AMD has an exciting year ahead of itself in both the CPU and GPU divisions, with their next-gen Vega GPU architecture set to be unveiled soon, and their upcoming Raven Ridge APU that has some surprising tech inside of it.
According to the latest report from Bitsandchips.it, AMD is working on a few Raven Ridge APUs - with the higher-end model featuring a 1024-core Vega GPU with HBM2, 16 CUs, DDR4 support, with Zen CPU cores (4 x CPU cores, 4 x - and it all arrives in TDPs of between 35-95W.
The lower-end version loses the HBM2 technology and kicks the Vega GPU from 16CUs on the high-end model, to 12 CUs on the lower-end model. The 170mm² part will have a TDP of 4-35W, with both versions of the Raven Ridge APUs being made on the 14nm FinFET process.
Surpassing Xbox One/PS4 Level Graphics/Performance
Let's face it, the rendering power of the PS4 isn't that great - but for mainstream gamers, it's enough. What is enough, though? 1080p 30FPS is about the norm with consoles these days, at around Medium preset graphics. The new HBM2 tech inside of the Raven Ridge APUs will be interesting, as I'm sure AMD will show game developers how to better utilize the much-faster memory technology for added performance inside of the lower APU power envelope.
AMD recently made it into Apple's latest MacBook Pro with its Radeon Pro 400 series graphics, which hits 35W and is based on the Polaris 11 GPU with 1024 stream processors and 2 TFLOPs of performance.
AMD's next-gen APU is a CPU/GPU in one, versus the Polaris-based Radeon Pro 400 series GPU inside of the new MacBook Pro. The new APU from AMD mixes the upcoming next-gen Zen CPU architecture with Radeon Technologies Groups' next-gen Vega GPU architecture into a single, low-powered, monster APU.
This means we can expect much better performance from the Zen and Vega-powered Raven Ridge APU, as the respective CPU and GPU architectures are expected to be much better than what's available right now.
Prepare to be excited: AMD is definitely in a position of power going into 2017, as it has forged the end of 2016 well with a successful launch of their Polaris-based Radeon RX 400 series graphics cards. But 2017 is looking even better with their next-gen Zen and Vega architectures, and the thought of AMD once again being in a position of having both a great CPU and GPU is really quite exciting.
Intel can't quite get a grip on the GPU side of things, and NVIDIA isn't on the PC side of CPU dominance (while it has CPU cores inside of its Tegra SoCs, they're mostly found in tablets - but NVIDIA has just hit the Nintendo Switch console). This gives AMD a big chance to nail 2017 to the wall with CPU, APU, and GPU launches.