AMD's 12nm Ryzen 2 Pinnacle Ridge chips are officially launching in April

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With a modest clock bump, Zen+ should do well through the year, and 7nm offers AMD the chance to deliver a better Vega than it landed with 14nm.

AMD has announced permanent price cuts (via PC World) to products in its Threadripper, Ryzen 7, and Ryzen 5 lines, dropping some prices significantly. Second-generation Ryzen CPUs using the 'Zen+' architecture and a 12nm manufacturing process are already being sampled and will begin shipping in April 2018.

AMD's 12nm Ryzen 2 Pinnacle Ridge chips are officially launching in April
AMD's 12nm Ryzen 2 Pinnacle Ridge chips are officially launching in April

Even as the first-generation Ryzen products continue to be rolled out, AMD is moving on with the first iteration. The chips in the second-generation Ryzen, Ryzen Pro, and Threadripper lines to be released later this year will probably be priced comparably to the models they're replacing, but we don't have numbers yet. The Ryzen 5 2400G will run at up to 3.9GHz with 4-cores/8-threads and 11 CUs, a 65W TDP, and a price of $169. The Ryzen 3 2300U has four cores and a max clock speed of 3.4GHz, while the Ryzen 3 2200U is almost identical but with two cores. To hopefully keep it all easier to read, I am breaking it apart into three news items, with this first one focusing on the CPU announcements.

In addition to the Acer, HP and Lenovo models announced a year ago, AMD also released sneak peeks at upcoming Acer Nitro 5 variants with Ryzen CPUs and Radeon RX580 graphics, and Dell Inspiron 5000 series laptops with an optional discrete Radeon 530 discrete GPU. AMD suggests that it will match the performance of an Intel Core i5-8400 paired with a discrete Nvidia GT 1030 GPU, at a drastically lower cost. At this time, however, AMD has announced no plans to use integrated graphics on its higher-end Ryzen 7 chips. In fact, two models will be available at that date: the Ryzen 5 2400G and the Ryzen 3 2200G.

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Lost amid the hoopla surrounding CES 2018, the much anticipated arrival of AMD's Ryzen platform follow up will be arriving in April of 2018, according to leaked press slides posted over at Videocardz.

Will the prices of any other desktop Ryzen chips be affected?

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The most timely reveal is that of the first Ryzen desktop chips to integrate graphics built on AMD's latest, the Vega architecture.

At the top of the tree is the Ryzen 7 Pro, which is also a quad-core (eight-thread) processor clocked at up to 3.8GHz, with the integrated Vega Graphics having 10 graphics compute units and a GPU clock of up to 1300MHz. However, we may see a few new custom-cooled variants of Vega throughout the year. Likewise, the Ryzen 7 1800X has dropped from $499 to $349, while the Ryzen 5 1600X has moved from $249 to $219. Both the APUs will hit markets starting February itself. As for what that means in terms of a performance increase over current Ryzen CPUs, we'll have to wait and see. Aside from the HP, Acer and Lenovo systems we've already seen, more devices from these OEMs along with the likes of Dell and Asus are in the pipeline. AMD has confirmed that this design is complete and says that it improves on Zen in "multiple dimensions".

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Because these new desktop APUs use a lot of the new features of the Pinnacle Ridge chips they require a new BIOS to work too.

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