AMD has finally revealed what most of its fans have been hoping for: more details about Zen. This time, the company shared several key specifications of the first uniquely named Zen-based CPU: Ryzen.
Ryzen is AMD’s first ever enthusiast level CPU to be using the Zen core, featuring 8 CPU cores and 16 threads. Interestingly, AMD CEO, Lisa Su, mentioned that the Ryzen CPU will come with a base clock speed of 3.4GHz and above. Other major specifications include: 20MB of combined L2 and L3 cache, along with the usage of the AM4 socket.
Specifications of the Ryzen CPU wasn’t the only highlight of the event, however. AMD went a step further by comparing its new Zen-based CPU with Intel’s 8-core,16 threads CPU equivalent: the Core i7-6900K. Both CPUs were pitted against each other in a handful of tests, with the two most notable being Blender and Handbrake.
In the Blender rendering test, the Ryzen CPU managed to match the Core i7-6900K’s rendering time. Meanwhile, the AMD CPU managed to finish the Handbrake test five seconds faster compared to the Intel CPU. Mind you, in all tests, the Ryzen CPU was only running on the base 3.4GHz clock speed – the Core i7-6900K had boost enabled.
Another cool feature that comes with the Ryzen CPU is Extended Frequency Range (XFR). According to AMD, this rewards folks who use premium cooling solutions such as liquid and LN2 (liquid nitrogen). Theoretically, the Ryzen CPU should be able to push clock speeds way higher than its standard boost clock when cooled using either of those aforementioned cooling solutions. Best of all, XFR will be enabled automatically, so users need not worry about tweaking their processor.
One key point that was stressed out during the New Horizon event was that the AMD Ryzen CPU is able to match the US$1,100 (about RM4,882) Intel Core i7-6900K. The fact that this was mentioned repeatedly may indicate that the Ryzen CPU will cost significantly less compared to the Intel offering.
With all of this now now in the open, it seems that the only things left for AMD to announce are Ryzen’s SKUs, detailed specs, and pricing. AMD has mentioned that Zen is on track and it will be released for general consumers in the first quarter of 2017.