AMD Announces New CPU and GPU Products at Next Horizon Event
With E3 just kicking off, AMD has been involved in a flurry of recent announcements. Two weeks ago, AMD held the opening keynote for Computex 2019. On the CPU side of the house, AMD announced the third generation of Ryzen processors, the first to be using the “Zen 2” core. The new lineup included a new 12-core, 24-thread offering on the AM4 socket, meaning consumers now have another increase of cores on the mainstream AM4 socket. A July 7th release date was announced for those products.
With a new processor lineup usually comes a new line of motherboards. The X570 chipset will power new AM4 motherboards released alongside the third generation of Ryzen. Current owners of a motherboard utilizing the X370/X470 chipset will also see some love in the form of support for the new CPU lineup, even if they will not see an update to support PCIe 4.0.
On the Radeon graphics side of the house, AMD announced the new RDNA architecture and upcoming RX-5700 series graphics cards based on that new architecture. Last week came a rather unexpected announcement that Samsung will license AMD’s RDNA-based Radeon graphics technology for use in mobile segments, presumably as part of their Exynos SoC. It is extremely noteworthy given that AMD sold its previous mobile IP to Qualcomm in 2009. After the acquisition, Qualcomm then rebranded that technology as Adreno, an anagram of Radeon. Adreno is still in use in new Snapdragon SoCs.
AMD Processor Related Announcements
Today, as part of a livestream event announced at Computex, AMD has made even more announcements. On the CPU side of the house, Dr. Lisa Su announced the long-awaited 16-core,32-thread Ryzen R9-3950X. The R9-3950X uses the AM4 socket, a change from the first 2 generations being part of the high-end Ryzen Threadripper and X399 lineup.
With this new processor added to the Ryzen product line, AMD once again doubles the core and thread count available to mainstream consumers. Users will have to wait a short while to acquire this CPU as it will not be released until September. Separately, AMD has made a change in name by introducing Gamercache as a name for the increased total cache.
Also announced was a new generation of Ryzen-G processors. Since these APUs are a year behind the rest of the Ryzen lineup, the R3-3200G and R5-3400G will not use the “Zen 2” core. The two APUs pick up from where the previous generation stopped, making improvements in both CPU base and boost frequencies.
The R5-3400G receives a few more improvements that are not included on its sibling. AMD added Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO), a new TIM and improved graphics clock speeds. They have also changed the bundled cooler to the Wraith Spire for the R5-3400G, allowing to take better advantage of the improvements added specifically to that APU.
Both the R3-3200G and R5-3400G will be available on July 7th alongside the other Ryzen processors releasing that day.
AMD Radeon Graphics Related Announcements
On the graphics side of the house, the talk was about details on RDNA and the upcoming RX-5700 series, named so in celebration of AMD’s 50th anniversary. The initial release of RDNA-based graphics technology will include an RX-5700 and RX-5700XT graphics card with 8GB of GDDR6 memory. These GPUs are designed to compete against the NVIDIA Geforce RTX 2060 and 2070, respectively. In regards to cooling, the reference models of the RX-5700 series will use a blower design, leaving other cooling designs to the different manufacturers that offer Radeon graphics cards.
Just as AMD has added new names and terms on the CPU side, the RX-5700 series also adds some names and terminology. AMD has now added a third “Game Clock” that sits between the base and boost clocks. The new level essentially establishes a sustainable clock speed under load, allowing the boost mode to become a variable target speed. This behaves in a similar fashion to Precision Boost Overdrive, meaning that the graphics card automatically adjusts the clock speed without overheating.
There are improvements in graphics technology beyond RDNA and the RX-5700 series. Radeon Display Engine, which supports both the HDMI 2.0b and DP 1.4 HDR standards. The new DisplayPort support includes Display Stream Compression (DSC), allowing displays of 4K/240Hz, 4K HDR/120Hz and 8K HDR/60Hz though a single cable.
Radeon Media Engine improves hardware-based encoding and decoding on H.264, H.265, and VP9 standards. These improvements will have a wide reach, from gamers who also stream (Twitch/OBS) and into higher-end production using applications like DaVinci Resolve. Finally, the XT-5700 series will also receive a new feature called Radeon Image Sharpening.
Along with new graphics hardware comes software improvements. On July 7th, the Adrenalin software package will release a new update – one that goes beyond just supporting the XT-5700 series. Owners of GCN based graphics cards will be able to use features such as Radeon ReLive and Link – which will be offered for both Android TV and Apple TV. Custom settings will have a new feature to save those settings, allowing for easy reconfiguration in situations such as a “clean uninstall” or format and re-installation of Windows and applications. New technologies include an “anti-lag” feature and a new GPUOpen developer toolkit named FidelityFX. AMD is working with many game developers in implementing these tools, some which joined AMD on stage at the Next Horizon event.
Finally, AMD has identified an error in the RX-5700 series renderings. The renders show an 8+8 power connection, but the actual models (as photographed above) only require an 8+6 pin connection.
We will be providing more details on much of these announcements in upcoming articles.
Disclosure: The writer attended an event by AMD related to these announcements. The offer to attend the event was free of any expectations or guarantees in exchange for attending, nor did XDA-Developers or the writer make any commitments in exchange for attending.