AMD has been opening COMPUTEX for nearly a decade now all thanks to their revitalization and thanks to their Ryzen products, the company has really saw it to take advantage of both annual trade shows for maximum launch effectivity. Recent years hasn’t been kind to all of us though as for the third year, COMPUTEX has gone digital. Still, AMD has already been cooking a few things up and they were really gunning to announce this time and that they did. Dr. Lisa Su detailed some new updates to their mobile platform but the main highlight here is Ryzen 7000.
Ryzen 7000 will be a product of many firsts for AMD: Ryzen 7000 will be their first LGA product, the first one to use socket AM5, the first DDR5 platform and many others but it will continue to serve as killshots to challenge Intel’s uncertain performance dominance in the gaming market. AMD has already had a comfortable lead for quasi-HEDT and workstation markets but AMD really wants full command of the gaming market and Intel is boldly defending that crown with Alder Lake while still being tested by an older AMD V-cache equipped CPU.
The AMD keynote formally detailed a couple of other things for Ryzen 7000. We already knew that AMD will be using their new Zen 4 microarchitecture and the slides does mention that the new CPUs will promise at least a 15% single-thread performance uplift versus Zen3. This is at least on the case of the Ryzen 9 5950X versus the yet-to-named 16-core Zen4 Ryzen CPU early working sample.
Lisa Su goes on to discuss further key specs like the larger L2 cache which double from the last generations at 1MB. Later in the keynote, Dr. Su showed-off real-time frequencies of this prototype in Ghostwire: Tokyo showing a massive 5.52Ghz boost clock. It was also noted that AMD will expand its instruction set to include AI compute acceleration.
Contributing to the overall performance advantage of Ryzen 7000 will be the new I/O capabilities of its accompanying motherboard. With support for DDR5 and a larger set of PCIe lanes as well as PCIe Gen5 support, these offers a faster overall ecosystem for upcoming Gen5 SSDs with AMD giving 24 PCIe gen5 lanes versus Alder Lake’s 16 on Intel’s platform. This means that we’ll be seeing configurations that give a full x16 slot for the GPU while the still leaving two x4 slots for M.2 devices.
The platform does have its compromises. With no more DDR4 support, older AM4 users are now at a dead-end with Ryzen 7000 now only limited to DDR5 which is still quite a premium product right now. The good thing though is AMD is still keeping AM4 cooler compatibility with socket AM5 supporting up to 170W, AMD may still stick to their max TDP for now keeping currently released coolers fully capable of handling the new Zen4 CPUs, if that is indeed the case and their IHS design is really good.
As we’ve already discussed in earlier leaks, AMD will be releasing the B650 and X670 but will also have an X670E (Extreme) chipset as well. The marketing for the X670E suggests it may come as the full PCIe Gen5 platform while the X670 may continue the traditional setup but with Gen5 for the graphics card slot from the CPU but only have Gen4 for everything else. This may likely be the case with the B650 with remnants of Gen3 connectivity.
Motherboard partners have already announced their X670 motherboards and AMD has listed some of the launch flagships. BIOSTAR surprisingly makes an appearance, getting the rub from Dr. Lisa Su together with ASRock, ASUS ROG, MSI and GB.
AMD also gives an update on how PCIe Gen5 storage will help in Smart Access memory technology, their Resizable BAR implementation for full VRAM access. Built with Microsoft DirectStorage, Smart Access memory utilizes AMD hardware for optimal usage and with DirectIO already accessible for CPU-acceleration on games that uses it, as well as GPU acceleration on the horizon, faster storage may prove itself more usable than just faster loading times.
For now, AMD is still holding on to key details and that’s performance. With Rocket Lake aimed at being faster than Alder Lake for Intel, a 15% IPC improvement may not be enough and this is a large point of contention for many of us here in the media discussing potential performance.
DDR4 vs DDR5 will play a role in some application but with AMD holding an all-performance core advantage while historically running cooler and more power efficient, AMD is playing poker with Intel until they see what they have on hand.
Intel will not be appearing on COMPUTEX so that’s going to be a solo outing for Intel if they do decide to make an announcement so for now we’re left to really get excited about things we already knew AMD is going to do. For regular consumers, the main issue here wasn’t address and that’s a reason to jump from AM4. With the Ryzen 7 5800X3D already competitive with Intel’s flagship, the performance promise wasn’t really set here and that’s somewhat frustrating, AMD still has until Fall 2022 to build up hype.
Watch the full keynote below: