AMD Ryzen 7 2700 Review: The Non-X Factor

Overclocking & Test Setup

Overclocking

Like the Ryzen 7 2700X, we overclocked AMD's 2700 to 4.2 GHz. While the lower-end chip did need a bit more voltage to get there, our 1.4V Vcore, 1.2V SoC, and Level four Loadline Calibration (LLC) settings are still within the safe zone for AMD's processors. They just make the CPU operate a little warmer than it would otherwise. Top the 2700 with a capable closed-loop watercooler and thermals won't be an issue. If you're stuck with AMD's bundled heat sink and fan, though, expect Ryzen 7 2700 to fall short of its best possible overclock. Our sample topped out at 4.05 GHz as it exceeded 95°C.

We did match the 2700X's overclocked memory settings (DDR4-3466 at 14-14-14-34 timings) with minimal effort. That's particularly encouraging since memory tuning dramatically improves Ryzen's gaming performance.

Precision Boost Overdrive

AMD isn't giving us much detail about its Precision Boost Overdrive feature, though we know it increases maximum boost voltage and boost duration. However, we also know that Precision Boost Overdrive is an AMD-sanctioned feature. Because this is a standard capability for Ryzen 2000-series processors, we leave it enabled. Conversely, we disable the Multi-Core Enhancement BIOS option found in many Intel-based motherboards because it overclocks beyond the company's specifications.

MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC

Our MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC has a PCI Express 3.0 slot with a x16 link, a slot with a x8 connection, and another PCI Express 2.0 slot with a four-lane link for graphics cards. Its four RAM slots support DDR4-2933 and scale quite a bit higher through overclocking.

The motherboard also provides two M.2 slots with PCIe connectivity. The I/O panel has a USB 3.1 Type C connector. The USB 3.1 and USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports support fast charging for smartphones and tablets. If RGB is your thing, MSI has you covered. The integrated RGB Mystic lighting allows customizable effects with several software-controlled zones.

Comparison Products

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Test Systems

Test System & Configuration
Hardware

AMD Socket AM4 (400-Series)
AMD Ryzen 7 2700, Ryzen 7 2700X, Ryzen 5 2600X
MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC
2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-2933, DDR4-3466

Intel LGA 1151 (Z370):
Intel Core i7-8700K, i5-8600K, Core i5-8400
MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-2400, DDR4-2667, DDR4-3466

AMD Socket AM4 (300-Series)
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X, 1700, Ryzen 5 1600X
MSI X370 Xpower Gaming Titanium
2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-2667, DDR4-3200

All
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FE
1TB Samsung PM863
SilverStone ST1500-TI, 1500W
Windows 10 Creators Update Version 1703 - All Spectre and Meltdown mitigations
Cooling
U.S.
Corsair H115i

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  • philipemaciel
    I am going to buy the 2700.

    The 65W TDP is low enough for passive cooling. That it is cheaper than the 2700X is just the icing on the cake.

    For *my* needs, it is perfect. I am more than happy to lose a little performance and have the TDP drop 40W.
  • Other Comments
  • rantoc
    @1440p or 4k the gaming difference wont be noticeable as the gpu starts to become the bottleneck. Game with an 2700x on an 3440x1440 100hz display (1080ti) and couldn't be happier as it also have the benefits of chewing through threaded workloads like a champ and that at a good price. So good mid-high res gaming with very good threaded performance, hard to beat really.
  • philipemaciel
    I am going to buy the 2700.

    The 65W TDP is low enough for passive cooling. That it is cheaper than the 2700X is just the icing on the cake.

    For *my* needs, it is perfect. I am more than happy to lose a little performance and have the TDP drop 40W.
  • mitch074
    I think @philipemaciel hit it right on the head: the 2700 is a much better choice if you're looking for a powerful CPU that sips power (65W is damn impressive, and that's before taking into account the possibilities offered by undervolting), as this puts it in a spot both the 2700X and the 2600X can't touch. For pure gaming, the 2600X is a much more sensible choice, and if you need absolute power without the need to tinker with it, the 2700X is perfect (an 8-core CPU that overclocks itself, it's a dream come true).
    Now though, it would have been better if AMD had sold those without a cooler for $20 less - the price gap with 2700X would have made it much more enticing, and overclockers could have pushed the hell out of it with watercooling etc.
  • redgarl
    You rated that 6/10? Are you mad? Also, the stock cooler is not sufficient for Overclocking? Do you realize that this is the case for all marketed CPUs?

    OMG, YOU GUYS ARE GENIUSES!
  • theyeti87
    551963 said:
    I am going to buy the 2700. The 65W TDP is low enough for passive cooling. That it is cheaper than the 2700X is just the icing on the cake. For *my* needs, it is perfect. I am more than happy to lose a little performance and have the TDP drop 40W.


    Your reasoning is the same logic I used in selecting my 1700 non-X. I am attracted to efficient power.
  • Combat_Medic
    "...our 4.0V Vcore, 1.2V SoC"

    That's a LOT of vcore right there!
  • PaulAlcorn
    2508287 said:
    "...our 4.0V Vcore, 1.2V SoC" That's a LOT of vcore right there!


    Thanks, good eye! fixed. (1.4V)
  • LORD_ORION
    I would expect the 2700 to have longevity.

    NeoHome economics 101: Buy quality parts that/and don't push the hardware limits.
    Main System(5-7 years) becomes Utility System(5+ years)
    Repeat

    Unless of course you burn out the mainsystem in 3-4 years *factory overclocks tend to do this too). ;)
  • Garrek99
    The point of this processor is power efficiency not performance.
    Where are the performance per Watt or Temp charts?
  • ElectrO_90
    You do realise, the whole point is to sell the 2700 for $30 so they can sell the main 2700x, because people don't mind spending 10% more, unless they are really restricted for power/heat.
  • hendrickhere
    Certainly a decent processor. Still, pound for pound, the i5 8400 really can't be beat for a gaming-focused build. It's so much less expensive, draws only 65w, comes with a cooler, and plays games better than essentially all but two processors (8600 and 8700). Not really seeing many downsides from a gaming perspective.
  • cknobman
    Dont agree at all with your final score.

    This is a 65w processor meant for lower power yet you judge it based on its boxed cooler and overclocking potential out of the box????

    Headslapper
  • Ninjawithagun
    Confusingly, Tom's uses different math when it comes to cost vs. performance. Case in point, they gave a 10/10 for the highly overpriced Corsair AX1600i ($499), but then turn around and give the 2700 6/10 just because the stock cooler is inadequate for overclocking. Tom, what are you smoking?
  • Giroro
    251426 said:
    You rated that 6/10? Are you mad? Also, the stock cooler is not sufficient for Overclocking? Do you realize that this is the case for all marketed CPUs? OMG, YOU GUYS ARE GENIUSES!


    I believe their point is that you CAN overclock the 2700x to 4.2GHz using the stock cooler, and the 2700x only costs $30 more. So it is not a good value to buy a 2700 and add a ~$30 cooler when you can get a 2700X that will do everything you need out of the box - to the point that overclocking doesn't add enough to be worth it. In some cases overclocking to an all-core 4.2GHz even degrades the performance of a 2700x when it can boost single-threads to 4.3GHz, once again using the stock cooler.

    It seems like selling the 2700 isn't even AMD's plan, they just want to make the 2700x look like a better value by comparison - anything to distract from how they raised the price of the 2700x over the current 1700x MSRP.
  • Giroro
    On the workstation charts the overclock of the i-5 changed from 4.9 GHz down to 4.2, which seems like a mistake.
    I know sometimes different teams do the productivity benchmarks, but why would an i-5 @ 4.2 be able to trade blows with an i7 @ 4.9?
  • rantoc
    @Ninjawithagun: Its not surprising really, it just confirms certain bias that's painfully obvious at times.
  • ElectrO_90
    317373 said:
    @Ninjawithagun: Its not surprising really, it just confirms certain bias that's painfully obvious at times.


    People seem to forget that Intel has a big hand in Toms....
  • cryoburner
    1920539 said:
    Overclockers can get comparable performance out of both CPUs, but they need to replace the stock heat sink and fan with higher-end aftermarket cooling first. This sullies any value advantage the 2700 might have enjoyed.

    There is one obvious advantage. Anyone who was intending on overclocking and using a third-party cooler anyway, might arguably be better off going with the 2700 and putting that extra $30 toward their cooling solution of choice. In that case, it's not going to matter much what the stock clocks were set to, and the stock cooler isn't going to get used either way. In fact, in the 2700X review, you didn't seem very confident about the overclocking capability of the included Wraith Prism cooler, writing that you "recommend a capable closed-loop or custom water cooler for overclocking." Granted, in most tasks the 2700X performs fairly similar at stock clocks as it does overclocked, but you didn't seem enamored by the cooler's noise levels either, writing that "the cooler is loud" and that it "can even be a bit noisy even when the system is idling". So, there's certainly reason someone might not want to use the cooler included with the 2700X.

    If someone wants to run stock clocks, the 2700X is probably worth the extra $30. If someone wants to overclock with a third-party cooler though, they might as well go with the 2700 instead, and not pay extra for a larger stock cooler that they're not going to make use of anyway. If anything, this makes more sense than the first-generation Ryzen lineup. The 1700 and 1600 were indeed a good value compared to their "X" counterparts, but that's mainly because those higher-end models were arguably overpriced for what you got. There was little reason for AMD not to include a stock cooler with the 1600X, 1700X and 1800X, especially when the 1600 and 1700 could offer similar overclocked performance on their stock coolers.

    This review seems overly negative for a CPU that offers stock performance in the vicinity of an 1800X, bundled with the same cooler as the 1700, and having additional room for overclocking when provided with adequate cooling, all at a price below $300. For strictly gaming performance, you would probably be just as well off with a 6-core processor in today's games, but for those looking for heavily-multithreaded performance and wanting to use another cooler anyway, the 2700 arguably offers a decent value.
  • mossberg
    2272244 said:
    317373 said:
    @Ninjawithagun: Its not surprising really, it just confirms certain bias that's painfully obvious at times.
    People seem to forget that Intel has a big hand in Toms....


    Yet they gave the 2700x the best overall CPU label, for best CPU's. Also gave the 2400g the budget pick, and the 2200g the entry level pick. You fanboys really need to give it a rest already. :pfff:
    https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-cpus,3986.html
  • Rogue Leader
    2272244 said:
    317373 said:
    @Ninjawithagun: Its not surprising really, it just confirms certain bias that's painfully obvious at times.
    People seem to forget that Intel has a big hand in Toms....


    Really? Where did you get this info?!

    Man I am getting screwed I have never gotten my Intel Paycheck!

    Boss, Boss! I want my Intel Hush money, they are figuring us out! :sarcastic: