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Possible 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen "Matisse Refresh" XT SKU Clock Speeds Surface

Last week, we brought you reports of AMD inching closer to launch its 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse Refresh" processor lineup to ward off the 10th gen Intel Core "Comet Lake" threat, by giving the "Zen 2" chips possible clock speed-bumps to shore up performance. The lineup included the Ryzen 9 3900XT, the Ryzen 7 3800XT, and the Ryzen 5 3600XT. We now have a first-look at their alleged clock speeds courtesy of an anonymous tipster on ChipHell forums, seconded by HXL @9550pro.

The XT SKUs indeed revolve around 200-300 MHz increments in base- and boost clock speeds as many of our readers predicted in the "Matisse Refresh" article's comments section. The 3900XT comes with 4.10 GHz base clock, and 4.80 GHz max boost clocks, compared to 3.80 GHz base and 4.60 GHz boost clocks of the 3900X. Likewise, the 3800XT notches up to 4.20 GHz base clock (highest in the lineup), and 4.70 GHz max boost, compared to 3.90-4.50 GHz of the 3800X. The 3600XT offers the same 4.70 GHz max boost, a step up from the 4.40 GHz of the 3600X, but has its base clock set at 4.00 GHz, compared to 3.80 GHz on the 3600X. It appears like AMD's design focus is to reduce, if not beat, Intel's gaming performance lead. The 10th generation Core "Comet Lake" tops gaming performance by a mid-high single-digit percentages over AMD's offerings, and AMD could bring them down to low single-digit percentages with the XT family.

AMD Readies 3rd Gen Ryzen "Matisse Refresh" Ryzen 7 3850X and 3750X Processors

AMD is planning to immediately update its product stack to counter the Intel 10th gen Core "Comet Lake-S" desktop processor family. Codenamed "Matisse Refresh," the processor will use existing IP, based on the 7 nm "Zen 2" microarchitecture, but could improve in areas such as clock-speeds. As it now stands, the Ryzen 9 3900X appears unfazed by the i9-10900K and i7-10700K at its new $410 price, however, competitiveness of the 3800X and 3700X could buckle under pressure from the i7-10700 series (K, KF, non-K, and F), as well as the Core i5-10600 series. To this effect, we're hearing rumors of a "Ryzen 7 3750X" and "Ryzen 7 3850X" seeing the light of the day soon, with an early-June announcement, and early-July market availability. References to the 3750X date back to October 2019.

Rumors of "Matisse Refresh" gained traction when WCCFTech editor Hassan Mujtaba tweeted a slide from a GIGABYTE AMD B550 motherboard series pre-launch presentation, which references GIGABYTE's own interpretation of AMD's roadmap. It lists out every CPU microarchitecture for the AM4 platform, and right next to "Matisse" is "& Refresh," confirming that "Matisse Refresh" is real. A microarchitecture "refresh" needn't even involve any physical changes to the processor design, core-counts, or architecture, and can sometimes even indicate something as simple as a second major wave of SKUs that replace existing SKUs in the market, leading to their phase-out (eg: Intel "Haswell Refresh" retaining the 4th gen Core model numbering). The slide also adds weight to the theory that desktop "Renoir," like its mobile counterpart, lacks PCIe gen 4.0. The slide also talks about AMD introducing the entry-level A520 desktop chipset in August, which will support PCIe gen 4 when paired with a capable processor.

AMD "Renoir" Desktop APU Could Lack PCIe gen 4.0, Hints BIOSTAR B550 Motherboard Product Page

AMD's 4th generation Ryzen "Renoir" desktop APUs, based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture, could lack PCI-Express gen 4.0, hints the product page of an upcoming AMD B550 chipset motherboard by BIOSTAR. AMD already declared that the B550 lacks support for "Picasso," which means the "Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics" processors referenced in the BIOSTAR product page have to be "Renoir." On the mobile platform, Ryzen 4000H and 4000U series processors do lack PCIe gen 4.0, but it was expected that AMD will enable gen 4.0 for the desktop socket AM4 platform.

The lack of gen 4.0 support has implications for "Renoir." For starters, the APU, like its predecessors, spares only 8 PCIe lanes toward PEG (PCI-Express discrete graphics, or the main x16 slot you typically use for graphics cards). If these lanes are gen 3.0, then even the newer graphics cards, such as AMD's "Navi" RX 5700 XT, or next-gen GeForce "Ampere," would have to make do with a PCI-Express 3.0 x8 interface, despite being gen 4.0 x16-capable. We will test just how much of a bottleneck this poses, when the next-gen graphics cards come out.

AMD Ryzen 7 4700G "Renoir" Desktop Processor Pictured

Here is the first picture of the AMD Ryzen 7 4700G, the company's upcoming socket AM4 APU based on the 7 nm "Renoir" silicon, courtesy of VideoCardz. The picture reveals a standard-looking socket AM4 chip with commercial name and OPN markings (100-000000146), matching the Igor's Lab OPN code leak from earlier this week. The Ryzen 7 4700G offers an 8-core/16-thread CPU based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture, and an integrated graphics solution that combines the SIMD machinery of the "Vega" graphics architecture, with the updated display- and media engines of "Navi." The iGPU is configured with 8 CUs (512 stream processors), which on the 4700G has an impressive maximum engine boost clock of 2.10 GHz, according to the Igor's Lab story.

The 8-core/16-thread CPU of the Ryzen 7 4700G has a nominal clock speed of 3.60 GHz, and a maximum boost frequency of 4.45 GHz, with several Precision Boost power-states in both directions of the nominal clock. The CPU features 512 KB of L2 cache per core, and 8 MB of shared L3 cache (4 MB per CCX). The iGPU engine clock goes all the way up to 2.10 GHz, which could help it overcome some of the CU deficit vs. "Picasso," which has 11 CUs (704 stream processors), but clocked only up to 1.40 GHz. Since the Ryzen 5 3400G has an unlocked multiplier, it stands to reason that even the 4700G could. If the platform I/O of "Renoir" in its mobile avatar is anything to go by, then the 4700G could feature a limited PCI-Express x8 lane setup for its PEG port. AMD is rating the TDP of the 4700G at 65 W.

AMD Ryzen 7 4700G is "Renoir" Desktop AM4 Processor: 8-core/16-thread with "Vega" iGPU

It was only a matter of time before AMD brought its 7 nm "Renoir" APU silicon onto the desktop platform. The first such chip just hit the radar as the Ryzen 7 4700G. This would be the first desktop Ryzen APU graded as Ryzen 7, thanks to its CPU core count. The 4700G features an 8-core/16-thread CPU based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture. The iGPU is a hybrid between "Vega" and "Navi."

The "Renoir" iGPU features the SIMD components of "Vega," but with the display- and multimedia-engines of "Navi." The iGPU apparently maxes out on 8 NGCUs on "Renoir," amounting to 512 stream processors. Increased iGPU engine clocks attempt to make up the CU deficit compared to the previous-generation "Picasso" (8 vs. 11). The CPU features 512 KB of L2 cache per core, and 8 MB of shared L3 cache (4 MB per CCX). An AoTS run in which the processor is paired with a Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card surfaced on social media. Bringing "Renoir" to the desktop platform at prices competitive with Intel's 10th generation Core i3 thru Core i7 will be critical for AMD, as it nullifies a key advantage Intel has - integrated graphics, so the processors could make it to the vast majority of non-gaming builds with high CPU performance demand.

Update May 10th: A possible UserBenchmark submission of this processor, where it carries the engineering sample number "100-000000149-40_40/30_Y" surfaced. It's shown having clock speeds of 3.00 GHz base and 4.00 GHz boost. We know this is a desktop platform looking at its ASRock B550 Taichi motherboard and Micron-supplied standard DIMM.

AMD Ryzen 3 3100 Pushed to 5.92 GHz Under LN2 Cooling

The Ryzen 3 3100 is turning out to be a fun little toy for enthusiasts. PC enthusiast TSAIK succeeded in overclocking it to 5923 MHz under extreme cooling. The chip was fed 1.45 Volts, and put under liquid nitrogen cooling, to achieve the feat. An MSI MAG X570 Tomahawk motherboard and a single stick of 8 GB memory underclocked to DDR4-1600 made the rest of the critical hardware. The feat is the second highest OC record for a "Zen 2" powered processor, next only to TSAIK's own speed record with the flagship Ryzen 9 3950X, which was pushed to 6041 MHz. Find the HWBot submission for the Ryzen 3 3100 speed record here.

AMD Announces Ryzen PRO 4000 Series Mobile Processors

Today, AMD announced global availability of the world's first x86 7 nm commercial notebook processors, the AMD Ryzen PRO 4000 Series Mobile family, delivering the most cores and threads in an ultrathin business notebook. These new processors are fully optimized for remote work capabilities and designed to take business computing to the next level with multi-threading performance for modern productivity. Robust enterprise designs from HP and Lenovo powered by AMD Ryzen PRO 4000 Series Mobile Processors are expected to be available worldwide starting in the first half of 2020, with anywhere-anytime productivity, multiple layers of security features, seamless manageability and reliable longevity.

"With the launch of AMD Ryzen PRO 4000 Series Mobile Processors, AMD once again defines the new standard for PC experiences - from high-end desktop computing to ultrathin and gaming notebooks, and now the modern business notebook," said Saeid Moshkelani, senior vice president and general manager, client business unit, AMD. "Built on the ground-breaking "Zen 2" architecture and 7 nm process technology, the AMD Ryzen for Business portfolio delivers advanced performance, reliable security features, impressive battery life and advanced manageability to significantly elevate the capabilities of the ultrathin notebook in any work environment."

NVIDIA Underestimated AMD's Efficiency Gains from Tapping into TSMC 7nm: Report

A DigiTimes premium report, interpreted by Chiakokhua, aka Retired Engineer, chronicling NVIDIA's move to contract TSMC for 7 nm and 5 nm EUV nodes for GPU manufacturing, made a startling revelation about NVIDIA's recent foundry diversification moves. Back in July 2019, a leading Korean publication confirmed NVIDIA's decision to contract Samsung for its next-generation GPU manufacturing. This was a week before AMD announced its first new-generation 7 nm products built for the TSMC N7 node, "Navi" and "Zen 2." The DigiTimes report reveals that NVIDIA underestimated the efficiency gains AMD would yield from TSMC N7.

With NVIDIA's bonhomie with Samsung underway, and Apple transitioning to TSMC N5, AMD moved in to quickly grab 7 nm-class foundry allocation and gained prominence with the Taiwanese foundry. The report also calls out a possible strategic error on NVIDIA's part. Upon realizing the efficiency gains AMD managed, NVIDIA decided to bet on TSMC again (apparently without withdrawing from its partnership with Samsung), only to find that AMD had secured a big chunk of its nodal allocation needed to support its growth in the x86 processor and discrete GPU markets. NVIDIA has hence decided to leapfrog AMD by adapting its next-generation graphics architectures to TSMC's EUV nodes, namely the N7+ and N5. The report also speaks of NVIDIA using its Samsung foundry allocation as a bargaining chip in price negotiations with TSMC, but with limited success as TSMC established its 7 nm-class industry leadership. As it stands now, NVIDIA may manufacture its 7 nm-class and 5 nm-class GPUs on both TSMC and Samsung.

AMD "Matisse" and "Rome" IO Controller Dies Mapped Out

Here are the first detailed die maps of the I/O controller dies of AMD's "Matisse" and "Rome" multi-chip modules that make up the company's 3rd generation Ryzen and 2nd generation EPYC processor families, respectively, by PC enthusiast and VLSI engineer "Nemez" aka @GPUsAreMagic on Twitter, with underlying die-shots by Fitzchens Fitz. The die maps of the "Matisse" cIOD in particular give us fascinating insights to how AMD designed the die to serve both as a cIOD and as an external FCH (AMD X570 and TRX40 chipsets). At the heart of both these chips' design effort is using highly configurable SerDes (serializer/deserializers) that can work as PCIe, SATA, USB 3, or other high-bandwidth serial interfaces, using a network of fabric switches and PHYs. This is how motherboard designers are able to configure the chipsets for the I/O they want for their specific board designs.

The "Matisse" cIOD has two x16 SerDes controllers and an I/O root hub, along with two configurable x16 SerDes PHYs, while the "Rome" sIOD has four times as many SerDes controllers, along with eight times as many PHYs. The "Castle Peak" cIOD (3rd gen Ryzen Threadripper) disables half the SerDes resources on the "Rome" sIOD, along with half as many memory controllers and PHYs, limiting it to 4-channel DDR4. The "Matisse" cIOD features two IFOP (Infinity Fabric over Package) links, wiring out to the two "Zen 2" CCDs (chiplets) on the MCM, while the "Rome" sIOD features eight such IFOP interfaces for up to eight CCDs, along with IFIS (Infinity Fabric Inter-Socket) links for 2P motherboards. Infinity Fabric internally connects all components on both IOD dies. Both dies are built on the 12 nm FinFET (12LP) silicon fabrication node at GlobalFoundries.
Matisse cIOD Rome cIOD

AMD Ryzen 3 3300X Isn't Just a Speed-Bump of the 3100: CCX Gymnastics at Play

AMD has announced its Ryzen 3 "Matisse" quad-core desktop processors, with two SKUs in the pipe, the $99 Ryzen 3 3100 and the $120 Ryzen 3 3300X. Both are 4-core/8-thread parts spaced apart by clock-speeds, or so we thought. According to an alleged AMD presentation slide leaked to the web, the differentiation between the two runs deeper than that. Both chips are based on the "Matisse" multi-chip module, with a single 8-core "Zen 2" chiplet that has four disabled cores. How AMD goes about disabling these cores appears to be the secret sauce behind the "X" on the 3300X.

Inside each "Zen 2" chiplet, the 8 cores are spread between two 4-core CCX (compute complexes). On the 3100, AMD disabled two cores per CCX, and halved the 16 MB L3 cache per CCX. So it ends up with a 2+2 core CCX configuration, 8+8 MB of L3 cache adding up to 16 MB. The 3300X takes the more scenic route. An entire CCX is disabled, all four cores are part of the same CCX. This design lowers inter-core latency among the cores, and more importantly. gives each of the four cores access to 16 MB of shared L3 cache. And then there's the speed-bump. This goes a long way in explaining how the 3300X is shown within striking distance of the Core i7-7700K in leaked Cinebench scores, and could provide a formidable gaming processor in the lower end.
AMD Ryzen 3 3100 3300X CCD Configuration

AMD Ryzen 3 3300X Single Core Cinebench Score Suggests Performance Close to i7-7700K

Intel's Core i7-7700K "Kaby Lake" quad-core processor may fall significantly behind its 9th generation successor and today's Ryzen 7 chips, but it remains a formidable piece of silicon for strictly-gaming builds. Can it be bested by a $120 AMD Ryzen 3 3300X? A leaked, alleged Cinebench R15 score suggests that something very fascinating is brewing at AMD. The score points to the i7-7700K having a single-thread score just 0.5 percent higher than the 3300X, which means the multi-threaded score of the 4-core/8-thread AMD chip could end up within striking distance of the i7-7700K.

If this holds up, then AMD has a shot at bringing i7-7700K levels of gaming performance down to $120 (SEP). That would have the potential to seriously disrupt the sub-$200 processor market for gamers, enabling them to build fairly powerful 1440p (or higher) gaming builds. The low price will also let builders allocate more money to the graphics card. Adding to its gaming credentials could be the fact that the "Matisse" MCM features PCI-Express gen 4.0 x16 when paired with an X570 or upcoming B550 chipset motherboard, as detailed in AMD's announcement of the processor. The Ryzen 3 3300 is a 4-core/8-thread processor based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture, clocked at 3.80 GHz, with 4.30 GHz boost frequency, and featuring 18 MB of total cache. It is expected to be available from May 2020.

AMD Announces 3rd Gen Ryzen 3 Quad-Core Desktop Processors and AMD B550 PCIe 4.0 Chipset

Today, AMD announced the newest additions to the 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen desktop processor family, the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 and AMD Ryzen 3 3300X processors and AMD B550 Chipset for Socket AM4 designed for 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen desktop processors with over 60 designs in development. Taking advantage of the AMD world-class portfolio of technologies, these new Ryzen 3 desktop processors bring the groundbreaking "Zen 2" core architecture to business users, gamers, and creators worldwide, leveraging Simultaneous Multi-Threading (SMT) technology for increased productivity. With double the threads, twice the bandwidth, and a wide selection of motherboards in development the AMD B550 chipset and Ryzen 3 desktop processors deliver the ideal processing solution from top to bottom.

"Games and applications are becoming more and more demanding, and with this, users are demanding more from their PCs," said Saeid Moshkelani, senior vice president and general manager, client business unit. "AMD is committed to providing solutions that meet and exceed those demands for all levels of computing. With the addition of these new Ryzen 3 desktop processors we are continuing this commitment with our mainstream gaming customers. We've taken performance up a level, doubling the processing threads of our Ryzen 3 processors to propel gaming and multitasking experiences to new heights."

Sony Reveals PS5 Hardware: RDNA2 Raytracing, 16 GB GDDR6, 6 GB/s SSD, 2304 GPU Cores

Sony in a YouTube stream keynote by PlayStation 5 lead system architect Mark Cerny, detailed the upcoming entertainment system's hardware. There are three key areas where the company has invested heavily in driving forward the platform by "balancing revolutionary and evolutionary" technologies. A key design focus with PlayStation 5 is storage. Cerny elaborated on how past generations of the PlayStation guided game developers' art direction as the low bandwidths and latencies of optical discs and HDDs posed crippling latencies arising out of mechanical seeks, resulting in infinitesimally lower data transfer rates than what the media is capable of in best case scenario (seeking a block of data from its outermost sectors). SSD was the #1 most requested hardware feature by game developers during the development of PS5, and Sony responded with something special.

Each PlayStation 5 ships with a PCI-Express 4.0 x4 SSD with a flash controller that has been designed in-house by Sony. The controller features 12 flash channels, and is capable of at least 5.5 GB/s transfer speeds. When you factor in the exponential gains in access time, Sony expects the SSD to provide a 100x boost in effective storage sub-system performance, resulting in practically no load times.

Sony's Mark Cerny to Detail PS5 Architecture March 18th

Sony has announced via Twitter that their lead system architect Mark Cerny will "provide a deep dive into PS5's system architecture, and how it will shape the future of games" tomorrow. This is likely the start of Sony's marketing campaign for the release of the PS5 which is due out Holidays 2020.

The Japanese company has remained puzzlingly tight-lipped regarding their next-gen games console, which is a far cry from Microsoft's position, who have been releasing details and teasing their next-gen Xbox Series X system for a while now. It remains to be seen how Sony's system will differ from Microsoft's Xbox Series X, since most specs are rumored to be close on both consoles. The underlying Zen 2 architecture for the CPUs is confirmed in both consoles, and so should the fabrication process and RDNA2-based graphics with dedicated ray tracing hardware. It remains to be seen how the companies will aim to differentiate their offerings.

Complete Hardware Specs Sheet of Xbox Series X Revealed

Microsoft just put out of the complete hardware specs-sheet of its next-generation Xbox Series X entertainment system. The list of hardware can go toe to toe with any modern gaming desktop, and even at its production scale, we're not sure if Microsoft can break-even at around $500, possibly counting on game and DLC sales to recover some of the costs and turn a profit. To begin with the semi-custom SoC at the heart of the beast, Microsoft partnered with AMD to deploy its current-generation "Zen 2" x86-64 CPU cores. Microsoft confirmed that the SoC will be built on the 7 nm "enhanced" process (very likely TSMC N7P). Its die-size is 360.45 mm².

The chip packs 8 "Zen 2" cores, with SMT enabling 16 logical processors, a humongous step up from the 8-core "Jaguar enhanced" CPU driving the Xbox One X. CPU clock speeds are somewhat vague. It points to 3.80 GHz nominal and 3.66 GHz with SMT enabled. Perhaps the console can toggle SMT somehow (possibly depending on whether a game requests it). There's no word on the CPU's cache sizes.

Xbox Series X Semi-custom SoC Features 320-bit Memory Interface, 10 GB or 20 GB Memory

Microsoft's upcoming Xbox Series X entertainment system is shaping up to be a technological monstrosity. Xbox group head at Microsoft, Phil Spencer, last revealed a picture of its semi-custom SoC back in January, by setting it as his Twitter display picture. Over the following weeks, many more technical details, such as the chip's 12 TFLOP/s combined compute power, would be let out. Spencer updated his display picture revealing a segment of the Xbox Series X mainboard with the SoC and memory chips surrounding it. The picture reveals the large SoC package in the center, surrounded on three sides by ten memory chips, possibly GDDR6, each with its own wiring to the SoC. This indicates that the SoC features a 320-bit wide memory interface.

As for the memory density, there's no way to tell. It could be 10 GB if those are 8 Gbit memory chips, or 20 GB if those are 16 Gbit. It boils down to which device the Xbox Series X the company wants to succeed. The Xbox One S features 8 GB of DDR3, while the spruced up Xbox One X features 12 GB of GDDR5. If the new Xbox Series X succeeds the latter, then it could very well feature 20 GB, more so given Microsoft's lofty design goals (4K UHD gaming with real-time ray-tracing). Microsoft leverages hUMA to use a common memory pool for both the CPU and GPU. Designed in collaboration with AMD on a TSMC 7 nm-class node (likely the N7P), the SoC features "Zen 2" CPU cores, and a GPU based on the RDNA2 graphics architecture.
Xbox Series X memory

AMD Processors Since 2011 Hit with Cache Attack Vulnerabilities: Take A Way

Cybersecurity researcher Moritz Lipp and his colleagues from the Graz University of Technology and the University of Rennes uncovered two new security vulnerabilities affecting all AMD CPU microarchitectures going back to 2011, detailed in a research paper titled "Take A Way." These include "Bulldozer" and its derivatives ("Piledriver," "Excavator," etc.,) and the newer "Zen," "Zen+," and "Zen 2" microarchitectures. The vulnerabilities are specific to AMD's proprietary L1D cache way predictor component. It is described in the security paper's abstract as a means for the processor to "predict in which cache way a certain address is located, so that consequently only that way is accessed, reducing the processor's power consumption."

By reverse engineering the L1D cache way predictor in AMD microarchitectures dating from 2011 to 2019, Lipp, et al, discovered two new attack vectors with which an attacker can monitor the victim's memory accesses. These vectors are named "Collide+Probe," and "Load+Reload." The paper describes the first vector as follows: "With Collide+Probe, an attacker can monitor a victim's memory accesses without knowledge of physical addresses or shared memory when time-sharing a logical core." The second vector is described as "With Load+Reload, we exploit the way predictor to obtain highly-accurate memory-access traces of victims on the same physical core." The two vulnerabilities have not been assigned CVE entries at the time of this writing. The research paper, however, describes the L1D cache way predictor in AMD processors as being vulnerable to attacks that can reveal contents of memory or even keys to a vulnerable AES implementation. For now there is no mitigation to these attacks, but the company is reportedly working on firmware and driver updates. Access the research paper here.
AMD L1D cache way predictor logic found vulnerable in Take A Way attack classes.

Microsoft Confirms Xbox Series X Specs - 12 TFLOPs, Custom APU With Zen 2, RDNA 2, H/W Accelerated Raytracing

Microsoft has confirmed the official specs for the Xbox Series X games console, due Holiday 2020 (think November). The new specs announcement confirms the powerhouse of a console this will be, with its peak 12 TFLOPs compute being 8 times that of the original Xbox One, and twice that of the Xbox One X, which already quite capable of powering true 4K experiences. This 12 TFLOPs figure is a mighty impressive one - just consider that AMD's current highest-performance graphics card, Radeon VII, features a peak 13.4 TFLOPs of computing power - and that's a graphics card that was launched just a year ago.

The confirmation also mentions support for Hardware-Accelerated raytracing, something that all but confirms the feature being built into AMD's RDNA 2 microarchitecture (of which we are expecting news anytime now). this, alongside Variable Rate Shading (VRS) support, brings AMD to feature parity with NVIDIA's Turing, and should allow developers to optimize their performance and graphical targets without any discernible quality loss.

Apple Finally Buying AMD CPUs? Pointers to Ryzens Found in MacOS Beta

Since its switch to the x86 machine architecture from PowerPC in the mid-2000s, Apple has been consistent with Intel as its sole supplier of CPUs for its Macbooks, iMac desktops, and Mac Pro workstations. The company's relationship with rival AMD has been limited to sourcing discrete GPUs. If pieces of code from a MacOS beta is anything to go buy, Apple could bite the AMD bullet very soon. References to several AMD processors were found in MacOS 10.15.4 Beta 1. These include the company's "Picasso," "Renoir," and "Van Gogh" APUs.

It's very likely that with increasing CPU IPC and energy-efficiency, Apple is finally seeing the value in single-chip solutions from AMD that have a good enough combination of CPU and iGPUs. The 7 nm "Renoir" silicon in particular could change the mobile and desktop computing segments, thanks to its 8-core "Zen 2" CPU, and a "Vega" based iGPU that's highly capable in non-gaming and light-gaming tasks. AMD's proprietary SmartShift feature could also be leveraged, which dynamically switches between the iGPU and an AMD discrete GPU.

AMD "Renoir" Ryzen 7 4700U Geekbenched

An unknown Lenovo notebook powered by the 15-Watt Ryzen 7 4700U "Renoir" 8-core processor was put through Geekbench. The chip yielded scores of 4910 single-core, and 21693 multi-core. This puts the 4700U ahead of the Core i7-1065G7, which is known to score around 4400 points on average in the single-core test, and around 17000 on average, in the multi-core test, falling behind due to fewer CPU cores. The 4700U features an 8-core CPU based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture. Its desktop compatriot, the Ryzen 7 3700X, is significantly faster, with around 20% higher single-core, and over 60% higher multi-core performance. This is probably because the 3700X is unconstrained with its 65-Watt TDP and significantly higher power limits. It also has four times more L3 cache, but that's probably to cushion the IFOP interconnect between the CPU chiplet and I/O die.

AMD Rolls Out Athlon 3000 Gold and Silver "Zen" 15W Mobile SoCs

The "Zen 2" based Ryzen 4000-series mobile processors and Threadripper 3990X HEDT chip dominated headlines throughout AMD's CES 2020 event, but an important product announcement slipped past us: the mobile Athlon 3000 Gold and 3000 Silver families of entry-level mobile SoCs. These are 15-Watt SoCs targeting low-cost ultraportables, convertibles, and straight up Windows x64 tablets, competing against Intel's Pentium Gold 5000U "Whiskey Lake" and Pentium Silver "Gemini Lake Refresh" series. The family currently only consists of two SKUs, the Athlon Gold 3150U and Athlon Silver 3050U.

The two chips are based on the "Dali" silicon, and feature "Zen" CPU cores. The Athlon Gold 3150U features a 2-core/4-thread "Zen" CPU clocked at 2.40 GHz with 3.30 GHz boost. The Athlon Silver 3050U, on the other hand, is configured with a 2-core/2-thread CPU clocked at 2.30 GHz with 3.20 GHz boost. The CPUs on both models is configured with 4 MB of L3 cache, which takes their "total cache" (L2 + L3) figure up to 5 MB. The iGPU on the 3150U is a Radeon Vega 3 with 192 stream processors, clocked at 1.00 GHz. The one on the 3050U, is AMD's smallest, with just 2 compute units, working up to 128 stream processors, but the engine clock is set at 1.10 GHz.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X Pricing and Availability Detailed

AMD will update its 3rd generation Ryzen Threadripper product stack sooner than expected. The flagship 64-core/128-thread Ryzen Threadripper 3990X will be available to purchase on February 7, 2020, priced at USD $3,990. The company debuted the "Zen 2" based 3rd gen Threadripper family last November with the 24-core Threadripper 3960X and the 32-core Threadripper 3970X, while teasing the 64-core flagship, the 3990X. AMD detailed this halo-flagship product some more at its 2020 CES event. Designed for the TRX40 platform in the sTRX4 package, the 3990X is differentiated from 64-core EPYC "Rome" products with its narrower monolithic quad-channel memory interface (compared to 8-channel for EPYCs).

The Ryzen Threadripper 3990X ships with clock-speeds of 2.90 GHz with 4.30 GHz boost, a gargantuan 288 MB of total cache (L2 + L3), and the same I/O as the 3970X: 4-channel memory interface with support for up to 2 TB of memory; a PCI-Express 4.0 x8 pipe to the TRX40 chipset, and up to three gen 4.0 x16 links to the processor package. AMD also showed a performance sneak-peak, comparing a machine with a single 3990X squaring off against a machine with 2P Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 processors that add up to 56 cores and 112 threads. In the side-by-side V-Ray render test, the 3990X emerged 30% faster than the Intel setup, but here's the kicker: the 3990X "only" costs $3,990, versus $20,000 for the 2P Xeon 8280 (processors alone). The HEDT chip also supports ECC memory.

ASUS ROG Announces the Zephyrus G14 and the Zephyrus G15 Gaming Laptops

At this year's CES, the ASUS Republic of Gamers announced the latest additions to the Zephyrus family of ultra-portable gaming laptops. Designed with portability in mind, these laptops are packing a lot of hardware in a body that is less than 20 mm thick. The G14 model is a 17.9 mm thin power-house capable of a lot more than its size would suggest. Packing AMD's latest Ryzen 7 4800HS processor, built on 7 nm "Zen 2" architecture with 8 cores and 16 threads, the G14 laptop is paired with NVIDIA's latest GeForce RTX 2060 GPU with 6 GB of GDDR6 memory.

The Ryzen processors used in Zephyrus laptops are special edition models, which are configured to run at lower 35 W TDP, instead of 45 W like the regular Ryzen 7 4800HS, with the same performance. This is due to the 6 months exclusive ASUS had on these processors, so they now able to use them in their designs to lower power consumption and improve battery life. This Zephyrus G14 laptop features two 14-inch display options to choose from - one 1080p IPS panel with 120 Hz refresh rate, Pantone validated FreeSync display and one 1440p IPS display that is capable of 60 Hz refreshing and also features Pantone validation with FreeSync technology.

AMD Announces Ryzen 4000 Mobile Processors: 4800U and 4800H

AMD today announced its Ryzen 4000-series mobile processors designed to compete with Intel's fastest, across both its 10th gen "Ice Lake" and "Comet Lake" mobile processors lines. At the heart of these processors is the 7 nm "Renoir" silicon, which doubles the CPU core count over the previous generation "Picasso," and improves IPC (single-thread performance) by a double-digit percentage. "Renoir" combines a CPU with 8 cores based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture, with an iGPU that has the number-crunching machinery of "Vega," but with display- and multimedia-engines of "Navi." It is a monolithic piece of silicon with a dual-channel IMC that supports not just conventional DDR4 memory, but also fast LPDDR4X.

There are two distinct classes of Ryzen 4000 Mobile: U and H. The Ryzen 7 4800U, with its 15 W TDP, targets ultra-portable notebooks, and goes head-on against Intel's Core i7 "Ice Lake-U" processors, winning on the CPU front with its high core-count and IPC. The Ryzen 7 4800H, on the other hand, taps into the 45 W TDP headroom to dial up CPU and iGPU clock-speeds significantly, offering CPU performance that beats the desktop Core i7-9700K. It also introduces SmartShift, an iGPU + dGPU virtualization technology that lets your notebook dynamically switch between the two based on graphics load.

Xbox Head Posts "Project Scarlett" (Xbox Series X) SoC Picture, Has that 7nm Tinge

Phil Spencer, head of the Xbox division at Microsoft, posted a picture of the semi-custom SoC at the heart of the company's upcoming "Project Scarlett" Xbox Series X game console as his Twitter avatar. The picture reveals a chip that looks visibly similar to that of "Project Scorpio" (Xbox One X). The picture was also taken from an angle that reveals the pinkish/auburn tinge of 7 nm AMD chips made at TSMC. You'll find the same tinge on chips such as "Navi 10" when viewed from an angle. The die unabashedly bears the "Project Scarlett" and "8K" markings.

Next-generation game consoles are marketing 4K 60 Hz and 8K gaming capability. They likely use a combination of dynamic resolution-scale and variable rate shading to achieve this. The "Project Scarlett" SoC is a semi-custom chip co-designed by Microsoft and AMD, and uses CPU cores based on the company's "Zen 2" microarchitecture, combined with a powerful GPU based on RDNA2, which features hardware-accelerated ray-tracing and variable-rate shading. Hardware enthusiasts on Twitter are abuzz with estimating the die-size of the SoC, with calculations pinning it around the 350 mm² mark ±10 mm², or roughly similar to that of "Project Scorpio," but one must factor in the switch to 7 nm from 16 nm significantly increasing transistor-density.
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