After months of talking about a new processor that would offer a huge performance boost over existing models, AMD is starting to show off the near-final product.

The chip formerly known by its codename “Zen” will be called Ryzen at launch. And it’s a high-performance chip that will be available first for desktop computers.

At launch, AMD will offer an 8-core, 16-thread chip with base clock speeds of 3.4 GHz or higher. The chip also supports a boost mode for higher performance.

Other features include 20MB of L2+L3 cache and support for AMD’s AM4 Platform.

One of AMD’s goals for the new chip was to deliver 40 percent better performance per clock, and the company says it’s met or exceeded that goal.

Demonstrating the the AMD Zen chip at an event today, AMD showed how the new chip compares with Intel’s 3.2 GHz Core i7-6900K processor. In an image rendering test, Ryzen was able to match the Intel chip’s performance… and AMD notes that Intel’s chip is a 140 watt processor, while the Ryzen chip is a 95 watt processor… and performance hasn’t even been fully optimized yet.

In a video transcoding test using Handbrake, the Ryzen chip actually finished about 6 seconds faster (or about 10 percent).

AMD’s Ryzen chips for desktops will be available in the first quarter of 2017. Eventually AMD plans to bring Zen to notebooks, but the company isn’t giving us a timeline for that move yet.



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