AMD Ryzen 7000

AMD Ryzen 7000 ‘Zen 4’ Desktop CPUs: Our Knowledge

AMD Ryzen 7000

AMD Ryzen 7000 unveiled its  desktop CPU series, code-named “Raphael,” in Austin, Texas. Ryzen 7000 will be the first consumer chips to use the new “Zen 4” microarchitecture and cutting-edge manufacturing technologies. Power users and gamers will get the first new chips.

AMD’s Dr. Lisa Su and CTO Mark Papermaster discussed Zen 4. Built on 5-nanometer TSMC CCDs (the I/O part, home to PCIe 5.0 and memory controllers, is 6nm), the AMD Ryzen 7000 is AMD’s first large-scale desktop architectural upgrade since 2020. In November of that year, “Zen 3” launched in Ryzen 5000 desktop (“Vermeer”) chips such the Ryzen 9 5900X, and in 2022, it was expanded to Threadripper Pro CPUs. Zen 3 arrived to laptops after its first launch, in the 5000-series-mobile “Cezanne” line (the first debuted in January 2021) and Ryzen 6000 H- and U-series mobile CPUs (“Rembrandt”) in early 2022. (See our tests of Cezanne and Rembrandt laptop processors.)

After two years, AMD will release something fresh in 2022. A Ryzen 6000 desktop-CPU family never materialized, but IGP Ryzen 5000 CPUs and upgraded Ryzen 4000 processors (previously OEM-only) bolstered the desktop range between 2020 and now. Thus the demand for further details on AMD’s latest significant chip update, which follows Intel’s “Alder Lake” introduction.
AMD Ryzen 7000 family is a long-awaited upgrade to the Ryzen line, with more new base-level technologies than any launch since 2017’s Ryzen 1000 series. AMD’s launch ceremony explained everything. It’s a lot!

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CPUs: Ryzen 7000 Desktop Specifications

Let’s start with AMD’s first Ryzen 7000 CPUs. The original launch lineup has been leaked ahead of today’s presentation. It has four Ryzen 9 (two), Ryzen 7, and Ryzen 5 SKUs.
These are enthusiast-grade processors with Ryzen 5000 counterparts. You’ll notice there are no “G” chips, which have on-chip graphics on some Ryzens. On-chip Radeon Graphics (based on “RDNA 2”) is now standard. Here’s more:

Cores have the same undifferentiated classification. Intel’s 12th Generation (“Alder Lake”) CPUs have two types of cores: Performance cores and Efficient cores. E-cores save energy by handling easy or non-time-sensitive tasks. E-cores can’t multitask. P-cores and E-cores can also be used together in multithreaded applications. One type is core.

AMD released generic Zen 4 performance claims, followed by claims on Ryzen 9 and Ryzen 5 CPUs. AMD claims a 13% IPC boost for Ryzen 5000 over Zen 3 CPUs, and a 29% boost for single-threaded performance. (IPC uplift is a few percentage points more than Computex 2022 claims.) Ryzen 9 7950X’s highest boost clock beats the 5000 series by 800MHz.

The chipmaker also published Geekbench 5.4 single-thread performance projections for the four Zen 4 chips against. Intel’s Alder Lake top chip, the Core i9-12900K.

The single-threaded speed improvement is the most noteworthy component of these claims, since that’s been an AMD sore point vs. Intel CPUs. All else being equal, good single-threaded performance on games is also intriguing.

Flagship AMD Ryzen 9 7950X

7950X has 16 cores. AMD claims healthy increases in chosen games and content-creation apps vs. Ryzen 9 5950X.
The content producer upticks raise some questions given the unchanged core/thread count. Last, a V-Ray rendering test comparing the 7950X to Intel’s 16-core/24-thread flagship is eye-opening.

AMD Ryzen 5 7600X teaser

AMD’s “bottom” Zen 4 chip is the Ryzen 5, which beat Intel’s Core i9-12900K in F1 2022 at 1080p.

In an expanded collection of 1080p games, the Ryzen 5 7600X beat the Core i9-12900K in Rainbow Six Siege by the biggest margin.

IPC Increase

The company also published its IPC boost claims. Zen 4 is 13% faster than Zen 3 in 22 content production, gaming, and computation benchmarks. The 8-core, 16-thread CPUs were tested at 4GHz.
AMD asserts that many design considerations contribute to the IPC increase.

Ryzen 7000 wattage

AMD’s new Ryzen 7000 CPUs’ power consumption is questionable. Both Ryzen 9 SKUs at launch have 170W TDPs, compared to 105W for the 5950X. AMD reported improved energy efficiency despite this increase.

AMD claims Ryzen 7000-series CPUs will use 62% less electricity while retaining performance. Ryzen 7000-series CPUs give up to 49% higher performance while using the same amount of power.
AMD said the Ryzen 9 7950X with a 170W TDP would be 35% faster than a Ryzen 9 5950X. These contradicting claims could all be true. CPUs can utilise more power and give more performance while being more efficient. If it works faster, it can slow down, lower its power use, and save more power overall.

The business criticised Intel Alder Lake’s die size and energy efficiency.
Once we have one of these chips, we’ll need to assess its performance and efficiency. AMD said this increase in TDP was to accommodate turbo clock speeds, which could mean it will approach 170W for brief periods. Intel has been upping the power ceiling on its processors in recent years, and as clock speeds climb, a spike in TDP may become a regular characteristic of new processors.

Ryzen’s AM5 Socket Reboot

AMD’s AM4 platform for desktop processors is incredibly consistent. As Intel introduced new, incompatible sockets every two generations (meaning no Intel motherboard could remain cutting-edge or upgradeable for long), AMD kept its AM4 socket and chipsets viable since Ryzen 1000s debuted in 2017. Not every AM4 motherboard and chip is interoperable, although upgradeability has traditionally been a strength.

AM5 ends the long ride with good reason. Ryzen 7000’s new platform has several new features. Not a socket swap.
AM5 has a simple physical manifestation: AMD is switching from a pins-on-the-CPU (PGA) die architecture to what Intel has used since 2004 for its standard desktop processors: a land-grid-array (LGA) design with contacts on the CPU and pins (“lands”) in the motherboard socket. The new AM5 socket has 1,718 pins and can produce 230 watts.
Pro families employ pins in their TR4 and sTRX4 sockets. AMD’s EPYC servers use LGA sockets. With AM5, Ryzen chips feature a redesigned integrated heat spreader (IHD) design and smooth bottom surfaces.

How this modification to chip IHD and socket size affects CPU-cooling hardware is unknown. Noctua and Gigabyte have AM5 compatibility plans for their existing AM4 cooling gear, while AMD claims overall AM4 compatibility. Whether AM5-optimized cooling designs emerge remains to be seen, given the IHD’s altered shape.

AMD didn’t say if retail chips will come with stock cooling. If tradition is any indication, these early high-end Zen 4 chips won’t have a stock fan.

On-Chip Graphics: Another APU?

AMD has always had a small portion of desktop Ryzen CPUs with on-chip graphics, powered by Radeon Graphics and marked with a “G.” See our evaluation of Ryzen 5700G for an example.
On-chip graphics are standard on Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 desktops. Most AMD 1000 to 5000 Ryzens were designed to work with a dedicated video card, with no graphics accelerator or display adapter on the chip. That’s over.

The 7000 series CPUs include graphics, although they use RDNA 2-based graphics. This architecture launched with the Radeon RX 6000 (“Big Navi”) range of dedicated graphics cards as AMD’s response to Intel’s Iris Xe graphics technology in mobile (and some desktop) CPUs.

We don’t yet have IGP specs. AMD describes RDNA 2-based graphics as display-adapter-grade, not gaming. It’s a video output for content-creator PCs or a troubleshooting backup for discrete card systems. Standard on the first four Ryzen 7000 desktop CPUs, and likely others. AMD did not divulge intentions to ship binned chips with the IGP deactivated, like Intel’s F-series.

AMD’s RDNA 2-based graphics should support up to four DisplayPort and HDMI 2.1 outputs. Physical connectivity is determined by motherboard I/O designs.

New PCI Express, New Bus

We have yet to see PCI Express 4.0’s impact on the core graphics card market (though previous Intel and AMD platforms support it); where it has evolved faster, in the short term, is storage, where M.2 SSDs supporting PCIe 4.0 can reach peak speeds of 3,500MB to 7,000MB per second, depending on the drive. With PCIe 5.0 on the initial set of compatible chipsets (B650, B650 Extreme, X670, and X670 Extreme), faster storage options should be possible.

Chipsets, not CPUs, will control PCIe 5.0 support. X670 Extreme and B650 Extreme motherboards support PCI 5.0 the most, whereas X670 and B650 support PCIe 5.0 less. Extreme chipsets will support PCIe 5.0 for both the GPU slot and storage, while non-Extremes will only support storage. (See our review on AM5 motherboards.) The B650 Extreme wasn’t revealed until then.
PCIe 5.0 SSDs aren’t currently on the general market, therefore these are specialised concerns. Also changing shortly. AMD announced November availability of PCIe 5.0 SSD from many manufacturers. SSD makers include Asus, Corsair, Crucial/Micron, Gigabyte, MSI, PNY, Seagate, and Sabrent.

DDR5 Memory, AMD EXPO

Intel introduced desktop DDR5 with its 12th Generation (“Alder Lake”) processor.

Zen 4 CPUs aren’t AMD’s first DDR5 desktop processors. Ryzen 6000 Rembrandt mobile chips brought DDR5 to AMD in 2022. (CES 2022 revealed it.) Zen 4 desktop CPUs switch to wholesale DDR5. Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 only supports DDR5, not DDR4 like Intel Alder Lake.

AMD introduces AMD EXPO with DDR5 transition. EXPO stands for Extended Profiles for Overclocking and is similar to XMP, which allows quick memory speedups without manual configuration. After this summary, we’ll have a follow-up on AMD EXPO.
AMD expects 15 AMD EXPO memory SKUs to launch alongside Zen 4 CPUs. You can see samples of EXPO’s memory makers.

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