AMD is back in the desktop CPU game with its Ryzen family of processors, thanks to successes with per-core performance and energy-efficiency improvements brought about by its "Zen" micro-architecture. The company launched its Ryzen processor family with the top-end Ryzen 7 series, which consists of eight-core models that start at $329, going all the way up to $499. These chips do manage to make you think twice before choosing an Intel Core i7-7700K quad-core chip, and makes the Core i7 "Broadwell-E" series look terrible, all the way up to the $1,199 i7-6900K. Ahead of Summer 2017, when PC gamers hit the stores for hardware upgrades, AMD is launching a new line of Ryzen processors at price points targeting them, with the new Ryzen 5 series.
The Ryzen 5 series from AMD competes with the entire spectrum of Intel's Core i5 quad-core "Kaby Lake" series, at prices ranging from $169 to $249. This puts Intel's high-volume Core i5-7600K and value-oriented i5-7400 in its crosshairs. Carved out of the same 14 nm "Summit Ridge" silicon as the eight-core Ryzen 7 series, the Ryzen 5 series consists of six-core and quad-core SKUs, which are further bolstered by SMT (simultaneous multi-threading) and unlocked base-clock multipliers across the board. SMT (and its Intel-implementation, HyperThreading) is something quad-core Core i5 parts lack, and unlocked multipliers is reserved only for the i5-7600K quad-core and the $189 i3-7350K dual-core. What's more, the six-core Ryzen 5 parts feature a staggering 16 MB of L3 cache (compared to the paltry 6 MB of the price-comparable Core i5 quad-core parts), and the quad-core Ryzen parts feature a decent 8 MB. Given AMD has made significant strides in improving per-core performance and the software ecosystem finally taking advantage of more than 4 logical CPUs, the Ryzen 5 series chips are extremely exciting on paper.
The Ryzen 5 series is led by the Ryzen 5 1600X, a six-core part priced at $249. AMD claims that the 1600X comprehensively beats the Core i5-7600K in all the software that matters to PC gamers and pro-users and even punches above its weight against the i7-7700K. AMD made the Ryzen 5 1600X by disabling 2 out of 8 CPU cores physically present on the 14 nm "Summit Ridge" chip, which is, in turn, one core per quad-core complex (CCX), while leaving L3 cache untouched. So, you have a staggering 16 MB of shared L3 cache and 512 KB of L2 cache per core. The chip is clocked at 3.60 GHz, with 4.00 GHz of TurboCore frequency and the XFR (extended frequency range) feature unlocking further automated overclocked speeds depending on the efficacy of your CPU cooling. Its main competitor from the Intel stable is the Core i5-7600K.
|Pentium G4560||Core i3-7100||Core i5-7400||Core i5-7500||Ryzen 5 1500X||Core i5-6600K||Core i5-7600K||Ryzen 5 1600X||Ryzen 7 1700||Core i7-6700K||Core i7-7700K||Ryzen 7 1700X|
|Cores / Threads||2 / 4||2 / 4||4 / 4||4 / 4||4 / 8||4 / 4||4 / 4||6 / 12||8 / 16||4 / 8||4 / 8||8 / 16|
|Base Clock||3.5 GHz||3.9 GHz||3.0 GHz||3.4 GHz||3.5 GHz||3.5 GHz||3.8 GHz||3.6 GHz||3.0 GHz||4.0 GHz||4.2 GHz||3.4 GHz|
|Max. Boost||N/A||N/A||3.5 GHz||3.8 GHz||3.9 GHz||3.9 GHz||4.2 GHz||4.1 GHz||3.7 GHz||4.2 GHz||4.5 GHz||3.8 GHz|
|L3 Cache||3 MB||3 MB||6 MB||6 MB||16 MB||6 MB||6 MB||16 MB||16 MB||8 MB||8 MB||16 MB|
|TDP||54 W||51 W||65 W||65 W||65 W||91 W||91 W||95 W||65 W||91 W||91 W||95 W|
|Process||14 nm||14 nm||14 nm||14 nm||14 nm||14 nm||14 nm||14 nm||14 nm||14 nm||14 nm||14 nm|
|Socket||LGA 1151||LGA 1151||LGA 1151||LGA 1151||AM4||LGA 1151||LGA 1151||AM4||AM4||LGA 1151||LGA 1151||AM4|