AMD released some additional information about its upcoming Ryzen chips at CES this week. Having spent over four years designing the architecture, the company plans to keep it around for at least that long. That’s according to CTO Mark Papermaster, who was on-hand to discuss the chip. First things first — AMD is promising a hard launch for Ryzen, without any paper launches, limited availability, or limited product introductions. When Zen debuts it’ll debut in multiple (still unknown) configurations, not a single eight-core part.
As PCWorld details, Papermaster also confirmed the four-year target and emphasized that it didn’t mean AMD wouldn’t iterate the core. “We’re not going tick-tock,” Papermaster said. “Zen is going to be tock, tock, tock.”
Meanwhile, PCWorld’s Brad Chacos reports on some interesting news on the overclocking front. All AMD Ryzen CPUs will be unlocked and overclockable, but only three motherboard chipsets — X370, X300, and B350 will have overclocking support. If current rumors are accurate, that corresponds to the upcoming enthusiast-class chipset (X370), mainstream (X300), and small form factor (X300) chipsets. That’s most of the chipsets AMD is launching (most of the non-budget ones, at least) and should cover virtually the entire overclocking market. AMD motherboards have historically been cheaper than their Intel counterparts, so this shouldn’t be a major issue.
Crossfire and SLI support will only be implemented on the X370, however. According to AMD, the relative handful of people who use multi-GPUs always use higher-end motherboards. Practically, this makes sense, since most people can’t afford or don’t want a second card, and if you do want one, you can probably afford a slightly more expensive motherboard. Given the typical price gap between AMD and Intel we don’t see this being a major issue, either.