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AMD Ryzen 5 processors unlock high performance for under $250

Bargain-hunting PC enthusiasts in need of a new desktop CPU will soon have four more options from Intel's main competition.

AMD's mainstream Ryzen 5 CPUs arrive April 11.

AMD managed to make the word "mainstream" into something to be excited about.

The company officially announced its complete mid-level Ryzen 5 series of desktop PC processors set to arrive April 11. Aimed at enthusiasts on a budget, the processors are a step down from the Ryzen 7 CPUs released earlier this month, but more powerful than the Ryzen 3 chips expected in the second half of 2017.

The line consists of four chips that are priced from $169 to $249 and have the potential to greatly outperform Intel's similarly priced Core i5 processors. What's most interesting about these and the other Ryzen processors is they are all unlocked, allowing users to overclock them to squeeze out every last bit of performance. That is, as long as you're cool with voiding your warranty.

The models include:

  • 3.2GHz 1400 (four cores, eight threads, 3.4GHz boost) for $169
  • 3.5GHz 1500x (four cores, eight threads, 3.7GHz boost) for $189
  • 3.2GHz 1600 (six cores, 12 threads, 3.6GHz boost) for $219
  • 3.6GHz 1600 (six cores, 12 threads, 4.0GHz boost) for $249

AMD has struggled for years to keep pace with its rival Intel, particularly in the mobile processor space. The company has hyped the new Ryzen chips as a return to providing a competitive alternative for the desktop computing market.