AMD Zen is Twice as Powerful as the FX 8350

There is a lot of excitement going around for AMD’s upcoming Zen processors, as it is believed that they will be just what the firm needs to get back in the CPU performance race with Intel. Now AMD has shown just how powerful their new processors will be, capable of doubling the performance delivered by their previous FX 8350 unit, putting it in range to battle with Intel’s eight-core i7 5960X Extreme. Along with these figures, AMD also gave a sneak peek at the die of “Summit”, which is the basis of AMD’s next generation CPUs.

While the majority of Intel’s offerings are still quad-core units the new enthusiast range of Zen processors, known as Summit Ridge, will be available in both six and eight-core arrangements and make use of the brand new AM4 socket for desktop motherboards. The first batch of these units is expected to become available in October and more than double the performance per core of their current FX 8300 and 6300 series processors.

This is an impressive feat from AMD for a number of reasons. It shows a marked improvement in architectural performance per clock cycle in Zen cores compared to their previous Excavator cores, by as much as 40%. This may look good on paper, but AMD has also published the real-world performance comparison for the first time, showing just how improved the Summit Ridge eight-core offering is compared to the “Orochi” quad-module, eight-core die that powered the FX 8350. This means that each Zen core is the match of two Piledriver cores in performance, which is especially impressive when Orochi’s Piledriver cores are as much as 15% faster than regular Excavator cores and may put enthusiast Zen processors in direct competition with Intel’s i7 5960X.

With nVidia’s latest Pascal cards almost upon us and AMD’s latest and greatest offerings from Zen and Polaris set to debut before the end of the year, 2016 is shaping up to be a great year for enthusiasts and we may see a greater amount of variety between Intel and AMD in the enthusiast CPU circles from now on.

Alexander Neil

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