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AMD's Ryzen CPUs Everything You Need to Know About

AMD's Ryzen CPUs Everything You Need to Know About

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Starting off with standard footage and projects, we found some very interesting results when rendering previews. There is quite a bit of back and forth between the various CPUs, but overall Ryzen is extremely competitive compared to the Intel CPUs. Interestingly, the 1800X was only about 2% slightly faster than the 1700X which is much less than we expected given the clock speed difference between the two CPUs.

"A lot of processors have pre-programmed clock speed voltage tables," explained AMD's Robert Hallock at CES. "We don't. This is very algorithmic. We analyse power consumption limits, thermal limits, silicon utilisation limits, and out of that boundary, if none of those limits are being met, you can just keep raising clock speed until one of them is. Then you level off the boost and then try to sustain it as long as possible. The system is smart enough to know what's going on inside itself, and adaptive enough to prevent sudden drops in clock speeds."


Neither Ryzen six-core part can catch the Core i7-6800K in our final standings, but the hexa-core Broadwell-E's advantages only come into play where memory bandwidth or floating-point prowess is a concern. When it can tap those advantages over AMD's chips, the i7-6800K can totally lap the field. Even so, our final reckoning puts the i7-6800K just 11% ahead of the Ryzen 5 1600X, and the Intel chip is a whopping 52% to 76% more expensive than the AMD part depending on the discount winds. Those prices are quite hard to swallow given the virtues of the Ryzen 5 1600-series. It's no wonder Intel is pricing its Skylake-X chips more in line with historical trends.

Not-so-coincidentally, AMD also announced a partnership with Bethesda the same week Ryzen launched, designed to implement the low-level Vulkan graphics API in multiple game. Early Ryzen-specific game optimizations have indeed greatly boosted performance, and AMD’s seeded hundreds of developers with Ryzen kits. Games released going forward seem more likely to account for Ryzen’s architecture out of the gate.


Given how operating systems were designed at the time, particularly Windows 7, they couldn’t take advantage of AMD’s design and performance took a hit. There were other issues with AMD’s Bulldozer as well, such as longer pipelines and increased latency to accommodate higher clock speeds, slower cache, etc.

The climate for AMD Ryzen™ processor is especially important, as enthusiast PC gamers have increasingly lamented its stagnant condition. Years of incremental upgrades, rising costs, artificial segmentation, and shrinking performance per dollar have left many users clamoring for a competitive alternative like the AMD Ryzen™ processor.

Ryzen is exactly what AMD should have done many years ago, but for various reasons, couldn’t. Ryzen is effectively the same as an 8-core Intel chip, where each core is actually independent. AMD also finally shifted from its power-hungry, expensive and inefficient 32nm manufacturing process and is now on a 14nm manufacturing process.


Despite these concerns, AMD has shown enough of Ryzen to make it an exciting product. For the last five or so years, Intel has remained unchallenged in just about every segment of the PC market, and improvements over time have slowed to a crawl. Its latest chip, the Kaby Lake i7-7700K is an incredibly marginal upgrade over its Skylake predecessor. Even a six-year-old Sandy Bridge i7-2600K can still hold its own when overclocked.

Naturally, the Internet cried foul. Flick through the various subreddits dedicated to Zen, AMD, and Intel, and you'll find all manner of conspiracy theories about how AMD artificially capped performance on the 6900K by using a sub-par air cooler (it used the Intel-recommended part), or how there were differences in the video files used in the demo. Not all of these criticisms are without merit, of course. For example, it's not clear whether the Intel chip could have reached its full boost with all cores under heavy load.

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