Nearly two years after releasing the first Ryzen 5000 desktop processors, AMD is finally ready to follow up on them. Today, the company announced pricing and availability for the first wave of Ryzen 7000 CPUs based on the Zen 4 architecture, along with more details about the associated AM5 platform and the performance improvements that early adopters can expect.
The first four Ryzen 7000 CPUs will be available on September 27, and AMD is using the same strategy it used to launch the 5000 series (if you’re wondering what the skipped number is, 6000 series CPUs are only available for laptop). It starts with four higher-end, higher-end parts, while the lower-end CPUs for mainstream and budget builds will follow next year.
|Processor||MSRP||Cores/Wires||Clocks (Base/Boost)||Total cache memory (L2+L3)||TDP|
|Ryzen 5 7600X||$299||6c/12t||4.7/5.3GHz||38MB (6+32)||105 W|
|Ryzen 7 7700X||$399||8c/16t||4.5/5.4GHz||40MB (8+32)||105 W|
|Ryzen 9 7900X||$549||12c/24t||4.7/5.6GHz||76MB (12+64)||170 W|
|Ryzen 9 7950X||$699||16c/32t||4.5/5.7GHz||80MB (16+64)||170 W|
AMD is sticking to the same number of cores it used for Zen 3. The entry-level model is the 6-core Ryzen 5 7600X, which will launch for the same $299 as the 5600X in 2020; the 12-core Ryzen 9 7900X also launches for $549, the same price as the Ryzen 9 5900X. The other two chips are slightly cheaper than their Ryzen 5000 counterparts; the 16-core Ryzen 9 7950X launches for $699, $100 less than the 5950X, while the 8-core Ryzen 7 7700X starts at $399, $50 less than the launch price for the Ryzen 7 5800X (technically, this is is a price increase over the $299 Ryzen 7 5700X, but that chip wasn’t released until almost a year and a half after the 5800X).
AMD says “optimizations” made over the course of Zen 4 development have increased the instruction per clock (IPC) increase over Zen 3 to an average of 13 percent, an 8-10 percent increase that the company promised earlier this year. The 7950X’s max clock has already been increased to 5.7GHz, 800MHz faster than the Ryzen 5950X’s boost clock. All told, this should make the 7950X an average of 29 percent faster than the 5950X on tasks that take advantage of single-threaded performance, including games.
At the launch event and during a question-and-answer session for media and analysts afterward, AMD was hesitant to go too far into the weeds about Zen 4’s architecture and steer clear of projections about when we could expect other Zen 4 chips to come out. would be launched. But you shouldn’t have 3D V-Cache versions of Zen 4 . to expect or cheaper Zen 4 CPUs until sometime in 2023.
Energy efficiency performance and gain
We’ll learn more about Zen 4’s architecture changes between now and when the CPUs launch, but the company has shared some details about where the improvements in performance and power efficiency are coming from.
AMD Chief Technical Officer Mark Papermaster says Zen 4 is a revision of the Zen 3 architecture that focuses primarily on the architecture’s “front-end” to retrieve tasks more efficiently and pass them to the improved execution engine that focuses on was from Zen 3 (Papermaster also says Zen 5 will be a more substantial “ground-up” redesign, but we don’t expect to hear much detail before 2023 or 2024). Most of the Zen 4’s 13 percent IPC boost comes from these optimizations, while branch prediction, a doubling of L2 cache, load/store improvements, and further minor tweaks to the execution engine account for the rest.
Specific tasks such as machine learning and AI workloads can also benefit from the introduction of AVX-512 extensions. This puts Intel in an odd place: The company defined these extensions nearly a decade ago and was the only one pushing them for years. But it has disabled AVX-512 support in its 12th-generation CPUs because the efficiency cores of the processors do not support it. These extensions have been a bit controversial because using them can consume a lot of power and because the workloads that take advantage of them are specialized and relatively rare (Linux creator Linus Torvalds has said he hopes “AVX-512 dies a painful death”). But it’s kind of funny that AMD’s latest CPUs will now support them, while Intel, the company that invented them and pushed them to make them popular, sells CPUs that can’t.
Even with AVX-512 support added, AMD says a Zen 4 core and its accompanying L2 cache will take up 50 percent less space than one of Intel’s current-generation P-cores (although this is at least partly because you have the 5nm from TSMC compares manufacturing process to the older Intel 7 process, and partly because a Golden Cove core has 1.25MB of L2 cache, while a Zen 4 core has a flat 1MB). AMD also says that a Zen 4 core is “up to 47 percent more power efficient” than a Golden Cove core.
AMD also makes big claims when comparing Zen 4 to the previous generation Zen 3, especially around performance per watt. If we compare the Ryzen 9 7950X to the Ryzen 9 5950X at the same TDP levels, AMD says Zen 4 should outperform Zen 3 by about 35 percent when set at a TDP of 170W, by about 37 percent when it is set to a TDP of 105 W, and by a whopping 74 percent when set to a TDP of 65 W.
This kind of efficiency gain is important because the CPUs that come in pre-built OEM systems often use these lower TDP levels in stock rather than the increased TDP levels that are possible with custom systems and more complete motherboards. More efficiency is also useful for mini-ITX systems, where you may not have the cooling capacity to allow the CPU to consume tons of power and generate tons of heat.