AMD has a quite a year ahead of them. Their Ryzen Mobile processors could wind up in some very competitive laptops and 2-in-1s, and they might just leap back into the enthusiast market with two very highly anticipated releases. The superpowered Ryzen Threadripper CPU and the new Vega architecture for the AMD’s GPUs were already official before Computex 2017 got underway this week, but at the AMD press conference earlier today, CEO Dr. Lisa Su reaffirmed that both products can be expected before the end of summer.
Both are strictly for gamers — specifically, gamers who want to also stream their gameplay, and, as noted in one of AMD’s demos today, pretend to do their homework all at once. The excellently named Threadripper is a colossus of a CPU, with 16 cores and 32 threads. That’s a ton of parallel computing, making it a beast for heavy duty multitaskers. Other goodies for computer DIYers include 64 PCIe lanes and support for quad-channel RAM. By the way, colossus is meant physically as well as computationally — the Threadripper itself is massive for a CPU, taking up a good chunk of space on all those new X399 motherboards AMD’s corporate friends have already made. Dr. Su made like a movie promo with Threadripper today, telling us to expect it “this summer.”
Less is known about the Vega GPUs for gaming. One form of Vega GPUs will be released on June 27, but it’s meant for datacenters and AI applications. The gaming-optimized versions are still a ways out, with an announcement promised at the SIGGRAPH event at the end of July.
While there have been plenty of leaks, we’ve gotten no official word on clock speeds or prices, so there’s plenty more still to come from AMD. They’ll have to be quick with it, too — AMD’s big week was diminished some by Intel’s announcement of an 18-core, 36-thread CPU (the topmost Core X i9) and Nvidia’s Volta Tesla V100 GPU, which is in a whole other league when it comes to AI applications. Still, with Nvidia and Intel going for the very high end, there’s a good chance that AMD’s offerings will end up with the best value based on price. At the very least, even if AMD is still behind in performance, they’ve now gotten close enough to make things interesting.
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Disclosure: Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), an organizer of COMPUTEX, covered our travel expenses to attend COMPUTEX 2017. All thoughts and opinions are 100% our own.