and the 16-core variant at 180W. AMD is expected to unveil these chips at the 2017 Computex expo in Taipei, this June, with product launches following shortly after.

Source: DonanimHaber (YouTube)

AMD Ryzen Quad-Core 2+2 vs. 4+0 Core Distributions Compared

With AMD readying quad-core variants of its Ryzen "Summit Ridge" processor, the question on everyone's minds is whether the chip features two quad-core compute complexes (CCX) with two cores enabled, each, or just one CCX, given that the L3 cache amount being advertised by the company is 8 MB (that of one CCX), in comparison to 6-core Ryzen parts receiving the full 16 MB (8 MB per CCX) available on the silicon. While we will be able to definitively answer that question on the 11th of April, a new UEFI firmware by ASUS for its Crosshair VI Hero motherboard lets users not just disable cores, but also the distribution of the disabled cores.

CPU cores on the Ryzen "Summit Ridge" processor are distributed in two groups of four cores, each, called the quad-core compute complex (CCX). Each CCX has an 8 MB L3 cache, and so the ideal way of distributing cores on lower core-count models would be to disable an equal number of cores per CCX. For 6-core chips, one core is disabled per CCX, resulting in a 3+3 configuration. For quad-core chips, however, you can either disable all four cores in a CCX (4+0 configuration), or do a purportedly more optimal 2+2 configuration, with two cores disabled per CCX. Hardware Unboxed took advantage of ASUS' new UEFI firmware to compare the 4+0 configuration to the 2+2 configuration. The results are somewhat surprising.
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