Event Coverage

AMD at Computex 2017: EPYC, Threadripper, Ryzen Mobile and Vega

By John Law - 5 Jun 2017

AMD at Computex 2017: EPYC, Threadripper, Ryzen Mobile and Vega

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At AMD’s annual COMPUTEX 2017 press launch, the semi-conductor and graphics card manufacturer had a lot to talk about on stage.

Lisa Su, President and CEO of AMD, first talked at length about EPYC, the company’s all-new workstation CPU that’s designed to go head to head with Intel’s own Xeon workstation CPU. AMD says that EPYC will have 45 percent more cores than its competitor, 122 percent more memory bandwidth to access, and up to 60 percent more I/Os for datacenters to utilize. Additionally, EPYC will also have its own dedicated security solutions for datacenters.

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EPYC will officially be launching on June 20, 2017, which is only a few weeks from now, so business centers looking for an alternative solution to workstation processors might want to look out for this.

Next on AMD’s agenda, the good Dr. Su talked briefly about Radeon Instinct, AMD’s high-end GPU architecture designed for more machine learning, as well as to drive Deep Learning and artificial intelligence.

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Naturally, one of the most hotly anticipated subject of AMD’s press launch was the company’s new enthusiast-level Ryzen Threadripper CPU. For many PC enthusiast, the existence of this high-end enthusiast-level CPU and its official name was announced last week, ending the rumors that hovered around it when it was still known (unofficially) as the Ryzen 9.

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On the subject of Ryzen, we think it’s pretty common knowledge at this point that AMD’s Ryzen CPUs are already being utilized in notebooks, case in point, the ASUS ROG GL702ZC that we found on display at ASUS’ booth. But they weren’t the only company either, as Acer actually showed off its own Ryzen-based gaming notebook (albeit, with specific mention of its hardware).

Jim Anderson, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Computing and Graphics, AMD, implied on stage that Threadripper would have several SKUs, with the top-of-the-line model carrying as many as 16-cores and 32-threads, a whopping 64 PCIe 3.0 lanes, all of which can be utilized by the Threadripper CPU for maximum processor efficiency. It will also support quad channel DDR4 memory, and it will be paired with its X399 chipset.

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Anderson didn’t give any specific launch availability dates for Threadripper, but he did say that it will be available by summer this year.

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One of the other more interesting piece of technology that was also announced at the press event was AMD’s long-awaited Ryzen Mobile APU. As the first Zen-based APU, Anderson stated that the CPU in Ryzen Mobile would be 50 percent faster than the older seventh generation APU, and its on-die Vega GPU would drive 40 percent more performance compared to its predecessor. He also said that Ryzen Mobile would do all this, and it would still consume 50 percent less power than the Bristol Ridge APU.

With Ryzen Mobile, notebook manufacturers are also able to produce notebooks that just as thin and as powerful (if not more) as many of today's Ultrabooks, all which are currently powered by Intel's own Kaby Lake CPUs.

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Before long, Dr. Su soon touched on the subject that many of us had been looking forward to: the announcement of the Radeon RX Vega. Unfortunately, the good President and CEO of AMD didn't actually have the graphics card in hand to present to the crowd. Instead, all she told us was that the consumer-ready version of the Radeon RX Vega would only be launched at the annual SIGGRAPH event in the U.S. later this year. That being said, however, Dr. Su did actually provide a demonstration of its Ryzen CPU and dual Radeon RX Vega GPUs working together to run the latest video game Prey on stage. She also gave us a brief demonstration of the Radeon RX Vega Frontier Edition's graphical prowess, but even that couldn't detract from the absence of the consumer-ready Radeon RX Vega graphics card.

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