Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) provided more details about its new high-end Ryzen desktop processor at Computex today, including demonstrations of some desktop systems from its OEM partners powered by the new chip. The top end of the Ryzen line, the Ryzen 9 1998X, will carry a total of 16 cores and start shipping this summer. Codenamed "Threadripper," the Ryzen 9 line also comes with up to 32 threads.
The company’s announcement comes a day after Intel wowed audiences at the Computex IT trade show in Taipei, with its new i9 processors, which pack in up to 18 processing cores and 36 threads. Although AMD announced the launch of Threadripper about a month ago, the company took advantage of Computex to offer more information.
Targeting High-End Desktops
The Threadripper is targeted at the high-end desktop market, including gaming, 4K graphics rendering, and VR applications, AMD said. The company was able to show off a couple high-performance systems from OEMs such as ASRock, Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI. Each has produced a motherboard to support the X399 chipset used by Threadripper. The new motherboards also feature quad-channel memory and support for up to 2 TB of RAM.
The company also publicly demonstrated a Ryzen mobile APU in an ultraportable design, with four cores, eight threads, and the company’s Vega architecture-based graphics into a sub-15mm thickness notebook design. The demo featured the Ryzen mobile-powered notebook playing HD video content.
But information about high-end desktop processors is not the only news AMD had to share at this year’s Computex. The company also announced the launch date for EPYC, its new family of high-performance processors for cloud-based and traditional on-premises datacenters. Previously codenamed "Naples," the first EPYC processor-based servers are scheduled to launch June 20. EPYC is based on the company's existing Zen x86 architecture.
Graphics Cards and VR Ready
AMD also took advantage of Computex to draw attention to its VR (virtual reality) bona fides. The company announced that all of its Ryzen desktop processors are approved for use with the Oculus VR platform. AMD has labeled some of its Radeon graphics cards as "VR Ready" and said it will soon begin labeling its processors as either "VR Ready" or "Ryzen VR Ready Premium."
The chipmaker also provided some updates on its new Radeon graphics cards based on its Vega architecture. The new Radeon Vega Frontier Edition will be the first graphics card in the family to launch, and will be geared toward supporting machine learning and advanced visualization. AMD said the new card is expected to arrive in stores June 27.
Meanwhile, the company also provided a demonstration of its new Radeon RX Vega graphics card, also based on the Vega architecture. The Radeon RX Vega, which is more geared toward gaming workloads, is expected to launch at SIGGRAPH 2017 in Los Angeles later this year.
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