After comparing Intel's new Core i7-7800X and AMD's Ryzen 5 1600 in productivity workloads, we're back by popular request to learn whether Intel still takes the cake when it comes to high-end gaming.

This wouldn't be a proper showdown without at least two dozen games so we've included 30 for good measure, all of which were played on the GTX 1080 Ti at 1080p. Being that there's no point in using GPU-limited scenarios to gaming performance of CPUs, we didn't feel the need to gather results for 1440p or 4K.

Both the i7-7800X and R5 1600 systems were configured with DDR4-3200 CL14 memory, however, the Intel system was equipped with 32GB whereas the Ryzen system only had 16GB. Please note that this shouldn't impact the results and for whatever it's worth, there's a reason why I've done this: I don't have a 32GB 3200MHz kit yet that works with Ryzen.

As we proceed, it's worth keeping in mind that the 7800X currently costs $415 (but has an MSRP of $390) while the 1600 is retailing for just $215, so almost half the price, not to mention that the AM4 platform also costs significantly less than Intel's LGA2066.

Ryzen System Specs
  • AMD Ryzen 5 1600 (3.2 - 3.6 GHz)
  • Asrock X370 Taichi
  • 16GB DDR4-3200 RAM
  • Samsung SSD 850 EVO 2TB
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Skylake-X System Specs
  • Intel Core i7-7800X (3.5 - 4.0 GHz)
  • Asrock X299 Taichi
  • 32GB DDR4-3200 RAM
  • Samsung SSD 850 EVO 2TB
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
 
Kaby Lake System Specs

World of Tanks isn’t a particularly demanding title but the idea here is to include a wide range of games. Be aware that this game is limited to 120fps and while it's possible to circumvent that cap it’s not something most people are going to bother doing or really need to do. Here the Ryzen 5 1600 had no trouble pushing the GTX 1080 Ti to the frame cap and it was even a few frames faster than the 7800X.

Grand Theft Auto V is a game that has never played well with the Ryzen CPUs. Being an older title from 2015, it pre-dates Ryzen by a few years, but the title is nonetheless demanding enough on system resources to keep in our queue of benchmarks. The overclocked R5 1600 was just 6% slower than the 7800X and that's pretty impressive given that it's also clocked 15% lower. It's also a massive improvement over the 20% margin separating the Ryzen CPU from the 7700K.

I previously benchmarked PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds at the starting area where everyone runs around waiting for the game to begin. This was a mistake for a few reasons. First, it's extremely difficult to gather reliable data here and second it's significantly more demanding than the actual gameplay because you don't typically experience this many players in such a small area when playing. I'm now testing within the game, dropping into the same location each time and then following the same path over 60 seconds for an average of three runs.

As you can see, the R5 1600 performs well in this title. It's worth noting that this release is capped at 144fps and I’m not sure if there is a work around to remove it. That said, 144fps is plenty and I can't imagine many players will be able to take advantage of more frames than that in this title. Although the game's frame rate is capped, the R5 1600 was consistently quicker than the 7800X by a small margin, delivering around 7% more frames when looking at the minimum.

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt plays well on both the 7800X and R5 1600, that said the Intel CPU was faster. This game isn't frame capped, so if the GTX 1080 Ti could deliver over 200fps using the ultra quality settings we would likely see that with a CPU such as the 7700K. Anyway the R5 1600 was 15% slower than the 7800X out of the box, however once both CPUs are overclocked that margin is reduced to just 6%, so while still slower an impressive result nonetheless for the Ryzen CPU.