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The Ryzen 5 7500F is AMD's most affordable Zen 4-based processor that initially launched for the Chinese market only. More recently, it's been sighted in US and European retailers but it's still a bit of an elusive offering. In this review, we'll be comparing it head-to-head with its nearest 13th-gen Intel competitor, the Core i5-13400F. We believe this might be its closest competitor based on anticipated pricing in the global market.
The buzz suggests that the 7500F should be available worldwide with an MSRP of $180, offering a notable discount compared to the $230 asking price of the Ryzen 5 7600. This distinction is significant since the 7500F is essentially a 7600 with the integrated graphics disabled.
Essentially, AMD seems to be adopting Intel's naming convention, a move that clarifies product differences for consumers. Unlike chipset names, where Intel has the B560, B660, and B760 and AMD has the B550 and B650. The "F" designation denotes a lack of iGPU support for Intel CPUs, and now that also applies to AMD offerings.
The "F" designation denotes a lack of iGPU support for Intel CPUs, and now that also applies to AMD offerings.
However, one might assume that a Ryzen 5 7600 without the iGPU would be named the 7600F, instead AMD has chosen the 7500F moniker. The choice becomes clearer when you notice another tweak: the base and boost clock speeds have been decreased by 100 MHz. This 2-3% reduction in operating frequency implies that AMD could no longer, or should no longer, stick with the 7600 branding.
For those not requiring integrated graphics, the 7500F will undoubtedly attract those on a budget wanting to explore the AM5 platform. If the $180 MSRP holds true, it'll be roughly 20% cheaper than the 7600 while offering performance that's within a few percentage points.
Meanwhile, the Intel 13th-gen counterpart at this price is the Core i5-13400F, currently priced around $210. Interestingly, it dropped to a low of $165 at Best Buy earlier this year for a short period.
Most of you are probably familiar with the 13400F at this point, but for those who aren't, it packs 6 P-Cores that can clock as high as 4.6 GHz, and 4 E-Cores that can clock up to 3.3 GHz. There's also 20MB of L3 cache though the L2 is based on the 12th generation architecture, so the P-Cores pack 1.25 MB per core and not 2 MB's like the 13600K, while the E-cores also only get 2 MB per cluster, not 4MB.
For those keen on building a budget gaming PC on the latest AMD or Intel platforms, the question arises: Ryzen 5 or Core i5? Let's delve deeper.
In our tests, the 7500F was set up on the Gigabyte X670E Aorus Master using DDR5-6000 CL30 memory. On the other hand, the 13400F was benchmarked on the MSI MPG Z790 Carbon Wi-Fi with DDR5-7200 memory. For graphics, we utilized the Asus ROG Strix RTX 4090 OC Edition, benchmarking at resolutions of 1080p, 1440p, and 4K.
First, let's take a look at Fortnite. For CPU testing, we've transitioned to the medium quality preset for the DX11 results, as this closely mirrors the quality settings most players use, particularly competitive players. The 13400F peaked at 326 fps, while the 7500F reached as high as 453 fps, representing an almost 40% performance boost. These results are predominantly CPU-limited; therefore, even at 4K, the Ryzen 5 processor outperformed by 30%.
While enabling ray tracing can amplify CPU load, in Fortnite, the primary performance-limiting component is the RTX 4090. So, there's minimal difference here.
Moving on to Spider-Man Remastered, we observed that the 7500F can achieve up to 179 fps, whereas the 13400F peaks at 155 fps. While both offer smooth gameplay, the Ryzen 5 processor demonstrates a 15% advantage in this test. Despite using the highest quality settings, the RTX 4090 remains CPU-limited, even at 4K.
For some perspective, the RTX 4060 renders approximately 150 fps at 1080p using the highest quality preset. Although we used the RTX 4090 for this test, it's noteworthy that the 13400F comes close to limiting even the 4060's performance in this game. Since our focus is CPU performance, it's crucial to isolate this when offering purchasing advice.
Introducing ray tracing, which tends to increase the CPU's workload, the 7500F becomes almost 20% quicker at 1080p and remains 13% faster at 4K, with the 13400F stalling at slightly above 110 fps. To give more context, the RTX 4060 can render just beyond 120 fps at 1080p under these settings.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider, released in 2018, might be older, but it can still put modern CPUs to the test. Both processors surpassed 200 fps, ensuring exceptional performance from either CPU. However, the 7500F took the lead, being 10% faster at 1080p and 1440p and achieving a 7% increase at 4K.
The Last of Us Part 1 demands a lot from CPUs because of constant texture streaming. But its ultra-quality settings also heavily task GPUs, making the game GPU-limited at 1440p and 4K. At 1080p, the 13400F topped at 141 fps. Although the 7500F didn't maximize the RTX 4090's potential, it still delivered 11% more performance, averaging 156 fps.
In A Plague Tale: Requiem, another CPU-intensive title, the Ryzen 5 processor outperformed by almost 20% at both 1080p and 1440p. The results only became GPU-limited once we scaled to 4K resolution.
Hogwarts Legacy also puts significant stress on the CPU. In this case, the two CPUs were closely matched, with the 7500F pulling ahead by just a few frames across all tested resolutions.
When ray tracing is enabled, the 7500F gains a bit more of an edge due to the increased CPU load. This resulted in a performance advantage of up to 9% for the Ryzen processor at 1440p.
The results for Star Wars Jedi: Survivor were closely contested, especially at 1080p, where performance was primarily CPU-limited. The 7500F pulled ahead by just 4%, yielding an average of 128 fps against the 13400F's 123 fps.
Similar to Spider-Man Remastered, the Watch Dogs: Legion results were largely CPU-limited, even at 4K. It's worth noting that both the RTX 4060 and RX 7600 can achieve around 120 fps at 1080p in these conditions, meaning the 13400F isn't extracting much more from the RTX 4090. In this game, the 7500F proved to be 11% faster at 1080p, 13% at 1440p, and 11% at 4K. We also observed a 17% boost in the 1% lows at 4K. Despite this, the 13400F still managed to deliver smooth gameplay.
For Resident Evil 4, both CPUs faced similar performance limitations, resulting in identical output levels.
In Halo Infinite, the 7500F was 14% faster at 1080p, and when looking at the 1% lows, it was 16% ahead. These differences narrowed to 7% for average frame rates and 11% for 1% lows at 1440p. Performance equalized due to GPU limitations at 4K.
The Callisto Protocol showcased some significant performance benefits for the Ryzen 5 processor, which was 19-20% faster at both 1080p and 1440p. By the time we scaled to 4K, results became predominantly GPU-limited. While the 13400F managed a brisk 213 fps at 1080p, a boost of roughly 20% for the 7500F is significant.
In Far Cry 6, we observed noticeable performance gains for the 7500F. It was 15% faster at 1080p and interestingly, 24% faster at 1440p. Though one might typically expect the margin to narrow at 1440p, we've noted instances in the past where increasing the resolution also intensifies CPU load. In this title, at 4K resolution, the 13400F appears to be experiencing some form of latency issue. The 7500F still performed up to 10% faster. This discrepancy might be attributed to Nvidia's driver overhead affecting the Core i5 more than the Ryzen 5.
In Call of Duty Modern Warfare II, the 7500F significantly outperformed, producing 26% more frames at 1080p, reaching 252 fps. However, the 1440p data leaned more towards GPU limitations, resulting in the Ryzen 5 processor being only 6% faster. As expected, the 4K data was completely GPU constrained.
Hitman 3 showcased a more competitive performance, particularly when evaluating the 1% lows. Nevertheless, the 7500F was 8% faster at 1080p and 9% faster at 1440p in terms of average frame rate. Even at 4K, the 7500F maintained a 6% lead.
While benchmarking Baldur's Gate 3, we focused on the location Baldur's Gate, identifying it as one of the most CPU-intensive sections of the game we've encountered. The results were intriguing: the 13400F and 7500F delivered almost identical performance at 1080p. However, even if the differences at 1440p and 4K weren't stark, they broadened to favor the Ryzen processor. At 4K, the 7500F led by 6%.
Concluding with F1 23, it was a clear victory for the 7500F. The processor was 25% faster at both 1080p and 1440p, marking a significant performance boost. It's worth noting that both CPUs still ensured a smooth gameplay experience.
In terms of power consumption, the 7500F and 13400F are quite comparable. The Ryzen processor typically consumes slightly more power, and we observed an average total system usage increase by 22 watts. However, this doesn't take into account the fact that the Ryzen processor was faster, and therefore pushed the GPU to work harder, so let's take a look at performance per watt.
Regarding performance per watt, the 7500F proves to be the more efficient gaming processor, albeit by a small margin. We're looking at a mere 3% efficiency advantage based on this data, rendering power usage relatively insignificant in a comparison of these two components.
Analyzing performance across the 26 game configurations, on average, the 7500F yielded 12% more performance. Its most substantial lead was in Fortnite, followed by Call of Duty and then F1 23 – all titles that showcased significantly high frame rates. However, there was a single instance where the 7500F lagged, evident during tests with The Riftbreaker.
For the 1% lows, the results align closely: overall, the 7500F is 9% faster, and predominantly, the games where the Ryzen processor excelled remain consistent.
Shifting to 1440p decreased the overall lead to 10%, a minor decline compared to 1080p. The 7500F's standout performances were in Fortnite and F1 23, with substantial advancements also observed in Far Cry 6, The Callisto Protocol, and Horizon Zero Dawn.
The margin for the 1% lows at 1440p is slightly tighter at 8%, yet it remains a respectable lead for the Ryzen 5. Games like Far Cry 6 and Fortnite saw increases surpassing 20%.
At the GPU-constrained 4K resolution, the 7500F was on average 5% faster. However, here we are essentially testing graphics performance and not raw CPU output, so it's vital to approach this data cautiously.
We observed a mere 4% improvement for the 7500F at 4K when evaluating the 1% lows. Most tests showed margins of 5% or less, with CPU-constrained titles at lower settings, such as Fortnite, contributing to this overall percentage.
Entry-Level AM5 FTW
For budget-conscious gamers, the Ryzen 5 7500F presents a compelling option, particularly if priced at $180 or less, though its exact retail price remains to be seen. Given that the Ryzen 7600 is available for $220 at certain outlets, it's imperative for the 7500F to be priced under $200 to make sense.
Additionally, it's worth noting that the 7500F is bundled with the Wraith Stealth box cooler, much like the 7600, so you don't have to spend any more money on a cooler, if you don't want to.
If you're considering building a new gaming PC, the Core i5-13400 doesn't appear to offer a convincing argument. It's potentially pricier, and as our results indicate, it consistently lags in gaming performance, at times significantly. It's worth keeping in mind that we were using more expensive DDR5-7200 memory with the Intel CPU.
For those eyeing productivity, the 13400 and its E-Cores cluster don't consistently outperform the 7500F. In several applications, it might even be slower. However, in general, they might have a closely matched performance. If productivity is your primary focus, the Core i5-13500, priced at $250, is a better fit as it boasts twice as many E-Cores. With the Ryzen 7 7700 tagged at $330, the 13500 lacks direct competition.
We should note that Intel has recently slashed the Core i5-12600K's price to $185 – a stellar offer. While not significantly faster than the 13400F out of the box, it can be overclocked.
With the Ryzen 5 7500F expected at ~$180, it should be generally faster than the 12600K for gaming while using less power – that's a comparison worth exploring in the future.
The prospect of a Zen 4 processor under $200 is exciting, and we're eager to spot the 7500F on shelves, hopefully at the projected price point. A potential challenge might be its availability, given that AMD relies on defective silicon without a functional iGPU to manufacture the 7500F. Therefore, based on its popularity, it could prove elusive in stock.