AMD may slap a 5GHz boost onto the Ryzen 9 5950X with an XT refresh

(Image credit: AMD)

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 and the Ryzen 5 5600X, 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.

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The basis for this rumour originates from a tweet by DevOps Engineer, Patrick Schur, 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. 

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AMD released XT versions of its Ryzen 3000 chips 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 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.

Alan Dexter

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.