, AMD took a sabbatical year in 2021, so all eyes are on 2022 and the highly anticipated Ryzen 6000 processors. Built using the Zen 4 architecture, these chips are said to be up to 40% faster than the generation and feature an all-new socket design, breaking with decades of AMD tradition.
There’s a lot to be done on the Ryzen 6000, and the generation could finally cement AMD as the processor market leader against Intel. After reaching parity with its rival in 2021, AMD is on track to overtake the former desktop leader. Intel also has some exciting products coming up, and we don’t know if AMD will be content to rest on its laurels.
We’re still about a year away from launching the Ryzen 6000, but we’ve learned a lot about the next generation. Here’s everything you need to know to familiarize yourself with the price, release date, and performance.
Pricing and availability
Although AMD has announced its Zen 4 architecture, it has yet to announce next-generation desktop chips. We don’t know if they will fall under the Ryzen 6000 or Ryzen 7000 banner, as AMD skipped Ryzen 4000 on the desktop and went straight to Ryzen 5000. It could also do the same with Zen 4 processors, reserving Ryzen 6000 for mobile.
Either way, processors are expected to arrive in 2022. The crafty PC builders have constructed a timeline from disparate pieces of a leaked AMD roadmap, which indicates Zen 4 will arrive in 2022. The CEO of AMD Lisa Su has also confirmed that the chips are about to arrive. in the second half of 2022 during a recent call to investors.
We expect AMD to stick with previous generation pricing. AMD has increased the price of the Ryzen 7 5800X, Ryzen 9 5900X, and Ryzen 9 5950X by $ 50 each over their Ryzen 3000 counterparts. Considering Intel’s upcoming Alder Lake processors and the strain they could put on Team Red, we don’t expect AMD to raise prices again.
It is possible, however. The chip shortage has raised component prices across the board, so we may be entering a time when processors are more expensive in general. For Ryzen 6000, it will depend on how Intel prices its Alder Lake chips and how the Zen 4 chips perform against them.
For reference, here are the Ryzen 5000 chip prices now:
- Ryzen 5 5600X: $ 300
- Ryzen 7 5800X: $ 450
- Ryzen 9 5900X: $ 550
- Ryzen 9 5950X: $ 800
As mentioned, the Ryzen 6000 chips are based on the Zen 4 architecture. It is a continuation of the Zen microarchitecture AMD has been using since Ryzen 1000, but it uses a much smaller manufacturing process.
AMD has confirmed that Zen 4 will use a 5nm manufacturing process and will likely continue to use chipmaker TSMC. Ryzen 5000 chips currently use TSMC’s 7nm manufacturing process.
The 5nm node – known as N5 from TSMC – is said to offer a 15% increase in speed and a transistor density 1.8 times greater than N7. TSMC also reports that the node is consuming 30% less power. That’s not to say that Zen 4 will match these improvements, however. In reality, AMD can probably achieve greater speed acceleration thanks to the design of the chip.
The big problem is the 1.8X increase in density of the transistors. While AMD hasn’t announced anything yet, the Zen 4 chips will likely use a single-core design. This puts more emphasis on the density of the transistors, essentially allowing AMD to squeeze more into the same die space.
These improvements are said to offer up to 25% increase in single-core performance.
It is possible that AMD is also inspired by Intel Alder Lake processors. Intel uses a hybrid architecture with two types of cores, unlike AMD, which seems to stick with a single-core type. The company has been open to believing that hybrid architectures are not yet ready for the desktop.
So far from launch, it’s too early to tell how the Ryzen 6000 chips will perform. The only report we have is from the Chips and Cheese blog, which claims that the Zen 4 chips could see an overall increase of 40% over the previous generation, and a 25% increase in single-core performance. The rumor also alleges speeds of 5 GHz on all cores.
These kinds of gains are not excluded, as optimistic as it is. AMD makes a full node transition to N5, which is a massive increase in density – 1.87X over N7, to be exact. It looks like AMD is focused on creating the best cores for the Ryzen 6000, without putting more of them into the chip. While we don’t have any rumors to save the core count just yet, that seems to be the approach.
A 20% gain in single-core performance has become the norm for every generation, so if AMD is able to increase Instructions Per Clock (IPC) by 25% with Zen 4, that will be a big deal.
Although we have named Alder Lake as a competitor, Intel is also expected to launch its Raptor Lake chips in 2022. This generation will also bring a full node transition for Intel, and it will feature the same hybrid architecture as Alder Lake. We’re still about a year away, but the architectural designs battle will be an interesting one in 2022.
New chipset and new socket
With the next generation of processors, AMD is withdrawing the AM4 socket it has been using since the launch of the first generation Ryzen chips. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the socket will be around five years old by the time the next-gen Ryzen chips appear. AMD is using the AM5 socket for these new chips – that’s what we know – and rumors suggest it could feature a radical overhaul.
Rumors indicate that AMD uses an LGA1718 socket design. Land Grid Array, or LGA, sockets place the processor pins on the motherboard rather than on the processor. Intel has used LGA sockets for several generations, while AMD sticks to the older Pin Grid Array (PGA) socket design.
As the name suggests, the LGA1718 would have 1718 pins on the motherboard. LGA designs can support higher pin density, and this is clearly seen by comparing AM5 to AM4. The PGA AM4 socket comes with 1331 pins.
Although AMD appears to be moving to a new socket design, the Ryzen 6000 chips would apparently use the same socket size – 40mm x 40mm. This hopefully means that AM5 motherboards will support the same CPU coolers as AM4 motherboards, but we’re not sure at this time.
With a new socket, AMD is expected to release a new 600 series chipset, possibly the X670, if past generations are to follow. We don’t have any concrete details on the chipset yet, but we expect it to support DDR5 and PCIe 4.0 memory. PCIe 4.0 is already available on X570 motherboards and Intel Alder Lake processors support DDR5 memory.
Integrated graphics and APUs
Like previous generations, AMD will likely release a line of APUs with Zen 4 chips that have integrated graphics. However, some rumors suggest that AMD will incorporate integrated graphics into its chips at all levels. A series of documents leaked by Gigabyte showed that AMD plans to add “GFX hybrid support” on its upcoming processors.
These documents confirm earlier rumors of AMD including integrated graphics on its processors. Together they all confirm that the Ryzen 6000 chips will come with integrated graphics.
Additionally, there are rumors that AMD would use its RDNA 2 GPU architecture for integrated graphics. This is the same architecture that AMD currently uses on its Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards, as well as on the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.
Originally, it was rumored that AMD was using 12 RDNA 2 Computing Units (CU) on Ryzen 6000 mobile chips. It seems that some threads may have been crossed with this rumor, however. AMD reportedly canceled a Zen 3+ generation – initially named Ryzen 6000 – to focus on the new architecture.
This hopefully means 12 RDNA 2 CUs are the minimum for Zen 4 chips, which would provide a huge boost over the APUs AMD is offering today.