With the October release of 6-core “Coffee Lake” i5 and i7 processors, a number of observations can be made. Arstechnica1 notes that our competitor appears to have changed product development strategy, apparently abandoning the “P.A.O” model adopted in 2016 to replace the previous “Tick-Tock”. The 8th Generation Core-series of desktop processors represent the 5th generation of 14nm processors without any new x86 core architecture update notes Arstechnica,16 resulting in virtually no Instructions Per Clock (IPC) advancement.(see figure 1, footnote 17) Instead, IPC is pretty much flat from Skylake, to Kaby Lake, to Skylake-X & Kaby Lake-X, to Coffee Lake; with power and thermals sacrificed16 in exchange for the clock headroom needed to bring the illusion of architectural advancements.

The modern AMD “Zen” x86 core architecture is well positioned, with very similar IPC to the competitor products while offering 10% better area efficiency.2

Ryzen vs. Intel IPC uplift

The AMD strategy to offer more to PC buyers with multi-threaded performance is proving to be on target. Ryzen offers PC buyers who want to do more than one thing at a time, and value the ability to game and stream, the capability to perform high quality video editing, fast video encoding, and generally multi-task while creating or enjoying modern content. Despite the additional two cores added to the mainstream desktop i7/i5 processor lineup, the Ryzen 5 1600 still offers double the processing threads than the new “Coffee Lake” Core i5, and Ryzen 7 processors offers up to a third more processing threads than the new “Coffee Lake” Core i7.

The public sales results of retailers such as Mindfactory.de3 show the tremendous success of Ryzen. A recent public user poll conducted by the popular technology enthusiast website TechPowerUp.com4 shows that after seeing the “Coffee Lake” launch, voters would prefer to take a tea break and buy a Ryzen instead.

In fact, users rated the AMD Ryzen Processor family higher than the comparable Intel 7th, 8th Gen & X-series Processor families!5 The AMD Ryzen Processor family rates an average 4.82 stars versus comparable Intel Processor Family rating 4.70 across top etailers using verified end user reviews. Take a look at some of the user reviews on this popular online etailer’s product listing for the i7-8700K:15

i7-8700K Reviews

Our competitor’s design choices haven’t been thoughtful to consumers reports Tom’s Hardware,6 as despite using the LGA-1151 socket, 6th Generation “Skylake” or 7th Generation “Kaby Lake” owners won’t be able to  drop-in upgrade to 8th Generation “Coffee Lake”. Users considering a new 8th Generation “Coffee Lake” processor will need to purchase a new Z370 chipset based motherboard – which is also not backwards-compatible with 6th Generation and 7th Generation Core processors, forcing a full platform upgrade.

This forced platform upgrade means buyers should carefully consider all options, including the fact that AMD Ryzen is supported by a robust and broad range of motherboards for a variety price points. The Ryzen series of processors offer a superbly balanced processor; for example the Ryzen 7 1700X excels at content creation, game streaming, video encoding, encryption, and smooth gaming.7

The AMD socket AM4 platform scales from an estimated $50 to $500USD SEP12 processors, with features and performance scaling accordingly. Similarly, the X399 SocketTR4 platform scales from about $549 to $999USD SEP,12 completing the line up with Ryzen™ Threadripper™. By contrast, the competitor offers three platforms in market with the same branding but different performance levels from different core count, but the same core architecture, and many at the same price point. This confusing approach makes the simple scalable platform of AM4 very attractive, and AMD is committed to maintaining the AM4 platform into the future, delivering incredible upgrade opportunities.

Unlike AMD’s Ryzen series of processors, that are all unlocked for performance tuning regardless of its price,9 Intel’s Core processor line forces enthusiasts to pay for the highest priced ‘K’ models to be able to overclock. Even with a ‘K’ processor, overclocking is completely locked out of everything but the most expensive ‘Z’-series motherboards. For socket AM4, both high-end X370 and midrange B350 motherboards support performance tuning, allowing users to tap into performance benefits from every Ryzen processor no matter their budget. A recent article from TechARP8 shows the benefits of overclocking the Ryzen 5 1500X – a mere 100MHz overclock18 permits this CPU to perform similarly to an i7-6700K in gaming. If gaming is the sole focus of the purchase, Ryzen offers significant value for the budget conscious gamer with simple overclocking enabled through AMD Ryzen Master.10,13

AM4 chipsets, including the A320-series chipset support found in mainstream value-focused motherboards can offer memory overclocking, permitting all Ryzen processor and motherboard combinations to take advantage of a “sweet spot” price/performance memory configuration of DDR4-2933.11,14

With the maturity of the AM4 platform a proven success,3 the end of year sales season is the perfect time to double down on the market excitement and join the Ryzen family. The scalable AM4 platform continues to evolve and improve, as evidenced by ongoing BIOS and feature updates and new motherboard designs across price segments. A splendid example of this scalability is the upcoming “Raven Ridge” AM4 desktop processor, designed to drop in upgrade with today’s motherboards with a BIOS flash and deliver the exciting combination of advanced AMD “Zen” processor cores  with the performance of “Vega” GPU cores in one package.

Join the Ryzen family and celebrate this holiday season with the modern, scalable, high performance AMD AM4 platform – and see why Anandtech.com selects AMD Ryzen processors for their best gaming CPUs due to performance, features and availability.19

  1. Peter Bright, Arstechnica.co.uk https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/03/intel-retires-tick-tock-development-model-extending-the-life-of-each-process/
  2. Based on 44mm2 die area for a 4C8T AMD “Zen” CCX inclusive of L1/L2/L3$ vs. 49mm2 die area for a 4C8T Intel “Kaby Lake” die inclusive of L1/L2/L3$. Source: “Zen: A Next-Generation High-Performance x86 Core”, Advanced Micro Devices, ISSCC Submission
  3. Ryan Shrout, Marketwatch, “AMD is gaining ground on Intel faster than analysts had thought” https://www.marketwatch.com/(S(pvdkqo55zqclup455onso4ug))/story/amd-is-gaining-ground-on-intel-faster-than-analysts-had-thought-2017-09-06 
  4. TechPowerUp public user poll data as from 10/6/17 to 10/18/17 indicates 41.1% of voters have intent to buy Ryzen processors instead of competitor CPUs (29.6% aggregate of listed 8th Generation models). Third party results not verified by AMD. https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/are-you-buying-intel-coffee-lake.237630/ 
  5. Average over period 1 March to 9 October 2017. International survey covering UK, USA, Germany, Canada, and France. Etailers selling either or both families of processors in a box amazon-de, amazon-uk, amazon-us, bestbuy-us, ebuyer-uk, ldlc-fr, materielnet-fr, microcenter-us, mindfactory-de, ncix-us, newegg-ca, newegg-us, pcworld-ukstaples-us, walmart-us.  AMD Ryzen processor family: Ryzen 7 1800X, Ryzen 7 1700X, Ryzen 7 1700, Ryzen 5 1500X, Ryzen 5 1600, Ryzen 5 1400, Ryzen 5 1600X, Ryzen 3 1300X, Ryzen 3 1200, Threadripper 1950X, Threadripper 1920X, Threadripper 1900X.  Comparable Intel processor family: i7-7700K, i5-7600, i7-6850K, i5-7500, i5-7600K, i7-7700, i5-7400, i7-5820K, i3-7100, i7-6800K, i3-7300, i7-6950X, i3-7350K, i7-6900K, i7-5930K, i5-7600T, i7-7700T, i7-7820X, i7-7800X, I9-7900X, i3-7320, i7-7740X, i5-7640X, I9-7920X.
  6. Paul Alcorn, Toms Hardware http://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-coffee-lake-z270-z370-motherboard,35554.html 
  7. AMD Ryzen 7 product page, http://www.amd.com/en/products/cpu/amd-ryzen-7-1700x 
  8. Dr. Adrian Wong, TechARP, https://www.techarp.com/reviews/amd-ryzen-5-1500x-processor-review/6/. Third party testing not validated by AMD. 
  9. AMD product warranty does not cover damages caused by overclocking, even when overclocking is enabled via AMD hardware. Overclocking requires motherboard support.
  10. AMD Ryzen features and benefits depend on system configuration and may require enabled hardware, software or service activation. Performance varies depending on system configuration. Check with your motherboard and system manufacturer. AMD Ryzen Master may be downloaded from http://www.amd.com/en/technologies/ryzen-master 
  11. Dr. Ian Cutress, Anandtech https://www.anandtech.com/show/11857/memory-scaling-on-ryzen-7-with-team-groups-night-hawk-rgb. Third party testing not validated by AMD.
  12. Suggested Etail Price given at time of launch in AMD press releases for pricing guidance only. Actual Retail pricing will vary based on macro-economic world conditions including market fluctuations, import tariffs, export duties, local tax, etc.
  13. Game performance is controlled by factors including (but not limited to) graphics card performance, network performance, I/O performance, monitor resolution, detail settings and game engine optimization. GD-119
  14. Overclocking memory will void any applicable AMD product warranty, even if such overclocking is enabled via AMD hardware and/or software.  This may also void warranties offered by the system manufacturer or retailer or motherboard vendor.  Users assume all risks and liabilities that may arise out of overclocking memory, including, without limitation, failure of or damage to RAM/hardware, reduced system performance and/or data loss, corruption or vulnerability.  GD-112 
  15. Amazon.com reviews shown were selected by AMD at the time of and may not be representative of all reviews of the Intel i7-8700K.
  16. Peter Bright, Arstechnica.co.uk - https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/10/intel-coffee-lake-8700k-review/ 
  17. RZN-12: Testing by AMD Performance labs. PC manufacturers may vary configurations yielding different results. Socket AM4: Ryzen™ 7 1800X processor (@3.5 GHz), with NVIDIA TITAN X (Pascal) 12GB graphics adapter, 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 RAM, Windows 10 RS2 operating system, Graphics driver :: 12/11/2016. Socket 2011: STRIX X99 GAMING, Core i7-6900K processor (@3.5 GHz), with NVIDIA TITAN X (Pascal) 12GB graphics adapter, 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 RAM, Windows 10 RS2 operating system, Graphics driver :: 12/11/2016. Socket 2011 'Coffee Lake':  Z370 Gaming 5, Core i7-8700K processor (@3.5 GHz), with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FE graphics adapter, 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 RAM, Windows 10 RS2 operating system, Graphics driver 387.92 :: 10/24/2017. Socket 1151: Z270 SLI, Core i7-7700K processor (@3.5 GHz), with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB graphics adapter, 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 RAM, Windows 10.  .Cinebench R15 1T is used to represent single-threaded IPC; Test performed with the Ryzen 7 1700, Intel Core i7-7700K, and INtel Core i7-8700K running at a locked 3.5 GHz clock rate. The Ryzen 7 1700 processor achieved score of 142 in the Cinebench R15 single thread test. The Core i7-6900K processor achieved score of 146 in the Cinebench R15 single thread test, (142/146=97.3%) 2.7% faster than the Ryzen 7 1700. The Core i7-7700K processor achieved score of 152 in the Cinebench R15 single thread test, (142/152=93.5%) 6.5% faster than the Ryzen 7 1700. The Core i7-8700K processor achieved a score of 152 in the Cinebench R15 single thread test, (142/152=93.5%) 6.5% faster than the Ryzen 7 1700. Based on data obtained from stablecomputer.com on October 1, 2017, the Core i3-4150 'Haswell' processor clocked at 3.5 GHz achieved a score of 136 in the Cinebench R15 single thread test, (142/136=104%) 4% slower than the Ryzen 7 1700.  See http://stablecomputer.com/intel-core-i3-4150-cpu-review/. Third party results and methodology are not independently verified by AMD. RZN-12
  18. Brad Borque, Digital Trends, https://www.digitaltrends.com/processor-reviews/amd-ryzen-5-1500x-review/ The Ryzen 5 1500X XFR specification is 3.9GHz.
  19. Ian Cutress, Anandtech https://www.anandtech.com/show/9793/best-cpus “the Ryzen 7 1700 currently sits as the better option: it is widely available, is a little bit cheaper, has two more cores, cheaper motherboards on offer, and is overclockable.”; “For a gamer who might be interested in streaming, or doing multiple tasks at the same time, the six-core Ryzen 5 1600 series parts are eminently suitable. The gaming experience should be pitched for a very good quality 1920x1080 environment or a mid-quality 2560x1440 setup, with future upgrade options either on the CPU or processor.”; “AMD’s equivalent here is the Ryzen 3 1300X, which is also a quad core processor. The frequency is roughly the same as the Intel part and the motherboard ecosystem should be cheaper with the B350 motherboard range”