Is AMD readying a new round of processors for its AM4 platform? It certainly seems so, with Asus releasing a new BIOS update for its entire range of B350 and X370 motherboards that effectively confirms this.
Asus released a series of BIOS updates for its full selection of AMD B350 and X370 chipset motherboards (opens in new tab). Each of the individual updates share the same description:
“Update to AGESA 1071 for new upcoming processors.”
We’ve already discussed the finer points of the AGESA protocol, and it’s not a new or unexpected feature for the AM4 platform; AMD and its partners frequently release BIOS updates that support new revisions of the code. However, Asus stating that the update is for new upcoming processors indicates that AMD will be expanding its AM4 processor family in some way. Asus currently seems to be the only AMD motherboard partner offering the new BIOS (dated 11-17-17), and it seems the company has let a significant cat out of the bag.
Intel’s release of Coffee Lake processors (and the new Z370 chipset) seemed like a direct answer to AMD’s Ryzen processors, offering more cores for the money. It was certainly Intel’s least expensive per-core CPU launch in recent history, at least at its recommended MSRP--a play AMD has been making since its FX-series processors debuted. With a new round of AMD AM4 processors apparently inbound, it seems unlikely that AMD would be upping the ante with even more cores, and it's likely taking aim at the low end market with a set of new APUs with integrated Vega graphics (as the company recently did with its debut of mobile Ryzen APUs). Although it's a far shot, AMD could also be laying the groundwork for 12nm LP FinFET products, though the timing still seems a bit premature for that.
Without an official statement from Asus or AMD (we’ve reached out to both), we can only speculate what kind of processors AMD could be preparing to unleash and how soon we will see them at market. However, with Asus already releasing a BIOS update for these mystery chips, it seems apparent that we’ll be seeing them sooner than later.
However, what limits will DDR4 bandwidth put on the GPU? Will people continue the mistake of getting a single 1x8GB module for budget gaming builds and get worse performance than they OTHERWISE could have?
DDR4 will be somewhat limiting for the higher-end models with lots of shaders... BUT on the desktop you'll have the option to run faster modules, in many cases substantially faster than mobile RR. Of course some OEMs (and the occasional noob builder) will build single-channel configs, but that's nothing new and in most cases pretty easy to resolve.
I wish they did this with graphics cards as well, would be very awesome to retain lowest clock/voltages not burn power pump heat for nothing..No reason why a gpu needs to run is memory at max clocks for anything but high load, they need to have more "steps" for the clock speeds i.e P1-5 type thing instead of only P0-P2, idle load, light load, mid load, performance load, extreme load or something along these lines.
anyways, I doubt they will be bringing completely new models out with just the nm change to accommodate a "refresh" might be why they have put some of the current Ryzen chips on sale cause they are planning on "bumping" some of them up in clock speed..example would be 1500x should be a few hundred mhz more than 1400, 1600x same, 1700 same, so maybe they are refreshing specific models in current Ryzen lineup to make more "range" so can justify the price differences a bit more clearly
IMO the "limit" of ~4-4.2Ghz is not a terrible thing as they still have LOTS of cores and great performance overall, if they could get them closer to 4.5Ghz would be excellent as long as power use and temperatures did not go through roof in the process, fact is Ryzen at 3.8-4.2Ghz is giving the same performance in nearly all cases as competing Intel models running 300-600Mhz more clock speed AND they give you more cores/more pci-e lanes and proper solder being used instead of cheaping out on paper thin dies and PASTE lol.
I wish Toms website page did not bounce around the page when viewing things for a few minutes each time, is like the graphics card is ramping up and down a few times throwing things off or something :D
Everything you said here is already available for graphics cards (or for newer AMD cards at the very least). My RX 580 has at least 5 P-states (can't remember exactly), and memory clocks drop down during idle.