AMD Ryzen: Answering the Call for Modern, Powerful CPUs

There’s been a lot written lately about the increasingly important role of video cards in the PC space, but the demand on the CPUs powering these computers has also never been higher. Applications like virtual reality, PC gaming and the need to not only play, but also edit and encode 4K video is becoming mainstream. That’s where the new AMD Ryzen processors are set to shine.

Yesterday’s CPUs can struggle under the intense load of these applications. We’ve already seen Intel’s response with its 7th generation Kaby Lake processors (you can read about those chips here), but now it’s AMD’s turn. The performance-class Ryzen 7 CPUs began rolling out in March and the new mid-range Ryzen 5 has just been announced with availability expected in April.


Click here to see the selection of Ryzen based computers at Best Buy

AMD Ryzen: Based on Zen Architecture

AMD is excited about its new 14 nm Zen architecture. It represents much more than an incremental step over previous CPUs—more like a leap forward. Each processor core can now process instructions 52 percent faster per clock cycle. Advanced SenseMi technology offered by Zen includes:

  • Smart Prefetch. Learning algorithms that anticipate data needed by specific applications and pre-load that data into a Ryzen CPU for a big boost in responsiveness.
  • Neural Net Prediction. AMD Ryzen CPUs feature integrated artificial intelligence that monitors how an application uses your processor and optimizes that interaction.
  • Precision Boost. Ryzen CPUs adjust clock speed in 25MHz increments in real time to smoothly boost performance.
  • Extended Frequency Range. Select Ryzen CPUs automatically select CPU clock speeds above Precision Boost based on the cooling method used.
  • Pure Power. Integrated smart sensors that monitor key CPU stats like temperature and resource demands, with adaptive control that optimizes performance while minimizing heat and system noise.

The real key to the performance capability of AMD Ryzen CPUs with current and future high demand applications lies in their ability to support simultaneous multi-threading (what Intel calls hyper-threading), across the product line—not just its higher end chips. Combined with the company’s continued strategy of offering high core counts on its chips, this makes the AMD Ryzen a powerful option when used with applications that can take full advantage of multi-threading.

AMD Ryzen Pushes Performance

With older games and software, pure brute power and processor clock speed won out. But applications like virtual reality, the latest generation of PC games and video encoding thrives on being able to execute multiple instructions simultaneously. That means the more threads, the better.

How does this play out in the real world? AMD published test results pitting the new Ryzen 5 1500X against its Intel equivalent, the Core i5 7600K. Both CPUs were installed in a PC running Windows 10, equipped with an NVDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB video card. Running the Cinebench R15 multi-threaded performance test, AMD says the Ryzen 5 scored 69 percent higher. This makes the affordable, mid-range Ryzen processor an excellent choice for entry level to mid-range gaming PCs.

Earlier this year, the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (equipped with 8-cores and 16 threads) set an all-time world record for that same Cinebench R15 test, scoring 1601.

Intel’s Core CPUs continue to hold their own or enjoy a slight edge over AMD’s Ryzen CPUs when it comes to brute force processing of legacy software. But the applications gaining popularity now—including virtual reality, 3D modelling, video processing and PC gaming—increasingly take full advantage of every core and thread of computing power available to them. That’s why AMD’s Ryzen is poised to shake things up.

Want to get your hands on a new multi-threading Ryzen powerhouse? AMD Ryzen CPUs like the Ryzen 7 1700 and flagship Ryzen 7 1800X are available now at Best Buy.


New computers featuring Ryzen CPUs are now available at Best Buy.


Watch for new AMD Ryzen CPUs to continue rolling out in performance computers at Best Buy throughout this year.

Brad Moon
Editor Computing solutions
I’m a long-time electronics and gadget geek who’s been fortunate enough to enjoy a career that lets me indulge this interest. I have been writing about technology for several decades for a wide range of outlets including Wired, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, MSN,, Kiplinger, and GeekDad. I’m in my 10th year as a senior contributor for Forbes with a focus on reviewing music-related tech, Apple gear, battery power stations and other consumer electronics. My day job is with the Malware Research Center at AI-native cybersecurity pioneer CrowdStrike.