AMD announces, details its new Ryzen 5 mainstream CPU family

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Ryzen 7’s debut just under three weeks ago clearly kicked off an upgrade cycle for AMD fans and potentially some Intel converts — in the three weeks we’ve been watching, the Ryzen 1800X, 1700X, and 1700 have all maintained spots in the Top 20, and typically the Top 15. With 6-7 CPUs in the Top 20 compared with 2-3 prior to the launch of Ryzen, AMD is clearly better positioned (and earning at least somewhat more money, thanks to higher CPU prices). Still, the cheapest Ryzen 7 CPU clocks in at $329, and that’s not exactly affordable.

Today, AMD is announcing its new Ryzen 5 CPU family. While the naming evokes the Core i5, the products themselves do not. First up, we’ve got a pair of six-core chips; the Ryzen 5 1600X and the Ryzen 5 1600. Both of them have SMT enabled, but the 1600X has a 3.6GHz base clock and a 4GHz Boost, while the 1600 has a 3.2GHz base clock and a 3.6GHz boost.

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Drop down the stack again, and we’ve got the Ryzen 5 1500X and Ryzen 5 1400. Both CPUs offer quad-cores and eight threads, with clock speeds of 3.5GHz – 3.7GHz and 3.2GHz-3.4GHz respectively. While this is a touch lower than some of Intel’s Core i5s, the addition of SMT should more than compensate for lower clocks in multi-threaded workloads.

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I don’t plan to spend much time talking about chipsets, but I wanted to give an updated version of the image that’s been floating around for awhile. The X370 and B350 are the obvious enthusiast platforms, with the X300 available for SFF options.

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Of course, none of this means much if the prices aren’t good. Check this out. AMD isn’t done putting a world of hurt on Intel’s high-end product stack.

We’ve put together a chart below to show how AMD’s new Ryzen 5 stacks up against Intel’s lineup, but we have to note that it’s not a perfect match. There are two sets of chips you can conceivably stack up against the quad-core Ryzen 5’s — the Core i7 family, which has four cores, eight threads, and is vastly more expensive, or the Core i5, which has quad-cores, no SMT, and is more competitive within the same price band. We decided to show two comparison points for the 1500X, but stayed with an i5 comparator with the Ryzen 5 1400. If you’re eyeing a $169 chip, stepping up to a CPU that costs twice as much probably isn’t something you’re very interested in doing (and there aren’t enough desktop chips in the Kaby Lake Core i7 family to give us much to compare with anyway).

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