AMD launched its much awaited Ryzen 7 processor family. AMD has been known to be a PC processor company way before it acquired ATI in 2006 to also become a graphics company. Owning a PC with a fast AMD processor has been a 'hip' thing and told people around you that you're aware of an industry beyond Intel and the millions of dollars it pumps into marketing each year. Throughout the Pentium era, AMD processors have lived up to being viable alternatives, alongside companies such as Cyrix, who we dearly miss. The company's K6, Athlon, and Athlon XP processor series did well to ensure Intel didn't pull the same architecture through the market for an entire decade.
AMD even took an undisputed performance lead over Intel for nearly half a decade, before the company could make a comeback with the Core processor family. Repeated attempts by AMD to regain the top spot, such as the first monolithic quad-core chip, the Phenom series, were colossal disappointments. Cut to 2008 and Intel launched its first architecture with an integrated memory controller codenamed "Nehalem." This architecture was so much faster than AMD's that Intel only incrementally updated it for an entire decade running up to 2017, thanks also to AMD's equally disappointing "Bulldozer" architecture. It took another half a decade for AMD to come up with a brand new chip from the ground up by pooling in some of the brightest chip-designers in the industry, codenamed "Zen" and branded as Ryzen.
Zen undoes "Bulldozer" in marking AMD's return to completely independent CPU cores with large integer and floating-point components, and dedicated L2 caches, in an attempt to shore up single-thread performance. AMD misread the software industry in 2011 with Bulldozer, when it thought an 8-core chip in which four cores sharing components with neighboring cores could compete with Intel, which still sold dual-core processors at $160 at the time. Ryzen corrects that mistake by providing beefier CPU cores that attempt to get into the same single-core performance league as current Intel architecture; while not abandoning AMD's competitive strategy of selling more cores to the dollar than Intel. Ryzen is also AMD's first processor to feature simultaneous multi-threading (SMT), which like Intel's HyperThreading Technology, lets the software see each physical core as two logical cores to better utilize its hardware resources. The Ryzen 7 series 8-core chips hence feature 16 threads, which adds tremendous value.
AMD launched the Ryzen processor family with its three fastest models, all of which are 8-core parts slotted above Intel's socket LGA1151 lineup, with the range-topping Ryzen 7-1800X at $499, the next-best Ryzen 7-1700X at $399, and the most affordable Ryzen 7-1700 at $329, on par with Intel's Core i7-7700K. On paper, these parts are endowed with core-components that are more in the league of Intel's larger Core i7 LGA2011v3 lineup, with up to 8 CPU cores and 16 MB of shared L3 caches; while their uncore-components are closer to Intel's LGA1151 lineup - with dual-channel DDR4 integrated memory controllers and 28-lane PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complexes. That kind of gives away what AMD hopes to achieve with the Ryzen 7 series, which is to capture key price points between the i7-7700K and its larger six- to eight-core HEDT siblings, priced above $500.
In this review, we are taking a look at the top-dog Ryzen 7-1800X processor and compare it with the Core i7-7700K and the i7-6700K chips we have at hand. This chip features clock speeds of up to 3.60 GHz, with a TurboCore (boost) frequency of 4.00 GHz, with a neat little feature called extended frequency range (XFR), which rewards good CPU cooling with automatic overclocks beyond the 4.00 GHz boost clocks. AMD is non-committal about what those clocks are because they could vary with the effectiveness of the user's cooling. We used the third-party cooler AMD included with its Ryzen sample; retail boxes of the Ryzen 7-1800X lack stock coolers, just like the i7-7700K.
|Core i5-6600K||Core i5-7500||Core i5-7600K||Ryzen 7 1700||Core i7-6700K||Core i7-7700K||Ryzen 7 1700X||Core i7-6800K||Ryzen 7 1800X||Core i7-6900K||Core i7-6950X|
|Cores / Threads||4 / 4||4 / 4||4 / 4||8 / 16||4 / 8||4 / 8||8 / 16||6 / 12||8 / 16||8 / 16||10 / 20|
|Base Clock||3.5 GHz||3.4 GHz||3.8 GHz||3.0 GHz||4.0 GHz||4.2 GHz||3.4 GHz||3.4 GHz||3.6 GHz||3.2 GHz||3.0 GHz|
|Max. Boost||3.9 GHz||3.8 GHz||4.2 GHz||3.7 GHz||4.2 GHz||4.5 GHz||3.8 GHz||3.6 GHz||4.0 GHz||3.7 GHz||3.5 GHz|
|L3 Cache||8 MB||6 MB||8 MB||16 MB||8 MB||8 MB||16 MB||15 MB||16 MB||20 MB||25 MB|
|TDP||91 W||65 W||91 W||65 W||91 W||91 W||95 W||140 W||95 W||140 W||140 W|
|Process||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||AM4||LGA 1151||LGA 1151||AM4||LGA 2011||AM4||LGA 2011||LGA 2011|