Big Box, Little Box
AMD's so-called "2nd Gen Ryzen" CPUs--and some accompanying components--have landed in our labs. We can’t discuss test results quite yet, but we gathered together some photos to tide you over until we can talk testing and the full spate of features. AMD sent us the pair of black and silver boxes you see here, one labeled with an AMD logo, the other with the now-familiar Ryzen branding. Wonder what's inside? The answer is just a click away.
Inside the Silver Ryzen Box
Here we have the six-core/12-thread Ryzen 5 2600X (with a base clock of 3.6GHz, and a maximum stock clock of 4.2GHz), as well as the new top-end mainstream Ryzen chip, the Ryzen 7 2700X. The latter chip ships with the new, RGB-emblazoned Wraith Prism cooler, and is an eight-core/16-thread part with a base clock of 3.7GHz and a top stock clock of 4.3GHz.
Ryzen 7 2700X & Ryzen 2600X, Front & Center
From above, we don't notice anything really new with these chips. They look like previous Ryzens, and they don't feel substantially heavier or lighter. And there are no riddles to removing the outer packaging of cardboard and plastic.
On the Flip Side
The new Ryzens also don't look different from behind. Pins run from one side to the other--be careful not to bend them! And remember that if you plan on dropping one of these new AM4-socket silicon slices into an older AM4 motherboard, you'll first need to update your BIOS to support AMD's new chips.
The Ryzen World Gets More Colorful
Here we have the new Wraith Prism cooler that comes boxed with the Ryzen 7 2700X. AMD has incorporated trendy, Christmas-tree-like RGB lighting here. We suspect that it looks a whole lot better when lit up, but we aren't allowed to show it plugged in yet. Stay tuned!
The Return of Mr. Clamp
It's a pity that AMD's new top-end Wraith Prism cooler incorporates the old fiddly suspension and annoying retaining-clip mounting mechanism. We much prefer the four screws of the Wraith Spire (which now is included with the Ryzen 5 2600X). Sure, you needed to break out a tool to attach that cooler, but installation is easier, and once it's on, it's as stable as a rock.
Not So Cool to Look At, But Probably Cool Enough for a Six-Core CPU
As noted on the previous slide, the Ryzen 5 2600X comes with a more basic Wraith Spire cooler in the box. No RGB lights here, but the simple screw connection promises a problem-free (and safer-for-your-fingers) installation. Again, the Wraith Spire lacks blinking lights, but we don't mind stepping over to the dark side...of cooling.
Copper on the Bottom
While it isn't flashy, the Wraith Spire that ships with the Ryzen 5 2600X has many inner strengths. Copper instead of aluminum on the CPU makes for better cooling. (Well, it should make for better cooling, but we can't talk about that aspect of things quite yet.)
A Memory Step Up?
And on to the RAM that AMD included in the larger black box (along with a couple of motherboards that we'll get to in a moment). When Ryzen initially launched last year, it had problems with higher memory clocks. But AMD included a G.Skill DDR4 3400 kit with our review samples this time. The camouflage patterns here are a matter of taste. We suppose they could look nice in a white-themed build.
Motherboard One: MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC
As for motherboards, AMD sent a couple of new models our way. With the X470 Gaming M7 AC board, it seems MSI wants to supply a relatively affordable entry into the new world of X470. We'll report later whether it will also withstand all our load tests--but not today.
Motherboard Two: Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero X470 Wi-Fi
Only the motherboard manufacturers know why boards have funny names. But despite its puzzlingly complex moniker, the Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero X470 Wi-Fi certainly looks nice (as does the MSI board from the last slide). For the time being, we can only show and not tell, though. Stay tuned for much more about 2nd Gen Ryzen and its accompanying chipsets and motherboards soon.
But we can add one more important detail: The Ryzen 7 2700X is priced at $329, and the Ryzen 5 2600X slices off $100 (and two cores) for a $229 suggested price. If you've heard enough already and are ready to buy, pre-orders should be available by the time you read this. AMD says its new 2nd Gen Ryzen chips will be on shelves and available April 19th.