AMD's Ryzen 7 and 5 CPUs showed real heart when they debuted earlier this year, with huge multi-core performance, price tags that undercut the competition by a big margin and efficient operation. They aren't quite as good as Intel chips at single-threaded gaming scenarios, but apart from that they are well ahead of the curve. Now there are rumors of a new, Ryzen 9 line that will take on Intel's very top chips and based on their specifications, they could smash the competition.
The top-end Ryzen 9 chip is the 1998X and its slightly weaker counterpart, the 1998. They both sport as many as 16 cores, with 32 threads thanks to multithreadeding and can support DDR4 memory up to 3,200MHz. That's almost 600MHz higher than Intel's upcoming Skylake X Core i9 CPUs. They operate at a 5w lower TDP too, giving them an efficiency advantage.
Where the Ryzen chips aren't quite as impressive is in clock sped, with Intel's top CPUs boosting to as high as 4.3GHz, while AMD's boosts to 3.8GHz. However, with support for its extended frequency range auto-overclocking technology, it's possible that with decent cooling the new Ryzen chips will go even higher.
As much as AMD is challenging the top-end - and could in some benchmarks, likely steal the show due to its added cores - its lower end chips are specced much more impressively than Intel's ones. The Ryzen 9 1955X offers 10 cores and 20 threads, with 44 lanes of PCIE support, and a frequency just shy of 4Ghz. Comparatively, Intel's Core i5 7670K from the upcoming Kaby Lake X generation, only offers four cores and four threads, with 16 lanes for PCIE.
That's where AMD is really going to shine. It might steal the performance crown, but if it can undercut Intel on pricing slightly, it could take over the high-end enthusiast market quite succinctly.