As an aside at its Radeon RX 7000 Series RDNA 3 event today, AMD unveiled a new desktop initiative to complement the 2021 launch of its AMD Advantage Laptops program. Advantage gaming laptops were introduced as a premium subcategory of laptops, like Intel’s Evo platform. Where Evo guarantees certain levels of connectivity, battery life, and more in machines with relevant supporting hardware (and, of course, Intel chips inside), AMD Advantage laptops have been designed with AMD processor and silicon GPU, and tuned for maximum performance and peak user experience.
An AMD Advantage laptop, the Lenovo Legion 7 Gen 7, earned top marks in our tests and a recent Editors’ Choice Award for Performance Gaming Units, a rare honor for an all-AMD machine. The new AMD Advantage Desktop program lays out a similar roadmap for OEM desktops, demanding certain high specifications, using AMD’s latest flagship components, to shape what the chipmaker calls “the most exceptional PCs.” of the market”.
What is the benefit (AMD) of all this?
AMD’s Chief Gaming Solutions Architect Frank Azor demonstrated the basics of the new program at the RDNA 3 launch. AMD Advantage desktops will be towers with Radeon RDNA 3 cards and Ryzen 9 7950X processors, with specific software integrations and support component guidelines to match these flagship parts. Advantage desktop cores will include the Ryzen 9 7950X processor, introduced earlier this fall, and the Radeon RX 7900 XTX GPU (AMD’s new $999 flagship card based on RDNA 3, introduced today and launched in mid-December).
The Adrenalin Edition AMD software suite will bring all of the Team Red silicon components under one control mechanism, as opposed to Intel/Nvidia desktops governed by the Nvidia GPU driver/tuning software and separate Intel chipset/CPU utilities. Adrenalin not only allows CPU and GPU tweaks, but it also provides a game launch and tweak interface, as well as a gameplay streaming and capture center. It also incorporates controls for AMD-specific game enhancement technologies such as Fidelity Super Resolution.
The hardware guidelines surrounding AMD Advantage Desktop designs go far beyond basic silicon. Liquid CPU cooling will be a standard feature, though it’s really a given, wherever a Ryzen 9 desktop CPU is in play. AMD also notes that Advantage units will have “premium chassis” designs, although the definition of premium is subject to interpretation. “Tool-less entry” will be a requirement, however, with any chassis used presumably using latches or levers to allow access to the interior, as opposed to screws. It is not clear if the toolless aspect will be too apply to adding or upgrading internal components.
More concrete is the insistence on a minimum of 2TB of NVMe storage, which makes sense in the use-case environments you’ll find these Radeon RX 7900 XTX-powered PCs in: games, games, and more games (more , maybe, some content creations alongside). With single game install sizes exceeding 100GB for some AAA titles, a 2TB drive is by no means too big, once a modern PC game library is established on it.
The EXPO is part of the plan
Beyond that, a 32GB floor on system memory will be part of the AMD Advantage Desktop program. Being an AM5 platform, the memory subsystem will be DDR5, and AMD also notes that AMD EXPO memory solutions will be part of the recipe.
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AMD EXPO, which debuted with the Ryzen 7000 launch earlier this year, is a rough analogue of the long-familiar Extended Memory Profiles (XMPs), delineating easy memory configuration and overclocking settings. (EXPO, of course, requires an EXPO-capable AMD AM5 motherboard and EXPO DDR5 memory kit, which have only just begun to hit the market.)
Finally, the 80 Plus Gold power supplies will provide another hardware layer for these systems. Given AMD’s emphasis with the launch of the Radeon RX 7900 XTX on the power efficiency of its new cards, this is another green laurel for AMD to cling to this score.
Initial system integrators onboard the AMD Advantage Desktop program include CSL, Cyberpower, Ebuyer, Falcon Northwest, Maingear, Origin and Xidax. We expect AMD Advantage Desktop Certified systems to arrive in 2023 as the Radeon RX 7900 XTX hits the market in AMD reference and partner card designs. Stay tuned as we will receive the first AMD Advantage desktops for review, likely in the new year.
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