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After the turkey comes the tidal wave of Black Friday ads. But it looks like AMD is getting into the holiday spirit a few days early. US and European retailers are cutting prices on AMD’s entire Ryzen 7000 CPU family.
The Ryzen 7000 series’ pricing at launch wasn’t bad, exactly. But swapping out the AM4 socket for AM5 means that consumers who want to make the leap also have to buy a new motherboard and DDR5 RAM. DDR5 is more expensive than DDR4, and AM5 motherboards are more expensive than last-generation hardware.
Intel put additional pressure on AMD to lower its prices with the launch of Raptor Lake last month. Its new 13th Gen CPUs undercut AMD’s new Ryzen 7000 pricing and gave Intel an edge in overall performance per dollar. Raptor Lake also doesn’t demand the same cover charge just to enter the ecosystem — you get to choose whether you want DDR4 or DDR5. Intel’s current Z790 motherboards are also available at lower prices than AMD’s top-end X670E and X670 chipsets.
Hold the Line
The Ryzen 9 7950X has an official MSRP of $750, but the chip has been selling for around $700 on Amazon since early October. After these price cuts, the chip is currently selling for $574. That’s a 20 percent price cut over earlier this month and a 30 percent drop from launch. The Core i9-13900K is available for $600 – $620, so AMD has claimed a much stronger position for itself relative to Intel.
The 7900X has held its price of $549 since launch, but it’s currently available for $473, a drop of about 14 percent. The Ryzen 7 7700X is down 13 percent to $348, from $400. Intel’s Core i7 and Core i5 13th Gen CPUs are still cheaper than AMD’s chips, but the gap is shrinking.
If You’re Planning to Upgrade…
I recently upgraded my personal system from an Intel Core i7-7700K to a Ryzen 9 5900X. It’s a hybrid gaming and content creation rig, and while the Intel CPU absolutely did everything I needed it to do, I still had some issues with gaming performance. This upgrade fixed what I had thought was unsolvable thread contention in No Man’s Sky. Upgrading the GPU alone didn’t fix the problem, but a combined GPU + CPU swap did.
NMS is one of my personal favorite games; I have more than 1,400 hours on record. After this upgrade, I’m sailing between indium and emeril systems with nary a stutter or jerk. There’s also more than one place on the map in Satisfactory where, before, the computer would briefly but reliably grind to a standstill and drop several seconds’ worth of frames as I tried to walk through the landscape. Now I’m slide-jumping off cliffs like I’ve got nothing to lose.
The Ryzen 7000 line is newer, and more powerful, than the one I upgraded to. It’s also more power-efficient. If you’re an AMD enthusiast considering an upgrade for yourself or as a gift, the value is definitely there.
AMD has pledged to support socket AM5 until at least 2025. And the company’s long-term support for Ryzen on AM4 was nothing short of excellent. That may actually be part of the problem. Intel has an edge in overall gaming performance, but the Ryzen 5000 family remains an attractive option, especially for anyone already in the AM4 ecosystem.
The AM5 socket offers support for next-generation standards like PCIe 5 and DDR5, as well as years of future CPU support. Raptor Lake is well positioned on price and works with cheaper DDR4 memory and motherboards. However, Intel probably won’t support it for the same length of time that AMD will support AM5. Which CPU you choose may depend on how much you value upgradability and how much confidence you have in AMD’s ability to compete with Intel effectively in the long term.
One thing is for sure: Price cuts from AMD and aggressive competition from Intel both mean good deals for us.