AMD’s Zen 3 architecture is slated to land this year, setting the stage for a new wave of powerful chips based upon a newer version of AMD’s most successful architecture to date. The new Zen 3 microarchitecture will power AMD’s full lineup of next-gen chips, including the Ryzen 4000 “Vermeer” desktop processors that will soon vie for a spot on our list of Best CPUs, the Ryzen 5000 laptop chips, and the EPYC Milan data center processors.
As impressive as AMD’s rapid success with Zen was, it was merely the first step along AMD’s multi-year roadmap. AMD’s solid follow up with the Zen 2 architecture, which it paired with the 7nm process in the “Matisse” chips, cemented AMD’s dominance in pricing, performance scaling, and efficiency as Intel struggled to move on to its 10nm process. That triggered a massive turnaround in fortunes for the chipmaker as it continues to steal market share from Intel at an accelerating rate and has reached its highest stock valuations in history.
And now it’s nearly time for Zen 3 to come to market as Intel faces more delays in its move to 7nm. AMD says Zen 3 features an entirely new architecture. Paired with the expected instructions per cycle (IPC) throughput advances and the early signs of up to a 4.9 GHz boost, and AMD may just have the magic bullet that finally upsets Intel from its position at the top of our gaming performance benchmarks.
Aside from an AMD presentation about the Zen 3 architecture that was accidentally posted to YouTube, the company hasn’t publicly shared specifics about the design. However, the company has shared plenty of information about Zen 3’s schedule, and a string of leaks has shed further light on the soon-to-be-released architecture. If one thing is for certain, the Zen microarchitecture has completely redefined our expectations for mainstream desktop chips, and its rational to expect more of the same with Zen 3. Let’s cover what we know about Zen 3 so far.
AMD Zen 3, Ryzen 4000 At A Glance
- TSMC N7P or N7+ process
- 32+ MB of unified L3 cache
- Multi-Chip Module (MCM) design
- Up to 64 cores for data center chips
- First client (desktop and/or laptop) chips arrive in late 2020
- Full desktop, laptop and server lineups in market by the end of 2021
- EPYC Milan data center chips arrive in late 2020
- Pricing is the wild card, but AMD has increased pricing with recent launches
AMD Ryzen 4000 release date
AMD CEO Lisa Su unveiled the AMD Ryzen 4000 processors for laptops at CES 2020. Prior to their release, the much-anticipated 7nm mobile processors have since shown up in product listings on Amazon for multiple Asus gaming laptops in China and Canada.
Now, these chips are out in the wild and powering a new generation of thin and light laptops that boast incredible performance and impressively long battery life. The newly-released Asus Zephyrus G14 is leading that charge, and we should start seeing more laptops rocking AMD Ryzen 4000 processors across both ultraportables and gaming laptops.
As for the next-generation of Ryzen processors for desktop haven’t seen an official release date. We know that Lisa Su said AMD Ryzen 4000 for desktop will be coming in 2020. And, a new rumor suggests that they are set to go on sale in October 2020, alongside the RDNA 2 graphics cards.
Last year, AMD took its Ryzen 3rd Generation processors to Computex 2019 for a preview, and announced more details later at E3 2019. Back at CES 2019, AMD announced Zen 2, the microarchitecture that would later be behind Ryzen 3rd Generation, and Threadripper 3rd Generation Epyc 2nd generation. We expected Team Red to follow suit by announcing Zen 3 with some vague details at CES 2020 , but that didn’t happen.
While E3 2020 has been cancelled, Computex 2020 has simply gotten a later date: September 28-30, 2020. If all goes well, we could see AMD giving us a sneak peek at the desktop chips at the conference, like last year, before rolling them out in October.
Nevertheless, unless something massive gets in the way, the AMD Ryzen 4000 desktop processors will be out in late 2020. Both AMD CFO Devinder Kumar and CEO Lisa Su have confirmed separately that Zen 3 is on track to meet its deadline.
AMD Ryzen 4000 price
As far as the laptop chips, the prices of the processors themselves are not relevant to most people, as laptop manufacturers will absorb the price and repackage them. Still, we will probably see prices increase over last-generation AMD laptops, due to the fact that AMD’s processors will be behind flagship-class laptops like the upcoming Lenovo Yoga Slim 7.
We’ll probably see Ryzen 3 laptops starting around the $600 mark, with laptops rocking the Ryzen 7 4800H or 4800U hitting the premium market above $1,000. However, we can be a bit more specific with our speculation on the desktop lineup. Advertisement
AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation saw higher prices than Ryzen 2000, largely due to the introduction of Ryzen 9 processors with up to 16 cores. However, the Ryzen 7 3700X did launch at the same $329 (£319, AU$519) price point as the Ryzen 7 2700X that came before it.
Due to the success of chips like the Ryzen 9 3900X and 3950X, however, we fully expect AMD to follow suit with the Ryzen 4000 lineup. For reference, we included the pricing of AMD Ryzen 3000 processors below. We expect the pricing to stay roughly the same for the next generation.
- AMD Ryzen 9 3950X: $749 (about £590, AU$1,080)
- AMD Ryzen 9 3900X: $499 (about £390, AU$720)
- AMD Ryzen 7 3800X: $399 (about £310, AU$580)
- AMD Ryzen 7 3700X: $329 (about £260, AU$480)
- AMD Ryzen 5 3600X: $249 (about £200, AU$360)
- AMD Ryzen 5 3600: $199 (about £160, AU$290)
- AMD Ryzen 5 3400G: $149 (£139, AU$240)
- AMD Ryzen 3 3300G: $99 (£94, AU$144)
AMD Ryzen 4000 specs
Right now, we know the most about the AMD Ryzen 4000 mobile lineup, so that’s where we’re going to start. These will be the first 7nm processors to make their way to laptops, and with that they bring some huge benefits.
The biggest of these is, just like Ryzen 3000 desktop before it, core counts. Even with ultraportable laptops, which have previously been limited to 4 core/8 thread configurations, you’re getting 8 cores and 16 threads.
This is a huge improvement, and even though clock speeds are limited to 4.2GHz – or a bit higher with 25W configurations – users should see massive gains in productivity workloads.
However, what’s odd is that only every other SKU has hyperthreading. For example, the AMD Ryzen 7 4700U has 8 cores and 8 threads, whereas the 4800U has 8 cores and 16 threads. Both of the announced H-Series chips for mobile have hyper-threading however, along with higher base clock speeds.
One of the key features of this AMD Ryzen 4000 series for laptops is going to be the integrated graphics performance. Now, we haven’t had a chance to test this yet, of course, but AMD is promising a boost of up to 28% over Intel’s Ice Lake when it comes to graphics performance. These chips will not be in gaming laptops, however, but when you just want to get in a quick Overwatch on your lunch break, it will make a major difference.
We went ahead and listed the core specs of each of the laptop processors.
- AMD Ryzen 7 4800U: 8 cores, 16 threads | 1.8GHz base, 4.2GHz boost | 12MB cache
- AMD Ryzen 7 4700U: 8 cores, 8 threads | 2.0GHz base, 4.1GHz boost | 12MB cache
- AMD Ryzen 5 4600U: 6 cores, 12 threads | 2.1GHz base, 4.0GHz boost | 11MB cache
- AMD Ryzen 5 4500U: 6 cores, 6 threads | 2.3GHz base, 4.0GHz boost | 11MB cache
- AMD Ryzen 3 4300U: 4 cores, 4 threads | 2.7GHz base, 3.7GHz boost | 6MB cache
- AMD Ryzen 7 4800H: 8 cores, 16 threads | 2.9GHz base, 4.2GHz boost | 12MB cache
- AMD Ryzen 5 4600H: 6 cores, 12 threads | 3.0GHz base, 4.0GHz boost | 11MB cache
We know far less about desktop, however. Beyond the fact we know it’ll be revealed in 2020, Zen 3 is largely an enigma wrapped in mystery. It will be based on a refinement of the 7nm process found in Zen 2, but any more specific information is purely in the realm of rumor