AMD could be about to drop two new Zen 3 chips on the CPU-starved market. These two new processors are most likely XT revisions of the Ryzen 9 5950X (opens in new tab) and the Ryzen 5 5600X (opens in new tab), with a higher boost clock on the 5950XT peaking at 5GHz. That would be the first time AMD has released a chip that can hit such a high frequency—assuming the rumour turns out to be true.
B2 Stepping for Vermeer?! 😮100-000000059-60_50/34_Y3.4 GHz (up to 5 GHz)Stepping: B2Cores: 16100-000000065-06_46/37_Y3.7 GHz (up to 4.6 GHz)Stepping: B2Cores: 6May 17, 2021
The basis for this rumour originates from a tweet by DevOps Engineer, Patrick Schur (opens in new tab), who lists two Processor Model Numbers with B2 steppings. The 16-core chip looks like a direct replacement for the Ryzen 9 5950X, while the 6-core would appear to resemble the Ryzen 5 5600X.
That B2 stepping indicates minor changes to the silicon to improve chip yields, but this can also lead to improved efficiencies and thus higher frequencies.
The 16-core chip has a base frequency of 3.4GHz which is comparable to the existing 5950X, although the existing chip tops out with a max boost clock of 4.9GHz, whereas this B2 stepping hits 5GHz.
The 6-core chip is in some ways more intriguing because both the base clock and boost clocks line up with the existing Ryzen 5 5600X. There's no higher boost clock on offer here, although it may overclock higher, or be more efficient in use. It'll be interesting to see whether AMD launches this chip with a cooler, or expects builders to use a third party option to hit higher clock speeds.
AMD released XT versions of its Ryzen 3000 chips (opens in new tab) last summer, although higher price tags and only slightly better performance made them fairly forgettable releases. They were quickly eclipsed by AMD's Ryzen 5000 release in September as well. Things are a bit different this time around though, with demand for the Ryzen 5 5600X and Ryzen 9 5950X being particularly high.
While only two chips are listed, this 'refresh' comes after rumours that AMD had shelved its full Warhol refresh (opens in new tab) which was slated to use TSMC's 6nm production process in the summer. Even so, subtly updating AMD's two most popular chips is welcome, and should mean there is more silicon in the marketplace for DIY builders. We're definitely all for more chips being available to buy.