One More Sleep Before You Can Buy One; But Should You?
AMD did a good job providing test samples of the new Zen 4 family, as you can see from the long list of reviews below. We will be adding to that list in the near future, once our testing wraps up and gets published; for we did get the whole stack to test. The Ryzen 5 7600X and Ryzen 9 7950X are very different from the previous generation, as you are going to need a new motherboard and RAM to use them; a new PCIe 5.0 PSU might be a wise addition as well.
The biggest noticeable difference are the temperatures at which the new Zen 4 processors run. They are not just designed to run at a TJMax of 95C 24 hours a day, they actually prefer it and will try to run as close to that temperature as they possibly can when they are under load. AMD assures everyone this is not just safe, but better for the CPU. You can choose to modify this behaviour if you so desire, both the new Ryzen Master software and the BIOS allow you to specify your target TDP to 65 W, 105 W TDP or 170 W TDP. AMD also plans to update this to allow you to enable Eco-mode, which will dynamically set the TDP base on current load.
As for the performance, the details can be found at Ars Technica as well as below. The highlights are that the new processors noticeably outperform the previous generation of AMD’s Zen processors and Intel’s 12th generation Core processors. That could change very soon, as the new Intel processors are coming soon, but AMD’s timing allows them to claim top spot for now.
The move to Zen 4 is expensive, so if you own a current generation processor you might want to hold off on grabbing new silicon tomorrow. If you are several generations back, the combination of higher power efficiency, better performance and support for DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 will provide a noticeable improvement.