AMD may have a leg up on Intel with Zen 5

AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D sitting on a motherboard.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

It appears that AMD may be just about ready to strike a huge blow against Intel — and it might come sooner than expected. According to a new rumor, AMD is said to be announcing its next-gen top processors as early as next week, presumably during Computex 2024. While AMD might beat Intel to the punch when it comes to releasing new CPUs, the Ryzen 9000 lineup may start out small.

The tantalizing bit of gossip comes from wjm47196 on Chiphell forums, whose message was later shared by VideoCardz. The message itself is quite cryptic, but reading between the lines gives us some insight into the upcoming lineup.

It appears that AMD will start off by launching four Zen 5 CPUs, and despite previous leaks, we may only see regular Zen 5 cores in these chips, meaning no “big” or “small” cores. The leaker also hints that we’ll see 16-core, 12-core, eight-core, and six-core models in the initial lineup.

While Intel is also rumored to be settling for a certain number of cores in Arrow Lake, it also offers more cores than AMD to begin with, so for AMD to stick to these lower core counts — especially the six-core variant — is an interesting design choice. For comparison, Intel’s Core i5-14600K serves up 14 cores. However, different architectures and the improvements AMD may bring in Zen 5 may outweigh the vast difference in core counts.

Unsurprisingly, the tech giant may be skipping the Ryzen 8000 range (which we’ve already seen in mobile chips) and following its usual naming scheme with the Ryzen 9000. This information doesn’t come from Chiphell, but rather from Gigabyte, which confirmed the lineup last month through a new BIOS announcement.

AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D installed in a motherboard.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Apart from the number of CPUs, the Chiphell leaker also mentioned that the CPUs will be on sale at the end of July. This is where the everlasting battle between AMD and Intel may heat up, because it’s unclear whether Arrow Lake processors will be out in time to compete against AMD here. Most predictions pin the Intel CPUs around the end of the year, or even the beginning of 2025, but it’s too early to say. On the other hand, once Arrow Lake does come out, Intel is said to be launching up to 13 models from the get-go.

The arrivals of four Zen 5 chips by the end of July would still give AMD an edge and plenty of time for the stock levels to ramp up before the holiday season. However, many gamers will likely instead opt to wait for 3D V-Cache versions of the chips, which took a few months to arrive in the Zen 4 generation. A late July launch might give AMD enough time to unveil the 3D V-Cache chips in 2024, and that would give Intel yet another reason to worry. We might find out more during Computex next week.