Skip to main content

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 CPU Review

Overclocking & Test Setup

Overclocking

The Ryzen 5 1600 is based on the same die as Ryzen 5 1600X, albeit with a lower 65W TDP. So, we expect a fairly similar overclocking experience.

We dialed in a Prime95-stable 3.9 GHz using a 1.425 vCore setting and 1.2V CPU NB voltage (CPU Loadline Calibration set to Auto). We've seen others achieve 4 GHz overclocks with lower voltages, so it's possible that we have a lower-quality sample. We recorded 84°C (per AIDA) with Noctua's NH-U12S SE-AM4 cooler during extended stress tests.

Our vCore voltage is higher than AMD's recommended limit of 1.35V for long-term overclocks. AMD notes that Ryzen processors can withstand more than 1.45V, though a setting that high may have an impact on longevity. Of course, the warranty doesn't cover damage from overclocking of any sort, so proceed at your own risk.

We were able to use our G.Skilll FlareX DDR4 memory kit at 2999 MT/s with relaxed 16-16-16-34 timings, but were unable to achieve 3200 MT/s in tandem with our 3.9 GHz overclock. Notably, we ran the Ryzen 5 1600X with the same kit at 3200 MT/s and 14-14-14-34 timings on the same motherboard. As we've seen with other non-X models (and the Ryzen 5 1500X), it's possible that the memory overclocking disparity is attributable to AMD's IMC (Integrated Memory Controller).

Ryzen Memory SupportMT/s
Dual-Channel/Dual-Rank/Four-DIMM1866
Dual-Channel/Single-Rank/Four-DIMM2133
Dual-Channel/Dual-Rank/Two-DIMM2400
Dual-Channel/Single-Rank/Two-DIMM2677

After experimenting with the recently-exposed ProcODT (on-die termination signal) motherboard firmware setting, we found that it has a profound impact on memory overclocking and compatibility. The 40- to 60-ohm range allows us to use various memory kits with Ryzen processors that were previously unusable.

AMD recently released a new v1.0.0.6 AGESA update. Motherboard vendors build firmware upon the AGESA bedrock, so improvements to the underlying code allow manufacturers to provide more options through their own BIOS builds. The latest version exposes 26 more settings that should improve memory overclocking, such as allowing either 1T or 2T command rates (previously limited to 1T) and an expanded range of multipliers that allow 4000 MT/s without BCLK overclocking. We will revisit the 1600's memory overclockability when the final firmware revisions become available.

Comparison Processors

Test Setup

We conducted gaming testing with the MSI B350 Tomahawk. To streamline our workflow, we employed Asus' B350-Plus for application testing. The Ryzen gaming story has changed quickly since the launch as a string of motherboard firmware and chipset drivers, along with game updates, have come to fruition. As such, we retested all processors with updated firmware and drivers.

Test Systems and Measurement Setups
SystemsAMDRyzen 5 1600, 1600X, 1500XMSI B350 Tomahawk (games)Asus B350-Plus (applications)2x G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @2666 (stock), 2933 (1600 and 1500X) and 3200 MT/s (1600X)IntelIntel Core i5-7600K, i7-7500MSI Z270 Gaming M72x G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @2400 and 3200 MT/sAllEVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FE1TB Samsung PM863SilverStone ST1500, 1500WWindows 10 Creators Update Version 1703
CoolingNoctua NH-U12S SE-AM4Arctic MX-4


MORE: Best CPUs


MORE: Intel & AMD Processor Hierarchy


MORE: All CPU Content

  • AgentLozen
    I've been reading the reviews for the various Ryzen models including this one. I just have to say that it's soooo refreshing seeing AMD go toe to toe with Intel once again. We haven't seen a close race in years.
    Reply
  • DavidDisciple
    10-4. I was soooooo sick of hearing Intel fanboys brag and belittle AMD and now the tide has turned. It's great to see AMD providing some serious competition and a brand new architecture. It's also great to see an AMD 1st generation processor beat a 7th generation Intel processor.
    Reply
  • barryv88
    Finally! Took you guys very long to bring out this article - in what is described by many, the little champ of the Ryzen launch so far. The 1600.
    Can't wait to get mine!
    Reply
  • elbert
    Great review but the big gun was a no show. The 1600's stock cooler and can it do 3.7~3.8Ghz. How does that effect the game price effenciency if we add in cooler costs? How does streaming or just recording the game play for later upload effect performance? How about an older game like CSGO while recording? Can we have a part 2 to this review with these and other tests?
    Reply
  • barryv88
    19749170 said:
    Great review but the big gun was a no show. The 1600's stock cooler and can it do 3.7~3.8Ghz. How does that effect the game price effenciency if we add in cooler costs? How does streaming or just recording the game play for later upload effect performance? How about an older game like CSGO while recording? Can we have a part 2 to this review with these and other tests?

    You can check out Bitwit's vid on streaming/recording performance where Ryzen wins rather dramatically. The 7700 is really humbled, given that its 4 extra theads over the i5's don't help either.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXeenX0FZAY
    Reply
  • ZRace
    @Elbert: When streaming, more use is usually being made of having more cores/threads available, so I'd guess the Ryzen CPUs yield better game streaming results compared to pure gaming results when comparing the to the current i5's.
    Reply
  • darth_adversor
    I'm not an Intel fanboy by any means (I think it's fantastic that AMD is going head-to-head with Intel again), but for gaming, minimum frame-rate data is so much more important than average. The article does make a mention of that toward the end, but I don't think it was emphasized nearly as much as it should have been. I really want AMD to succeed (I was AMD all the way throughout the socket 754, 939, AM2/3 days), but if you look past the author's positive spin, I think the Core i5's are really the way to go for gaming.

    Hopefully that will change as the platform matures and the software catches up. I'm still sitting on a 2500k, probably gonna hold out for one more generation before I upgrade. I'd love to go back to AMD.
    Reply
  • DavidDisciple
    Yeah, and things just keep getting better for Ryzen with all the game optimizations and updates for memory compatibility and manufacturers like ROG are adding them in their performance gaming systems. Things are looking pretty good for Ryzen.
    Reply
  • JocPro
    Hey, Paul: AMD has never said that non X processors lack XFR, they just have a more limited extra boost of 50-100 MHz instead of the 100-200 MHz in the X models...
    Reply
  • PaulAlcorn
    19749289 said:
    Hey, Paul: AMD has never said that non X processors lack XFR, they just have a more limited extra boost of 50-100 MHz instead of the 100-200 MHz in the X models...


    I have marketing materials (reviewers guides, press releases, slides from briefings, etc.) that say, specifically and repetitively, that XFR is only on X SKUs.
    Reply