AMD blows minds with a 16-core 7nm gaming CPU

The $750 Ryzen 9 3950X is coming this September, and it fits into an AM4 motherboard

“I don’t think there’s any reason people would buy an Intel processor after we do this,” says AMD’s Travis Kirsch.

It’s not the first time during my weekend in Los Angeles that I’ve heard such hubris, but I’m starting to wonder if it’s deserved. Because AMD is about to release a wave of 3rd gen Ryzen desktop CPUs that — on paper — sound like they might trounce Intel for the first time in years.

At AMD’s Next Horizon Gaming Event, on the outskirts of the E3 2019 gaming show, Kirsch isn’t even referring to the just-announced 16-core, 32-thread $750 Ryzen 9 3950X processor, which — with its 3.5GHz base clock, 4.7GHz boost clock, a tremendous 72MB of cache and an unheard-of 105W TDP for that many cores — sounds like it could give AMD’s own 32-core Threadripper a run for its money. (Even a 16-core Threadripper is rated at 180 watts; Intel’s 16-core has a 165W TDP, and each of them require expensive motherboards with larger sockets.)

But no, Kirsch is actually talking about the rest of the Ryzen 3000 lineup that AMD announced at Computex two weeks ago, and coming July 7th. Because today, the company is sharing data that suggests that its new 7nm processors are not only cheaper and more power efficient, not only faster at creator tasks because of the additional cores, but neck-and-neck with Intel’s very best in gaming performance as well.

Here’s a selection of that data from AMD’s slidedecks, for you to peruse at your leisure:

AMD says that while 40 percent of its speed and efficiency boosts can be attributed to the smaller 7nm circuitry, 60 percent is the new design of its Zen 2 cores, which offer a 15 percent boost over the previous Zen architecture clock for clock.

One of the most impressive demos I saw on stage was targeted directly at streamers, suggesting that even though Intel and AMD might play games at the same framerate, only the AMD chip can let you stream ultra high-quality video to your Twitch audience at the same time:

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