Now that Intel has launched its 12th Gen CPUs, we can give some thought as to what AMD has coming down the pipeline in response. News regarding AMD’s Zen 3 refresh with V-Cache has been doing the rounds for some time, and these CPUs could be coming sooner than expected. If new rumours turn out to be accurate, we could be seeing an announcement as soon as January 2022.
Yuri Bubliy, also known as 1usmus, is a well-known developer among the enthusiast and gaming communities, and he expects AMD to update its Ryzen chips by the end of January, according to a recent tweet (via Videocardz). Call it an educated guess, as Bubliy is responsible for the DRAM Calculator and ClockTuner tools, so he's switched on when it comes to these sorts of things.
1usmus is working on a new Ryzen sandbox tool, named Hydra. The upcoming Version 1.0D release supports not only Ryzen 5000 series processors but so-called Ryzen 6000 series processors as well.
This is just one source of information on these potential AMD chips, that seems to line up with some of what AMD has said, but we're not 100% convinced about the Ryzen 6000 name or when it'll launch. That said, AMD's next-gen CPUs could deliver a nice performance increase from what we do know of them.
You may recall AMD's Computex 2021 keynote, where AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su demonstrated a Ryzen 9 5900X prototype with 192MB of L3 cache, a 3x increase from the standard 64MB of the 5900X. AMD claims that this alone can deliver a 15% performance uplift in games. That kind of gain would indeed be worthy of a new generation branding, instead of being labelled a simple refresh.
Whether V-Cache CPUs end up with Ryzen 6000 series branding or not, it’s clear there’s some life in the venerable AM4 platform yet. If you’ve got an AM4 system and you’re hoping to give your gaming rig one last upgrade without having to cough up for a new motherboard and DDR5 memory, this could be exactly what you’re looking for.
The Ryzen 6000-series will no doubt also make it into mobile chips, so perhaps we'll see chips by that name first.
Yet it's really interesting to see both AMD and Intel take fundamentally different architectural paths, Intel is betting big with its hybrid design, while AMD is more focused on chiplets and 3D stacking. Though Intel does have plans for those down the line, too. The big question is, how will gamers benefit? For now, 12th Gen CPUs are gaming beasts. AMD has a real challenge ahead of it.