With Computex just around the corner, a lot of thought is being put to exactly what are we expecting to see at the show. There are questions about AMD’s next generation Threadripper parts, and when Intel is going to launch the Z390 chipset whose name has been floating around for a number of months now. Due to a video published online by bluechip Computer, an IT Distributor based in Germany, some more information is starting to come through.

The 30 minute presentation posted to YouTube was a webinar hosted for its business partners. In the video they go through what the rest of 2018 should look like from AMD and Intel, particularly when it comes to chipset offerings. Normally this information is held under NDA until launch, but companies like these will often brief their commercial partners in advance of new products and platforms. Typically this info is also under NDA, but the video was posted to YouTube.

This is the key slide. At the top we see the launches that have already taken place: AMD Raven Ridge APUs in February, the second wave of Coffee Lake CPUs in April, and the second generation Ryzen CPUs also in April. What follows is a bit of known and a bit of unknown.

Starting at the top, bluechip states that AMD is planning to launch a Z490 platform in June. This is somewhat new to us, although we have sources mention inklings of a Z490 chipset coming. At that time I assumed it was just a mental mistake of confusing it with an Intel platform, but now distributors are stating that AMD has a Z490 chipset coming, which essentially confirms the case. It looks like the future is going to revolve around AMD and Intel having the same chipset names it seems. Whether this platform will come in June or not we are unsure – June is Computex time. As for the features, that is currently unknown – AMD does trail Intel by a long way for what their chipsets can do, such as PCIe lane counts or embedded Wi-Fi.

Next is AMD’s B450 chipset for late July, which is an expected release. The previous generation B350 was a lower cost implementation of the X370, so now we have X470 on the playing field that offers lower power consumption, there will be a low cost equivalent.

Also known is AMD’s second generation Threadripper, along with a refresh of X399 motherboards. At CES, AMD stated that second generation TR would be coming in the second half of the year, and the presentation lists it as August, so essentially a year since the original TR release.

For Intel, discussion on when exactly Z390 is coming out (or another 14nm processor) has been rife. Z370 has now been out for around six months, powering the Coffee Lake processors, and the recent mid-range chipset update with integrated Wi-Fi has been expected to come into the high-end. We still do not know what exactly Z390 is bringing to the market, but bluechip lists it as a Q3 launch. So chances are we probably will not see many motherboards at Computex.

The interesting processor element to this presentation is that it lists an 8-core Coffee Lake processor being launched in Q4, while also stating that engineering samples are going to be in the hands of OEMs in June. This part of the slide is clearly cut/pasted from an Intel presentation, with what clearly looks like a watermark for whoever had the NDA. Some OEMs have accidentally let slip that an 8-core mainstream processor from Intel was inbound during 2018, and this is additional confirmation. I suspect that what people were not expecting was the date of Q4: if we take the exact placement of the arrow in the graph as the due date (as the other arrows seem as accurately spaced), then it would suggest a late November launch.

No word in the presentation was given to Cascade Lake or an X299 refresh, which could be interpreted as that we might see it in 2019, or bluechip does not have that information. They clearly list X99 Refresh on the Intel Chipset Roadmap slide, so to see the X299 Refresh label missing could lead to certain predictions, but we have no source on when an update to X299 is due.

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Source: YouTube (via Twitter)

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  • Dragonstongue - Thursday, May 3, 2018 - link

    IMHO AMD absolutely does NOT trail Intel by a "large margin" when it comes to their chipsets, CPU wise "maybe a tad" taking certain metrics into account, but, things such as x399 are far more PCI-e lane density than what Intel currently offers, and on the average desktop boards (x370-470/B350-450) are very comparable OVERALL with just some design selections that may come at the cost of other ones.

    Intel currently "wins" at IPC, yep, are about the same overall in regard to power usage (in the real world) can hit higher clock speeds (at the cost of more power and really taking a chance at killing a chip that uses thermal paste instead of proper solder...not me saying such there is mountains of evidence backing this)

    again IMO I rather AMD these last 2 years (likely Rzen 2 for 2019 as well) are just a better overall platform with more robust chips that can actually handle the temperatures they may/may not push out, are they ferrari in every race they are put into, nope, but they very much are give more value for the $ spent, this much has very much been proven, does not hurt that the platform will be supported till at least 2020 (for the lions share of consumers what we have really is "good enough" for at least 2 more generations if all it takes is a drop in cpu upgrade, vs Intel normal way of constant socket changes for very little gained from doing so but sure as crud costs $$$$$$)
  • jjj - Thursday, May 3, 2018 - link

    Ian is fixated on this, he keeps repeating it in every article since Ryzen launched.
    Maybe that's why it's 10 to 1 for Intel vs AMD mobo reviews.
  • Johan Steyn - Friday, May 4, 2018 - link

    Maybe you can remember Ian's Threadripper review. He was the only one that gave it a very bad review, which he later had to re-review.
  • realistz - Friday, May 4, 2018 - link

    Shameful display from AMD. X399 and z490. It’s like they’re trying to trick customers into thinking they’re buying Intel.
  • duploxxx - Friday, May 4, 2018 - link

    the naming schema is driven by sales and marketing. THey get feedback from retail.
    average joe consumer has no clue what they are buying and indeed just look at nrs. the higher the better.
  • Maxiking - Friday, May 4, 2018 - link

    Are they really that desperate to copy Intel chipset names so people talk about them more? Well, that's why you will never be the number 1, AMD, because you always try to be associated with Intel and allud to its products like they are something supperior, how we should look up to them instead of going your own way.

    Can't think up their own names of chipsets, can't think up cpu name scheme.
  • abufrejoval - Saturday, May 5, 2018 - link

    I’d be a little more interested to know just *how* they’ll do an 8-core chip: Do they just add another two cores or will they cut out the GPU for it? Even if Intel has subsidized hurting Nvidia and ATI/AMD by including the iGPUs, essentially that’s stopped working when AMD started doing iGPU-less 8-cores on the cheap. So, will they make the 8-core without an iGPU to cut cost? Will they start offering 6-cores from recovered parts or even do a 10-core design so they can provide an “update” again? Pretty sure you could fit 4 full cores into the iGPU space…

    Then, what’s the fabric between them going to look like? Is it going to be Xeon like (more difficult with the cache architecture splits they recently introduced, I guess) or will they actually follow AMD’s approach (or their own original Core2-quad) and “glue together” two smaller chips? After all they thrashed that approach so thoroughly, they might just do the same ;-)

    Doing an 8-core as a cut&paste exercise from that they have today seems easy enough, but perhaps not good enough. I don’t think I’ll buy another CPU before shadow stacks and other control-flow integrity mechanism have arrived, management engines have been stripped to setup-only and cryptographic RAM and VM protection is in place even for affordable (consumer) parts. The risks of having to throw it all away, not just CPUs typically, because one of these vulnerabilities goes mainstream, are just too high.

    And actually, without shadow stacks and control flow integrity, the current crop of AMDs don’t look more attractive either. I see RoP defenses as a bit more relevant than Spectre to be honest.
  • SkOrPn - Saturday, May 5, 2018 - link

    I was thinking of replacing my cheap B350 board with a better X470 STRIX, however this new Z490 chipset maybe hiding some interesting new features we do not yet know about. 4 extra PCIe lanes, to me anyway, does not warrant a name change, 4 extra lanes is nothing more than a X470+. The Z and the 9 needs to be greatly warranted with massive new features imo. My hope is that it has built in HBM2 and that every Z490 board will be the "true" high end boards for future AM4 APU's. Remember the fancy cache controller thing that is specifically designed to bring in remote resources? Well maybe the upcoming Picasso and Renoir APU's can make use of built in HBM2 on the mobo? Hell maybe Raven Ridge can too. That would be an amazing turn of events (And we all know AMD's goal is to disrupt, and that they clearly have the talent to do it). Intel put HBM2 directly on the Hades Canyon package, so AMD could be doing the same type of thing, but instead installing it directly into the motherboards chipset so that it doesn't affect possible future processor upgrades. This is just a fun thought, not a serious accusation. Would that be cool, or will you hate that idea?
  • boe - Monday, May 7, 2018 - link

    As usual I'm left standing here with my dick in my hand wondering if we'll ever see a GAMING processor with lots of PCIe lanes for such things as a second video card, a high speed 8x raid controller and a 4 port 10gbit nic. SOmeone will say you need the TR or the 7900 HEDT - but they don't perform as well for gaming. Either they need the chipset to support 8x through and through with lots of PCIE lanes or they need to have the processor support about 64 PCIe lanes so all the PCIe slots go direct to the processor. I feel like I've been asking for this (along with others) for about 6 years now - it seems like intel is making virtually no forward movement.
  • jameswhatson - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - link

    The interesting processor element to this presentation is that it lists an 8-core Coffee Lake processor being launched in Q4, while also stating that engineering samples are going to be in the hands of OEMs in June.

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