Word Is AMD Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 CPUs Will Also Get 3D V-Cache Next Year

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Did you check our review of the Ryzen 7 5800X3D? If you're new to all this PC hardware business, the short version is that AMD took one of its extant Ryzen 7 5800X CPUs, slightly reduced the clock speed, and then bolted on an extra 64 MB of L3 cache by attaching an extra die to the top of the CPU complex, with through-silicon vias and other cutting-edge wizardry. The results are impressive for gamers, and likely have made all but the most die-hard Intel fans hopeful for the future of AMD's 3D stacking technology.

As it happens, that future could continue with Zen 4-based processors, though probably not at launch. Preeminent Digimon-themed leaker and rumor-monger Greymon55 remarked that Zen 3D is only being packaged on a single production line. For one thing, this implies that stocks of the hotly-desired Ryzen 7 5800X3D might be rather limited on its release in five days.


Greymon55 continued, saying that production of Zen 4 processors with 3D-stacked cache will not begin until production of Zen 3D chips has stopped so that the line can be changed over to the new chips. What this means in practice, confirmed by a follow-up reply, is that AMD's first wave of Zen 4-based processors likely won't include any chips with 3D V-cache. Instead, those parts will probably come next year.

It makes sense, if you look at the timeline for Intel's upcoming processors. We expect Intel to launch its "Raptor Lake" 13th-generation Core processors later this year—possibly in Q3—and AMD is likewise expected to launch its Ryzen 7000-series processors, based on the new Zen 4 architecture and Socket AM5 platform, around the same time frame.

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A 2023 release would pit Zen 4 3D against Intel's first chiplet design, Meteor Lake. Image: CNet

While we've seen many comments around the web from users expecting 3D V-cache to become ubiquitous across AMD's product range, the reality is that it's an expensive upgrade that only benefits certain workloads. Greymon55 says that it's likely AMD will release Zen 4 chips with the upgrade in 2023 to fight back against Intel's Meteor Lake chips, and we agree.

There's no question that for the workloads to which it applies (primarily games on the desktop), 3D V-Cache offers a significant performance uplift. That's true for AMD's EPYC Milan-X server CPUs in big data applications and the like, as well as the Ryzen 7 5800X3D. If Greymon55 is correct, it will be interesting to see if that holds true for Zen 4, as well. AMD is supposedly focusing its efforts on its memory controller for Zen 4, so the impact of 3D V-cache may be less significant on the new platform, but time will tell.