AMD picks a fight with Intel at Computex 2022 – but where were the GPUs?

Computex 2022 has now kicked off, with AMD hosting the first keynote of the event in Taiwan, and it used its conference as a chance to take aim at its chief rival, Intel.

The most exciting part of the AMD Computex 2022 keynote was when we got more information about AMD’s next-generation Ryzen 7000 series desktop PCs. AMD has been putting pressure on Intel in the desktop CPU space for a good few years now, and its current Ryzen 5000 CPUs are some of the best processors you can buy right now.

From what we saw on stage at Computex 2022, it looks like AMD is keen to keep that pressure up. Built on the efficient 5nm Zen 4 architecture, the processors will offer more L2 cache per core, higher clock speeds and, according to AMD, over 15% better single-thread performance compared to AMD 5000 chips.

We also got an early glimpse of a Ryzen 7000 CPU, which was running at a 5.5GHz clock speed while playing a game. These CPUs look set to be fantastic gaming CPUs, then, but AMD also showed off the processor’s creative chops by running a multi-threaded rendering workload in the popular Blender application. The Ryzen 7000 chip, AMD claimed, offers a hefty 30% increase in performance compared to an Intel Core i9-1200K.

That’s certainly an impressive boast, especially as the chip AMD showed off was a pre-production model, so the final version could be even better. It’s certainly given AMD enough confidence to directly call out its competitor Intel during its keynote. Sadly, we won’t be able to see Intel’s response, as unlike in previous years, Team Blue won’t be having a keynote at Computex 2022.

Interestingly, Zen 4 chips will come with integrated AMD RDNA 2 graphics. While this is nice to have for people who want decent graphical experiences without needing a graphics card, as our Computing Editor John Loeffler said during the live blog, it’ll be quite unlikely that there will be many people using the high-end Ryzen 7000 CPUs without also having a graphics card.

A vibrant illustration of a powerful laptop

(Image credit: AMD)

Other announcements

AMD also spoke about the new AM5 socket, which is a 1718-pin LGA design with support for up to 170W TDP processors, dual-channel DDR5 memory, and new SVI3 power infrastructure. That last bit allows performance to be high and consistent across all cores, something Intel usually has the advantage with.

The AM5 socket, which will be what motherboards have to support Ryzen 7000 CPUs, also has, according to AMD, the “most PCIe 5.0 lanes in the industry”, with up to 24 lanes.

AM5 motherboards will come in the following tiers:

  • X670 Extreme: Bringing the most connectivity and extreme overclocking capabilities with PCIe 5.0 support for two graphics slots and one storage slot
  • X670: Supporting enthusiast overclocking with PCIe 5.0 support on one storage slot with graphics support optional
  • B650: Designed for performance users with PCIe 5.0 storage support

Asrock, Asus, Gigabyte and MSI were mentioned as motherboard makers who will be bringing out AM5 mobos.

On the mobile side, AMD announced a new Zen 2-based “Mendocino” processors which will be found in budget and mid-range laptops and Chromebooks around the $399 – $699 (£299 – £599, AU$560 – AU$999) price range. With the current cost of living crises, this could be a wise move, allowing AMD to power more affordable laptops.

The first laptops and Chromebooks with Mendocino CPUs should come to market during Q4 2022.

There was also talk of AMD Advantage laptops which use AMD hardware to offer high-end gaming experiences, along with high-refresh screens and long battery lives. They will also make use of AMD SmartAccess Storage, which supports Microsoft DirectStorage, along with various AMD features to make games load even faster, and perform better when it comes to asset streaming.

Analysis: GPUs MIA

The AMD Computex 2022 Keynote welcome graphic

(Image credit: AMD)

On the whole, we liked a lot of what we saw at AMD’s keynote (which you can watch below). The company is certainly on a roll when it comes to its processors, and it’s always a thrill to see one company directly take on its competitors. While we won’t see Intel’s response at Computex 2022, Team Blue has been busy working on its next-gen CPUs as well to take on AMD, so this year could be very exciting when it comes to processors.

However, AMD doesn’t just make CPUs, and there was a noticeable absence from the keynote this year: GPUs. We had hoped to hear something about AMD’s next-gen RDNA 3 graphics cards, but they were missing in action.

Evidently, we’re still likely some time away from RDNA 3’s launch – and AMD has just released some new current-gen GPUs, the RX 6950 XT, RX 6750 XT and RX 6650 XT, and probably didn’t want to overshadow their launch with talk of what’s coming up next – it’s still a shame we didn’t get anything.

Especially as AMD’s other big rival, Nvidia, is at Computex 2022, and at its keynote in a few hours, we may get a glimpse of what Team Green is cooking up for the future of GPUs.

This year, Computex is once again virtual, but we’ll still be bringing you all the breaking computing news and launches as they happen, so make sure you check out all of TechRadar’s Computex 2022 coverage.

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