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AMD Ryzen 9 4950X Rumor: Could it Spell Trouble for Intel Gaming Supremacy?

AMD Ryzen Processor
(Image credit: AMD)

Over at Igor's Lab, sources have indicated that the upcoming Ryzen 9 4950X will have a boost frequency of 4.8 GHz, which is seriously impressive given that it's expected to be a 16-core, 32-thread part. As with any leaked information, we do have to take it with a grain of salt, though, and preliminary specs are always subject to change.  

The information comes from an OPN code Igor managed to get his hands on, which reads "100-000000059-52_48/35_Y." Decoding that, the 35 at the end signifies the 3.5 GHz base clock, with 4.8 telling us the boost clock is 4.8 GHz.

Reports indicate that this also pertains an engineering sample of the 16-core part, making it the successor to the 3950X, likely to be called the 4950X -- unless AMD jumps straight to the 5000 nomenclature for the Zen 3 "Vermeer" parts, in which case it will likely be called the 5950X. A move such as this wouldn't be all too surprising given that the current 4000-series chips are APUs based on the Zen 2 architecture.

AMD has also already confirmed that it will release the first Zen 3 based processors this year, which paired with this rumor could spell some serious number-crunching hardware from Team Red. 

Although Intel might be running behind in the process node race, it has always had the upper hand in the GHz race, which is what most games tend to favor in the end. If this rumor is true that AMD's top Zen 3 part will boost to 4.8 GHz, then it might also end up taking the crown for best gaming CPU soon. A new architecture, paired with these high frequencies could lead AMD to win both on per-core performance as well as multi-core performance. 

For comparison, the current Zen 2 based 3950X has a base clock of 3.5 GHz and a boost clock of up to 4.7 GHz, which isn't much lower. It's surprising to see AMD's chips boosting to 4.8 GHz, but it's only 100 MHz more than the current-gen parts, and AMD has shown as that its silicon yields are good enough for high boost frequencies, as proven by the new XT line of processors

But, we do have to play the devil's advocate. There is nothing here to prove that this product actually exists, or that this OPN belongs to a 16-core Zen 3 part. With many CPU leaks, we often have an entry in a digital databank to prove that a test was actually run on the hardware, but all we have to go by with this leak is an OPN code from a source we cannot confirm. 

Nevertheless, we're still excited to see what Zen 3 CPUs have in store for us. 

  • King_V
    Reports indicate that this also pertains an engineering sample of the 16-core part, making it the successor to the 3950X, likely to be called the 4950X -- unless AMD jumps straight to the 5000 nomenclature for the Zen 3 "Vermeer" parts, in which case it will likely be called the 5950X. A move such as this wouldn't be all too surprising given that the current 4000-series chips are APUs based on the Zen 2 architecture.

    I know this isn't the main point of the article, but PLEASE, AMD, stop with the x000 model of the APU being based on the (x-1)000 CPU architecture. Have them match up!
    Reply
  • gg83
    Could the 100mhz increase make the difference in games?
    Reply
  • TCA_ChinChin
    gg83 said:
    Could the 100mhz increase make the difference in games?
    Maybe a tiny bit but probably not as much as architectural improvements.
    Reply
  • Rdslw
    gg83 said:
    Could the 100mhz increase make the difference in games?
    it depends on what its 4.8 means. old had 4.6 advertised so ~200mhz on paper.
    but then we add pbo and other this chip might scratch 5.0 mark without OC.
    and games top performance is usually limited by single super thread that schedule work on other threads.
    so 5% faster master thread is allowing you to use 13 threads not 12 like last time -> quite a lot of gains.
    this is idealized example so MAYBE up to 10% in real games ?
    I think it will be needed to saturate what nvidia sends our way....

    if its zen3 you are more interested in hardware change that make single MHZ like 15 % faster already (google IPC).
    if that rumor is true then this will add up to ~20% faster cpu.
    Reply
  • mrv_co
    gg83 said:
    Could the 100mhz increase make the difference in games?

    The more relevant question is "Could the 100MHz increase make the different in game benchmarks?".
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    gg83 said:
    Could the 100mhz increase make the difference in games?
    The 100MHz is mostly irrelevant. What will make a big difference in games is having twice as many cores and L3 cache per CCX to reduce the amount of off-CCX traffic and associated latency: CCX-to-CCX traffic is where Ryzen takes its largest performance hits vs Intel and core clock frequency does not help with CCX-to-CCX latency, especially if traffic goes across CCDs. It is also the main reason why fabric clock is such a big deal for Ryzen.
    Reply
  • JayNor
    Norrod's presentation last year doesn't offer much hope for going higher clock rates.

    VqFk_Yae-kU:411View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqFk_Yae-kU&feature=youtu.be&t=411

    Looks like 3D manufacturing could enable some performance increase... stacking memory on top, for example, or putting the cores on top of the io chiplet, as Intel did with Lakefield.

    Norrod states clock rates could regress at the next node. Some might say the "next node" has already regressed, with both Intel 10nm and AMD 7nm designs unable to match Intel's 14nm boost clocks, which are up around 5.3GHz now.

    TSM's claims provide some trade-off of performance and power improvements on smaller nodes, but previous comments from AMD were that TSM's statements were about very simple circuits and not necessarily applicable to their large logic designs.

    There are performance solutions employing HBM stacks. Perhaps that can be extended to multiple HBM stacks and wider HBM interfaces.

    There are performance solutions employing integrated accelerators. Intel is doing a lot of that with the P5900 solutions and has created a Xeon product with an embedded fpga. Maybe we'll see more of that. The EMIB stitching can result in lower energy multi-chip solutions within a package, as Intel demoed with the Kaby Lake G chip.
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    InvalidError said:
    The 100MHz is mostly irrelevant. What will make a big difference in games is having twice as many cores and L3 cache per CCX to reduce the amount of off-CCX traffic and associated latency: CCX-to-CCX traffic is where Ryzen takes its largest performance hits vs Intel and core clock frequency does not help with CCX-to-CCX latency, especially if traffic goes across CCDs. It is also the main reason why fabric clock is such a big deal for Ryzen.
    The other big question is what the all-core (or typical) clocks will be for heavy workloads. Intel's 9900K for example runs 4.7GHz all-core, all day long, even though the boost clock is 5.0GHz and the base clock is 3.6GHz. From what I saw in testing, the 3950X typically ran most heavily threaded applications (including games!) at around 4.2GHz. So Intel is ~300MHz less than boost and AMD is ~500MHz less than boost. Zen 3 could change that, and if it gets typical clocks of ~4.5GHz instead of ~4.2GHz, that would be a decent bump in performance.

    But yeah, latency stuff is going to be a bigger factor I think. Paul and I have also talked, and Renoir being OEM-only for desktop is very likely AMD trying not to spoil the Zen 3 party.
    Reply
  • Kamen Rider Blade
    JarredWaltonGPU said:
    But yeah, latency stuff is going to be a bigger factor I think. Paul and I have also talked, and Renoir being OEM-only for desktop is very likely AMD trying not to spoil the Zen 3 party.
    Core to Core latency and RAM to CCX latency are things AMD needs to work on, the Chiplet approach has that inherent detriment and there are numerous solutions to it short of being Monolithic Die.

    cIOD is just old school NorthBridge moved onto the CPU substrate with shorter traces, but not quite as good as integrated NorthBridge. It's one step back to have Yield gains with CCX packages. Nothing wrong with it, but there are optimizations that can be done with RAM Slot traces in terms of DIMM placement relative to cIOD placement of RAM controller interfaces for largely similar latency across all DIMM's, but it would require AMD to give a design directive of placing DIMM slots on both sides of the CPU socket and arranging the RAM ports and Memory controller to match for minimizing RAM latency to a very narrow band instead of the large variable band that it has now.

    As far as ZEN 3 and Renoir, I think Renoir is it's own surprise hit and Zen 3 targeting DeskTop won't affect each other since the market for both are largely separate due to use case.
    Reply
  • gg83
    InvalidError said:
    The 100MHz is mostly irrelevant. What will make a big difference in games is having twice as many cores and L3 cache per CCX to reduce the amount of off-CCX traffic and associated latency: CCX-to-CCX traffic is where Ryzen takes its largest performance hits vs Intel and core clock frequency does not help with CCX-to-CCX latency, especially if traffic goes across CCDs. It is also the main reason why fabric clock is such a big deal for Ryzen.
    Right. I think that's why the 3300x is a great performer? There's no ccx-ccx?
    Reply