New AMD Ryzen Processors Put Price, Performance Pressure On Intel

AMD on Thursday launched three new processors that will up the ante for Intel's seventh-generation Core products, both in price and performance.

The company introduced three, 8-core Ryzen 7 models, available on Thursday, which are based on the new AMD Zen core microarchitecture and are targeted for PC gamers and enthusiasts.

"We are extremely enthusiastic about AMD’s new Ryzen chips. Our testing shows that they provide an often times superior alternative to Intel’s Kabylake and Broadwell-E processors," said Andrew Kretzer, director of sales and marketing at Bold Data Technology, a Fremont, Calif.-based systems builder. "Indeed, this is the first processor that our gaming, enthusiast and prosumer customers have been excited about for a while."

[Related: The 10 Biggest Intel Executive Moves Of The Last 12 Months]

AMD's three Ryzen 7 chips, which all have 8 cores and 16 threads, range in base clock from 3 GHz for the 1700 model to 3.6 GHz for the 1800X model. The chips also range in suggested pricing, from $349 for the 1700 to $499 to the high-end 1800X.

AMD's pricing and performance specs target Intel's new seventh generation Core i3, i5 and i7 Kaby Lake products, which were released last year. For instance, the company's high-end 95W TDP Ryzen 7 1800X is only $499 – while its equivalent Intel silicon chip, the 140W TDP i7-6900K, costs $1050.

The company pitted its products against Intel to appeal to enthusiast customers – for instance, AMD said its Ryzen 5 bested Intel's Core i5 7600K processor, saying that the chip beat out Intel's flagship product by more than 60 percent in multi-threaded CPU testing.

"With Ryzen 7 desktop processors, AMD delivers to PC gamers, prosumers and enthusiasts both the highest performance and the lowest power 8-core desktop PC processors, bringing the absolute best PC experience to millions of people," said AMD CEO Lisa Su in a statement.

Partners, for their part, hope that AMD will tighten its focus on channel partners along with its new Ryzen chips.

"I think a lot remains to be seen on whether AMD can deliver the product," said one AMD partner, who wished to remain anonymous. "They’ve been absent from this market for a very long time so they’ll need to regain some [market] share but I think resellers will be open to listen and explore the opportunities with the product."

Intel responded to AMD's new processor pricing through dropping its own products' prices. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company dropped its six-core Intel Core i7-6850K price on Micro Center from $700 to $550 this past week.

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