It’s official: Ryzen 7000 arrives in an under month. This week, AMD took the wraps off its upcoming Zen 4 processors, giving us the details on price, availability, launch processors, and much more during its live stream from Austin, TX.
Mark your calendars: The first Ryzen 7000 processors hit shelves on September 27th. The initial lineup of AMD’s first 5nm chips almost mimics that of its predecessor, Ryzen 5000, but with some interesting deviations.
The Ryzen 9 7950X, Ryzen 9 7900X, Ryzen 7 7700X, and Ryzen 5 7600X sport the same number of cores and threads as their last-gen counterparts, but their TDP ratings have risen across the board. The top two CPUs now sit at 170W compared to 105W for the 5950X and 5900X. Meanwhile, the 7700X and 7600X come in at 105W versus 65W for the 5700X and 5600X, respectively.
More juice means heavier-hitting chips, though. The flagship Ryzen 9 7950X boasts a whopping 800MHz uplift in boost clock speed compared to the 5950X, with a max of 5.7GHz. You’ll see higher base and boost clock speeds across the board, with the 7600X also crossing the 5GHz boost clock threshold (and thus boldly going where 5600X had never gone before).
These performance increases come with a price increase for one chip—the $399 7700X costs $100 more than the 5700X. However, the 7900X and 7600X match their predecessors, while the flagship 7950X actually undercuts the 5950X’s launch price by $100 (!). As with previous X-class chips, no cooler will be included with these processors.
Wondering where the 5800X’s successor is? When asked, AMD delicately stepped around the matter. But given everything shared during the event and interviews conducted afterward, 5800X is likely a spot in the stack where a 3D V-Cache Ryzen 7000 CPU might appear later on. AMD also dangled a little hope for Threadripper fans, too.
AMD’s mainstream chip beats the 12900K
The match between AMD and Intel remains a hard-hitting slugfest, with consumers as the winners of the fight. Case in point: The Ryzen 5 7600X, ostensibly a mainstream chip, can beat the Intel Core i9-12900K in gaming according to AMD. In Team Red’s runs of F1 2022‘s benchmark, the 7600X and its faster single-threaded performance beat the 12900K by 11 percent. Overall, 7600X edged out the 12900K in games by 5 percent on average.
On the other end of the scale, AMD says the flagship Ryzen 9 7950X outperforms the 12900K by as much as 23 percent in games, and as much as 62 percent in content creation tasks.
Fueling these head-turning claims are Ryzen 7000’s beefy performance gains. Forget what you heard from AMD at Computex 2022 about an 8 to 10 percent IPC uplift. Those modest numbers have now been replaced by a heftier assertion of 13 percent. And that improvement in CPU efficiency, paired with Ryzen 7000’s ferocious clock speed increases, ultimately translates to an average uplift of 29 percent in single-core performance for the 7950X, when compared to the 5950X.
And according to AMD, these increases in performance are not only happening while TDPs remain (relatively) low, but with much higher wattage efficiency than the competition. AMD says that its Zen 4 chips outperform Intel’s best by 47 percent for the performance you get per watt.
With Ryzen 7000, expect high-octane computing, where no apologies are made for perusing the cushiest, zippiest PC possible.
AM5 motherboards: X670E, X670, B650E, and B650 are on deck
Part of Ryzen 7000’s performance-driven focus involves the AM5 motherboards that’ll pair with Ryzen 7000. As we’ve known for awhile, they’re only compatible with cutting-edge DDR5 memory and support upcoming PCIe 5.0 SSDs, so don’t expect to penny-pinch when spinning up a Zen 4 build. (Current PCIe 3.0 and 4.0 SSDs will also work with AM5 motherboards.)
For those with ready cash, you can snag X670E and X670 boards during Ryzen 7000’s September launch. In October, B650E and B650 boards will follow. The E-variants will support PCIe 5.0 for both the GPU and storage, while the standard versions will only support PCIe 5 storage. You’ll still be able to overclock CPUs and memory on all chipsets. Prices start at $125, but expect costs to go sky-high for the premium X670E motherboards. If Intel’s souped-up Alder Lake mobos are any indication, an outlay of $400 at minimum won’t be uncommon.
Sound painful? Well, AMD reaffirmed that you can still use your AM4 coolers with AM5 boards and save a few bucks there. (For further nerdy details on how that design decision influenced the move to an LGA socket, be sure to check out the post-event interviews we had with AMD.) And overall, AM5 will be sticking around for a while—AMD says until at least 2025.
No discrete GPU necessary
As revealed at Computex 2022, Ryzen 7000 incorporates integrated Radeon graphics across the stack for the first time. The graphics cores aren’t as powerful (or plentiful) as in AMD APUs like the Ryzen 5 5600G and Ryzen 7 5700G, which are capable of gaming. But as discussed with AMD during a PCWorld interview, the two RDNA2 compute unitsin the Ryzen 7000 processors will be enough to drive as many as four monitors and include multimedia encode and decode accelerators. AMD also teased that an equivalent to Intel’s Quick Sync is on the way—a potential boon for content creators.
This development may sound like a superfluous addition to some PC builders, given the enthusiast nature of the first Ryzen 7000 chips. But even X-class chip owners will benefit, as onboard graphics makes troubleshooting PC build problems easier. And when chips at the lower end of the stack eventually arrive, a discrete GPU won’t be necessary for basic-use builds (e.g., web browsing and other light tasks).
Moreover, when Ryzen 7000 chips are finally put out to pasture in four to five years (or more), you’ll be able to easily repurpose them in machines like an HTPC setup or a home server project with little additional cost.
PCIe 5 SSDs are coming in November
You won’t feel the chill of fall when PCIe 5.0 SSDs finally launch in November later this year. Their blazing speeds should keep you plenty warm. We first saw a teaser of what to expect during Computex 2022, when Apacer announced two PCIe 5.0 SSDs with speeds as high as 13,000MB/s. And now we also know of eleven other partners releasing PCIe 5.0 SSDs, including Corsair, Sabrent, Crucial, and Asus.
At nearly twice the speed of today’s fastest PCIe 4.0 SSDs, the reality-bending transfer rates of PCIe 5.0 SSDs should make content creators and speed demons extremely happy. When time is precious, these drives will keep things humming along.
Will most people need a PCIe 5.0 SSD at launch? No. But will it be fun to have one? Absolutely yes.
Alaina Yee is PCWorld's resident bargain hunter—when she's not covering PC building, computer components, mini-PCs, and more, she's scouring for the best tech deals. Previously her work has appeared in PC Gamer, IGN, Maximum PC, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can find her on Twitter at @morphingball.