We tested the Ryzen 7 1700X, a new CPU from AMD, based on the Zen (Summit Ridge) architecture. It has eight cores, 16 threads, 3.4 GHz base clock, 3.8 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 already announced the Ryzen 5 (mainstream) and Ryzen 3 (entry) families.
The first models on the market are the Ryzen 7 1700, the Ryzen 7 1700X, and the Ryzen 7 1800X, all of them with eight cores and 16 threads, thanks to 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.
These new CPUs are manufactured under 14 nm “FinFET” technology. Each core has 128 kiB L1 cache and 512 kiB L2 cache, and there is an 8 MiB L3 shared cache for each four-core block. The Ryzen 7 1700X is made with two of those blocks, with a total of 4 MiB of L2 cache and 16 MiB of L3 cache. That’s why AMD says the CPU has a 20 MiB cache.
Ryzen CPUs have unlocked clock multiplier, which allows the user to overclock 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. Ryzen CPUs with an “X” on the name also offer the XFR (Extended Frequency Range) feature, which allows the CPU to increase the clock above the turbo clock, as long as the cooling system keeps the temperature low.
The Ryzen 7 1700X and Ryzen 7 1800X are 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.
One of the direct competitors of the Ryzen 7 1700X (that costs USB 400), is the Core i7-6800K, which uses LGA2011-v3 socket and costs USD 450. We don’t have a Core i7-6800K (six core, 3.4 GHz) in our laboratory, but we decided to simulate this CPU using a Core i7-6950X CPU, disabling four cores and adjusting the clock to make it similar to the Core i7-6800K. So, keep in mind that, when we mention the Core i7-6800K on our tests, we are talking about a Core i7-6950X simulating its characteristics.
We also included in our tests a Core i7-7700K, which is a quad-core CPU that costs a little less (USD 350) than the reviewed CPU.
Finally, we also included in our comparison a FX-8350 (eight cores, 4 GHz), which is one of the high-end models from the FX series, to see how much performance gain AMD is delivering from one architecture to the other one.
Figure 1 shows the Ryzen 7 1700X (center,) the Core i7-7700K (left,) and the FX-8350 (right). As you may see, the Ryzen 7 looks similar to the FX from the top.
Figure 1: the i7-7700K (left,) Ryzen 7 1700X (center,) and FX-8350 (right)
In Figure 2 we have the underside of the Core i7-7700K (left,) the Ryzen 7 1700X (center,) and the FX-8350 (right).
Figure 2: underside of the Core i7-7700K, Ryzen 7 1700X, and FX-8350
As the Ryzen 7 1700X has 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.