AMD are unveiling their next generation of Ryzen CPUs today, and you can watch it happen right here. Taking place at 9am PT / 12pm ET / 5pm BST today, October 8th, AMD will be giving us a deep dive look at both their new line-up of Ryzen desktop processors, as well as the new Zen 3 architecture that powers them.
This is the first of two big livestream events AMD are holding this month, as they’re also due to unveil their upcoming Big Navi graphics cards on October 28th – just a day before Nvidia’s RTX 3070 goes on sale. We still don’t know when either their Ryzen CPUs or the Big Navi cards will be available to buy yet, but hopefully we’ll get some proper release date, pricing and specs information on the former during today’s livestream.
We’ll also find out exactly what AMD’s new Ryzen CPUs are going to be called, too, as fresh rumours (albeit seemingly completely unfounded and without a shred of evidence) from the leaky holes of the internet suggest that AMD may well be jumping straight to a new Ryzen 5000 family rather than the expected Ryzen 4000 moniker. Technically, AMD introduced their first 4th Gen Ryzen CPUs back in July, where they unveiled their family of 4000-G chips with integrated Radeon graphics. However, these processors are still based on AMD’s existing Zen 2 CPU architecture like their current family 3rd Gen Ryzen processors.
AMD did a very similar thing with their Ryzen 3000 launch, too, starting with their G processors that were still based on their Zen+ architecture despite the fact they shared the same family name as the Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 CPUs. As a result, it would make sense for this to continue today with the launch of a new crop of Ryzen 4000 CPUs (however confusing it might be), although there’s still a good case for starting afresh to make a clean break and just jump straight to Ryzen 5000.
Whatever they end up being called, though, they’ll be the first processors to make use of AMD’s new Zen 3 architecture. It’s widely expected that these chips will still be based on a 7nm (nanometer) manufacturing process, but it will introduce refinements and improvements that will probably end up being referred to as “7nm+”. AMD have also confirmed that these new Zen 3 CPUs will be fully compatible with their existing 500-series motherboard chipsets, such as the X570 and B550, while select numbers of 400-series (X470 and B450) motherboards will get support after a BIOS update.
Set to compete with Intel’s 10th Gen Comet Lake chips (and their upcoming Rocket Lake CPUs early next year), AMD’s Zen 3 Ryzen CPUs have quite the mountain to climb. Intel went big on power for their flagship group of “K” 10th Gen processors earlier in the year, with the Core i5-10600K stomping all over AMD’s Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 7 3800X respective gaming speeds, while the Core i9-10900K left AMD’s top-end Ryzen 9 3900X in the dust. AMD still have the edge when it comes to multi-tasking and multicore performance, all told, but even here their lead is starting to be eroded by those aforementioned 10th Gen chips.
Personally, I’m hoping that AMD’s new Zen 3 architecture will be able to address the gains Intel have made over the last year without just chucking more power at it. I’m increasingly uneasy about pumping my PC full of lots of power-hungry components these days, and I’d rather take similar or slightly slower gaming speeds for a significantly reduced power outlay any day of the week. Energy efficiency certainly seems to be at the forefront of AMD’s design philosophy in recent months, so here’s hoping AMD will deliver on these promises later today.