Advance Micro Devices released the first three models of its highly anticipated, high-performance AMD Ryzen desktop processor. The early reviews suggest that the chips are the company’s most competitive in a decade.

AMD said that strong demand for these new desktop central processing units (CPUs) drove record preorders from more than 180 global retailers and boutique original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) throughout the week prior to launch.

AMD said that Ryzen chips can process 52 percent more instructions per clock cycle than the previous generation of AMD chips. AMD demonstrated the flagship Ryzen 5 1600X beating the flagship Intel Core i5 7600K by more than 60 percent in multi-threaded CPU testing. The launch makes it a good week for gamers, as it comes just a day before Nintendo launches its Switch game console.

Now offered for purchase around the globe, Ryzen is the first processor based on the entirely new AMD Zen core microarchitecture, with performance targeted for PC gamers, creators, and hardware enthusiasts around the world.

Alongside Ryzen 7 processors, AMD also announced the product specifications for two Ryzen 5 processors.

In addition to being available to do-it-yourself builders and boutique PC vendors, in the coming months consumers will also be able to purchase Ryzen-based systems from top PC vendors, including Dell, Lenovo, HP, and more.

AMD CEO Lisa Su said that the Zen processors took more than four years and thousands of hours of development.

Lisa Su, CEO of Advanced Micro Devices, talking about Zen.

Above: Lisa Su, CEO of Advanced Micro Devices, talking about Zen.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

“Today’s launch of Ryzen represents AMD at its best, delivering great products and innovation to the high-performance computing market,” said Su, in a statement. “With Ryzen 7 desktop processors, AMD delivers to PC gamers, prosumers and enthusiasts both the highest performance and the lowest power 8-core desktop PC processors, bringing the absolute best PC experience to millions of people.”

Starting today there are three 8-core Ryzen 7 models available. Beginning in the second quarter, AMD expects to launch 6- and 4-core Ryzen 5 processors followed later this year by Ryzen 3, which is designed to bring more performance to mainstream applications. All Ryzen processors support the new AM4 infrastructure, with motherboard designs available from top hardware makers.

“Ryzen processors incorporate intelligent, performance-boosting technology that provides PC gamers, prosumers, and enthusiasts with incredible responsiveness, outstanding performance, and more immersive experiences, all in an extremely efficient package,” said Jim Anderson, a senior vice president and general manager, computing and graphics group at AMD, in a statement. “In the near future we will bring to market additional lines of Ryzen processors, scaling from Ryzen 7 in the enthusiast segment, through high performance users with Ryzen 5, and then mainstream users with Ryzen 3. This CPU portfolio represents disruptive price-to-performance and compelling top-to-bottom features like unlocked CPU multipliers and AMD SenseMI Technology.”

The chips range from 3.0 Ghz to 3.6 Ghz, and they consume anywhere from 65 watts to 95 watts. Reviews from hardware testing outlets, such as Hot Hardware, are positive.

In addition to being available to DIY builders and boutique PC vendors, in the coming months consumers will also be able to purchase Ryzen-based systems from top PC vendors.

“As the eSports and virtual reality markets continue to grow, Dell is committed to offering cutting-edge technology to enable the best gaming and immersive experiences. We are excited to bring AMD’s new high-performance Ryzen processor to select desktop and All-in-One products in the coming months,” said Ray Wah, senior vice president of the consumer product group at Dell, in a statement.

AMD's Ryzen chip

Above: AMD’s Ryzen chip

Image Credit: AMD

During an event in front of global press, industry analysts, and partners last week, Ryzen CPUs were put through their paces and have already broken world records. Asus overclocking expert Jon “Elmor” Sandstrom, veteran overclocker Petri “SF3D” Korhonen, and the AMD Ryzen OC team managed to push the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X CPU to over 5.35GHz with record-breaking performance in the 8-core CPU category. The liquid nitrogen-cooled Ryzen CPU completed the industry standard Cinebench R15 and R11.5 tests with scores of 2454 and 27.40.

“Experiences like gaming, esports, and virtual reality push the performance limits of devices,” said Mike Nash, HP’s chief technologist and vice president of customer experience and portfolio strategy, in a statement. “We believe there are a set of customers who will benefit from the new AMD technology and HP is excited to offer those customers devices powered by Ryzen.”

“Lenovo is always exploring and creating new solutions to bring our customers innovative PCs that provide the most immersive computing experiences,” said Johnson Jia, the senior vice president of Lenovo’s PCs and Smart Device Business Group, in a statement. “We’re excited to take our partnership to the next level with the revolutionary new Ryzen processor.”

AMD also had positive quotes from esports teams such as Evil Geniuses and Microsoft.

“AMD’s new Ryzen processor is optimized for Windows 10 and DirectX, enabling effortless multimedia experiences for our fans.” said Roanne Sones, general manager, strategy and ecosystem for Windows and Devices at Microsoft, in a statement. “We worked closely with AMD to enable better graphics and faster memory, providing customers with a seamless and responsive experience that’s compatible with Windows 10 hardware. And soon, gamers and creators alike will get the chance to see how well Ryzen complements the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update.”