Once the undisputed market leader for desktop processors, Intel has been looking over its shoulder in recent years.
The competition has been lead by fellow American company AMD, with its Ryzen chips rapidly increasing in popularity.
Officially unveiled at CES in January 2020, the Ryzen 4000 series desktop chips are is based around the Zen 3 architecture. Codenamed Vermeer, they’re aimed primarily at gamers, but the performance should be beneficial for pretty much everyone.
AMD Zen 3 (Ryzen 5000) release date
We have official confirmation that AMD’s next desktop chips will be launched in October 2020, courtesy of CEO Lisa Su:
It’s going to be an exciting fall for gamers… time to start a new journey with @AMDRyzen Zen3 and @Radeon RDNA2 pic.twitter.com/O9SXvLo4y0
— Lisa Su (@LisaSu)
September 9, 2020
8 October is listed at the end of the 15-second clip, but it’s unclear whether that’s a release date or simply when the new chips will be officially announced. Even if it ends up being the latter, we’d still expect them to be available before the end of October.
AMD Zen 3 (Ryzen 5000) price
There are no concrete rumours about how much the Zen 3 will cost, so our best guess comes from the pricing of the current range (based on Zen 2 of course):
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X: US$749 (approx £590/AU$1,080)
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X: US$499 (approx £390/AU$720)
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X: US$399 (approx £310/AU$580)
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X: US$329 (approx £260/AU$480)
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X: US$249 (approx £200/AU$360)
AMD Ryzen 5 3600: US$199 (approx £160/AU$290)
AMD Ryzen 5 3400G: US$149 (approx £139/AU$240)
AMD Ryzen 3 3300G: US$99 (approx £94/AU$144)
Zen 3 is also expected to have four main tiers of processing power (i.e. Ryzen 3, 5, 7 and 9), so we wouldn’t expect AMD to deviate too far on price. This is already lower than Intel’s equivalent, although efficiency improvements may drive the prices down even further.
AMD Zen 3 (Ryzen 5000) features & spec rumours
We’re expecting chips based on Zen 3 to be a big step up over their predecessors.
In case you’re confused – and it is confusing – Zen 3 is the next-gen architecture which is really an evolution of the original Zen that the first Ryzen chips (including the brilliant Ryzen 7 1800X) used. The full details will be unveiled at the official launch in October.
AMD has made it particularly confusing this year launching Ryzen 4000 chips for laptops by tweaking the older Zen 2 architecture, not using Zen 3. You can read more if you’re keen on the technical details on our sister site PC World: How AMD optimized Zen 2 for laptops.
Everyone, of course, was expecting the next generation of desktop processors to be called Ryzen 4000, because 4 comes after 3 and the previous chips – as listed above – are all 3000-series.
But that may not be the case. A software engineer – Patrick Schur – has been leaking details on Zen 3 on Twitter, including these processor models.
Look, what I’ve found! 🙂
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X (12 Core)AMD Ryzen 7 5800X (8 Core)
— Patrick Schur (@patrickschur_)
September 16, 2020
We do know that Zen 3 will still use a 7nm process, but it expected to move to extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. It is thought that this will allow for a 20% increase in performance as well as a 10% decrease in power consumption. There may also be higher clock speeds than before.
However, AMD is also prioritising sustainability, in order to preserve long-term performance. This means the company may limit boost speeds, but maintain them for a longer period of time. This shouldn’t have any adverse effect on the chips’ ability to handle even the most demanding PC games.
In summary, we’re expecting a significant performance boost and reduced power consumption, all while keeping pricing the same or even less than the Ryzen 3000 chips.
Will you need a new motherboard? That’s another unanswered question, but it certainly looks that way. This and other questions will be answered soon enough and we’ll update this article as soon as we know more.
In the meantime, check out AMD’s upcoming series of GPUs, known as the Radeon RX 6000 Series.