back to article What's that you got there, AMD? More Ryzen chips? Yeah, OK, we could do with some of those

AMD on Tuesday launched its Ryzen 5000 series of microprocessors at this year’s virtual CES trade show. CEO Lisa Su introduced the raft of new parts during her keynote speech. They are all 7nm, and use AMD’s latest Zen 3 architecture. She highlighted a few processors in particular, such as the eight-core, 16-thread Ryzen 7 …

  1. Korev Silver badge


    Almost everyone I know who's tried to buy a 5000 series chip hasn't been able to get one. It'd be great if AMD could make enough chips so we could actually buy one!

    1. Steve K

      Re: Availability?

      Scan have some stock at the moment (5800X/5600X) but 59xx are showing as unavailable

      (13/01/21 @ 09:08)

      1. Reg Sim

        Re: Availability?

        Scan do have stock, I have been eyeing a R5 5600X to replace my R5 3600, not that I need to but both are 65W and there is a significant game improvment and support for under volting. However the R5 5600X is over priced at the moment. I am sure this will change once stock eases, its not really a Scan issue as the price is currently a little hight from all vendors with stock (at the time of writing).

        Hearing about a R9 5900 being an a 65W part is no supprise, but its a tempting upgrade for my lunch box sized PC. I wonder if they will/can do an R9 5900E part to replace the 45W R7 2800E, that would give a mind bending upgrade for a 45W desktop part. (Going from Zen1+ to Zen3 with two extra cores and four extra threads in the same TDP with all the IPC yummy goodness)... not sure who needs a 45W 12 core 24 thread monster.... but AMD could always hid it under Intels bed :p

        1. Steve K

          Re: Availability?

          not sure who needs a 45W 12 core 24 thread monster

          Need is nothing to do with it!!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Availability?

      Forget 5000, its hard enough trying to find a Ryzen 4000 laptop, and they have been out for nearly a year.

      1. Colin Bull 1

        Re: Availability?

        I got one (4500u) . BUT the specs were very limited. Soldered in RAM, only one storage device. But the NVMe goes like shit off a shovel. I have ordered a 256GB micro SD card to boost short term storage and the Wifi6 makes connecting to a NAS not too problematical. Biggest problem is cannot get Bluetooth mouse working at same time as WiFi under Ubuntu. Guess its an Intel driver problem.

      2. uncle sjohie

        Re: Availability?

        My wife is responsible for a lot of logistics between factories in China, and their customers in the EU region. At the moment, arguably the biggest problem in China is physical lack of containers, due to borked shipping schedules of the large containerships at the start of the pandemic, because there were literally not near enough healthy people in the Chinese ports to load those ships at that time.

        So at the moment they are frantically building containers in China, so they can start shipping more products. One of their shipments was due to be trained using the new silkroad railway system on the 22th of december, but that train hasn't moved an inch yet. The container capacity that was, and is available, is hogged by Apple with their iPhones, and Sony and MS for their next gen consoles with long term contracts. And airfreight isn't an option either, what little capacity there is, has tripled in price.

  2. Binraider Silver badge

    Mate of mine asked for help PC part picking last night. Went for the 3800XT, mostly because it was actually available! It is only a 6 month old chip after all!

    Graphics card availability is however, atrocious; there is virtually nothing in stock anywhere of current generation; or suffering hugely overinflated prices compared to RRP. Only solution we could come up with for that was an old banger of a card for now and come back to it in 12 months when there is a possibility the supply chain may have had a chance to recover somewhat.

    1. Wayland

      RX 480 4GB cards on ebay for £110. Former mining cards from China I expect. They perform pretty well. They will do as a place holder until your preferred card is available.

      Some of the coins are designed to be difficult to mine on ASIC devices. They achieve this by designing a very large memory requirement, hence 4GB mining cards becoming obsolete for mining.

    2. Boothy

      Some tech tubers I watch have basically ended up saying if you're building a new system, you're better off buying an older 2nd hand card for now, and maybe look for a new card in 6 months time. Not just due to lack of stock, but also the current inflated prices even when you find something in stock, very few new cards seem to be at, or even close to, MSRP.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Graphics card availability is however, atrocious; there is virtually nothing in stock anywhere of current generation; or suffering hugely overinflated prices compared to RRP. Only solution we could come up with for that was an old banger of a card for now and come back to it in 12 months when there is a possibility the supply chain may have had a chance to recover somewhat.

      The price of Bitcoin tanked in the last few days so some second hand stock might be coming available soon as miners give up for a while.

  3. Wayland

    Consider Ali Express Xeon mother boards

    At one time Ali Express Xeon motherboard bundles offered good price performance but with each RYZEN release this became less so. Both the RYZEN and the Xeon perform thanks to plenty of cores and threads but with some games it's all down to clock speed. Enough clock speed will always compensate for fewer cores but the converse is not true. However the newer games based on Vulkan actually do make use of more cores. A 2GHz Xeon can compete with a 4GHz RYZEN if it's a modern title. Although always get the highest clock speed you can get.

    It's a similar story with the RAM. 4 sticks of RAM in a Xeon works like the two faster sticks of RAM in a RYZEN.

    It is time again to consider an Ali Express Xeon bundle if you can't build a RYZEN system. A motherboard bundle with a 6 core 12 thread Xeon with 8GB RAM is £50. This is about the same Cinebench performance as if you build a RYZEN 3 system for £150, assuming you can get the CPU.

    1. Fading

      Re: Consider Ali Express Xeon mother boards

      Nice but older Xeons tend to lack a modern feature set - especially the motherboards. PCIe4, 2.5Gb and above networking, wifi 6, M.2 NVMe - no older Xeons support these features so whilst you have similar cinebench performance you are missing a lot of "nice to haves" (or essentials depending on your needs).

  4. alain williams Silver badge

    Am I the only one who is confused ...

    by the way that these things are described ?

    OK: I understand numbers like: frequency, cores, cache but what is the difference between: a desktop processor; a business system processor; a server processor ?

    These differences might well be written somewhere but it is not easily found and described in an obvious way.

    Also: what is the difference between, say, a Ryzen 9 5980HX and the AMD FX-8150 that is on my desk ? (ignoring easy to understand frequency, cache, cores, ....) I suspect new instructions to help with video decoding, AES (Rijndael encryption), ... but finding mention of these is almost impossible.

    This is something that El Reg could explain or point to and would be much more useful than telling me how fast it runs World of Warcraft - or some other game that I have zero interest in.

    And: CPU frequency is useless when comparing different architectures (AMD, Intel, ARM, Power, ...) so how about something like SPEC ?

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

      Re: Am I the only one who is confused ...

      The entire naming convention of both Intel and AMD is designed to obscure. Same with PC makers. When was the last time you were on a PC makers website and they had simple product filters for core count & frequency, let alone secondary spec filters like cache, etc? It's all designed to obscure so they can sell more of the lower end crap without people realizing it.

      You can already buy 16 core laptops (e.g. Origin PC), but even on their website they don't have filters.

    2. Tom Chiverton 1

      Re: Am I the only one who is confused ...

      Max clock speed is also pointless, something like max sustained and how long for would make more sense

      1. Boothy

        Re: Am I the only one who is confused ...

        Quote: "Max clock speed is also pointless, something like max sustained and how long for would make more sense"

        Problem here is things like cooling and what the use case is.

        If your doing something heavy multicore, then sustained over all cores is more important, but if you're doing something like gaming, which can be quite a peaky heavy on one core type load, then a faster boost speed in one core, for a short duration, tends to be more important than the all core sustained speed.

        So sustained speed might be more important to you, but max peak speed in a single core, more important to someone else.

        Plus of course cooling comes into this, especially in Laptops. Lots of laptops with the same exact CPU perform very differently, as they pretty much always thermally throttle eventually, some quicker than others of course.

        But I do think you right, in that we need a better way to define these things.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Am I the only one who is confused ...

      You could say you just need to know this:

      "Ryzen" is Desktop with the highest single core clocks and is limited to Unbuffered RAM and 20 PCIe lanes (this SUCKS in 2021)... so you could say it only works for a gaming machine with 1 true NVMe drive (the rest will be on hubs). Does _NOT_ support ECC features outside of it's single bit correction (it's surface feature), so no ECC options like mirroring, scrubbing etc. Also, single socket only and it only supports 128GB RAM (won't matter for gaming). They're perfect for gaming or surfing the web and/or office programs, but the PCIe lane count kills all other usages.

      "Threadripper" (a.k.a. "workstation", possibly "business") has more cores with a slightly lower clock, but allows 128 PCIe lanes (the new ones, old ones 64), only supports Unbuffered RAM but does support ECC features (although motherboard support for ECC features is limited). In THEORY, these are the target for non-linear video editing and possibly A.I. (specifically where a single routine needs speed) as well as CGI/CAD. Single socket only as well but they support up to 512GB RAM.

      "EPYC" is server and/or business. They support everything the above 2 do but at lower clock speeds. They also support even more features (it's a long list). Basically, EPYC is "feature complete" and supports the "most of everything", but core to core the slowest.

      The laptop CPU's are basically Ryzen's with possibly a few features added depending on model (ECC, larger RAM support), but I don't think it really matters what they technically can be called out for besides just being a desktop CPU in a laptop.

      The NEXT Epyc, Genoa (~mid 2022), is the one to watch along with Intel's Sapphire Rapids (~late 2021). Those bring DDR5 support and certain new instructions (CLX, CCIX) that could change some things (fingers crossed). DDR5, going by the real world performance jumps since DDR 1, you should see at least a real 20% increase. Ryzen and Threadripper will obviously support DDR5 too, but those come after Epyc Genoa.

      NOTE: 20 PCIe lanes in 2021 is a bad joke I think because if you want Thunderbolt or 20gbit+ USB you're kind of stuck depending on chipsets and hubs on motherboards, which complicates the hell out of things when trying to squeeze a modern desktop on a budget.

      1. Hooky

        Re: Am I the only one who is confused ...

        Thank you for that. Have a pint.

        Some of it I sort of knew, but I haven't seen it laid out that clearly before.

      2. MCPicoli

        Re: Am I the only one who is confused ...

        AMD enabling even ECC single-bit-correction on their lowly consumer platforms is already a huge step forward!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Am I the only one who is confused ...

          AMD has supported it on certain (most?) desktop CPU's since as far back as at least the Athlon days, so it's nothing new or a step anywhere. The problem is you can't really do anything with it and in some cases you can't even check to see if it's actually working correctly, it could even be working against you by dumping out a bunch of uncorrected errors but you don't know. AMD simply didn't impose the artificial limitation way back when like Intel did, but AMD also didn't furnish the feature.

          Sadly, unless you go Epyc, you can't use buffered RAM and UNbuffered ECC RAM is about 2x the price of buffered (but unbuffered is a little faster). So if you go Threadripper, you'll pay 2x the price for the RAM. Which leads me to a correction, the new Threadripper suppoorts up to 2TB of RAM, not 512GB as I stated above. As someone who is currently assembling a NLE computer, I can't help to see those huge $$$$'s for the unbuffered ECC RAM, especially for 2TB. Threadripper might be the sweet spot, but unless you're buying a hefty Epyc, Threadripper will be more costly.

          Again though, for gaming your GPU is PCIe x16 lanes and your NVMe is PCIe x4, so a Ryzen (PCIe x20 lanes) is all you really need along with a motherboard with a single PCIe x16 header and a M.Key header (basically the most overclockable mini-ITX board).

          1. Binraider Silver badge

            Re: Am I the only one who is confused ...

            On the subject of PCI-express lanes... 20 is (marginally) too few for my needs in a home PC. Threadripper is overkill for my needs; so rock-and-a-hard place between the options currently on sale.

            Here's why. 16x for a gfx card and for 4x NVMe. 4x for a 10GB LAN card, and 1x for a sound card.

            Clearly not all of that is in use at once, but the sound card especially is latency-critical. I can't explain why, Windows 7 had no problem with this setup. In WIn 10; I get all kinds of horrible audio artefacts when recording stuff. I could only attribute this to too many lanes conflicting. No bother in Linux; BUT choice of DAW in Linux is rather limiting. The only thing I could point at as a problem was a possible shortage of PCI-e lanes and more resource intensive use of the system as a whole.

            A not-quite pro-workstation board with 30 lanes would more or less persuade me to buy one immediately. make the current crop of Ryzen boards a lot more appealling. Every other aspect of AMD ecosystem right now I'm sold on. The more I think about it a 2nd hand 1st or 2nd gen threadripper may be the right choice for now...

  5. Andrew Williams


    They reportedly are paying a lot to fabricators to make their kit. This is likely squeezing out AMD being able to get stuff made in quantity.

    1. Boothy

      Re: Intel...

      Can you clarify?

      As far as I'm aware, Intel fab their own chips (14nm+++(how many now?) and 10nm), and AMD get theirs made by TSMC (7nm etc).

      AMD also signed contracts years in advance for fab space at TSMC. AMDs main issue is they are making CPUs, GFX chipsets, and console chipsets all in one place. with TSMCs 7nm. Once the batches of consoles have caught up, that will free up some of their 7nm allocation for CPUs and GPUs.

      So how would Intel impact AMD fabricators?

      1. Old Used Programmer

        Re: Intel...

        Intel hasn't managed to get sub-10nm fab working so they're looking to independent fabs to make chips at smaller nodes until they can manage to do it themselves. It's a desperation move on Intel's part.

        1. MCPicoli

          Re: Intel...

          That's why TSMC et al won't displace any of their customers with long term contracts or relocate any significant fab capacity on the most current nodes to Intel. Nor will TSMC commit to expand or build any new fabs to supply them.

          They know Intel will turn its back on them as soon as they get their own processes running smoothly.

  6. Colonel Mad

    Got one (5600X)

    Picked it up from Currys the other day

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