“Our Cores are Just That Good”: AMD Explains the Decrease of TDP in Majority of Ryzen 9000 Chips

New Zen 5 Processors May Consume Less Power Despite Similar Performance Stats, Explains AMD’s VP

Through a recent statement, David McAfee, AMD Vice President, clarified why certain Ryzen 9000 series models consume less energy than their Ryzen 7000 series predecessors, despite sharing similar specifications. The conversation focused on the eight-core Ryzen 7 9700X and the six-core Ryzen 5 9600X, both with a TDP (Thermal Design Power) of merely 65 watts.

Generally, AMD assigns a TDP value of 65W to processors without an ‘X’ suffix, which typically implies lower clock speeds. Yet, the new Ryzen 7 9700X and Ryzen 5 9600X feature clock speeds that are 100 MHz higher when compared to the Ryzen 7 7700X and Ryzen 5 7600X, respectively.

In an interview with Tom’s Hardware, David McAfee, Corporate Vice-President at AMD, lauded Zen 5 cores for their efficiency. He noted, “they’re so good,” that higher TDP values are not needed. He also suggested that the lower power consumption enables AMD to provide greater performance without increasing power usage or running temperatures.

However, AMD’s claims generate skepticism since Ryzen 9000’s base frequency is reduced by 700–800 MHz compared to the Ryzen 7000 models, which use the base frequency as the TDP measure. The actual power usage in various tasks between Zen 4 and Zen 5 chips may thus not vary considerably.

The TDP reduction also affects the 12-core Ryzen 9 9900X, with a TDP of just 120W, 50W less than the Ryzen 9 7900X. Although the maximum frequency of this new processor remains at 5.6 GHz, the minimum has been reduced by 300 MHz to 4.4 GHz. However, the 16-core Ryzen 9 9950X maintains the same TDP value of 170W and the same maximum frequency of 5.7 GHz as the Ryzen 9 7950X, but with the base frequency dropped from 4.5 to 4.3 GHz.

Combined with a transition to a new process technology and a doubling in L1 and L2 cache throughput, the new Zen 5 cores deliver a 16% boost in IPC (Instructions Per Cycle) over their predecessors.

Diagram showing the performance increase with new Zen 5 processors

In the same interview with Tom’s Hardware, AMD representatives confessed that the new Ryzen 7 9700X and Ryzen 9 9950X would be comparable to the Ryzen 7 7800X3D and Ryzen 9 7950X3D in gaming performance, but they will not exceed it. The challenge now is figuring out how much more expensive the new releases will be compared to their predecessors.

Related Posts