Should I put off desktop PC purchase unitl new AMD Ryzen CPU chips hit the market in a few weeks?

AMD has a new CPU called “Ryzen” coming out in March 2017 which will supposedly seriously challenge the price-performance of the Intel CPU i3, i5 and i7 series across the board. I’ve been looking at desktops for a month or two but prices for i5 and i7 desktops are surprising stable and non-discounted in general even though desktops are well behind notebooks in popularity.

Do you think Intel will respond to Ryzen with price slashing? Would it make sense to shelve any desktop purchase until mid March?

Intel has very little concern about AMD on the desktop CPU side of things. What AMD does there barely has any affect on them.

The issue is the whole desktop market itself is fading. Intel is looking to expand in other areas. It has no need to get into a battle-to-the-death in an arena that is itself dying (economically). The margins and growth aren’t there. Intel would be wise to avoid price wars in such a market.

On the other hand, Intel prices aside, it might be worth seeing what the real-life Ryzen benchmarks look like. If they’re anything like the ‘leaked’ benchmarks, it could be worth it to go that route.

Usually what seems to happen is that AMD unveils its latest Intel-killer range, which are indeed a contender in the battle against what Intel already had on the market, while we were waiting for AMD.

Then Intel routinely releases the next generation of its range, and AMD goes “OH!.. OK then” and shuffles back into second place.

I want AMD to succeed - I love underdogs (heck, I am doggedly clinging to Windows Phone), but they’re continually playing catch-up on the performance front. Price/performance is a little better, but that’s not sexy. I hope maybe I’ll be proven wrong this time.

The thing is, Intel have recently released their latest CPUs. I remember reading that they do have a couple of spoiler products in the offing, though I can’t remember the details. This time I think their main counter-strategy will be to drop prices: Intel has deep pockets.

The hype train for Ryzen is strong and things are looking very promising, but I would wait a good three months, maybe more, after actual product release (not just the paper launch) before making any purchase. This is to not only digest the on-release reviews but to let the early adopters find all the bugs and quirks and for those bugs and quirks to be fixed.

AMD is irrelevant. CMOS fabrication tech is basically hitting a brick wall at 14-10nm and performance gains from new CPUs is marginal at best.

AMD has been irrelevant in the PC sector. Whether that continues remains to be seen. AMD, of course, dominates in the console sector. AMD has also recovered well in the GPU sector: by ignoring the top end they’ve a hit with the RX 480, which is more than good enough for gaming at 1080p.

Yes. Indeed performance gains these past 5-6 years have been slight. My i7-3770S is still competitive.

Agreed that it’s not sexy, but if it lets me buy an affordable top-end CPU by today’s standards, I don’t really care if Intel comes out with something 20% better and $300 more expensive tomorrow.

Hell, my i7-860 still plays everything fine. It’s overclocked a little (3.6GHz up from 2.8) but the point remains that it’s an eight year old processor.

AMD has done a timely presentation on Ryzen. Their benchmarks look good. The bangs-per-buck should be quite nice. But the main issue to most people is how to effectively use 8 cores/16 threads. The power/core is bumped quite well by AMD standards.

As noted, Intel usually has something out or nearly ready to roll that will overshadow AMD’s latest. But not this time. Their 10nm chips after many delays will only be released in small quantities for certain uses late this year. Maybe. Production quantities of desktop processors are still a year away. Maybe.

So AMD is going to have the market position it’s long dreamed of for a bit.

But, again as noted, nobody is getting real market growth out of desktop CPUs. The growth is elsewhere. Mobile, consoles, GPUs, etc.

Seems like there’s a bit of a lull anyway, as Jophiel pointed out eight year old processors are still doing the job so the need to upgrade isn’t very pressing. Still be nice to have one though, cutting edge CPU and a new motherboard with all the bells and widgets to match.

At today’s level of performance improvements, it would be more like 2% better and $300 more expensive.

While the “2%” is an exaggeration, the small improvement in performance gained from buying a much more expensive CPU is something chip makers worry about in pricing.

(Sort of getting back to the OP.) They can’t just drop the prices of their oldish, slightly slower CPUs too low or else people will shun the new, higher priced ones. You might be able to convince people to pay an extra hundred bucks or so for a faster CPU. But fewer people are going to pay $400 more. So the “Second Best” CPU lines are priced not to eat into the market of their top CPUs.

Since Intel doesn’t have the next big line of CPUs coming out for a bit, they aren’t likely to dramatically shift prices ahead of that.

First, if you’re buying into the first generation of a new processor family, you’re also buying into the first generation of its support chips and motherboards. Even if you have absolute faith in AMD’s ability to get a base rev of a new architecture out the door without crippling bugs, are you as sure of the entire new motherboard design?

Also, you may not initially get very good driver support to take maximum advantage of the new architecture’s features. The expected advantages may not really materialize until the drivers have been revved a time or two.

The price/performance issue can be decisive, but I’d need solid independent evidence, not benchmarketing, to demonstrate that to me.

Finally, my go-to aphorism. You can always tell the pioneers: they’re lying face-down in the dirt with arrows in their backs. Buy into the first wave of a new CPU family only if you don’t mind the low but not zero likelihood of being an impromptu unpaid beta tester.

But note the OP isn’t pioneering. They are looking for a price reduction ripple effect.

AMD will definitely reduce prices on older chips. I don’t see Intel responding.

Maybe they have. AFAIK, it hasn’t been announced by Intel, who (if I recall history correctly) is too cool to acknowledge they’re cutting prices because of competition moves. We’ll have to see if i5 and i7 prices start edging down across the board, rather than at just one or two retailers. But the timing seems correlated to AMD’s new product.