In context: Substantial new price cuts have made the Ryzen 7 2700 a fantastic deal, along with the rest of the second-generation line-up. But with twelve new Asus X570 motherboards leaking, and new MSI motherboard BIOS updates possibly adding support for Zen 2, these price cuts could be more than just a sale.

It's not unusual for manufacturers to slash prices of their current generation products a few months ahead of their next big releases. This helps clearing stock and drives interest in the company, but it also saves customers the anguish of buying expensive full-priced parts right before the next generation is revealed. In the context of the next generation, the discounted processors will still be a good deal, so now’s a fantastic time to pick up some new hardware if you’ve got the cash to spare.

The Ryzen 7 2700 is down 25% on Amazon, making it possibly the best value CPU available right now. In games, it’s only a few percent slower than the Intel i7-9700K, which is nearly double the price at $410. The Ryzen part looks especially good compared to the i9-9900K, which costs 140% more. Meanwhile, a 20% discount to the Ryzen 5 2600 means it annihilates the i5-8400, which performs roughly the same for $35 more. Thumbs up to AMD.

  Ryzen 5 2600 Ryzen 5 2600X Ryzen 7 2700 Ryzen 7 2700X
MSRP $200 $230 $300 $330
Amazon $165 $190 $220 $290
Newegg $165 $185 $250 $295

Zen 2 will offer up to 16 cores, faster speeds and PCIe 4.0, but it’s also expected to arrive at a bit of a price premium. If you already have a first gen Ryzen part and are looking for a high-end CPU upgrade for gaming, waiting is not a bad idea because the next generation will introduce performance levels Ryzen has never reached before. Professionals should also wait, as higher core counts will push productivity thresholds, too. But for most people, buying discounted parts could be a good idea.

Of course, that begs the question: how long do we have to wait? Not long, if new leaks are anything to go by.

Videocardz was able to get hold of a list of twelve product names for Asus next-generation X570 motherboards. While mostly just updates to existing products, the list does introduce two new motherboard series to Ryzen, the Formula and the Impact. Formula is what Asus calls their ultra-high-end parts, and they include features like a 2” OLED screen, a built-in VRM water block, and 5 Gbps Ethernet. Impact is the Mini-ITX equivalent. For Asus to introduce these models to Ryzen, Zen 2 must really push the limits of performance.

Meanwhile, TechPowerUp noticed that an MSI motherboard BIOS update included a microcode string labeled AGESA (short for AMD Generic Encapsulated Software Architecture) COMBO-AM4 0.0.7.2. An AGESA changes to support new processors, and according to TechPowerUp’s sources, 0.0.7.2 corresponds with the beta version for Zen 2. It’s likely this update is to let AMD or MSI test with engineering samples of Zen 2.

After so much anticipation, it seems like Zen 2 is finally around the corner. With AMD declaring that it will arrive before mid-year, we should see the parts debut at or even before Computex in late May.