This is the news you've all been waiting for: AMD's new line of Ryzen processors will hit store shelves and online retailers on March 2nd, with the top-of-the-line model costing just $499. You'll be able to reserve your Ryzen CPU starting today at 1pm EST through a pre-order system at more than 180 retailers worldwide.
As several leaks have suggested over the past few weeks, the top-end Ryzen CPU is named the Ryzen 7 1800X. It comes with 8 cores, 16 threads, and a TDP of 95W, with a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz and a maximum boost frequency of 4.0 GHz. The Ryzen 7 1800X is AMD's direct competitor to the eight-core Intel Broadwell-E Core i7-6900K, but at just $499, it's significantly cheaper than Intel's $1,049 offering.
The Ryzen 7 1700X will also be available on March 2nd, but at a lower price point of $399. It comes with the same 8 cores, 16 threads, and 95W TDP of the 1800X, but features reduced clock speeds of 3.4 GHz and 3.8 GHz base and boost respectively. AMD is pitting this chip against the Intel Core i7-6800K, a six-core processor that currently retails for $424.
The final Ryzen processor that launches on March 2nd is the Ryzen 7 1700. For $329 you'll still get 8 cores and 16 threads, but a reduced TDP of 65W along with clock speeds of 3.0 GHz base and 3.7 GHz boost. Here AMD is positioning the 7 1700 as a competitor to the Core i7-7700K, which is currently available for $349.
At every price point, AMD has a winner on their hands. While we can't post our Ryzen review just yet, AMD has shown us extensive benchmarks that we are allowed to share today, comparing all the Ryzen 7 products against Intel's offerings.
In multi-threaded Cinebench R15, the Ryzen 7 1800X outperforms the Core i7-6900K by 9% (a score of 1601 to 1474), while costing less than half the price. The Ryzen 7 1700X outperforms the Core i7-6800K by 39% (1537 to 1108) in the same benchmark, again at a lower price. And the Ryzen 7 1700 smokes the more expensive Core i7-7700K by 46% (1410 to 967) due to its extra cores.
We've also seen the Ryzen 7 1800X outperform the Core i7-6900K in a Handbrake encoding test, finishing several seconds faster. In 4K gaming, the Ryzen 7 1800X delivered essentially the same performance as an Intel system. Oh, and for those wondering about single-threaded performance, AMD showed the same Cinebench single-threaded score of 162 for the Ryzen 7 1800X and the Core i7-6900K.
AMD stated they beat their goal of a 40% IPC improvement over their Excavator architecture with Ryzen. The actual figure is an impressive 52% improvement in IPC, which is enough to make their CPUs competitive and attractive to enthusiast PC builders for the first time in years.
Everything we've seen so far suggests AMD has created an incredibly competitive product with top-end performance at an excellent price point. We can't wait to share more about Ryzen with you when they go on sale next week.