MANUFACTURING NODEThe Ryzen 3000-series made history as the first mainstream desktop processor to transition to TSMC’s 7nm manufacturing process, utilising the improvements it offered in terms of smaller die size and lower power requirements for CPU Core Dies (CCD) while maintaining a 12nm package for the larger IO die (on which sits the memory controller and other IO functions).
Ryzen 5000-series processors are similar. The 7nm process involved is a more mature one, though AMD fall short of calling it 7nm+, so it should offer more consistent yields and binning opportunities for high performance parts. The IO die meanwhile is identical to that utilised in the 'Matisse' 3000-series processors, utilising the same 12nm process for the sake of consistency.
While it is common for manufacturers to increase power limits in order to squeeze new performance from each subsequent generation, AMD have instead maintained the TDP criteria from Zen 2 to Zen 3 at stock. Perf/watt improvements therefore are a direct result of performance-based architectural improvements rather than boosting power limits.
Current 500-series motherboards are compatible with Ryzen 5000-series processors when updated to an appropriate BIOS
SOCKET PARITY & MOTHERBOARD COMPATIBILITYA large contributor to Ryzen’s success has been the continuity offered by Socket AM4 and backwards/forwards compatibility across updated motherboard generations. This outing is nonetheless likely to be the final hurrah for AM4 prior to transitioning to a new socket and DDR5 memory, and you always want to send them off by making a statement.
The Ryzen 5000-series is compatible straight out of the box with 500-series motherboards on sale right now, comprising all X570, B550 and A520 models. 500-series models already in the hands of end-users require an AGESA 126.96.36.199 UEFI BIOS or newer, for which there was wide-spread release in August/September after an initial May rollout. If in doubt, update to your latest release prior to installation of the new CPU.
Just like the Ryzen 3000-series before it, Ryzen 5000-series CPUs will be compatible with the prior motherboard generation... eventually. 400-series BIOS updates are in development now and beta releases should be available in January 2021 across a wide range of both B450 and X470 models; early adopters will therefore need to leverage a 500-series board. PCIe 4.0 restrictions according to motherboard chipset will also remain in place.
No changes to upper TDP limits and stock memory support means there shouldn’t be any new issues with specific CPU/Motherboard combinations due to weak power delivery systems at stock speeds. In-situ processor updates therefore could be made more affordable than a typical whole-system upgrade.
CHIPLETS RETURNRyzen 5000-series CPUs inherit many of the physical characteristics from the 3000-series. As well as an AM4-compatible interposer, each processor features one or two 7nm Core Complex Dies (CCD) and a single 12nm IO Die (IOD). The IOD is unchanged from the 3000-series, whereas the CCD has undergone significant updates.
As with the previous generation, Chiplets allow AMD to aggressively bin their dies and allocate the best performing ones accordingly. It’s for that reason that clock speeds increase as we go up the range, and only the 105W power envelope of the dual-CCD 5950X appears to restrict its base clock.
Selectively disabling sub-standard cores allows AMD to use more of the dies that would otherwise not make the grade, both in the 5600X (a single 6-core CCD) and 5900X (two 6-core CCDs). By getting more from each manufactured wafer coming out of TSMC they’re able to keep prices relatively low, even considering the benefits of small die areas compared Intel's monolithic 10th Generation desktop CPUs.