AMD revealed price, performance, some release dates, and more about the upcoming RDNA 3 graphics cards and Ryzen 7000 series processors during its “together we advance_PCs” livestream on Monday.
Four CPUs using the new Zen 4 desktop processing architecture (codenamed “Raphael”) will launch on September 27th, 2022. The flagship Ryzen 9 7950X chip will cost $699 at launch and features 16 cores, 32 threads, and a boost clock of up to 5.7GHz.
The three other processors include the Ryzen 9 7900X (12 cores, 24 threads and a 5.6GHz boost) for $549, the Ryzen 7 7700X (8 cores, 16 threads and a 5.3GHz boost) for $399, and the budget Ryzen 5 7600X (6 cores, 12 threads and a 5.3 GHz boost) for $299. AMD claimed during the presentation that the Zen4 processors have a 13 percent IPC uplift over the previous Zen 3 (Ryzen 5000 series) generation, up from the 8-10 percent uplift claimed when the architecture was teased at Computex 2022.
Other claims include up to a 29 percent increase in single-thread performance, but take these predictions with a pinch of salt until they’re publicly released and available for external benchmarking. Some of the estimated increases are vague, such as a claimed 6 to 35 percent performance boost in games when comparing the new Ryzen 9 7950X to its predecessor, the Ryzen 9 5950X.
As for how long-time market rival Intel fits into this, AMD compared its latest flagships performance to that of the Intel i9-12900K in the V-Ray benchmark where the Zen 4 processor displayed up to 47 percent better performance per watt, and a potential improvement of 57 percent in raytracing. Just remember, this is a single benchmark out of many and it’s within AMDs interests to make this launch attractive to consumers looking to upgrade their desktop PCs. We will get a more accurate picture of performance comparison when impartial benchmark tests can be carried out.
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 of up to 2.2GHz. Before anyone gets excited about its gaming capabilities, it’s unlikely you’ll want to snub a full desktop graphics card in favor of this built-in alternative, as the integrated GPU will only be sufficient for tasks such as basic content creation and display outputs.
There are a few important things from the presentation to note if you are planning to upgrade or build a new PC anytime soon. Firstly, this generation of AMD processors will use the AM5 socket platform, which means you’ll have to upgrade your motherboard. AM5 motherboards pricing will start from $125, and will be supported at least until 2025, coinciding nicely with the predicted launch of Zen 5 in 2024.
That doesn’t mean that AM4 is finished though. “We do expect AM4 and AM5 to coexist for quite some time,” Lisa Su said during the presentation. “You should expect that, like with AM4, we’ll 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’ll need to also plan to upgrade your system memory though, as AM5 is adopting DDR5 RAM and dropping support for DDR4.
Processors weren’t the only announcement as 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 supposedly feature the Navi 31 GPU with 12288 stream processors and up to 24 GB of GDDR6 memory, though this is still speculative information. AMD’s generosity for information on its new processors didn’t extend to its upcoming graphics cards.
AMD CEO Lisa Su reaffirmed previous claims that the new GPU architecture will offer a 50 percent performance per watt increase over RDNA 2, and confirmed during the presentation that at least one Radeon 7000 is operating and running tests, stating that its performance looks “absolutely wonderful.”
The design is seemingly identical to that of the flagship cards from the previous generation, with an all-black color scheme and a hint of RGB illumination similar to the Radeon RX 6950XT. The next-gen model being teased during the presentation was not named, nor was the power connector displayed, though the triple fan design and thickness of the card suggest this will be a high-end model.
Other features to expect are advanced chiplet packaging, re-architected compute units, an optimized graphics pipeline, and a next-Gen AMD Infinity Cache. The next generation of AMD Radeon graphics cards is also set to arrive by the end of the year, though no set date for the launch has been announced.