AMD Zen 5 CPUs could be a big leap over Zen 4 - so might they be a killer blow to Arrow Lake?

If the latest rumor around Ryzen 8000 processors is right, Intel will need to make sure Arrow Lake CPUs are seriously good to compete.

2 minutes & 16 seconds read time

AMD's Zen 5 processors, which will presumably be the Ryzen 8000 desktop family, are due next year, and a YouTube leaker reckons these chips could be quite something.

This is RedGamingTech (RGT) on YouTube, who has rather revised their expectations around Zen 5 performance in recent times. Previously, the leaker floated the idea of a 25% increase in performance over Zen 4, before dialing that back slightly to a 20% uplift being more likely.

However, the latest spillage from RGT is again optimistic that AMD might achieve more than 20%.

RGT reminds us that the flagship for Ryzen 8000 will again be a 16-core processor, and that it'll run with 64MB of L3 cache, 80KB of L1 cache per core, and 1MB of L2 per core.

The leaker's new info comes from what's described as a very good source, who claims that Zen 5 will represent a larger stride forward than the jump from Zen 2 to Zen 3.

That uplift with Zen 3 was 19% with IPC (Instructions per Clock), you may recall, so we can broadly expect IPC gains in the low 20% area with Zen 5. Now, bear in mind that this IPC increase will be augmented by slightly faster clocks - perhaps 200MHz quicker, maybe 300MHz even - and we're looking at an overall performance gain of closing on 25%.

Take all this with a wheelbarrow of salt, naturally, as it's still relatively early days in the development of Zen 5.

A big problem for Intel?

Ryzen 8000 processors won't debut until Q3 2024 most likely, or that's the most common view of RGT's sources (with X3D models to follow early in 2025). Although Q2 is mentioned as an outside prospect for the launch of the first vanilla Zen 5 models.

The problem for Intel, then, is that if AMD can manage to unleash Zen 5 by the middle of next year, Team Blue could still have a fair wait on its hands to get Arrow Lake out (those desktop CPUs are due to make big gains - but won't be here until late in 2024, rumor has it).

That could mean a situation where a relatively uninspired Raptor Lake Refresh line-up is going up against a Ryzen 8000 family, potentially pulling 25% performance gains - or close to that. This would not be a good look for Intel, of course.

While Arrow Lake CPUs are expected to make big gains, some of the rumors around how much of a jump could be ushered in with Intel's 15th-gen have been tempered somewhat, going by the latest on the grapevine.

Interesting times indeed, but the scales of the 2024 desktop processor battle seem to have just about tipped back in AMD's favor - for now.

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Darren has written for numerous magazines and websites in the technology world for almost 30 years, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Computeractive, and many more. He worked on his first magazine (PC Home) long before Google and most of the rest of the web existed. In his spare time, he can be found gaming, going to the gym, and writing books (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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