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AMD Zen 2 could overtake Intel’s i9 9900K CPU performance lead next spring

It's probably just a coincidence that a leak hints at AMD's Zen 2 potentially overtaking Intel next year just before the 9th Gen

AMD Zen die

We’re still around six months out from when we expect the next generation of AMD processors to arrive, using the new AMD Zen 2 architecture, but there are fresh rumours about the expected performance boost the new chips will deliver.

I’m sure it’s a complete coincidence that the day before Intel launches its next generation of processors a fresh performance leak spills out onto the web, but Bits and Chips has dropped a little hint onto Twitter claiming a 13% instructions per clock (IPC) boost compared with the last generation of Zen processors.

A performance hike of 13% compared with the Ryzen 2000-series CPUs would be impressive, though it is worth pointing out that the average IPC increase that has been stated is taken from scientific tests and not any real-world gaming benchmarks.

At the moment we’re thinking about Intel’s processors being around 15-20% quicker in general single-threaded performance, and maybe a little less than 10% faster clock-for-clock. That could mean we’re potentially looking at AMD closing the IPC performance gap to essentially nothing with the Zen 2 processors, which would be quite an achievement.

This is a 13% estimated IPC gain when looking at the transition from Zen+ to Zen 2, and it’s a measurement taken at the exact same clock speed. With the move from 12nm down to 7nm for the next generation AMD Zen 2 processors we’re expecting a bit of an increase in the overall clock speeds of the CPUs too.

With both an IPC gain, a clock speed bump, and the efficiency gains delivered by the advanced 7nm lithography there’s a chance that AMD’s next generation of CPUs could actually overtake a rather stagnant-looking Intel.

The numbers have come from a source within “a big company,” presumably one which has been sampled one of the early Zen 2 engineering sample processors which AMD promised it would start shipping out before the end of this year.

Intel Core i9 9900K performance

Intel’s still not likely to get any genuinely new processors, finally with the 10nm production process – out of its fabs until the holiday season of 2019. That’s this time next year, folks, and even then it’s going to be the same architecture, but with a die shrink – the new microarchitecture is unlikely to follow until well into the following year.

We’ve got Intel’s Core i9 9900K launching tomorrow and you can check back for our full, in-depth review and benchmarks about what Intel is calling the “world’s best gaming processor” then.