AMD’s next batch of Ryzen desktop CPUs may focus on better power efficiency

Although AMD introduced its second-generation Ryzen desktop processors in April, a recent leak shows another batch is on the way that will focus on power efficiency. One of the unannounced processors in question is the Ryzen 7 2700E, which appeared in the 3DMark database with a 45-watt power draw. That is extremely low given the current Ryzen 7 2700X consumes a heftier 105 watts of power.

The listing shows that the unannounced Ryzen 7 2700E chip will pack eight cores with a base clock speed of 2.8GHz along with hyperthreading. The listing doesn’t provide any other CPU-related information outside the underlying testbed: MSI’s B450M Mortar motherboard, 8GB of system memory, a Hitachi hard drive, and Windows 10 64-bit.

This isn’t the first appearance of AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700E chip. You can currently find it on ASRock’s CPU Support List here, showing the chip with part number YD270EBHM88AF. Other notes include the chip’s code name — Pinnacle Ridge — the 45-watt power draw, and 4MB of cache. It’s joined by the six-core Ryzen 5 2600E with 3MB of cache, a base speed of 3.1GHz, and a power draw of 45 watts.

AMD’s second-generation Ryzen desktop processors are based on the company’s refreshed “Zen” architecture. This second wave includes the Ryzen 7 2700X and the Ryzen 7 2700 that replace the previous first-generation chips released in 2017. So far, we haven’t seen any leaks pertaining to a replacement for the older Ryzen 7 1800X. Meanwhile, the Ryzen 5 2600X and the Ryzen 5 2600 replace its two predecessors while we have yet to see replacements for the Ryzen 5 1500X and Ryzen 5 1400.

AMD’s big push with its “Zen” architecture is that it crams more performance-per-watt than its competitor. For instance, Intel’s Core i5-8500 with six cores clocked at 3GHz and 9MB of cache retails for $192 while AMD’s Ryzen 5 2600 features six cores at 3.4GHz and 16MB of cache at $199. AMD is also the first to bring eight-core processors to the mainstream market.

Given their low power requirement, AMD’s unannounced second-generation “E” chips may be sold directly to device manufacturers for high-end laptops, budget desktops with small power supplies, small form factor “mini” PCs. AMD may not even officially reveal these chips at all, but silently make them available to its hardware partners.

On the horizon is AMD’s Threadripper 2 CPUs, the sequel to 2017’s enthusiast desktop processor family. The chips are slated to arrive sometime in the second half of 2018 based on AMD’s revised Zen (aka Zen Plus) CPU architecture. The company’s second-generation Zen architecture, Zen 2, will supposedly appear in processors in 2019 followed by the refreshed Zen 2 Plus design in 2020.

According to AMD, the motherboard socket used to support the mainstream chips, AM4, will remain in use until 2020 if not later.

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