When Ryzen launched last year AMD priced its new core very aggressively. It had good reason to do so — chips like the Ryzen 7 1800X and Ryzen 5 1600X were extremely good buys versus the equivalently priced Intel hardware you could buy at the time. Once Coffee Lake launched, the equation changed somewhat. Intel’s newest six-core chip is a fair match for the Ryzen 7 1800X in many cases, thanks to higher clocks and its edge in IPC. Now, AMD is cutting Ryzen prices to match Intel’s latest SKUs, though it’ll still be making far more money than it was in the bad old days of Piledriver and Carrizo.
Anandtech has the full details on the price cuts and how they change AMD’s overall product line. AMD’s top two Threadripper CPUs will stay at $999 and $799, but the eight-core Threadripper 1900X is dropping to $449 (See on Amazon). The Ryzen 7 1800X goes from $499 to $349, the 1700X is now $309, the 1700 is $299, the 1600X is $219, and the 1600 is $189.
These price cuts realign AMD’s prices nicely when Intel’s Coffee Lake family. Ryzen 7 1800X is now aligned against the Core i7-8700 (3.2GHz base, 4.6GHz Turbo, $369). The Ryzen 5 1600X is now $60 less than the Core i5-8600K, with the Ryzen 5 1600 slipping in below the Core i5-8400 (2.8GHz base, 4GHz boost, $199).
The one odd man out in all this is the Ryzen 5 1400. At $169, the Ryzen 5 1400 offers a 4C/8T configuration with a 3.2GHz base clock, 3.4GHz boost clock, and no integrated GPU. The just-launched Ryzen 5 2400G, in contrast, offers 3.6GHz base, 3.9GHz boost, a 4C/8T configuration, and an integrated GPU. That’s a 12.5 to 15 percent clock speed improvement alone. Even if you have absolutely no plans to use the integrated graphics, you’re still better off buying the 2400G. The only exception might be total power consumption — AMD doesn’t seem to have released figures for the 2400G yet, but we know the Ryzen 5 1400 is a 65W TDP chip.
Clearing the Way for Zen+
Slashing existing prices doesn’t just give AMD a better competitive standing against Intel; it also preps the company’s product stack for the future introduction of Zen+. While these chips are expected to be a modest improvement over existing Zen processors, AMD likely wants to create some room within its own product stack to introduce higher-end chips later this year.
It’s also worth noting that price cuts like these used to be more common than they are today. When Intel and AMD pursued more aggressive introduction cycles, both of them tended to cut prices on previous products several times a year. AMD trimming its prices to respond to Intel’s Coffee Lake may seem a touch unusual today, but that’s only because AMD offered such poor competition to Intel from 2011 to early 2017 that the old price cut and introduction cycles were disrupted. Now that Ryzen is offering Intel much better competition, we may see a return to the days when chip prices actually decreased on a regular basis.
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