This year’s AMD Ryzen 3000 CPUs will be powered by the next generation of the Zen architecture, and could be the silicon to put the red team at the top of the gaming processor hall of fame once more.
The rumour mill has it that the new AMD Ryzen 3000 silicon will arrive this summer, kicking Intel into second place as number one purveyor of go-to gaming CPUs. The latest speculation is of a July 7 launch for the new 7nm processors, potentially alongside the new Navi GPUs, following an announcement by Dr. Lisa Su at the company’s Computex keynote. See, 7/7, geddit? Whatever, we’re all rather excited by the prospect of such a double whammy.
These Ryzen 3rd Gen chips will be the first desktop processors built on the 7nm process node with the ‘revolutionary chiplet design’ of the AMD Zen 2 architecture at their core. For the first time in a long time the red team truly has Intel on the backfoot, and the AMD Ryzen 3000 processor generation could bring high-performance, high-core-count computing to the mainstream.
Now before we proceed, let’s get this straight. It’s either AMD Ryzen 3000, Ryzen 3rd Gen, the ‘Matisse’ codename, or maybe Ryzen 3K because it sounds cool. It is definitely not Ryzen 3. Ever. We’ve already got those, and they’re the budget chips.
Related: Everything we know about AMD Navi right now
The first tantalising glimpse of these 7nm Zen 2 chips was genuinely promising. Live on stage at CES, the red team pit its eight-core 3rd Gen Ryzen engineering sample against Intel’s Core i9 9900K. The resulting bloodbath was nearly pulled from the stream for its graphic nature.
The Ryzen chip only slightly surpassed the equally core-heavy Intel flagship CPU in Cinebench R15 score alone, but it got there with a fraction of the power demand – at 133W to 180W, respectively.
Performance looks seriously promising already, but wait, there’s more. Yes, Su wanted to tease the CES crowd a little further, holding up a totally bare AMD Ryzen 3000 die on stage. So what, you ask? Well, not only is it a glimpse of the 14nm I/O and 7nm processing chiplet design, there’s just about enough space under that Ryzen integrated heat spreader to fit a whole other 7nm chiplet. That would theoretically mean 16-cores under one AM4-sized roof.
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Exciting, no? But 7nm cores aside, there’s also a whole bunch of other new features to wet gamers’ whistles. We’ve briefly touched on the matter of power consumption – that’s something the 7nm process will keep in check – but there’s also PCIe 4.0 support. The move from PCIe 3.0 to 4.0 will double bandwidth, ostensibly allowing for SSDs and other platform devices to run wild without limits – as their silicon intended.
AMD Ryzen 3000 release date
The potential 7/7 release of AMD’s new 7nm CPUs and GPUs fits with Lisa Su confirmation of a rough release date of mid-year or thereabouts. We expect that to mean that AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen CPUs will be announced at Computex – during Dr. Lisa Su’s keynote, perhaps – with a full release following in early July.
AMD Ryzen 3000 specs
AMD is introducing the Zen 2 microarchitecture to the mainstream market with Ryzen 3rd Gen. That means we can expect a number of new and interesting things on the specs sheet, for example: up to 16 cores, low power consumption, PCIe 4.0, and even an instructions per clock bump over the last gen.
AMD Ryzen 3000 performance
An early eight-core engineering sample of Ryzen 3000 managed to ever-so-slightly surpass the Intel i9 9900K in a Cinebench R15 multi-core run. While that’s mightily impressive, it was the 47W less than the Intel chip that it required to get there which was impressive most of all.
AMD Ryzen 3000 price
AMD hasn’t confirmed pricing, or even upcoming CPU SKUs. With a 16-core CPU potentially on the cards, we expect this chip to be upwards of the $329 price tag of the Ryzen 7 2700X. Meanwhile more modest processors further down the stack will duke it out at similar price points to 2nd Gen Ryzen.
AMD confirmed its Ryzen 3000 processors would launch mid-year back at CES. Previous leaked slides denote that the Taiwanese Computex tech show that runs from May 28 to June 1 will be when motherboard manufacturers should get X570 motherboards out the door. So you’d hope some CPUs might announced at the Taipei event, too.
Fueling this speculation further, AMD’s CEO, Dr. Lisa Su, is now signed on to deliver the Computex keynote on May 27, 2019. With the keynote topic of: “The Next Generation of High-Performance Computing”, we can be sure that the event will be filled to the brim with goodies for gamers.
We also heard through other channels (*WINK*) that AMD will be launching new product over at Computex. We have our ways of getting information out of people. Oh yes… we have our ways.
AMD is also reportedly set to hold an event for its partners on April 23, roughly a month before the Computex keynote. AMD Ryzen 3000 CPUs and AMD Navi are said to be on the agenda for the North American event.
The latest rumours suggest a combined Computex announcement, and subsequent July 7 launch for both the Ryzen 3000 and AMD Navi graphics cards, will happen this year. That isn’t yet confirmed, but a 7/7 release date for its new 7nm CPUs and GPUs makes some poetic sense.
What do we know about Zen 2 and the AMD Ryzen 3000 processors? First off, we know the Zen 2 architecture is built on the 7nm process node, handing the red team a new balance between power and performance within its initial designs.
We’re expecting power demand to drop considerably, as demonstrated on stage at CES, and the ‘revolutionary chiplet design’ allows AMD to cram a lot more processing power into the AM4 footprint.
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Those chiplets are key to AMD’s entire CPU product stack, and scalability is the watchword with Zen 2. For everything from the top-tier, multi-core behemoths of EPYC Rome to the low-power Ryzen 3 (see: smug) processors at the bottom of the stack, AMD will be able to match the requirements of the client with its simple mix-and-match die approach.
Each tiny 7nm chiplet is packed with up to eight, individual cores (no semantic funny business here). That means we can expect single chiplet AMD Matisse chips to feature up to eight cores of processing power, and dual-chiplet designs rocking up to 16 cores of compute.
Su made a tacit acknowledgement talking to press after the CES event where she held up the first Ryzen 3000 die. “Some people may have noticed on the package some extra room,” Lisa Su says. “There is some extra room on that package and I think you might expect we will have more than eight cores”.
There have also been reports of a 12-core engineering sample doing the rounds right out of the Ryzen 3000 stable.
There is some extra room on that package and I think you might expect we will have more than eight cores
Don’t expect much greater core counts, however. Not only would that outrage every Threadripper owner going, unless AMD figures out the technology that makes the TARDIS tick, two chiplets is all AMD will be able to fit into a chip while retaining AM4 socket compatibility. And realistically we’re expecting AMD to hold off on shipping a 16-core Ryzen 3000 CPU until Intel launches its mainstream 10-core chip. That would mean we just get a 12-core monster around launch.
We received our first glimpse of a four-core, eight-thread Ryzen 3000 engineering sample over at SiSoft Sandra. While the chips specs are still subject to final confirmation, it was spotted with a 3.4GHz base and 3.8GHz boost clockspeed, and features 4MB of L2 cache along with 16MB of L3 cache, double that of the equally threaded Ryzen 3 2300X. It was also rated for a 65W TDP.
That leaked engineering sample was running on an MSI MEG X570 Creation motherboard, and we can also expect a whole host of brand new X570 gaming motherboards available at launch. We still don’t have all the specifics as of yet, but we know that AMD intends on bringing PCIe 4.0 support with its latest chipset.
AMD has also confirmed that even some 300- and 400-series chipsets may be capable of PCIe 4.0 transfer speeds on the primary x16 PCIe slot, pending a BIOS update.
And while we’ve still no word on mainstream or entry-level motherboards, previous generation mobos, 300- and 400-series, are already receiving BIOS updates to unlock compatibility with AMD’s unreleased CPUs. Even A320 and B350 motherboards, which were once expected to be left by the wayside, are receiving the updates.
Despite only having an engineering sample to hand, AMD proved the Zen 2 design is capable of taking on the very best from Intel’s lineup. Matching core-for-core, AMD’s Ryzen 3rd Gen sample managed to slightly surpass Intel’s i9 9900K in Cinebench R15, scoring 2,057 to the i9’s 2,040.
With a power draw some 47W less, that’s a mighty impressive score. Intel has some catching up to do with 10nm towards the end of the year, that’s for sure. But how did AMD do it?
Some of that performance catch-up on AMD’s part is down to changes in the front-end. The company has increased IPC, or instruction per clock, along with various front end advances to boost performance.
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Branch prediction, instruction pre-fetching, instruction cache, and floating point performance have all been enhanced or optimised with Zen 2 to offer greater throughput and performance while sticking to the necessary power envelope for its desktop parts. That could make all the difference in gaming, in which AMD’s previous Ryzen chips have slightly lagged behind Chipzilla’s silicon.
Of course, the high core counts and frequency gains – by how much we’re not yet sure – thanks to the 7nm process and chiplet design will have the biggest impact on overall performance. Somewhere between those two chiplets is the perfect blend of clockspeed and core count for gaming. And, however much you might want to brag about your 16-core Ryzen chip, the best gaming chip will potentially be far more modest.
AMD hasn’t confirmed any pricing for the upcoming Ryzen 3000 CPUs, it hasn’t even confirmed SKUs as of yet. However, with core counts on the rise, we may see a shift upwards in upper-tier pricing for the really core-heavy chips – potentially demanding the Ryzen 9 nomenclature.
While the Ryzen 9 tier is not yet confirmed, AMD does have a habit of ruthlessly copying Intel’s naming conventions, even if everyone finds it incredibly annoying and confusing. Intel introduced the Core i9 tier into the desktop mainstream with its 9th Gen chips, and we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see AMD go tit-for-tat with its own equivalent high-performance tier.
Assuming a similar Ryzen 3, 5, and 7 product stack for the rest of the lineup, we can expect individual product prices to fall somewhere in the region of its 2nd Gen Ryzen forebears.
The Ryzen 7 2700X, an eight-core, 16-thread CPU, launched for $329, and the best-in-class gaming CPU, the Ryzen 5 2600, costs just $190. That’s an incredibly competitive price, and we can expect AMD to be pushing hard into this dominion again with its Ryzen 3000-series CPUs.
Yet Intel’s set the precedent with its $579 i9 9900K chip. If enthusiasts want top performance, they are willing to pay for it. So while AMD may offer more silicon for your money with Matisse, it could reasonably charge well upwards of the Ryzen 7 2700X’s price tag to deliver on the potential of 12- and 16-core, enthusiast-grade computing.