The AMD Ryzen 5 1600 (opens in new tab) was the first Ryzen chip to receive the 12nm makeover (opens in new tab), and the hexa-core (opens in new tab) processor will reportedly not be the last either. According to a tip from VideoCardz (opens in new tab), the Ryzen 3 1200 appears to be following suit.
Similar to the Ryzen 5 1600's case, the renewed Ryzen 3 1200 is tagged with the "AF" suffix. This change should be reflected in the processor's OPN (Ordering Part Number) as well. The original Ryzen 3 1200 is tagged with the YD1200BBM4KAE OPN tray number, while the AF version carries the YD1200BBM4KAF identifier.
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Gigabyte's CPU support list (pictured below) shows that the Ryzen 3 1200 has the B1 stepping, and the Ryzen 3 1200 AF is on the B2 stepping. The AF variant doesn't require a firmware update to play nice with existing AM4-based motherboards (opens in new tab)either.
The Ryzen 3 1200 (codename Summit Ridge) is a quad-core Zen processor that debuted on GlobalFoundries' 14nm process node. The AF revision (codename Pinnacle Ridge) reportedly moves to Zen+ and the 12nm process node. The popular theory is that AMD is recycling Ryzen 2000-series dies for the AF parts. In the case of the Ryzen 3 1200 AF, the chip could be using imperfect dies that don't meet the standards for the Ryzen 3 2300X (opens in new tab), which used to be OEM-exclusive processor.
|Model||Cores / Threads||Base / Boost Clock (GHz)||L2 Cache (MB)||L3 Cache (MB)||Stepping||TDP (W)|
|AMD Ryzen 3 2300X||4 / 4||3.5 / 4.0||2||8||B2||65|
|AMD Ryzen 3 1200 AF*||4 / 4||3.1 / 3.4||2||8||B2||65|
|AMD Ryzen 3 1200||4 / 4||3.1 / 3.4||2||8||B1||65|
*Specs haven't been confirmed by AMD.
Despite the die-shrink and microarchitecture transition, the Ryzen 3 1200 AF will conserve the same specifications as the regular variant. On paper, the quad-core chip still ticks with a 3.1 GHz base clock (opens in new tab) and 3.4 GHz boost clock. It retains the 2MB L2 and 8MB L3 cache (opens in new tab) as well. However, one redditor (opens in new tab) who claimed to have gotten his hands on a Ryzen 5 1600 AF said that the chip shows slightly better overall performance in comparison to the vanilla version.
With the Ryzen 5 1600 AF, AMD swapped out its Wraith Spire CPU cooler (opens in new tab) for the Wraith Stealth, AMD's lowest-end CPU cooler. The regular Ryzen 3 1200 already comes with the Wraith Stealth cooler and will likely continue to do so.
One of the biggest appeals with AF chips is the extremely budget-friendly price tag. For example, the six-core Ryzen 5 1600 AF sells for as low as $85 (opens in new tab), which is almost unheard of for a hexa-core processor. The quad-core Ryzen 3 1200 retails for $83.50 (opens in new tab) on Amazon, so the Ryzen 5 1600 AF is stiff competition.
We have yet to see a listing for the Ryzen 3 1200 AF, but if AMD wants to convince potential buyers to pick the quad-core chip over the hexa-core part, it'll have to sell the Ryzen 3 1200 AF for dirt-cheap.
At 4 cores, 4 threads, and lower clocks, it's going to HAVE to sell notably less than the 1600AF. That really then puts downward pressure on the Athlons. The 2300X, also being 4c/4t, while having slightly higher clocks than the 1600AF, is going to have to sell for between the 1300AF and the 1600AF.
I'm really curious as to how pricing in among all these CPUs/APUs is going to shake out.
Those that want office-type machines, with no discrete GPU.
Those who want a budget gaming system, cheap processor with a discrete GPU. Or are transferring an existing GPU to a new modern but budget system.
I imagine the latter group is much smaller than the former, but I could see the possibility that SOME of the APU sales are going to those looking for a best price/clock-speed/cores+threads mix for an entry-ish gaming system.
Or could, if some of these get cheap enough.
(Yeah, I realize it's a little bit of a stretch).