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We still don’t know the full specifications of AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 7000-Series processors, but recent leaked performance figures point at them being some seriously quick with the potential to boost gaming frame rates and improve content creation performance. They are expected to launch sometime in the next eight weeks or so, but there are plenty of things we do know about the company’s new Socket AM5 platform.

CPU models, availability core and thread counts

At the moment, most websites covering leaks, rumors and other information point at a similar lineup to its 5000-series, with mainstream models most likely offering between six and 16 cores. More recently, Videocardz discovered the possible lineup in an AMD resource file.

Above we have what we believe are the core Ryzen 7000-series CPUs and their respective core counts, which tally with the current Ryzen 5000-series. There may well be other CPUs in the new lineup and it’s unlikely all will launch at the same time as AMD usually staggers this, offering some models on day one with the rest following a few weeks or months later. This could span the September to November time frame or a touch later.

How fast are they?

While the core count parity might disappoint some, early indications are that AMD will be upping power limits to boost multi-threaded and single-threaded performance, thanks in part to 170W of power being available to the new Socket AM5. This is in addition to architectural improvements and AMD itself has claimed that there will be greater than 15 percent uplift in single-thread performance.

This should be enough for them to leapfrog Intel’s 12th Gen CPUs, but quite how expensively or comprehensively they do that remains to be decided. Intel made some significant improvements, especially in multi-threaded performance and with AMD not increasing core counts from what we’ve seen so far, we’ll have to wait and see how the new CPUs’ other changes impact performance here

So you want to upgrade, how do you do that?

Sadly, unlike previous AMD sockets and CPUs, Socket AM5 and Ryzen 7000 will not be backwards compatible. You’ll need to upgrade your motherboard, CPU and memory as well – the latter as so far it looks like Ryzen 7000 will only support new DDR5 memory.

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Not all current coolers will be compatible, but most will be

Thankfully, your cooler should be compatible – but not in all situations. If your cooler attaches to the standard mounting brackets on AMD current sockets, then it will fit on Socket AM5 too. If it uses the standard AMD backplate to secure to the motherboard, it too will work. What might not work out, is if your cooler uses its own custom backplate as it won’t be possible to replace it on Socket AM5.

This is according to cooler manufacturer Noctua, who has stated replacing the Socket AM5 backplate will not be possible. Thankfully, the vast majority of its coolers will be compatible as will others from Arctic and Asetek-designed liquid coolers according to this article from MSI. It’s also possible that manufacturers could release adaptor kits to get some of those incompatible coolers working too as we’ve seen recently with Intel’s new LGA1700 socket.

Everything else with your PC should work fine – your power supply, case, SSD or hard disk and graphics card will all be compatible with AMD’s new processors and motherboards.

Wait for the launch and don’t forget about Intel

Finally, it’s recommended to wait for the launch and read reviews. Here you’ll find out just how much faster they are and if AMD’s new products are worth the upgrade. They’ll be compared against Intel’s current 12th Gen CPUs, but what won’t be in the graphs are Intel’s 13th Gen products that are expected to launch a month or two after AMD.

For that reason I would definitely hold off reaching for your wallet as the performance crown could go to one or the other, or your specific price point might be best served from either AMD or Intel depending on how their performance or pricing stacks up.

I’ll be covering news and reviews from both companies leading up to the launches so be sure to follow me here on Forbes or over at Facebook or Twitter or subscribe on YouTube.

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