AMD has confirmed to Tom's Hardware that 80 systems based on its mysterious 4700S Desktop Kit will come to market, with official sales of the first systems obviously already underway.
The tale of AMD's 4700S Desktop Kit, which comes complete with a chip, motherboard, memory, and cooler, is a strange one. Almost all the details about AMD's 4700S kit for desktop PCs came via product listings and leaks before AMD even listed the chip on its site, and the company launched the 4700S without any of its normal communication with the press via briefings or press releases.
Making things even more interesting, the system almost certainly uses a similar processor to the Sony PlayStation 5 (or a variant thereof with some swapped IP blocks), but with a disabled GPU.
We followed up with AMD in regards to the 4700S Desktop Kit, and the chipmaker revealed that over 80 systems built around its 4700S kit will come to market:
"We expect to see over 80 designs come to market from our SI [System Integrator] partners beginning on June 24th. Prices of these systems will be announced by our SI partners in due course." - AMD representative.
The first systems based on the 4700S are already freely available on the open market, albeit only in certain areas of Asia. Therefore, pictures of the naked 4700S chip have surfaced.
Given that the 7nm 4700S Desktop Kit's chip visually matches the PS5's 'Ariel' SoC, has eight Zen 2 cores with 16 threads, and uses GDDR6 (8GB or 16GB) instead of the DDR4 memory found in modern PCs, it is almost certainly a close match to the silicon found in the PS5, albeit with a disabled RDNA2 integrated graphics engine and possible alterations to CPU clock speeds. That's led to speculation that the 4700S is merely a defective PS5 SoC that AMD has repurposed. That might make sense as it would allow the re-use of silicon that would otherwise end up in the garbage bin due to defects (perhaps in critical pathways).
The 4700S could also be a close cousin to Ariel, but with adjustments to the various IP blocks, like memory controllers, interrupt handlers, system management controllers, and hardware-accelerated video encode/decode blocks. That would mean the 4700S is its own semi-custom design that leverages some, but not all, of the features found in AMD's other SoCs, like Ariel.
It's quite the mystery, so we asked AMD if the 4700S is built with the same SoC used for the PS5:
"AMD 4700S Desktop Kit is its own unique solution, designed to address the desire for robust, high-core count performance in the mainstream market – ideal for multi-tasking, productivity, and light 3D workflows." - AMD representative.
AMD's response is actually non-committal, as it refers to the desktop kit and not the chip itself. We've asked for more details, but the company has been tight-lipped regarding the new systems and has conspicuously avoided using any Ryzen branding around the kit, so we aren't holding our breath for definitive answers.
In either case, we've already seen these systems show up at retailers in the Asian market, often retailing between ~$320 to ~$700 (converted to USD), but the systems come with unique trimmings, like SSDs, GPUs, PSUs and cases, that ultimately impact pricing.
AMD has confirmed that these systems, which are obviously not intended for leading-edge gaming machines, are coming to market, but it hasn't clarified if we'll see them at U.S. retailers anytime soon.
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The die size alone tells us that this is a partially disabled PS5 chip. The GPU is something like 2/3rds of the area of that die. Making a semi-custom variant of that - a new silicon design, something that costs millions if not billions of dollars to make a reality - without a GPU but at the same die size makes absolutely zero sense, especially in a supply constrained situation like today. If such a thing was made - which is highly unlikely, after all they have APU designs already, they could just use one of those instead, which are cheaper, smaller, and faster - there is no way on earth they wouldn't cut out the gpu entirely. They're not making a design with 66% blank silicon - they're not that stupid.Reply
It would be a pity if they don't release a version with some type of iGPU enabled, even if it is only a portion of the original. Unless it would not be compatible with standard DDR memory?Reply
This will make for an awesome micro PC with a handle case that can be used for traveling when you need something more powerful than a gaming laptop.Reply
Makes sense that these may well be chips that didn't meet the full requirements for the PS5 and so this is one way to avoid throwing away 100% of the cost. If, on the other hand, these components would have been suitable for the PS5 then I guess a polite WTF would be in order, given the shocking difficulty - still - of actually purchasing a one...but methinks that wouldn't scenario make sense...surely?Reply
"EIghty 4700S Systems Coming!"Reply
Do they mean simply 80 total units? :)
Or perhaps 80 different models/configurations?
So AMD gets to keep PS5 wafer defects and sell them? I was under the impression that manufacturers like Sony purchase these chips by the wafer, rather than by how many chips are functional. Perhaps these custom silicon contacts are different or I'm mistaken, but it seems odd to me AMD would have the right to sell a Sony-designed custom SoC.Reply
I was excited about this until I realized it's hampered graphically so it can't be a cheap gaming machine.Reply
And you have to add an expensive graphics card running on a 4x slot. So you are hampered there. You can't add sata/M2/no cards for Nas and firewalls like pfSense.
Grab a 3000g/3200g/3400g and be done with it for less money and more flexibility. Or a 3600 overclocked with a good graphics card for above the same money.
Nope. It's by working chips or units and are often sold in trays.jasonelmore said:So AMD gets to keep PS5 wafer defects and sell them? I was under the impression that manufacturers like Sony purchase these chips by the wafer, rather than by how many chips are functional. Perhaps these custom silicon contacts are different or I'm mistaken, but it seems odd to me AMD would have the right to sell a Sony-designed custom SoC.
That's what I was thinking too, though without knowing the details I'm wondering if Sony's IP input into the APU design would be more controlled in favour of Sony...to 'some' extent?digitalgriffin said:Nope. It's by working chips or units and are often sold in trays.
That aside, it would be interesting to know just how tied AMD still are - if at all - to fulfilling the PS5 and XBox contracts? Have they completed both requirements? If yes, should we be expecting the rest of their portfolio to be getting ramped up by now?....particularly their 6xxx GPU series? (we're still not really seeing that - it's too early to say if the crypto crash is the primary reason for any perceived current change)
Given that the PS5's GPU is semi-custom and not a straightforward RDNA2 design, driver support would be absolute hell. I don't see them making bespoke gpu drivers for a low volume non-standard GPU any time soon.deesider said:It would be a pity if they don't release a version with some type of iGPU enabled, even if it is only a portion of the original. Unless it would not be compatible with standard DDR memory?