AMD kicks off its “New Horizon” event in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday, December 13, at 3 p.m. central time. The company will show live demos of its upcoming “Summit Ridge” desktop processors based on its new, highly anticipated “Zen” processor design. The company is also expected to showcase motherboards supporting its Zen-based processors, and possibly the rumored Radeon RX 490 graphics card based on its new “Vega” graphics processor design.
This will be a public event, allowing locals to test the Summit Ridge processors for themselves, and for online viewers streaming the big reveal to salivate all over their keyboards. It will be hosted by video game journalist Geoff Keighley from GameTrailers TV and G4TV.com. He will be joined by Peter “PPD” Dager, a former member of the Evil Geniuses eSports team, who will put the Zen-based Summit Ridge processor “through its paces.” There will also be guest appearances and giveaways during the show.
AMD’s Zen-based Summit Ridge desktop processors aren’t slated to hit the market until the first quarter of 2017. But that could easily be the first few weeks of January, such as during the big CES 2017 electronics trade show in Las Vegas, or shortly thereafter. However, we highly suspect that AMD is conducting the New Horizon event to rain on Intel’s “Kaby Lake” desktop processor parade that’s supposedly taking place prior to the CES 2017 event. That said, the new year should kick off with an interesting bang for high-end desktop consumers.
That last time we saw a Summit Ridge desktop processor in action, it was at a small press event during the Intel Developer Forum convention in early August. AMD compared an eight-core Summit Ridge processor engineering sample against an eight-core Intel Core i7-6900K “Broadwell-E” down-clocked retail processor, both of which were set at 3GHz. The result showed that the Summit Ridge engineering sample could render AMD’s Zen logo slightly faster than the Intel chip. The final retail version of the Summit Ridge sample should be even faster.
As for the rumored Radeon RX 490, we recently saw the mysterious card show up on a Norwegian price comparison site followed by a benchmark in Ashes of the Singularity. The former listing could be absolutely nothing, but the benchmark clearly shows that a new AMD graphics chip is on the way. The RX 490 isn’t specifically mentioned, but rather an AMD-like Device ID number pointing to the rumored card. Some of us thought the RX 490 would pack two “Polaris” graphics chips, but a Vega GPU revealed alongside the Summit Ridge processor demos just makes more sense.
We’ll just have to see what AMD reveals in the next several hours. Go get your popcorn and soda ready, as New Horizon should be an eye-opening event for all.