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AMD's Next-Gen Zen 3 Desktop CPUs Spotted With 4.9 GHz Boost Clock

(Image credit: AMD)

It's been quite some time since AMD released a CPU that can hit a 5 GHz clock speed. But that may change soon. A new report claims that Zen 3 (codename Vermeer) could bring another 5-GHz AMD desktop CPU to the market. 

Igor's Lab today reported the discovery of two new ordering part numbers (OPNs): 100-000000065-04_ 46/36 _Y and 100-000000061-06_ 49/37 _Y. They are reportedly for for models with 16 CPU cores and should be the descendant of the Ryzen 9 3950X. The highest clocked engineering sample seemingly has a 3.7 GHz base clock and 4.9 GHz boost clock. For reference, the Ryzen 9 3950X sports a 3.5 GHz base clock and 4.7 GHz boost clock. If Igor's Lab's report is correct, we're looking at 5.7% and 4.3% improvements on the base and boost clocks, respectively.

We still don't know how AMD will market its forthcoming Zen 3 offerings. The chipmaker currently use the Ryzen 3000-series (Matisse) for its mainstream chips and the Ryzen 4000-series (Renoir) for APUs. Of course, this all lends confusion for the uninitiated. If AMD decides to unify both naming schemes, then the Ryzen 9 3950X's successor should be the Ryzen 9 4950X. But if AMD looks to avoid confusion with its APU lineup, a Ryzen 9 5950X is also possible. 

Regardless of the nomenclature, Zen 3 will leverage TSMC's 7nm FinFET manufacturing process. Although the processors are on a new microarchitecture, they slide into the existing AM4 CPU socket, so don't throw away your motherboard just yet. AMD has publicly confirmed that Zen 3-based processors will work seamlessly on B450, X470, B550 and X570 motherboards; although, certain compromises are made on the older 400-series motherboards. 

Rick Bergman, Executive Vice president of Computing and Graphics at AMD, stated a little over two weeks ago that Zen 3 is marching on schedule for a 2020 release. It seems the chipmaker is preparing something big for the consumer market, and we expect Zen 3 to make an even bigger splash than Zen 2.

  • InvalidError
    I do hope AMD does skip to 5000-series for Zen 3 to end the generational model number discrepancy between CPUs and APUs.
    Reply
  • dlee67
    InvalidError said:
    I do hope AMD does skip to 5000-series for Zen 3 to end the generational model number discrepancy between CPUs and APUs.

    I wonder if the iGPU is too much of an odd bird in terms of relative performance to the average consumer not even really knowing the difference between storage & RAM. AMD's really re-establishing a name for themselves, maybe they just want to make clear that the APUs are significantly stronger & better without boring the customer to death with explanation of what a graphics card is & how it can fit on the same piece of silicon as a CPU.
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    So, This would be the Last AM4 Chip from AMD right ?
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    nofanneeded said:
    So, This would be the Last AM4 Chip from AMD right ?
    In principle, yes. AMD had some issues getting chiplets to work on AM4 and I'd bet they are eager to ditch all the compromises they had to make in order to deliver on their promise to stick with AM4 for four years.
    Reply
  • Gillerer
    I don't know how the way APUs are one thousand ahead of the desktop parts is till difficult to graps for tech media, when AMD (and Intel for Core HEDT) have been doing it for years.

    The APUs come out up to a year after the same-generation CPUs, and the next generation CPUs are always only months away. If they had numbering according to architecture, it would cause more confusion for regular people, when most of the time (8 - 10 months out of the year) the "latest" CPUs and APUs would have different numbers - customers would disregard the AMD laptops because to the uninitiated it would seem they have old processors. It's especially bad that this would occur during the most important sales period of the year - the last quarter.

    Obviously tech enthusiasts are annoyed by this, but the majority of PCs are sold to other people.

    *

    I think there is only one group of people that will potentially get confused: Less tech-savvy people who for some reason think they know about the subject, even without putting much effort into learning.

    Everyone who actually knows about this can easily make the distinction.

    For everyday Joe, the only thing they want to or need to know is that "4000" is the latest stuff from AMD.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Gillerer said:
    I don't know how the way APUs are one thousand ahead of the desktop parts is till difficult to graps for tech media, when AMD (and Intel for Core HEDT) have been doing it for years.
    AMD's HEDT uses the same generation numbering as mainstream. APUs are the odd ones out. Also, HEDT uses a different socket and pricing range so there is no chance of actually getting the two confused market-wise. Intel has no such issue in the mainstream since its IGP vs no IGP CPUs are physically the same and only differentiated in model number by the 'F' suffix.

    Gillerer said:
    For everyday Joe, the only thing they want to or need to know is that "4000" is the latest stuff from AMD.
    To which I respond that the numbering scheme is misleading at best, a potential liability at worst: I could easily imagine someone suing AMD for false and misleading advertisement by slapping next-gen numbers on old-gen tech sharing the same platform.

    APUs are one generation behind on tech and model numbering should reflect that.
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    InvalidError said:
    To which I respond that the numbering scheme is misleading at best, a potential liability at worst: I could easily imagine someone suing AMD for false and misleading advertisement by slapping next-gen numbers on old-gen tech sharing the same platform.

    APUs are one generation behind on tech and model numbering should reflect that.
    I kind of agree with Gillerer that none of this really matters all that much. In the end, the new generation of CPU architecture typically doesn't do a whole lot different from the previous generation as far as the end-user experience is concerned. Maybe the newer architecture is a little faster, but having processors that perform differently within a generation is pretty much expected.

    People could similarly hear about how one of the unlocked Intel processors performs at gaming or some other task, then be disappointed to find that the locked part they bought performs 10% slower. In that case, Intel is artificially restricting performance by locking clocks to a lower level than the processor is actually capable of, while in the case of these AMD APUs, performance is limited by not using their newest architecture.

    Each generation of processors covers a range of performance levels, and there's a variety of ways for the manufacturer to segregate that range, whether its by locking clock rates and binning chips, disabling cores or SMT, turning off integrated graphics, or using a different architecture. The numbering scheme is pretty much just there to say "This is the new processor lineup for the latter half of 2020".

    It might be a little more ideal for these APUs to be using the newest design, though this also frees up manufacturing capacity on the newest process node for other parts, while still letting people know that these are the latest APUs from AMD, and newer models won't likely be coming for another year or so.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    cryoburner said:
    In the end, the new generation of CPU architecture typically doesn't do a whole lot different from the previous generation as far as the end-user experience is concerned.
    From a legal standpoint, the 10-20% differences are more than enough to qualify as materially significant. I wouldn't be surprised if the branding change was caused by such complaints.
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    Again, there can be similar performance differences just by locking clock rates, using a different core configuration, disabling SMT, or any other number of things. And the Zen3 parts are not out yet, nor have any specific products using that architecture even been publicly announced, so it's not like AMD is launching a product that doesn't perform as well with a similar name at a later time. With the G-series processors, one will effectively be getting a processor that trades a little CPU performance for a relatively capable iGPU, for those that have need of it.
    Reply
  • Flemishdragon
    Sounds already much better than the 4.6Ghz. It's great every spotting it's a bit better. Will it blast the tiger out of the lake? Ryzen Tiger Blaster 4950x.
    Ryzen Lava Burster 4980. Vicious nova chill 4990 Because it still runs cool on 64cores.....
    Reply