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Leo Says Ep.51 – Zen 3 makes Intel look cheap!

Lisa Su, the Boss of AMD, recently took to the stage to announce their Zen 3 architecture and the details of four Ryzen 5000 CPUs that will go on sale on 5th November. AMD is claiming enormous IPC increases of 19 percent and a win over Intel when it comes to 1080p gaming. Zen 3 looks very, very good but you can rely on Leo to find something that causes mild annoyance.

Matthew covered the Zen 3 news HERE.

Leo's notes

AMD began 2020 on a high and last week's news about Zen 3 and Ryzen 5000 suggests they will be finishing 2020 on an even higher note. Zen 3 architecture has been announced along with details of four Ryzen 5000 CPUs. The numbering system for AMD desktop parts will skip Ryzen 4000 and we assume that mobile and APU parts will also use 5000 numbering when they move to Zen 3 architecture.

In many respects Zen 3 looks like a refinement of Zen, Zen+ and Zen 2 although AMD assures us that Zen 3 is a new architecture with significant changes and this leads to a huge 19 percent increase in IPC. The big change is that Zen 3 has an 8-core complex with 32MB of shared L3 cache that reduces latency. If we were being rude we might suggest it will also cover up AMD's rather slow DDR4 memory controller.

Ryzen 5000 CPUs continue to use 7nm on socket AM4 with DDR4-3600MHz and are a drop-in upgrade on your 500-series motherboard once you have upgraded to a BIOS with AGESA Boost clocks are improved but all-core clock speeds appear to be unchanged. Zen 3 support on 400-series motherboards will follow early in 2021.

AMD has said that all four parts will be available on 5th November.

AMD is jacking up their prices and will increase them slightly more than it first appears as Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 7 5800X will ship without a cooler just like Ryzen 3000 XT.

Ryzen 5 5600X will ship with a cooler, most likely a Wraith Spire.

Zen 3 is much more efficient than Intel Skylake and AMD correctly states they can do more work than Intel while using much less power however AMD is now claiming they can beat Intel in 1080p gaming.

The next move will surely be for AMD to launch Zen 3 Milan EPYC, still sporting up to 64 cores, and we can only imagine how much of a boost the larger Zen 3 core complexes will give to EPYC. We have to assume the reduction in latency will be more pronounced in EPYC than it is on the desktop. And yes, we are keen to see Zen 3 Threadripper just as soon as possible.

You can tell that Intel knows it doesn't have a leg to stand on. The day before the Zen 3 event Intel released a blog post that told us very little except that 11th Gen Rocket Lake has been pushed back to the end of March 2021. This is an 8-core CPU on 14nm that finally supports PCI Express 4 and that does not sound very inspiring in 2021, let alone 2021.

While we're piling on the bad news let's also point out that Intel High End Desktop will be stuck with X299 for months to come and cannot hope to move beyond 18 cores until they have 10nm in play. We haven't yet seen 10nm Ice Lake-SP and judging by our recent preview of Tiger Lake we need to see Intel skipping past Ice Lake-SP just as soon as possible.

When will Intel ship the Aurora Supercomputer? How are things going with Ponte Vecchio 7nm graphics?

That's a long list of bad news for Intel but when you look at our particular corner of the enthusiast market things are distinctly less gloomy. Intel Core i7-10700K and Core i9-10900K sell for sensible prices compared to AMD and very shortly will look positively cheap. You can say what you like about Zen 3 but you cannot claim those processors are likely to see at a discount.

The irony here is rich beyond measure. If you want the most powerful server or a grunty workstation or a laptop with all day battery life you want to shop with AMD but if you want a value gaming PC you should take a careful look at Intel Core i7.

Discuss on our Facebook page HERE.

KitGuru says: We can understand that AMD is going to push pricing hard to maximise profit, however Ryzen 7 5800X looks expensive and that gives Intel the opportunity to appeal to gamers who are looking for a bargain. Doesn't that just sound weird!

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