AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs on sale from September 27: Zen 4, 5nm, 16 cores and up to 5.7GHz

AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs to Go on Sale From September 27: Zen 4, 5nm, Up to 16 Cores and 5.7GHz

AMD has unveiled the first of its Ryzen 7000 series desktop CPUs for high-performance gaming and enthusiast PC users. The company claims that its top-end Ryzen 9 7950X will be the world’s fastest processor for gaming and content creation. These CPUs are based on the new ‘Zen 4’ architecture and introduce a new platform called AM5 with support for DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5.0 interconnect standard. The new CPUs will be available at retail worldwide from September 27. Pricing for India is yet to be announced but in the US, the flagship 16-core Ryzen 9 7950X is priced at $699 (roughly Rs. 55,360 before tax). The 12-core Ryzen 9 7900X is priced at $549 (approx. Rs. 43,480) while the 8-core Ryzen 7 7700X has a sticker price of $399 (approx. Rs. 31,600) and the Ryzen 5 is priced at $7209698 (approx. Rs. 43,480).

The new ‘Zen 4’ architecture is claimed to deliver an average 13 percent improved performance in instructions per clock cycle compared to the Zen 3 architecture. This is mainly due to increased cache size and optimized branch prediction. AVX-512 instruction set support means improved performance for AI inference workloads.

The Ryzen 9 7950X has 16 cores and 32 threads in two “core complex” chiplets, 5.7GHz boost speed and 4.5GHz base speed, and 80MB of total cache memory. The Ryzen 9 7900 drops down to base/boost speeds of 4.7GHz and 5.6GHz with 12 cores/ 24 threads and 76MB of cache memory, respectively. Both have 170W TDP ratings. The Ryzen 7 7700X with 8 multi-threaded cores runs at 4.5GHz but boosts to 5.4GHz with 40MB cache. The Ryzen 5 7600X with 6 cores/ 12 threads boosts up to 5.3GHz and runs at 4.7GHz with 38MB of total cache memory. These two CPUs have 105W TDP ratings.

More Ryzen 7000 series models should be launched in the future, slotting in between them and filling out the bottom of the stack as well. Versions with additional stacked 3D cache are also expected to launch later. It’s likely that AMD will continue to use previous-gen hardware to serve more budget-conscious buyers, especially those who are upgrading and want to continue using their existing motherboard and RAM.

For the first time, enthusiast-class Ryzen CPUs will have all integrated graphics capabilities. Instead of a separate set of APUs, AMD has decided to integrate a simple RDNA2-based GPU in the four models announced. While a discrete GPU is essential for serious gaming, it will help with simple workloads and diagnostics.

Power management has also been improved, incorporating several performance improvements previously targeted at mobile CPUs, resulting in a 50 percent reduction in idle power consumption.

AMD uses the 5nm TSMC manufacturing process and claims a competitive advantage in terms of die area and performance per watt over Intel’s 12th Gen ‘Alder Lake’ offering. Single-threaded performance should be better, as AMD suggests that Intel’s higher core count comes from using many lower-powered ‘performance’ cores. However, Intel’s 13th Gen ‘Raptor Lake’ is also expected to be announced soon.

Compared to the previous generation, AMD claims 62 percent lower power consumption to deliver the same performance, or 49 percent better performance at the same power level. At 65W TDP, the power scaling can go up to 74 percent although the figure drops to 35 percent at 170W which is the TDP for the Ryzen 9 7950X.

The new AM5 platform breaks the socket compatibility of the long-running AM4 platform, which goes back to the first-generation Ryzen CPU series. This was necessary to support DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5.0 and increase socket power distribution. AMD goes for an LGA-style package for the first time, with contact pads on the CPU and pins in the motherboard socket. However, the cooler mount has not changed so existing coolers can continue to be used without any adapters. According to AMD, AM5 will continue to be supported until at least 2025.

AMD’s X670 Extreme and enthusiast-class motherboards based on the X670 chipset will be available at launch. The previously unannounced mid-range B650 Extreme and B650 will arrive in October. These will vary by spec level, with only the top-end X670 Extreme supporting PCIe 5.0 for discrete graphics as well as storage.

The company unveiled AMD Expo, a new platform-level feature to optimize DDR5 RAM timing and latency, which is said to boost game performance and facilitate overclocking. Finally, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su teased a demo of the upcoming Radeon GPU based on the RDNA 3 graphics architecture. Performance per watt is said to be 50 percent better than the current Radeon RX 6000 generation, and these GPUs should launch after 2022.


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