AMD's new Ryzen 3 chips represent a major threat to Intel's dominance in the mainstream and budget PC markets.
Like the other chips in AMD's Ryzen line, the Ryzen 3 is based on the Zen architecture, and like all other Ryzen chips, these new chips are supplied with their multipliers unlocked, which allows for easy and convenient overclocking.
Two Ryzen 3 chips have been announced today:
- Ryzen 3 1300X: 4-core, 4-thread, 3.5 GHz / 3.7 GHz, 8MB L2 cache, RRP $129
- Ryzen 3 1200: 4-core, 4-threads, 3.1 GHz / 3.4 GHz, 8MB L2 cache, RRP $109
Both these processors require a Socket AM4 motherboard.
In testing carried out by AMD, both the Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1300X beat the corresponding Intel chip (the i3-7300 and i3-7100 respectively).
Those prices are incredibly competitive, especially when you consider that an Intel i3-7100 or i3-7300 are both dual-core chips, and retail for around $120 and $160 respectively.
It's hard to look at the Ryzen 3 chips and not go "wow."
Both chips when bought as a consumer package come with a quiet, low-profile, AMD Wraith Stealth cooler as standard, with the Wraith MAX cooler offered as an optional extra.
At the core (pardon the pun) of AMD's Ryzen silicon is AMD's SenseMI technology, a set of sensing, adapting, and learning technologies built into Ryzen chips. This allows a 40+ percent increase in instructions per clock.
SenseMI is comprised of five components:
- Pure Power: More than 100 embedded sensors with accuracy to the millivolt, milliwatt, and single degree level of temperature enable optimal voltage, clock frequency, and operating mode with minimal energy consumption;
- Precision Boost: Smart logic that monitors integrated sensors and optimizes clock speeds, in increments as small as 25MHz, at up to a thousand times a second;
- Extended Frequency Range (XFR): When the system senses added cooling capability, XFR raises the Precision Boost frequency to enhance performance;
- Neural Net Prediction: An artificial intelligence neural network that learns to predict what future pathway an application will take based on past runs;
- Smart Prefetch: Sophisticated learning algorithms that track software behavior to anticipate the needs of an application and prepare the data in advance.
Ryzen chips that have the X moniker (the 1800X and 1700X from the Ryzen 7 range, the 1600X from the Ryzen 5 range, and the 1300X in the Ryzen 3 line) not only have a higher base and boost clock speeds, but also double the XFR boost overhead.
All of AMD's Ryzen chips across all ranges are rated as VR-ready.