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No PCIe Gen5 for "Raphael," Says Gigabyte's Leaked Socket AM5 Documentation

AMD might fall behind Intel on PCI-Express Gen 5 support, say sources familiar with the recent GIGABYTE ransomware attack and ensuing leak of confidential documents. If you recall, AMD had extensively marketed the fact that it was first-to-market with PCI-Express Gen 4, over a year ahead of Intel's "Rocket Lake" processor. The platform block-diagram for Socket AM5 states that the AM5 SoC puts out a total of 28 PCI-Express Gen 4 lanes. 16 of these are allocated toward PCI-Express discrete graphics, 4 toward a CPU-attached M.2 NVMe slot, another 4 lanes toward a discrete USB4 controller, and the remaining 4 lanes as chipset-bus.

Socket AM5 SoCs appear to have an additional 4 lanes to spare than the outgoing "Matisse" and "Vermeer" SoCs, which on higher-end platforms are used up by the USB4 controller, but can be left unused for the purpose, and instead wired to an additional M.2 NVMe slot on lower-end motherboards. Thankfully, memory is one area where AMD will maintain parity with Intel, as Socket AM5 is being designed for dual-channel DDR5. The other SoC-integrated I/O, as well as I/O from the chipset, appear to be identical to "Vermeer," with minor exceptions such as support for 20 Gbps USB 3.2x2. The Socket has preparation for display I/O for APUs from the generation. Intel's upcoming "Alder Lake-S" processor implements PCI-Express Gen 5, but only for the 16-lane PEG port. The CPU-attached NVMe slot, as well as downstream PCIe connectivity, are limited to PCIe Gen 4.

GIGABYTE Readies X570S AERO G Motherboard

GIGABYTE is giving finishing touches to its new motherboard targeted at creators who like to game, and premium desktop builders, the X570S AERO G. This marks the debut of the company's AERO brand, associated with notebooks, over to the desktop PC components segment. The board's aesthetics appear more in line with the company's VISION line of products. The Socket AM4 motherboard is based on the new AMD X570S chipset, a low-power version of the X570 that can make do with fanless cooling.

What sets the X570S AERO G apart is its five M.2 NVMe Gen 4 slots, leveraging the PCIe Gen 4 downstream connectivity of the X570S. You also get two PCI-Express 4.0 x16 slots (x8/x8 with both populated), and creator-relevant connectivity that includes 2.5 GbE wired LAN, Wi-Fi 6E, and GIGABYTE's highest onboard audio grade. Thunderbolt connectivity is unlikely to be found. The board will come with out-of-the-box support not just for Ryzen 5000 "Vermeer" processors, but also Ryzen 5000G "Cezanne" APUs, which it wires out through DisplayPort and HDMI ports.

Update Jul 5th: GIGABYTE formally launched the X570S AERO G. It lacks 10 GbE, unlike previously reported, offers 2.5 GbE, and comes with USB 3.2x2 (20 Gbps) ports.

Western Digital Readies WD Black SN850 Firmware Update Restoring AMD X570 Performance

Western Digital is reportedly preparing a firmware update for its WD Black SN850 M.2 NVMe SSD that restores the drive's write performance levels on PCs based on the AMD X570 platform. This problem is localized to X570, specifically to when the drive is installed on an M.2 NVMe slot that is wired to the X570 chipset. Drives that are installed on the slot that's directly wired to the Ryzen processor perform as expected (Ryzen 3000 "Matisse" and Ryzen 5000 "Vermeer").

The drive performs as intended on AMD B550, as well as Intel platforms that support PCIe Gen 4, as the only Gen 4-capable M.2 slots are the ones directly wired to the processor. Western Digital localized the problem to certain X570 motherboards that have their PCIe maximum payload size (MPS) value set at 128 bytes. This dictates the maximum transaction layer packet (TLP) that goes through the PCIe controller, and a low MPS value cripples performance. The firmware update by Western Digital possibly works around this limitation. The company is expected to release the firmware update by 12 July, 2021.

AMD Reportedly Preparing B2 Stepping of Ryzen 5000 Series "Vermeer" Processors, Boost Speeds to Reach 5.0 GHz

AMD is reportedly preparing to launch a B2 stepping of their Ryzen 5000 series of processors, codenamed Vermeer. Thanks to the findings of Patrick Schur, who was lucky to get ahold of AMD's processor codes, we have information that AMD is slowly preparing a B2 stepping of Vermeer processors, to come as a refresh. First off is the alleged Ryzen 9 5950XT 16 core, 32 threaded models which are supposed to feature a base speed of 3.4 GHz, and a boost frequency of 5.0 GHz, entering the 5 GHz world. Another B2 stepping that we know about is an alleged Ryzen 5 5600XT 6 core, 12 threaded design. This one features the same frequencies as its Ryzen 5 5600X variant, meaning 3.7 GHz base, and 4.6 GHz boost frequencies.

Of course, all this information should be taken with a big grain of salt, as we don't know what AMD is planning to do, or how the company plans to manifest any new product launch.

BIOSTAR Unveils B550MX E PRO and B550MH E PRO Motherboards

BIOSTAR, a leading manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards, and storage devices today, announces the latest B550MX/E PRO and B550MH/E PRO motherboards. Built on AMD's B550 single chip architecture, the latest B550 series motherboards are designed to support AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen (Matisse/Renoir) and 4th Gen (Vermeer) processors. Ideal for business and casual use, the new B550 series motherboards from BIOSTAR are packed with all the latest essentials for a long-lasting user experience.

Both new motherboards come with the capability to support up to 128 GB of DDR4 fast-paced memory with an overclocking capability of 4933+ OC. PCIe 4.0 and PCIe M.2 4.0 provide excellent connectivity for graphics and storage expansion for all occasions with BIOSTAR's proprietary Digital PWM technology providing safe stable power management across all components.

Thermaltake Outs ToughRAM XG RGB DDR4 Memory

Thermaltake today introduced the ToughRAM XG RGB line of DDR4 memory kits. The series debuts in 16 GB (2x 8 GB) dual-channel memory kits, with frequency-based variants of DDR4-3600, DDR4-4000, DDR4-4400, and DDR4-4600. The top DDR4-4600 kit (R016D408GX2-4600C19A) does its rated frequency with timings of 19-26-26-45, and 1.5 V DRAM voltage. The DDR4-4400 kit (R016D408GX2-4400C19A) runs at slightly tighter timings of 19-25-25-45, and 1.45 V. The DDR4-4000 kit (R016D408GX2-4000C19A) ticks at 19-23-23-42, with 1.35 V. At the same voltage, the DDR4-3600 kit (R016D408GX2-3600C18A) does 18-19-19-39.

Visually, the ToughRAM XG RGB module features a chunky aluminium heatspreader design with three distinct design tones, and three silicone addressable-RGB diffusers that hide 16 ARGB diodes. You can control the lighting using Thermaltake's NeonMaker app, or pretty much any ARGB control software, including Razer Chroma. Thermaltake guarantees advertised speeds on Intel X299, Z490, Z390, Z370, Z270, and Z170 chipset motherboards when paired with K-series processors; or AMD X570 and B550 motherboards with Ryzen 3000 "Matisse" or 5000 "Vermeer" processors. The modules are backed by lifetime warranties. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Dell Lists an AMD "Ryzen 7 5800" (non-X) Option

AMD appears to be taking baby steps toward expanding its Ryzen 5000 "Zen 3" desktop processor lineup. Dell Canada has started listing a model of the processor series not yet available in the DIY retail channel, the Ryzen 7 5800 (non-X). This isn't a typo, as the option is listed next to the 5800X. The Ryzen 7 5800 is described as being an 8-core part, much like the 5800X, but has a slightly lower max boost frequency of 4.60 GHz, as opposed to 4.70 GHz of the 5800X. It could have a lower nominal (base) frequency compared to the 5800X, and possibly even a lower TDP. The last time AMD released an OEM-exclusive non-X SKU was the Ryzen 9 3900 12-core processor.

AMD's current retail-channel (PIB) lineup of Ryzen 5000 series desktop processors starts at $299 for the 6-core Ryzen 5 5600X, with the company still selling Ryzen 3000-series SKUs such as the 8-core Ryzen 7 3700X under this price. We expect the company to flesh out the 5000-series with SKUs such as the "Ryzen 5 5600 (non-X)," later this year, in response to Intel's 11th Gen Core i5 series based on the "Rocket Lake-S" silicon. Given the fate of the Ryzen 9 3900, we don't expect a broad retail launch of the Ryzen 7 5800.

MSI Announces AGESA ComboPI V2 1.2.0.0 BIOS Updates for AMD 500 and 400 Series

MSI announced that it will begin rolling out UEFI firmware updates for its Socket AM4 motherboards based on the AMD 400-series and 500-series chipsets, which incorporate AMD's latest AGESA Combo PI V2 1.2.0.0 microcode. These firmware updates will enable resizable BAR support for NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30-series "Ampere" graphics cards, improvements for Ryzen 5000 series "Vermeer" desktop processors, and an assortment of board model-specific improvements or fixes.

The company will begin releasing these firmware updates for its AMD 500-series chipset motherboards, and its AMD 400-series "MAX" models in January 2021. In February, it will follow up with updates for AMD 400-series non-"MAX" models. The "MAX" model name suffix for an MSI AMD 400-series motherboard denotes a board with a 32-megabyte SPI flash ROM chip that allows MSI to cram in its feature-rich ClickBIOS setup program. Keep checking the "support" section of your motherboard's product page on the MSI website for these firmware updates.

Dual-CCD Ryzen 5 5600X and Ryzen 7 5800X In the Wild

Certain AMD Ryzen 5 5600X and Ryzen 7 5800X processors are physically based on a dual-CCD design, according to an investigative report by Igor's Lab and Yuri "1usmus" Bubliy. The 5600X and 5800X are normally meant to be single-CCD processors owing to their core-counts. Based on the "Vermeer" multi-chip module design, the Ryzen 5000 series desktop processors use up to two 8-core CCDs to achieve their core-counts of up to 16 cores, with the 6-core 5600X and 8-core 5800X normally having just one CCD; while the 12-core 5900X and 16-core 5950X use two.

There are, apparently, some 5600X and 5800X built from dual-CCD MCMs, in which an entire CCD, although physically present on the package, is disabled. A 5600X based on a dual-CCD design is essentially a 5900X from which one of the CCDs didn't fully qualify; while the 5800X dual-CCD is a 5950X in which one such die didn't quite make the cut. There's no telling which CCD is disabled, it could be CCD 0 or CCD 1, those with CCD 0 disabled could trigger minor (benign) UI bugs with certain tuning utilities, which is how Wallossek and Bubliy discovered these chips. In any case, you're getting a 5600X or 5800X that works as advertised, and is fully covered by AMD's product warranties. Igor's Lab is investigating further into these dual-CCD 5600X and 5800X chips, and is probing the possibility of unlocking them to Ryzen 9.

Cezanne Stretches Its Legs: AMD Ryzen 7 5800H System Benchmarked

AMD's Zen 3 core has seen some major performance uplift, with the first products based on it being the 5000 series desktop processors codenamed "Vermeer". With the efficiency that this new core brings and IPC increase, it is only a matter of time before it scales down to mobile processors. Today, thanks to the findings of TUM APISAK, we get to see some performance results of AMD's upcoming Ryzen 7 5800H "Cezanne" processors. Benchmarked in the Geekbench 5 test suite, the CPU was spotted running at the base frequency of 3.20 GHz, and boost frequency of 4.44 GHz. This is only an engineering sample so the real product may have different clock speeds.

The CPU managed to score 1475 points in single-threaded results while having 7630 points in a multi-threaded scenario. If you wonder how does it fare to the last generation that it replaces, the Ryzen 7 4800H scored 1194 points for ST, and 7852 points for MT. That means that the new Ryzen 7 5800H CPU has a 23% performance boost for ST workloads, showing the Zen 3 capability. The MT score is not representative as we do not have the final product yet, so we have to wait and see how it performs when reviews arrive.

Ryzen 5000 Series Processor Support Comes to ASRock X370 Motherboards in Leaked BIOS Update

When AMD announced its 5000 series Ryzen processors, the company has noted that the new CPUs will be able to operate only on the 500 and 400 series chipsets, with a simple BIOS update. That means that millions of motherboards can install the latest CPUs with no problems. Today, we get to see something that is not a usual thing. ASRock has prepared a BIOS for its X370 Taichi motherboard, and it has been leaked at jzelectronic.de. The newly leaked BIOS is said to bring support for AMD's Ryzen 5000 series of processors codenamed Vermeer. Yes, you are reading that right. ASRock has found a way to bring Vermeer to the unsupported X370 platform.

Although impressive, you must note that the BIOS is in the alpha stage of development, which means that it is enriched with possible bugs and glitches, so it is not recommended for use for now. AMD is against this, and said for Tom's Hardware that "AMD has no plans to enable or support AMD Ryzen 5000 series on AMD 300 series chipsets." That means that ASRock has produced one-off software and it is still a question will the company further develop this new "P6.61" BIOS. You can download it at the jzelectronic.de website but proceed with caution.

AMD Ryzen 3000 and Older Zen Chips Don't Support SAM Due to Hardware Limitation, Intel Chips Since Haswell Support it

AMD Ryzen 3000 "Matisse" processors based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture, as well as older AMD processors based on "Zen+" and "Zen" microarchitectures, do not support the company's Smart Access Memory (SAM) feature being introduced with Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards. SAM is essentially a branding of the Resizable Base-Address Register (Resizable-BAR) feature developed by the PCI-SIG; which enables a processor to see a graphics card's entire video memory as a single addressable block, rather than through 256-megabyte apertures. Apparently the PCI-Express root complex of Ryzen 5000 "Vermeer" processors introduce an instruction called full-rate _pdep_u32/64, which is required for resizable-BAR to work.

It gets more interesting—Intel processors have been supporting this feature since the company's 4th Gen Core "Haswell," which introduced it with its 20-lane PCI-Express gen 3.0 root-complex. This means that every Intel processor dating back to 2014 can technically support Resizable-BAR, and it's just a matter of motherboard vendors releasing UEFI firmware updates for their products (i.e. Intel 8-series chipsets and later). AMD extensively advertises SAM as adding a 1-2% performance boost to Radeon RX 6800 series graphics cards. Since this is a PCI-SIG feature, NVIDIA plans to add support for it on some of its GPUs, too. Meanwhile, in addition to AMD 500-series chipsets, even certain Intel 400-series chipset motherboards started receiving Resizable BAR support through firmware updates.

BIOSTAR Rolls Out B550M-Silver Motherboard

BIOSTAR today rolled out the B550M-Silver, a Socket AM4 motherboard in the Micro-ATX form-factor, based on the AMD B550 chipset. The board comes with out-of-the-box support for the latest Ryzen 5000 "Vermeer" processors, in addition to Ryzen 4000 "Renoir" and Ryzen 3000 "Matisse." It draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, conditioning it for the CPU with a 10-phase VRM that comes with heatsinks across all CPU VRM phases. Expansions slots on the BIOSTAR B550M-Silver include one PCI-Express 4.0 x16, a PCI-Express x16 (electrical gen 3.0 x4 and wired to the B550 chipset), and a PCIe 3.0 x1.

Storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gbps ports, and two M.2-2280 slots, from which one has PCI-Express 4.0 x4 wiring to the CPU socket; and the other PCI-Express 3.0 x4, wired to the B550 chipset. USB connectivity includes two 10 Gbps USB 3.2 ports on the rear panel (from which one is type-C), four 5 Gbps USB 3.2 ports (from which two are via headers), and six USB 2.0 ports (two on the rear panel, four via headers). Networking includes a 2.5 GbE wired interface handled by a Realtek 8125B controller, and preparation for a WLAN module (an M.2 E-key slot and mounts for antennas are provided), although one isn't included with the board. The onboard 6-channel HD audio solution is handled by a Realtek ALC1150 CODEC. The company didn't reveal pricing.

AMD to Introduce Adaptive Undervolting to Precision Boost Overdrive for Ryzen 5000

AMD has announced they will be introducing Adaptive Undervolting tools for their precision Boost Overdrive software, available for the latest Ryzen 5000 series CPUs. This feature will be made available come launch of AGESA 1180 on 400-series and 500-series motherboards (estimated availability in early December), and will require a BIOS update to enable at the software level. According to AMD, this tool will dynamically calculate the precise amount of voltage required for a given task, analyzing internal sensors (such as workload, temperature, socket limits) and adapting voltage values on the fly at up to 1000 times a second.

This approach by AMD will bring a new age for CPU undervolting, which usually only allows for users to undervolt their CPU on the basis of the worst-case scenario: usually, the way undervolters work is by incrementally reducing the CPU's voltage and testing for stability via stress applications, gaming, or other specialized applications. This means that the CPU will have adequate juice so as not to fail in these scenarios - but of course, your CPU isn't always (in fact, it's almost never, depending on your specific use-case) using the full CPU processing power; this means that all other workloads where the CPU isn't under 100% utilization still have room for voltage reductions. With AMD's Adaptive Undervolting, this will now become possible.

AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Pictured in the Flesh

Here's the first picture showing AMD's Ryzen 5000 series "Zen 3" desktop processors in the flesh. The first wave of Ryzen 5000 series for the retail channel include the Ryzen 5 5600X, the Ryzen 7 5800X, the Ryzen 9 5900X and the 5950X. All four chips are shown sitting on a tray. All four chips are compatible with existing Socket AM4 motherboards based on the AMD 500 series chipset motherboard with a BIOS update; and with the 400-series using a special beta BIOS which will be released in January 2021. The four should be available for purchase in the retail channel by November 5, 2020, with the 6-core/12-thread 5600X priced at USD $300, the 8-core/16-thread 5800X at $450, the 12-core/24-thread 5900X at $550, and the flagship 16-core/32-thread 5950X at $800.

AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Features Three Synchronized Memory Clock Domains

A leaked presentation slide by AMD for its Ryzen 5000 series "Zen 3" processors reveals details of the processor's memory interface. Much like the Ryzen 3000 series "Matisse," the Ryzen 5000 series "Vermeer" is a multi-chip module of up to 16 CPU cores spread across two 8-core CPU dies, and a unified I/O die that handles the processor's memory-, PCIe, and SoC interfaces. There are three configurable clock domains that ensure the CPU cores are fed with data at the right speed, and to ensure that the MCM design doesn't pose bottlenecks to the memory performance.

The first domain is fclk or Infinity Fabric clock. Each of the two CCDs (8-core CPU dies) has just one CCX (CPU core complex) with 8 cores, and hence the CCD's internal Infinity Fabric cedes relevance to the IFOP (Infinity Fabric over Package) interconnect that binds the two CCDs and the cIOD (client I/O controller die) together. The next frequency is uclk, or the internal frequency of the dual-channel DDR4 memory controller contained in the cIOD. And lastly, the mclk, or memory clock is the industry-standard DRAM frequency.

AMD Ryzen 5000 "Zen 3" "Vermeer" Launch Liveblog

AMD is announcing its next-generation Ryzen 5000 series desktop processors in the Socket AM4 package. These 7 nm processors see the implementation of the company's new "Zen 3" microarchitecture, and are expected to push the performance envelope. AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su takes centerstage in a pre-recorded launch event stream which we are live-blogging. These are facts as they appear, along with our analysis.

Update 16:01 UTC: Looks like this is a pre-recorded stream made to look live (a premiere).

AMD Confirms Ryzen 5000 Series Nomenclature for "Vermeer"

AMD earlier today made public its YouTube live-stream link for its next-generation Ryzen desktop processor. Its title reads "Where Gaming Begins | AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Desktop Processors." This confirms the Ryzen 5000 series nomenclature for the company's Socket AM4 desktop processors based on the "Zen 3" architecture, based on a multi-chip module codenamed "Vermeer." This would effectively make these chips "5th Generation Ryzen." Rumors of the 5000 series nomenclature first surfaced in mid-September, when the running theory was that with the "Zen 2" based "Renoir" taking up many of the model numbers in the 4000 series (eg: 4700G, 4750G, etc.,) AMD would want to segment its next-generation chips in a higher number series. The AMD Ryzen 5000 series "Zen 3" launch event is set to go live in under 13 hours from now.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X CPU-Z Bench Score Leaks, 27% Higher 1T Performance Over 3700X

With AMD expected to announce its 5th Generation Ryzen "Vermeer" desktop processors next week, the rumor-mill is grinding the finest spices. This time, an alleged CPU-Z Bench score of a 12-core/24-thread Ryzen 9 5900X processor surfaced. CPU-Z by CPUID has a lightweight internal benchmark that evaluates the single-threaded and multi-threaded performance of the processor, and provides reference scores from a selection of processors for comparison. The alleged 5900X sample is shown belting out a multi-threaded (nT) score of 9481.8 points, and single-threaded (1T) score of 652.8 points.

When compared to the internal reference score by CPUID for the Ryzen 7 3700X 8-core/16-thread processor, which is shown with 511 points 1T and 5433 points nT, the alleged 5900X ends up with a staggering 27% higher 1T score, and a 74% higher nT score. While the nT score is largely attributable to the 50% higher core-count, the 1T score is interesting. We predict that besides possibly higher clock-speeds for the 5900X, the "Zen 3" microarchitecture does offer a certain amount of IPC gain over "Zen 2" to account for the 27%. AMD's IPC parity with Intel is likely to tilt in its favor with "Zen 3," until Intel can whip something up with its "Cypress Cove" CPU cores on the 14 nm "Rocket Lake-S" processor.

First Signs of AMD Zen 3 "Vermeer" CPUs Surface, Ryzen 7 5800X Tested

AMD is preparing to launch the new iteration of desktop CPUs based on the latest Zen 3 core, codenamed Vermeer. On October 8th, AMD will hold the presentation and again deliver the latest technological advancements to its desktop platform. The latest generation of CPUs will be branded as a part of 5000 series, bypassing the 4000 series naming scheme which should follow, given that the prior generation was labeled as 3000 series of processors. Nonetheless, AMD is going to bring a new Zen 3 core with its processors, which should bring modest IPC gains. It will be manufactured on TSMC's 7 nm+ manufacturing node, which offers a further improvement to power efficiency and transistor density.

Today, we have gotten the first benchmark of AMD's upcoming Ryzen 7 5800X CPU. Thanks to the popular hardware leaker, TUP APISAK, we have the first benchmark of the new Vermeer processor, compared to Intel's latest and greatest - Core i9-10900K. The AMD processor is an eight-core, sixteen threaded model compared to the 10C/20T Intel processor. While we do not know the final clocks of the AMD CPU, we could assume that the engineering sample was used and we could see an even higher performance. Below you can see the performance of the CPU and how it compares to Intel. By the numbers shown, we can expect AMD to possibly be a new gaming king, as the numbers are very close to Intel. The average batch result for the Ryzen 7 5800X was 59.3 FPS and when it comes to CPU frames it managed to score 133.6 FPS. Intel's best managed to average 60.3 FPS and 114.8 FPS from the CPU framerates. Both systems were tested with NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2080 GPUs.

AMD "Vermeer" Zen 3 Processors Branded Under Ryzen 5000 Series?

AMD is allegedly preparing to market its next-generation Socket AM4 desktop processors based on the "Vermeer" MCM, under the Ryzen 5000 Series. The "Vermeer" MCM implements the company's "Zen 3" microarchitecture in the client segment. It features up to two 7 nm-class CPU complex dies with up to 8 cores, each, and a refreshed cIOD (client IO die). AMD has allegedly improved the cIOD with a new memory controller and several new toggles that improve memory bandwidth. The cIOD combines a PCI-Express Gen 4 root complex with a dual-channel DDR4 memory controller. With "Zen 3," AMD is also introducing an improved boosting algorithm, and an improved SMT feature.

Coming back to AMD's rumored nomenclature, and we could see the company bumping up its processor model numbers to the 5000 series for equivalent core-counts. For example, the Ryzen 9 5900X is a 12-core/24-thread part, much like the 3900X; whereas the Ryzen 7 5800X is an 8-core/16-thread part. This flies in the face of rumors that AMD could take advantage of the 8-core CCX design of the "Zen 3" microarchitecture by carving out 10-core parts using two CCDs with 5 cores enabled, each. The reason AMD is skipping the 4000 series numbering with "Vermeer" probably has something to do with "Renoir" taking up many of the 4000-series model numbers. "Renoir" is based on "Zen 2," and recently made its desktop debut, albeit as an OEM-exclusive. The company is planning to introduce certain 4000G series models to the DIY retail segment. AMD is expected to announce its first "Zen 3" client-segment processors on October 8, 2020.

AMD Warhol, Van Gogh, and Cezanne to Make Up Company's 5th Gen Ryzen

A May 2020 report put together with info from multiple sources pointed towards AMD's client-segment product roadmap going as far into the future as 2022. The roadmap was partial, with a few missing bits. VideoCardz attempted to reconstruct the roadmap based on new information from one of the primary sources of the May leak, @MeibuW. According to the roadmap, 2020 will see AMD debut its 4th Gen Ryzen "Vermeer" desktop processors featuring "Zen 3" CPU cores, built on TSMC N7e or N7P silicon fabrication process, and offering PCIe Gen 4. The "Renoir" APU silicon combining up to 8 "Zen 2" CPU cores with a 512-SP "Vega" iGPU debuted on the mobile platform, and recently launched on the desktop platform as an OEM-exclusive. It remains to be seen if AMD launches this in the DIY retail channel.

2021 is when three new codenames from AMD get some air-time. "Warhol" is codename for the 5th Gen Ryzen part that succeeds "Vermeer." Interestingly, it too is shown as a combination of "Zen 3" CPU cores, PCIe Gen 4, and 7 nm. Perhaps AMD could innovate in areas such as DRAM (switch to PC DDR5), and maybe increase core counts. DDR5 could herald a new socket, after 4 years of AM4. The second silicon bound for 2021 is "Van Gogh," an APU that combines "Zen 2" CPU cores with an RDNA2 iGPU. Interestingly, "Cezanne," bound for the same year, has the opposite CPU+iGPU combination - a newer gen "Zen 3" CPU component, and an older gen "Vega" iGPU. The two chips could target different markets, looking at their I/O, with "Van Gogh" supporting LPDDR5 memory.

Possible AMD "Vermeer" Clock Speeds Hint at IPC Gain

The bulk of AMD's 4th generation Ryzen desktop processors will comprise of "Vermeer," a high core-count socket AM4 processor and successor to the current-generation "Matisse." These chips combine up to two "Zen 3" CCDs with a cIOD (client I/O controller die). While the maximum core count of each chiplet isn't known, they will implement the "Zen 3" microarchitecture, which reportedly does away with CCX to get all cores on the CCD to share a single large L3 cache, this is expected to bring about improved inter-core latencies. AMD's generational IPC uplifting efforts could also include improving bandwidth between the various on-die components (something we saw signs of in the "Zen 2" based "Renoir"). The company is also expected to leverage a newer 7 nm-class silicon fabrication node at TSMC (either N7P or N7+), to increase clock speeds - or so we thought.

An Igor's Lab report points to the possibility of AMD gunning for efficiency, by letting the IPC gains handle the bulk of Vermeer's competitiveness against Intel's offerings, not clock-speeds. The report decodes OPNs (ordering part numbers) of two upcoming Vermeer parts, one 8-core and the other 16-core. While the 8-core part has some generational clock speed increases (by around 200 MHz on the base clock), the 16-core part has lower max boost clock speeds than the 3950X. Then again, the OPNs reference A0 revision, which could mean that these are engineering samples that will help AMD's ecosystem partners to build their products around these processors (think motherboard- or memory vendors), and that the retail product could come with higher clock speeds after all. We'll find out in September, when AMD is expected to debut its 4th generation Ryzen desktop processor family, around the same time NVIDIA launches GeForce "Ampere."

AMD Confirms Zen 3 and RDNA2 by Late-2020

AMD in its post Q1-2020 earnings release disclosures stated that the company is "on track" to launching its next-generation "Zen 3" CPU microarchitecture and RDNA2 graphics architecture in late-2020. The company did not reveal in what shape or form the two will debut. AMD is readying "Zen 3" based EPYC "Milan" enterprise processors, "Vermeer" Ryzen desktop processors, and "Cezanne" Ryzen mobile APUs based on "Zen 3," although there's no word on which product line the microarchitecture will debut with. "Zen 3" compute dies (CCDs) are expected to do away with the quad-core compute complex (CCX) arrangement of cores, and are expected to be built on a refined 7 nm-class silicon fabrication process, either TSMC N7P or N7+.

The only confirmed RDNA2 based products we have as of now are the semi-custom SoCs that drive the Sony PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Xbox Series X next-generation consoles, which are expected to debut by late-2020. The AMD tweet, however, specifies "GPUs" (possibly referring to discrete GPUs). Also, with AMD forking its graphics IP to RDNA (for graphics processors) and CDNA (for headless compute accelerators), we're fairly sure AMD is referring to a Radeon RX or Radeon Pro launch in the tweet. Microsoft's announcement of the DirectX 12 Ultimate logo is expected to expedite launch of Radeon RX discrete GPUs based on RDNA2, as the current RDNA architecture doesn't meet the logo requirements.

AMD 4th Gen Ryzen Desktop Processors to Launch Around September 2020

AMD's 4th generation Ryzen desktop processors are expected to launch around September 2020, sources in the motherboard industry tell DigiTimes. Codenamed "Vermeer," successor to "Matisse," these processors will be socket AM4 multi-chip modules of up to two CPU complex dies based on the "Zen 3" microarchitecture, combined with an I/O controller die. The "Zen 3" chiplets are expected to be fabricated on a newer 7 nm-class process by TSMC, either N7P or N7+. The biggest design change with "Zen 3" is the doing away of CCX arrangement of CPU cores, with each chiplet holding a common block of cores sharing a last-level cache. This, along with clock speed headroom gains from the new node are expected to yield generational price-performance increases.

The "Zen 2" based 8-core "Renoir" die is also expected to make its socket AM4 debut within 2020, succeeding the "Picasso" based quad-core Ryzen 3000-series APUs. This is a particularly important product for AMD, as it is expected to compete with Intel's 10th generation Core i5 6-core/12-thread processors in terms of pricing, while offering more cores (8-core/16-thread) and a faster iGPU. The 4th gen Ryzen socket AM4 processor lineup will launch alongside AMD's 600-series motherboard chipset, with forwards- and backwards-compatibility (i.e., "Vermeer" and "Renoir" working with older chipsets, and older AM4 processors working on 600-series chipset motherboards). AMD was originally expected to unveil these processors at the 2020 Computex trade-show in June, but Computex itself is rescheduled to late-September.
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