One year on from Ryzen’s launch, AMD is being incredibly bullish about its current place in the CPU market. Jim Anderson, SVP and GM of computing and graphics at AMD, has said that he anticipates that AMD could once again begin to dominate the market in the fashion it did over a decade ago.
“I don’t see any reason we can’t get back to historical share levels that AMD has enjoyed in the past,” said Anderson. The overall aim is to achieve the same levels of success as AMD enjoyed in the early 2000’s with Athlon 64, and Anderson believes it’s entirely possible.
This obviously flies in the face of the latest Steam Hardware Survey, which hands AMD just 9.12% of the market share. The data from Steam is only pulled from willing participants though and fails to take into account the effect of modern CPU releases like Ryzen due to the huge influx of Chinese gamers with older Intel processors. There's every chance that sales of Ryzen are much closer to Intel’s sales figures than the overall data lets on.
AMD’s aggressive approach to winning back market share from Intel hinges on tackling the mid-range price point that is the sweet spot for many gaming enthusiasts. AMD claims that Ryzen improved multi-threaded CPU performance at the $200-249 price point by 78% last year, compared to just 6% the year before.
The impact of this was immediately felt last year with Intel slamming down the prices of its own 7th Gen Core CPUs in an effort to match AMD’s affordability. Due to a lack of competition, Intel was significantly over-charging for its CPUs for years. Ryzen couldn’t have come at a better time for PC gamers, particularly when the price of seemingly everything else has been jacked up. We’re now getting more cores for less, with quad-core CPUs becoming entry-level bargain buys.
Throughout the course of 2017, AMD saw its overall CPU market share increase from 8 to 12% year on year, a 50% increase. AMD also claims that at enthusiast retailers, such as gaming store (Newegg and Mindfactory), demand for AMD CPUs is as high as 50%.
The next step for AMD’s plan to compete with Intel is its upcoming Ryzen 2000 series of processors, which are due to launch next month. Anderson said AMD plans to refresh its entire Ryzen CPU range on the new 12nm manufacturing node with the Zen+ microarchitecture. This starts with Ryzen 2 in April, before Ryzen Pro Mobile in Q2 2018 and both Ryzen 2000 Pro and Ryzen 2 Threadripper in the back half of the year.
Performance gains have yet to be confirmed, although leaked benchmarks for the Ryzen 7 2800X point towards topping the Intel Core i7-8700K’s performance in 3DMark FireStrike Ultra.
Do you think AMD can get back to the heady heights of the early 2000's? Will Ryzen 2 be enough to pull customers from Intel? Let us know what you think!