AMD's Ryzen 7600X could be this generation's killer gaming CPU

AMD debuted its Ryzen 7000 CPUs yesterday, giving us our first glimpse of the new lineup of Zen 4 processors that will be a mainstay in gaming and work machines for the next couple of years. While the top-end 7900X and 7950X are all very impressive, and high-end gamers will make some serious lemonade with their 12 and 16 cores apiece, and high clock speeds, it's the more affordable 7600X which is the real standout in the early lineup.

With six cores and 12 threads, it seems relatively pedestrian compared to the higher core counts of its Zen 4 siblings and especially Intel's Alder Lake and upcoming Raptor Lake CPUs with all those e-cores, but the 7600X is an exciting chip. It can hit a boost clock of 5.3 GHz -- a huge uplift on the 5600X. With a 13% increase in IPC between generations, it's clear the 7600X has the potential for impressive performance.

While we're still waiting on third party reviews for confirmation, AMD's early numbers suggest it's a killer. In gaming benchmarks it was as good, if not better than the Intel Core i9-12900K, which was until now, the top gaming CPU in the world outside of AMD's niche 5800X3D. Even though Raptor Lake chips will no doubt be faster in turn, flagship CPU performance in an entry-level part like this should give Intel some cause for alarm.

Especially since the 7600X will cost just $300. That's half the price of the top end Intel CPU. Yes you'll need to buy a new motherboard for AM5, and DDR5 memory is mandated, but the performance might be worth it.

This doesn't even cover overclocking, which we're told should be better than previous Ryzen generations. If the 7600X can hit 5.5GHz or more, it's going to be monstrously hard to tackle this generation.

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