As promised, AMD’s new Ryzen 5 chips for desktops are now available for purchase. Prices start at about $170 for a Ryzen 5 1400 quad-core processor, but things really start to get interesting when you spend a little more money.

For $250 you can pick up a Ryzen 5 1600X hexa-core chip with hyperthreading, which means you get 12 threads with top clock speeds of 4 GHz for roughly the same price as an Intel Core i5 quad-core (and quad-thread) chip.

As AnandTech points out in a Ryzen 5X/Intel Core i5-7600K review and comparison, Intel’s chips have a lead in single-core performance, but you get 200 percent more threads with the Ryzen chip, which makes AMD’s new processors pretty competitive for certain applications.

What’s also noteworthy is that the Ryzen 5 chips are the second set of processors based on AMD’s new Zen architecture, and they share a lot of DNA with the pricier/more powerful Ryzen 7 chips that launched earlier this year.

Among other things, every Ryzen chip is “unlocked,” which means there’s nothing stopping an enthusiast from trying to overclock a Ryzen 5 chip in order to get Ryzen 7-like performance.

Even more affordable Ryzen 3 processors are coming soon, and later this year we should start to see the first Ryzen chips designed for notebooks and other computers where 65 watt or 95 watt processors might not be viable options.

Ryzen 5 press release

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3 replies on “AMD Ryzen 5 desktop chips are now available for $170 and up”

  1. Great news for gamers!
    For years, if you had the Core i5-2500k (32nm) you could Overclock that thing 4.5GHz and pair it with the fastest GPU’s for a high-end rig. There haven’t been bottlenecks ever since these latest titles and latest GPUs.

    And if you were on the same platform (1155), you could make the upgrade to the Core i7-3770k (22nm) and overclock that to 4.5GHz as well, giving you extra Single-Core Performance and Extra (hyper) Threads, whilst being cooler as well, to manage newer titles and GPUs better.

    Then the 4th-gen 22nm Core i5’s (4670k and 4690k) and Core i7’s (4770k and 4790k) arrived with little gains.

    But the 6th-gen 14nm did bring some nice improvements.
    Especially in the form of the Core i5-6500, which was now fast enough to run most games and most gpu’s without bottlenecking. All in budget! The Core i5-6600k was a slight improvement and nothing could touch the Core i7-6700k on the top-end.

    The 7th-gen was more of a rebranding stage as it proved literally no performance gain.
    People could opt to get the Core i5-7400 instead of the Core i5-6500. Or get the 7600k instead of the 6600k. Or get the 7700k instead of the 6700k.

    But if you had to buy new in 2016/2017, the budget Core i5-7400 was the Gamer’s Choice.
    It can run without bottlenecking most games and gpus, and saved a lot of money from a 7700k, which could be used to upgrade the GPU.

    …and now we have RyZen.
    Gamer’s were eager to test out the R5 1500X as it seemed like a good gaming CPU with 4 cores, 8 threads, and AMD’s XFR feature. Like a genuine competitor to the Core i7-7700k Core i5-6600k systems. However, after some extensive reviews, it seems the R5 1500X is really held back by its reduced Cache and cut-down parts.

    Gamers should opt to buy the R5 1600 (14nm).
    This 6 core/12 thread CPU is a full Ryzen 7 chip with only 2 cores/4 threads deactivated. It’s not as Cut-Down as the 1500X or lower. But having less cores actually has allowed the processor to Clock higher (4.2GHz) than it’s 8 core big brothers (3.9GHz). And that means better Single-Core performance, which is where RyZen lags slightly. Especially when considering most games target 4 cores, making 8 core processors redundant.

    So for games the R5 1600 can run faster* than the R7 1800X. And its cheaper.

    To give a better picture, the R5’s Single-Core performance (for games) is about equal to Intel’s 4th-gen Haswell (22nm) processors. But its Multi-Core performance is about equal to Intel’s 7th-gen KabyLake (14nm) processors.

    So a R5 1600 processor will perform games somewhere between Intel’s Core i7-4970k and Intel’s i7-6700k.

    Gamers building a New system today, forget about the Intel Core i5-7400 (U$189) I mentioned earlier, and instead build a system with the Ryzen r5-1600 (U$219).
    ….also AMD’s RX470 4GB still offers the best bang for buck New GPU today.

    And targeting High Settings on 1440p resolution seems to give the best trade-off in terms of visuals to performance, as that’s what most titles are optimised (efficiency) for. For greater resolutions and greater graphical fidelity, you will see only modest improvements in visuals… but it would require a lot more performance, which means it requires more $$$.

    If you don’t mind Old Parts or even Used Parts, the Best Bang for Buck you could get today is with an Intel Core i7-3770k and an AMD HD7970… they maybe even cheaper than a Core i5-7350k and RX 460, but much much more capable.

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