AMD Ryzen 7 1700X Review

AMD is trying to shake up the market with shockingly low prices for its 8C/16T Ryzen 7 line-up. And while these CPUs don't dominate every workload, there is hope the company's newest architecture is compelling across enough segments to put much-needed pressure on Intel.

One component of AMD's strategy involves attractive pricing. The flagship Ryzen 7 1800X grabbed attention for its ability to battle Intel's Broadwell-E-based Core i7-6900K for $550 less (and with the same number of execution cores). We agree that the 1800X is compelling in threaded productivity and content creation apps. But we think you'll derive more value out from the cheaper Ryzen 7 1700X ($400) and 1700 ($330). The former goes up against Intel's $450 Core i7-6800K, while the latter undercuts Core i7-7700K. In both cases, the AMD chips wield more processing resources than the Intel competition.

Of course, that doesn't mean AMD runs the table in benchmarks. In our AMD Ryzen 7 1800X CPU Review, we saw the new chip offer a solid price-to-performance ratio for productivity and workstation-class workloads. Unfortunately, we couldn’t say the same about gaming. We followed up with testing in a wider range of popular games, and while Ryzen delivered playable performance in most titles, cheaper Core i7-7700K and Core i5-7600K chips were typically better.

AMD claims that the gaming performance issues stem from how applications interact with the intricacies of its new architecture. The company expects a wave of updates from various developers that will eventually remedy this (though so far only two devs have publicly committed to optimizing their engines for the new processors). Until something concrete happens, though, we don't see much value in gaming-specific Ryzen 7 1800X builds.

Might the Ryzen 7 1700X cast a more favorable light on gaming? After all, it costs $100 less, carries over the eight-core configuration with 16MB of L3 cache, and continues to offer an unlocked ratio multiplier.

The unlocked multiplier is especially interesting, given the similarities up and down the Ryzen 7 family. Given a similar 95W TDP between the $500 1800X and $400 1700X, then, the only technical differences between them are their base, two-core Precision Boost, and XFR clock rates. Out of the box, 1800X enjoys a 200 MHz advantage down low and up top. But we've heard claims that 1700X hits a similar ceiling as 1800X when it comes to overclocking.

Right out of the gate, Ryzen 7 1700X looks like a smarter buy than 1800X. But is it smart enough to maintain AMD's strong position in well-threaded desktop apps and make up some value ground in gaming, where the architecture isn't as strong?

MORE: Best CPUs

MORE: Intel & AMD Processor Hierarchy

MORE: Everything Zen: AMD Presents New Microarchitecture At HotChips

MORE: Intel Kaby Lake Core i7-7700K, i7-7700, i5-7600K, i5-7600 Review

MORE: Broadwell-E: Intel Core i7-6950X, 6900K, 6850K & 6800K Review

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  • dstarr3
    Anonymous said:
    Conclusion: Ryzen still sucks.


    It's not that Ryzen sucks, it's that Ryzen was meant to compete with Xeon CPUs, which it does very well. Gamers should look elsewhere, but for some reason, gamers are the ones that got most excited about these CPUs.
    14
  • dusty13
    this article would be more meaningful if it had cpu-usage statistics along with the fps.

    that would actually give us some indicator on actual performance and headroom.


    generally though:

    none of the games tested here really fall below 50 fps.

    rise of the tomb raider is lagging behind 35-50fps ... yeah. do tell how that is relevant with a minimum fps of 73 and the max being over 100 though.

    what articles like these constantly fail to address is that they are talking about gaming performance in current games on 1080p to construct a picture with visibly different graphs.

    on that level however you will not see a difference. for all real life intents and purposes a 7700k or a 1700 will give you the same gaming experience, especially since 1080p gaming usually means entry level to lower midrange and that still mostly happens on 60fps monitors.

    on the other end of the spectrum if you go for a 1440p/144Hz freesync/gsync or 4k monitor and pro gaming setup, you will end up with identical performance due to gpu bound situations.


    so bottom line is, the differences you manage to produce in graphs are not noticeable for the average joe who plays on 1080p and do not exist for highend gamers.


    that leaves only other workloads - but there ryzen usually roflstomps the 7700k and what? future games? not really useful since that can only be speculation, so we can not really say anything meaningful either.

    so for today you will not experience any difference in acutal gameplay no matter what system you use and we can only speculate about optimizations and future games ... although amd hardware has one thing going for it. it is the basis for the two main gaming consoles, one of which runs windows10 and will be refreshed for 4k. even with intel being definitely the bigger player, this should at least somewhat level the playing field as game studios will in essence have titles from xbox who are already heavily optimized for amd on windows 10 with 4k at hand in many cases in the coming year.
    14
  • Oranthal
    Why did you only test 1080p performance? Most people who would consider these CPUs run an RX-480 or greater GPU if they are gaming ($300+ is still the premium market). Other reviews show the gaps shrinking or disappearing with greater resolutions as the bottlenecks are at the GPU where most die-hard review reading gamers will actually be limited.
    10
  • Other Comments
  • Ergosum
    Whoever runs PR at AMD needs to reevaluate their methods. The 1800's and 1700's are very solid products, but for some reason were shadow marketed--letting rumor define the target application sets.

    AMD should have had a strong positive campaign on where these chips do well. Specific. Timely. They would have gathered some gamers who wanted to brag about handbrake performance or some-such. Instead they let the market build fairy castles in the sky about gaming-specific performance, and so (again) lost a great deal of goodwill and trust.
    3
  • ykki
    Tom's please update the win 10 pro version number. "All updates" doesn't tell crap.
    3
  • hannibal
    The problem is that the market made those cloud castless, not the AMD... it is hard to AMD to say users not to speculate. Every information that AMD did give out was confirming that Ryzen was going to be really good multicore performer, and we all know that very few game use more that teo or three threats, so the extra 4-6 cores that Ryzen has normally Are useless I. The games, so any Intel 2-4 core prosessor wa going to better in the games if They would run in higher freguences that Ryzen and AMD very clearly tell us that 3.8 was the very near the top of the prosessor speed.

    If and when games start supporting 8 cores the 1700 is super good perfomer in the games too, but if and most propably because the situation stays the same. 2-4 more powerfull cores is always better in games that having more of them.
    It seems that people now know games really poorly if They expected the Ryzen has any chance in those.
    Ryzen 1500 (four cores) is as fast in the games than 1800X is and 1500 is much cheaper.
    http://www.techspot.com/review/1360-amd-ryzen-5-1600x-1500x-gaming/
    3
  • TechyInAZ
    Good review. Can't wait until software devs and motherboard manufactuer's get better optimized softwares and BIOS's so Ryzen isn't constantly dealing with this problem anymore.
    4
  • Anonymous
    Conclusion: Ryzen still sucks.
    -23
  • dstarr3
    Anonymous said:
    Conclusion: Ryzen still sucks.


    It's not that Ryzen sucks, it's that Ryzen was meant to compete with Xeon CPUs, which it does very well. Gamers should look elsewhere, but for some reason, gamers are the ones that got most excited about these CPUs.
    14
  • elbert
    I wouldn't suggest either a 1070 nor the 1080 on 1080p. Probably should have tested with a more normal 1060 6GB at that resolution. Those willing to pay high prices for both the CPU and GPU should be running at 1440p. The game benchmarks are unnaturally skewed.
    The biggest thing to look at in the game benchmarks is how unutilized the Ryzen CPU's are. We will probably see the Ryzen R5 quads running the same FPS for a few hundered less then all but the old 8350 on April the 11th.
    Also it looks like AMD is gearing up a new socket with 8, 12, and 16 cores on an X390 motherboard. At the current pricing the 16 core could be lower priced than Intel's over priced 6900 8 core.
    5
  • Achaios
    ?ll this talk about games supporting more than 4 cores is really a COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME.

    46.19% of Steam Gamers own 2-Core CPU's and 47.74% of Steam Gamers own 4 Core CPUs. No Game Studio is going to waste resources and money on optimizing games for more than 4 cores in the foreseeable future, if ever.

    According to the same survey, only 0.24% of gamers own octacore CPU's. A little less than this is the presence of AMD Ryzen CPU's in the gaming market. Almost nonexistent.

    I wish I was trolling.
    -13
  • Oranthal
    Why did you only test 1080p performance? Most people who would consider these CPUs run an RX-480 or greater GPU if they are gaming ($300+ is still the premium market). Other reviews show the gaps shrinking or disappearing with greater resolutions as the bottlenecks are at the GPU where most die-hard review reading gamers will actually be limited.
    10
  • Oranthal
    Anonymous said:
    I wouldn't suggest either a 1070 nor the 1080 on 1080p. Probably should have tested with a more normal 1060 6GB at that resolution. Those willing to pay high prices for both the CPU and GPU should be running at 1440p. The game benchmarks are unnaturally skewed.
    The biggest thing to look at in the game benchmarks is how unutilized the Ryzen CPU's are. We will probably see the Ryzen R5 quads running the same FPS for a few hundered less then all but the old 8350 on April the 11th.
    Also it looks like AMD is gearing up a new socket with 8, 12, and 16 cores on an X390 motherboard. At the current pricing the 16 core could be lower priced than Intel's over priced 6900 8 core.


    100% spot on. I would of skipped my comment had I seen this when I started writing it.
    0
  • Oranthal
    Anonymous said:
    ?ll this talk about games supporting more than 4 cores is really a COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME.

    46.19% of Steam Gamers own 2-Core CPU's and 47.74% of Steam Gamers own 4 Core CPUs. No Game Studio is going to waste resources and money on optimizing games for more than 4 cores in the foreseeable future, if ever.

    According to the same survey, only 0.24% of gamers own octacore CPU's. A little less than this is the presence of AMD Ryzen CPU's in the gaming market. Almost nonexistent.

    I wish I was trolling.


    Not a waste of time, core counts will steadily increase over time in nearly all devices. AMD is pushing the price down on x86 CPUs and making it happen sooner. Most Steam users cant buy the R7 CPUs and most people are not playing with max settings on even Dota 2. Performance costs money that most gamers don't have. The benchmark games are almost always the most demanding not the most played to give us an idea of what the max is for hardware. Witcher 3 was probably played more on console at 720p looking like crap. Still doesn't change the point of testing max performance. Which takes me to the worst part of this review. Tom's stuck to 1080p with $1,500+ test rigs so they failed to properly test it.
    7
  • dstarr3
    Anonymous said:
    ?ll this talk about games supporting more than 4 cores is really a COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME.

    46.19% of Steam Gamers own 2-Core CPU's and 47.74% of Steam Gamers own 4 Core CPUs. No Game Studio is going to waste resources and money on optimizing games for more than 4 cores in the foreseeable future, if ever.

    According to the same survey, only 0.24% of gamers own octacore CPU's. A little less than this is the presence of AMD Ryzen CPU's in the gaming market. Almost nonexistent.

    I wish I was trolling.


    First of all, gaming isn't the only reason people buy computers.

    Secondly, I've got an i7, four cores, eight threads. And looking at AIDA64, never are any of the threads at 0% usage. Computers are already always using every resource it has to at least some extent, and software is only going to leverage high thread counts more and more. There is zero reason to stagnate and stop introducing a higher core count, because each new core and thread you introduce, it will be used.
    8
  • KAILOONE
    If only Ryzen sold in Mexico, I'm very sure Ryzen will get better over time, optimizations will help alot and some bug fixes and better RAM support will make this chip shine in a couple of months.
    0
  • Brian_R170
    The problem with waiting for the software ecosystem to catch up is that it takes a long time. Both the releasing of new apps and optimization of existing apps will be slow. The change to the ecosystem takes years, not months. Buying a CPU based on what might change is a risk that buyers need to consider because by the time the change happens, newer CPUs from both AMD and Intel will be available.
    0
  • dusty13
    this article would be more meaningful if it had cpu-usage statistics along with the fps.

    that would actually give us some indicator on actual performance and headroom.


    generally though:

    none of the games tested here really fall below 50 fps.

    rise of the tomb raider is lagging behind 35-50fps ... yeah. do tell how that is relevant with a minimum fps of 73 and the max being over 100 though.

    what articles like these constantly fail to address is that they are talking about gaming performance in current games on 1080p to construct a picture with visibly different graphs.

    on that level however you will not see a difference. for all real life intents and purposes a 7700k or a 1700 will give you the same gaming experience, especially since 1080p gaming usually means entry level to lower midrange and that still mostly happens on 60fps monitors.

    on the other end of the spectrum if you go for a 1440p/144Hz freesync/gsync or 4k monitor and pro gaming setup, you will end up with identical performance due to gpu bound situations.


    so bottom line is, the differences you manage to produce in graphs are not noticeable for the average joe who plays on 1080p and do not exist for highend gamers.


    that leaves only other workloads - but there ryzen usually roflstomps the 7700k and what? future games? not really useful since that can only be speculation, so we can not really say anything meaningful either.

    so for today you will not experience any difference in acutal gameplay no matter what system you use and we can only speculate about optimizations and future games ... although amd hardware has one thing going for it. it is the basis for the two main gaming consoles, one of which runs windows10 and will be refreshed for 4k. even with intel being definitely the bigger player, this should at least somewhat level the playing field as game studios will in essence have titles from xbox who are already heavily optimized for amd on windows 10 with 4k at hand in many cases in the coming year.
    14
  • 10tacle
    Anonymous said:
    Why did you only test 1080p performance? Most people who would consider these CPUs run an RX-480 or greater GPU if they are gaming ($300+ is still the premium market). Other reviews show the gaps shrinking or disappearing with greater resolutions as the bottlenecks are at the GPU where most die-hard review reading gamers will actually be limited.


    You answered your own question: because a lower resolution shows the true power of the CPU. But besides that, well over half of PC gamers still run 1080p monitors, with an increasing popularity of users preferring faster frame rates at 1080p via FreeSync and Gsync over slower frames on a higher resolution monitor.

    The 1440p QHD users like me are still a minority niche market, and 4K UHD users an even a smaller market. And moving up to a 1440p 144Hz Gsync/FreeSync monitor will require a *lot* of GPU money to run most games today - even some older games like W3 and Far Cry 4 - even remotely above 100FPS to take full advantage of its capabilities (1070 SLI minimum).
    3
  • spdragoo
    Anonymous said:
    I wouldn't suggest either a 1070 nor the 1080 on 1080p. Probably should have tested with a more normal 1060 6GB at that resolution. Those willing to pay high prices for both the CPU and GPU should be running at 1440p. The game benchmarks are unnaturally skewed.
    The biggest thing to look at in the game benchmarks is how unutilized the Ryzen CPU's are. We will probably see the Ryzen R5 quads running the same FPS for a few hundered less then all but the old 8350 on April the 11th.
    Also it looks like AMD is gearing up a new socket with 8, 12, and 16 cores on an X390 motherboard. At the current pricing the 16 core could be lower priced than Intel's over priced 6900 8 core.


    http://www.techspot.com/news/68407-tackling-subject-gpu-bottlenecking-cpu-gaming-benchmarks-using.html

    1080p may be the most common resolution that gamers use, but it's not the most demanding. By using a top-of-the-line GPU, the testers know that the GPU won't be holding the performance back (same reason why they've tested with 16GB of RAM for some time, even though you still really only need 8GB on 64-bit Windows for gaming). They may vary that somewhat depending on the game -- Techspot's Dark Souls III testing, for example, had to go up to 1440p for their CPU benchmarking (http://www.techspot.com/review/1162-dark-souls-3-benchmarks/page5.html), because the PC version was artificially frame-capped at 60FPS, & their GPU testing showed that you had to go down to a 4th- or 5th-tier GPU (like a GTX 780 or R9 380X) to start dropping below that cap with the i7-6700K.

    By using a powerful GPU at a resolution where it's going to idle along without any trouble, the testing allows them to definitively show how a given CPU (in this case, the Ryzen CPUs) perform against other chips.
    6
  • InvalidError
    Anonymous said:
    46.19% of Steam Gamers own 2-Core CPU's and 47.74% of Steam Gamers own 4 Core CPUs.

    According to the same survey, only 0.24% of gamers own octacore CPU's.

    And what is the reason for that? Because quad-core CPUs that performed well in games used to cost over $200 and octo-core ones were out of most people's budget. This may change in the near-future with Ryzen putting AMD back on the map. If AMD hadn't dropped out for over four years, it would have happened sooner.

    While the majority of games may never scale much beyond two cores, the number of games that do will increase as PCs with 4+ cores become more affordable, just like the number of games that scale to 8+ threads has been slowly increasing.
    3
  • none12345
    If you dont overclock, the 1700x and 1800x make sense. If you do, there is little sense over the 1700 right now.

    I have a 1700x and i dont regret buying it. This thing is an utter beast. BUT, if i had to do it over i would have bought a 1700. I thought there would be a larger difference in chips, so i preordered a 1700x when preorders opened. That was the risk with preordering, but i was done waiting.

    That said, i ended up getting my 1700x for $350 instead of $400. Credit card price protection for the win(they matched a sale price). So, really i didnt spend much more buying a 1700x instead of 1700.

    Tho, i coulda also saved on the cooler i bought. The stock cooler on the 1700 seems to be very good. The noctua nh-15d i bought is utterly overkill. But, at least i can run the fans very slow on this thing and be really silent, so it wasnt a waste.

    If you do any content creation, and need more cores. Ryzen is the utter king right now, intel just cant compete. It can compete on performance, but not on price, you can get the same or better perf here on ryzen for much less cost, so its a no brainer choice to get an 8 core ryzen over 8 core intel.

    In real resolutions, its a great gaming chip too. Its not the utter fps king at low resolutions tho, that is still owned by the 7700k(no chip can match its single thread clock speed, the intel 8 cores cant do it either). But for everything else, ryzen is a great gaming chip.

    Ive had butter smooth gameplay since upgrading, tho im also 100% gpu limited, ryzen doesnt even break a sweat.

    If you only game tho, i wouldnt buy a 8 core chip in the first place. Tho the 6 and 4 core R5s will be great gaming chips for the price when they come out in 2 weeks. Those chips will pretty much completely obsolese the intel i5 line. i3 would only still exist for its price point.
    3
  • 10tacle
    As a long time Intel builder, I am happy to see AMD finally take a real swing back at them. Just from architecture previews the past several weeks I figured Ryzen would be a better performer in certain productivity apps. I'm also pleasantly surprised at the lower power use and thermals. Which brings me to:

    "Intel's Core i7-7700K is the only processor in our test field handicapped by cheap thermal paste between its die and heat spreader."

    WTH is Intel doing? De-lidding classes are now open and available for Intel 7700K chip buyers! Good grief. Is this only for certain Intel 7xxx models and others get better quality compound?
    3