It's been quite some time since AMD released a CPU that can hit a 5 GHz (opens in new tab) clock speed. But that may change soon. A new report claims that Zen 3 (codename Vermeer) could bring another 5-GHz AMD desktop CPU (opens in new tab) to the market.
Igor's Lab (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab)and should be the descendant of the Ryzen 9 3950X (opens in new tab). 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 (opens in new tab) (Matisse) for its mainstream chips and the Ryzen 4000-series (opens in new tab) (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 (opens in new tab), so don't throw away your motherboard (opens in new tab) just yet. AMD has publicly confirmed that Zen 3-based processors will work seamlessly on B450, X470 (opens in new tab), B550 and X570 (opens in new tab) motherboards; although, certain compromises are made on the older 400-series motherboards.
Rick Bergman (opens in new tab), 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.