AMD CES 2018 Announcement Roundup

We have gone through the multiple slide decks that AMD has shared with us in the last couple of days and picked through those with a focus on desktop and High End Desktop CPUs and a bit on Radeon products. We have boiled it all down to what we see as being important to computer hardware enthusiasts and gamers.

AMD CES 2018 Announcement Roundup

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The Bottom Line

The biggest immediate takeaway that AMD has shared with us is that it will be launching its "2nd Generation" Ryzen desktop CPUs in April of 2018. The current Ryzen 1st Generation CPUs are built with a 14 nanometer FinFET process, the 2nd Gen will be transitioning to 12nm FinFET, which has been dubbed "Zen+" on the slides above. According to our third slide above, this will carry with it some performance increase, and this will come in the form of increased clocks (as referenced in slide 5), but what will be important to the enthusiast is to see if any overclocking headroom is going to be enjoyed. Threadripper in 12nm will follow in the second half of 2018, so it will not be far behind the desktop CPUs.

The new X470 chipset is mentioned, still bearing the AM4 socket, and being lower powered, but no specifications are mentioned beyond that, and quite frankly I do not expect to see anything earth-shattering that would push you to move to a second generation Ryzen CPU and motherboard if you are currently using a Ryzen system. Of course IPC will be the big question here, but not in the form of architectural advantages. Just how all the Meltdown and Spectre fixes shakeout in terms of impacting gaming on both AMD and Intel CPUs is going to be a pertinent question over the coming weeks. It is certainly within the realm of possibility that one or the other CPU manufacturer could be impacted, or not impacted, in such a way as to return some IPC benefits to the AMD column, but that is yet to be seen with any clarity.

One thing we have been seeing with Ryzen and Threadripper CPUs both, is that with more recently produced CPUs, "top-end" 4GHz overclocks can be achieved with less core voltage and of course that means a lot less heat with AMD processors. However what we have not seen is the 4GHz "ceiling" change when looking at the big picture. Maybe that ceiling will change with 12nm FinFET and Zen+.

On the Radeon GPU front, we see some movement as well, but nothing that translates in to much news for the desktop gamer. Judging from the last slide above, one would be left to guess that the new NAVI architecture is looking to deliver in very late 2018 or 2019.

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