Ryzen 7 1700 pulls AMD's entry-level eight-core price point below the quad-core Core i7-7700K. That's powerful. The 1700's compelling performance in desktop productivity and content creation workloads, even at stock settings, is impressive. Moreover, the chip's power consumption and thermal characteristics align with our expectations of a CPU with a 30W-lower TDP. Combine those two strengths and you have a recipe for hard-to-beat efficiency.
The 1700 also challenges or beats Intel's Core i7-6900K in several of our application tests. Moreover, it sells for roughly one-third of the -6900K's $1100 price tag, and the bundled cooler is a nice bonus. Overall, Ryzen 7 1700's price to performance ratio is very attractive for most productivity use-cases.
AMD's higher-end Ryzen 7 1700X and 1800X are fast enough for smooth gaming. But in light of their $400 and $500 prices, there's no real reason to recommend them over Intel's Core i5-7600K or Core i7-7700K. Ryzen 7 1700 demonstrates the same behaviors as both X-series SKUs, albeit with lower frame rates if you refrain from overclocking. Tuning the 1700 somewhat aggressively breaks the 65W chip free of its shackles and allows it to trade blows with the faster Ryzen 7s. It's a bummer that our sample didn't overclock quite as well; it just wouldn't crack 4 GHz like the X-series parts. Still, a respectable clock rate ceiling enables similar performance as the 95W models, so if you expect to overclock, spending more money on a 1700X or 1800X may not make sense.
The recent Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation and Dota 2 patches bring hope that game developers can, and will, address Ryzen's most quantifiable weakness. Ideally, all developers would follow suit, but in reality, most older games won't be changed. It's the future of gaming we must look to. And in that, the more accessible Ryzen 5 and 3 families may prove to be even better options for gaming, perhaps encouraging devs to spend more time improving the FHD experience on Ryzen-based platforms.
For now, Ryzen 7 1700 provides good-enough gaming performance at an acceptably low price point, which makes it a viable option for anyone shopping for an eight-core workstation-class chip ready for some entertainment, too.
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