Hot on the heels of AMD’s release of Zen 4, we now have a report of their new CPUs running at high temperatures. This isn’t much of a shock since AMD is significantly increasing the TDP for the Zen 4 to crank up the clocks. However, the Zen 3 was known for its performance, especially compared to competition from Intel. So while Intel’s chips have always run a little hot under full load, that hasn’t been the case with AMD’s consumer processors. However, this could change with Zen 4. According to a new report, the Ryzen 9 7950X can heat up to 95C. The mainstream Ryzen 5 7600X can also reach temperatures of up to 90C. Note, however, that these are engineering samples, so this may not be the case with actual retail processors.
News of the surprisingly high temperatures comes from a usually reliable source: Citizen Enthusiast in Bilibili, pres Wccftech. It was previously reported that AMD will allow up to 230W to be consumed by its flagship CPU. In a post he notes that when this happens the 7950X can reach 95C. It’s a 5.7GHz processor, but he says it struggles to maintain 5GHz at that temperature. The 7600X is also reported to consume 120W at full load and run at 90C.
This may be due in part to the small size of AMD’s chiplets, which the company says are half the size of Alder Lake’s monolithic dies. Raptor Lake has the same design, and Enthusiast Citizen concludes that Intel’s 13th generation processor will easily beat AMD’s Zen 4 flagship. “The multi-core 7950X will basically drop to 13900K without stress. The heat build up combined with the temperature wall will make the 7950X under heavy loads unable to support 5G, 230W 95 degrees and will be ash when it comes out,” he wrote.
It should be noted that 230W is close to the Core i9-13900K’s power envelope, which is reportedly around 25oW. However, Intel is also reportedly planning an “extreme performance” mode on some high-end motherboards that will allow them to consume up to 350W. However, we doubt many people will use this feature given the cooling requirements. It should also be said that like Alder Lake and possibly Raptor Lake, the Ryzen CPU will only reach these temperatures under intense all-core loads. This is not something that usually happens with casual play.
However, Enthusiast Citizen thinks that the high temperatures along with the mandatory purchase of DDR5 memory may tip the balance in Intel’s favor this round. That’s because Raptor Lake will support cheaper DDR4 memory as well as DDR5. Wccftech also reports that the Ryzen 9 7000 chips will run above 90C, even with a 360mm AIO cooler attached. In contrast, the Core i9-13900K is said to reach just 85C under full load across all cores.
We’ll have to wait for third-party benchmarks with retail processors to confirm this information. However, the news of high temperatures is not so surprising. AMD specifically noted the incredible density of its chiplets in its recent presentation. It also coated the Zen 4 cores in gold to improve thermal conductivity (see image above). However, this is still a reversal of fortunes for AMD, which previously distinguished itself from Intel with its superior performance. AMD’s Zen 4 chips will go on sale on September 27, so hopefully we’ll have benchmarks before then. Regardless, anyone interested in upgrading to Zen 4 or Raptor Lake will probably need to have a powerful CPU cooler waiting right now.