In the past years AMD was more or less a joke in terms of performance and gaming.
Only in low-end business systems or other low budget demands the CPUs of AMD were an option.
Intel pretty much dominated the market for high-end systems and gaming PCs and was able to set the price structure where the top CPUs easily could cost 1000-1500$.
AMD problems mainly was the legacy of the multicore strategy of the early days.
If we look back AMD was the manufacturer which pushed the first multipcore systems while Intel still had put its focus on hyperthreading.
In the following years the believe that more cores mean more performance did lead to the introduction of systems with more and more cores... 4-cores... 6 cores... 8 cores... 16 cores.
Expectations were high, but reality was different.
Many applications and games can not use the full potential of so many cores and very often apps and games run just as singlecore applications.
Many cores on one CPU always had the side effect of consuming more energy and producing more heat. Thats why most 8-core systems have a relative low Ghz rate.
In theory due to the many cores these 8-core systems could do much more calculations than a dual core or a single core PC but only if ALL of the cores are doing their work.
In reality many programs use just one core and run slower than a pure singlecore CPU would do at +4Ghz.
But ok. Thats the natural limitation of such systems.
AMD always suffered in single-core performance compared to Intel and in the end Intel also managed to get better multicore performances out of their CPUs because the cores could work better together and use shared resourced more efficiently. Especially the access to the cache was done in a better way.
Intel often had CPUs with fewer Cores but better performance while being able to use the same (or more) amount of threads due to Intels hyperthreading which allows to run 2 threads on 1 core.
About 2 months ago I told a friend that I probably will never buy an AMD again.
I have a FX-8350 and while it is not a totally bad PC I am still disappointed.
8 Cores with relative high frequency but the performance is not so good compared to what Intel has to offer. We are talking about 40-80% difference in speed (depending on singlecore or multicore).
Even the best AMD CPUs on the market had a large performance gap to Intel.
Roughly one week ago AMD released the prices and more tech info about the new AMD Ryzen CPUs. Yesterday the first shipping started.
On the net for multiple weeks performance tests were leaked showing that the new AMD CPUs easily can compete with Intels best.
There are various benchmarks showing the Ryzen CPU slightly before the best Intel CPU... other benchmarks shows the Ryzen slightly behind the best Intel CPU.
Generally the difference in the game benchmarks are just 3-5 FPS up or down so I personally would say that AMD finally is on par with Intel again.
The old weakness of the AMD multicores already are fixed... now they can manage resources alot better and just like Intel can run 2 threads on 1 core.
At the beginning AMD will release 3 versions (later more).
The 1700, the 1700x and the 1800x. All of them are unlocked and can freely be overclocked. First test results that 600-800Mhz additional speed are no problem. Overclocked bundles are already offered in GreatBritain (with guarantee).
The Ryzen 1800 can compete with Intels best... only two Intel CPUs show lightly better performance results.
I personally can live with that... I dont have to have the best.... expecially since the difference is minimal and does not even consider the overclocking potential.
Considering that the best Intel CPUs cost more than twice than what the best AMD CPU costs I am clearly able to to live with 5% less performance (if thats even that much considering that the new AMD Ryzen runs only with 95 Watt, produces less heat and offers perfect overclocking abilities).
The Intel equivalents consume up to 140 Watt and in theory produce more heat.
I am thinking for several months meanwhile to get a new PC (or upgrade) and so far was focused on a I7-6800k which is a pretty good one (eventhough not the best).
Now with Ryzen on the market I also have the option to take a Ryzen 1700x which is even a bit better than the I7-6800k.
The prices for the CPUs in this segment are about the same.
I compared upgrade bundles and the upgrade to a I7-6800k would cost me 800-900€ (including board, ram, cooling, etc).
The upgrade to a Ryzen 1700x (with the best chipset version) would cost 600-700€.
The processors have about the same price (Ryzen 1700x = 440€, the I7 is about 430€ on the market).
The RAM costs the same for both bundles.
So the price difference of 200,-€ must be related to motherbord and cooling.
Biggest part is most likely the cooling since the I7 bundles get offered with watercooling while the Ryzen just requires an ordinary fan. It simply produces less heat (in theory).
For me this comparision was just informative... I am not in desperate need to upgrade.
All games I play run fine... but I guess somwhen this year I will do the upgrade.
Since the Ryzen CPU is brand new I really expect that now that Intel isnt dominating the market anymore the prices will drop for Intel CPUs and prices for the AMD ones will also drop a bit after a few months (they are new and the demand is high atm).
I am really glad that AMD is back with a product that can compete with Intel and prices that forces Intel to act.
Lets face it.... 1000-1500$ just for a CPU isnt normal. Thats what a complete PC should cost.