As with any major processor platform launch the rumor mill preceding the actual official announcement spins freely and without restraint. Leaks and rumors surrounding AMD’s highly anticipated Zen architecture CPUs and APUs have been adorning the pages the tech sites at an almost daily rate. It now seems that some facts have ultimately been established and a clearer picture of what to expect from Zen is finally emerging.
Regarding pricing and model names, guru3D and TechPowerUp note how Chinese motherboard manufacturer MAXSUN leaked a pricing scale chart that shows the most expensive AMD part in 2017 will be a ZEN SR7, priced somewhere between 1,500-2,000 RMB, which is around $200-$300 USD. The SR nomenclature would appear to indicate Summit Ridge, the code name for the first batch of Zen-based CPUs. The chart also show tiers below the SR7 which include SR5 and SR3 models, all of which are prices above priced Bristol Ridge APUs headlined by the AMD A12-9800 APU.
Regarding launch and availability dates we also have some rumors. According to reports in China, MAXSUN also revealed the date we can expect to see SR7 chips available in the channel. The leak puts availability on January 17th, a date that would seem to be reasonably well crafted for a CES 2017 launch party.
When it comes to the actually technology and what we can expect to see from Zen when it arrives, I’ll let Hilbert Hagedoorn from guru3d explain:
“The initial “Zen” CPU core will come to market first in an 8-core, 16-thread system-on-chip for desktops (=Summit Ridge). The "Summit Ridge" Zen family will feature a unified AM4 socket with its GPU-equipped "Bristol Ridge" APU counterparts, and feature DDR4 support and a an expected 95W TDP.”
“We expect each Zen core will have four integer units, two address generation units and four floating point units, and the decoder can decode four instructions per clock cycle. L1 data cache size is 32 KiB and L2 cache size 512 KiB per core. 2 CCUs = 2x8MB (L3) + 8x512KB (L2) = 20MB.”
From an enthusiast and overclocking perspective it would be great if AMD could get back in the high performance CPU segment. Various leaks tend to indicate that a Zen chip with a base clock of around 3.5GHz can be pushed to around 4.2GHz with air cooling, and comfortably up to 5GHz on LN2. A performance delta similar to that of a Core i7 6850X is expected (and hoped). Of course, one shouldn’t believe everything you read online so we’ll reserve any real excitement for the day AMD officially pulls back the curtain. Until then, fingers crossed.