How much of your budget should the CPU use up for your next build? It’s a question plenty of us will need to ask as we head into new CPU territory this autumn. AMD’s Zen 4-powered Ryzen 7000 chips are expected to launch at the same time as Intel’s Raptor Lake, and pricing rumours are already appearing. And depending on which rumour you look at, it could be bad news for your bank account.
Serial leaker, momomo_us (opens in new tab), has taken to Twitter, highlighting the pricing of four Ryzen 7000 chips that have turned up on the PC-Canada website (via Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab).)
The most affordable chip is the Ryzen 5 7600X at CAD$435 which equates to $339 US. If that’s right, then that represents a $40 premium compared to the launch price of Ryzen 5 5600X (opens in new tab), which debuted at $299. The top of range Ryzen 7 7950X meanwhile, rolls in at CAD$1,158 which equates to $896 US, compared to the Ryzen 9 5950X (opens in new tab) launch price of $799.
An argument could be made for such price increases—it is a new technology after all, and one would hope that there is a significant performance increase over the previous generation. In fact, the market is very different to when AMD released its Zen 3 chips almost two years ago when Intel was not as competitive as it is now. These days Alder Lake is a much more tempting option, and Intel has priced its chips very competitively, with the likes of the Core i5 12600K (opens in new tab) available for $280.
The fact that the last full generation from AMD could command a premium was also down to the fact that they were potentially a drop-in replacement for existing systems. Zen 3 used the same AM4 platform as the previous generations, and a BIOS update was potentially all that was needed.
That isn’t the case with Zen 4 though, which entails moving to a whole new platform—you’ll need a new motherboard and DDR5 memory too. You should be able to carry across your CPU cooler at least, although you’re still looking at a costly upgrade.
This isn’t the only rumour doing the rounds though, and another has popped up on Wccftech (opens in new tab) that has the Ryzen 5 7600X starting at closer to the 5600X’s current price of around $200 US. That’s far more tempting a price point given the investment needed for the overall system upgrade. It isn’t clear where this pricing information has come from though, and it could just be down to wishful thinking.
There are often pricing leaks before a new family of chips is launched, and this generation is obviously no different. However, it’s also worth pointing out that these are rarely accurate. In fact, I can’t remember the last time any pre-release pricing held up, particularly this early on. And that’s chiefly because of the nature of the beast—pricing is often one of the last things to be locked in with a new product launch.
Given we don’t have an exact date for Zen 4 yet, you should take all of this with a small pile of the finest sodium chloride.