Should you wait for AMD Ryzen 4000 CPUs - Desktop Guide
Aug 29th, 2020
Ah, the burning question for many desktop builders: “should I wait for Ryzen 4000?”
AMD seems to be on a roll in recent years so it’s no surprise gamers and enthusiast builders alike are keen to understand the benefits.
Short answer: With the great CPU options currently available on the market (covered in our detailed feature here) and the very speculative release information of the Ryzen 4000 desktop series (undoubtedly made worse due to Coronavirus supply chain concerns) we would strongly suggest investing in the current well-performing CPU options available to you.
Not to mention you will also inevitably be facing price hikes/stock issues on the release of the 4000 series.
Looking for the detail? We’ve broken it down below to give you what you need to cater to your own situation.
Table of Contents
Ryzen 4000 Release Date
This is the million-dollar question.
In various press-releases/media enquires, AMD has been somewhat ambiguous as to the timeline for the APU release.
The release date has also been a bit of a moving target (at one point the series was cited to come out in May…).
As it stands, there is no clear release date for when retailers will have stock of the Ryzen 4000 series.
You may have seen information citing July 21st or Q3.
However, this is AMD referring to the availability for OEMs (i.e. HP and others building full machines). Not for you to buy from individual retailers.
We’d put our money on the lack of a very clear release date being down to Coronavirus supply-side issues.
Supply chains all across the world are struggling right now and PC hardware is no exception.
The most common estimate you’ll see for Ryzen 4000 APUs is “late 2020”, however with the above in mind, we think there’s a significant chance you could be waiting well into 2021.
Finally, it’s not just about the processors releasing, but about them being in stock (anybody who went after the Intel 10k series will know this pain).
You could be waiting months after release to purchase unless you’re willing to fork out well above the RRP (never worth it).
How much better will Ryzen 4000 CPUs be for desktops
When considering the great Ryzen 3000 vs 4000 battle, you’re not truly going to know the upgrade impact until lots of third-party benchmarking is available for the new APUs.
That said, AMD has cited a 15% increase in IPC (instructions per cycle/clock) compared to the previous range (on average).
Now, that doesn’t mean a 15% increase in real-world performance, far from it.
Depending on the activity, the real-world difference could be as anything from 0-15%.
For gaming, the best 3000 series options (tied with a good GPU) will undoubtedly give you everything you need unless you are looking for very high-end performance (think 1440p with 144hz, even here a good current-gen CPU/GPU combo can do great things).
Diminishing returns for purchasing new CPU ranges will be a key consideration for gamers building, so only think about waiting if money isn’t much of an obstacle for you.
If you have a budget, it will definitely be more practical to purchase one of the best middle-ground CPUs available now and forking out more for your GPU.
For general usage, there’s no question, the best CPUs available today will give you lightning-fast performance for average functionality, forking out for an overpriced low-supply 4000 CPU would be a waste.
For production usage (editing, rendering, etc.), there may be some useful application if you’re working on very high-end production, with the increased threads and clock speeds offering some benefit.
That said, we still think that the overwhelmingly large majority of production users will be able to perform everything they need to at great speeds with existing combos.
Final Word – Should you wait for Ryzen 4000
Simply put, unless you are really focussed on the absolute best, regardless of diminishing returns versus budget, or you just want the vanity points of owning the “best” series CPU, we highly recommend instead focussing on the great AMD options already available.
Between Cornavirus supply potentially pushing release to 2021 and the inevitable price hikes/stock difficulty at initial release (not to mention the great value & performance of the existing 3000 series) we’re sure the Ryzen 4000 will be great, but it’s probably not worth the wait for you right now.
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