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AMD Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 Specs, Release Date Window, Benchmarks, and More
[Image: xrSVzW5tRwpvmZd6Rz7Qib-320-80.jpg]

The five fives: DDR5, PCIe 5.0, 5nm, AM5, and 5.5 GHz+

The arrival of AMD's Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 series "Raphael" processors draws near, and recent developments make this a critical release for the company. AMD's previous-gen Ryzen 5000 processors accomplished what was once thought impossible: The chips unseated Intel's best in every CPU benchmark, including taking the top of our list of best CPUs for gaming, as the company outclassed Intel's Rocket Lake in every regard. 

But then Alder Lake happened. Intel's new hybrid x86 architecture, featuring a blend of big and powerful cores mixed in with small efficiency cores, pushed the company into the lead in all facets of raw performance and even helped reduce its glaring deficiencies in the power consumption department. But, perhaps most importantly, Alder Lake started a full-on price war with Intel's new bare-knuckle approach to pricing, particularly in the mid-range that serves as gamer country. 

But AMD isn't standing still, and its Ryzen 7000 chips are now poised on the starting blocks to take the race for performance leadership to the next level. AMD recently demoed a 16-core Ryzen 7000 processor hitting an amazing 5.5 GHz during a gaming demo and completing a Blender render in 31% less time than Intel's flagship Core i9-12900K. AMD says the final chips will come with up to >5.5 GHz boost clocks and are loaded with new tech, like a new integrated Radeon RDNA 2 graphics engine, and support AI instructions based on AVX-512. We've also learned plenty of new details about the 5nm Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 'Raphael' processors and the new wave of motherboards with the AM5 socket. 

We've gathered all of the information we know, both from official and unofficial sources, into this article. We'll update the article as we learn more, but here's what we know so far. 

AMD Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 Series at a Glance
  • Up to 16 cores and 32 threads on TSMC 5nm process (N5 used for compute die)
  • (up to) >5.5 GHz boost
  • 6nm I/O die, DDR5 memory controllers, PCIe 5.0 interface
  • DDR5 only (no DDR4 support)
  • RDNA 2 integrated GPU
  • Zen 4 architecture has 8 to 10% performance gain
  • >15% gain in single-threaded work, >35% overall performance gain (multi-threaded workloads), >25% performance-per-watt gains
  • AM5 Socket LGA 1718, backward compatible with AM4 coolers
  • 600-Series Chipset: X670E Extreme, X670, and B650 Motherboards
  • up to 170W TDP, 230W peak power
  • up to 25% more memory bandwidth per core
  • Support for AVX-512
  • 3D V-Cache Zen 4 models will come to market

AMD Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 Release Date Window

AMD has set Fall 2022 as the official launch window for the first Zen 4 products, the Ryzen 7000 series for desktop PCs (codenamed Raphael). For the US, fall begins on September 22 and ends on December 22, meaning we'll see Ryzen 7000 by the end of the year. AMD has already demoed its 16-core 32-thread Ryzen processor, presumably the flagship processor, and if the company follows tradition, we expect it to launch its highest-end products first.

The Ryzen 7000 chips will mark just the first step of the Zen 4 journey as the company delivers on its CPU roadmap and brings them to the desktop and notebook markets. AMD will also use the Zen 4 architecture for its data center CPU roadmap

AMD Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 Specifications and Features

This is normally where we'd have a full table of specs for any given family of chips. However, we still have much to learn from AMD about the actual end products — AMD hasn't announced concrete specifications for the individual Ryzen 7000 SKUs yet. However, we know a lot about the overall specifications, like that the chips top out at 16 cores and 32 threads. AMD has also demoed a chip reaching up to 5.5 GHz on several cores during gaming — and that's with a standard 2800mm AIO cooler. In fact, the company says the chips feature '>5.5 GHz,' meaning we could see even higher boost clock speeds. AMD shared a block diagram of the chip, and we took a close-up snip of a bare Ryzen 7000 chip during the company's Computex keynote. The chip houses two 5nm core chiplets, each sporting eight cores. AMD says these are based on an optimized version of TSMC's high-performance 5nm process technology (likely N5), and they are placed much closer together than we've seen with previous Ryzen core chiplets. In addition, we see what appears to be a shim between the two core chiplets, likely to maintain an even surface atop the two dies. It is also possible that this close orientation is due to some type of advanced packaging interconnect between the two chips.

The new I/O die uses the 6nm process and houses the PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 memory controllers along with a much-needed addition for AMD — the RDNA 2 graphics engine. The new 6nm I/O die also has a low-power architecture based on features pulled in from AMD's Ryzen 6000 chips, so it has enhanced low power management features and an expanded palette of low-power states.

Surprisingly, the new I/O die appears to be roughly the same size as the previous-gen 12nm I/O die. However, given that the 6nm die is far denser than the 12nm die from GlobalFoundries, meaning it has far more transistors, it's safe to assume the integrated GPU has consumed a significant portion of the transistor budget (possibly due in part to onboard iGPU cache). The large 6nm I/O die will inevitably add to the cost of the chips, as the 6nm die will be far more expensive than the mature 12nm I/O die that AMD used in the Ryzen 5000 chips.

Although AMD hasn't divulged memory frequencies, AMD's test notes include a benchmark with the 16-core chip running DDR5-6000 CL30. It's unclear if those are stock frequencies or XMP/overclock values (AMD tends to use XMP profiles for its benchmarks). AMD recently touted that it expects to have exceptional DDR5 overclockability, making the memory controllers sound impressive from afar, and the new AMD EXPO (EXtended Profiles for Overclocking) tech looks like an alternative to Intel's XMP branding. Simply put, AMD will support pre-defined memory profiles with dialed-in memory frequencies, timings, and voltages to enable one-click memory overclocks. A newly-filed patent also points to a possible upcoming automatic memory overclocking feature that would provide more of a dynamic approach that exceeds pre-validated EXPO profile speeds.

The Ryzen 7000 chips support up to 24 lanes of the PCIe 5.0 interface directly from the socket (further details in the motherboard section). AMD is busy enabling the PCIe 5.0 SSD ecosystem with Phison, Micron, and Crucial. Crucial and Micron will have their first PCIe 5.0 SSDs in the market when AM5 motherboards arrive on the market. Additionally, the constellation of third-party SSDs will also use Phison's E26 PCIe 5.0 SSD controllers, meaning we'll soon see wide availability of even speedier drives. That will come in handy for Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 systems — AMD claims a 60% performance gain in sequential read workloads with PCIe 5.0 SSDs. Phison backed that up with a recent demo showing its E26 SSD hitting up to 12 GB/s of read throughput (more detailed result in that link). PCIe 5.0's sequential performance potential will be great for Microsoft's DirectStorage because it relies heavily upon read throughput to reduce game loading times to roughly a second.

The Ryzen 7000 processors come with expanded instructions for AI acceleration through its support of AVX-512 instructions, like VNNI for neural networks and BFLOAT16 for inference. That oddly places Intel's Alder and Raptor Lake chips at a disadvantage as they have disabled AVX-512 functionality due to the hybrid architecture.

AMD Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 Integrated Graphics iGPU

The RDNA 2 engine supports up to four display outputs, including DisplayPort 2 and HDMI 2.1 ports. All Ryzen 7000 chips will support some form of graphics, so it doesn't appear there will be graphics-less options, like Intel's F-series, for now.

AMD has tried to temper expectations for the integrated graphics engine, pointing out that the RDNA 2 graphics are only designed to 'light up' displays, cautioning that we shouldn't expect any meaningful gaming performance. As such, it's safe to assume we're looking at probably 2 CUs per Ryzen 7000 chip.

If it's any consolation, the iGPU's close proximity to the DDR5 controllers also resident on the die should provide plenty of bandwidth from the main memory. However, we'll have to wait to learn exactly how many cores the graphics engine has, but we have seen this iGPU running between 1,000 and 2,000 MHz in a recent benchmark submission. Despite the expected low performance, the integrated RDNA 2 engine will help address one of AMD's key weaknesses in the OEM market where discrete GPUs are a rarity in most machines. It will also be helpful for troubleshooting if you need a basic display out.

AMD Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 Benchmarks and Zen 4 IPC

We tend to see benchmark results posted to third-party benchmark databases as processors work their way to market. Still, we've only seen one instance of a Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 processor listing that doesn't come from AMD — two Ryzen 7000 submissions to the MilkyWay@Home project on the BOINC platform.

The submission doesn't tell us much about performance, but it does expose the 100-000000666-21_N codename that likely represents the Ryzen 7 7800X that will replace the Ryzen 7 5800X. The other codename, 100-000000665-21_N, lines up with a 16-core model that is likely the Ryzen 9 7950X that will replace the Ryzen 9 5950X.

For now, most of the Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 benchmarks come from AMD, and as with all vendor-provided benchmarks, you should approach these results with caution. These chips are pre-production models, so performance is subject to change, and the test conditions could be favorable to AMD's chips. 
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