AMD Ryzen 4000 desktop processors won’t be out later in 2020, and have been put back to the start of 2021, at least according to a new rumor.
This comes from a DigiTimes report, as highlighted (and translated) on Twitter by well-known leaker RetiredEngineer.
Translation: pic.twitter.com/VfNeQZuv4QJune 15, 2020
There are plenty of reasons to treat this report with a great deal of caution, the first being that DigiTimes isn’t always the most reliable source. And of course there’s also the fact that AMD has previously pretty firmly insisted that Ryzen 4000 CPUs will emerge for desktop PCs in late 2020.
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Indeed, AMD’s CFO Devinder Kumar very recently noted that the firm is “on track to launch our next-generation Zen 3 CPUs and RDNA 2 GPUs in late 2020”, and to break this expectation now would risk disappointment coming from AMD fans.
At the same time, we shouldn’t dismiss this rumor out of hand. So let’s look at what it’s arguing, namely that sales for current Ryzen 3000 processors are still ‘hot’ according to motherboard manufacturers, and that the price-performance proposition of these CPUs means they are continuing to outdo Intel even after the launch of Comet Lake 10th-gen chips.
In other words, Ryzen 3000 remains well-positioned to take on the threat of Comet Lake, particularly given that AMD reportedly has some refreshed ‘XT’ processors to bolster the line-up – something else we’ve been hearing a lot about from the rumor mill lately (the chips are actually purportedly launching later today, if the rumors are right).
Going back to the clear indication from AMD’s CFO that we will see Zen 3 processors arrive in late 2020, another argument is that this could be referring to Epyc server chips – and perhaps the company would prioritize these first (if there are any silicon supply issues around coronavirus, as the report initially mentions), bringing Ryzen 4000 desktop silicon in later than the planned date of September 2020.
The report also points out that Intel won’t be releasing its 10nm Alder Lake (12th-gen) CPUs until late 2021 (or even early 2022, going by whispers on the CPU grapevine we’ve heard recently), so there’s no compelling pressure in that respect. Theoretically, even if there aren’t supply issues, AMD could feel it has some breathing space, and time to polish Ryzen 4000 silicon until it gleams for launch.
The rumor contends that mass production on Ryzen 4000 CPUs won’t actually begin until the end of 2020, with a launch planned for CES in January 2021.
Still, even if there are some potential reasons that make some kind of sense, we're not buying this one, and the fact that the report throws in at the end that AMD could switch away from 7nm EUV to 5nm EUV for Ryzen 4000 – although it’s “unclear” whether that might happen, the author admits – seems shaky to say the least.
For now, we’ll file this under ‘probably not’, although if it is indeed what AMD has planned, we will no doubt hear something from another source on the CPU grapevine before too long.
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