AMD didn’t go with the back of the spoon with its new generation of desktop chips that were freshly announced at Computex in Taipei: almost everything is new in the Ryzen 7000s codenamed “Raphael”. While Intel has narrowed performance gaps and even regained the lead on some performance stats for its 12and generation Core chips, AMD wants (again) the 1 . to take overtime with this chip that introduces a series of novelties. Compared to the previous generation Ryzen 5000 on the one hand, compared to the rest of the PC industry on the other.
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The main distinguishing factor is the fineness of the engraving of 5nm. Unlike Apple, which develops its M1 chips using the same TSMC (N5) process, AMD’s chip is not monolithic. True to its philosophy of controlling production and production costs, AMD has once again played with technological bricks: the CPU part consists of two chiplets of Zen 4 cores engraved in 5 nm, while the inputs/outputs, the memory controller and the graphics part are integrated in a more imposing chiplet engraved in 6 nm (N6) cheaper.
Up to 16 cores/32 threads
It’s hard to say whether this chip, which can have up to 16 physical cores/32 logical cores, can attack Apple head-on on the performance-to-watt ratio. But what is certain is that AMD should have the upper hand over Intel unless there is an (unlikely) total failure of its new Zen 4 architecture.
Like Intel chips, AMD equips its new chips with DDR5 and PCI Express 5.0, making them equal. But to have seen the difference in energy efficiency and power density between 7nm (Intel 7 process) and 5nm in the world of smartphones, it goes without saying that Intel will also have to quickly refine its engraving.
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In addition to the density of transistors – and therefore of CPU cores – this greater finesse of engraving on a process very well mastered by TSMC allows AMD to push the frequencies higher. Very high: A presentation from AMD CEO Lisa Su shows a slide with a 5.5 GHz chip.
Between the increased core count, the technological advancements of DDR5 and PCIe 5, this return to the frequency race allows AMD to claim more than 15% performance gains in a single job (single thread).
Standard integrated RDNA 2 GPU
As we have seen, the AMD chip consists of bricks with different engravings: the CPU cores (CCD for Nuclear complex dies) in 5 nm on one side, the inputs/outputs, the memory controller and the GPU in 6 nm on the other (assembled in a brick called IOD for “I/O die”, literally “input/output chip”) .
Here the progress is huge compared to previous generations of AMD desktop PC chips. While the Ryzen 3000 and Ryzen 5000 relied on an IOD engraved in 12nm by GlobalFoundries (a company that was once AMD’s integrated foundry, editor’s note), AMD benefits from a massive reduction with the move to 6nm.
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This gives it room to integrate a serial graphic part. While so far only a few specialty chips are stamped with a “G” suffix for Pictures integrated with a Radeon Vega, all Ryzen 7000 chips will benefit from a GPU by default. And not just any one, the new RDNA 2 cores, the ones found in the Ryzen 6000, the Steam Deck or even the Xbox series of consoles and the PS5.
If we ignore the details of the number and frequency of these graphics cores, we already know that an RDNA 2 core is up to x2 times more efficient than Radeon Vega cores. A level of performance with many benefits. On the one hand, it consumes less energy than a dedicated graphics card when running Windows/Linux.
On the other hand, it offers 3D and multimedia services that are more than enough to run all programs (even games, if you know how to be modest in definition and level of detail). Perfect for cheaper PCs… and for times of graphics card shortages!
New AM5 connection
After five years of loyal service, AMD’s AM4 socket, introduced in March 2017, is stepping down to make way for the AM5 socket. We go from 1331 to 1718 pins and the maximum heat dissipation rating goes from 105W to 170W!
Enough interconnection points to ease the transition from PCIe 4.0 to PCIe 5.0 or use DDR5 memory instead of DDR4. And no hybrid solution from AMD: DDR5 is not an option for Zen 4, there will be no motherboards that use the old memory. But according to initial design elements, the AM4 heatsinks would be compatible with the new socket.
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Who says a new socket, says a new chipset, this chip embedded in the motherboard that manages the connections to the physical elements outside the CPU. AMD has developed three new chips, from entry-level to high-end: the B650, X670 and X670E. No processor or chipset of this new batch manages DDR4 to focus solely on DDR5.
No model name, details on frequencies, number of cores (CPU and GPU): the Ryzen 7000 won’t arrive until the fall, AMD is keeping track of information that the company will expertly distill before it’s actually launched on the market.
Mendocino: a derivative of the Steam Deck chip for laptops
On the sidelines of its powerful desktop PC platform, AMD has signed a funny chip for portable PCs from $399 to $699, tentatively presented under the codename “Mendocino”. The chip is intriguing because it mixes old with new.
On the old side, Mendocino chips should integrate up to 4 physical cores (8 logical cores), but not Zen 4, nor Zen 3/3+ but in simple Zen 2, an architecture introduced in July 2019! Which is progress on paper, as current Ryzen 3000Cs are content with CPU cores in… Zen+ (2018).
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However, the chip seems to have a bright future if you read the rest of the elements that make up it: the engraving goes from 12 nm to 6 nm, it drives LPDDR5 memory and its integrated graphics chip is again an RDNA GPU. – yes, like the Steam Deck chip!
While it’s a safe bet that AMD won’t push the number of graphics cores as far as in the Ryzen 7000 chips, with (arguably modest) 3D benefits, it’s mostly hardware video decoding that benefits users (AV1, h. 265, etc.).
See also video:
See also video:
On paper, not only should performance be well above AMD’s previous entry-level chips, but power consumption should drop significantly as well. Enough to maintain the 10 hours of potential autonomy that AMD promises… if the manufacturers play the game with their platform (quality of the components, capacity and quality of the battery, etc.).
The first laptops equipped with the new AMD “Mendocino” chip are expected in the fourth quarter of 2022, in a price range of $399 to $699. Suffice it to say that the chip applies to Windows PCs as well as Windows PCs. Chromebooks.
Source : AnandTech