Polish news outlet Benchmark.pl received a statement from AMD that sheds some light on the recent rumor of a Ryzen 5000 refresh. According to the AMD spokesperson, there is indeed a new stepping for Vermeer, but it's less significant than we initially thought.
Unlike Intel, AMD doesn't use the term stepping for its processors. Instead, the chipmaker prefers the term "revision," which is just another word for a similar idea. Current Ryzen 5000 chips are on the B0 revision. Apparently, AMD plans to transition to the B2 revision over the next period of six months. The B2 parts will not offer any new functionality or improved performance, laying to rest the speculation of the XT-series.
AMD has confirmed the statement to Tom's Hardware, and also provided an English-language translation:
"In continuous efforts to enhance our manufacturing and logistics capabilities, AMD is gradually transitioning the AMD Ryzen 5000 Series desktop processors to a 'B2' revision over the next 6 months. There are no feature, function, or performance enhancements to the B2 revision, and no BIOS update is required."
Normally, chipmakers put out a new stepping or revision when they've discovered minor bugs or new ways to improve the design and optimize yields. However, Ryzen 5000's jump from the B0 revision to the B2 revision suggests that the changes are very minor. Obviously, the AMD spokesperson won't reveal what has been changed. AMD recently confirmed that its Predictive Store Forwarding (PSF) technology could turn into a security liability for Zen 3 processors. Perhaps the new B2 revision comes with mitigations for PSF, but that's just speculation on our part.
Although we won't see faster Ryzen 5000 processors on the market, there is still good news for consumers. The B2 revision will seemingly help AMD improve the production and availability for the company's Ryzen 5000 processors. This means that we may finally see the pricing for Zen 3 stabilize, and consumers might find the sought-after processors at their MSRP in the not so far future.
Update, May 19, 12:17 p.m. ET: Added confirmation and English-language translation from AMD.
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With the current chip shortages out there and the fact AMD still can't supply enough stock for the 5950x, I don't think we are going to see an XT this year.Reply
I think AMD can afford to put out XT models for the rest of the chips though. Locations at least in the US and in Europe have decent stock of 5600x and 5800x at MSRP and places like Microcenter have even had 5600x on sale for 279.99 recently. It's mostly GPU shortages on the PC side of things, so I wouldn't be surprised if AMD does a replacement of B0 with B2 or a release of an XT variant sometime this year.JamesJones44 said:With the current chip shortages out there and the fact AMD still can't supply enough stock for the 5950x, I don't think we are going to see an XT this year.
I was going to call this a Pro Intel , and bash on AMD fest.... But they have mentioned that the AMD B2 stepping has other benefits. And benefits where it counts too.Reply
If Security was the improvement, then I would buy the B2 stepping just for that alone. But I am sure that perhaps they have tweaked another few things too. But with AMD being tight lipped, I'd say security was the issue that B2 was designed to fix.
And to give Intel a Bashing. Intel would not do this, intel just sends out patches and performance hitting crap and waits to the next gen to fix anything.
I don't know about the US, but here in the UK, for the last few weeks all models of the latest Ryzen, including 5900 and 5950 have been available at MSRP, or even slightly below. Pretty much all stores have them, even brick and mortar Currys. I bought one myself a couple of weeks ago. Sadly RTX 30xx and the latest Radeon still nowhere to be seen.Reply
"Unlike Intel, AMD doesn't use the term stepping for its processors. Instead, the chipmaker prefers the term "revision," which is just another word for a similar idea. "Reply
Stepping is a specific thing. It refers to masks used in the lithography process which is performed by machines that are called "steppers." A revision is a more general term and takes into account all other process steps used to make a chip. If you were to run CPU-Z you would see that revision and stepping are displayed as separate items.