AMD Ryzen 7 1800X CPU Review

Results: Desktop & Office

It takes more than 18 hours to run the office, workstation and HPC (High Performance Computing) benchmarks once. Consequently, we limited our tests to a total of four CPUs and two runs each (i.e., at stock clock frequency and at 3.8GHz). We used Microsoft Windows’ performance profile for all of the tests. AMD’s older generation is represented by the 5GH FX-9590, which necessitates water cooling.

We get going with a good old friend: the GDI/GDI+ benchmark. We decided to start with it, because its results will provide context for what’s to come later. This benchmark is used to test two different ways to output 2D objects. These are primarily found in older applications, print output, and, in a modified form, in today’s GUI display. We’re using an Nvidia Quadro P6000, since it represents the best available graphics performance that money can buy. This means that there’s no GPU bottleneck to worry about whatsoever.

We start with directly drawing to an output device. The graphics driver uses the CPU quite heavily for this task, but, for the most part, doesn’t use that many threads. This is due to the demise of true 2D hardware acceleration with the introduction of the unified shader architecture. The Microsoft Windows driver model’s also not exactly conducive to it. It’s interesting to see that, in spite of all of this, AMD’s new Ryzen 7 1800X manages to beat Intel’s Core i7-6900K. Since each individual action has to make its way through the entire system, these results aren’t just representative of processor performance, but also include chipset performance.

Next, we add a memory task by using the single 2D function that’s still hardware-based: copying the graphics output from the place in memory where it was built to the output device. We’re executing the exact same steps, but draw a virtual bitmap and not on the monitor. Only the completed picture is sent to the output device. The result is that the CPU load increases significantly, which, in turn, has a surprisingly large impact on the benchmark results. Without the rest of the system providing a bottleneck, the older FX-9590 manages to beat AMD’s new offerings. Only if its clock frequency is lowered to 3.8GHz does it have to admit defeat. The same goes for Intel’s Core i7-6900K.

Update (this is in reference to some reader questions about these results): Drawing into DIB is a pure 2D workload, and the stock i7-6900K can't reach its highest possible clock rate in this low-priority multi-threaded workload. To be specific, the i7-6900K spreads the workload over its 16 threads, so the processor runs at close-to-idle clock speed, because it only utilizes 20% of many of its cores. The distributed workload also strips the processor of its Turbo Boost capabilities.


By comparison, the -7700K spreads the workload among half the threads, which yields a higher load per core, thus boosting its clock speed. The -6900K at 3.8GHz also experiences a boost because it has 50% more clock speed than its stock configuration.


This test further implies that AMD is able to transition between power states faster than the Intel processors, which means it is tuned well for light workloads.


These findings are of great significance for AutoCAD, which we get to on the next page. Ultimately, AutoCAD draws all of its output in memory first, and then sends it to the monitor.

DTP & Presentation

Adobe’s Creative Cloud makes for an exemplary benchmark, and it certainly makes more sense to use a real-world application than a synthetic benchmark. It tests both single- and multicore performance.

Encoding & Multimedia

AMD’s Ryzen 7 1800X can live up to its full potential with our Handbrake benchmark. No matter what the quality is set to, AMD’s new processor just crunches away.

Compression & Decompression

Crunching lots of numbers in short order is also very useful for file compression. AMD’s Ryzen 7 1800X manages to draw even with Intel’s Core i7-6900K at the same clock frequency. Intel’s Core i7-7700K takes the lead when it comes to decompression due to its higher clock frequency. In the end, packing’s harder than unpacking.

Programming in Python

This application sits right on the boundary to the workstation space, and thus leads us seamlessly to the next page. Apart from the visual task library (e.g., graphically complex charts), which pose problems due to the usual reasons (i.e., difficulties with parallelization), the scientific and engineering fields are where AMD’s Ryzen 7 1800X shines.

Ryzen’s a well-suited CPU for both developers and users due to the fact that many libraries don’t provide an explicit advantage for Intel processors.

Bottom Line

With Ryzen, AMD has produced a processor that’s competitive in many application areas. It certainly doesn’t have to hide from Intel’s current octa-core offerings. The price/performance ratio makes it an interesting choice for commercial applications, unless the application in question specifically demands an Intel CPU.

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506 comments
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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.