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Rumor mill: AMD’s Zen 4 microarchitecture isn’t due to arrive until the end of next year, but rumors and speculation have been circulating for a while. The latest claim is that the Ryzen 6000 processors, reportedly codenamed Raphael, will max out at 16 cores.
Hardware leaker ExecutableFix tweeted the news yesterday. If true, it contradicts previous rumors of AMD adding a third chiplet to Zen 4, which would have increased the core count to 24. But it seems we’ll have to make do with “just” sixteen. That’s more than what Intel offers, and while team blue’s upcoming Alder Lake-S will have 16 cores, they’re a mix of 8 high-performance and 8 efficiency cores.
16 cores it is for Raphael 😇— ExecutableFix (@ExecuFix) July 13, 2021
We’re expecting several significant changes with the Zen 4-based Ryzen 6000 chips, reportedly based on TSMC’s 5nm fabrication process. They will feature an AM5 socket that switches from AMD’s usual pin grid array (PGA) design to the same land grid array (LGA) design favored by Intel, though the chip itself is expected to retain the same 40mm x 40mm size as those used in the AM4 socket. The good news is that current AM4 cooling setups will likely work with AM5 through a conversion kit.
We also expect to see support for dual-channel DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0 in Zen 4, along with four extra PCIe 4.0 lanes. Power-wise, it’s said reach a maximum TDP of 120W—Zen 3 peaks at 105W—though there are rumors of at least one SKU hitting 170W.
Raphael 🥰— Patrick Schur (@patrickschur_) July 13, 2021
- up to 16 Cores
- up to 170 W
- 5 nm
Things are looking rosy for AMD right now. The company at Computex showed off its new 3D chiplet technology that can triple a processor’s L3 cache to a total of 192MB, offering an average of 15 percent better gaming performance at 1080p.
One piece of less-welcome news comes from the most recent Steam survey. After months of chipping away at Intel’s lead in the CPU space, AMD lost ground in June when its user share fell to under 30%.