AMD's Threadripper struts onstage with Radeon RX Vega and a big surprise

Toby Manning
June 1, 2017

AMD President and CEO Lisa Su welcomed top executives from Dell, Acer, Asus, HP and Lenovo on stage to show off desktop and laptop systems based on AMD Ryzen CPUs and Radeon graphics cards, all of which are being launched at Computex. Depending on pricing, which was not revealed, this is potentially a big advantage over Intel and its competing Core i9 processor family.

In fact, AMD said that the hotly anticipated Radeon RX Vega GPUs destined for mainstream PCs won't be launched until SIGGRAPH 2017, which takes place in Los Angeles, kicking off on July 30. Raja Koduri, who runs the Radeon group, explicitly said that consumers and gamers should wait for the launch of Radeon Vega for the desktop.

AMD demonstrated ThreadRipper's performance in a few scenarios, including the now-famous Blender rendering test of the Ryzen CPU and logo. But coming so close to the Ryzen launch, it doesn't sound like it'll be radically different.

AMD also unveiled the Ryzen mobile accelerated processing unit in an ultra-portable laptop references design.

Finally, the company paired the new processor with dual Vega GPUs to play Prey in 4K resolution with the maximum settings. Most of what was known officially about Threadripper was confirmed, with the release of 16-core 32-thread CPUs being the headline chips, running on a new X399 chipset platform, using a new socket called TR4 rather than the AM4 for Ryzen. We have seen ASUS' Zenith Extreme X399 motherboard showing off 10Gb Ethernet capabilities and it is expected that many motherboards will offer multiple connectivity options with high-speed PCIe storage. And... well... let's just say that we weren't impressed by what AMD showcased (as there was tearing during that demo). 'Additionally, the ecosystem enthusiasm is evident as we start to see the first wave of Ryzen-based systems from top OEMs join the hundreds of motherboards and system integrator systems already in-market. "It's clear that the industry and consumers were hungry for the innovation Ryzen has brought back to the PC market". The demo featured the Ryzen mobile-powered notebook playing HD video content. Joining its Radeon VR Ready tiers, AMD is now introducing two tiers to help users choose the right processor for their needs: AMD VR Ready Processor, and AMD Ryzen VR Ready Premium. She disclosed that "What we did announce at our analyst day was that the first shipping Vega will be the Frontier Edition which will ship with 16GB of memory and will ship towards the latter half of June".

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