Since AMD released its first generation of Ryzen processors back in 2017, the manufacturer has caused a big shift in the market. Intel’s grip on market share has started to slip. When the second generation of Ryzen processors hit the shelves the following year, AMD doubled Intel’s sales. And, yet again, AMD’s processors are enjoying a huge surge in sales due to the Ryzen 3000 series, since its July launch.
Leading German computer retailer, MindFactory, recently announced that for the second month running, Ryzen processors took over 75% of the share of sales versus Intel processors. In fact, according to MindFactory, Ryzen 5 3600 alone almost outsold Intel’s entire CPU range.
So, what is the secret to AMD’s success with Ryzen processors? We take a look at the reasons for AMD’s growth, the key benefits of its third-generation Ryzen chips and the next moves for AMD and Intel as they tussle for market share.
The growing dominance of AMD Ryzen processors
AMD has had an amazing couple of years for sales and reputation, with the manufacturer claiming increasingly more of Intel’s market share thanks to its Ryzen processors, On July 7, 2019, AMD created history by launching the world's first 7nm (nanometer) chips with the Ryzen 3000 series CPUs for desktop. In that first month, AMD’s top performer was the Ryzen 7 3700X, but that was then overtaken by Ryzen 5 3600 the following month.
The popularity of the Ryzen 3000 series, since the Zen 2 processors were launched, shows no sign of slowing down. The 7nm Zen 2 architecture is revolutionising mainstream processors. With the upcoming Ryzen 9 3950X launch (and others in the pipeline), the trend looks set to continue.
Why the surge in sales for Ryzen processors?
AMD’s Ryzen processors are striking an enviable balance between innovation, performance and affordability. Value is key. For example, the Ryzen 7 3700X is a great mid-range processor option, with twice the processing threads of Intel’s equivalent (Intel Core i7-9700K). If AMD processors were previously seen as the cheap alternative to Intel processors, with people having to pay a premium to get the higher performance from Intel, this perception is changing with Ryzen. And Ryzen chips are being more widely adopted by PC enthusiasts.
AMD typically provides better multi-threaded performance to Intel, thanks to higher core and thread counts. Ryzen CPUs also offer more PCIe lanes, with PCIe 4.0 compatibility. On the high end, while Intel chips currently range from 4 to 18 cores, AMD chips go up to 32-cores. Plus, AMD’s 7nm Zen 2 CPUs are at a much lower price point.
With the soon-to-be-released Ryzen 9 3950X, AMD is bringing 16-cores and 32-threads to the mainstream. Set for release on September 30th, it’s already causing a stir, promising a considerable improvement to IPC (instructions per clock) performance and breaking overclocking records. Most Intel processors are locked in at a fixed clocking speed.
AMD Ryzen is delivering performance to match and even outgun Intel’s equivalent chips, across different price ranges. AMD’s CPUs offer great value and performance throughout the whole range, from 3600 up to the 3900X - even the 3950X is set to come under the £1000 mark.
Ryzen’s third-generation processors - the benefits and specs
With the new 7nm processors, consumers get a significant boost in performance, while power consumption is reduced. Ryzen’s third-generation processors offer 15% better IPC performance than the second generation. And the 7nm Zen 2 architecture allows AMD to bring TDP down to just 65W in its Ryzen 5 3600 and the Ryzen 7 3700X processors.
The third-generation Ryzen CPUs offer impressive performance throughout the range, with boost clocks up to 4.7GHz at the top end. The performance stacks up against Intel - the Ryzen 9 3900X, for example, is between 25%-40% faster than the Intel Core i9-9900K in multi-threaded loads. AMD’s show-stopper is the Ryzen 9 3950X, which boasts stellar specs with a relatively low 105W TDP.
We’ve listed the Ryzen 3000 series specs below:
- AMD Ryzen 9 3950X – 16-cores, 32-threads, 4.7GHz boost, 3.5GHz base & 105W TDP
- AMD Ryzen 9 3900X – 12-cores, 24-threads, 4.6GHz boost, 3.8GHz base & 105W TDP
- AMD Ryzen 7 3800X – 8-cores, 16-threads, 4.5GHz boost, 3.9GHz base & 105W TDP
- AMD Ryzen 7 3700X – 8-cores, 16-threads, 4.4GHz boost, 3.6GHz base & 65W TDP
- AMD Ryzen 5 3600X – 6-cores, 12-threads, 4.4GHz boost, 3.8GHz base & 95W TDP
- AMD Ryzen 5 3600 – 6-cores, 12-threads, 4.2GHz boost, 3.6GHz base & 65W TDP
- AMD Ryzen 5 3400G – 4-cores, 8-threads, 4.2GHz boost, 3.7GHz base & 65W TDP
What’s next for AMD and Intel?
As AMD and Intel continue to battle for market share and reputation, both sides are working hard to push the boundaries in processor capabilities, in terms of power, performance, graphics and efficiency. Currently, AMD Ryzen 3000 processors offer the best value (and bang for the buck) compared with Intel’s equivalent processors.
Intel will be concerned about how AMD’s Ryzen chips are changing the processor landscape. Intel's corporate VP and General Manager, Jason Grebe, recently conceded that the company has lost some market share, stating the following at the Citi 2019 Global Technology Conference: "As we have gone through the supply issue...in the last six to 12 months on the PC side, we had to walk away from some low-end mobile share as well as some channel desktop share.”
Despite AMD’s recent dominance with its 3rd-gen Ryzen CPUs, Intel has its own grand plans. The Core i9-9900KS desktop processor launches in October, which boasts a boost clock that can reach 5GHz across all its 8 cores, and its Comet Lake CPUs (chalked in for late 2019/early 2020) are building serious buzz. Then again, there’s the mouthwatering prospect of AMD’s hugely powerful Ryzen Threadripper 3000 processors, set to launch before 2019 is out. All eyes will be on these exciting prospects.
For more information on Ryzen chips, head to our dedicated page: AMD Ryzen Processors.