The CPU war is showing no signs of slowing as today at the virtual Taiwan Computex trade show event, AMD (NASDAQ:AMD) announced more details of its ‘Zen 4’ Ryzen 7000-series CPUs for its upcoming Socket AM5 platform.
It’s claiming the new CPUs will top a 15 percent single-thread performance uplift compared to the previous generation, which is huge amount and easily on par with the boost we’ve seen from any previous generation.
AMD Ryzen 7000 and Socket AM5 / Zen 4 key facts:
- Frequencies to be well over 5GHz – (5.5GHz was shown in game)
- New 5nm core chiplets and 6nm I/O die
- Onboard RDNA 2 graphics with all Ryzen 7000 CPUs for the first time
- Socket AM5 will be compatible with Socket AM4 existing coolers
- Greater than 15 percent uplift in single-thread performance
- Increase in socket power to 170W to improve performance, especially in multi-threaded workloads
- X670E (board-wide PCIe 5.0 support), X670 PCIe 5.0 on graphics and storage only, B670 PCIe 5.0 on storage only
- Ryzen 7000 and socket AM5 motherboards to be released in the fall
This is thanks to the new Zen 4 architecture and its 5nm manufacturing process, its ability to peak above 5GHz in boosting frequencies and the fact that the new CPUs have double the L2 cache per core. Large cache sizes reduce latency so this is likely going to result in faster game performance, just like we saw with the Ryzen 7 5800X3D and its expanded 3D V-Cache.
The core chiplets sit in a similar arrangement on the CPU die as with Zen 3, but these make the transition to 5nm from 7nm, so will have lower power requirements and allow for higher frequencies.
A really interesting new addition is integrated graphics across the range. Only it’s G-series APUs have included this before, but like Intel, AMD is now offering RDNA2-class Radeon graphics with Ryzen 7000-series CPUs. This means you won’t need a separate graphics card to get up and running, which will delight non-gamers, plus it can be useful for trouble-shooting if you suspect your graphics card is faulty.
To make use of this, new motherboards will have HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 2 ports. The new boards will come in at last three flavors too. A new X670 Extreme (or X670E) chipset will offer PCIe 5.0 support for all onboard devices. Stepping down to the X670 standard chipset, and most of the same features of the extreme version are present, except PCIe 5.0 only extends to the graphics card and storage.
Thankfully, there’s a cheaper B-series chipset too and B670 will scrub PCIe 5.0 support on the graphics slot and only offer it for storage. Speaking of storage, AMD is already working with the likes of Phison on the next generation of PCIe 5.0 SSDs, which it claims are already 60 percent faster than PCIe 4.0 SSDs.
What we don’t know
So far AMD has not made any statements about actual CPU model numbers, exact frequencies or core counts. This is all rumor at the moment, but we can at least presume that core counts will be the same or higher than they are now with a maximum of 16 cores, but with significantly higher boost frequencies and cache amounts.
However, some recent leaks hint at the possibility of a flagship Ryzen 9 7950X having a massive 24 cores, which is the same as the current Threadripper 3960X. This could explain part of AMD’s reluctance to release new Threadripper CPUs based on the newer Zen 3 architecture. It would also usher in a significantly larger multi-threaded performance jump than we were expecting – certainly since AMD first introduced 16 cores to the mainstream desktop with the Ryzen 9 3950X.