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We tested the Ryzen 5 1600X, the most high-end CPU from AMD’s new Ryzen 5 lineup. It has six cores, 12 threads, 3.6 GHz base clock, 4.0 GHz turbo clock, TDP of 95 W, and uses the new AM4 socket. Check it out!
After several years, AMD finally launched a new generation of CPUs, based on a brand new architecture, called Zen, using the new AM4 socket. The first CPUs based on this new socket are called Ryzen 7 and they are high-end processors. AMD now launched the Ryzen 5 (mainstream) processors, and the Ryzen 3 (entry) models will be available soon.
There are, so far, four Ryzen 5 models: the Ryzen 5 1600X (6 cores, 4.0 GHz maximum clock), the Ryzen 5 1600 (6 cores, 3.6 GHz maximum clock), the Ryzen 5 1500X (4 cores, 3.7 GHz maximum clock,) and the Ryzen 5 1400 (4 cores, 3.4 GHz maximum clock). All of them have the SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading) technology, similar to Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology, which simulates two logic cores on each physical core.
Ryzen CPUs use the new AM4 socket, and are compatible with DDR4 memory. This means they are incompatible with “old” motherboards that use AM3+ and FM2+ sockets. They have no integrated video, but the AM4 socket supports integrated video, because future APUs that use this socket will have this feature.
These new CPUs are manufactured under 14 nm “FinFET” technology. These CPUs are build with “Core Complex” (CCX) modules, and each CCX has four cores. Each core has 128 kiB L1 cache and 512 kiB L2 cache, and each CCX has an 8 MiB L3 cache.
The Ryzen 5 1600X have two CCXs, with one disabled core each, so its configuration is called 3+3. Its base clock is 3.6 GHz, and it can uses a core boost clock up to 3.7 GHz on all cores, and 4.0 GHz boost on up to two cores. There is also another clock rate named XFR, of 4.1 GHz, but AMD don’t let clear when this clock is actually enabled.
Ryzen CPUs have unlocked clock multiplier, which allows the user to overclocking it simply by changing the settings on the motherboard setup, if it uses one of the chipsets compatible with this feature (B350 e X370).
Besides that, Ryzen CPUs have a set of features called “SenseMI”, where the CPU detects and controls the clock in 25 MHz steps, according to several factors.
Like the Ryzen 7 1700X and Ryzen 7 1800X, the Ryzen 5 1600X is sold without a cooler. The mounting frame used by AM4 socket is similar to the older ones with respect to the “hook” where the CPU cooler holds. So, coolers that use this center hook (like the Wraith) are compatible with AM4 socket. However, the motherboard holes are different, so AM3/FM2 coolers which mounting system uses the motherboard holes will not fit.
The closer competitor of the Ryzen 5 1600X is the Core i5-7600K. So, we compared the Ryzen 5 1600X to the Core i5-7600K.
Figure 1 shows the box of the Ryzen 5 1600X.

Ryzen 5 1600XFigure 1: Ryzen 5 1600X package

In Figure 2 you see the box contents: a small manual, a case sticker, and the CPU itself.

Ryzen 5 1600XFigure 2: box contents

In Figure 3 you see the Ryzen 5 1600X processor

Ryzen 5 1600XFigure 3: base of the Wraith Spire cooler

In Figure 3 you see the underside of the processor.

Ryzen 5 1600XFigure 4: the bottom of the CPU

As the Ryzen CPUs have no integrated video, we used a GeForce GTX 1080 video card on all tests.
Let’s compare the main specs of the reviewed CPUs in the next page.
[nextpage title=”The Reviewed CPUs”]
In the tables below, we compare the main features of the CPUs included in our review.

CPU Cores HT/SMT IGP Internal Clock Turbo Clock Core Tech. TDP Socket Price
Ryzen 5 1600X 6 Yes No 3.6 GHz 4.0 GHz Summit Ridge 14 nm 95 W AM4 USD 250
Core i5-7600K 4 No Yes 3.8 GHz 4.2 GHz Kaby Lake 14 nm 91 W LGA1151 USD 240

Below you can see the memory configuration for each CPU.

CPU L2 Cache L3 Cache Memory Support Memory Channels
Ryzen 5 1600X 6 x 512 kiB 2 x 8 MiB Up to DDR4-2667 2
Core i5-7600K 4 x 256 KiB 6 MiB Up to DDR4-2400 or DDR3L-1600 2

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions, the only variable devicand was the CPU being tested, besides the motherboard, which had to be replaced to match the different CPUs.
Hardware Configuration

Operating System Configuration

  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • NTFS
  • Video resolution: 1920 x 1080 60 Hz

Driver Versions

  • NVIDIA driver version: 381.65

Software Used

Error Margin
We adopted a 3% error margin. Thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.
[nextpage title=”PCMark 8″]
PCMark 8 is a benchmarking software that uses real-world applications to measure the computer performance. We ran three tests: Home, which includes web browsing, writing, light gaming, photo editing, and video chat tests; Creative, that includes web surfing, video editing, group video chat, video conversion, and gaming; and Work, which runs tasks such as writing documents, web browsing, spreadsheets, editing, and video chatting. Let’s see the results.
Ryzen 5 1600X
On the PCMark 8 Home benchmark, the Ryzen 5 1600X performed similarly to the Core i5-7600K.
Ryzen 5 1600X
On the Creative benchmark, the Ryzen 5 1600X also performed similarly to the Core i5-7600K.
Ryzen 5 1600X
On the Work benchmark, also the Ryzen 5 1600X and the Core i5-7600K performed similarly.
[nextpage title=”3DMark”]

3DMark is a program with a set of several 3D benchmarks. Fire Strike runs a “heavy” DirectX 11 simulation. Sky Diver also measures DirectX 11 performance, and is aimed on average computers. The Cloud Gate benchmark measures DirectX 10 performance, and the Ice Storm Extreme measures DirectX 9 performance and is targeted to entry-level computers, so we don’t ran it.

Ryzen 5 1600X

On Fire Strike, the Ryzen 5 1600X was 5% faster than the Core i5-7600K.

Ryzen 5 1600X

On the Sky Diver benchmark, the Ryzen 5 1600X was 24% faster than the Core i5-7600K.

Ryzen 5 1600X

On the Cloud Gate benchmark, the Ryzen 5 1600X was 51% faster than the Core i5-7600K.

[nextpage title=”Performance in programs”]

 Cinebench R15

Cinebench R15 is based on the Cinema 4D software. It is very useful to measure the performance gain obtained by the presence of several processing cores while rendering heavy 3D images. Rendering is an area where a bigger number of cores helps a lot, because usually this kind of software recognize several processors (Cinebench R15, for example, can use up to 256 processing cores).
We ran the CPU benchmark, which renders a complex image using all the processing cores (real and virtual) to speed up the process. The result is given as a score.
Ryzen 5 1600X
On Cinebench R15 CPU benchmark, the Ryzen 5 1600X was 77% faster than the Core i5-7600K.

CPU-Z

On its current version, the well-known hardware identification software CPU-Z comes with a benchmarking tool, which measures CPU performance for one core and for all available cores.
Ryzen 5 1600X
On the single thread benchmark, the Ryzen 5 1600X performed similarly to the Core i5-7600K.
Ryzen 5 1600X
On the multiple thread benchmark, the Ryzen 5 1600X was 18% faster than the Core i5-7600K.

Handbrake

Handbrake is an open-source video converting tool. We converted a Full HD, six-minute long .mov video file into an .MP4 file, using the “Fast 1080p30” output profile. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.
Ryzen 5 1600X
On Handbrake, the Ryzen 5 1600X was 59% faster than the Core i5-7600K.

DivX

We used the DivX converter, a tool included in the DivX package, in order to measure the encoding performance using this codec. The DivX codec is capable of recognizing and using all available cores and the SSE4 instruction set.
We converted a Full HD, six-minute long .mov video file into an .avi file, using the “HD 1080p” output profile. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.
Ryzen 5 1600X
On DivX encoding, the Ryzen 5 1600X was 18% slower than the Core i5-7600K.

 Media Espresso

Media Espresso is a video conversion program that uses the graphics processing unit of the video engine to speed up the conversion process. We converted a 1 GiB, 1920x1080i, 23,738 kbps, .mov video file to a smaller 320×200, H.264, .MP4 file for viewing on a smartphone. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.
Ryzen 5 1600X
Here the Ryzen 5 1600X was 15% slower than the Core i5-7600K.

Photoshop CC

The best way to measure the performance of a CPU is by using real programs. The problem, of course, is to create a methodology that offers precise results. For Photoshop CC, we used a script named “Retouch Artist Speed Test,” which applies a series of filters to a standard image and gives the time Photoshop takes to run all of them. The results are given in seconds, so the less, the best.
Ryzen 5 1600X
In this test, both the processors performed the same way.

WinRAR

Another task where the CPU is very demanded is on file compacting. We ran a test compacting a folder with 8 GiB on 6.813 files to a file, using WinRAR 4.2. The graph below shows the time taken on each test.
Ryzen 5 1600X
On WinRAR, the Ryzen 5 1600X was 13% faster than the Core i5-7600K.
[nextpage title=”Gaming Performance”]

Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1 (BF1) is a first person shooter launched in October 2016, base on the Frostbite engine. To benchmark using this game, we played the same misson on the campaign mode, in Full HD and graphic settings as “high”, measuring the framerate with FRAPS.
The results below are expressed in frames per second.
Ryzen 5 1600X
On Battlefield 1, the Ryzen 5 1600X was 7% slower than the Core i5-7600K.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (or simply CS:GO) is a very popular FPS, launched in august 2012, that uses the Source engine, which is DirectX 9. We benchmarked it playing the “Inferno” map against bots, in Full HD and graphic settings as “high”, measuring the framerate with FRAPS.
The results below are expressed in frames per second.
Ryzen 5 1600X
On this game, the Ryzen 5 1600X was 16% slower than the Core i5-7600K.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an action RPG with FPS elements, launched in August 2016, that uses the Dawn engine, being compatible with DirectX 12. We tested it using the benchmark included in the game, with DirectX 12 enabled, Full HD, and graphic options as “medium”.
The results below are expressed in frames per second.
Ryzen 5 1600X
On this game, the Ryzen 5 1600X was 13% slower than the Core i5-7600K.

Dirt Rally

Dirt Rally is an off-road racing game released in April 2015, using Ego engine. To measure performance using this game, we ran the performance test included in the game, in 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution and image quality configured as “medium” and MSAA off.
The results below are expressed in frames per second (fps).
Ryzen 5 1600X

In this game, the Ryzen 5 1600X was 20% slower than the Core i5-7600K.

Doom

Doom is an FPS/horror/sci-fi game launched in May 2016, that used the id Tech 6 engine. We tested the performance in this game, with the API OpenGL with quality options “high” and FXAA on, measuring the framerate with FRAPS three times.
The results below are expressed in fps and they are the mean between the three collected results.
 
Ryzen 5 1600X

In this game, the Ryzen 5 1600X was 10% slower than the Core i5-7600K.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V, or simply GTA V, is an open-world action game released for PCs in April of 2015, using the RAGE engine. In order to measure the performance on this game, we ran the performance test of the game, measuring the framerate with FRAPS. We ran GTA V at Full HD, with all image quality set as “high” and MSAA off.

The results below are expressed in frames per second.

Ryzen 5 1600X

On GTA V, the Ryzen 5 1600X was 20% faster than the Core i5-7600K.

Hitman

Hitman is an action/stealth game, launched in March 2016, that uses a DirectX 12 compatible version of the Glacier 2 engine. To measure performance in this game, we ran the benchmark in it, measuring the framerate with FRAPS. We ran this game with DirectX 12 enabled, with image quality set as “high”.
The results below, in Full HD and 4K, are expressed in frames per second.
Ryzen 5 1600X
On Hitman, the Ryzen 5 1600X was 6% faster than the Core i5-7600K.

Mad Max

Mad Max is an open-world action game launched in September of 2015, using the Avalanche engine. In order to measure the performance using this game, we ran its intro, measuring the framerate with FRAPS three times. We ran the game with image quality set as “high”.

The results below are expressed in fps and they are the mean between the three collected results.

Ryzen 5 1600X

On Mad Max, both the CPUs performed similarly.

Rainbow Six Siege

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is a tactical FPS game launched in december 2015, using the AnvilNext engine, which is DirectX 11. In order to measure the performance using this game, we ran its built-in benchmark, in Full HD and with image quality set as “high”.

The results below are expressed in fps.

Ryzen 5 1600X

On this game, the Ryzen 5 1600X was 5% slower than the Core i5-7600K.

Rise of the Tomb Rider

Rise of the Tomb Rider is an adventure/action game launched in January of 2016, based on Foundation engine. In order to measure the performance using this game, we ran the benchmark included on it, using Full HD resolution and graphics quality set to “medium”.
The results below are expressed in frames per second.

Ryzen 5 1600X

Also on Rise of the Tomb Rider, the Ryzen 5 1600X was 36% slower than the Core i5-7600K.

The Witcher 3 – Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an open-world RPG released in May of 2015 and based on the REDengine 3 engine. In order to measure the performance on this game, we walked around at the first scene of the game, measuring the frame rate with FRAPS three times. We ran the game with image quality set to “ultra.”

The results below are expressed in fps and they are the mean between the three collected results.

Ryzen 5 1600X

On Rise of the Tomb Raider, the Ryzen 5 1600X was 4% slower than the Core i5-7600K.

[nextpage title=”Overclocking”]
All the Ryzen processors have unlocked clock multiplier, which means you can overclocking it just by changing its multiplier, as long as the motherboard has this feature.
We were able to configure the CPU to run stable at 3.925 GHz (100 MHz reference clock and x39,25 multiplier), with the original voltages.
It may be possible to reach higher frequencies if you “play” with the available adjusts, as long as you have a good power supply, motherboard, and cooling system. It is also good to keep in mind that the overclock capability depends on pure luck, since two CPUs of same model can reach different maximum clocks.
[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]
Comparing the benchmarks of the Ryzen 5 1600X and the Core i5-7600K, we concluded each one has advantage in some applications and disadvantage in other ones, so we can say the they at very similar processors.
In applications that use a big number of threads (like Handbrake, for instance,) it is clear that the Ryzen 5 1600X is faster than the Core i5-7600K, which has only four threads.
In games, on the other hand, there was a small advantage favoring the Core i5-7600K, which was a little faster in eight games. The Ryzen 5 1600X reached a higher framerate in two. Besides that, it is clear that both CPUs are great choices for gaming computers.
A plus of the Ryzen 5 1600X is its good overclocking capability. On the other hand, the fact it comes without a cooler is a disadvantage, even more because high-end cooler compatible with AM4 socket are still hard to find. This may, however, change in a few weeks.
So, we can say the Ryzen 5 1600X is a CPU with excellent cost/benefit ration, mainly in programs that use its twelve threads. In most games, however, it is a little behind its competitor Core i5-7600K, being still a good option.