Everything to know about AMD’s CES 2019 reveals: Ryzen 3, Radeon VII, and more

Chuong Nguyen
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At CES 2019, AMD CEO Lisa Su made her keynote debut by taking on rivals Intel and Nvidia in both the processor and graphics department. Su teased that AMD will launch its Ryzen 3 processor in mid-2019 and announced the new Radeon VII graphics processor and Epyc server processor during her presentation.

All of these new silicon solutions from AMD will utilize the company’s 7nm manufacturing standard, which should deliver a performance boost while maintaining energy efficiency.

Ryzen 3

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The new 7nm architecture will play a key theme for AMD in 2019. AMD teased that the company will be giving its Ryzen processors an upgrade this year to the new 7nm architecture, and the chips will be ready by mid-2019. Ryzen 3 will utilize AMD’s Zen 2 core architecture, Su said.

While holding up the Ryzen 3 silicon on stage, Su showed that the third-generation processor will utilize a new architecture, consisting of two chiplets. The smaller chiplet is the eight-core processor, which can handle up to 16 threads, made from the 7nm design. The larger chiplet contains the I/O die, which will help the processor communicate with the rest of the system.

Su revealed that Ryzen 3 will be the world’s first processor to support the new PCIe 4.0 standard, which will deliver faster performance. PCIe 4.0 doubles PCIe 3.0’s transfer rate, supporting up to 16 gigatransfers.

The chipset appears powerful, and AMD’s on-stage demo of Ryzen 3 has its processor beating out Intel’s rival 9th-Generation Core i9 K-series processor by a small margin using the Cinebench test. AMD’s latest processor posted a score of 2,023 points. AMD did not disclose specifics about the chipset, like clock speeds. The Cinebench demo also revealed that the Ryzen 3 system consumed 133 watts of power.

In addition to previewing the new Ryzen 3 desktop processor, AMD also announced its new Ryzen mobile processors at CES. AMD’s second-generation Ryzen 3000 Series Mobile Processors are based on the company’s 12nm manufacturing process and are designed for thin and light notebooks. AMD claimed its new Ryzen 7 3700U processors for lightweight laptops can outperform Intel’s Core i7-8550U in media editing by as much as 29 percent. With Ryzen on mobile, AMD is also taking on Qualcomm’s Always Connected PC platform, with Su promising up to 12 hours of productivity, the ability to be updated in the background, and fast startup times.

The company is also making a push in the Chromebook market with its 7th-Generation AMD A-series processors, which debuted on HP’s Chromebook 14 and Acer’s Chromebook 315. AMD claimed that the new A-Series processors are up to 23 percent faster at web browsing and web application performance compared to Intel’s Pentium N4200 and Celeron N3550. When it comes to photo editing and web gaming, the new A-series outperforms the Intel processors by as much as 42 percent, AMD claimed.

The world’s first 7nm graphics processor

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AMD’s new Radeon VII will be the world’s first 7nm graphics processor. Even though AMD claimed that it built Radeon VII for gamers, the company said that the GPU will also deliver better performance for creative professionals and content creators. Packing in 60 compute units and clocked at 1.8GHz, AMD’s GPU is capable of delivering 25 percent more performance while maintaining the same power requirements as last year’s Radeon RX 590, Su said on stage. The Radeon VII also packs in massive amounts of video memory, supporting 16GB of high-bandwidth memory capable of terabyte-per-second bandwidth.

AMD claimed that the Radeon VII delivers a 30 percent improvement for video editing in Adobe Premiere and 3D rendering in Blender. Compared to the previous generation of Radeon graphics, the Radeon VII delivers up to 35 percent better performance when playing Battlefield V and 25 percent better performance on Fortnite.

Compared to the Radeon RX 590, which delivered great game play at 1080p resolutions, the Radeon VII will take gaming to 4K resolution at Max settings. AMD showcased the smooth performance of Radeon VII during live game demos, including on titles such as Devil May Cry 5 and Division 2. Radeon VII will be available for $699 on February 7, and AMD will bundle either DMC 5Resident Evil 2 or Division 2 in early GPU units for free.

“AMD loves gaming,” Su proclaimed. “AMD loves gamers. We have one aspiration. We want to be the technology of choice across the entire ecosystem.”

Epyc on servers

AMD will also be giving servers a big upgrade this year with the announcement of the second-generation Epyc platform. “It’s the best server processor that the world has ever seen,” Su said, noting that Epyc will begin shipping in mid-2019.

In an on-stage demonstration, Su showed that a single second-generation Epyc processor was capable of delivering up to 15 percent faster performance than dual Xenon processors from rival Intel. Like Ryzen 3, Epyc 2 will utilize AMD’s Zen 2 architecture core and will also be based on a 7nm design.

Su also revealed that Google has selected AMD’s Radeon Pro graphics to power its high-end PC game streams. AMD’s Radeon Pro will now be powering used on Google’s servers to power game streaming.