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Is AMD’s Ryzen CPU Competitive with Intel’s Core CPU?

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AMD’s Ryzen CPU fits a broad range of applications

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is performing a multiphase rollout of its Ryzen CPUs (central processing units). This multiphase rollout would help AMD address any shortcomings arising in the first set of CPUs and gradually perfect its CPU.

Unlike Intel (INTC), AMD is not segmenting its Ryzen CPUs based on specific markets such as gaming or content creation. At the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Technology Conference, AMD’s chief technology officer, Mark Papermaster, stated that Ryzen is a scalable, broad-based CPU that can be used for many types of applications such as content creation, video editing, and enthusiast gaming.

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AMD’s Ryzen 7 and 5 performance

At the 2017 Financial Analyst Day, AMD’s general manager of the Computing & Graphics Business Group, James Anderson, discussed the performance of Ryzen 7 and 5 against Intel’s equivalent Core processors. He stated that AMD’s Ryzen is competitive with Intel’s Core in single-threaded performance, but it is a leader in multithreaded performance.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) tested different versions of Ryzen with its comparably priced Intel counterparts on the multithreaded benchmark Cinebench. AMD found that Ryzen CPUs performed 30%–50% better than Intel’s Core CPUs in multithreaded tasks. Nearly disruptive levels of performance were delivered by Ryzen 7 1700 and Ryzen 5 1600X.

Ryzen 7 1700’s performance

AMD compared its Ryzen 7 1700’s performance against Intel’s Core i7 7700K and found that the former performed 46% better than the latter on Cinebench. According to third-party reviews, the Ryzen 7 1700 has a performance advantage exceeding 20% over Intel’s Core i7 7700K in prosumer applications such as video encoding, content creation, and encryption applications. 

The Ryzen model also has an advantage over Core in game streaming but a slight disadvantage in lower-resolution gaming and premium gaming, which requires 4K and VR (virtual reality).

Ryzen 5 1600X’s performance

AMD compared Ryzen 5 1600X’s performance against Intel’s Core i5 7600K and found that the former performed 75% better than the latter on Cinebench. According to third-party reviews, Ryzen 5 1600X has a performance advantage exceeding 50% over Intel’s Core i5 7600K in the above-mentioned prosumer applications.

Ryzen 5 had a greater performance advantage over its Intel counterpart than Ryzen 7. It remains to be seen whether Ryzen 3 delivers better performance than its Intel counterpart.

Apart from high-, medium-, and low-end processors, AMD plans to launch a Ryzen CPU for the very high-end or ultra-premium segment. James Anderson introduced this new CPU, named Ryzen Threadripper, at the 2017 Financial Analyst Day.

We’ll look into this new CPU in the next part of this series.

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