Skip to main content

AMD is sneaking in another ‘Zen’ demo ahead of Intel’s desktop CPU launch

amd zen public event new horizon austin texas
Image used with permission by copyright holder
December is going to be an interesting month. Head over to AMD’s website (or Facebook) and you’ll see that the company has plastered a huge banner on the front page announcing an event called “New Horizon.” It will take place at 4 p.m. ET on December 13 in Austin, Texas, and will be live-streamed for everyone who can’t attend. The company says it’s going to provide live demos of its upcoming desktop “Summit Ridge” processors based on its new Zen architecture, and we can’t wait to see how that unfolds.

AMD’s Zen showcase will be hosted by video game journalist Geoff Keighley, the former host of GameTrailers TV and G4TV.com. Also on hand will be 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.

“This is the first time the public will be able to try it themselves and see its capabilities,” the company states. “If you’re serious about gaming, this is an event you do not want to miss.”

Get your weekly teardown of the tech behind PC gaming
Check your inbox!

AMD isn’t launching its Summit Ridge desktop processors until sometime in the first quarter of 2017. They will arrive after Intel unleashes its seventh-generation Kaby Lake desktop processors, which is expected to be before the CES 2017 convention in Las Vegas this January. There’s a good chance AMD got a whiff of this possibility and decided to give the public a little taste of what is to come before Intel’s launch. We expect even more Zen-based exposure during January’s show.

The last time we saw Zen was during AMD’s reveal event in late August. The company said it nearly started over from scratch when designing the new Zen processor architecture, as it uses very little from the previous “Excavator” CPU design. That has left customers and critics alike extremely curious over what’s to come with the new design.

According to AMD, Zen-based processor cores will have 40 percent more instructions per clock than Excavator. Each core will have two threads (lanes), access to 8MB of shared L3 cache, a large amount of “private” L2 cache, and a micro-op cache. Other highlights include two AES encryption units for security, and transistors based on energy-efficient FinFET process technology.

AMD previously provided a glimpse of the Zen architecture in a small press event during the Intel Developer Forum convention in early August. The company compared an eight-core Summit Ridge processor sample against an eight-core Intel Core i7-6900K “Broadwell-E” down-clocked processor, both of which were set at 3GHz for an actual clock-to-clock, core-to-core, thread-to-thread boxing match. The result showed that the Summit Ridge sample could render AMD’s Zen logo slightly faster than the Intel chip.

We will just have to see how AMD’s upcoming Summit Ridge desktop processors, which will aim at the high-end desktop market, will compete with Intel’s upcoming Kaby Lake desktop processors targeting the same market. Like we said, December is going to be an interesting month, as will January for that matter. PC gamers have a lot to look forward to from both sides of the CPU coin.

So we recommend that you take a seat, pop some popcorn, grab your loved one’s hand, sit back, and enjoy watching AMD and Intel duke it out in the desktop processor arena. This is going to be great!

Kevin Parrish
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then…
This new Windows 11 setting could improve performance and battery life
Windows 11 updates are moving to once a year.

Yesterday, Microsoft released the Windows 11 26252 build, which brings a flood of innovations that will give users a much-needed power boost. One of those changes is a new power setting that will provide the user more control when their PC is on battery power or not, as Phantom Ocean 3 mentions in a post on X (formerly Twitter), which was noticed by Windows Latest.

In theory, this greater degree of control will allow your system to automate power settings so that you don't forget to manually switch them while plugged in or on battery.

Read more
Best Prime Day laptop deals in 2024: Surface Pro, Razer, HP, Dell
Best Prime Day Deals

We can smell Prime Day in the air. The shopping holiday kicks off on July 16 and runs through July 17. However, the discounts are already starting to sprout up, so we've collected some early Prime Day deals on laptops below. We've also broken down what to expect for the main event and how to approach buying a new laptop during Prime Day. This page will be ever-evolving (bookmark it!) as we know more, the event approaches, and more deals become available. Looking for something beyond laptops? Deals exist beyond laptops, of course, and we'll be covering all of the big categories and items you want in our main Prime Day deals coverage.

Today's best laptop deals
Prime Day officially runs from July 16 to July 17. If you want the most options in your deals, you should wait until then to buy a laptop. But, if you're struggling to keep that new laptop itch at bay, there are great laptop deals all year round. While we encourage you to wait until next month to get the widest selection, there's nothing wrong with taking advantage of a deal right now, so long as it suits you.

Read more
Best Prime Day MacBook deals in 2024: Air, M1, M2, M3
Best Prime Day Deals

If you've been eagerly anticipating Prime Day 2024, your wait is almost over. Day One officially kicks off on July 16. It will run for two days until July 17 with loads of great discounts and offers. If you're thinking about buying a MacBook from this year's Prime Day deals, you won't have to wait for long. In fact, there are some early Prime Day laptop deals available right now. Apple's laptops carry premium prices for several good reasons, so there's always a high demand for discounts. You'll get a lot of opportunities with the upcoming Prime Day MacBook deals, but since you'll be racing against other shoppers to score the best bargains, we recommend that you prepare yourself for the shopping event with the tips we've gathered below.
Today's best MacBook deals

Officially, Amazon Prime Day 2024 arrives on July 16 and July 17 with its MacBook deals, so you're going to have to exercise some patience for a week or so. However, if you need a new MacBook as soon as possible, you should know that there are offers that you can take advantage of right now. We've rounded our favorite picks below -- you should know that these prices may go lower on Prime Day, but it can't be helped if you must have your new MacBook immediately.

Read more