There are few gambles in the tech world as big as spending billions to build a new computer processor from scratch. Former AMD board member Robert Palmer supposedly compared it to Russian roulette: "You put a gun to your head, pull the trigger, and find out four years later if you blew your brains out."
Six years ago AMD loaded the gun and pulled the trigger, dramatically restructuring itself internally in a mad bid to escape a disaster of its own making. Now we've seen the results and, instead of dying, AMD has a savvy new CPU microarchitecture, Zen, that's the foundation of the shockingly good new series of Ryzen processors. They're so good, in fact, that they could pose a real challenge to Intel's incumbent dominance and change what the computer market looks for the next few years.