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AMD’s Zen CPUs said to compete with Intel on performance and price

AMD’s Zen début is rapidly approaching, with some rumours pointing towards an October launch for the first eight-core chip. However, we still don’t know a ton about performance, outside of the fact that it met ‘all internal expectations’. Fortunately, it seems that someone over at AMD has been doing a little bit of talking, with some reports saying that Zen will compete with Intel’s Skylake in performance as well as price.

Speaking to Australian journalists recently, AMD’s corporate VP of worldwide marketing, John Taylor said: “Zen will compete with Intel on performance, power and specifications – not just price”.


As ITWire reports, Taylor also had some good words to say about the company’s new CEO, Lisa Su, who has shifted AMD’s focus to three main areas: Gaming, Immersive Platforms (VR) and Datacenters.

It is worth noting that AMD has been pretty quiet on Zen publicly recently, even in the most recent quarterly earnings reports with investors. However, given that the first Zen desktop CPU is due out before the end of this year, it would make sense for the company to start talking about it a bit more over the next few months.

KitGuru Says: Plenty of enthusiasts have been waiting for AMD’s Zen processors for years. We haven’t seen much officially but hopefully the company can live up to expectations. Are any of you thinking about picking up a Zen processor when they come out? 

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  • rocky40

    So basically they are saying it may reach skylake performance but we have no idea at what clock speeds it will take to get that it could be similar speed at a lower clock rate or similar speed but having to run 1 thousand Mhz faster to do it. As for price it sounds like when they say compete with Intels price that is saying they will match the price & not give us a great CPU at a lower price point which would force Intel to lower it’s prices as well. I really hope The Zen pans out for AMD & they price it at a great price point forcing Intel to do the same we need to get rid of the way over priced consumer grade CPU pricing that Intel has enjoyed these last few years.

  • Matt Booth

    History has taught me to be wary of an AMD baring gifts

  • Mick Maister

    AMD can’t compete with Intel since years now…although I m still waiting to Zen to surprise me… so far.. FX and crAPU are crappy products… AMD sells names of weird things.. Kabini Kaveri SteamRoller DungaDunga… A lot of “Next Gen” and “Pipelines”. .and “FinFets”…. but we’ll see… when the rubber meets the road…

  • Maurice Fortin

    fact is EVERYTHING Lisa Su and her team have stated since she took the helm have been proven exactly as stated, if folks are to busy looking beyond exactly what SHE/THEY have stated since then(Excavator and PS4/XB1) they are being foolish, they have done exactly to the word, so I am quite optimistic, she/they are 100% focused on doing what has been promised on time, and in the performance/power THEY have claimed not what WE think may or may not be, take them at their word, that is all we can do. after bulldozer fiasco, they have done quite well and this Mike guy below me, APU are amazing pieces of Tech, there is ALOT in one chip, do you think you can make better, I highy doubt it, even mighty Intel and Nvidia has tried as have so many others, AMD has lead the market in this regard, if you cannot see this, then you my friend are blind as a bat.

    Haters will always hate, and I will take as they are, buying if I see fit to buy nothing more, I will also believe them much more then I ever will believe the corruption that is their direct competition(Intel and Nvidia) You use your wallet, not your mouth to support these companies, no amount of us saying it could be this or should have been that matters, our wallets do the talking, support them when possible, so they can keep the “tech” market in check, they are the only things keeping things balanced right now, facts are facts, APU was the exact right thing for them to focus on when they did, and it made PS4-XB1 and likely Nintendo choose them, major companies do not choose crap products to back up their top of line products, never has been this way, in decades 🙂


    Epic AMD humiliation inbound 😀 😀

  • lehpron

    I wonder if like Polaris, Zen isn’t really aimed at the high-end user. There may be an 8-core Summit Ridge processor, but I don’t think it is meant to chase potential i7 customers.

  • BigJimbo

    Hm, like how the Fury could “do 4k gaming”?
    It is far from impossible that Zen could be great and compete with Intel (which would be great), but AMD would need to make Zen twice as fast as their current CPUs and I just don’t think AMD have the R&D budget to achieve this.

  • Cruddy Bapz

    Fury can perform 4k gaming just not in every case scenario just like the 980ti too

  • Although I would love to see AMD succeed with Zen, why on earth would you quote to VP of marketing. What else was he going to say? It’s in his job description lol

  • Guy Hindle

    Here’s hoping ….

    As a long-time “underdog supporter” of AMD and looking to upgrade my current Llano based system [ ;-> ] I *really* hope that ZEN comes out well.

    Intel have done a staggeringly good job of pushing CPU power forwards – leaving AMD to play catchup in the PC space for the most part. I was pleased to see AMD do well in the console space and though I suspect that the glory days of PC are on the wane it would be great to see AMD really pushing Intel again there.

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  • Alex Ray

    god i hope so, i need to upgrade my CPU eventually and i’d happily swap to AMD if they became viable again.

  • Jeffrey Byers

    14nm die shrink means the top-end APU can have space for a quad-core CPU and a fairly good GPU.

    If they can get the price competitive that would be interesting. Great for gaming laptops too, especially if they have a Freesync screen that works properly (2.5X ratio or higher such as 30Hz to 75Hz).

  • chris

    There’s. Reason nvidea and Intel haven’t made any they can’t…..

    Intel can’t make good GPUs and nvidea don’t make good CPUs. Don’t even own the patents to make x86 CPUs I don’t think

  • Sam Andolina

    Funny you say that, My old outdated FX8350 at 4.8ghz has no issues from release till present from very high to ultra settings while streaming with OBS in full 1080p all while maintaining a bare min of 60 FPS ? Now how could that be possible with a crappy product ? and before you fall back on the well out of the box Intel beasts AMD in single core performance…. Yes we know this but a AMD system can still perform at a high quality level in gaming at 60 FPS min …

  • lehpron

    I worry too many just want AMD to do well so Intel can give them a reason to upgrade– granted, it is an outcome of healthy competition for the champion to push harder when a challenger comes, but if you aren’t going to actually choose AMD, why cheer for them? Put your money where your mouth is.

  • Mick Maister

    Come on dude..: FX barely stands against a core i5… and that’s a quad core!… i had FX6300 and FX8350… and then… a i5 3570k,. the little bastard eat the FX alive!.. yeah.. the Single Thread miracle of Intel….

    You ask.. how could be possible what you achieve?… You miss 2 most important things to answer your question… What is your GPU.. and What Game do you play?… i can tell you that with most games, with 290/390 – GTX970 and up… you will see the difference!..

  • Sam Andolina

    Well I was previously on a EVGA 760 4gb FTW and now EVGA 970 4gb SSC, as for games you name it, lol.. Battlefield series, COD series, Fallout series, Far Cry series, Arma series, Crysis series, Metro series, Wolfelstein series, The Witcher 3, Dying Light, GTA V, Doom , Ark, H1Z1, The Culling, CSGO, DayZ SA, Insurgency, Squad, Angles Fall First, Fractured Space, The Division and the list keeps going….

    Point being this conversation has nothing to do with what chip is better, scores higher on a synthetic benchmark and so on, The FX line can deliver great performance still to this day this far down the road weather the game is single core intensive or actually utilizes multi threading ,and a hell of alot cheaper, the i5 3570k last price before they suspended production was $310.00 to where the 8350 is still under 150.00, here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICVeN6WEGgg


    Amd will have cpus for mainstream and enthousiast users. The high end 8 core Zen Cpus will compete with the Intel Broadwell-E Cpus. Amd Zen+ cpus will possibly have more cores.

  • lehpron

    I maintain the theory that these companies know more about each other than anything we read online since this stuff has to be concrete enough in order to be a legit leak by the time we read about it. “Market Analysts” are each company’s rumorhunters.

    I gauge what kind of threat AMD can pose to Intel by the moves they make preemptively because they don’t want another Athlon 64 to ever happen again, for the last decade they’ve been at least one step ahead by either a whole architecture or a shrink, or both.

    That Kaby Lake is another quad-core tells me AMD isn’t a threat on a core-count basis in their client (mainstream) market. That the base frequency has been dropped to 3.6GHz from 6700K’s 4.0GHz can be taken in several ways including that they’ve determined the best AMD can make won’t beat it per-clock, so why risk the Skylake refresh yields with a higher clock? Overclockers are going to raise it anyway.

    That Broadwell-E is raising core-count to 10 so soon shows a different move– we had 6-core flagship for three years, I expected 8 to lasts just as long, but it didn’t. Of course, I see Intel’s HEDT as a way of isolating enthusiasts away from the mainstream by giving reasons to take that route. Although, IMO, it would help if quad-core models were in HEDT and priced like i5K and i7K in LGA115x.

    Intel dominates both their professional and client markets which allows them to ‘waste’ premium dies that would otherwise fetch a massive sum in the professional market, instead rebrand and unlock for their high-end consumer markets– AMD can’t afford that, in part, due to their market share. AMD doesn’t push two sockets at consumers by rebranding and unlocking their quad-channel DDR3 Opterons going after X79/X99.

    That us why AMD is putting both their mainstream w/IGP and high-end w/o IGP in the same AM4 socket, to cut costs; it is a savings that Intel can afford to spend. If AMD’s 8c w/HT was such a major threat to the mainstream, then why not up Kaby Lake’s core count to 6? Doing so may make the HEDT platform obsolete, plus the real threat isn’t here yet: Raven Ridge (Zen APU w/HBM). It is Cannonlake, the 10nm shrink, that is the Zen APU competitor that just might up the core count to compete with Summit Ridge. It will be a 6-core w/Iris Pro, 10nm has enough room, perhaps an Iris Pro HD590 with another cluster, making 84-eu.

    But then the prices of Broadwell-E aren’t Earth shattering in our favor, so AMD hasn’t impact it yet, it’s a wait and see concept.

    I believe Zen to be approximately 20% behind Skylake in IPC, per core, so their 8c-16t flagship would perform like an 8c-16t Ivy Bridge-E at the same clock. But when not all cores are in use, an i5-6500 will match.

    Hence my original wonder if Zen is like Polaris, where the aim isn’t to go after i7 users at all.

  • Mick Maister

    and… you’re linking a video that left behind the FX …. and give me the reason… (without saying… that is an old video)…

    FX delivers “aceptable” performance sometimes… and when the game is core intensive… it’s go waaaay down!…

    i5 is better than any FX… that’s a fact.. is convenient you say?.. maybe.. but not in my country where both price around the same level.

    AH…. And you said… 60fps in all games at 1080p ??… that is SO a lie!… and less believable with a FX!

    Try your GPU with an I5 and then we can talk… you can find a 3570k for about $150 now…

  • RedRaider

    AMD has learned to walk their talk. They have to after the serious damage Bulldozer has done to public trust in AMD.

  • Seth Edwards

    Your really underestimating the FX Chips. ATM I have the FX-9590 watercooled 5.2GHz and I get a constant 60fps in BF4 1440p Ultra. Not only that but about any game you put up to it at least in 1080p I get about 60fps constant. Most of the time though if my frames ever drop it’s usually due to my GPU (even in cpu intensive games).

    Also I wouldn’t say the i5 is just better than FX, I would say more there about the same level. The i7 on the other hand are a whole lot better but still being that mine’s watercooled and Overclocked I’m able to get it above i5 levels of performance.

    The FX Cpu’s though are supposed to be more budget Cpu’s and aren’t even supposed to really even compete, not with the i7’s anyways. It’s a great cpu and if your able to get the more high end one’s and strap a watercooler on it and overclock. You can get really good performance with it.

  • FX cores are slower than Phenom II cores and about the same than Athlon II cores, just capable of higher clocks with a lot of power. So no, they are not the same as an i5, an i5 is better and i’m a fx 8320 owner and AMD fanboy but this will end if ZEN doesn’t deliver the promised and looks like it wont.

  • You can’t compare a “5.2ghz” chip with an i5, and the i5 OCed to 4.5 is faster with less power consumption. Stop this crap. Bulldozer was crap, A Phenom II 1100T is still better than any bulldozer or piledriver.

  • Sam Andolina

    Yeah according to the famous synthetic benchmarks, lol.. Actually gaming you’re talking i7 4770 area…

  • Sam Andolina

    This…. Just so much no…

  • Sam Andolina

    The numbers don’t lie, My FX8350 at a measly 4.5ghz 10636 Passmark CPU score… Ide be a little upset if I was an Intel guy that a 4 year old chip is even close.. BTW my 5.0ghz results are hillarious…. http://i.imgur.com/NkbqeyA.png