AMD has confirmed that an upgraded AMD Desktop Kit is on the way. In the small print of today's AMD community post about the introduction of Radeon Super Resolution (RSR) technology, the company indicated that the new 4800S Desktop Kit will support Smart Access Memory technology, unlike its predecessor. This marks AMD's first official mention of the 4800S Desktop Kit.
Previously leaked information regarding the 4800S Desktop Kit suggests it will be a significantly improved offering. Upgrades include better modern GPU support, expanded storage support and AM4 standard cooler support.
Like its predecessor, the new AMD 4800S Desktop Kit is thought to be a byproduct of PlayStation 5 processors that had integrated RDNA2 GPU problems. It is possible that the new kit may use similarly discarded Xbox Series silicon.
Perhaps the biggest change in moving from AMD 4700S to 4800S Desktop Kit will be the improved GPU support. The older model was limited to PCIe 2.0 card support, so it wasn't practical to use with anything better than an AMD Polaris or mid-range Nvidia Pascal card. In other words, the most powerful options would have been something like an RX 590 or GTX 1060. The new AMD 4800S Desktop Kit is expected to come with PCIe 4.0 (it isn't yet clear if it's x8 or x16), but rumors indicate it may be bundled with a PowerColor Radeon RX 6600 graphics card, which should be a decent CPU/GPU balancing option.
Another step up in spec offered by the purportedly MSI-manufactured board is the inclusion of an M.2 slot and Wi-Fi card. The M.2 storage slot is very welcome refinement to the design, as the current model only supports a pair of SATA 6GBps ports.
AMD's new 4800S Desktop Kit moves up from mini-ITX to microATX form factor, so this would help MSI to make it a more fully featured offering. Case in point: the new kit also features a standard AM4 cooler fitting, according to the previous leaks. Reviews and reports of the previous kit were quite negative regarding the air cooler that was bolted on, so being able to purpose any of the widely available AM4 compatible designs here will be welcomed.
We reviewed the predecessor of the AMD 4800S Desktop Kit, the AMD 4700S Desktop Kit last October. It only scored three out of five stars due to the price, limited PCIe 2.0 card support, poor single-thread processing performance, lack of M.2 storage, and non-standard cooling solution. It is good to see most of these issues addressed, and we look forward to getting one in the labs when they become available.
Last year we heard that the AMD 4800S Desktop Kit was being manufactured by MSI for launch in Q1 2022, so it should launch sooner rather than later.