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AMD Ryzen 6000: Everything we know about Zen 4 CPUs

AMD took a year off in 2021, so all eyes are focused on 2022 and the hotly anticipated Ryzen 6000 processors. Built using the Zen 4 architecture, these chips are rumored to be up to 40% faster than the previous generation and feature an entirely new socket design — one that breaks with decades of tradition at AMD.

There’s a lot riding on Ryzen 6000, and the generation could finally cement AMD as the CPU market leader against Intel. After gaining parity with its rival in 2021, AMD is on track to overtake the former desktop ruler. Intel also has some exciting products coming up, and we don’t know if AMD is content to rest on its laurels.

We’re still about a year away from Ryzen 6000 launching, but we have learned a lot about the upcoming generation. Here’s everything you need to know to get up to speed on the price, release date, and performance.

Pricing and availability

AMD architecture roadmap.

Although AMD has announced its Zen 4 architecture, it hasn’t announced next-gen desktop chips yet. We’re not sure if they will fall under the Ryzen 6000 or Ryzen 7000 banner, as AMD skipped Ryzen 4000 on desktop and jumped straight to Ryzen 5000. It could do the same with Zen 4 CPUs, too, reserving Ryzen 6000 for mobile.

Regardless, the CPUs are rumored to arrive in 2022. Astute PC builders built a timeline out of disparate pieces of a leaked AMD road map, which points to Zen 4 coming in 2022. AMD CEO Lisa Su also confirmed that the chips are set to come out in the second half of 2022 in a recent investors call.

We expect AMD to stick with the prices from the previous generation. AMD raised the price of the Ryzen 7 5800X, Ryzen 9 5900X, and Ryzen 9 5950X by $50 each compared to their Ryzen 3000 counterparts. Given Intel’s upcoming Alder Lake processors and the pressure they could put on Team Red, we don’t expect AMD to raise prices again.

It’s possible, though. The chip shortage has raised prices of components across the board, so we might be entering a time when CPUs are more expensive in general. For Ryzen 6000, it’s going to come down to how Intel prices its Alder Lake chips and how well Zen 4 chips perform compared to them.

For reference, here are the prices of Ryzen 5000 chips now:

  • Ryzen 5 5600X: $300
  • Ryzen 7 5800X: $450
  • Ryzen 9 5900X: $550
  • Ryzen 9 5950X: $800


AMD Ryzen 5000 with no lid.

As mentioned, the Ryzen 6000 chips are based on the Zen 4 architecture. This is a continuation of the Zen microarchitecture that AMD has been using since Ryzen 1000, but it uses a much smaller manufacturing process.

AMD has confirmed that Zen 4 will use a 5nm manufacturing process, and it will likely continue using chipmaker TSMC. Ryzen 5000 chips currently use TSMC’s 7nm manufacturing process.

The 5nm node — known as N5 at TSMC — is said to offer a 15% boost in speed and 1.8X transistor density over N7. TSMC also says the node consumes 30% less power. That’s not to say Zen 4 will match those improvements, though. In reality, AMD can likely achieve a larger boost in speed through chip design.

The big deal is the 1.8X boost to transistor density. Although AMD hasn’t announced anything yet, Zen 4 chips will likely use a single-core design. That puts more focus on transistor density, essentially allowing AMD to squeeze more into the same die space.

These improvements are rumored to offer up to a 25% boost in single-core performance.

It’s possible AMD could take some inspiration from Intel Alder Lake processors as well. Intel is using a hybrid architecture with two core types, unlike AMD, which appears to be sticking with a single-core type. The company has been open about the fact that it thinks hybrid architectures aren’t ready for desktop yet.


AMD Ryzen processor going into a socket.

This far out from launch, it’s too soon to say how Ryzen 6000 chips will perform. The only report we have comes from the Chips and Cheese blog, which claims Zen 4 chips could see an overall boost of 40% compared to the previous generation and a 25% boost in single-core performance. The rumor also alleges 5GHz speeds across all cores.

Those kinds of gains aren’t out of the question, optimistic as they may be. AMD is doing a full node transition to N5, which represents a massive boost in density — 1.87X over N7, to be exact. It seems AMD is focusing on making the best cores for Ryzen 6000, not packing more of them into the chip. Although we don’t have any rumors to back up core counts yet, that seems like the approach.

A 20% gain in single-core performance has become the norm for each generation, so if AMD is able to boost instructions per clock (IPC) by 25% with Zen 4, that will be a big deal.

Although we’ve pointed to Alder Lake as the competitor, Intel is set to launch its Raptor Lake chips in 2022 as well. This generation will also bring a full node transition for Intel, and it will feature the same hybrid architecture as Alder Lake. We’re still a year or so away, but the battle of architecture designs will be interesting in 2022.

New chipset and a new socket

Render of an AMD Zen 4 processor.

With the next generation of CPUs, AMD is retiring the AM4 socket that it has used since the launch of first-generation Ryzen chips. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the socket will be some five years old by the time next-gen Ryzen chips show up. AMD is using the AM5 socket for these new chips — that much we know — and rumors suggest it could feature a radical redesign.

Rumors point to AMD using an LGA1718 socket design. Land Grid Array, or LGA, sockets put the CPU pins on the motherboard instead of on the CPU. Intel has used LGA sockets for several generations, while AMD has stuck with the older Pin Grid Array (PGA) socket design.

As the name suggests, LGA1718 is said to feature 1,718 pins on the motherboard. LGA designs can support a higher pin density, and that’s clear to see comparing AM5 to AM4. The PGA AM4 socket comes with 1,331 pins.

Although AMD looks to be moving to a new socket design, Ryzen 6000 chips will reportedly use the same socket size — 40mm x 40mm. AMD has confirmed that coolers that are compatible with the AM4 socket will also work with the AM5 socket.

With a new socket, AMD is expected to release a new 600-series chipset, likely X670 if past generations are anything to go by. In a recent celebration of Ryzen’s fifth anniversary, AMD announced that the new chipset will support DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0.

Integrated graphics and APUs

The AMD RX 6700 XT sitting on a table.

Like previous generations, AMD will likely launch a range of APUs with Zen 4 chips that feature integrated graphics. However, some rumors suggest that AMD will pack integrated graphics into its chips across the board. A series of leaked documents from Gigabyte showed that AMD plans on adding “hybrid GFX support” on its upcoming processors.

These documents confirm earlier rumors of AMD including integrated graphics on its processors. Together, they all but confirm that Ryzen 6000 chips will come with integrated graphics.

Moreover, rumors point to AMD using its RDNA 2 GPU architecture for the integrated graphics. This is the same architecture AMD is currently using on its Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards, as well as the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.

Originally, rumors pointed to AMD using 12 RDNA 2 compute units (CUs) on Ryzen 6000 mobile chips. It seems some wires may have gotten crossed with this rumor, though. AMD allegedly canceled a Zen 3+ generation — originally named Ryzen 6000 — to focus on the new architecture.

That hopefully means 12 RDNA 2 CUs is the minimum for Zen 4 chips, which would offer a huge boost over the APUs AMD offers today.

You might be able to increase the performance of the integrated graphics, too. AMD is apparently working to include USB 4 support, opening up the possibility of using external graphics cards with Ryzen 6000 chips. Most eGPUs require Thunderbolt, which has been exclusive to Intel platforms since its launch. USB 4 supports the standard, opening up the floodgates for Team Red.

3D V-Cache

AMD CEO holding 3D V-Cache CPU.

AMD hasn’t announced if Zen 4 processors will come with its 3D V-Cache technology, but they could. The company says that AM4-based processors with 3D V-Cache are set to launch in 2022. We’re not sure if these processors will live under the Ryzen 5000 banner or not. Given that AMD has said 3D V-Cache can offer up to a 15% improvement in games, the company could launch these chips as a new processor generation.

For now, we suspect that the chips will be a refresh to Ryzen 5000, with Ryzen 6000 coming later in the year. AMD’s 3D V-Cache design looks to stack cache on top of the compute die. By utilizing the extra space, AMD is able to stack a massive amount of cache, which should translate into higher gaming performance.

Editors' Recommendations


AMD's Ryzen 5000 series CPUs are getting cheaper ahead of new chip launches

AMD clearly has a better handle on supply these days, as it is no longer rare to see its best gaming CPUs in stock. That wasn't always the case, mind you—the Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X were especially elusive when they first launched. So that's good news on that front, but even better, pricing has dipped across the entire Ryzen 5000 series range, and quite a bit in some cases. The timing is not likely a coincidence.

As things stand, what we have collectively seen are technically sale prices. That's to say, the MSRPs have not changed. But as we get closer to new CPU launches by both AMD and Intel, it stands to reason that lower prices could stick, it's just a matter of how far below MSRP they'll ultimately land.

Here's a look at the current cheapest pricing in the US:

The savings are partially skewed because three of the four Zen 3 chips quoted above just recently went on sale by Antonline (through its eBay account), and have hit their lowest prices since launch. But even taking Antonline's sale prices out of the equation, the Ryzen 5000 series is still generally cheaper at many places. On Newegg, for example, you can buy a Ryzen 5 5600X for $273, marked down from $290.

Further evidence can be seen when looking at CamelCamelCamel's price tracking history on Amazon. I looked up all four processors, and each one is now listed at its respective lowest price since launch. And in each case, the drop to a new low occurred within the last two weeks:

This isn't exclusive to the US, either. As spotted by Overclock3D, these chips are selling below their launch prices in the UK as well—to the tune of around 15-17% lower, except for the 5950X, which is 4% cheaper. So why the recent fall?

It's probably a combination of things. For one, yields and supply are undoubtedly pretty good now (or at least better than they have been), as evidenced by the stock situation. Yield and supply alone could bring about lower pricing and/or more frequent sale pricing.

Then there are the upcoming chip launches. Intel is getting ready to release its first run of Alder Lake CPUs, which are based on a completely new architecture built around a hybrid package. It's an exciting time for Intel, and one way for AMD to counter the launch is to lower prices on its own silicon.

In addition, AMD is also preparing to roll out a refreshed Zen 3 lineup with new 3D chiplet technology, featuring 3D vertical cache (or 3D V-cache).

AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su showed off a prototype in June, at the time claiming that 3D V-cache will enable a 15% boost in gaming performance. Dr. Su also indicated AMD will be ready to begin production by the end of the year.

Finally, it's always just a matter of time before chip prices fall below their launch MSRPs. We've had to wait a little longer than usual this time around, but between improvements in supply and new CPUs on the horizon, expect to see lower pricing on the Ryzen 5000 series become the norm.

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).

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AMD just announced its new lineup of Ryzen 5000 series processors for desktops, which are also the first chips from the company set to feature its next-gen Zen 3 architecture and represent the biggest jump for AMD’s desktop chips yet.

AMD is also setting expectations high, promising that the new Ryzen 5900X is nothing short of “the world’s best gaming CPU.” The new chips will be available starting at $299 for the entry-level Ryzen 5 5600X model on November 5th.

Like last year’s Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 desktop chips these new models replace, the new 5000 series processors are still using AMD’s 7nm process but offer a 19 percent increase in instructions per cycle, along with a complete redesign of the chip layout and a higher max boost speed. (The new chipsets are jumping straight to Ryzen 5000 series branding to avoid any confusion of the new Zen 3 chips with the Zen 2-based Ryzen 4000 desktop chips that AMD released over the summer for prebuilt systems.)

All together, AMD says that simply replacing a Zen 2 CPU with a comparable Zen 3 model —the new chips are compatible with older motherboards after a firmware update — will result in an average 26 percent improvement for customers, all while keeping TDP and core counts the same.

AMD is starting with four new Zen 3 CPUs. There’s a top-of-the-line Ryzen 9 5950X model with 16 cores, 32 threads, and a max boost speed of 4.9GHz for $799; the $549 Ryzen 9 5900X, with 12 cores, 32 threads, and a max boost speed of 4.8GHz; the $449 Ryzen 7 5800X, with eight cores, 16 threads, and a max boost speed of 4.7GHz; and the $299 Ryzen 5 5600X, with six cores, 12 threads, and a max boost speed of 4.6GHz.

AMD Ryzen 5000 Zen 3 CPUs

ModelCores/ ThreadsTDP (Watts)Boost / Base Frequency (GHz)Cache (MB)Price
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X16C/32T105WUp to 4.9 / 3.4 GHz72$799
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X12C/24T105WUp to 4.8 / 3.7 GHz70$549
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X8C/16T105WUp to 4.7 / 3.8 GHz36$449
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X6C/12T65WUp to 4.6 / 3.7 GHz35$299

Notably, each of those chips has gotten a $50 price increase compared to the original prices of the comparable Zen 2 CPUs from 2019. All four new CPUs will be available starting on November 5th.

AMD is taking a direct shot at Intel with the new lineup, particularly the company’s Core i9-10900K model, which Intel has previously boasted is “the world’s fastest gaming processor.” While AMD’s chips don’t beat Intel 10th Gen chips on sheer clock speed — Intel’s top chip maxes out at a boosted 5.3GHz, while the Ryzen 5950X (AMD’s fastest new chip) tops out at 4.9GHz — AMD does offer other advantages, like improved power efficiency and a higher core and thread count.

The company also points to benchmarks, claiming that the Ryzen 9 5900X manages to beat Intel’s i9-10900K in head-to-head performance for a wide range of titles, including League of Legends, Dota 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and more. (Intel’s chip still won out for Battlefield V, and we’ll have to wait and see how third-party benchmarks rank things before making any real judgments here.)

Of course, a new CPU needs a new GPU to go with it, and AMD also took the time to start teasing its upcoming Radeon RX 6000 “Big Navi” graphics cards built on its next-gen RDNA 2 architecture that the company will be fully announcing on October 28th. The new cards are supposed to be AMD’s answer for Nvidia’s RTX 3000 GPUs, and the company is promising that it, too, will be able to push high-level 4K gaming, teasing over 60fps benchmarks for Borderlands 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and Gears 5 at ultra settings.

AMD won’t have too long to rest on its laurels, though: Intel is already gearing up for its response, already teasing its 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPUs for early 2021.

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