AMD Zen 4 Raphael Ryzen CPUs Rumored To Hold The Line With 16 Cores

Ryzen Processor
AMD has been somewhat aggressive in pushing more cores and threads into the consumer segment. As it stands, the technically 'mainstream' Ryzen 9 5950X serves up a generous 16 cores and 32 threads, which not too long ago was the exclusive domain of high end desktop (HEDT) silicon like Threadripper and server silicon. Will Zen 4 see even higher core and thread counts? Probably not.

We're not looking to burst anyone's bubble, but leaks from historically reliable sources suggest that Zen 4 will top out at 16 cores and 32 threads, just like Zen 3. That was not necessarily a given, since we are not talking about a refresh, but an actual new architecture with some big changes coming, like support for dual-channel DDR5 memory.

AMD Zen 4 Raphael Tweet

Leaker ExecutableFix got straight to the point in a Twitter post, simply stating, "16 cores it is for Raphael," with a smiley emoji donning a halo for good measure (to perhaps indicate it is the honest truth). If the information is accurate, it means Zen 4 will culminate in a SKU with two fully loaded compute tiles or core chiplet dies (CCDs). This will perhaps be called the Ryzen 9 7950X.

Even though Zen 4 will not be scaling any higher, according the latest leaks and rumors, that is still a lot of processing power. Bear in mind that Zen 4 will bring with it a jump in instructions per clock (IPC) performance, as well as access to newer technologies.

Zen 4 Raphael Tweet

Another leaker, Patrick Schur, echoed the same core ceiling in a tweet of his own. He also added that Zen 4 will leverage a 5-nanometer manufacturing process, and a sizable TDP bump to 170W. For reference, the Ryzen 9 5950X has a TDP of 105W.

Maybe we will get a decent uptick in clock speed in exchange for the higher power envelope. Most likely, however, it accounts for the rumored integrated graphics that, if early reports are accurate, will be based on AMD's second generation Radeon DNA (RDNA 2) architecture.

In a follow-up post, he noted that the "exact TDP numbers for Raphael are 65W, 95W, 105W, 120W, and 170W." In other words, not all chips will see a big increase in power consumption, but expect that to be the case at the high end.

It will be interesting to see how Zen 4 compares, both in comparison to Zen 3 and the upcoming refresh with stacked 3D V-cache, and Intel's hybrid Alder Lake CPUs that are due out later this years. AMD is rumored to also be embracing a heterogeneous design, but not until Zen 5.