AMD announces Ryzen 5 hex-core, quad-core line-up
March 16, 2017 // 9:25 a.m.
Following on from the launch of its top-end Ryzen 7 processors earlier this month, AMD has now taken the lid off its mid-range offerings: Ryzen 5, which is to hit shop shelves in April with six-core 12-thread and four-core eight-thread options making up the launch family.
Designed for those who don't need the eight-core 16-thread power of the Ryzen 7 family - which is made up of the Ryzen 7 1800X, Ryzen 7 1700X, and Ryzen 7 1700, the latter of which hobbles the built-in Extended Frequency Range (XFR) automatic overclocking functionality - the Ryzen 5 range is available in six-core and four-core variants. The flagship model is the Ryzen 5 1600X, which is a six-core 12-thread chip running at a 3.6GHz base clock and 4GHz boost clock and supporting the full XFR frequency range. According to AMD, the chip is designed to compete with Intel's Core i5-7600K and boasts a 69 percent performance uplift in the Cinebench R15 multithreaded benchmark - though confirmed figures for other benchmarks were not available at the time of writing.
For those looking to spend less on their Ryzen rig, the Ryzen 5 1600 retains the six cores of its higher-end stablemate but reduces the clock speed to 3.2GHz base and 3.6GHz clock. As a non-X-suffix part, the Ryzen 5 1600 also cuts the peak automatic overclock available from AMD's XFR technology in half compared to the 1600X.
If six cores is too many for your workload, AMD has also announced two Ryzen 5 quad-core parts: the Ryzen R5 1500X, running at 3.5GHz base and 3.7GHz boost; and the Ryzen R5 1400, running at 3.2GHz base and 3.4GHz boost. Both models include support for running eight threads, and are - as with all Ryzen chips - multiplier and frequency unlocked for manual overclocking.
UK pricing for the Ryzen 5 family was not available at the time of writing, but AMD has released US recommended retail prices: the range starts at $249 (around £204 excluding taxes) for the 1600X, drops to $219 (around £179 excluding taxes) for the 1600, $189 (around £155 excluding taxes) for the 1500X, and $169 (around £139 excluding taxes) for the 1400. Given the cost of Ryzen 7 chips, however, it's fair to assume there'll be a 1:1 exchange rate between tax-free US and VAT-inclusive UK pricing, putting the chips at £249, £219, £189, and £169 respectively.
All models are due to hit shop shelves on April 11th in retail packaging: the 1400 will be bundled with a Wraith Stealth heatsink and fan assembly; the 1500X and 1600 will include the larger Wraith Spire; and the 1600X will be sold without a heatsink. AMD has yet to announce a launch date for the Ryzen 3 family, its entry-level range targeting Intel's Core i3 chips, beyond a commitment to launch in the second half of the year.