AMD’s Zen 3 based Ryzen 4000 ‘Vermeer’ Desktop CPU lineup would be the biggest and hottest launch of 2020. While the launch is planned for later this year, motherboard manufacturers, OEMs, and generally everyone is excited for the upcoming family, which would replace the highly successful Ryzen 3000 series. Now, creators of the 16 core, 32 thread APEX 15 laptop, XMG, have confirmed that AMD’s Ryzen 4000 series processors will be compatible with existing AM4 motherboard such as the ones based on the B450 chipset, which leads to increased longevity of the AM4 st1000nm0023 platform.
AMD Ryzen 4000 ‘Vermeer’ Desktop CPUs Based on Zen 3 Architecture To Be Compatible With Existing AM4 Motherboards
According to the post by the XMG employee on a Reddit Thread (via TechPowerUP), it looks like several board makers will expand compatibility of their existing AM4 motherboards to support AMD’s next-generation Ryzen 4000 ‘Vermeer’ Desktop CPUs and also Ryzen 4000 ‘Renoir’ APUs. This was confirmed for the XMG APEX 15 in its specification list as can be seen below:
Some key features of XMG APEX 15
- Socket AM4 with a 65W TDP rating for AMD Ryzen 3000 series
- AMD B450 Chipset
- Official support for AMD Ryzen 9 3900 with 12 cores and 24 threads
- Can be upgraded to AMD Ryzen 9 3950X with 16 cores and 32 threads, running at 65W (comparable to Eco-Mode)
- Ryzen 4000 series are slated to be compatible with B450 Chipset via Microcode Update
- Launching with RTX 2060 and RTX 2070
- 2x DDR4 SO-DIMM Slots
- 2x M.2 SSD slots with NVMe and SATA support
- 1x 2.5” 7mm SATA HDD/SSD Slot
- All Discrete Design without any Integrated or Hybrid Graphics
- Rich I/O ports with HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, Ethernet and many USB ports
- Removable Battery with 62Wh capacity
- Full-Size Keyboard with NumPad and RGB Backlight
- Full-Size Touchpad with dedicated Buttons
- Matte 15.6” Full-HD with IPS/AHVA and 144Hz
- Support for Wi-Fi 6 through Intel AX200
- Sturdy chassis with 32.5mm z-height and 2.7kg system weight
Talking about the XMG APEX 15, the enthusiast-grade gaming laptop features a barebone design and comes with the AM4 socket on a B450 chipset powered motherboard. According to XMG, the motherboard will receive a BIOS microcode update sometime in the future, probably after AMD releases its Zen 2 lineup, to support Ryzen 4000 desktop processors. The XMG APEX 15 is a high-end design featuring support for up to a Ryzen 9 3950X 16 core and 32 thread processor so if there was something better to replace the CPU, it would be the Ryzen 9 4950X or whatever AMD wishes to call its next-generation flagship.
AMD might retain 16 cores and 32 threads on the next flagship mainstream processor too but we can expect two key changes, more efficient design with a more advanced 7nm process node and an overhauled architecture that would lead to increase horsepower in the same power envelope or lower.
If B450 chipset-based AM4 motherboards get a microcode update to support Ryzen 4000 Desktop CPUs, then we can also expect the higher-end X470 and also the current X570 and the upcoming B550 motherboards to feature support for AMD’s next-gen Zen 3 family of processors.
AMD Ryzen / Intel Core CPU Socket/Chipset Roadmap:
|Intel CPU||Socket||Chipset||Compatibility||AMD CPU||Socket||Chipset||Compatibility|
|7th Generation Kaby Lake (2017)||LGA 1151||200-Series||Skylake 6th Gen Compatible||AMD Ryzen 1000 (Zen 1 – 2017)||AM4||300-Series||Up To 3rd Gen Ryzen, 4th Gen Incompatible|
|8th Generation Coffee Lake (2017)||LGA 1151||300-Series||No Previous Gen Compatible||AMD Ryzen 2000 (Zen + – 2018)||AM4||400-Series||Up To 4th Gen Ryzen Support|
|9th Generation Coffee Lake Refresh (2018)||LGA 1151||300-Series||Coffee Lake 8th Gen – Works||AMD Ryzen 3000 (Zen 2 – 2019)||AM4||500-Series||Up To 4th Gen Ryzen Support|
|10th Generation Comet Lake (2020)||LGA 1200||400-Series||No Previous Gen Compatible||AMD Ryzen 4000 (Zen 3 – 2020)||AM4||600-Series||Up To 4th Gen Ryzen Support|
|11th Generation Rocket Lake (2020)||LGA 1200||400-Series||Comet Lake 10th Gen Compatibile||AMD Ryzen 5000 (Zen 4 – 2022)||AM5||700-Series?||No Previous Gen Compatible|
|12th Generation Alder Lake (2021-2022)||LGA 1700||500-Series?||No Previous Gen Compatible||AMD Ryzen 6000 (Zen 5 – 2023)||AM5||800-Series?||Ryzen 5000 (Zen 4) Compatible|
This leads to increased longevity of the AM4 platform which would offer support for all four generations of AMD Ryzen processors while Intel, on the other hand, tries to limit CPU compatibility per generation. Even the upcoming 10th Gen Comet Lake-S lineup is going to make use of a new socket and new chipset and while the Rocket Lake-S CPUs would retain compatibility on the LGA 1200 socket, Intel might ask board manufacturers to lock compatibility for the CPUs only on the 500-series platform.
With that said, the Ryzen 4000 series family would be the last generation of Zen-based processors to be built around the AM4 socket with Ryzen 5000, based on the Zen 4 architecture, moving on to a new socket and a new chipset. This would still be a great run for the AM4 socket which was introduced all the way back in 2017. AMD might also introduce new features on its newer boards for Ryzen 4000 processors which might entice users to upgrade but they aren’t forcing you a new socket/chipset down your throat like Intel has been doing for past several generations.
Here’s Everything We Know About The Zen 3 Based Ryzen 4000 ‘Vermeer’ Desktop CPUs
The AMD Zen 3 architecture is said to be the greatest CPU design since the original Zen. It is a chip that has been completely revamped from the group up and focuses on three key features of which include significant IPC gains, faster clocks and higher efficiency.
AMD has so far confirmed themselves that Zen 3 brings a brand new CPU architecture, which helps deliver significant IPC gains, faster clocks and even higher core counts than before. Some rumors have even pointed to a 17% increase in IPC and a 50% increase in Zen 3’s floating-point operations along with a major cache redesign.
When asked about what kind of performance gain Milan’s CPU core microarchitecture, which is known as Zen 3, will deliver relative to the Zen 2 microarchitecture that Rome relies on in terms of instructions processed per CPU clock cycle (IPC), Norrod observed that — unlike Zen 2, which was more of an evolution of the Zen microarchitecture that powers first-gen Epyc CPUs — Zen 3 will be based on a completely new architecture.
Norrod did qualify his remarks by pointing out that Zen 2 delivered a bigger IPC gain than what’s normal for an evolutionary upgrade — AMD has said it’s about 15% on average — since it implemented some ideas that AMD originally had for Zen but had to leave on the cutting board. However, he also asserted that Zen 3 will deliver performance gains “right in line with what you would expect from an entirely new architecture.”
– The Street
Other rumors have pointed out to a 50% increase in overall floating-point performance. We also got to see a major change to the cache design in an EPYC presentation, which showed that Zen 3 would be offering a unified cache design which should essentially double the cache that each Zen 3 core could have access compared to Zen 2.
The CPUs are also expected to get up to 200-300 MHz clock boost, which should bring Zen 3 based Ryzen processors close to the 9th Generation Intel Core offerings. That, along with the massive IPC increase and general changes to the architecture, would result in much faster performance than existing Ryzen 3000 processors, which already made a huge jump over Ryzen 2000 and Ryzen 1000 processors while being an evolutionary product rather than revolutionary, as AMD unveiled very recently.
The key thing to consider is that we will get to see return of the chiplet architecture and AMD will retain support on the existing AM4 socket. The AM4 socket was to last until 2020 so it is likely that the Zen 3 based Ryzen 4000 CPUs would be the last family to utilize the socket before AMD goes to AM5 which would be designed around future technologies such as DDR5 and PCIe 5.0. AMD’s X670 chipset was also hinted as to arrive by the end of this year and will feature enhanced PCIe Gen 4.0 support and increased I/O in the form of more M.2, SATA, and USB 3.2 ports.
As for competition, the AMD Ryzen 4000 ‘Zen 3 Vermeer’ lineup would compete against Intel’s soon to be released Comet Lake-S and its upcoming Rocket Lake-S desktop processors. Tackling the Intel Comet Lake-S won’t be so hard since the Ryzen 3000 CPUs are competitively positioned against the entire lineup as evident from the recent performance leaks, but Rocket Lake-S seems to be a major architectural uplift for Intel (although still based on 14nm process) which might just be Intel’s way back in the desktop mainstream market.
As for now, the competitive advantage that AMD has with its Zen 2 based Ryzen 3000 is just way too big compared to whatever Intel has in their sleeves for this year and Zen 3 based Ryzen 4000 processors are going to push that envelope even further.
AMD CPU Roadmap (2018-2020)
|Ryzen Family||Ryzen 1000 Series||Ryzen 2000 Series||Ryzen 3000 Series||Ryzen 4000 Series||Ryzen 5000 Series|
|Architecture||Zen (1)||Zen (1) / Zen+||Zen (2) / Zen+||Zen (3) / Zen 2||Zen (4) / Zen 3|
|Process Node||14nm||14nm / 12nm||7nm||7nm+ / 7nm||5nm / 7nm|
|High End Server (SP3)||EPYC ‘Naples’||EPYC ‘Naples’||EPYC ‘Rome’||EPYC ‘Milan’||EPYC ‘Genoa’|
|Max Server Cores / Threads||32/64||32/64||64/128||TBD||TBD|
|High End Desktop (TR4)||Ryzen Threadripper 1000 Series (White Haven)||Ryzen Threadripper 2000 Series (Coflax)||Ryzen Threadripper 3000 Series (Castle Peak)||Ryzen Threadripper 4000 Series (Genesis Peak)||Ryzen Threadripper 5000 Series|
|Max HEDT Cores / Threads||16/32||32/64||64/128||64/128?||TBD|
|Mainstream Desktop (AM4)||Ryzen 1000 Series (Summit Ridge)||Ryzen 2000 Series (Pinnacle Ridge)||Ryzen 3000 Series (Matisse)||Ryzen 4000 Series (Vermeer)||Ryzen 5000 Series (Warhol)|
|Max Mainstream Cores / Threads||8/16||8/16||16/32||TBD||TBD|
|Budget APU (AM4)||N/A||Ryzen 2000 Series (Raven Ridge)||Ryzen 3000 Series (Picasso Zen+)||Ryzen 4000 Series (Renoir Zen 2)||Ryzen 5000 Series (Cezanne Zen 3)|
What do you want to see in AMD’s next-gen desktop CPUs?