AMD's Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 CPUs look like nothing we've seen before

AMD gave a very limited tease of its next-generation Zen 4, Ryzen 7000 desktop CPUs at CES 2022, focusing instead on its impending Ryzen 6000 mobile CPUs for the bulk of its keynote address. Still, what we did see of the next-gen CPU was intriguing. Not only did we have a quick demo of it running Halo: Infinite at high frame rates and confirmation of a 5GHz all-core clock speed, but we also got a look at its bizarre integrated heat spreader. It's much the same as an earlier render, but in the real world, this CPU looks downright bizarre.

Usually the IHS -- the silvery metal top cover on a CPU -- is as rounded-corner-square, and that's been the case for just about forever. However, Zen 4 extends the corners and centers of each side with a unique-spider-look. It reminds me of an inverted high-end gaming router with all of its external aerials.

The most comparable CPU is Intel's old Core i9-7980XE HEDT CPU.

The design appears to be partly to skirt around the new SMD layout around the edge of the chip, but it raises serious questions about just what the chiplet layout looks like under that IHS hood.

Either way, the new chips will slot into AMD's new LGA1718 socket interface, marking the first time AMD has used LGA (pins on the motherboard) over PGA (pins on the CPU) in a long time.

While that will mean a new motherboard, and likely new DDR5 RAM, it won't mean you need a new cooler, as AMD has confirmed that AM4 coolers will be compatible.

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