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All you need to know about AMD Ryzen in one place
By Koh Wanzi - 16 Jul 2017,9:00am

All you need to know about AMD Ryzen in one place

Image Source: AMD

The Ryzen era

AMD’s Ryzen CPUs are attractive choices for those who require strong multi-threaded performance on a budget, going head-to-head against Intel Broadwell-E processors that cost twice as much.

Yes, gaming performance is a little lackluster, especially at 1080p where the CPU tends to be the limiting factor. However, AMD says that over 300 developers – including the likes of Oxide, Sega, and Bethesda – are working on optimizations that will be better able to take advantage of Ryzen’s capabilities.

"This takes time, but we’ll get it done," said Robert Hallock, a member of AMD’s CPU technical marketing team, in a Reddit AMA with CEO Lisa Su.

Having said that, the new Ryzen 7 CPUs promise great performance as long as applications are able to take advantage of its 8-core/16-thread architecture, and that’s one aspect may possibly improve as time passes. And after the announcement of the 6-core/12-thread Ryzen 5 CPUs, it looks like AMD will continue to appeal to those who are both content creators and gamers in the mid-range.

 

Five different chipsets

Unlike past AMD processors however, Ryzen, and AMD’s APUs, will work on the same unified AM4 platform, which should simplify matters quite a bit. What’s more, AMD has said it intends to use AM4 for multiple generations to come with modern features like support for DDR4 memory, NVMe storage, and USB 3.1 (Gen 2).

AMD has released five different AM4 chipsets to cater to different subsets of users. You'll notice that the main points of differentiation center around USB support, the number of SATA 6Gbps ports, the number of PCIe lanes provided through the chipset, and whether or not the chipset supports the splitting of PCIe lanes from the CPU. Furthermore, AMD has also designed the X300 and A300 chipsets explicitly for small form factor systems, while X370, B350, and A320 are intended for regular-sized boards. 

Image Source: AMD

That said, all AM4 chipsets allocate two PCIe 3.0 lanes for NVMe storage devices, but this can be expanded into four lanes if you are willing to give up to SATA 6Gbps ports. They also connect to the CPU using a PCIe 3.0 x4 connection, which is equivalent to Intel’s DMI 3.0 interface. These PCIe lanes are drawn from the 24 PCIe 3.0 lanes provided by the CPU, while the remaining 16 lanes are allocated to the GPU.

The X370 and B350 chipsets will be the ones most people gravitate toward, and the main difference between the two is the lack of official support for SLI and Crossfire on B350.

That said, the X370, B350, and X300 chipsets are the only ones that will support overclocking, even though all Ryzen CPUs come with unlocked multipliers. This is also one of the key advantages that the mid-range B350 chipset has over Intel’s H270 as the latter doesn’t allow overclocking. 

The X300 chipset is actually the small form factor version of the enthusiast X370 platform. It features fewer connectivity options than X370, but it still supports splitting of the CPU’s PCIe lanes between two GPUs and allows overclocking.

If all that seems confusing, here's a simpler slide that parses the information based on major features like support for SLI/Crossfire and overclocking.

Image Source: AMD

However, all this only scratches the surface of what Ryzen brings to the table, and below is a list of all we've written about Ryzen so far. 

AMD Ryzen roundup

AMD pressures Intel’s Core i3 chips with more affordable quad-core Ryzen 3 processors

NEWS / 27 Jul 2017 / By Koh Wanzi

AMD has formally unveiled its Ryzen 3 processors, the final piece of its Ryzen product stack that already includes its Ryzen 5 and 7 chips.

This is what AMD’s Threadripper retail packaging will look like

NEWS / 25 Jul 2017 / By Koh Wanzi

CEO Lisa Su took to Twitter to show off Threadripper's retail packaging, and there’s only one way to describe it – really big

ASUS unveils the ROG Crosshair VI Extreme for high-end AMD Ryzen builds

NEWS / 22 Jul 2017 / By Koh Wanzi

ASUS has announced the ROG Crosshair VI Extreme, a new E-ATX AM4 motherboard targeted at enthusiasts looking to build a blazing fast rig with AMD’s Ryzen CPUs.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Ryzen 7: Which Ryzen CPU provides the most bang for your buck?

FEATURE / 16 Jul 2017 / By Koh Wanzi

AMD's Ryzen 5 processors have dropped, and they look poised to be great value-for-money alternatives to Intel's Core i5 line-up. But are they really? We find out.

AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper processors are a lot cheaper than Intel’s Core X chips

NEWS / 14 Jul 2017 / By Koh Wanzi

AMD has announced the pricing and availability for its Ryzen Threadripper processors, a new line of enthusiast Ryzen chips that it first introduced in May.

Signs point toward rising market share for AMD Ryzen CPUs

NEWS / 04 Jul 2017 / By Koh Wanzi

According to the latest figures from PassMark, which tracks the number of benchmark submissions it receives, submissions from AMD systems have leapt quite impressively, a sign that Ryzen is helping AMD muscle in on Intel’s territory.

AMD launches Ryzen Pro processors to take on Intel vPro chips in the commercial space

NEWS / 30 Jun 2017 / By Koh Wanzi

AMD has launched its Ryzen Pro CPUs, a series of processors designed for the commercial desktop and mobile segment that it first announced back in May.

ASUS teaser video hints at an upcoming ROG laptop powered by AMD Ryzen

ASUS teaser video hints at an upcoming ROG laptop powered by AMD Ryzen

NEWS / 22 May 2017 / By Koh Wanzi

ASUS has released a teaser video on what looks to be the first gaming laptop powered by AMD's Ryzen processors.

The 16-core AMD Ryzen CPU coming this summer is called the Threadripper

NEWS / 17 May 2017 / By Koh Wanzi

AMD has confirmed that it is making a 16-core/32-thread CPU slated for release this summer, not so subtly dubbed the Threadripper.

id Software says its next-generation game engine will take full advantage of Ryzen’s multiple cores

NEWS / 27 Apr 2017 / By Koh Wanzi

In a new video published by AMD on YouTube, id Software CTO Robert Duffy says that the upcoming id Tech 7 engine will be able to take full advantage of Ryzen’s immense multi-threading performance, yet another promising sign in AMD’s efforts to get developers to optimize for Ryzen.

The Biostar Racing X370GTN and B350GTN are among the first mini-ITX AM4 motherboards for Ryzen

NEWS / 24 Apr 2017 / By Koh Wanzi

Biostar has announced the Racing X370GTN and B350GTN, two of the first mini-ITX AM4 motherboards for AMD Ryzen.

Microsoft blocks Windows 7 and 8.1 updates for Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Ryzen systems

NEWS / 17 Apr 2017 / By Koh Wanzi

Late last week, users who were still running Windows 7 and 8.1 began reporting that their Windows updates were being blocked if their systems were equipped with the new Intel Kaby Lake or AMD Ryzen processors.

AMD’s Ryzen 5 processors have landed, prices start at S$259 (Updated)

NEWS / 12 Apr 2017 / By Koh Wanzi

AMD today announced its full Ryzen 5 line-up, complete with pricing and availability details. Ryzen 5 will have up to 6-core/12-thread SKUs and will target both content creators and gamers.

AMD Ryzen gets a custom Balanced power plan and new game patch for better performance

AMD Ryzen gets a custom Balanced power plan and new game patch for better performance

NEWS / 11 Apr 2017 / By Koh Wanzi

AMD has announced a custom Balanced power plan for Ryzen and a third game – Total War: Warhammer – that will be receiving a performance-boosting patch.

AMD shows benchmarks that prove game optimizations can improve Ryzen’s performance

NEWS / 31 Mar 2017 / By Koh Wanzi

AMD has released benchmark results from a beta version of Oxide Games’ Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, and the good news is that there’s actually a significant boost in performance after just a few weeks of tweaking.

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