AMD’s Ryzen 7000 processors are set to arrive on September 15, and that’s a hard on-sale date – meaning the CPUs will be on shelves, and in plentiful quantities, if fresh whisperings from the grapevine prove to be correct.
This comes from YouTuber Moore’s Law is Dead (opens in new tab) (MLID), who claims that AMD will actually have next-gen Zen 4 CPUs ready to be sent to reviewers on August 10. Take some large helpings of seasoning with that, of course, but the point here is that the processors are ready to go out for folks to start playing with and testing next week.
So, prepare yourself for a lot more info and leakage on how Ryzen 7000 chips are shaping up in the very near future. But more to the point, this suggests that AMD could actually launch Zen 4 silicon this month if the company really wanted to, at least in a more limited fashion.
But the plan, MLID asserts, is to run production for a while and have a “very big high-volume launch” of the entire initial line-up in September. (Those first CPUs out the gate are rumored to be the Ryzen 7950X, 7900X, 7700X and 7600X.)
This is doubly important because MLID reckons that Intel is struggling to push out Raptor Lake on time for its theoretically intended debut in October. Indeed, the leaker suggests that this may be more of a paper launch for Intel’s 13th-gen processors, so those chips may not arrive in larger quantities until later in the year.
What this could mean is AMD has the shelves full of Ryzen 7000 processors, and all the key high-end to mid-range chips, in the middle of September, and those products will be going up against current-gen Intel Alder Lake CPUs. Because Raptor Lake may not pitch up in quantity until several months afterwards, as even if Intel does launch in October, this won’t be a case of plentiful 13th-gen stock flowing right out of the gate.
In short, the rumor is that Team Red will have quite a big head-start on Team Blue; bigger than we thought, because for a while now, it’s been common speculation that AMD is going to beat Intel to the punch for release timeframes in the next-gen CPU wars.
If MLID is correct, of course, which is a sizeable if – but the leaker seems pretty confident that AMD is in a good place for shaping up to a big launch. So much so, that the company could even bring things forward for a start of September launch for Ryzen 7000, rather than the middle of the month. (Although we suspect even if this was possible, Team Red could still want to leave a bit more time to sell more Ryzen 5000 stock through anyway, before Zen 4 appears.)
When Raptor Lake does arrive in force, the battle of the next-gen processors is likely to be a very closely fought one, at least in terms of raw performance. AMD may, however, score wins in other metrics like power efficiency, and the newness of the platform – Zen 4 is on AM5, a new socket and motherboard, which will be good for future upgrades. Whereas Raptor Lake will be the last generation to use the current (Alder Lake) socket for Intel, so that means no possibility of further upgrading to a newer generation Intel CPU in those PCs without changing the motherboard too.
Pricing will, of course, be a key factor, and we have no clue how that will turn out yet. Is there a prospect that with Raptor Lake theoretically coming a fair bit later than Ryzen 7000, Intel will have to price competitively to get back in the game, so to speak? That’s pure speculation, and given past history, it seems unlikely anyway, but we shall see.
One thing’s certain, namely that this will be a fascinating battle of new generations, with AMD currently looking like it’s in a good position to regain some serious ground in terms of desktop CPU turf, after Intel has had considerable success with Alder Lake this year.
Don’t forget that AMD also has 3D V-cache versions of Ryzen 7000 to come, and MLID also reckons that these could arrive sooner than you might think – likely in the first half of 2023. If it’s early next year, then that could be another major factor for Intel to worry about, as 3D V-cache spins on Zen 4 CPUs are going to be quite something for gamers.