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AMD says Ryzen 9000 Series is Low-Power but High-Performance

The new AMD CPUs have lower PSU requirements, but at what cost?
Last Updated on June 14, 2024
AMD Ryzen 9000 TDP
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With AMD’s new Ryzen 9000 series just around the corner, consumers are hotly anticipating the new range of high-end CPUs. Launching with the new Zen5 architecture, the range is keenly anticipated for custom PC enthusiasts looking to upgrade after nearly two years of AMD drought. In the run-up to release, we’ve been drip-fed more information, all serving to paint a clearer picture of what to expect from the Ryzen 9000 series upon release.

People are also starting to get their hands on these new CPUs, but a review embargo has kept the details strictly confidential for now. Thankfully, AMD executives have been open in sharing details about the Ryzen 9000’s quirks.

Ryzen 9000 Series TDP Improvements

One element that caught the eyes of many when initial specifications went live was the lower TDP of the new range: previous Ryzen SKUs have needed 105W of your total PSU capacity, but these upcoming 9000 series models need a minimal 65W. This isn’t unheard of, with some previous base CPUs having similar power requirements – but given the impressive 8-core performance and new Zen5 architecture, the smart money was on the Ryzen 9000 series requiring more power as opposed to less.

AMD’s Senior Technical Marketing Manager, Donny Woligroski, sat down with Tom’s Hardware to explain that the new Ryzen cores are so efficient that the CPU simply doesn’t need the larger power requirements of old:

“At the end of the day, we give you more performance without increasing power, and at the end of the day, we give you more performance without increasing the heat. At the end of the day, we bought a non-X3D chip very close to an X3D chip when it comes to gaming.

All of those things are pretty big differences compared to previous small steps and launches. We’re going back on TDP because it turns out our eight cores are so good we don’t need higher TDP, so I think it’s a pretty stark comparison.”

Source: Donny Woligroski, Tom’s Hardware

Though still not as powerful as the Ryzen 7000X3D in terms of overall performance, Woligroski says it’s the next best thing. However, the cores’ efficiency isn’t the only thing driving the lower board power. The Ryzen 9000 series has a drastically reduced base clock speed, in some cases by as much as 700MHz in comparison to Ryzen 7000 options. This is likely another root cause of the reduced power requirements in the new CPUs, and though it’s balanced with the improved caches, the Ryzen 9000 series may not be up to scratch in some intensive processing scenarios. David McAfee, AMD’s Corporate VP, countered with the fact that the Ryzen 9000 CPUs have an extended boost clock period thanks to the Zen5 architecture:

“As far as what’s on the box, the frequency residency, the efficiency of the lid and thermal design in the 9000 generation gives your effective frequency a lift over the prior generation. So you actually do see a net, overall positive there with just the processor running faster with the Zen 5 architecture versus Zen 4.”

Source: David McAfee, Tom’s Hardware

It’s also worth noting that these TDP requirements aren’t universal: both the Ryzen 9 9950X and 9900X have higher PSU requirements: 170W and 120W respectively. Considering that they double the core count compared to the lower-TDP Ryzen 5 9600X and Ryzen 7 9700X, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. AMD’s overall efficiency spring-clean leads to a 40% power reduction.

How this all affects moment-to-moment processing performance remains to be seen, however. We’re keen to get our hands on a Ryzen 9000 series CPU and put it through it’s paces. Woligroski’s promise of more performance for less power is certainly an appealing one, and sets a new interesting mark for future AMD CPUs.

Angus Warrender is a PCGuide Writer and Editor. He's interested in a range of tech, from cameras to consoles, and has an eye for spotting the best products on the market!