AMD Zen 2 specs, price and release date: all about AMD's newest processor tech

AMD Zen 2
AMD pulled the veil off of its Ryzen 3rd Generation processors.

Over the last couple years, AMD has been releasing some of the best processors (CPUs) on the market, and it doesn’t look like it plans to slow down any time soon. Back at CES 2019, AMD announced its Zen 2 architecture, cutting the manufacturing process down to 7 nanometers (nm), and offering greater performance and efficiency. 

Then, at Computex 2019, AMD pulled the veil off of its Ryzen 3rd Generation processors. These chips took advantage of the smaller Zen 2 manufacturing process, bringing a 12-core, 24-thread processor to the mainstream market at less than half the cost of Intel’s 12-core HEDT chip. 

And, if that wasn’t enough, Microsoft took the stage at its E3 2019 keynote, announcing that the system-on-a-chip powering the next Xbox, Project Scarlett, is using Zen 2 cores and AMD Navi graphics

Zen 2 is indeed on a roll. That’s without mentioning the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation that includes the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X that’s coming out very soon. And, even with the next generation Ryzen 4000 that AMD revealed at CES 2020 looming on the horizon, these chips are likely to stay relevant well into the near future.

There is so much more to Zen 2, so we have to dive in and explore everything that this 7nm CPU architecture can do. Be sure to keep this page bookmarked as we’ll keep the article updated with all the latest information.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? AMD's 7nm CPU architecture
  • When is it out? Out since July 7, 2019
  • How much is it? Starting at $199 (about £160, AU$290)

AMD Zen 2

These chips are the first consumer-ready processors based on the 7nm Zen 2 architecture.

AMD Zen 2 release date

The AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation processors hit the streets on July 7. These chips are the first consumer-ready processors based on the 7nm Zen 2 architecture, and are also the most affordable. And they’ve finally been followed up with Ryzen 4000 chips for laptops.

We also know that AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation’s first two processors, the Threadripper 3960X and the Threadripper 3970X, came out on November 25, 2019, despite rumors that they may be delayed until 2020. Meanwhile, the Threadripper 3990X, with its ridiculous 64 cores, has been slated for release on February 7.

The final Zen 2 product will probably be in the next-generation consoles. We now know that alongside a Navi GPU, a bespoke 8-core AMD Zen 2 chipset will be inside the PS5. However, the PS5 won’t be out until late 2020. Similarly, the next Xbox will be touting a custom-designed AMD processor that’s based on Zen 2, along with an AMD Navi GPU. That console also won’t be out until late 2020. We’ll probably see both the next gen consoles release around November 2020.

AMD Zen 2

The final Zen 2 product will probably be in the next-generation consoles.

AMD Zen 2 price

Now that most of the AMD Ryzen 3000 chips and a couple of Threadripper 3rd-generation processors are out, we have information on their respective prices. Below are how much each Ryzen 3rd-generation chip costs:

  • AMD Ryzen 9 3950X: $749 (about £570, AU$1,070)
  • AMD Ryzen 9 3900X: $499 (about £390, AU$720)
  • AMD Ryzen 7 3800X: $399 (about £310, AU$580)
  • AMD Ryzen 7 3700X: $329 (about £260, AU$480)
  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600X: $249 (about £200, AU$360)
  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600: $199 (about £160, AU$290)

The AMD Threadripper 3rd-generation chips that are either out now or have been revealed will set you back as follows:

  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X: $1,399 (about £1,070, AU$2,000)
  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X: $1,999 (about £1,525, AU$2,860)
  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X: $3,990 (about £3,050, AU$5,715)

It will be interesting to see, however, if the massive boost to technology will see the next generation consoles get a price bump. With all the lofty technology Microsoft and Sony are promising, we wouldn’t be surprised if these consoles are more expensive than previous generations.

AMD Zen 2

AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation processors see power requirements greatly decrease.

AMD Zen 2 specs and performance

With the move to 7nm, the biggest improvements are to power efficiency. AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation processors see power requirements greatly decrease, which should result in lower temperatures, better overclocking and, of course, lower power bills.

For instance, the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X only has a 65W TDP, which is extremely low for an 8-core, 16-thread processor. It’s also capable of delivering raw performance that would take other processors much more power to equal.

As for core counts, the chiplets containing the physical cores have shrunk for Zen 2, which means that each processor can fit more cores. This hasn’t been implemented on most of the lineup, as the Ryzen 7 processors still have 8-cores. 

However, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X boasts 12 cores and 24 threads while the Ryzen 9 3950X, which is already breaking world overclocking records thanks to this die shrink, boasts 16 cores and 32 threads.

Beyond core counts, Zen 2 allows for better performance overall. Not only do clock speeds see an improvement – up to 4.6GHz on the Ryzen 9 3900X and up to 5GHz on the Ryzen 9 3950X out of the box – but also a massive boost to IPC (instructions per clock) performance. AMD engineers have apparently squeezed an extra 15% IPC out of Zen 2 cores. 

As far as the HEDT processors, they already boast up to a whopping 64 cores and 128 threads, a major boost from the previous generation’s up to 32 cores and 64 threads. Well, that is, when the Threadripper 3990X comes out in February. The Threadripper 3960X starts lower, however, with 24 cores and 48 threads, while the Threadripper 3970X equals Ryzen 2000’s 32 cores and 64 threads.

We’ll keep this page updated, especially as soon as we get more information regarding the next Ryzen 3000 and Threadripper 3rd-generation releases, so keep this page bookmarked.

Images Credit: TechRadar

Bill Thomas

Bill Thomas (Twitter) is TechRadar's computing editor. They are fat, queer and extremely online. Computers are the devil, but they just happen to be a satanist. If you need to know anything about computing components, PC gaming or the best laptop on the market, don't be afraid to drop them a line on Twitter or through email.