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AMD's mid-range Ryzen 5 processors start rolling out

They offer more power than Intel's Core i5 chips for similar prices.

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AMD wants to break back into desktop CPUs in a big way. After debuting its high-end Ryzen 7 chips last month, which go toe-to-toe with Intel's Core i7 lineup, the company is today releasing its mid-range Ryzen 5 CPUs. As you can imagine, they're a direct competitor to Intel's mainstream Core i5 processors. AMD's big selling point? The Ryzen 5 chips offer a lot more bang for your buck.

The lineup ranges from the Ryzen 5 1400 at $169 (a 4-core, 8-thread chip with speeds between 3.2GHz and 3.4GHz) to the $249 1600X CPU (a 6-core, 12-thread chip clocking between 3.6GHz and 4Ghz). Price-wise, they're on-par with the Core i5 family, but AMD claims its chips are much faster. In its own testing, the Ryzen 5 1600X achieved a Cinebench multi-threaded score of 1,239.1, while Intel's Core i5-7600K came in at 662.7. The Intel chip won in a single-threaded Cinebench test, coming in at 179.5 compared to AMD's 161.2, but that's not nearly as big as the gap in multi-threaded performance.

The big takeaway? AMD finally has desktop chips that can directly compete with Intel's most powerful options. It's a good year to be an AMD fan, as we're also expecting to hear more about the company's high-end Vega video cards soon. We saw powerful mid-range GPU options from AMD last year, but it'd be interesting to see how the company's new architecture takes on NVIDIA's in the enthusiast arena.

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