AMD’s Advantage series of laptops, built in cooperation with OEM laptop makers like Dell, Lenovo, and Asus, are a hit. Closely integrating Ryzen CPUs and Radeon GPUs under the watchful technical guidance of AMD itself makes some fan-favorite gaming laptop designs, like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. Along with the announcement of the Radeon 7000 GPU series, AMD has decided to expand the program to include desktops as well. AMD Advantage Desktops will be available soon from CSL, CyberpowerPC, eBuyer, Falcon Northwest, Maingear, Origin, and Xidax.
What qualifies a pre-built desktop for that Advantage label? To start with, nothing but the best from AMD’s chip offerings, the Ryzen 9 7950X CPU and the new Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card. On top of that, minimum specs for the other components include 2TB of NVMe storage, 32GB of DDR5 memory, liquid cooling on the CPU (at least), an 80 Plus Gold (or better) power supply, and a desktop case with toolless entry.
In addition, AMD Advantage Desktops are pre-tuned and tested for ideal operation under high thermal loads. The desktops come loaded with AMD’s Adrenalin package of software, which includes the usual driver manager and AMD’s Smart Access Memory for faster gaming frame rates, plus an exciting new Smart Access Video feature for intelligently distributing encoding and decoding tasks across the CPU and GPU. The company is hoping to lure in content creators and streamers as well as the usual gamers with a mountain of cash to spend on a pre-built rig. AMD says that these desktops should be able to output to a 4K monitor at up to 480Hz in ideal conditions.
There are still plenty of users who like to mix-and-match Intel/Nvidia parts with AMD parts across the CPU and GPU, and AMD has been trying to push for a more unified approach ever since it purchased ATI way back in 2006. Offering these pre-configured machines, with tangible advantages to the CPU-GPU pairing and features that aren’t available without it, might make it easier for AMD to break into the upper tiers of both markets. At the time of writing AMD is sitting at about 10 percent market share for CPUs and 20 percent for graphics cards in desktops, and the Advantage program has already been a success in laptops.
AMD didn’t announce specific dates or prices for Advantage Desktops, and its promotional page doesn’t list any either. Its press release says they’ll be available “soon.” Perhaps that’s just as well. With retail prices for the Ryzen 9 CPU and RX 7900 XTX GPU combining for $1700 on their own, plus a laundry list of other high-end components and a boutique markup, you’d better start saving your pennies now.
Michael is a former graphic designer who's been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.