Published in PC Hardware

Zen gets analysts and Fudzilla excited

by on19 August 2016

Server and notebook deeper in 2017

AMD has showed off some clock and performance details about upcoming desktop Zen and some of you might remember that back in June at Computex, Fudzilla said that if the Zen boots windows it will boost AMD’s share too

On June 1 2016 AMD was trading at $4.43 and yesterday the company closed at $7.04. Back on January 20th,  AMD was trading for $1.8. If you do a quick sum, someone who bought AMD at $1.8 has gained 391 percent in seven months.

It looks like that things are going to get even better. After the Zen demo presentation we had a chance to get a quote from Patrick Moorhead president & principal analyst of Moor insights & strategy.

What AMD showed about Zen last night was very compelling on performance. AMD said that power would be competitive, The frequencies we saw will be even higher at production, and will scale.

All of this sounds incredibly positive. There's a lot of stuff to do between now and launch, but at a minimum, I believe AMD will be in a much better position than they have been in years in processors. To put this in perspective, this is the biggest thing I've seen in 10 years in CPUs at AMD

Since Patrick used to work for AMD in its glory days, was a Corporate Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Fellow for 11 years and even worked for Compaq when Mike Magee first met him, Pat has a pretty good idea how things are working  inside at AMD.

Here at Fudzilla, we agree with Patrick, this is the best that AMD’s CPU division had to show in years. Graphics guys had its glory moments but since K10, AMD really needed a break and Zen might well be it. Bear in mind that K10 server part codenamed Barcelona was over nine years ago when things started to go downhill, and the K10 is slightly younger than Fudzilla with both born in 2007.

Our own Rob Squires was at the Zen demo event and  asked about the launch date for the chips. He didn’t get a clear answer whether the Summit Ridge, a Desktop 8 core with 16 threads, is actually shipping this year. I asked Lisa at Computex about the launch dates and she didn’t want to give me a clear answer either. All she said is that Summit Ridge is coming later this year and server, embedded and notebook will come later in 2017.

Rob got better dates. AMD told us that 16 core with 32 threads Naples will arrives in Q2 2017 which is the best date we have so far. Naples will target a high margin server market, something where AMD can make a dent. Zen notebooks should be coming in the second half of 2017 but there were no words on the embedded Zen.


The most likely scenario is that AMD will showcase the Summit ridge 8 core with 16 threads at 3.0Ghz or higher and ship a few systems before the Christmas of 2016 just to please the investors but the real volume production and sales won’t happen before the Q1 2017.

This is what we repeatedly heard from most of our reliable contacts before and AMD has launched products before on the last days of the quarter, eg September 30th for a Q3 scheduled product.

Dave Altavilla and Marco Chiappetta from Hothardware were clearly impressed by what they saw. They got things on video and even a picture of a demo desktop system. Below is the whole rendering video with Lisa Su the CEO and John Taylor Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Marketing at AMD. Once you see the video below, you can tell that AMD is just a second faster. We tried to time the rendering time and it turns out that AMD is between 2 and 4 percent faster at best. You also have to be carefull as Blender test was chosen for a reason as AMD is clearly winning this one. In reality one can expect that Zen might win some and lose some benchmarks, but the fact that it can compete with Intel even in that one benchmark is a good sign. 

This is actually an excellent news as people compared Zen with Haswell generation of quad core Core i7 but it is bad since it might implicate that Zen might cost a lot.

Core i7-6900K sells for $ / € 1100 which is way too much money for a desktop CPU. We would rather want to see the Zen that goes after quad-core, Core i7 6700K that sells for $ / € 350.

We are excited as Intel will have to put its boxing gloves and start working harder, as they had a winning streak for a far too long. You, the end users will get better technology at better price and you should be excited about it.

Last modified on 19 August 2016
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