AMD Ryzen Zen 3+ Warhol likely to launch in Q4 2021, modest IPC bump on the anvil to take on Intel Alder Lake-S
Recently, we reported about leaked Intel and AMD roadmaps for desktop and mobile CPU parts for 2021 and 2022. From that roadmap, we learnt that AMD will likely introduce a Zen 3 Vermeer refresh codenamed Warhol or Zen 3+ before we get to see the 5 nm Zen 4 Raphael in 2022. Warhol will likely be similar to the Ryzen 3000 XT series we saw with Zen 2.
RedGamingTech's sources seem to confirm that Warhol will release sometime later this year likely around Q4 and not in Q1 2022 as was previously speculated. Warhol will just be a refreshed Zen 3 so the core counts and the architecture will not change. However, a modest IPC bump is presumably in the offing.
Warhol will also further prolong the life of socket AM4 a little bit. Earlier, it was assumed that Zen 3 Vermeer would be the last generation to support socket AM4. But with Warhol offering practically no changes under the hood including PCIe Gen4 support, it is likely that we will see one more CPU generation on AMD's protracted socket.
Naturally, Warhol will also probably top-out with a 16-core 32-thread configuration like the current Zen 3 parts. However, it helps to note that AMD didn't announce a refresh for the Ryzen 9 3950X so it remains to be seen if the company will have a change of heart in this regard this time around. Besides, Intel's mainstream Rocket Lake-S offers a maximum of eight cores and 16 threads, which means AMD is not under any duress to amp-up the core counts any time soon — at least not until Zen 4.
What can potentially challenge Warhol is Intel's upcoming hybrid CPU, Alder Lake-S. Leaked benchmarks from early engineering samples seem to suggest that a 16-core 24-thread Alder Lake-S chip has the potential to offer Core i9-10900K performance and also take on current Ryzen 5000 desktop offerings.
Alder Lake-S is also slated to bring PCIe Gen5 and DDR5 support to mainstream much before Zen 4, which makes for some interesting competition to watch out for.