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AMD Ryzen 7 1800X CPU Review - Intel Battle Ready?

By: Steven Bassiri | AMD CPUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Mar 2, 2017 2:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%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 7 1800X.

 

What's Hot

 

SMT FTW!: Ryzen keeps on surprizn'! AMD's processor teams deserve a round of applause for catching up to Intel regarding multi-core performance. There is a reason that a Ryzen CPU currently holds the world record for the fastest 8-core CPU in CINEBENCH. At the same frequency, Ryzen's multi-core performance is stronger than Broadwell-E's in programs such as CINEBENCH. In Handbrake transcoding a 4K video, it has a clear advantage. That is a big deal because multi-core performance is critical in modern workloads, especially those that rely on thread count the most.

 

 

Excellent Affordability: The 1800X costs $500, half as much as Intel's 6900K. That is a shockingly low price, and it will force Intel to move down the price on the 6900K. However, that $500 mark is also AMD's price for their top of the line 8-Core, which sets the stage for the other two 8-core CPUs to become mainstream-affordable.

 

SoC to a New Level: Adding IO into the CPU, as AMD did with Ryzen, is a very interesting move. By separating out some of the IO from the chipset, AMD can bypass their CPU to chipset connection for certain ports so that it doesn't get bottlenecked. It also means that your rear panel IO USB 3.0 traces are shorter, which could result in better performance. The final benefit is that it sets the stage for chipsets such as the X300, which are super small and don't take up as much motherboard real-estate, which should result in very interesting mini-ITX and PicoATX designs.

 

Broadwell-like IPC: Broadwell-E is Intel's current microarchitecture for their high-end desktop product like (X99), so every Intel CPU with six or more cores currently uses that microarchitecture. The fact that AMD can come very close in IPC and frequency to those processors at stock makes them competitive.

 

DDR4 1T: Many people know that it's difficult to get DDr4 to run 1T with XMP on Intel platforms, but AMD's IMC does so without a hitch, at least around the 3GHz mark.

 

What's Not

 

Overclocking: Almost everything we saw at Ryzen Tech Day was impressive, except the overclocking (LN2 exempt). For those of us who are used to overclocking all cores beyond the processor's maximum auto boost levels, we can't help but be disappointed when all cores can't even match XFR's single core maximum. I am not sure if it's due to the maturity level of the silicon process (first time AMD is using FinFET), the uArch itself, or the fact that AMD stuffed IO into the CPU but I do expect overclocking to improve a little bit with BIOS updates and possibly more with newer iterations.

 

IO Priorities: Having so many USB 3.0 and SATA6Gb/s ports is nice, as is the integrated USB 3.1, but M.2 storage is all the rage these days, and most motherboards only come with a single x4 PCI-E 3.0 slot, which many drives can saturate. I am also a bit confused on the limited number of lanes for the PCI-E slots, as AMD's previous generation (990FX) offered more multi-GPU capabilities than their current lineup, granted it was PCI-E 2.0.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Right at this moment, the decision to buy a 6900K over the 1800X is extremely difficult - there just isn't that much more you get for an extra $500 over the 1800X - and that fact has shaken the CPU market. Not to mention, the two other much less expensive 8-core alternatives that bring 16-threads into the mainstream. For now, until we see what Intel will do with Coffee Lake and Skylake-E, AMD holds a very important piece of the CPU market, located right between Intel's mainstream desktop and high-end desktop segments. If you are a gamer, the 7700K is still worth it, but for many of those who need multi-threaded capabilities or want to invest in multi-threaded capabilities for the future, AMD is an excellent option.

 

amd-ryzen-7-1800x-cpu-review_79

 

It's almost as if AMD strategically chose to catch up to Intel in multi-core instead of IPC. Since Intel's 14nm process has been refined and is currently in its second iteration, AMD must have realized that it would take much more effort to match IPC because Intel could just dial up frequencies if they felt like it. Whatever AMD did, they should keep on doing, because it's working. They came back from a five-year hiatus with engines roaring and performance soaring.

 

Like I said earlier, AMD fans have something to rejoice about, and CPU buyers have some tough decisions to make. Regardless if you are a fan of either camp or an impartial observer, competition is always a good thing for the consumer, so I guess we all win!

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance94%
Quality93%
Features92%
Value98%
Overall TweakTown Rating94%

The Bottom Line: AMD's Ryzen X1800 processor at $499 is an excellent choice for anyone who needs eight fast cores, 16 threads, and some pretty astounding multithreaded performance.

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