AMD has spent months promising that its upcoming Ryzen CPUs for desktop PCs would beat rival Intel on both performance and price. With those chips due out next month, the perennial underdog has produced proof: The high-end AMD R7 1800X will cost $499–less than half the price of Intel’s i7-6900K–while tying or beating its rival in certain performance benchmarks. AMD also has cheaper versions in the $399 R7 1700X and $329 R7 1700, which beat comparable Intel chips by $40 and $20, respectively.
Intel, in turn, has expressed an appropriate amount of skepticism for AMD’s benchmarks, and there are some scenarios in which Intel’s chips excel. Intel could also cut prices or push new models to retain its edge. But isn’t lighting a fire under the titan of PC processors precisely the point?