Nothing lasts forever, and that includes “hot” runs of success. AMD’s last two years have been a series of CPU hits, helping AMD dominate the full spectrum of consumer CPU market segments. At one point, AMD had 15 (out of 16) of our tiers! This success came on the back of the efficient 7nm CPU architecture, AMD’s decision to have hyperthreading on everything, and competitive prices. Well done, AMD.
Well… till now.
AMD’s New XT CPUs
AMD has released “XT” versions of some of its most popular and most well-liked CPUs. These new “XT” versions have 100-200Mhz increased boost frequency, and are able to sustain higher clock-speeds for a longer time. Base clock speeds, TDP, and most other factors are all unchanged. Two of the CPUs lose the stock HSF that was bundled with the “X” versions, and the prices of the new CPUs are ~$50-$70 more than the current prices of the older versions.
In short: You pay $50-$70 extra in order to gain 100-200MHz (boost), and lose the HSF. Is it worth it? The performance improvement for a lot of applications is on the order of ~1%, which translates to gains of ~1FPS in games. Who would pay $70 for an extra 1FPS?
Of course, it would not be fair to ignore the fact that AMD is releasing the “XT” CPUs at the same launch price as the originals. But that launch was a year ago, and prices have gone down. If AMD had launched these new “XT” CPUs at the current prices, people would have enjoyed an extra 1% performance for free. But AMD is a company, and you can go to your favourite search engine and type in “companies only care about” and see what the search engine suggests for autocomplete.
In the same way that the original CPUs had a price drop over time, these new CPUs should have a price drop too. At one point, we might recommend them, when the prices are logical. For now though, they are simply too expensive. We will continue to recommend the excellent (and cheaper) original “X” versions.