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New AMD CPUs could make some graphics cards obsolete, hints specs leak

Alleged specifications for 'Strix Point' Ryzen processors equipped with Zen 5 cores and RDNA 3.5 integrated graphics have been uncovered.

Two AMD CPUs, featuring owl emojis on their IHS with one (left) sporting a halo, against an orange background

It’s almost time to usher in a new era of AMD Ryzen CPUs with Zen 5 set to take the desktop and mobile markets by storm, with the latter segment proving particularly exciting following a recent specs leak. Documentation claiming to spill just shy of all the beans on ‘Strix Point’ APUs has come to light and one chip’s iGPU looks to be so powerful that it could serve as a proper replacement for a budget graphics card.

Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) are what AMD dubs its best gaming CPUs equipped with integrated graphics. Not all APUs are created equally, though, as this category equally applies to the Ryzen 5 8600G as it does the Ryzen 5 7600X which are worlds apart in terms of GPU performance. These Strix Point chips, though, could be something of a game changer in the mission to fit a competent CPU and GPU on one die.

Strix specs Strix Halo specs
Cores 12 (Zen 5) 16 (Zen 5)
Threads 24 32
L2 cache 12MB 16MB
L3 cache 24MB 64MB
iGPU compute units 16 (RDNA 3.5) 40 (RDNA 3.5)
TDP 15-45W 55-125W

A screenshot of alleged official AMD documentation containing ‘STX’ (Strix) and ‘STX Halo’ APU specs was posted to X by user Izzukias, who has since deleted the post and their account (via HKEPC). While lacking clock speeds, it provides an otherwise thorough look at both chips.

As expected, the leak suggests both processors sport Zen 5 CPU cores, with Strix featuring 12 while Strix Halo comes armed with 16, but whether this count is composed entirely of ‘Standard’ cores is unclear. It’s entirely possible that Zen 5c cores may be a part of this mix, as Zen 4c cores are on the Ryzen 5 8500G and some 8040U series mobile chips.

A screenshot, allegedly from official AMD documentation, detailing specs of Strix APUs

Both Strix and Strix Halo each feature a surprising amount of L2 and L3 cache too, which as the Ryzen 7 7800X3D demonstrates with its 96MB of L3 cache, can greatly improve gaming performance. We’re effectively looking at 1MB of L2 cache per core and 1MB of L3 cache per thread.

Moving on to their integrated graphics, these Strix APUs will be among the first to use RDNA 3+ GPUs. The base processor will feature 16 compute units (CUs), but Strix Halo features a staggering 40 CUs which puts it ahead of RDNA 3 budget graphics cards, the Radeon RX 7600 and Radeon RX 7600 XT.

It’s impossible to determine how Strix Halo would stack up against these graphics cards, but its lower 55-125W TDP could put it at a disadvantage depending on how RDNA 3.5 architectural improvements to efficiency work out. Nonetheless, this looks to be the closest we’ve ever come to seeing an APU with specs that truly rival cheap graphics cards.

Meanwhile, a Strix APU would be perfect for the Steam Deck 2 and other handhelds, given its relatively meager but battery conscious 15-45W TDP. Regardless of whether Valve decides to make its next generation portable PC more premium than its current offering though, we’d hope the likes of an ROG Ally 2 or Legion Go 2 would pick this chip up.

The last notable detail from this leak is supported RAM speeds and types, with Strix Halo supporting LPDDR5-8,000 memory and Strix bringing things down a notch to LPDDR5-7,600 or LPDDR5-5,600. This also betrays these Strix APUs’ identities as mobile chips. However, we’d expect AMD to launch approximate desktop equivalents at some point in the future, as it did with the Ryzen 8000G series.

We’ll likely learn more about these Strix APUs, as well as Zen 5 more widely, at Computex 2024. AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su is scheduled to host a keynote at the exhibition, where the company has previously revealed other Zen microarchitectures and Ryzen CPUs.

You can expect full coverage of Computex announcements, direct from the show floor, on PCGamesN in due course. In the meantime, though, check out our Steam Deck OLED review, to acquaint yourself with how the most popular mobile APU currently performs.