Feature Article

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X CPU Review

The Ryzen tide indicates a CPU climate change.

Introduction

The CPU market has been relatively noncompetitive for the past few years, but AMD is bouncing back into competition against Intel with its Ryzen series of central processing units (CPUs). Ryzen is based on AMD’s new Zen architecture and uses the company’s new AM4 socket type. This is the direct successor to AMD’s AM3 and AM3+ socket types, which launched in 2009 and 2011, respectively. The last consumer-level CPUs from AMD were with its FX line and the Piledriver architecture, which released in 2012.

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The Ryzen 7 family is AMD’s high-end CPU line, all equipped with eight-cores and 16 threads. We’re specifically reviewing the highest-end 1800X model here. It runs at a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz and a boost clock of 4.0 GHz. At $499 USD, the Ryzen 7 1800X is aimed at those who are in the market for a CPU that’s competent for gaming, but built to handle multi-core tasks like video production and streaming. It aims to represent a blend of professional use-case scenarios with relative consumer affordability. The buzzword associated with this growing market is “prosumer.” The 1800X is also significantly cheaper than Intel’s eight-core i7-6900K ($1,049 USD) and the company’s leading 10-core i7-6950X ($1,649), and priced just above the six-core i7-6800K ($409), all of which are from Intel’s 14nm Broadwell-E architecture.

Ryzen 7 Line of CPUs

CPUCores, ThreadsSocketBase ClockBoost ClockTDPMSRP
1800X8 cores, 16 threadsAM43.6 GHz4.0 GHz95W$499
1700X8 cores, 16 threadsAM43.4 GHz3.8 GHz95W$399
17008 cores, 16 threadsAM43.0 GHz3.7 GHz65W$329

Technical Details

AMD’s new Zen architecture adopts the 14nm FinFET technology which is much more power efficient compared to the previous Piledriver architecture’s 32nm SOI manufacturing process. The thermal power design (TDP)--aka power draw--of the Ryzen 7 1800X is 95W, and can ramp up the wattage to the AM4 limit of 128W under an “all cores boost” heavy load case, which it does automatically when there’s enough thermal headroom.

Socket AM4 is also introduced along with Ryzen CPUs, which will feature six different chipset options. The X370, B350, X300 (for small form factor) chipsets will allow for unlocked overclocking on any of the Ryzen CPUs. The following are the details for all the chipsets:

ChipsetUSB (3.1 G2, 3.1 G1, 2.0)SATADDR4 DIMM SlotsPCIe LanesPCIe SlotsOverclocking
X3702, 6, 6448, Gen 22Unlocked
B3502, 2, 6246, Gen 21Unlocked
A3201, 2, 6TBATBA4, Gen 21Locked
X300 (SFF)TBA22TBA2Unlocked
A/B300 (SFF)TBATBATBATBA1Locked

A single Zen CPU Complex (CCX) contains four cores, eight threads, 64Kb L1 instruction and data caches, 512KB dedicated L2 cache per core, and an 8MB L3 cache shared among all CPU cores. Zen-based products can feature multiple CCXs, and in the case of Ryzen 7, two CCXs are on the processor.

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Along with the new Zen platform, AMD introduces new technologies such as SenseMI, XFR, Precision Boost, and the AMD Ryzen Master software. SenseMI detects and reads the CPU's behavior and allows Precision Boost to work, which varies core clock speed in increments of 25 MHz on the fly. XFR (only available on X-branded Ryzen CPUs) recognizes how efficient your cooling solution is and ramps up clock speeds beyond the boost level, if enabled. Lastly, the AMD Ryzen Master software is an application that allows users to control clock speed, voltages, and monitor CPU activity.

Methodology

Test Bench

Our test bench for the Ryzen 7 1800X consists of the Gigabyte AX370 Gaming 5 motherboard for socket AM4 CPUs, 16GB (2x8GB) of Corsair Vengence DDR4 3000MHz dual-channel RAM, and a Noctua NH-U12S CPU cooler. To keep things as consistent as possible with our previous CPU tests, we stuck with a reference Nvidia GTX 980 as our graphics card. We were also equipped with a 700-watt NZXT power supply and a Western Digital Blue SATA solid-state drive. Here is a chart for the specs of the systems used in our tests:

CPUAMD Ryzen 7 1800XIntel Core i7-6950XIntel Core i7-5960XIntel Core i7-7700KIntel Core i7-6700K
MotherboardGigabyte AX370 Gaming 5Asus Strix X99 GamingAsus Strix X99 GamingGigabyte GA-170X-Gaming 7Gigabyte GA-170X-Gaming 7
RAMCorsair Vengeance 3000MHzCorsair Vengeance 2133MHzCorsair Vengeance 2133MHzCorsair Vengeance 2133MHzCorsair Vengeance 2133MHz
GPUGeForce GTX 980GeForce GTX 980GeForce GTX 980GeForce GTX 980GeForce GTX 980
SSDWD Blue 960GBCorsair Force LS 240GBCorsair Force LS 240GBSeagate 600 Series 240GBSeagate 600 Series 240GB
CPU CoolerNoctua NH-U12S (Air)Corsair H115iCorsair H115iNZXT Kraken X61NZXT Kraken X61
CaseNZXT H340Corsair Carbide 600CCorsair Carbide 600CNZXT H440NZXT H440
Power SupplyNZXT 700WCorsair RM850XCorsair RM850XNZXT 1200WNZXT 1200W

All systems ran on Microsoft Windows 10 operating system.

Approach

All the results used in our charts for this review are based on numbers produced by GameSpot. Tests were conducted and recorded internally across all CPUs. The majority of our benchmarks are focused on stressing the CPU for both single and multicore performance. In this review, we found it relevant to use our numbers from our previous tests with the Intel Core i7-6700K, 7700K, 5960X, and 6950X for comparative purposes. Here are the specifications of each CPU:

CPUCores, ThreadsBase Clock SpeedBoost Clock SpeedChipsetTDP
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X8 cores, 16 threads3.6 GHz4.0 GHzX37095W
Intel Core i7-6950X10 cores, 20 threads3.0 GHz3.5 GHzX99140W
Intel Core i7-5960X8 cores, 16 threads3.0 GHz3.5 GHzX99140W
Intel Core i7-7700K4 cores, 8 threads4.2 GHz4.5 GHzZ17091W
Intel Core i7-6700K4 cores, 8 threads4.0 GHz4.2 GHzZ17091W

Benchmark Results

Blender

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Blender is an open-source 3D graphics and animation program that really stresses multi-core CPUs. Just like our previous tests, we used the “flying squirrel” 3D model to render in Blender. Per our results, the 1800X was outperformed by the 7700K by four percent. This would indicate that Blender doesn’t need more than four cores to run efficiently, backed up by the slower performance of the 5960X. The 6950X does come out on top, however. This could be due in-part to Broadwell-E’s Max Turbo Boost feature.

Cinebench R15

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Cinebench R15 is a 3D animation benchmark that really makes the most of CPU cores. We see the 6700K and 7700K lag significantly behind while the eight and ten core CPUs exhibit substantial improvement. Considering the price of the 1800X, Cinebench shows it to contend with the more expensive ten-core 6950X by being 13.5 percent slower. The 1800X zooms past the 7700K by performing 39 percent faster.

GeekBench 3.0 Multicore 64-bit

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GeekBench 3.0 is a synthetic benchmark that scores CPU power. The 1800X has an impressive showing in the multicore test, coming within one percent of the 6950X. It also leaps well ahead of the 5960X by nearly 25 percent, showing the advantage of its two extra cores.

GeekBench 3.0 Single-Core 64-bit

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As expected, the 7700K and 6700K shine in this test with their more robust individual cores. However, the 1800X makes a significant statement of single-core efficiency by jumping well ahead of the 6950X with its higher clock speeds.

PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated

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PCMark 8 is a multi-step test that simulates real-world scenarios like video conferencing, web browsing, and photo editing. This is one case where Ryzen leaps ahead of all the other intel processors by performing nearly four percent faster than the four-core and and ten core CPUs. Having extra cores doesn’t lead to a clear advantage in this test, but the efficiency of the 1800X shows it’s well-suited for everyday applications.

Since we’ve used data from previous benchmarks, the anomaly between the 6700K outperforming the 7700K persists. The test was done twice at that time and the results remained the same.

3DMark 11 Extreme Physics Score (1080p)

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3DMark 11 is a synthetic DirectX 11 benchmark tool that gives users an idea of how a system will perform in games. With the Extreme test, we only took the physics score to see how our CPUs handled complex physics calculations. While the 1800X leads the four-core i7s by nearly eight percent, the eight and ten-core Intel CPUs exhibit a substantial lead.

3DMark 11 Performance (720p)

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By running the 720p 3DMark 11 test, we get a larger picture while leaning more on the CPU. Our Ryzen 7 1800X beats out the 6700K by about 17 percent, but still trails the 7700K by about four percent and the 6950X by ten percent. The takeaway is that this benchmark isn’t intended to take full advantage of additional cores.

POV-RAY 3.7

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Persistence of Vision Raytracer (POV-RAY) is a free benchmark that tests a system’s ray tracing capability. The results show that extra cores make for a distinct advantage in ray tracing. We see the 1800X well ahead of the four and eight-core Intel CPUs, but just behind the ten-core 6950X.

POV-RAY 3.7 (Single-Core)

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The single-core results breakdown as expected, with the 6700K and 7700K showing better individual core performance. The 6950X does edge out the 1800X in this case by a little over five percent, however.

X264 pass 1

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The Tech ARP X264 benchmark is one of the most demanding CPU tests, which consists of two passes in a single run to simulate video encoding. Core count is a significant advantage in X264 and it shows with the 1800X, 5960X, and 6950X speeding ahead of the four-core i7 CPUs.

X264 pass 2

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The advantage of core count becomes more clear when things get more intense in the second pass of X264. The 1800X trails just behind the ten-core 6950X by around seven percent, and overtakes the eight-core 5960X by about 16 percent. The 7700K and 6700K lag behind and proves that video encoding is best done with more cores.

7-Zip

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7-Zip is one of the most common compression and decompression tools available. These tasks rely heavily on the CPU and clearly takes advantage of extra CPU cores. In this case, we see the 1800X in a virtual tie with the 5960X while the 6950X speeds past both.

Star Swarm Stress Test (Low at 1080p)

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The Star Swarm Stress Test is a real-time tech demo from Oxide games, co-developers of the RTS Ashes of the Singularity. Testing at low settings shifts the emphasis from the GPU to the CPU, and this particular test is partial to extra cores. However, the 1800X doesn’t react well to the benchmark compared to the Intel CPUs. It trails behind the 6700K by about six percent and the rest by about 23 percent. The 6950X and 5960X do show a distinct advantage over the four-core i7 CPUs, though.

Star Swarm Stress Test (Extreme at 1080p)

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The 1800X still struggles to keep up with the Intel CPUs, even dipping below 60 FPS when we bump the settings up to extreme quality. Extra cores still exhibit a substantial benefit among the Intel CPUs, so it’s curious to see the 1800X come up short.

BioShock Infinite (Low at 1080p)

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We continue to see the 1800X significantly lag behind when we move to the Bioshock Infinite benchmark tool. While all Intel CPUs put out 300+ FPS at low quality settings, the 1800X averages just above 200 FPS. The 6950X leads the performance pack a bit, but the 6700K and 7700K aren’t far behind.

BioShock Infinite (Max at 1080p)

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Again, the 1800X comes in last place among the CPUs we tested. With Bioshock Infinite at maximum settings, the faster individual cores of the 6700K and 7700K prove to be more suited for in-game performance.

SteamVR

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The Steam VR performance test is a benchmark tool to see if your system is ready for VR applications. AMD’s 1800X makes a bounces back by coming out on top, slightly outperforming all the Intel CPUs. The results between the Intel CPUs would tell us more cores aren’t necessary, but the 1800X would say otherwise. AMD attributes its VR performance to efficient single-threads.

Temperatures and Overclocking

Peak temperatures of the Ryzen 7 1800X were recorded during the X264 stress test since it is demanding multi-threaded nature make it a great worst-case scenario. With our Noctua air cooler, the peak core temperature was 74 degrees Celsius under load, which is a reasonable CPU temperature. This also means we had room for overclocking.

Keep in mind that the Ryzen 7 1800X will bounce between its 3.6GHz stock clock and 4.0GHz boost clock on its own, based on operating temperature and workload.

Using AMD's own Ryzen Master software, we were able to hit a stable 4.1GHz overclock with 1.45 volts while running X264. Peak load temperatures reached 82 degrees Celsius and the overclock returned modest results; around four percent for X264 Pass 1 and about six percent for X264 Pass 2.

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A more robust cooling solution and further tinkering may yield better overclocking results, which is worth exploring in future testing.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that the Ryzen 7 1800X makes the most sense for users that need more than a CPU for gaming, those who are considered “prosumers.” The performance for multicore applications is impressive for its $499 price tag, which increases accessibility for those who need more power for video production and image rendering.

The 1800X isn’t intended for those with only gaming on their mind, as most games benefit more from individual core speed. However, we’re curious as to why it substantially underperforms in our two game tests. Further in-game tests may or may not tell a different story, but future BIOS updates could help. Our 3DMark 11 and Steam VR benchmarks do show promise for Ryzen’s in-game performance, though. Regardless, the 1800X is one of the best bang-for-the-buck CPUs when it comes to applications--video encoding, image rendering, compression/decompression--that utilize more than four cores.

We plan to expand our in-game benchmark tests as we dig deep into the performance of the Ryzen 7 1700X and 1700 CPUs. Stay tuned for our breakdown of the new line of AMD processors.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

highammichael

Michael Higham

Associate Editor at GameSpot. Southeast San Diego to the Bay. Salamat sa iyong suporta!
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Avatar image for Chipp
Chipp

This gamespot review is horrible. They benchmark one game and say that the ryzen isn't good for games? Stay away from cpu benchmarks GS, leave it to the pros at guru3d, anandtech, hardOCP etc.

Avatar image for akamateau
akamateau

Using ANY NVidia dGPU card CRIPPLES Ryzen as the DX12 benchmarks are run with Asynchronous Compute DISABLED. You might try running Star Swarm with at least ONE RX 480. Try 2 as DX12 supports Explicit Multi-adaptor in other words multiple GPU's scale the performance. This is NOT Crossfire.

You also OMITTED 3dMark API Drawcall Feature Overhead test. This shows AMD/RAdeon far superior to Intel/GeForce see the ANAND TECH report back in early 2015. AMD hardware is optimized for DX12.

You also OMITTED ChessBase Fritzmark which shows RYZEN CRUSHING ALL Intel 8 core 16 Thread CPU's

https://en.chessbase.com/post/amd-releases-new-ryzen-processor

Chessbase FritzMark is probably the best system stress test available.

CPU-z also shows Ryzen as the clear single core winner.

http://valid.x86.fr/bench/rjmzdu/1

OF COURSE IF YOU INTENDED TO SHOW RYZEN IN A BAD LIGHT AND INTENTIONALLY DESIGNED THE BENCHMARKS TO SHOW INTEL FAVORABLY THEN YOU WILL NOT REDO THE DX12 TESTS WITH RX480.

Go on I dare you.

Avatar image for Daian
Daian

Gaming benchmarks have proven it's not a good choice for gaming PCs, I've seen the best i3 beat out the far more expensive 1700 Ryzen.

They're great if you want a rendering machine, but not for gaming.

Avatar image for akamateau
akamateau

@Daian:

"...but not for gaming."

Actually NOT TRUE.

Will Gamespot rerun these tests when Vega is released?

What the benchmarks have proven is GAMESPOT is biased to favor Intel.

Using NVidia dGPU disables Asynchronous Compute. NVDA does not support it and ACE and ASP are major AMD CPU force multipliers. Instead RYZEN was judged by a biased report.

Star Swarm should be rerun using RX 480, better would be two as RX 480 scales easily with DX12.

This site also IGNORED or OMITTED 3dMark API Drawcall Feature Overhead test. This test shows AMD with a huge advantage. Obviousy Gamespot does not want to report ANY results that show Intel unfavorably

Avatar image for deactivated-5b0457a4d6084

Glad to see Amd getting competitive.

Avatar image for spoochy
Spoochy

I still don't need anything more than my i5 ATM. Not worth the price to upgrade as I mainly use it for games.

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Terrorantula

Games are still not multithreaded properly then.

Avatar image for akamateau
akamateau

@Terrorantula:

"Games are still not multithreaded properly then."

Not true.

Dx12 supports multi-core gaming natively. ANY 3d game Engine coded with DX12 or Vulkan will run as a multi-core multi-threaded game. Asynchronous Compute allows the CPU to send data non-serially or Asynchronously to the dGPU or GPU cores in the APU. This why the consoles all run 8 core Jaguar APU's. And YES ACE is managed by the GPU but it impacts CPU performance.

DX11 ONLY allows a serial data stream to the shader pipelines and doesnot come close to matching the performance of DX12. Tom;s Hardware tested DX11 multi-core gaming and determined the was virtually no difference between 4 or 6 -10 cores and a large jump between 2 to 4. The O/S overhead impacts 2 core and this is alleviated with 4 cores.

Avatar image for fedor
Fedor

The gaming benchmark's have been mediocre, and the overclocking ceiling is incredibly low. I'll pass on ryzen for now.

Avatar image for fedor
Fedor

@sellingthings: that's a solid approach to take, I will most likely do the same.

Avatar image for theduckofdeath
theduckofdeath

@fedor: I almost upgraded to 7770k last month, and almost went with 1800X this week. It would actually be cheaper for me to go with the 7770k, as more of my system would be cannibalized.

I'm going to wait and see how all this shakes out, after the reviews and AMD's statements. Vega won't show up until late May, regardless. If developers have practical, intelligent paths (follow through with patches) to leveraging the extra cores and other features of Ryzen 1700-1800x, it should jump ahead in performance.

Avatar image for titang1
TitanG1

I'll stick to intel for gaming. I don't want okay or adequate for gaming, I want GOOD and well optimized for gaming.

Avatar image for --Anna--
--Anna--

Please see Overclockers or hardwarecanucks to see how to test a cpu. Good Luck!!

Avatar image for wearelegion5000
wearelegion5000

@highammichael Have you tried disabling cores/SMT to "simulate" R3 or R5 performance?

Avatar image for theduckofdeath
theduckofdeath

@wearelegion5000: I did wonder if any reviews disabled 4 cores on 1800X before attempting overclock. Also, weird that disabling SMT helped some games perform better. That needs to be investigated and straightened out.

Avatar image for ermacos
ermacos

I would love to see some star citizen bench, I tried it with an old i7 8 gigs of ram and it played horrible.

Avatar image for theduckofdeath
theduckofdeath

@ermacos: It is clunky on my 3770k and 290 w / 16 GB. Elite: Dangerous runs far better.

Avatar image for lostn
lostn

Your test methodology is pretty terrible.

Why aren't you using identical hardware except CPU and motherboard?

The Ryzen has an air cooler, up against water cooling systems. Ryzen's OC ability is dependent on the cooler attached to it. The better the cooler, the more OC abilty is unlocked.

You've got different SSDs and RAM. To do a proper benchmark, everything has to be identical.

And why are you using GTX980s? They are years old. The best would be to use a GTX1080 or Titans to ensure that bottlenecking by GPU is absolutely not a factor.

Avatar image for djb1203
djb1203

@lostn: they used a GTX980 because the other benchmark results are from old tests. they only tested the 1800x this time around.

" To keep things as consistent as possible with our previous CPU tests, we stuck with a reference Nvidia GTX 980 as our graphics card "

Avatar image for lostn
lostn

@djb1203: I see. They couldn't be bothered redoing all the tests with current hardware.

Guess they're no DigitalFoundry.

Avatar image for scarred_fox
scarred_fox

@sellingthings: I invested in AMD stocks anticipating a growth in profits but several sites have confirmed issues with under performance "hype" and issues with the motherboards. I can't find the site but one mentioned that AMD's design chip change was mentioned to motherboard manufactures but failed to mention on another change which is now causing the Ryzen to overheat. Something about the back-plate on the motherboards either being too far or too close.

But yes, I agree. Once the next-gen and BIOS updates are implemented, it could resolve the current issues and in fact compete steadily with Intel. First-gens alway have a rocky start.

Side note, investors are advising to sell right away but make no mention on the upcoming Vega GPU later in the year, so for me this is a long-term investment.

Avatar image for ermacos
ermacos

In my country they got mad, they sell 1700x for 470-500euros. 1800x not listed yet.

Avatar image for naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

Damn impressive overall for the price, but I still have to admit I'm surprised at the gaming performance scores. I knew higher clock speeds were important, but this seems to be a little extreme. I wonder if it's something that can be fixed with an update.

Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing what other products come out with this architecture, specifically their hex and quad core lineup.

Avatar image for motopram
motopram

@naryanrobinson: Check out Guru3d's review, for some reason at 1440p the performance is pretty much on par with intels best but at 1080p the X1800 is way off. Guru3d suspect an issue, they'll update if/when it's fixed.

Avatar image for theduckofdeath
theduckofdeath

@motopram: Yes, the test at higher resolutions are GPU bound, so the CPUs are not taxed as much, not really benchmarked. The FPS scores look pretty even. An initial thought is that Ryzen over 7770k is fine, since one may play at 2560x1440p minimum. The thing is, better GPUs will come out in a few years, AMD those CPU differences will peek out again (perhaps not to the same extent over it's lifetime).

Avatar image for troll_elite
Troll_Elite

Well, my Skylake 6700k is still holding it's own for all the games I'm running on max settings at 2k 144hz. I may be more inclined to pick up a new AMD CPU if it's something completely outrageous - like 24 cores and 48 threads. Might be a while though.

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commander

so it performs worse than a 4 core intel, what has changed?

Avatar image for motopram
motopram

@commander: Check out some other reviews, this review is a little off compared to the pro's.

Avatar image for arc_salvo
arc_salvo

Interesting, but gamers may want to wait for the Ryzen 5 or 3 CPU's, with fewer cores and threads, but a better price/performance ratio for games.

This is for people who don't have a recent i5 or i7 Skylake or Kaby Lake CPU though, or even a Haswell or Broadwell i7.

Ryzen is good sure, but the single core's (what's most important for most games) isn't as good as Intel's more recent stuff. People with Sandy Lake or FX 8350's and such (like me) probably have a new upgrade path with Ryzen however.

Avatar image for X-7
X-7

@arc_salvo: This exactly. I am waiting for the hexacore and grabbing a good aio cooler. The game results do seem way off so I am wondering if for whatever reason the CPU is not running at its full frequency and hitting somewhere between idle clocks and full turbo. Because even in the single core synthetic benches the Ryzen cores do very well but the game benches are pretty meh. Might be an issue with the clocks not scaling right when going from desktop to heavy 3d apps.

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sakaiXx

Ryzen is doing amazing things

Avatar image for ello432
ello432

Did you manage to get the ram running on the AMD rig at 3000MHZ ? some review have been saying the system wont post past 2666MHZ or is this an ASUS problem.

Avatar image for Random_Matt
Random_Matt

Nice, cannot emphasize that enough. Although, thought there was going to be a six core one? I'm not interested in paying £300+ for a CPU anymore.

Avatar image for arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@Random_Matt:

Yeah, their "Flagship" 6-core will be cheaper and have 6 cores and 12 threads. Coming out later though.

Avatar image for STrugglingFool
STrugglingFool

Higher resolutions then 1080p would have been nice

Avatar image for STrugglingFool
STrugglingFool

@sellingthings: Did you test streaming while playing? Also I have a I7 3820 and play at 2560x1440p upgrade or... I ask because I like to stream using the CPU so I can use my GPU for recording video.