AMD fired the first shots of what may be a price war between the two of the largest CPU chipset manufacturers yesterday with their midweek unveiling of their latest technology. Ryzen is the latest iteration of the Zen chip series. With AMD making the first move, we all eagerly await Intel’s response in what is sure to be a catalyst for cheaper consumer 8-core CPUs.
As I see it, there are only three real choices for Intel: drastically slashing its prices to more competitive levels, discrediting the projected prowess of these chipsets, or innovating beyond AMD in such a way that will merit keeping Intel’s prices as high as they are.
Being the two big kids on the block, AMD and Intel have competed with each other fiercely on the market. Generally speaking, AMD is usually a little cheaper than Intel but lacks the same level of robust quality that Intel has. This should not be mistaken as saying AMD is bad, in fact they have great engineering. I know many people who purchase AMD CPUs and GPUs for the price, but end up having to overclock the cores to gain the performance they are really looking for. With the release of Ryzen, perhaps the days that these assumptions about under performing AMD hardware are over.
This 8-core 1800X CPU is an absolute monster on the specs sheet. The fastest of the chips will have a base of 3.6 GHz that will boost to 4.0 GHz. Even before overclocking, this is an insanely quick chip especially considering that there are 8 cores. AMD suggests that this CPU will outperform Intel chips in heavily multi-threaded workloads and is aiming to hold it own in the world of gaming.
It will likely be able to be in the same sort of class for this as well. So we can expect the 8-core 16 threaded chip is directly competing with the higher end i7 models. However is threatening the most worrying part of this chip series for Intel is that is massively cheaper than its direct competitor. The 1800X will be about $600 dollars cheaper than Intel’s own heavy hitters (i7-5960X and 6900Ks). This is a truly staggering number, and is probably a little hard to swallow for Intel.
The lower end iterations of this chip series will also be giving Intel an uncomfortable run for their money, though by not nearly the same magnitude. The 1700X is cheaper by about $50 than its rival (i7 6800K) per CPU and the 1700 will enjoy about a $30 dollar advantage over its main adversary (i7-7700K). These lower end chips may have a harder time competing with the lower end Intel models, but they will not be so outclassed that the price would not be a real factor when it comes to purchasing choices.
Whether we are on the brink of a price war or a the eve of Intel needing to jump start their innovation engine, the Ryzen series CPUs are here and they’ve irreversibly changed the game. Keep an eye out for this CPU. Its launch date is March 2nd.
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