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AMD announces three new Ryzen 'XT' processors

The 3600XT, 3800XT and 3900XT boost harder, cost the same.

Surprise! AMD just announced three new Ryzen processors by uploading a video to their YouTube channel. The new models are improved 'XT' versions of existing 3000-series 'X' processors, rather than the Ryzen 4000 models we were expecting to debut at some point in 2020, but the promise of improved performance at the same (recommended retail) price point makes them worth talking about all the same.

The three new SKUs are the $249 Ryzen 3600XT, $399 Ryzen 3800XT and $499 Ryzen 3900XT. The 3600XT and 3900XT each boost 100MHz higher than the vanilla 3600X and 3900X, while the 3800XT gets a 200MHz advantage versus its older counterpart. That should translate into a small (but presumably measurable) performance advantage in a range of applications, from content creation to games. Other specifications of the processor, including core count, thread count, cache size and so on remain unchanged. 

It's more or less understood that CPU production matures over time, with launch versions of new chips typically being outperformed by those that are created months or years later. It's rare to see a CPU maker like AMD actually codify these improvements into a new SKU though, and it will be fascinating to see if there will be any noticeable performance differential between, for example, recently produced 3600 models and the 3600XT.

The new processors will be available on July 7th, falling in line with earlier preemptive product listings by certain European retailers and the release of B550 motherboards. Interestingly, AMD's press release also includes mention of a new even cheaper chipset, A520, which supports the same Zen 2 and Zen 3 processors at a lower price point.

We'll look to get some of these new chips in when possible to see how much of a performance boost we can expect from the extra frequency. Stay tuned!

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Will Judd avatar

Will Judd

Deputy Editor, Digital Foundry

A bizarre British-American hybrid, Will turns caffeine into technology articles through a little-known process called 'writing'. His favourite games are Counter-Strike, StarCraft and Fallout 2. Will also tweets the latest tech deals at @DigitalFoundry.

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