On the desktop CPU market scene, we are usually facing with a total domination from Intel, which did not happen only on the high-end with their Broadwell-E 14nm 6-to-8 core microprocessors but also on the mainstream with Skylake but also the recently launched Kaby Lake. Most of the forums that do recommend components for system builds are aiming towards Intel by default and AMD processors have been rarely a choice of enthusiasts; this lack of competition also caused an artificial price hike from Intel’s’ part and we have been used with seeing increased prices year-by-year.
In December 2016 AMD’s CEO Dr. Lisa Su did surprise us with the introduction of Zen architecture, which materialized into the Ryzen processors; the new architecture was described as a “clean-sheet” which means that it is basically completely new, a rare event in the semiconductor industry. These new SKUs are aimed towards the recent Intel counterparts, the first wave consisting of the Ryzen 7 1800X, Ryzen 7 1700X and Ryzen 7 1700 which do sport 8 core and 16 threads. These are backed by the same 20MB of L2+L3 cache, have different operating speeds, while the Ryzen 7 1700 SKU does also come with an incredibly low TDP of just 65W (judging by its total number of cores).
With the Ryzen 7 1800X flagship CPU ($499 MSRP), AMD is aiming directly towards the Core i7 6900K Broadwell-E, while the Ryzen 7 1700X ($399 MSRP) performance is placed by AMD from the internal tests between the Core i7 6800K and the Core i7 6900K.
The naming of the new Ryzen series has been carefully thought out: