The AMD Ryzen 7000 processors are here and AMD says they will take the crown in the best processor rankings. Powered by the new Zen 4 core architecture, they bring together performance and energy efficiency in the world’s first desktop-class 5nm processor. A lot is changing in this generation, so we thought it was high time to compare Ryzen 7000 with the Ryzen 5000 processors of the last generation.
AMD said the Ryzen 7000 processors and AM5 socket will be available on September 27. Until then, we won’t be able to physically test the chips ourselves and will have to base our impressions on what AMD has told us so far.
AMD’s Ryzen 5000 processors launched on November 5, 2020 and Ryzen 7000 CPUs will be available on September 27, 2022. It’s hard to make predictions about the stock situation when Ryzen 7000 launches, but it’s safe to assume that the first wave of CPUs will be sold out for at least a week or two. We’ll have to see if it stays that way in the final months of the year.
This time Ryzen 7000 processors are actually cheaper than Ryzen 5000 CPUs at launch. This is what the lineup now looks like:
- Ryzen 9 7950X: $700
- Ryzen 9 7900X: $550
- Ryzen 7 7700X: $400
- Ryzen 5 7600X: $300
While Ryzen 7000 is cheaper at launch, Ryzen 5000 CPUs are much cheaper now. They’re seeing big price discounts now that the next-gen CPUs are coming, meaning you can save a lot with a last-gen CPU and motherboard if you’re willing to sacrifice a little performance. Here’s what the current Ryzen 5000 prices look like (along with the original list price in parentheses):
- Ryzen 9 5950X: $550 ($800)
- Ryzen 9 5900X: $390 ($550)
- Ryzen 7 5800X: $250 ($450)
- Ryzen 5 5600X: $190 ($300)
Especially between the Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 7 5800X you save a lot of cash compared to Ryzen 7000. These prices could drop even lower if retailers start selling their stock under fire as well.
However, value and price are different. At least based on what AMD has shared so far, Ryzen 7000 looks like a massive performance boost that may well justify the price delta.
Ryzen 7000 and Ryzen 5000 don’t look much different on paper, with the same core and thread counts and modest increases in clock speed. However, there is a lot going on under the hood. For starters, here are the Ryzen 5000 specs:
|Ryzen 9 5950X||Ryzen 9 5900X||Ryzen 7 5800X||Ryzen 5 5600X|
|Increase clock speed||4.9GHz||4.8GHz||4.7GHz||4.6GHz|
|Basic clock speed||3.4GHz||3.7GHz||3.8GHz||3.7GHz|
|Cache (L2 + L3)||64MB||64MB||32MB||32MB|
The most interesting note is that Ryzen 5000 processors out of the box aren’t capable of hitting 5GHz – something Intel has been able to achieve for years with CPUs like the Core i9-12900K. Ryzen 7000 breaks that barrier in fashion, but at the cost of power requirements and the same core counts:
|Ryzen 9 7950X||Ryzen 9 7900X||Ryzen 7 7700X||Ryzen 5 7600X|
|Increase clock speed||5.7GHz||5.6GHz||5.4GHz||5.3GHz|
|Basic clock speed||4.5GHz||4.7GHz||4.5GHz||4.7GHz|
|Cache (L2 + L3)||80MB||76MB||40MB||38MB|
At the base of every processor are the cores. AMD created the Zen 3 core for its 5000 series processors, but then took a leap into the future with the Zen 4 core for the 7000 series chips.
Zen 3 brought major changes to AMD’s Zen core line, including more load/store bandwidth, lower latency, and no increase in TDP over the previous Zen 2. AMD also unified its 8-core complex and L3 cache into a single source, so core-to-core and core-to-cache latency were almost non-existent.
This Zen 3 architecture is what gave AMD such a huge spec bump in multi-thread performance compared to Intel processors. But the Zen 4 is an entirely different beast.
The new Zen 4 offers up to twice the L2 cache and load/store bandwidth and introduces RDNA2 graphics at its core. However, higher speed and more performance means higher power requirements.
Zen 3 processors maxed out at 105W, while Zen 4 processors climb to 170W. That’s not the highest possible power draw, either, as flagships like the Ryzen 9 7950X can ramp up to 230W under heavy loads. That’s almost as much as Intel’s Core i9-12900K, one of the most popular, most power-hungry processors on the market.
Obviously Ryzen 7000 will draw more power, but AMD still insists they are more efficient processors compared to Ryzen 5000. After all, it’s not about a lot of power you’re drawing. It’s about a lot of performance you get for that power.
For raw performance, it’s no surprise that Ryzen 7000 improves upon the previous generation. According to AMD’s numbers, which may not be 100% representative, Ryzen 7000 sees an approximately 29% increase in single-core performance compared to Ryzen 5000. It is also up to 35% faster in gaming and can jump up to 50% faster. in rendering workload.
It’s a huge improvement, at least according to what AMD has shared so far. We have to wait for third-party reviews to validate these claims.
AMD places a lot of emphasis on efficiency this generation, probably because of increased power consumption for its flagship chips. The company says the overall 35% improvement at maximum power actually increases to a 74% improvement when the flagship Ryzen 9 7950X is capped at 65W. Overall, AMD claims that the Ryzen 7000 consumes up to 62% less power with the same performance as the previous generation.
If you’re looking for the best performance, you can bet that Ryzen 7000 will deliver. It’s a new generation and it’s extremely unlikely to be any worse than Ryzen 5000. The main performance question is how much better Ryzen 7000 will eventually get, and we’ll have to wait until we’ve had a chance to test the processors before any hard conclusions Pull.
Performance and specs are important, but Ryzen 7000 is largely different from the previous generation because of its platform features. Ryzen 7000 mainly supports DDR5 and PCIe 5.0, while Ryzen 5000 is limited to DDR4 and PCIe 4.0. Newer is faster and faster is better, but Ryzen 7000’s platform features are more future-oriented than present.
Even the best DDR5 RAM offers only a modest boost in most workloads, and virtually no difference when it comes to gaming. It can provide a big boost for some memory-sensitive workloads, but those are usually relevant in the data center, not a home PC. Likewise, PCIe 4.0 is just starting to mature enough that hard drives with the connection are readily available, so PCIe 5.0 is still a long way off.
The biggest advantage that Ryzen 7000 has over the previous generation is the AM5 socket. AMD is discontinuing the AM4 socket it has used since 2016 (AM4 is what Ryzen 5000 uses), effectively ending your upgrade path if you use Ryzen 5000 now. AMD says it will continue to support AM5 through 2025 and beyond, so building a Ryzen 7000 PC opens up your options for easier upgrades in the future.
Which one should you buy?
If you’re building a PC from scratch, Ryzen 7000 makes the most sense. It offers a clear upgrade path and will certainly outperform Ryzen 5000. We still have to benchmark the chips ourselves, but AMD’s claims are promising.
Ryzen 5000 is still competitive though. If you’re just upgrading your PC, you can score big on a Ryzen 5000 processor and motherboard now that the next generation is on the way. They certainly don’t offer the tippy peak performance, but they’re still very close when you consider how much money you can save right now.