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Is AMD nerfing gaming performance on their upcoming Ryzen processors?

More focus on AI could lead to weaker gaming performance
Last Updated on April 12, 2024
Is AMD nerfing gaming performance on their upcoming Ryzen processors?
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Nvidia has been practically running the show when it comes to AI tech in their latest hardware (especially with shortages being resolved), but rivals AMD and Intel clearly want a piece of the action. AI is now reported to be utilized in their upcoming range of CPUs, but it looks as if it could have a negative side effect on gaming performance for AMD users.

Don’t expect AMD processors to disappear from our best CPU for gaming guide any time soon, but they are also well known for their range of Ryzen APUs, which new AI implementation could affect in particular when it comes to gaming scenarios.

Improvements to AI processing blamed for worse gaming performance

This speculation comes from user uzzi38 on the Anandtrech forum, who points out that the AI Engine (AIE) on upcoming AMD APUs using the Strix Point laptop chip may come at the expense of System Level Cache (SLC). The inclusion of this cache is something that is known for improving both CPU and iGPU performance in Ryzen-based systems such as the Steam Deck. Due to the lack of a dedicated graphics card with VRAM of its own, this cache is beneficial for quicker access to system memory.

Prioritization of Neural Processing Units (NPUs) in these newer Ryzen chips doesn’t come without compromise. Making room for them will definitely have a negative impact on gaming performance on an iGPU, which is relevant for users of APUs or mobile processors on a laptop without dedicated graphics.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D

Does this affect desktop CPUs?

From what we understand, this change is relevant for upcoming Strix APUs (or SOCs), as reported by Wccftech. Since it directly relates to performance of integrated graphics, you won’t affected if you’re running the usual CPU and discrete graphics card combo common in a gaming PC setup. So, we’re still looking forward to the Ryzen 9000 series release date, regardless of whether these Zen 5 mobile processors are getting an AI makeover.

At PC Guide, Jack is mostly responsible for reporting on hardware deals. He also specializes in monitors, TVs, and headsets and can be found putting his findings together in a review or best-of guide.