If you’re thinking of building a gaming PC, you might want to hold off for the next month or so. Whether you’re looking to build an Intel or AMD (Advanced Micro Devices)-based computer, Team Red’s highly anticipated launch of their Ryzen CPU is going to make some waves, touting performance at a more affordable price. This has AMD fans excited because they haven’t had a CPU to compete with Intel’s highest end processors for the better part of this decade. This is great news for gamers everywhere since competition in the market brings about innovation and lower pricing.
Thanks to leaks from online vendors, the prices and SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) numbers have been compiled by pcgamer.com to give us a sneak peek at Ryzen’s pricing. The Flagship model listed as the Ryzen 7 1800X clocked at 3.6 GHz (4.0 GHz Turbo) with 8 cores and 16 threads. It is supposed to come in at $499. The lowest end chip, the Ryzen 3 1100, clocked at 3.2GHz (3.5GHz Turbo) with 4 cores and threads and is listed at $129. Intel’s equivalent to the Ryzen 7 1800X is the i-7 6900K which has been selling at over $1000. AMD is also forgoing the dual core CPU knowing that a gaming PC should have at least 4 physical cores.
Performance Hype or Reality
AMD showed off Ryzen’s capabilities on December 13, 2016 in an event they dubbed as New Horizon. They highlighted their progress with the Ryzen CPU (This is when they first released the name Ryzen; before this point, we only knew it by the codename “Zen”). They showed that their 8-core 16-thread CPU was slightly faster on benchmarks than Intel’s 8-core 16-thread CPU. This is good and all, but everyone should be sceptical until third party benchmarks are run. Hopefully, AMD will be able to deliver real-world results with the massive hype train that they have created.
New on the Ho-Ryzen
There are several new features that AMD has integrated into the new Ryzen-based CPUs. First, AMD has consolidated both its CPU and APU (Accelerated Processing Units) to use a common socket, dubbing it the AM4 platform. This is perfect for anyone building a gaming PC since they will be able to build a budget rig with a low-end processor. They can also upgrade it as needed without having to change out the motherboard.
AMD has started using a technology similar to Intel’s hyperthreading that they call Simultaneous Multi-Threading or SMT. This allows each CPU core to handle two workloads simultaneously. Although not a new feature, AMD has made one thing clear; all their CPU’s will be overclock-able, which makes it a good choice for a gaming PC. Unlike Intel that has dedicated CPUs meant for overclocking, gamers will be pleased to know that all Ryzen CPUs are completely unlocked for overclocking as long as they have the proper motherboard.
If you’re thinking of building a new gaming rig it, would really be best to wait for Ryzen to launch. Even if you don’t plan on using a Ryzen-based build, Intel parts may need to come down in price to stay competitive with AMD. Fair competition in the marketplace always benefits the consumer. Whether you’re going with AMD or Intel for your next gaming PC, wait for the Ryzen launch to save some money that you can spend on games.