AMD Promises Major Desktop CPU Gains, Previews Next-Gen GPUs

While the clock speeds for AMD’s  (AMD) – Get Report latest desktop CPUs are similar to those of their predecessors, it promises architectural changes will deliver major performance gains.

And that in turn has major implications not only for AMD’s desktop offerings, but also upcoming notebook and server CPU refreshes.

As expected, AMD unveiled its anticipated Ryzen 5000 desktop CPU line — the first products to rely on its next-gen, Zen 3, CPU core microarchitecture — during a Thursday event that was live-streamed on its website.

AMD’s Ryzen 5000 Desktop CPU Line

For now, the line features 4 CPUs: the 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X, the 12-core Ryzen 9 5900X, the 8-core Ryzen 7 5800X and the 6-core Ryzen 5 5600X. The CPUs will be available on Nov. 5.

With AMD once more relying on Taiwan Semiconductor’s  (TSM) – Get Report 7-nanometer (7nm) manufacturing process node, clock speeds for the new CPUs generally aren’t much different than those of comparable products relying on AMD’s Zen 2 microarchitecture, which was first unveiled in mid-2019. For example, the 5950X has a 3.4GHz base clock speed and a boost clock speed of 4.9GHz, which respectively compares with 3.5GHz and 4.7GHz base and boost clocks for its predecessor, the 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X.

AMD's Ryzen 5000 desktop CPU lineup. Source: AMD.

AMD’s Ryzen 5000 desktop CPU lineup. Source: AMD.

The other three CPUs have base clocks of either 3.7GHz or 3.8GHz, and boost clocks ranging from 4.6GHz to 4.8GHz. As a result, AMD is still differentiating its mid-range and high-end Ryzen desktop offerings primarily via core counts rather than clock speeds.

But while clock speeds aren’t changing much, AMD claims Zen 3 delivers a 19% performance gain in terms of instructions per clock (IPC). This gain — the result of a slew of architectural improvements, including a new cache

AMD Reveals “World’s Best Gaming CPU” With Ryzen 5000 Series

AMD has officially revealed its slate of Zen 3-powered desktop CPUs, skipping the 4000 series and jumping right into the new Ryzen 5000 series. The company revealed 4 new CPUs in total, boasting that the Ryzen 5900 is now the “world’s best gaming CPU.”

The big difference with the new Zen 3 architecture is the increase in instructions per cycle, letting CPUs with the same core frequencies and core counts perform a lot better. Compared to Zen 2, which powers the current Ryzen 3000 series, Zen 3 achieves 19% more IPC, converting to an average of nearly 26% more performance in gaming alone when moving to the Ryzen 5000 series.

The jump between generations alone is massive, but it’s Intel’s gaming crown that AMD really aimed for during the presentation. The flagship of the Ryzen 5000 series, the Ryzen 3950X, doesn’t match the Intel Core i9-10900K in sheer single-core speed (4.9Ghz vs. Intel’s peak of 5.3GHz), but AMD’s own benchmarks in a suite of games show the Ryzen inching ahead in most scenarios where the CPU is the bottleneck. Those results will need to be verified in real-world use, but if they hold, it’s a big blow to Intel which only has new CPUs launching early in 2021.

One area where the Ryzen 5000 series won’t be competing with Intel is price. AMD isn’t aiming to be the best CPUs on the market and undercut the competition, with prices across the board matching those of Intel counterparts. The entire Ryzen 5000 range is $50 more for like-for-like upgrades, but just like before, AMD is promising backwards compatibility with motherboards via a firmware update. That means you can slot your new Zen 3 CPU into your system without having to replace anything else, making the price increase a little easier to