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Computers

AMD's new Ryzen processor has 12 cores and costs only $499

It's about $700 cheaper than Intel's i9 9920X.

ryzen

AMD's new family of processors were announced at Computex.

AMD

AMD turned 50 this year, and it's celebrating the old-fashioned way: By drastically improving its processor architecture.

At Computex 2019, the chipmaker announced a slew of new processor units, both central and graphics, running its new 7nm architecture. On the CPU side is the Zen 2 range, while the GPUs fall under the new Navi umbrella.

The "one last thing" moment of the press conference, which kicks off days of Taiwan's annual computer extravaganza, was the Ryzen 7 3900X CPU. A competitor for Intel's top-of-the-line Core i9 9920X CPU, the "no compromise" Ryzen 7 3900X features 12 cores and has a boost clock speed of 4.6GHz. It runs on 105 watts, versus the 9920X's less efficient 165 watts, and more importantly will retail for $499 upon its July 7 release. The 9920X, for comparison, costs $1,199.

International pricing or availability wasn't mentioned during the press conference.

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AMD, battling to take marketshare from both Intel and Nvidia, showed many competitor comparison videos throughout the conference. When it came to the 3900X versus the i9 9920X, the Blender benchmarking tool had AMD at an 18 percent performance lead. 

You should always take such benchmark results with a grain of salt, since companies obviously pick and choose tests that lean into their product's strengths, but that performance at $499 is certainly impressive. 

AMD also announced two other processors for desktop computers. First, the $329 Ryzen 7 3700X, which it touts as the first 7nm desktop CPU. The octa-core processor has 3.6GHz of power (4.4GHz boost), and runs on 65 watts (last year's 2700X ran on 105 watts). AMD compared it to Intel's $379 Core i7-9700K processor, with an onstage Cinebench test claiming the 3700X to be a third faster. 

Second, the $399 Ryzen 7 3800X for desktop gamers. It's also an octa-core CPU, runs on 3.8GHz (4.5GHz boost) and 105 watts. AMD says it's comparable to Intel's $479 Core i9-9900K. 

Speaking of gamers, Radeon, AMD's line of graphics cards, also got some love at the Computex kickoff. Su noted that Sony's PlayStation 5 would be powered by a custom setup of a Navi GPU and Zen 2 CPUs before announcing the RX5000 line of graphics cards.

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An Intel + Nvidia combo vs. AMD's new Ryzen and Radeon processors. The first setup ran at 14 frames per second in this 3D Mark test, with AMD's hitting 25 frames per second.

AMD

The line is named in honor of AMD's 50th anniversary, said AMD CEO Lisa Su. We then got our first competitor comparison of the night, with an RX 5000-series GPU side-by-side with a Nvidia RTX 2070, both running co-op game Strange Brigade. AMD's component, Radeon general manager Scott Herkelman said, ran around 10 percent better than the 2070. 

Navi will launch in July, like the new Ryzen CPUs, but we don't know pricing yet. That will be announced at E3 in June, AMD said.