For anyone who frequents GameSpace it should be no surprise that the third generation of AMD Ryzen CPUs launched on Sunday. AMD had made some pretty strong claims at this year’s Computex and E3 about the performance of the new chips and anyone who is a proud member of Team Red ate up every bit of it. This wouldn’t be the first time that the marketing hype of a new product was greater than the real-world results so the rest of the world took the news with a grain of salt, waiting to see if the claims were valid or not.
Well, the results are starting to come in and it appears the hype is being backed up by 3rd party reviewers. That isn’t to say that the launch hasn’t seen some hiccups, like the bug making Destiny 2 unplayable, but overall the Ryzen 3000 family of CPUs is set to rock the PC world and should have Intel shaking in their boots. If you’re still personally on the fence about whether to pick up a new Ryzen CPU, here are 10 reasons you should make the leap to the latest CPUs to hit the market.
10 – PCIe 4.0 – picture of the back i/o shield
If you just have to be on the cutting edge then PCIe 4.0 is for you. At first glance, the improved bandwidth would seem like a big win for graphics, but that isn’t really the case. Current video cards don’t even push the limits of PCIe 3.0, so double the bandwidth with 4.0 doesn’t really mean much yet. PCIe 4.0 really gives us two improvements – double the bandwidth for storage and more PCIe lanes for add-in boards and external connectivity.
PCIe 4.0 doubles the bandwidth of PCIe 3.0, and with that we are able to push read/write speeds up to 5 Gb/sec on PCIe 4.0 NVME drives. The x570 motherboards are offering two or three NVME slots, allowing you to run the super-fast drives in a RAID configuration. This doesn’t come cheap though with 1TB drives hitting around the $250 mark while PCIe 3.0 NVME drives perfectly capable of providing good gaming performance will be well under that price.
The other boring, yet probably more useful, benefit of PCIe 4.0 is the extra PCIe lanes available. Whether that comes in the form of an add-in video capture card or a plethora of additional USB ports on the front or back of your case, this quality of life improvement is very enticing. This does mean you will have to pick up one of the new x570 motherboards since AMD decided not to enable PCIe 4.0 on any of the older motherboards so be sure to budget in a little extra if you go this route.
9 – That New Car Smell
When you buy a new car one of the best things about it is the new car smell. It only lasts for a little while, but during the first few months of ownership, nothing beats the fact that your car is brand new, at least until that first dent in your door appears thanks to that idiot who didn’t return their shopping cart to the cart corral. Computers take this beyond just the emotional joy and actually give you a real-world performance boost. Your computer will never be faster than it is just after a fresh install of Windows. Your hard drive is mostly empty, there aren’t any broken registry entries, and you haven’t started adding in an unknown number of background apps. So run all of those benchmarks and prove to the world just how awesome your new rig is!
8 – There’s More To Life Than Gaming
If you use your computer to only play games and price isn’t a consideration then Intel is still going to be your chip maker of choice.. For the rest of us who actually have to do some work on the same systems that we game on the Ryzen 3000 family is looking like the way to go. AMD has enabled multithreading on even its entry-level R5 1600 CPU allowing users a much better multi-tasking environment than Intel.
For gamers, this still has a benefit. Recent benchmarks of the new Ryzen chips show that while Intel CPUs will provide higher frame rates versus a comparable Ryzen chip, adding in other tasks can quickly turn that result on its head. For example, gamers who wish to stream will find better in-game performance with Ryzen as soon as they turn on streaming software such as OBS. High profile streamers that use two systems to put out their stream may not care about something like this, but anyone who must stream and game on the same system will find this type of performance exciting.
7 – You Don’t Have To Go All In
A lot of times upgrading a computer means starting from scratch. Intel regularly changes the pin layout on a new generation of CPUs. AMD has taken a different approach with the Ryzen family by promising to support the AM4 socket through 2020. This means that the upgrade path for current Ryzen owners could be much cheaper than it is for their Intel brethren.
Real-world benchmarks are showing that you don’t need to pick up one of the new (and expensive) x570 boards to realize the potential of a new Ryzen chip. You will lose out on the benefits of PCIe 4.0, but anyone who currently has an X370 or better motherboard (and possibly even a B350) will be able to slap in a 3rd gen Ryzen CPU after a quick BIOS update. Simply put, the upgrade path to a new Ryzen 3000 series CPU will be cheaper than a comparable upgrade with Intel.
6 – Price Vs Performance
One thing that stands out in all of the reviews (geek out on all the technobabble here, or get a less technical review here) of the new 3rd gen Rzyen CPUs – while Intel still offers the best gaming performance, Ryzen beats Intel hands down when you consider price to performance. In the past, that price vs. performance argument has been the justification from the budget-minded on choosing the inferior AMD product. This time around, that isn’t the case as we are getting a value price with a product that is able to hold its own against the best Intel has to offer.
5 – Last Gen Is Pretty Good Too
The entry-level Ryzen 3600 comes in at $200 and still fares very well in benchmarks, but if you are on a very strict budget and need to go even cheaper then you’re in luck. The new Ryzen launch has pushed pricing down on the 1st and 2nd gen Ryzen CPUs, making the long-standing budget choice even more attractive. As long as you aren’t looking for the latest and greatest this means you can pick up a CPU and motherboard combo for less than $200. You will still be able to play even the most recent AAA titles at a decent frame rate as long as you pair the chip up with a decent GPU.
4 – Console Owners Are Gamers Too
Believe it or not, there are plenty of gamers out there who don’t know anything about the hardware that they are playing games on – they’re called console gamers. I jest, but only PC enthusiasts really know what is going on inside their gaming platform of choice. For most gamers all that matters is pretty graphics and smooth gameplay, and the next generation of consoles is promising just that. We don’t know the actual specs yet, but we do know that both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett will be powered by AMD Ryzen 3rd gen tech. It won’t be the exact same chips that were released this week since consoles use modified chips made solely for gaming performance, but they will still reap the benefits that 3rd gen Ryzen has to offer.
3 – Intel Has To Get Off Their Ass
Even the most loyal Intel supporters can’t deny that Intel has become too comfortable due to the lack of competition over the last few years. The last couple of CPU generations have been lackluster improvements while still demanding an unwarranted premium price. Their R&D team continues to miss deadlines on moving to smaller processing nodes and the Ice Lake 10nm processors are coming only to laptops this year, only reinforcing their focus on the mobile market.
So even if you aren’t planning on picking up a new Ryzen chip, you have to be happy about the pressure AMD is putting on Intel. AMD’s ability to put out a 7nm chip before Intel has made the move to 10nm should be enough to trigger the alarms at Intel. As a matter of fact, right on the heels of the Ryzen release is a new leak highlighting a new series, albeit on a 14nm process, of CPUs. Most notable in the unconfirmed leak is the existence of a 10 core CPU. Oh, and they will by enabling hyperthreading across the full processor deck. Hopefully, the rumors end up being true. The timing is suspect, but Nvidia did the same thing right after the announcement of the RX5700 and those rumors ended up being true.
2 – You Get FPS, She Gets FPS, We All Get FPS
When it comes to mainstream PC gaming Intel has been king of the hill for quite a long time. AMD has been relegated to the budget-conscious gamer for years, but since the release of the first Ryzen chips they have been closing that gap. With the release of the 3000 family AMD has finally blurred the line of who is on top. The R9 3900X is able to go blow for blow against the i9 9900k in most games, and unless you are part of the enthusiast crowd that cares about whether your game runs at 178 fps instead of 175 there really isn’t a difference. Even the midrange 3700X and low end 3600 are capable of pushing out 60+ fps when paired with a capable graphics card. The days of Intel reigning supreme are over.
1 – This Is Just The Beginning
Even with the positive results of the 3900x, AMD isn’t done yet. The 3950x is due out in a couple of months, and anyone doing CPU intensive work should be very excited about the 16 core beast. If we look even further into the future the rumors surrounding new Threadripper CPUs would lead you to believe they will challenge Intel’s multi-thousand-dollar chips at a much lower cost. If 64 core, 128 thread power in a single chip sounds like something you need, the upcoming Threadrippers may have you covered.