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AMD Zen 3 CPUs delivering crazy single-core performance

With news around the RTX 30 series taking a breather amidst endless stock shortages, the time has finally come to turn our eyes to the next big launch on the horizon - the AMD Zen 3 CPUs, codenamed Vermeer.

These next-gen processors have been sending shockwaves through the market, even before they were officially announced a few weeks ago. The launch of these 5000 series chips is set for 5 November 2020, and if the early hype is anything to go by, these monsters are ready to take the world by storm. During the launch, AMD's Dr Lisa Su gave a strong message that AMD's newest offering would put them in the prime spot, not just with regards to multi-core performance (a crown they already possess), but specifically with regards to gaming. This means that we'd expect exceptional single-core performance with the new CPUs.


Well, if the early benchmarks are anything to go by, it seems that AMD has delivered, and then some! When it comes to single core clock speed, the 5Ghz point represents an almost mythical level that few consumer level CPUs can beat. Lo and behold, some leaked benchmarks over at Geekbench.com have painted a very rosy picture indeed that will leave customers licking their lips at the prospect of 5Ghz performance with ease. Of course, these are single benchmarks and should be taken with a pinch of salt, but given the consistency with which the results are popping up, it would be a very small pinch indeed...


The 16-core AMD Ryzen 9 5950X runs a base clock of 3.4Ghz and a boost clock of a whopping 4.9Ghz. And yet, in the leaked benchmarks, the 5950X cruises past the 5Ghz mark, peaking at 5.03Ghz.


Check out the best benchmark here - https://browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/4319375


The 5900X is no slouch either, running a base clock of 3.7Ghz and a boost clock on 4.8Ghz. This smaller brother of the 5950X delivers a monstrous 4.94Ghz on the best benchmark currently available on the site.


Check out the best benchmark here - https://browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/4306277


Another crazy comparison is at cpu-monkey; here you can directly compare the performance of the 5000 series chips against their older counterparts. This reveals crazy performance increases over the previous 3000 generation. The 5950X is a massive 20% more powerful in single-threaded performance than the 3950X. Similarly, the 5900X beats out the much improved 3900XT version by a striking 17%.


What is most telling about these results is that these are on a 16 and 12 core processor respectively! Intel's i9-10900K boasts a ridiculous 5.3Ghz single core boost speed, but bear in mind that this is a 10-core processor. To put it simply, processors with fewer cores require less power, thus producing less heat and invariably being able to run at higher clock speeds.

This powerful performance on it's 12 and 16 core CPUs is testament to AMD's new 7nm+ process, which brought in some useful improvements over the previous 7nm architecture used in the Zen 2 chips. The new design allows for these higher clock speeds all the while preserving a lower power consumption. AMD is running riot by winning on almost every front, now delivering more performance for the same or even less power usage.


As if that wasn't enough, there is a very real possibility, if the rumors are true, that each of the cores in these processors will be able to handle 4 threads. Yes, that's right - with a 16 core CPU you would essentially have a whopping 64 threads!


Now here's the real kicker - the cheapest of AMD's lot, the Ryzen 5 5600X has also made an appearance on the benchmark lists, this time on PassMark's single-thread CPU benchmark list, absolutely crushing anything Intel can offer.

Bear in mind that this is a mere $299 chip - likely to be in the region of around R6k locally.


It is an exciting time in the world of PCs, and we are delighted to be around to witness it. The new CPUs will be hitting South African shores soon and we are sure that you are just as keen as we are to put them to the test.


Soon.