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Ryzen 3000 Could Spell Big Trouble for Intel

Ryzen 3000 chips are immanent and the entire CPU market is about to get a big wakeup call, unlike anything weíve seen. If youíre about to spend money on a new CPU, stop what youíre doing and read this first.

Until the arrival of the first Ryzen chips, we had gone through more than a decade of virtually no competition to temper Intelís worse impulses. Since the Phenom CPUs first lost the plot, Intel has had its way. AMD has put up a good fight on the GPU side of things, but every year they just didnít seem to have anything competitive.

With the first-generation Ryzen CPUs, things were immediately different. Yes, they could not compete on a per-core basis, but suddenly AMD was willing to sell us more cores for the same money. With software taking advantage of more threads and the per-core performance being adequate, users started coming back to team red. The second-generation Ryzen processors brought significant improvements, although Intel still held the per-core performance crown. However, the expensive Intel ecosystem is starting to become harder to justify for many users.

We can probably thank AMD for forcing Intel to move away from quad-core products in their mainstream lines. Ninth-generation machines seem to be moving towards hexa core CPUs being the norm, and thatís certainly a good thing! Now, launching on July 7 2019, the third generation of Ryzen will be upon us and if Intel was sweating before, that sweat may be about to turn cold.

Ryzen to the Occasion

While Intel has delayed the debut of 10nm chips time and time again, AMD will leapfrogging the competition with 7nm Zen architecture. Not only does this mean better thermals and power efficiency, it means more room for cores. With the debut of Ryzen 3000 chips, 12- core, 24- thread CPUs will be coming to the mainstream.

Performance per clock is also getting a healthy boost, so that per-core and per-thread performance lead from Intel may disappear in a puff of competition. How much better is it? AMD is claiming a 14% increase in IPC (instructions per clock). These new 7nm chips are also clocked pretty high, which combines into something that, on paper, can scare off a chip like the i9 9900K. What AMD showed off at E3 was pretty impressive, but of course we need to wait for independent benchmarks. Since we are less than a month away from launch, that wait should not be too long. It should go without saying that no one should build a high-end Intel system until we know how accurate AMDs claimed performance is.

The Value Proposition

The big news from the Ryzen 3000 reveal is AMDís claim that their new chips will match per-core performance in applications like games, and then beat Intel in threaded apps by offering more cores for the same money. A claim that Intel is not happy with. As a case in point, the i9-9900K retails for about $500 and the Ryzen 9 3900X has the same price, but you get 12 cores as opposed to Intelís 8. If the per-core performance is indeed the same, the AMD chip would be a no-brainer.

The Lineup

The revealed models so far donít show off any budget CPUs, but start off at the mid-range. We really donít know what 7nm Ryzen 3000 budget CPUs will look like at this point or when theyíll release. However, given the competitive pricing of Ryzen 3000 itís perhaps not a priority. There are six CPUs officially announced. Thatís two Ryzen 5s, two 7s and two 9s. Prices range from $200 to $749 for the Ryzen 9 3950X. That chip is worth discussing in detail, but letís handle the range as a whole. The Ryzen 5 CPUs will all sport six cores. That puts them in direct competition with current hexa core i5s. The Ryzen 7 CPUs are coming in with eight cores on board and then the Ryzen 9 chips have 12 cores and 16 cores respectively. You know what else has 12 cores? The i9 9920X, which sells for a beastly $1200. AMD are saying that their 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X will match or beat the 9920X and will only set you back $500! Thatís a stupidly large leap in performance value and its hard to see a downside. Of course, independent benchmarks could show that AMD is being a little liberal with their claims, but thatís not a strategy the company is likely to take. Given that the AMD boards are likely to be less expensive, you would be hard pressed to justify buying something like the 9920X for a new build, since itís unclear what youíd be getting for that extra money. Keep in mind that the Zen 2 architecture has received massive improvements at a very low level. Including better support for AVX operations and multiple efficiency gains. Thatís right, these chips also use less power than the current Intel offerings. The 3950X flagship sporting 16 cores will likely go for about three quarters of that 12-core Intel offering. All that remains now is for the independent benchmarks to confirm what AMD has claimed. If the numbers do stack up, Intel is really going to need a rabbit pulled from its hat. Luckily, as consumers, we can do nothing but win if thatís the case!

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