The past 12 months for AMD have been pretty explosive, to say the least, and have brought out a slew of high-performance products that have exponentially narrowed the gap between themselves and Intel. For the first time in a time that feels like forever, AMD can offer processors and GPUs at the same price that offer similar performance to their Intel / Nvidia counterparts – and at the same time are much more effective when it comes to workstation and multitasking Workflows goes. Pretty impressive.
That said, the following article will take a closer look at the past 12 months for AMD. We’ll take a look at what we think are their outstanding products and explain how they compete in the tough struggle for processing superiority. We’ll also take a quick look at the latest Threadripper offerings, some of the outstanding GPUs that have been released, and a quick look at what we can expect in the future.
So let’s not waste any more time and dive right in!
Ryzen 3000 series
The AMD Ryzen 3000 series was released on July 7, 2019. A well-planned release date that coincided well with the world’s first 7nm desktop processors that AMD had created. The original product line consisted of two APUs (3200G and 3400G) and five CPUs (3600, 3600x, 3700x, 3800x and 3900x), which were excellent value for money compared to their Intel counterparts. AMD also included its revolutionary and highly scalable chiplet design in the new Ryzen 3000 series, which brought 6, 8, 12 and 16 core processors to life.
While AMD is still struggling to support Intel in single-core gaming performance, they far outperformed their bitter rivals in workstation-type workflows. With extremely high clock speeds, high overclocking potential and the ability to support older motherboards of the 400 series, AMD really landed a blow that Intel never saw coming.
The 3400G was one of the first new additions to the Ryzen 3000 series. It was their flagship APU that came to the table at a very affordable price. Although it was not a big class increase compared to its predecessor (AMD Ryzen 5 2400G), the 3400G still offered the inexpensive PC manufacturer a lot of performance.
With clock rates of 3.7 GHz base / 4.2 GHz boost and the impressive, newly improved VEGA 11 graphics engine, the 3400G from AMD completely destroyed every other integrated graphics CPU. It was really the only sensible option when it came to CPU / GPU partnership for less than $ 150.
Another hugely successful introduction to AMD’s latest Ryzen product line was the 3600 – its medium (yet extremely affordable) Ryzen 5 3600. The 3600 immediately became a hit with consumers because of its incredible value for money and even surpassed Intel’s 9600K in certain game scenarios. The 3600 is a 6-core / 12-thread processor with a 3.6 GHz base and 4.2 GHz boost clock rates for all cores. While AMD CPUs were better known for their multi-threaded performance in the past, the 3600 was the first to achieve promising results in the single-core performance range. AMD launched the chip at an extremely low price and dramatically undercut Intel. With the option of coupling the newer chip with older (soon outdated) motherboards, the construction of an AMD PC was much cheaper than with Intel.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the kit from the original Ryzen 3000 series desktop CPU series was the 3900X. It was their flagship CPU that, thanks to their 12-core / 24-thread design, did a fantastic job – I can add the first of its kind when it comes to desktop CPUs. While Intel seemed to have the market for the best CPU for gaming, the 3900X definitely thwarted consumers.
The 3900X showed excellent single-core performance and high clock frequency, which means that it didn’t outperform Intel in many games, but certainly in some bespoke titles. In addition, like the rest of the product line, the 3900X showed amazing multitasking performance compared to the 9900K from Intel. When you combine performance with the extremely good value that it was marketed with, you can really see why the global shift in CPU sales has taken place.
One of the latest CPU innovations that come out of the AMD cabinet, so to speak, is the Ryzen 9 3950X – a 16-core / 32-thread CPU that was launched on November 25 of the same year. While it hasn’t quite outperformed Intel’s flagship game, it definitely closed the gap between the two by a few percent – a big leap forward if you look at the difference 12 months earlier.
Although this is the case, the 3950X has further widened the gap in multitasking scenarios thanks to increased clock speed and number of cores – a factor that could not easily be pushed aside.
Since the release of the 3950X, it has been another consumer favorite and has demonstrated a comprehensive performance that, to be honest, outperforms the Intel counterpart. The 3950X offered more features, better productivity performance, and higher value than its rival without surpassing on the gaming front.
In addition to the long-awaited release of the impressive Ryzen 9 3950X, two other additions have been added to the AMD ranking – the Ryzen Threadripper 3960X & 3970X. Both were part of the new Threadripper series and offered impressive core numbers and frequencies that Intel would leave even further behind. While the new additions to the Threadripper range were popular, many still considered the 3990X, AMD’s most powerful Threadripper CPU to date.
The 3990X hit the shelves in early February 2020 and immediately became a classic among consumers looking to build high-performance workstation-style systems. Although the price was $ 3,990 – extremely high for domestic PC builds – it was considered by many to be extremely inexpensive. It was AMD’s most powerful thread ripper CPU to date, equipped with 32 cores / 64 threads and a 3.2 GHz base clock across all cores. While this level of performance would easily outperform Intel, AMD’s PBO (Precision Boost Overdrive) could cause the 3990X to peak at 4.3 GHz, making it one of Intel’s $ 20,000 premium corporate CPUs when it comes to it Performance goes.
This was revolutionary for AMD: The 3990X flew off the shelves as quickly as it was practically in stock. Fortunately for Intel, they weren’t far from releasing their new 10th-generation Comet Lake CPU series that would put them back in the driver’s seat while playing.
AMD’s graphics cards have always had problems reaching from Nvidia when it comes to the upper end of the performance range. Nvidia had just done it well and really. They released the 1080TI, which was by far the most powerful GPU on the market at the time. Nothing that AMD released could come close to Nvidia’s gaming performance. The trend continued with the latest 2080TI cards from Nvidia, which in turn were the focus of most technical conventions.
With AMD unable to peak Nvidia’s GPUs, they decided to take a different approach in the GPU market – attacking the mid price range.
The first 5000 series GPU to be released was the RX 5700 / 5700XT, both of which hit the shelves on the same day as the Ryzen 3000 series CPU series. There have been many scandals surrounding the release of the 5000 series GPUs. Many claimed that AMD caused Nvidia to lower its prices after the introduction of the SUPER cards. Although this was never confirmed, it was strange when AMD decided to lower the price of both the 5700 and 5700XT and theoretically outperform the SUPER 2060/2070 cards.
RADEON RX 5700XT
The 5700XT was the first to hit the shelves in July 2019, breathing new life into the RADEON GPU series. The new GPU has been equipped with the latest 7nm TSMC manufacturing process and RDNA architecture, making it suitable for the mid-range GPU price range.
When released, it was marketed for around $ 500. However, shortly after the release of Nvidia’s SUPER GPUs (which had been waiting in the wing), AMD promptly lowered prices by $ 50 – a much higher value than its NVIDIA counterparts.
The 5700XT with its new pricing went from head to toe with the Nvidia RTX 2060 SUPER and exceeded value and image per second. This was pretty revolutionary for AMD, as the cards from the previous 500 series (570.580.590) couldn’t really come close to Nvidia.
RADEON RX 5600XT
Just half a year after the 5700 cards hit the shelves, AMD launched the cheaper 5600XT on the consumer market. In every respect, the 5600XT was a slightly cheaper, BIOS-limited version of the 8 GB 5700. To much surprise, the cheaper 5600XT actually performed very well in a number of game titles – with numerous models offering the GTX 1660 / RTX 2060 performance. Although AMD is still miles away from Nvidia in terms of the top end of the GPU series, it was still a big step forward for her in the whole graphics.
So there you have it, folks, a quick look back at the past 12 months for AMD. It’s safe to say that last year was one of the best for Team Red. What will the future mean for AMD and its loyal followers? With the upcoming 4000 CPU series and a number of new Threadripper CPUs, it’s hard to see that Intel is getting close to them in terms of overall performance. Still, there is still little sign that AMD Intel will ever get close when it comes to the high-end graphics card market.
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