Published on Aug 25, 2020

AMD Ryzen Background Images

License Info: Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC

Ryzen is a brand of x86-64 microprocessors designed and marketed by Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) for desktop, mobile and embedded platforms based on the Zen microarchitecture. It consists of central processing units marketed for mainstream, enthusiast and workstation segments and accelerated processing units (APUs) marketed for mainstream and entry-level segments and embedded applications. Ryzen is especially significant for AMD, since it is a completely new design, and marks the corporation’s return to the high-end desktop CPU market. AMD’s competitor Intel controlled this section of the market for the ten years starting 2006, when Intel released the groundbreaking Core microarchitecture derived from the Pentium 3, which continues to underpin its CPU designs today. Also of note is the failed release of AMD’s infamous Bulldozer microarchitecture in 2011 for the sole purpose of focusing on “APU development” for 5 years up until the first generation Ryzen processors were released in 2017.

AMD officially announced a new series of processors, named “Ryzen”, during its New Horizon summit on December 13, 2016 and introduced Ryzen 1000 series processors in February 2017, featuring up to 8 cores and 16 threads, which launched on March 2, 2017. The second generation of Ryzen processors, the Ryzen 2000 series, features the Zen+ microarchitecture, an incremental improvement built on a 12nm process technology, was released in April 2018 and featured a marginal performance increase over Ryzen 1000 processors that first released in 2017. The third generation of Ryzen processors launched on July 7, 2019 and based on AMD’s Zen 2 architecture, features more significant design improvements and a further shrink to TSMC’s 7nm process. On June 16, 2020, AMD announced new Ryzen 3000 series XT processors with 4% higher boost clocks versus non XT processors. This closes the 5% average gap between Intel and AMD gaming performance stating that Intel processors are only 1% faster on average in gaming just before Zen 3 architecture arrives-according to enthusiasts from reddit and other online forums. In late 2019, the Zen 3 core has been revealed to be an entirely new architecture rumored to be built on TSMC’s 7 nm+ EUV node (though all that’s officially confirmed at this point is the use of an “enhanced 7nm” process), which is currently undergoing engineering sampling as of Q4 2019 with production yields exceeding expectations.

A majority of AMD’s consumer Ryzen products utilize the Socket AM4 platform. In August 2017 AMD launched their Ryzen Threadripper line aimed at the enthusiast workstation market. AMD Ryzen Threadripper uses the larger TR4 and sTRX4 sockets, which support additional memory channels and PCI Express lanes.


In December 2019, AMD started putting out first generation Ryzen products built using the second generation Zen+ architecture. The most notable example is Ryzen 5 1600, with newest batches, having “AF” identifier instead of its usual “AE”, being essentially a rebadged Ryzen 5 2600 with the same specifications as the original Ryzen 5 1600.

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