AMD Ryzen 3000 CPUs will be humming away in our desktop PCs this summer, powered by the latest iteration of the red team’s Zen processor architecture. AMD has confirmed that, like the Navi graphics cards, the Ryzen 3000 processors will hit the shelves, and our desktop PCs, in Q3 this year. And it could well be the smart silicon to put the red team at the top of the gaming CPU hall of fame once more.
That means the new AMD Ryzen 3000 silicon will arrive between July and September, kicking Intel into second place as number one purveyor of go-to gaming chips. The latest rumoured Ryzen 3000 release date is for a July 7 launch for the new 7nm processors, potentially the same day as the new Navi GPUs. It makes some symmetrical sense – July 7, 7/7, 7nm GPU and 7nm CPU, geddit? No? 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.
AMD Ryzen 3000 release date
The potential 7/7 release of AMD’s new 7nm CPUs still fits with AMD’s recent confirmation of a Q3 Ryzen 3000 release date. 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, RAM support at up to 5,000MHz, and even an instructions per clock (IPC) 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 has confirmed its Ryzen 3000 processors will launch in Q3 this year, the same quarter it is scheduled to get the 7nm Navi graphics silicon into our hands too. We know the Taiwanese Computex tech show – running 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, with a launch not long after too.
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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.
That all means the Ryzen 3000 release date will fall somewhere between the start of July and the end of September.
Some rumours have suggested a Computex and E3 announcement for the Ryzen 3000 CPUs and Navi GPUs respectively, with a subsequent July 7 launch for both new processors and graphics cards. That isn’t yet confirmed, but a 7/7 release date for its new 7nm CPUs and GPUs makes some poetic sense. Even if it doesn’t make any real-world sense… that’s an awful lot of 7nm product that TSMC is going to have to ship out at the same time if AMD wants a joint launch.
In terms of nailed-on specifics, we know the Zen 2 architecture is built on the 7nm process, incorporating a new mixed-node chiplet design, handing the red team a new balance between power and performance within its initial designs.
There have been some ‘leaks’ regarding the individual CPU specs, but despite their appearance in the Techpowerup database and on Turkish retailer, Ebrar, they still look more like speculative specs than 100% confirmed numbers.
|Ryzen 9 3800X||Ryzen 7 3700X||Ryzen 5 3600X||Ryzen 3 3300X|
|Architecture||AMD Zen 2||AMD Zen 2||AMD Zen 2||AMD Zen 2|
|Cores/Threads||16 / 32||12 / 24||8 / 16||6 / 12|
|Base/Turbo clock||3.9 / 4.7GHz||4.2 / 5GHz||4 / 4.8GHz||3.5 / 4.3GHz|
As well as the ‘X’ versions there are going to be standard SKUs with the same core configuration in the Ryzen 7, 5, and 3 ranges, but with slightly lower clock speeds and power demands too.
As well as the eight-core engineering sample (ES) shown besting Intel at CES in January, there have also been sightings of 12-core ES chips, and recently serial leaker, Apisak, tweeted about a new 16-core engineering sample with 3.3GHz and 4.2GHz base and boost clock speeds.
Zen2 ES 16 Core
Base clock 3.3 Ghzฺ
Boost clock 4.2 Ghz
This CPU name can't decode by decode chart
— APISAK (@TUM_APISAK) May 9, 2019
Overall, we’re expecting relative 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.
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 is some extra room on that package and I think you might expect we will have more than eight cores
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 the summer launch.
We did have 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, with Biostar recently dropped the unreleased X570 Racing GT8 into its product catalogue. 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.
There have also been reports that the top-end X570 chipset will allow for the Ryzen 3000 CPUs to support up to a maximum of 5,000MHz DDR4 memory. Considering the problems the first-gen Ryzen processors had with memory support at launch, that’s a big change, and will provide a huge amount of bandwidth for a consumer machine.
No wonder Gen3 Threadripper has vanished from AMD’s CPU roadmap, not many prosumers are going to miss it if you can jam a huge amount of speedy memory into a 16-core Ryzen 3000-based machine.
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.
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.