New AMD Ryzen rumors could be good news... for Intel

An AMD Ryzen Processor
(Image credit: Future)

We're starting to see speculation surrounding a refresh for the Ryzen 5000 desktop series of processors, suggesting that both the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 5 5600X could be replaced by faster XT variants.

Established hardware leaker Patrick Schur provided information on Twitter for the two chips' specifications, speculating that the existing CPUs could be optimized with Zen 3 microarchitecture to improve clock speeds. This isn't confirmed by any official source so don't take any of this as gospel until we get an announcement from AMD, but it certainly correlates with previous updates to product lines from Team Red.

See more

What's under the hood?

The core counts seen above matches the existing Ryzen 5 5600X (6 cores) and the Ryzen 9 5950X (16 cores), leading to the prediction that this refresh will follow a similar process to that of the previous Ryzen 3000 XT series, and we would be surprised if AMD doesn't stick with the "XT" naming convention.

Before anyone gets too excited there aren't any major changes to the existing architecture planned, with the 6-core, 12-thread Ryzen 5 5600XT listing the same 3.7 GHz to 4.6 GHz clock rates as its non-XT counterpart. WCCFTech suggests that despite having the same clock speeds, we could see some optimizations made to overclocking that would justify the refresh.

On the other hand, the 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen 9 5950XT is anticipated to be speedier than the vanilla 3.4 to 4.9 GHz Ryzen 9 5950X, with the Zen 3/Vermeer capable of delivering 3.4 GHz up to 5.0 GHz. We're also expecting it to carry a TDP of 105W and a total cache of 72 MB.

The additional boost of just 100 MHz feels a tad risky with Intel's beefy 12th-gen Alder lake series rumored to be just around the corner, especially as AMD has finally caught up to Intel in desktop processor market share. We won't know which side will come out on top until each product line is released to the public, but with Computex 2021 just weeks away, it might not be long until we get some official release information.

Jess Weatherbed

Jess is a former TechRadar Computing writer, where she covered all aspects of Mac and PC hardware, including PC gaming and peripherals. She has been interviewed as an industry expert for the BBC, and while her educational background was in prosthetics and model-making, her true love is in tech and she has built numerous desktop computers over the last 10 years for gaming and content creation. Jess is now a journalist at The Verge.