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At CES 2022, AMD hit all the gaming targets

At CES 2022, AMD hit all the gaming targets

Based on its CES 2022 product announcements, it looks like a busy beginning of the year for AMD, with a brain-melting array of something for everyone. AMD’s launch focused on better battery life while gaming, thinner gaming laptops, improved gaming performance… lots of gaming.

The company teased its next-gen Zen 4 desktop processor launch and a forthcoming desktop processor, which will incorporate its new 3D Stacking technology’s dual caches (a big 3D V-cache and the standard cache). It introduced a Radeon RX 6000S series of mobile GPUs for thin-and-light gaming laptops and an expansion of its RX 6000M series offering improvements as a result of switching to a 6-nanometer process.

Now playing: Everything announced at AMD’s CES 2022 press conference
There are also the Ryzen 6000 and Ryzen 6000 Pro mobile CPUs, based on an updated 6nm Zen 3 Plus architecture and with newer RDNA 2-based integrated GPUs. And AMD showed off a low-end desktop graphics card, the Radeon RX 6500 XT, aimed at what used to be the sub-$200 price class (but who knows these days). And those are just the highlights.

What’s coming to your PC
The entry-level Radeon RX 6500 XT desktop graphics card, for 1080p-class gaming, ships on Jan. 19 with 16GB GDDR6 memory and 16 compute units — that’s half the processors of the RX 6600 XT. The base price is theoretically $199, but who knows. I’ll bang my head against that wall when I come to it. ($199 is roughly £150 or AU$280, but converted prices won’t necessarily reflect international pricing.) There’s a model specific to prebuilt systems as well, the RX 6400. People, please replace your GTX 1060 already, so we can finally stop hearing about why everyone should from Intel, AMD and Nvidia.

AMD dropped a couple of hints about its next generation of Ryzen CPU architecture, the 5nm Zen 4, which will likely launch in the second half of this year. Those hints include a new AM5 socket (so you’ll need new motherboards instead of upgrading your current one), plus chipset support for PCIe 5 and DDR5 RAM. The company expressed no plans to move to a hybrid architecture combining performance and efficiency cores (a la Apple’s M1 or Intel’s 12th-gen Alder Lake) in the near future, saying it’s happy with the performance and efficiency it’s seen from Zen 4 thus far.

And by June we’ll most likely get the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, an eight-core gaming CPU for 105-watt power-targeted systems (mainstream gaming) which it claims outperforms both the Ryzen 9 5900X and more or less ties with the Intel Core i9-12900K for 1080p. Its secret is the 3D-stacked chip architecture AMD announced in May last year.

Mobile advances
The company’s new Ryzen 6000 CPUs come in the usual flavors, with a couple of U-series options for general thin-and-light systems (15 to 28 watts), a few HS-series CPUs for thin gaming systems (35 watts), a couple of H CPUs for mainstream gaming laptops (45 watts) and two HX versions for high-end gaming laptops (45 watts and up). Notably, AMD’s Ryzen 9 6980HX and 6980HS are both capable of hitting 5GHz boost frequency, a first for the company on any consumer platform.