Mini-PCs with AMD CPUs isn’t as common as NUC with Intel CPUs. However, a new generation of powerful and efficient mini-PCs with AMD’s ZEN 3-based CPUs as well as the Big Navi GPUs could be under active development. After AMD introduced the Project Quantum PC way back in 2015, a recently filed patent indicates AMD may be continuing development.
AMD’s Project Quantum PC project appears to be alive. In other words, despite the long absence of any news on development about powerful mini-PCs with AMD CPUs, the project hasn’t been abandoned. It appears technical limitations with CPU Architecture had withheld AMD, but the company’s ZEN 3 Architecture could allow powerful yet efficient AMD processors, as well as the recently announced Big Navi GPUs, to power a new range of mini-PCs with serious computing power.
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AMD ZEN 3 And Big Navi Architecture To Help Realize The Potential Of Miniature Desktop Computers?
Back in 2015, AMD wanted to enter the world of Virtual Reality (VR) gaming. Hence the company had designed a custom-cooled Quantum mini PC and even built a prototype. It is, however, important to note that AMD did not intend to sell the Quantum PC. This is because the prevalent processor technology was quite limited.
Specifically, the AMD Bulldozer-based FX processors were severely lacking in the Instructions Per Cycle (IPC). Simply put, the processing power of the CPU would bottleneck the accompanying Radeon Fury based GPUs inside and result in significantly lowered performance. Incidentally, AMD appears to have designed the mini-PC to accommodate an Intel CPU that would work well with AMD Graphics Card. However, AMD never did release the Quantum Mini-PC, which means the company stalled any plans to incorporate an Intel CPU.
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However, AMD CPUs have certainly come a long way. The first-generation ZEN Architecture itself had a 52 percent IPC gain over the final Bulldozer-derived architecture codenamed Excavator. Needless to add, ZEN 2 and ZEN 3 Architectures have more than doubled the IPC gains over the Bulldozer Architecture. In fact, AMD’s ZEN 3-based Ryzen 5000 Series of desktop-grade CPUs are by far one of the best options for gamers, professionals, and enthusiasts. In fact, AMD claims its latest CPUs have leadership gaming performance.
These powerful CPUs can now be coupled with the upcoming RX 6000 Big Navi GPUs based on RDNA 2 architecture. AMD’s RDNA Architecture has proven to be a much more efficient gaming architecture than any of the GCN derivatives like Fury.
Hence it is more than likely that AMD could be considering reviving Project Quantum Mini-PC. With high IPC, lower power consumption, and impressively low TDP Profile, the AMD’s ZEN 3 CPUs and upcoming Big Navi GPUs could offer a good mix of hardware for powerful gaming mini-PCs.