AMD’s next-gen Zen 4 desktop CPUs could be out much earlier than we thought, and indeed might just be revealed at Computex in June.
This theory has been floated by hardware leaker Greymon55, who simply tweeted ‘Zen 4 Q4’ with a big cross next to it, indicating that this previously expected launch timeframe is no longer the case. Remember, all AMD has officially said is that what’ll presumably be Ryzen 7000 models will arrive in the second half of 2022, and that has recently been confirmed as still on track.
ZEN4 Q4 ❌February 11, 2022
In that Twitter thread, the leaker elaborates that AMD’s plan is “very different from the early days,” and suggests that we might see something happen at Computex 2022. That show is in May, so clearly, that’s too early for next-gen Ryzen to go on sale – it’s not H2 2022 – but we could conceivably see a reveal there, followed by the chips hitting shelves early in Q3.
The suggestion seems to be this could happen in July, which is the earliest point of the second half of the year, of course. And as previously the rumor mill has thought Q4 was the target date – meaning at the earliest, October – this is quite a leap forward in the timing.
Greymon further observes that AM5 motherboards (for Zen 4, you’ll need a motherboard upgrade) will be ready for production samples ‘soon’ and that could even be later this month (or next), which again points to things ramping up with the next-gen timing.
Take this with an appropriate amount of skepticism, of course, because it’s just a rumor, but the underlying suggestion is that AMD is trying to speed things up and bring Zen 4 CPUs to us sooner rather than later (and quite a bit sooner, if Greymon is on or near the money).
Analysis: Stepping up with Zen 4 to counter the Raptor?
One plausible theory here could be that AMD is feeling the heat from Intel’s new Alder Lake processors, which have been a big win for Team Blue with their fresh hybrid (mixed core) approach. And what Team Red can’t allow to happen, we’re guessing, is for Intel to unleash even more powerful Raptor Lake CPUs – which will be a refresh of Alder Lake, but with a considerable performance boost for gamers if rumors are right – before Ryzen 7000 even arrives.
Remember that Raptor Lake may arrive more quickly than we anticipated, with some speculation suggesting that a Q3 launch could be in the cards.
So, it seems reasonable that AMD might be looking to Q3 itself, in order that there’s no danger the perception might be that Team Red is starting to fall behind. Another point here is that this could explain why the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, the 3D V-cache-toting refresh, is rumored to only be coming in small amounts – mainly because it’s only going to be needed for maybe just a few months. It’s positioned simply as a brief stopgap to carry AMD over to Zen 4.
All that said, there’s obviously a limit to how hard AMD can push to launch a new family of processors earlier – ultimately, the chips won’t be ready until they’re ready.
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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).