AMD’s Ryzen 7000 Series Takes Gaming And Content Creation To New Heights With Zen 4

By Patrick Moorhead - September 20, 2022

AMD has been teasing the new Ryzen 7000 series and AM5 platform for the last few months and has already given us some previews of what to expect. But with these things, you always wait until the launch to get final numbers, and AMD is making some genuinely impressive claims for the Ryzen 7000 series, based on the company’s latest Zen 4 architecture built on TSMC’s 5nm process node. The AMD Ryzen 7000 series is accompanied by the new AM5 socket, which features PCIe 5.0 and DDR5, which Intel has already debuted on its 12th Gen processor family. With AMD’s launch of the Ryzen 7000 series, we are starting to see exactly how the competition might stack up and what a healthy cycle of competition looks like.

Ryzen 7950X – The New Flagship

Right up front, AMD leads with its flagship processor, the Ryzen 9 7950X, the replacement for its Ryzen 5950X, a 16-core CPU. Compared to the Ryzen 5000 series, AMD is claiming an average of 13% IPC uplift as well as an increase in max frequency as much as 800 MHz to 5.7 GHz, which translates to a total claimed single thread performance gain of 29%, which is considerable for any generation of CPUs, let alone the 4th generation of AMD’s Zen architecture. The 7950X also features 80MB of combined L2 and L3 cache and a TDP of 170W. Comparing itself to the Ryzen 5950X, AMD is showing gaming performance improvements between 6 and 35% across different titles and performance uplift in creator workloads of anywhere from 32% to 48%.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950xAMD

AMD used the example of Chaos Group’s V-Ray with the 7950X scoring 30,168 points while Intel’s 12900K only scores 18,646, showing an improvement of 57%. Equally impressive, my friend Rob Williams at Techgage had the V-Ray benchmark scoring similarly for AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper 3970X, which is two generations old but also twice as many cores, which is astonishing on its own. This is even more astonishing when considering that the 7950X’s TDP is 170W while the TR-3970X is a 280W part. It is truly a testament to AMD’s focus not only on peak performance but also on power efficiency and performance per watt. In fact, against the 12900K, AMD claims to be 57% more performant and 47% more power efficient. It is also worth noting that AMD still uses TDP while Intel does not, and we may see the discussion about power continue to be discussed.

The lineup

AMD’s whole lineup this time includes four processors, with the Ryzen 9 7950X at the top, followed by the Ryzen 7900X, 7700X, and 7600X, clocking at 5.7, 5.6, 5.4, and 5.3, respectively. Since AMD still uses TDP as a measure of power, it claims the 7950X and 7900X as 170W parts while the 7700X and 7600X are classified as 105W even though power fluctuates above and below those numbers. Core counts are exactly where you’d expect them to be at 16, 12, 8, and 6 cores down the line.

AMD Ryzen 9 7600x, 7700x, 7900x, 7950xAMD

AMD didn’t shy away from talking about the Ryzen 5 7600X, especially when it compared its performance in F1 2022 to Intel’s top-of-the-stack 12900K and claimed 11% better performance than Intel’s chip. AMD also claimed an overall 5% faster gaming performance on average in 1080P, which is much more CPU-dependent than higher resolutions and impressed many people in the audience, considering that the 7600X is at the bottom of AMD’s enthusiast lineup and has half the cores of Intel’s processor. Since so many games are still single-threaded, I expect this is only the case in gaming, not in content creation.

Zen 4 design

CPU RoadmapAMD

AMD’s CTO, Mark Papermaster, also went deeper into the Zen 4 design and talked about how it achieved the 13% IPC uplift and the implementation of AVX-512 for AI acceleration. AMD took the geomean of 22 different desktop workloads and compared them against Zen 3 to get the 13% IPC uplift, and Mark Papermaster said that much of that uplift came from the new front-end and increased cache. He also talked about AI and HPC acceleration with AVX-512, even though I’m not entirely sure that is relevant to desktop gaming users as much as it is to data center and workstation users on other platforms.

Geoman of 22 Desktop Workloads & Zen 4 IPC Contributors AMD

AMD’s CTO Mark Papermaster also talked about the technological advantages of using 5nm and how its Zen 4-based 7950X has considerably improved over the previous generation to the tune of 74% at 65W TDP, 37% at 105W TDP, and 35% at 170W TDP. This bodes exceptionally well for AMD’s upcoming laptop parts based on Zen 4, that we can probably expect to see around the CES timeframe if the company’s usual cadence is to be believed. Mark also made comparisons against Intel’s Alder Lake performance cores in terms of area and power efficiency claiming 50% less area and 47% more energy efficiency since AMD only has one type of Core in its CPUs. In contrast, Intel has both performance and efficiency cores. I also found AMD’s claims of up to 62% lower power at the same performance and 49% more performance at the same power against the Ryzen 5000 series astonishing, but of course, those are the best-case scenarios.

The AM5 platform

David McAfee, CVP & GM, Desktop PCAMD

AMD’s Dave McAfee, CVP, and GM of the Desktop PC business, also talked about the platform and how AM5 will advance the entire system’s capabilities. AMD’s AM5 will feature a new 1718 LGA socket with up to 230W of power delivery, enabling more and better overclocking and possibly even some headroom for faster chips down the road. AM5 also brings DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 to the platform and will have support from AMD through 2025, which is what the company is currently claiming as the shelf-life of the socket, which is 3+ years from now. AMD is launching four different socket AM5 chipsets with the X670, X670 Extreme, B650, and B650 Extreme, with the Extreme variants being the chipsets that support PCIe 5.0 on both graphics and storage. Speaking of storage, AMD has been busily building a PCIe 5.0 storage ecosystem that will have drives available starting in November 2022 and will, hopefully, be able to take advantage of Microsoft’s DirectStorage as well. AMD’s David McAfee also introduced a new memory overclocking technology called AMD EXPO, which AMD designed to deliver one-click memory overclocking to AMD’s platform. AMD claims that it will improve gaming performance by as much as 11% and bring latency down to as low as 63ns while being license and royalty-free. AMD says that there will be 15 kits at launch with speeds up to 6400 MT/s from all the major memory manufacturers.

Pricing and availability

AMD Ryzen Available September 27thAMD

AMD’s CEO Lisa Su happily summarized all of the developments with the Ryzen 7000 series and AM5 platform but also talked about pricing and availability of AMD’s processors. All of AMD’s new Ryzen 7000 series will be available starting September 27th, with the Ryzen 5 7600X starting at $299, which is $100 more than the 5600X but in line with what the 5600X sold for at launch. The Ryzen 7950X will top out at $699, which is $100 less than the 5950X sold for at launch and $150 more than it currently sells for now, which is to be expected as it nears the end of its life cycle. In addition to these processors, motherboards based on the X670 chipset will be available in September, while B650-based boards will be available later in October.


Final Thoughts

AMD looks to have proven wrong the phrase that lightning never strikes twice in the same place because the Ryzen 7000 series delivers so many incredible improvements in performance power. It will be, without a doubt, a massive challenge for its competitors, namely Intel, to overcome. Still, I am always a proponent of healthy competition, and it seems like the Ryzen 7000 series is a perfect example of what healthy competition can bring to the industry. Additionally, Zen 4 has shown that AMD continues to innovate on the design and improve not only IPC but also frequency in ways that would have been unimaginable years ago. I know that I am very excited to evaluate AMD’s claims with my own review and hope to notice the considerable performance improvement claims it is making with the Ryzen 7000 series for myself

Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.

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Patrick founded the firm based on his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasn’t getting from analysts and consultants. Ten years later, Patrick is ranked #1 among technology industry analysts in terms of “power” (ARInsights)  in “press citations” (Apollo Research). Moorhead is a contributor at Forbes and frequently appears on CNBC. He is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the cloud, enterprise SaaS, collaboration, client computing, and semiconductors. He has 30 years of experience including 15 years of executive experience at high tech companies (NCR, AT&T, Compaq, now HP, and AMD) leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.