The CPU market has sort of been an Intel monopoly for the past few years, but with the Ryzen series of processors, the competition surely seems to be revived. The Ryzen CPUs are based on the new AMD Zen architecture and the AM4 socket, the direct successor to AMD’s Piledriver based FX processors with the AM3 & AM3+ sockets released over five years ago. It’s been a long time coming.
The Ryzen 7 series is Ryzen’s high-end line of processors, with eight cores and 16 threads, making them the AMD counterparts to Intel’s i7 range. We’re reviewing the Ryzen 7 1800X, the top end of the Ryzen 7 series. Check out the tech specs below:
|Base Clock||3.6 GHz|
|Boost Clock||4.0 GHz|
The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X has a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz with a boost clock of up to 4.0 GHz, targeted at not just gamers, but content creators who rely on multi-threaded processes like video processing, rendering and streaming. The aim being, to offer professional grade performance at an affordable rate. The new Zen architecture makes use of the 14nm FinFET Technology, which is much more powerful than its predecessor’s 32nm SOI manufacturing process. It has a TDP of 95 W, which is quite less than the Intel i7-6900K. Under an all cores boost heavy load case, this power draw can go up to 128W.
The AM4 socket will feature about six chipset options, including the X370, B350 and X300 which will allow for unlocked overclocking of any Ryzen CPU. Priced closed to about INR 40,000, it is much cheaper than Intel’s eight-core i7-6900K, about tad more expensive than the i7-7700K. Additionally, Ryzen will finally bring DDR4 support for AMD CPUs, which remain to be dual-channel.
Test Setup and Benchmarks
Our test set up consisted of the following components to help us benchmark the Ryzen 7 1800X:
- Motherboard: MSI X370 XPower Gaming Titanium
- Memory: Corsair Vengeance DDR4 8GB 3000 MHz
- CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U-12S SE-AM4
- SSD: Samsung EVO 250 GB
The X370 is the most high-end chipset for the Ryzen processors, where the X stands for Xtreme. It supports multi-GPU rendering (Crossfire and SLI) with two PCI-E slots (Gen 3.0). It supports overlocking as well and is basically the chipset that corresponds to Z170, Z270 and X99 for corresponding Intel counterparts. The mainstream version, the B350 chipset is a little more generalized, offering full performance, but less tweaking options. However, both of these offer support for the following, making sure both regular users and enthusiasts get the best out of their motherboards:
- Dual-channel DDR4 memory
- M.2 SATA devices
- PCIe 3.0 capability
- USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Gen 2
CineBench R15 Single-Core
CineBench is a cross-platform benchmarking suite based on Maxon’s animation software Cinema 4D. It’s a comprehensive test that evaluates your PC’s performance capability. The test uses of all of your processing power to render a photo-realistic 3D scene, making use of different algorithms to stress all available processor cores. It consists of tests for both single-core and multi-core performance, and gives the final answer in the form of points, the higher the better.
According to the results obtained, the Ryzen 7 1800X still lags behind the quad-core Kaby Lake Core i7-7700K, which is a benchmark processor for all gamers. As a majority of the older titles don’t make proper use of the processor’s multi-threaded performance, Intel still seems to have a lead where gaming is concerned, but it also shows that AMD has indeed come a long way in terms of per-core performance, and the 1800X’s single-core numbers are much better than what’s offered by the ten-core i7-6950X and the i7-6900K Broadwell E processors.
CineBench R15 Multi-Core
In the multi-threaded performance tests, we see the Ryzen 7 1800X taking a lead over its Intel counterparts. Here, the i7-6950X comes first, with its ten-cores obviously giving it an advantage. But it’s impressive to see that the 1800X performs better than the i7-6900K, Intel’s eight-core Broadwell E processor. Unfortunately, not all applications (including a lot of games) make efficient use of multiple cores, meaning more number of cores does not always equal to better performance. However, the higher multi-core performance numbers mean good news for content creators, video editors and streamers as the 1800X offers excellent price to performance ratio.
CPU-Z Single-Core Performance
CPU-Z is a simple and incredible tool that offers you information about your system and processor. Recently, it was updated with a benchmark tool, which is incredibly easy-to-use and tests RAW CPU performance, for both single-threaded and multi-threaded core performance. It’s quick and and offers an easy way to view your processor’s performance. The single core performance implications from the previous Cinebench results are reflected here, though the difference between the 1800X and the 7700K’s performance is much less than what we observed in the CineBench scores.
CPU-Z Multi-Core Performance
In the multi-core performance benchmarks, the Ryzen 1800X soars ahead of the competition by a significant margin, leaving all its current i7 counterparts behind. This means for multi-threaded processes the Ryzen 7 1800X offers best-in-class performance as far as raw processing power is concerned.
3DMark Vantage CPU Score
3DMark Vantage is a comprehensive benchmarking tool that focuses on two components most critical for gamers – CPU and GPU. It has a standalone CPU test that supports multi-core and multi-threading setup and provides an overall result of how your system performs by giving separate scores for CPU, GPU and a combined score as well.
We’ve talked about single-core, multi-core, multi-thread performance, chipset and tech specs etc etc. Now let’s talk about the numbers that are most significant to a gamer – the in-game benchmarks. Adding a GTX 1080 to our test setup, we ran a bunch of recent games to find out how the Ryzen handles the pressure. Two sets of tests were done – one at 1080p and the other at 1440p resolution, and the graphics settings were set to the highest quality preset (Ultra/Very High/Extreme) with SMAA (Anti-aliasing) . DX12 has been enabled for games that have the support while for other titles DX 11 has been used. The titles included Rise of the Tomb Raider, Hitman (2016), Far Cry Primal, Watch Dogs 2 and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
XFR and Overclocking
The Ryzen processors come with nifty tricks up their sleeves that help you get the maximum performance out of your CPU. One such trick is the Extended Frequency Range, known as XFR in short. It allows the processor to automatically exceed the boost clock speed if the thermal solution is good enough. Another way of putting it could be that your Ryzen processor is capable of overclocking itself. The 1800X comes with a boost clock speed of 4.0 GHz, and the XFR can push it up to 4.1 GHz, an extra 100 MHz boost without the need of manual overclocking. XFR is fully enabled only on the ‘X’ versions of Ryzen processors (like the 1700X and the 1800X). Non-X chips like the 1700 have a limited 50 MHz boost.
The catch, however, is that XFR is completely disabled should you choose to overclock your system manually. AMD has added a new software to its database to facilitate overclocking for users, called as AMD Ryzen Master. It’s similar to the WattMan software for AMD graphics cards, with a set of sliders that allow for per-core clock speed, voltage, and memory timing adjustments, as well as the ability to disable cores entirely. Using the Ryzen Master software also disables the XFR.
It’s possible to reach a stable clock speed of 4.1 GHz with a CPU voltage of about 1.45 volts, which is a little lower than what some 1800X chips are be able to reach, according to other databases, 4.2 GHz at about the same voltage. However, this is just a reference number and its possible that some more tweaking is required for better results. Also, remember that a better cooling solution for your CPU better temperature control which in turn means more room for overclocking. Peak temperature for this setup went up to 84 degrees Celsius under load, while under normal clock speeds the peak temperature was around 74-75 degrees Celsius.
AMD has delivered on most of its promises with the Ryzen, it seems. Though the gaming performance could use some improvement, let’s not forget that these are very early tests and games are not yet optimized for the Ryzen processors. With DX 12, games are expected to make efficient use of multiple cores, but for that the 7700K’s four-core setup seems substantial. However, the Ryzen 1800X’s raw processing power makes it perfect for users looking for a CPU for more than just gaming. Also, as more people move to 1440p and higher resolutions, where most of the graphical load is borne by the GPU, the Ryzen 1800X bridges the gap that’s seen in the performance. The multi-core scores also make it an excellent choice for applications like video encoding, production and image rendering, which rely on more cores. The only phrase that comes to mind is bang-for-buck, especially when you compare it to its Intel counterpart, the i7-6950X, which costs more than $1000. For content creators who are looking for a great CPU to power their work without putting a huge dent in their pockets, it doesn’t get better than the $500 Ryzen 7 1800X.