AMD’s Zen 4 CPUs aren’t expected until the second half of the year, but the leaks are already rolling in in earnest, with the latest discovered by Petykeman (via Tom’s Hardware) on the OpenBenchmarking website. The entry to the Phoronix benchmark shows an engineering preview from AMD touting some interesting details about AMD’s follow-up to the Zen 3, including the fact that it’s running at 5.21 GHz, it’s an 8-core, 16-thread chip, and that has integrated graphics in the form of the AMD GFX1036.
The original entry on OpenBenchmarking.org has since been removed, or at least hidden from prying eyes, though the power of the Wayback Machine means it’s still available if you want to take a look. The entry for the Zen 4 chip was captured on May 9.
The CPU is identified as an “AMD Eng Sample 100-000000666-20_Y”, although assuming this follows a similar naming scheme to existing Zen 3 chips, the 8-core, 16-thread configuration would logically do the Ryzen 7 7800X. The fact that it has integrated graphics might also suggest that we’re looking at a Ryzen 7 7800G here, although AMD may change their naming conventions if it has more APUs this time around.
That 5.21GHz clock speed is notable as it makes it a faster offering than anything available in this generation, which tops out at 4.9GHz with the Ryzen 9 5950X. For comparison, the Ryzen 7 5800X, the chip this engineering sample appears to replace, has a maximum clock of 4.7 GHz. A 500MHz boost is not something to be sneered at in this industry, and coupled with new architecture improvements and process nodes, this could lead to a serious performance leap for Zen 4 over existing Zen 3 chips.
The Zen 4 is being produced using TSMC’s N5 (5nm) production process, which promises greater power efficiency and higher frequencies. This helps to explain the higher clock speed, although as an engineering example, there are no guarantees about the speed of released chips. This is just an indication of what you can potentially achieve.
It is worth noting, however, that while we cannot rely on the clock speeds of an engineering sample, they are generally tested with lower frequencies than launch chips. Make it what you want.
The benchmark results themselves don’t give away much in terms of CPU performance and are instead focused on the AMD GFX1036 iGPU. There’s no information on the core count, but it reveals a clock frequency between 1,000 MHz and 2,000 MHz and that’s access to 512MB of what you can assume as system memory.
The nomenclature would also classify this as an RDNA 2 GPU, which is great news as this is the architecture found on the Steam Deck, PS5, and Xbox Series S/X, as well as AMD’s latest Ryzen 6000 mobile processors. If you’re looking for the ultimate gaming performance, a discrete GPU is still the way to go, but AMD’s RDNA 2 iGPUs certainly have a lot of potential for more modest gaming.
It’s still early days for Zen 4, but this is a good sign that AMD is on track to deliver Zen 4 by the end of the year. And if this engineering sample is anything to go by, it looks like it will be worth the wait.