AMD revealed price, performance, some release dates and more about its upcoming RDNA 3 graphics cards and Ryzen 7000 series processors during its “together we move forward_pcs” livestream on Monday.
Four CPUs utilizing the new Zen 4 desktop processing architecture (codenamed “Raphael”) will launch on September 27, 2022. The flagship Ryzen 9 7950X chip costs $699 at launch and has 16 cores, 32 threads, and a boost clock of 5.7GHz.
An overview of prices, specs and release date for the upcoming Ryzen 7000 series. Image: AMD
The other three processors are the Ryzen 9 7900X (12 cores, 24 threads and a 5.6 GHz boost) for $549, the Ryzen 7 7700X (8 cores, 16 threads and a 5.3 GHz boost) for $399 , and the budget Ryzen 5 7600X (6 cores, 12 threads, and a 5.3GHz boost) for $299. AMD claimed during the presentation that the Zen4 processors have a 13 percent IPC uplift over the previous generation. Zen 3 (Ryzen 5000 series), an 8-10 percent increase claimed when the architecture was teased at Computex 2022.
Other claims include a 29 percent increase in single-thread performance, but take these predictions with a grain of salt until they’re released publicly and available for external benchmarking. Some of the estimated increases are vague, such as a 6 to 35 percent performance improvement in games when comparing the new Ryzen 9 7950X to its predecessor, the Ryzen 9 5950X.
Predicted improvements you could expect with an upgrade from equivalent Zen3 processors. Image: AMD
As for how old market rival Intel fits into this, AMD compared the performance of its latest flagship to that of the Intel i9-12900K in the V-Ray benchmark, where the Zen 4 processor showed up to 47 percent better performance per watt, and a potential 57 percent improvement in ray tracing. Remember, this is one of many benchmarks and it’s in AMD’s best interest to make this launch appealing to consumers looking to upgrade their desktop PC. We will get a more accurate picture of performance comparison when unbiased benchmark testing can be performed.
As always, take benchmark slides of presentations with some scrutiny until third-party benchmarks and tests can be run. Image: AMD
While absent from the presentation, the AMD website confirms that all four Ryzen 7000 SKUs will have integrated Radeon RDNA 2 graphics. Each Raphael CPU will feature 2 graphics cores, each with 64 stream processors, with a boost clock up to 2.2 GHz. Before anyone gets excited about the gaming capabilities, it’s unlikely you’ll want to ditch a full desktop graphics card in favor of this built-in alternative, as the integrated GPU is only adequate for tasks like basic content creation and display outputs.
There are a few important things to note from the presentation if you are planning to upgrade or build a new PC soon. First, this generation of AMD processors will use the AM5 socket platform, which means you’ll need to upgrade your motherboard. Prices for AM5 motherboards start from $125, and will be supported until at least 2025, which coincides nicely with Zen 5’s projected launch in 2024.
“We do expect AM4 and AM5 to coexist for some time to come”
That doesn’t mean AM4 is ready, though. “We expect AM4 and AM5 to co-exist for quite some time,” said Lisa Su during the presentation. “You would expect that, as with AM4, we will build out the entire AM5 stack, but it will take some time to build out and we want to make sure the cost points are right, as always.” It does mean that you should also plan to upgrade your system memory as AM5 uses DDR5 RAM and drops support for DDR4.
Processors weren’t the only announcement, we also got a glimpse of the next generation of Radeon graphics cards. The AMD Radeon RX 7000 series will be based on a 5nm process node and the flagship model will presumably feature the Navi 31 GPU with 12288 stream processors and up to 24GB of GDDR6 memory, although this is still speculative information. AMD’s generosity for information about its new processors didn’t extend to its upcoming graphics cards.
A small glimpse of an RDNA4 graphics card, which resembles previous AMD Founder Edition GPUs. Image: AMD
Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, confirmed previous claims that the new GPU architecture will provide a 50 percent increase in performance per watt over RDNA 2, and confirmed during the presentation that at least one Radeon 7000 is working and running tests, stating that that the performance “looks absolutely amazing”.”
The design is seemingly identical to the previous generation flagship cards, with an all-black color scheme and a touch of RGB lighting similar to the Radeon RX 6950XT. The next-gen model teased during the presentation was not mentioned, nor was the power connector shown, although the three-fan design and thickness of the card suggest it will be a high-end model.
Other features you can expect include advanced chiplet packaging, redesigned compute units, an optimized graphics pipeline, and a next-generation AMD Infinity Cache. The next generation of AMD Radeon graphics cards will also arrive by the end of the year, although no firm launch date has been announced.