AMD Ryzen 7000 Series Zen 4 Raphael ES 16-Core CPUs Seemingly Show Up In The Wild

AMD Dr. Lisa Su Holding Zen 4
As we suspected would happen, AMD teased its upcoming Zen 4 architecture during its pree-CES livestream last week, with company boss Dr. Lisa Su holding up an pre-production chip. Silicon based on Zen 4 is bound for a 2022 release (second half of the year). Serving as further proof that it's on track, a pair of Ryzen 7000 series CPUs have been spotted in the wild.

By the way, Zen 4 in its current form is quite the looker too, with a stylish integrated heatspreader (IHS) exposing some of the bits underneath. It remains to be seen if that design makes it to final production, but as far as early engineering samples go, the fresh take on the IHS is eliciting a lot of positive reactions. Of course, in the absence of transparent coolers, you'll only see it long enough to install it in a PC (and not at all if going the pre-built route).

In any event, a couple of entries at the MilkyWay@home distributed computing project appear to highlight unreleased Ryzen 7000 series processors based on Zen 4, otherwise known as Raphael. Here's a look at one of them...

AMD Ryzen 7000 Series Zen 4 database listing at MilkyWay@home.
Click to Enlarge (Source: MilkyWay@home)

The distributed computing project recognizes the CPU with the following string: AMD Eng Sample: 100-000000665-21_N [Family 25 Model 96 Stepping 0]. According to CPUID, that code points to a Raphael ES chip, which is Zen 4 in desktop form.

It's listed as having 32 processors, though that is really the thread count. And since we know AMD is not adopting a hybrid make-up like Alder Lake, we can surmise that this is a 16-core/32-thread Ryzen 7000 series desktop CPU in pre-production form, running in a test bed with 32GB of RAM and a GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card.

There's a second listing that points to the same identifier and specs. Which could mean a second ES chip, or the same sample. Either way, the larger picture here is that Zen 4 is in the wild, and that's a great sign. It's also in line with AMD's 2H 2022 projection.

One other thing to note about these entries is the cache allotment. Both listings show 1,024KB of cache. Based on other listings, we know this refers to the L2 cache. If that is being correctly identified, it means AMD effectively doubled the amount of L2 cache on Zen 4 compared to Zen 3.

On a related note, AMD also talked briefly about its upcoming socket AM5 platform for Zen 4. This will bring with a change from a Micro-PGA socket design to an LGA 1718 socket, though AMD says it will retain compatibility with AM4 coolers. AM5 will also introduce both DDR5 and PCI Express 5.0 support.