ZEN 4 architecture and Ryzen 7000:
AMD Zen 4 architecture:
Let’s now focus on the new AMD processors. These were announced at the end of August during a YouTube conference. Dr. Lisa Su unveiled four new processors available at today’s launch. The new Ryzen 7000s are based on the new Zen 4 architecture and are etched in 5nm by TMSC. To be precise, the CCDs(core compute die) are etched in 5nm but the IOD (I/O die) remains on TSMC’s N6 (6nm) process. The improvement in the engraving fineness allows the Ryzen 7000 to benefit from higher clock speeds and better energy efficiency compared to the previous generation. We will come back to this in the details of the individual processors.
As a reminder, the previous generation of Ryzen 5000s featured 7nm and the Zen 3 architecture, so it will be very interesting to see what benefits this new architecture brings.
What’s new in the Zen 4 architecture:
First of all, AMD has announced an expansion of the front-end as well as support for AVX-512 instructions. The new Ryzen 7000s also see the amount of L2 cache doubled from 512KB to 1MB of L2 cache per core, compared to the previous generation (Ryzen 5000).
However, there is no change in the amount of shared L3 cache memory, which remains at 32MB per CCD. These various modifications to the Zen 4 architecture should bring an average IPC gain of 13% compared to Zen 3 according to AMD. We will be checking this performance in our tests.
Finally, you should know that these new processors have integrated RDNA 2 graphics cores (iGPU). We will detail all the characteristics of these new Ryzen 7000 in graphic form below.
Four processors available at launch:
AMD unveiled four processors at its conference in late August. The Ryzen 7950X is the flagship of the new architecture, with 16 cores and 32 threads, a boost frequency of up to 5.7 GHz and a price of $699. Next up is the Ryzen 7900X with 12 cores and 24 threads and a boost frequency of 5.6 GHz, priced at $549.
The other two processors announced are the Ryzen 7700X with 8 cores (boosted to 5.4 GHz) and the Ryzen 7600X with 6 cores and 12 threads and a boost of 5.3 GHz. It remains to be seen at what price these four processors will be announced in Europe and more particularly in France. The first prices indicated on online sites in the last few hours announce a conversion that is still painful for the eurozone. In terms of cooling, AMD recommends the use of a 280mm AIO liquid cooling system for the Ryzen 7950X and 7900X. For the Ryzen 7700X and 7600X, a tower-type cooling unit should do the job. We will of course give you our opinion at the end of this article.
A new socket, hello socket AM5:
After the Z690 chipset and the LGA-1700 socket, it’s now AMD’s turn to make its revolution. Goodbye socket AM4, hello socket AM5. It’s time to forget the PGA (Pin Grid Array) socket in which you used to put your processor, and to welcome the LGA (Land Grid Array) socket. This socket will look like the ones that have been present on Intel motherboards for years. Why this change? Simply because of the larger number of pins on the Ryzen 7000 (1718).
AMD has decided, with the AM5 socket, to keep a backplate already present for the AM4 socket. The 4 external holes that hold the retention system to fix your cooling system are still present. The distance between these 4 holes is identical to the AM4 socket, so you will still be able to use your cooling system as long as it uses the four outer holes of the backplate!
But AMD goes further and adds 4 more holes. These will be used to hold the AM5 socket in place and also to hold the backplate in place. The back plate should not be removed as it was on the previous generation. Finally, the locking mechanism changes. We find the reinforcement frame, the force frame and the latch. Once your Ryzen 7000 has been placed in the correct position, all you have to do is close the latch to keep it in place. A small remark following my tests, where I removed and put back these new Ryzen 7000 several times, you should know that the grip is far from being obvious with the particular shape of the IHS. There is a risk of accidents if you are not careful with the processor which could slip out of your hand and damage the socket pins. So be careful !
PCI-Express 5.0 and DDR5 support:
The new AMD X670E chipset that we will be testing today with the AORUS X670E Master motherboard supports PCI-Express 5.0 as well as DDR5 support. AMD took the opportunity to unveil its AMD EXPO technology. This is an alternative to the XMP profile (A-XMP at AMD). As a reminder, XMP allows, via the BIOS, to automatically activate the characteristics of your memory kit: the frequency, the timings as well as the voltage. The AMD EXPO technology will also allow you to overclock DDR5 in a single click in combination with the Ryzen 7000.
The idea is to provide extra gain through this automatic overclocking. Performance can be improved by up to 11% at 1080p and with a latency of less than about 63 nanoseconds. Of course, we will come back to this in detail in our tests of EXPO compatible memory kits. MSI has already responded by offering to include this technology on its Z690 motherboards. Finally, you should know that other chipsets will be arriving in the coming weeks, in particular the long-awaited B650E. Motherboards built around it should be more interesting financially.
Above is a summary table to understand the differences between these four chipsets . Let’s move on to the protocol of our comparative tests.