Amidst rumours of series refreshes, stop-gap releases and Zen 4 on the horizon, new processor variants of AMD Ryzen 5000-series desktop CPUs were uncovered earlier this week. Patrick Schur revealed the details of two new chips broadly conforming to Ryzen 5950X and 5600X specifications but updated to a new B2 stepping, an advanced revision compared to the original release. Today however AMD reached out to Polish enthusiast site Benchmark.pl to officially dispel rumours of a series refresh, and thus leave the desktop market in limbo once again.
Schur's breakdown of the two new processors yesterday naturally fuelled rumours of an XT-like refresh for the Ryzen 5000-series this summer, similar to the Ryzen 3000XT series in July 2020. It would make some sense too; OEMs are keen to have 'brand new' products in systems in time for summer retail windows, and an XT refresh would offer something of a stop-gap in releases until Zen 4 (currently anticipated for 2021). These chips won't be a part of that however.
Speaking to Benchmark.pl, an AMD representative said that:
"As part of our continued effort to expand our manufacturing and logistics capabilities, AMD will gradually rollover AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Desktop Processors to B2 Revision over the next 6 months. It does not bring functionality or performance improvements, and no BIOS update is required."
This doesn't quite nix the rumours of a major release prior to Zen 4, but at least seems to push any likely timeline back a few months. Hopefully these B2 stepping chips will fulfil the role of improving availability while simultaneously normalising pricing for the entirety of the Ryzen 5000-series.
So, could AMD launch a Ryzen 6000-series before the end of the year, perhaps based on a 'Zen3+'? Early roadmaps certainly indicated that it would be a possibility. Pundits have thrown cold water on the idea in recent months however, noting that we would have expected some word of such a release by now and that AMD would likely be focussing their efforts on Zen 4 to combat Intel's Alder Lake processors.
Zen3+ would also be something of a evolutionary end-point for AM4 ahead of a transition to DDR5 memory and a new CPU socket. Is that a platform users would want to invest in, knowing that it would effectively have no upgrade path?
SOURCE: Benchmark.pl (Polish), @PatrickSchur_