AMD lifts lid on Zen 4: Ryzen 7000 doubles L2 cache and soars past 5GHz

Building anticipation.

AMD Ryzen 7000

AMD is continuing to drip-feed details regarding its next-generation Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors. The eagerly anticipated parts, built on an entirely new Zen 4 architecture, mark a shift away from the long-standing AM4 platform and will launch alongside AM5 this fall.

As part of a Computex 2022 keynote, the chip manufacturer served up a handful of titbits, while responding to earlier rumours by confirming that top-end parts will carry a heightened 170W TDP.

Though core and thread count will continue to top out at 16C32T, the dramatic uplift in maximum power represents a steep 62 per cent increase over the current generation Ryzen 9 5950X, officially rated at 105W.

Zen 4 is built on 5nm technology, so a like-for-like comparison isn’t ideal, but the extra headroom clearly gives AMD room to play. It has been revealed that L2 cache per core has doubled to 1MB, while CPU frequency extends well beyond 5GHz. In a brief live demo, AMD showcased a pre-production Ryzen 7000 Series chip hitting 5.5GHz while playing Tango Gameworks’ 2022 action-adventure, Ghostwire: Tokyo.

Providing a first look beneath the unusual heatspreader, we get a glimpse of up to two 5nm Zen 4 CCDs and a revamped 6nm I/O die carrying onboard RDNA 2 graphics.

Each and every 5nm CPU will also feature onboard AMD RDNA 2 graphics.

The level of IGP performance will likely vary from one model to another, and though availability of onboard graphics might be questioned on top-end enthusiast CPUs, the ability to boot without requiring a discrete card is a welcome improvement.

Other enhancements include a vague ‘advanced low-power architecture’ that AMD tells us brings a bevy of energy-saving Ryzen 6000 Mobile technologies over to the desktop. Further details will be coming in the months ahead, but as expected, the 1718-pin CPUs are confirmed to offer full support for DDR5 and PCIe 5.0.

Exact CPU models and configurations are still being kept under wraps, as of course is pricing, but our eagerness to test Zen 4 is growing with each new nugget of information. At the very least, we can’t wait to try applying thermal paste to that awkward-looking lid.