Why AMD's Ryzen CPUs Pose New Challenge to Intel in Desktop Market

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Why AMD's Ryzen CPUs Pose New Challenge to Intel in Desktop Market

The processor market has changed dramatically in recent years. Mobile processor sales have grown enormously while sales of processors for desktops and laptops have slowed as the replacement cycle for PCs has lengthened. Intel has long dominated the market for PC CPUs and sells the vast majority of processors for desktops. But Advanced Micro Devices on March 2 announced its new Ryzen processors that could be the first in a long time from the company to challenge Intel. The Ryzen processors, which provide outstanding performance and energy efficiency, are designed to be as well-suited for business applications as for graphics-intensive entertainment and virtual-reality applications. Although the Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 chips will carry hefty price tags, AMD has said it will offer lower-cost models for more modestly priced consumer PCs. Read on to learn more about AMD's latest Ryzen processors.

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The Processors Are Designed for Desktops

AMD says its new Ryzen chips are designed for desktop computers. While the company hasn't announced more efficient processors for notebooks and other devices, like Intel's x86 line of processors, there likely will be new Ryzen chips that are designed for other computer types.

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AMD Introduces the Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5

For now, AMD is offering two versions: the AMD Ryzen 7 and the AMD Ryzen 5. The Ryzen 7 line offers better performance and more cores. Although the cheaper Ryzen 5 comes with fewer cores, it ultimately could be a better option for all-in-one PCs.

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AMD Reports Record Preorders

Even though AMD just announced the Ryzen processors, excitement over them has already hit a fever pitch, according to the company. In fact, AMD says the Ryzen chips have set new preorder records from 180 global e-retailers and boutique PC makers. The company expects strong sales to continue through 2017.

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Ryzen 7 1800X Is Top of the Line

The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X sits at the very top of the Ryzen food chain. The processor, which is available now, comes with eight cores and has 16 threads, which collectively deliver the best performance AMD has ever offered in a desktop processor. The 1800X has a base clock speed of 3.6GHz that can be boosted to 4.0GHz.

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Ryzen 5 1500X Is Lowest-End Model

The lowest-end Ryzen is the Ryzen 5 1500X. The chip will be available in the second quarter of the year and will feature four cores and eight threads. Its base clock speed hits 3.5GHz, which can be boosted to 3.7GHz. It also comes with a built-in cooler.

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Ryzen Chips Based on Zen Core Architecture

The Ryzen chips come with Zen core architecture. According to AMD, Zen can deliver more than a 52 percent improvement in per-clock-cycle processing power compared with the previous-generation AMD core. The Zen core relies upon AMD's AM4 Platform, which can work with any Ryzen chip. Collectively, the components promise outstanding performance and low power consumption.

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AMD Introduces Three-Tier Chip Lineup

AMD is offering a three-tiered chip lineup based on power levels and pricing. The AMD Ryzen 7 line is designed for the “enthusiast” segment of people who want the most processing power. The Ryzen 5 is for “high-performance users” such as sophisticated consumers and enterprise users. The Ryzen 3, which is coming later this year, will be designed for the mainstream user who doesn't need all of the chip's bells and whistles.

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AMD Is Focusing on Gaming, Virtual Reality

For now, AMD said that it's focusing its chips on video gaming, virtual reality, video and other resource-intensive tasks. AMD is also betting that the Ryzen line will improve productivity in the workplace. It's a segment of the market that has received increasing attention of late and promises fast growth as time goes on.

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AMD Partnering With Desktop, All-in-One Vendors

Intel has been dominating the PC market, but that hasn't stopped AMD from signing on vendors to use Ryzen. Dell, Lenovo and other PC makers are planning to use Ryzen in their products, the company claims. AMD also says the chip will be offered in both desktops and all-in-one PCs.

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A Word on Pricing and Availability

As mentioned, AMD is already selling its Ryzen 7 processors and will make the Ryzen 5 available in the coming weeks. Those interested in buying the Ryzen 7 chips can do so now on Amazon and other marketplaces. The highest-end 1800X is available now for $500. The AM4 platform goes for $170 from ASUS. AMD hasn't yet announced Ryzen 5 pricing.

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Lenovo Designs Yoga A12 Android Hybrid PC for Business Users

Like other computer makers, Lenovo is investing heavily in two-in-one hybrids that work as a tablet or a notebook. But Feb. 6 the company added to its collection a hybrid device called the Lenovo Yoga A12 that runs the Android mobile operating system. Like other Lenovo Yoga devices, the computer can be used in four different modes, including “tent” and “tablet.” It also comes with some software features that should appeal to corporate users, such as access to the Google G Suite of cloud productivity applications. The Yoga A12 runs on an Intel Atom x5 processor, which delivers satisfactory processing power for most uses, and features a 12.2-inch display. But it’s the computer’s Android support that might matter most. The mobile operating system will give users access to millions of apps and connect with Google’s full slate of mobile and cloud services. It also means those hoping to run Windows...
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