AMD's Newest Line of Processors: RYZEN

A brief synopsis by Matthew Cheung

Promotional Picture of Ryzen

On February 22nd 2017, AMD finally announced their global launch of the Ryzen desktop processors. The release of Ryzen has been highly anticipated since Intel has essentially been unopposed in the CPU market. The Ryzen architecture is AMD’s first since their Bulldozer CPU which debuted in 2011.

In the press event, AMD revealed details of their Ryzen 7 desktop processor lineup which is aimed to be their top of the line tier. The Ryzen 7 lineup was designed for both content creators as well as gamers making the CPU’s perfect for any desktop solutions.

With the emphasis on performance, AMD notably compared their 1800X to Intel’s Core i7-6900K which has an MSRP of over $1000. AMD claims that their 1800X outperformed the 6900K in both a Cinebench R15 multi-threaded and Handbrake-based video transcoding benchmark.

A Computer built using the Ryzen Processor

The Ryzen 7 chips will all have 8 compute cores with a total of 16 threads. The CPU’s will run on the new AM4 desktop motherboards. The flagship processor is the Ryzen 7 1800X which comes in at $499 which AMD claims to be the “highest performing 8-core desktop processor.” The entry level Ryzen 7 1700 comes in at $329 and will have the lowest thermal design power (TDP), at 65W, for an 8-core desktop processor.1

AMD Ryzen 7 Lineup
Name Clock Speed TDP MSRP
Ryzen 1800X 3.6 to 4.0GHz 95W $499
Ryzen 1700X 3.4 to 3.8GHz 95W $399
Ryzen 1700 3.0 to 3.7GHz 65W $329

AMD plans to release their Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 CPU’s which will compete with Intel’s Core i5 and i3 respectively. AMD revealed very few details about the Ryzen 5 chips except for the basics. The Ryzen 5 1600X will have 6 cores with 12 threads at 3.6 to 4.0GHz and the 1500X will be 4 cores with 8 threads at 3.5 to 3.7GHz. These processors will be released in the second quarter of 2017. AMD did not reveal any official details about Ryzen 3 yet besides a second half of 2017 release. 2

*Ryzen 3 information based on rumors
Ryzen Tier Differences List
Processor Tier Number of Cores and Threads Release Date Price Range (USD)
Ryzen 7 8/16 March 2nd 2017 329 to 499
Ryzen 5 6/12 Q2 2017 229 to 259
4/8 175 to 199
Ryzen 3 4/4 2017 129 to 149

If the benchmark results are true, then the much cheaper 1800X will provide healthy competition against the much more expensive Intel 6900K. The same may go for the lower tiers of each company’s lineup. As more benchmarks are run in the near future, the relative performance of Ryzen vs Intel’s Kaby Lake architecture will become clearer. If AMD has indeed put out a processor that can trade blows with Intel, then consumers can see better performance per dollar in the near future.

Some recent benchmarks have shown that the Ryzen 7 chips may not be significantly better than that of Intel’s offers as AMD claimed throughout its press conference. Arstechnica showed that Intel’s Core i7 7700K ($339) was still the king by running several processors through a series of gaming benchmarks. However in synthetic and work-based applications, the 1800X remained competitive with that of the 6900K. Even if Ryzen 7 is not the clear winner in all applications, it may potent performance especially at its price point when compared to Intel’s offerings.3

Preorders for Ryzen began on February 22nd at 1P.M. EST and became available for purchase on March 2nd.

  1. Innovation and Competition Return to High-Performance PCs March 2nd with Worldwide AMD Ryzen 7 Availability " Innovation And Competition Return To High-Performance PC's March 2nd With Worldwide AMD Ryzen 7 Availability ". N. p., 2017. Web. 3 Mar. 2017.
  2. James, Dave. "The Ryzen Response: Intel Have Forgotten How To Deal With A Genuinely Competitive AMD". PCGamesN. N.p., 2017. Web. 3 Mar. 2017.
  3. Walton, Mark. "AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Still Behind Intel, But It’S Great For The Price". Ars Technica. N. p., 2017. Web. 3 Mar. 2017.