AMD Launches the Ryzen 8000 Processors for Desktops: Hybrid CPUs with Zen 4c and Ryzen AI

AMD today announced the Ryzen 8000 desktop processors codenamed “Phoenix,” making them the first AM5 APU family. There are a lot of firsts here, so let’s get to it. These CPUs (APUs) are the first desktop Ryzen parts with a hybrid core architecture, at least at the lower end, featuring a mix of Zen 4 and Zen 4c cores. They’re also the first with fixed-function AI hardware marketed as “Ryzen AI.”

Data source: Tom’s Hardware/Paul Alcorn.

AMD’s approach to heterogeneous core architectures is opposite to Intel’s. The higher-end Ryzen 8000 chips solely leverage the Zen 4 cores, while the lower-end variants add the Zen 4c cores to save die area and costs. The Ryzen 7 8700G features 8 Zen 4 cores, scaling it down to 6 with the 8600G. Neither have any Zen 4 cores. The Ryzen 5 8500G consists of 2 Zen 4 and 4 Zen 4c cores with lower clocks for the latter. Similarly, the Ryzen 5 8300G has a single Zen 4 but 3 Zen 4c cores with even lower clocks.

The Ryzen 8000 processors will primarily be known for their iGPU gaming performance. For the first time, a desktop APU can deliver entry-level dGPU performance, beating the likes of the GTX 1650. The Ryzen 7 8700G is (up to) 4x faster than the Core i7-14700K when using the onboard Radeon 780M iGPU. It is powered by 12 RDNA 3 Compute Units (CU) consisting of 768 shaders clocked at 2.9GHz under load.

The performance deltas vary greatly from game to game. For example, Far Cry 6 runs nearly as well on the 14700K as the 8700G. However, most titles see a gain of more than 2x when going from the former to the latter. The 8600G trails behind the 8700G with a mild but consistent deficit, varying from 10% to 50%+.

The Ryzen AI module will be limited to the Ryzen 7 8700G and the 8600G. Fortunately, AMD has decided to include the Ryzen AI sticker on SoCs that support the technology, though I have to admit that it’s a very immature tech (at the moment). Very few apps benefit from the accelerator and none that I use.

AMD is pricing the Ryzen 8000 processors a smidge lower than the existing 7000 family. The 8700G will retail at $329, $20 less than the current market price of the 7700X. The 8600G has an MSRP of $229, $10 less than the 7600X. The Ryzen 5 8500G will replace the highly acclaimed Ryzen 5 5xxx lineup at $179. The 8300G will be limited to OEMs and SIs. These chips will be available to DIYers globally starting from the 31st of January.

Areej Syed

Processors, PC gaming, and the past. I have written about computer hardware for over seven years with over 5000 published articles. I started during engineering college and haven't stopped since. On the side, I play RPGs like Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Divinity, and Fallout. Contact: areejs12@hardwaretimes.com.
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