During AMD’s recent live stream, the company finally revealed the details of its much-anticipated Zen 3 CPU lineup.
Dubbed Ryzen 5000, the new CPUs are the successor to AMD’s revolutionary Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 series launched in 2019. That said, the company is promising that Zen 3 will be more than an incremental update to Zen 2, promising an “entirely new architecture” with performance to match when it launches on November 5.
The first thing many will notice, however, is the name. Instead of branding the chips as “Ryzen 4000,” following the Ryzen 3000, the company has instead has opted to clean up its marketing and avoid confusion with the existing Ryzen Mobile 4000 CPUs, while also serving as an indicator of the promised performance boost.
And it is a significant performance boost over Zen 2 that AMD is promising. The Zen architecture is seeing sweeping changes in its third iteration focusing on higher clock speeds, different core cluster configuration and a slightly higher IPC (instructions per clock) over Zen 2. This is despite it still being built on the same 7-nanometer process.
The changes under the hood are focused on gaming, where single-threaded performance and higher clock speeds tend to be more important sheer core count. This is an arena where AMD—despite generally being seen as offering better value compared to its rival—has tended to lag behind Intel in the past.
Put together, AMD is promising that replacing a Zen 2 CPU with its comparable Zen 3 will result in an average 26 percent improvement for customers, all while keeping TDP (thermal design power) and core counts the same.
The benchmarks AMD put together for their stream support this as well with the processors showing impressive single-threaded results in Cinebench R20. In addition, the Ryzen 9 5900X was shown to beat out Intel’s i9-10900K in games such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider, League of Legends and Dota 2 (though Intel’s chip still won out in Battlefield V).
When Zen 3 launches on November 5, it will come in four distinct models. The top-of-the-line model will be the Ryzen 9 5950X with 16 cores, 32 threads and a max boost speed of 4.9Ghz. This will be complemented by the Ryzen 9 5900X with 12 cores, 24 threads and boosting up to 3.8GHz. Rounding out the list are the8 core, 16 thread Ryzen 7 5800X and 6 core, 12 thread Ryzen 5 5600X which can boost to 4.7 and 4.6 GHz respectively.
These new Zen 3 CPUs will come with a $50 price increase over their Zen 2 counterparts, with the Ryzen 9 5950X going for $799, the Ryzen 9 5900X $549, the Ryzen 7 5800X $449 and the Ryzen 6 5600X at $299.
When they do arrive, however, gamers shouldn’t have to shell out for anything else to upgrade. AMD has confirmed that the new Ryzen 5000 CPUs should work in all but the lower-end AM4 motherboards
Specifically, X570, B550 and A520 motherboards will work with Ryzen 5000 CPUs out of the box. X470 and B450 motherboards will also work but will need a selective beta BIOS update.
With the reveal of Ryzen 5000, AMD has revealed half of what’s on their plate for the rest of 2020 going into 2021. That said, the company still has more to announce. A second AMD event is scheduled for October 28 where the company is set to finally unveil its much-awaited Radeon RX6000 line of GPUs based on its new RDNA2 architecture—the same architecture behind both PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series consoles.
During the Ryzen event, AMD released a teaser for the RX 6000 launch where it promised that these would be the company’s more powerful graphics cards yet and hinting that they may be a match for Nvidia’s recently launched RTX 30 series.