We’ve seen a long slow trickle of information about AMD’s Ryzen processors spill out over the last several months. AMD has fed us enough information to keep us listening, and combined with a mudslide of mostly-false leaks, it’s fair to say the excitement has reached a fever pitch. We are finally on the cusp of the official March 2 launch date, and as such, AMD held a Tech Day event in San Francisco to lay out the pricing, specifications and its own internally generated benchmarks for its three leading SKUs. The Ryzen 7 1800X ($499), 1700X ($399), and 1700 ($329) all pack 8 cores and 16 threads at an impressive price point.
AMD CEO Lisa Su also presented three demos pitting Ryzen against competing Intel processors, including a Cinebench multi-threaded test, HandBrake video transcoding test, and 4K gaming session.
The company also surprisingly announced that Ryzen processors are available for pre-order at 1:30pm ET today (Feb 22) from 180 global e-tailers and boutique OEMs, which is somewhat odd timing considering that product reviews aren’t out yet.
AMD began the blank-sheet Zen processor core design phase four years ago and invested two million engineering hours optimizing the architecture and process technology to strike the right blend of power and performance. The end result comes in the form of the Ryzen processors, which come packing 4.8 billion 14nm transistors. AMD finally shared a naked image of the die, and we can clearly spot the two separate CPU complexes, which come with four cores each. We’ve already covered the Zen microarchitecture in our Everything Zen article, but we’ll revisit the topic with new details in our review.
AMD originally set out to increase IPC 40% over its own previous-generation chips, but the company revealed that it actually surpassed that goal and measured a 52% increase. Every processor design is an engineering marvel–for instance, the 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen processors come with 2,000 meters of internal signal wiring, but perhaps AMD’s greatest feat comes in the form of Ryzen’s low price tag.
AMD is quite vocal that it is out to disrupt the PC market with its low pricing model, and all three of the leading Ryzen models deliver on that front, especially in light of their beefy 8-core designs.