AMD “Zen” Microarchitecture

AMD Ryzen logo

AMD is about to release a new microarchitecture. Their last true new architecture was the Bulldozer family released on October 12, 2011. While the processors are not out for sale yet we do know the following things:

#Official

The new AMD Zen architecture uses a wide execution engine in a simultaneous multithreading (SMT) capable design. “Zen” cores are designed to efficiently use available microarchitectural resources for maximum compute performance. A new, low latency, three-tier cache and new pre-fetch algorithms lead to dramatically fewer cache misses and greater bandwidth compared to the previous microarchitecture.

High Level View:

  • Two threads per core
  • 8 MB shared L3 cache
  • Large, unified L2 cache
  • Micro-op Cache
  • Two AES units for security
  • High efficiency FinFET transistors

Powered by the AM4 Platform

From 7th Gen APUs to upcoming Zen-based “Summit Ridge” desktop processors, the future-ready AM4 platform features the newest I/O standards and an AMD commitment to support it into the future.

The initial “Zen” cores for “Summit Ridge”-powered desktops will utilize the AMD AM4 socket, a new unified socket infrastructure that is compatible with 7th Generation AMD A-Series desktop processors. With dedicated PCIe® lanes for cutting-edge USB, graphics, data and other I/O, the AMD AM4 platform will not steal lanes from other devices and components. This allows users to enjoy systems with improved responsiveness and the future looking technologies that the AM4 platform provides, resulting in a powerful, scalable and reliable computing solution for all their needs.

#Rumors

Pricing

CPU Specs USD (exl. VAT) Europe (incl. Taxes)
R7 1800X 8 cores, 16 threads. 95Watt

4.0 GHz or higher.

$490.29 €600 No Heatink included
R7 1700X 8 cores, 16 threads. 95Watt

3.8 GHz

$381.72 €470 No Heatsink included
R7 1700 8 cores, 16 threads. 65Watt

3.6 Ghz

$316.59 €390 Boxed version with heatsink and fan

Date

It’s rumoured that preorders will be shipping at february 28th.

OS Support

At first there were reports that AMD will be supporting Windows 7. Reason being for those reports was that motherboard manufactures told that there will be drivers for Windows 7.

According to an interview with AMD, the company has tested and validated for both Windows 7 and Windows 10. However, only Windows 10 will receive drivers and support. This is despite the fact that AMD has already fully validated Windows 7 for Ryzen. This means even though Windows 7 will work on Ryzen, there may be certain compatibility issues and if there are any bugs, they won’t be fixed. While some of the blame falls on AMD, the big reason is that Microsoft has ended mainstream support for Windows 7 meaning no more feature updates.

Launch lineup

 CPU Cores Threads CPU speed Compareable with
AMD R7 1800X 8 16 3,0 – 3,6 GHz Core i7 6900K
AMD R7 Pro 1800 8 16 3,0 – 3,6 GHz
AMD R7 1700X 8 16 3,0 – 3,6 GHz Core i7 7700K/6800K
AMD R7 1700 8 16 3,0 – 3,6 GHz Core i7 7700
AMD R7 Pro 1700 8 16 3,0 – 3,6 GHz
AMD R5 1600X 6 12 3,2 – 3,5 GHz Core i5 7600K
AMD R5 Pro 1600 6 12 3,2 – 3,5 GHz Core i5 7600
AMD R5 1500 6 12 3,2 – 3,5 GHz Core i5 7500
AMD R5 Pro 1500 6 12 3,2 – 3,5 GHz
AMD R5 1400X 4 8 3,2 – 3,5 GHz Core i5 7400
AMD R5 Pro 1400 4 8 3,2 – 3,5 GHz
AMD R5 1300 4 8 3,2 – 3,5 GHz
AMD R5 Pro 1300 4 8 3,2 – 3,5 GHz
AMD R3 1200X 4 4 3,1 – 3,4 GHz
AMD R3 Pro 1200 4 4 3,1 – 3,4 GHz
AMD R3 1100 4 4 3,1 – 3,4 GHz
AMD R3 Pro 1100 4 4 3,1 – 3,4 GHz

There is a lot more writing to be found in the internet, but lets wait until March to see what we really get and if AMD this time can truly be a decent alternative to Intel.

 

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