Jim Keller on Zen 5 performance

According the the Tenstorrent numbers, Zen 5 is fully 30% faster than Zen 4. Handily, Keller also provides relative operating frequencies. Zen 5 is shown as clocking slightly higher than Zen 4. Adjusted for clockspeeds, Zen 5 is delivering around 23% more performance per clock, otherwise known as IPC.

Looking at the previous AMD Zen architectures in the chart, the numbers very much align with how AMD’s Ryzen CPUs scaled with each generation, including gaming performance. Zen 1 to Zen 2 was very little progress, followed by a big leap to Zen 3. Zen 4, in turn, was only a minor improvement over Zen 3. And then, boom, another big jump for Zen 5.

These numbers very much imply a big step for AMD’s next gaming CPUs. Given how impressive the latest AMD Ryzen 7800X3D(opens in new tab) is for gaming, that is really saying something.

If there is a caveat to all this it’s that it’s not clear on what basis Keller and Tenstorrent are quoting these numbers. AMD’s Zen 5 and Nvidia’s Grace aside, all the processors listed are already available.

AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D processor

The new Ryzen 7800X3D owes much of its gaming prowess to Jim Keller. (Image credit: Future)

The chart describes the performance for Nvidia’s unreleased Grace CPU as ‘projected’ but doesn’t apply the same caveat to Zen 5. Almost certainly, AMD already has Zen 5 chips up and running, there may even be samples circulating in the industry. But any performance numbers would be fiercely guarded by NDA and other legal lockdowns.

Of course, if anyone outside AMD is qualified to guestimate Zen 5’s performance, it’s Keller. He was lead architect for AMD’s K8 chip, otherwise known as the smash hit Athlon 64.


Jim Keller was a lead architect for AMD. Here’s another article with some more information, specs, data…doc

Ex-AMD & Legendary Chip Architect, Jim Keller, Reveals Next-Gen Zen 5 CPU Performance, Frequency & Power Estimates (wccftech.com)

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I am a bit surprised where the intel Sapphire Rapids sits on his little graph as well as that he gives Genoa and Barcelona the same score. I am not putting too much credibility into this data yet.