AMD has Ryzen to Intel’s challenge as leak reveals powerful new CPUs

There has been a sudden avalanche of leaked information concerning AMD’s incoming Ryzen processors, pouring a whole heap of fresh fuel onto the hype fire, with some exciting details on the performance and pricing fronts – particularly for gamers.

According to the leaked info published by Wccftech, the Ryzen line-up will consist of 17 different CPUs ranging from quad-core to 8-core (although we’d already heard that), with TDPs running from 65W to 95W, and Black Edition models that boast XFR tech (eXtended Frequency Range).

What does that mean? Essentially, not only do you get standard Turbo for the clock speed, but if the chip is remaining cool enough, XFR will automatically pile on an extra boost in performance – so the better your cooler, the more mileage you’re going to get here.

Some of the most exciting CPUs leaked here – and remember, this is leaked, not confirmed, information – include high-end processors which benefit from XFR, but don’t carry a weighty price tag.

Perhaps the most tempting is the Ryzen 7 1700X 8-core processor which has a base clock speed of 3.4GHz and Turbo to 3.8GHz, but XFR can intelligently push it beyond 3.8GHz depending on heat tolerances, as mentioned. And this offering is apparently set to be priced at just $389 (around £310, AU$510).

For the money, this CPU has posted some truly impressive benchmarks (again, leaked ones obviously enough), outdoing Intel’s Broadwell-E i7 6900K in many tests – a processor which costs approaching three times as much.

And as regards single-threaded performance in Passmark – an important indication of how smoothly things will run in terms of real-world gaming – the 1700X was right on the heels of the i7 6900K (hitting a score of 2046 compared to 2095 for Intel’s beefy chip).

Stepping up

And then there’s the model up, the Ryzen 7 1800X, which promises even better performance with a base clock of 3.6GHz and Turbo to 4.0GHz, again with XFR boosting beyond that. This CPU is allegedly going to run to $499 (around £400, AU$650), which again is incredibly competitive given the performance levels on offer here.

All of these next-gen Black Edition chips will reportedly come bundled with the firm’s HS81 Wraith cooling solution – a quality stock cooler – meaning that they’ll be able to deliver on the XFR front out-of-the-box, without the need to go spending extra on a fancy fan/heatsink.

Ryzen quad-core models will also be very tempting for gamers on more of a budget, with the top-end quad-core processor being the AMD Ryzen 5 1400X running at 3.5GHz base with Turbo to 3.9GHz and XFR to go beyond that – priced at $199 (around £160, AU$260).

And note that all of these processors are fully unlocked for overclocking, meaning there’s the potential to buy one of these cheaper CPUs, and really juice it up – particularly if you throw in a beefy cooler – to get performance along the lines of the aforementioned 8-core models for what could be an astonishingly competitive price.

Let’s try not to get too carried away yet, but it’s fair to say that if you weren’t already excited about Ryzen, you should be now. The new CPUs are expected to be unleashed at the beginning of next month.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).