AMD didn’t offer much news about its desktop processors at its CES press conference this morning, but did offer a brief preview of its next-generation Ryzen 7000 processors and its Zen 4 architecture. These chips will be released in the second half of 2022 and will require a brand new motherboard with a new AM5 processor socket.
We know few details about the Ryzen 7000 CPUs, other than that they will be built on a 5nm TSMC manufacturing process and the example AMD showed on stage ran at 5GHz (the current 5950X comes in at 4.9GHz). ). We also didn’t hear about the AM5 socket that we didn’t already know – just that it will be a Land Grid Array (LGA) socket that places the pins on the motherboard instead of the bottom of the processor, same as Intel’s desktop chips. We also know that CPU coolers made for AM4 motherboards should continue to run on AM5 cards.
AMD has been using the physical AM4 socket since 2016, but it still has a bit of life to it: the new Ryzen 7 5800X3D CPU is an 8-core, 16-thread chip that uses the AM4 socket and boosts speeds through L3 cache stacking on top of the processor die, something AMD calls “3D V-Cache technology”. This increases both the cache bandwidth and the amount of cache; the standard 5800X contains only 32 MB of cache, compared to the 96 MB of the 5800X3D.
AnandTech takes a closer look at the technology in this piece, but the short version is that gaming performance improves by an average of 15 percent thanks to 3D V-Cache, even though the Ryzen 7 5800X uses the same Zen 3 architecture, the same 7nm manufacturing process, and the same 105W TDP as other Ryzen 5000 series chips and slots in the same motherboards (probably requires BIOS update).
AMD hasn’t announced pricing for the 5800X3D or if it had more 3D V-Cache processors to announce. But with production capacity limited by the ongoing shortage of chips, a smaller selection of chips that is constantly available to buy is probably better than announcing a full refresh that no one can find. AMD struggled to meet demand for its 5000 series CPUs in early 2021, but caught up with demand later in the year. And AMD hasn’t said whether there would be Ryzen 6000 series desktop processors, though it looks like Ryzen 6000 will be reserved for laptop chips and APUs, as the Ryzen 4000 nomenclature was.
The 5800X3D should be a good compromise for people looking to drop a new CPU into their existing AMD system rather than pay more money for a 12th Gen Intel Core CPU or wait for Ryzen 7000 to spin. But it’s still not targeting the under $200 processor market, which Intel just made a lot more interesting with some of its new Core i5 and Core i3 chips. Whether AMD will introduce new products or lower prices to compete with these budget processors remains to be seen.