New gaming device innovation by AMD brings the war to the two conventional market majors

New product from Zhongshan Subor is custom made for Chinese gamers.

AMD’s latest semi-custom design was announced at China Joy in Shanghai when Chinese hardware manufacturer Zhongshan Subor unveiled a new console based on a new AMD processor. The company says it will also be building a new gaming PC using the chip.

Taking its place alongside the competition: The new console from Zhongshan Subor was exhibited at the China Joy gamer show. Photos from AnandTech show the new console displayed alongside the PS4. (Source: AMD)

According to AMD, the new chip combines a quad-core/eight-thread Ryzen CPU clocked at 3 GHz with a Radeon Vega Graphics with 24 compute units at 1.3 GHz. A 256-bit GDDR5 interface connects to 8 GB of GDDR5 on the motherboard. (Some reports have put the number of compute units at 28.) The GPU and the CPU probably share access to the GDDR5 memory as does the PS4 and Xbox One X. The guessing game around compute units has been inspired by rumors about AMD’s Fenghuang chip, which has turned up in 3DMark with respectable scores. We checked with AMD to be sure this new chip actually is the fabled Fenghuang, and we haven’t heard back, and actually, we don’t expect to.

AMD’s blog post about the chip and partnership with Zhongshan Subor by Jack Huynh identifies all the technology customers can expect to benefit from including Radeon FreeSync technology, Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition software, and Rapid Packed Math.

Zhongshan Subor is expected to launch its new gaming PC by the end of August, while the new gaming console with the same hardware as the gaming PC and equipped with a unique operating system is expected to be launched by the end of this year. If the new gaming PC is actually built around the AMD console chip, it would be the first PC to do so.

Considering that AMD’s enterprise business is just getting started, it’s clear the company’s semi-custom is a respectable business for AMD. (Source: JPR)

China faced a 14-year ban on consoles which was lifted in 2015, and as a result, Chinese this period pushed the public toward computer games. This is the reason why AMD–Zhongshan Subor’s new plans to come up with PC gaming devices along with consoles is so interesting. However, it’s probably a mistake to expect the new PC to function in the Chinese market like gaming PCs function in the rest of the world. Chinese gamers love streaming games and the Chinese government wants control of IP in China. Publicity around Zhongshan Subor’s products promises access to new triple-A games and special content, which also implies games customized to the Chinese market.

However, it’s also going to be interesting to watch the progress of PCs with console-style architectures.

What do we think?

We think it’s a nightmare trying to get the straight story on an unannounced chip and a console introduced in China by a Chinese company. It is believed that this design will be exclusive to the Chinese market, much to the dismay of excited gamers eager to get access to an updated console design with faster processors and graphics. Who knows consoles aren’t done yet.

Watching AMD’s semi-custom business is also instructive. According to reports, the deal for this chip development project is reported to be worth 400 million RMB or $58.4 million USD. Zhongshan Subor gets a new design and AMD gets paid for research and technology that will benefit future products.