The monolithic, or single-chip, processor christened by the French painter is a significant but roughly only dowry of the Zen 3 processor cores. One of the biggest throws of the architecture unveiled in October is that, unlike its predecessor, a total of 8 processor cores are now connected to each other via a single contiguous L3 cache, so the third-level cache within the chip is virtually merged.
In the case of Cézanne, the chip designer also increased the capacity, doubling the previous one, in parallel with the merging of the caches. With this, Renoir’s shared and small third-level cache of just 8 megabytes can manage cores with a combined 16-megabyte storage that can receive up to a single core, depending on the situation. Despite doubling, the Zen 3 (Vermeer) for the desktop market is still in the lead, with 32 megabytes of L3 falling on 8 cores. There are partly economic and partly technical reasons for the savings, as caches, in addition to occupying a large area, also have a relatively high power consumption, which can significantly reduce battery life above a certain level.
At the same time, the company has been forced to take action, as the Intel processors codenamed Tiger Lake introduced last year have brought significant advances in processor computing performance (as well). Referring to AMD’s own measurements, Cézanne, based on Zen 3, is competing with Tiger Lake, which is a novelty, if only by a hair, but faster in single-fiber execution. Looking at more than four executives, the advantage of the 5000 Series mobile Riesens, which are scalable up to 8 cores instead of Intel’s development, may be clearer. Of course, the Zen 3 cores and the doubled L3 are not free, and due to the unchanged 7-nanometer manufacturing technology, the size of the Cézanne chip has increased by a good 10 percent. In view of this, and the scarce capacity of the contract manufacturer TSMC, the pricing of processors has probably also run out, but there is no information on the extent of this yet.
While you can’t talk about Cézanne in terms of CPU performance, it certainly won’t save the world on the side of integrated graphics. AMD has rebuilt the former Vega into the chip instead of Navi 2, which represents the most modern member of its range. Based on the information currently available, the graphics unit and the closely related elements were taken over one by one by the engineering team from its predecessor Renoir. Accordingly, the capabilities did not change, and presumably the speed of graphical display did not improve significantly. The former probably also means that, unlike Tiger Lake, Cézanne does not support hardware decoding of AV1 format video material. However, this may only be a disadvantage at some point in the future, as the widespread use of AV1 remains to be seen.
Ten plus three processors
Building on Cézanne, AMD built a total of 10 different models in the first round. While those ending in the “U” member still have a power consumption of 15 watts, the variants marked “HS” have a TDP of 35 watts and the “H” models have a wattage of 45 watts. A novelty is the products ending in the “HX” suffix, for which AMD has specified a value of 45+ watts. These are specifically designed by the company for DTR (desktop replacement), i.e. large, thick, desktop gaming notebooks where cooling can cope with high dissipation. In terms of clocks, AMD shouldn’t be ashamed. The turbochargers of the higher-end high-end models scale up to 4.8 GHz, and the Ryzen 7 5800U for thin notebooks scales up to 4.4 GHz. Achieving and maintaining these values will still depend on the cooling and the current main parameters of the notebook.
Among the processors unveiled yesterday are three cuckoo eggs based on the Renoir unveiled a year ago, more specifically its now renamed version, the Lucienne. Accordingly, the Ryzen 7 5700U, Ryzen 5 5500U, and Ryzen 3 5300U still contain Zen 2 cores, half with L3 cache. It is not yet known what proportion the manufacturers will use the three models, but if possible, it will be better to choose a notebook based on Ryzen 7 5800U or Ryzen 5 5600U. According to AMD, the former model has 17.5 hours of operation in general use and 21 hours of video playback.
Part of the latter is Cézanne’s hoped-for success, the chip designer claims, claiming 50 percent increase in demand for novelties from OEM partners, so instead of 100, there could be 150 different configurations built on the 5000 Ryzens. The company also revealed that the first shipment of new processors was received by key partners as early as December, so notebooks based on Cézanne could hit the market as early as next month, in February. Thanks to all this, AMD can further increase its market share in the market dominated by Intel a few years ago.
Cézanne may also arrive on the desktop market around the middle of the year, but it is not yet known whether the development will also appear in boxed form. The Renoir, introduced about a year ago, has not yet been officially released, so it is questionable for the time being whether AMD’s latest chip will ever hit the DIY market.
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