Single-threaded Performance
Once upon a time the only thing that really mattered was how fast you could plow through one thread... because nearly every program only used one thread. These days, however, the vast majority of programs you use can make use of many threads... sometimes hundreds.

But that is not to say that single threaded performance isn't important... far from it, each new core you add to the system will only add a fraction more performance that is derived from another fraction still of that core's ability to churn through single threads... and for certain applications, single threaded performance is the be-all end-all to this very day.
Contrary to my Excavator interrogation I will not be breaking down single-threaded performance by instruction type.
3GHz - Relative to Excavator
AMD shocked the tech community with their absurd claims of 40% higher IPC over Excavator in a single generation. Such a feat would be a monstrous undertaking and sure to fail.

This was the same company whose IPC, contrary to their own claims, actually declined with their former architecture, affectionally known as the "Construction" family. Bulldozer was first of this family, and was such a failure that even fans of the company believed it meant certain doom (myself included). Four generations of those cores did little to help.

Who would have imagined that AMD would leapfrog that promised IPC improvement and deliver a whopping 56.72% improvement? No one... at least not prior to the infamous GCC patch being released which detailed the ten-pipeline monster AMD had designed. That turned some heads... and inspired me to create my Zen Guesstimate.

The chart at the right demonstrates just how monstrous of a victory of a design this really is when we look at how well a single core can function... and this isn't even putting the core in its best light... these are my average results over various memory settings and BIOSes at 3Ghz.

3Ghz - Relative to Sandy Bridge
Sandy Bridge was the true break-away moment for Intel. It represents the point where AMD could no longer really compete on any level beyond core count as Intel had simply walked away with the performance crown by a seemingly unsurmountable margin... their four core CPUs were defeating AMD's best eight core CPUs... in, quite literally, everything.

This held true. AMD had not managed, in a decade, to catch up. In fact, they only managed to slip further behind by apparently admitting defeat and release no more updates for their eight-core CPUs after the first revision (Piledriver).

That has been remedied. Ryzen simply walks away from Sandy Bridge in most benchmarks when running at the same clock speed... and can achieve clocks high enough to be useful.

The average advantage here is 11.59%. An impressive feat considering that Excavator was their best architecture just a month ago.

These results look even better when tigher memory timings are used. To the point that Ryzen has an IPC lead closer to 15%.

So much for the naysayers.

UPDATE: AGESA has moved single threaded performance per clock to 14.01% better than Sandy Bridge.

More results may follow...