AMD's second-generation Ryzen CPUs go up for preorder, ship April 19

AMD on Friday formally introduced its second generation Ryzen processor lineup, which at the outset consists of four SKUs split evenly between 6-core/12-thread and 8-core/16-thread options. All four are available to preorder now and will ship to customers starting April 19.

The new chips include the Ryzen 7 2700X, Ryzen 7 2700, Ryzen 5 2600X, and Ryzen 5 2600. You might have come across some or all of those model numbers on the web in recent months and especially in recent weeks, as there have been several leaked appearances on benchmarking sites like Geekbench and others.

For this new generation of Ryzen, AMD tweaked the underlying architecture with performance optimization. All four chips also run slightly faster than the previous generation equivalents they are set to replace. Here's a look:

The Ryzen 7 2700X is the fastest of the bunch, and is one of two 8-core/16-thread SKUs in the updated lineup. It has a 3.7GHz base clock and 4.3GHz boost clock, and 20MB of L3 cache. While not obvious by the model number, this is actually meant to replace the Ryzen 7 1800X, which is clocked at 3.6GHz to 4GHz. AMD has also tuned frequencies on the new second generation Ryzen parts so that they run at higher turbo clocks under moderate loads.

These new chips also come in cheaper than what the first generation Ryzen parts launched at. Here's how they compare:

  • Ryzen 7 1800X: $499
  • Ryzen 7 2700X: $329
  • Ryzen 7 1700X: $399
  • Ryzen 7 2700: $299
  • Ryzen  7 1700: $329
  • Ryzen 5 2600X: $229
  • Ryzen 5 1600X: $249
  • Ryzen 5 2600: $199
  • Ryzen 5 1600: $219

All of the first generation Ryzen parts have since come down in price, but it's nice to see that the second generation CPUs are selling for so much cheaper just a year later.

Also noteworthy is that this time around, AMD is bundling versions of its Wraith cooler with its "X" processors, whereas the the first generation "X" chips shipped without one. The Ryzen 7 2700X comes with AMD's new Wraith Prism, which AMD says offers improved thermal performance over the Wraith Max. It also features enhanced RGB lighting.

All of the new processors use the same socket AM4 as their predecessors. That means if you already own a socket AM4 motherboard, you can upgrade to one of the new CPUs, just be sure to update the BIOS. If you're building a new system, however, AMD introduced a new X470 chipset that cranks up the power delivery to help with higher clockspeeds. The chipset also supports a disk acceleration technology called StoreMI, which is somewhat similar to Intel's Optane Memory except it can work with any size SSD and is not restricted to any particular technology.

AMD's launch comes shortly after Intel refreshed its 8th generation Core processor lineup with new 6-core options for mobile and additional chips for desktops. That makes things interesting for anyone looking to build or buy a new system.

You can find the new Ryzen processors on places like Amazon and Newegg.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).