This years financial analyst day had more product previews and launches than any before. Even the AMD Crew now had 6 speaker compared to 4 in the last year. The big news on this day was the introduction of the Server Epyc CPU code name “Napples” (32 Cores 64 Threads). This also means that good known Opteron brand is now history. Another highlight was the introduction of the upcoming premium desktop CPU AMD Ryzen 9 Threadripper (16 Cores 32 Threads). In the 2nd half of the year is also the launch of the Ryzen Mobile APUs with integrated Vega Graphics.
After all the time of waiting AMD now just released the first part of the new high end CPU line called Ryzen 7 with all new Zen cores to the market. It has been a lot of work in the past years to get the new core ready for launch. Some of the people of the Zen team talk about the work on the Zen core and products, including:
Suzanne Plummer (Sr. Director Design Engineering)
Mike Clarke (Sr. Fellow Design Engineering)
Jim Anderson (Sr. Vice President and GM Computing and Graphics)
Most of the Ryzen CPUs have their own user friendly auto overclocking feature called XFR.
For advanced users AMD just released the AMD Master Application which is a overclocking and monitoring tool for detailed settings of the CPU. For more information check out the AMD Ryzen Master Overclocking Users Guide. Download of Ryzen Master is available from this site.
The AM4 desktop platform is a long awaited refresh to replace the current AM3+ and FM2+ platform with
new chipsets that have USB 3.1 Gen1/Gen2 support and the support for DDR4 memory. The AM4 socket platform is the target for the current Bristol Ridge Desktop APUs and the upcoming Zen based CPUs and APUs.
Bristol Ridge for Desktops is a refreshed Excavator Core that was first released in Carrizo Mobile. Changes are: improved performance, support for DDR4 memory and several extended power saving mechanism.
AM4 platform for OEMs
The AM4 platform is currently only available to OEMs, e.g. HPs EliteDesk 705 G3 Series which we will cover a little bit. There is no support for Windows 8 or Windows 7 because of Microsoft’s support policy.
Update January 2017:
HP added Windows 7 Enterprise to the list of supported OS. This is a change to the Windows 10 only support policy earlier, the product documentation and the customer advisory was not updated to reflect this change.
There is also a new model 1AA87AW available that ships with Windows 7 Pro preinstalled. This is really good news as till now no other new CPU line (Apollo lake, Kaby Lake) comes with Windows 7 support.
In the history of Intel’s Developer Forum (IDF) AMD is always presenting new products close to the IDF in a hotel. This time AMD had a nice surprise because it was the first official demo of a Zen “Summit Ridge” Engineering Sample clocked at 3 GHz. Mark Papermaster revealed some new information about the Zen architecture. Also surprising was the comparison of the 8 Core Zen ES on the new AM4 platform with an Intel Broadwell-E CPU by using the Blender CPU Render Benchmark. The Zen ES finished the benchmark slightly faster than the Intel part. The 2nd chip that was presented was the 32 Core ZEN Server chip “Naples” in a two socket server mainboard.
For more technical information and slides check the link below.
Update: Hot Chips 2016
On 23th of August Michael Clark presented the Zen architecture with more technical details in his session “A New, High Performance x86 Core Design from AMD”. An audio record of this session is available on youtube – The AMD Zen Technical Briefing.
The cards are available from AMD (RX480 only) and partner of AMD with different cooling solutions, overclocked and silent BIOS features and different graphics output connectors.
Some of the availabe reviews are listed below. For the start Guru3d explains the new Polaris generation in
more detail in every review. Keep in mind that most of the benchmarks runs were not using the latest available crimson graphics driver, game patches and newer graphics APIs DirextX12/Vulkan when supported by the game/benchmark which means non optimal results. Vulkan like OpenGL works in the opposite of DX12 on Windows 10 on nearly all current operating systems including Windows 7 and Linux.
In June 2015 AMD released the 6th Gen. Mobile A-Series “Carrizo” APUs. This high effency Mobile APU features new Excavator CPU cores and a new Radeon GPU with 3rd Gen. GCN based on “Tonga” which is the first one that is 100% compatible with HSA 1.0.
In 2015 the Mobile first release of CPU/APUs was true for both Intel and AMD. Intel started with the Mobile “Broadwell” U-Series in January and then Desktop version was just released in June. AMD will most likely release the Desktop version of the Carrizo APU in 2016.
All new Mobile A-Series “Carrizo” APU models have 4 CPU Cores and a cTDP from 12W-35W.
AMD presented some news and facts on new and future releases of CPUs and GPUs. Project “Skybridge” and the move to 20nm was canceled to focus on the next generation cores “Zen” and “K12” in 16nm FinFET.
new high performance x86 core “Zen” will feature new FX CPUs in 2016
the ARM based Opteron A1100 “Seattle” release is in the 2nd half of 2015
Radeon M300 Graphics for Notebooks in Q2/2015
Radeon Desktop Series “Fiji” with HBM feature in Q2/2015
3rd Generation GCN Desktop Radeon Series with HBM2 in 16nm FinFET 2016
first “Zen” based Desktop APUs and big “Opteron” server chips will be released in 2017