New AMD Ryzen Processors Compete with Intel for Gaming

At its Next Horizon Gaming event during E3 in Los Angeles, AMD announced an impressive family of Ryzen 3000 processors to debut July 7. The Ryzen 9 3950X, which is 16-core, 32-thread and fits into an AM4 motherboard, is priced at $750. The Ryzen 3950 X also offers a 3.5GHz base clock, 4.7GHz boost clock, 72MB of cache and 105W TDP (in comparison, Intel’s 16-core has a 165W TDP which requires a more expensive motherboard). The rest of the 7nm processor lineup, in general, is expected to offer more power efficiency at a lower cost.

The Verge reports that the Ryzen 3000 family of processors will be “not only faster at creator tasks because of the additional cores, but neck-and-neck with Intel’s very best in gaming performance.” “I don’t think there’s any reason people would buy an Intel processor after we do this,” said AMD director of client product management Travis Kirsch.

The increased speed and efficiency, according to AMD, is 40 percent due to the smaller 7nm circuitry and 60 percent to the “new design of its Zen 2 cores, which offer a 15 percent boost over the previous Zen architecture clock for clock.” The Verge reviewer says that “even though Intel and AMD might play games at the same frame rate, only the AMD chip can let you stream ultra high-quality video to your Twitch audience at the same time.”

With regard to AMD’s claim of greater speed, adds the reviewer, “it feels like AMD could be an attractive alternative to Intel at every price point.” The new Ryzen processors also fit into “almost any existing AM4 motherboard,” due to AMD’s 12-layer substrate that routes the 7nm process circuits to existing AM4 pins. AMD has pledged to offer backward compatibility through 2020 “and for the foreseeable future.”

“It will really take a major inflection point in the platform technology for us to move off of socket AM4,” said AMD senior director of product management David McAfee. AMD’s X570 platform supports PCIe 4.0 and the company is adding “high-end stock coolers with each of the new CPUs.”

One caveat is that “not every Ryzen 3000 part has 7nm Zen 2 cores.” The Ryzen 5 3400G and Ryzen 3 3200G “technically have last-gen CPUs mated with more powerful Vega graphics than previously.”