3DMark, Ashes of the Singularity, Battlefield 1 & 4
Synthetic benchmarks usually don't provide an accurate measure of real-world gaming performance, but 3DMark's DX11 physics and DX12 CPU tests provide useful insight into the raw horsepower available to the game engine.
The DX11 and DX12 CPU tests reveal a similar trend. Ryzen 7 1700 trails the other eight-core processors, but passes the Core i7-6900K once we overclock it. Of course, the same treatment applied to Intel's chip would have a similar effect, so we'll stop short of calling this an AMD victory.
The quad-core Core i7-7700K and i5-7600K are far less potent in the threaded Time Spy and Fire Strike tests. However, they leverage their superior IPC throughput and clock rate to turn in a solid showing during the single-thread DX11 API overhead metrics. Intel's four-core CPUs are also competitive against the Ryzen processors in multi-threaded DX11 draw call performance, which helps explain their commanding lead in most gaming benchmarks.
DX12 leverages additional cores more efficiently, which turns the tables in favor of the eight-core chips. AMD's 1700 makes a solid showing, though it naturally trails the quicker 1700X and 1800X at stock settings. The overclocked 1700 pulls closer to its companions, but all overclocked Ryzen 7 processors suffer curiously reduced DX11 multi-threaded performance compared to stock settings. Through it all, the stock Core i7-6900K stubbornly refuses to budge from its commanding lead in DX11 threaded and DX12 tests.
Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
Ashes of the Singularity is notoriously CPU-bound, but it responds well to higher core counts and clock rate, which makes it particularly well suited for examining the impact of increased processing performance on CPU-intensive titles.
Lackluster results in Ashes of the Singularity was a notable thorn in Ryzen's side, which surprised us given the purportedly close collaboration between AMD and Stardock/Oxide. Before the Ryzen launch, AMD stated that Ashes of the Singularity's Nitrous game engine wasn't optimized to fully leverage Ryzen's unique cache topology and SMT implementation, but that a patch was inbound. We gained access to the pre-release update and recorded significantly better performance from Ryzen 7. We saw the Core i7-6900K speed up too, though.
The stock Ryzen 7 1700 and 1700X can't beat a stock Core i7-7700K, but a little overclocking puts them in the lead. Unsurprisingly, though, the Core i7-6900K asserts its dominance with a large lead over the other processors.
We dialed Battlefield 1 up to the Ultra preset and repetitively took an armor-laden stroll across the O La Vittoria landscape.
We run into a graphics bottleneck during the test, so we don't observe much variation between contenders. They all enable smooth game play through our test sequence. This is why AMD says Ryzen is great for high-res gaming!
Battlefield 4 also leans on the GPU more than the CPU, so again, we notice little variation at the upper end of the 1920x1080 benchmark results.
The Ryzen 7 1700 and 1700X trail the other contenders, but pull up to the faster processors after overclocking. In many ways, these results mirror the common trend we see at higher resolutions. All of the processors offer acceptable performance when you encounter a graphics bottleneck.