AMD drops new bargain-minded CPUs and GPU with an AI focus at CES 2024

AMD "Hawk Point" CPUs
(Image credit: AMD)

AMD arrived at CES 2024 in Las Vegas this week with a trunkload of new silicon for PCs, including new desktop CPUs and a new bargain-minded Radeon RX 7600 XT graphics card. 

This is a big deal for PC gamers because we're finally being introduced to the first desktop chips in the Ryzen 8000 series of CPUs, which is AMD's current cutting-edge line. We actually met the very first 8000-series (codenamed "Hawk Point") Ryzen chips this past December, but those were laptop-only Ryzen 8040 CPUs that are just now debuting in laptops launching in the first quarter of 2024.

The "AI" buzzword was a big part of the marketing around the Ryzen 8040 laptop chips, and it's once again a major selling point of the new 8000-series Ryzen desktop CPUs debuting at CES 2024. The top two offerings are the first AMD desktop CPUs to launch with a dedicated NPU (Neural Processing Unit) onboard, making them hypothetically the best yet at handling the sort of AI-focused workloads that are cropping up more and more in apps like Photoshop and Zoom as well as Windows 11 apps like Copilot and Teams.

But that's not all — AMD is also launching some new desktop CPUs in its older Ryzen 5000 series, which debuted way back in 2020. These new 5000-series CPUs don't have the onboard AI tech like the newer 8000-series chips do, but they could offer good performance at a great value for folks building or modifying 1080p gaming PCs in 2024.

And last but not least, AMD also launched its new AMD Radeon RX 7600 XT graphics card this week. This latest addition to the AMD Radeon RX 7000 series is on the lower end and priced to undercut the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 Ti. So it could be a great card for folks building 1080p gaming rigs.

First AMD Ryzen 8000 series desktop CPUs

Perhaps the most exciting news out of AMD at CES 2024 is the debut of its new Ryzen 8000G series of desktop CPUs. 

These new chips are built on the same AM5 platform that AMD introduced us to in 2022 with its 7000 series CPUs, so you shouldn't need a new motherboard to upgrade to them if you're already rocking a 7000-series CPU. And if you have an older model, the new 5000 series CPUs are still built on the older AM4 socket. (More on that in a sec.)

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Cores/ThreadsBoost/Base FrequencyRyzen AI NPU
AMD Ryzen 7 8700G ($329)8C/16TUp to 5.1Ghz/4.2GHzYes
AMD Ryzen 5 8600G ($229)6C/12TUp to 5.0Ghz/4.3GHzYes
AMD Ryzen 5 8500G ($179)6C/12TUp to 5.0Ghz/3.5GHzNo
AMD Ryzen 5 8300G ($N/A)4C/8TUp to 4.9Ghz/3.4GHzNo

As you can see from the chart above, only the two most powerful and most expensive of these new CPUs—the AMD Ryzen 7 8700G ($329) and the AMD Ryzen 5 8600G ($229)—sport the new Ryzen AI NPU onboard. So if you want to try one of the first desktop CPUs with a built-in NPU, you want one of those chips.

A close-up of the new AMD Ryzen 8000 series CPU. (Image credit: AMD)

And for what it's worth, it's still a bit early to say what sort of impact you can expect from these new NPUs. We've just started to see NPUs become a common part of laptop CPUs, with Intel catching up to AMD and Apple by finally incorporating NPUs into its new Intel Meteor Lake laptop chips. 

In those kinds of mobile PCs the real selling points of NPUs are their capacity to more efficiently handle "AI" centric workloads, like optimizing your power settings or blurring your background on video calls. But they're also expected to start helping out with on-device "AI" work like generating text and images from your prompts, without having to dial out to the Internet to do the heavy AI lifting required by apps like Windows Copilot.

There are a total of four new CPUs hitting the market starting January 31, and AMD says you can expect these CPUs to start showing up in prebuilt PCs from OEMs starting in Q2 of 2024.

New AMD Ryzen 5000 series desktop CPUs

In addition to the new hotness that is the first Ryzen 8000 desktop chips, AMD's also dropping some new Ryzen 5000 series desktop CPUs that expand the venerable Zen 3 line.

These new CPUs lack a built-in NPU, but if you're not concerned about that, they seem likely to offer decent performance at a compelling price.

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Cores/ThreadsBoost/Base FrequencyPrice
AMD Ryzen 7 5700X3D8C/16TUp to 4.1Ghz/3.0GHz$249
AMD Ryzen 7 57006C/12TUp to 4.6Ghz/3.7GHz$175
AMD Ryzen 5 5600GT6C/12TUp to 4.6Ghz/3.6GHz$140
AMD Ryzen 5 5500GT6C/12TUp to 4.4Ghz/3.6GHz$125

One notable bit of news: The high-end new AMD Ryzen 7 5700X3D GPU offers 100MB (!) of on-chip memory thanks to its AMD 3D V-Cache tech, the most we've ever seen in an AMD desktop GPU. AMD says these new 5000 series CPUs will become available for purchase starting January 31.

New AMD Radeon RX 7600 XT GPU

While most of AMD's CES 2024 news is CPU-focused, the company did bring one new graphics card to Vegas this year. 

Of course, I'm talking about the AMD Radeon RX 7600 XT, the latest addition to the company's top-tier line of desktop GPUs. This new $329 card slides handily in between the old RX 7600 and the AMD Radeon RX 7700 XT introduced last year. 

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Radeon RX 7700 XTRadeon RX 7600 XTRadeon RX 7600
Price$449$329$269
Compute Units543232
AI Accelerators1086464
GDDR6 Memory12GB16GB8GB
Game/Boost Clock2.17Ghz / 2.54Ghz2.47Ghz / 2.76Ghz2.25Ghz / 2.65Ghz
Memory Interface192-bit128-bit128-bit
Infinity Cache48MB32MB32MB
TBP (Typical Board Power)245W190W165W

This new card is aimed squarely at folks who want fast-paced gameplay at 1080p, but AMD is quick to claim it can also deliver decent performance at 1440p with the help of image upscaling tech like FSR 3 (FidelityFX Super Resolution 3), which is basically AMD's answer to Nvidia's DLSS upscaling technologies.

AMD Radeon RX 7600 XT

(Image credit: AMD)

Like earlier AMD GPUs, this new card also has a suite of "AI Accelerators" onboard that are optimized for AI-focused workloads. Again, we're talking a suite of low-level features like video blurring, ambient noise occlusion and more.

AMD says this new GPU should be available for purchase starting January 24 for its asking price of $329, and you should expect to see boards from partners like Acer, Asus, Gigabyte and more.

Outlook

AMD brought a parcel of promising new silicon to CES 2024, and we're eager to see what uses these new AI-empowered desktop CPUs will be put to as AI features and applications become more popular and more capable in the years ahead.

The advent of new 5000 series CPUs is also a good thing for PC builders on a budget, as is the new mid-series Radeon RX 7600 XT GPU. While it can't compete with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super and 4070 Super that the competition brought to CES, the new AMD GPU is also far cheaper than Nvidia's latest. And for PC game players happy to blast through frames at 1080p, that's probably far more relevant than whatever fancy tricks Nvidia's latest GPUs can do.


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Alex Wawro

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. A lifelong PC builder, he currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.