AMD has historically performed poorly against Intel in the desktop CPU market – up until the launch of its Zen architecture in 2017.
With its Ryzen chips, AMD became more competitive and regained consideration from gamers, enthusiasts, and everyday PC users.
It continued this trends with the launch of it Ryzen 2000 chips, offering multi-threaded processors with high core counts at competitive prices.
Intel has remained dominant however, thanks to the continued refinement of its 14nm manufacturing process and its 9th-generation processor line-up – which boasted better single-core performance than AMD’s products.
AMD fans could be in for some good news, though, as the company is reportedly planning on shrinking its process node and greatly boosting CPU performance.
AMD’s Ryzen 3000 desktop processors are expected to launch later this year, and they will be based on the manufacturer’s new Zen 2 microarchitecture.
The Zen 2 architecture comprises a die shrink for certain components, which means the Ryzen 3000 desktop CPUs will be built on a 7nm process as opposed to Intel’s 14nm refined process.
This could deliver a substantial performance and specifications advantage for the AMD processors, with some leaks pointing to a 16-core, 32-thread flagship desktop CPU product.
The processor lists which have leaked at various international retailers imply that the Ryzen 3000 will feature the following product nomenclature based on physical core numbers:
- Ryzen 3 – 6 cores, 12 threads
- Ryzen 5 – 8 cores, 16 threads
- Ryzen 7 – 12 cores, 24 threads
- Ryzen 9 – 16 cores, 32 threads
Some chips are expected to support integrated graphics too, which will be indicated by the “G” suffix, also appended to the labels of AMD’s Ryzen 2000 chips with integrated GPUs.
The “X” classification is also expected to make a return for the Ryzen 3000 chips, indicating additional overclocking headroom for the processor.
Early rumours have also pointed to clock speeds of around 5GHz on the high-end Ryzen 9 processor, with the clock speed of more mainstream chips sitting at around 4.4GHz.
If these specifications turn out to be accurate, AMD may have a real chance of defeating Intel’s desktop CPU line-up with its next-generation chips.
Taking on Intel
AMD previewed a Zen 2-based processor at CES 2019, showing off the improved performance of the new chip against Intel’s Core i9-9900K processor.
In this preview, the AMD chip scored the same as the Intel CPU in a rendering benchmark while pulling around 30% less power than the competing chip.
The benchmark and leaked information about the new chips therefore point to far great multi-threaded performance than Intel’s 9th-gen CPUs, but it is the per-clock performance many buyers are concerned about.
It is unclear whether the move to a 7nm manufacturing process will result in AMD’s Ryzen chips finally beating Intel’s products in instructions per cycle (IPC) performance, but if they do it could mean the end of Intel’s dominance in the desktop CPU market.
AMD already offers impressive value over Intel’s competing products, and the ability to deliver greater performance at a cheaper price could win over many users.
The company’s Ryzen 3000 processors are set to be compatible with the manufacturer’s existing AM4 motherboard socket, so if you are looking to upgrade your CPU, it might be a good idea to wait and see how AMD’s first 7nm chips perform.