What Is The AMD Ryzen 7 1700, 1700X & 1800X?
All the way back in December 2016 at AMD’s New Horizon Summit in Austin, Texas, USA, AMD announced that 2017 would be the year of the Zen, AMD’s latest and greatest CPU core architecture to put the pressure on and make haste with all those haters having gone years without a proper enthusiast desktop CPU release from the blue team. Having been quiet primarily since the 990FX lineup of processors (Bulldozer/Piledriver) which offered high performance to value ratios, they did garner a lot of flak due to their low IPC (instructions per cycle) performance in comparison to their Intel counterparts. After the announcement, the hype started about what was about to come and in early 2017, the rumour mill was in total overdrive.
AMD hadn’t just announced a new processor architecture, but the dawning of a new manufacturing process in which the chips would be based on, 14nm which was a first for AMD. Not only was their new 14nm FinFET process to be more energy efficient, but would leave the aforementioned 990FX compatible processors in the dust in terms of IPC performance. The range of Ryzen 7 processors would then launch in March to a fantastic reception, but some had labeled the launch with criticism due to gaming performance. AMD was hot on the tail of this issue and the issue seems to have been put to bed. Now that drivers, software and BIOS updates from motherboard manufacturers have been allowed to mature into a blossoming flower, I believe it’s time to give the ultimate lowdown on AMD’s popular 8 core offerings by reviewing all 3, the Ryzen 7 1700, 1700X and 1800X processors. There are still some issues that need to be worked out, but AMD are doing their best to get them resolved as quickly as possible, and are releasing updates to their platform thick and fast.
Below is a table comparing the 1700, 1700X and 1800X together in terms of specifications to see what we’re dealing with.
To view more about the AMD Ryzen 1700 processor, click HERE
To view more about the AMD Ryzen 1700X processor, click HERE
To view more about the AMD Ryzen 1800X processor, click HERE
All three of the Ryzen 7 processors feature 8 cores and 16 threads and aside from core clock and core boost clock, the specifications are identical. The Ryzen 1700 comes with a mediocre 3 GHz core clock but boosts to a very generous 3.7 GHz boost clock speed. This equates to around a 23% increase in clock speed which is absolutely amazing and it’s easy to see why the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 is being touted around as one of the best value multi-core processors you can physically purchase today. The 1700X has a fairly higher base core clock speed of 3.4 GHz (400 MHz more than the 1700), but boosts to only 100 MHz higher than the 1700 to speed of 3.8 GHz. The fastest and most expensive of all three, the Ryzen 7 1800X, features a base clock of 3.6 GHz and a maximum boost clock of 4 GHz.
From first glance, it would seem that the Ryzen 7 1700 would be the best value out of the three and it’s easy to see why; an 8 core processor for under £300/$300 represents phenomenal value for money in my opinion. Whether the performance difference between the 1700, 1700X and 1800X is massive enough to warrant the extra cash between the three, that remains to be seen, but what I do know is I’m itching to put these three Ryzen 8 core powerhouses on the test bench and see exactly what we’re dealing with in terms of performance (synthetic, gaming and real-world applications) before we discuss things further…
Test Setup & Methodology
Motherboard – ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero X370
Memory – Crucial Ballistix Elite 3000 MHz (2x8GB) DDR4
Graphics – ASUS GTX 1060 STRIX 6GB
Cooler – Noctua NH-D15 SE-AM4
PSU – be quiet! 1000w Dark Power Pro 11
Storage – Crucial MX300 525GB SSD
OS – Windows 10 Professional 64bit
2D Synthetic Benchmarks: AIDA64, Cinebench R15, PCMark 8
3D Synthetic Benchmarks: 3DMark Fire Strike, 3DMark Time Spy
Gaming Benchmarks: Ashes of The Singularity, Tom Clancy’s: The Division, Total War: WARHAMMER (1080p/1440p/4K)
Streaming Benchmarks: Tom Clancy’s: The Division (Ryzen 7 1700 Only)
Ryzen 7 1700/1700X/1800X Performance Results
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Time Spy
Ashes of The Singularity
Tom Clancy’s: The Division
Total War: WARHAMMER
As streaming is an ever popular activity these days, we wanted to start introducing streaming performance tests (WIP) to Play3r’s testing suite. Usually, professional streamers will have a dual system setup with one system responsible for encoding and handling the streaming, with the second system being primarily for gaming. The reason behind this is that streaming is known for hogging system resources, and can get quite intensive depending on the bitrate used.
To test the performance hit on the Ryzen 7 processors, I picked one at random (the R7 1700) and set about running the benchmark from Tom Clancy’s: The Division to see if streaming had a detrimental effect on frame rate.
As we can see when using the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 as the encoder instead of a dedicated capture card or graphics card, the performance hit was negligible. This shows that the 8 core 16 thread power house can easily handle your game play without much in the way of disturbance to frame rates and can run the stream with a decent bitrate of 2500kbps to Twitch.tv (using Xsplit Broadcaster like I did of course). This proves that the Ryzen 7 range of processors are not just great for gaming, multi-tasking and multi-threaded applications, but they are also fantastic for streaming gameplay too!
If you’ve read any other reviews (we won’t blame you if you have!) then you will know that these CPUs all seem to top out at the 4 GHz region. We’ve also experienced this and can confirm that it is extremely difficult to get them to 4.1 GHz, with 4.2 being pretty much impossible. Another editor of ours recently swapped from X99 and a 5820K to an R7 1700 system and experienced the exact same thing. It would appear to be a limit of the core design or just the manufacturing process as it is still in its infancy for AMD. We expect to see better overclocks in the future when they (hopefully) re-release a revised version, but for now, you should be happy with anything between 3.8 GHz and 4.1 GHz on your core speeds. Whilst we didn’t do any testing at these frequencies, we thought it was important to notify you of the ability of the chips. Provided that you have adequate cooling, you should be able to make your R7 1700 run as fast as an R7 1800X for around £200/$200 less. Both of them will require a better cooler, and given that the 1800X doesn’t come with one, the added cost is not factored in here.
So, there we have it, all 3 of the latest 8 core processors from AMD have been through our testing suite and on our AM4 X370 test bench…and the results are in; Ryzen 7 is absolutely phenomenal! The reason why? Well I shall explain and elaborate on everything…
We all know the flack, the hate and the disdain shown towards AMD over the last 5+ years in the AMD desktop CPU range, but not all of it was totally warranted. Sure, the Bulldozer and Piledriver ranged lacked considerable single threaded performance in comparison to the relative Intel components and even the quad cores from Intel showed much better IPC performance overall, but the 8 core FX processor series did show fantastic value for money towards the mid/end of the cycle. Fast forward to today and AMD haven’t just won the 8 core race, but they have literally forced Intel back into a corner and even their new X299 chipset doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference to Ryzen’s supremacy in terms of value… something I think AMD should be very proud of.
Yes, the IPC performance is still slightly behind Intel currently, but they certainly aren’t far enough behind to make it non-competitive – Ryzen 7 is competitive in every shape and form. The only slightly irritating thing about Ryzen 7 is the overall memory performance; it only supports dual channel as opposed to Intel’s X range featuring quad channel. Although this isn’t’ a deal breaker by any measure and the difference in real word performance isn’t much, if anything to shout about.
When Ryzen 7 first launched, there was an issue with frame rates while gaming at lower resolutions, but this was due to game developers and the issue has been fixed as you can see in our testing. The gaming performance isn’t far enough behind Intel not to consider AMD’s Ryzen CPUs for gaming and even when streaming to Twitch.tv with a 2500kbps bitrate, it failed to make a dent in performance and that’s fantastic for content creators and gamers alike.
Since AMD upped their game and switched to their new 14nm Zen architecture, the door was open to a new range of possibilities and the most striking of all is single thread performance in comparison to their previous 32nm desktop processors codenamed Bulldozer and Piledriver. The new chips use the new AMD64 instruction set as well as a new 14nm FinFET design which enables higher power efficiency, stronger IPC performance and most of all, at an overall cheaper cost. Even the new AM4 socket created to hold and unleash these processors has been designed well, despite motherboard manufactures having mere weeks to perfect their designs; BIOS revisions now feature support for faster kits of memory with thanks to the microcode (AGESA) updates that AMD are continually working on. We intend to find out in the near future how memory speed will impact on AMD’s newest Zen architecture while gaming; be sure to keep a look out for this one very soon.
As for the processors at face value, the Ryzen processors look good and I really like the Ryzen logo in the CPU etching. Of course, this is pointless as processors won’t run (maybe for a few moments) without being covered by a CPU cooler and if you’re looking to overclock your Ryzen 7 processor, make sure you have adequate cooling to hand as 8 core processors do tend to ramp up warm very quickly.
Overall, the design of the Ryzen 7 processors is good and is a solid foundation for AMD to start claiming back their percentage of the CPU market; since Ryzen launched, AMD has seen them claw back a noticeable percentage back from Intel and that isn’t just good for AMD as a company, but for us as consumers as competition equates to lower pricing, better products and less stagnant feature sets.
When the suspected Ryzen 7 processor line up had its pricing leaked, it sent fanboys, consumers and enthusiasts into overdrive as on paper, the processors looked solid and for the price, it looked to be an actual Intel killer that everyone had been hoping would happen for a long time. When they launched, it virtually rendered Intel’s X99 chipset CPU line up irrelevant and still to this day, the X299 platform has been plagued with serious issues and although Intel have reduced the pricing on their top range 8/10 core processors in line with AMD’s pricing, the price gap is still too big to justify the extra cost. The 7900K 10c20t doesn’t have a noticeable advantage and the value element here is absolutely clear; Ryzen 7 offers amazing value for money!
Out of the 3 processors on test today, the Ryzen 7 1700 8c16t processor offers the best value for money competitive price wise with an Intel Core i7-7700K and i7-7740X, whilst offering double the cores and threads, but not leaving anything behind in terms of gaming performance. Sure, the Intel chips might overclock further, but at stock, the difference is virtually non-existent thanks to BIOS maturity, driver maturity and even more so, the game developers released numerous patches to fix the early launch problems when gaming.
In my humble opinion, AMD have probably the best line up of desktop CPUs available since the old Phenom days where the competition between AMD and Intel was a case of branding and less about performance. Now the times have changed greatly and Intel led the market for years and years, but unfortunately for them…Ryzen is here to save consumers from over inflated pricing and more surprisingly, an alternative to just one company; I did mention competition is healthy for consumers, right? Intel got extremely complacent and left us with quad cores for an entire decade until AMD decided to change things up. Folks, if that’s not a sign of healthy competition, then I don’t know what to tell you.
If you’re looking to build a new gaming system and you stream, or you’re a content creator and do video rendering/encoding, the Ryzen 7 (1700/1700X/1800X) CPU range is most likely what I would go for personally. Having the 8 cores offers future proofing, the ability to render videos faster and not lose too much in terms of frame rate performance while gaming. The best out of the three for me is the Ryzen 7 1700 as for under £300/$300, it’s the best priced CPU on the market and offers similar performance (only different is binning and clock speed) to the 1800X!
I would like to say huge thanks to AMD for sending the Ryzen 7 1700, 1700X and 1800X processors in for review and we look forward to more from the Zen architecture!
- Amazing value, especially the Ryzen 7 1700 processor
- AMD is back to the desktop CPU market in a big way and have Intel on the ropes
- Naming scheme is simple and smart (Ryzen 3, 5, 7)
- Decent IPC performance, especially compared to previous AMD desktop CPUs
- Probably the safest option to go for given the early X299 release issues
- Still not totally on par IPC wise with Intel, but not far off at all!
- Memory latency performance could be improved upon
- Only using dual channel memory, although not a huge deal in real world applications