Up until this point, AMD hasn’t kept much of a secret about its upcoming Zen 4 architecture, the AM5 platform, or the Ryzen 7000 processor series. At this year’s Computex, held earlier this summer, AMD talked about some of its features main and initial expectations.
Of course, the launch of Zen 4 is getting closer and closer, so AMD started to reveal more about its upcoming series. At an event held in Austin, Texas, and broadcast live this evening, the company spoke at length about why its Zen 4 chips are the best it’s ever made, and talked about its plans for AM5.
First of all, AMD says that its Zen 4 will power its Raphael, Genoa and Phoenix products, all catering to different market segments. At this event, the company also spoke slightly a bit about RDNA 3 Radeon graphics, and also an upcoming Zen 4C, which are smaller versions of the Zen 4 aimed directly at the server market.
On the Zen 4 side, AMD said that this architecture was developed with the goal of delivering the best possible performance with the best energy efficiency. This has resulted in some bold claims.
AMD says Zen 4 can deliver the same performance as Zen 3 with 62% less power; or can deliver 49% improved performance at the same power. That sounds great on paper, but the high-end Zen 4 chips have had their TDP increased to 170W, which AMD says is done to allow for improved high-end performance, which includes giving of the excess space of superclouds. Still, these efficiency improvements sound good.
On stage, AMD CEO Lisa Su had high praise for Zen 4, noting that it has exceeded expectations. Before this event, the company said that IPC improvements would be between 8-10%, but today, this has increased to 13% geomean. As the (ultra-wide) slide below points out, some scenarios will show little or no gains, while others will show significant improvements.
As you might expect, AMD had plenty of gaming-related performance to talk about, and it really wanted to prove a point with this comparison:
In the actual demo, gameplay footage of F1 22 it was running every which way, and in the end, AMD showed that its mid-range Ryzen 7600X could outperform Intel’s top-end Core i9-12900K. Here’s a taste of some other games:
Of course, this type of testing needs to be done in review labs to see if everything here matches up. But comparing AMD’s (current) low-end Zen 4 to Intel’s high-end 12th gen is quite something. It wouldn’t be out of place to mention that Intel also has a new generation CPU architecture, so we might see another change at that time.
Before we get to the models set to launch, we should mention that Zen 4 will support the AVX-512 instruction set, which is useful in AI workloads. Intel has supported this instruction in many CPUs, but on the consumer side, we haven’t seen much (or anything?) to take advantage of. Since AMD also offers the instruction set now, it will be interesting to see if that changes.
With the AVX-512, AMD says it offers 1.3x better FP32 performance over Zen 3 and an over 2.5x improvement in INT8 inference.
So you probably want to know which Ryzen 7000 CPUs are coming, right? Well, we’ve got you covered with the image below:
In terms of cores and threads, AMD hasn’t changed anything here. The top-end model still boasts 16 cores and 32 threads, but as seen in the IPC and multi-threaded tests above, these new cores are significantly faster (and more efficient, for that matter.)
It’s also worth noting that the ~100W TDP that the previous generation high-end chips saw has been increased to 170W, while the low-end chips inherit a 105W TDP. by withdrawing power from the wall as soon as the rating begins.
Another thing worth noting is the fact that pricing has been largely unchanged this generation. The last generation had a 5800X for $449, but now AMD offers a chip with the same number of cores (and higher clocks) for $50 less. This is despite the fact that global inflation seems to be taking its toll everything recently.
One reason to be thankful for the same price as the last generation is the fact that DDR5 memory is still more expensive than DDR4, so if you want to upgrade to AMD’s latest and greatest, you’ll be glad to you won’t have to spend anywhere.
During a Q&A session, AMD noted that Zen 3 and AM4 aren’t going anywhere for a while, so if you want a chip even lower than the 7600X, you might want to consider a Zen 3 platform instead to wait indefinitely for Zen 4 equivalencies.
On that note, AMD talked about being able to stretch five generations of processors on a single AM4 platform and hopes to continue providing that long-term support with AM5. The current promise is support up to at least 2025, although a + sign hints that it could be extended. However, this means that if you adopt Zen 4 early, you can expect to be able to upgrade to the next two generations of Zen. Even better? AM5 is still compatible with AM4 processor coolers, which can save you money when you upgrade.
Zen 4 is built around a 5nm process, showing that AMD hasn’t thought about slowing down the chips. The company actually boasted that a Zen 4 core takes up much less space than an Alder Lake core, but at the end of the day, what really matters is what we see from a performance and efficiency perspective, but more the little one dies. I DO make it an easier chip to cool – and Intel’s latest generation runs very hot.
We’ll have other things to talk about in our upcoming Zen 4 launch content, but we’ll end this initial look here, as we’re running out of time to write and the most important things have been covered here.
We didn’t mention the RDNA3 demo, but that’s because it was really quite simple in nature, featuring the reproduction of a really cool game that we can’t remember the name of. Frame rates were not displayed; so harder information will come over time.
One last thing to mention: Zen 4 will launch on September 27th, and AMD believes that the current global situation should not affect its availability, as the company deliberately allowed extra time to ensure that all regions received the product before the start. So if you really want to upgrade, hopefully you’ll be able to do so from the start.
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