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AMD Zen 5 processor rumor sets stage for epic end-of-year battle with Intel

AMD’s hotly-anticipated Zen 5 CPUs could launch at the end of this year, lining up closely with Intel’s Arrow Lake release – which could spell trouble for Team Blue and edge AMD further towards hard-earned desktop supremacy in the best processors ranking. 

Chinese tech outlet UDN reports that AMD’s Zen 5 CPU will be in mass production by Q3 of this year, and notes that the flagship Zen 5 chips will be manufactured on 4nm process nodes. This is quite a shift from the previous Zen 4 generation of CPUs that are built on a 5nm process, which could bring about much better performance in the long run.  

This new supposed timeline contradicts previous rumors that suggested the CPUs could already be in production, however, the end-of-year launch now seems to be consistent across the rumor mill, which gives us hope that we’ll see these new CPUs sooner rather than later – some older rumors even suggested that we might not see Zen 5 until 2025. 

According to the new leak, the new CPU architecture will likely be desktop-first and aimed at enthusiasts and gamers who enjoy building and modifying their own PCs. This means it’s entirely possible that we won’t be seeing the Zen 5 architecture in any laptops at least until next year. Thankfully, if you are currently running on a Zen 4 chip (any of the Ryzen 7000 desktop CPUs) you won’t have to upgrade your motherboard since the new chips will use the same AM5 socket. However, if you’re using an older one (or an Intel one) be prepared to purchase a new motherboard alongside a new CPU.

 A race to the market  

Why is it significant that AMD and Intel might have similar launch dates? AMD’s focus on these new chips is improving performance: Zen 5 will be similar to Zen 4 but faster thanks to its more refined 4nm process, therefore you’ll have superior performance. So, if AMD can get their next-gen product out of the gate earlier than Intel, more people will be swayed by the promise of better performance and buy the Zen 5 processor first – thus potentially securing AMD a larger chunk of the desktop CPU market. 

Plus, if the rumors are true and we won’t be seeing any laptops fitted with the Zen 5 until much later (likely at CES or Computex in 2025), so we could see AMD take that time to learn from the desktop launch and take advantage of the time between then and the laptop chip release. 

While both companies probably want to get their own next-gen chips out first, they also won’t want to put out a half-baked product. AMD and Intel have a short period between now and their respective launch dates to perfect their products as much as possible before they enter large-scale production – because if one were to release a truly poorly manufactured product, they’d end up losing the race before it even began. 

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