AMD celebrates 50 years with ‘gold edition’ hardware containing keepsakes

AMD is turning 50 years old, a milestone it officially reaches in just a couple of days, on May 1. To commemorate the occasion, AMD is releasing "Gold Edition" versions of its Ryzen 7 2700X processor and Radeon VII graphics card.

"For a half century, AMD pushed the boundaries of what’s possible in high-performance computing to create new experiences and possibilities for hundreds of millions of people," said John Taylor, chief marketing officer at AMD. "We celebrate this moment with our fans around the world who inspire us to push forward in that spirit for another fifty years to 2069 and beyond."

You may recall that Intel did something similar with the 40th anniversary of its x86 architecture, with the release of the Core i7-8086K. Made available in limited quantities, the i7-8086K was essentially a binned version of the 6-core/12-thread i7-8700K with faster clocks, running at 4GHz (base) to 5GHz (boost) instead of 3.7GHz to 4.7GHz.

AMD is taking a different tact with its anniversary products. I had seen a few leaks of the special edition lineup ahead of today's launch and was curious if they would feature faster clocks. That is not the case. The Ryzen 7 2700X Gold Edition sports the exact same specifications as the regular version—8 cores and 16 threads clocked at 3.7GHz to 4.3GHz—though it does come with some keepsakes.

Special packaging highlights AMD's 50-year anniversary, and the CPU itself contains a laser engraved signature of AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su, along with "AMD 50" marking on the lid.

AMD also tosses in a 50th anniversary sticker with Dr. Su's signature, a coupon to redeem a commemorative t-shirt, and a digital code to enter a drawing for a free upcoming Ryzen 3000 series desktop processor based on Zen 2—all if purchased by June 8, 2019.

The gold edition processor is only available at Newegg, priced at $329.99. That's also the list price of the regular Ryzen 7 2700X, though it's currently available for $292.99 on Amazon. So, you're looking at a $35 up-charge for the special packaging and additional goodies. Both the gold edition and regular version also come with two free games—Tom Clancy's The Division 2 and World War Z.

AMD also launched a gold edition version of the Radeon VII, albeit with a "vibrant red" shroud and AMD 50 gold packaging. This also comes with a coupon for a t-shirt, a signed sticker, and the same two free games.

The gold edition Radeon VII is available direct from AMD and for $699, the same price as the regular Radeon VII.

In addition, AMD says retailers will be offering special deals on select AMD products during its AMD 50 promotional period.

"For example, Best Buy is launching a one-day AMD 50th Anniversary sale on May 1, 2019, offering up to $150 off select AMD products, including AMD-powered PCs and notebooks, Ryzen processors, and Radeon graphics. The promotion is available exclusively to Best Buy customers in the US," AMD says.

All of this comes as AMD gets ready to roll out its next generation Ryzen 3000 series CPUs and Navi GPUs. Those launches could come as soon as Computex in June.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).