AMD Ryzen AM5 CPUs Rumored For Early 2022, Intel Z790 And Raptor Lake Set For Q3 2022
The second half of this year and especially 2022 are going to be exciting times, with all kinds of product launches on tap. Intel will be releasing its first discrete graphics card for gaming (Xe-HPG DG2), and both AMD and Intel are readying new platforms, with eventual support for next-gen technologies like DDR5 memory and PCI Express 5.0. But when is it all coming? A fresh leak may shed some light.
We already know that Intel is planning to debut its Alder Lake lineup later this year, which will be accompanied by a new LGA 1700 socket. Alder Lake will kick off the era of heterogeneous computing in the x86 space by mixing high performance cores with power efficient cores in the same package, at least on some SKUs.
Intel has also confirmed that Alder Lake will support DDR5 and DDR4 memory (just not on the same motherboard) and PCIe 5.0. And while not outlined, we can naturally expect a new chipset. This is where the new leak begins—it's claimed that a Z690 chipset is bound for the fourth quarter of 2021, which would not be the least bit surprising.
Why not? Intel's current flagship chipset for consumer builds is Z590 for Rocket Lake, and before that, it was Z490 for Comet Lake. Going with Z690 for Alder Lake is a logical progression in Intel's chipset naming scheme, and it will undoubtedly arrive before the end of the year, given that Alder Lake will be announced (perhaps in October, around the same time as Windows 11 becomes available).
Supposed confirmation of the time frame comes from a writer for Uniko's Hardware, a site that has been accurate with leaks in the past. In this case, however, stating that Z690 will emerge in the fourth quarter of this year is not exactly going out on a limb.
Looking past Intel's flagship chipset that is bound for Q4, the leaker claims the company will follow-up with its mid-range B660 and entry-level H610 chips in the first quarter of 2022. This also makes sense. Companies typically focus on high end product offerings when debuting a new architecture, then stagger lower end (and more affordable) parts as time goes on.
What is perhaps more interesting is the claim that Z790 will be out in the third quarter of 2022. If that holds true, it means Intel will release its 13th Generation Core "Raptor Lake" processors just three quarters after Alder Lake arrives.
This would be a littler earlier than expected, based on previous rumors that pegged Raptor Lake as arriving in holiday 2022 (or Q4). Raptor Lake is said to be another LGA 1700 product, and would likely be supported by the Z690 chipset, with a BIOS update. Raptor Lake is also said to deliver big improvements to instructions per clock (IPC) performance, and performance per watt compared to Alder Lake, along with faster core frequencies.
AMD's Next-Gen AM5 Socket Rumored For Q2 2022
Meanwhile in AMD's camp, the company has some interesting launches on tap. One of them is a refresh of Zen 3 with a new stacked 3D vertical cache design. It basically amounts to a combination of chiplet packaging, which AMD introduced to its Zen lineup in 2019, and 3D stacking. AMD boss Dr. Lisa Su says 3D chip stacking will drive the future of high performance computing.
Back at Computex 2021, Dr. Su showed off a prototype Ryzen 9 5900X with 3D V-cache. It had the lid removed to highlight the 6mm x 6mm SRAM that is hybrid bonded. Chips that will feature 3D V-cache will sport 96MB of SRAM cache hybrid bonded to each CCD, for 192MB total in a single package for AMD's 12-core and 16-core Ryzen CPUs.
According to AMD, 3D V-cache will net around a 15 percent performance gain in gaming. That would be impressive if it holds true, as that is typically in the range of what a brand new architecture would yield, rather than a refresh or sorts.
The question is, will Zen 3 with 3D V-cache utilize a new socket? We don't know the answer yet. According to the latest leak, AMD will release its AM5 socket in the second quarter of next year. That seemingly coincides with Zen 4, which will offer up support for DDR5 memory, but not PCIe 5.0 on the consumer side (AMD's Zen 4 server processor will support PCIe 5.0).
It's also rumored that AM5 will see AMD shift to a land grid array (LGA) socket design rather than a pin grid array (PGA), with 1,718 pins. What this means is that the pins will no longer be on the CPU, but in the socket itself, just like Intel has been doing for some time now.
All of this stuff is relatively close to debuting, assuming the information is accurate. So sit back and strap in, it's become to become a wild ride.