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Ryzen CPUs explained: Everything you need to know about AMD’s disruptive multicore chips

Editor’s note: This article is updated frequently as new information about AMD Ryzen processors becomes available. The most recent update adds some Ryzen 3 specs, more details about Threadripper CPUs and Ryzen Mobile laptops, gaming performance enhancements, and the AGESA 1.0.0.6 update that makes it much easier to overclock memory.

After a decade of fielding ho-hum FX-series processors, AMD’s finally released its highly disruptive Ryzen chips, throwing down the gauntlet and challenging Intel’s supremacy in high-end computing.

AMD’s new Ryzen chips include several CPUs (and CPU families) of various levels of potency. What’s more, Ryzen introduces a completely new motherboard platform, and the processors require different memory and coolers than their predecessors. There’s a lot to sift through—so let’s sift!

Here’s everything you need to know about AMD’s Ryzen.

Meet AMD’s Ryzen CPUs

AMD Ryzen 7 prices Mark Hachman

High-level Ryzen 7 specs and prices.

Let’s begin with the stars of the show: the Ryzen chips themselves.

AMD’s mainstream Ryzen chips will be split across three families. The top-of-the-line Ryzen 7 processors launched first, with 8 cores, 16 threads, and price points that undercut the comparable 8-core Intel Extreme Edition by a whopping $500. Sweet holy moly. The initial Ryzen 7 lineup consists of the $500 Ryzen 7 1800X, the $400 Ryzen 7 1700X, and the $330 Ryzen 7 1700.

amd ryzen pricing AMD

AMD’s Ryzen 5 chips will start at $169 for the 1400 and go up to $249 for the 1600X, staying with range of Intel’s Core i5.

The more affordable Ryzen 5 series launched on April 11 with more variation among processors than you’ll find in the 7 series. 

The $249 Ryzen 5 1600X is a 6-core, 12-thread processor capable of boosting to 4GHz, the same max speed as the Ryzen 7 1800X. The $219 Ryzen 5 1600 is a 6-core, 12-thread chip that tops out at 3.6GHz. The rest of the Ryzen 5 lineup consists of quad-core, 8-thread CPUs, with the $189 Ryzen 5 1500X hitting 3.7GHz with boost and the $169 Ryzen 5 1400 hanging between 3.2GHz and 3.4GHz.

ryzen 3 pro performance AMD

The only thing AMD’s officially said about the more affordable Ryzen 3 chips is that they’ll launch in the third quarter. But the announcement of business-ready Ryzen Pro chips pulled back the curtain on two Ryzen 3 chips: The Ryzen 3 1200 and Ryzen 3 1300.

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