Published in PC Hardware

AMD Zen to come in three product tiers

by on22 November 2016

“Easily clocked” to 4.2GHz with standard air or liquid cooling

Last week, two Chinese sources revealed some details regarding the naming schemes and potential pricing of AMD’s upcoming Zen-based desktop processor lineup, codenamed “Summit Ridge”.

A forum post over on Chiphell, which has now been removed, revealed an AMD presentation slide with the names of three Zen product lineups – SR3 for the entry-level, SR5 for mid-range and SR7 at the high-end.

All priced higher than fastest AM4 APU

The presentation slide suggests that all Zen parts should be priced above ¥1,500 ($218), while a Maxsun email posted on Baidu last week suggests the high-end SR7 processors will be priced up to ¥2,000 ($290). This means all of AMD’s Zen chips are expected to be priced higher than its seventh-generation socket AM4 APUs, codenamed Bristol Ridge. The A12-9800 is currently the company’s fastest APU and has not yet hit the retail channel, but is expected to be priced similarly to the A10-7870K at $160 or higher.

Based on an early company preview, AMD’s highest-performing 8-core, 16-thread Summit Ridge “SR7” series processor is expected to be competitive with Intel’s Core i7 6900K Broadwell-E CPU, another 8-core, 16-thread chip selling for just over three times the price.

During a demonstration of Zen engineering samples back in August, AMD benchmarked its high-end Summit Ridge CPU against the Intel Core i7 6900K at an identical 3GHz frequency in order to show multi-threading rendering performance in the Blender render engine. At least in this benchmark, the sub-$300 Zen-based chip ended up slightly faster than its Broadwell-E counterpart, currently priced at $1,049. However, it is now being reported that AMD’s retail chips are expected to have base clocks anywhere between 3.15 to 3.30GHz, with a 3.50GHz Boost.

Reaches up to 5GHz on liquid nitrogen

The Maxsun email also claims that Zen chips can be easily clocked to 4.2GHz using standard air or liquid cooling, and up to 5GHz with liquid nitrogen and similar extreme configurations. Keep in mind that the company’s A12-9800 APU has been able to reach 4.8GHz on air cooling by adjusting the multiplier, so there is definitely some overclocking potential to be made with the AM4 platform.

Last modified on 22 November 2016
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