The launch of AMD’s Zen 5 processors is close, as motherboard manufacturers begin rolling out BIOSes supporting the next-gen chips

The launch of AMD’s Zen 5 based Granite Ridge family of processors is clearly drawing near. Asus has begun the process of rolling out support for the next-gen chips to its latest enthusiast tier X670E motherboards. The public release of supporting BIOSes indicates the chips could be released at basically any time.

The eagle-eyed hardware leaker HXL spotted the release of the BIOS series over at the Asus ROG forums. There have been seven BIOSes released so far—all for Asus ROG boards. All of them include the latest AGESA update, which is named FireRangePi.

With this news, just how close are we to Zen 5’s release? Publicly, AMD has only said it’s aiming for a launch in the second half of 2024. AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su’s Computex keynote on June 3 would be a logical forum to reveal the range. AMD used a similar keynote to unveil Zen 2 at Computex in 2019, so there is a historical precedent.

If AMD does show off Zen 5 at Computex, we can expect all the motherboard vendors to have next generation motherboards on display too.

Should Zen 5 arrive sooner rather than later, it will present a problem for Intel. Its own next-gen Arrow Lake chips are looking like a late 2024 or CES 2025 proposition at best, so if Zen 5 manages to convincingly beat out Intel’s 14th Gen desktop offerings, it could be a tough six months for the blue team.

A recent post by reputable leaker Kepler_L2 over in the forums of our sister site Anandtech suggests Zen 5 is over 40% faster than Zen 4 in the SPEC benchmark. We don’t know how much of that is down to increased clock speed or whether that result takes advantage of a certain instruction set, but if there is a chance Zen 5 is anywhere near that much faster than Zen 4, then we’re in for a treat.

What we do know is that apart from the new core architecture, Granite Ridge will again be a chiplet design. There will be models available with up to 16-cores, and all will feature an integrated AI engine, faster memory support and perhaps the same I/O die as Zen 4, with RDNA 2 integrated graphics. It’s a given that AMD will release X3D versions later in the year. It will probably keep those up its sleeve to counter Intel’s Arrow Lake CPUs.

We won’t have long to find out if Zen 5 is something special, a damp squib or something in between. With these new BIOSes out in the wild, we can expect to see more leaks in the weeks ahead. I’m excited to see what AMD has been cooking up in its lab.