AMD Ryzen processor family: Everything you need to know

Chances are that your current computer is running an Intel processor instead of AMD processor. Even though AMD at one point was ahead of the curve in personal and desktop computing processors, Intel quickly took the show when it released the famous Core 2 Duo and later Core i family of processors which offered superior performance at affordable rates. AMD has recently bounced back with its new Ryzen which implement the the Zen micro-architecture succeeding the long-standing Bulldozer architecture.

AMD Ryzen processors have caused a quite a stir among computer hardware enthusiasts and reviewers. Benchmarks have already been performed and their results are outstanding in newer games designed with multithreading in mind and in most desktop applications. The Ryzen series come with 4 cores to as much as 16 cores 32 threads for the high-end models bringing them head on against Intel’s Core i7 series at a much lower price. They have been praised for great multi-threaded performance but fall short in single-threaded performance relative their  Intel CPUs counterparts.

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AMD Ryzen processor family comes in about four different categories; Ryzen 3, 5, 7 aptly named similar to Intel’s Core i3, i5, i7. At the top tier, AMD has the Ryzen Threadripper which offer high-performance for super users. They use the new socket AM4 design, support DDR4, are all unlocked for over-clocking and support auto-overclocking dubbed “XFR” (eXtended Frequency Range). They are optimized to run well on Windows 7, 10 and Linux with the Kernel 4.0 and later.

Ryzen 3 processors which feature 1300X and 1200 are entry-level processors with  4 cores and threads and base clock speeds between 3.1-3.5GHz but can be over clocked to 3.7GHz. They are designed to be power efficient with only 65W Thermal Design Power (TDP) and are priced at $109 and $129 for the 1300X and 1200 respectively.

Ryzen 5 are mainstream processors supporting 4/8 cores/threads for the 1500X/1400 versions and 6/12 cores/threads for the 1600X/1600 models. The Ryzen 5 series have base clock speeds between 3.2GHz to 3.6GHz but can be overclocked to 4GHz. They power consumption is almost similar to entry-level Ryzen 3 series except for the 1600X which has a TDP of 95W. The Ryzen cost slightly more at between $169 to $249.

Users who want super-charged processors can go for the Ryzen 7 series which feature 8/16 cores/threads. Ryzen 7 comes with 1800X,1700X and 1700 models with base clock rates of between 3-3.6GHz but can be over clocked to up to 4.0Ghz and TDP of not more than 95W. The Ryzen 7 retail from $329 to $499.

AMD Ryzen cpus specs and price comparison
Clock rate
1950X16 (32)3.4 GHz180 W$999
1920X12 (24)3.5 GHz$799
1900X8(16)3.8 GHz$549
Ryzen 71800X8 (16)3.6 GHz95 W$499
1700X3.4 GHz95 W$399
17003.0 GHz65 W$249
Ryzen 51600X6(12)3.6 GHz95 W$329
16003.2 GHz65 W$219
1500X4 (8)3.5 GHz65 W$189
14003.2 GHz65 W$182
Ryzen 31300X4 (4)3.5 GHz65 W$169
12003.1 GHz65 W$109

AMD released the Ryzen Threadripper for users who run supercharged multi-threaded applications. With up to 16/32 cores/threads, the Ryzen Threadripper is a high-performance desktop processor with base clock rates up to 3.8 GHz, TDP of 180W and can cost as much as $999 for the 1950X model.

For  much lower price, the AMD new Ryzen processors give the same performance, ran cooler, faster, and use less power as their Intel counterparts.