AMD's Zen 5 chips will perhaps be a more modest step forward than some rumors indicate - though we should be very cautious about performance predictions anyway.
That's the gist of the most recent video uploaded by YouTuber Moore's Law is Dead, with the leaker going to great pains to make a few things clear.
Namely that we won't see a fundamental shift in architecture and design until Zen 6. While Zen 5 is a major redesign for AMD, the overall layout remains the same as Zen 4 (and it may still suffer from some of the issues that this layout entails).
That's not to say folks at AMD aren't excited about Zen 5 - they are, more so than before the Zen 4 launch - but still, we should temper our enthusiasm a little (and it's Zen 6 which is really going to change things, with a whole new layout that drives hard to decrease latency).
Furthermore, Moore's Law is Dead underlines that we need to be somewhat careful about IPC predictions for incoming silicon, and that these can often change a fair bit from development through to release - and that AMD tends to be conservative when estimating IPC during CPU development.
All of which leads up to the leaker sharing new IPC predictions based off a slide that may at first glance disappoint.
Specifically, that Zen 5 will bring in a 'decent' IPC gain, but not a 'wild' one, and it'll be in the order of 10% to 15% (15% plus, in fact, so maybe a bit over) according to the slide. Moore's Law is Dead notes that there's likely wiggle room, and more like 20% is possible here.
Especially considering that earlier estimates for previous generations in some cases turned out to be conservative, as mentioned, and this is likely the tack Team Red is taking here.
A more realistic outlook?
Still, this is lower than some other predictions we've heard on the grapevine, such as a potential 25% generational boost for Zen 5. Moore's Law is Dead is pretty clear that this, and certainly the likes of 30% gains also vaguely floated in the past, won't happen.
As for Zen 6 performance projections, that's still an area where only a very rough guess can be made, and currently, that seems to be we're looking at a double-digit increase. Vague, yes, but that's as good as it gets for Zen 6, and that isn't too surprising given how far out it is still.
Speaking of launch timeframes, Moore's Law is Dead pegs Zen 6 as being released in the middle of 2025, or later in the year, and with Zen 5, those next-gen processors should be out in the first half of 2024.
Indeed, the YouTube leaker believes that Zen 5 (Ryzen 8000) could be launched very early in 2024 if AMD wants to push things, meaning in the first quarter. Potentially less than six months away, then, which would certainly be something for Intel to worry about - given that Arrow Lake isn't expected until late in 2024.
Granted, Arrow Lake is rumored to be a serious leap forward for Intel, but if it turns up a lot later than Ryzen 8000 - and as Moore's Law is Dead believes, is also meaningfully more costly - then Team Blue could be losing desktop CPU ground here. It's a bit early to make that call (again), of course, but this is how things at least appear to be shaping up.
Watch this space, as surely if AMD's plan is to spring (no pun intended) Zen 5 early next year, then we'll be getting a lot more Ryzen 8000 leaks through from the rumor mill as 2023 rumbles to a close.