AMD’s next major microarchitecture, codenamed Zen, will likely be the company’s most important to date. While it’s not expected to match the power of Intel’s latest Core family, most believe it’ll be a much better showing compared to the company’s recent efforts.

To that end, WCCFTech has come across what it claims are the first verified benchmarks of the Zen platform courtesy of the Ashes of the Singularity benchmark database. It is worth noting, however, that these results are from an engineering sample of the chip and may not accurately represent the performance of the final product brought to market.

The tests, which were conducted on August 6 and August 9 (two versions were tested, it seems), were run in conjunction with a Radeon RX 480. Using comparable hardware runs from the database, the publication found the Zen ES sample to be 38 percent faster than the AMD FX-8350, about 10 percent faster than Intel’s Core i5-4670K and around 11 percent slower than a Core i7-4790.

So, what’s the verdict? It’s hard to say for sure. Keep in mind that the Zen ES samples tested had a low base clock of 2.8GHz (boost to 3.2GHz). If the retail product is pushing speeds closer to 4GHz, performance will no doubt improve significantly.

It’s also worth pointing out that the Zen ES is being compared to Intel’s three-year-old Haswell processors. The Core i5-4670K has just four cores and four threads while the Core i7-4790 features four cores and eight threads and both are built on a 22nm process. The Zen ES reports eight cores, 16 threads and is a 14nm part yet it can’t keep pace with Intel’s old chips?

Making matters even worse for AMD is the fact that Intel is planning to release Cannonlake, its 10nm die shrink of Kaby Lake, next year. AMD has said it doesn’t expect to ship Zen with full market availability until sometime in 2017.

Nothing is official at this hour but if the benchmarks are indeed legitimate, it's not a great start for Zen. Then again, it's just a single set of benchmarks we have so even if they are legit, it's tough to draw full conclusions based on them alone.

Lead image courtesy majestic b, Shutterstock