AMD Might Be Selling Off Defective Xbox Series X CPUs

If you haven’t gotten your hands on an Xbox Series X, you may be able to pick up one very soon, but without the RDNA 2 graphics, of course. The recently uncovered AMD 4700S Desktop Kit (via momomo_us) has found its way into a mini-ITX gaming PC at Tmall in China.

When the AMD 4700S emerged last week, the obscure processor raised a lot of questions. For one, the chip doesn’t carry the Ryzen branding, suggesting that it might be a custom processor that AMD developed for one of its clients. Stranger still, the processor is available for purchase as part of the AMD 4700S Desktop Kit. 

Starting with what we know so far, the AMD 4700S is an octa-core Zen 2 processor with simultaneous multithreading (SMT). The Tmall merchant listed the AMD 4700S with 12MB of L3 cache, although we saw the chip with 8MB in a previous Geekbench 5 submission. The processor runs with a 3.6 GHz base clock and a 4 GHz boost clock. While we saw the AMD 4700S with 16GB of memory, we were uncertain of its nature. However, we suspected that the AMD 4700S is a variant of the processor that powers Microsoft’s latest Xbox Series X gaming console. The new mini-ITX listing appears to confirm our suspicions.

Apparently, the AMD 4700S is outfitted with 16GB of GDDR6 memory, which is the same amount of memory in the Xbox Series X. It appears that AMD is salvaging defective dies that don’t meet the requirements for the Xbox Series X and reselling them as the AMD 4700S.

Logically, AMD can’t just sell the same processor that it produces for Microsoft (for obvious reasons). Therefore, the AMD 4700S could be a result of a defective die with a faulty iGPU, similar to Intel’s graphics-less F-series chips. On the other hand, AMD could simply have disabled the iGPU inside the AMD 4700S, which is a shame given how generous GDDR6 memory is with bandwidth.

The only image of the mini-ITX system’s interior revealed a motherboard that looks like the same size as the Xbox Series X. There are no memory slots, and we can see some of the GDDR6 chips that surround the processor. Naturally, AMD reworked the motherboard for PC usage, as we can see by the addition of capacitors, passive heatsink, power connectors, and connectivity ports. Since the AMD 4700S lacks an iGPU, AMD added a PCIe 3.0 x16 expansion slot for a discrete graphics card.

AMD 4700S Benchmarks

Processor Cinebench R20 Single-Core Cinebench R20 Multi-Core Cinebench R15 Single-Core Cinebench R15 Multi-Core
Ryzen 7 4750G 411 4,785 199 2,085
AMD 4700S 486 3,965 160 1,612
Core i7-9700 508 3,643 200 1,469

Thanks to the listing, we can also get an idea of just how the processor inside the Xbox Series X performs compared to today’s desktop processors. However, it’s important to highlight that the AMD 4700S may not be the exact processor used in Microsoft’s latest console. The Series X uses a chip that runs at 3.8 GHz and 3.6 GHz when simultaneous multithreading is active. The AMD 4700S, on the other hand, clocks in a 3.6 GHz with a 4 GHz boost clock. On paper, the AMD 4700S should have faster compute cores since it doesn’t have an iGPU that eats into its power budget, so the heightened clock speeds make sense. 

In general, the AMD 4700S lags behind the Ryzen 7 4750G (Renoir) and Core i7-9700 (Coffee Lake) in single-core workloads. The AMD 4700S did outperform the Core i7-9700 in multi-core workloads. However, it still placed behind the Ryzen 7 4750G.

It’s remains to be seen whether AMD is selling the AMD 4700S to retail customers or just OEMs. Thus far, we’ve seen the AMD 4700S Desktop Kit retailing for €263.71 (~$317.38) in at Tulostintavaratalo, a retailer in Finland. The Chinese mini-ITX gaming system is listed for 4,599 yuan or $709.12, but the price factors in the Radeon RX 550, 5TB SSD, CPU cooler, power supply and case.

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