AMD  Ryzen 7 2700 3.2 GHz Review 24

AMD Ryzen 7 2700 3.2 GHz Review

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Value and Conclusion

  • The AMD Ryzen 7 2700 retails for $299.
  • Solid performance improvements
  • Remarkable energy-efficiency
  • Outstanding performance in multi-threaded apps
  • Unlocked CPU multiplier
  • Supports existing AM4 motherboards
  • CPU cooler included
  • Soldered IHS
  • Gaming performance lower than 2600X
  • Single-threaded performance of the architecture lower than Intel's
  • Limited overclocking potential
  • Memory still a bit more problematic than on Intel
  • Lacks integrated graphics
This review uses our updated test suite for processors in 2018, which includes the latest BIOS updates with microcode fixes for recent security issues, Windows 10 Fall Creators Update with all updates, and new software tests and games, which are all using the latest versions as well.

The AMD Ryzen 7 2700 is the cheaper and less glamorous sibling of the flagship 2700X, but something tells us consumers could still be drawn to it on account of its psychologically pleasing sub-$300 price, the fact that none of its on-die components are disabled, and that it still features an unlocked multiplier, letting overclockers claw back performance to 2700X-levels. The million 30-dollar question is whether the saving is worth it?

Looking purely at the performance numbers, we regret to lean toward saying "not worth it." The Ryzen 7 2700 is clocked significantly lower than the 2700X at 3.20 GHz vs. 3.70 GHz, but the boost clock is narrower, at 4.10 GHz vs. 4.30 GHz. XFR 2.0 rewards the 2700X with up to 200 MHz higher clocks beyond the boost frequency, while only adding a negligible 50 MHz for the 2700. Unlike the case of Intel's Core i5-8600K and i5-8600 having nearly identical performance out of the box, the clock-speed disparity, coupled with AMD's boost algorithm being different than Intel's, results in a noticeable performance gap between the 2700X and 2700.

The Ryzen 7 2700 is almost 11 percent slower than the 2700X in CPU tests, and that reflects badly in terms of price-performance given the 2700 is only 9 percent cheaper. When it comes to gaming, the gaps are narrower, at around 2-3 points, but the 2700 is beaten by the $70 cheaper Ryzen 5 2600X, which is clocked higher. The 6-core/12-thread 2600X benefits from its higher clock speeds to offer better gaming performance and generally higher performance in tasks that aren't highly parallelized. However, owing to two more cores and four more threads, the 2700 manages to claw back multi-threaded performance gains over the 2600X despite lower clock speeds.

One area where the Ryzen 7 2700 managed to surprise us is energy efficiency. Its multi-threaded power-draw is over 50 W lower than that of the 2700X (141 W vs. 199 W), while offering performance that is not that much lower. The underlying reason is that the 2700X boosts very high, into a region where the processor is faster, but not operating as efficiently anymore. The Ryzen 7 2700, on other other hand, runs at lower clock and lower voltage in this scenario, resulting in higher efficiency. Our new energy efficiency testing, which doesn't just measure power, but also takes into account how quickly tasks complete due to higher performance, shows the processor's amazing lead. This makes the Ryzen 7 2700 the most energy-efficient processor we ever tested.

Overclocking the Ryzen 7 2700 is fairly straightforward because of its unlocked multiplier; however, we found it difficult to push the chip beyond 4.00 GHz stable across all our tests. We set the 4.00 GHz-locked 2700 as a data-point across all tests, and it emerged close to the 2700X in CPU tests, and was almost as fast in gaming. In our Ryzen 7 2700X review, we found out that it doesn't gain much from manual overclocking due to AMD's excellent boost implementation. Today's Ryzen 7 2700 comes with a much more conservative boost system, and here, manual overclocking starts to make sense, even though overclocking potential is not that big. For our case, though (4.0 GHz manual OC vs. 4.1 GHz max boost), it has to be said that single-threaded workloads will lose a little bit of performance. Multi-threaded workloads and games do show significant improvements, however.

Across the competitive landscape, the Ryzen 7 2700 is priced on par with the Core i7-8700 (non-K). We haven't had the opportunity to test that chip, but expect it to perform within striking distance of the Core i7-8700K since its max turbo frequency is only marginally lower (3.60 GHz vs. 3.70 GHz). You lose out on the unlocked multiplier, but end up with a processor that's almost as fast according to most reviews, with much better performance at gaming and less parallelized workloads.

Overall, there's no huge reason to recommend the Ryzen 7 2700 over the 2700X other than energy efficiency, and we recommend not choosing this chip in pursuit of a $30 saving if what you want is nearly the same out-of-the-box performance. The 2700X is faster, has a better cooler, and is the overall better product. If you're purely into gaming, then Intel's 8th generation Core processor family is still ahead in gaming performance, and the i7-8700 looks like the better choice at this price. Even the $70 cheaper Ryzen 5 2600X offers better value.

Given the vast pricing gap between the $229 Ryzen 5 2600X and $299 Ryzen 7 2700, AMD could consider a $20 price cut for the latter. Things could get interesting then.
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