How to identify the generation of your AMD Ryzen CPU

When you're about to buy a new notebook or want to upgrade your Desktop computer with a new motherboard, the specifications often note the so-called supported "generation" of a CPU. Here's such an example:

ASRock motherboard specifications lists supported AMD Ryzen CPU generations

The specification of this AsRock motherboard shows support for the 3rd, 4th and 5th Generation of AMD Ryzen CPUs.

But how do you identify the generation of your current AMD Ryzen CPU, in case you want to re-use it on the new motherboard? Let's find out!

Get the CPU name on Microsoft Windows

In Microsoft Windows, you can start the Task Manager and switch to the Performance tab. The CPU entry should display the name of the CPU.

Windows Task Manager shows name of CPU
Windows Task Manager shows name of CPU

If you prefer the command prompt, you can launch the following command inside a cmd.exe (Command Prompt) window:

C:\Users\ck> wmic cpu get caption, deviceid, name
Caption                               DeviceID  Name
AMD64 Family 23 Model 113 Stepping 0  CPU0      AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core Processor

Both Task Manager and the output in the Command Prompt window show the same CPU name: AMD Ryzen 5 3600.

Get the CPU name on Linux

The Linux terminal offers a couple of possibilities to list the CPU name. The most widely used and informative command for this purpose is lscpu:

ck@linux ~ $ lscpu
Architecture:            x86_64
  CPU op-mode(s):        32-bit, 64-bit
  Address sizes:         43 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
  Byte Order:            Little Endian
CPU(s):                  12
  On-line CPU(s) list:   0-11
Vendor ID:               AuthenticAMD
  Model name:            AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core Processor
    CPU family:          23
    Model:               113
    Thread(s) per core:  2

The Model name line shows the product name of the discovered CPU. Again, here we have the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 listed.

If you don't feel comfortable on the Linux command line, you can also install an application, such as CPU-X, which shows you all this information in a comfortable graphical user interface:

CPU-X showing CPU information
CPU-X showing CPU information

Determine the AMD Ryzen Generation

Now that we know the name of the AMD CPU we can use the following information to determine the generation.

The name of the AMD Ryzen processors all start with "AMD Ryzen" followed by the product number (3, 5, 7, 9) and the model number (e.g. 3600). The first digit of the model indicates the generation.

In the example of our AMD Ryzen 5 3600 this means: This is a AMD Ryzen 5 processor, model 3600, therefore a 3rd generation Ryzen.

As a general information, the following table can also be helpful:

Product NumberGeneral Purpose, typical use cases
3CPU for home/desktop computers, light load
5CPU for more powerful workloads, gaming
7CPU for advanced workloads, gaming, developing (and compiling)
9CPU for advanced workloads, gaming, developing (and compiling), virtualization
AMD Ryzen product number information
Claudio Kuenzler
Claudio has been writing way over 1000 articles on his own blog since 2008 already. He is fascinated by technology, especially Open Source Software. As a Senior Systems Engineer he has seen and solved a lot of problems - and writes about them.

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