AMD formally unveiled its Ryzen (based on Zen) chip at the ‘New Horizon’ event; the highest-end chip matched Intel’s Broadwell-E offering
AMD is officially back in business. The longtime-suffering CPU vendor will be making a huge splash with Zen – its latest CPU microarchitecture. How huge? Well, let’s just say Intel’s highest-end products will be getting a run for their money.
At AMD’s recently held ‘New Horizon’ event, the company took the curtain off of Ryzen. The CPU is set to be the highest-end consumer product based on Zen. It looks the part, too; Ryzen has 8 cores/ 16 threads, with a staggering 16 MB L3 cache.
To demonstrate Ryzen’s capability, AMD unleashed the chip at a Blender run. For reference, it was compared with Intel’s Core i7 Extreme 6900K. AMD stated that Ryzen was running at 3.4 GHz, while the 6900K was clocked at 3.7 GHz. The result: Ryzen beat the 6900K by six-tenths of a second. And while that doesn’t sound like much, keep in mind that Ryzen was running at a lower TDP, as well as having more overclocking headroom.
It really is refreshing to see AMD beating one of Intel’s highest-rated chips after all this time. The 6900K is no pushover; its 1000 USD cost speaks for itself. So, AMD having a competitive edge at that level means that the CPU market is set to become exciting once again.
The only concern we have is pricing. AMD hasn’t revealed any details on how Zen chips will be priced. The general consensus in the PC community seems to be that in the absence of competition from AMD, Intel has been gradually jacking up prices with each passing generation. We’ll see whether that is true, as AMD’s pricing would show whether the inflation was artificial or these new CPUs actually cost a lot to produce.
AMD Zen is set to arrive early next year. The core is based on GloFlo’s 14nm FinFET process node – the very same utilized in AMD’s Polaris. It promises a 40% IPC gain over ‘Excavator’ – AMD’s previous flagship core. Though that achievement seems less noteworthy in light of AMD’s poor showing the past few years. But if there was ever a time to ditch Intel, Q1 2017 would be it.