There's been plenty of speculation that AMD's new 7nm third-gen Ryzen processors could come equipped with more than the eight cores the company showed off at its recent CES keynote, and prolific database-detective TUM_APISAK's discovery of a 12-core 24-thread AMD engineering sample in the UserBenchmark database will certainly further the theory.
This isn't entirely unexpected, of course, as AMD's Lisa Su has commented that the third-gen Ryzen 'Matisse' design obviously leaves room for another chiplet, and that "you might expect that we will have more than eight cores."
The engineering sample's product code purportedly identifies this engineering sample as a Matisse processor with the "H2" designation at the end of the product string. The chip was also tested on an AMD Myrtle-MS development board, which is known to be an AM4 test platform. That means this processor is designed to fit within AMD's existing mainstream desktop lineup.
The test result lists the 12-core 24-thread engineering sample with a 3.4 GHz base clock and a 3.6 GHz average boost during the test. The 2D3212BGMCWH2_37/34_N product identifier lists the peak boost clock as 3.7 GHz, and the TDP rating as 105W. We're expecting higher turbo speeds from the third-gen Ryzen processors, the current gen tops out at 4.3 GHz, but early silicon typically comes with dialed back frequencies as vendors fine-tune the design. In other words, these results likely aren't representative of the final clock speeds.
The UserBenchmark System Memory Latency Ladder quantifies the latency of L1, L2, and L3 caches of the test sample, and the decline aftter 32MB indicates the engineering sample comes armed with 32MB of L3 cache. The test system is also configured with DDR4 Hynix memory running at 1,333 MHz, which equates to 2,666 MHz.
The chips' single-core floating point score is also telling - at 130 points it outstrips a current-gen Ryzen 7 2700X (at roughly the same clocks) by ~13%, an improvement likely born of improved instruction per clock (IPC) throughput. That implies this chip comes with the Zen 2 microarchitecture.
We already know that third-gen Ryzen's 7nm compute die weighs in at eight cores apiece, so the 12-core engineering sample may just be the first sign of more cores to come in the future for AMD's new lineup. A second compute die theoretically leaves room for AMD to bump core counts up to 16 cores for its mainstream desktop platform, which, like the first-gen Ryzen chips, would redefine the playing field.