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AMD's new 32-core second-gen Ryzen chips set to debut in Q3 2018

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AMD CEO Lisa Su holding up the company’s new 7nm Radeon graphics chip.


Aloysius Low/CNET

AMD’s having a good year, and it knows.

After having fallen far behind rival Intel in the chip race, the underdog finally found some success earlier this year with a 2.1 percent growth in 2017. While the number might not seem like much, it’s a huge gain for the company considering how dominant Intel is.

That’s thanks to its Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper processors, which have been doing well against Intel chips, as well as progress on its tech front. Then there’s its Radeon Vega GPUs, while competitive against Nvidia’s lineup, have also been selling well thanks to cryptocurrency miners

“This last year, since Computex, has been an absolutely amazing year in the computing industry,” said AMD CEO Lisa Su.

All that leads up to its Computex 2018 press conference, which saw Su take to the stage in a crowded hall filled with tech press in a keynote speech to talk about the company’s achievements, as well as to announce the first public demo of its new 12nm second-generation 32-core 64-threads Ryzen Threadripper. The second-generation Ryzen Threadripper will be available in Q3 this year. This follows the earlier shipping announcement of its second-gen Rzyen chips (not to be confused with its higher-end Threadrippers). Both of its new chips use its Zen+ architecture, which promises faster clock speeds, among other things.

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AMD’s second generation Threadripper processors will hit markets in Q3 this year.


Aloysius Low/CNET

“We launched Ryzen in March 2017, and since we launched, there are over 5 million Ryzen users today, and really, many of those are in the DIY and enthusiast space who love building their own system,” said Su.

“We are expanding the Rzen portfolio much much more. we are extremely excited about what Ryzen has done and more importably, what Ryzen will do.”

AMD disclosed at the event there will be 60 new Ryzen systems by the end of 2018 from manufacturers, and are optimistic at gaining 40 percent market share from online retailers.

“Ryzen has helped get AMD back on its feet, stirring up the PC industry and putting competitive pressure on Intel in the process. The change in numbers isn’t very dramatic yet: AMD’s share of the PC market was 8.5 percent share in 2Q17 vs 9.2 percent in 1Q18,” said IDC’s Bryan Ma.

“But it’s definitely making an impact on mindshare, not to mention bringing speeds and feeds back into the game with bragging rights around competitive core counts and benchmarks, not to mention getting OEM design wins.”

Gaming was big on AMD’s mind, with the chipmaker dedicating a portion of its one and half hour-long press conference to talk about how gaming has been growing rapidly. More people are watching e-sports, while game streaming saw a growth of 300 million from 2016 to 800 million in 2017. Hardware growth continues to be important for the company and gamers spent $4 billion more on hardware in 2017 for a total of $34 billion compared to 2016.

To make sure AMD has its hand in this huge pie, the company showed off new gaming machines, both laptops and desktops, from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Huawei and Lenovo. This included the Acer Predator Helios 500 notebook, as well as a new partner in the form of Chinese smartphone maker, Huawei, who unveiled a new laptop, the 14-inch Huawei MateBook D, powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 , of course. 

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The Acer Predator Helios 500 gaming laptop will be available soon. Pricing was not revealed.


Aloysius Low/CNET

Also unveiled were the new 7nm AMD Radeon GPU products, meant for workstations and servers — with AMD commiting to bringing the technology to its consumer discrete graphics. The company also showed off a new Radeon RX Vega 56 Nano graphics card that allows for small-form factor gaming mini-PCs — though it appears it won’t be as small as Intel’s NUCs, it seems. Also on the gaming plate was AMD FreeSync support for Samsung’s new QLED TV range, which will let gamers enjoy tear-free gaming on their big screens. 

Computex 2018: All of CNET’s coverage from the show in Taiwan.

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