AMD’s Zen 4 CPUs, likely to be the next-gen Ryzen models which are expected to arrive later in 2022, will be a big leap in performance, and could be spearheaded by a 24-core processor – and while all this is just rumored, note that there are extra caveats with the latter (we’ll come back to that).
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Moore’s Law believes that Zen 4 chips will offer a performance increase of over 20% in terms of IPC (Instructions per Clock), and that’s roughly in line with the potential 25% increase the rumor mill has previously floated. This might indicate that we could get a slightly lower figure than 25%, but of course this is just educated guesswork at this point anyway, and as Moore’s Law reminds us, the design of Zen 4 isn’t even fully complete yet.
This is just how things look to be shaping up at this point in time, but the clear expectation from inside sources is that Zen 4 will represent a bigger performance leap than Zen 3 (Ryzen 5000) did.
Another interesting nugget on the performance front concerns the core count for Zen 4 processors, bearing in mind that AMD has hinted in the past that more cores could be in the pipeline – above and beyond the current 16-cores for the flagship – and recent rumors have speculated about a possible 24-core model.
Moore’s Law is skeptical that such a model will come, but his sources do indicate that designs are floating around for a 24-core CPU. That only means it’s theoretically possible, but Moore’s Law asserts it doesn’t seem likely, mainly because it’s arguable whether AMD will even need such a chip, what with the IPC gains in the pipeline for Zen 4 – and that it’d likely be prohibitively expensive for consumers.
He doesn’t rule out a 24-core flagship, though, and tentatively suggests that if it does eventually debut, it will be later on down the line, and the Zen 4 range will initially launch with a 16-core flagship in the same way as Zen 3.
Other info imparted with this leak echoes recent buzz on the CPU grapevine, and includes that AMD’s Zen 4 CPUs will be built on 5nm (by TSMC), and will introduce support for DDR5 RAM, but will stick with PCIe 4.0 (but with more lanes – 28 rather than the current 24).
Moore’s Law believes that the most likely timeframe for launch will be Q3 of 2022, reinforcing the recent rumor that Zen 4 won’t turn up until later in 2022. Considering that Zen 4 is now expected to be the next-gen range, Ryzen 6000 – with no launch of new (refreshed Zen 3+) CPUs coming this year, going by the rumor mill – this would leave a lengthy gap between Ryzen generations.
It’ll also leave Ryzen 5000 to face off against Intel’s Alder Lake – which makes big changes for Team Blue – and Raptor Lake, the purported successor to (and a refresh of) Alder Lake, would be what Ryzen 6000 squares off with. In short, the danger is that this is giving Intel a window to claw back CPU territory, but as ever, we shouldn’t get carried away with any of these rumors. Only time will tell exactly where AMD’s CPU roadmap is heading…
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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).