Rumors about AMD refreshing its Ryzen 3000-series (opens in new tab) (codename Matisse) lineup are starting to pile up. The Ryzen 9 3900X (opens in new tab), Ryzen 7 3800X (opens in new tab), and Ryzen 5 3600X (opens in new tab) are reportedly the eligible candidates for the makeover.
To avoid confusion, AMD will need to find some way to differentiate the rewarmed processors from the regular models effectively. Apparently, that's where the chipmaker's own Radeon branding enters the game. The current buzz on the street is that AMD will market the new Zen 2 (opens in new tab) chips with the XT moniker. If there's credence to the rumor, the Matisse family could be on the verge of welcoming the Ryzen 9 3900 XT, Ryzen 7 3800 XT, and Ryzen 5 3600 XT.
When it comes to processors refreshes, it's best to keep realistic expectations. Currently, it doesn't make any sense for AMD to increase core counts because that would just cannibalize the existing Ryzen offerings. Much of the performance improvement on the refreshed versions will come along the lines of higher clock speeds. It stands to reason that TSMC's 7nm FinFET process node is aging like fine wine and could explain how AMD is receiving silicon with a higher level of quality than when Matisse first dropped.
The specifications for the Ryzen 3000 XT processors come at the hands of a Chinese user on the popular Chiphell forums (opens in new tab). Normally, we wouldn't pay much attention to the rumor. As first spotted by Twitter user HXL (opens in new tab), world-renowned overclocker Toppc had previously confirmed the specifications on his personal Facebook account before deleting the post. Either way, we should still treat the information with some caution.
AMD Ryzen 3000-Series XT Specifications
|Model||Cores / Threads||Base / Boost Clock (GHz)||L3 Cache (MB)||TDP (W)|
|Ryzen 9 3900 XT*||12 / 24||4.1 / 4.8||64||?|
|Ryzen 9 3900X||12 / 24||3.8 / 4.6||64||105|
|Ryzen 7 3800 XT*||8 / 16||4.2 / 4.7||32||?|
|Ryzen 7 3800X||8 / 16||3.9 / 4.5||32||105|
|Ryzen 5 3600 XT*||6 / 12||4.0 / 4.7||32||?|
|Ryzen 5 3600X||6 / 12||3.8 / 4.4||32||95|
*Specifications are unconfirmed.
The Ryzen 9 3900 XT and Ryzen 7 3800 XT are rumored to come with a 300 MHz higher base clock and 200 MHz higher boost clock than the Ryzen 9 3900X and Ryzen 7 3800X, respectively. The situation is reversed in the case of the Ryzen 5 3600 XT as the refreshed part allegedly ticks with a 200 MHz base clock and a 300 MHz higher boost clock (compared to the Ryzen 5 3600X).
The tipster also claims that the XT versions will arrive with improved support for a higher Fabric Clock (FCLK). Ryzen 3000-series debuted with a maximum FCLK of 1,800 MHz, where the FCLK runs in-sync with the memory clock in a 1:1 ratio. The XT versions are rumored to do 2,000 MHz out of the box.
AMD's exact reasoning behind refreshing an already successful product line are unknown. The first thing that comes to mind would be to fend off Intel's 10th Generation Comet Lake-S (opens in new tab) processors. Matisse already cemented itself as offering amazing value for your money, and the XT versions would likely keep the dream alive. Additionally, it's plausible that AMD could lower the pricing for the three vanilla chips after the XT variants are released.
The Ryzen 4000-series (opens in new tab) (codename Vermeer) processors are slated to make their debut at the end of Q3 or early Q4. We can't discard the possibility that AMD has run into some setbacks with Zen 3, and that's the real reason why the chipmaker is rolling out a Zen 2 refresh. For now, we can only hope that the refresh isn't some type of stop-gap solution because of a Zen 3 delay.