Ever since AMD first announced the work that would later be branded as Ryzen, the company has been strategically and masterfully orchestrating a narrative of dramatic change and disruption to the staid status quo of consumer and enthusiast-grade processors. Today, however, AMD has built up this performance into a crescendo, by revealing their top-performing Ryzen AM4 CPUs today – and by divulging additional details regarding the architectural milestones and performance characteristics that can be expected once they land in the hands of customers. Perhaps the biggest highlight, however, is their availability: AMD has announced that the top-performing chips will be available worldwide on March 2, with pre-orders with select retailers starting in just a few hours!
The review embargo is still set for March 2nd, so we’ll have to wait for official reviews to hit the web before we can compliment AMD’s handpicked statistics with less impartial guidance, but if past is participle then there is little doubt that many more speeds and feeds will leak in the next week or so, enhancing our picture of what to expect in a few weeks time.
So what’s the meat of this announcement look like?
Firstly, IPC. AMD claims “>52%” improvements to IPC, which they say is well above their (admittedly lofty) target which was 40% when they first started development.
IPC (or Instructions Per Clock) is mainly used to show the difference between generations of equally clocked and specced procesors. AMD has had some catching-up to do with Intel on this front, so this seems like more than enough to have a competing product line to face off against them presently.
Secondly, there’s price. March 2nd will be the day these should become available in retail, the models to be sold will be the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 at $329, the AMD Ryzen 7 1700X at $399 and the range-topping AMD Ryzen 7 1800X at $499. All are specced at 8 cores, and can have up to 16 simultaneous threads, with speeds starting at 3.0 GHz up to 3.6 GHz base clock.
The X-series have the XFR feature which stands for eXtended Frequency Range, meaning it has an automatic overclocking function that’s dependent on cooling. Speaking of which, do note that these will also not come with a “boxed” cooler, unlike the Ryzen 7 1700 which will be accompanied with the new Wraith Spire cooler.
The 1700X and 1800X are given a 95W TDP label, and the 1700 comes in at 65W TDP. Intel and AMD’s TDP definitions don’t compare well, so taking the incongruity of their product lines into consideration it’s really more comparable to AMD’s other processors than Intel’s 7xxx-series lineup of i7s and such.
AMD also likes to make sure people know how much of a “bargain” their Ryzen lineup is in comparison to Intel’s equivalent. Although official benchmarks will have to validate this claim, more than a few benchmarks have leaked that seem to indicate that the 1800X might very well be comparable to the 8-core Intel Core i7-6900K.
Naturally, this will depend on use case, but there is no denying that the price/performance does seem compelling. Intel may have some price re-jiggering to do following the launch of these.
According to AMD, there will be plenty of boards available at launch, although specific to most of our own interests, mITX will seemingly be abscent for the near future. From leaked images, I did spot a few lower specced Micro-ATX boards that are smaller than the usual square Micro-ATX format, so this may be still an option at launch for a few case owners.
AMD isn’t stopping anytime soon, as the next weeks will be all about Ryzen. Vega, the new Radeon graphics cards, are expected to be unveiled shortly. Later this year, Naples or “Server Zen” should be revealed which is expected to be a serious jab at Intel’s monopoly in the enterprise market. Followed with the mobile version of Ryzen and APUs further down the road.
Pre-orders should be available in about an hour from this post at the above retailers.
What are your thoughts ? Are you planning on getting a ticket for the hype train ? Discuss on our forum.