eSports has skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years, going from a niche section of the gaming industry to mainstream attention on ESPN. When competitive gaming can sell out stadiums, it’s clear it’s a force to be reckoned with. But the success of eSports isn’t just about the professionals, it’s also created a trickle down effect that’s gotten millions of gamers hooked on PvP-focused titles like League of Legends and Counter-Strike Global Offensive. Some fans of these games even choose to dedicate themselves solely to their favorite title.
The hundreds of millions of dollars generated by these titles has not gone unnoticed by game developers and hardware makers. More and more of them are starting to design contests or products aimed at this growing market, and now, processor company AMD is the latest to throw its hat into the ring. The company is announcing a new chip today that specifically targets fans of online gaming and eSports.
The AMD A10-7870K is being billed as a solid mid-range chip that can outperform Intel’s Core i3 processor while maintaining a low price. The chip is priced at $137.
James Prior, an AMD product manager, said during a pre-release briefing that AMD focused on optimizing the A10-7870K for fast-paced online games.
AMD’s internal testing, which ran all games in 1080p resolution, claims the new chip with AMD Radeon R7 graphics offers better frames per second than the Intel Core i3 4370 running alongside an Nvidia GeForce GT 740 in League of Legends, Dota 2, Starcraft II and Counter-Strike.
Prior said that AMD has already partnered with several companies that will begin offering the new chip in their computers. These include online vendors CyberPower and iBuyPower starting today, with Dell and HP to follow on June 2.
It’s always hard to tell what to think of internal company benchmarks, but if the data for the A10-7870K is accurate, the chip should be a viable option for gamers who are passionate about playing these specific online titles. MOBAs, RTS games and even Counter-Strike don’t require a beast of a gaming rig to run smoothly, and the new chip will allow these players to run the game of their choice without having to go all-in on a true gaming desktop.
At the very least, this is just one more sign that eSports continues to make an impact, with one of the two major processor companies now designing a brand new product for this specific market. Intel will no doubt fire back at some point, as that’s the way it goes in the constant PC arms race. But unless the real-world benchmarks that are sure to come out in the days ahead prove otherwise, it looks like AMD and the new A10-7870K chip have a leg up in this particular market for now.