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5 new changes under the Ryzen 7000's heat spreader that improve its IPC

An upcoming Ryzen 7000 CPU (Image via AMD)
An upcoming Ryzen 7000 CPU (Image via AMD)

Ryzen 7000 CPUs were recently revealed by the American fabless semiconductor manufacturing giant AMD. These upcoming CPUs will be the first major revamp in Ryzen's lineup of processors ever since its introduction in 2017.

The Ryzen 7000 CPUs are introducing an all-new architecture, Zen 4, and a new socket, AM5. These processors will also introduce support for DDR5 system memory, PCIe Gen 5 graphics cards, and storage solutions to Team Red's offerings.

Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors will be available globally beginning Sept. 27, starting at an SEP of $299 USD. https://t.co/YfmQoJzyxt

At the August 29 launch event in Austin, Texas, AMD claimed that the upcoming processors would feature up to 13% improvements in IPC (Instructions Per Cycle). At the same event, the company handed over delidded Ryzen CPU samples to media personnel who got to view the chip's internal structure.

Team Red has made fancy innovations with Zen 4 to achieve their target performance improvements. Several internal changes contribute to the 13% gain in IPC and up to 60% improvement in gaming performance over the Core i9 12900K.

Here are the five changes AMD has made with its Ryzen 7000 series.


The Ryzen 7000 lineup is the biggest innovation in AMD CPUs since 2017, and here are the 5 best things about it

1) Improved Zen 4 architecture

An overview of the Zen 4 architecture (Image via AMD)
An overview of the Zen 4 architecture (Image via AMD)

The most important aspect contributing to the heightened performance levels of the upcoming Ryzen 7000 chips is the underlying Zen 4 architecture. For the first time, AMD has shifted to a 5nm process node. This promises better performance, lower latencies, and better efficiency in the upcoming Ryzen-based systems.

With Zen 4, AMD has vastly increased the amount of L2 and L3 cache. Ryzen chips now pack up to 80 MB of cache memory to further contribute to the performance gain. Zen 4 processors have also been optimized to run at high clock speeds of 5 GHz and above. The flagship Ryzen 9 7950X hits up to 5.7 GHz.

Thus, the Zen 4 architecture is the major factor contributing to the improvement in Ryzen 7000's performance.


2) Massively shrunk down IO chiplet lithography

The chiplets inside the Ryzen 7000 chips (Image via AMD)
The chiplets inside the Ryzen 7000 chips (Image via AMD)

The I/O die is a large silver chiplet below the two gold-plated chiplets in the substrate shown in the above picture. The overall structure and outer look of the I/O die have remained the same compared to a Ryzen 7000 chip.

However, AMD has moved to a far more efficient lithography for the I/O die in the upcoming Ryzen lineup. Zen 3 processors pack an I/O die based on 12nm lithography. Zen 4 makes a massive leap by packing an I/O die manufactured on 6nm lithography.

Although the I/O die does not directly affect the core complex dies (CCDs) and their performance, it significantly impacts the chip's total computing power.


3) Unique placement of Surface Mount Devices (SMDs)

An AMD Ryzen 7000 chip showcasing the SMDs (Image via AMD)
An AMD Ryzen 7000 chip showcasing the SMDs (Image via AMD)

Ryzen 7000 chips are easily recognizable via their eight-legged Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS). However, there is a reason behind designing the IHS as a spider. The extra performance of the Ryzen 7000 chips has been brought about without increasing the size of the physical chip. This move is unlike Intel, which has increased chip sizes with every generation.

AMD managed to maintain a similar chip size by moving the Surface Mount Devices (SMDs) to the side of the chip. Intel chips have their SMDs at the bottom of the chip. Thus, Team Blue (Intel) had to significantly increase pin density in their latest LGA 1200 and LGA 1700 to prevent the chips from becoming too large.

Moving the SMDs above the chip has resulted in a similar IHS surface area when compared to AM4 chips. This also allows coolers made on either generation of sockets to be compatible with each other.


4) Up to three 5nm chiplets

A delidded Ryzen 7000 CPU (Image via AMD)
A delidded Ryzen 7000 CPU (Image via AMD)

The upcoming Ryzen 7000 chips can house up to three chiplets, depending on the SKU. The higher-end Ryzen 7 7700X, the Ryzen 9 7900X, and the Ryzen 9 7950X chips have two Core Complex Dies (CCDs) and one I/O die. The mid-range Ryzen 5 7600X has one CCD and one I/O die.

CCDs house individual cores and the CCXs. The I/O die mainly houses the Integrated Memory Controller (IMC) and the PCIe controller. The CCD in the upcoming Ryzen chips has been manufactured on the TSMC 5nm process node. The I/O die has been manufactured on the Global Foundries 6nm process node.

These chiplets are paramount in determining the overall IPC of the processor. The vastly improved and efficient technology used in their manufacturing contributes to the 13% improvement in performance.


5) New standard RDNA 2-based graphics processor

An overview of RDNA 2 integrated graphics (Image via AMD)
An overview of RDNA 2 integrated graphics (Image via AMD)

AMD introduced RDNA 2-based integrated graphics chips with Ryzen 6000 "Rembrandt" mobile processors. Each Ryzen 7000 desktop chip will house a "standard" RDNA 2-based integrated processor.

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This iGP is expected to feature four Compute Units (CUs). They will only allow for basic video output, video encoding, and decoding workloads. AMD, however, is packing the chips with advanced video acceleration capabilities, including support for decoding AV1 footage.


Conclusion

Overall, the upcoming Ryzen lineup is shaping up to be an interesting series of CPUs so far. The processors will have their global debut on September 27. More data on how the upcoming chips will fare against Ryzen 5000 and the 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs will be revealed as the embargo lifts.

On the same date, X670 and X670E motherboards will launch. Users will have to wait until October for the cost-efficient budget-oriented B650 and B650E motherboards.

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Edited by R. Elahi
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