An Early Takeaway

For such a small six-game sample, those benchmarks showed quite a few interesting results. Perhaps the most exciting conclusion we can draw is that upcoming six-core Ryzen processors should perform roughly on par with eight-core models when playing today's CPU-demanding PC games, while the quad-core parts should only be slightly slower when using extreme GPU configurations in games such as Battlefield 1, Mafia III and F1 2016.

With the exception of Far Cry Primal, it looks like the quad-core Ryzen CPUs will destroy the higher-end dual-core Kaby Lake processors such as the 7350K. Even at 4.8GHz, the 7350K was no match in the more CPU-intensive titles.

It was interesting to find that when paired with the GTX 1070, the Ryzen CPUs were actually able to pull ahead in games such as Mafia III, while folks equipped with a sub-$300 current-gen GPU won't see any difference between the quad-core Ryzen and Kaby Lake CPUs.

As things stand, we're still waiting for more games that better utilize Ryzen cores. It looks like plenty of them are on the horizon, but we currently have games that make Ryzen look average and not as good as it actually is.

Games such as Far Cry Primal, Civilization 6, Gears of War 4, Grand Theft Auto V, Hitman, Total War Warhammer and Watch Dogs 2, all perform weaker than expected on Ryzen CPUs. That isn't to say performance is bad at all -- gameplay is still incredibly smooth with the right GPU -- but frame rates are lower than you'd expect in relation to competing Intel CPUs.

The simulated six-core and four-core Ryzen 5 gaming performance recorded here should be identical to what we'll see in three weeks when the chips actually arrive -- at least assuming they have no trouble running all their cores at 4GHz.

I don't expect the Ryzen 5 parts to overclock any better than Ryzen 7 considering they are the exact same chips.

What we can tell you today is that the 1500X is going to be a remarkable value at $190, a price that also includes a 'Wraith Spire' cooler -- quite the package. Although the 1400 originally seemed exciting at $170, its 10% savings over the 1500X might not justify halving the L3 cache to 8MB.

We'll make that call come April.