CES 2017 has come and gone, and while I’m getting to this late, it seems both AMD and I have the same mindset on bringing what we can to the table, better late than never.
AMD in the last several years has been somewhat lack-luster, in having a self-proclaimed Titan X killer fall flat on its face in the R9 Fury X and a 5-year-old enthusiast CPU architecture and platform that has become more of a budget gamer’s option than someone looking for the best possible performance.
But, if what AMD is telling us is true, this could be a big comeback year. With the launch of Ryzen in Q1, AMD will be releasing the AM4 platform, which brings both new chipsets with things like PCIe Gen 3 and DDR4 Memory Support and new CPUs, with an 8-core part with hyper-threading promising performance like that of the $1600 Intel Core i7-6950X, Intel’s own top end, enthusiast grade CPU with 6 cores and hyper-threading enabled. No small claim here, but let’s hope it’s not another R9 FuryX situation, where it doesn’t perform close to what’s being advertised.
Next, we have AMDs next GPU, code named Vega, which is set to Launch in Q2 of the year. With the work that has been done with the RX 460, RX 470 and RX 480, AMD has been making a strong competitive case for their cards that compete at lower-weight classes up to and including the GTX 1060, but have yet to really push into the cruiserweight or heavyweight divisions where the 1070 and 1080 reign supreme. Vega is slated to launch in Q2 of this year, with rumors pointing to a possible May release around Computex. AMD has a chance of showing well at the annual trade show for the computer industry in Taipei, Taiwan, with the GPU rumored to offer performance that might make 4K gaming a reality. With the NVidia GTX 1080, 4K gaming is possible, although the card is better suited for VR gaming. With what AMD showed CES, however, it leads me to believe that 4K gaming at a reasonable 60+ FPS might be on our horizon.
To couple with the announcement and further showing off of the capability of the Vega GPU, AMD announced their new FreeSync standard, FreeSync 2. FreeSync monitors can be found for as low as $100 in some cases. Getting the cost of their adaptive sync tech down to an affordable cost is one of the many reasons that AMD has been making a strong case for their position and place in the GPU market. As someone who has an NVidia GPU and an NVidia G-Sync monitor, the adaptive sync technology introduced to us as gamers has been nothing short of amazing, giving me buttery smooth performance at any framerate. There are a lot of additional features that AMD offers above and beyond nVidia’s competing standard, with the highlight for me being HDR content being available.
Now, if you would like to read more details about all of these announcements, check out the people I go to for more in-depth coverage.
AMD Press Releases
As a gamer on a budget, a lot of this is exciting for me. On the one hand, there’s the hope and promise of some truly high end parts from AMD. Finally. Their prior history of bringing great value to lower budget-minded gamer is promising too, as always. It’s my hope that over the next few months, AMD can deliver on these promises, and surprise this PC enthusiast.
Also, as a side note, a bonus launch that I’m excited about: Western Digital launching their WD Black NVME SSD: https://www.wdc.com/about-wd/newsroom/press-room/2017-01-04-western-digital-introduces-wd-black-pcie-solid-state-drives.html