16 cores, 5.1 GHz: what we know about Ryzen 3000

(Picture: Mockup PCBC/AMD)

Ryzen 3000 is still a good way down the road, but there are already many interesting details. We have summarized all leaks and related information.

Ryzen 3000: is this the end of Intel?

AMD has done a lot right with the first two generations of Ryzen. With more cores, good and above all stable prices and a very good overall package, the company has finally stood up to Intel after the FX disaster. In the long run, the competitor even felt compelled to bring even eight-core processors onto the market. However, this was rather an emergency solution on the basis of the 14nm structure width, which had already been exhausted to the end. This resulted in a high power consumption and despite soldered heatspreader in a very warm processor.

But the third Ryzen coup could now hit Intel even harder. With Ryzen 3000, a new generation of processors will be launched on the market in the middle of the year, which could once again significantly increase in core clock and core count with Zen 2 and a new design. Zen 2 is definitely not the end of Intel, but if the leaked data is correct, the company wil definitely have a problem. In this article we have summarized what is already known about Ryzen 3000.

The technology: Zen 2 with 7nm and chiplets

Technically, AMD also relies on the Zen 2 architecture for Ryzen 3000, which is also used in the second generation of Epyc alias Rome. Zen 2 is the evolution of Zen or Zen+, which were still used in the first and second generation of Ryzen. Apart from other technical refinements, the main difference is the width of the structure. AMD is now relying entirely on TSMC’s 7 nanometer process. The smaller structure width offers several advantages at the same time. On the one hand, the die size is shrinking. This means that more transistors can be installed on the same surface. On the other hand, the 7nm process is much more efficient than 14 or 12nm. AMD can now use this advantage in a number of ways. On the one hand, a significantly lower power consumption can be achieved. But AMD is more likely to go the other way. With the same power consumption, significantly higher clock rates can also be achieved thanks to improved efficiency.

Due to the smaller chips there is another advantage that AMD has already implemented in Epyc 2. The number of cores has doubled in the server segment. Thus, instead of a maximum of 32 cores, up to 64 cores are now possible. The chip design is also new. In the middle there is a 14nm chip for memory management and I/O hub. As a result, storage latencies are now the same for each access, which in many cases was a problem with the first generation. The smaller chiplets are then connected to this management chip. They contain the actual cores and the cache. Each chip contains eight cores.

At CES there was still little information on Ryzen 3000. However, CEO Lisa Su also showed a processor with a similar layout to Epyc 2. So there was a large management chip and a smaller chiplet. The really interesting fact, however, is where this chip is mounted. So this is not soldered in the middle next to the management chip, but moved upwards. So there’s another chip under there. If they are the same chiplets as Epyc, which would be logical from a low-cost production point of view, Ryzen 3000 might also allow 16 processor cores on the AM4 platform.

Ryzen 3000 Facts: PCIe 4.0 chip design, AM4 support

Since the new Ryzen generation is probably one of the most exciting topics at the moment, there are many leaks, appetizers and speculations. We’ll start with what AMD has already officially confirmed. The chip design shown does not officially confirm that more than eight cores are planned, but the hint at the CES by showing the chip design was more than clear. In an interview following the presentation, Lisa Su also confirmed that more than eight cores can be expected for Ryzen 3000. She didn’t say how many exactly. There were also some other details on AMD’s CES presentation. Ryzen 3000 is the first desktop platform to support PCIe 4.0. The new connection is twice as fast as PCIe 3.0.

In spite of probably more cores and features like PCIe 4.0 there was also another confirmation which should please many fans. The new Ryzen 3000 processors will continue to run on AM4 and the then outdated chipsets. AMD may not approve all chipsets or only certain boards, but the compatibility is basically given. A new chipset, however, will also be available. This then logically has the name X570.

There was also a short performance demonstration at the CES. AMD tested a Ryzen 3000 engineering sample with eight cores and 16 threads against the Intel Core i9-9900K in the Cinebench test. The engineering sample reached 2,057 points, only slightly more than the i9-9900K, which reached 2,040 points. What is special, however, is electricity consumption. While the i9-9900K consumed 179.9 watts, the Ryzen 3000 sample only consumed 133.4 watts. However, it is not known at what clock rate and under what circumstances the tests were performed.

Leaks and speculation: up to 16 cores and 5.1 GHz

Let’s now come to the speculations around Ryzen 3000. One of the biggest bombs the YouTuber AdoredTV has already dropped at the beginning of December last year. He published the complete specifications of all upcoming Ryzen 3000 processors. Already at this point the rumor that AMD could set on up to 16 cores solidified. In general, however, this leak showed that the company is focusing on significantly more cores in the entire Ryzen division. The entry in the Ryzen 3 series are therefore six-core models. Ryzen 5 has eight cores, while Ryzen 7 processors will have 12 cores in the future. AMD allegedly also carries a new series called Ryzen 9 and is thus positioned in the future almost like Intel with the i9-9900K. However, the Ryzen 9 processors should come with 16 cores.

Ryzen 3 33006/123.2 GHz4.0 GHz-50 W$ 99.99
Ryzen 3 3300X6/123.5 GHz4.3 GHz-65 W$ 129.99
Ryzen 3 3300G6/123.0 GHz3.8 GHz15 CUs65 W$ 129.99
Ryzen 5 36008/163.6 GHz4.4 GHz-65 W$ 179.99
Ryzen 5 3600X8/164.0 GHz4.8 GHz-95 W$ 229.99
Ryzen 5 3600G8/163.2 GHz4.0 GHz20 CUs95 W$ 199.99
Ryzen 7 370012/243.8 GHz4.6 GHz-95 W$ 299.99
Ryzen 7 3700X12/244.2 GHz5.0 GHz-105 W$ 329.99
Ryzen 9 3800X16/323.9 GHz4.7 GHz-125 W$ 449.99
Ryzen 9 3850X16/324.3 GHz5.1 GHz-135 W$ 499.99

Also noteworthy are the high clock rates that the processors are supposed to achieve. The top model Ryzen 9 3850X is expected to reach up to 5.1 GHz. On how many cores is still unknown. But also the basic clock rate is comparatively high. It is said to be at 4.3 GHz and thus above the 4.25 GHz which the current top model Ryzen 7 2700X achieves in boost clock. The second highest clock achieves the Ryzen 7 3700X, which should reach 5.0 GHz in boost and 4.2 GHz in standard clock. The Ryzen 5 3600X reaches 4.0 GHz in standard and 4.8 GHz in boost mode. The models without X (Ryzen 5 3600 and Ryzen 7 3700) and the Ryzen 9 3800X are each 400 MHz in boost and standard clocks below that. In addition to the models without iGPU there will be APUs with integrated graphics unit again. Whether it is Navi or Vega is still unknown. In the Ryzen 5 series, AMD positions the APU as the Ryzen 5 3300G at the upper end this time rather than the lower end, as is the case with the Ryzen 5 2400G.

A recent leak at UserBenchmark also confirms that at least a 12-core processor exists. The leak comes from the Thai TUM APISAK, which is regarded as a reliable source for such leaks. Nevertheless, there is of course the possibility that the result may be a fake. The clock rate is also only 3.4 GHz standard and 3.6 GHz boost, which can also be caused by the engineering sample status. Also a Russian retailer has already listed the processors, but they seem to be placeholders, because the values exactly match those of AdoredTV. In general, it is difficult to say how authentic the leak of the YouTuber is. He doesn’t mention a specific source, but HardOCP author Kyle Bennett, who works very closely with AMD, has also confirmed that much (but not all) of it is true.

Launch at Computex 2019?

All that’s missing now is an exact date when the first Ryzen 3000 processors will actually come onto the market. According to AdroedTV, AMD should have presented the first models at CES 2019. However, this case has not yet occurred. Instead, the company announced that it would launch its first processors in the middle of the year. This would be the same timetable as the second Ryzen generation. This would also fit in well with the general timetable, as 14 months would then lie between Ryzen 2000 and Ryzen 3000, as was already the case with Ryzen 1000 and Ryzen 2000. An actual market launch would be in June 2019, but AMD introduced Ryzen 2000 at the beginning of January 2018, starting with Raven Ridge, followed by Pinnacle Ridge processors on April 19 2018. If the schedule is the same again, a good three months elapse between the introduction and the actual launch. In March, AMD might plan an event to present Ryzen 3000. The market launch could then follow at Computex 2019 at the beginning of June. Until then, we’ll have to settle for leaks and speculation. But the new generation will definitely be exciting.