Back at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su held up an early sample of a Ryzen 3000 series processor based on AMD's Zen 2 (Matisse) CPU architecture. It will still be several months until Zen 2 chips start shipping to consumers, though in the meantime, motherboard makers are getting ready with next-gen boards based on AMD's upcoming X570 chipset.
We suspect there will be a ton of motherboard leaks in the upcoming weeks and months, especially as AMD's Ryzen 3000 series draws closer to release. In fact, it has already started to happen. The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) website lists a bunch of unreleased ASRock motherboards based on X570. They include:
- ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming X
- ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming 6
- ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming 4
- ASRock X570 Extreme4
- ASRock X570 Taichi
- ASRock X570 Pro4
- ASRock X570 Pro4 R2.0
- ASRock X570M Pro4
- ASRock X570M Pro4 R2.0
At a glace, that appears to be a full lineup. There are nine motherboards in total, which is three more than ASRock's current generation X470 lineup, which consists of the following:
- ASRock X470 Taichi Ultimate
- ASRock X470 Taichi
- ASRock X470 Master SLI/ac
- ASRock X470 Master SLI
- ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4
- ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming-ITX/ac
One thing that is interesting about the X570 lineup is that there does not appear to be any Fatal1ty SKUs. It's not clear if ASRock is moving on from its partnership with Fatal1ty (unlikely), or if there will be additional models that are not yet listed with the EEC (likely).
Either way, it's nice to see a varied lineup from ASRock. Having no less than nine motherboards in the works underscores a job well done by AMD with its Zen architecture, and its ability to regain relevance in the enthusiast market.
Zen 2 should deliver higher clock speeds, increased power efficiency, and a 12-15 percent uplift in instructions per clock (IPC) performance, compared to AMD's current generation 12nm Zen+ Ryzen 2000 desktop CPUs that launched in mid-2018.
What's also interesting is that AMD is moving to a chiplet design. The processor Dr. Su showed off at CES contained two dies—a small 7nm Zen 2 die and a much larger 14nm I/O die. Dr. Su also hinted that higher core counts could be coming, as evidenced by the empty space beneath the smaller die.
Though AMD will be releasing a new X570 chipset with additional bells and whistles, such as PCIe 4.0 support, Ryzen 3000 series CPUs will work in existing X470 motherboards. All that might be needed is a firmware update.