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AMD Zen Based Summit Ridge Processor Family To Have Dedicated Overclocking Variants – Aimed at Enthusiasts and Overclockers


AMD's upcoming enthusiast processor lineup based on the Zen architecture would allegedly be featuring special variants aimed at overclockers. The rumor comes from Bitsnchips who are saying that these processors will be part of the Summit Ridge family.

AMD Summit Ridge Family To Feature Specialized Variants For OC Aimed at Enthusiasts

The rumor points out that there would be at least one such variant in the Summit Ridge family. The part will feature 8 cores based on the Zen architecture. These special, enthusiast-grade chips would ensure high OC margins but also ship with higher frequencies compared to standard 95W variants. The TDP would remain at 95W for the higher clocked variants given that these are cherry picked.

It seems like these variants would be similar to Intel's "Unlocked" series processors. Intel K-Series chips are also aimed at a similar market however, these are the only chips in Intel Core lineup that can be overclocked. AMD on the other hand, offers unlocked multiplier across all chips. But the special variants would generally be optimized for overclocking and enthusiast use.

The special OC variants will be shipping at higher prices compared to regular 8 core variants and would require some decent AM4 motherboards to churn out their true potential. Last but not least, the chips are said to ship without any heatsink cooler, that would otherwise be available with normal variants. AMD did launch the Wraith (reference) cooler a while ago however, it seems like you would need bigger toys with OC chips.

Next Generation AMD CPUs And APUs

WCCFTechAMD Summit RidgeAMD Pinnacle RidgeAMD Bristol RidgeAMD Raven RidgeAMD Gray Hawk
Family NameRyzenTBDAMD 7th Gen A-SeriesRyzenTBD
Product ArchitectureZenZen Refresh / Zen 2ExcavatorZenZen 2
Process Node14nm12nm28nm14nm14nm
CPU CoresUp to 8Up to 8Up to 4Up to 4Up to 4
GPU ArchitectureN/AN/ACaribbean IslandsVegaNavi
Memory SupportDDR4DDR4DDR4DDR4DDR4
Launch201720182016 (Mobile)
2017 (Desktop)
2017 (Mobile)
2018 (Desktop)

AMD Zen Based Summit Ridge Chips Arriving On Desktops in Q1 2017

The desktop lineup based on the Zen architecture will be known as Summit Ridge and is expected to arrive in first quarter of 2017. These chips will be available to a wide range of audience who are planning to build gaming and enthusiast grade PCs.

AMD Demo PC Running Zen CPU and R9 Nano GPU (Via Paul’s hardware):

The Summit Ridge platform is very impressive as it rids AMD of their existing and old AM3+ and FM2+ platform. The AM4 platform which will support the new chips comes with a slew of new features and capabilities such as support for the latest DDR4 memory, PCI-e Gen 3.0 and next-gen I/O support. AMD will have several SKUs in the works, ranging from quad core to octa core models. All multi-threaded and featuring overclock support.

AMD was very proud to showcase performance parity of their 8 core Summit Ridge chip to be on par with Intel Broadwell-E 8 core part. The Intel part comes at a price of $999 US so AMD will tackle it with a more aggressive price. Those looking forward to building gaming PCs can also expect tons of performance from this platform. In fact, these would be a worthy upgrade if you are planning to get a Vega GPU next year which will be coupled with HBM2 memory.

AMD X370 For Enthusiast AM4 Motherboards:

AMD X370 is the chipset for overclockers and tweakers who need robust platforms. This chip provides the ultimate low-level control to its users and delivers ultimate graphics card bandwidth. By bandwidth, AMD is referring to max PCI-Express lanes as this is the only chip in the stack that supports multi-GPU functionality. The chipset supports both, CFX (CrossFire) and SLI.

AMD has mentioned two full x16 (Gen3) lanes for GPUs. AIBs can add additional lanes through a PLX chip but that would add to the cost. X370 features full overclocking support with a very sophisticated GUI that will allow the best overclock tools and experiences. Since all AM4 CPUs have an unlocked multiplier, record breakers will definitely put X370 boards to the test on liquid and LN2 setups.

The X370 platform would be recommended to overclockers and enthusiasts who want to try out these overclock-aimed Zen processors. We should also remember that AMD has previously tried to sell higher clocked Piledriver chips (FX-9000 Series) to enthusiasts. These chips were faster clocked variants with high clocks, high TDP and high prices. They didn't turn out to be a massive success and AMD is expected to do better this time around with Zen. AMD can follow Intel's footsteps who have seen a general year-to-year success in sales with their "K" series products.