AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs could arrive in September to steal Intel’s Raptor Lake thunder

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X CPU shown in motherboard
(Image credit: Future)

AMD’s next-gen CPUs based on Zen 4 – presumably Ryzen 7000 models – could be launched as soon as September, if the latest rumor turns out to be correct.

This comes from DigiTimes which cites the usual unnamed industry sources, and so keep your skeptical head on, naturally – the tech site is a bit hit and miss when it comes to the accuracy of its rumor-mongering.

Still, this doesn’t seem like an unreasonable prospect, with the grapevine already having suggested the possibility of a Q3 launch for Zen 4, and Wccftech, which flagged this up, also floats the idea that AMD may reveal Ryzen 7000 desktop processors at Computex, which takes place at the end of May (a rumor which has been around before, too).

That means we could soon have a much better idea of how Team Red’s next-gen silicon shapes up, with the CPUs expected to deliver a beefy upgrade, being based on a whole new architecture (Zen 4, built on TSMC 5nm) and coming with DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 support.

Apparently we can expect to be treated to at least a glimpse of Ryzen 7000 performance and some in-depth demos at Computex, so that’s something to look forward to in just a couple of weeks, in theory.

Analysis: Racing with Raptor Lake

Zen 4 processors are officially pegged with an H2 2022 launch, a vague timeframe which could mean anything from July onwards. However, there are certainly reasons why AMD might want Ryzen 7000 CPUs to be out of the door sooner rather than later in the second half of the year.

Indeed, in many ways this is a vital generation for AMD, as it’s playing catch-up with Intel at this point, because Team Blue’s Alder Lake processors already offer DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 support, so Team Red needs to get these features out there, at the very least to avoid the perception of not being at the cutting-edge along with Intel (regardless of how much real-world impact those technologies have right now).

Moreover, Ryzen 5000 chips are in danger of feeling a bit dated, as Alder Lake has come and gone, and Intel’s next-gen Raptor Lake is on the horizon now, carrying a bunch of further performance improvements. And if the latter 13th-gen Core processors turn up answered, before Ryzen 7000, then that’s not a great look for AMD. 

Again, Team Red will seem to be lagging behind (and indeed, it could well be seriously lagging behind – depending on exactly how much more performance Raptor Lake can muster, but it could be a good upgrade for gamers if various rumors are to be believed, including the potential of hitting a staggering 5.8GHz with clock speeds).

Raptor Lake has been rumored to launch in Q3 2022, and we’ve previously suggested that September 2022 could be the most likely date Intel’s looking at – so it would make sense that AMD wants to make sure that Ryzen 7000 is also around to take on the 13th-gen silicon. Ideally, Team Red would want to beat Intel to the punch, but obviously Zen 4 products have to be ready – and maybe that’s not possible.

At any rate, we’d be foolish to attempt to draw any conclusions about which next-gen CPU family will come to market first, as it could be either – but really, AMD needs to get in there first if at all possible.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).