The AMD Ryzen 5 1600 was the first Ryzen chip to receive the 12nm makeover, and the hexa-core processor will reportedly not be the last either. According to a tip from VideoCardz, 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.
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 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, 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 and 3.4 GHz boost clock. It retains the 2MB L2 and 8MB L3 cache as well. However, one redditor 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 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, which is almost unheard of for a hexa-core processor. The quad-core Ryzen 3 1200 retails for $83.50 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.