At its CES press conference this morning, AMD didn’t reveal much about its desktop CPUs, but it did give a sneak peek at its next-generation Ryzen 7000 processors and Zen 4 architecture. These chips will be available in the second half of 2022, and they will require a whole new motherboard with a new AM5 CPU socket.
We don’t know much about the Ryzen 7000 CPUs other that they’ll be made using TSMC’s 5nm manufacturing process and that the prototype AMD showed onstage was running at 5 GHz (the current 5950X tops out at 4.9 GHz).
We also didn’t learn anything new about the AM5 socket, other than the fact that it will be a Land Grid Array (LGA) socket, similar to Intel’s desktop processors, with pins on the motherboard rather than the bottom of the CPU. We also know that CPU coolers designed for AM4 motherboards will function on AM5 motherboards
The actual AM4 socket has been used by AMD since 2016, but it still has some life left—the new Ryzen 7 5800X3D CPU is an 8-core, 16-thread chip that uses the AM4 socket and increases performance by stacking L3 cache on top of the processor die, which AMD refers to as “3D V-Cache technology.” The bandwidth of the cache and the quantity of cache are also increased; the ordinary 5800X only has 32 MB of cache, but the 5800X3D has 96 MB.
Leaks and teasers for Ryzen 7000 series
Even though the Ryzen 7 5800X uses the same Zen 3 architecture, the same 7 nm manufacturing process, and the same 105 W TDP as other Ryzen 5000-series chips and slots into the same motherboards as other Ryzen 5000-series chips, gaming performance improves by an average of 15% thanks to 3D V-Cache, according to AnandTech (presumably a BIOS update will be required).
AMD didn’t say how much the 5800X3D will cost or whether it would be followed by other 3D V-Cache processors. However, with the continuing chip constraint limiting production capacity, a narrower selection of chips that are constantly accessible to buy is probably preferable to announcing a full update that no one can locate.
Early in 2021, AMD struggled to satisfy the demand for its 5000-series CPUs, but by the end of the year, it had caught up.
AMD also didn’t clarify whether Ryzen 6000-series desktop CPUs will be available, however, it appears that, like the Ryzen 4000 nomenclature, Ryzen 6000 will be limited to laptop chips and APUs.
Instead of spending more money on a 12th-generation Intel Core CPU or waiting for the Ryzen 7000 to arrive, the 5800X3D should be a good interim for customers who wish to add a new CPU to their existing AMD system.
However, it ignores the sub-$200 CPU market, which Intel has just made a lot more intriguing with its new Core i5 and Core i3 processors. It remains to be seen whether AMD will release new products or lower pricing to compete with these low-cost CPUs.