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AMD Reveals Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 and RX 6000

On October 8th, AMD revealed their new Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 series of CPUs and Radeon RDNA 2 GPUs. The new Ryzen CPUs will launch globally on November 5th.

To begin the event, AMD’s CEO & President, Lisa Su, began by taking viewers back through the journey of Ryzen, since the brand first launched in 2017 with the 1000 series. Lisa also noted that AMD and Ryzen technology will be powering the upcoming Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles, which are due to release next month.

Lisa also stated that Ryzen has continued to push the generational performance increases more than we have seen in recent years, and that Ryzen now has the highest multi-threaded performance and best power efficiency, compared to Intel chips.

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Zen 3 was then officially announced and revealed to have the highest single-threaded performance for gaming as well as ‘increasing the lead in overall performance and power efficiency.’ Single-threaded performance has always been where AMD lacks compared to Intel. Single-threaded performance is still crucial for gaming performance, which is part of the reason why we continuously see Intel chips outperforming their AMD counterparts when it comes to frames per second. With the huge amount of threads and cores AMD are known to put in their consumer levels chips, if they crack single-threaded performance, then we could see AMD completely dominate the gaming market this generation.

Mark Papermaster then took to the stage and revealed that Zen 3 will be launching in Q4 2020, some point between now and the end of the year. Zen 3 will have a higher max boost clock than Zen 2, going from 4.8Ghz from 4.7Ghz, significant IPC uplift, as well as new core layout and cache topology. Zen 3 will also continue to use the 7nm architecture like Zen 2 uses, as of right now Intel has yet to start using 7nm and will release their first 10nm chips in 2021.

Zen 3 Core Architecture

Gaming is at the heart of the PC world, with performance being geared towards gamers at a consumer level. Zen 3’s efficiency and improvements were detailed. Zen 3 will have lower latency, double the L3 cache and a 19% IPC uplift, giving overall greater performance in gaming. Zen 3’s CPUs will be 24% more efficient than the previous generation. It was also revealed that AMD’s new chips are 2.8x more efficient than Intel’s i9-10900K CPU.

Mark Papermaster also revealed that Zen 4 is currently in development and will use 5nm technology. This will significantly bridge the gap between Intel and AMD, if these chips don’t always do that. Intel has yet to use 10nm technology, so are lagging very far behind with the advancements that AMD have been making in recent years.

Ryzen 9 5900X

Like this generations 3900XT, the 5900X will be the flagship CPU for enthusiast users. Like its current gen counterpart, it will sport 12 cores/24 threads, but will boost up to 4.8Ghz compared to the 3900XT at 4.7Ghz. It will have 70MB of L2+L3 Cache, like the 3900XT, and will use 105 watts of power, making it a very efficient CPU.

A comparison benchmark test was shown between the 3900XT and the 5900X. The game chosen was Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, a game that is hugely popular for benchmarking CPU performance. According to AMD’s own internal benchmarks, the 3900XT averaged 141fps, while the 5900X averaged 181. There was no mention of the other parts used in the benchmark rig, but it would be fair to assume it was using the same rig for fair comparison. This equates to a 28% performance increase over the 3000 series, something that isn’t heard of very often when jumping from one generation to the next.

In other titles they showed off a range from 5%-50% performance increase. Every game is different and some are more bound by the CPU performance, while others are GPU bound. So it is likely that games such as Battlefield V are more reliant on the GPU, giving less of a performance increase. At 1080p the average performance increase is said to be 26%, this is hugely important for competitive gamers as higher frames is always more important, so for games such as CS:GO, League of Legends, and Fortnite, securing 240fps and above is top priority. Until we see third party benchmarks it will be hard to verify if these benchmarks are accurate.

Will You Need A New Motherboard?

In an offhand comment, it was stated that the 26% average performance increase was unheard of for ‘an in socket upgrade in the same motherboard’, this confirms that you can use your existing motherboard, that you use for the 3000 series, with the new 5000 chips too. So the 5000 series should be compatible with B450, X470, and X570 motherboards.

Single Thread Performance

Single thread performance is still key when it comes to gaming performance, as well as rendering and other productivity tasks. Using Cinebench 1T, AMD compared the 5900X to the Intel i9-10900K and became the first CPU to score over 600 in single thread performance, resulting in a total render time of 7:42, compared to Intel’s 8:56. It will be very interesting to see what this means for gaming benchmarks, on paper this means that AMD could become the King of gaming with this next generation of CPUs.

5900X vs 10900K Gaming Benchmarks

A collection of gaming benchmarks were shown, pitting the 5900X vs the 10900K. In these benchmarks, all but 1 game scored higher at 1080p. Most games only saw a single digit increase, except CS:GO and League Of Legends saw double digits. Battlefield V was 3% lower, but it is expected that AMD will win some games, while they will lose in others. It is very interesting to see League Of Legends and CS:GO performance the best vs the i9 10900K. When it comes to building a competitive rig, Intel & Nvidia are the options majority of gamers will choose, simply for the best performance possible to secure those higher frame rates. This essentially removes AMD from an entire section of gamers, by becoming competitive with Intel, this could see competitive and pro players switch to AMD for their future competitive rigs. Once again, since these are internal benchmarks they should be taken with a grain of salt until verified by third party sources. After all, AMD aren’t going to show their chips performing worse than their competition.

The Specs

AMD revealed the specs of 3 different Zen 3 CPUs, it is possible we will see additions. They only showed off the X series, but usually release a locked version too, such as the hugely popular 3600. The specs shown were for the 5900X, 5800X, and 5600X.

The 5900X specs are;

  • 12 core/24 thread
  • 3.7GHz base clock/4.8GHz boost
  • 70MB Cache
  • 105w TDP

The 5800X specs are;

  • 8 core/16 thread
  • 3.8Ghz base clock/4.7Ghz boost
  • 36MB Cache
  • 105w TDP

The 5600X specs are;

  • 6 core/12 thread
  • 3.7GHz base clock/4.6GHz boost
  • 35MB Cache
  • 65w TDP

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The Prices

Lisa Su revealed the prices for the upcoming 5000 series. The flagship 5900X will retail at $549 USD, while the 5800X at $449 and 5600X at $299. The 3000 series equivalents were $499, $399, and $249 respectively, so a $50 increase per CPU this generation. All of the chips will be available worldwide on November 5th.

The 5950X

Like previous generations, AMD also revealed their ultimate top of the line enthusiast CPU, the 5950X. This will come with 16 cores/32 threads, 4.9GHz boost, 72MB Cache and use 105w TDP. While it doesn’t quite hit the 5GHz that Intel is known for, something that usually sets Intel apart from AMD, with overclocking this will likely be very much achievable and could definitely mean that AMD will finally beat Intel in single thread performance.

For content creation, such as CAD and video editing, users can expect to see between a 5-27% increase in performance over the previous gen 3950X, and up to 29% in gaming performance.

When stacked up against Intel’s 10900K, there is between a 6-59% performance increase in content creation. Ryzen has always been touted as aimed towards content creation and productivity, this just solidifies it even further and could help see Ryzen take the top spot for productivity workstations. The 5950X will retail for $799 USD and will also be available on November 5th alongside the rest of the 5000 series.

Radeon RX 6000/Big Navi

Finally AMD revealed the RX 6000 graphics card, the most powerful GPU that AMD has ever created. It is said that the RX 6000, alongside the 5950X, will be able to run games such as Borderlands at over 60fps in 4K. In addition, the card also benchmarked at 88fps for Modern Warfare and 73 for Gears Of Wars 5, both in 4K Ultra settings. The RX 6000 series will launch shortly after the Ryzen 5000 series on November 28th.

It was also announced that the next AMD event will take place on October 28th and will have much greater detail on what to expect from the Radeon RX 6000 series.

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