US Navy orders AMD, Nvidia-powered supercomputer with 590TB of RAM – Blog – 10 minute

In a nutshell: Supercomputer manufacturer Cray is building a machine for the US Navy that will be packed with AMD’s Epyc Rome cores and Nvidia’s Volta GPUs. Built on the Shasta platform, it’ll boast a performance of 12.8 petaflops, which makes it one of the top 20 most powerful supercomputers in the world today.
The Cray Shasta computer is being installed as part of the Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program and will be located at the Navy DSRC at Stennis Space Center, Mississippi. It will be the first machine in the program to offer over 10 petaflops of power.
As you would imagine, the supercomputer will feature some serious hardware, including 290,304 AMD Epyc 7002-series processor cores, 112 Nvidia Volta V100 GPUs, and a 200 gigabit per second Cray Slingshot network interconnect. There’ll also be an incredible 590TB of memory, which should be enough for a few Chrome tabs, and 14 petabytes of usable storage, including 1PB of NVMe-based SSDs.
The system, which is expected to be operational by early 2021, will be used for aircraft, ships and environmental modeling. It’ll also be used on weather forecastings such as tracking hurricanes and their intensity.
“The investment and increase in supercomputing power at the Navy DSRC at Stennis Space Center is absolutely critical to Naval Oceanography. Delivering future capability upgrades to global and regional ocean and atmospheric prediction systems, to include later this year the Navy’s first Earth Systems Prediction Capability,” said Rear Admiral John Okon, the head of Navy Meteorology and Oceanography Command.
Cray signed three high-performance computing contracts with the US military worth more than $71 million back in August. Another Cray Shasta supercomputer was acquired by the US air force, while the Army Research Lab (ARL) and the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) will each get a Cray CS500 cluster supercomputer.

As of November last year, the 148.6 petaflop Summit system was the most powerful supercomputer in the world. It features 4,356 nodes, each containing two Power9 CPUs with 22 cores and six Nvidia Tesla V100 GPUs

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Apple namedrops next-gen AMD hardware in macOS beta code – Blog – 10 minute

Through the looking glass: AMD delivered a splendid battery of processors and graphics hardware throughout 2019 and seemingly Apple’s been taking notice. Last year the pair delivered the Mac Pro’s unique Vega II Pro Duo graphics solution, and new evidence suggests that may be the first in a succession of high-end AMD products to grace Apple’s testing labs.
Unreleased and unannounced AMD products and supporting infrastructure are appearing frequently in newly published, official MacOS Catalina 10.15.4 code. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen some of these products in a beta version of macOS, but they’re looking increasingly polished this iteration.
Most notably, the code extensively references AMD’s Navi 12, Navi 21, Navi 22, and Navi 23 graphics cards that are expected to break new ground in the gaming GPU world. The four models have been confirmed multiple times by Linux updates, and they’re expected to utilize RDNA 2.0 and AMD’s first hardware ray tracing implementation.
Rumors suggest that Navi 12 and 21 are budget and mid-range chips, while Navi 22 and 23 are the flagship parts that could challenge Nvidia’s RTX series and potentially dethrone the RTX 2080 Ti.
While the mention of these products in Apple’s software doesn’t prove much – AMD could have provided this driver and included them by accident – it is reasonable to expect Apple will take advantage of them. Apple has used Polaris and Vega chips for years, and there’s no reason why they wouldn’t use Navi as well. What’s a little less likely, and all the more intriguing for it, is the possibility of Apple using AMD processors.
Mentioned in the code are five generations of mobile AMD processors. The first three are existing generations, but the fourth is Renoir, which AMD announced at CES 2020. Renoir uses 7nm Zen 2 processing cores and Vega graphics.

Model
Cores/Threads
Base Clock
Boost Clock
TDP

Ryzen 7 4800H
8/16
3.0 GHz
4.2 GHz
45W

Ryzen 5 4600H
6/12
3.0 GHz
4.0 GHz
45W

Ryzen 7 4800U
8/16
1.8 GHz
4.2 GHz
15W

Ryzen 7 4700U
8/8
2.0 GHz
4.1 GHz
15W

Ryzen 5 4600U
6/12
2.1 GHz
4.0 GHz
15W

Ryzen 5 4500U
6/6
2.3 GHz
4.0 GHz
15W

Ryzen 3 4300U
4/4
2.7 GHz
3.7 GHz
15W

Renoir has nearly identical specs to the four CPUs Apple uses in its MacBook Pro series. What a strange coincidence.

Model
Cores/Threads
Base Clock
Boost Clock
TDP

Core i9-9880H
8/16
2.3 GHz
4.8 GHz
45W

Core i7-9750H
6/12
2.6 GHz
4.5 GHz
45W

Core i5-8279U
4/8
2.4 GHz
4.1 GHz
28W

Core i5-8257U
4/8
1.4 GHz
3.9 GHz
15W

Apple’s software also labels a new Van Gogh architecture. Van Gogh is often referenced in conjunction with Navi, leading to speculation it will be the first APU with RDNA graphics.
If Apple is going to launch a product with new AMD hardware this year, they’ll likely do it at WWDC in June. They’ve usually announced updates to macOS there, and generally, bring some professional hardware like the Mac Pro or iMac along, too.

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AMD Threadripper 3990X Review: Absolute Madness! – Blog – 10 minute

Today we’re looking at the most expensive desktop CPU to ever exist, and shockingly it’s not from Intel. The special ocassion made us think of an Intel processor that we were quite fond of once, the Broadwell-E Core i7-6950X, which happened to be the first 10-core desktop CPU when it was released in 2016.
Full disclosure: while we very much enjoyed the 6950X, we didn’t actually pay for it. Avoiding the hideous $1,700 price tag made the product a whole lot more enjoyable. For that stunning price, Intel basically tacked on two extra cores from the previous two-year-old 5960X, and jacked up the price by 75%.

By the time they released their next 10-core part all bets were off as AMD had finally got their act together and had begun kicking goals with the Zen architecture. Stiff competition from the first-gen Threadripper range saw the 10-core Core i7-7900X released at $1,000, then refreshed as the 9900X at $1,000, and refreshed once more as a $600 part in the 10900X. Many would argue that the 10-core part is overpriced at $600 and we’d generally agree.
The point we’re trying to make is, a mere four years ago the best any high-end desktop platform had to offer was a $1,700 10-core processor that ran all cores at 3.4 GHz out of the box. Today AMD is releasing a CPU with over 6 times more cores, though it costs almost 2.5 times more.
Meanwhile Intel’s rumored to be scrambling to release a 22-core HEDT part, but we seriously doubt they’ll bother at this point. You can’t even buy their current 18-core model. In theory these days Intel’s offering 18 cores for $1,000, though not really since the 10980XE doesn’t exist in retail. So technically if you want an 18-core Intel CPU you’ve got to pay around $2,000 for a 7980XE or 9980XE, whichever model you can find, so good luck with a 22-core part.

With no competition from Intel in this space, AMD can get away with charging quite the premium. To be fair though, a 64-core, 128-thread processor capable of the performance we’re about to show you for $4,000 isn’t as absurd as it first sounds.
Let’s talk a little bit about the Threadripper 3990X before we jump into the blue bar graphs…
This is a 64-core/128-thread Zen 2-based processor. It comprises eight, 8-core chiplets or ‘core complex dies’, built using TSMC’s 7nm process. There’s also a input/output die using GlobalFoundries’ 12nm process and combining the transistor count of all those dies lands us at a staggering and frankly incomprehensible 39.5 billion transistors.

The jaw dropping numbers keep coming as we dig into the specs: it packs 256 MB of L3 cache with 32 MB of L2 cache. Depending on the workload, the cores clock between 2.9 and 4.3 GHz, allowing the CPU to keep within a 280 watt TDP.
That’s all very impressive, but evidently this processor isn’t for everyone not only because it’ll set you back a handsome $4,000, but also because it’s extreme overkill for most tasks. AMD fully acknowledges that the 3990X is a special purpose processor designed for a relatively small customer base with a unique set of needs.
They say their customers for the Threadripper 3990X are predominantly professional visual effects artists and companies dabling with 8K content using various raw or lossless codecs. AMD’s also verified 64-core scaling for compiling projects like Android OS or Unreal Engine, so there will no doubt be some demand for those tasks as well.

AMD believes the key to the 3990X’s success will be doing something no other processor does: combine both high frequency and high core counts into a single product. This is extremely valuable for a number of industries as it ensures maximum efficiency on all levels.
For example 3D rendering tools such as Isotropix Clarisse are largely single-threaded during the setup process, before the rendering begins, so having a processor that can clock up over 4 GHz during single or lightly threaded workloads is very beneficial here. Of course a high clock speed, at least relative to other core heavy processors, is also beneficial once the rendering process begins.
There’s a lot more to discuss, but we feel at this point you’re really wanting to see the benchmark results, so let’s get on with that and we’ll talk more about the 3990X and who it’s designed for a bit later in the review.
For testing the Ryzen 9 3950X, 3900X and Ryzen 7 3800X CPUs, the Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme was used. Then we have the MSI X399 Creator for the 2nd-gen Threadripper 2990WX, 2950X and 2920X. For the new 3rd-gen Threadripper 3970X and 3960X, the Gigabyte TRX40 Aorus Xtreme was used. All Ryzen configurations were cooled using a custom Corsair HydroX loop with a 360mm rad.

All processors were tested using 32GB of Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4-3200 CL14 memory. We realize performance in some workloads might be higher with DDR4-3600 CL16 memory, but for an apples to apples comparison, all platforms feature the same spec memory.
On Intel’s side, the Intel Cascade Lake-X Core i9-10980XE and Skylake-X Core i9-9920X were tested on the Gigabyte X299 Aorus Gaming 9, also using a Corsair HydroX loop with a 360mm rad.
Then the mainstream 8th and 9th-gen Intel Core processors were benchmarked on the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra, using the same DDR4-3200 CL14 memory, but they were cooled using the Corsair Hydro H115i RGB Platinum 280mm AIO liquid cooler. Note the Intel CPUs are not TDP restricted as that’s not the out of the box experience, so we are showing the absolute best case scenario for out of the box performance. Also, please note this cooler in no way restricts performance, so we’re seeing maximum performance from the Intel CPUs. Finally, the graphics card of choice was the MSI Trio GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.
Benchmarks
First up we have the Cinebench R20 scores and it’s madness, as anticipated. We’re looking at a score of over 24000 pts, making the 3990X a whopping 45% faster than the 3970X and 80% faster than the 3960X.
If you want to compare it with Intel’s best, Threadripper is 181% faster, so 4x more expensive for almost 3x the performance in this application.

When it comes to single core performance the 3990X is still very spritely for a 64-core processor, producing a score of 494 pts which is comparable to the Core i9-10980XE, Ryzen 7 3800X and even the Core i9-9900K.

The 7-zip compression results are important because this is where the 2990WX fell apart. The 2nd-gen 32-core processor was 40% slower than the 16-core version due to the architectural design limitation that made it a poor choice for memory sensitive applications.
The I/O die featured in the 3rd-gen design overcomes this issue. We first saw this with the 3970X and AMD proves again just how scalable this design is with the 3990X. Here it was 33% faster than the 3970X and almost 100% faster than Intel’s Core i9-10980XE.

Typically it’s decompression performance where Ryzen shines and while the 3990X is fast here, it is a little slower than the 3970X. This is because it’s not fully utilized and this was less of an issue for the compression test which doesn’t take advantage of SMT support. At most 7-zip was using 73% of the 3990X, so this gives the higher clocked 3970X a slight performance advantage.

Moving on to Adobe Premiere, this is another application where the 2990WX was a complete trainwreck.
The TR 3990X hangs in there and despite very poor CPU utilization with this program, it managed to match the 3960X, taking 424 seconds, making it the second fastest desktop CPU we’ve tested in Premiere.

It does fair a little worse in the Puget Systems export test, where the 3970X was 16% faster, so obviously the 3990X isn’t a great value choice for Premiere users. But if you’re primarily using it with applications that do get a big performance boost from the 64 cores, it’s good to know the chip can still handle Premiere with aplomb unlike the older 2990WX.

Playback performance was solid. Again, it’s a little down on the 24 and 32-core models, but nothing alarming here.

The 3990X simply dominates in V-Ray, even more so than it did in Cinebench. This time beating the 32-core 3970X by a 63% margin and that meant it was 165% faster than the 10980XE. What more can you say, for these rendering applications the 3990X is everything AMD promised it would be.

The Corona benchmark which takes almost 2 minutes with something like the Ryzen 7 3800X, took a mere 18 seconds using the Threadripper 3990X. The 64-core processor took 47% less time to complete the test when compared to the powerful 3970X.

The Threadripper 3990X completed the Blender Open Data benchmark in just under 3 minutes which is insane.
This test has traditionally taken quite some time to complete, even with previous HEDT parts. For example, the 2990WX did really well here, yet it took a little over 6 minutes to complete whereas Intel’s Core i9-10980XE took roughly 9 minutes… this means the 3990X is a little over 3x faster.

POVRay was a last minute addition to this review. We added it because it’s a good example of a program that supports up to 64 threads, at least the current public release does. AMD has submitted updated code that allows POVRay to scale beyond 64 threads and fully utilize the 3990X.
Here we can see with the current 64-thread limit the 3990X is only able to match the 3970X, but with the update which should be publicly available soon, the 64-core processor will receive an almost 70% performance boost.
Power Consumption

We know all 3rd-gen Threadripper parts feature a 280w TDP, so power consumption should be similar, and it is. Due to a binning process and a reduction in clock speeds/voltages the 3990X doesn’t consume much more power than the 32-core version, pushing total system usage just 3% higher, which is remarkable given we often saw well over a 50% increase in performance when fully utilized.
Gaming Benchmarks
Gaming on the 3990X is kind of dumb… at least dedicated gaming totally is. And yet many of you will at least want to know how the CPU behaves in gaming tasks. In the name of science, we’ve run our usual batch of games and we’ll just blast through those results now. We won’t spend much time on analysis because it’s a little silly, but who knows the guys making the visual effects for Terminator might have wanted to play the Terminator game on their high-end workstations when they weren’t rendering, we’re sure at some point that was a thing.
Anyway, the performance in Battlefield V was great…

Shadow of the Tomb Raider also played exceptionally well. You’re looking at a similar experience to that of the 10980XE.

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2… that also worked, performance was as expected.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint was like, this is more CPU than I need, enjoy the GPU bottleneck.

F1 2019 appreciated the advanced technology and the Silver Arrows seemed to perform even better than usual, hmm wonder what’s going on there.

Borderlands 3 also… worked and it worked well.

We really hope this is the first and last 128-thread Fortnite benchmark. Good times.
Overclocking
We fully expect pro overclockers to have a seriously fun time with the 3990X. For this 3.7 GHz all-core overclock we applied just 1.2v and that was enough to see the total system draw hit 765 watts with a CPU temp of 77 degrees.
Oddly, when messing around we managed to boot into Windows with all cores clocked at 4 GHz and this produced a score of just over 30,000 pts on Cinebench R20. The CPU peaked at 92 C and the total system load just exceeded 850 watts. Annoyingly, we achieved this in the early hours of the morning, we don’t recall the exact settings used and with very little time to replicate it during the few days we had for testing, we ran out of time.

Using just 1.2v, 3.7 GHz was the best we could achieve while properly collecting all the data. This led to a 14% increase in performance and meant the overclocked 3990X was still 54% faster than the overclocked 3970X at 4.2 GHz.
For measuring thermal performance we ran an hour long Blender stress test in a 21 C room using a range of cooling devices. Basically we ended up with the same results as the 3970X, which isn’t hugely surprising given power consumption was similar. Basically each CCD will be drawing less power and therefore generating less heat, but there are twice as many of them so you end up with a similar outcome. The good news being out of the box the 3990X isn’t difficult to keep cool.
What We Learned
The Threadripper 3990X is a beast, it’s completely unchallenged and redefines the HEDT space. Right now nothing comes close to offering the same level of performance, and we were relieved to find that the 3990X has no real weakness.
When under-utilized, performance is still strong and comparable to that of lower core count parts. Like the 2990WX before it, the TR 3990X is a superstar for rendering tasks, but unlike the 2990WX, it still performs well when not fully utilized or faced with memory or latency-sensitive workloads. This was a major issue with the 2990WX as you didn’t really know if it was going to be a beast or a bot for your workload. It was crucial to have your exact workload tested before buying and that’s not always an option. With the 3990X though, it’s a much safer purchase, basically if your application can use the cores, the 3990X will deliver the goods.

At this point you might be wondering where are our usual price vs. performance graphs, but for this one we decided not to bother. The 3990X is not about price-to-performance, rather the idea here is to offer the absolute best performance period for core-heavy workloads. It’s a little bit like how we only recommend the Core i9-9900K for gamers with extreme setups consisting of an RTX 2080 Ti, for example. And it’s also a bit like how we only recommend the RTX 2080 Ti for extreme 4K gaming with expensive high-end monitors.
The Threadripper 3990X brings a significant jump, more so than either the 9900K or 2080 Ti, as it’s not just a little bit faster than the next best thing, it’s a lot faster.
Now we’ve talked a bit about who AMD’s targeting with this massive 64-core processor: professional visual effects artists, for example, but it’s not just VFX guys that the 3990X is designed for. It’s VFX guys that have projects that take 1 or 2 days to render using a more traditional HEDT part. For example, where the 2990WX might take 24 hours complete a render, the 3990X could reduce the completion time of the same job to just 15 hours.
Saving that kind of time per project is worth paying the 3990X’s asking price. On the other hand, for those with projects that take mere hours to render, AMD recommends checking out the TR 3960X or 3970X as they’re going to be more appropriate for such workloads.
In my personal case, I’d would look at purchasing either the 3960X or 3970X for the content creation work I do. Right now I’m using the 3960X and I have to say, it’s amazing. Before this I used the Threadripper 2950X and then for a brief 2-month period, before transitioning to 3rd-gen Threadripper, I tried out the Core i9-9900K in Premiere. The upgrade from the 9900K to the 3960X was significant, and while Threadripper is significantly more costly, it also allows me to do much more.
For example with the Core i9, I could apply the warp stabilizer effect to about 6-8 b-roll clips simultaneously. Any more and the system would slow to a crawl and often crash. With the 3960X I can warp stabilize all the b-roll in a 10-15 minute video, about 20-30 clips at the same time, and still create a thumbnail in Photoshop without noticing any slow down. It’s phenomenal and has massively speeded up my workflow.
We see the Threadripper 3990X doing much the same for visual effects artists, software developers compiling projects, and anyone else who can make use of a 64-core processor.
Overall an incredible product from AMD that is not only exciting for professionals today, but it paves the way for more affordable core-heavy desktop parts in the near future.
Shopping Shortcuts:

AMD Threadripper 3970X on Amazon

AMD Threadripper 3960X on Amazon

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X on Amazon

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X on Amazon

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X on Amazon

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 on Amazon

Intel Core i9-9900KS on Amazon

Intel Core i9-9900K on Amazon

GeForce RTX 2080 Ti on Amazon

GeForce RTX 2070 Super on Amazon

AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT on Amazon

AMD Radeon RX 5700 on Amazon

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AMD updates its ‘Raise the Game’ bundle with new freebies for Radeon customers – Blog – 10 minute

Freebies: Everybody loves free stuff, and that’s something AMD understands well — late last year, the PC hardware giant updated its GPU-oriented Raise the Game bundle, as well as its CPU-focused Equipped to Win bundle. Both deals gave customers access to several newer games, such as The Outer Worlds and Borderlands 3. While we haven’t seen any new Equipped to Win offers just yet, AMD has decided to refresh its Raise the Game bundle again.
Moving forward, Radeon RX 5700 XT and 5700 buyers will get Monster Hunter World’s Iceborne Master Edition (it comes with the full game and its Iceborne expansion), a pre-order code for the Resident Evil 3 remake, and three free months of Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass for PC service.
While we can’t speak to the quality of the Resident Evil 3 remake just yet (it doesn’t release until April 3), both Monster Hunter World and Xbox Game Pass are solid freebies. The former is an excellent game in its own right, and the latter grants you access to a massive library of PC titles, both new and old.
RX 5500 XT buyers will get access to Resident Evil 3, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and the same three-month Game Pass subscription. Warcraft 3: Reforged was previously listed as one of the free games in this category, but AMD seems to have removed all mention of it now; perhaps due to its poor critical reception or its controversial user agreement.

The second-to-last Raise the Game offer from AMD applies to RX 5500 and RX 5500M purchases. Like the previous deal, it’ll net you both Resident Evil 3’s remake and Breakpoint, but no Game Pass membership.
The final deal applies to AMD’s older GPUs. If you buy the Radeon VII, or products belonging to the RX Vega and RX 500 GPU series, the three-month Game Pass subscription is all you’ll get — no extra free-to-keep games included here.
AMD’s latest Raise the Game promotion is expected to run until April 25. As always, though, this date isn’t set in stone. AMD reserves the right to cancel or extend the promotion as it sees fit, based on the number of available coupon codes.

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Asrock wants to ride the AMD wave in 2020 like it did last year – Blog – 10 minute

In context: AMD has big plans for 2020, which can be summarized as “doubling down” on beefier 7nm CPUs and GPUs. Asrock, who is known for its motherboards and PC hardware offerings, has seen its revenues soar thanks to gamers buying its AMD-based motherboards, so the company is expecting even bigger gains for the year ahead.
Asrock isn’t the biggest player in the motherboard market, but the company may have found the perfect opportunity to boost its position within the industry by doubling down on motherboards with AMD chipsets.
Recently, the Taiwan-based manufacturer reported surprisingly strong revenue of NT$13.415 billion ($442.96 million) in 2019, a surge of 31.6 percent when compared to the previous year. According to a report from Digitimes, the company saw relatively poor sales during the first two quarters for its motherboards and graphics cards, followed by a very good third quarter where it registered a 110 percent increase in net earnings.
The improvements stem from AMD graphics cards becoming profitable towards the end of last year, particularly in the US and European markets. Couple that with higher demand for its IPC and server solutions, and Asrock found the right recipe for even better growth numbers in 2020.

Asrock is looking to ride the wave of PC gamers that are increasingly turning to AMD’s processors, which is a good bet when you consider how the latter is preparing even more potent hardware for 2020.
AMD CEO Lisa Su recently confirmed that “Big Navi” and Zen 3 are indeed coming this year with a bang, which is why Asrock is going to dedicate more of its attention towards AMD-based solutions.
The motherboard market is valued at almost $13 billion in 2020 and expected to grow in the next five years. Asrock is betting a lot on its DeskMini PCs, particularly the ones based around AMD’s A300 chipset. Then it also has the Phantom Gaming Radeon 5000 series of graphics cards up its sleeve. These efforts won’t help it overtake the likes of Asus, Gigabyte or MSI, but they’ll certainly give it a boost in the right direction.

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AMD reports record quarterly and yearly revenue, Navi refresh and next-gen RDNA coming in 2020 – Blog – 10 minute

In a nutshell: AMD has announced its Q4 2019 and full year 2019 earnings results, and it’s mostly good news. The firm broke quarterly and yearly revenue records, but its stock fell around 4 percent on the back of a softer outlook for Q1 2020. CEO Dr. Lisa Su also revealed that the Navi Refresh and RDNA 2 would both arrive this year.
AMD brought in a record $2.13 billion of revenue in the fourth quarter, marking a 50 percent increase compared to Q3 2019. It was also a record-breaking year for the company, with $6.73 billion of revenue generated—a 4 percent jump compared to a year earlier.
“2019 marked a significant milestone in our multi-year journey as we successfully launched and ramped the strongest product portfolio in our 50-year history,” said Su.

In the company’s Computing and Graphics arm, Ryzen and Radeon products helped revenue jump 69 percent YoY to $4.7 billion. Quarterly revenue was also up, by 30 percent to $1.66 billion. Su said that AMD’s 7nm products and Ryzen Mobile processors droves sales, with the company recording its highest CPU sales in six years. Radeon RX 5000 sales, meanwhile, helped graphic unit shipments grow by a “double-digit” percentage YoY.
It wasn’t all good news. The company’s Enterprise, Embedded and Semi-Custom (EESC) segment brought in less revenue than analysts expected. While it did see increased sales of EPYC processors, there were “lower semi-custom sales” as fewer consumers bought consoles in anticipation for the next-gen machines’ arrival later this year. The $465 million of revenue brought in by the EESC arm during Q4 was down 11 percent QoQ, while the $2 billion it generated across 2019 was down 14 percent from a year earlier.
Additionally, the Q1 2020 outlook of $1.8 billion, while up 48 percent YoY, was softer than expected, contributing to the drop in the share price.

Su also confirmed that AMD will introduce the 7nm Navi refresh and its next-gen RDNA architecture this year. “In 2019 we launched our new architecture in GPUs, it’s the RDNA architecture, and that was [in] the Navi-based products. You should expect those will be refreshed in 2020 and we’ll have our new next-generation RDNA architecture that will be part of our 2020 lineup,” said the CEO.
Image credit: Joseph GTK via Shutterstock

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Cisco appoints AMD CEO Lisa Su to its board of directors – Blog – 10 minute

In brief: Cisco Systems has appointed AMD president and CEO Lisa Su to its board of directors effective immediately. It’s a big get for Cisco as Su is one of the most respected members of the semiconductor industry.
Su, who also serves on AMD’s board, joined the chipmaker in 2012 and was promoted from chief operating officer to president and CEO in October 2014. She has authored an incredible turnaround that has the company trading at more than $50 per share, up from less than $3 a share when she first took the helm.
AMD’s resurgence has also renewed its rivalry with Intel, forcing Chipzilla to put its best foot forward after years of ho-hum releases. The chipmaker even highlighted these competitive challenges in an internal memo that found its way to Reddit last summer.

As Tom’s Hardware highlights, Cisco’s press release was light on details and doesn’t mention Su’s compensation package. The publication did reach out to AMD and confirmed that her role as CEO and her seat on the chipmaker’s board won’t be affected by her new role with Cisco.
Su is an active member in Silicon Valley, additionally serving as the Chair of the Global Semiconductor Alliance and is on the board of directors for the Semiconductor Industry Association.
AMD is expected to share its most recent earnings report after the markets close later today.

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AMD Ryzen 5 1600 AF Review – Blog – 10 minute

AMD’s first-gen Ryzen chips continue to sell as budget alternatives to the newer generations and the Ryzen 5 1600/2600 products in particular are very attractive for budget builds. Today we’re checking out the 12nm version of the Ryzen 5 1600 that despite the name, is a new CPU that’s only been on the market for a few months.
To quickly recap, the Ryzen 5 1600 was released in April 2017 for $220, based on the original 14nm Zen architecture. It’s a 6-core, 12-thread part clocked at 3.2 GHz for the base with an all-core boost clock of 3.4 GHz and cooled using the Wraith Spire.

About a year later, AMD replaced it with the Ryzen 5 2600 at $200. It was also a 6-core processor, but featuring updated 12nm Zen+ cores. It ran at a base clock of 3.4 GHz with an all-core of 3.7 GHz. Because the more refined process was more efficient, AMD downgraded the cooler to the Wraith Stealth.
After one more year, we got the current generation Zen 2 processors. Here the replacement was the Ryzen 5 3600, another (incredibly good) $200 part.
But what is this Ryzen 5 1600 AF?
Late last year a mysterious Ryzen 5 1600 refresh made it to market. Bizarrely, AMD released a really cheap version of the Ryzen 5 2600, but just called it the Ryzen 5 1600. Known as the “Ryzen 5 1600 AF” because of the box identification, it’s very different to the original Ryzen 5 1600 AE model.
Forget about the name, this is a 2nd-gen Ryzen part. Essentially it’s an R5 2600 with a slight decrease in clock speed. Apparently AMD didn’t have enough 14nm wafers available to keep producing the R5 1600, so they simply shifted it to the 12nm process and now they’re making a version of the R5 2600 that they call the R5 1600.

At this point you may be asking yourself, why do I care that AMD is making new products and selling them under old names? Seems counterproductive, but the reason you should care is price. These underclocked Ryzen 5 2600 CPUs cost a mere $85. That’s a Zen+ 6-core, 12-thread part for just $85 brand new.

The original 14nm Ryzen 5 1600 was a great deal at a little over $100 and the Ryzen 5 2600 was killer at $120, but the Ryzen 5 1600 AF blows them both out of the water at just $85. That is, as long as you can get it. The CPU seems to be readily available in the United States, but it’s not sold everywhere.
Before we get into the blue bar graphs, here’s a look at how the 1600 AF clocks compared to the original 1600 AE model, as well as the 2600: running a heavy Blender workload, the original 1600 operates at 3.4 GHz, the new AF model maintained 3.7 GHz and the 2600 runs at 3.8 GHz.

From this test alone, it would appear like the 1600 AF could be up to 3% slower than the 2600 out of the box, but it’s way cheaper. Armed with that information, let’s jump into our tests which we’ll power through as the results aren’t surprising and don’t require much explanation.
For testing we’re using the Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master with 16GB of G.Skill’s FlareX DDR4-3200 memory and a RTX 2080 Ti GPU.
Benchmarks
First up we have the Cinebench R20 multi-core performance and here the 1600 AF basically matched the 2600, less than a 1% margin in it. This means out of the box the AF was 12% faster than the original 1600.

For single core performance the 2600 was 1.5% faster than the 1600 AF and that makes the new 12nm 1600 is 10% faster than the original.

Running 7-zip we see identical compression performance. Again, the AF is about 10% faster than the original 1600. For the decompression test the 2600 was 1.5% faster than the 1600 AF which was 9% faster than the original 1600.

The last application we bothered to run was Blender, here the 1600 AF was about a 1% slower than the 2600. No surprises here.
Gaming Benchmarks
Time for some gaming benchmarks and first up we have Assassin’s Creed Odyssey AND… the 1600 AF delivers basically the same performance as the R5 2600, making it a little faster than the original 1600. As expected the margins are very similar at 1440p.

Performance in Battlefield V is very similar between the original 1600, the 1600 AF and the 2600. Of course, it’s the same story at 1440p, so with a lesser graphics card you can expect to see no difference at all.

The 1600 AF matched the 2600 with identical performance in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, making it a few frames faster than the original model and we see basically identical margins at 1440p.

We see identical gaming performance from the 1600 AF when compared to the 2600 once again, this time when testing with The Division 2.
The results at 1440p are no different and here we see more evidence that the 1600 and 1600 AF will deliver the same gaming experience with a lower tier GPU.

Next up we have Far Cry New Dawn and yes…. this is a familiar sight.
The 1600A basically matching the 2600 making it a little faster than the original, the true 1600. 1440p doesn’t offer up any surprises, more of the same here.

We see a nice 13% boost to the 1% low performance for the 1600 AF over the 1600 in Hitman 2 at 1080p and the refreshed 1600 was able to basically match the 2600. The 1% low margin extends to 16% at 1440p, but overall the margins are much the same.

The 1600 AF also shows good 1% low improvements in Total War Three Kingdoms, beating the 1600 by a 16% margin at 1080p to coming in 1-2 fps behind the 2600. The margins are reduced slightly at 1440p, but overall a similar story.
Wrap Up: Incredible Budget CPU
That was our quick look at how the Ryzen 5 1600 AF performs and the results were as positive as we expected. It’s a Ryzen 5 2600 with very minor reduction in clock speed. Speaking of which, you can of course overclock the 1600 AF as it’s fully unlocked. Our chip — which we bought from retail — hit 4.2 GHz using 1.4v and that’s the same overclock achieved by the R5 2600 retail part we have on hand.

Some chips might only do 4 GHz depending on silicon quality, some or rather few might exceed 4.2 GHz, but based on reports we’ve seen 4.2 GHz seems like the upper end of the overclocking results. Our original R5 1600 chip also does 4 GHz and that seems to be about as good as you can realistically hope for with the older processor.
In other words, the Ryzen 5 1600 AF is not only cheaper than the original 1600 and faster out of the box, but it should also overclock better. Power consumption is inline with the 2600, with a slight advantage out of the box due to the minor decrease in clock speed, though this can vary depending on silicon quality.

For budget builders with access to the 1600 AF at $85, there is simply no better choice. As we said earlier, the Ryzen 5 2600 was already amazing value at $120. Thus, the 1600 AF which is basically the same CPU for a further discount is just an insane deal.
AMD is putting the hurt on Intel with parts like this. Right now the Core i5-9600K costs $240 and the locked i5-9400F comes in at $165 (check out this performance comparison). We expect both of these 6-core/6-thread processors to be slower than the 1600 AF for gaming within a few years. If the 1600 AF is not selling in your country, you can still buy the R5 2600 for less than any modern Core i5 processor, which is why we had picked it as the best budget CPU you can buy, well, until now.
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AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT Review – Blog – 10 minute

Today we’re test driving the Radeon RX 5600 XT for the first time since AMD unveiled it at CES 2020. As part of the announcement, we received all the important information we needed: detailed specs covering core count, operating frequency, memory configuration, pricing information and even estimated performance comparing the 5600 XT to competing Nvidia products.
That simply left us to test and confirm this information in our day-one review… until about a week ago.
In generating hype and announcing everything about the upcoming GPU, AMD essentially notified the competition and gave Nvidia two weeks notice to react and counter the 5600 XT. And that’s precisely what they did. Nvidia didn’t take long to drop the GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition down to $300, a 14% discount from the original $350 price. EVGA also announced a $300 RTX 2060 ‘KO’ model, pretty subtle that.

We can’t say if this is a limited-time only price. As of writing, both the EVGA KO and Nvidia FE models are out of stock, making the cheapest available RTX 2060 about $320. Whether or not Nvidia’s price cut is just a ploy to steal AMD’s thunder doesn’t matter. The result is the same. AMD was forced to counter react or risk lackluster reviews at launch.
Based on the specs announced at CES, we were expecting the RTX 2060 to be about 10% faster than the 5600 XT. But with the price cut, the razor-thin price difference would have meant for the 5600 XT to be dead on arrival, and yet another bad Navi launch for AMD.
An obvious solution to this mess would be for AMD to also cut prices, but it seems this is something they’re unwilling or unable to do, so the new Radeon 5600 XT will remain at $280. The less ideal and far messier option is to change the 5600 XT spec by overclocking it for better performance, and so they did.
Shortly after receiving our 5600 XT review sample, AMD sent an email saying a vBIOS update was coming to boost performance. Realizing that the 5600 XT was going to come up short, they’ve unofficially increased the core clock by up to 15% and the memory frequency by 17%, though rather bizarrely only increased the total power rating of the product by 7%, which doesn’t add up, but more on that in a moment.

 
AMD reference spec
Original Max OC spec
Updated Max OC spec

Game Clock
1375 MHz
1460 MHz
1615 MHz

Max Boost Clock
1560 MHz
1620 MHz
1750 MHz

Memory Transfer Rate
12 Gbps
12 Gbps
14 Gbps

Total Graphics Power
150 watts
150 watts
160 watts

We say they’ve increased the spec unofficially because originally AMD said the 5600 XT would operate at a game clock of 1375 MHz with a boost clock of up to 1560 MHz. Those numbers have now technically increased to 1615 MHz for the game clock and 1750 MHz for the boost, only for OC models. The 6GB of GDDR6 memory have also been overclocked from 12 Gbps to 14Gbps for the updated final spec.
This new OC ceiling intended to allow the 5600 XT to tackle the cheaper RTX 2060 models is a significant step up from the base spec. Typically we see OC models offering a ~3 to 5% performance increase when compared to the reference spec. This is what we saw with the 5700 XT range, for example. But in the case of the 5600 XT, OC models will be around 13% faster than base. And we’re talking 13% faster on average, not up to 13% faster, a significant difference.

It’s worth noting that AMD sampled reviewers exclusively with OC models. The Sapphire Pulse was the official board sent out to most, and we have that along with MSI’s Gaming X. The problem is, there will be models such as MSI’s Mech OC which will be over 10% slower than OC models and the price difference may be minimal, so you’ll want to be careful with what you buy.
This change was also so late in the game that we hear the first wave of products has already shipped to retailers. That means pretty much all 5600 XT’s available at launch will have the original BIOS and won’t perform quite as well as what’s shown in most reviews. That being the case, we’ll be showing 5600 XT results both before and after the BIOS update, the before results represent the base spec.
We have a few other concerns about these changes, but for now let’s look at the numbers and carry on with the discussion. For testing we’re using our Core i9-9900K GPU test rig as usual, which comes clocked at 5 GHz with 16GB of DDR4-3400 memory. We used the MSI RX 5600 XT Gaming X exclusively for the 5600 XT testing in this review. We have 12 games to look at, tested at 1080p and 1440p using medium to high quality settings. Let’s get into the results.
Benchmarks
First up we have Shadow of the Tomb Raider and here the updated version of the MSI 5600 XT Gaming X model is a few frames faster than the RTX 2060. You can see why the 5600 XT was overclocked further as the 11% boost seen in this title allows it to edge ahead of the RTX 2060, rather than trail it by an 8% margin.

It’s a similar story at 1440p, though this time the RTX 2060 manages to edge ahead of the 5600 XT by a frame, so it’s a tie. Before the upgrade the 5600 XT was 12% slower than the RTX 2060.

Testing with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey saw the 5600 XT match the RTX 2060 after the update, and this means it’s just 6% slower than the RX 5700 and 7% slower than the 2060 Super.

Identical performance between the 5600 XT and RTX 2060 is seen at 1440p and this time the new $280 Navi GPU is just 8% slower than the 5700.

Nvidia’s Turing based GPUs have become very competitive in Red Dead Redemption 2 and in fact the RTX 2060 has now edged ahead of the RX 5700.
As a result the 5600 XT is quite a bit slower, lagging behind by a 16% margin using the high quality settings with the Vulkan API.

It’s a similar story at 1440p as well, though this time the 5600 XT is 13% slower, still a pretty big margin though. Then when compared to the base spec the OC 5600 XT was 12% faster.

World of Tanks is another title where Turing and Nvidia GPUs in general do well. The RTX 2060 can be seen matching the RX 5700. This means the OC version of the 5600 XT was 10% slower, while the base models will be around 17% slower.
The margins close up a bit at 1440p. Here the 5600 XT OC was 6% slower than the RTX 2060, though base models will still be around 16% slower. Clearly the extra memory bandwidth is playing a key role in boosting performance of the OC version.

The Far Cry New Dawn results are really interesting, even at the base spec the 5600 XT is very close to not just the RTX 2060 but also the RX 5700. Even with the Core i9-9900K there is a system bottleneck.
Jumping up to 1440p does see some separation and now the factory overclocked 5600 XT is slower than RX 5700 by a 7% margin. It was also 7% faster than the RTX 2060, thought the base spec is a few frames slower.

Frame rates in Rainbow Six Siege are very competitive, here AMD’s last minute OC update is enough to put the 5600 XT on par with the RTX 2060, making it just 9% slower than the RX 5700. The base model 5600 XT will tail the RTX 2060 by a 10% margin out of the box.
Interestingly, we see a situation at 1440p where AMD’s 5600 XT falls behind the RTX 2060 which appears to benefit from superior memory compression technology. It’s also strange to see the 5600 XT matching the RX 5700, quite a surprising result.

The base 5600 XT spec places it just ahead of the GTX 1660 Super which is what we know AMD was targeting originally. With the RTX 2060 price cut that wouldn’t, umm cut it, so the new OC ceiling puts the 5600 XT on par with the 2060, though it also means the 5600 XT basically offers RX 5700-like performance in this title, something we imagine AMD wanted to avoid.
The 1440p resolution does give the RX 5700 a little more breathing room, but even so the factory overclocked 5600 XT was just 8% slower and 5% slower than the RTX 2060.

Next up we have Battlefield V, the base configuration sees the 5600 XT fall short of the RTX 2060 by a 5% margin, while the factory OC version was 3% faster.
It’s a similar situation at 1440p, though it’s interesting to note that even at this higher resolution, the factory overclocked 5600 XT is just 10% slower than the RX 5700.

Here we see that the 5600 XT OC models will be able to match the RTX 2060 in titles such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare whereas base models will be 8% slower.

The higher end Turing GPUs seem to suffer from weaker than expected frame time performance in Metro Exodus. The RTX 2060 is quite a bit slower than the 5600 XT in that regard, even when compared to the base model. Again, the 5600 XT OC isn’t a great deal slower than the RX 5700, this time it’s 10% behind at 1080p.

The jump up to 1440p results in similar margins. The overclocked 5600 XT is just 9% slower than the RX 5700 while it was 12% faster than the RTX 2060 when comparing the average frame rate.

In F1 2019 the 5600 XT OC was almost at the level of the RTX 2060 Super, meaning it was 7% faster than the standard RTX 2060. We also see a 9% performance boost from the base spec to the factory OC versions of the 5600 XT.

A similar situation is seen at 1440p. It’s really nice to see the 5600 XT trailing the RX 5700 by a mere 6% margin.

Finally we have Gears 5 and here the base spec 5600 XT averaged 81 fps while the factory OC spec was 12% faster. The RTX 2060 does well here and is just able to edge out the RX 5700, which meant it was 11% faster than the 5600 XT OC.

The 6GB 5600 XT falls away a little at 1440p as here it was 11% slower than the RX 5700 and 13% slower than the RTX 2060.
Power Consumption
Efficiency is a big advantage of these new 7nm Navi GPUs, at least when compared to previous Radeon GPUs. When compared to Turing, the factory overclocked 5600 XT is still efficient, offering a similar level of performance while saving around 20 watts total system power.

Performance Summary
You’ve seen how the base model and factory overclocked Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics cards perform, now it’s time to see how they stack up overall and then take a look at the cost per frame data.
On average at 1080p the MSI 5600 XT Gaming X and the RTX 2060, which is also a factory OC model from MSI called the Gaming Z, they delivered the exact same performance. This also means on average, factory overclocked 5600 XT models will be around 10% faster than the base models.

Base model 5600 XT’s do have the GTX 1660 Super covered, delivering 13% more performance on average. Meanwhile the overclocked 5600 XT was just 7% slower than the RX 5700 on average and while the MSRP is 20% lower, realistically the OC models will probably be around 15% cheaper.

Even at 1440p the overclocked MSI Gaming versions of the RTX 2060 and 5600 XT are evenly matched. Base models cards will be 10% slower, but of course you can manually overclock those anyway.
Cost per Frame
This is going to get messy, but what we’re trying to do here is estimate the true value of the different GPUs at their prospective price points. First, let’s just compare the MSI Gaming versions of the 5600 XT and RTX 2060. Given both delivered 125 fps on average, it’s pretty obvious which model wins.
We expect the 5600 XT Gaming X to be priced at least $20 over MSRP ($300), just as the RTX 2060 Gaming Z model is. We’ve also included two prices for the Gaming Z, the current $370 retail price, and the alleged price with the $50 discount which we’ve yet to see live.
Even with the $50 price cut, the RTX 2060 will still cost 7% more than the 5600 XT card. Without the price cut, the GeForce would be 32% more expensive, making the 5600 XT a vastly superior value, but we doubt price reductions won’t be made effective unless some kind of shortage takes place.

Now here’s a look at cost per frame for all the currently available GPUs tested. Please note we have two RTX 2060 prices, the $330 price represents the cheapest currently available models, while the $300 price represents the EVGA KO and Nvidia FE models. Then we have two performance and price configurations for the 5600 XT: the base model at the $280 MSRP and the OC cards which we believe will come in at a $10 premium for models such as the Sapphire Pulse.
The best value GPUs in the $300 segment will be by far the most affordable OC versions you can get at ~$10 over the MSRP. You’ll want to make sure you’re buying an OC model as the base models are pretty poor value. Yes, you can overclock them, but they’ll likely come with weaker coolers, so you’re better off spending a little extra on a better quality model.
The RTX 2060 is a good value at $300, we’ll just have to see them selling at that price point widely.
It’s worth pointing out that the GTX 1660 Super still stacks up really well here. While base model 5600 XT’s might be 13% faster, in terms of cost per frame the 1660 Super is a little better.
What to Buy?
The Radeon RX 5600 XT is a respectable product that has pushed for lower prices and better performance at $300. For that alone, we commend it. The GPU won’t blow your socks off and yet it’s better value than the Radeon RX 5700 and makes the RTX 2060 Super a really tough buy. Given the competition in this price range, we think AMD has done fine.
The main advantage of the more expensive RX 5700 is the extra 2GB of VRAM, which depending on the games you play, the graphics settings and resolution, may or may not factor into your buying decision. We know a lot of people will complain about the 6GB VRAM buffer, and we know where you’re coming from. Ultimately, we tend to agree that 8GB VRAM should be the minimum to go for in 2020, but at least for now it doesn’t matter for 1080p gamers.

About the way AMD handled this release. The last minute decision will come with some consequences in the short term. Users will have to update their vBIOS to get the most from their cards. How the updates are handled and who takes care of the process will depend on the brand, the region, and even the retailer.
Initially we were concerned by how well 5600 XT graphics cards would handle the last-minute factory overclock, but after asking around, it seems most manufacturers have simply used their RX 5700 series coolers. That should give cards plenty of headroom while letting AMD claim this is something they carefully evaluated before making the change.
We’re also interested to see how many RTX 2060 cards actually hit $300 and when stock will return for the KO and FE models. We’re almost expecting this to be a limited run deal to steal AMD’s thunder. Worst case scenario, it forced AMD to make the 5600 XT closer to the 5700 than they would have liked.

It’s no coincidence we haven’t touched on overclocking, basically because the OC headroom went from hero to zero. Factory overclocked models like the Pulse and Gaming X can be pushed to 1820 MHz for the core (a 4% frequency bump), while you can squeeze 6% more frequency out of the memory. Perhaps it’s possible to go a little higher using soft power play tables, but as far as convenient overclocking goes, the cards are tapped out.
Bottom line, it’s good to see some more competition in the GPU space and we’re the ones to benefit. AMD can probably take a note or two on how to release information and not show your hand weeks in advance. Then again, we also appreciate having pricing info more than half a day before reviews are set to go live, somewhere in the middle would be nice AMD.
Shopping Shortcuts:

AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT on Amazon

GeForce RTX 2060 on Amazon

GeForce RTX 2060 Super on Amazon

AMD Radeon RX 5700 on Amazon

AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT on Amazon

GeForce GTX 1660 Super on Amazon

GeForce RTX 2070 Super on Amazon

GeForce RTX 2080 Ti on Amazon

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X on Amazon

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 on Amazon

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AMD Zen 3 microcode surfaces in Linux kernel – Blog – 10 minute

Forward-looking: The Linux kernel is a great gauge for future hardware, as the massive code base is routinely updated to support hardware months in advance, sometimes even before it has been formally announced. In recent months, patches to the Linux kernel have offered references to Navi 22 and 23, as well showing support for Intel’s Tiger Lake, Jasper Lake, and Elkhart Lake processors. Now, we’re seeing support for AMD’s Zen 3 processors.
Renown hardware leaker @Komachi_Ensaka spotted lines of code that appear to detail EDAC (Error Detection and Correction) for AMD’s Family 19h processors — family 19h refers to AMD’s Zen 3-based chips — the current-gen Zen 2 is Family 17h, and the new Linux patch mentions those as well.

[PATCH 4/5] EDAC/amd64: Add family ops for Family 19h Models 00h-0Fh https://t.co/wveHQTqrqU>Add family ops to support AMD Family 19h systems. Existing Family 17hfunctions can be used.Also, add Family 19h to the list of families to automatically load themodule.
— 比屋定さんの戯れ言@Komachi (@KOMACHI_ENSAKA) January 18, 2020

Looking over the code, we can spot at least two device IDs for the upcoming Zen 3 family: “PCI_DEVICE_ID_AMD_19H_DF_F0” and “PCI_DEVICE_ID_AMD_19H_DF_F6” are both listed under Family 19h.

AMD is expected to formally launch Zen 3 later this year, as confirmed by AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su.
AMD has committed to a yearly update cadence for the Zen architecture, and past roadmaps for Epyc Milan and Genoa have offered a glimpse of what Zen 3 will look like under the hood, including a 7nm+ EUV process (N7+) from TSMC.

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