AMD unveiled its Ryzen 7000 series of desktop processors on Monday, with enormous increases over its predecessors in performance, clock speed, and (in some cases) power. But AMD’s top-end 7950X will also be priced at $699, which is also $100 less than the price of the Ryzen 5950X when it debuted in late 2020.

And here’s a comparison you don’t see very often: AMD says its “worst” Ryzen 7000 processor will outperform Intel’s best 12th-gen”Alder Lake” chip, too.

AMD’s new processors are the first built using the company’s “Zen 4” architecture, which will kick off similar offerings in laptops, probably in January 2023, as well as servers. Ryzen 7000 is the first of AMD’s 5nm processors, and also the first to use its new AM5 motherboard socket. Enthusiasts will have to buy new motherboards to fit the new processors, in other words, but AMD has signaled that it hopes AM5’s longevity will rival the record-breaking endurance of the AM4 socket used by all previous Ryzen processors to this point.

The story of the new Ryzen 7000 processors, however, appears to be pure, raw performance. Recall how the Ryzen 9 5950X topped out at a 4.9GHz burst clock — the new 7950X’s base clock is 4.5GHz, and it will boost up to 5.7GHz when needed, a whopping 800MHz more. In fact, all four processors that make up the initial Zen 4 desktop family — the Ryzen 7600X, 7700X, 7900X, and the 7950X — perform similarly.

Even AMD itself was a little shocked at how well its new Ryzen 7000 processors performed. AMD chief executive Dr. Lisa Su told analysts and reporters in a press event in Austin, Texas that its designers expected 8 percent to 10 percent improvements in instructions per clock (IPC) compared to the Ryzen 5000/Zen 3 chips. In reality, AMD achieved 13 percent higher IPC. That, combined with the increases in clock speed, pushed the Ryzen 7000’s overall single-threaded performance up by an extraordinary 29 percent compared to Ryzen 5000. Naturally, AMD is claiming a performance advantage over Intel, specifically a 5 percent improvement in gaming over Intel’s 12th-gen “Alder Lake” chips.

“These are just huge performance increases, and I’m extremely proud of what the team was able to do to deliver it,” Su said.

AMD Ryzen 7000: speeds, and prices

Unlike Intel, which is pursuing a policy of disaggregation which could complicate how its chips are described, AMD’s new Ryzen 7000 processors are more straightforward, and they’ll all be available on Sept. 27. Here’s how fast the Ryzen 7000 family will be, and how much the Ryzen 7000 chips will cost:

Ryzen 7950X: 16 cores/32 threads, 4.5GHz base/5.7GHz turbo (170W TDP), $699Ryzen 7900X: 12 cores/24 threads, 4.7GHz base/5.6GHz turbo (170W TDP), $549Ryzen 7700X: 8 cores/16 threads, 4.5GHz base/5.4GHz turbo (105W TDP), $399Ryzen 7600X: 6 cores/12 threads, 4.7GHz base/5.3GHz turbo (105W TDP), $299These chips do not have an integrated graphics core, but they do contain some very basic “GPU-like” functions for driving the display. (If AMD still plans full-fledged “APUs” with integrated graphics, they’ll come later.)

The prices of the AMD Ryzen 7000 family.AMD

Su ascribed the performance improvements in part to the move to a 5nm process node, but also a new front-end architecture and support for AVX-512, a set of instructions used for high-performance computing that Intel adopted in 2020. AVX-512 hasn’t been a hit with some users such as Linux creator Linux Torvalds, who wrote that he hoped it would die a
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