Not too long ago, AMD was written off as a serious processor maker, but then they made a spectacular comeback in 2017 with the Ryzen and EPYC processors based on the new "Zen" micro-architecture. These chips hit Intel's 7th generation Core "Kaby Lake" series so hard that the company cut its yearly generational product cycle by half and rushed in the 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" series with 50%–100% core-count increases across the board to restore competitiveness. Intel succeeded in taking back the mainstream-desktop-performance crown with the Core i7-8700K, and it's now time for AMD's response.
AMD technically debuted its 2nd generation Ryzen processor family with the Ryzen 2000G "Raven Ridge" APU series, but for all intents and purposes, the new Ryzen 2000 "Pinnacle Ridge" is where the company's fightback really begins. These chips are based on a new 12 nanometer GlobalFoundries process, and it's the first time since forever that AMD is building its processors on a smaller process node than Intel. It could hold on to this feat for at least half a year before Intel responds with its first 10 nm chips.
The new "Pinnacle Ridge" silicon uses the new process to increase clock frequencies at same or lower voltage than the "Summit Ridge" silicon. Refinements were made to some of its on-die logic, and more importantly, its cache SRAM, for which AMD presently claims a 3 percent IPC uplift over "Summit Ridge." It's for this reason that AMD is referring to this micro-architecture as "Zen+," where the plus denotes a refinement.
The first wave of AMD's Ryzen 2000 series "Pinnacle Ridge" processor family is rather brief, with only four SKUs, two 8-core, and two 6-core. The 8-core parts compete with Intel's 8th generation Core i7, while the 6-core parts compete with its latest Core i5 series. Leading the pack is the 8-core Ryzen 7 2700X, followed by the Ryzen 7 2700. The 6-core Ryzen 5 2600X and Ryzen 5 2600 follow.
In this review, we are taking a close look at the top-dog Ryzen 7 2700X. This 8-core/16-thread chip has the highest clock speeds in the series with its core clocked at 3.70 GHz, boost frequency at 4.30 GHz, and new XFR 2.0 rewarding effective cooling with automatic overclocks beyond the boost frequency. You also get 512 KB of L2 cache per core and 16 MB of shared L3 cache.
The 2700X is priced at $329, which is significantly cheaper than the previous-generation flagship, the 1800X, which launched at $499. Even the second-fiddle 1700X launched at a higher price of $399. What's more, unlike the 1800X, 1700X, and competing Core i7-8700K, AMD includes a Wraith Prism RGB cooling solution with the 2700X, so you don't have to spend extra money on the cooler.
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, too.
|Price||Cores / |
|Core i5-8600K||$250||6 / 6||3.6 GHz||4.3 GHz||9 MB||95 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Ryzen 5 2600||$200||6 / 12||3.4 GHz||3.9 GHz||16 MB||65 W||Zen||12 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 7 1700||$290||8 / 16||3.0 GHz||3.7 GHz||16 MB||65 W||Zen||14 nm||AM4|
|Core i7-6700K||$350||4 / 8||4.0 GHz||4.2 GHz||8 MB||91 W||Skylake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i7-7700K||$340||4 / 8||4.2 GHz||4.5 GHz||8 MB||91 W||Kaby Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i7-8700||$300||6 / 12||3.2 GHz||4.6 GHz||12 MB||65 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Ryzen 5 2600X||$230||6 / 12||3.6 GHz||4.2 GHz||16 MB||95 W||Zen||12 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 7 1700X||$290||8 / 16||3.4 GHz||3.8 GHz||16 MB||95 W||Zen||14 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 7 2700||$300||8 / 16||3.2 GHz||4.1 GHz||16 MB||65 W||Zen||12 nm||AM4|
|Core i7-8700K||$350||6 / 12||3.7 GHz||4.7 GHz||12 MB||95 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i7-7800X||$380||6 / 12||3.5 GHz||4.0 GHz||8.25 MB||140 W||Skylake||14 nm||LGA 2066|
|Ryzen 7 2700X||$330||8 / 16||3.7 GHz||4.3 GHz||16 MB||105 W||Zen||12 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 7 1800X||$320||8 / 16||3.6 GHz||4.0 GHz||16 MB||95 W||Zen||14 nm||AM4|