AMD Ryzen – What you need to know about Intel’s strong rival

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Brief introduction

AMD Ryzen is the name of a line of x86-64 processors designed and sold by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) for desktop and laptop computers. It includes CPU products for the mainstream, enthusiast and workstation segments and APU products for the mainstream segment. Ryzen plays an extremely important role for AMD, because it is a completely new design. Furthermore, it also marks AMD’s return to the high-end CPU market, which has been “dominated” by Intel for many years.

The first products, based on the Zen architecture and 14nm process, were announced at the New Horizon event on December 13, 2016. The first models went on sale on February 3, 2017. By April 2018, the 2nd generation was launched. It uses the Zen+ architecture and a smaller 12nm process. Those improvements have brought significant improvements in IPC as well as clock speeds.

But for AMD, that is still not enough to dethrone Intel. By July 2019, they announced the 3rd generation of the Ryzen CPU line. This new generation has a few significant changes as follows:

IPC is improved 15% better than the previous generation

Using the completely new Zen 2 architecture and 7nm process

Maximum number of cores up to 16 cores (mainstream segment) and 64 cores (HEDT segment)

With a reasonable price and unprecedented impressive performance, 3rd generation Ryzen was a knock-out blow from AMD to Intel, forcing the “blue team” to frantically launch the upcoming 10th generation Intel Core CPU line come here.

In the above generations, in addition to mainstream CPU models, AMD also launched models for the HEDT segment, called Ryzen Threadripper.

List of AMD Ryzen CPU models

Note: In the list, I will only talk about CPU models that are widely sold globally, not counting OEM models and exclusive models for other markets. Because of limited time, I only mention CPU/APU models for PCs.

​1st generation (Zen architecture)


Codename: Summit Ridge (Ryzen), Whitehaven (Ryzen Threadripper)

Socket: AM4 (Ryzen), TR4 (Ryzen Threadripper)

New chipsets: A320, B350, X370 (Ryzen); X399 (Threadripper)

Number of transistors: 4.8 billion/die, with Ryzen using 1 and Threadripper using 2

RAM support: Dual channel DDR4-2666 (Ryzen) or 4 channel (Ryzen Threadripper)

Unlock multiplier, allowing overclocking on all codes

CPU seriesCPU codeKernel/threadOriginal pulsePulse boost maxTDP
Ryzen 3Ryzen 3 12004/43.1 GHz3.4 GHz65W
Ryzen 3 1300X3.5 GHz3.7 GHz
Ryzen 5Ryzen 5 14004/83.2 GHz3.4 GHz
Ryzen 5 1500X3.5 GHz3.7 GHz
Ryzen 5 16006/123.2 GHz3.6 GHz
Ryzen 5 1600X3.6 GHz4.0 GHz95W
Ryzen 7Ryzen 7 17008/163.0 GHz3.7 GHz65W
Ryzen 7 1700X3.4 GHz3.8 GHz95W
Ryzen 7 1800X3.6 GHz4.0 GHz
Ryzen ThreadripperThreadripper 1900X3.8 GHz180W
Threadripper 1920X12/243.5 GHz
Threadripper 1950X16/323.4 GHz


The structure is similar to CPU models, there are only a few differences as follows:

 4,995 billion transistors on an 8-core die, but 4 cores were cut off and replaced with 1 integrated graphics core

 Supports Precision Boost 2

 16 external PCIe lanes (for expansion devices) and 16 integrated PCIe lanes (for iGPU and I/O)

 Integrated graphics cores: Vega 3 (for Athlon series), Vega 8 (for Ryzen 3 2200G) and Vega 11 (for Ryzen 5 2400G)

CPU seriesCPU codeKernel/threadOriginal pulsePulse boost maxTDP
AthlonAthlon 200GE2/43.2 GHzN/A35W
Athlon 220GE3.4 GHz
Athlon 240GE3.5 GHz
Athlon 3000G
Ryzen 3Ryzen 3 2200G4/43.7 GHz45-65W
Ryzen 5Ryzen 5 2400G4/83.6 GHz3.9 GHz

2nd generation (Zen+ architecture)

 Code names: Pinnacle Ridge (Ryzen) and Colfax (Ryzen Threadripper)

 New chipset: B450, X470 (Ryzen)

 Manufactured on 12nm process

 Supports Precision Boost 2 (Ryzen) and Precision Boost Overdrive (Threadripper)

 The maximum number of cores for the Threadripper line is up to 32 cores

Fun fact: Recently, AMD re-launched the Ryzen 5 1600 model with the new identifier AF (instead of AE like other 1st generation CPUs). It’s basically the Ryzen 5 2600 with specs tweaked to resemble the Ryzen 5 1600.

CPU seriesCPU codeKernel/threadOriginal pulsePulse boost maxTDP
Ryzen 5Ryzen 5 1600 (AF)6/123.2 GHz3.6 GHz65W
Ryzen 5 26003.4 GHz3.9 GHz
Ryzen 5 2600X3.6 GHz4.2 GHz95W
Ryzen 7Ryzen 7 27008/163.2 GHz4.1 GHz65W
Ryzen 7 2700X3.7 GHz4.3 GHz105W
Ryzen ThreadripperThreadripper 2920X12/243.5 GHz180W
Threadripper 2950X16/324.4 GHz
Threadripper 2970WX24/483.0 GHz4.2 GHz250W
Threadripper 2990WX32/64


 Code name: Picasso

 Clock speed increased slightly compared to the previous generation.

 Supports Precision Boost 2

 IPC improved by 3%

 New thermal conductive material underneath the IHS

 Integrated graphics core: Vega 8 (Ryzen 3 3200G) or Vega 11 (Ryzen 5 3400G)

CPU seriesCPU codeKernel/threadOriginal pulsePulse boost maxTDP
Ryzen 3Ryzen 3 3200G4/43.6 GHz4.0 GHz65W
Ryzen 5Ryzen 5 3400G4/83.7 GHz4.2 GHz

3rd generation (Zen 2 architecture)

 Codename: Matisse (Ryzen) and Caslte Peak (Ryzen Threadripper)

 The presence of the completely new Ryzen 9 series

 New sTRX4 socket for Threadripper line

 New chipsets: X570 (Ryzen); TRX40 (Threadripper)

 There are 2 dies containing 7nm cores, combined with 1 12nm I/O die

 IPC improved 15% compared to the old generation

 Double the amount of L3 cache

 Supports PCI Express 4.0

 Supports DDR4 RAM clocked at 3200 MHz

 Maximum core count increased to 16 (Ryzen) and 64 (Ryzen Threadripper)

CPU seriesCPU codeKernel/threadOriginal pulsePulse boost maxTDP
Ryzen 5Ryzen 5 36006/123.6 GHz4.2 GHz65W
Ryzen 5 3600X3.8 GHz4.4 GHz95W
Ryzen 7Ryzen 7 3700X8/163.6 GHz65W
Ryzen 7 3800X3.9 GHz4.5 GHz105W
Ryzen 9Ryzen 9 3900X12/243.8 GHz4.6 GHz
Ryzen 9 3950X16/323.5 GHz4.7 GHz
Ryzen ThreadripperThreadripper 3960X24/483.8 GHz4.5 GHz280W
Threadripper 3970X32/643.7 GHz
Threadripper 3990X64/1282.9 GHz4.3 GHz

4th generation (Zen 2 architecture)

 Code name: Renoir

 The appearance of Ryzen 7 APU

 Not sold to the general public, only sold to OEMs.

Only APU, no regular CPU

CPU seriesCPU codeKernel/threadOriginal pulsePulse boost maxTDP
Ryzen 3Ryzen 3 4300G4/83.8 GHz4.0 GHz65W
Ryzen 3 4300GE3.5 GHz35W
Ryzen 5Ryzen 5 4600G6/123.7 GHz4.2 GHz65W
Ryzen 5 4600GE3.3 GHz35W
Ryzen 7Ryzen 7 4700G8/163.6 GHz4.4 GHz65W
Ryzen 7 4700GE3.1 GHZ4.3 GHz35W

5th generation (Zen 3 architecture): A death sentence for Intel?

 Code name: Vemeer

 Completely new Zen 3 architecture

 IPC increased by 19% compared to Zen 2

Boost pulse nearly reaches 5.0 GHZ

CPU seriesCPU codeKernel/threadOriginal pulsePulse boost maxTDP
Ryzen 5Ryzen 5 5600X6/123.7 GHz4.6 GHz65W
Ryzen 7Ryzen 7 5800X8/163.8 GHz4.7 GHz105W
Ryzen 9Ryzen 9 5900X12/243.7 GHz4.8 GHz
Ryzen 9 5950X16/323.4 GHz4.9 GHz


So I have gone through the entire historical journey of the AMD Ryzen line up to the present time. Which generation has made the biggest impression on you? Please leave your answer in the comment section below.

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