A little more than a year after Advanced Micro Devices released its well-received Ryzen desktop processors, the chipmaker is building on that momentum.
AMD on Thursday debuted its second generation of Ryzen processors, a line of products the company said will noticeably boost performance for its target audience of gamers and video editors.
The original Ryzen line has been a boon for AMD’s sales and marked the first time in years that the company has put noticeable pressure on its much-larger competitor Intel. Part of AMD’s success with Ryzen is that the company has offered comparable performance to Intel’s version of processors but for a lower price. The Ryzen processors are part of AMD’s new Zen architecture.
AMD is officially based in Santa Clara, Calif., but most of the company’s operations are in Austin.
AMD’s new Ryzen line is expected to be a faster, more productive and quieter version of its original Ryzen processors. The new Ryzen processors include four models that range in price from $199 to $329.
The difference, AMD product marketing manager Robert Hallock said, will be seen through more seamless gaming and editing experiences, with the new chips taking less time to process data.
For the first time, AMD also included its own chip coolers with the processors. The company said gamers can expect up to 15 percent higher overall performance.
“One of the critical things with PC gaming is noise and the feeling of smoothness. A lot of people have sat in front of an under-powered PC or gaming console and felt it be a little slow, or not as fluid,” Hallock said. But with AMD’s new Ryzen line, “customers will be able to turn up the quality of their PC gaming. (The new chip coolers) are not much louder than a quiet library.”
In reviewing the new AMD processors, technology website Gizmodo wrote Monday: “AMD’s second generation of Ryzen CPUs isn’t just cheaper than the comparable CPU from Intel, it continues to be much faster when it comes to intense workflows in the video and 3D rendering space, and actually close to on par with Intel in the gaming space too.”
Patrick Moorhead, an Austin-based industry analyst who has reviewed the new Ryzen processors, said AMD made noticeable progress from its first generation of Ryzen processors.
“What I appreciate is that the company improved areas where it may not have been the best, or where they received customer feedback,” Moorhead said. “It’s a much better chip overall.”
AMD’s launch of its first Ryzen processors took about five years of production and came at a crucial time for the company. Before the launch, AMD had for years struggled to make a serious impact on the market.
With its newest Ryzen line, engineers only had to spend nine to 10 months building the chips, Hallock said, “because we had the basic design and were just making it faster.”
In addition to launching its new Ryzen chip line, AMD continues to respond to security flaws revealed by researchers in January that affected most modern computers.
The flaws, named Spectre and Meltdown, made it possible for hackers to steal information such as passwords.
While the security issues mostly affected chips made by Intel, AMD in January said the Spectre flaw affected some of its processors, including its first Ryzen line. The company has issued patches and guidelines to mitigate the vulnerability.
In January, AMD reported 34 percent year-over-year revenue growth and $43 million in profit during 2017 after losing $497 million in 2016.
The company has seen its stock rise by more than 300 percent since January 2016 and is scheduled to issue its first quarter financial report next week. Analysts polled by Zacks investment research predict that AMD will post $1.57 billion in revenue for its first quarter and earnings of 9 cents per share.
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