Is AMD Ryzen For You?

We have finally received the details for one of the most hyped up tech releases to date: AMD’s new Ryzen architecture. With the reveal taking place yesterday (22 February) they announced that Ryzen will available on the 2 March 2017, just under seven days away.

Full Launch Video:

While we are extremely excited about the launch and all their details, there are thousands of articles about that floating around, I am here to explain what it means on a more local scale. The South African tech stores have already got their prices and are set to start selling Ryzen.

You can find a full spec list here thanks to PC Gamer.

Intel vs. Ryzen

Intel has been the dominating, go-to platform for many gamers and content creators, however, their standard generations are extremely expensive and if you need anything more than 4 cores (8 threads) then you will be spending around R8,000 just for the CPU. If you need an 8 core (16 threads) you will reach the R18,000 mark – something that most South African gamers simply cannot afford.

Ryzen is set to bridge the gap between high core count and affordability, a strategy that could be the kryptonite for Intel. However, your high end gamer-only orientated setup should still sway towards Intel (more about that later).

The Comparison

There are three main Ryzen 7 processors that we know about and, while we could spend days talking about the comparison, we will be sticking to the middle of the bunch: the Ryzen 7 1700X. This is the biggest bang for your buck as a consumer as its price is just half of its nearest competitor – the Intel i7 7900K.

Intel does have major selling points against Ryzen, starting with their core speeds on their latest Kaby Lake range. The Intel i7 7700K has an insane clock speed of around 4.5 Ghz on boost clock, which has already seen numbers sitting on the 5Ghz mark (closed water loop cooling). For many gamers that is its strongest selling point.

Speed weighs a hefty amount when it comes to gaming and you might be better off sticking to some beasts intel have. If you stream and do more multitasking work then Ryzen could be for you.

South African Price:

The three stores we had a look at were RebelTech, Evetech and lastly Wootware. With some experience in all three, I can definitely vouch that they have some of the best services. All three are offering the three CPU’s at the same price.

Prices are subject to change and each store might have a different price on release.

  • Ryzen 7 1700 – R5,199
  • Ryzen 7 1700X – R6,299
  • Ryzen 7 1800X – R 8,199

If we were to compare our local prices to the international ones (Amazon for example) it’s quite reasonable for both the 1700 and 1700X however, things get a little top heavy for the flagship chip, the 1800X, which has a retail price of $499 (R 6,466 at time of writing). While you will be expected to pay for shipping and import tax, it will still be greatly cheaper than the local sales.

While the price comparison is one of those preference things, the local suppliers do a great job at warrantee and protection of your products, while internationally bought equipment might be a right up pain to get fixed or replaced should something go wrong.

Conclusion:

I would wait for a tech YouTuber or website to get their hands on a consumer model before you jump onto the Ryzen hype train as, as much as we can tell from the information we have now, only once a good number of benchmarks have been run can we truly tell how the new chips will perform.

It’s extremely hard to tell you to run out and spend every penny on a new unknown chip. I mean pre-ordering a game is one thing but to pre-order an extremely expensive untested CPU is madness.

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