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AMD's Ryzen 5 1600 Skyrockets To No. 2 On Amazon, Passmark Submissions Increase

Just in time for the Fourth of July, AMD's Ryzen 5 1600 rocketed from the No. 5 spot on Amazon's bestselling CPU list to the second place position over the weekend, unseating Intel's Core i5-7600K. Amazon's best seller list is hardly indicative of overall market share--a multitude of other factors complicate the issue--but it serves as a somewhat decent indicator of the state of the upgrade market.

First, the caveats. Amazon updates its list of bestselling CPUs hourly, so the results change frequently. We keep an eye on the list and also monitor price changes, and based on our casual observations over the last month (we haven't charted the progress, and we don't have access to historical data) the Ryzen 5 1600 has frequently occupied the 6th place position. That changed recently as the Ryzen 5 1600 moved up to displace the Intel Core i5-7600K, the long-running second-place processor. Intel's Core i7-7700K still enjoys the leading spot.

That move up is an encouraging sign for the Ryzen lineup. Intel has stood resolute in its current pricing scheme for Kaby Lake processors, but more competition might change the company's calculus.

Although the Ryzen 5 1600 is obviously enjoying success in the enthusiast/upgrade market, the Amazon list is a poor indicator of overall market share. The majority of processors ship in OEM systems, and those numbers aren't reflected at the retailer.

AMD's decision to eschew integrated graphics for the Ryzen lineup affords the company the advantage of higher core counts and the ability to offer lower prices than competing Intel models, but it also restricts the addressable market. As horrible as it may be, many OEM systems leverage integrated graphics, so that limits AMD's penetration opportunities. Nevertheless, more OEM Ryzen systems are coming to market and the company's forthcoming APU lineup, which includes integrated graphics, will help broaden its appeal.

AMD is obviously gaining traction, and it's important to note Intel's Pentium and Celeron processors routinely enjoy the fourth and fifth positions on the chart. These low-cost processors also represent a big chunk of the OEM market, and AMD doesn't have direct competitors for those models yet, at least until Ryzen 3 comes to market in Q3. Provided the Ryzen 3 processors are competitive with Intel offerings, and initial signs do point in that direction, we could see even more changes to Amazon's best seller list.

Passing The Mark?

Passmark posts quarterly updates that outline the number of benchmark submissions the company has received, and AMD submissions have increased. Due to an incredibly misleading chart and article title, many mistake the results as an indicator of AMD's market share. The results do not represent actual sales figures, and certainly do not represent market share.

Passmark's Q2 chart showed that submissions with AMD systems rose from 18.1% the previous quarter to 20.6%. The jump appears more pronounced in the chart above due to the daily update cadence. The rise in submissions may not be indicative of actual market share, but it does indicate that something is happening. We've included a quick breakdown of the numbers behind Passmark's chart at the end of the article.

It's Getting Steamy In Here

We headed over to Steam's hardware survey to see how AMD is doing on the gaming front, at least on the dominant online gaming platform.

FebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneIncrease/Decrease
Genuine Intel78.07%79.53%79.68%80.11%80.92%+0.81%
Authentic AMD21.89%20.43%20.28%19.86%19.01%-0.85%

Admittedly, we didn't expect to see a reduction. According to Steam's hardware survey, AMD systems have declined by 0.85% over the last several months. We dove into Steam's more detailed data, which breaks down the users by frequency range (windows), to attempt to ascertain if the changes just represent old AMD systems that gamers are retiring. Oddly, the reductions seem to be pretty steady across the board. It's certainly conflicting information compared to other indicators, but we have to remember this survey isn't an active tracker.   

Compete!

There's no doubt that AMD's new lineup is changing the status quo for desktop processors, particularly in the pricing department. It isn't surprising to see the Ryzen 5 1600 enjoying success; it has a great price point and solid performance trends that merited its recent inclusion in our Best Gaming CPUs recommendations. AMD's processors might not lead in gaming performance, but the price to performance ratio is impossible to ignore.

The company has already gained significant traction in the mid-range, but it's only the beginning. AMD has even more models, including the highly anticipated ThreadRipper, coming to market later this month. That could change the paradigm on the high-end desktop market while the Ryzen 3 squeezes the low end. Mobile processors also make up roughly two-thirds of the processor pie, and AMD hasn't released its mobile variants yet.

It appears that Intel has responded, at least partially, by lowering prices for its mid-range Skylake-X models (compared to the previous generation). Unfortunately, the company hasn't changed pricing on its existing mid-range processors. Perhaps we'll see a reaction when Intel releases Cannonlake later this year.

Here's some more information about the numbers behind Passmark's chart:

This graph counts the baselines submitted to us during these time period and therefore is representative of CPUs in use rather than CPUs purchased.The Quarters are by the calendar year rather than financial. (i.e. Q1 starts January 1st)Baselines can be submitted from anywhere therefore these are global statistics.We do receive a small number of submissions of CPU types other than AMD and Intel however the percentage is so small as to make it not worth graphing. This combined with rounding off the percentages to 2 decimal places will account for each quarter not always adding up to exactly 100%.This chart only includes x86 processors and does not include other chip architectures these manufacturers may sell.This chart only includes CPUs installed into PCs and does not include game consoles.As the PerformanceTest software only runs on Windows OS and counts on user submitting their benchmarks. This chart may be non reflective of non Windows user base.

Update, 7/3/17, 9pm PT: We originally presented the chart, and the numbers contained therein, that included the first three days of the new quarter. Passmark clarified the chart update cadence, and we have amended the article accordingly. 

  • kinggremlin
    When people update their system, very often they run benchmarks on it to see the level of performance increase. And that's the only time they run benchmarks. So the surge on Passmark is a good and expected sign that AMD is selling a lot of Ryzen CPU's.

    The non-existant market share increase on steam is also not really surprising. Since the release of the Core architecture a decade ago, Intel had been unchallenged in gaming performance. Any serious gamer has long since switched to Intel. Though Ryzen is competitive with Intel now, it doesn't beat Intel in gaming, so unsurpisingly, Intel gamers aren't going to switch to a slower CPU.

    The vast majority of Ryzen users are either corporate users who won't show up on Steam, or long time AMD users who refuse to use Intel. 100% of AMD users can upgrade to Ryzen and they aren't going to affect steam market share.
    Reply
  • BonScott
    The market share numbers are for the first 3 days of Q3: 31%, 24%, 27%, not total for Q2, which ended up being 20.6%, up from 18.1% Q1.

    So as OEMs build and test systems with Ryzen for back-to-school season, we are seeing bigger percentage going to AMD, making Q3 look somewhere between 25% and 30% ... big gains for AMD.
    Reply
  • NightHaveN
    Is understandable Steam results due to initial Ryzen reviews were game performance was low. But many of those has been fixed and the tech has matured.

    Subsequent products and reviews will show a better picture, and after word spread, then gamers will start switching too.

    I'm personally waiting for Threadripper or Zen2, and a year for them to figure things out.
    Reply
  • kinggremlin
    If you're a gamer, there is no reason to wait for threadripper. Unless you enjoy paying more for a slower cpu. Same goes for the high core Intel I9's. No game is going to run faster on a same clocked 10-18 core cpu than it will on an 8 core. Power limits necesitate that higher core cpus are clocked lower resulting in slower low core application performance.

    No one using a recent Intel cpu is going to switch to AMD for gaming unless they just want an AMD platform. The GPU is pretty much always the bottleneck. Current Ryzen cpu's are not going to be optimized to the point that they will outperform Intel by enough to convince people to drop their Haswell or newer Intel platform.
    Reply
  • zfreak280
    I don't think that AMD has a lot of concerns in the OEM market. Most OEM is bulk buying for corporations and government, so CPU specs aren't the most important. Price is and current generation AMDs APUs are dirt cheap. Besides Raven Ridge is coming soon.
    Reply
  • PassMark
    PassMark here (the person who made the graph in the first place):

    First of all, thanks for posting our chart.

    The market share graphs we produce are per qtr (i.e. 3 months intervals), but updated daily. The screen shot above was taken on the 3rd of July, which is the start of a new qtr. This means the last data point only contains data for 3 days. Which isn't a very good sample size. Submission numbers for 1 day can vary quite a bit, but after another week or so, the true trend for the current qtr should start to be visible. In the meantime the values for the current qtr can be expected to jump around a bit.

    I believe the Steam numbers are total numbers across their entire user base, for all time, so even a big movement in the current month won't be apparent for a while. So it is somewhat of a trailing indicator. Still it is a bit surprising it was slightly negative. As far as I know Valve doesn’t publish much information about the Steam Hardware Survey’s methodology at all. So we don't know how bit the sample size is, or how many new machines are sampled per month.

    Based on our numbers, it is absolutely true that AMD is gaining market share.
    Reply
  • PaulAlcorn
    19896545 said:
    PassMark here (the person who made the graph in the first place):

    First of all, thanks for posting our chart.

    The market share graphs we produce are per qtr (i.e. 3 months intervals), but updated daily. The screen shot above was taken on the 3rd of July, which is the start of a new qtr. This means the last data point only contains data for 3 days. Which isn't a very good sample size. Submission numbers for 1 day can vary quite a bit, but after another week or so, the true trend for the current qtr should start to be visible. In the meantime the values for the current qtr can be expected to jump around a bit.

    I believe the Steam numbers are total numbers across their entire user base, for all time, so even a big movement in the current month won't be apparent for a while. So it is somewhat of a trailing indicator. Still it is a bit surprising it was slightly negative. As far as I know Valve doesn’t publish much information about the Steam Hardware Survey’s methodology at all. So we don't know how bit the sample size is, or how many new machines are sampled per month.

    Based on our numbers, it is absolutely true that AMD is gaining market share.
    Thanks for the info, that explains the change! I'll update the article accordingly. :)
    Reply
  • Kunra Zether
    I have a feeling it will be awhile until you will see a movement in the steams number, if you do see one. My reasoning is most Intel users will stay to Intel and upgrade to a better processor within their chipset. I myself will upgrade my 6500 to a 7700K when I'm ready. The G4560 is going to bring in alot of budget builds which will pretty much lock them into Kaybe lake. Once the rysen 3 releases and after some time we may see that line move but I don't think it will budge by more then 2% if that by the years end.
    Reply
  • rush21hit
    Can confirm. My local store queued me for two weeks just for the 1600. Meanwhile, the store owner who also a friend of mine told me for that his Intel's stuff sales are actually decreasing rapidly lately while everything Ryzen forced him to queue his customer, as I was.
    Also, he said that the only Ryzen cpu lineup that doesn't sell that well are the 1400. No clue why. Nevertheless, its apparent that people are more informed now. Thanks to PC tech sites like this and the rapid development of internet access.
    Meanwhile, the GTX1050ti, no matter the vendor or even cooling method applied, are the best selling GPU. I suppose the main reason is because in my country the RX 470 being somewhere around $30-50 more expensive on average. And the 480 being $20-30 more, comparable with 1060 pricing.
    Interesting times.
    Reply
  • NightHaveN
    kinggremlin you made many assumptions with the Threadripper that may or may not be true.

    What we know about Threadripper.
    * More cores and threads than the Ryzen 7.
    * More PCI-e lanes for more devices like multi GPU.
    * Quad channel which means faster memory bandwidth. Or may I said more channels to do memory operations with at the same time.
    * All memory issues addressed by AGESA, plus some issues AGESA can't fix.
    * New chipset & board required. While not called that is technically a 2nd gen or refresh that may improve things both in chipset and third party mobo vendors.

    What we don't know.
    * Price
    * Core and turbo clocks
    * Overclock ceiling

    Is a valid assumptions to believe that Threadripper will have a lower clock and OC due to the amount of cores and heat will produce. But is also a valid assumptions the clocks will not be so low because otherwise AMD will have a though time selling it. But don't compare Epyc clocks because those chips are made for a different market which requires reliable 24/7 x 365 days running uninterrupted.
    Reply