Specs have leaked on two upcoming Ryzen processors from AMD. The new chips would complete the refresh cycle for AMD’s Ryzen family, but it’s actually a touch surprising that the chips are launching at all given the company’s existing product line. Before we dive into why, let’s take a look at the leak (salt, pinch, etc).
We don’t know pricing on the 2500X and 2300X yet, but we’ve got most of the other data, courtesy of Chinese site XFastest. Here’s how things break down. New chips are bolded, but we’ve gone ahead and tossed in AMD’s entire product line-up for starters, along with data on the previous generation CPUs (1500X and 1300X respectively).
A few things stand out. First, the 2500X reportedly drops half its L3 cache and fields just 8MB, compared to 16MB on the original Ryzen 5 1500X. It’s possible that this simply doesn’t have much impact in the workloads or benchmarks AMD runs, though we’ll have to check that to be certain. When AMD launched its Ryzen APUs, it told us that the higher clocks on those chips relative to the Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 families were specifically intended to offset the reduced L3 cache. AMD’s decision to boost the maximum clock on the 2500X by 8 percent relative to the 1500X could be a similar move. The chip will also benefit from changes to how AMD implements Precision Boost; we covered those changes in our Ryzen 7 2700X review. The Ryzen 3 2300X has the same basic configuration as the Ryzen 3 1300X, but still gets the top-line frequency increase even if its base frequency is unchanged.
The positioning of AMD’s Raven Ridge APUs makes the value proposition of the Ryzen 5 2500X and Ryzen 3 2300X rather dubious. There are, of course, those who see no value in an integrated GPU because they never intend to use one. But even these buyers are practically acquainted with buying one anyway, since every mainstream Intel desktop CPU ships with an integrated GPU. The only thing you give up by opting for the 2400G as opposed to the 2500X is 4MB of L3 and 100MHz of maximum clock speed — about 2.5 percent of clock, in other words. That L3 cache could be good for a couple more percent, but that’s about it in the tests we’ve seen. Obviously, there can always be specific workloads where the larger L3 is useful, but AMD’s Ryzen CPUs haven’t shown themselves to be particularly L3-limited in desktop benchmarks.
The 2300X has an even tougher position to carve out because the Ryzen 3 2200G is a tough chip to beat at its $100 price point. Budget builders typically fight for every dollar and the combination of a capable 512-core GPU and AMD’s much-improved quad-core performance relative to Carrizo means AMD has a lock on budget gaming with this APU. But that doesn’t just apply to the Core i3-8100, Intel’s competition — it also applies to other AMD solutions. And while the Ryzen 3 2300X does offer an eight percent boost clock improvement, I’d honestly rather have the APU’s onboard GPU at the $100 price point than a touch more clock.
The most practical explanation, of course, is that AMD is simply engaging in a bit of die recovery and selling hardware it otherwise would’ve had to toss in the bin. But assuming this rumor is accurate, nobody who bought into Ryzen’s lower-end chips last year need feel like they’ve been shafted. AMD isn’t making any major product changes this cycle.
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