AMD's Gaming Pitch Is Getting A Lot Better

Image: Kotaku

Over the last year, AMD has started to offer real, genuine competition in both the GPU and CPU space. In 2018, expect a lot more.

AMD has always been good at competing to the low to middle tiers of the CPU and GPU markets, partially thanks to their aggressive pricing and also their range of APU solutions. The release of Ryzen helped push AMD back into middle to top-tier gaming relevance: their chips might not have been the out and out fastest, but they were fast enough, and affordable to the point where Intel responded aggressively of their own.

But something we didn't see in 2017 was an expanded line of AMD APUs. There were high hopes for AMD chips with Vega technology onboard, but AMD's decision to focus mainly on the desktop market initially meant 2018 was always going to be the APU's time in the sun.

AMD unveiled the Ryzen 7 2700U and Ryzen 5 2500U just before Christmas, and in a briefing just before CES they added four more APUs to the list. Two of those are mobile offerings, targeting Intel's low-end, low-power offerings, and two others are for desktop users.

Ryzen 3 2300U: 4 core, 4 threads / 2.0GHz base clock / 3.4GHz turbo clock
Ryzen 3 2200U: 2 core, 4 threads / 2.5GHz base clock / 3.4GHz turbo clock
Ryzen 3 2200G: 4 core, 4 threads / 3.5GHz base clock / 3.7GHz turbo clock
Ryzen 5 2400G 4 core, 8 threads / 3.6GHz base clock / 3.9GHz turbo clock

The GPUs in the Ryzen 3 mobile offerings are about equivalent to a NVIDIA GT 1030 - GT, not GTX, which should give you some indication of what ballpark we're playing in. Mind you, that's leaps and bounds ahead of your traditional onboard graphics, which is what the Ryzen 3 mobile line is aiming at.

Another fun element is the fact that AMD, according to information presented to journalists at CES, will push out their new Zen+ microarchitecture this year. It's basically Zen chips running on a 12nm process, instead of the 14nm process last year's Zen line used. Ryzen CPUs are already pretty power efficient, especially at the low end, and the extra shrinkage is pretty impressive given just how far behind AMD was in the CPU stakes three years ago.

The second-gen Zen CPUs are due to start shipping from April this year, while the desktop Ryzen APUs will be available from February 12. The second generation of AMD's AM4 chipset, X470, is also due out in April, although existing AM4 motherboards should have no trouble with the new CPUs.


    The thing with AMD is that they're always behind the curve in terms of performance, which works for people who can only afford their products or who have an aversion to Intel/nvidia.

    If we are to believe the press there is always 'something' good coming from them, but the market doesn't stand still waiting for them to catch up.

    AMD fans/pundits need to accept that AMD serves a certain part of the market that wants a cheaper product that doesn't perform as well.

    Final notes:

    #1 - I'm glad AMD are in the market.
    #2 - this story is practically a press release. "Company will release better product next year" - really?

      I completely digress, I have more power on tap across my system ever since I've moved to Threadripper than I ever did under Intel HEDT. The ONLY place where I lose performance is in gaming, and the performance loss is about 5% across the board.

      At work, the same story is starting to apply, with some of our business workloads taking a 20% hit due to Meltdown mitigation, our test Epyc boxes are now well and truly clear of our Intel boxes in performance.

      I think you need to accept that AMD is actually in the high end space with products that perform exceedingly well.

        I think he's talking about their GPUs and not their CPUs. Their success with Ryzen and Threadripper is commendable, but they sadly haven't been able to topple NVIDIA in the high-end GPU segment.

          Eh he mentioned Intel :P. As for AMD GPU, you can tell AMD is transitioning out of the high end gamer space. Even when they had products that beat the competition for cheaper and less power (5870 in particular), sales at best only ever hit 50% of the market tops. So with a limited R&D budget, you can tell the shift to compute based cards for the server space, and semi-custom design wins for others (Like Microsoft, Sony, Intel and a few others). And you can tell the arch is semi decent for it considering that Vega 64's are retailing for $2100 due to mining, still $500 clear of inflated $1600 pricing of 1080 Ti's.

    Of the several AMD products I've owned over the years, by far my biggest complaint has been the quality of their drivers. With their competition I basically never noticed the drivers, except when installing updates, but with AMD there was always a niggle that things were just a little bit less than stable. Embedded movies wouldn't run correctly and I'd experience constant little crashes and freezes for as long as the AMD products were in use. Admittedly that was a few years ago - they may have improved, but the stability of the alternatives have meant I've not been tempted to change back.

      I've had issues with both AMD and INTEL and yet it has nothing to do with them, just the way i setup windows OS and programs installed at the time causing stability issues.

      I currently have RYZEN setup with AMD RX 560 2gb (yes I sold my RX 480 for a good price and brought RX 560 for dirt cheap just to cope by until next refresh) and so far AMD drivers have been great. The only issue i have is ram. Which I contacted ASUS to fix.

      It hasnt been like that for a solid 3-ish years, you get an equal amount of issues on either now (both reduced i mean, not NVidia getting worse).
      I can definitely understand how the feelings from then would make it less likely to change back though. Fortunately my first cards were all AMD from about 2 years ago onwards so i never really had any issues. I do have an Nvidia card now as i got big bucks selling my second hand AMD card at the start of the mining boom last year but id happily change back when i upgrade if AMD has the better offering price to performance wise.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now