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AMD Ryzen 5 1600X and 1500X CPU Review

By: Steven Bassiri | AMD CPUs & APUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Apr 11, 2017 1:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: AMD

This is where you can fast forward to the final section of the review, and get a quick recap and points on the Ryzen 5 1500X and 1600X.

 

What's Hot

 

Thread to Price Ratio: The Ryzen 5 1600X offers 6-cores and 12-threads for $10 more than the i5-7600K (4C/4T). The Ryzen 5 1500X offers 4-cores and 8-threads for roughly $10-15 less than the Intel i5-7500 (4C/4T). If you are really into heavily multi-threaded applications, then buying Ryzen makes total sense.

 

 

Excellent SMT: The stellar multi-threaded improvements and capabilities we saw with the Ryzen 7 CPUs are still in full effect with the Ryzen 5 CPUs. When it comes down to more threads, Ryzen does very well.

 

Steady Improvements: Until now, I wasn't able to hit 3200MHz on the memory side, but with the Ryzen 5 1600X, I was easily able to do it. I went back and re-tested, and I was able to do it with the Ryzen 7 1700 too, with a change in the motherboard (albeit a lower-end chipset) and new microcode, memory overclocking has improved. Software optimization has also increase Ryzen's performance in some 3D applications, such as Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation.

 

Lower Cost Motherboard Options: AMD's B350 chipset is meant to be a direct competitor to Intel's B250 chipset. Since some of the more important IO is in the CPU, such as the M.2 slot's PCI-E lanes and four USB 3.0 ports, you don't lose too much by buying a B350 chipset motherboard over a more expensive X370 motherboard.

 

Overclocking Up and Down: One major advantage to buying the 1500X and a B350 motherboard over their Intel priced equivalents is the ability to overclock. Until now, overclocking had pretty much been isolated to expensive or very cheap CPUs, and we are seeing overclocking in the $150 to $300 price bracket.

 

What's Not

 

Still Need Gaming Optimizations: Game optimization as we saw with Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation won't happen overnight, but it's apparent that AMD is working with game developers to improve Ryzen's performance. Right now, the major gaming disparities are at lower resolutions such as 720p and 1080p, but we can't disregard those since 1080p is still quite relevant and lower resolutions remove the GPU as a bottleneck.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

The Ryzen 5 CPUs are pretty much what we expected; slight enhancements in software/microcode with similar multi-core performance that scales with core count and frequency compared to Ryzen 7. At similar price points to Intel's offerings, the multi-threaded advantages of the Ryzen microarchitecture provide major benefits. Even in some of the games, the 1600X and 1500X went head to head with the 7600K and 7500, and they are in very similar price brackets.

 

amd-ryzen-5-1600x-1500x-cpu-review_48

 

All that being said, you aren't going to see a major difference between a similarly priced Ryzen CPU and Intel CPU in games if you have a nice GPU setup, but if your setup isn't that strong and the CPU's IPC and frequency comes into play, the difference might be more pronounced.

 

What I really liked about the Ryzen 5 1600X is that it bring 6-cores and 12-threads into the reach of the average consumer, and hopefully, this will push developers towards taking advantage of more cores since IPC improvements are becoming harder to come by.

 

The Ryzen 5's 1500X's affordability is very impressive. AMD realized where its products are strong and have positioned them very well in regards to pricing.

 

Overall, the Ryzen 5 1500X and 1600X are very welcomed additions to the Ryzen lineup, bringing the new microarchitecture into a much more affordable price bracket.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance89%
Quality90%
Features94%
Value95%
Overall TweakTown Rating92%

The Bottom Line: AMD's Ryzen 5 1500X's extreme affordability makes it an excellent choice for a mainstream rig requiring more cores. Bringing 12 threads into the reach of your average power user, the Ryzen 5 1600X is loaded CPU with a lot of promise.

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