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Rumor: Zen 3 “Vermeer” CPU engineering sample clock speeds revealed, per-Core overclocking coming to Ryzen 4000

During the latest earnings call for the second quarter of 2020, AMD reaffirmed its plans to introduce Zen 3-based Ryzen 4000 client Desktop CPUs and RDNA 2-based ‘Navi 2X’ GPUs in the second half of 2020. This means Zen 3 and Navi 2x product lineup from AMD is on track. AMD confirmed that they plan to release four new products later this year, including consumer Zen 3 client desktop processors, RDNA 2-based  discrete graphics cards, CDNA-based datacenter/server GPUs, and also Zen 3 EPYC Milan server processors.

“We are on track to deliver strong growth in the second half of the year, driven by our current product portfolio and initial shipments of our next-generation Zen 3 CPUs and RDNA 2 GPUs that are on track to launch in late 2020.” –AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su. 

The next-generation Ryzen 4000 series of desktop processors are based on the Zen 3 architecture, and these processors are codenamed as ‘Vermeer’. Now, according to sources over at Igor’s Lab, we have some new information about the clock speeds of a rumored Ryzen 9 4950X Vermeer processor early engineering sample. This appears to be a 16 cores and 32 threads CPU part. The new sample is shown with a boost frequency of up to 4.8 GHz, but since this is an early engineering sample, the final retail SKUs should feature even higher clock speeds.

The base/boost clock speeds are 3.5GHz and 4.8GHz respectively, and this chip offers the same base clock speeds as the current high-end Ryzen 3950X processor, but a boost clock speed that’s 100MHz higher. This new information is coming after decoding the OPN code which states “100-000000059-52_ 48/35 _ Y”. The 48 number indicates the boost clock frequency and 35 the base frequency. All engineering samples mentioned are 16 cores and 32 thread CPUs, which means a successor to the current Ryzen 9 3950X CPU. Back in May 2020, Igor’s Lab covered the first data on the B0 stepping samples which were featuring a boost clock of 4.6 GHz and a base clock of 3.7 GHz, with the following OPN codes: ‘100-000000059-14_46/37_Y’ and ‘100-000000059-15_46/37_N’, which indicated an early stepping processor.

A boost frequency of 4.8 GHz is impressive given that it’s a 16-core, 32-thread part. But as with any leaked information, take this with a handy grain of salt, because all preliminary specs are always subject to change. Some sites like Videocardz are making bold claims for these entries to be legit, but to quote a very important para from Tom’s Hardware:

“But, we do have to play the devil’s advocate. There is nothing here to prove that this product actually exists, or that this OPN belongs to a 16-core Zen 3 part. With many CPU leaks, we often have an entry in a digital databank to prove that a test was actually run on the hardware, but all we have to go by with this leak is an OPN code from a source we cannot confirm. Nevertheless, we’re still excited to see what Zen 3 CPUs have in store for us.” 

Another very interesting piece of information has also been uncovered. It has been reported by Igor’s Lab that AMD might bring ‘per-core overclocking’/per-core voltage adjustment to its motherboard AGESA code. This will allow AMD to increase performance, optimization and overclocking. AMD users might be able to enable ‘per-core’ voltage adjustments with these new Ryzen Zen 3 processors. Gamers can now get the benefit of higher clock speeds on a per-core basis, and also higher single-threaded performance. Intel recently introduced a similar feature with the 10th Gen Core series of processors.

Lastly, according to a recent rumor from wjm47196 (Chiphell forum user), it appears that AMD might skip the desktop 4000 series nomenclature/branding in favor of 5000. This actually makes a lot of sense since the current Renoir-based Ryzen 4000U and Ryzen 4000H models, and the recently added Ryzen 4000G series are not based on the Zen3 architecture, which is misleading. It would be logical and wise to introduce the Ryzen 5000 series nomenclature for these new ZEN 3-based Vermeer CPUs. So expect the next flagship CPU to be labeled as 5950X instead, assuming AMD goes for the 5000 series branding.

These new findings can give you some idea about the level of performance expected from these new Vermeer Desktop CPU variants. It may also appear that these clock speed gains are a bit modest, but Vermeer series of processors will feature a new Zen 3 CPU architecture, bringing big changes to AMD’s core designs as well. This may definitively help with higher single-threaded and multi-threaded IPC boosts. When combined this with higher clock speeds we can expect significant performance gains. As per one rumor, the Zen 3 processors are going to feature a combined and a unified ‘L3 cache’ for each Zen 3 chiplet.

This will make L3 cache access times more feasible across the entire Zen 3 chiplet. Larger cache sizes could mean longer cache latencies, and this is true for Zen 3 CPUs. The CPU cores can now share the information more easily. Larger cache sizes could help with boosting Zen 3’s multi-threaded, as well as Gaming performance. The previous gen Zen 2 CPUs already featured double the L3 cache over the Zen/Zen+ series chips, and ZEN 3 is going to take things to a whole new level. AMD’s next-generation Zen 3 architecture aims to alleviate some of the shortcomings of AMD’s existing architecture designs. When the Ryzen 3000 series were launched, AMD aggressively marketed Zen 2’s cache design changes, such as the gamecache feature, to highlight the performance jump in Gaming benchmarks.  With Zen 3’s new cache changes each CPU core will have even faster access to a larger pool of the L3 cache.