AMD: Hey Intel, we have lots of CPU cores too – CNET

Aloysius Low/CNET

AMD’s new 16-core Ryzen 9 series 1998X CPU is all set to take on Intel’s 18-core Core i9 in high-end desktops.

Making the announcements on Wednesday in Taipei at its Computex press event, the company said the new CPUs would be shipping in summer 2017.

The move comes as AMD tries to catch up to both Intel and Nvidia, who have left the chipmaker somewhat behind in both CPU and GPU departments, respectively. In 2016, AMD’s market share in desktop PCs was at its lowest in a decade, powering only 13 percent of PCs, compared to Intel’s 87 percent, according to IDC.

AMD’s CEO Lisa Su, however, tried to paint a sunny picture at the press conference. 

“AMD really loves the PC business, we drive over 250 million units a year,” said Su.

The new Ryzen 9 CPUs, codenamed “Threadripper,” are based on the company’s Zen-core architecture, with the base model sporting 10 cores on the CPU. All chips in the Ryzen 9 range will support quad-channel DDR4 memory. Major Taiwanese brands such as Asrock, Asus, Gigabyte and MSI will have motherboards ready when the chip ships. Pricing was not announced, but expect the chips to be priced very competitively against Intel.

Furthermore, AMD is not taking Nvidia’s GPU lead lying down — the press event also saw a teaser of its new Radeon RX Vega, aimed at competing with Nvidia’s top-end GeForce GTX 1080 cards. More details on the Radeon RX Vega range will be revealed in July at Siggraph 2017.

That said, if you want to get your hands on a Radeon RX Vega GPU, there’s the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition that’ll available on June 27. It’s meant for data scientists and won’t be as good at gaming as the RX version, though.

Lastly, AMD also announced a new platform for notebooks, Ryzen Mobile, that will feature its Zen processors as well as Vega-based graphics. Besides delivering better performance than its competition, AMD also claims better battery performance. Ryzen Mobile is set to launch in the second half of the year. 

Check out the rest of CNET’s Computex 2017 coverage here.

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