AMD Ryzen: My Thoughts…

AMD Ryzen

I am a self-confessed AMD “fanboy”; every system I have built has been AMD based, with the exception of my wife’s rig, which is Intel Pentium G4400 based, albeit with an AMD Radeon 6770 GPU. I do have a couple of Intel-based laptops, an i3 gen 2, and i5 gen 3 because I had heat issues with AMD laptops.

I don’t own a Ryzen CPU currently, for a couple of reasons, 1) I’m waiting for the technology to mature for six months, and 2) the ever present financial reasons, i.e. I don’t have $700-$800 to drop on a CPU, motherboard, cooler and RAM at this particular time. As much as I’d like to just go ahead and get the latest and greatest from AMD on a credit card, the pesky wife and kids require feeding and watering.

Looking at the online benchmarks, it does look like the Ryzen 1800X does match the $1,000 Intel i7 6900K’s performance at half the price in a productivity workload, which is my particular area of interest. However, where it does not compete is gaming performance against the i7 7700K which will overclock to 5GHz. Clock speeds are much lower on the AMD chip especially when dropping down to the Ryzen 1700 which is the price competitor for the 7700K, but the R1700 will kick the 7700K’s arse in productivity.

The fallout from the Ryzen launch has been ridiculous; people throwing their toys out of their pram over the lower than expected game performance. Not to say that game performance is terrible, it’s still very good, but nowhere near the i7 7700K using the same graphics card. But what many have missed is the fact that the ZEN architecture is brand spanking new, unlike the Intel platform. There will be improvements and optimizations to come which will boost the performance of the “ZEN” architecture.

I’m very excited about Ryzen and the upcoming VEGA GPU architecture. I’m truly hoping that it will create true competition and wake up Intel and Nvidia. Intel has been lazy in the years since the AMD FX CPU’s and has not innovated whatsoever, they’ve evolved, better optimized and lowered power requirements, but the architecture has basically remained unchanged. Competition is great for consumers, bringing down prices and pushing innovation, the last five years since Bulldozer has been really dull.

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