MSI hints at AMD releasing socket AM4 processors with more than 8 cores

Motherboard makers have begun detailing new boards based on AMD's B450 chipset for Ryzen, and a couple of them have already shown up in retail. One of the more interesting bits, however, comes from a motherboard ad by MSI that seemingly suggests AMD is ramping up the core count on its AM4 Ryzen chips.

AMD's mainstream Ryzen processors currently top out at 8 cores and 16 threads—if you want more cores and threads to throw at workloads, you have to look at Threadripper. That might change soon. MSI posted an ad on YouTube promoting its B450 motherboard lineup, and at one point in the video, MSI mentions an "enhanced layout and digital power design for 8 core and up CPU[s]."

Mentioning "8 core and up" seems like a weird thing to point out unless MSI is privy to upcoming Ryzen CPUs with more cores than the current crop. It's also possible that MSI is simply stressing the enhanced power delivery and potential to support future CPUs, particularly 8-core and higher chips, without having any inside knowledge. It's hard to tell—in the video's description, MSI notes these are "carefully planned" motherboards "built-up with new features." Make of that what you will.

If we are to see 12-core and 16-core Ryzen chips, they would be part of AMD's upcoming Zen 2 launch, built on 7nm silicon. AMD said back at CES that Zen 2's design was already complete, though it will likely be 2019 before they start rolling out.