The end of Intel’s reign over PC gamers

With the launch of its new Ryzen processors, AMD has threatened Intel’s position in the high-end desktop CPU market.

Intel’s Broadwell-E processors might boast high-end multi-core performance, but this is reflected by their high price.

AMD has upset the market with its high-value eight-core processors and their increased performance over Intel’s multi-core solutions.

Intel has continued to refine its architecture and provide small performance boosts each generation, while AMD has launched its new Ryzen processors – which are set to compete with the longstanding market leader.

Ryzen 7

The most powerful Ryzen processor is the Ryzen 7 1800X, which AMD said is the fastest eight-core processor in the world.

Despite its impressive performance, it is priced at R8,199 – less than half the price of the Intel Core i7 6900K (R18,591).

This price difference makes the Ryzen line-up a great choice for high-end desktop users looking for a powerful and affordable eight-core CPU with relatively low power consumption.

Another important feature of Ryzen 7 processors is that all chips are unlocked, unlike Intel’s Core processors.

The increased implementation of new APIs allows processors with good multi-threaded performance to scale well in future applications, including high-resolution gaming.

Below are benchmarks published by AMD for the Ryzen 7 1800X and Intel Core i7 6900K.

Ryzen 1800X

Microarchitecture

Intel’s approach to desktop processor architecture has changed since it reached the 14nm processor node, breaking its “tick-tock” design model.

The “tick-tock” model involves the release of two architectures per fabrication process node, with the second being a refinement of the previous architecture on the same manufacturing process.

The company previously progressed through architectures in this manner, but has remained on the 14nm fabrication process of late – choosing to continue optimising its microarchitecture.

While Intel has been upgrading its processors with small performance and clock speed improvements on the 14nm process, AMD has been working on Ryzen – the company’s first desktop CPU architecture manufactured on the 14nm process node.

Intel’s Kaby Lake chips received¬†criticism¬†for their small performance increase over previous CPU generations, with the the new processors providing little motivation for upgrading from a Skylake product – apart from Optane support and slightly-higher clock speeds.

AMD has reportedly seen a 52% increase in IPC compared to its previous processor architecture, which is the result of a new process node and redesigned CPU architecture.

While Intel’s mainstream – and more affordable – desktop products still remain unchallenged, AMD is yet to unveil its Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 processors.

These are set to compete with Intel’s Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3 CPUs.

If the price-per-performance ratio of Ryzen 7 processors scales down to AMD’s mainstream Ryzen products, Intel’s popular Core i5 and Core i7 gaming chips could be the next CPUs threatened by AMD’s new processors.

Now read: Nvidia unveils hugely-powerful GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

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The end of Intel’s reign over PC gamers