The evolution of AMD Ryzen processors

Posted by Stefan on 2022-09-06, Last updated:
The AMD Ryzen processors are designed for the mid to high-end range and are divided into the Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 9 classes. AMD follows the market leader Intel, which groups its Core i series (Intel Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 and Core i9) identically.

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© AMD, 2022

Introduction and area of ​​application


The AMD Ryzen processors were first introduced in the 1. Quarter 2017 by AMD. They are the successor to the not particularly successful AMD Bulldozer processors. The latter were manufactured using an outdated manufacturing process and could not keep up with the competing products from Intel. AMD lost a large portion of its desktop processor market share during this period.

The AMD Bulldozer processors were still manufactured at Globalfoundries. Globalfoundries was a semiconductor manufacturing spin-off from AMD and was founded in early 2009. After the AMD Bulldozer processors, mid-range processors of the Steamroller and Excavator architectures followed until 2015.

With its APUs (a combination of CPU and GPU part), AMD was very successful even before AMD Ryzen. The APUs with AMD's Jaguar architecture are used, for example, in Sony's Playstation 4 or Microsoft's XBox One. The successor consoles in the form of the Sony Playstation 5 and the Microsoft XBox Series S/X, on the other hand, rely on AMD Ryzen processors of the 3rd generation, each with eight Zen 2 CPU cores.


The socket AM4 / AM5


The desktop processors of the AMD Ryzen series fit into socket AM4 up to and including the Ryzen 5000 series. This was one of the most durable sockets and old mainboards could be made fit with bios updates for processors that were released e.g. 5 years after the mainboard was first released.

This brought AMD a lot of positive feedback, since competitor Intel is known for changing its CPU sockets every 1 to 2 years. The expectations that market observers and customers have of the new socket AM5, which will be presented in 2022, are correspondingly high.

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© AMD, 2022

The new Socket AM5 comes with 1718 contact points (AM4: 1331 contact points) and improves the energy supply of the processor, among other things. The currently fastest AMD Ryzen processor, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X, has a TDP of 170 watts and can short-term use up to 230 watts of energy. The predecessor in the form of the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X was still limited to a TDP of 105 watts and a short-term energy consumption of 142 watts due to the AM4 socket.

AM4-compatible CPU coolers can continue to be used with the new socket AM5. Intel has also taken a similar path, because here too the CPU coolers are compatible across several socket generations.


AMD EXPO Memory Overclock


In addition to supporting the latest PCIe 5.0 generation for connecting external devices such as a graphics card or a fast M.2 SSD, the new platform around the AM5 socket also supports DDR5 memory.

With the AMD Ryzen 7000 series, AMD is dedicated to memory, which has been very neglected in the past. Competitor Intel relies on so-called XMP profiles for its Intel Core i series. These profiles contain the settings from the manufacturer of the memory modules that have been optimized and tested for the built-in memory in order to be able to operate the memory stably even above the officially supported limit. The XMP profile can be activated in the motherboard bios with just one click.

AMD was not able to offer a similar technology in the past and with the older AMD Ryzen series it always had problems with the stability of the CPU's memory controller. With the AMD Ryzen 7000 series and AMD EXPO, that is set to change. AMD EXPO stands for "EXtended Profiles for Overclocking" and is meant to be AMD's alternative to the current Intel XMP 3.0 technology.

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© AMD, 2022

Meanwhile, AMD itself has confirmed that the so-called "sweet spot" for processors of the AMD Ryzen 7000 series is DDR5-6000. However, only DDR5-5200 are officially guaranteed for the AMD Ryzen 7000 processors. Here, for the first time, AMD EXPO technology can be used to operate memory beyond the official limit in an easy and stable way.


TDP and Manufacturing Advantage


At least since the AMD Ryzen 3000 series, which AMD introduced at the end of 2019 and which were already manufactured by TSMC in 7 nm, AMD has had the manufacturing advantage. At that time, Intel had still manufactured its 11th generation of the Intel Core i processors in 14 nm. The successor generations of the 12th and soon expected 13th generation of the Intel Core i series are manufactured in a 10 nm process (Intel 7).

A smaller manufacturing process increases performance and efficiency, contributing a large potion to the overall performance of a processor. The current AMD Ryzen 7000 processors are manufactured at TSMC in an optimized 5 nm manufacturing process and are therefore even more efficient and powerful.

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© AMD, 2022

Overall, the AMD Ryzen 7000 processors with Zen 4 CPU cores should use up to 62% less energy for the same performance (compared to the previous AMD Ryzen 5000 series). Alternatively, the processors are approx. 49% faster with the same energy consumption.

The speed advantage sums up from the IPC improvement of 13 percent, a doubling of the L2 cache and massive increases in clock frequencies. Due to the higher TDP and the better energy supply of the new AM5 socket, e.g. the multi-core clock of the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X is able to archive 5.2 GHz. That is 24 percent more than the predecessor AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, which was able to clock all CPU cores at a maximum of 4.2 GHz.

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© AMD, 2022


Single-core and multi-core performance


Due to the high number of CPU cores compared to the competition (the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X released in 2019 already has 16 CPU cores and 32 threads), the AMD Ryzen processors often lead the benchmark lists with multi-core loads.

Only when it came to single-core performance was it always Intel, whose Intel Core i9 processors were able to reserve first place for themselves. This could now be over with the release of the AMD Ryzen 7000 series. The new AMD processors should be at least on par if you follow rumors about the not yet released 13th generation of the Intel Core i series.

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© AMD, 2022


Evolution of AMD Ryzen 3


ArchitectureIPC Improvement[b ]Single core clockMulti core clock
AMD Ryzen 3 1300XZen (14nm)3.9GHz3.6GHz
AMD Ryzen 3 2300XZen+ (12 nm)+ 3%4.0 GHz (+ 3%)3.8 GHz (+ 6%)
AMD Ryzen 3 3300XZen 2 (7nm)+ 15%4.3 GHz (+ 8%)4.3 GHz (+ 13%)
AMD Ryzen 3 5100Zen 3 (7nm)+ 19%4.2 GHz (- 2%)4.2 GHz (- 2%)



Evolution of AMD Ryzen 5


ArchitectureIPC Improvement[b ]Single core clockMulti core clock
AMD Ryzen 5 1600XZen (14nm)3.7GHz3.5GHz
AMD Ryzen 5 2600XZen+ (12nm)+ 3%4.2 GHz (+ 14%)4.0 GHz (+ 13%)
AMD Ryzen 5 3600XTZen 2 (7nm)+ 15%4.5 GHz (+ 7%)4.5 GHz (+ 12%)
AMD Ryzen 5 5600XZen 3 (7nm)+ 19%4.6 GHz (+ 2%)4.3 GHz (- 4%)
AMD Ryzen 5 7600XZen 4 (5nm)+ 13%5.3 GHz (+ 15%)5.3 GHz (+ 23%)



Evolution of AMD Ryzen 7


ArchitectureIPC Improvement[b ]Single core clockMulti core clock
AMD Ryzen 7 1800XZen (14nm)4.0GHz3.8GHz
AMD Ryzen 7 2700XZen+ (12nm)+ 3%4.3 GHz (+ 7%)3.85 GHz (+ 1%)
AMD Ryzen 7 3800XTZen 2 (7nm)+ 15%4.7 GHz (+ 9%)4.5 GHz (+17%)
AMD Ryzen 7 5800XZen 3 (7nm)+ 19%4.7 GHz4.4 GHz (- 2%)
AMD Ryzen 7 7700XZen 4 (5nm)+ 13%5.4 GHz (+ 15%)5.2 GHz (+ 18%)



Evolution of AMD Ryzen 9


ArchitectureIPC Improvement[b ]Single core clockMulti core clock
AMD Ryzen 9 3950XZen 2 (7nm)+ 15%4.7 GHz4.0 GHz
AMD Ryzen 9 5950XZen 3 (7nm)+ 19%4.9 GHz (+ 5%)4.2 GHz (+ 5%)
AMD Ryzen 9 7950XZen 4 (5 nm)+ 13%5.7 GHz (+ 17%)5.2 GHz (+ 24%)


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