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Wednesday, February 22, 2017
AMD Launches Ryzen PC Chips, With A Price And Performance That Could Threaten Intel

AMD is "attacking" its longtime competitor Intel with the launch of Ryzen, its latest PC processors based on the company's Zen chip architecture.

The Ryzen chips all feature 8 cores and 16 threads. They come in three tiers:

  • Ryzen 7 1800X running at 3.6 GHz or up to 4.0 GHz, 95W at $499
  • Ryzen 7 1700X running at 3.4 GHz or up to 3.8 GHz, 95W at $399
  • Ryzen 7 1700 running at 3.0 GHz or up to 3.7 GHz at $329

Using the popular CPU benchmark tool Cinebench, AMD pitted the three processors against comparable Intel PC chips, and the initial results look promising:

  • Benchmarks show the Ryzen 7 1800X performs 9% better than an Intel Core i7 6900K. Perhaps even more crucially, however, that top-of-the-line AMD chip costs half as much as Intel's: $499 for AMD versus $1050 for Intel.
  • The 1700X performs 39% better than Intel Core i7 6800K, based on Cinebench's figures. The 1700X will cost $399, versus $425 for Intel's i7 6800K.
  • The Ryzen 7 1700 achieves a 46% performance boost over Intel Core i7 7700K, and costs $329 against Intel's $350.

The Zen core, described in August, delivers 52 percent more instructions per clock compared to AMD's prior Excavator x86 core. That's significantly above the goal of 40 percent better instruction-level parallelism the company had disclosed to date.

Pre-orders for the new AMD Ryzen 7 desktop processors are starting today from more than 180 global etailers and boutique OEMs.

"Four years ago we began development of our 'Zen' processor core with the goal to deliver unprecedented generational performance gains and return choice and innovation to the high-performance computing market," said Dr. Lisa Su, president and CEO of AMD. "On March 2, enthusiasts and gamers around the world will experience 'Zen' in action, as we launch our Ryzen 7 family of processors and reinvigorate the desktop computing market."

For Ryzen, AMD offers new thermal solutions based on the original Wraith coolers, launched in 2016. The next evolution of Wraith includes Wraith Spire and Wraith Stealth. Featured with Ryzen 7 1700 sold in retail boxes as well as many OEM systems, Wraith Spire offers superb cooling at a quiet 32 decibels.

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