Event Coverage

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

By Vijay Anand & John Law - 11 Jun 2017

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

Dr. Lisa Su, President and CEO of AMD. In her hand is the new EPYC workstation CPU.

Earlier at AMD’s annual Computex 2017 press launch, Lisa Su, President and CEO of AMD, 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.

AMD's EPYC will be launching on June 20, 2017.

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. As we’ve already covered this topic at length previously, we won't delve into this subject again.

Jim Anderson, Senior Vice President and General manager, Computing and Graphics, AMD, holding the new Ryzen Threadripper CPU.

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 recently, ending the rumors that hovered around it when it was still known (unofficially) as the Ryzen 9.

Jerry Kao, President of IT Products Business, Acer, holding what is supposedly a Ryzen-based Acer gaming notebook.

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 earlier. But they were not 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.

The new AMD Ryzen Threadripper enthusiast-level CPU, and the Ryzen Mobile APU. The coin at the top right gives you an average estimate of both processors.

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

AMD's new Ryzen Mobile APU was designed to be used in ultra-thin form factor notebooks. It is also the first APU that has been embedded with the new Radeon Vega GPU cores.

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.

Sorry, AMD Radeon fans. Guess we're just going to have to wait until SIGGRAPH this year to see the Radeon RX Vega.

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.

A real-time demonstration of the Radeon RX Vega Frontier Edition GPU in action.

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