Earlier this week there was a rumor that there would be no six-core variants of AMD's Ryzen. As usual, these rumors can't be verified so it's no surprise that today we come across the exact opposite. Interestingly, this time three independent sources claim there will indeed be six-core variants of the Zen desktop processors.
AMD is validating six-core models
First up a couple of tweets from Canard PC Hardware, which we deem as trustworthy, claim AMD has validated six-core, twelve-threaded Ryzen chips with a frequency of 3.3GHz. The goal here is to recycle 8-core models with defective cores and the site says we will not see eight-core, eight-threaded models.
So it seems Ryzen may consists of 4C/4T, 4C/8T, 6C/12T and 8C/16T versions.
AMD valide bien actuellement des Ryzen 6C/12T @ 3.3 GHz base mais PAS de 8C/8T. Le but est clairement de recycler les dies 8C défaillants.
No technical reason why six-core Zen can't exist
Finnish tech site IO-Tech confirms the existence of six-core models and says there's no technical issue that would prevent such a configuration:
We have confirmed from our sources that AMD’s upcoming Ryzen processor can be technically configured as 6-core model. It is possible to disable each CPU core separately together with dedicated L2 cache from CCX without affecting shared L3 cache. Possible L3 cache configurations are 1/1 (8 MB), 1/2 (4 MB) or completely disabled. Basic rule is that both CCXs should have similar CPU core and L3 configuration for example both should have 3 cores and full 8 MB L3 cache enabled (6C & 16 MB L3).
Review samples shipping out in 2-3 weeks
VideoCardz received the same story from its sources and heard AMD is testing at least three engineering samples:
This does not necessarily mean we'll see these exact configurations in the retail channel, but with only about a month to go until availability things should finalize soon. VideoCardz also heard that AMD will ship out samples to tech reviewers in about 2 to 3 weeks and that motherboard makers should be able to ship out X370 motherboard samples around the same time.