AMD Ryzen 7 1800X CPU Review

The AM4 Platform

AMD announced its AM4 interface and corresponding chipsets during the Bristol Ridge launch. Previously, core logic was a weak point, as the 9-series chipsets lacked a lot of modern features available from Intel's platforms. Moving forward, all Ryzen CPUs share the same socket. This gives you a number of options for building a Ryzen-, Bristol Ridge-, or future Zen+-based system.

Similar to Intel's platform controller hub architecture, AMD pushes integration with the move to Socket AM4 and tasks its chipset with functions typically associated with southbridges. Meanwhile, it adds more capabilities to the processor die you wouldn't expect to find there. For instance, Ryzen 7 1800X provides four USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports. It also offers 16 lanes of PCIe 3.0 we're guessing most enthusiasts will use for graphics, along with four lanes of second-gen PCIe for SATA 6Gb/s and NVMe storage. In time, we may even find board vendors building platforms based on just the CPU's I/O.

Intel's Core i7-6900K doesn't expose any USB connectivity directly. Rather, it relies on X99 and attached controllers to enable those ports. On the other hand, Broadwell-E packs up to 40 lanes of third-gen PCIe for a lot more flexibility in what you attach. Ryzen's ability to split its 16-lane PCIe 3.0 link into two x8 slots looks a lot more like Intel's mainstream chipset line-up in comparison.

AMD breaks Socket AM4 down into five different chipsets. Enthusiasts will want to pick up X370. B350 targets the mainstream crowd, whereas A320 goes the locked-down route for "essential" builds. For those of you who anticipate deploying APUs in HTPCs and LAN boxes, X300 and A/B300 should address those markets (we're still waiting on their specifications).

Given Tom's Hardware's focus on the enthusiast and mainstream markets, our motherboard reviews will emphasize X370 and B350. The two platforms are differentiated in much the same way AMD positioned the old 990FX and 970: a higher-end chipset gets you extra I/O, mostly. X370 includes four extra USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, two additional SATA 6Gb/s ports, and two more second-gen PCIe lanes. Moreover, B350 doesn't allow you to split the 16-lane PCIe 3.0 link into two slots like X370 does.

Both Socket AM4 platforms support overclocking out of the box though, in addition to RAID 0/1/10 and two SATAe ports. AMD's documentation notes that SATAe ports can be broken up and re-purposed for additional SATA ports or second-gen PCIe lanes, potentially opening the door to larger storage arrays or additional M.2 ports.

According to AMD, the Socket AM4 interface will carry it through 2020. By then, technologies like DDR5 and fourth-gen PCIe should be prevalent, paving the way for newer platforms.

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  • vrumor
    Well, at the very least, it is competition. Competition drives innovation and lower costs. Well done AMD.
  • kiniku
    Why did I feel AMD was hiding something? Understandably the "gamer market" is comparatively small. But couldn't AMD have designed a CPU that worked well in gaming/desktops and in data centers? Disappointing.
    (But I have a 5820K. The best Ryzen in the world would not have had me switch anyway.)
  • xryanx123
    Bias review as always. Most of your information is obviously screwed up. How do you get 4.0ghz at 1.45v. When that's not even an overclock for the chip (not really at least compared to stock) yet you're already pushing 1.45v? You're tailoring your articles for the uneducated. Duck off toms
  • captaincharisma
    in the end the best anyone can hope from AMD is that it spooked intel enough to lower its prices
  • ssdpro
    In a hurry to compare various site's gaming results, it appears differing sites are finding the same thing: gaming performance is acceptable but below 4c/8t Intel offerings. If you spend your day encoding or multi-thread benching this is a monster bargain.

    With the good and bad, I think we can all agree the good here is competition. There is some now.
  • Pompompaihn
    All along AMD was claiming to equal/beat Broadwell-E in comparative tasks at half the price, and from another review that included Broadwell-E, it's done that. I don't recall ANY AMD press saying it was going to beat the 7700K in straight up gaming. So, target set, and hit. That's a win in my book. But now, need to see what they can do with the smaller core count chips and if they can scale frequency to be competitive in the gaming sector.
  • Dionisiatis
    Maybe i missed it but i would love to see a perf/dollar ratio comparison. Im sure Ryzen would occupy the top position, and it would also make it clear that AMD achieved extraordinary results in bringing such high performance to the average consumer that cant 700+ dollars for a CPU.
  • jackspeed
    @Dionisiatis the 7700K is cheaper then the 1800X so for gamers it currently is the best CPU. now games have yet to optimize for the new AMD architecture, so maybe soon it will be a different story.
  • Aspiring techie
    Your "Heating up AMD Ryzen" video on the Power and Temperatures tab is still private. I can't watch it.
  • Fails in gaming, and for multitasking stuff i got Xeon 14/28 who is doing all that encoding and other stuff for $300 on eBay.

    In my opinion AMD failed and they really pulled BS by fooling people into pre ordering but it turns out that in gaming sucks..
  • cabose369
    Well, well, well... What a surprise.... AMD makes tons of grandiose claims (such as it will beat the i7-6900K), and then can't back it up. Same old AMD. Just wait for when they hype up Vega and it ends up not being able to beat NVIDIA. Oh dear AMD.
  • cabose369
    @Pompompaihn They claimed the 1700 (not X model) would easily defeat the Core I7-7700K in their slides from last week. It's kind of bad though when their top model (1800K) can't even beat the 7700K...
  • thegentlewoman
    Lower "its" prices .. yes indeed INTEL MAKES ITS PRICES. I will never buy such technology (of Intel) it's dirty of blood not just of monopoly, but it's deeply unethic, just like Apple after the death of its Human Guide. Now I say thanks to AMD, and keep up... we want a Multiple players competition not just polarization (masses love it) and duopoles.
    Thanks again!
  • bnolsen
    So how are these compiled? Our HTPC application needs to run on lots of systems so we pretty much have support for i7 nehalem as our compile target as customers have sandy, ivy, haswell based xeon systems. Might be a 40core amd around there somewhere too. So mostly SSE2 and 64bit. AVX, etc aren't even on our radar.
  • SteelCity1981
    im not surprised by the gaming results. the vast majority of modern games dont take advantage of more than 4 cores right now so a fast clocked quad core will beat out a slower clocked hexa or octo core every time.
  • Brian_R170
    AMD did a good job at matching Broadwell-E, and that's obviously why all of the leaks and official marketing showed those comparisons, but what is disappointing is that AMD continually stated that their intentions to supporting the gaming community and I expected a no-excuses gaming chip out of the gate. I guess we'll have to wait and see what the quad-core offerings are like.
  • wh3resmycar
    damn. at the end of the ryzen presentation, Lisa Su said that she was confident the 1800x IS THE FASTED 8c/16t chip out there and we have this? man oh man oh man.
  • cloudonsky
    AMD didn't optimize HEVC encoding. THG review is incomplete once again
  • chaosmassive
    Dear Tom's Hardware Mods/Admin/Programmer

    please fix your images on your pages, I cant see anything beside of your wall of texts

    Regards,

    Lowly Reader
  • Pompompaihn
    @cabose369

    Their slides showed it beating it in Cinebench, in which it absolutely crushes the 6900k. Ask Intel why they don't have any gaming 8 core chips. This is a productivity chip that is GOOD at gaming and will be BETTER at gaming as more multi-threaded games are released and DirectX12 is implemented. There's no single chip on the market that's best at everything, Ryzen eats the quad core I7s for lunch in rendering, and the faster lower core count i7s beat Ryzen in most gaming. They also beat Broadwell-E in gaming. I think you're missing reality here.
  • Marlin1975
    So what did intel ask and/or tell you to do when they contacted Purch/Toms about the AMD Zen/Ryzen reviews?
    Did you do as they asked or told them no like other sites have reported?
  • Yandex63
    Having been a lurker for a long time, I've always noticed that this site is firmly in the Intel camp, and anything related to AMD always seems to be down played, and many times, openly discredited. I've taken the time to read ALL the various reviews posted on these CPUs, and this site is the only one that lends a tone of open disdain for these products. I find that somewhat suspicious. Personally, as a consumer, I've never been a "fanboy" of either Intel or AMD....but have always looked for the best value in CPUs as they apply to me and my uses. That being said, I have always thought Intel gouges consumers for their products. From that standpoint alone, I am happy to see Ryzen CPUs on the market. Hopefully it will create competition, which can only be a good thing for the consumer. As has been mentioned by others, these are the first iterations, so once all the bugs are ironed out with the ecosystem for these parts, I would expect nothing but improvement.
  • Wilkie
    In the past, Tom's benchmarked many CPUs with FineReader 11 in the "Productivity" category. Could you please benchmark Ryzen with FineReader 11, too? Thanks very much.
  • jimmysmitty
    328379 said:
    All along AMD was claiming to equal/beat Broadwell-E in comparative tasks at half the price, and from another review that included Broadwell-E, it's done that. I don't recall ANY AMD press saying it was going to beat the 7700K in straight up gaming. So, target set, and hit. That's a win in my book. But now, need to see what they can do with the smaller core count chips and if they can scale frequency to be competitive in the gaming sector.


    AMDs marketing was better this time, their BD marketing was bad. Cherry picking every situation based on what it won.

    Still what I wonder is if it is just matching Broadwell-E then what when Intel drops Skylake-E? Does AMD have plans to keep up with Intel in CPU refreshes and releases? If not then they might fall into the same spot they were with BD, although BDs issues were a lot to do with a bad uArch. Still if they can't keep up or Intel is able to launch say 10nm fast enough and get good clocks out of it, will Ryzen answer the call or just become the budget friendly option again?

    2410822 said:
    Maybe i missed it but i would love to see a perf/dollar ratio comparison. Im sure Ryzen would occupy the top position, and it would also make it clear that AMD achieved extraordinary results in bringing such high performance to the average consumer that cant 700+ dollars for a CPU.


    Intel could have but without the competition there was no need. And most games still do not benefit from more cores even with DX12 becoming more common.

    522860 said:
    @Dionisiatis the 7700K is cheaper then the 1800X so for gamers it currently is the best CPU. now games have yet to optimize for the new AMD architecture, so maybe soon it will be a different story.


    There wont be much CPU optimization unless AMD has a new SIMD instruction set to work with. The only benefit would be optimizing for multiple cores which Intel will also benefit from.

    I guess time will tell but it looks like an OK CPU. Their SMT implementation is more reminescent of Pentium 4 W/HT than Core i, Intels early SMT implementations also performed worse when compared to turning SMT off.

    I am more worried about the server market for AMD though. Sure getting some consumer market will help but the real gold is the server market where these $500 dollar CPUs can be jacked up by a metric ton. Profit margins in the server market are just insane.