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.
[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 7 1700X||8||Yes||No||3.4 GHz||3.8 GHz||Sumit Ridge||14 nm||95 W||AM4||USD 400|
|Core i7-6800K||6||Yes||No||3.4 GHz||3.6 GHz||Broadwell-E||14 nm||140 W||LGA2011-v3||USD 450|
|Core i7-7700K||4||Yes||Yes||4.2 GHz||4.5 GHz||Kaby Lake||14 nm||91 W||LGA1151||USD 350|
|FX-8350||8||No||No||4.0 GHz||4.2 GHz||Vishera||32 nm||125 W||AM3+||USD 160|
Below you can see the memory configuration for each CPU.
|CPU||L2 Cache||L3 Cache||Memory Support||Memory Channels|
|Ryzen 7 1700X||8 x 512 kiB||2 x 8 MiB||Up to DDR4-2667||2|
|Core i7-6800K||6 x 256 kiB||15 MiB||Up to DDR4-2400||4|
|Core i7-7700K||4 x 256 KiB||8 MiB||Up to DDR4-2400 or DDR3L-1600||2|
|FX-8350||4 x 2 MiB||8 MiB||Up to DDR3-1866||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 and memory, which had to be replaced to match the different CPUs.
- Motherboard (AM4): ASRock X370 Taichi
- Motherboard (LGA1151): Gigabyte AORUS Z270X-Gaming 7
- Motherboard (LGA2011-v3): ASRock X99 Extreme6/3.1
- Motherboard (AM3+) ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer
- Memory (DDR4): 16 GiB DDR4-2133, two G.Skill Ripjaws V F4-2133C15D-16GVR 8 GiB memory modules configured at 2133 MHz
- Memory (DDR3): 16 GiB DDR3-2133, four G.Skill Ripjaws Z F3-17000CL9Q-16GBZH 4 GiB memory modules configured at 213
- Boot drive: WD Blue 1,000 GiB SSD
- Video Card: GeForce GTX 1080
- Video Monitor: Philips 236VL
- Power Supply: Corsair VS500
Operating System Configuration
- Windows 10 Home 64-bit
- Video resolution: 1920 x 1080 60 Hz
- NVIDIA driver version: 378.49
- 3DMark 1.5.915
- Cinebench R15
- CPU-Z 1.78
- DivX 10.6
- Media Espresso 6.7
- PCMark 8
- Photoshop CC
- WinRAR 4.2
- Dirt Rally
- GTA V
- Mad Max
- Rise of the Tomb Rider
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.
On the PCMark 8 Home benchmark, the Ryzen 7 1700X was 26% faster than the Core i7-6800K, 10% slower than the Core i7-7700K, and 32% faster than the FX-8350.
On the Creative benchmark, the Ryzen 7 1700X was 16% faster than the Core i7-6800K, 5% slower than the Core i7-7700K, and 41% faster than the FX-8350.
On the Work benchmark, the Ryzen 7 1700X was 26% faster than the Core i7-6800K, 11% slower than the Core i7-7700K, and 19% faster than the FX-8350.
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.
On Fire Strike, the Ryzen 7 1700X was 5% slower than the Core i7-6800K, 11% slower than the Core i7-7700K, and 43% faster than the FX-8350.
On the Sky Diver benchmark, the Ryzen 7 1700X was 5% faster than the Core i7-6800K, performed similarly to the Core i7-7700K, and was 40% faster than the FX-8350.
On the Cloud Gate benchmark, the Ryzen 7 1700X was 29% faster than the Core i7-6800K, 19% slower than the Core i7-7700K, and 104% faster than the FX-8350.
[nextpage title=”Performance in programs”]
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.
On Cinebench R15 CPU benchmark, the Ryzen 7 1700X was 46% faster than the Core i7-6800K, 55% faster than the Core i7-7700K, and 143% faster than the FX-8350.
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.
On the single thread benchmark, the Ryzen 7 1700X was 40% faster than the Core i7-6800K, have a technical tie to the Core i7-7700K, and was 84% faster than the FX-8350.
On the multiple thread benchmark, the Ryzen 7 1700X was 12% slower than the Core i7-6800K, was similar to the Core i7-7700K, and was 50% faster than the FX-8350.
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.
On DivX encoding, the Ryzen 7 1700X was 23% faster than the Core i7-6800K, 34% slower than the Core i7-7700K, and 21% faster than the FX-8350.
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.
Here the Ryzen 7 1700X was 14% faster than the Core i7-6800K, 36% slower than the Core i7-7700K, and 8% faster than the FX-8350.
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.
In this test, the Ryzen 7 1700X performed the same as the Core i7-6800K, was 22% slower than the Core i7-7700K, and 67% faster than the FX-8350.
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.
On WinRAR, the Ryzen 7 1700X was 16% slower than the Core i7-6800K, 13% slower than the Core i7-7700K, and 35% faster than the FX-8350.
[nextpage title=”Gaming Performance”]
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.
On Battlefield 1, the Ryzen 7 1700X performed similarly to the other CPUs.
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.
On this game, the Ryzen 7 1700X was 20% slower than the Core i7-6800K, 24% slower than the Core i7-7700K, and 20% faster than the FX-8350.
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).
In this game, the Ryzen 7 1700X was 29% slower than the Core i7-6800K, 32% slower than the Core i7-7700K, and 36% faster than the FX-8350.
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.
On GTA V, the Ryzen 7 1700X was 15% slower than the Core i7-6800K, 20% slower than the Core i7-7700K, and 36% faster than the FX-8350.
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.
On Hitman, the Ryzen 7 1700X was 23% slower than the Core i7-6800K, 24% slower than the Core i7-7700K, and 14% faster than the FX-8350.
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.
On Mad Max, all the CPUs performed similarly.
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.
Also on Rise of the Tomb Rider, the Ryzen 7 1700X was 34% slower than the Core i7-6800K, 36% slower than the Core i7-7700K, and 10% faster than the FX-8350.
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 3.7 GHz (100 MHz reference clock and x37 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.
We are glad to see how good is to have again competition on the high-end desktop CPUs market. It is clear on all tests that the Ryzen 7 1700X is far superior to the FX-8350, which is one of the most high-end processors from AMD until this launch.
Comparing the results of the Ryzen 7 1700X benchmarks to the Intel CPUs with similar price is not that simple. It is clear that, in some tests (like Cinebench R15), the Ryzen 7 1700X has an excellent performance, better than the Core i7-6800K, which is a more expensive CPU. On the other hand, in some programs and on most games, the Ryzen 7 1700X was not faster than it, being inferior even to the Core i7-7700K, that costs less than it.
It is good to keep in mind that we ran the games with a high-end video card, in Full HD resolution and intermediate graphics quality, because benchmarking this way, the video card is not demanded too much, and the CPU defines the bottleneck, so we are then benchmarking the CPU gaming performance. In a more typical situation, using a less expensive video card, or higher graphics quality and resolution, the video card becomes the bottleneck, and the influence of the CPU on the gaming performance is dramatically reduced.
There are two main reasons for this aparently inconsistent behavior: first, because the Ryzen 7 1700X (like, for example, the Core i7-6950X) rely on the high number of threads, and not on the single thread performance or high clock, to offer high computing power. So, it takes no advantage in programs that don’t use all those threads. Second, it uses a brand new architecture and cache topography, so it is possible that games, drivers, and programs are not optimized for these CPUs. That means it is possible that the performance on programs raise as the software becomes more mature and receive optimizations for this new architecture.
Right now, the Ryzen 7 1700X is an excellent option for anyone who needs to run programs that take advantage of the 16 available threads. In rendering programs like Cinema 4D (on which Cinebench R15 is based), it has an excellent performance and its cost/benefit ratio is awesome.
On the other hand, for anyone looking for a CPU for a gaming PC, the Ryzen 7 1700X is not the best option, because the competitor offers best performance, costing less. However, it is important to remember that the performance of the Ryzen 7 1700X on games is not bad at all: it simply doesn’t offer a better cost/relation ratio than the Core i7-7700K.
Another important point is that, even using a mainstream cooler, the Ryzen 7 1700X ran cold during all our tests. Keeping a room temperature around 22 degrees Celsius, the maximum temperature the CPU reached was 54 degrees Celsius during a stress test with Prime95.