Since the release of AMD’s Ryzen Lineup of desktop processors AMD has been constantly nibbling away at the dominance of Intel in the Desktop market. Offering high performance for a much lower price. We’ve had Zen based on 14nm architecture, Zen+ based on 12nm and now AMD is planning to launch Zen 2 based on 7nm architecture in mid 2019.
The smaller the transistors the more transistors you can fit on a chip giving more processing power. It also offers lower power consumption as the smaller the transistor the faster it can essentially turn off and on again. This is why Intel and AMD have been going smaller and smaller but Intel has seem to have got stuck, they have been using 14nm since 2014 and even their latest i9 9900k is still based on 14nm.
What does this mean for performance?
The area in which Intel has been dominant over AMD is single core performance. For example, the 8 Core Ryzen 2700X has a maximum boost of 4.35GHz and a base clock of 3.7GHz whereas the 8 Core i9 9900K has boost clock speed of 5GHz with a base of 3.60GHz. The problem is that Intel CPUs are much more overclockable than AMD. Typically, Ryzen CPUs could only boost their base speed by a few hundred MHz usually peaking around the 4.1-4.2GHz before becoming unstable whereas Intel’s equivalent is more than happy to sit at 4.8 – 5GHz with sufficient cooling.
Recently some leaks have surfaced reportedly showing the specs of the 3rd Generation of Ryzen. Clearly, these should be taken with a massive pinch of salt but nonetheless, they are enough to nurture some excitement. According to the leaked specification the successor to the Ryzen 2700x, the 3700x, is going to have a base clock speed of 4.2GHz with a boost of up to 5GHz. Oh and it also comes with an additional 4 cores, so we could be looking at a 12 Core, 24 thread monster which can turbo up to 5GHz.
If these leaks are anything to go by this year could really turn the tide on Intel dominance. But we have yet to hear how Intel will counter AMD’s 3rd Generation. If AMD can finally reach the single core performance of Intel then AMD offers more cores, more threads and equal frequencies for a lower price. The last thing keeping Intel above AMD could soon be taken out.
Steve is one of our Network Engineers. He was born and raised in Crawley, West Sussex. After completing his GCSE’s he found a job as a Domestic IT Technician for an independent Computer Repair company in Redhill. This saw him travelling around Surrey and West Sussex repairing people’s PCs, laptops, Macs and even the odd mobile phone. More about Steve.