Skip to main content

'Pinnacle Ridge' CPUs with AMD's refreshed Zen core design may launch in 2018

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Now that the Ryzen cat is out of AMD’s bag, the company is already hinting to a refresh of its Zen processor core architecture in another family of desktop CPUs. Code-named Pinnacle Ridge, the new family is expected to go retail in early 2018 after an official unveiling at the end of 2017. Pinnacle Ridge will be based on the architecture AMD currently dubs as Zen 2.

In a recent Reddit Ask Me Anything, AMD CEO Lisa Su said the company already has a list of features it wants to add to the Zen core architecture in the upcoming “Zen 2” refresh and into “Zen 3” for even more performance gains over the current Zen-based Ryzen “Summit Ridge” desktop chips. It’s part of the learning curve when developing a new product.

Related Videos

Instead of building upon its previous Excavator processor core architecture (2015), AMD started from scratch with Zen. That brought a 52 percent gain in Instructions Per Cycle over the previous architecture, meaning processors based on Zen can execute more instructions per clock cycle than the previous architecture. A clock cycle is the period between the two adjacent pulses of the CPU’s electronic oscillator.

That said, Zen 2 is expected to provide even more performance gains of up to 15 percent over Zen 1 and another 15 percent better performance with Zen 3. Based on Su’s Reddit statement, the company may not go with new names for its Zen architecture refreshes like it did with Bulldozer. The company introduced the Bulldozer architecture in 2011 followed by a refresh in 2012 called Piledriver, Steamroller in 2014, and Excavator in 2015.

Right now, very little is known about the Zen 2 refresh and the resulting Pinnacle Ridge processors. However, based on the projected numbers, Zen 2 is expected to see a performance leap of around 65 percent in Instructions Per Cycle over Excavator, and around 80 percent better performance with Zen 3. Adding to those gains would be process node improvement, compatibility with faster DDR4 memory, and so on.

Meanwhile, AMD is still rolling out its Zen-based carpet. The company’s first three eight-core Ryzen 7 desktop processors for enthusiasts are available now, with the 1800X model costing $500, the 1700X model costing $400, and the 1700 costing $330. AMD will follow up with the Ryzen 5 1600X and the Ryzen 5 1500X in the second quarter of 2017, and then 12 more processors throughout 2017.

AMD also plans to release APUs based on its Zen processor core architecture as well. Codenamed as Raven Ridge, these Ryzen-branded all-in-one chips are scheduled to appear in the second half of 2017 packing graphics cores based on AMD’s upcoming Vega GPU architecture. Pricing for the Raven Ridge chips is expected to be under $250.

As a refresher, AMD’s most recent APU family is the seventh-generation A-Series based on its Excavator core architecture. This new family of APUs arrived in  September, so expect AMD’s Zen-based Ryzen APUs to hit the mobile scene this fall.

Editors' Recommendations

AMD Ryzen 5 7600X vs. Ryzen 5 7600: is cheaper better?
The Ryzen 5 7600X sitting among thermal paste and RAM.

AMD's Ryzen 7000 CPUs haven't had the best reception, but Team Red is correcting course. The new Ryzen 5 7600 is proof of that. It's slightly slower than the Ryzen 5 7600X based on the spec sheet, but it's around $70 cheaper, comes with a bundled cooler, and promises nearly identical performance.

After testing the processor myself, I can confirm -- the Ryzen 5 7600 is one of the best processors you can buy right now. With a couple of clicks, it can achieve identical performance as the Ryzen 5 7600X, and it comes in at a cheaper price.

Read more
AMD may have just leaked the Ryzen 9 7950X3D release date
A hand holding AMD's Ryzen 9 7950X3D processor.

AMD may have confirmed the release date of the hotly-anticipated Ryzen 9 7950X3D, Ryzen 9 7900X3D, and Ryzen 7 7800X3D, but it doesn't look intentional. According to OC3D, AMD briefly published a launch date of February 14 for its new processors.

The launch date has since been removed from all listings on AMD's website, so this was probably a slip-up. However, February 14 isn't out of the question. AMD confirmed when announcing the processors that they would arrive in February.

Read more
How to rewatch AMD’s CES 2023 keynote from today
AMD CEO Lisa Su delivering AMD's CES 2023 keynote.

AMD's CES 2023 keynote has come and gone. Riding high on the launch of its new Radeon RX 7000 graphics cards and Ryzen 7000 CPUs, AMD had a lot to celebrate and a lot to bolster. Many of the rumors about what AMD might announce next came true too.

Here's how to rewatch the event to learn about everything that was announced at AMD's CES 2023 keynote.
How to rewatch AMD's CES 2023 keynote
AMD at CES 2023

Read more