AMD 4800S Desktop Kit, a PC repurposed APU from Xbox Series X has been tested

Published: Jul 31st 2023, 09:44 GMT   Comments

AMD 4800S Desktop Kit is a repurposed XBOX Series X APU for the PC market

EuroGamer has tested AMD’s processor which is typically found in an XBOX consoles. 

AMD 4800S Desktop Kit vs Microsoft Xbox Series X APU, Source: EuroGamer

In a stealthy 2021 release, AMD launched the 4700S Desktop Kit, followed by the introduction of the 4800S model one year later. Both kits are based on console hardware that is not fully functional, particularly affecting the built-in graphics. While the XBOX and PS5 APUs could be considered as ‘high-end’ APU options for everyday computing, their dated Zen2 architecture, lack of optimizations, and limited platform capability do present some drawbacks.

The AMD 4800S, unlike its 4700S kit, utilizes the Xbox Series X APU, featuring a large processor with 8 Zen2 cores and 3328 RDNA2 GPU cores, which unfortunately have been disabled. A significant number of these processors were manufactured with broken graphics that did not meet AMD and Microsoft standards for the Series X. Instead of discarding these chips, AMD decided to build a whole desktop platform around the APU, making them available to some users.

AMD 4800S Desktop Kit vs Microsoft Xbox Series X APU, Source: EuroGamer

The 4800S does offer a major upgrade over the 4700S, particularly in terms of PCIe bandwidth and modern interface availability. Unlike the 4700S Kit, which lacked an M.2 slot for fast storage, the 4800S Kit boasts two M.2 slots – one for storage and another for an optional WiFi interface. Furthermore, the PCIe slot now offers more bandwidth, no longer limiting the graphics performance to PCIe Gen2 x4 specs but using Gen4 x4 interface instead. The 4800S addresses these limitations, offering twice as many SATA ports, an NVMe slot, a better cooler, and while GPU bandwidth remains limited, the 4x PCIe 4.0 interface allows for good results with higher-end graphics cards.

Interestingly, the 4800S employs a different type of memory than most desktop systems today. Like the 4700S, it relies on GDDR6 memory (with 16GB capacity), which has its pros and cons. While it offers twice the bandwidth of DDR4 memory, latency remains a major concern, partially explaining why GDDR6 memory is not commonly used for this purpose.

AMD 4800S Desktop Kit vs Microsoft Xbox Series X APU, Source: EuroGamer

In terms of performance, the APU working in a console typically boosts up to 3.6 GHz across all cores, reserving one core for basic system functionality. In contrast, the desktop version can boost up to 4.0 GHz, functioning more like a standard Zen2 processor with variable frequencies, resulting in an 11% increase in speed according to EuroGamer’s analysis.

Comparing the 4800S to two Zen2 CPUs, the Ryzen 5 3600 (with larger cache than the Xbox APU) and Ryzen 7 PRO 4750G featuring a similar cache hierarchy, gaming performance falls in between both APUs. However, it is significantly inferior to the Zen4 based Ryzen 5 7600, which often delivers twice the framerate. The reviewer also tested the 4800S with RX 7900 XTX graphics, which displayed a similar trend.

Unfortunately, the 4800S is scarcely available, and even obtaining a sample for this review proved to be very complicated. As a result, the recommendation is not to buy this Desktop Kit, especially considering the availability of cheaper and faster alternatives on the market. Nevertheless, the 4800S remains an interesting concept that could have been a valuable addition to the AMD CPU family had it been more broadly available in 2022, as initially mentioned.

AMD Desktop APUs based on Xbox Series APUs
VideoCardzAMD A9-9820 “Cato”4700S Desktop Kit4800S Desktop Kit
Based OnXbox One APU “Durango”PlayStation 5 SoC “Ariel”Xbox Series X SoC
CPU Architecture28nm Jaguar (7th Gen A-Series)7nm Zen27nm Zen2
CPU Configuration8C/8T8C/16T8C/16T
CPU Clocks1.75 – 2.35 GHzup to 3.2 GHzup to 4.0 GHz
Integrated GPU ArchitectureGCN2 “Kryptos”[ disabled RDNA2 ][ disabled RDNA2 ]
GPU Based OnRadeon HD 7790 (or R5 350)
GPU Configuration512 SP @ 935 MHz
Motherboard Form FactorMicro-ATXMini-ITXMicro-ATX
MemoryQuad-Channel DDR3-21338GB or 16GB GDDR616GB GDDR6
PCIe2.0x4 Gen 2.0x4 Gen 4.0

Source: EuroGamer

[Digital Foundry] PC Gaming on the Xbox Series X CPU: AMD 4800S Desktop Kit Review (250,797 views)

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