As an aside during its Radeon RX 7000 series RDNA 3 event today, AMD teased a new desktop initiative to complement its launch, in 2021, of its AMD Advantage Laptops program. Advantage gaming laptops have been touted as a premium subcategory of notebooks, along the lines of 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 CPU and GPU silicon, and tuned for maximum performance and peak user experience.
One 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, mandating certain high specs, using the very latest AMD flagship componentry, to fashion what the chip maker deems “the most exceptional PCs on the market.”
What’s the (AMD) Advantage of All This?
AMD’s Frank Azor, chief architect of gaming solutions, laid out the rudiments of the new program during the RDNA 3 launch. AMD Advantage Desktops will be towers with Radeon RDNA 3 cards and Ryzen 9 7950X CPUs, with specific software integrations and supporting component guidelines to match those headlining parts. Core elements of the Advantage Desktops will include the Ryzen 9 7950X processor, introduced earlier this fall, and the Radeon RX 7900 XTX GPU (AMD’s new RDNA 3-based $999 flagship card, demoed today and debuting in mid-December).
The Adrenalin Edition AMD Software suite will tie together all of the Team Red silicon under one control mechanism, as opposed to Intel/Nvidia desktops governed by Nvidia GPU driver/tweaking software and separate Intel chipset/CPU utilities. Adrenalin not only allows for CPU and GPU tweaks, but it also provides a game launching and tweaking interface, as well as a center for streaming and capturing gameplay. It also incorporates controls for AMD-specific game-enhancement technologies like Fidelity Super Resolution.
The hardware guidelines surrounding AMD Advantage Desktop designs go well beyond just the core silicon. Liquid cooling of the processor will be a standard feature, though that’s really a given, wherever a Ryzen 9 desktop CPU is in play. AMD also notes that the Advantage units will have “premium chassis” designs, though the definition of premium is open to interpretation. “Tool-less entry” will be a requirement, however, with any chassis employed presumably using latches or levers to allow interior access, as opposed to screws. It’s unclear if the tool-free aspect will also apply to adding or upgrading internal components.
More concrete is an insistence on a minimum of 2TB of NVMe storage, which makes sense in the use-case environments in which you’ll find these Radeon RX 7900 XTX-equipped PCs: gaming, gaming, and more gaming (plus, maybe, some content creation on the side). With single-game install sizes topping 100GB for some AAA titles, a 2TB drive is not too big, by any means, once a modern PC-game library gets established on it.
EXPO Is Part of the Plan
Beyond that, a 32GB floor on system memory will be part of the AMD Advantage Desktop program. This 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 during the Ryzen 7000 launch earlier this year, is a rough analogue to the long-familiar Extended Memory Profiles (XMP), delineating easy memory configuration and overclocking settings. (EXPO, of course, requires an EXPO-compliant AMD AM5 motherboard and DDR5 EXPO memory kit, which have just started to hit the market.)
Finally, 80 Plus Gold power supplies will be another hardware floor for these systems. Given AMD’s emphasis with the Radeon RX 7900 XTX launch on power efficiency in its new cards, this is another green-minded laurel for AMD to hang on that score.
The initial system integrators onboard with the AMD Advantage Desktop program include CSL, Cyberpower, Ebuyer, Falcon Northwest, Maingear, Origin, and Xidax. We expect to see AMD Advantage Desktop-certified systems come 2023 as the Radeon RX 7900 XTX hits the market in AMD reference-card and partner designs. Stay tuned as we get the first AMD Advantage Desktops in for review, likely in the new year.
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