AMD has a brand new generation of Ryzen CPUs coming in 2019. Based on a next-gen Zen 2 architecture, the 3rd generation AMD Ryzen processor should offer dramatic performance improvements over its predecessor, the Ryzen 2000 series. Here’s everything you need to know about AMD’s new chips.
Pricing and availability
AMD initially claimed that the first samples of its Ryzen 3000 series CPUs would be available in late 2018, but CEO Lisa Su went on to confirm the range at CES 2019. That has now begun with the unveiling of the Ryzen 3000 mobile CPUs (see below). The desktop processors, meanwhile, will still be coming in mid-2019, according to AMD CEO Lisa Su.
A report from RedGamingTech is now claiming the new Ryzen chips are set to be launched in July, along with the new 7nm Navi graphics cards. The site doesn’t provide a source, but claims it is “reliable.” The launch date lines up well with Computex, which is a likely event for these new processors to be shown off.
In December, YouTuber AdoredTV did release a supposedly leaked chart of Ryzen information. It suggested that following the debut of most of the next-gen range at CES, there would be further chip reveals in May and Q3 2019. That alleged leak also contained pricing information which painted the Ryzen 3000 series as being comparable on the cost to the Ryzen 2000 series. Entry level CPUs would cost between $100 and $130, with the mid-range stretching between $180 and $330. The absolute top of the line chips are said to cost $450 and $500.
Mobile Ryzen 3000
AMD kicked off its discussion of the Ryzen 3000 series CPUs at CES 2019 with the unveiling of its entire lineup of mobile CPUs. They confirmed earlier rumors from a leaked roadmap that suggested that the Ryzen 3000 series mobile APUs would be codenamed Picasso and would be built upon the Zen+ architecture, rather than the new Zen 2 design.
|Mobile APU||Cores/Threads||Process Node||L2 & L3 Cache||Base/Boost Frequency||Vega GPU Cores||GPU Frequency||TDP|
|Ryzen 7 3750H||4/8||12nm||6MB||2.3/4.0GHz||10||1,400MHz||35w|
|Ryzen 7 3700U||4/8||12nm||6MB||2.3/4.0GHz||10||1,400MHz||15w|
|Ryzen 5 3550H||4/8||12nm||6MB||2.1/3.7GHz||8||1,200MHz||35w|
|Ryzen 5 3500U||4/8||12nm||6MB||2.1/3.7GHz||8||1,200MHz||15w|
|Ryzen 5 3300U||4/4||12nm||6MB||2.1/3.5GHz||6||1,200MHz||15w|
|Ryzen 3 3300U||2/4||12nm||5MB||2.6/2.6GHz||3||1,200MHz||15w|
The Ryzen 3000 mobile CPUs come in dual and quad-core varieties, with some sporting simultaneous multithreading for up to eight supported threads at one time. Boost clocks reach up to 4GHz on the fastest 3700U and 3750H CPUs, with entry level options sitting well south of 3GHz.
Since these are based on the 12nm Zen+ architecture, rather than the Zen 2 that the desktop 3000-series will be built on, the performance improvement over the 2000-series Ryzen mobile chips is unlikely to be as dramatic as in the desktop space. However, the increases in clock speed will provide a small bump in power in compatible laptops.
As with that first-generation though, these chips are all AMD APUs, rather than just dedicated CPUs. They come bundled with Vega graphics cores, which should make them relatively capable little gaming chips. We’ll need to see some real-world examples to better gauge that, but the potential is certainly there for some affordable and efficient gaming laptops that won’t destroy battery life.
Asus’ new Ryzen 5 3550H-powered laptop, the FX705DY is said to be capable of seven hours of video playback, but can switch to a dedicated Radeon RX 560X when more graphical power is needed.
Desktop Ryzen 3000
Though not disclosing specific variations of desktop CPUs, at CES 2019, AMD gave a first-time public demonstration of a pre-production eight-core, 16-thread 3rd generation Ryzen desktop processor. Based on the AMD Zen 2 x86 core, and built on 7nm technology, AMD showcased how the processor performed against the Intel Core i9-9900K at stock frequencies. In a real-time rendering demonstration with Maxon Cinebech R15, the AMD desktop processor pulled 30 percent less power than Intel’s. In scoring, the new Ryzen desktop processor pulled out with 2,057 points with the Intel netting 2,040. It was also confirmed that the new desktop processor will support PCIe 4.0 connectivity and a new chipset design (more on that below.)
The Ryzen 3000 series is built upon a successor architecture to Zen and Zen+ used in the first and second-generation chips, known as Zen 2. It represents a major overhaul to the design of the CPUs, as well as a die shrinking for certain components. According to the original AdoredTV rumor and drawing on the design of AMD’s “Rome” Epyc server CPUs, AMD is thought to have split its next-gen chips into 7nm “chiplets,” built on TSMC’s 7 nm FinFET process. They contain the CPU cores and are paired with a 14nm input/output (I/O) processor which gives them direct connections to memory, which should reduce the latency concerns that we saw on similar designs with the Zen and Zen+ based Threadripper CPUs.
The caveat to this is that AdoredTV has since walked back such claims, suggesting that the 14nm I/O die would not be utilized in Ryzen 3000 chips as it is in the Epyc server chips. We’ll need to wait for further confirmation to find out exactly how the Zen 2 architecture (codenamed Matisse) is put together.
Although AMD has yet to confirm these specifications, this is the full chip lineup as recent leaks have described it:
|CPU||Cores/Threads||Base clock||Turbo clock||TDP||Price|
|Ryzen 3 3300||6/12||3.2Ghz||4.0GHz||50w||$99|
|Ryzen 3 3300X||6/12||3.5GHz||4.3GHz||65w||$129|
|Ryzen 3 3300G||6/12||3.0GHz||3.8GHz||65w||$129|
|Ryzen 5 3600||8/16||3.6GHz||4.4GHz||55w||$178|
|Ryzen 5 3600X||8/16||4.0GHz||4.8GHz||95w||$229|
|Ryzen 5 3600G||8/16||3.2GHz||4.0GHz||95w||$199|
|Ryzen 7 3700||12/24||3.8GHz||4.6GHz||95w||$299|
|Ryzen 7 3700X||12/24||4.2GHz||5.0GHz||105w||$329|
|Ryzen 9 3800X||16/32||3.9GHz||4.7GHz||125w||$449|
|Ryzen 9 3850X||16/32||4.3GHz||5.1GHz||135w||$499|
A listing on a Russian retail website in early January 2019 backed up much of these specifications, as reported by WCCFTech. It similarly highlighted the high core counts and frequencies of Ryzen 9 components and up to a 5GHz frequency on the Ryzen 7 3700X. However, it isn’t known at this time whether the listings were based on earlier leaks, placeholders, or if they come from a more official source.
If accurate, these specifications suggest that the Zen 2 architecture improves upon Zen and Zen+ designs dramatically. It appears to have made it possible to pack more cores into the same physical form factor, as well as leading to a big increase in clock speed without any change in TDP requirements.
The cores on offer with these chips are far greater than those in Ryzen 2000 CPUs — or even Intel’s latest ninth-generation chips. Clock speeds are comparable to that of Intel’s best chips and yet those frequencies are only possible on Intel’s CPUs on a couple of cores at a time without heavy overclocking. AMD’s turbo frequencies are typically applied to all cores, so the Ryzen 3000 series could be the first to offer an all-core 5GHz+ frequency out of the box.
The range is broader than the second-generation Ryzen line, offering more options for consumers with a wider price range. The sweet spot is likely to be the 3600/3700 and their X variants once again, although high-end gamers and multitaskers will likely be able to make use of the 3850X when it debuts.
Whether AMD can beat Intel in limited-thread tasks like most games, remains to be seen. Typically AMD’s Ryzen chips have a significant advantage in multithreaded tasks, and prove weaker clock for clock. However, other rumors suggest AMD may have made big improvements to the instructions per clock (IPC) of Ryzen 3000 CPUs. As much as 13 percent by some counts. Such a gain would be uncharacteristic of even a revolutionary architecture, but a few percentage point gains in IPC would almost completely close the gap between the two chip firms. When combined with increases in core counts and clock speeds, that could make AMD’s new Ryzen CPUs the most powerful consumer chips in the world — especially if Intel’s Cannon Lake CPUs are as delayed (or even canceled) as they appear to be.
One thing we do know for sure about the Ryzen 3000 series, is that like Zen and Zen+ platforms, the Zen 2 chips will utilize the AM4 socket. That means that the Ryzen 3000 CPUs will work in existing AM4 motherboards with a BIOS update and future motherboards built with the new-gen chips in mind should support first and second-generation Ryzen CPUs in turn.
AMD has pledged to continue to use the AM4 socket through 2020 when Ryzen 4000 CPUs (based on the Zen2+ architecture) are expected to be released. That means that not only will those looking to upgrade to the Ryzen 3000 series from existing Ryzen platforms not have to upgrade their motherboard at the same time, but they won’t have to do so for the Zen 2+ chips either. That could make it a much more cost-effective upgrade and the backward compatibility opens up many more options for potential buyers.
AMD has yet to make any kind of announcement about Threadripper CPUs for the third-generation Ryzen line. They typically launch a few months after the mainstream options too, so we wouldn’t expect to hear much about them in an official capacity until later in 2019. However, once again allegedly leaked information does hint at what the new-generation of high-end CPUs might offer.
AdoredTV’s leak points to a Reddit thread (since deleted) that backs up his own claims, but it also has some details on alleged Zen 2 Threadripper chips. These include replacements for the entire Ryzen 2000 line up, with Threadripper 3900X, 3920X, 3950X, 3970WX, and 3990WX (Black Edition) CPUs. Those CPUs reportedly offer between 24 and 64 cores, with up to 128 threads thanks to simultaneous multithreading. Frequencies are quoted as running between 4.0GHz as a base, to 5.2GHz when boosted.
The frequencies seem the least likely to be accurate as that is a big ask with that many cores at play. However, prices are said to stretch up to $2,500 and many of these chips require liquid cooling, so perhaps they can reach those heady peaks with the new Zen 2 architecture.