AMD's Zen 3 CPU refresh is about expanded manufacturing not performance

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
(Image credit: Chris Szewczyk)

AMD has officially confirmed the recently uncovered B2 stepping of its popular Ryzen 5000 Zen 3 CPUs doesn't "bring functionality or performance improvements." So that kinda puts paid to any hopes that these B2 chips might be the refreshed 'XT' versions.

It was only yesterday that it looked so promising, like the B2 stepping might herald some speedier boost clocks on a potential Ryzen 9 5950XT. But official AMD party poopers released a full statement today via

"As part of our continued effort to expand our manufacturing and logistics capabilities," reads the statement, "AMD will gradually rollover AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Desktop Processors to B2 Revision over the next six months. It does not bring functionality or performance improvements, and no BIOS update is required."

Well, according to Google Translate, that is.

While this means we're not getting any speedier Ryzen 5000 CPUs over the next six months, in the form of some XT refreshes, it does perhaps hint that this updated manufacturing stepping will ease some of the struggles AMD has had getting its fine-ass CPUs out to the public.

The less popular chips, such as the Ryzen 7 5800X, haven't really been a problem to get hold of, but the outstanding Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 5 5600X have been a lot tougher to track down. If these new B2 steppings genuinely do expand AMD's manufacturing capabilities, then fingers crossed this means we'll see far more Zen 3 chips actually in retail.

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This doesn't, however, preclude the possibility of there being XT versions of the Ryzen 5000 CPUs in the future. But with the potential Warhol 6nm series reportedly shelved it wouldn't be out of the question to expect some slight revisions further down the line. Though we may well be looking towards the end of the year if they are going to make their way out of the TSMC production facilities.

Whatever the truth of any potential XT CPU series ends up being, anything that helps boost the number of AMD Zen 3 chips out in the wild is fine by us.

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.