AMD 4700S CPU Reviewed: Defective PS5 Chips Find New Life

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Break out the broken chips
We have AMD's 4700S Desktop Kit, a motherboard that almost certainly houses a defective version of the chip typically found in the Sony PS5, in for testing. This kit definitely isn't a typical AMD product: The eight-core 16-thread Zen 2 'AMD 4700S' chip has a 3.6 GHz base and 4.0 GHz boost, but it comes directly mounted onto a mini-ITX motherboard along with either 8 or 16GB of memory (ours had 16GB) and a cooler, while the chip's custom integrated GPU with 36 RDNA2-based compute units (CUs) is disabled. That means the chip's ability to compete with the best CPUs for gaming, and its position on our CPU Benchmark hierarchy, rests on its ability to push a discrete GPU to high levels of performance. Today we'll put the chip through its paces in a full spate of tests, including gaming and applications.

How did such an odd product come to market? At last count, Sony has sold more than 10 million PS5 consoles, each with its own special custom 'Oberon' chip designed by AMD. These custom chips come with eight Zen 2 cores and a powerful custom RDNA graphics engine, but an untold number of chips suffer from defects during the manufacturing processes, meaning that they won't function correctly (if at all), which typically results in a trip to the trash bin. Sometimes the chips simply can't meet certain clock speed criteria. Regardless of the issue with these chips, they can't be used in a console, but AMD appears to have found a way to sell the defective silicon by creating a system board with most of the key components you need to craft small systems.

CPU Arch. Price Cores/ Threads Base/ Boost Freq. TDP GPU Cores GPU Freq. (MHz) L3 (MB) AMD 4700S Zen 2 $400 w/ board and memory (est.) 8 / 16 3.6 / 4.0 75W N/A N/A 8 Ryzen 7 5700G Zen 3 $359 8 / 16 3.8 / 4.6 65W RX Vega 8 2000 16 Ryzen 5 5600G Zen 3 $259 6 / 12 3.9 / 4.4 65W RX Vega 7 1900 16 Ryzen 7 4750G Zen 2 ~$310 8 / 16 3.6 / 4.4 65W RX Vega 8 2100 8

AMD certainly isn't known for selling nearly-complete systems, but…
Paul Alcorn
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