AMD Ryzen Pre-order Starts Today, Specs and Performance Revealed

Subject: Processors | February 22, 2017 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: Zen, ryzen, preorder, pre-order, handbrake, Cinebench, amd

I know that many of you have been waiting months and years to put your money down for the Zen architecture and Ryzen processors from AMD. Well that day is finally here: AMD is opening pre-orders for Ryzen 7 1800X, Ryzen 7 1700X and Ryzen 7 1700 processors.

That’s the good news. The bad news? You’ll be doing it without the guidance of independent reviews.

For some of you, that won’t matter. And I can respect that! Getting your hands on Ryzen and supporting the disruption that it offers is something not only AMD fans have been preparing for, but tens of thousands of un-upgraded enthusiasts as well.

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Sorry...AMD doesn't trust with slides it seems.

Proudly announced at our meeting with AMD this week, Zen not only met the 40% IPC goals it announced more than a year ago, but exceeded it! AMD claims more than a 52% increase in instructions per clock over Excavator and that is a conservative metric based on side conversations. This does a couple of things for the CPU market immediately: first it resets performance expectations for what Ryzen will offer when reviews do go live and second, it may actually put some worry into Intel.

AMD is allowing us to share baseline specifications of the processors, including clock speeds and core counts, as well as some selected benchmarks that show the Ryzen CPUs in an (obviously) favorable light.

  Ryzen R7 1800X Ryzen R7 1700X Ryzen R7 1700 Core i7-6900K Core i7-6800K Core i7-7700K
Architecture Zen Zen Zen Broadwell-E Broadwell-E Kaby Lake
Process Tech 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm+
Cores/Threads 8/16 8/16 8/16 8/16 6/12 4/8
Base Clock 3.6 GHz 3.4 GHz 3.0 GHz 3.2 GHz 3.4 GHz 4.2 GHz
Turbo/Boost Clock 4.0 GHz 3.8  GHz 3.7 GHz 3.7 GHz 3.6 GHz 4.5 GHz
Cache 20MB 20MB 20MB 20MB 15MB 8MB
TDP 95 watts 95 watts 65 watts 140 watts 140 watts 91 watts
Price $499 $399 $329 $1050 $450 $350

AMD is being extremely aggressive with these prices and with the direct comparisons. The flagship Ryzen 7 1800X will run you just $499, the 1700X at $399 and the 1700 at $329. For AMD’s own comparisons, they pitted the Ryzen 7 1800X against the Core i7-6900K from Intel, selling for more than 2x the cost. Both CPUs have 8 cores and 16 threads, the AMD Ryzen part has higher clock speeds as well. If IPC is equivalent (or close), then it makes sense that the 1800X would be a noticeably faster part. If you care about performance per dollar even more…you should be impressed.

For the other comparisons, AMD is pitting the Ryzen 7 1700X with 8 cores and 16 threads against the Core i7-6800K, with 6 cores and 12 threads. Finally, the Ryzen 7 1700, still with an 8C/16T setup, goes against the Core i7-7700K with just 4 cores and 8 threads.

Here is a summary of the performance comparisons AMD is allowing to be showed.

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Though it's only a couple of benchmarks, and the results are highly siloed to show Ryzen in the best light, the results are incredibly impressive. In Cinebench R15, the Ryzen 1800X is 9% faster than the Core i7-6900K but at half the price; even the Ryzen R7 1700X is beating it. The 1700X is 34% faster than the Core i7-6800K, and the 1700 is 31% faster than the quad-core Core i7-7700K. The only single threaded result AMD gave us shows matching performance from the Core i7-6900K based on the Intel Broadwell architecture and the new Ryzen R7 1800X. This might suppress some questions about single threaded performance of Ryzen before reviews, but Broadwell is a couple generations old in Intel’s lineup, so we should expect Kaby Lake to surpass it.

The Handbrake benchmark results only included Core i7-7700K and the Ryzen R7 1700, with the huge advantage going to AMD. Not unexpected considering the 2x delta in core and thread count.

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Finally, the performance per dollar conversion on the Cinebench scores is a substantially impactful visual. With a more than 2x improvement from the Ryzen 7 1800X to the Core i7-6900K, power-hungry users on a budget will have a lot to think about.

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Sorry...AMD doesn't trust with slides it seems.

Clearly, AMD is very proud of the Ryzen processor and the Zen architecture, and they should be. This is a giant leap forward for the company compared to previous desktop parts. If you want to buy in today and pre-order, we have links below. If you’d rather wait for a full review from PC Perspective (or other outlets), you only have to wait until March 2nd.

Update Feb 22 @ 4:27am: An official Intel spokesman did respond to today's AMD news with the following: 

“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.” ­

While nothing drastic, the Intel comment is interesting in a couple of ways. First, the fact that Intel is responding at all means that they are rattled to some degree. Second, mention of the 8th Gen Core processor series indicates that they want potential buyers to know that something beyond Kaby Lake is coming down the pipe, a break from Intel's normally stoic demeanor.

Source: AMD