AMD's Zen 4 and RDNA 3 on track for a 2022 launch

AMD CPU roadmap
(Image credit: AMD)

Plans surrounding the much anticipated AMD Zen 4 processors and RDNA 3 GPUs appear to be on track, with the expected launch date moving closer by the minute. As far as we know, despite recent chip shortages causing issues across the breadth of the tech industry, the red team roadmap remains unswerving. 

Back in March, tasty Zen 4 server specs (opens in new tab) had us salivating for Ryzen 6000, but we were still mostly in the dark about the next-gen 5nm Ryzen desktop chips. Since then, a slew of rumours has broken through, teasing us with righteous specs that were sure to make the competition quiver in their blue and green boots. 

Among these has arisen the potential for Zen 4 chips to come with integrated RDNA 2 GPUs. This would explain the projected power consumption numbers (opens in new tab) floating around (up to 170W), and would position AMD as a worthy contender for use in office-based machines that don't require power-hungry GPUs. 

That kind of hearsay is sure to put Intel on edge.

Board walk

(Image credit: MSI)

Best gaming motherboard (opens in new tab): the best boards around
Best AMD motherboard (opens in new tab): your new Ryzen's new home

Some reports suggest Raphael will support DDR5 exclusively (opens in new tab), though considering Intel's Alder Lake (opens in new tab) CPUs will support both DDR4 and DDR5 for pricing reasons, we're dubious. Surely that would really limit their potential consumer base—not the most pragmatic move on AMD's part. 

Other rumours from renowned Twitter leakers place Raphael's core count at 16, which would suggest Zen 3's current eight-core chiplet pair design will be sticking around for the next generation. 

And having supposedly scrapped its Warhol Zen 3+ refresh (opens in new tab), we could be seeing some 3D V-cache Zen 3 chips coming up as early as this year, boasting a wicked 15% performance improvement in games (opens in new tab). Of course, AMD wouldn't want Intel's 2021 Alder Lake launch to steal the limelight for too long. Gotta keep the punters interested.

Whatever happens, all this conjecture is getting us all riled up in the wake of the next round of AMD CPUs. And as for RDNA 3, we're just as titillated. The potential of 15,360 cores (opens in new tab) for Navi 31 SKUs is pretty astounding—that's triple that of the already beastly Radeon RX 6900 XT (opens in new tab). Lots to look forward to then.

With all the noise permeating the web, we're betting AMD has everything on track for an autumn 2022 launch. And although we're taking the rumours with a pinch of salt, and plans could still change between now and then, we can't help but swoon over the thought of slotting some powerful red team silicon into our test machines next year. 

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for two years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.