CES 2022 is just a few weeks away, and AMD will be on-hand to discuss the latest products in the pipeline. So naturally, CEO Dr. Lisa Su will headline AMD’s “2022 Product Premiere,” which will kick off on January 4th, 2022, at 10 am EST. AMD didn’t go into great detail when announcing the event, other than to say that Su will “highlight innovations and solutions featuring upcoming AMD Ryzen processors and AMD Radeon graphics.”
To the first point, AMD needs a powerful counterpunch to Intel’s 12th generation Alder Lake family of processors. The Core i9-12900K easily wrested the crown from AMD’s Ryzen 5000 family in gaming benchmarks, and the Core i7-12700K is no slouch either at an even lower price point. Rumors suggest that AMD will release a Zen 3 refresh featuring its new 3D V-Cache technology as an intermediary step between current Zen 3 and next-generation Zen 4 families.
AMD confirmed that Zen 3-based Ryzen processors with 3D V-Cache would enter production later this year, which means that TSMC is likely cranking them out by now. While current Ryzen 5000 processors top out at 64MB of L3 cache, 3D V-Cache enables an additional 64MB of 7nm SRAM cache atop the core complex die (CCD). With this arrangement, AMD tripled the maximum amount of L3 cache from 64MB to 192MB.
According to AMD’s calculations, a Ryzen 9 5900X with 3D V-Cache can deliver up to a 15 percent uplift in gaming performance (on average) at 1080p resolution. That could give AMD the ammunition it needs to battle the Core i9-12900K and Core i7-12700K. Still, we’ll need to assess real-world performance from our suite of productivity and gaming benchmarks (and not just AMD-selected apps), alongside expected price bumps over existing Ryzen 5000 processors.
Right now, the Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X carry MSRPs of $799 and $549, respectively, compared to $589 and $409 for the Core i9-12900K and Core i7-12700K. 3D V-Cache will likely only widen the price delta between AMD and Intel’s enthusiast-class processors.
Regarding graphics cards, we expect to hear a lot more about AMD’s entry-level Radeon RX 6400 and Radeon RX 6500 XT RDNA 2 graphics cards. According to a recent leak from the Eurasian Economic Commission (ECC), both graphics cards will come with 4GB of GDDR6 memory. This should be sufficient for playing modern games at 1080p with moderate levels of eye candy enabled. These cards will likely go head-to-head with NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3050, which is also rumored to make its debut at CES 2022.
Other possibilities for a CES 2022 launch from AMD include Ryzen 6000 “Rembrandt” processors, which are rumored to pair Zen 3 CPUs with RDNA 2 GPUs. These processors will likely find their way into gaming laptops and eventually OEM desktop PCs from the usual suspects like Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard. It’s uncertain if AMD will shed much (if any) light on its upcoming Zen 4 processor and RDNA 3 GPU families at the event. Both are scheduled to employ TSMC’s 5nm process node and should prove to be formidable competition to Intel and NVIDIA, respectively.