Zen is certainly a long overdue architecture change for AMD, finally eschewing the bulldozer underpinnings for something far more modern, and a lot faster. Someone, or someones, are just as excited and have seemingly leaked info on four variants of Zen engineering samples.
Zen engineering samples show it’s on track for between 4-32 cores and vastly improved efficiency
St the moment there seems to be two consumer AM4 variants that sport 4 and 8-cores but with TDP’s that are 65W and 95W respectively. Each core is accompanied by an additional thread, doubling the number of logical computing threads available. AMD’s previous processors didn’t exactly sip power, even when idle, so the TDP will be very important for them, that and ensuring that these chips can hit various idle states so that they aren’t really pulling current at all. They say that it pulls between 2.5-5W of power at idle, a far cry from the 13W or more used by Piledriver.
For clock speeds, the consumer variants are currently running at around 2.8GHz with a boost speed of 3.2GHz, though with how many cores, we don’t know. Don’t be concerned, or tricked, by the low(ish) speeds just yet. They can be quite deceiving, especially with an architecture that bears no relation to its predecessors. We can’t accurately predict performance until we see a sample running for ourselves.
The professional and server market seems to have 24 and 32-core samples running about that operate on the SP3 socket, with 48 and 64 total threads respectively. Information gleaned from the leaks seem to suggest that the 32-core monster runs at 2.9GHz with the 24-core running at a lowly 2.75GHz. Granted, these are just engineering samples and clock speeds are by no means final. It’s also suggested that they have TDP’s of 150 and 180W respectively, with the same low-power modes capable of lowering the clock speed enough so that it also merely sips power.
The information seems sound when compared to the myriad other rumors that have surfaced, but that isn’t a guarantee at all. We do know that a 32-core solution is being pioneered by AMD and these Zen engineering samples speak to that. Whether or not the supposed performance gap between Skylake has indeed been filled is a mystery, but we do believe that these should absolutely be performance parity with whatever Intel has at the time of release, which should be quite soon.