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Christmas Gift Guide
Desktops

AMD Ryzen 3 paves the way for cheap PCs this holiday season

The company announced pricing and availability for its line of CPUs that compete with Intel's Core i3.

AMD

Ryzen 3, AMD's Jan Brady of processor lines, formally debuts today after a few weeks of everything-but-the-price reveals. It's part of the processor segment served by the Intel Core i3 -- a step up from cheap -- but without an integrated graphics processor (IGP). AMD's A series incorporates the company's Polaris-generation of integrated graphics.

Comparative specs


AMD Ryzen 3 1300X AMD Ryzen 3 1200 AMD Ryzen 5 1400 Intel Core i3-7300 Intel Core i3-7100
Number of cores 4 4 4 2 2
Number of threads 4 4 8 4 4
Clock speed (base/boost) 3.5/3.7 GHz 3.1/3.4GHz 3.2/3.4GHz 4.0 GHz/none 4.0 GHz/none
Cache 2MB L2/8MB L3 2MB L2/8MB L3 2MB L2/8MB L3 4MB SmartCache 3MB SmartCache
TDP (power draw) 65 watts 65 watts 65 watts 51 watts 51 watts
Memory supported 2 channels, up to 2,667MHz DDR4 2 channels, up to 2,667MHz DDR4 2 channels, up to 2,667MHz DDR4 2 channels, up to 64GB DDR4-2133/2400, DDR3L-1333/1600 2 channels, DDR4-2133/2400, DDR3L-1333/1600
Cooler Wraith Stealth Wraith Stealth Wraith Stealth n/a n/a
Price $129 $109 starts at $157 starts at $155 starts at $120

The bottom line is that AMD brings quad-core processors to the budget party. AMD (of course) claims they deliver better performance than their Intel counterparts -- for instance, up to about 30 percent faster on various games and benchmarks -- at a slightly cheaper price. Like the current-generation i3, you can overlock the Ryzen 3 and AMD provides the software to do it. But also states that doing so voids the warranty.