Skip to main content

AMD Might Be Selling Off Defective Xbox Series X CPUs

AMD 4700S System
AMD 4700S System (Image credit: Tmall.com)

If you haven't gotten your hands on an Xbox Series X, you may be able to pick up one very soon, but without the RDNA 2 graphics, of course. The recently uncovered AMD 4700S Desktop Kit (via momomo_us) has found its way into a mini-ITX gaming PC at Tmall in China.

When the AMD 4700S emerged last week, the obscure processor raised a lot of questions. For one, the chip doesn't carry the Ryzen branding, suggesting that it might be a custom processor that AMD developed for one of its clients. Stranger still, the processor is available for purchase as part of the AMD 4700S Desktop Kit. 

Starting with what we know so far, the AMD 4700S is an octa-core Zen 2 processor with simultaneous multithreading (SMT). The Tmall merchant listed the AMD 4700S with 12MB of L3 cache, although we saw the chip with 8MB in a previous Geekbench 5 submission. The processor runs with a 3.6 GHz base clock and a 4 GHz boost clock. While we saw the AMD 4700S with 16GB of memory, we were uncertain of its nature. However, we suspected that the AMD 4700S is a variant of the processor that powers Microsoft's latest Xbox Series X gaming console. The new mini-ITX listing appears to confirm our suspicions.

Apparently, the AMD 4700S is outfitted with 16GB of GDDR6 memory, which is the same amount of memory in the Xbox Series X. It appears that AMD is salvaging defective dies that don't meet the requirements for the Xbox Series X and reselling them as the AMD 4700S.

Logically, AMD can't just sell the same processor that it produces for Microsoft (for obvious reasons). Therefore, the AMD 4700S could be a result of a defective die with a faulty iGPU, similar to Intel's graphics-less F-series chips. On the other hand, AMD could simply have disabled the iGPU inside the AMD 4700S, which is a shame given how generous GDDR6 memory is with bandwidth.

The only image of the mini-ITX system's interior revealed a motherboard that looks like the same size as the Xbox Series X. There are no memory slots, and we can see some of the GDDR6 chips that surround the processor. Naturally, AMD reworked the motherboard for PC usage, as we can see by the addition of capacitors, passive heatsink, power connectors, and connectivity ports. Since the AMD 4700S lacks an iGPU, AMD added a PCIe 3.0 x16 expansion slot for a discrete graphics card.

AMD 4700S Benchmarks

ProcessorCinebench R20 Single-CoreCinebench R20 Multi-CoreCinebench R15 Single-CoreCinebench R15 Multi-Core
Ryzen 7 4750G4114,7851992,085
AMD 4700S4863,9651601,612
Core i7-97005083,6432001,469

Thanks to the listing, we can also get an idea of just how the processor inside the Xbox Series X performs compared to today's desktop processors. However, it's important to highlight that the AMD 4700S may not be the exact processor used in Microsoft's latest console. The Series X uses a chip that runs at 3.8 GHz and 3.6 GHz when simultaneous multithreading is active. The AMD 4700S, on the other hand, clocks in a 3.6 GHz with a 4 GHz boost clock. On paper, the AMD 4700S should have faster compute cores since it doesn't have an iGPU that eats into its power budget, so the heightened clock speeds make sense. 

In general, the AMD 4700S lags behind the Ryzen 7 4750G (Renoir) and Core i7-9700 (Coffee Lake) in single-core workloads. The AMD 4700S did outperform the Core i7-9700 in multi-core workloads. However, it still placed behind the Ryzen 7 4750G.

It's remains to be seen whether AMD is selling the AMD 4700S to retail customers or just OEMs. Thus far, we've seen the AMD 4700S Desktop Kit retailing for €263.71 (~$317.38) in at Tulostintavaratalo, a retailer in Finland. The Chinese mini-ITX gaming system is listed for 4,599 yuan or $709.12, but the price factors in the Radeon RX 550, 5TB SSD, CPU cooler, power supply and case.

  • jkflipflop98
    After being the sole provider of silicon for two generations of consoles now - maybe it would be wise for AMD to simply release their own console?
    Reply
  • Kamen Rider Blade
    jkflipflop98 said:
    After being the sole provider of silicon for two generations of consoles now - maybe it would be wise for AMD to simply release their own console?
    AMD is in the business of selling Chips, not Consoles.

    Let the console makers design the chips that they want.

    There's no need for AMD to do something that would conflict with their customers.

    It's a fundamental conflict of interest.
    Reply
  • JamesJones44
    jkflipflop98 said:
    After being the sole provider of silicon for two generations of consoles now - maybe it would be wise for AMD to simply release their own console?

    Consoles don't make a ton of money for MS, Sony or Nintendo, they often sell them for a loss (especially early in the cycle). They make money on licensing for those consoles, it wouldn't make a lot of sense for AMD to jump into a low margin console hardware business without some decent software makers lined up to make software for it. They are much better off just producing the components and letting others do what they do best.
    Reply
  • vanadiel007
    "$709.12, but the price factors in the Radeon RX 550, 5TB SSD, CPU cooler, power supply and case. "

    That's a very juicy SSD for $709.12. That's almost free if you factor in all the other components.
    Reply
  • Makaveli
    jkflipflop98 said:
    After being the sole provider of silicon for two generations of consoles now - maybe it would be wise for AMD to simply release their own console?

    Makes no sense, why would they try to compete in that market when they are supplying both vendors. Not to mention both of those competitors are bigger than AMD and far more experience with consoles. Who's going to develop games for an AMD console?

    I don't think you are looking at the big picture here.
    Reply
  • watzupken
    jkflipflop98 said:
    After being the sole provider of silicon for two generations of consoles now - maybe it would be wise for AMD to simply release their own console?
    I disagree though. Console makers don't make money by selling the console itself. And looking at the specs of say the Xbox Series X vs the price, it is obviously sold at a sizeable loss. If it was a cakewalk to start a new console and be successful, you would have seen a lot of console making companies now. The big boys such as Apple, Amazon, Nvidia and Google have the financial might and potentially hardware to produce a console as well, but they are not making one. Apple TV is a half hearted effort as a console.

    I rather AMD continue to focus on producing good CPU and GPU and leave it to others to the specialist to produce gaming consoles.
    Reply
  • watzupken
    vanadiel007 said:
    "$709.12, but the price factors in the Radeon RX 550, 5TB SSD, CPU cooler, power supply and case. "

    That's a very juicy SSD for $709.12. That's almost free if you factor in all the other components.
    I don't know if that 5TB SSD is correct. I've never seen such a weird number for SSD before, and the price is too good to be true. Having said that, I find that its quite disappointing that they disabled the GPU completely and replaced it with a low end dedicated GPU. If AMD could have just disabled more CUs and sell it as a complete SOC, it would have been the ideal solution.
    Reply
  • exploding_psu
    That's a cute looking GPU
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    watzupken said:
    I don't know if that 5TB SSD is correct. I've never seen such a weird number for SSD before, and the price is too good to be true. Having said that, I find that its quite disappointing that they disabled the GPU completely and replaced it with a low end dedicated GPU. If AMD could have just disabled more CUs and sell it as a complete SOC, it would have been the ideal solution.
    Yeah, lots of questionable bits on that listing. Even if it were 5TB of total storage, using 1TB SSD and 4TB HDD, that would be generous. I'm guessing it's supposed to be 0.5TB SSD -- or that the whole thing is a scam of some form. I definitely wouldn't try buying one with my own money. I wonder if I can get Future to order me one, though? Well -- order Paul one so that we can test the GDDR6 system memory aspect. LOL
    Reply
  • RodroX
    In this times of low stock for everything you can imagine, is really healthy to try and sell every single piece of working silicon you have produced. As long as you give warranty for it, then its good.
    Reply