Hardware: AMD CPU’s – Review – What’s Up with Zen?

I don’t use them. The basic reason is cost and timing. When I’ve been ready to buy Intel has had a CPU with a better performance to price ratio. I have no particular love or hate for either AMD or Intel. Its who has a well performing CPU and what will it cost me at the time I need  one?

CW: Chryss - Earth

CW: Chryss – Earth

One of the commenters here suggests people looking for a new CPU wait for AMD to release its new Zen CPU. One can always wait for the next new thing but, then they wait. However, I did wonder if a wait would be worth the time. I started researching AMD and their next CPU.

Rumor has it the Zen CPU will come out fourth quarter (Q4) 2016. Official statements from AMD said before the end of the year, 2016. Recent official statements say ‘early 2017’.

Release dates for hardware are based on physical manufacturing. Basically, when will there be enough new product in the warehouse so demand for the new product can be met? A fairly easy question for the manufacture to answer. Whether they tell us is another story.

Then there is the company’s decision about when to release. Politics and market forces come into play.

This means people in the company and along the manufacturing pipeline know what’s going on. Leaks happen. So, we have some pretty solid rumors about company plans. Most are betting on October. But, I would not make that bet. The issue is too confused to make a safe bet. I expect a ‘PRESS Sampling’ release in October. This will give reviewers and IT peeps time to look at the chips, hopefully building media excitement for the release.

Then there are the investors. AMD has been hurting financially… or maybe it would be more accurate to say AMD is not performing as well as Intel.  So, the company explains their great and awesome plans for capturing market share to the investors so they stay invested. More people know the plans and some of them leak. Again we get pretty solid rumors about where the company is headed. Sometimes companies announce where they are going and what they plan to release hopping people will put off buying their competitors’ products.

We have information from all those sources showing up in the media.

It is pretty certain AMD is going to focus on using one CPU socket for all their new CPU’s. They are calling it an AM4. The socket has 1331 pins. For the foreseeable future all AMD silicon will use this socket. Theoretically, you should have a good future upgrade path. Something I hope I have with my LGA-1151 socket z170 motherboard.

Another page, link below…

7 thoughts on “Hardware: AMD CPU’s – Review – What’s Up with Zen?

  1. You said a mouthful, very spot-on and nothing that needs to be added, really. I was going to just put my opinion, but you covered a lot of it.

    As an AMD fanboy, I still recommend Intel due to its performance.

    I’m still upset what Intel’s CEO did to screw over AMD, leaving AMD in a bad financial situation, but performance is king. I’m not just upset for the shady business by itself, but by AMD not being able to make the CPUs that they should have been, already. (I swear Zen or Zen-like CPUs would have been here years ago, if AMD wasn’t working with a hard budget)
    Intel has slowed-down in their upgrades due to no competition and they feel like charging a chunk of change due to their dominance.

    Just like Intel released their i7-2700K when AMD announced their FX series, Intel is also bringing their Kaby Lake processors. If it’s anything like in the past, the Kaby Lake is the best bet since Zen was barely tying with the Skylake processor in performance.
    Then again, price wins over customers.

  2. I myself refrained from upgrading my CPU (and motherboard, because the socket of my current MB doesn’t offer any upgrade path) for a new one, and I’m waiting to see if Zen will be both, worth on a performance/price ratio, and able to offer a significant speed up when compared with my current setting (Core-i5 2500K locked in turbo mode @ 4.6GHz: quite the little beast for a CPU that cost me only 200 euros in 2012).

    Fact is, there is no real urgency for an upgrade (my current main PC runs SL quite well, whatever the complexity of the scenes to render or the number of avatars around), so I can wait…

    From the various rumours and leaks I could read about Zen, I’m however afraid there will be a disappointment for many of the waiters (in particular, it doesn’t seem like the core frequency*IPC product will be on par with Intel’s latest CPUs, meaning inferior performance in SL, whatever the number of cores in Zen); this saddens me, because I’m also a big fan of old AMD CPUs (the Athlon was gorgeous !), and I’m quite a bit fed up with Intel’s quasi-monopoly and what it entails on the price of its CPUs.

    At least, Zen’s arrival might steer up the competition, pull the prices of the CPUs down, and incite Intel and AMD to start a race on the number of cores (still useful for many other applications, such as compiling the viewer for example: I won’t be adverse to see the compilation time divided by two thanks to a doubling of the cores), since the Silicon technology pretty much reached a plateau on the clock speed front.

    • Thanks. Well said.

      AMD is saying they are getting 40% more speed per core and enhancing caches and total throughput. From what I what I can deduce the Zen will out perform the 6000 series 6th gen Intel chips and cost less. We’ll have to wait and see.

      While that will be a significant improvement for AMD, Intel’s minor ‘tic’ to the 7000 series following the major ‘TIC’ to the 6000 series may be enough to pass AMD.

      I have an article that will pop up today on what Intel is doing,

      • “AMD is saying they are getting 40% more speed per core”

        Excepted that the 40% improvement is in comparison with *their* former CPU generation, not compared with Intel’s !…
        So far, the only test AMD made against Intel’s CPU lead to an equivalent performance with their new Zen CPU, but they had to *reduce* the Intel’s CPU clock to match the one of their sample (2.4GHz only !), and they didn’t say if the “equivalent performance” is on a per-core basis, or on a per CPU basis (with more cores for Zen).

        As I see it, and even if their early sample cannot be considered a finished product (hopefully, the released Zen will use a faster clock speed !), it does not bode too well, and I won’t be surprised if Zen would be, in the end, inferior to Intel’s Skylake (not even mentioning Kaby Lake) on a per-core basis (but with probably more cores offered in Zen)…

        • Thanks for adding. I hadn’t seen those details anywhere.

          It isn’t looking good for AMD.

  3. Pingback: Hardware: Intel CPU’s – Review – What’s Up? | Nalates' Things & StuffNalates’ Things & Stuff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *