AMD Ryzen specs, price and release dates: Everything you need to know about AMD’s CPUs and what it means for your next PC.
The first-generation Ryzen story is almost over, so it’s about time we recapped everything we know so far, and then look to the future of AMD Ryzen. To read more about the technical details of Ryzen, take a look at our technical explainer below.
For the products released so far and what we’re expecting yet, read on…
- NEW: Ryzen 3 specs revealed
- NEW: Ryzen 3 launch confirmed
- PLUS: Everything you need to know about the Ryzen story so far
AMD Ryzen 3: Mid-range quad-cores on the way
Ryzen 3 is on the way, and we now know when. The two Ryzen 3 processors will launch on July 27th, which is just two weeks from today. We also know their specs, which mirror the Ryzen 3 Pro chips mentioned below.
At the low end, we have Ryzen 3 1200, which is a quad-core chip with a base clock speed of 3.1GHz, boosting to 3.4GHz. The next chip up is the Ryzen 3 1300X, with 3.5-3.7GHz clock speeds. We still don’t have pricing for these yet, which is the final mystery still to be unveiled. Given that these will be going up against Intel’s latest Core i3 chips, expect competition to be tight. But also don’t expect them to be substantially cheaper than Intel.
AMD Ryzen: The story so far
First, let’s recap our Ryzen reviews: TrustedReviews has so far reviewed six of AMD’s seven Ryzen chips. We have separate reviews for the eight-core Ryzen 7 1800X and Ryzen 7 1700 chips, and we also have a combined review of the mid-range Ryzen 5 chips.
How’d they do? Pretty well, with nines across the board. At the very top end, Ryzen has a significant price advantage over Intel’s equivalent processors, and for brute force performance there’s not much that can beat it. However, Intel still manages to win the ultra-high-end thanks to its support for more PCIe lanes for high-end components such as SSDs and multiple graphics cards.
Ryzen 5s, again, have reviewed very well and look to be a perfect fit for mid-range gaming PCs.
Ryzen Pro launches
On 29 June, AMD launched its next set of processors in the form of Ryzen Pro. The Pro moniker relates to feature sets that are really for big-budget IT buyers looking to buy loads of systems at a time. They feature easier management and better security, which are both crucial ingredients for companies that need to be able to manage their users and devices remotely. The new line-up features all-but identical specifications to non-pro variants, but cuts out some of the more extreme chips to leave a more sedate selection of chips. The full line-up can be found below:
|Product Line||Model||Cores||Threads||Boost Clock (GHz)||Base Clock (GHz)||TDP (Watts)|
|Ryzen 7 PRO||1700X||8||16||3.8||3.4||95|
|Ryzen 7 PRO||1700||8||16||3.7||3||65|
|Ryzen 5 PRO||1600||6||12||3.6||3.2||65|
|Ryzen 5 PRO||1500||4||8||3.7||3.5||65|
|Ryzen 3 PRO||1300||4||4||3.7||3.5||65|
|Ryzen 3 PRO||1200||4||4||3.4||3.1||65|
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There’s also Ryzen Mobile, which is Ryzen’s first leap onto laptop processors.
Beyond that? We know that Zen, the architecture on which Ryzen is based, will be refreshed at the end of 2017 – although likely for high-end server parts, and again in 2020 with Zen 3.
What is AMD Ryzen?
Ryzen is AMD’s newest brand of high-end processors, taking on Intel’s own Core i5 and i7 chips at their own game. The technology is based on AMD’s Zen architecture, which uses a 14nm process for manufacturing smaller and more power-efficient chips.
AMD has long struggled when it comes to so-called “instructions per clock” (IPC), and while its processors of old have all had high clock speeds (measured in GHz), they often ran hot without the same efficiency as Intel’s finest. Read on for more technical info on AMD Ryzen, as well as the latest news.
Related: Best CPU coolers
AMD Ryzen: Why is it important and what can it do?
Although the PC market may be in decline, there’s one area that’s showing growth: performance and gaming. It’s no surprise, then, that AMD is aiming Ryzen at that market, hoping to attract PC gaming fans away from Intel rigs.
This also shows that AMD is once again ready to compete with Intel properly. In the past, as discussed above, AMD didn’t have Intel’s performance per clock. This meant that the only way the company could match Intel’s performance would be to increase clock speeds and power consumption.
With Ryzen and the Zen architecture in general, AMD has revamped its processor architecture to make it more efficient and capable of performing more work per cycle.
Video: Watch AMD’s Ryzen launch event
Fast forward to 15 minutes in for the start of the stream
AMD has confirmed that Ryzen is capable of doing 40% more work per clock cycle, compared to the previous-generation Excavator core. Impressively, power consumption per cycle remains the same. AMD had these goals from the outset, but it’s good to know that this has been achieved.
So, how did AMD achieve Ryzen’s performance boost? Partly, it’s down to the new 14nm process, which means more transistors can fit onto a given piece of silicon, resulting in improved performance without a big increase in power consumption.
An entirely new architecture also helps. Importantly, Ryzen chips support “Simultaneous Multi-Threading”, which is similar to Intel’s Hyper-Threading tech. This allows for better distribution and handling of multiple tasks. For the high-end chip, there are eight cores that can handle 16 threads.
SenseMI drives performance and efficiency
Underpinning the processor are a series of new technologies bundled under the SenseMI umbrella term. These are technologies to make the processor more efficient and powerful.
Pure power is first. This uses monitors on the processor to work out the amount of energy required for any given task. In other words, the processor will run only as fast as it needs to, saving power when the system is relatively idle.
Precision Boost is AMD’s equivalent to Intel’s Turbo Boost, increasing clock speed on the fly to deliver maximum performance when you need it. The company is promising that its speed-boost tech is super-smart, providing 25MHz steps with no latency or queue drain.
Extended Frequency Range (EFR) is an automatic overclocking that kicks in if there’s enough thermal headroom. EFR needs no user intervention and licks in automatically, while the processor remains cool. For those users who like to set everything manually, Ryzen can still be overclocked in the usual way.
Neural Net Prediction is designed to speed up the CPU, by pre-loading instructions and choosing the best path through the CPU. With the right prediction, the CPU no longer has to wait for instructions to be loaded.
Smart Prefetch is the final tool, designed to work out where the code is, anticipating the location of future data. This data can then be stored in the cache, so that the CPU isn’t slowed down waiting for comparatively slow system memory.
The new platform is AM4
AMD’s new AM4 platform will accompany Ryzen. It brings all of the new tech that you’d expect, including DDR4 RAM, PCI-E Gen 3, USB 3.1 Gen 2, NVMe and SATA Express. AMD is promising that this is a platform that you can “buy and know that this will work for years and years”.
AMD Zen Performance
You can read more about performance in our AMD Ryzen 7 1800X review, but in short Ryzen offers blistering multi-core performance up against a more expensive Intel CPU, but is still sligtly wanting in gaming performance versus cheaper Intel CPUs. These are problems that are hopefully going to be ironed out through software updates, but it is a minor mark on an otherwise very clean report sheet.
Related: Best gaming PC
AMD says the Zen architecture won’t only be limited to enthusiast desktop chips. Laptops and servers are also expected to benefit from Zen in the future, although the laptop part (Raven Ridge) won’t launch until the end of 2017.
Zen architecture will also make it to AMD APUs, meaning you’ll be able to buy a full chip with both Zen architecture and AMD Radeon graphics on board. These have proven relatively successful for budget gaming PCs in the past, so with better processing performance and graphics, AMD could really take a bite out of the budget gaming market.
Watch: AMD Radeon RX 480 review
AMD Ryzen 5 or Intel Core i5, which do you think will prevail? Let us know in the comments below.