Performance Claims of Zen 2

At Computex, AMD announced that it had designed Zen 2 to offer a direct +15% raw performance gain over its Zen+ platform when comparing two processors at the same frequency. At the same time, AMD also claims that at the same power, Zen 2 will offer greater than a >1.25x performance gain at the same power, or up to half power at the same performance. Combining this together, for select benchmarks, AMD is claiming a +75% performance per watt gain over its previous generation product, and a +45% performance per watt gain over its competition.

These are numbers we can’t verify at this point, as we do not have the products in hand, and when we do the embargo for benchmarking results will lift on July 7th. AMD did spend a good amount of time going through the new changes in the microarchitecture for Zen 2, as well as platform level changes, in order to show how the product has improved over the previous generation.

It should also be noted that at multiple times during AMD’s recent Tech Day, the company stated that they are not interested in going back-and-forth with its primary competition on incremental updates to try and beat one another, which might result in holding technology back. AMD is committed, according to its executives, to pushing the envelope of performance as much as it can every generation, regardless of the competition. Both CEO Dr. Lisa Su, and CTO Mark Papermaster, have said that they expected the timeline of the launch of their Zen 2 portfolio to intersect with a very competitive Intel 10nm product line. Despite this not being the case, the AMD executives stated they are still pushing ahead with their roadmap as planned.

AMD 'Matisse' Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs
AnandTech Cores
DDR4 TDP Price
Ryzen 9 3950X 16C 32T 3.5 4.7 8 MB 64 MB 16+4+4 3200 105W $749
Ryzen 9 3900X 12C 24T 3.8 4.6 6 MB 64 MB 16+4+4 3200 105W $499
Ryzen 7 3800X 8C 16T 3.9 4.5 4 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 3200 105W $399
Ryzen 7 3700X 8C 16T 3.6 4.4 4 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 3200 65W $329
Ryzen 5 3600X 6C 12T 3.8 4.4 3 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 3200 95W $249
Ryzen 5 3600 6C 12T 3.6 4.2 3 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 3200 65W $199

AMD’s benchmark of choice, when showcasing the performance of its upcoming Matisse processors is Cinebench. Cinebench a floating point benchmark which the company has historically done very well on, and tends to probe the CPU FP performance as well as cache performance, although it ends up often not involving much of the memory subsystem.

Back at CES 2019 in January, AMD showed an un-named 8-core Zen 2 processor against Intel’s high-end 8-core processor, the i9-9900K, on Cinebench R15, where the systems scored about the same result, but with the AMD full system consuming around 1/3 or more less power. For Computex in May, AMD disclosed a lot of the eight and twelve-core details, along with how these chips compare in single and multi-threaded Cinebench R20 results.

AMD is stating that its new processors, when comparing across core counts, offer better single thread performance, better multi-thread performance, at a lower power and a much lower price point when it comes to CPU benchmarks.

When it comes to gaming, AMD is rather bullish on this front. At 1080p, comparing the Ryzen 7 2700X to the Ryzen 7 3800X, AMD is expecting anywhere from a +11% to a +34% increase in frame rates generation to generation.

When it comes to comparing gaming between AMD and Intel processors, AMD stuck to 1080p testing of popular titles, again comparing similar processors for core counts and pricing. In pretty much every comparison, it was a back and forth between the AMD product and the Intel product – AMD would win some, loses some, or draws in others. Here’s the $250 comparison as an example:

Performance in gaming in this case was designed to showcase the frequency and IPC improvements, rather than any benefits from PCIe 4.0. On the frequency side, AMD stated that despite the 7nm die shrink and higher resistivity of the pathways, they were able to extract a higher frequency out of the 7nm TSMC process compared to 14nm and 12nm from Global Foundries.

AMD also made commentary about the new L3 cache design, as it moves from 2 MB/core to 4 MB/core. Doubling the L3 cache, according to AMD, affords an additional +11% to +21% increase in performance at 1080p for gaming with a discrete GPU.

There are some new instructions on Zen 2 that would be able to assist in verifying these numbers.

Ryzen 3000 and EPYC Rome Windows Optimizations and Security
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  • fmcjw - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    All good and fine, but I want Zen 2 and 7nm on my laptop. If they aren't announcing it today, products aren't gonna ship by holiday 2019, and most consumers will end up buying 10nm Intel devices. Missed chance.
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Eh, they have perfectly good 12 nm laptop SoCs. 7 nm would've been nice, but it's hard to do everything at once.
  • levizx - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Nope, those 12nm APUs have worse battery life (than current 8th Gen) and no TB3/USB4 support. I can't think of a reason where I would choose Ryzen 3xxxU over Ice Lake
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Do price & availability count?
  • Xyler94 - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Misleading remarks. Huawei was able to make a Ryzen APU have better battery life than an 8th gen processor. TB3 and USB4 aren't readily used mainstream yet. Heck USB-C hasn't even caught on yet.

    Currently laptop makers aren't optimizing AMD's CPU, that's just the fact.
  • Cooe - Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - link

    This is mostly nonsense. Performance AND battery life for Ryzen Mobile 2nd Gen is extremely close to Intel's current 8th & 9th gen 4-core parts. And until Ice Lake is a real thing that you can actually buy, Ryzen still has a major value advantage + far better iGPU performance. Ice Lake also isn't really any faster CPU wise than Whiskey Lake, because despite increasing IPC by +18%, clock-speeds were dropped from 4.8 to 4.1GHz, or about -16%, erasing nearly all those gains.
  • fmcjw - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Yeah, I get that they still need time to get the GPU down to 7nm, so they pushed it back to focus on the CPU for desktop (where performance per watt matters much less than server or mobile). But the silence is not reassuring, and mobile-wise, Zen is still inferior to Intel, maybe not performance-wise as Huawei demonstrates with its Matebook, but definitely battery-wise because of the more powerful GPU.
  • scineram - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Nobody is going to buy Shintel vaporware. Or only very few.
  • The_Assimilator - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Please edit the table on page 1 to combine the rows with identical values into a single row (e.g. the RAM speed). Also edit the 3950X price to have a ? after it as it's not yet confirmed.
  • jfmonty2 - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    The 3950X price is most definitely confirmed; Lisa Su said it loud and clear (and showed it on the slide) in AMD's E3 presentation yesterday:

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