It’s a secret to no one who follows the PC hardware industry that AMD is about to launch its most ambitious processor series in a decade in the form of Ryzen, and finally, we’re able to share some of the information you’ve been craving. Well, if you haven’t seen it in leaks already.
First and foremost, Ryzen’s first chips launch on March 2nd, and will be limited to the Ryzen 7 series. If you want to get in on the action early, you’ll be able to preorder one of the three new SKUs today.
Given the unbelievable promises of Ryzen, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the chips sell out fast, even if there’s decent volume, so if you really want it soon, preordering from one of the 185 vendors would be smart. If you have a bit of patience and would rather read the reviews first, you can expect to see those also on March 2.
So, what SKUs are we dealing with?
If you thought that the top-end Ryzen chip would cost close to $1,000, its actual $499 price-point should seem exciting. AMD knows that it could sell these parts for more than what it is, but it’s also at the point where it needs marketshare, and competitive pricing can get that done.
While Ryzen 7 chips will undoubtedly give AMD’s quarterly financial reports a nice boost, the gains could be enormous when Ryzen 5 and 3 come out later this year. Beyond that, AMD has Naples en route, which is the enterprise-focused processors built on Zen, so the company stands to gain some significant ground there.
For those curious about Ryzen on mobile, AMD said that those first chips should begin to land in the second-half of the year. At this point, AMD could explode SKUs all over the market, but due to the huge amount of product that needs to be pushed, it’s beginning with the big guns on desktop, and then will work from there.
Cinebench R15 Multi-threaded Scores (per AMD)
Ryzen 7 1700X: 1537
Core i7-6900K: 1474 (-4%)
Core i7-6800K: 1108 (-39%)
Performance-wise, AMD compares its Ryzen 7 1800X at $499 to Intel’s Core i7-6900K (also an eight-core); its Ryzen 7 1700X at $399 to Intel’s $425 Core i7-6800K; and its Ryzen 7 1700 at $329 to Intel’s Core i7-7700K – Santa Clara’s latest and greatest Kaby Lake-based chip.
In the past, AMD said that Ryzen increased the IPC over its previous generation core by 40%, which is a number some had a hard time believing. Well, the company now says that it’s not actually 40%, but instead 52%. That announcement got a hearty applause from the audience at a platform and architecture deep-dive held in San Francisco yesterday.
If you want to know what Ryzen truly is, it’s the result of two million engineer hours involving 100s of engineers over the course of four years. It’s ambitious, and hopefully for AMD, those ambitions are soon to pay off.
This all raises an obvious question; where does this leave Intel? Prior to the embargo, an Intel spokesperson reached out to say:
“We take any competition seriously but as we’ve learned, consumers usually take a ‘wait and see’ approach on performance claims for untested products. 7th Gen Intel Core delivers the best experiences, and with 8th Gen Intel Core and new technologies like Intel Optane memory coming soon, Intel will not stop raising the bar.”
One thing’s for certain: the industry needs a launch like Ryzen to help keep the spirit of competition alive, and to help keep the industry excited for the progression of processor technology. 2017 is going to be one hell of an exciting year.