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Wrap Up: Happy
The results are in, and while I'll be spending more time in the coming days and weeks testing some more (extensive gaming benchmarks are coming), I think the tests included here paint an interesting picture worth analyzing.
When it comes to productivity and content creation, the new Ryzen 7 CPUs are very impressive. Premiere Pro and Excel performance output is incredible. The gaming performance was less exciting. We always knew this was one area where Ryzen might struggle against the empire, so while the results are a little disappointing, they aren't entirely surprising either.
AMD liked to show off Ryzen's gaming capabilities running at 4K using a Pascal Titan X and we all know this isn't how you test CPU gaming performance because it imposes a GPU bottleneck that virtually eliminates the impact the CPU may have, within reason anyway.
One thing I did notice is that all the games I have looked at so far – which is considerably more than the four shown here – were smooth on the Ryzen processors. GTA 5 for example plays really well on the Core i7-7700K, but every now and then a small stutter can be noticed, while the 1800X runs as smooth as silk, sans stuttering from what I observed.
I found a similar situation when testing Battlefield 1. Performance was smooth with the Ryzen processors while every now and then the quad-core 7700K had a small hiccup. These were rare but it was something I didn't notice when using the 1800X and 1700X. But as smooth as the experience was, it doesn't change the fact that gamers running a high refresh rate monitor may be better served by a higher clocked Core i7-6700K or 7700K.
While the gaming results might not be as strong as we had hoped for, they are highly competitive and that should hold particularly true for the Ryzen 5 and 3 series. It's also worth noting that we are testing extreme gaming performance here with the Titan XP at 1080p. Ryzen looks more competitive at 1440p, and certainly so when paired with a GTX 1070 or Fury X.
Watch Steve comment on the Ryzen release and review it on video below...
Overclocking was not particularly impressive either. It can be argued AMD has squeezed every bit of performance they found sensible to do on this initial launch. I was able to hit 4.1GHz with my 1800X and that took quite a bit of trial and error. The 1700X couldn't reach 4GHz, but its overclock translated into a more meaningful gain considering it's 20% more affordable than the 1800X. It remains to be seen how the vanilla 1700 overclocks (due to arrive next week). For what it's worth, some sites did get them on time for today's release, so you can already find out how well this chip clocks.
Power usage was slightly higher than expected and our Excel consumption figures are similar to those when using power-hungry programs like Prime95. Ryzen should be more efficient when gaming, however, so I will look into this soon.
Consider where AMD was coming from and look at what they have achieved with Ryzen, it's nothing short of amazing. I'm excited to see AMD delivering competitive high-end CPUs and it'll be interesting to watch how well they can refine the Zen architecture over the coming years.
- AMD Ryzen 7 1800X on Amazon
- AMD Ryzen 7 1700X on Amazon
- AMD Ryzen 7 1800X on Newegg
- AMD Ryzen 7 1700X on Newegg
Intel has been hitting a development wall for some time now, or at least hasn't been focused nor pressured into delivering larger gains in raw processing power. This might afford AMD a chance to catch up even further. In the short term we expect Intel to adjust prices and you can expect the company to continue scrambling as AMD turns up the heat with four and six-core Ryzen CPUs.
Pros: Great value. Smooth gaming with strong minimum frame rates. Powerful productivity performance. Runs cool considering its power draw.
Cons: Not really cons, but the few areas where Ryzen fell short of Intel were gaming performance and power consumption. Not great overclockers.