AMD Ryzen 5 1500X CPU Review

Temperature & Power Consumption

Temperatures

We calculated our temperature measurements on an adjusted scale, as we discovered some inconsistencies with AMD's temperature offset. Read more about this in our Ryzen 5 1600X coverage.

As expected, the Ryzen 5 1500X exhibits a slightly lower temperature range during the various tasks we look at, largely due to its four disabled cores and reduced frequency.

Power Consumption Comparison: Ryzen 5 Processors

Our power consumption results are based on numbers provided by the MSI motherboard’s sensors. We use a special low-pass filter for smoothing out brief peaks and valleys, along with an adjusted average calculation method.

We first take a look at the two new AMD Ryzen 5 processors on their own. The measurements and resulting curves are generated using long test intervals. These help circumvent (or at least minimize) bias errors caused by too little data.

A direct comparison between the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X and 1600X proves particularly interesting, since we're comparing quad- and hexa-core configurations based on the same die. Their idle, browsing, and AutoCAD results land very close to each other.

More demanding workloads change the picture a bit. Power consumption naturally rises on both CPUs, and by the time we hit our stress test, there's a large difference between the two models. The charts below illustrate what we mean even more clearly.

Power Consumption Comparison: All Processors

At idle, the differences between Ryzen CPUs are small. In fact, we can only measure them reliably with a 15-minute test run.

There’s really no clear distinction between the quad-, hexa-, and octa-core models. The processors with deactivated cores don't appear to have those parts cut off electrically, so we assume they are still supplied with power.

Even though AutoCAD is only lightly threaded, the differences between AMD's Ryzen processors are marginal. More than likely, they're due to variation in chip quality and clock rate.

The higher-end Ryzen models consume more power during heavier loads. AMD’s Ryzen 7 1700 comes closest to hitting a sweet spot as a result of its lower clock rate. It takes the efficiency crown, though our benchmarks often show it to be slower than Ryzen 5s with fewer cores.

A similar picture emerges during the stress test. AMD’s Ryzen 7 1700, with its 16 threads and low frequency, uses less power than the six-core Ryzen 5 1600X. Meanwhile, the 4C/8T Ryzen 5 1500X fares significantly better than the other Ryzen models.

What we're finding in today's piece fits in well with findings from our Ryzen 7 reviews. That is to say the Ryzen 5 models aren't any more or less efficient than the higher-end Ryzen chips. We suspect that the Ryzen 5's chip quality isn’t any worse than Ryzen 7’s either, since efficiency isn't negatively affected and power consumption doesn't increase. Moreover, deactivating cores on the dual-CCX die doesn’t result in better efficiency, suggesting that those disabled parts are still supplied with power.

The power consumption results across AMD's Ryzen portfolio are solid compared to Intel's equivalent CPUs, except when it comes to our idle measurements.

MORE: Best CPUs

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69 comments
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  • Goran_11
    Good review. I would like to see more reviews about AMD Ryzen platform.
  • IceMyth
    I think you missed the i5-7600K from the Price per Usable Core/Thread table which is $57.2 if you buy it from OutletPC but if you buy it from Amazon.com it will be ~$60.
  • Shale
    Be careful, your fingerprint is visible on the CPU, someone could get enough of it from that photo to print and form a latex fingerprint that could be used to frame you for a crime, or depending on the finger and usage, be used for security breach or unlocking your phone.
  • InvalidError
    Cost per 1% low FPS might be a better metric: emphasize sustainability. Maybe a 35-45-20 blend of average-1%-0.1%.
  • Wisecracker
    <50w in the gaming loop is impressive
    Great job overall by AMD, and would love to see a 'head-to-head' with an OC'd AM3+ rig (FX-6350 at 4.5GHz?)

    Page 5 _ "Civilization VI Graphics Test" Heading
    -- graphic says, "Resident Evil 7"
  • jkhoward
    It has been shown time and time again that the AMD chip when paired with a Nvidia card has poor performance. You should really consider getting an AMD Workstation card for your test until Nvidia can fix the issue.
  • velocityg4
    Why didn't you use the same CPU options for both the Workstation and gaming tests? It would have been helpful to know how an overclocked 1500x stands up against an i5-7500 in any use case. If someone is overclocking for gaming. They aren't likely to disable the overclock when working.

    It sounds like Toms German and US labs need to communicate a bit more to set exact testing requirements for a review. That way the reader receives consistent data.

    As it stands now. The review is haphazard. There are different data sources for gaming, workstation, temperature and power.
  • $hawn
    "8T/12T powerhouses" - I think there's a typo here
  • $hawn
    Sorry it's correct
  • elbert
    Looks like the Ryzen 5 1500X bests the i5-7500 while overclocked. Should the test have included best OC with the stock cooler? Price is important at this level and an aftermarket cooler stripes it of the price advantage.
  • madmatt30
    Its a good showing , the only game that shows a really significant win for Intel is ROTR which is plainly intel biased (although not purposefully) from the results.

    The 7600k results really don't interest me that much , I can understand why they're there as a comparison but the fact is the 7600k needs the addition of a $20-30 cooler to run even at stock on a cheaper b250 board - its pricepoint is completely different , to oc you can add another $30-40 for a z series comparative to a decent b350 board for the ryzen.
    Once you've done that you're well past the ryzen 1600 pricepoint let alone the 1500x.

    I agree though that the ryzen overclocking should have been done with the included spire - part if it's attraction / value for money aspect is the inclusion of a very good stock cooler.
  • InvalidError
    1031363 said:
    I agree though that the ryzen overclocking should have been done with the included spire - part if it's attraction / value for money aspect is the inclusion of a very good stock cooler.

    From the few results I have seen, the spire is only marginally better (3-5C better under load with a 3.9GHz OC) than the stealth cooler. If you want performance per buck on a tight budget, the R5-1400 OC'd to 3.8-3.9GHz using the stealth cooler is the best option. Next up from there is the R5-1600. Also, Paul neglected to add the aftermarket HSF in his R5-1600X cost per core/thread - that is necessary for a fair comparison against the R5-1600 and other CPUs that come bundled with HSF.
  • neblogai
    When testing RoTR, please test on DX11, or use AMD card. There is an issue with Ryzen+ nVidia + DX12: nVidia GTX1060 + Intel i5 gains performance when going from DX11 to DX12, while nVidia+ Ryzen 1400 combination does not benefit from DX12. When a card like RX480 is used- gains are there, and even higher than GTX1060- so there is clearly an issue with the game in DX12, or nVidia driver.
  • SWKerr
    You really should add something stressing that the Ryzen 5 1600 being on only $30 more in your conclusion. Since it is easily Over Clocked it would have similar single tread performance but with two more cores for only a bit more money.

    I don't really see where any of the "X" Ryzen cpus make much sense from a value standpoint.
  • SWKerr
    It is not just you but I really feel using a GTX 1080 for a low\mid cpu is kind of useless info. It would make much more sense to use a Nvidia GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon 480/580 with this class of CPU. If you are going with a GTX 1080 than you are probably not going to match it with a low to mid level CPU.

    I would really rather know what to expect with a mid-range video card. But again all the reviewers seem to do it this way. It may help compare relative performance across all cpus but I does not feel like relevant real word information.
  • spdragoo
    They do that to eliminate any chance of GPU throttling affecting the game benchmarks. For example, take Battlefield 1 (http://www.techspot.com/review/1267-battlefield-1-benchmarks/page2.html; GPUs tested with the i7-6700K): with that Skylake i7, both the GTX 1060 & RX 480 had well under 100 FPS average & ~80FPS minimum...well below the results for both the i7-7600K & the Ryzen chips when paired with a GTX 1080, which means that you most likely would have seen identical FPS for all of the chips, whereas the actual results show slight but definite differences in performance.

    Similar results occur with Rise of the Tomb Raider (again with the i7-6700K, http://www.techspot.com/review/1209-nvidia-geforce-gtx-1060/page4.html); again, neither the GTX 1060 nor RX 480 provide anywhere near the same performance with the i7-6700K, so the results of testing with Ryzen would have been even flatter than they are.
  • madmatt30
    ^ what spdagoo says 100%.
    This is a CPU test/comparison - to do that you have to ensure that the GPU plays no limitation in the results.
    That means using the most powerful GPU you can

    Those results show you what maximum fps the CPU's can achieve in games rather than the GPU.
    In a CPU test this is exactly what you want.
    As I said the only issue I have is using the noctua cooler for overclocking because it was unnecessary.
    99% of buyers will stick with the wraith cooler atcthe end of the day.
  • Brian_R170
    Has anyone published a comparison of the 1500X to 7700 or 7700K? Obviously, not in the same price category, but they are the most similar configuration in terms of cores/threads.
  • barryv88
    I too find it a bit mysterious that THG didn't mention anything about the 1600. A measly $30 more gets you 2 extra cores and a beefy cooler, giving it a clear win in absolute value.
  • g-unit1111
    2466943 said:
    Be careful, your fingerprint is visible on the CPU, someone could get enough of it from that photo to print and form a latex fingerprint that could be used to frame you for a crime, or depending on the finger and usage, be used for security breach or unlocking your phone.


    Someone's been watching too many episodes of Law & Order: SVU lately. :lol:
  • cryoburner
    It's nice to see the review, though it has been three weeks since your review of the 1600X. What ever happened to "However, the 1500X is right behind. Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 will follow in short order, too."

    Is "short order" considered "within the next year or so"? : P

    125865 said:
    From the few results I have seen, the spire is only marginally better (3-5C better under load with a 3.9GHz OC) than the stealth cooler. If you want performance per buck on a tight budget, the R5-1400 OC'd to 3.8-3.9GHz using the stealth cooler is the best option. Next up from there is the R5-1600. Also, Paul neglected to add the aftermarket HSF in his R5-1600X cost per core/thread - that is necessary for a fair comparison against the R5-1600 and other CPUs that come bundled with HSF.

    The heat sink of the 1400's Stealth cooler is only around half the size of the 1500X's Spire cooler. Maybe it's possible to manage a semi-decent overclock with the smaller cooler under the right conditions, but you can be pretty sure that it will make noticeably more noise to achieve that performance level, and I have doubts about it remaining stable under higher ambient temperatures. I found it a bit amusing that they would call it a "Stealth" cooler when its design will clearly make it more audible than the Spire that comes with the 1500X, 1600 and 1700.

    Once Tom's finally gets around to reviewing the 1400, they really should test its Stealth Cooler against the Spire, noting not only their max stable overclock and temperatures, but also their sound data at various load levels. The Max could be tested as well, and maybe throw in a cheap tower cooler to see what the approximate price difference between a 1400 and 1500X could get you. A stock Intel cooler could also be tested on one or more Intel processors as a point of comparison. It could even be its own article if they wanted.
  • PaulAlcorn
    582021 said:
    It's nice to see the review, though it has been three weeks since your review of the 1600X. What ever happened to "However, the 1500X is right behind. Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 will follow in short order, too."

    Is "short order" considered "within the next year or so"? : P
    125865 said:
    From the few results I have seen, the spire is only marginally better (3-5C better under load with a 3.9GHz OC) than the stealth cooler. If you want performance per buck on a tight budget, the R5-1400 OC'd to 3.8-3.9GHz using the stealth cooler is the best option. Next up from there is the R5-1600. Also, Paul neglected to add the aftermarket HSF in his R5-1600X cost per core/thread - that is necessary for a fair comparison against the R5-1600 and other CPUs that come bundled with HSF.
    The heat sink of the 1400's Stealth cooler is only around half the size of the 1500X's Spire cooler. Maybe it's possible to manage a semi-decent overclock with the smaller cooler under the right conditions, but you can be pretty sure that it will make noticeably more noise to achieve that performance level, and I have doubts about it remaining stable under higher ambient temperatures. I found it a bit amusing that they would call it a "Stealth" cooler when its design will clearly make it more audible than the Spire that comes with the 1500X, 1600 and 1700. Once Tom's finally gets around to reviewing the 1400, they really should test its Stealth Cooler against the Spire, noting not only their max stable overclock and temperatures, but also their sound data at various load levels. The Max could be tested as well, and maybe throw in a cheap tower cooler to see what the approximate price difference between a 1400 and 1500X could get you. A stock Intel cooler could also be tested on one or more Intel processors as a point of comparison. It could even be its own article if they wanted.


    Sorry about the delay, we've had a bit of a hectic schedule lately with multiple GPU releases and Optane articles. 1600 and 1400 are very much on the radar.
  • PaulAlcorn
    125865 said:
    1031363 said:
    I agree though that the ryzen overclocking should have been done with the included spire - part if it's attraction / value for money aspect is the inclusion of a very good stock cooler.
    From the few results I have seen, the spire is only marginally better (3-5C better under load with a 3.9GHz OC) than the stealth cooler. If you want performance per buck on a tight budget, the R5-1400 OC'd to 3.8-3.9GHz using the stealth cooler is the best option. Next up from there is the R5-1600. Also, Paul neglected to add the aftermarket HSF in his R5-1600X cost per core/thread - that is necessary for a fair comparison against the R5-1600 and other CPUs that come bundled with HSF.


    I agree that factoring in the HSF is a relevant data point, but in this case, I was also attempting to highlight restricted pricing flexibility primarily at the silicon level. The Zeppelin die restricts AMD's pricing flexibility a bit.
  • madmatt30
    373149 said:
    I too find it a bit mysterious that THG didn't mention anything about the 1600. A measly $30 more gets you 2 extra cores and a beefy cooler, giving it a clear win in absolute value.


    The cooler wiht the 1500x & 1600 are exactly the same.
    ]Theyre also exactly the same as the cooler with the 8 core ryzen 1700 albeit missing the controllable led lighting.