AMD unveils its second-generation Ryzen CPUs

AMD

With last year’s Ryzen processors, AMD made a grand re-entry into the world of high-performance desktop computing. Now its improving on those designs with its second-generation Ryzen chips, which are a bit faster and more efficient. And, due to fan demand, AMD is also throwing in free “Wraith” coolers with every CPU. The big takeaway this year: AMD is in an even better place to compete with Intel.

The highest end Ryzen model is the eight-core Ryzen 7 2700X, which replaces the 1800X and 1700X from last year (honestly they weren’t thatdifferent). With a base clock of 3.7GHz, and a boost speed of 4.3Ghz, it’s faster than the 1800X, which ran between 3.6Ghz and 4Ghz. The new chip is also a much better deal at $329, compared with the $399 and $499 launch prices of the 1700X and 1800X. In comparison, Intel’s six-core i7-8700K sells for around $350.

At the more affordable end, there’s the six-core Ryzen 5 2600, which will go for $199. It’s clocked between 3.4Ghz and 3.9GHz, and it should be a solid competitor to Intel’s similarly priced Core i5-8500. The new chips are built on AMD’s 12 nanometer Zen+ architecture, so you can think of them as a slight upgrade over last year’s models. Its true platform followup, Zen 2, is expected to debut next year.

MODEL CORES THREADS CLOCK SPEED MAX BOOST/ BASE (GHZ) SMART PREFETCH CACHE TDP COOLER SEP (USD)
Ryzen™ 7 2700X 8 16 4.3/3.7 20MB 105W Wraith Prism (LED) $329
Ryzen™ 7 2700 8 16 4.1/3.2 20MB 65W Wraith Spire (LED) $299
Ryzen™ 5 2600X 6 12 4.2/3.6 19MB 95W Wraith Spire $229
Ryzen™ 5 2600 6 12 3.9/3.4 19MB 65W Wraith Stealth $199

AMD is keeping full details about the new Zen chips under wraps until their April 19th launch. But it did reveal a few tidbits: They’ll run on its new X470 AM4 chipset, and they’ll support its StoreMI technology, which can speed up disk performance by linking together SSDs, traditional hard disks and RAM.

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