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What is AMD Zen 4? The chipmaker’s latest architecture explained

PC gaming enthusiasts will know there are a lot of buzzwords in the industry, but some can represent real advancements. AMD Zen 4 represents the company’s latest and greatest CPU architecture. Here are the basics.

AMD is on a bit of a tear right now, with its new Zen 4-based handheld gaming chips just being announced. The Ryzen Z1 series is set to debut on the Asus ROG Ally. But Zen 4 has been around for some time now, hitting devices in 2022.

The new architecture was another step forward for AMD, improving efficiency and performance of the red brand’s processors. The technology is now present across both desktop and laptop CPUs. We’re here to break down all the key details of Zen 4. This is what you need to know.

What is Zen 4?

Zen 4 is the name of AMD’s latest CPU architecture, present on the company’s Ryzen 7000 series of processors. The new microarchitecture aims to improve efficiency and performance, utilising TSMC’s 5nm process compared with the 7nm node used on the previous Zen 3+ architecture.

AMD Zen 4 launched on September 27th 2022, with the new Ryzen 9 7950X, 9 7900X, 7 7700X and 5 7600X desktop CPUs hitting the shelves. The series features up to 16 cores and 32 threads. The top-of-the-range AMD Ryzen 9 7950X offered a single-core improvement of up to 29%, up to 15% improvement in gaming performance and up to 27% better performance-per-watt when compared with its Zen 3-flavoured Ryzen 9 5950X predecessor. For processing speed, that adds up to 4.5GHz (5.7GHz boost).

The introduction of the Zen 4 architecture also came with a new Socket AM5 platform, with AMD touting support for this socket through 2025.

In January 2023, AMD revealed laptop CPUs featuring Zen 4 architecture, with the high-end Ryzen 7045 series and Ryzen 7040 chips sporting the new technology. The rest of the Ryzen 7000 mobile CPU range sticks with the previous microarchitecture.

Zen 4 is set to spread to handheld machines with the AMD Ryzen Z1 series, including the Z1 and Z1 Extreme. The chips will first appear on the Asus ROG Ally.

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