AMD Ryzen 4 Core / 8 Thread ‘Raven Ridge’ First Performance Numbers Leaked – Comparable Performance To Intel Core i5 6600 In Fritz Chess Benchmark

Usman Pirzada
AMD Fenghuang is part of the AMD Avian APU roadmap.

I have something rather interesting today: what appears to be the first benchmark of the AMD Raven Ridge 4 core/ 8 thread configuration as well as an x86 name we rarely hear: VIA, or more accurately in this case, Zhaoxin. The benchmarks in question were actually published on the official Zhaoxin page but have since been removed (not before we got a copy of them though). Since the benchmark is from the company's official page, there is no reason to doubt the authenticity of this leak.

Zhaoxin rolls out competitive x86 lineup on the 28nm and 16nm node - pits them against unreleased AMD Raven Ridge 4 core 8 thread APU

This particular leak is actually about the Raven Ridge platform, which is basically a Zen 4 core / 8 thread configuration APU with a Vega GPU side. That said, the performance of this chip would be pretty similar to the Ryzen 4C 8T counterpart (at same clocks), so it is a fairly accurate metric to get an estimate from. The benchmark however, isn't the best choice and represents a very very limited sample size and leaves a lot to be desired. That said, beggars cannot be choosers and without any further ado, here is the exclusive first look at AMD's Raven Ridge platform (as well as some mighty powerful competitors from Zhaoxin, lets not forget about the impressive underdog!):

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While the color key is hard to read, the CPUs are listed in the order that they appear which makes it easy to figure out which bar belongs to which CPU.

The benchmark image is of a very low quality and the color codes are hard to distinguish so I have taken the liberty of transcribing them onto the table below. As you can see, the Raven Ridge counterpart offers performance that (in Fritz Chess benchmark at the very least) is on par with Intel's Core i5 6600 offering. What is perhaps even more impressive, is that the Zhaoxin ZX-E 8 core processor is well within the same tier of performance (and fabricated at a comparable 16nm FinFET node at that!)

CPUCoresThreadsClock (GHz)Score (Fritz Chess Benchmark V4.2)
Intel Core KabyLake i5 7500 443.414000
Intel Core Skylake i5 6600 443.311333
AMD Zen 4C8T Raven Ridge 48Unknown11000
Zhaoxin ZX-E 883.010500
AMD FX-8370 884.09360
AMD A10-7890 444.17943
Zhaoxin ZX-D 882.07837
Intel Core Skylake i3 6300 243.87796
Intel Pentium G4500 223.55392
Zhaoxin ZX-D 442.04316
Zhaoxin ZX-C 442.03523

If the Fritz Chess benchmark is any indication then the Ryzen 4 core / 8 thread processors will be able to pack quite a punch. Of course, you should never take a single data point to be representative of the entire sample space but it goes without saying that the first real benchmark does give us a very solid idea about what kind of performance range we can expect from these processors. Unfortunately however, the company did not mention the clock speed the Raven Ridge APU was running at (probably because it was under NDA) which would have allowed us to further narrow down the kind of performance we can expect depending on the core clock of this engineering sample.

Let's also talk a bit about the Zhaoxin processors in these benchmarks. There are 4 different flavors here, the Zhaoxin ZX-C, ZX-D and ZX-E categories. The ZX-D category is further divided into a 4 core and an 8 core tier. To my knowledge, Zhaoxin processors do not employ any kind of SMT so the core count should be equal to the thread count. As I mentioned however, the company has come a very long way. Their 8-core is now actually offering competitive performance to Intel and AMD counterparts - which was unheard of in the recent past. This is something that can only be good for competition.

Now the current processors are actually a mutual collaboration between Zhaoxin and VIA and are supposed to bring competitive x86 performance to the Chinese market. VIA was granted the x86 license by Intel for a period of 10 years in 2003, during which it could make x86 based processors and sell them. However, while that period expired in 2013, Intel had also included a 3 year grace period during which negotiations to renew the contract could be had. Anyone without a math handicap would notice that this grace period expired in 2016. The current status of the licensing agreement between VIA and Intel is not known but if VIA is helping Zhaoxin roll out x86 processors then either the former has renewed its license or the latter has received a new one from Intel.

Previously, VIA’s (technically, Centaur Technology’s) processors have been at the 28nm process – but this particular gem is actually based on TSMC’s 16nm FinFET node. It features up to 8 cores on a single die and is probably based on a custom derivative of VIA Isaiah by Zhaoxin. It supports all instruction sets upto AVX 2.0 and should be able to handle just about any modern application you care to throw at it. Its worth mentioning that currently VIA does not list the processor on its website.

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