2019-06-18
Ars Technica

Enlarge/ AMD provided infrared photos showing its new Ryzen 3700x running cooler than an Intel i7-9900k. 6 with 7 posters participating AMD's new line of Ryzen 3000 desktop CPUs will benefit from the same 7nm manufacturing process as the company's new Navi-powered GPUs. Much of the tech community's hype is for the biggest and baddest of the bunch: the 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen 9 3950x. But there's an entire new line ranging from the $499 3950x down to a relatively-modest $199 3600Xand AMD is gunning for Intel every step of the way. I dont think theres any reason people would buy an Intel processor after we [launch the Ryzen 3000 line]. Travis Kirsch, AMD Client Product Management Director What's really interesting is, this time around, AMD is not just pitching cheaper parts and "good-enough" performancethe company is claiming top-dog stats, along with thermal and power efficiency wins. The Ryzen 9 3700x is listed at $329, while Intel's i7-9700k is currently available for about $410. But according to AMD's slides, the Ryzen part also outperforms the i7-9700k across the board, and it draws less power and produces less heat while doing so. Even when comparing absolute flagship CPUs, the monstrous 16-core/32-thread Ryzen 3950x boasts 135W TDP, while Intel's 32-threaded i7-7960x runs 165W TDP. If the data here is reasonably accurate, the savings in power and cooling costs over the lifespan of a system will probably outweigh its already lower purchase price. Cooler and quieter: in a reversal from what we've come to expect, AMD says its new flagship CPU is more power-efficient than Intel's. Content-creation benchmarks are more likely than gaming benchmarks to be CPU-dependent. Most of us know better than to tie framerate too closely to a CPU, but in case you weren't sure, AMD is eager to prove it. For every Core, there's a Ryzen. (Also, there's the 3700x. Why not?) AMD draws bull's eyes directly on individual Intel SKUs down the line. One thing does remain constant in the Intel-vs-AMD wars: it appears that Intel will still enjoy a small single-thread performance advantage, while Ryzen runs away laughing with massively-multithreaded benchmark wins due to its greater number of threads at the same price points. (For example, the Ryzen 3700x boasts 32 threads to the i7-9700k's mere 8.) This generally is little or no help with gaming benchmarks, which tend to block on single-threaded performance and benefit very little from more than four CPU threadsbut AMD figured out a way to make all those extra threads shine in a gaming benchmark anyway. Enlarge/ Sure, you don't need a ton of threads to game effectively... but what if you want to game and stream at high res simultaneously? Either Intel's 8-thread i7-9700k or AMD's Ryzen 9 3700k will play Tom Clancy's The Division 2 in 1440P at an effortless 90fps... but according to AMD's data, effectively streaming the experience live is a different story entirely. A ludicrous 24 extra CPU threads ars at the Ryzen's disposal for simultaneous video compression. Granted, AMD is stacking the deck here with extremely high-bitrate, high-quality compression that may or may not be strictly necessary for a game streambut it's certainly desirable, and what's possible tends to set the standard for what's expected going forward. More importantlyfor those of us who want to play the games even if we don't stream themthis also hints at a tremendously improved experience gaming on an "everything box." Such a set-up may have email clients, Web browsers, anti-virus, and more running in the background. For those of you who are already AMD fans, the news gets even better: the new product line still uses the AM4 socket, and the company says you can expect Ryzen 3000 CPUs to be drop-in replacements for existing Ryzen 2000 CPUsno motherboard swap needed.

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