In leaked benchmarks, AMD Zen falls short of Intel Haswell, but shows promise nonetheless

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

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

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yRaz

Nigerian Prince
To be fair, recent Intel generations haven't showed significant performance improvement year over year. I still consider my 3770k high end. To this day I still cannot justify the cost of a CPU upgrade and it's going on 4 years. What happened to the days of 4 year old tech being obsolete?
 

Lionvibez

TS Evangelist
If you look at this from AMD previous gen to new gen the upgrade is fantastic, If they can price this right you will have a winner.

The problem however is this has taken so long, Intel has not been waiting for AMD to catch up. By the time this is released you are competing with Cannonlake. Had this of made it to market when Haswell E came out things would look slightly different now.

I'm still on X58 right now with a 6 core i7 970 Gen 1 and been considering Broadwell E.

If this AMD chip overclocks decently and with the right price I may definitely consider it.
 

Theinsanegamer

TS Evangelist
I find it interesting how negative techspot is here. The zen chip is a huge jump from AMD's last part, and is clocked at 2.8 GHz. The i7 techspot is making a big deal about is clocked at 4GHz. So the zen chip is 1.2 GHz slower, or less then 75% the clock speed of the intel part, yet only 10% slower in the benchmark. That sounds like a pretty competitive chip.
 

fps4ever

TS Evangelist
So a lower clocked AMD processor can keep up with a higher clocked Intel processor and this is bad news? I don't think the author understands what the word "bad" actually means? SkyLake is the direct successor to Haswell and clock for clock they are not much different depending on the benchmark. "Year's" old Intel cpu has really no meaning in the context the author tries to make. I'm surprised as Techspot is usually much better than this.
 

cliffordcooley

TS Redneck
I find it interesting how negative techspot is here. The zen chip is a huge jump from AMD's last part, and is clocked at 2.8 GHz.
Tell me about it. The performance clock for clock is around twice that of the FX-8350. I'm not an AMD fan, but I wouldn't have called this a fall-short benchmark either. Even though Zen here has twice the core count against Intel, it is still impressive.
 

Steve

TechSpot Editor
Staff member
Well those numbers look really good to me, no matter how hard Techspot tries to make them look bad.
I just read the full news post and it sounds to me like Shawn was just providing all the facts. Can't see how he was going out of his way to make AMD or Zen look bad. Despite pointing out both the good and bad points of these questionable results, you have managed to cling to just the bad points. Way to remain objective ;)
 

fps4ever

TS Evangelist
Well those numbers look really good to me, no matter how hard Techspot tries to make them look bad.
I just read the full news post and it sounds to me like Shawn was just providing all the facts. Can't see how he was going out of his way to make AMD or Zen look bad. Despite pointing out both the good and bad points of these questionable results, you have managed to cling to just the bad points. Way to remain objective ;)
You should read it again...to the end this time. ;)

Nothing is official at this hour but if the benchmarks are indeed legitimate, it's not a great start for Zen.
Both of you should brush up on your tech knowledge.
 

cldmstrsn

TS Addict
To be fair, recent Intel generations haven't showed significant performance improvement year over year. I still consider my 3770k high end. To this day I still cannot justify the cost of a CPU upgrade and it's going on 4 years. What happened to the days of 4 year old tech being obsolete?
Me and you are in the same boat. My 3770k is still a beast and I probably wont upgrade till it takes a ****. I've also had mine about 3.5 years.
 
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yRaz

Nigerian Prince
Me and you are in the same boat. My 3770k is still a beast and I probably wont upgrade till it takes a ****. I've also had mine about 3.5 years.
I've had mine as high as 4.7ghz, but I'm currently running stock speeds. Maybe if I ever feel slowed down by it I'll run an OC again, but at this rate I feel like I can comfortably get another 2 years out of it, maybe 3.
 
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Johny Burns

TS Rookie
To be fair, recent Intel generations haven't showed significant performance improvement year over year. I still consider my 3770k high end. To this day I still cannot justify the cost of a CPU upgrade and it's going on 4 years. What happened to the days of 4 year old tech being obsolete?
That is because your CPU load is now split, terminal+cloud. Or you basically do simple things as web browsing few simple text editors/Word processing, couple of Excel files. That is it. Put CAD/Autodesk 3D graphic design and try to rotate it about 2-3 times, or Corel Draw, or Adobe Multimedia Dreamweaver with some Flash 3D designs and see how your chip will choke so hard, the ho on the corner will become envy instantly.
 

Kenrick

TS Evangelist
Looks good. but then the questions/doubts mentioned in the article are also worthy of an answer. These questions may seems bad to AMD fanatics but lets see. Now that moore's law is dead, it is about efficiency. Those who dont agree about efficiency are those stuck in the past.

I hope AMD can make it with the CPU war. There is a reason why all enthusiast builds are intel processor.

AMD - Make me a believer in 2017!
 

Puiu

TS Evangelist
That is because your CPU load is now split, terminal+cloud. Or you basically do simple things as web browsing few simple text editors/Word processing, couple of Excel files. That is it. Put CAD/Autodesk 3D graphic design and try to rotate it about 2-3 times, or Corel Draw, or Adobe Multimedia Dreamweaver with some Flash 3D designs and see how your chip will choke so hard, the ho on the corner will become envy instantly.
he'll be just fine with that CPU, especially in the software you mentioned.