Best Gaming Processor, Clock Speeds, and Development
johnson151168: Which processor do you recommend strictly for gaming, priced less than $250? I don't really play anything besides League of Legends and World of Warcraft, but I would like to try out quite a few upcoming games, and I know my FX CPU is not be up to the challenge. I am currently using a Radeon RX 480 8GB graphics card.
DON WOLIGROSKI: Strictly gaming, well, assuming your “strictly gaming” goal doesn't include gaming and streaming to twitch (which can really take advantage of the 12-threaded Ryzen 5 1600X and Ryzen 7 processors), I'd steer you to the Ryzen 5 1500X. High clocks and the most XFR clock rate headroom in the Ryzen stack so far (up to 200 MHz over the Precision Boost spec with capable cooling), four cores and 8 threads so it has enough resources to take advantage of the games that value more cores. $189. Sweet little part, basically a Core i7 equivalent in a lot of ways, but for about half the price.
SinxarKnights: Did you have a party once the first Ryzen chips rolled off the line to celebrate?
DON WOLIGROSKI: I work from home in Canada, I wasn't at the AMD campus when they had the Ryzen launch party.
jaymc: Do you expect to hit higher and higher clock speed as AMD further refines and tweaks the Ryzen platform? Will Ryzen ever hit clock speeds equal to an overclocked Kaby Lake?
DON WOLIGROSKI: Until we have new silicon spins, anything I say is speculation. But we're all quite optimistic about how fast we got this first architecture/process to go in its first go round, and bolstered that we have a lot of opportunity to crank up the clocks.
Martell1977: Could tell us a little about Ryzen's development, as in, how long ago was it that it was started? Was it before the Bulldozer release? Shortly after?
DON WOLIGROSKI: Off the top of my head, I believe it was 4 or 5 years ago now, around 2012. Before my time at AMD, I started my tenure here at the beginning of 2015. The promise of the Zen architecture is one of the reasons I came to AMD in the first place.
Martell1977: The benchmarks I have seen for Ryzen 7 have made it difficult to know exactly which CPU to recommend. There are 4 SKU's out to challenge Intel’s. Is there a chart or list you have that show exactly what your intended CPU vs CPU matchups are?
DON WOLIGROSKI: You can compare on price or on ability. The Ryzen 7 1700X ($499) actually also beats the Core i7-6900K in a lot of multi-threaded benches, but on a price standpoint it's closer to the Core i7-6800K, which it dominates.
We usually pit the Ryzen 7 1700 ($330) and the i7-7700K because their price is so close. From a productivity rendering/encoding/encrypting standpoint the 1700 kicks the crap out of Kaby. The 7700K does have higher clocks and IPC, so there's a 1080p gaming advantage, but once you raise resolution to 1440p the gaming advantage is very muted. At 4K and in VR, it barely shows up in benchmarks. So, if you're spending over $300 on a CPU, I think the Ryzen 7 1700 is an easy choice because folks in this segment would be buying 1440p or higher resolution monitors. You're not giving up any real-world game performance at 1440p and above, but you're getting colossal application advantages.
The new Ryzen 5 1600X ($249) is 6 cores/12 threads and priced similarly to the Core i5-7600K. Literally 3x the threads on Ryzen, this is the easiest battle for us. Productivity is on a different level entirely, while some modern games really appreciate more than 4 threads and the 7600K can suffer significantly compared to the 7700K. So, games trade blows at 1080p. No real argument to choose Kaby Lake here.
The Ryzen 5 1500X ($189) is priced opposite the Core i5-7500. With twice the threads of the core i5, the Ryzen 5 1500X is a good gaming part for people who like the idea of Core i7 class productivity for half the price, should they ever want to exercise that power. And games are becoming more threaded all the time thanks to DirectX 12 and Vulkan.
Dragonsmint878: Any update on the availability to purchase Wraith coolers? Will the Wraith Max, might it be available to purchase at R5 Launch? Will stock RGB coolers be able to be bought separately?
DON WOLIGROSKI: We're very aware of the demand from AMD customers for standalone wraith coolers. We haven't announced anything publicly. I personally think it would be very cool if they were offered as a standalone item.
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